Yasuki Samamoto from Japan was an AFS exchange student in 1971-72. On Sept. 22, 2013, a group of five Japanese people who wanted to see what life was like in America came to Westfield. They visited with Mary Ellen Ross in her home and then saw Howard Ross with his grape picker working in the vineyards.
Samamoto is a urologist from Japan who enjoys leading groups on special tours. He calls himself "the flying doctor."
His first return visit was with his wife and infant child. His second return, in 2009, was with three family members and two nurses who were his coworkers. Last year, Samamoto returned for his 40 year class reunion. He stayed with fellow classmates Steve Ross and Brad Jones at the Ross home on Bliss Road. He very much enjoyed being back in the area and seeing his old classmates. He also stayed two nights with his friend Jerry Warner.
Yasuki Samamoto from Japan was an AFS exchange student in 1971-72. On Sept. 22, 2013, a group of five Japanese people who wanted to see what life was like in America came to Westfield.
During his recent visit, he and his friends lodged at the Storm house where he had previously stayed with the Edwards family 41 years ago. He said, "Staying and relaxing in the living room on the couch was like dreaming. I was thinking of the good ol' days and memories in the house."
Samamoto and his friends shared a meal of steak and sausage prepared by Dick and Susan Scriven. Terry Linstrom, a fellow wrestling teammate, came to visit too. Samamoto and his friends visited the Grape Discovery Center, 21 Brix Winery, and many other places he remembers from being in Westfield in the 1970s.
After leaving Westfield, Samamoto's next stop is Niagara Falls. From there he will go to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where he worked for several years as a urologist.
All of Samamoto's friends enjoyed his visit, and hope he will be back again before too much time passes.