Sawtelle West Los Angeles’s Japantown book
I got this book today. It tells the story of Sawtelle from a few people’s points of view. That sounds ominous, but it’s certainly not the whole story, since I recall Latinos living in the area as well. Gangs? SOTEL13? But as a Japanese American story, it’s fun to check out. As a lot of you might know, I like the Sawtelle area. I enjoy it from way back when, I also enjoy it for the changes that are happening today. I’m part of that. GR is part of that. So it’s important. Jack Fujimoto, is the fella who put this together, and he’s a local “community” person. I recognize him, but never met him. I’ve seen his photo at the Japanese school I attended way back. He’s part of the “old” neighborhood.
This photo is funny, since I was a kid eating the donut on the string. See how far back I go with donuts? I’m not in this pic, but I’ve played this game when I was little. Maybe that’s why I buy a lot of donuts, when I get the chance. I had to eat my donuts on a string, in a hurry, and just one!
Check this dudes out. Who are they? What did they do? Check out their hair styles. That’s a pool table they’re leaning on. Where was that? It’s cool they’re fairly young, and all hanging out together. Do people in the area still do this? Where do they do it? What do they do? The “men of Sawtelle” from way back are sort of the folks who built the area up. It’s different today, you won’t get a solid crew like this. The guy with the smoke in his mouth, he’s the Joe Pesci. Starts battles but then pulls out a weapon. The mysterious dude who’s partially cut off with the glasses, he’s the hitman. Front right is the playboy. The dude on left is the party man. “Hey bro, I just drank 8 Kirins! I’m drunk.” Far left standing, the muscle of the group, sizing up how to break drunk guy’s neck. Who are the rest of the dudes?
I was having some fun with the book, checking it out, seeing how it leaves GR out completely, as if we didn’t help the area, but oh well, but it does include a few folks I do know. The photo above is amazing. Not that amazing to everyone, but for me. The woman with the black hair fourth from left in the front, is my grandmother. Yeah, I guess at 80+ in this photo, she dyed her hair. This photo was a special dinner for folks over 80. I don’t know when it was photographed, or by who, or when this happened, but since my grandmother passed away a decade or more ago, it’s nice to see her in this book – curing any omissions from the story of Sawtelle for the minute. I guess it’s up to “us” to write the next book.