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Southern California musician, wife missing after Japan quake

March 15, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Among the thousands missing after Japan's 9.0-magnitude earthquake and devastating tsunami are a talented musician from Southern California and his wife.

Michael Bridgham, a professional musician and piano teacher from Lake Forest, and wife Cheiko, who is Japanese, traveled to Japan just over two weeks ago.

He was scheduled to start rehearsing soon for a concert in Orange County with opera singer and longtime friend, Stella Togo.

But since the quake struck, no one has heard from the couple.

"It's hard for any one of us to not have received a message from him just saying, 'I'm OK,' because he's always had a very caring personality," Togo said.

The Bridghams have a second home in hard-hit Miyagi Prefecture, where walls of water swallowed neighborhoods and left towns in ruins. Thousands of people are still missing.

Togo said the dramatic pictures arriving from Japan are heartbreaking and keeping hope alive difficult.

"To see all the rubble and disaster there, we sincerely send our prayers to him and his family," she said.