CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Why Welcome the New Year Dumping the Old?

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WIMPY1By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO

“Now is the season of ‘Omedetos,’ respectful bows and ‘Yoroshikus.’ Holiday Cheer segues to ‘Happy New Year’ salutations . . . [Opening sentence of Crossroads to Somewhere, Jan. 05, 2013.]

“I don’t know about you nice people, but CR2S sits down in front of his computer when there is nothing better or worse to do . . . [An innocuous way to introduce the first CR2S column of 2014, Jan. 04.]

Today I’m hoping to write something far more memorable to set the tone for Annum 2015. For whatever reason, the first one always seems to pose a challenge. This year I didn’t drop a big glittering ball from the fifth floor of KRH or sing “Auld Lang Syne” to the koi, turtles and ladies. Since I don’t believe in making resolutions, no inane attempts to gain weight, be a nicer person or learn to play the piano.

Damn, I mean darn, what to do other than utter a warm “Akemashite”?

An option is to look upon today as simply another Wednesday; which it is. Holidays are really nothing except a day off from work: Valentine, Hallowe’en, Labor. Special wars are feted until there were too many: Fourth of July, Memorial. Presidents and parents are honored. New Year’s Eve’s only claim to fame is it requires a new calendar. But, per usual, leave it to the Jappos to make the introduction of a new year significant [I don’t have the slightest idea of where to go from here, so let’s just say we went together and now it’s time to move on. Words are at a premium today, don’tcha know, and not to be wasted by deletion.]

= * =

I was sitting on the floor, searching through a bunch of stuff. I’m sure you’ve been in the same situation; looking for a receipt, bill, something or other. Then your attention span goes haywire. That’s it, now forgotten is why you’re squatted. [Not quite as upsetting as opening the refrigerator door and then wondering why.]

When moving to Keiro Retirement Home three years ago, space restrictions loomed large in determining what came with me. Whatever was in a spare drawer, cabinet or closet was either given away or dumped. Not easy, with no thought of a garage sale. A tuxedo? You can’t be serious. I didn’t even bring a collection of Members Only jackets (regrettable). Winter/rain gear? Nope, as if apartment living meant no more cold or wet weather. All the traditional Jappo display stuff did not make the cut. Tough decision.

So you’d think it would be a simple matter to find something within the confines of only two rooms. Nope. But danged if you don’t wind up engrossed in the pile of miscellaneous stuff scattered across the carpet. There are old newspaper clippings, magazine articles, scribbled notes. About a wide variety of subjects: sleep, dreams, Alzheimer’s, facts and stories about JAs, prominent and otherwise. Everything saved for reference purposes. Never called on. Pre-Google.

Another bag has a bunch of old correspondence. Again, no semblance of order or reason. They ran the gamut of complimentary to challenging, suggestions for future columns. Then I come across one from *Vince Tajiri, hailing the merits of a newfound plaything he felt would be a boon to writers: “It does everything,” he excitedly pointed out, “from spell check to rearranging sentences, paragraphs, type size and fonts! You gotta get one!” Couldn’t help but smile when noting it was dated 1986. I eventually followed his lead, converting to the new gimmick (a computer) more than twenty years later! [*Tajiri was the first photo editor for Playboy magazine; brother Larry, a pre-war Rafu English editor.]

Another file was filled with material from a Poston Camp reunion held in Las Vegas some years back. It should be marked, “challenging and ill-fated.” CR2S had the audacity to put on a three-hour program without entertainment or featured speaker!

The notes, letters and miscellany resuscitated the past, good and bad. There was a reminder from a 1988 fundraiser for Keiro and Gardena Valley JCI. Along with dinner proceeds, additional monies were raised via advertising by supporting businesses, organizations and individuals. For this one the advertisements were replaced by full-page cartoon art, drawn by renowned artists and cartoonists; each sponsored by an advertiser/supporter sans ad copy. There were two drawings contributed by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Conrad, iconic political cartoonist for The Los Angeles Times. Others included Frank and Phil Interlandi; the former also from The L.A. Times and twin brother Phil a renowned artist/cartoonist with New Yorker and Playboy magazine credits. All contributed gratis for the cause.

Everything (almost) was then shredded and tossed into a trash bin. Immediately followed an angst attack. Dummkopf! Why?

= * =

Booth Challenge: Upon review there was no foul, therefore no penalty. Besides, this is Year of the Sheep (Lamb? Ram? Ewe? Me?), so CR2S will only be sheared for pulling the wool.

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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