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Atsuko Ono "Ann" Nagano

Atsuko Ono "Ann" Nagano

This Guest Book will remain online permanently courtesy of Karen Nagano & Lynne Toribara.
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July 22, 2018
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July 22, 2018
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December 05, 2006
I was either in the 3rd or 4th grade when I experienced my first bout of vertigo. One moment I was walking from the band room and the next moment the world was swirling me off my feet. The vertigo passed quickly, but I was sweating heavily and started crying, I was very upset. What had happened? Luckily Mr Korisheli saw me fall and took me to the nurse's office. Then I started to worry some more: who was going to come get me? My mom worked all the way in San Luis Obispo and my dad always seemed to work under a deadline. I heard quick light steps come towards the door and my eyes filled with tears again, only this time with profound relief: Auntie Ann! A long hug and a quick dab to wipe my tears, she took me back to her home on Little Morro Creek Road. She settled me into Karen's bed with a huge stack of books and a bag of arare. I felt like a princess! I rested, comforted and secure, in the oversized bed listening to her quick light steps.
Thank you Auntie
December 03, 2006
The first time Ann invited me to dinner, she prepared a Crown Roast Leg of Lamb. It was perfectly cooked and delicious, but what made it special was that each bone was covered with a paper frill...a beautiful touch. I had never seen a leg of lamb decorated like that before or since...only in a Bon Appetit magazine.

That was the way she attempted any job...accomplished well with a careful eye and ear to details.

I will always be grateful to Ann for the way she included my children and me in all the family functions after my divorce. During those troublesome times, she made sure that we felt like we were always an integral part of the Nagano clan. Her love and support will be
remembered forever. Thank you, Ann.

Love, Ruth
December 01, 2006
My Auntie Ann
When I imagine you, I see your sweet, kind, gentle smile and your twinkling eyes, loving, supportive, and inquisitive, all at the same time. Whenever we met, you always asked first about my welfare, showing obvious delight upon hearing good news, and quick to comfort and reassure when there was something amiss. We logged in some memorable travel experiences with one another at a time when I was testing out my first years of independence. Even though you were my auntie of the older generation, for those weeks, it seemed like you were more like a sister of mine. You showed me another side of yourself, a young, energetic soul, and we shared the same youthful wonder and excitement at exploring foreign places, absorbing new impressions and languages, and above all, in taking risks. I’ll always be grateful for our time together, and for your unspoken and undying faith in all of us that you loved. Forever in my heart - Joan
October 26, 2006
To my sister

Since I was 6 years younger than you I always considered you to be the smartest and best sister I could possibly have had. I was probably always “in the way,” always wanting to tag along with you and your friends, which annoyed you many times, I’m sure. As I grew older I wanted to be like you, admired and loved by your friends, but I’m afraid I was no match. 6 years between us seemed to shrink as I grew to be an adult, and I still continued to regard you as my idol. I felt lucky to have such a wonderfully nice sister, someone I could always love and trust. Your teachers always remembered you as an ideal student. I found it hard to follow your footsteps, but I was very proud to be your little sister. Thank you – you meant so much to me all through our lives. How fortunate I was! May we meet again soon.

With much love and admiration,
Mach
October 26, 2006
Atsuko Ono Nagano. My sweet, gentle, sunny Auntie Ann… I loved visiting you because you always made me feel at home. That was especially important my freshman year at Stanford, when I was living 3000 miles away from my parents for the first time. When cousin Rick drove me to your house for Thanksgiving, I was feeling homesick, overwhelmed, and out of place. As we drove down Little Morro Creek Road, I saw Uncle Pat’s carefully tended grounds erupting from the middle of the flat farmland like an oasis in the desert, and I felt as if I had finally arrived at a safe haven. Your welcoming presence, the bustle of Thanksgiving preparations, and the wonderful smell of home cooking was comforting and familiar. The sense of belonging in a family was something I had been missing in the past few months at school. Adding to my sense of familiarity were your similarities to my mom. As sisters, the two of you shared many of the same mannerisms and expressions. Sometimes even your voices sounded alike. A family friend once grumbled that she could never tell if she was talking to Ats or Mach on the phone. I returned to Stanford after that Thanksgiving in a much calmer state of mind. It was hard to remain morose in your cheerful, upbeat presence. Knowing that you and Uncle Pat were close by gave me a feeling of support that helped me get through many difficult times.

I also have fond early memories of many wonderful meals, featuring foods that New Yorkers at the time would rarely have encountered. That freshman year Thanksgiving, you introduced me to oyster stuffing. Yum! During another visit, I awoke to a persistent pounding on your patio. I wandered outside to find one of the cousins tenderizing abalone that he’d plucked out of Morro Bay. What a treat that was! Of course there were always artichokes. I must have been the only Easterner at Stanford who knew how to eat those prickly delicacies. …And the first time I bit into one of your famous tamales, I couldn’t believe my tastebuds. I was in heaven! I think that I have your recipe somewhere, but I haven’t gotten up the courage to attempt it. I’m sure my tamales would not be as delectable as yours. You always managed to add something special to your cooking, just as your presence has added something special to the lives of everyone who knew you.

I feel particularly blessed that you are my aunt. Your house has been my home away from home, and you have been my Mom away from Mom. I will always be grateful that you were a part of my life.

With much love,
Lynne Toribara
October 25, 2006
Dear Mama,
Thank you for giving me so much.
I promised I would write you a poem; I will.
I promised I would paint a painting of you and Kenji; I will.
I promised I would live a life that would make you proud; I will do my best.
I love you forever.
Your daughter, Karen

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