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Celebrity Sightings

By David Yamaguchi The North American Post

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers, more for some than for others, we just don’t see and say “hi” to as many people as we normally do.

Meri Shimada

Seven widely known people I was able to briefly say hello to at Terry’s Kitchen in mid-November are pictured above. Meri Shimada worked as a secretary at Cleveland High School for many years. Now-adult Sansei who were students there used to avoid her because we knew she knew our moms (and could convey reports).

“It’s okay, my kids did the same thing,” Mrs. Shimada told me when I apologized years ago.

Mae Ohashi with Cyndi Shimizu

Mae Ohashi co-owned the Baskin-Robbins on Rainier Avenue with Rose Fukano. When not working, the kindly Mrs. Ohashi used to walk around with an onigiri in her pocket, a treat for a hungry-looking kid.

To this day, I remember her giving me one, decades ago, in the gym at a judo tournament at Asa Mercer Junior High. More recently, she used to visit all the Nikkei residents at Washington Care Center weekly. This is the nursing home on S. Walden St. just upslope from the former “Chubby & Tubby” location.

Terie Akada with daughter Karen Sakata

Teri Akada is the mom of famous Karen, of Bush Garden fame. Many know the elder Akada from her attendance at Japanese Baptist Church.

Jean Kusumi is a longtime nurse. Readers may also recognize her table-mates, Roger and Diane Yamaguchi, from their decades in local healthcare and community volunteer work.

Jean Okamoto Kusumi with Roger and Diane Yamaguchi Photos DY