Sorry…I cannot write this without crying.
I don’t know how many attempts it’ll take, but I need to write this.
I will always remember… that…
You taught me how ride my bike. Now I work for a company that manufactures and sells parts and accessories for bicycles and motorcycles.
You taught me how to drown, oh, sorry swim…Haha
I now live hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean, and hundreds of feet above sea level. But, I long for those days at the beach and can still smell the sea breeze. I also have to listen to surf reports when it snows, or I’ll go crazy.
I woke up at 4am every weekend to go play tennis with you. Ok, I didn’t play. I hit the walls at Ala Moana. Then we went to the concession stand for breakfast. At least we got time to spend together. I still have my racquets, it’s in the closet gathering dust. But I can’t get rid of them. Ok, I was never good at sports involving round objects(balls). But Judo, which I started when you were still teaching at the local club, was something I… Ok, I wasn’t good at that either, but it was still better than something involving balls. I still get worked up watching matches on TV! My wife thinks I’m crazy when I shout out at the TV during the Olympic Judo matches.
You taught me how to drive and to change the oil in the car. You told me if I took care of the machine it would take care of me. This, of course got me interested in machines. You supplied me with all kinds of junk to take apart and put back together. Unfortunately I was successful in getting things back together only a percentage of the time. But this interest lead me major in Mechanical Engineering in College.
My first introduction to classical music was your Beethoven LP collection, along with your favorite Japanese Enka music. I think I listened and got into classical music way before Rock or Hawaiian music. We argued about how Beethoven is the best, and you said Bach is crazy. You bought me my first Trombone at the pawn shop downtown. It wasn’t the greatest(a faithful King Cleveland 605), but it got me through 10 years of music in intermediate, high school and college. I still play music, snd also lead a community band. Oh yeah, and I still think Bach is not crazy, and there are other Russian composers besides Tchaikovsky. But yeah, Beethoven is great!
You taught me to appreciate what I have. To live life to it’s fullest everyday. When life gets tough, laugh, and laugh… Don’t take things so seriously, or don’t let people see my serious look. It’s easier to approach people who smile and laugh.
You shaped me into what I am today. You will always be a part of me and I wouldn’t be doing the things I do if it weren’t for you.
Rest peacefully in the bosom of God.
George Soji Akemoto
June 17, 1934 – January 22, 2014
I’ll miss you a lot, Dad!