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I Love Elkton, Part 4:

Broken Ears, Learning to Dance,
and Graduating from Elkton Senior High School

Akihito Oishi from Japan

Akihito says he will never say good-bye because he believes he'll see the people in Elkton again someday. And...he loves Elkton!

Mary Kurtz
Photo: Kurtz family
Mary Kurtz as a page at the South Dakota Senate.


Akihito Oishi
Photo: Akihito Oishi
Mrs. Sudtelgte gave me a chance to join the swing choir. I told about it to my Japanese mother, she just said, "I think Mrs. Sudtelgte and your classmates' ears are broken."

Mrs. Sudtelgte gave me a chance to join the swing choir. I told about it to my Japanese mother, she just said, "I think Mrs. Sudtelgte and your classmates' ears are broken." I was famous as a "bad vocalist" for my Japanese friends. But I tried because I wanted to try what I can do. It was not easy for me to sing English songs.

First, my pronunciation is terrible, as you know. Next it is hard for me to memorize English words. And it was the most difficult thing for me to dance.

Everybody said, "It's easy." But it was difficult for me. So I practiced more than everyone and asked Karen how to dance at home.

On March 16th, we went to University of South Dakota in Vermillion. I felt nervous before singing, as some of you know. After singing, I was deeply moved by our songs. I couldn't stop crying.

I could graduate Elkton School thanks to you. And I learned how to use the word "love." In Japan, we use this word only for he/her lover usually.

I didn't know how to love in a sense that I can say I love Elkton, I love my host family, I love my American friends, I love EHS (Elkton High School), I love EHS's teachers, and I love those whom I saw, like church people.

But I can't say to my Japanese friends, "I love you." If I use it, they will misunderstand me. I started Japanese people life again.

I will never say good-bye because I believe I'll be able to see you again someday. Lastly, thank you very much for reading. And...I love Elkton!!! 


This letter was originally published in the August 19, 1999 issue of the Elkton Record (Elkton, South Dakota) by the editor, Mary Ann Stuefen

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