CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Endeavour, Poston, JACCC, JACL & No Ghosts

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

I’ve been on the horns of a dilemma so often lately, I can no longer sit down in comfort. And you guessed correctly, it’s all because of the all-consuming presence of a mysterious knocker at my door; who won’t go away or be identified, let alone explain the reason for its presence. The hang-up, dear readers, is whether to continue the search for answers in a public forum or give it a rest and see if CR2S can write about something — anything — else.

The dozens of email, commentary and sharing have been overwhelming. And as mentioned last week, the vast majority deeply interested, intrigued and more than willing to share their beliefs without reservation or embarrassment. The reactions and suggestions are worthy of columns all by themselves, ranging from other-worldly possibilities, religious significance, to sprinkling Hawaiian salt all around to rid the premises of the unwanted.

To be honest about the whole affair, CR2S hasn’t aroused as much commentary and reader involvement in, well, ever. You can package my DMV antics, seeking a solution for cramps to philosophical musings into one and they wouldn’t come within whistling distance of The Ghost on Boyle Avenue interest.

I feel almost obligated to give you a ghost summary, like the results of the Emmys, knowing all too well you’re interested in nothing but an accounting of the nocturnal tappings on my door. Or if the bombshell of taps on the shoulder have been repeated. A simple recap of my incoming mail would make for interesting reading all by itself.

But you know what? Too much time has elapsed without my making an observation about the spaceship Endeavour’s final flight to Los Angeles. While I can’t deny the excitement surrounding the shuttle (somewhat diluted by the earlier media madness of the LACMA Rock), CR2S was befuddled by the removal of more than 400 precious trees to make a route from LAX to Exposition Park.

The historic significance of the arrival is noted, as well as its future impact when put on public display. But why cut down so many mature and much needed trees? Why didn’t they simply remove the wing span? Aeronautical purists might scoff at such blaspheme, but think about it: The thing ain’t never gonna fly again, fercryinoutloud! Detaching the struts, or whatever they’re called, and reattaching them after delivery would destroy the essence of the space odyssey? Gimme a break. And give us back the trees.

But I’m not holding my breath waiting for Villaraigosa to make good on a promise to replace and add to the total; he ain’t gonna be around to make good his vow. When they can’t take care of dangerous city sidewalks in disrepair, you think complaints for greenery are going to be heard? And did you notice the route it will take? All through the poorer sections of South Los Angeles.

Which unfortunately reminds me about another recent faux pas (in my jaundiced view): the underpublicized discovery, purchase and transportation of an original barrack from Parker, Ariz., to where Poston Relocation Center, Unit 1, was/is. What purpose this dilapidated old shack is going to serve is beyond my humble understanding.

The Heart Mountain reclamation project of several years ago made sense: it was in surprisingly good condition and I understand Bacon Sakatani and his crew of volunteers made certain it retained and maintained its intrinsic physical value. I have only seen photos of the Poston shack, “structure” would be too kind. What you would expect a 70-year-old weather-beaten wooden hovel is what you see.

A rebuilt copy would be of greater value, showing exactly what a 20×100-foot “home” represents, divided into four apartments (a misleading euphemism, “partitions” is a truer description). A decayed ramshackle teaches today’s viewers absolutely nothing. A replica, complete with what was called a double roof, I’m certain wouldn’t cost $10,000. And there would be enough lumber left over to make a wooden pathway that kept everyone mud-free en route to the public latrines in those fabulous days of yore.

An added reason for chagrin is how Manzanar, Topaz, Heart Mountain and Tule Lake have lured tourists to their learning centers while sad sack Poston, the biggest of them all, doesn’t even have a decent outhouse, let alone a tourist centerpiece. Shame, haji and all that embarrassment jazz.

Whatdyaknow, the end of the line and there’s no space to give CR2S’s slant on the JACCC fiasco. Before paying thou$and$ for a head-hunting service (and was there a costly severance pay package?), didn’t anyone think about simply Googling the gentleman crook? And where is the background and appreciation story surrounding Sadako Ishizaki’s stunning donation to the National JACL? As if receipt of a $1.3 million donation is an every year event for the beleaguered organization. Ah, so many words and so little time and space.

[FYI: It is now 8:18 Tuesday a.m., yesterday as you read this: “It” woke me up three times this morning, as if in anger because I failed to feature (s)he/it/them this week. With a final telephone ring as if another reminder was needed! So be assured, the Phantom of KRH will be featured (again) next week, a promise. Or else I’ll not make it for want of sleep.]

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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