Bill Staples, Jr., has written a book about Kenichi Zenimura, who was a remarkable baseball player and inspirational coach at Gila River, a Japanese Internment camp, from 1942-1945. I got the chance to meet Mr. Staples yesterday at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. It took him six years to write this book, the research, the many interviews.
Mr. Staples invited Tetsuo Furukawa, Howard Zenimura, and a few others to join him in a panel discussion after his presentation. It was wonderful to hear them discuss their experiences as baseball players at Gila River because these they happened more than sixty years ago.
I watched from the audience as they spoke of their memories, as they honored one another, as tears came to their eyes. And I hoped that I would have a friend, even just one, who would be lifelong, as they had.