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-01-0044

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AI: Well, so after you returned there and got reestablished again, then what were you doing? What were some of your activities? You father was still there and...

KK: Yes. I remember that my sister, who was in St. Paul and then had, she was in recreation and the -- oh, after we went to St. Paul we went to see her. She was a recreation director in Great Falls, Montana, and that's why we were up in the northern part of Montana. And she was there, and then after my father was, was alone and not too well, she came back to live with my father and to take care of him while he was alone after my mother's death. And she was there for a while, then. And also she went onto -- after my father died, I think she went on as a, with the Red Cross in Moses Lake. That was the Larsen Air Force Base. But that's her, her life of... and her living. But as far as I was concerned, I did several things and I, you know, it's kind of vague. We had, I worked for the War Relocation Authority for a while. And then --

AI: And what were you doing with them? With the WRA?

KK: Just, they were there for a short period of time, and I think I was a secretary, if I remember. And it wasn't too long. And we had moved, we had moved from a, from the farm to an apartment. And then we were thinking of buying a home, which -- and then here was, again, a little bit of prejudice that came up, and we realized that the homes that we were shown were located in certain areas. And so we said, well that's not where we want to live. And we wanted to, not be close into the center of town, and those were the places that they showed us. And then finally there was a place in Terrace -- suburb -- Terrace Heights (in a small) development (where) there was a place for sale. We moved there. And we found that there were some neighbors that didn't like us there. And it took a long time before we found that out. But, but that, the kind of attitude still occurred. Still does to certain people, but --

AI: About when was that that you were looking for your home and found that place?

KK: About '49, '48, '49, or '50. Because we had moved into the Terrace Heights area in about early '51 or something like that. It gets rather vague, but we had... we had just purchased it, and then Tak was recalled into the Korean War. He was in the Reserves, and then I was left with this house. I can remember we had to repaint it. I had to paint something. And I was painting it and my neighbors, who were good neighbors, would sit on the -- men -- who would sit on the lawn and say, "You missed some place here and some place there," and it used to irk me. I said, "Why are you sitting there if you find places where it needs painting? Why don't you help me?" But we found out there were some very good neighbors, fine neighbors and others who were a little indifferent. And it took some while until... living there for quite some time before we became a very cohesive small neighborhood in this development. So... but --

AI: And how long was Tak gone? Was he actually in Korea during this time?

KK: Yes, he was. He had gone to, he was sent to... oh, near San Antonio. Fort Hood. I think it was Fort Hood for training. And then I remember he was to be shipped to Korea, and I had quit my, I had taken a leave of absence at the credit bureau, I believe at the time, I was working, so I could go there and join him in San Antonio, with the promise that I would have a job. And when I came back, I didn't have. [Laughs] And so these are the little kinds of things that happened. And after... then I found a job with the -- what they call the, the Washington Medical Association that audited public assistance, (or patients) who were on public assistance, for the doctors (and other health care providers). Audit of their statements on, and whether or not, how much would be allowed. And it was an association that audited public assistance, would be Medicaid statements of patients who were on some public assistance, who were given medical help. And I was, worked for them for a number of years and became kind of an executive secretary to the director. [Ed. note: narrator has provided the following additional text: After that I found a job with the Medical Service Association of Yakima County, an organization that audited claims from medical service providers for patients on public assistance in Yakima County. I worked for them for a number of years and became kind of executive secretary to the director of the Association who was also secretary to the Yakima County Medical Society. I left after adopting our second child.]

<End Segment 44> - Copyright © 2002 Densho. All Rights Reserved.