‘Beyond Heart Mountain’ memoir – documentary now available

“Beyond Heart Mountain” is a documentary memoir by Alan O’Hashi based on the book of the same title. The Heart Mountain Relocation Center was one of 10 camps established after President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 following the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The memoir-documentary is available for rent or streaming for a small donation.

A chimney still remains at the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp in Northwest Wyoming between Cody and Powell. Click on the photo to rent or purchase the movie.

The U.S. government rounded up 120,000 Japanese, mostly on the west coast. After they were sorted out at 15 assembly centers, trainloads of evacuees were transported by train as far east as Arkansas.

Japanese American Baby Boomer, filmmaker and author Alan O’Hashi relates his personal experiences. He reclaims his heritage after once being part of a culturally thriving community.

The businesses and residents vanished following World War II because of racial injustice out in the middle of nowhere in his hometown of Cheyenne, Wyoming

The story is told through the eyes of filmmaker and author Alan O’Hashi. He interviewed four of his contemporaries who had ties to the once-vibrant Japanese community in West Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Young Carol Lou Kishiyama and her family owned the California Fish Market in downtown Cheyenne.

Robert Walters worked at the City Cafe, the neighborhood anchor.

Brian Matsuyama’s family owned the California Fish Market before selling it to Carol Lou Kishiyama and her family.

Terie Miyamoto’s family owned the only racially-integrated bar in the Japanese community, Baker’s Place.

My grandmother worked as a cook at the City Cafe and my grandfather owned the pool hall next to the City Cafe.

Watch for the book version that will be published by Winter Goose Publishing.

Buy ‘True Stories of an Aging Do-Gooder: How cohousing can bridge cultural divides’

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I’ve lived a life of divergent experiences that converged when I joined the Silver Sage Village (SSV) senior cohousing community in Boulder, Colorado. My story about how to play well with others is a somewhat organized stream of consciousness.

True Stories provides “nuts-and-bolts” methods about how your community can use cultural competence techniques that better encourage members to understand one another.

Buy a signed copy direct from the publisher Boulder Community Media.

The Kindle ebook and paperback are available for purchase on Amazon.

After arguing about whether pets are allowed in the Common House, what if cohousers organized themselves and decided to collectively undertake a mission to save the world?

True Stories explores why I believe cohousing can evolve from a “social movement” into being a “social norm.”

I’ll offer a paradigm shift about how cohousing can bridge socio-economic divides.

The stories are about relations between and among individual people and the personal changes necessary to find commonality with strangers, all with different experiences and lifestyles.

In case you’ve just returned after a year in outer space, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that began in late 2019 circled the globe.

Like everyone else, I’ve had quite a bit of extra time on my hands. I have no idea how my day was occupied before self-isolation.

COVID-19 brought to light glaring cultural inequities. The pandemic closed down the economy, and people lost their jobs.

That exposed the lack of lower-priced housing options when people lost their homes or kicked out of their rental apartments.

If homeowners default on their loans at the same time, as happened in 2009, the market will be flooded with pricey houses that nobody can afford to purchase, except the bottom-feeders.

Racial justice issues quickly floated to the top of the social change pond.

African American and Latino people are at the highest risk of contracting COVID-19, hospitalization, and death than the general population.

One nexus of lower-priced housing and racial justice is rental and owner-occupied cohousing that pool resources.

Residents share the financial risks and collaboratively operate and maintain their communities.

The story is written from my viewpoint as a cohousing community member, as opposed to a cohousing professional or a cohousing professional who lives in a community.

SSV is one of 170 existing cohousing communities in the United States.

If cohousing is such a great idea, why aren’t there thousands of communities popping up in all corners of the country?

After all, if there are 30,000 people residing in existing an existing cohousing community or in the community formation phase.

The book is part memoir and part “how-to” manual about my experiences that seemed unrelated at the time but added to my life gestalt, which eventually led me to believe cohousing can make social change happen by bridging cultural divides.

The only person I have any control over is myself. For me, personal change happens when keeping the amount of time between the past and the present as small as possible.

My experiences aren’t that remarkable, but the intent is to encourage you to remember what happened in your personal history as you figure out the opportunities and challenges you’ll face when choosing to care and share in a cohousing community.