Everyone enjoyed father’s model trains!

After I graduated with my master’s degree from Ohio State University, a friend of mine from university, Kinko Ito, visited me at my parents’ house in Plain City, Ohio, where they had retired on a couple of acres, growing soybeans one year and corn the next as planted on lease to a neighboring farmer.


Kinko was one of my very favorite friends. She taught me a lot about Japanese culture, she introduced me to some of her Japanese friends, and she even tried to teach me to speak and write some Japanese basics. I was very pleased to see her enjoy being out in the beautiful Ohio countryside. She was interested in watching father’s model trains, but she left early, without spending the night as planned, when my father started drinking. I never saw her again. She went on to attain her doctorate in sociology, I did not. I wanted very much to continue, but I had no money for it. My student loan debt was already more than I could repay until well into middle age.


An American girlfriend, whom I knew from my Peace Corps service time, stayed overnight at my parents’ house in Plain City, Ohio and I never saw her again either. She said that my father come into the basement lounge where she was sleeping on a foldout sofa, and had bothered her. She would not go into specifics, but she was very upset, so I imagine he did do something(s) inappropriate, but there was nothing I could do to stop him or repair my friendship with her.

Caption: My friend from Ohio State University, Kinko Ito

watching father’s model trains, circa 1996.

Annmarie Throckmorton creating scenery for father’s train layout 1990-1

Caption: Annmarie Throckmorton creating scenery for father’s train layout 1990-2

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