There are friends, and then there are the people you choose to love like family. Taka Yokoyama is one of those people to my husband and to me.
Taka and I first met when we were in Springfield. We were the only two Asian kids working in a medium market...he was the new photographer... and I was the veteran reporter. I mean, I had at least two months on him.
He also befriended my boyfriend, Jim (who's now my husband.) Jim had just traveled to Japan to shoot and produce a documentary with the New England Sports Network. Taka and Jim ended up becoming roommates and inseparable friends. They (along with our friend Dave) became the Three Musketeers.
Taka and I left Springfield around the same time in 2010. We shared a going away party. After nearly 8 years of covering Southwest Missouri, we told ourselves it was time to "graduate".
And boy, has Taka graduated.
Taka is a national Murrow winner, a multi-Emmy winner, and an incredible storyteller. He's worked at the most enviable stations in Springfield, Kansas City and Boston. And, now he's headed to WFAA in Dallas! Another awesome shop!
He took the time to visit us on his way down to the Big D... I know it was out of the way for him, but I am so grateful he made the trip.
Most people who know Taka are very proud of him. He is living the American dream and doing it so much better than many American-born folks! He moved here from Japan to study journalism, and ever since, he's been making an impact with his insightful eye. He was in our wedding, he's been with us through good and not-so-good times... and I learned this weekend, my husband even helped Taka get his Green Card!
As I type this, Taka is hitting the road and hoping to make it to Mississippi or Alabama tonight... he's got about 16 hours or so left on his trip. I hope the South takes care of him on this journey!
Taka, we're very proud and happy for you, and we know that you're going to love Dallas. You will love your much-deserved opportunity, and we expect you to do amazing work! xoxo