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-01-0035

<Begin Segment 35>

AI: Well, I wanted to also mention that in this same issue of the Heart Mountain Sentinel was your column.

KK: Oh.

AI: Called, "Covering the Heartbeat with Kara." And I have a copy here just, if you wouldn't mind just telling a little bit about a couple of the items there. I think the --

KK: Oh. I, I almost forget the things I've written years ago, then. If you'll forgive me. But I'll read the little titles that were... "Bidding Godspeed" and "Afternoon Tea," "Capacity Crowd" and "Impressive," -- so forth. They were dinners or little, and people may wonder how come that they were allowed to have teas, how come they could have individual dinners, how could we have a Fireman's Ball, for instance? Of 300 and... was it 200? I'll have to look, get my glasses.

GN: 350.

KK: What?

GN: 350.

KK: Imagine, even 350, nowadays, would be considered quite a crowd, wouldn't it? And they had door prizes. How could this happen? And the chicken dinner? Where did they get the chicken? I can't really remember where these things came. [Laughs] And, and I was, I reported what the news was given, the news that was given to me. And I think the one that Gail pointed out was a marriage procedure for young people wishing to get married either in camp or to, a camp resident going out to marry somebody else in another camp, or whether they wanted to be married outside of camp or in camp. And there were definite procedures, and I won't go into them because there, and it differs with state to state. But probably this was written because there seems to be a crush of young people intending to get married. And you could see, with the draft coming, people going into the military and the camp opening up, too. So you could go out, either as a student or to find work, that relationships had developed within the camp. Some of them wished to be together. So there seemed to be a rush between the people who met in camp and wanted to get married or wanted to join somebody else who might be outside or in another camp. So we had marriage procedures that outlined what you'd have to do.

AI: Right. And so also, at this time, it's so interesting that you have these very serious issues going on such as the volunteering for the army and also the people, as you mentioned earlier, trying to keep as normal a social life as possible.

KK: I think it's rather amazing, when you look through that again, how many activities took place, social and the church activities and the, and, of course, and numerous activities were attached to the sports activities and the various organizations. And there was a purpose in having so many organizations. Any group of six or more had an organization, it seemed. And, and it was to keep the residents occupied and involved in their own internal kind of living so that, I think that, perhaps, they did not think about, so much about the outside.

<End Segment 35> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.