CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Cardinal Sin Perpetrated by CR2S

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

For someone who still has good, if not great recall, there are still memory gaps. I can vividly remember my first day of kindergarten: Hanging onto my mother’s hand walking one mile of road without a sidewalk to Fremont Grammar school. I was not quite four. But for the life of me, I can’t recall my teacher’s name, a stout, pleasant gray-haired lady who wore granny glasses.

At that age, WTH the Younger wasn’t much of a talker and my mom knew maybe a dozen words of English. But she had made the same trek with a daughter and son before, so she was a pro at handing over a cringing third.

I think I’ve mentioned before that older brother Edwin claimed to remember when my mother’s sister accidentally dropped me on my head at a Tokyo train station. I was one (and normal) at the time, which made him three when the accident occurred. Pretty good memory.

And if you haven’t guessed, this diversionary intro is a lame way to address a cardinal sin perpetrated by Crossroads to Somewhere: I missed a deadline last week.

The fact that Christmas and New Year’s Day fell on consecutive Wednesdays caused the initial problem. I dutifully composed a column for both weeks as if on a normal schedule. Duty-bound and all that journalistic jazz that’s pounded into your head at J-school. Contributing to the turmoil was the first-of-the-year hiatus the newspaper always takes as a deserving after-holiday holiday.

I didn’t ask about any revised schedule, and failing to check my mailbox didn’t notice a Saturday CR2S appearance. By the time I realized another column was due, it was two hours before deadline! All I could do was send in a humble mea culpa. [But what a pleasure to know I was missed by readers.]

Coinciding with Jorge the Caballo recently being under medical duress, the lack of JA writers again reared its gray head. Where art thou/thy/thine? After so many years of vernacular service, Yoshinaga  wonders when to pull the plug. CR2S, although (ahem) younger than The Horse, also sees the horizon. The transition to a younger, brighter, more spritely cadre of writers should have been a no-brainer years ago.

With all the freedom, maneuverability and choices available, why no new scriveners? Observers? Commentators? Okay, so no reasonable mother-in-law wanted her daughter to marry a writer when there were so many future doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, et al available.

I mean, hey, you can be rich, successful and still write. Twitter, 140 characters, texting and all that social media stuff shouldn’t be considered writing. Even CR2S has come to embrace emailing, but there’s always a roll of postage stamps handy for old-fashioned snail-mail. [Don’t you feel extra warm and fuzzy when you receive a handwritten letter or note?]

Whatever. I wouldn’t know what to do with myself if not for this Wednesday corner made available every week.

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It appears as though there will be a knockdown battle to be the new sheriff in town, the first in 50 years. No matter how the retirement story is spun, Leroy Baca was forced to relinquish his coveted post. Heading the growing field of declared or potential aspirants is ex-undersheriff Paul Tanaka, the current mayor of Gardena.

Tanaka’s uncomfortable situation is having to step down (embarrassing) at his now deposed (redemption) boss’ request, but too closely aligned with the beleaguered Baca regime to effectively criticize. CR2S can only hope his cadre of consultants/advisors are prepared to engage in an old-fashioned political brawl.

The Los Angeles Times’ kingmaker days of the Chandler reign are long gone; we’re all better for its demise (except when Otis was at the helm). Now a part of a mediocre Chicago Tribune umbrella, The Times still carries a big stick hereabouts. The county sheriff’s department has been under a critical microscope for years, thanks to the relentless scrutiny of the newspaper. Still his sudden resignation was a surprise, considering his longevity, voter popularity and moneyed backers.

Tanaka would have benefited if Baca stuck it out for another term. Now he will be the focus of attention and a certain target. Though probably not noticed (or read) by many, the L.A. Times editorial board publicly presented 12 reasons for being thankful last Thanksgiving Day. Considering all of the major civic concerns of the year and important events, the board pointed to the ouster of Undersheriff Tanaka as one of its 12 most thankful highlights of 2013! More than body armor will be needed to thwart such vehemence.

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Modesty, false or otherwise, is not a CR2S staple. So it should come as no surprise that I’m delighted beyond palaver accepting plaudits and paeans for the recent Nisei-are-the-best column. “Long overdue” and “needed to be said” were repeated comments, as well as a plaintive “There will never ever be another (Nisei) generation!” My favorite: “We were pretty damn good, even if you say so!”

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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