Remembering Yoshi and the Bowens

Published 10:02 am Thursday, August 13, 2020

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By Garland O. Goodwin

Remember When column


Our friend and former Lion Yoshi Kinoshita has finished his course among us. We were shocked because he was so young (well, he was 84, but he didn’t look it!) and apparently so healthy.

Yoshi was a renowned horse trainer long before we saw him here. Born in Japan, he started with the Japanese Olympic Equestrian Team, then became Riding Master for the US Army Riding stables of Japan, where he met his wife Diane. His later credits include trainer for the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions shows.

Yoshi came to the United States and soon became a citizen. His work with horses continued for many years. Joshi and his pickup truck became essential to the Columbus Lions; his prowess at bridge brought him an invitation to join us. Yoshi and Diane’s travels always included Japan and London, where their daughter Caroline and grandchildren Eve and Owen live. Fran and I always benefitted from the bounty of Yoshi’s garden at Harmon Field.

Our house finally sold, but as Yogi Berra is said to have said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over!” We are still settling final bills and trying to get everything such as taxes changed over to the new owner. We have worked with our realtor Pat Martin for more than 30 years as she handled our buying and selling of a good many properties over the years.

I assured her in the beginning that we would stay with her until we had reason not to. When she asked what I meant by that, I replied “Just what I said.” We never had a problem with her, and if she had one with us, she never let on.

I must also commend Katherine Wall in Andy Haynes office. When Vance McKown died, we just carried stuff a few doors down to Andy’s office. Vance had kept every airplane sketch I had ever made for him as I answered his questions. Andy cleaned out the file and handed me a sheaf of these papers at our first official meeting.

As you can imagine, Katherine had her work cut out for her in drawing up the closing papers. She is the granddaughter of my favorite teacher at Tryon High, Mrs. K. A. Bowen. Katherine listened politely and sympathetically as we dealt with my mortgage company during our many telephone conversations. She brought countless papers out to the car for us to sign.

Al Bowen was the manager of the Tryon Duke Power office until they sent him to Gastonia. They had me assemble a dresser for one of the girls, and I got to stay for dinner—back when I was in High School. Ann and Barry were quite young then!

The Bowens came back to Tryon when Al retired. Their daughters had long since married, Ann to Vance McCown. When Al died, Mrs. Bowen (Ellen) moved into an apartment at White Oak Village. I was able to visit her there and get her approval of a paper I was to deliver to the Historical Association about Mr. Seth Vining Sr. I still considered myself one of her English pupils! She died soon after . . .

She had asked me to call her Ellen, but I could not bring myself to do that—she was always “Mrs. Bowen” to me. When I mentioned this to Vance, he said that she had made the same suggestion to him early on, and he said that he had had the same problem with it that I had.

I have to mention Vance and Ann’s son Bill’s photographs. I consider Bill to be Tryon’s Ansel Adams. Bill’s photos adorned Vance’s office and now the walls of the central hallway of the Polk County Courthouse. Stop in and see if you agree!