Before forgetting what I have done in the end of last month...
It was a hectic and hot day on the day with respect to both the content of activity and the weather. I have spent the whole day in Tokyo. The purposes of this trip there were to meet 3 of old ham friends who were medical doctors and to join an ensemble.
I decided to drive to Tokyo, not to take a train down there. It was to avoid walking in the cruel heat carrying cello. It turned out to be a right decision. I have never driven to the bay area along the gulf of Tokyo. It is a newly constructed downtown with a lot of highrise condominiums or high buildings where highways are running around. A really contemporary town. I was wondering, however, how they would maintain those infractructures in a few decades. It may cost a lot to do that when our country will have faced to the decline of national power.
The photo above shows the Big Egg Site in the back in such a modern town. It was the Ham Fair held there. I have been there for several times there for this event in the past. I have always had purposes to see friends, Japanese or from oversea. Jim N3BB or Dick K4XU was an example whom I met there. Not interested in the modern radio equipments they are advertizing there? Never!
As I told above, this time, I had promised seeing 3 of old friends who were or had been medical doctors as well as I was. I have arrived there an hour before noon, the promised time for that meeting, and have looked around the event. I have met Atsu JE1TRV, the boss of A1Club, who was welcoming the visitors at its booth. He told me there had been more numbers of hams attending that event this year. There were some young people but mostly old guys. There seemed to be few visitors at his booth. I was afraid it had meant declining of CW activity, that is, less hams interested in CW communication for conversation. I have met a few other friends of mine, whom I had not seen for a year or longer. Even if it was only for a very short time seeing them, it was still pleasant and has brought me back to the days when I was a real nut for this hobby.
At noon, I have met the guys I mentioned above at the exit/entrance of the event as promised. At first, Shin-etsu JS2KMK, aka, JQ1OQQ, has recognized me there. He has been a friend of mine since 1980s especially through a mutual friend, Sugita, JA1XKM, who was a graduate from the same med school in Hokkaido as Shin-estu was. Sugita, whom I have written about elsewhere in this blog, unfortunately passed away at his fifties about 10 years ago. Even though we have never met in person before, he was approaching to me with a big smile in a crowd. He might have seen me on some photo somewhere. He was a gentleman with shining eyes like a boy in teenage, still working as a surgeon for head and neck at a big hospital. After a long hiatus, he has come back to this hobby some years ago. The other two have arrived there in a minute or two. Hiro JA7WTH, a pediatrician, has been enthusiastic for CW for the past several years. He has been involved in constructing a new hospital as one of the headquarter staff. I believe he has been involved in the emergency service there as well. His duty might have been so tense and heavy for the past years. He told us he would retire when the new hospital construction is finished this fall. His outlook was a kind of aloof from the world like before. He has made us laugh a lot telling that he had told a guy operating intentionally rusty CW in Japanese to speak in the "ordinary" Japanerse but not in the "dialect" on CW. Sekiya, JJ1RZG, another pediatrician, has closed his business last winter. He told us how laborious it was to do all the procedures/processes for that. He seemed to love CW and DXing as well. He is still operating radio very early in the morning. I was impressed to hear he was learning English in the daytime when he had nothing to do. He was the oldest among us, in his eighties. He used to have trouble in walking 2 years ago in our last meeting. Now he seemed to be free from that and looked so healthy. The other two than Sekiya were in their seventies while I was the youngest among them. We have had much fun taking a great lunch at a restaurant in the event place. In an hour and a half, wishing them good health until next eye ball, I had to say good by to them in order to rush to the next destination.
It was an ensemble held by an amateur players' society named APA in a downtown of Tokyo. It was a kind of thrill and again a sentimental drive bringing me back to the days when I spent the med school period. Driving through along the Imperial Hotel, the Emperor's Palace, the Diet building and so forth, which had been familiar to me in my young days, I successfully arrived at a parking near to the place I headed to. It was right in the "no-tell hotel" alley. Very crowded with buildings. They looked the same with flashy blinking neon signs. Even though I used to come to the APA office to participate that ensemble some 15 years or so ago, I was totally lost. Carrying the heavy cello in the hard case, I was sweating a lot. I felt I could fall down on the street due to heat intoxication. In the burning sunshine, I was walking around for the ensemble place for some time. I have never regretted more not having smartphone with GPS than this time. I finally could get the phone number of the APA office with my cell phone and was told how to get to it.
It was the same pretty compact room in a condo I used to visit. They were enjoying tea break. One of the organizers had turned out to be one of the alumnae of the university orchestra. When I gave her my intention to attend that ensemble by e mail some days prior to this event, she answered to me that she had already known me from that orchestra. What a coincidence! I could never recall her even though her premarital family name evoked a vague memory of her those days. She was 3 or 4 years younger me in the orchestra. A charming lady and a violinist. We have talked about some friends in the university orchestra whom we shared those days. Again it has brought me back to the good old days. There were about 10 people in the room. Mostly, violinists and violists. Most of them were quiet but once they started playing music, I felt they were passionate and enegitic for that. They told us it had been difficult for them to find a cellist. There was a proficient cellist in the ensemble, who seemed to join it on request by the other members.
We have played Mozart, 3 or 4 of the pieces in his young days, Schubert, Bach and, in the end, Dvorak! Crazy program! I have never practised the 1st and 2nd movements of the famous quartet "America" by Dvorak and had to play it at first sight. Getting tired, I almost felt dizzy in the end of the session. What a pleasant time, though. It has reminded me of good old time in the university orchestra days. The only difference is that I have lost good vision and inexaustible energy in youth.
Being told to attend there again by the company, I was happily leaving there. It was a real busy and hectic day. But a really precious time for me. Again recalling good old days, I drove back home.