By GEORGE YOSHINAGA
I’m sure many of you watched a special presentation hosted by news anchor David Ono this past Sunday on Channel 7/KABC.
Since David invited me to participate in the filming, I put aside everything I normally do to watch his presentation.
I didn’t think I would get so much time on the air, so I was pleasantly surprised at my appearance on the show.
I want to thank David for giving me the time on his production.
For one thing, unlike many today who criticize our internment, I found my experience a lot different than what they are saying about our camp days.
Maybe it’s because I was a “farm boy” prior to the evacuation.
My parents were farmers and I knew I’d end up as a farmer, so being shipped off to camp and making a lot of new friends was a great experience for me.
Especially making new friends with the folks from the big cities such as L.A.
And in the pre-war era, I never asked a Nisei girl for a date.
In camp, one of the favorite activities was getting dates with Nisei girls for the dances, which were held every weekend in the mess halls at the various blocks.
My address was Block 24, Barrack 10, Unit A.
And of course, those of you who follow my column in The Rafu know that my journalism career started during my stay at Heart Mountain.
If I didn’t go to the camp, I know today I’d be plowing our farm on a tractor and feeding the hogs that we also raised.
So again, let me say thanks to David Ono for letting me participate in his TV presentation on the Heart Mountain story.
I kind of figured that I would get some responses from readers about the foregoing part of today’s column, but not so many so soon.
All of them don’t want to be identified by name. Okay, so here’s one sample of the many emails: “Hi George. Your appearance on ABC today was great. Everything you’ve been mentioning over the years about your experience at Heart Mountain came true with David Ono’s program today.
“Also, I think it backs up what you’ve been saying, that the experience was bad, but not horrific as many Yonseis try to make it sound like the concentration camps the Nazis ran during WWII. — Just me, anonymous please.”
Thanks, “Anonymous.” All letter-writers expressed themselves as you have done.
Another viewer said he enjoyed the coverage of the high school football team.
“Hey,” he also kicked in, “I didn’t know you played on the high school team at Heart Mountain.”
Yeah, I played on the camp prep team. It was nice to be a first-string starter.
On the “outside” prep squad, I was only a second stringer, but since the team was the top one in the area, we always ran up big scores, so I got to see a lot of action as a reserve player.
Well, I’m glad those who watched Ono’s show enjoyed the viewing.
David said that he is going to produce another TV show on the evacuation issue and will go nationwide with his next production.
That sure will be great, even though I won’t be asked to participate.
Getting the story about the evacuation and camps to all the people in our nation will be a good move.
Let’s face it, there are so many people in our country who never heard about the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans.
As I mention from time to time, old friend Harold Kobata drops off the editions of The Pacific Citizen, the official publication of the JACL.
Although I have very little interest in the JACL, thumbing through the pages of the organization’s publication keeps me informed about what’s going on with the organization.
The May 7-June 6 edition given to me by Harold gave me a chuckle.
The front page had a huge photo of Santa J. Ono, who was labeled as the “First Asian American President at the University of Cincinnati.”
What made it humorous to me was that the photo was so large it covered a portion of the newspaper’s title.
The title “Pacific Citizen” was partially covered by the photo and only “Pacific Zen” was visible.
Well, perhaps the editors knew what was happening.
I say this because even though the organization used to be for Japanese Americans, it is now leaning heavily toward Asian Americans.
Well, maybe it’s not just the publication of the JACL, but attracting the so-called Asian Americans.
Yes, I look through the obituary section of the PC because it lists the names of the deceased from all over the nation.
I often find names of people I know who might have been living in say, Chicago or New York.
The local publications such as our own Rafu generally list those who reside in the local areas.
In reading the PCs that Harold brings to me, I’m glad that veteran Nisei journalist Harry Honda (who used to be the editor of the publication) still writes his popular column, “Very Truly Yours.”
That’s great because he touches on JA matters in his column.
Not so with many non-JAs who write for the PC.
In this bracket is Lily Liu, who has a column, “Senior Care.”
The circulation department is headed by Eva Lau Ting.
Production artist is Marie Samonte.
Reporter? That would be Nalea Ko.
Story contributor is Connie Ho.
So maybe Pacific Zen might be the appropriate title for the former Pacific Citizen.
Oh well, if any of the staff members read this, which I doubt, they’ll probably say, “Mind your own business, Horse.”
So I will.
Anyone considering buying a new car in the year 2014?
Well, you might consider a Honda Odyssey, especially if you are a “neat type.”
In 2014, Honda is bringing what is said to be the industry’s first.
That would be a built-in vacuum cleaner in their Odyssey minivans.
It was on display at the recent New York auto show.
The vacuum cleaner is built into the space behind the driver’s seat. It is meant to be an easy solution for the owner to clean the vehicle after a long road trip. Things like stray French fries, cereal, wrappers and other debris.
The idea came from an engineer who returned from a trip with his kids. He was frustrated by the debris that they accumulated.
He said the new system would have a lot of value to new car buyers.
The new invention will have a hose long enough to reach the entire area of the auto. In a test, the vacuum sucked up every bit of debris.
When the 2014 Odyssey goes on sale this summer, the vacuum will be standard in all of its models. The price of the new system has not been decided.
Leave it to the Japanese.
I guess some of you might remember that recently I wrote about my wife and me eating out at breakfast time nearly every other morning.
And the site of our breakfast is Denny’s.
We order the same breakfast every time we dine at Denny’s, as I also mentioned.
Well, the waitress who waits on us doesn’t even come to our table to take our order. When she sees us, she goes to the kitchen and places our breakfast order.
This led to an amusing incident the other morning.
We sat at our usual table and when we seated ourselves, there was another couple looking through their menus.
They glanced at us when we sat down and had an even more curious look when the waitress brought our breakfast without even giving us our menus.
When we started eating, the lady at the next table said, “Pardon me, but did you order what the waitress brought you?”
“No,” I told her. “She just knows what we want because we come here so often.”
She laughed, “Gee, that’s nice.”
We laughed back at her and finished our breakfast and got up to leave.
She then said in an amazed tone, “You’re not leaving a tip.”
I laughed again and left.
She didn’t know that our breakfast costs $8 and I pay her $10 as she also serves as the cashier, giving her a two-buck tip.
Yes, I mention the name of Nobu Matsuhisa from time to time.
He’s the Japanese chef for whom Nobu Restaurant in Vegas is named.
Are there any of you in the reading audience who might want to join him on a Black Sea cruise this summer?
For the last two years he has put together a trip on Crystal Cruises, which carries his Silk Road and Sushi Bar
It’s a 12-day cruise and passengers may be able to indulge in the Chef’s Choice dinner and sake tasting.
They can also watch live cooking demonstrations, get their cookbook signed and have photos taken with the 64-year-old chef.
The cruise starts in Rome on July 13 and stops in Sorrento and Taomina, Sicily, as well as Russia.
Prices start from $5,510 per person. It includes the cruise, meals and beverages (including wine and spirits). For info, call (888) 722-0021.
I guess from time to time we’ve all mumbled, “I hate my job.” Well, try this out:
Stop at your pharmacy and go to the thermometer section and purchase a rectal thermometer made by a well-known company. Be very sure you get the right brand. When you get home, lock your doors, draw your curtains and disconnect the phone so you will not be disturbed.
Change into very comfortable clothing and sit in your favorite chair. Open the package and remove the thermometer.
Now carefully place it on a table or surface so that it will not become chipped or broken. Now the fun part begins.
Take the literature from the box and read it carefully.
You will notice that in the small print, there is this statement: “Every rectal thermometer made by the famous company is personally tested, then sanitized.”
Now close your eyes and repeat out loud five times, “I’m glad I do not work in the thermometer quality control department.”
Have a nice day and remember there is always someone else with a job that is more of a pain in the butt than yours.
If you haven’t got a smile on your face and laughter in your heart, maybe you should go work for the famed firm.
Hopefully you all caught the gist of the humor.
I had to read it twice to catch the laugher.
George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.