I met Mr. Yamasaki 19-years ago when I first worked at AM950 KAHI Radio as the News Director. My morning show partner Dan Songer, truly the Voice of the Foothills, had a local expert in each morning to take calls and talk like like the good friends that everyone seemed to be to Dan. Don Yamasaki was the Garden Guru and Don would call his friend Dan Yamasaki each Wednesday morning. Dan would answer Dan’s questions and take callers questions and time would fly by. After Dan left the radio station to retire closer to his daughter and grandchildren in Kentucky, Don Yamasaki began hosting his own show on Saturday mornings with a full hour of the Garden Guru. Don invited his wife Cherrie to co-host and the pair have been local KAHI Radio personalities ever since.
Don began his horticulture education working on his parents plum farm off Kemper road many years ago. Don’s dad began growing decorative plants and soon moved the nursery to HWY 49 where it became the Yamasaki Nursery where Don, after returning from Ca-Poly with a Horticulture degree began helping Auburnites make beautiful gardens, fight pests and enjoy there little piece of heaven in the outdoors.
Don is the most humble man but the community needs to know what a kind and generous man he is also. Don prepared every show and gave the best advice and he cares about people. Mr. Yamasaki stopped by the station Tuesday to drop off some gardening books, as gifts, to staff at the station. I had the privilege of getting a horticulture and history lesson from Mr. Yamasaki. I hope you enjoy the message and the sound of the Garden Guru one more time. Don and Cherrie’s last show will be this Saturday at 9am June 8, 2013. You still may be able to catch Don shopping at the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market or around town running errands and with a chuckle, he will be happy to answer your gardening questions. We will miss you Don Yamasaki.