June 11, 1997
Location: Ayres Natural Bridge State Park, Wyoming - Location: 42:44:03N 105:36:42W
Summary: Wednesday, June 11, 1997 (Clear and Windy Day) Bridge Water 22.4 C [72.32 F]. 1580 m [5184 ft]
Journal entry: [Translated by Hajime Nakagawa]
Larry, who is from Idaho, gave me three wild turkey feathers. These feathers were about 30 centimeters long and had a black line pattern in several places. One feather was for me and the rest of the feathers were for my children.
Larry looks like he is about 60 years old. His hair and beard are white. He is quite an interesting man who is unsociable and speaks in vulgar language. He chews tobacco and spits anywhere he wants. When somebody accuses him of wrongdoing, he responds quickly with a grimace. Larry is about 190 centimeters tall. His job on the trail is to carry the trail participants' baggage by bus, but he is a very unkind worker.
"How far are you going?" I asked him.
"Salt Lake," he answered.
"Oh, you will be with us all the way to Salt Lake?"
"Yeah. If I don't get angry and return home."
The baggage we cannot carry by ourselves gets loaded on the bus. We have to load it. Larry doesn't. This morning, I saw one piece of baggage which somebody had forgotten to load, near the bus and asked, "Are you carrying this one, too?" He said, "No," and spat. If he didn't take it on the bus, somebody wouldn't be able to set a tent up at the next camping point. Therefore, I asked, "But somebody will be in trouble, won't he?"
"This is neither mine nor yours. So, now are you happy?", he replied. I said helplessly, "Yes, I am."
Larry is unconcerned about other people, yet very attentive to me. When he finds me at dinner time, he secures a space for me. The other day he asked, "Do you want more feathers?" He sometimes says, "Don't worry about your computer. I won't let anyone touch it," and puts my computer right next to the driver's seat of the bus.
Why is he kind to me? Because I'm kind to him. He looks strong and seems to be able to do anything by himself, because he is big and always has an air of importance. People don't think he needs help. I am the only one who says to him, "Shall I carry your bag?" I am also the only one who helps him even though he says, "No. I don't need your help." If an American did the same thing, his pride might be hurt, and he might say something bad. But he understands that I am Japanese and allows me to help him.
Some missionaries from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) just came out to demonstrate how to research genealogy using computers. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathers genealogical data from all over the world. They permit anyone to search information about their ancestors from this data. I told Larry about it and asked, "Larry. Shall I search your ancestors? What's your father's name?" ".......," he was silent. Somehow I felt that he didn't want to talk about his father for some reason. At this time, I felt Larry seemed smaller than he seemed before.
Before we broke camp, I received a phone call from J-WAVE which is an FM radio station in Japan. I was asked to appear on the radio program, "TOKYO TODAY" whose DJ is John Kabira. I felt a little nervous and thought to myself, "I wonder if I can even talk for seven minutes on the radio.....," I even felt more nervous about the condition and quality of the radio waves. This broadcast was planned by Mr. Yamamoto, who works for Creative Link. He helps me send E-mail from the U.S.A. to Japan. I believe Mr. Yamamoto is nervous, too. TOKYO TODAY is one of my favorite radio programs. I will be on the broadcast on June 13 at 7:40 A.M. JST [Japanese Standard Time]. I will gargle, rehearse, and practice abdominal breathing to prepare my voice for the radio program.