Fresno and "the light at the end of a dark tunnel"

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August 24th 2015
Published: August 24th 2015
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Hey intrepid followers, we have been home from our China and South America adventures for almost 4 months and we're getting itchy feet ;-) After taking a break in Mexico, and visiting family and friends we headed back home to Phoenix. Since we no longer had anything holding us to Phoenix, we debated about where to move that might have a little better climate and finally settled on moving back to California. So we put our condo up for sale, bought a home in Fresno, California and moved here a month ago. The adventures continue.

We've only been here a month but are finding a lot of fun things to do (in addition to house remodeling of course). So over the next few weeks I hope you'll join us as we explore the Central Valley of California. Of course those of you who are football fans know this is the home turf of the Fresno State Bulldogs and is my undergraduate alma mater. Go Dogs!!

Fresno is just over an hour to Yosemite National Park as well as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. We'll explore them over the next few months too. The Central Valley is also home to every type of crop imaginable except maybe bananas, mangos and papayas ;-) The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables is amazing and we can stop at roadside stands for fresh, strawberries, melons, grapes, peaches, oranges, almonds, figs to name only a few.

Last week we stopped at Simonian Farms, just south of Clovis, CA just expecting to pick up some fresh peaches and what did we find, an amazingly touching memorial. Having recently returned from Japan it was even more poignant. The memorial tower is unique in that it was built with wood that was once part of a Japanese relocation barracks at the Poston in Arizona, where 18,000 Japanese-Americans were interned at the beginning of WW II..

The tower stands at 25 feet high is its inside is a small square area meant to make those entering feel confined as Japanese-Americans, who were scrunched into 20x25 spaces with their entire families of six, eight and ten, felt in the camp. Looking up, the tower has an opening where light shines through symbolizing hope and “the light at the end of a dark tunnel.”

“Soul Consoling Tower” serves as a reminder to everyone not to let emotion drive the nation to such prejudice again. The monument is dedicated to five Japanese-American families in particular, who showed Simonian kindness. The families are: the Shigeo and Kinuko Hayashi family; the Masao and Hanako Hayashi family; the Bob and Masako Nakadoi Mochizuki family; the Ted and Irene Takahashi family; and the Yosh and Yo Takahashi family.

Looking forward to our new adventure with you, Jean and Cope


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