Etcetera - 01/02/13


When John Knapp of Walla Walla celebrates the birthdate he shares with father Harold C. Knapp this year, it will be out of the ordinary.

First off, John’s father will be 99 on Jan. 12 and John will be 66.

Every year John celebrates their shared day with his dad and mom, Dorothy U. Knapp, in Lakewood, Calif., where the parents live.

Decorating their cake will be easy as pie because when Harold’s 99 is turned upside down, it becomes John’s 66, so both ages will be displayed.

Depending on the size of the cake, that could leave plenty of room for all 165 candles.

Harold was born in 1914, in Rochester, Minn., and John was born in 1947 in Long Beach, Calif.

“My brother (Bruce Knapp of Calimesa, Calif.) thought that it’s not only interesting, but possibly a mathematical impossibility in that we share the same birthday, and the split is 66 and 99 this year,” John added.

Many happy returns, John and Harold!

Participants in the Walla Walla-Sasayama Sister City Affiliation Committee-sponsored visits to Japan take note:

According to Sasayama’s Mayor Takaaki Sakai, the city was chosen as one of the country’s top 102 places for scenic beauty. “The regional and national recognitions have encouraged additional restoration and civic pride,” the mayor noted on Facebook.

Also tapped for national importance was the town scenery in Fukuzumi district, for its traditional buildings, which makes it eligible for preservation.

“As a result of this distinction application is in process to declare this historic area of Sasayama to be nominated for UNESCO designation,” Takaaki wrote.

TV and magazine articles that give Sasayama recognition describe it as the agricultural capital of the prefecture. “The scenery, landscape, nature and culture of the region are contributing factors for the yearning of tourists. The rediscovery of goodness of rural food, culture, life and connecting with local cultural activities help to further boost tourist activity.”

Business startups are on the rise. Incentives to come to the area include housing construction and an easy commute by rail with express trail and good toll roads.

Following the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, Sasayama and eight other municipalities united to form a national disaster-aid agreement to provide support and aid in case of another disaster.

And Sasayama is working to not rely on nuclear-generated power by tapping into solar energy tax incentives.

For more about our relationship with our sister city, contact local committee chairman Robert Keatts at 525-0049.

Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at or 526-8313.


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