Had I known there would be a time to give an address concerning Mr. Yoshinaga at his funeral on Aug. 27, 2015, I would have said the following:
I began employment on Sept. 29, 1999 at The Rafu Shimpo as a part-time typist. The first assignment given to me was George Yoshinaga’s “Horse’s Mouth” and thereafter I typed it every Monday and Thursday until a month prior to his passing.
Mr. Y typed SEVEN full pages twice a week for his column. (Some people can’t even type one paragraph.) It is time-consuming to type that many pages twice a week. It takes intelligence, initiative, organization and resourcefulness. Mr. Y had all these qualities.
It took me almost three hours to type and proofread my typing of his column. My co-worker J.K. Yamamoto then went over my typing to check for errors and prepared the column for publication.
As I said in my column of Aug. 22, the one thing I really admired about Mr. Y’s column was he dared to write what and how he felt about any subject. There were times as I was typing, however, I said to myself, “Now, now, Mr. Y, be nice.”
Mr. Y was a great tease. On one occasion, he informed me that he received an email from a reader who said, “Maggie’s comments add charm to your column.” Mr. Y told me, “When I read that, I wanted to go to the bathroom and vomit.” Then he heartily laughed and said, “Maggie, I’m only kidding. I like your comments, too.”
At times I laughed while typing his laugher page. One of my favorites is:
A Caucasian woman was driving toward an Indian reservation when she saw an Indian woman walking. She stopped and offered her a ride. After the Indian woman was seated, she noticed a brown bag next to her. She asked the Caucasian driver what was in the bag. The woman replied, “Oh, that’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.” The Indian woman remarked, “Good trade!”
I deeply miss typing Mr. Y’s column. I feel a part of me has departed with his passing. May I repeat myself by saying there will never be another George Yoshinaga?
It was such a pleasant surprise to read in Wimpy Hiroto’s column of Sept. 2, 2015, stating that along with The Rafu Shimpo, I was one of George Yoshinaga’s favorites.
Whenever I had a question regarding his column and called him, we always had such a delightful chat. I felt a keen friendship after each telephone visit.
Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist and can be reached at [email protected] Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.