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A farewell to a special friend of Yokota football

Somewhere on the south side of Yokota High School’s Bonk Field, a lonely concession stand weeps softly.

For its chief proprietor the last nine years, Glenn Shimabukuro, turned the key on it for the last time on July 21, his last evening in charge of the beloved Shima Shack.

“Coach Shima,” as he was known by Yokota High Panthers and Yokota Warriors interservice players since his arrival in June 2003, was as good a friend to Yokota football as it has had since the days of the late Master Sgt. Fred Bonk, for whom the turfed field is named.

Prior to them putting field turf on Bonk two years ago, Shima would care for the grass during the season and summer as if he were manicuring his own lawn. He took care of equipment, filled water buckets, lined fields – nothing was too big a task for him. And he never took a penny for it, once earning 374th Airlift Wing Volunteer of the Year honors.

“It was entirely his pleasure,” said his wife, Colleen, who since 2003 had worked for the 374th Comptroller Squadron and later for Defense Finance and Accounting Service on Yokota. Her contract has expired; hence, why she and Glenn will depart Yokota, on Sunday, for their Hawaii home, where Colleen will work at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“He has passion for football,” Colleen said. “He loves the kids, they love him and they had a blast. If we could have stayed here forever, we would have.”

Perhaps what will be missed most of all … the food that Shima cooked up weekly at Yokota High and Warriors home football games, leaving many a tummy filled and a customer satisfied.

Chicken bowls, barbequed teriyaki chicken nestled on a bed of rice and corn. Hamburgers and hot dogs, of course. Chili rice, taco rice and his own blend called Shima Rice.

And the Shima cakes … oh, the Shima cakes! No way anybody can eat just one slice. Perhaps the most addictive food on this Earth. Talk about yummers!

And it wasn’t just Shima leaving a mark on the base and the school. Son Kyle, now 22 and working on his masters degree at Cal State Fullerton, was a Far East wrestling champion for Yokota High. Daughter Joyce, 19, is a student at University of Hawaii.

Farewell, Coach Shima. You shall be missed.

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Ornauer on AFN

 

Stars and Stripes reporter Dave Ornauer talks about the Pacific sports scene on AFN Radio. (Click on right arrow to play file.)

 

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