David 'Mas' Masumoto

David 'Mas' Masumoto

David Mas Masumoto: Medal of humility

I had the great opportunity to attend the ceremony awarding the National Medal of Arts and Humanities in September at the White House. This is the highest honor bestowed on artists, scholars and writers who have labored a lifetime to create seminal works that impacted a nation and world. These were the best of the best in their fields.

David 'Mas' Masumoto

David ‘Mas’ Masumoto: The arts of our valley

I didn’t grow up surrounded by the arts – or so I thought. My family didn’t go to concerts or museums. We had a cheap landscape-painting reproduction hanging in our living room, and as a kid, I stared at it for hours yet found nothing. But we did farm, and I knew the colors of nature, understood taste and the flavor of peaches. I listened to pop music and danced with “American Bandstand.” I loved the sleek lines of 1950s cars (remember tail fins?).

David 'Mas' Masumoto

David Mas Masumoto: The value of struggle

While growing up, I wasn’t the brightest student and had some language and speech issues (for example, I thought the letters R and W were the same and could be used interchangeably). In school, my parents encouraged me to toil. They supported me yet never helped with homework and certainly not with class projects. Education was about hard work, exertion and trials. If I didn’t understand something, they quietly reassured me that struggle was good.

David 'Mas' Masumoto

David Mas Masumoto: Farm dogs

We have always had a farm dog. The first dog I can remember was appropriately named Dusty. Pat her short fur and a cloud of sandy loam dust always puffed into the air. I didn’t know her breed, farmers often did not pay attention to pedigree. We wanted a creature who barked at strangers, was kind to kids, and liked being outdoors.

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Protesters against Donald Trump gather at California Republican convention

A crowd of chanting protesters against Donald Trump gathered outside Republicans' California convention in Burlingame on Friday, April 29, 2016. Trump, along with fellow presidential GOP candidates Ted Cruz and John Kasich, are scheduled to speak at the convention.
John Ellis jellis@fresnobee.com
Protesters against Donald Trump gather at California Republican convention 02:16

Protesters against Donald Trump gather at California Republican convention

John Boehner calls Ted Cruz ‘Lucifer in the flesh’ 00:45

John Boehner calls Ted Cruz ‘Lucifer in the flesh’

Putting protests at Donald Trump events in perspective 01:32

Putting protests at Donald Trump events in perspective

Clovis elementary school fires up its kids with 'Superstar Students' video 04:37

Clovis elementary school fires up its kids with 'Superstar Students' video