Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Dennis Bambauer Interview I
Narrator: Dennis Bambauer
Interviewer: John Allen
Date: November 6, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-bdennis-01-0003

<Begin Segment 3>

JA: Do you have any recollection of the way the place changed in terms of flower gardens springing up over time and little parks and things?

DB: No, no, I don't. Remember that I was allowed to leave the camp and come back to the camp, at which time my adopted parents, the Bambauers, brought us back to the camp to visit the orphanage and so forth, and at that time, we came at the annual Manzanar Fair, and we saw the produce that they produced. There were 10,000 internees there, and they were producing the majority of the food for those 10,000 people, and we came at what I would call the Fair, where they had the agricultural displays, the tractor set-up, and water pumps pumping water and so forth. Occasionally, when, before that time, we would go and visit some of the kids, my friends' older brothers and sisters, and we would see their flower gardens in there. But I don't think that it hit me like a big explosion, "Oh, look what's happened." I think it was happening, and it was just kind of accepted by me.

JA: Do you remember any holidays there like Christmas or...

DB: I remember Christmas, and it was a typical Christian Christmas. It was not a Buddhist Christmas. But sometime, and I don't remember whether it was Christmas or whether it was New Year's, but one of my fond memories was the wonderful sushi that was brought to camp and the mochi balls. And... but you see, what I remember is not how good they were, but they became missiles. We kids would gather up and pretend like we were taking it to eat and then we would get out onto the grass area, and they became missiles. We threw 'em at each other and we ran and tried to dodge them and so forth. And that's kind of the recollection I have about the Christmas, or that particular season, and I'm hoping that Mrs. Matsumoto, who was in charge, won't hold this against us forty, fifty years later. [Laughs]

JA: That's funny.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.