(Published Aug. 5, 2014)
As I mention from time to time, I sit on the front porch of our house to think about what I should write in my column.
Hey, pounding out two columns a week isn’t that easy, especially when I keep tacking on years to my age and I slow down in my daily activities.
Well, something always happens to create column material.
Today’s column opens with what happened to launch my chatter.
I was sitting on the front porch when my wife came out to the porch and sat next to me
A gust of wind suddenly slammed shut the front door.
I didn’t think anything of it until I decided I had sat on the porch long enough. So I got up and tried to open the door. It was locked.
I asked my wife if she had her keys and she said, “No.”
Well, I knew I didn’t have mine, so I went to the back of the house to get in, but I found the back door locked.
Needless to say, we were locked out of our house.
Fortunately, I had my cell phone, so I called my son who lives in Palos Verdes, not too far from Gardena.
He laughed when I told him what happened and said he would come down with his key to open the house. It took him about 40 minutes to get to the house, but he did make it and we were able to get inside.
I know. A lot of readers will say, “Leave it to the Horse to do something so stupid.”
Yup. You’re right.
As I often mention, the neighborhood I’ve lived in for nearly 60 years has completely changed as far as neighbors are concerned. Most of the JAs who lived in the area have moved out. The new neighbors are now all Caucasians.
They haven’t purchased their homes. Almost all of them are renting from the owners who have moved out.
One of the Caucasian fellows crossed the street to chat with me. One of the questions he asked me was, “I see you sitting on your front porch every day. What do you do for a living?”
I told him, “I’m old and retired.”
His response was, “Gee, you don’t look old enough to retire from working.”
I guess I could tell him I write a column for a newspaper. Since he’s not acquainted with the Japanese American community, he probably wouldn’t understand about The Rafu Shimpo.
Oh well, just let him think I’m an old man with nothing else to do but sit on the front porch and watch the cars whizzing by, or maybe show him a copy of The Rafu with my column in it, or I could sit on the back porch of our house and watch the birds fly by. That might be more interesting than watching cars pass by.
Speaking of cars passing by, since I sit every day on the front porch, most of the cars carry passengers who begin to look familiar to me. That’s because those who ride by probably live in the neighborhood.
Most of those who pass by are Caucasians. Since they see me every day, they begin to wave “hello” as they pass by, so I wave back.
The thing that strikes me is that those who are JAs see me too, but they never wave at me.
I guess I’m curious why. Oh well, that may just be the personality of JAs.
Did I mention that female sumo wrestling is gaining a lot of support in the U.S.?
One thing about female sumo wrestling is that size won’t be the major issue. We all know that sumo wrestling among men is based on the size of the participants.
In female sumo wrestling, it will be who is the best in the event by their skills, not their size.
I chatted with a couple of young Sansei women and they said they would be interested in participating if female sumo wrestling comes a reality.
One thing I’m curious about — how will female sumo wrestlers dress when participating in the ancient Japanese sport?
They’ll have to wear more clothing than the male sumo wrestlers, for obvious reasons.
Had an out-of-town visitor over my place the other day.
He lives in an area with a very small JA population, so they don’t have any Japanese eating places, so he wanted to take me to a Japanese eatery in the Gardena area.
Unlike the old days, there aren’t a lot of Japanese dining sites in Gardena these days, so I drove to Little Tokyo.
This kind of confused my friend, but we did enjoy “Nihon-shoku” in J-Town.
My sister from Northern California just completed her three-day visit to Las Vegas.
She said she had hoped to spend a little time together during her visit, but I couldn’t make it.
She called to say she’ll let me know when she will be in Vegas for her next trip and wanted me to get my schedule together with her trip so we can at least have breakfast or dinner together.
Usually, when friends visit Vegas from Hawaii, we have breakfast for our get-together time.
No, we don’t bother each other in front of slot machines or gambling tables.
But let’s face it. These two activities are what most folks look forward to in visiting Vegas.
As I mentioned regarding my visit to Vegas, I can’t schedule my trips like I used to because I can’t drive that far anymore, so unless I can find someone to drive, usually one of my sons, I can’t fit a Vegas visit into my schedule.
If we sports fans wanted to know what’s going on in Japan, we’d have very little success.
However, if you’re a Japanese living in Japan and want to keep up with sports in the U.S., all one has to do is read the newspapers published in Japan.
For example, the Japanese press carries results of U.S. Major League Baseball.
The games played by the Dodgers over the past few days were given top billing in the Japanese press, so if I were living in Japan and wanted to know how the Dodgers were doing, all I had to do was pick up a Japanese sports paper.
Well, that’s the way the old ball bounces.
If I can jump back to Las Vegas, the Nisei fans of the California Hotel know that the site is called “the home away from home.” Most Nisei who are fans of The Cal and are planning a wedding reception, family reunion, class reunion or birthday party know that The Cal is the place to go.
Yeah, I’ve had over the years several group get-togethers at The Cal and all those who attended thought it was a great event.
I know a lot of others who have put together group events all tell me the same thing, “It turned out great.”
Whether the groups are big or small, the facilities and professional staff at The Cal provide guests with an atmosphere of comfort and convenience.
When we chat about Vegas, most people can only think of casinos and gambling.
Well, would you guess that recently 8,000 new homes were built for people who might be considering making Vegas their home address?
Yup, you read that right, 8,000 new homes.
I don’t think the Los Angeles area has come close to that figure in new homes.
When it comes to gaming, Vegas gets all the attention, but how many of you know that Reno rolls the dice on high tech?
Many people associate Reno with worn-out casinos, strip clubs and quick divorces, but according to a news report, it is trying to reduce its reliance on gambling by taking advantage of its location and low taxes to gain footing in the new economy. Instead of poker payouts, Reno now boasts of e-commerce ventures, an Apple data center and a testing ground for drones.
Cities like Boise and Tucson are trying to poach California’s technology culture to help diversify their economies. Reno is among the best situated, less than a four-hour drive from San Francisco and in a state with no corporate or inventory taxes.
With the relatively low cost of living and the 30-minute drive to Lake Tahoe, many Californians feel that Reno is “the place to be,” making it competitive with the more famous Vegas.
That’s something, isn’t it?
We often chat about the aging Nisei generation.
Well, George Tanimura might be the lead in this category.
The Salinas farmer recently celebrated his 100th birthday. He has been farming in the Salinas area since the early 1930s. Under his leadership, his children have opened farming operations of their own with great success.
The Tanimuras were among the Japanese Americans who lost everything due to the evacuation. Upon release from camp, the family recovered and developed their business, which is on top of the list among farmers.
George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.