was newsworthy. Much like the wildfires we suffer from here, the losses were hit and miss. One house upended, while the structure next door was still intact. In one neighborhood, power out, trees and debris everywhere, I heard music. I turned and spotted a woman sitting in what used to be her living room, roof and walls gone. She was playing a piano. I still remember her name: Charming Yokotaki. I asked her to play something for us. She banged out “Happy Days Are Here Again.” Later, I interviewed someone who had seen the hurricane approach. “It was like something out of a Steven Spielberg movie,” he blurted out. Incredibly, as we were leaving, I looked across the airport tarmac. There was Steven Spielberg himself, waiting for his plane. He had been on Kauai filming Jurassic Park. When I interviewed him, I told him what the eyewitness had said. He considered it a compliment. So, I’ve had some experience with nasty weather. It’s just the everyday stuff I’m not really interested in. Occluded fronts, offshore flows, all of the terms my wife loves to bring up at the breakfast table, are of little interest. On the other hand, if my farmer friends, who must be in tune with nature year round, tell me to get out the blue tarps and cover the patio furniture, that’s good enough for me. And so this week, as we get our first big rains since I can’t remember when, I don’t mind a little weather talk. But start blathering on about atmospheric rivers or cyclone bombs, and I’m outta here.]]>
Winters once boasted a prosperous Japanese community, which tragically burned on Aug. 1, 1942 when the United States was celebrating victory over Japan. While the cause of the fire has never been determined, Winters saw discrimination toward Japanese Americans following the war.