yamato821The year 1982 wasn’t so different from 2009. American’s were being charmed out of  a deep recession by a charismatic president promising a brighter future if you just believed (Reagan), American soldiers were caught in the crossfire of warring Islamic factions in the middle east (Beirut), the Israeli army was bombing Palestinian refugees (Lebanon), war raged in Iraq, Afghanistan, and throughout Africa,1982 the computer was Time Magazine’s Man of the Year,a top Wall Street trader was hatching a devious multi-million dollar con-job (Ivan Boesky), and the reigning senior stars of pop music culture were some old guys named  Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney.gabrielgarciamarquez

1982 did have its own identity too; E.T., Rambo and Gandhi dominated the silver screen, Cats crawled onto Broadway and Gabriel Garcia Marquez was celebrated for his 100 Years.

The Iron Lady DWF15-231038began her second term and launched her Falkland nakasoneadventure. Yasuhiro Nakasone brought rare character to Japan’s international image, while familiar dictators held sway throughout most of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The world was still hostage of the cold war, but somehow the spectre of nuclear war seem to be receding while regional rivalries were beginning to crowd the horizon.  The tacky excesses of the 70s were giving way to a cleaner, more streamlined modernity.orwell_1984_1

Orwell’s 1984 was still two years in the future but many of his high-tech predictions were taking root.

Our own circumstances were bright.  We had just moved into a bigger rental in a pleasant development, our infant business was growing well enough to justify our decision to stay in Japan, and our Toyota Hiace van had a brilliant new customized yellow paint job.

Then, there was one other event that marked the year 1982 for us — my parents came over for a visit to deliver their precious baby Lennelle for safe keeping. Oh, and I recall the reason was so she could act as a nanny for our third son who was well on his way.  The other two guys were not rambunctious enough for us, I suppose, so we had to add one more delightful distraction to our life.

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Ashton Renne, like his brother Anrei Arthur, was born at Togashira Maternity Clinic, delivered by Dr. Ori who also had the honor of delivering our first born, Aran, in Shinjuku just five years earlier.

By the time Ashton made his appearance, my parents had returned to the States and the main greeting party consisted of the grand dame Toshi, the charming nanny Lenne, the mischievous brothers, the protective shepherd Duke, and the Godefroy clan.

Looking back now, 27 years later, as much as things have changed, so much has remained the same.  My father, Kayoko’s mother and Duke are all gone, the Godefroys divorced, and the three boys are all doing their own thing in the States; but our school survives, Kayoko is still the best woman in town, Lenne is still gracing us with her charm and talent and Ashton is still our pride and joy.

1982 HIT MUSIC

POP: Ebony & Ivory – Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder

ROCK: Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

R&B: Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye

JAZZ: Gershwin Tribute – Sarah Vaughn

C&W: Always on My Mind – Willie Nelson

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