I’ve been thinking (oops, call out the National Guard again, hide the women and children, fill the moat with water and dial 911) . . .
The Ebola scare that caused such national panic should embarrass a whole lot of people; can Prez (how low the high has fallen) Obama recover a measure of face despite a grumpy GOP?; the Kardashians can’t be for real, right?; sportswriters will be hard pressed making Kobe Bryant a likeable jerk; is it too late to write an “Ensign Has Been Lowered” headline?; and finally, Paul Tanaka is mercifully out of the news, maybe.
All of which means absolutely nothing except how negative the world of news can be. No matter statistics, don’t you feel there are more shootings, hit-and-run accidents, human and natural disasters than ever? If the world is going south in a hand basket, at least there are some reasons to soldier on.
Instead of worrying about an outside world of sadness and shortcoming, we should make time to enjoy life’s small pleasures. You know, the routine stuff you can’t Google.
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“Dancing in the Dark”
Last week I wrote that Mrs. H did all the shopping in ye olde Hiroto abode. A concerned and thoughtful reader asked how the hapless remaining spouse managed to survive after being spoiled for so long. Well, first of all, CR2S wasn’t totally hapless, Ma’am, and #1 Son carried a very responsible role during his mother’s incapacity. After his untimely departure, Dear Ole Dad somehow survived, thank you, until making the decision to move to Keiro Retirement Home. Five reasons favoring the move were: Not being saddled with shopping, cooking, laundry, cleaning or garbage chores. Only Dagwood never had it so good.
“A Day in the Life of a Fool”
For some crazy reason, I felt the need for a collared shirt. Don’t ask why, maybe because one would be needed for burial purposes. Since there is no longer a Penthouse Clothes, a Men’s Wearhouse was close by. I didn’t have the slightest idea what a dress shirt costs today.
What a shock. But upon learning a second one came at half price, I fell for the gimmick and picked out another. Which meant two ties, costing more than one shirt, were needed. Two polo shirts I don’t need somehow found their way off the rack. And oh, almost forgot, was talked into trying on a jazzy-looking sport coat that wound up being measured for sleeve length before I could take it off. Which then called for a silk pocket square that cost as much as a foot-long Subway pastrami melt. Was such a good customer (sucker), there was an email on my computer when I got home, offering $25 off every $100 spent if I came back again before 2015.
The Great Nisei Reunion musical extravaganza was a monstrous success! Music by a retro Jimmy Dorsey band and songs by a reincarnated Mills Brothers duo filled the acoustically perfect Aratani Theatre Sunday afternoon. The unique Stonebridge production was staged for the listening pleasure of a diminishing Nisei populace that was raised amid the rhythm and lyrics of the Big Band Era. Renditions of “Paper Moon” and “Tangerine” might not be familiar to ensuing generations but they were ideal selections for arthritic finger- and foot-tappers keeping perfect rhythm. It was one of those rare occasions when nary a complaint was heard.
The pre-concert bento conversation was a mix of pre-war beginnings, relocation camps and the frugal, fantastic fifties. The most oft repeated comments were “Not many of us left” and “Who was that?” Unfortunately CR2S can’t rewrite James Fenimore Cooper’s “The Last of the (Jappo) Mohicans,” but The Reunion was a fitting epilogue, if not generational obituary.
Even if you overlooked the canes and walkers, grey hair(less) and slow shuffling to a seat, you’d never guess the concert-goers were ex-jitterbuggers and hipsters. Unlike the usual laidback Jappo audience, the rhythmic clapping, and gasp, whistling and shouting, was a surprise reaction and proof of a grand time. Even the balcony was rocking.
An unsurprising result of the celebration was the unanimous agreement at concert’s end, “It’s gotta happen again!” The Greatest Generation, as heralded by CR2S, is disappearing at an alarming rate. Surveying Sunday’s crowd, cold reality was there just aren’t many left.
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Benny Goodman’s theme song, “Goodbye,” appropriately plays background as I wrap up this Sabbath review. Nostalgic memories of a long-ago era have been revived, including memories of special people not present to share the moment. Only one single downer in an afternoon of highs. Not bad.
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.