(Published on April 29, 2014)

It’s probably something I don’t give much attention to until it’s staring me in the face. That would be the height of today’s youth.

This past Saturday, one of my sons put together a birthday party for three persons who tacked another year on themselves. That is, they added another year to their bodies.

One of the honorees was my son’s son. He turned 18 and I suddenly noticed how tall he has grown. He’s 6-foot-2 and at his age, will probably add another two or three inches.

I’m 5-foot-10 but all my sons are taller than I. However, I never expected a grandson to hit 6’2” or taller.

Maybe I’ll see his name on the roster of the basketball team when he checks into college.

In my days, at 5’10” I was considered among the taller ones. Nowadays I guess they would call me “Shorty.”

Well, I guess you can call it progress.

Seeing my grandson at 6’2”, I wondered who the tallest Sansei or Yonsei might be and how tall he/she might be. I guess nowadays being a six-footer is commonplace.

During my days participating in Nisei Athletic Union (NAU), a six-footer was considered tall. Not so anymore.

In those days Dick Nagai and Kaz Shinzato, both six-footers, signed on to play at USC with moderate success.

I guess one of the these days we might hear about a 6’5” or 6’6” JA cager playing in the NAU or at the college level.

The tallest JA I ever saw play was a Nisei from Placerville, near the Sacramento area. He was 6’4”. He went on to college, but I never heard what happened to him at that level of basketball.


I thought my column would be missing today but fortunately, my son was in our neighborhood and thanks to the cell phone, I was able to get him to stop by, and with a flick of a finger, he got the computer working again.

Maybe I’d better go someplace and learn more about computers.

At any rate, I’m tapping away on the keyboard and it looks like I’ll be back on Page 3 today.

Yeah, my son told me to go to a computer class so I won’t be facing the same problem again.

I guess when you reach my age, all of today’s high-tech equipment gets to be too much.

Oh well, let me get on with the “Mouth.”


Just in case something goes wrong again, I thought I would toss in a photo here to fill up some space.

It was taken when I was honored with a luncheon about a month ago.

The person who put the gathering together made T-shirts to pass out to those who attended the event. My name was printed on bright yellow T-shirts that caught the eye of everyone sitting around.

Mayor Paul Tanaka of the City of Gardena (he’s running for the vacant sheriff’s office in a special election this year) posed with me.

Needless to say, I’ve never had a T-shirt made in my honor, so I have to thank Bacon Sakatani for getting them made.

tanaka-yoshinaga (for horse)Of course, I doubt if those who received the T-shirts will be wearing them around town (or even at home).

They’ll hate to hear someone say, “Are you crazy, wearing a Horse T-shirt?”

Yes, I guess I’ll be crazy enough to wear it, especially in Las Vegas.


Speaking of Las Vegas, yes, I will be going up there in two weeks. That’s because my sister, who lives in Mountain View in Northern California, called to tell me that she will be in Vegas and wants me to join her.

She’s 91 years old so any chance I get to spend with her, I’ll take it. She used to drive to Reno once a month until about three years ago, when she was only 88 (my age now), but she had to stop driving, so now she flies to Vegas.

That’s about an hour trip from the San Jose Airport to Vegas. Yeah, she still drives to the airport, which takes her about 30 minutes.

Of course, she’s a “high roller,” so paying for an airplane ticket is no problem with her.

Since I’m a 25-cent slot machine player, flying from LAX to Vegas is out of the question.

Yeah, I hope the person who said he would serve as my driver doesn’t back out. If that happens, I may have to take the bus. (A lot cheaper than flying.)

Of course, I can always call my sister and tell her, “Sorry, can’t make it.”


Okay, maybe I do mention Vegas more than I should.

At least that’s the opinion of one reader who wrote: “Horse, I enjoy your column most of the time but I think you chat about Vegas too often. Is there nothing better to write about than your trip to Vegas?”

Yeah, you’re right. Maybe I do overdo my chatter on Vegas.

However, when I have to fill two pages a week in The Rafu, it gets a bit tough to find subjects to write about, which leads me to Vegas.

However, since you mentioned it, I’ll see if I can cut back on Vegas and come up with other subject matter.

I guess getting on in age keeps me from running around town and attending a lot of events, which does cut down on sources of material.

As my wife always tells me, “Have you ever thought about hanging ’em up?”

I always kid her: “Okay, I’ll look for a coat hanger so I’ll have something to hang ’em up on.”

Naturally, she doesn’t appreciate my humor.

(MAGGIE’S COMMENT: Maybe you wife doesn’t appreciate your humor, but that is one of the reasons your column is so popular, so hang in there, Mr. Y. I had to “ha, ha” when I typed your coat hanger reply.)


I know I mention that there aren’t that many Japanese restaurants in Gardena, but I’m really wrong. There are a lot of them, but I guess I just don’t look around enough.

I say this because my son, who lives in Palos Verdes, always comes to Gardena when he and his wife are looking for Japanese food.

Of course, he invites me and my wife to join them and he always takes us to a Japanese place.

As always, when we get to the “Nihon-shoku” site, I say, “Gee, I didn’t even know about this place.”

He laughs and says, “Maybe you should take Mom out more often and you’ll learn about the restaurants.”

No, he’s not suggesting that I’m a tightwad and don’t want to go to an expensive eatery.

Heck, all Japanese eateries cost more than, say, Denny’s. Heh, heh.


I haven’t heard too much about the proposed high-speed railway being planned for our state. However, more than a few Japanese Americans have been quoted about the proposed $68 billion project. That’s because if they do begin construction on the project, a lot of residents along the proposed route will be forced to move out of the way.

One of them is Aaron Fukuda, a civil engineer whose house in Hanford lies directly in one of the train routes. He says, “People are worn out, tired and frustrated” by the proposed railway.

Since farmlands in the Central Valley are being targeted for use by the new railway and most farmlands are owned and operated by JAs, they will be the victims.

Trains are supposed to run between Los Angeles and San Francisco by the year 2029. That’s about 15 years from now, so it seems like a long way down the road, but the way time flies, if the rail is built, a lot of JAs will be affected.

I guess some may argue that if the government could put all JAs in internment camps back in 1942, running a railway through their property in 2029 may not be that questionable.

To which I can say, heh, heh. Who are you kidding?


 Okay, I guess I’ll have to use Vegas to close out today’s chatter.

That reason is I just had a phone call from an old friend who lives there.

He said, “George, I’m calling to tell you that you can dump my old phone number. I want to give you my new number, which is my new cell phone.”

He then gave me his new number and said, “Most people who live in Vegas are switching from their regular phone to cells because most of them aren’t at home most of the time.”

I guess I can understand that.

At any rate, he said, “Try ringing my new cell number so I’ll know you got the number right.”

So, when he hung up, I dialed his new cell number and he responded. “Okay, Horse, you got it right. I’m just driving out of my garage to head downtown.”

I told him I was calling from my cell phone, but I get most of my calls on my home phone, and that was the end of that conversation.

I can understand people living in Vegas switching to cell phones. I mean, who in the heck stays at home in Vegas?


Time to laugh. This is entitled “Critical Thinking at Its Best.”

Woman: Do you drink beer?

Man: Yes.

Woman: How many beers a day?

Man: Usually about three.

Woman: How much do you pay per beer?

Man: Five dollars, which includes tip.

Woman: And how long have you been drinking?

Man: About 20 years, I suppose.

Woman: So a beer costs $5 and you have three beers a day, which puts your spending each month at $450. In one year, it would be approximately $5,400, correct?

Man: Correct.

Woman: If in one year you spend $5,400, not accounting for inflation, the past 20 years puts your spending at $108,000, correct?

Man: Correct.

Woman: Did you know that if you didn’t drink so much beer, that money could have been put in a step-up interest savings account and after accounting for compound interest for the past 20 years, you could have now bought a Ferrari?

Man: Do you drink beer?

Woman: No.

Man: Where’s your Ferrari?

Oh well, that’s about it for today. Catch you on Saturday.


George Yoshinaga writes from Gardena and may be reached via email at horsesmouth2000@hotmail.com. Opinions expressed in the column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.


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