by James C. Stephens


January 21, 1972

Record: Second American Revolution; II Volume

“President Ikeda has stated in his preface to Human Revolution;

“A great revolution of character in just a single man will help achieve a change in the destiny of a nation and further enable a change in the destiny of all mankind.” October 12, 1965-

I am very excited to start my diary for the year of Sho-Hondo 1972. 1971 in passing was a year with many significant events which had great impact on my life. Last May 12 we had a Min-on in the Hollywood Bow. which filled it; on July 23-25th we had our Seattle Convention, on September 12, 1971 the 700th Anniversary of the Tasonokuchi Persecution we opened our new Los Angeles No. 1 Community Center, and on January 1, 1972 we welcomed the New Year of Sho-Hondo. Most significant, however was not the events, but the struggle leading to each one of the events. 1971 was a year of turmoil in the world and at times in my own life. In June or May our family separated. My mother and brother left for Mammoth Lakes in Central California. I am sure there was and is a benefit in that episode. My father and I have realized many things about life because of such an experience. I realized that sooner or later castles built on sand do wash away.
…..

In December, I took the Freshman Study Exam for the Nichiren Shoshu Study Academy.

…..
New Year’s Gongyo at Myohoji Temple. It was really strange. It was unbelievably cold everywhere with snow capped mountains everywhere in Southern California and cold winds, whew. But, so strangely when Jim Jay, Rich Rode and I arrived at Myohoji Temple there was unmistakably a warm breeze blowing at the Temple. That was definitely President Ikeda’s Ichinen, the same thing happened in Eliott Bay in Seattle during President Ikeda’s fireworks during the Seattle Convention, such a warm breeze during chilly night air.”

“Tonight, we just ended our World Tribune campaign and we reached our goal of 85. Last Sunday we ended our campaign for the entrance examination to the Nichiren Shoshu Study Academy. Our district got twenty people out for the exam. One of my members, Bill Myers took the exam and achieved a score of 98.

Today, I visited my member Ron Uota in the hospital. Ron was paralyzed from an accident 3 years ago, but last Thursday night before the study exam he had a car accident which totaled out his car, and almost himself also. I tried to reach him for several days, but with no luck. I thought he had gone home and not left word. It was not until Tuesday that I discovered from his landlord and then parents that he was in very serious condition from an automobile accident. I was a little bit freaked out on how to handle the situation. So I called Shibucho Guy McCloskey and he said to chant diamoku, so that’s all I could do. In the next three days his condition went from poor to stable to fair in Intensive Care Unit to a regular hospital room today. I visited him today and what a strange situation. Everyone was very down, but Dan Castle and I were in good spirits and I am sure we encouraged Ron to get better. His parents are Nembutsu and were in very depressed condition. Such encouragement as that pity is not needed, it only hurts harms people trying to recover. Soshibucho Gary Curtis is going to come out and see him Sunday.

File2818Tuesday, Sogohonbucho gave a Seminar at Valley State College (now California State University at Northridge CSUN—I have a picture of me talking with then Masayasu Sadanaga-now George M. Williams, the General Director of SGI-USA). I introduced Mike Pimenthal one of Chico’s members to him. Then Lance Stromsei got guidance on his works since he could only come to meetings on Saturdays and Sundays. The guidance Sogohonbucho gave was to everyone right around him. He hit me with his Ichinen, so powerful. He related his experience when he worked as a janitor from 12 to 8 in the morning and was a student at UCLA and had meetings in starting Nichiren Shoshu of America. He said when you are studying you should preview and review your lessons. After class you should go directly to a study spot in the library which is marked with your name and study for an hour or so. Every day you should not fail to do that. He said that when you are stupid like me that’s the only way to really pass. You can’t study late at night because that usually falls through.’

File2819After the seminar we walked with Sogohonbucho to his car. The feeling I got was really indescribable, but it was fresh like after a rainfall, and the sun comes out and everything smells so fresh. It just seemed like everything was okay.”


Masayasu Sadanaga, aka George M. Williams talking with Lance Stromsoe, Carol Dell, Ken Dilando, and James Stephens after his lecture on Buddhism at Valley State College (CSUN).

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