CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Mother’s Day Comes and Goes But Remains

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

Listening to Artie Shaw’s rendition of “Temptation” (You came, I was alone, I should have known…), a hit parade favorite of long ago, reminds me the clarinetist/band leader was once married to Ava Gardner, one of eight wives. He divorced one of Hollywood’s most famous beauties (also a Sinatra ex) because her mind didn’t match her face/bod, allegedly. That’s what I’m sitting here thinking about. So you want something spiffier? Read “Gatsby.”

Actually things have been going rather swimmingly lately, which is an odd choice of words from someone who doesn’t. But with a pretty healthy state of mind when you consider the circumstances: age, health, future.

One of my favorite followers (whom I don’t know) contends I haven’t alluded to age in quite a while and wonders why. Well, lady, methinks it’s because I’ve re-evaluated the whole concept of seniority. Just as gold has lost its market luster, so has the fallacy of the golden years. A convoluted way of saying I never no mind no more. Taking one day at a time seems as logical as 1 follows 12 on a clock face.

To be sure, I get a chuckle over the old-fogey truisms and cartoons that find their way over the ewaves. But after I check to make sure my shoelaces have not come undone (never untie anymore), I check the calendar to see what I forgot to do yesterday. There ain’t no moss on my shady side, no ma’am.

What am I trying to explain? First of all, that growing old is no great tragedy; like the teacher who couldn’t pronounce your last name properly (except in camp). How to better put it? As silly as worrying about how many friends will be left to attend your funeral.

I’m guessing this temporary miasma is partly due to the coming and going of Mother’s Day ’13. At one time it was my favorite holiday. Father’s Day paled in comparison, as did Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Its meaningfulness began in kindergarten and grew from there; more so after marriage and parenthood. A mama’s boy from day one, there was never mistaking where the apron strings were tied. I’m sure there are some who remember the old Singer sewing machine, the one that was foot operated? Well, I’m not (too) embarrassed to admit volunteering to pump the treadle by hand; which amused (and worried) my mother.

Even after growing up, a relative term, the day was always special and meaningful. As has been mentioned, ad nauseam, CR2S has wallowed in maternal riches: First an unforgettable mother, followed by a wife of equal substance. And yet I can’t remember gifting either with anything memorable or extra special. Flowers, candy. A note rather than card. I guess I’ve always been big on gifting only when on the receiving end. I think that’s called egocentric. [Upon deeper reflection, I remember once splurging on a stove/refrigerator duo; I think that’s called practical but nothing to be proud of.]

My mother died at the much too early age of 74; likewise, wife at 76. I’ve stopped wondering why I’m still around.

From the sublime to the ridiculous:

“O” May Report:  Despite the potential of causing boredom by continuing to cite mere times and dates, Saturday, May 04, there were “O” visitations at 1:12 and 1:32 a.m., the first time with such a short time lapse in between. As if for emphasis, on Wednesday the 8th, there were tap taps at 1:07, quickly again at 1:14! Strange and stranger. In all four instances, there were only two taps on the door, soft and what can only be described as meekly. Mind-boggling would still be the description of choice.

The left/right commentary of last week appears to have piqued the interest of some likeminded wastrels/wastrelettes; prompting CR2S to think of some other examples to mull over. Like when you cross your legs, is it left over right or right over left? I doubt if anyone has given it much thought, or been studied by a prestigious think tank, but why do parade participants and military personnel stride out with the left foot? I believe it’s because most people are right-footed; thus the appendage they feel is most reliable; therefore the anchor leg most trusted.  Forward, march.

How about another before calling it a day: What to do when you run into a hugger? You know, those who choose to embrace rather than shake hands. How do you decide which way to lean, right or left?

It is apparent, except to Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly, that Brandon League (unfortunately) is an arsonist, not a closer. Look for Kenley Jansen to take over the role before the month is out. And Angel fans, beware:  They win at the expense of also-rans.

Aratani Theatre will host Keiko Matsui’s triumphant return to Li’l Tokio, Saturday, May 25. Featured on her 25th anniversary tour appearance will be a special guest performer, saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa. The Bridgestone production begins at 7:30 p.m., with ducats at $40-$50. Reservations: (213) 628-2725.

CR2S has a Thursday, 8:30 appointment @ Lincoln Park DMV. A kind thought or prayer would be appropriate.

W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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1 Comment

  1. Takasumi A Kojima on

    Some comments on Wimpy’s thoughts about Nisei life passage. Is it over now? Well the key Nikkei players are dead, except for Wimpy, Phil, and Horse. They are left to tell our story, or to try to work it out. We realized long ago that each of them were probably doing what they do – worrying away at Nikkei stories – because of the position they were put in by life.

    But when they are gone, and their children, too, it will be a very small story as lived by a tribe of Nikkei columnist, who left the concentration camps in 1945. But everyone, for better or worse is in the center of their universe, for a moment. And all we can do to signal our dumb longing to posterity is to tell the story.

    When the time came, we received few photographs and Nikkei writings from various relatives. They are not good pictures or stories. When we look at the pictures of the Nikkei family, though, we can see ourselves imprisoned there like the time at the camps.

    And like an old Nisei, you can pine for the good ol’ days, waxing nostalgic of the way it used to be or should be. Or could still be. Not a place where opposing views aren’t heard and ingenuity blurs into complacency.

    To the readers, you hope you served them well. You hope been known for more more then jokes to the ending of your stories. To your long term readers, you thank them for understanding that writing weekly columns was a higher priority then life in the senior citizens home.

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