(Published Nov. 8,2014)
Since I began writing my column for The Rafu nearly 25 years ago, I don’t remember missing two columns in one week. Yes, a couple of times I nearly missed two columns but somehow managed to get at least one published. Well, this week it looked like that streak was going to be broken.
I missed Tuesday’s column and it looked like I was going to miss Saturday.
The reason? I was in the hospital.
On Sunday as I watched TV around noon, my head began to get dizzy. When I mentioned this to my wife, she kind of panicked. Before I knew it, she was on the telephone calling 911.
Before I could tell her to hang up the phone, she was talking to the emergency people and in five minutes a fire truck and two ambulances were pulling up in front of our house.
The guys put me on a stretcher and hauled me into the back of the ambulance, and with sirens blowing, off we went.
In about 10 minutes, we were parked at the Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance.
I was hauled inside on the stretcher and another few minutes later, I found myself in a bed.
The hospital medical staff began going through their routine while I kept telling them I was okay.
A doctor then came in and I tried to explain that it was all a big mistake.
He said, “Well, we’ll have to keep you at least overnight,” and there went column one for the week.
Needless to say, I asked him if I could leave by Tuesday. He said he’d think about it. So I thought to myself, “Well, there goes Saturday’s column.”
Tuesday morning rolled around and I asked one of the nurses to contact the doctor for me. He came to the room about noon. “Everything seems OK,” he told me. “I’ll let you know in a few hours.”
He came back about 2:30 and said, “You seem okay. I’ll have you checked out by 4 p.m.”
Boy, what a relief.
I was home at 6 p.m. and started thinking about my Saturday column, so here I am.
I guess I can begin by writing about why all this happened in this first place.
Several readers sent me emails with the question, “What happened that you ended up in a hospital?”
Em Yamada, an old friend and a follower of my column for lo these many years, called me on the phone.
“What happened, Horse?” she asked.
When I explained what did happen, she laughed. Needless to say, I laughed with her.
I’ve known Em for a lot of years, even before she became a Nisei Week queen. That’s going back more than 50 years.
Yeah, I guess I can chat a little more about my 2½-day stay at Little Company of Mary Hospital. It’s been rated among the top five hospitals in the U.S. That’s right, among the top five.
As a patient even for a short period of time, I can understand how it got such a high rating and since I didn’t consider myself a “real” patient, I was able to observe how the staff handled their positions. I know I was made to feel comfortable.
Although none of them were assigned to me, there were quite a number of Japanese Americans in the nursing and other medical staff positions. Yes, we exchanged “hellos” when the occasion occurred.
I would assume that there are a large number of JAs who are in the medical profession from what I saw during my few days at Little Company of Mary.
Well, it’s good to get back at my computer keyboard pounding out today’s chatter, especially since I thought I might miss Saturday’s column.
During the past week, the election was among the top stories in the media.
However, there seemed to be very little attention to Paul Tanaka’s bid to win the L.A. County sheriff’s position. The election was won by his opponent.
Oh well, maybe with so many other key races, the local media may not have felt the sheriff’s election to be that much of a news story.
In Northern California and Hawaii, there were a number of Japanese Americans seeking election.
I guess in places like San Jose and Honolulu with their large JA communities, a JA seeking office isn’t that much of a news story.
For example, one of the congressional races in San Jose featured Mike Honda, who won re-election by a narrow margin but only received a few lines in the major publications in the area. Ditto for David Ige, who took the Hawaii governor’s seat.
In the L.A. area, if a JA is on a ballot, it’s big news. However, Paul Tanaka’s campaign didn’t get the media coverage I thought it would receive.
Oh well, I guess that’s the way the ball bounces.
It was stated that Tanaka raised a lot of money in his race for the sheriff’s seat, but I don’t recall seeing one ad.
I thought I was imagining things but several other JA voters told me the same thing about Paul’s campaign.
Speaking of campaigns, I found a story on Elise Stefanik quite interesting.
Yeah, the same question popped into my mind when I saw her story on the computer news network. I guess the headline caught my eye: “Meet Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.” Here’s part of the story:
“Republican Elise Stefanik has become the youngest woman elected to Congress in history, winning her race against Aaron Woolf in New York’s 21st open district 56-32.
“She’s the first Republican to win the district, which has been held by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens since 1993.
“Stefanik, 30, is seen as a new face and image for the GOP. House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy both campaigned for her on the trail, offering a preview of the attention she’s sure to receive at the Capitol as she projects an aura of energy and vitality for a party hoping to appeal to younger demographics.
“Despite a perceived proximity to many GOP insiders who have frustrated voters, Stefanik was able to capitalize on the Republican base in her district.”
Three times a week, I’m in my car at 4 a.m. driving to an appointment.
Yeah, I know that sounds crazy but on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 4 a.m., I have what is called dialysis, which lasts three hours. So I get home before a lot of other people are jumping in their cars to go to their jobs.
One thing for sure: Driving in traffic (even for L.A.) at 4 a.m. sure ain’t like driving at 6:30 a.m. or 8 a.m.
I guess if people are curious as to what dialysis is, they might look it up in their dictionary.
It’s an activity for older folks and at my age (89), I guess I can be considered an “older folk.”
Gee, who would have thought I would be writing something like this 70 years go, when JAs were living in relocation centers?
Hey, I notice that fellow Rafu columnist Wimp Hiroto’s column is getting longer than when he first began with the publication.
In fact, some of his stuff is longer than my “Mouth,” which I thought was quite lengthy.
Since Wimp is a polished writer, I never expect to match his stuff, except that my stuff is always a bit longer. So when he starts matching my chatter inch for inch, maybe I’d better step up my “Mouth.”
Yeah, I know. I frequently mention that my “Mouth” isn’t as lengthy as it used to be, which, of course, means that talented writers like Wimp can easily match my chatter.
Oh well, I hope Wimp doesn’t read this. If he does, he’s probably laughing.
Oh yeah, when I’m not sitting at my computer putting together my column, I’m sitting in front of our TV set watching the tube.
Only problem is with today’s modern TV sets, it takes more than turning it on and trying to switch channels, and I wonder if other people have the same problem.
I guess I should have kept my old TV, which didn’t require a lot of electronic knowledge to operate.
Most of you will probably say, “Man, that Horse must be losing it if he has to write about turning his TV set on and off.”
You’re wrong. I haven’t “lost it.” I didn’t have it to begin with.
I’m going to end my chatter with my neighbor who loves to cook and feels he’s pretty good at it.
Whenever he cooks in his backyard, he makes sure to bring over a plate to me and he wants my opinion on his skill as a chef.
Believe it or not, he’s great, and I told him the next time he brings over a plate, I will write about it in my column.
He didn’t know I was a newspaper columnist, and when I told him I would do a story on him, he said, “Forget it.”
I guess I won’t have anything to write about as far as his cooking skills are concerned. Me and my big mouth.
George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.