HORSE’S MOUTH: A Letter from Honolulu

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YOSHINAGA-GEORGEBy GEORGE YOSHINAGA

(Published March 7, 2015)

Yes, I was taken aback by the number of letters I received the day after I announced that I was “retiring” as a columnist for The Rafu. I figured making such an announcement would go unnoticed. I was wrong.

Because of the responses, I decide to continue with “The Mouth.”

Heck, let’s face it, if I quit pounding out the column twice a week, what will I do with all my spare time?

Yeah, I enjoy writing and it keeps my mind active. The most important thing about the situation is that those who follow me as a writer bought out some points for me to consider.

One of them, of course, was that pounding out two columns a week keeps my mind going, and at my age, keeping one’s mind active is also important for everyday living

I guess since I’ve been a newspaper columnist for going on 70 years, I take things for granted. So here I am, folks. I guess you’ll be stuck with me and my chatter.

Hopefully, the staff at The Rafu will continue to support me as they have done over the years.

Once again, special thanks to Editor Gwen and her English staff for their support.

Never know what the future of The Rafu and its staff will be, but I’m sure they’ll continue to serve the JA community as they have over the decades.

I hope some will remember “The Horse’s Mouth” and his contributions.

Yeah, it’s been a lot of fun being able to contribute to The Rafu and to be recognized.

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I’ve been invited by a Rafu subscriber to join him on his trip to Las Vegas next week. He said he’s been following my chatter about not visiting Vegas for over a year and he can’t believe that I haven’t been there for so long.

Of course, those who follow me know that since I have given up driving distances, I can’t just jump behind the wheel of my Toyota and head to The Cal.

In reality, I’m pretty sure I can still handle my car and make the trip, but my wife disagrees with me. I guess more so if she had to ride next to me.

Heck, Vegas is only slightly a short distance more than half the places I drive to in L.A.

Oh well, keep following my chatter and one of these days you may discover I did make the trip with me behind he wheel and my wife sitting next to me in the front seat of my Toyota.

My in-laws (my wife’s relatives) always kid me when I chat with them on the phone.

“Gee,” they say, “we really miss seeing you when we visit Vegas.”

Yeah, I miss them, too.

Oh well, one of these days?

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Yes, I was aware of the local election that took place this week.

Most of the activity was centered around local candidates and issues, so it may not have gotten the attention that elections normally get. And in the South Bay area, there wasn’t any Japanese touch.

I’m kind of curious that there were no Japanese involved for any of the offices.

Oh well, maybe in the next election, we’ll be back with a host of JA candidates.

Well, Gardena still has a Sansei mayor, Paul Tanaka.

Remember, he did seek the Los Angeles County sheriff’s seat but failed to gain a win. Well, maybe he’ll give it another try in the next election.

It seems that Japanese Americans seeking office don’t appear to be too concerned. Not sure this seems to be the case these days.

Yeah, I gave up getting too involved in local elections. There was a time when getting involved in JA elections was a big thing.

Oh well, we’ve got a lot of elections still on the horizon and I’m sure more JAs will be involved (hopefully).

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Got a couple of letters over the past few weeks asking why I don’t visit Little Tokyo these days.

Yeah, you’re right. I’ve been absent because I don’t see any of my friends hanging around J-Town, and some of my friends tell me the same thing.

They tell me that most of the guys are in their mid-90s and remembering when they were classified as ‘yogores’ in the 1940s and ’50s.

Well, time passes.

Makes me wonder what J-Town will be like in say, another five years.

One of the old friends I do visit is Tak Hamano, the owner of Umeya, who operates his business on 4th and Crocker streets.

Yeah, and one of his frequent visitors is Ed Fukumoto, who lives in the South Bay. The three of us talk about the “old days.”

Yeah, memories.

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 Yes, I do get letters from faraway places, one of them being Hawaii.

There are Rafu subscribers living in Honolulu and mentioned of my chatter about retiring.

Patsy Yoshimura from Honolulu wrote me the following:

“I received the Saturday, Feb. 21 issue of The Rafu today. I was so happy to hear you changed your mind about retirement.

“Now I don’t really need to cancel my subscription and can again look forward to your column.

“Please take care and I wish all the best to you and your wife Susie.”

I guess a number of people who want to keep on with what’s going on in the world, especially those in the Islands, want to keep abreast on what we “kotonks” on the Mainland are doing.

I have relatives in Maui because that’s where my wife hails from. They subscribed to The Rafu after Susie and I got married.

They tell me they find news from the Mainland interesting not only because of my chattering. And would you believe my wife reads The Maui News, which is sent by her brother?

Yeah, I read The Maui News from time to time. I find their “local news” of interest, especially their prep sports news, since many of them sign to play at the college level and they are Japanese Americans.

Yeah, how would it be if one of them ended up playing football for USC?

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Well, I may be a little short, but I’ll have to cut my chatter off here. Hopefully I filled enough space.

Take care. See ya next Tuesday. “Uma no kuchi”

George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

 

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