Take a journey back to Grant Heights DHA
It's been little more than a week since I've posted a new essay. I'm getting a little lax in that department. But the latest installment will hopefully make up for the delay. More importantly, I hope it rekindles fond memories of a place many of us once called home: Grant Heights DHA in Narimasu.
This was perhaps one of the more difficult pieces I've written because of all the bases and installations in Japan that I've known and have memories of Grant Heights, located northwest of Tokyo, was the one I have the fondest memories of. Unlike Camp Zama or Sagamihara DHA, sadly it was not only returned to the Japanese but was demolished to make way for an urban park and redevelopment project.
For those of you wanting some "eye candy" I've also posted photos of the old homestead courtesy of (beg, borrowed, stolen from) Tim "Jazzbo" Stinson, Jim Carpenter, Wendy Dinsmore, Walt Young, Osami Oka, and my family photo album.
Arigato gozaimasu and gomenasai.
Incidentally, Osami Oki is a Japanese national who had become closely acquainted with Jim Carpenter, who had been stationed in Japan and lived in Narimasu back in the mid-1950s. Mr. Oki's affinity for Grant Heights goes back to his association with Little League as a member of the Grant Heights-Momote Village-Mutsumi Dai Baseball Association. Both Jim and Mr. Oki's collection of Grant Heights-related photos are outstanding, as are those in Jazzbo and Walt Young's collection. They are a must-see as well.
Walt's site Memory Lane includes an extremely rare aerial photo of Grant Heights taken in 1948 as the housing compound was being completed. It's too large to include on our blog, but if you go to his site you can click on the photo for an expanded view that shows in detail, including house numbers, the entire base. Even the streets are identified. I highly recommend a visit.