Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Kara Kondo Interview
Narrator: Kara Kondo
Interviewers: Alice Ito (primary), Gail Nomura (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 7 & 8, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-kkara-01-0033

<Begin Segment 33>

GN: You were writing for the Heart Mountain, Heart Mountain Sentinel, at that time?

KK: Yes. I worked under Bill Hosokawa and Haruo Imura and Michi Onuma and Louise Suski. There were, who... and we had to laugh because I finally was a "society editor" and they said, "What does a society editor do?" The term is never used anymore around for a number of years. But we reported on the social activities that went on in camp, and there were a lot of them. So...

But it, it was a very nice group, and we had a very talented group. And occasionally at Heart Mountain reunions we get together. The numbers are fewer and fewer, but we reminisce about the times that we, what we had to do. And the paper was printed in Cody, and occasionally -- I think I only went once -- but we went to go out when they took the paper to be printed. And, and Bill Hosokawa would take us and we would even stay for, to have dinner and we would all go to a movie, although we had movies inside, too.

AI: But it must have been a special feeling to be outside.

KK: Yes, it is. Yes, it was.

GN: Were you under guard?

KK: Huh? No. No. They trusted us, I think. Who would want to go off somewhere, even in Cody?

GN: You had use of a car?

KK: Huh?

GN: Did you have use of a car?

KK: Yes. Well, it was a camp car. I think that, whether it was Bill, or maybe it was Mr. Vaughn Mechau, who was the... who was the head of the department, who was a very kind and liberal person, who, I think, trusted us.

AI: Well, now, you were one of the -- it sounds like -- one of the few women who was active on the Sentinel staff.

KK: No, there were others.

AI: Were there others, or...?

KK: Yes, there were others. Louise Suski was an editor, and there were Miwako, she became Miwako. I can't remember her maiden name, but she became a Mrs. Miya, who went to New York and continued with her work a great deal. And there were a number of women, quite a number of women on the staff. So it, it was interesting to work with them, and we had the same deadlines, you know, that you had. And the pressure that you get. But the camp papers are really a chronicle of the activities in camp and a record, now, of, of the camp life.

AI: When you look back on that -- on the camp newspaper and the coverage of the things that were going on in camp -- do you, of course, looking back now is different than when you were right there in it, but do you think that it did reflect quite a bit of camp life, or were there some areas that you just weren't able to cover in the newspaper because of the times?

KK: See, I was not there long enough. But I think they tried to do a good, credible job of covering activities and, and the camp life expanded after the high school was built. And when agriculture, they opened up agriculture for farming for the, and they finished the canal and brought the irrigation in, and they were able to plant crops that people in Wyoming never dreamed would grow there. And Mr. Ito, Lance Ito's father, was a soil scientist who determined the type of produce that could be produced. And I think that was revolutionary to that area. But they fed, they had enough produce that they sent to other camps as well. You know, things like... Japanese things like nappa and daikon and things that you wouldn't get ordinarily.

<End Segment 33> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.