By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO
My version of an early morning workout is to traverse the outdoor distance from lobby to dining room, about 50 steps; weather permitting. My excursion the other a.m. was rewarded by the rare sight of a small *skein of 19 geese flying in perfect V formation, the leader honking as they passed no more than 30 feet over my head. They were headed in an ENE direction, probably to Whittier Narrows golf course for a brief layover before compassing south to warmer environs.
They reminded me of a long time ago when large formations used to fly over our chicken ranch in Riverside. As a barefoot boy in coveralls and bowl haircut, I would wistfully watch while wishing them safe journey without being shot at. Like all country folk, we had BB guns, a .22 and a .410. But I can’t remember ever firing a gun until required to in the Army. [Even though left-handed, still made sharpshooter, which was worth an extra $5 overseas; but admittedly was a lousy shot.]
*By the way, before anyone jumps at the chance to correct an apparent CR2S error, please note that geese are a “skein” when flying in air. They become a “gaggle” when on the water. [You’re quite welcome.]
End of exciting, informative introduction of the week.
“O” Report: To waylay other readers before they fill my email box: No, “O” has not deserted me. And yes, it continues sporadic visits without pattern. There were only seven “tap tap tap” episodes and four single telephone rings in February, a huge drop-off from a high of 39 in July of last year. And they have been noticeably light in touch and sound, sometimes seeming almost apologetic. No heavy-handed raps. Other than my car battery going dead – again – there have been no untoward or inexplicable experiences lately, either. Things have been relatively calm and cool, nothing puzzling or upsetting. Copacetic, I’d say.
A surprise email last week from a JANM rep requesting copies of every Crossroads to Somewhere “O” column. He explained the museum currently has a display revolving around the spiritual world and thought written accounts of my spectral “O” would be a perfect adjunct. Maybe when preparations are completed, they will make some sort of announcement in The Rafu concerning this program. I wasn’t aware there had been so many words written about the continuing phenomenon until I reread all of the tear sheets [about 15 separate columns]. The timing will be perfect as next week will mark exactly a year since the strange happenings began.
Reading the entire account in chronological order at one sitting was a mesmerizing experience. It was difficult to imagine I had written every word. If there is ever a satisfactory conclusion, maybe I’ll be able to put it in proper perspective and compose one final recap. Meanwhile, the knocks and telephone rings continue and the beat goes on.
About 900 mourners attended the memorial service for George T. Aratani last Saturday. With all due respect to the solemnity of the occasion, I’d venture to guess it was the largest community turnout ever. And I’ve been to more than a few over the years. One only had to survey the attendees to realize the Nisei population isn’t what it used to be; there just aren’t that many left to attend funerals of their peers. We’ve got Sansei in their 70s, Yonsei past 50.
I can remember watching aging Issei hobble to offer incense, thinking “how sad.” Now it’s our turn to try to stand upright and wobble straight. One final observation: How gracious and courageous it was for Sakaye to stand in the plaza and accept condolences from practically everyone in attendance after the proceedings. It was physically draining and mentally stressful. There were a thoughtful few who took note and didn’t join the lengthy line, ending the arduous assignment, giving her eventual surcease.
03-03-13 came and went. Which means again I am without a valid driver’s license. I forgot to renew. Since I have an appointment today (Wednesday) to determine my fate, maybe I’ll be maneuvering the streets of Lincoln Park trying to pass the driver’s test as you read. Wish me well. Hope it doesn’t rain.
Met Leslie Ito, newly named CEO of JACC. Forgot to mention the most important caveat: Be polite and charming with well-wishers, graciously accept their money, but not their advice.
Cody Hiroto is the point guard for the CIF Division 6 Champion Rio Hondo Prep basketball team. You have one guess who his pointy-headed Grandpappy is.
W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached at email@example.com. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.