CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: A Commentary on Epidermis and a Keiro Rumor

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

I just opened the (horizontal) Venetian blinds. Would you believe for the first time since I moved in? Which means they’ve been closed for like three years plus. Such a view I’ve been missing. [Said facetiously since facing west means looking at the downtown skyline.]

I used to read while basking in the sun on my private 4×6 landing; much too small to be considered a porch, maybe a Romeo balcony. A snide comment about an unhealthy, pasty complexion had prompted me to start taking in some sun rays, stripped to the waist like that Putin guy. When my doc heard about the new routine, he reminded the need to apply protective sunscreen. Well, slathering the sticky stuff became u-ru-sai and a hassle. So instead of worrying about skin protection, it was simpler to just avoid Ole Sol and stay indoors. Which becomes a perfect segue, if there ever was one:

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If you stop to think about it, and I know many will not, it’s debatable anyone got skin cancer while in camp; diarrhea, yes, but not the dreaded Big C. When the mean temperature in Poston was over 100 degrees ten months out of the year, we just perspired. As guests from California, we suffered in silence on land host Indians refused to live on. So it came to pass us yellow males took on the hue of a baked Thanksgiving turkey. Elderly ladies, accustomed to working outdoors in the sun, wore scarves and floppy hats.The young gals made do with flimsy parasols – or nothing – just like the guys.

It is one of CR2S’s favorite camp questions: How in the ’40s did the womenfolk survive the blistering desert heat? I mean, hey, you Sansei/Yonsei fems, don’t be wasting time studying the loss of civil rights and due process, admire your predecessors for surviving under such trying conditions. How laughable it is talking about sunscreen when there weren’t window screens!

I guess there was such a thing as UVA and B back then, but who knew? Jergens lotion was the only defense against the Arizona sun, wind and rain. Maybe it has something to do with our makeup, you know, genes and DNA. Too bad we can’t recreate the scenario to study cosmetology instead of democracy.

Anyway, just another detour CR2S likes to take when remembering The Camp Experience. While scholars and deep thinkers challenge EO 9066 and FDR, I think about epidermis and Peeping Toms.

As far as young males were concerned, only hair mattered. Which was unfair to those of us who had a crew cut. In the end it didn’t matter. Anywhere east of Denver, chances are you were taken as Indian, er, Native American, or Chinese. So no matter hair style or skin tone, you were either Charlie Chan’s Number One Son or Tonto. [Maybe Roy Rogers.]

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[As this column was being drafted, a piece of information came to my attention, to wit, a rumor: An unidentified party has agreed in principle to purchase Keiro HealthCare. No specifics. I will not speculate, let alone rewrite what follows.]

It’s not a complete surprise when I’m asked pointed questions regarding the “Keiro situation.” I don’t know” has become a standard response even though I’ve taken on the role of cheerleader/reporter. And I haven’t talked to anyone of authority lately, or as is common to say these days, “authorized to speak on the subject.”

Apparently it’s status quo from all the recent silence, meaning search for a partner to replace ill-fated Ensign Group continues. It’s also safe to say staffers at all locations are in uncomfortable limbo. The recent move of Keiro Healthcare offices to Li’l Tokio was an unfortunate relocation that added to the turmoil. Actually the move to the 10th floor at 424 E. Fourth was a previously signed lease contract put into motion; the transition was made even though the Ensign deal didn’t go through.

So life goes on, however precariously, at the various operations. As a resident of the retirement home, I witness the worry and concern. Without benefit of any inside information, CR2S continues to believe the inevitable sale will not result in catastrophic changes. But let’s be real: Nobody buys nothing for the public good. Or to lose money.

Sponsorship of a fundraiser or consideration of an endowment are no longer being discussed, although previous commitments and continuing donations are and will be fully protected. While understanding this lack of confidence and fear of a questionable future, I see no reason to panic. If in need of or considering a facility, I do not hesitate endorsing any Keiro destination point; including Keiro Retirement Home. No matter who owns it, you’ll see Jappos all over the place. And you know what, even if you can’t speak the language, you can survive. I do.

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See what happens when shades are opened and sunlight beams in? Now I can’t wait to see what happens when CR2S doesn’t buy an Apple watch.

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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