Shoichi Igarashi managed to fly into Walla Walla under the parental radar.
An exchange student here from Japan in 1977, he maintained his friendship with Don and Mary Ann Applebee and the Applebee kids, Viki Hendrickson, Donnie Jr. and Tim, Val Cole and Ana Leisle. In fact Val and Ana saw Shoichi when they were in Japan as exchange students.
Shoichi felt it important to make it to Don and Mary Ann’s surprise birthday party on June 9 to help fete their 75th and 80th years, respectively, according to Viki.
She invited Shoichi, who she know would want to send a card. But best of all, he told her he was coming and wanted to be “American mom and dad’s big surprise.” He describes Mary Ann as his second mom.
“It was hard keeping a surprise for two weeks,” Viki said. After a 36-year separation, Soichi was greeted with joyful tears and hugs.
The occasion was even more special as Don’s brothers and sisters-in-law, John and Jeanne Applebee and Gerald and Yvonne Applebee came in from South Dakota to celebrate.
‘The best laid schemes of mice and men/Often go awry,” wrote Gaelic poet Robbie Burns. The latter line was actually Gang aft agley, but we’re not fluent in the Scottish vernacular, so there you are.
The saying ‘tis true for Patricia Pomeroy Tanner of Milton-Freewater, who is looking forward to being interviewed for a live podcast with Bonnie Kaye online. Pat’s original interview date was slated for Sunday, but more pressing matters have bumped the date to 4 p.m. July 28.
Pat recently published the romantic modern-day Western, “The Shining Mountains Mystery,” which is available on Amazon and Kindle. For more details, call Pat at 541-861-2322.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or afternoons at 526-8313.