CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Some Good Days Are Better Than Others

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

I’m sitting here thinking – red flag, yellow skin, blue moon – what an ugly flag those colors would make if I were a sovereign nation. On the other hand – and thank God we have two – I could be singing what a wonderful world if I were Nat King Cole or Tony Bennett.  Shunting aside all else, the reality is we are on the cusp of yet another summertime even though living might not be easy and the fish aren’t jumpin’. The Los Angeles Times was down to a meager 44 pages Monday but the Dodgers continue to lead the Majors in wins. What’s going on?

Have I mentioned (lately) how life ain’t so bad? I mean, if you disregard the nightly news and newspaper headlines. There was a time I used to be impressed by Greece, its art and ancient history, odes and urns.  Now, fergedaboutit. The country is rife with discord with more crooks than politicians. España was always a classic study, its galleons, language and architecture. Now it’s a nation in constant siesta with more vacationers than workers.

On this side of the ocean, it’s a matter of who to believe donkey, elephant or ass. And a November ballot is no guarantee of a turnaround. Locally law enforcement trumpets the continuing decrease in violent crime, but all we hear and read about is one heinous crime after another.

Yet the belief persists, life is like a box of chocolates: All good, especially the caramel, but maybe not so much soft centers.

For sure, it’s difficult maintaining a Pollyanna attitude. But as we’re constantly reminded, it’s easier to smile than frown, wiser not to honk your car horn or blow your nose without a Kleenex.

So why this turnaround in attitude and outlook? Like when my first sergeant a long time ago asked why I continued to go (censored): My confident answer was, “I don’t know.” (Besides honor and dismantling an M1, they expected honesty in the Army back then.)

The first thing that comes to mind is staid and unimaginative Los Angeles County supervisors voting (unanimously, no less) to rescind the ancient but telling resolution which called for our ouster from the left coast 70 years ago.

The second recent news of interest was the naming of Terminal Island as one of America’s most endangered historic sites. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has listed it as one of 11 sites on this year’s “protect” wish list (NTHP has no overt power). TI was the pre-war home to more than 3,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans before they were evicted on 72-hour notice after Pearl Harbor. The women and children frantically relocated to the mainland, mostly without spousal or male help, only to be rousted again by EO 9066 months later.

CR2S still has his 9th-grade report card, but saving the wartime site of Bethlehem Steel’s shipyard is something else. I believe saving a dilapidated Poston barrack is more important than glorifying the former home of Charlie Tuna. If said stance upsets ex-Islanders, gomen nasai.

Another recent reason for rejoicing was watching grandson Cody participate  in a winning all-star volleyball game. Granted we’re not talking Olympics, AVA or CSF, but to see a 5’4” Jappo setting up 6-plus-foot giants was a joy to behold. The only downer being his name misspelled in the program: It’s H-i-r-o-t-o, dummy. No proud Yonsei of mine would go around with a name spelled H-i-r-d-o.

There are other reasons for this newfound positive attitude: I got an unexpected discount on a medication purchase but had little chance to enjoy the saving as a notification came (in five days!) to return the discount; I was able to understand one of Scott Adams’ Dilbert panels on the financial page; and evening dining out experiences continue unabated in fine fettle and company.

Most important and happily, I’ve been notified by KRH management that I was misinformed about the policy of bare walls in my apartment. I am now welcome to put up as many pictures and pieces of art as I see fit. Of course it will probably take me six months or so to take advantage of this freedom to hang but already have selected a dozen priority items: a couple of personalized Paul Conrad cartoons, Interlandi brothers’ drawings, several of my mother’s original creations, and who doesn’t possess a samurai helmet display?

Yeah, people, life is pretty okay. Though admittedly lonesome once in a while, sometimes lonely is good. Define “sometimes” and you get a free subscription.

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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