HORSE’S MOUTH: New Parking Method in Little Tokyo

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published Dec. 20, 2014)

Does this really happen to a person’s mind? Go blank?

Or does the keyboard of the typewriter malfunction?

These thoughts came to mind when I began banging away on my typewriter and the words I tried to type out didn’t type out.

After a number of attempts, I finally got the typewriter to start working.

However, by the time it did begin to function, I was so upset that I just turned the darn machine off.

Then I decided, “Hey, wait a minute, I have to write my column today (Wednesday), so I can’t walk away.”

Yeah, I know. Most of you are thinking, “Man, if you have to start your column with such thoughts, maybe you’d be better off keeping your typewriter turned off.”

Shall I take a vote? Heh, heh.

At any rate, the past few days have been tough ones.

This past Wednesday, Editor Gwen had to pick me up for a ride home because my darn car wouldn’t start. So when I got home, you know what I had to do.

That’s right. Begin writing this darn column.

After nearly 70 years of putting together a column (beginning during our days in a relocation center), it should not be such a task. But it’s the years that have piled up on my age.

“You’re an old horse,” people tell me, and they are right. Just look around the JA community and count the number of JA journalists who are still around.

Ah, enuff of this kind of chatter. Let me move on.

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Christmas is just around the corner. I am reminded of this by the number of Christmas greeting cards I’ve been receiving.

Most of you may remember that over the past few years, I mentioned that the number of greeting cards I have been receiving has fallen almost to nil.

Well, here it is a few days away, and surprise, surprise, the trend seems to have changed.

I can’t even count on my fingers the number of cards the mailman has put in our mailbox, so even though I may not get another greeting card, I’ve topped the last few years already.

Yeah, you’re right, if I have to toss something like this in my column, I must be … whatever.

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As one who has driven around and around looking for an open parking meter in the Little Tokyo area, I was glad to read the news release recently that the City Department of Parking will open 6,300 public parking spots in the Downtown area, including J-Town.

The new system will be outfitted with wireless sensors and meters that will accept coins as well as credit cards.

The technology will track the use of parking spaces where open spaces are available and periodically adjust rates based on demand.

The downtown management system is augmented by 27 digital street signs that advise drivers about traffic congestion and empty spaces in municipal lots and garages.

One of Express Park’s main goals is to price spots so that several spaces remain available to reduce traffic congestion.

Well, if these plans move ahead, I guess I’ll be bumping into a lot of my JA friends who have to avoid J-Town because of the lack of parking.

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If today’s column seems a bit messed up, readers shouldn’t be too concerned.

I have to confess that Editor Gwen had to pick me up at the hospital to bring me back home because my wife’s driver’s license has expired and she has applied for a new one. My sons (three of them) have their own schedules and can’t offer me a ride.

I’m sure that will bring a chuckle to many readers.

But hang in there. I’ll get back on track.

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Yeah, I know. When and if people read the last line in the previous segment, they will all howl, “Just make sure the track you get back on is not Santa Anita Race Track.”

I guess today’s Nisei and other JA readers are not like the JAs of earlier times. That is when most JAs were horse-racing fans.

I’ve been checking out quite a few JAs who were racing fans (as I was) to find out why they gave it up. I couldn’t get a real answer from most of them.

Naw, it had nothing to do with money. They still go to Vegas, as I do.

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My friend called me a few hours ago. Wanted to know why I didn’t meet him in Vegas as I said I would.

No use making excuses. I just had to change my plans.

He said, “Maybe, it’s a good thing. I lost my butt.”

Oh well, his butt is worth a lot more than mine.

At any rate, I do have a trip planned, but no sense revealing the date. It will be before we flip our calendar to 2015.

See ya all there, if you can make it.

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

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