HORSE’S MOUTH: Old and New Columnists

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By GEORGE YOSHINAGA

Was wondering if Gwen would be back from her trip to Hawaii and pick up my column.

The wondering stopped when I received an email from her telling me she was already back.

At any rate, my column for Saturday was hanging on the decision from my MD.

He had me checked in at the hospital on Wednesday, the day I hammer out my chatter.

I thought he might keep me overnight, but fortunately he told me I could go home.

So, here I am, pounding away on my keyboard. I’m sure some readers may be wondering why I had to go to the hospital.

Well at my age, doctors feel I need to be in for a checkup quite often.

Okay, now that I’ve chatted about old age and medical attention, let me get on with my column.

I haven’t been to the Islands for the longest time now and I am curious how much things have changed over there.

I’m pretty familiar with Maui because my wife’s relatives are there. We chat on the phone frequently and they tell me how much life has changed on Maui.

Yes, they all seem to agree that there is a huge increase in the haole population on Maui. In case some of you don’t know, “haole” is the Hawaiian word for white people.

Haoles are buying up a lot of Maui residential property, thus “too many haoles.”

Yes, and that also means residential property values have gone overboard.

Fortunately for my relatives, they bought their residential property years ago when prices were reasonable, so they can live comfortably today.

Speaking of property value, if anyone is thinking about moving to Las Vegas and buying a residential property, the prices will stun them.

Just read a story in the Vegas newspaper and it said that the average price of a modest home is about $600,000.

Man, you would have to hit a million-dollar jackpot on a slot machine if you are considering moving to Vegas and buying a two-bedroom home.

Well if the Dodgers win today’s (Wednesday) game against Arizona, they will be only one-and-a-half games behind them in the standings.

Remember when the local club was nine games behind?

I was thinking about not watching them play when they were in the cellar.

So in addition to writing a column, I may be back watching the Dodgers on TV. I can dream, can’t I?

Speaking of baseball, I am curious why Nisei — or maybe Sansei — don’t seem to have that much interest in the sport.

At one time, baseball among the Nisei was as popular as basketball.

One could drive by baseball fields all over the L.A. area and see JA teams playing against each other.

In cities like Gardena, the baseball diamonds at playgrounds belonged to the JAs.

Not anymore.

I drive by a baseball field on Normandie in Gardena and I always stop to watch an inning or two of the JA teams playing against each other.

Oh well, I guess it’s the changing of the times.

Got an interesting email touching on an issue I never gave much thought to:

“Hey Horse, since you began writing for The Rafu, the newspaper has added a lot of new columnists, most of whom I conclude are much younger than you.

“I know you write from your home and nowadays according to your writing, rarely go into the Rafu office in J-Town.

“My question is, do you meet any of the new staffers?

“The reason I ask is, I thought it might make interesting reading for you to interview the new writers and for you to write a column on such an exchange with the youthful staffers.”

Good idea, but I doubt if any of them would want to chat with me.

You know, I’m an old fogie and our thinking is quite different.

So I guess the only other columnist I read is Wimp, but even his writing is a bit out of my range.

I’m pretty sure my writing doesn’t appeal to the younger staffers at The Rafu.

Which leads me to the statement I make quite often: Maybe it’s time to consider hanging ’em up and letting the new, talented younger generation take over.

Heck, The Rafu will still have Wimp and his “Crossroads to Somewhere.”

And the Horse’s Mouth can become the “Crossroads to Nowhere.”

If I get a chance, I’d like to ask Editor Gwen about her visit to the Islands.

Especially the announcement in The Honolulu Star Advertiser about State Senator David Ige seeking the governor’s seat, currently held by Neil Abercrombie.

If Ige does enter the race and wins the top post in Honolulu, he will become the second Nisei to win the governor’s seat.

According to a survey, Ige’s chances of becoming governor are very good.

As I said, I’d like to chat with Gwen to ask her if she heard any pro or con on Ige’s chances.

Since I mentioned that my birthday is two weeks down the road, I began receiving birthday cards from readers.

Never happened before. Well, maybe it’s because I never chatted about my birthday.

One card read on the front, “Finding just the right card for someone as special as you is no easy task.”

Boy, needless to say, that inflated my ego.

I never considered myself as being “someone special.”

At any rate, thanks to the sender of the card for making me feel special.

The plane crash in San Francisco is drawing more than the usual coverage from the media.

One factor I noticed that the media seems to be emphasizing regarding the accident is the Korean pilots who were flying the jetliner.

Seems to me that in accidents involving a jetliner, the ethnicity of the pilots involved in the crash is never mentioned.

Needless to say, this has to do a little damage to flights belonging to that airline.

Oh well. Since my air traveling days are gone, thoughts about what airline or who the pilots might be won’t be a concern of mine.

When I was traveling a lot during my active days, I never gave a thought to who was flying the plane I was sitting in.

And in all the years and all the places in the world I flew to and from, I only had one frightening experience.

That’s when an All Nippon Airways jet I was flying on had engine trouble a short time after taking off from Narita Airport and we had to return to Narita and make an emergency landing.

We had to wait until the next day to resume our flight to the U.S.

Needless to say, I couldn’t sleep all the way back to LAX. And I didn’t fly again for another six months. When I did, I took a bottle of sleeping pills with me.

I can only imagine how terrifying the passengers on the Asiana flight that crashed must have felt since most of them will still have to fly back to their homeland.

Since I opened today’s column with a short piece on having to go to the hospital, I will probably be a little short today.

So I’ll wind up by asking how many of you who spend time on your computer get emails about “earning money as an online translator.”

I get at least one of these every day. I reads, “Hi George. If you can speak English and another language, you could be sitting on a fortune.

“There are hundreds of companies right now, searching for people that can speak two languages. It doesn’t matter what language you speak, as long as you speak English and at least one other language. There are plenty of jobs for you.”

So just out of curiosity, I filed for a position.

It’s all a scam. After filing for the so-called job, I found it a laughable joke.

I wonder how many are conned into filing .

I ended my application with one word: bakayaro.

If they have someone who speaks Japanese to translate my one word, they will probably all be laughing.

Okay, today’s laugher is for all you Nisei golfers.

These are actual calls received at a local golf course.

Staff: Golf course, may I help you?

Caller: What are your green fees?

Staff: $38.

Caller: Does that include golf?

Staff: Golf course, may I help you?

Caller: Yes, I need to get some information from you. First, is this your correct phone number?

Staff: Golf course, may I help you?

Caller: Yes, we have a tee time for two weeks from Friday. What’s the weather going to be like that day?

Staff: Golf course, may I help you?

Caller: Yes, I had a tee time for this afternoon, but I’m running late. Can you still get me out early?

Staff: Golf course, may I help you?

Caller: Yes, do you have one of those areas where you can buy a bucket of balls and hit them for practice?

Staff: You mean a driving range?

Caller: No that’s not it.

Staff: Golf course, may I help you?

Caller: Do you have any open tee times around 10 o’clock?

Staff: Yes, we have one at 10:15.

Caller: What’s the next time after that?

Staff: We have one at 10:22.

Caller: We’ll take that one; it will be warmer.

Staff: Golf course, may I help you?

Caller: How much to play golf today?

Staff: 25 to walk, 38 with a cart.

Caller: $38?

Staff: No, 38 yen.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via e-mail at horsesmouth2000@hotmail.com. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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