2004/4/11 劇的な山下君を囲む会

出席者: (左上から)  菊地さん、山下くん、荒さん、洋樹さん、荒谷先生
              ジョニー、神部さん、清水先生、恵子、クロ、チョロ
                奥村さん、           小沢百合子さん

4月11日(日) 上野の山が桜色から黄緑色に変わって行く季節の中で私達は山下君と34年振りの感動的な再会を果たしました。 レストランの階段を降り、初めて山下君が私達に会った時 名前をすぐに言えた人や名前を思い出せなかった人でも微笑の中のやさしい目は昔のままでした。 長い年月を埋めるかのように楽しく話をしましたが、その大部分は英語での会話と言うかつてない異例の歓迎会でした。
その中で彼はアメリカにて34年間、時々卒業アルバム見たりして一時(いっとき)も移動学校の思い出は忘れることはなかったそうです。  この会にて短い間に沢山の話等を聞き嬉しく思いアメリカの広い大地にしっかり根をおろした山下君はとっても大きく見えました。  
 

文責:仲川 恵子

 

山下君からの便り
もとサイドギターの山下君から30年ぶりのメール

Dear Nakajima san…

 It has been a long time.Thank you very much for your letter regarding the MRA Home page.It was very surprising to get your letter.I did get a package from my parents which was sent to my parents home last year. I was very excited to see some of the great memories from the past.It has been a long road for me. I am currently working for a company named Sodexho. Our parent company is out of France. The company I started out with was called Saga Corp through mid 1980s and was aquired by the hotel chain Marriott International. We were with Marriott through 1998, then our division was sold to this French company. I am working for a division of Campus Services where we manage around 900 colleges and university’s food services through the country.

Our company has Corporate Service, Health Care, Facilities Services, School Services and Millitary Service divisions. Our North American Operation does around $4.5 Billion in sales annually..I’ve been with this company since 1973 when I was working for them as a student employee and worked my way up to my current position.

I am working at Western Washington University. I am responsible for all food service operation on this campus. Our annual sales is around $9 Million. This campus has around 12,000 students. Out of this 12,000 students, there are about 3,500 students live in dorms on campus. I work with 14 managers and 90 full-time employees and around 400 student employees to operate 3 main dining halls and 6 retail operations on campus..

This is quick story on what I am doing currently.As you might know, I am married with two boys. My older son is named after my father, Kiyoshi – soon to be 24. My other son is named after my wife’s father, Roger – just turned 21.

It is a long story to tell about my life after leaving Japan In 1970. I was in Santa Rosa for about 4 months, then decided to go on to college in Florida. My original plan was to stay in Santa Rosa for one year, but I wasn’t learning any English. So, I decided to move things forward. Once I was in Florida school, my English started to improve pretty fast. When you are the only Japanese person in the area, you don’t have a choice, but to speak English. I went to that school for 1 ½ years when the college had to close for financial reasons. At that point, I transferred to University of South Florida located in Tampa Florida. That was where I started to work for the company to earn some $s to pay for my school.I met my wife when I was going to the private college and been together ever since.I’ve been transferring to variety of different schools within my company. My first school as a manager was at University of Central Florida, then to University of Miami, then to Broward Community College (Ft. Lauderdale Florida).From there, I transferred to Dallas, Texas for 4 years, then to my current position here. I’ve been here since 1988. I believe that this is the longest I’ve stayed in one location ever in my life. Even in Japan as I was growing up, we moved from outside of Sapporo to Sapporo when I was in Second Grade and left Sapporo to Odawara when I was sixteen.

This is a bit of my history.

It is so good to hear from you.

I will write more later and will send you some photos as well.

I am planning to make a trip home in December, so once my plan is more firm, I will get back to you. I do fly in to Tokyo and can stay at Marriott in Kinshicho for couple of nights. May be we can get together then.

Thank you so much again for writing to me.

 Noriyuki

 

 

 

Nori Yamashita

General Manager

516 High Street

Suite 109 Edens Hall

Bellingham, WA  98225

360-650-7799, 360-815-4016

 

(右が山下君、左が上の息子さん、2年前の卒業式の写真です。)

 

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