Larry Kanemoto

Celebrating Friendship

(And Remembering Good Times Together)

Larry Kanemoto in 1972 Ron Yates in 1972

Well, it turns out this all starts with higher math, calculus to be more precise. In the fall semester of 1971 I was fortunate to be admitted to Sacramento State College now known as California State University, Sacramento. Earlier in the year, Susie Mundinger finally stopped introducing me as a distant cousin and agreed to marry me, Ron Yates. (That's me there on the right with some sort of puzzled expression)

I was known then as "Rowdy Yates" but hell, that's a whole other story too. In any case, we had moved to Sacramento to start our new life and I was tackling my Business Administration courses, starting with the aforementioned calculus course. It was not going well and that's where this particular story begins.

As I recall after the first calculus class I high tailed it out after the instructor to share with him my new found insight about the probability of me not exceeding anyone's expectation as to passing this class. It turns out there was only one person faster than me and he was well into his instructor conversation sharing the same damn sad story I was about to tell. Well I was already thinking that wasn't even going to tell a fresh story when I got my turn! At that point the instructor inquired about my general problem and a new partnership was formed.

1971 Pinto The instructor suggested that some students were able to productively study well together and that we ought to try it. Larry Kanemoto (He's the cool looking one at the top left with that nonchalant pose) and I struck out to get to know one another to size up what we should do. My sense is that the first thing we decided to do is go drop the calculus class! For the next two years Larry and Ron were joined at the hip. When we weren't together physically we were reviewing homework problems on the phone.

Not only did I acquire one of the best friends I have ever had, we ended up making one another smarter and more competitive. We made the Dean's honor list each semester together. Even though it is now a long time from 1972, the times together and the experience is ever present for me to this day still. We also mastered our calculus challenge; we still chuckle about our good fortune on how that turned out.
After we realized how well we did together we enrolled a year later in a summer session for the dreaded course. We were sitting together in the front roll as usual when our new instructor arrived. She was very young, very attractive, very well spoken, very well proportioned and braless. One of the things we discovered about calculus is that the instructor does a lot of writing on the board, which honestly, I found much more arousing than I had anticipated. We both received an "A" for the class and I don't recall us ever missing a single class. Laughing all the way to graduation!!

Jeff Waller in 1972

In 1972 the closest thing to a "Student Union" we had on campus was something similar to a cafeteria-vending machine area with tables and chairs. During breaks we ended up in this area and we befriended two other likable souls, Jeff Waller (That's Jeff there on the left looking all collegiate attired in slacks that I can only image were fashionable in 1972) and Lee Gassaway (I will keep after Lee until she sends me a 1972 vintage photo of herself).

Jeff Waller in 1972 We four bonded for several reason I'm sure. Besides being pretty sociable folks, we all had a shared military thread, the three guys were all pleased that they had survived their respective Viet Nam experience and Lee was newly widowed with her husband dying with his service. Each of us was onto a new phase of our lives and we had every reason to be hopeful.

In 2008 I can say that I have heard each of their voices and can report that their lives move on and they too think of the others fondly. We all graduated! Each of us are living interesting and varied lives with different challenges.

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