CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Abide With Me—At Least With Someone

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

Abide with me.

I have a hunch someone way more important and deserving originated that command/request/adage. Just goes to show the depth of my current problema/dilemma/perplexity  A  long time ago,  I learned to live with and conquer the stress of deadlines; never ever missing a beat, not even when confronted by a dead battery. Although facing innumerable challenges over the years, there always was a solution, a saving grace. I think it started in college when I didn’t have the slightest idea of what a Blue Book test was. Instead of true and false answers, you were expected to write an essay that filled the pages of a book, which happened to be blue.

If the professor’s (test) readers weren’t exactly Phi Beta Kappa and all you knew for sure was the exam’s topic, you had no choice but to fill the blank pages with a whole lot of nonsense and gobbledygook and hope no one would seriously read the mess (just like the previous 47-word sentence). What that has to do with meeting deadlines eludes me for the nonce.  So if you’re kinda mixed up right about now, I’ve got you in the proper frame of mind. Abide with me – or at least with someone to keep you company.

One thing for sure:  I saved up my epiphanies, dreams and sleep REMs to  make sure I didn’t miss Saturday’s “super moon.” While humming and singing what I could remember of “Moonlight Serenade” (I stand at your gate . . .), “Moonlight Becomes You” (I thrill at the sight …) and “Blue Moon” (without a song of my own …), the evening turned into “Black Magic” (icy fingers up and down my spine …); If there was a super moon, it was super invisible.

Did you know that 30% of U.S. workers sleep less than 6 hours per night? That’s official, according to the National Sleep Foundation. I lose sleep over the fact we have such a bureaucracy that has a NSF. And if you’re really serious about having your vote count, move to Australia, where there is a 95% electorate turnout!

If you really don’t care about how many billions Mark Zuckerberg is poised to make when Facebook stock is issued in a week or so, rejoice in the fact the initial public offering is a California happening. If the projected $96 billion value is reached, the IPO will mean something close to $189 million in taxes. And the windfall doesn’t stop there: after the 6-month “lock-up” when sales are frozen, the rash of shares expected to change hands will translate into hundreds of millions more for state coffers. Who said taxes were all bad?

Remember the poignant story about the (Japanese) dog Hachi, who waited faithfully (in vain) at the train station for his master to return? Here’s a local human story of love and devotion: A resident of Keiro Retirement Home would make the daily trek from Boyle Avenue to Evergreen Cemetery for a daily visit to his wife’s gravesite, “to tell her the latest gossip.” The 1.5-mile sojourn (official CR2S measurement) became familiar with merchants and residents along the First Street route, prompting smiles, greetings and regular rest stops along the way. He would make a morning call and repeat the trip again in the afternoon. The rite continued until physically unable.  [How long has it been since your last visitation?]

Li’l Tokyo Parkinson’s Disease Support Group of Union Church staged a concert worthy of Dorothy Chandler Pavilion two Sundays past. It featured mezzo soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, accompanied by noted composer/arranger Ryan O’Connell, with a surprise appearance by brother Mitchell Nelsen, pianist extraordinaire. The sanctuary resounded in the music of Shubert (“Ave Maria”) and Gershwin (“Summertime”) mingled with renditions of “All the Things You Are” and “You Raise Me Up.”

But it’s the back story that intrigues: Long ago when a Nisei couple married, the nuptial story always listed the names of newlywed’s Issei parents. No more. A shame. With mixed marriages, family trees have become a mystery. In the case of Nina (pronounced 9-ah) and Mitchell, they are the children of the late Ron Yoshida, son of Mits and Masa of Monterey Park. We are all proud of our grandchildren. In Masa’s case, indubitably without a doubt.

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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