Friday, July 6, 2012

The Long Good-bye

by Pa Rock

Tomorrow I will have been in temporary quarters for a week, and I will have exactly one week left before I fly off of Okinawa for what will undoubtedly be the last time.  I have begun the process of saying good-bye to the people and the places that have been a part of my life for the last two years.

Wednesday I drove to Peace Prayer Park on the south end of the island for what was certainly the last time.  Getting there required going through the city of Itoman.  I remember Itoman well from forty years ago because it was a very picturesque and quaint fishing village where anyone driving down the main road of the village could watch the fishermen standing in the water and working with their nets.  Today Itoman is a large urban area with many streets and a couple of enormous highway bridges that cross the bay.  There is nothing quaint about it.  I cannot imagine what changes forty more years will bring to the area.

Last night I took in a movie at the Kadena's Keystone Theatre.  In two years it was only the third time that I have gone there to see a show, and it was undoubtedly the last time that I will visit that particular facility.  When I first got to Okinawa and was staying in transitional housing - without a car -  I walked down to the Keystone and saw The Sorcerer's Apprentice.  A year or so later a couple of us from the office went there one evening to see the new version of True Grit.  Last night's fare was a fictionalized account of Edgar Allen Poe's last days entitled The Raven.  The ratings weren't stellar, but I actually enjoyed the story of a psychopath murdering people using plots from Poe's stories while the famous writer matched wits with the killer.   The story was interesting and held my attention, but the photography was positively brilliant - very Gothic with lots of blues and purples and splotches of moonlight across the darkened streets of Baltimore.

Tonight three friends from work (Murphy, Nefredia, and Valerie) took me to dinner at Jack's Place on Kadena.  My boss took me there the second night that I was here, and it quickly became one of my favorite places to eat.  I believe that I have eaten at Jack's Place four times in the last two years, and each visit was memorable.   I will remember it long after going back to the States.

Valerie and I are going to a movie later tonight at Camp Foster.  The Foster movie theatre has been one of my more regular hangouts, and when I think of movies on Okinawa, that will be the place that comes to mind.  Tonight will be my last visit because there is nothing during the upcoming week that I really want to see.  The movie tonight sounds interesting:  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

Tomorrow the unit is having a going-away party for myself and a couple of others - including my boss - at Torii Beach.   I have spent many peaceful afternoons walking that particular beach and picking up shells and sea glass.  There is more sea glass on Torii Beach than anyplace else that I have ever been.  The party will be getting underway before noon and will last a couple of hours.  It will be hot - but, hey, I'm heading to Phoenix in the middle of July and I know what hot really is!

So, I'm saying my good-byes to Okinawa, undoubtedly for the last time.  Maybe forty years from now one of my grandchildren can come out this way and blog about the changes that have occurred since Pa Rock left in 2012.   In fact, I hope that all of my grandchildren will be blessed with opportunities to see and enjoy the world. 

1 comment:

Don said...

Mostly, when we do something or see people for the last time, we're unaware of that fact.
It's good to see that you treasure this wonderful opportunity you have to say goodbye.