Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Ben Tonooka Interview
Narrator: Ben Tonooka
Interviewer: Martha Nakagawa
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 6, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-tben-01-0025

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MN: Now, 1944, April, the Olympic Club, your club had a weenie bake.

BT: Yeah.

MN: What was that like?

BT: That was neat, yeah. See, we were lucky, in a sense, that there were, I think, four members of our club that work with the commissary, so then they had one group that went out to get perishables outside the camp. So whenever we needed something they would ask these guys to get it for us, so we were able to get wieners, and they had a drink called Par-T-Pak at that time -- nowadays we have two liter bottles, but before it was Par-T-Pak, and I don't think it was two liters. It was less than that. But anyway, yeah, that was great.

MN: Were you able to go outside of camp for the weenie bake?

BT: Yeah. We just, there was no fence in the back of the camp, so we just went out to the bayou. I don't know how far it was, might've been only about half a mile, maybe a mile at the most. We were carrying all these goodies. We had a great time. Couple of the guys swimmin' in the ditch over there, not in the bayou itself 'cause the bayou was pretty big, and not only that, there's not too many places where you can come out 'cause there's a lot of growth along the bank, and also there's water moccasins in the water.

MN: What about this big banquet the Olympic Club had?

BT: Yeah, we had a blowout. I think we had half a chicken apiece, all our members. It was, we figured we were all going a different direction, so our club, for a blowout, really, really had a good dinner.

MN: Did, so this banquet that you had, was it in the mess hall, or was that in your clubhouse?

BT: I think it was in the recreation hall. Yeah. You know, come to think about it, really, it might've been a vacant, vacant unit, because I have a photograph of that and I think it showed a white wall, and recreation hall didn't have a white wall inside.

MN: You folks had quite a feast at that banquet.

BT: Yeah. I was surprised myself that we were able to swing that. And they even had the cook cook our chicken for us.

MN: The cook must've had, got a couple of chickens himself too, then.

BT: I'm pretty sure, yeah.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2012 Densho. All Rights Reserved.