HORSE’S MOUTH: Introducing Robert Handa

0

YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published July 15, 2014)

Decades ago, when we were in relocation camps, if someone asked me, “Did you know you might be pounding out a column on a computer in another 70 years?,” I would have responded, “What’s a computer?”

So, here I am, one week from adding another year to my aging body, writing my column on a computer.

Yup. Next Saturday I’ll be 89 years of age.

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Mr. Y. May you have a wonderful day with family and friends.)

It makes me wonder what things will be like in another 70 years, in 2084.

Will they even have a printed newspaper?

The way things are going, probably not.

Everything will probably be electronic and the public will get their news by simply pressing a button on an electronic device.

And if someone says, “Did you know there was once an area in Los Angeles called Little Tokyo, where the Japanese Americans gathered to greet their fellow JAs?,” someone hearing that will probably say, “Go on, really?”

Heck, the Japanese American community may vanish completely in another 100 years, and if someone has a copy of The Rafu Shimpo, it would be considered a collector’s item.

If someone added, “And there was a writer who penned a column called the ‘Horse’s Mouth,’” the person hearing the comment would probably say, “Wow, there was a talking horse?”

Well, just a thought when I think about the year 2014 and my turning 89.

Needless to say, the Nisei generation is fading rapidly.

I probably mentioned it from time to time, but during our days in Heart Mountain, we formed a club for athletics, which included football, baseball and basketball.

There were 21 of us in our club. Today, that number has almost vanished. Kind of tough to believe.

I was one of the younger ones. Most of the others were two to five years older, which would make them in their 90s today.

I guess writing a column has helped me to maintain a “younger attitude.”

Yes, I’ve contemplated “hanging ’em up,” but so many keep urging me to continue, so I guess you’ll be stuck with my chatter for the time being.

This might cause a lot to mutter, “Oh, no,” to which I can only add, “Oh, my gosh.”

+++

In response to my comment about cutting back on my trips to Las Vegas, a reader called to tell me, “There are buses going to Vegas put together for the JAs in the Ellay area. Why don’t you hop on one of them?”

Yeah, I’ve gone on buses in the past, but when I get used to traveling to Vegas in a private car, it’s kind of tough for me to adjust to taking a bus although it might be the best alternative.

In a bus, one can take a nap or chat with the other passengers to pass the time.

The only drawback is if I decide to stay longer or come back sooner, I can’t do it as a bus passenger.

Oh well, at my age, what’s the difference?

+++

The following photo was sent to me, but it was probably a mistake.

photo for horse

At any rate since I received it, I thought I would run it in the column today.

+++

I guess Las Vegas is Las Vegas and chances of the gaming industry in the Nevada city folding up are impossible.

Well, it’s not so in the other cities in the U.S., which began closing gaming businesses.

One of them is Atlantic City, where The Showboat Hotel and Casino is scheduled to shut down at the end of this month.

The reason is simple.

The 1,300-room hotel and casino filed for bankruptcy due to lack of business. More than 1,300 employees will be losing their jobs due to the closing.

One of the reasons for the failing gaming business in Atlantic City, according to the report, is the opening of gaming in New York.

Gaming income in Atlantic City dropped to $2.9 billion last year from a high of $5.2 billion in previous years.

A casino analyst said more and more casinos face closure due to the falling business.

Meanwhile, Vegas is rolling along as always.

I guess in a city built on casino gaming, there is no need to be concerned with businesses falling apart like they have in other areas of the U.S. that joined in the gaming business.

Little wonder that other states are balking at opening casinos to compete with Vegas.

Honolulu has been toying with the idea of opening a casino since so many of its residents journey to Vegas. However, most of the Islanders feel that even with their own casino, they will still journey to Nevada for gaming purposes.

+++

As one who travels a lot, yes, to Vegas, I, like most of you who travel, am faced with having to use public restrooms.

Well, in recent times, these restrooms have switched from paper towels to dry off one’s hands to electric dryers.

Most travelers find this hard to accept due to the sanitation situation.

They prefer paper towels over electric dryers, but it is getting tough to have a choice.

Most public restrooms have only the electric dryers. The companies that provide the electric dryers say that their system is as safe as paper towels. However, from a hygienic point of view, paper towels are far better than electric dryers.

I guess I never gave it much thought, but after reading the results of a study, maybe I would feel better with paper towels.

Oh well, maybe I’d be better off if I can “hold it.” Heh, heh.

+++

Perhaps in the near future the name Daniel Takahara will become a household word when it comes to preparing Mexican foods.

The reason is simple.

He prepares Japanese dishes with a Mexican flavor. For example, his favorite dish is called Mochiko Chicken, a Mexican-flavored Japanese dish.

I guess I’ll give it a try if it is ever served in a Mexican restaurant where I frequently dine.

Takahara’s confidence in his culinary art led him to enter his green tomatillo and jalapeno salsa in a recent salsa competition.

I guess I’ll check with the Mexican eateries in the South Bay area to see if they are going to utilize Takahara’s ways.

In the meanwhile, I guess it will be my usual tortilla order at the popular Mexican eatery in Gardena.

+++

His name in Southern California may go virtually unknown, but in Northern California, Robert Handa may became a household name.

Handa is hosting a new TV show that will focus on the concerns of the Asian American communities in the Bay Area.

He was quoted as saying, “It’s a huge undertaking but a great challenge.”

Handa has been a reporter for KTVU in the Bay Area for the past 16 years. It will be the first show of its kind.

The sheer diversity of the Asian community in the Bay Area will provide a rich field of topics.

Handa has interviewed many prominent Japanese Americans, including George Takei of “Star Trek” fame.

Handa was born in Monterey, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Army at Fort Ord.

“When I was a kid, I moved around a lot, living in San Martin, Palo Alto, Campbell, Sunnyvale and San Jose,” he said. Today, he lives in Morgan Hill.

During World War II, his father and grandparents were interned at Heart Mountain.

“My mom was born in Japan and met my father while he was stationed at an Army hospital in Tokyo,” Handa said.

Early on, Handa started to have interest in journalism. “I went to Sunnyvale High School, where I was the editor of the school newspaper,” he said. At first, he wanted to be a movie director and attended Cupertino Community College. Now, he’s the new head of an Asian-themed TV show.

+++

What can you call a hamburger without meat?

You certainly have to drop the “ham.”

Well, recently, the members of the New York Mets were given a meatless, plant-based burger.

The players all asked, “Is this your zero-beef burger?”

An executive from the Southern California company that is introducing the meatless burger flew in to New York to introduce the yet-to-be-released product to the players.

It has more protein than beef.

The move on the part of the company was to convince Americans to eat more plant-derived protein.

The firm also passed out its products to fans outside of the stadium.

The cost of the new product is slightly higher than the regular hamburger.

The firm is saying, “Eat it, you’ll enjoy it, too.”

Well, we’ll see.

+++

I don’t recall if The Rafu ran the following, but if it did, I missed it. So I’ll toss it in here.

It’s about Alhambra Police Chief Mark Yokoyama being honored by the Assembly as one of eight 49th Assembly District residents who received the 2014 Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Award.

The awards were in recognition of distinguished service in the areas of public safety, literature and arts, the non-profit sector, education, community volunteerism, and public service.

The 49th Assembly District includes Alhambra, Arcadia, El Monte, Monterey Park, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City, Montebello and South El Monte.

Congratulations, Mark.

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

Tags

Share.

Leave A Reply