Born on May 22, 1919, my dad would have been 98 today!
For the benefit of my future grandchildren (sorry for being such a sap but one of the reasons I created this blog was so that my grandchildren could learn more about me and the Ito clan), your great grandfather was an amazing man! Your mom and aunt will tell you all about him as they had the privilege of knowing him. He was born in Kurtistown on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He was one of six children born to Itaro and Harumi Ito. A graduate of the University of Hawai’i, he served as a Military Intelligence Officer during World War II and was an interpreter during the war crime trial of General Yamashita (the Tiger of Manilla). After the war, he attended dental school at the University of Kansas City and, upon graduation, joined his brothers Takeshi, Yoshio and Setsuo (all dentists) in Denver. He married my mom on February 1, 1959 and they were married for 52 years before he died on January 12, 2012 at the age of 92.
I had the privilege of calling him “dad.” He was my mentor, hero and role model. Because of him, I am a better person and, importantly, a better dad. I miss him every single day and not a day goes by that I do not think about him.
My girls and I spent three nights/four days in Seattle. My oldest daughter will be attending graduate school at the University of Washington in the Fall of 2017 so we decided to make a trip to find her an apartment and to explore the city.
Of course, no trip to Seattle is complete without a visit to Pike Place Market. Its filled with vendors selling flowers, meat, poultry and seafood.
Like most of our travel adventures, we enjoy eating good food and this trip was no exception. The chowder at Pike Place Chowder was the bomb!! There was a bit of wait but it was definitely worth it. I enjoyed the smoked salmon chowder while my girls both enjoyed their New England clam chowder. Be sure to try the dungeness crab sandwich. We ordered a half sandwich, which was more than enough for the three of us to sample. The crab was sweet and tender. We had dinner at The Metropolitan Grill and Matt’s in the Market. Matt’s in the Market was a treat! I had the seafood stew, which was brimming over the bowl with seafood.
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Between eating and taking in the sites, we did find an apartment. It’s a great unit within walking distance of school and the grocery store. I am excited and a bit sad. I am officially an empty-nester. At the same time, I am excited. My daughters are beginning their own journey. Their futures are bright. As a dad, I could not be prouder.
My mom passed quietly in her sleep the morning of March 27, 2017. She was 90. We held a memorial for her on April 7, 2017.
She was born in San Francisco in 1926. In 1942, at the age of 16, she and her family were forcibly removed from their home and relocated to a federal prison camp in Heart Mountain, Wyoming. There they lived for the next four years suffering through the cold Wyoming winters.
When she was released four years later, she and her family returned to San Francisco. At the age of 32, she meet her future husband (my dad) and six months after their first date, they were married on February 1, 1959.
After trying for several years to start a family, they made the decision to adopt me and my sister. I was beyond blessed to have them as my parents. My mom was dedicated to my dad and, in turn, they were dedicated to their family. My dad was my idol and my mentor. He set the benchmark for what it means to be a dad. I strive everyday to be just like him. My mom taught me to push myself and to never settle. Much of what I have accomplished in life both personally and professionally, I owe to my mom. I miss them both and will never forget them!!