Sunday, July 22, 2007

Gardena Police Shooting - Yoshinoya

I grew up in Gardena in the sixties when the small community of stucco bungalows looked beautiful because they were complimented by exquisite Japanese gardening. I ate sushi before sushi was cool. I grew up with Japanese friends, some of whom had parents and grandparents who returned from the WWII American concentration camps to restart their lives. We all lived together and everybody got along. Some of us became family to each other.

Now, the little city has lost most of its charm and looks like an extension of south central. But the best Italian deli in South Bay, Guiliano's, still exists. A freight train continues to run through the old downtown intersection at Gardena and Vermont now and then. You can buy excellent sushi on Denker near my Elementary School. The new Hustler Casino has an inexpensive, multicultural menu. For the most part, everyone still gets along.

At 6 am or so this morning, an armed robber entered the Yoshinoya near the corner of Redondo Beach Boulevard and Western Avenue, pistol whipped a female clerk and left with a bag of money. Somebody had hit the alarm and the Gardena Police responded immediately. When the cops saw the crook exit the restaurant with the gun in his hand, they fired their weapons and sent him to hell. The gun turned out to be a replica.

I know that Yoshinoya. I don't think I've ever eaten there. I usually feed at the sushi restaurant next door. But my father told me he once dashed into the place when, while driving nearby, diarrhea overwhelmed him with an irresistible urge to void his bowels. He waved and ran past the clerk and made it to the men's room before the worst happened. However, he confessed to me that he soiled his underwear and had to wash them out in the sink. From that time on, we always referred to Yoshinoya, known famously as "the beef bowl," as "the shit bowl."

If my parents were still alive, I'd call them in Gardena and talk to them about this morning's SHOOTOUT AT THE SHIT BOWL.

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