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-01-0043

<Begin Segment 43>

AI: So we're continuing with the interview. And when we had just stopped before the break, you were talking about the return to the Yakima valley, and Wapato was still rather hostile with an anti-Japanese sentiment. But in the meantime, that Tak was... had had some difficulty finding work in pharmacy and that he was then thinking about going to med school. You mentioned he needed to get his grades up and so that he decided to go back to school at, in Louisville.

KK: He selected Louisville because Louisville Medical School had a good reputation, and we had lived in Louisville for a number of accumulated years -- several years -- and knew the community. And although he had been accepted by a school of osteopathy in Chicago, he was a pharmacist and identified with medicine. And so he wanted to get his medical degree, and the medical schools were getting more stringent as far as grade points. And he felt that his college grades were not up, and he wanted to bring them up. So we decided to go back to Louisville and would probably get to try to get into the Louisville Medical School. So we... I guess we... did we drive back? We must have. I can't, those are little vague memories. But we got to Louisville, and we found an apartment. One of these converted old stately buildings converted. And we had an attic apartment, I remember, walking distance to the University of Louisville.

And he went to school, and I got a job with the Department of Health. And I would come back after a day's work, and he'd been out playing tennis, or something like that. [Laughs] And I, so I did enroll in evening courses at the university, too. So, it was rather haphazard, but I had been there before and picked up again.

And until we -- it was after that summer, after the classes were over and it was summer break, we decided we would drive back to Yakima, and then we went up to visit my sister and husband and the Noses in St. Paul. And then we drove... we were in the middle of our drive to, through -- we decided, I said I'd like to see, go through Glacier Park. And we, I remember stopping at the gate at the Glacier National Park, and we were told by the rangers that, "We have a message for Tak Kondo that his father has died." My mother had, had died earlier that same year in 19' -- I said '47, but it was '48. And I had flown from Louisville to attend her funeral in February, I believe it was. And then, but we knew that his father was also ill with cancer, but we did not expect this message. And I remember saying, I'd like to go (north through) Glacier Park and see the beautiful scenery. But we drove (through) at night. I could hear the water trickling, but not a single bit of scenery was visible in the dead of night, the darkness. And we drove home (arriving in) enough (time) to attend his father's funeral. So we had lost both parents, two parents, that year. And he gave up his dream of ever entering into medical school and really seriously sought work in his field of pharmacy. And although he had some difficulty and, in fact, his latest, one offer that was promising was in Hawaii. We really considered that, but about the same time we had another offer from a well-known pharmacy in Yakima. And so he went to work there and worked until his near retirement twenty-five or thirty years later.

<End Segment 43> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.