CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: The Journey from Hate to a Church Revival

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

Lately I find myself a cross between being hardhearted and a genuine softie, having a heart that bleeds as well as beats; compassionately vindictive, scolding yet understanding. Rather than bury Caesar, is it not magnanimous to praise? Depends.

The firing of a collegiate football coach is no big deal nor reason to celebrate; even if it’s USC’s Lane Kiffin, a move CR2S has long endorsed. At 38, with salary and severance at seven numerals, he will live to coach again. I feel for his underlings. The question now is, who will be next? [Jack Del Rio?]

Kiffin did not head my top ten Do Not Approve (DNA) list. He always ranked below Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant, that duo forever in a flatfooted tie for the top spot.

Lindsey Vonn’s boyfriend failed to win a golf major, again, making his Golfer of the Year award as impressive as the flu. CR2S does not wish for nor condone physical hurt, but she was injured and he’s fallen victim to the dreaded putting disease.

As far as limpy KB is concerned, bejeweled wife Vanessa should be tired of a home hubby. Someday he will not be surrounded by Laker image makers and Kobe Beef will finally be well done.

Unfortunately, Reggie Bush, another of my athletic disfavors, is enjoying a career year in the Detroit backfield. But it’s still NFL early, and it’s still the Lions, so there is hope he’ll stumble and fumble. At least OJ remains in prison.

To make sure my hate list is not misconstrued as prejudiced, please remember Pete Carroll was always prominent; another example of success not precluding inclusion on my DNA roster. No matter his collegiate record and current hero status at Seattle, his departure from SC was a convenient and a fortuitous step ahead of dire NCAA sanctions. I excuse President Stephen Samples for being AD-challenged, but not Athletic Director Mike Garrett nor Carroll. It is impossible to be unaware of what well-heeled boosters are doing to, for and with scholarship athletes.

I guess my inability to reach the requisite number of ten is an example of my innate love of mankind; I can’t find more worthy of my venom to hit that magic number. Oh sure, no problema if you reach out into the world of talking heads, politicians and celebrities. But we’re only concerned with downright dislike, you know, the kind that gives you an upset stomach, a headache, a hot flash. It’s a good sign the list is so short.

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On the flipside of negativity, I attended a live, swinging band concert Sunday. When invited I’m thinking someone has slapped together a collection of old 78 platters to listen to and reminisce. What a pleasant surprise to hear the likes of an Ellingtonian “Take the ‘A’ Train,” Glenn Miller version of “Little Brown Jug” and “Moonlight Serenade,” and a Louis Armstrong-like “Hello Dolly,” just to cite a few. The playlist carried an enthusiastic, foot-tapping (remember it was Nisei, so it wasn’t “stomping”) audience back to the Big Band era, for some memories of camp dances held in crepe paper-decorated mess halls that had to end by 10 p.m.

During the 20-number set chosen by maestro *Dan Taguchi and his uniquely named Thursday Night Rehearsal band, I couldn’t help but smile listening to their adaptation of “A String of Pearls.” Shouldn’t I be reciting “The Lord’s Prayer” instead? The benefit concert, you see, was at Union Church of Los Angeles and was a fundraiser for its elevator campaign; a musical uplift, so to speak. What a shame there weren’t more people in attendance; there aren’t many affairs for old-timers nowadays. [*Taguchi, a UCLA alumnus, is music director and organist at Union, a jazz teacher/conductor whose 17-member band is made up of past and current students.]

Taguchi’s informal poll of ex-internment campers didn’t produce a whole lot of hands, but CR2S would venture a guess that half (the hundred or so attending) were of the “In the Mood” era. You needn’t ask: No one jitterbugged in the sanctuary aisles, but not for wont of wanting to; probably because the canes and walkers took up too much space as well as innate Nisei reticence.

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There was confusion among younger readers when CR2S explained the art of “cutting in” last week: a male tapping the shoulder of the male half of a dancing couple, signifying his wish “to cut in” and become her new partner. [Can you picture that being condoned today?]

All camp school socials were stag/stagette affairs; with some featuring program dances wherein girls filled out a promise list  – usually ten in number – reserving for whomever asked first; the biggest prize being the last dance. So the three-minute opportunities in between were often across the dance floor sprints, depending upon the record being played.

While Sansei might shake their head in wonderment, one has to remember their parents weren’t all Fred and Adele Astaires. So sometimes your only chance to dance with certain favorites was to “cut in.”

No, CR2S did not engage in such folderol. The negative consequences were too great.

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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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