To the family of Mr. George Yoshinaga: May I begin my sentiments by saying how very sad I am at the loss of your loved one. I know thousands share the feeling of your great loss. May the happy moments you spent together give you comfort at this time. My prayers and thoughts are with you.

It was on Sept. 29, 1999 when I began employment at The Rafu Shimpo. The first assignment given to me was the column “Horse’s Mouth,” written by George Yoshinaga. As you can see, that is almost 16 years ago.

Mr. Y and I had a wonderful relationship from the onset. He would constantly “tease” me with his great sense of humor. It was a pleasure to type his column twice a week. Mr. Y had a vast knowledge of what was going on in the Japanese community and shared this knowledge in his column. The one thing I really admired about Mr. Y was he had “guts” in his writing and wrote as he felt.

Whenever I called him with a question about his column, he was NEVER rude and always cheerfully gave me the answer. He was also very helpful to me in personal matters. If and when I changed something in his column, he would never get upset, but thanked me. (If one word is changed in the columns I write, it makes me unhappy.) Mr. Y could NEVER spell “nickel” or “souvenir” correctly. He would ALWAYS omit the apostrophe in McDonald’s. I just had to forgive him as I merrily continued typing his column.

There will NEVER be another George Yoshinaga and The Rafu Shimpo has encountered a great loss as well as the readers throughout the nation, Hawaii and Japan. So many have told me they subscribe to The Rafu Shimpo only because of George Yoshinaga’s column and the obituaries.

In conclusion, may I say “Sayonara” to Mr. Y. I truly thank him for being my friend and giving me the joy in typing his worthy column. We will miss him and always remember him as a great journalist.

Maggie Ishino is a Rafu typist and can be reached at Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

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