May 4th, 2006
(sprawl stretches westward) Wednesday, April 26 – TORONTO, CAN. Today was a travel epic. I think I could have driven from New York to Toronto in the time it took me to ride the A Train to the airport, take my short flight, then negotiate a seemingly simple trek on more public transport from the Toronto airport to Paddy’s place. All told, seven hours.
(David with friend Chris) It made me late for a meeting with David, my…second cousin(?). David had arranged with a friend of his, the founder of the Magenta Foundation, to whose launch party he’d invited Paddy and I.
Stepping back two generations to the union of Matsui (my grandfather) and Oiye (my grandmother) is the connection David and I share; my grandparents married and lived in Japan however the Oiye family had a presence in Seattle and Vancouver, BC. After the World War II Japanese Internment the Oiye family scattered, moving south to California and east to Toronto. The Toronto side didn’t really talk with the US side until recently when my librarian mother (with a historian’s interest) re-established contact. While I haven’t been to Manzanar, in California, I have been by the smaller memorial for Minidoka, the camp where most of my family was interned, and seen some of the old barracks scattered across the open landscape of southern Idaho. Many are now used as farm storage sheds. While I’ve seen documentary works by photographers like Emily Momohara and foundations like Densho, what I remember are a few of the humorous stories my Aunt Iku has shared, like not-so-secretly learning to drive in a truck with a double clutch. She ended up running into the mess hall.
Meeting at the Magenta launch gave me a chance to spend some more time with David before he left town. As Artistic Director for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the largest gay and lesbian theater group in north america, he runs a pretty busy schedule.
(Mel at the launch) It also gave Paddy a chance to introduce me to some of her friends who had shown up in support of Kerry Shaw who was in Magenta’s first book “Carte Blanche” as an emerging artist. As an entree into someone else’s world, it was a good place to begin.
(Mel’s new man) I just wish I had been able to get to the Beaver Cafe before the launch party where David was meeting with his friend MaryAnn, and not just because it was ‘a buck a shuck oyster night’ but because meeting someone possessing the drive to create Magenta is a moment not to be missed. But I did.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!