Momo Yashima: Father’s Day for Taro

A long time ago…

I was maybe 6 years old. As usual, we didn’t have much money. I wanted to give my father a present for Father’s Day.

I knew he loved to smoke his pipe. He had several that he kept in this nice circular pipe holder. You could store the tobacco in the middle. I didn’t think he’d mind if I took one of the pipes.

I wrapped it in some old tissue I found in the closet. I found some pretty ribbon somewhere.

Father’s Day morning came. I woke up early, and placed my present on the dining room table in front of his seat. He always worked late into the night, so sometimes he slept late…finally he awoke.

He was thrilled to see a present just for him! He slowly unwrapped the present, taking care to carefully untie the ribbon. What he found was a beautiful English pipe, made from the burl of the wood, centered at the bottom of the bowl of the pipe. “Very expensive, very fine pipe!! Momo, where did you get such a good thing? How could you find such as exquisite pipe?”

“From the pipes you have over there,” I said as I gestured toward the pipeholder.

He roared with laughter… I really miss that laugh.

—Momo Yashima Brannen

Momo Yashima Brannen was born in New York City to children’s book author and illustrator Taro Yashima and his wife Mitsu. She is an actress who has performed on stage from Los Angeles to New York; television from Star Trek to Moesha; and many television commercials over her 30-year acting career.

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