CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Take a Bus to Ride the Chattanooga Choo Choo



As word of The Great Nisei Reunion II spreads, there is no doubt interest in the Big Band encore slated for July 12 is gaining momentum.

The Tex Beneke Orchestra, featuring unforgettable renditions of Glenn Miller arrangements, will headline the 2 p.m. show at La Mirada Theatre. The Mills Brothers are returning for a reprise of their smash appearance at last year’s popular opener. The Island Crooners will again provide upbeat freshness to the show. An added bonus reviving nostalgic memories of Camp years will be Mary Kageyama Nomura, so well known as the Songbird of Manzanar.

Tickets are available at $45 and $60 by calling (310) 627-7272. There is a “Bring-a-Nisei” offer whereby anyone who brings a Nisei guest will receive a free ducat of equal value. This offer expires 22 June.

So there you go, “Moonlight Serenade” romantics, be prepared to enjoy Miller’s unforgettable theme song one more time. And whoa there, Kilroy, when “Chattanooga Choo Choo” revs up its Tennessee excursion, there’ll be no mistaking Tex Beneke’s original rendition. All of which has prompted CR2S to come up with a brilliant idea.

In conversation with some Nisei (about as old as my Rolodex) about this year’s revival, enthusiasm was tempered by questions. As we all know, there are basic concerns before elders make plans to go out. The checklist: (a) where, meaning how far; (b) what time, meaning day or night; (c) parking, meaning walking distance to venue; (d) restroom accessibility, if an outdoor event. Cost is really of no consequence, and if it is, it would be (e).

Faced with these challenges, CR2S went into a phone booth and emerged where “Fools Rush In” when “In the Mood” to solve the problem, a solution to waylay all concerns in one fell swoop: A private bus to transport concert-goers to La Mirada Theatre.

Riders won’t have to worry about the 5 Freeway driving to and from. This is ideal for folks in and around the ELA/Monterey Park/San Gabriel area who’d rather ride than drive. That’s the $64 Question.

Ever the optimist, I’m looking for quick responses and a full bus post haste. You’d better Hubba Hubba because only 50 seats are up for grabs on a first-come (first-paid) basis at a bargain price of $10 a squat. My email address appears below if you want to be first in line; snail-mail to pay up goes to W.T. Hiroto, 325 S. Boyle Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90033; if conversation is necessary, I can be reached at (323) 264-3498.

A comforting note for sign-ups: I’m being advised by an experienced hand at this bus biz. Mickey Maruya, who has been arranging Las Vegas/Indian Casino trips for years, is assisting and using her favorite bus and driver, Frank, for our special sojourn.

[As of Tuesday deadline, site of pick-up was still undecided. Meeting point will either be American Legion Hall or Corporate Center, both lots in Monterey Park. If at the Hall, there will be a $5 per car parking fee; maybe no charge if we leave from Corporate Ctr. Not to worry, there’ll be plenty of time to straighten out this detail.]

There is plenty time for others to join the bus brigade idea. I’m told Faith Methodist Church folks are booking wheels for the Gardena area. Westside comes to mind as a possible pickup point. Anyway, keep your old-fashioned rabbit ears up and I’ll help by posting locations if and as they materialize.

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And what’s left to talk about: Thanx to those who continue to supply CR2S with solutions to cramps and Burnt Tongue Syndrome. No one has come up with an answer to sweaty-neck malady or mastering a simple DMV written test without screwing up five answers.

Have received thanks from Heart Mountain supporters disappointed in the final disposition of the Eaton art collection. A bit of satisfaction came from the “official” statement issued by Norm Mineta. The JANM board spokesman promised to make the collection available to others. Whether this gesture to share the memorabilia is merely a public relations ploy is never-no-mind; it’s the right thing to do.

Want a reaction to the announcement of Keiro HealthCare entering escrow proceedings with Pacifica Companies, LLC? Okay, a subdued one: Pronouncements regarding retention of staff and volunteer program, KRH rental freeze et al, make for great PR (not to forget an attempt to sway a reluctant attorney general), but for how long? For-profit outfits aren’t in the business of being considerate and compassionate, otherwise they’d be a non-profit. Once terms of agreement are agreed upon and approved by the A.G., then we’ll see what happens. Being a grizzled cynic, I get uncomfortable when the initials LLC appear at the tail end of a company name.

But not to be concerned, I’m not much when it comes to prognostications. Otherwise I woulda purchased Amazon stock instead of checking a South American map.

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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