In the previous post, I have run into what I think is an odd thing about the tenses of English. Rather, what we have doesn't support a small but necessary (I think) form of usage.
e.g., "I knew someone in the past. He was Japanese." He was Japanese when I met him. and I presume that he still is. Why wouldn't he be??
If I said "I dated the plumber's niece, whom I met through my best friend. They are cousins. We were good friends, it was the best of times...", I think that the tense structure gets all foobared with that construction. On the other hand, saying that "..they were cousins..." seems to imply that they may not be cousins anymore. Which is unlikely.
You see my problem??