Every year when Obon rolls around everyone starts to work on making the temple grounds look its best and to ensure the comfort of our visitors. Many of these things are not immediately noticed and, many times, taken for granted, but they are all very significant to the overall effort and all are greatly appreciated.
After our last Board meeting, Reverend Sakamoto, Joyce Iwasaki, Al Hironaga and I stayed longer to discuss a couple of other things, and it was well after 10 pm when we walked out. Al Hironaga mentioned that he had to water the new bonsai tree in the garden, so we followed him to see the new tree. As he tenderly watered the bonsai tree, Al told us that the tree was donated by Sus Ikeda and that the tree had belonged to Sus’s father. We joked with Al that he better not let the tree die. We were touched that Sus would donate the tree to the temple, as it was not just any tree, but a tree nurtured by his father. It is a very nice addition to our garden.
A few years back as part of her Girl Scout Gold Award, Kristi Imai raised the money to obtain two AED machines for the Betsuin. One is installed in the Annex multipurpose room and the other is in the lobby of the office. Every year, Sandy and Dan Imai replace the batteries on the machines to ensure that they will work if we ever need them. As we dash around in preparation for Obon most of us don’t worry about whether there is an AED around, but we can rest assured that if there is a need, there are two units that function. We are very grateful for the Imai’s efforts.
There are some things we see on temple grounds all the time, but never truly appreciate. For many years, Henry Oda repaints the signs in the parking lots. He has to take down the signs, which are extremely heavy, in order to repaint them. We appreciate Henry’s hard work and feel he deserves a rest so we are hoping that we can soon replace the old heavy signs with lighter ones, which won’t need repainting.
With parking at a premium during Obon, we appreciate the efforts of Boy Scout Troop 611 in preparing the 4th Street parking lot. Every year ASM Brian Beutler gathers a group of scouts, some of who are Eagles, to take down all the weeds and line the area for parking, in the blistering heat.
We often get “tagged” but Carole Rast and her family quickly help us clean it up. You frequently see Carole pulling her wagon through Jtown as she plants flowers and waters them. Carole plants flowers on the classroom side and Mrs. Nakasako does the weeding and trimming by the office. We are grateful that they enjoy gardening as we receive the benefit of their enjoyment.
And as usual, George Hanada, Greg Aso, Bob Terasaki, Al Hironaga, Henry Fujii, Alan Kondo, George Yamaichi, Jim McClure and many many others were at the Betsuin working frantically to get everything ready. It is amazing how everything comes together!
The foregoing are just a few examples of dana demonstrated at the temple. Those mentioned above never seek recognition or thanks. They all quietly do these things to support our temple, our Obon. Whether it is the new bonsai tree in the garden to the stripes in the parking lot, all of these collectively make for a fantastic Obon.
I have heard that financially, we had another very successful Obon and it is no doubt through the sweat of every single volunteer. We are very grateful for all of our volunteers, for taking time out of your busy lives to spend an exhausting weekend dedicated to Obon.
On behalf of the Betsuin Board, thank you to everyone who came out to help!