Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Helen Amerman Manning Interview
Narrator: Helen Amerman Manning
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: SeaTac, Washington
Date: August 2, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-mhelen-01-0001

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AI: Today is August 2, 2003, and we're here at the SeaTac DoubleTree Hotel with Helen Amerman Manning, thank you very much. I'm Alice Ito with Densho, and on videography is Dana Hoshide. And we're here at the same time as the Minidoka reunion, which is occurring here at the hotel. And we thank you very much for your time. I wanted to ask, to start out by asking you about some of your family background. And you had an interesting grandfather who had an, an unusual experience, I understand.

HM: Yes. My paternal grandfather was one of the first missionaries in Japan. He was there from 1874 until 1894, and my father was born in Yokohama and lived in Japan until he was four years old. And the family, my grandmother and two of the children, came back in, I believe, 1891. And my grandfather followed later on. But my grandfather was apparently a rather prominent Westerner, and was head of the Christian theological school. I'm not sure whether it was in the Imperial University, but it was always referred to in the family as Meiji Gakuin so I figure that it had something to do with Meiji University.

AI: Right. Well, and so then, where did your parents meet up with each other? Where and when?

HM: Well, my mother was from Michigan, but she had gone east to teach in New Jersey, and I really don't know quite where they met, but she was a teacher and he was an accountant, and they got married. (Actually my father was trained as an accountant, but, at least during my being aware of his occupation, he was a loss adjuster for a marine insurance firm.)

AI: And so then where and when were you born?

HM: I was born March 23, 1916 in New Jersey.

AI: And is that where you grew up, then, in New Jersey?

HM: Yes. I went to elementary school... I started out, we always lived in Bloomfield, but the Glen Ridge Elementary School was much closer. My mother could watch me walk up the street and keep track of me 'til I got to the school. So I spent my first six years at Glen Ridge. I think it was Central School. Then I transferred to the Bloomfield school, and graduated from high school there in 1933.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2003 Densho. All Rights Reserved.