Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Mary Jean Spallino Interview
Narrator: Mary Jean Spallino
Interviewer: Rose Masters
Location: Lake Forest, California
Date: May 20, 2015
Densho ID: denshovh-smary_3-01

<Begin Segment 1>

RM: Today is May 20, 2015. I'm Rose Masters, and I'm here at the home of Mary Jean Kramer McCarron Spallino, who was a high school teacher at Manzanar. Also in the room is Kristen Luetkemeier, who is running the video and taking notes. Mary, do I have your permission to record this interview?

MS: Yes.

RM: Excellent. So I just want to start at the beginning, which is when and where were you born?

MS: I was born in Minneapolis, and when I was one year old my parents moved to Los Angeles.

RM: What's your birth date?

MS: June 18, 1919.

RM: And what was Minneapolis like when you were born there? I know you don't probably remember it, because you were only one, but what kind of city was it at that time?

MS: Well, I think it was a nice city. My father was a doctor and associated with the hospital there. I think it was a very nice city. I have gone back many times since and it's certainly developed into a very nice city.

RM: What made your parents decide to move to Los Angeles?

MS: My dad's health. They gave him three months to live; he lived until he was ninety-seven. [Laughs]

RM: Oh, my gosh.

MS: In those days they didn't know that much about the heart. He had, like, a murmur.

RM: And what was it about L.A. that would have helped him?

MS: Well, there's not the rigorous climate, you know, the snow and all that. Mild climate.

RM: What did your mom think about moving to the West Coast?

MS: Oh, I think she was happy about it, they both were. It was a good move.

RM: What were your parents' names?

MS: My father's name was Edward and my mother's name was Imogene, I-M-O-G-E-N-E.

RM: Were they both from Minnesota?

MS: No, my mother was from South Dakota. My dad was from southern Minnesota, down by Rochester.

RM: Do you know how they met each other?

MS: Yes. My dad, after he graduated from medical school, went to Huron, South Dakota, where he met my mother.

RM: So you moved out to the West Coast when you were one years old.

MS: Yeah, 1920.

RM: 1920. Did your dad continue being a doctor out here?

MS: Yeah. He taught... he practiced, he kept his office until he was eighty.

RM: Where was his office, what part of the city?

MS: Santa Monica and Western, in Hollywood.

RM: Did your mom ever work?

MS: Only as a homemaker. But she did a lot of work, believe me. She was a wonderful cook, and a very bright, intelligent woman.

RM: Could you describe what your dad was like for us?

MS: Yeah. My dad was stubborn and had an inquiring mind. And, well, I don't know, you either liked him or you didn't like him.

RM: Did your mom -- I'm curious, it sounds like your dad must have gone to school since he was a doctor. Did your mom end up going to college?

MS: Oh, yes. She went -- they used to call it normal school, yes. And she became a home ec., we would call it a home ec. teacher now, and she did teach for, I don't know, in a little country schoolhouse for maybe a year or so. And when she married, she was just twenty-three, because there was seven years' difference my parents' ages.

RM: So your mom was a teacher.

MS: Well, yes, but a very short time. And, of course, in those years, and then with the Depression, why, women stayed in the home.

RM: Did you have any siblings?

MS: No.

RM: An only child.

MS: Only child. And I was spoiled, there's no doubt about it.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

RM: What are your first memories of Los Angeles?

MS: I guess going to, walking to school, the five blocks to grammar school, they called them grammar schools in those days.

RM: What grammar school did you go to?

MS: Grant.

RM: Oh, Grant.

MS: G-R-A-N-T. It was about five blocks from where we lived, and I'm not sure, it may still be there, but I doubt it.

RM: And was that... for somebody who's not as clear on the geography on the Los Angeles area, is that in Santa Monica?

MS: No, honey, the street was Santa Monica and Western. This isn't Santa Monica beach.

RM: Okay. Could you tell us where in L.A. that is, what neighborhood it is?

MS: Oh. Well, you know where Hollywood Boulevard is?

RM: I do, yes.

MS: Okay, then the next major street, Sunset Boulevard. And then the next major, Santa Monica, and going this way, Western Avenue. And Western Avenue used to go all the way to the ocean, because we didn't have freeways. So it's in the heart, it was right in the heart of Hollywood.

RM: Yeah, okay, got it. Thank you. What do you remember from your neighborhood, what it was like?

MS: Very homey, wonderful families. And different backgrounds. It was just a very nice... individual houses, and we all knew one another, the kids played together. We played out in the street, all of the houses in Hollywood then, at least where I lived, had, they had the curbs and then they had the grass and then they had the sidewalk. In the grass they used to have two palm trees, every house. That's why I love the palm trees here.

RM: Are there any families or friends that really stick out to you?

MS: Oh, honey, there'd be so many that it wouldn't be interesting to anybody.

RM: [Laughs] All right.

MS: No, really, there were so many, because I lived there. I lived in that house in Fernwood for thirty years, so they come and they go.

RM: What about... I'm interested in school. Do you remember your teacher as well?

MS: I do. There... a lot of them I remember, there's a little lady who lives here, she's one year younger than I, she was reared in Hollywood, she went to Grant, she went to La Conte junior high school, she went to Hollywood High School. And we get together and we reminisced, especially in our junior high school, Miss Heap, she was our PE teacher, and she wore bloomers. And in those days, that was quite unusual. [Laughs]

RM: She wore 'em in PE class?

MS: Well, in teaching, in the gym class. She was a funny little lady. But when Arfie and I get together, why, we keep mentioning Miss Heap. There were a lot of teachers, though, I had wonderful teachers, and a lot of them, I couldn't mention them.

RM: Do you think that they inspired the direction you took?

MS: Oh, absolutely. In my junior high, I can't recall her name, but she had been to China. That was terrific, you know, she would tell us about China. I always remembered her.

RM: Can you say the name of your junior high school again?

MS: La Conte. L-A., and then C-O-N-T-E junior high.

RM: And was that in the same part of town right there?

MS: Yeah, that was right close. All of these schools were within walking distance, Carol Burnett graduated, and there was somebody else that... I didn't know Carol Burnett because she's much younger than I. There was somebody who became rather well-known, I cannot think of her name, whom I did know, she was in my junior high. Because I was in the chorus, the glee club, we called it, in junior high, and I cannot think of her name, but she was rather well-known for a while. It wouldn't mean anything to you people, to us then.

RM: Could you tell me a little bit about glee club? We didn't have those by the time I got to school.

MS: It was a wonderful... quite a large number of us, maybe forty in the glee club. And we would sing at different places, maybe at some other school or something like that. It wouldn't be a big deal now, but it was wonderful musical background. And my mother was very musical; she played the piano beautifully. So it just tied in with my background with my mother and the chorus, you know. That's all I can tell you about the glee club.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

RM: And then what high school, did you say you went to Hollywood High?

MS: Hollywood High.

RM: I'm curious about what the makeup of your classes was like. Was it all Caucasian or was it more mixed up?

MS: It was Hollywood, so we had more of a mixture than probably any other place outside of New York, because they would come here because of the films, and of course we had the, down here in Orange County, we had the Japanese workers, and we had... I only remember two or three black people until I got to UCLA. And when I was at UCLA, why, then it was Jackie Robinson and Kenny Washington. So by that time, it was more mixed, and of course a major university would be mixed. But it was primarily, when I'm growing up, primarily Caucasian or people, like we had neighbors from France, they had come over after World War I. And we once had neighbors from Poland who had come in after World War I, but primarily Caucasian.

RM: Did you have any Japanese American students in your class with you?

MS: Yes, very few. But my best girlfriend in the second grade was Toshi, Toshiko, and then they moved away. And, of course, there were Japanese around because of the farms around and everything. So I was used to them. I can understand in the Midwest and the East, probably never had seen a Japanese. And I think that's one reason that I was amenable going to Manzanar, because I knew Japanese and I liked them, and I had been to Japan.

RM: Do you remember Toshiko's last name?

MS: Oh, no, honey, I don't.

RM: I know, it's such a long time ago, but I thought I would check just in case.

MS: And you know, she pops into my mind -- we were just little kids, she pops into my mind so much, and you wonder whatever happened.

RM: I'm curious to know what your favorite subjects in high school were.

MS: I always liked, we called it social studies, and I was a language major, and I started Latin in the eighth grade. And then I also took German, so all though college, German was my minor. So I think it was the languages and the social studies. I liked English, though, too, I had wonderful English teachers. I liked them all. The only problem I had was in the sciences, I had to take both physics and chemistry. Chemistry was okay, but physics, I had a hard time, and I think the teacher just knew I was struggling and passed me on a C. [Laughs] I think of him, he was the sweetest little, he was a small man. He was a kind man, he was a good teacher.

RM: What about your Latin teacher?

MS: I had a wonderful Latin teacher in high school, Esther Abbott. I had her for four years. Well, no, high school I had three years, I had her.

RM: Do you... I'm curious because today it's really rare if you take Latin in high school.

MS: Well, they're not teaching it in most of the high schools now.

RM: Right.

MS: But it was quite... it was popular in those years.

RM: It was more common then.

MS: Yeah, in those years, the '30s. And that's how I made my living. I taught at... until '67, so it was around until then.

RM: What years... well, maybe I should just ask, what year did you graduate from Hollywood High?

MS: From Hollywood High? '37.

RM: And then you mentioned that you went to UCLA.

MS: And I was there, I graduated four years later, that would be '41, and then I stayed on and got my master's degree and my teaching credential. So I was, I exited UCLA in 1942, and that's when the superintendent came from Independence to interview people to be teachers at Manzanar.

RM: I want to ask you a little bit more about that in just a second. But first, if you could just tell me a little more about what UCLA was like in the late '30s, early '40s.

MS: Oh, it was very large to me. Well, it was a major college. We had a large population, and I don't know, it just offered any subject that you would think of.

RM: Do you remember if you had any friends in college who were Japanese Americans?

MS: If I had any friends in college, what?

RM: Who were Japanese Americans.

MS: No, I didn't. I don't recall any. I don't recall many at UCLA. There might have been, but they weren't in my classes. I would have the Latin class and I could have the German, and of course I had the English, and then whatever else. So they were probably in another area, so I don't remember much of a Japanese population.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

RM: Before I move on to asking how you got interviewed to be a teacher at Manzanar, I'm curious about what made you decide to pursue becoming a teacher in the first place.

MS: Well, in those years, I wasn't... I did have friends who were -- women friends, girlfriends -- who were interested in the medical field. I was not, and you either went into the medical field or you became a teacher, and that just seemed to be the logical thing for me. Because most of my girlfriends were going to become teachers. I did have one friend who wanted to be a doctor, but the field wasn't all that... I mean, it didn't have all those different choices then because those, not everybody went to college then. And if you didn't, why, then you became a stenographer or something like that, a secretary. So most of my friends became teachers.

RM: And so did most of your girlfriends go to college that you were close to?

MS: From high school, I would say that all of my friends went on to some further education, any of my close friends, yes.

RM: What did your parents think about your decision to become a teacher? Were they supportive?

MS: Oh, whatever. Just so I went to school. [Laughs]

RM: Yeah, they wanted you to be educated?

MS: Absolutely.

RM: Had your parents studied any languages like Latin and German?

MS: Well, my dad was of German extraction. So, and his father had been born in Germany. Not his mother, but his father. And it was... it wasn't the prime language in their household, but it was the second language. And remember, he was reared in a small community in southern Minnesota where there were a lot of either Norwegian or Germans. And so my dad could speak German. Now, I don't think it was very grammatical, and he'd only use it... but even to his old age, if somebody was German, my dad, I think he was trying to show off at that point, but he would speak German. But my mother was of English extraction, so there was no German spoken in our house.

RM: Uh-huh. This is going back in time a little ways, but I had read about how some families who spoke German in the home during World War I, they stopped, they repressed that.

MS: Oh, yeah, they didn't dare speak.

RM: What about your grandparents, your grandpa on your dad's side.

MS: Well, he had... they were gone, my grandparents. My grandmother, she was operated on by Will Mayo, but she died, she was only in her fifties. I think she had ovarian cancer, as I recall. I forget what the question was. [Laughs]

RM: [Laughs] Sorry.

MS: Oh, did my grandfather speak. And he died in 1910, so the war didn't affect him at all, World War I.

RM: What about your dad during World War I? Was he...

MS: Well, see, by then he was a doctor. Let's see. My dad graduated in 1910 from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. And then he went, after he and Mother married, then they moved to Minneapolis and he worked with the Minneapolis Steel & Machinery as their medical guy. So there was no German spoken. And I don't... World War I, I don't think they encountered, I don't think any people in southern Minnesota encountered any antagonists maybe because a lot of them were from, ancestry, from Germany.

RM: Did he talk about what the World War I years were like in Minnesota, especially if he was working in the steel area?

MS: No, not much. But you know, when I was a little girl, see, when I was a little girl, that would be the early '20s, I remember there were so... my parents would be young then, they had so many friends, and I remember them talking about people being, men, soldiers being shellshocked and their lives ruined. And I know my dad had some cousins who were in the war. My father was not in the war because of this heart murmur. But I do remember, and I was aware of a lot of casualties after World War I, just maybe there weren't a lot, but in my little mind, I could remember hearing about these things.

RM: Well, thank you for going back in time there from where we were.

MS: Oh, yeah, things I haven't thought about for a long time.

RM: It's very interesting, and it's interesting that you continued that tradition of learning German that your grandpa had spoken.

MS: No, I'm sure they did speak it, because my father's father, my grandfather, was a blacksmith in this little town of Preston, just outside of Rochester. And I'm sure that he spoke a lot of German with neighbors, and my grandmother was also of German extraction, but she was born in this country. But I'm sure that she knew German, but I don't remember my father saying that it was not their major language, it was English. Because I think those immigrants really felt that they wanted to be American, and you have to speak English, and they wanted their kids to speak English. But I don't know that.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

RM: Well, so let's move forward to the next war this country was in, World War II. You mentioned that...

MS: [Laughs] I remember that very well.

RM: Yes. You mentioned that you graduated from UCLA with your undergraduate degree in 1941, and then went on to get your masters in teaching degree and graduated in '42. How did that... so where were you and how do you remember the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan?

MS: Oh, anybody alive would remember. It was Sunday, we were in church, my mother, dad and I, we went to... we always went to church. Came home, the kid down the street came up and told us.

RM: What did you think?

MS: Well, it was a shock, can't believe it. But I think everybody... and I had a friend, he died about six months ago, my age, he was wounded at Pearl Harbor. So I often heard a lot of what he had to say. As a matter of fact, it probably saved his life, because he was wounded and he had to be cared for, and he wasn't sent on to wherever.

RM: Did you know soldiers who were fighting in the war during the time that you were at UCLA, or that were in the military?

MS: When I was at Manzanar -- well, so many, oh, yeah, so many went. I mean, all the young fellows who were, whatever they called... what was the term?

KL: I don't know the designation, but whoever was eligible.

MS: Everybody... as a matter of fact, this is a sideline, I don't know whether you're interested. I have a cousin, he's my age, two months older, lives in Falls Church, Virginia. He was wounded at the Battle of the Bulge, and just this last six months, he got his Silver Star, seventy years later. But, see, so much was going on in that battle that errors were made. Anyway, he finally got, he made it through. And I had a couple of cousins, and they made it through the war.

RM: Did things change for you after the United States entered the war?

MS: Well, it changed for everybody in the United States.

RM: What was the effect at UCLA and in your neighborhood?

MS: Well, of course, the kids, the men at UCLA, they'd all be concerned about their military, December of '41 to so forth. I don't know, I just continued on from '41 to '42 with my regular classes. That's what my friends did.

RM: What do you remember in the newspapers at the time and on the radio about what was going on?

MS: We had the radio on constantly, and we'd hear this and we'd hear that. But I don't... it'd be like now, like Iraq and Iran, I mean, Afghanistan and all...

RM: A lot of information?

MS: Yeah, you get different information. And of course it wasn't, didn't come through as quickly or readily.

RM: Do you remember hearing anything on the radio about what was, you know, Japanese Americans, or even immigrants of Japanese ancestry who weren't U.S. citizens?

MS: Well, there was a lot of antagonism. We never felt it, and I think... I mean, the people I knew, we didn't think much, we didn't consider those that we knew, we didn't put 'em in the same category as those in Japan. Because we knew Japanese, we had friends, we knew that they were hard workers and they kept the fields going down here. So when they made them, gave 'em that short time to get rid of everything, we didn't think it was right, at least the people I knew and my family. But there was a lot of antagonism also, and it's understandable.

RM: Do you remember talking about that with your family?

MS: Oh, of course. I'm sure that it probably was the major conversation every day. And I can remember, there's something on the radio, or I don't know, but that the group of guys maybe in the newspaper I saw it too, where there was that song, "Goodbye Mama, I'm off to Yokohama," that kind of thing going on. Well, that was derogatory, of course, but it's understandable when you're taken off guard. I'm sure there was a lot of antagonism, and there certainly was in Owens Valley. Because they said that, there were people there that said if they saw a "Jap," they'd shoot 'em.

RM: I'm going to make a note to ask you about what the Owens Valley was like, because that's... we're really interested in that. Could you tell me if you remember any, having to do blackout curtains or anything like that?

MS: Oh, yes. Because I was still in school, I was going to UCLA, and I had a part-time job at Sears. Okay, Sears is, this Santa Monica that we mentioned, and the other street, five blocks. And the first night of the blackout, I had to work, so it must have been a weekend, I can't remember now. But the first night of the blackout, I had to work at night, and I had to walk the five blocks home. And I've never seen such darkness in my life. I was thinking about that the other day. It was a really weird, eerie feeling the first night.

RM: Yeah, Los Angeles with no lights.

MS: No lights at all. And we had to have the curtains, you had to pull 'em and all that.

RM: What was your job at Sears?

MS: What was my job? Oh, honey, I was a clerk. But eventually I worked up to the catalog section, and I loved that because I was behind a desk, people would come to me and I'd just write down their orders. [Laughs] Well, that was really moving up. I had originally, when I was at Hollywood High, worked at Woolworth's on Hollywood Boulevard, that was a neat place to work. Because at Christmastime, you know, when they had the Christmas parade, these people, famous people sometimes would drop in to the five and dime store, you know, to pick up something. [Laughs] But then I was elevated from that to, behind the catalog section.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

RM: So you had mentioned earlier that you went, you did some traveling.

MS: Yes.

RM: When did you do that?

MS: 1940. That's when we went to the Orient.

RM: And could you tell us about that trip?

MS: Yes. It was the maiden voyage of the Nitta Maru. That's the, it was the Nippon, the Nippon Yusen Kaisha, something like that. We were gone for the summer, I got back to school, back to UCLA late, but that was all right. We had to go to Hawaii. And you know, it was interesting, because when we were in Hawaii, my mother wanted, had made contact with somebody at a school there. And we were in Hawaii for a few days, and my dad didn't know much about the military. But I remember him saying afterwards he didn't think we were proper. I don't know why it came up even, he didn't think we were properly protected. And this was before the war; this was before Pearl Harbor. And I don't know why my dad would say that, because he wasn't a military man. But he just had that feeling, isn't that strange?

RM: And that was his observation in Hawaii when you stopped?

MS: That was the summer of 1940. But the little ship, it was so nice. And the crew, everybody, but in those days... see, we were on the ship two weeks, it took quite a long time to go to Yokohama, is where it first docked.

RM: So you went from Los Angeles, did you leave out of San Pedro?

MS: Yeah. It was either San Pedro or... well, anyway, it was a harbor here, I can't remember. Yeah, my girlfriends came down, they'd never been on a ship. Well, I'd never been on a ship. Oh, we had a gala time before the ship pulled out, and then everybody waved, you know, the band is there and all of this. It was fun.

RM: What made your parents decide to take that trip?

MS: I don't know. My dad, I guess he had sort of a wanderlust. It was a strange time to go because the war was on in Europe. But I suppose maybe my dad thought I was getting older and would be leaving. I don't know why. But it was great, we were gone for the three months.

RM: What did you think of... you said you docked in Yokohama?

MS: Yes. And the first thing, the smell. Because they had these honeycarts, you know, where they'd pick up the human waste. They were as clean as they could be, you know, but they pick it up daily. And we weren't used to that, and that's the first thing I noticed was that smell. It permeated the whole area where we were in Yokohama.

RM: Can you describe what meeting with an entirely new culture was like?

MS: Yeah. Well, it was a wonderful experience. We never encountered any antagonism. Now, this was 1940 remember, and they had to have been planning something, the Japanese, the government. But we didn't encounter any antagonism. A couple places we saw an anti-American sign, but only two or three signs. And one time in a hotel room, I was staying in the same room as my parents in Yokohama, one time the soldiers came into our room one night. But that was the only time that we ever encountered anything scary.

RM: How long were you there?

MS: In Japan? I don't know, I have a log of... I should have gotten it out because I have this log of when we were there. I kept a daily thing, but it's among my other things, not with my Manzanar things. I don't remember exactly how long we were gone, three months. We were in Japan, then we went to China, and so we were probably in Japan a month and in China, and then we went on to the Philippines.

RM: Did you travel outside of Yokohama?

MS: Not a lot. Not a lot as I remember, because remember we were doing this trip, and through a ship line, really. No, it wasn't... there was a travel agency involved too, I don't remember all that detail. But I don't think we did a lot of traveling outside of Yokohama. I don't remember, we did more traveling in China actually, because my mother and I went up to Peking and we left my dad in Shanghai. But those are details I don't remember. I'm sorry, I didn't know you were gonna ask these things, I would have gotten out that little log that I have. You can hardly read it now, it's so old.

RM: Maybe we can look at it later. I didn't know I was gonna ask either because I didn't realize you'd been in Japan.

MS: Well, I think that was one reason, too, I was familiar with Japanese, I had no antagonism toward 'em, and then the fact that we had gone to Japan. And we really enjoyed that trip very, very much. And all the personnel on the ship were so nice. They were cute because they couldn't say the R's, and our waiter would say, "Would you like a little 'lice'?" Meaning "rice," you know, bless their hearts. It was very touching.

RM: So tell me a little bit about the rest of the trip, and we don't have to go into great detail, but it's interesting that you went to China while it was occupied by Japan.

MS: Yes. And that was really interesting, too, because China was under Japanese domination, at least that part. And the ship docked in Shanghai, my mother knew of this school in Peking. And from this teacher that I had had in the, I don't know, seventh or eighth grade, I thought, China, what a wonderful place to go. So my mother and I went to Peking. We were on a little, little English boat that carried only four passengers. It had the captain and a couple, and two or three in the crew. It was a little English boat, and because the war was on in Europe, anything English, even over in China, they had to have the blackout curtains even though there was no war going on, it was kind of cute because it was tradition. Anyway, we left my dad in Shanghai, we went up to Peking for only about a week, and that was a wonderful experience, it truly was. But we had to arrange, my dad had to arrange for everything here at home. All those arrangements were made for Peking and all of that. But the Japanese government made Mother and me undergo an examination. And, well, there was some rigmarole that should not have been, that normally would not have been. That was the only thing that they were showing us that they had control over that part of China.

RM: I'm curious if, when you were in Japan, you said that nobody reacted to you differently as being Americans.

MS: I don't remember any of that, but you know, when you're young and you're interested in things, maybe you don't notice. An older person might notice something that I didn't, and I don't think my parents felt that there was much antagonism.

RM: What about in China? Do you remember how people reacted to you as a tourist there?

MS: No, I don't. I don't remember that. But I do remember that it was wonderful going to Peking in those years. I have been back several times since, but through the decades it's changed a lot.

RM: And where did you go after you left Japan?

MS: Well, then directly to the Philippines. And, of course, let's see, that was 1940, so that was not too long before Bataan.

RM: Were there a lot of Americans in the Philippines at the time you were there?

MS: I don't know. My dad had a friend who lived in the San Fernando Valley, and they had neighbors whom we met, became friendly with. The man was Caucasian, his wife was Filipino. I can't remember their name, it doesn't matter. But her brother was the secretary to Quezon, who was the president of the Philippines. And I think that's one reason my dad wanted to go to the Philippines, because they thought, well, here's somebody who'd show us around, which he did when we got to the Philippines. He was a very nice man, and he had a beautiful wife, she was from Cuba. Her name was Jessie, and I don't even remember his last name. So through that neighbor, we had entree, and they showed us around. But we were only in Manila. I wanted to stay there because, you know, they had this beautiful home, and this Jessie, she was so pretty and she was sweet, and she was young, probably in her '30s. And I wanted to stay there, and they would have let me, but my parents wouldn't. It's a good thing, because I would have been caught, sent to that Santo Tomas.

RM: Yeah, that wouldn't have been a good time.

MS: No, no, because I know somebody who went there.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

RM: So let's, I guess, return to the U.S.

MS: Am I rambling?

RM: No, this is so wonderful. I'm absolutely entranced by what you're saying. You're transporting me to an era...

MS: I haven't entranced anybody for a long time.

RM: [Laughs] Well, today's your lucky day.

MS: I guess so.

RM: Let's go back to the West Coast of the U.S. and talk about when somebody came from Manzanar to recruit you. How did that come about?

MS: Well, he was just there to recruit. And a girlfriend and I were looking for jobs, for teaching jobs. We had, the week before as I remember we had gone to San Diego and interviewed around. I wish I could remember his name, but anyway...

RM: It was Melvin Strong.

MS: No, no, that wasn't it, because that name doesn't ring a bell. It was a tall, tall lanky guy, very nice. He was married, and I think he had a child or two. And he wrote me a letter once when he was in the service. He went in as an officer, and I remember receiving a letter once from him, but I never... you know, it was wartime and things were going on, and I can't remember. But he was so nice, and his wife, too, although I don't remember much about her. But I have thought about him through the years, because I used to ride -- you'd think I'd remember his name -- but I used to ride back and forth. But, see, early on he was called into the service maybe after six months or so.

RM: Oh, wow.

MS: Six months or a year or so.

RM: And could you tell me a couple of dates, when did you graduate with your teaching credential?

MS: Well, I received my teaching credential in June of '42, the same time as I got my master's, and my master's was in Latin.

RM: And I have a few more questions about your recruitment, but first I wanted to ask about if you remember the Japanese Americans being removed from this...

MS: Yes, because they were taken, the ones from around this area, a lot of them were taken to Santa Anita, and we knew that. We knew the racetrack, Santa Anita, even though I lived in Hollywood, Santa Anita was that distance away. We knew the racetrack, and it didn't seem right that they... it did not seem right that they were given no time whatsoever to dispose of every... it was terrible. And anybody that I knew felt it was terrible, but a war was going on, there were more important things to worry about, like rationing.

RM: Do you remember seeing evidence of families leaving the Hollywood area at that time?

MS: No, I don't. Because I don't know of too many families living in the Hollywood area. I think most of them were in agriculture, you know, maybe a few families around. There weren't a lot that encountered them, but I don't know of any segment of Hollywood that was Japanese, I think they were just kind of scattered.

RM: Well, so then let's return to, this guy comes down and interviews you. Can you tell me what that conversation was like? Had you heard of Manzanar before?

MS: No.

RM: So what did he say to you?

MS: I don't remember. I was just looking for a job. And then I thought, well, I know the Japanese, I like them, I've been to Japan, I'm a teacher. And they were setting up a new school, and they set up a good school system. It wasn't one of these token things just to say, oh, we have a school, and let the kids go there and whatever. It was college preparatory, they were teaching Latin. They don't teach Latin in, if it isn't college preparatory. So I was looking for a job, and it was a good job, I knew... and I felt it was challenging, because I did know the Japanese, I had been to Japan. And so when they offered me the job, I thought, "That's great." The only thing is I'd never been away from home. I was an only child, never been away from home.

RM: Yeah. What was that like?

MS: Well, I don't know. I can't remember it being all that traumatic, it wasn't all that far, 350 miles or whatever. Of course, you couldn't get home every weekend, but that didn't matter.

RM: What about... you said you were looking for different jobs. Do you remember how the wages at Manzanar compared to other teaching jobs at the time?

MS: I don't.

RM: Okay. I've always wondered if they were higher or lower.

MS: I don't know. I don't know, we were talking about wages at the table the other night, like during the war. My first job when I was still in high school working at Woolworth's was twenty-five cents an hour. Okay, that was in 1937, '36 and '37. And I think my salary at Manzanar -- I could be wrong, though -- I think it was around two thousand a year.

RM: I think that's right. I have a paper with it on, in here in this folder.

MS: And that was quite adequate because at Manzanar you got your meals.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

RM: So tell us about moving to the Owens Valley just your first day, showing up at Manzanar, what did you think?

MS: I thought it was a god-forsaken place.

RM: Had you been told what to expect?

MS: I suppose I had. But remember, when you're young like that, in your early twenties, you're open for new experiences. Oh, heck, this is an awful place, but that's okay. And it was wartime; it's a different feeling. If it were nowadays, you'd have a completely different feeling, but wartime everything was stirred up. And it was a job and challenging.

RM: Do you remember your very first day?

MS: No, I don't. All I remember is that we were given a part of the barrack, and it was empty. No chairs, no nothing, and the kids showing up. So we sat on the floor. No books.

RM: What about your, the room where you lived? What was that like?

MS: Not so great. [Laughs] That's why eventually I moved to Independence. See, I was an only child, I wasn't used to sharing a lot of stuff. And I wasn't, we had an older woman, she was the sweetest thing. We called her Kempie, I can't remember what her name was, she was there only one year. But, to me, she was old, she might have been fifty. She snored; oh, it was horrible, and I wasn't used to snoring. [Laughs] So I put up with that for a while, and then when I talked to the superintendent, I forget how it came about, but he knew the Savages very well and they had a room, so that's when I moved to Independence. But it was, I wasn't used to that kind of living. And you know, the latrines out in the middle, I just wasn't used to that.

RM: So did you live in Block 7?

MS: I think that was the block.

RM: Where the same high school was?

MS: Yeah, as I remember, it was close, but I don't... did I mention it in any of the... I can't remember what those... but we didn't have far to go.

RM: Right, yeah. I'm curious to know what the bathrooms were like in Block 7.

MS: They were latrines. They were... well, I survived it. I think they had doors. Now, there were some people that I had met... I go with a group of Japanese once a month. I have, they were all people who were in different internment camps. And they indicated that there weren't doors on the toilets or anything like that, I don't remember that being that open, and yet we went to the same latrines that they did. So I think Manzanar had a better setup than maybe that in Arkansas or Gila. Because we lived in a more cosmopolitan, sophisticated state. So I used the latrines, I guess I didn't think much about it.

RM: Do you remember the showers? Were they...

MS: They were like the high school showers, like the gym.

RM: Sure.

MS: And I think they had doors on 'em although some of the people said they didn't. Not people I know, but people I have talked with, Japanese from some of these other camps said initially... well, initially, everything was thrown together and they couldn't do everything at once. So it would be minus some doors.

RM: What month did you arrive at Manzanar?

MS: I think it was September.

RM: September, right at the beginning of school?

MS: Yes. I know it was September.

RM: Who were the first people you met?

MS: Who were what?

RM: The first people that you met.

MS: I don't know, I guess my roommates. I guess it was Kempie... there were three of us, I can't think who the other one was. She didn't stay long. A lot of them just came for one year, and it wasn't their cup of tea.

RM: So you donated this, I thought, really amazing collection to the Manzanar National Historic Site.

MS: Well, I'm glad, because I didn't think it was all that much. It just seemed like a little bit of this and that, you know, a hodgepodge.

RM: Sure. Yeah, but for us, it's a collection of rarities.

MS: It kind of ties with what other people offer.


RM: This is Rose Masters, and it's tape two of an interview with Mary Jean Kramer McCarron Spallino. And we were just talking about sort of her experiences when she first arrived at Manzanar, but I wanted to let Kristen Luetkemeier on video ask a couple questions before we jump back in.

KL: They're real quick ones and they're sort of related to the two things that you're not supposed to bring up at a dinner party. You mentioned that you went to a church really regularly when you were living in Hollywood. I wonder what church that was.

MS: Bethany Lutheran Church, it was on Sunset and Alexandria.

KL: Why was it so important to you guys?

MS: Well, in those years, everybody I knew went to church. Pretty different from now. When I was at Manzanar, I usually went to church, I forget what church it would have been. And I still do go to church, I've gone to church my whole life.

KL: Rose may ask you a little more about Manzanar, and if she doesn't, I will. But then I also wondered, you kind of came of age during Franklin Roosevelt's presidencies and his programs, and I wondered what you and also your parents thought of President Roosevelt in 1940.

MS: Well, my parents were not a Roosevelt fan. And, of course, I would be apt to follow my parents, right? But looking back, I have a different feeling. I think he came along at the time when he was -- am I supposed to look at her or you?

RM: It doesn't matter.

MS: Oh. I think he came along at the time that we needed somebody like him.

KL: Yeah, thanks, that's it.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

RM: Okay, thanks, Kristen. So we were just talking about September of 1942 when you were first in Manzanar. Then you donated this letter from November of 1942 that you wrote to Dr. Barnum. I'm curious to know who Dr. Barnum is.

MS: I don't know, remember much about him. He was an elderly, obviously he had been a medical doctor. He lived near us, he was friends with my folks, and of course I know him through my folks. He had a marvelous library as I remember, a lot of books. And I would visit him from time to time, but he knew I was at UCLA and all. And he's just a nice old gentleman. And when it was in response to a Christmas card that he had sent me, I think I went overboard and all that, but that's okay. And I don't recall what happened to him, but he was an elderly man. Very well educated, and a doctor, you know.

RM: So first I want to ask, did you have much correspondence with people outside of Manzanar?

MS: No, we didn't have time to write letters, no. Not much correspondence at all, by telephone occasionally. No, everybody was so busy, families were so busy. In the city, they were dealing with the gas rationing, wartime activities, and also we didn't do any writing back and forth and corresponding.

RM: So we're lucky to see this one letter then.

MS: Oh, absolutely. I hate to write. You wouldn't know it from that long letter, and I probably pondered, it's as if I'm looking at somebody else writing a letter now. But I probably put it off because... there are some people who like to write, I never have.

RM: Well, the reason I'm bringing this up is because you're such a beautiful writer, and so I'm glad you wrote this letter. One of the things I was so taken with, and I read it out loud to Kristen, was your description of the Manzanar climate. And I was wondering if you could just talk about that climate.

MS: Well, I wasn't accustomed to it, you know, oh, those awful windstorms, really. You could not see from here to there, I'm not exaggerating. And some, not all, windstorms were that way, but sometimes you really could not see. It was horrible, the windstorms. Usually in the fall as I remember, I'm not sure. And everything was so dry, I was used to Los Angeles where we had the palm trees and the green grass and everything, so it was quite a change. Although I'd been to the desert, we visited the desert when I was a kid, you know. I wasn't used to living in the dryness and cold, so cold. And once or twice we did have snow, it didn't last. But it was a miserable climate, really.

RM: And yet you said in here, "Despite all of this I like Manzanar."

MS: Well, I was probably thinking of the whole atmosphere of what we were doing, and we were building something, we were building the school because we started without any chairs, so we got the chairs, we got a desk, finally we got some books, we were building it. And I was doing my war effort. I could have gone into the navy, I could have been a... what are they called?

RM: A WAC or a WAVE?

MS: Yeah. But a junior officer, because they were looking for women with college training, you know. But with my being an only child and all that, that wasn't a backdrop for me. So I was doing my job, and I think all of that went through my mind, how do I really remember... and my parents, it was fine with them. I think they were just glad to keep me fairly close, 350 miles wasn't too bad.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

RM: Can you tell us how in the world you managed to teach when you showed up at that classroom? You said it had no chairs, no books, what did you do?

MS: I don't really remember, we just talked. Maybe that was a good thing, maybe that was better. I can't remember. And it wasn't too long, did I indicate in... see, that was only a month after I had been there. We must have gotten chairs shortly after that, and you don't have to have... I don't think we ever had regular desks, you know. And the books would have been old books, but the early on days, I think we just talked and I would impart my knowledge to them. I don't even remember if I taught 'em any Latin in those early days. [Laughs]

RM: Do you recall the other classes you were teaching besides Latin?

MS: Well, all through my career, every once in a while they'd slip in another different... and to tell you the truth, I don't remember.

RM: I'm curious 'cause one of the things in here says you taught something called...

MS: Social studies. Not social studies...

RM: "Social problems," I think, is the name.

MS: Yeah. And how do, it was almost how to get along, how to act, and that kind of thing. You've kind of jarred my memory there. And I do... and how to apply for a job, little things like that. Interactions with other people, something like... and I had to make up all this stuff because there wasn't any curriculum for it, you know. So I did have a class like that, and I'd have 'em, because it took up time, I'd have 'em act it, get two together, says, "Okay, you're applying for a job, you're the person interviewing," and that kind of stuff.

RM: Yeah. How did it impact the way you taught, that you were teaching a group of students who were in this sort of artificial community, that they'd been forced to move there. I'm sorry, I'm moving my hand in front of the camera. [Laughs] So, Manzanar, it wasn't like going to teach at Hollywood High School.

MS: No.

RM: How did you, did you change the way you taught because of that?

MS: Well, I had never taught before, so I don't know how to answer that. I can't remember how it started out.

RM: Just thinking about going to get a job, this is how you go get a job for students that were inside the camp...

MS: Oh, that class.

RM: Yeah.

MS: I don't know because I had never had a class myself like that, but I knew enough about manners and stuff like that, that I don't remember much about that class. I don't remember much about any of those classes.

RM: Do you remember your students, what they were like?

MS: At first they were very, very quiet. Because too many of 'em, I wasn't the enemy, but I was somebody over here, different, and judging them. But I was young, and I could laugh at things, and we got along fine. As a matter of fact, I think the kids really liked Manzanar. They didn't have any chores that they had to do, they didn't have to go out and pull weeds and stuff like that, they had all kinds of wonderful activities through Louis and some of the others.

RM: Can you tell me a little bit about how long it took before they warmed up to you? You said they were very quiet at first.

MS: I don't remember.

RM: Okay.

MS: I don't think it took long; it doesn't take kids long.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

RM: And you mentioned Louis, which I think is Louis Frizzell.

MS: Yeah.

RM: Could you tell us... I want to ask about a lot of the people that you worked with on the WRA teaching staff. Let's just start with Louis Frizzell. Can you tell us what he was like?

MS: Yeah, he was a lot of fun, he was a very sharp guy, very good in his field, very sharp tongued. If there was somebody... I don't want to call it pick on, not that, but he could make a very clever remark. It might be a little sharp and funny. It wasn't mean or anything, but between the two of 'em, you get the two, Clive Greenley, the two together, they were just fun because they were so sharp and they could say, "So and so over there," they'd make some clever remark. He was very, very competent, the kids loved him. And he had a lot of energy, and he was sort of free to do what he chose, and he developed these musicals and all. He was great for Manzanar, there's no doubt about it.

RM: Can you just say for the record what it was that he taught?

MS: Louis? Louis taught music. I don't remember, because they had singing groups and they had plays, and he was just, the whole artistic, he represented the artistic side of classes.

RM: Do you remember going to see any of those musicals that he wrote?

MS: Yeah, I went to all of them.

RM: Oh, yeah?

MS: Well, we'd all go to all of them because that was our entertainment. And they were good, the kids were good.

RM: Yeah, Louis Frizzell comes up a lot in conversation with former students.

MS: Well, he was probably one of the outstanding ones. Well, you can understand, anybody who is producing something that you enjoy, like music and drama and all of that, he's going to be a focal part. But he was also very, very competent, but he was one of the major ones there that really made the school enjoyable.

RM: And you mentioned his friend and fellow teacher --

MS: Clive.

RM: -- Clive Greenley. What did he teach?

MS: Social studies.

RM: And what was he like?

MS: Well, he was like Louis. [Laughs] He had a very sharp tongue, too. If he liked you, there wasn't a barb there, but he... it wasn't a case of not liking, maybe, but just kind of making fun of somebody. He could be... you didn't want to be the butt of something that he said. But he was a good guy, and he truly loved the students. I think he was sort of lenient with them, and he'd have his dog with him, you know, right there in the classroom. Those two guys, they livened the place up, there's no doubt about it.

RM: We should probably say -- I don't think it went into this recording yet, but that Clive Greenley was blind, which is why he had the dog.

MS: He was blind from age sixteen, as I recall, over a girlfriend, I think.

RM: Over a girlfriend?

MS: Well, I don't... is that on the...

RM: No, I would be curious about the story.

MS: Well, I probably knew the story at one time, but I don't remember it. But something happened, I forget whether he was shot or something, I can't remember. And maybe it was just a story. But his blindness didn't stop him, and fortunately he was able to go to Manzanar where they could handle somebody like that, a regular class, they couldn't, with a dog and all.

RM: Oh, so Manzanar was actually better for him as a teacher then.

MS: Absolutely.

RM: How did he get around Manzanar, do you remember?

MS: Just great, with his dog. You'd forget that he was blind. If it were a new place, somebody would have to guide him, but after that, his dog was just fabulous. And I look back on it now, it's remarkable; he was a remarkable man.

RM: Did he live in Block 7?

MS: I'm not sure, honey, where they lived.

RM: And his roommate?

MS: As I remember, they roomed together.

RM: He and Louis Frizzell?

MS: I think, I don't know. My recollection, I really don't know. I guess it doesn't matter.

RM: Yeah. We have this photo, is it okay if I hand it to her?

KL: I have a question, too.

RM: Do you know if those two men knew each other before Manzanar?

MS: No.

KL: Or did they become friends there? How old were they?

MS: I don't really know. They were older than I, but not a lot older. I don't know, but they might have been about five years older than I, and Clive maybe a little older than that. They weren't old, they were young enough, but I know that they weren't fresh out of college.

MS: Would you tell us on the tape about Clive hitchhiking?

MS: Yes. Sometimes... see, all you'd have to do, as I remember, is stand on 395 and a car would come along. Usually it was going to Los Angeles, where else would it be going, on the major highway? And you just have your thumb out, and anybody who traveled that way going to Los Angeles seemed to stop. Everybody was helping everybody else out. And any number of times I know that he hitchhiked, and I don't know what the arrangements were, but he had a specific place where he would tell the people to drop him off. And I don't recall how we got home, how we got back, but I don't remember his taking off for Los Angeles just hitchhiking. And I know several other people hitchhiked to Los Angeles. If people had room in their car, going to Los Angeles, "Come on along, that's okay." How they got back, and some other arrangements, maybe had to take a bus or something to get home. Maybe somebody from the family drove, I don't know those things.

RM: Did you ever hitchhike?

MS: Not there, but I did someplace else. But I better not get into that, because that takes too long.

RM: [Laughs] Sure. Do you remember if people, do you remember those front gates at Manzanar, those two stone sentry posts?

MS: Yes.

RM: Could you just describe that area? And the reason I'm asking is I'm assuming that's where people were hitchhiking from, is just out front.

MS: Yeah, they did, right out in the roadway.

RM: And what was that area of Manzanar like?

MS: Well, just like what it is now, but they had those two little towers and there was always somebody there, an MP. And he'd step out, wave you through and that's it. I don't remember anything else.

RM: Do you remember if they would, like, check your ID or anything when you came in and out? Because they got to know?

MS: I guess they got to know me, to know any one of us. I never remember being checked, but that doesn't mean that we weren't. It could have been so common that I don't even remember it.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

RM: What can you tell us about the military police at Manzanar?

MS: Not much.

RM: You didn't know any of them?

MS: Yes. I knew... Ralph Merritt was our director, and I knew his son Pete. He was not with the MP next door, but he was hired by the WRA. And he was part of that, but other than that, I can't tell you, but he was there the full length of the time until the closing down.

RM: Yeah, I think I saw a little note that he wrote to you also in here, in 1946, from Pete Merritt. Maybe we'll talk about that later. I wanted to ask about other people. I'm going to hand you a photo if you don't mind just holding it up, and this is you and Janet Goldberg, yeah. And would you mind putting that up so that the camera can see what we're talking about? Does that work? How's that?

KL: That's good.

RM: Okay. So this is Mary Jean and this is Janet Goldberg. And can you tell us about Janet Goldberg?

MS: Well, yeah, she was a great gal. She was a very forceful person, and she could kind of take over any situations, and never at a loss for words. And she was a great gal, I liked Janet.

RM: Do you remember what she taught?

MS: Uh-uh, I don't. But she'd be one of these... she'd be one of these lawyer advocates nowadays, you know. [Laughs] She was really something else. There were two girls there, they were like Mutt and Jeff. I can't think of their names, I liked them so much. I haven't thought about 'em a for a long time, they roomed together, too.

RM: How many women were young and not yet married that were teaching at Manzanar?

MS: Well, most of the women were not married, they wouldn't be there. A couple of times I think there was a husband and wife, but there weren't many married couples as teachers. There were married couples there that worked for the WRA, but they weren't teachers. I don't remember many married people. There were women who had been married, but maybe they were divorced or widowed or something like that.

RM: I'm curious about what the social scene was like for you and people like Janet, young women.

MS: Well, not much, not much. You worked and you prepared your lessons, and the weekends you would go to the dances in Independence and that's about it. So there wasn't a lot of social, I don't remember a lot of social life. But you were up early, you were teaching, you had your dinner, you prepared your lessons, you'd go to bed. I don't remember a lot of social life.

RM: Can you tell us about those weekend dances in Independence? Do you remember where they were held?

MS: I don't remember, I really don't. but some of 'em must have been kind of wild because I remember going to one, and I wore a bikini.

RM: What? [Laughs]

MS: Yes, I went as Eve.

RM: Was there an Adam?

MS: No. But, so there had, it's funny that you mention that because the bikinis had just come out a few years before and I had this cute -- I was very skinny, I had this cute, it was kind of a pink bikini. So I must have been -- I wasn't a showy person at all, I was skinny and kind of lanky. But it was some kind of a costume deal, so I wore that. So I guess I wasn't too shy.

RM: We have a photo of a woman in what looks like a type of bikini standing next to the Joshua tree in the administration area. I don't think it's you, but I was surprised to see that, but now I'm finding out there were bikinis elsewhere in Manzanar's history.

MS: Yeah, bikinis were kind in en vogue then, I think, just before the war started they became popular.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

RM: Do you remember going to any of the picnic areas or the swimming area in Manzanar?

MS: No.

RM: What about going... you know, the Sierra Nevadas are right there.

MS: Yes, they're so beautiful.

RM: Did you ever go hiking or anything?

MS: I wasn't a hiker. I had gone horseback riding, though.

RM: Oh, where did you go?

MS: Oh, just wandered around outside the camp a little bit. And I also took flying lessons. They had flying schools, that was a good place along that stretch there of 395, and they had a little flying school right across from the gate, the entryway to Manzanar. And so I did take flying lessons, and so when you solo you cut the tail off your shirt, I still have that, and the date. I never flew after that, because, oh, my parents were appalled. And it was a young couple, Pete... can't remember her first name, they were killed in Los Angeles. So the school closed down, so I never flew after that. But I did have that accomplishment that I did solo.

RM: That's incredible.

MS: It is. Really, for me, I look back now and think, my gosh, I can't believe I did it. One of those little planes, the little Aeronca.

RM: So can you tell us about the airport across the highway from Manzanar?

MS: Oh, honey, you couldn't even call it an airport nowadays.

RM: What was it like?

MS: A little pathetic, run by this... they were just a young couple. But I will tell you that the gal who trained me, it wasn't Pete or... Lola was the wife's name. It wasn't either one of them who trained me. They had... Ann, she was in the, what do they call the women's flying group?

RM: Women's flying group?

MS: Yes.

RM: I don't know.

MS: For a very short time. It was the women's, the WAFs? The Women's Air Force...

RM: Oh, you mean in the military.

MS: Yeah, yeah. And Ann was one of those. She was only, she would fly, or she had flown the planes from the West Coast to the east so they could take off for Europe. She wasn't allowed to fly to Europe. I'm not even sure it was part of the air force. But anyway, she was marvelous, she was a little bitty thing, and she was the person who trained me, she was just wonderful. And she flew several... to get the planes to the East Coast.

RM: How did you learn that you could take these flying lessons?

MS: Well, we were free to leave camp, but we knew... I guess we had wandered over there or something. I don't know, I don't even remember how much they charged.

RM: Were there other women who learned how to fly?

MS: Not that I recall, no. But I don't remember any others from where I was, maybe there were others. I don't know how it happened, I guess I wanted to try something.

RM: That's really amazing.

MS: It is. I look back as though I'm looking at somebody else.

RM: Sure.

KL: Where did you go on your solo flight?

RM: Oh, you just fly around.

KL: In the valley?

RM: Yeah. All you do, you have to fly a certain distance, certain lengths of time, a certain altitude. The main thing is if you can get off the ground, if you can land. And mine was not a good landing. But that often is the case.

RM: Well, you're still here, so it was good enough.

MS: I'm here, yeah. And I'm really not adventure... to a degree I am, but to another degree I'm not all that adventurous.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

RM: Can I ask about that? Because one of the things that I found in the Manzanar Free Press, and I talked with you about this earlier, but it's a small article, and I noticed your name in it, so I brought it with me. And it says that you and a woman who was also a teacher in the high school, Lucille Smith, went to Mexico City over Christmas vacation.

MS: Yes, we did.

RM: Can you tell me about that trip?

MS: Oh, it was wonderful. See, Lucille and her roommate, Martha Groth, Lucille was Mormon. As a matter of fact, her grandmother had been the one to do Brigham Young's wife's hair, something, in charge of keeping her hair or whatever. Anyway, Lucille Smith... and Martha Groth was the daughter of a minister, and they were the most unlikely two, in looks and everything, but they got along just beautifully. Anyway, Lucille and I decided, this was '43, that we were gonna go to Mexico. Well, Mexico wasn't at war, so we could. But we had to go to, not Tijuana, but to Agua Caliente to catch the plane, I had never flown before, that was '43. And we flew to Mexico, and we had a great time.

RM: What did Lucille teach in high school?

MS: Lucille? Home ec.

RM: And where was she from?

MS: She was from the Los Angeles area, but originally from Utah.

RM: What about Martha Groh, do you remember...

MS: She was a quiet, a very sweet gal. And she didn't stay, I think she only stayed a couple of years. And I think she also taught, I can't quite remember, seems to be home ec. And I said Lucille taught home ec., and you'd think I'd know, but I can't remember really whether it was home ec. or whether it was social studies. With her personality, it almost seems as though Lucille would have taught social studies. She was very outspoken, had opinions on things. And she got along great with the two fellows.

RM: Oh, Louis and Clive?

MS: You get the three of them together... and she really liked, Lucille Smith really liked Clive very much. I think she could have been very interested in him.

RM: That, actually, is something I wanted to ask about earlier, was about, you know, you're out in this very isolated area. Did any of the staff date?

MS: About relationships?

RM: Yeah.

MS: Well, yeah, there were a couple of marriages there, that people who met there, one of the teachers who was there for only a year, I can't think of the name... it's awful, because I was a bridesmaid. But it was a guy that, he was not a teacher, he worked there. They met and married. But there was never any rumor or any romance going on or anything like that.

RM: Did you ever date anyone in the camp?

MS: No. No, I did a couple times... see, the people would come up from Los Angeles, and I did go out a couple times with this fellow who was in the army or had been in the army. And then they had a... not too far from us they had a conscientious objector's camp.

RM: Oh, where?

MS: And we did have a luncheon with them one time, I forget where the luncheon was. These poor guys, they were out in the boondocks. And we had a nice meeting with them, and I did have a... I received a letter from one of 'em, but I just tossed it.

RM: Do you know, do you remember where the conscientious objector camp was?

MS: It wasn't too far away, but in some records, why, you could find out.

KL: I've never heard of that, that's really wonderful to know.

RM: I'm going to look that up, I'd like to know more about it.

MS: Yeah, conscientious objectors, and there should be something in Independence. And it couldn't have been too far away, it had to be someplace in the valley. But we met with 'em only once.

RM: That brings me to another question which is about different... your work with other high schools in the valley. I've read about Manzanar High School teachers going to trainings at, like, Lone Pine High School. Do you remember any of that, or meeting other teachers?

MS: No, I never knew any of that.

RM: Yeah, maybe it was just some of the other administrators.

MS: I don't know of anyone who did that. But that doesn't mean they didn't, but I never heard of anything like that.

RM: Do you remember Genevieve Carter?

MS: Oh, yes, Mrs. Carter, yes. She was our superintendent.

RM: Yeah, what was she like?

MS: Very nice, very nice. I mean, she was on the upper echelon, you know, I was down here. And I really looked up to her, she was a pretty little woman as I remember. And she was very fair, very nice, I liked her. And then our superintendent, our principal was Roland Fox. He was a quiet man, kind of a standoffish man, but very nice when you got to know him. And I remember, I told a lie once. I lied about something, it was something minor but it had to do with... it said, "Did you ever say this to your class?" I can't remember, piddling things, but I lied about it and it bothered me, and I thought, oh my gosh, I have to go to Fox, and he was the kind that you kind of were a little afraid of. And I went and I told him, and he was so nice about it. He said, "Don't worry, I'm glad you told me." So I always had a good feeling for that man.

RM: Yeah.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

RM: Were there any rules about how to talk to your classes?

MS: Not that I recall. They assumed we were trained, professional people, adults. So I don't remember any restrictions, I don't remember any restrictions about visiting people. We weren't invited very... I don't recall being invited to any of the residents' homes, because everything was so crowded and you had your meeting place anyway. But we were free to go where we wanted, and we got along, we intermingled with the Japanese residents.

RM: Did you become friends with any of them?

MS: Oh, yes, some of 'em. And I tried to learn some Japanese through... she was sort of a friend of Lucille Smith, and I decided I was gonna learn some Japanese, and I wanted to learn their writing, but I didn't get very far.

RM: That's really neat. I was going to ask you that because you had expressed such an interest in language.

MS: Yeah. Well, the spoken part, I could learn the expressions, I've forgotten them now, but the writing, it would be too tedious to learn, and then to try to remember it...

RM: Do you remember if there were classes, if people could go and take classes in Japanese?

MS: Oh, yeah, you were free to... yes, there were all kinds of classes and people helping one another out.

RM: What do you remember about, I know there was a big adult education section in Manzanar. Do you remember any of those classes that were going on?

MS: I don't.

RM: What about things like the hospital at Manzanar? Did you ever go to the hospital in the camp?

MS: I remember Dr. Goto, and his wife was the nurse there. And I liked him very much. I didn't know him, I say I liked him, I liked what I heard of him, you know, if you'd see him occasionally, I never had occasion to go to the hospital. And I think he was very highly thought of, but he was dismissed, and I understand it was because of narcotics.

RM: Oh, I'd never heard that.

MS: Well, I don't know that that... I forget that this is on tape, and maybe I shouldn't...

KL: I wondered, actually, because there were those allegations about the administrator there, whose name I'm blanking right now, at the hospital.

MS: That would be Dr. Goto.

KL: It was a Caucasian -- Morris Little. Did you know Morris Little? He was a Caucasian guy who came in late. There was a Caucasian administrator added to --

MS: Okay, I don't remember him, but...

RM: Yeah, there were some allegations against him.

MS: But I do know that both Dr. Goto and his wife... and you know, it's very possible with the awful stress and strain of everything that why wouldn't you take a little dope or something, and then all of a sudden you're taking more. But who knows.

RM: What do you remember about the kind of tensions in the camp?

MS: I never was aware of it. And even that riot that they had in December, I guess it was a big deal, but it didn't seem like a big deal. It just seemed as though it was built up, but in things I've read later, in some of the books, I have this little gal I mentioned who's married to a Japanese, she's very interested in the Japanese, in the camps. She has a couple of books, and they built that riot up a great deal. And at the time, I don't remember it as a big deal, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't.

RM: Sure. Do you remember it happening?

MS: Well, I remember hearing about it that night.

RM: What did you hear?

MS: Well, you know how rumors are, rumors go around. And I don't remember what the rumors were or anything like that, but then everything seemed to settle down. So I really wasn't... I knew that there was a riot, but I didn't know that it was a big deal.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

RM: What do you think the influence of Ralph Merritt coming to Manzanar right before that riot?

MS: Very... well, that was so early, that was December, the place only started in September, October, November... he was very good. They couldn't have had a better one.

RM: What was he like?

MS: He was a very nice man, his wife Virginia was very nice. She was a chain smoker, I remember her, she was a nice little lady, they were very friendly. I had been in their home a number of times, and I don't think they could have had a better director.

RM: Did you, could you describe what his home was like in the administrative area at Manzanar?

MS: What, his home?

RM: Yes.

MS: Well, no, I really can't, it had to be a barrack, and it was little more pretentious, maybe, because they were a middle aged couple, and they brought what they could, probably a little more roomy. But it wasn't luxurious or anything like that.

RM: Do you remember the staff offices on First Street when you first went into the camp and there were those white buildings that had administration offices in them? Do you remember any of those?

MS: Well, I remember the... what would you call him, the fiscal guy? He was there for quite a while and then he left. I had a note from him once, too.

RM: I'm going to remember his name as soon as this interview's over. [Laughs]

MS: Isn't that funny? I can see him, but I can't remember. But he was very good, and I remember Salisbury, I forget his first name, he was a funny guy, funny little guy.

RM: Oh, you mentioned David Bromley, could you tell me about him?

MS: Well, he often... where did he live in Independence? Either Independence or Lone Pine, but he often came down, and he was a poet and I think he had a little book of poetry. And I believe I have one here. And he was a very, very nice man, middle aged man. He was concerned about the people at Manzanar. And also Ansel Adams used to come down, you know.

RM: Did you meet him?

MS: I never did. I saw him, but I don't remember... because he was always busy going around taking photographs. He was very interested in the place.

RM: Did you have a camera of your own when you were there?

MS: We didn't take pictures. I had a little Brownie camera, and I had very... I don't really have any. No, I was not a picture taker.

RM: Uh-huh. Did you ever remember meeting any other photographers there?

MS: No.

KL: Did you go to the exhibit of Ansel Adams' photographs of Manzanar?

MS: You mean last year?

KL: No, in the 1940s there was an exhibit of his photographs of Manzanar.

MS: Of Ansel Adams.

KL: Mostly portraits.

RM: It was in Block 8.

MS: I don't remember whether I did or not.

RM: Well, there's... I wanted to ask you about a building specifically, because it was going up in the beginning of 1944, right after you got back from Mexico, I guess, and that would be the camp auditorium. Do you remember that being built just to the north of Block 7?

MS: I don't.

RM: Okay, and it's the building that we now house all of our [inaudible] and everything, yeah.

MS: Yeah, I know. I know after it was built, but I don't remember its building.

RM: How did the camp change once it had that big space to hold events in?

MS: Well, I think people could come together more , and it was used a lot, and the high school used it a lot for their plays and their musicals. It was a meeting place.

RM: Do you remember going to any of the events in there?

MS: I went to all of them. I think the teachers went to all of them, because what else was there to do?

RM: Do you remember any memorial services in there like Frank Arakawa's?

MS: I'm sure I went to some of them, but I don't know. And occasionally I would go to one of the blocks, if it was somebody that I knew, like somebody's father and grandfather or somebody. And I do remember going to one of their churches there.

RM: Oh, one of the churches that was inside of Manzanar?

MS: Uh-huh.

RM: Yeah, there was a Buddhist church, a Catholic church and a Protestant church. Do you remember which one you went to?

MS: Well, I probably went to all of them for one reason or another. Not on a regular basis, but...

RM: Yeah. What did you think of the way that the churches were set up?

MS: Well, I thought they were set up just fine.

RM: Did you get to know any of the ministers?

MS: I didn't.

RM: Well, Kristen, I want to ask if you have camp questions.

KL: I actually do. The first one is I wondered if you attended a church regularly while you were in the Owens Valley.

MS: I really didn't. I went to church frequently there, but I didn't go every Sunday. To tell you the truth, I probably slept in Sunday morning because of the dance on Saturday night. Well, you know, it would be late, and by the time you got back, it would be in Independence, by the time you got a ride back to camp... oh, I lived in, what am I talking about? I lived in Independence then. But by the time I got back to Mary Savage's house, I just felt like sleeping in in the morning.

KL: When did you move to Independence?

MS: You know, I can't remember. I think right around the first of the year.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

KL: Yeah, when you guys were talking about the riot which happened in December of 1942, I wondered if you were still living in Block 7 or if you had already moved.

MS: No, as I remember, I was there, because I heard about it that night. So I think it had to be early in the year.

KL: In 1943?

MS: Yeah.

KL: While you were talking about the auditorium, it made me wonder what your memories are of high school graduations at Manzanar.

MS: I don't have a lot of memory of that.

KL: Do you remember a memorial service for President Roosevelt?

MS: No. But if they had one, I must have gone to it, but I don't remember it.

KL: Yeah, there was one in that auditorium.

MS: Well, I'm sure I went to it. I would have gone, but I have no recollection of that.

KL: Oh, so I'll just kind of go backwards. You mentioned going over to the Merritts' home for dinners on occasion. And I wondered if that was typical, if he made a practice of inviting the staff at all levels over to his home?

MS: You know, I really don't know. And I didn't go often, I just remember having been to his house several times, and his wife, she told us to call her Virginia, so we called her Virginia. But I imagine that he was very outgoing, so he would have invited other people, it wasn't just me he was inviting. I honestly don't remember how that came about.

RM: Do you remember his... he had a few assistant project directors, and one was named Lucy Adams. Did you ever meet her?

MS: The name is familiar, but I don't picture her.

RM: Okay, and I'll just mention a couple others and see if they ring a bell. Let me make sure I'm saying his name right, I think it's Edward Hooper?

MS: Oh, yeah, he was quite a character.

RM: Yeah?

MS: Oh, indeed.

RM: What was he like?

MS: Oh, he was kind of like an Ichabod Crane. I don't know why, he kind of reminded me of him. He was kind of a strange man. I liked him, and I think he liked me. He's the kind that he'd like you or he didn't like you, but I do remember him. He wore, had glasses, and it's funny, I hadn't thought about him for a long time, but I can't tell you any more about that.

RM: Did you ever meet his wife?

MS: I didn't even know, I don't even remember that he was married. I don't think he was, but he could have been. Does it say he was?

RM: I don't remember. I'm pretty sure he was married, but I don't remember when he got married.

MS: I don't think he was married while he was there.

RM: And then there was one other guy who was an assistant project director later, and his name was Bob Brown.

MS: I don't know him.

RM: Okay, I just wanted to --

MS: You don't have anybody by the name, a husband and wife by the name of Campbell?

RM: We might, I don't have a list here.

MS: Yeah, they were very nice and they were very good to me, I really liked them.

RM: I'm gonna look that up for you. You said you thought his name was Alan?

MS: I think it was Alan, I can't think of her name, Campbell. And they were from... a funny name in the south. Not funny funny, but different. I liked them so much, but I lost contact. And they stayed on, they helped close the camp.

RM: So I want to ask you about Independence, but I know Kristen had questions and I jumped in on her questions.

KL: I won't ask about Independence, but that was really good. Were the Campbells from Southern California?

MS: No, they were from the South.

KL: Like Missouri or Mississippi?

MS: What, hon?

KL: Like Missouri or Alabama?

MS: They were from... yes, and probably the middle of the night it will come to me. A funny little name of... it wasn't from Mississippi, maybe they were from, like, Oklahoma or someplace like that.

KL: There are lots of funny names, I've lived in that part of the country.

MS: Oh, you have? Yeah, I love 'em. I love some of those names. But they were so nice to me.

KL: You were going to talk a little bit more about the library system in Manzanar. What are your memories of the library in Manzanar?

MS: It was very well run, but other than that, I don't know. Ruth Budd did a good job.

KL: Did you use it in your classes ever or use it for assignments?

MS: No.

KL: Tell us more about Ruth Budd.

MS: I can't tell you very much, she was a quiet, kind of a studious sort of person. And rather plain-looking, a really nice girl, moved to Oroville and she married there, and I imagine her family is still there. That's all I know about her. But it was interesting because she had a friend who lived down here in Orange County, an older woman, friend of the family. And when I left Manzanar, I went back to Hollywood for a while, and then I came down and worked for the Red Cross at the air base here. And this friend of Ruth Budd's lived in Santa Ana. And she put me in contact with the family, I lived with the family down here. So I can't remember the name of the woman that Ruth Budd put me in contact with, but when you say Ruth Budd, that's where my mind goes. And she made the contact for me down to have a place to stay when I moved to Santa Ana. But I lost all touch with her.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

RM: This is Rose Masters, I am in the home of Mary Jean Kramer McCarron Spallino, and we're on tape three of an interview today on May 20, 2015. We took a lunch break so we all feel better now, and I wanted to return -- we'd been talking about Manzanar and your time there. And at one point you said that you moved from Manzanar to Independence. Can you tell us what it was like living in Independence during World War II?

MS: Well, it was a small community, and the people were very friendly and nice. Mary and George were just delightful people. They introduced me to local people around there whom I don't remember. But I loved in Independence, it really was a sweet town.

RM: Do you remember about how big it was at the time?

MS: Well, it was very small.

RM: And did it have basic amenities?

MS: Oh, yes. Yes, yes. I don't remember any eating places because I was eating in the mess hall or had breakfast at the Savage place. But no, it was just a nice little town. And because of Lone Pine being nearby, sometimes people would come up from Lone Pine and we used to have actors come up. Oh, I can't think... they weren't really famous. They were famous -- not famous-famous, but they'd come up. And one was a radio reporter, I can't remember his name either. He used to come up any number of times. Here's somebody else I just happened to think of, Arlene, do you have an Arlene...

KL: Grider?

MS: What was the last name?

KL: Well, she may be too young, but I was thinking of Arlene Grider.

MS: Well, she married while there, and I don't remember what her... but what I started to say is there was this man named (Clete) something, (Clete Roberts)?

RM: Oh, I recognize that last name.

MS: Yeah, well, he would come up, and I remember he dated a couple of times this Arlene, who was, she also taught at Manzanar, but I don't remember her last name. But she met somebody there and married, and I was her bridesmaid, but I don't remember what her married name was, and I don't remember what her maiden name was either. And she was not there a long time.

RM: And she met... just to make sure I'm getting this straight, she met one of the guys...

MS: Well, it was just, I'm sure, a casual date. Because there were people who came up from Los Angeles periodically, I think because they used to shoot movies around Lone Pine and so obviously they would come out to see what this Manzanar place was like.

RM: I never had heard that before, that's really interesting.

MS: But, yeah, there were several, and there was an actor, I can't think who the actor could have been, and I think he came with this Chet Huntley, but there again, I'm hazy. And they were both single men, I mean, it's one of those things where they're getting away from their wives and dating somebody. So you asked about Independence, so sometimes they would come from Lone Pine, they'd go to Manzanar, they'd go up to Independence to see what the little town was like. It was a nice little town, it had all of the amenities.

RM: You had mentioned way, way back at the beginning of this interview that you knew some people who said that if they saw somebody who was Japanese, they would shoot 'em. What kind of, how did you come across an interaction like that?

MS: I don't... it was just something that somebody said. Like they wouldn't let the... the Japanese could not leave the camp. And then somebody said no, because one of the reasons is if one of these persons got out and the people in town, if they saw 'em, they'd shoot 'em. That was the feeling, the wartime feeling. And you can understand, in a way. "These people bombed us, and if I'm a hunter, I'm gonna shoot one of these," I don't know.

RM: Did you ever meet anyone who had that opinion?

MS: No, I never heard anybody say that, it was just that somebody reported that, that they'd shoot 'em here in the Owens Valley because they were hunters. Pete Merritt did a lot of hunting, that was the country to hunt.

RM: What did you think about that sort of contrast between the way some people viewed the people in the camp and the way that they were, as your students?

MS: I could understand it, in a way, their feeling, but I couldn't feel that, I couldn't feel that way. But some people that... there were always people that, you know, it's my way or I've got to push you out of my way. I don't know how to answer that. I couldn't condone it, obviously, I was there. I don't ever remember anybody saying to me, though, "How could you go and teach those people?" Never heard anything like that, never.

RM: So people were pretty understanding about your work.

MS: Apparently they may have thought it, but I never heard any criticism of my doing that as though I were being disloyal. I never heard any of that, but that could just be the people that I knew.

RM: Do you remember any Owens Valley locals coming into Manzanar for, like, a harvest fair or anything?

MS: Not much, no. I don't think there was any interaction. If there was, I didn't know about it. There could have been, but I wasn't... it wouldn't be like an exchange of people coming in and presenting things, giving talks and stuff, I don't remember anything like that.

RM: I don't recall if Kristen asked this earlier, but did you go to any of the churches in Independence?

MS: Yeah, I did. I went to whatever the little Protestant church was.

RM: Little Methodist church?

MS: Yeah, whatever it was. But I think I said that I often slept in at this next, on Sunday morning. And I remember there was a Chinese fellow there, he was half Chinese, part Chinese. Do you have any recollection of... not in the camp, but do you have any recollection of anybody of Chinese background in Independence?

RM: Yes. I've been told that there was a guy who was Chinese who was, he worked at Jim's, I think it was called Jim's restaurant right on main street, and he was one of the cooks there. I've heard about a guy who --

MS: Because there was a very nice Chinese fellow, and I did go to a show with him once. I haven't even thought about it for some time. He was half Chinese, half Caucasian, half Chinese. And he was a very nice fellow, but I didn't want to get involved in anything like that.

RM: What show did you go to?

MS: I don't know, there had to be a theater there.

RM: In Independence?

MS: I went to a theater with him somewhere.

RM: There was a theater in Lone Pine.

MS: Well, then we went down to Lone Pine.

RM: How did you get back and forth between Independence and work?

MS: Well, I went... after the superintendent... how did I get back and forth? I don't remember how I got back and forth. I got a ride, but I can't remember with whom. Isn't that strange? Because I had to get back and forth every day. But there were people, that not everybody lived inside Manzanar. But that's a good question, because isn't that strange? I don't remember, poor old memory.

RM: Well, I would like to start asking you about sort of the end of camp...

KL: You had mentioned a name earlier that we were gonna go back to, helped set up the library, Shig Honda?

MS: Oh, yeah, Shigeru Honda.

KL: What do you recall about him? Why does he stand out in your mind?

MS: Well, he was just a kid, he was probably about sixteen, and he was very helpful to Ruth Budd. And he was in the library a lot, and I was in the library a lot, and I just admired him. He had a... I don't know, I think he had a father and a stepfather, and there was another little kid that was probably his half, I don't know, brother or sister. But I was just so impressed, he was such a nice kid, and so helpful to Ruth. And then he was about sixteen or seventeen, and then I did get a letter, I don't know, after I left, maybe two or three years later. And I don't remember exactly what relation, I think he was just writing to tell me that he was fine. I don't remember the letter or anything about it, but I do remember hearing from him, and he was such a nice boy. And I always felt sort of sorry for him, as though there was something lacking, you know, like mother's care or something.

KL: You mentioned, too, that you had a friend that came from Los Angeles who was a survivor in the attack on Pearl Harbor? And you had other friends at UCLA who were either drafted or people in the military service. And I wondered if you ever had communication with those people about your job at Manzanar and what they thought about your decision to work in the camp.

MS: Not really, because this friend of mine who died just, I don't know, about six, eight months ago, who was wounded in Pearl Harbor, I just met him and his wife. We were good friends, but we were middle aged when we met, and I don't think we even discussed, we didn't discuss Manzanar or the Japanese. So I don't ever remember discussing anything like that.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

KL: You had mentioned too that on one of your other breaks from school at Manzanar, you took a trip to Chicago. In wonder if you'd tell that story for the camera.

MS: Oh, okay. So I went to Minneapolis, and then I took the train to, or the bus to Chicago and I stayed at the... what is that house? The hotel there?

RM: Palmer?

MS: The what?

RM: Palmer House?

MS: Yeah, I stayed there, right in the heart, I did. And I forget how long I was there, but there was this one student, I don't know, I guess he had written to me or something, and so anyway, I just met him the one afternoon, and he had gotten a job, relocated, you know, and gotten a job. And I remember going to the movie, seeing Ingrid Bergman and... anyway, Gaslight. That's what I remember about Gaslight, we had a nice visit. He had gotten a job. He was just a, oh, I don't know, maybe by that time he would have been twenty maybe or so, a kid, you know. But that was the only contact that I had with any of the students after they left.

KL: Do you recall his name?

MS: I don't, I don't.

KL: What did he say about life in Chicago?

MS: Well, I think everything was okay. He was an outgoing fellow and could manage, I'm sure. And I don't even remember about his family. I think his family was still in Manzanar, but I'm not even sure of that. I do not remember.

KL: I think that's it.

RM: Oh, that's perfect because I wanted to jump in with a follow up question that I meant to ask earlier. You mentioned that you were twenty-two when you started teaching at Manzanar?

MS: No, let's see... no, I'd be twenty-three.

RM: Twenty-three.

MS: Because 1919.

RM: Yeah. I had read that you were the youngest teacher in Manzanar.

MS: Well, it could be, because I was just out of school. That's about the age that you would be just getting of college, and most of these other people were maybe a year or two... and we had some older ones, too, it wasn't just, they weren't just young teachers, there were some middle aged teachers, I mentioned this little lady, she was a dear person, but she snored. So they were all ages, but I probably was at that time the youngest.

RM: What was it like to be only a handful of years older than your students? Do you think that helped?

MS: No. Well, it may have. I would have more empathy, I think, with them, but I was still an adult and an older person to them, you know, to a kid fourteen, fifteen, sixteen. She's an old woman at twenty-three.

RM: Yeah, that's right.

MS: And she's an authority here.

RM: So you think that they still saw you very clearly as much older than they were.

MS: Oh, yeah. I was not a pal, I wasn't a pal. But I know that they probably realized I was young enough to understand. But I never was or tried to be a pal, because I don't think that's what a teacher's supposed to be.

KL: I did have one other thing. I wondered if there were any other people in independence or Lone Pine just attached to Manzanar who stayed out in your memory. You mentioned the guy you went out with that one time, and the Savages, but were there other individuals?

MS: No, I didn't go on dates, there wasn't anybody for me to date. Nobody interested in me, particularly. Maybe some of the older men will latch on to any younger person, but I didn't do any dating or anything like that there. But there was another... see, when you don't think of these things that are all these decades, there was another, oh, I wish I knew his name. They were a married couple, he was a big burly guy, nice guy, very outgoing. And I think he taught social studies, I have no idea what his name could be. You don't have a list of all of the names of the teachers.

RM: We do, I just...

MS: Oh, but you can't go through all of them now.

RM: Well, I foolishly forgot it.

MS: Well, he was a nice guy, and his wife was there, and I'm not sure whether she was a teacher or whether she just lived there, I can't remember. But he was a fun person. There's so many, and there was a gal by the name of Melba, do you have the name?

RM: Oh, yeah.

MS: She was a cute person, she didn't stay long.

RM: Yeah, I know who she is.

MS: She was older. She didn't look older, but she was older. And she was there I think the first year that I was there.

RM: We'll just have to get that list to you.

MS: Yeah, it will, because that would jog my memory so much, I think it would.

RM: We'll send that, and if you wanted to write any memories you have of those people, we can add it to the file that we keep with this interview so that it'll be recorded, and that would be wonderful. So another thing to add to the list to mail to you when we're done.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

RM: I wanted to ask about sort of the end of camp. We already asked about graduations, but you know, Manzanar started closing down. Do you remember your classes getting smaller and thinning out?

MS: Not particularly, but I'm sure it happened. And during the, after the first year or so, people started leaving, going to the Midwest primarily, and one time I drove. We would drive the people up to Reno so they could catch the buses to the Midwest or wherever they were going. And I remember... so we started, even after what, the first year or so, we started seeing more and more people, they'd relocated, and I do remember taking a group up, it was kind a lark, to me, to get away and drive up to Reno.

RM: Yeah. Do you remember a woman, I'm going to mispronounce her last name, Nan Zischank, who worked in the camp and did a lot of those drives up to Reno with the kids?

MS: Say the name again?

RM: Nan Zischank.

MS: Nan, N-A-N?

RM: Yeah.

MS: Gee, I don't... Zischank sort of sounds familiar, but I don't remember.

RM: Did you have another person with you when you drove to Reno?

MS: No.

RM: You were just the lone driver.

MS: I was the lone driver. They didn't have that much personnel that they could spare, and you'd only take maybe two or whatever.

RM: On that trip up, did the people you were driving talk to you about where they were going and how to go about it?

MS: I'm sure we talked, but I don't remember any of that stuff.

KL: Did you ever meet any Paiute people, any Indian people?

MS: No, I never knew any of them.

KL: There was a lady on the WRA staff for a while, her name was Viola Martinez, she's Owens Valley Paiute and she helped counsel people to relocate. Maybe that's what made me think of the question.

MS: Oh, really?

KL: Yeah.

MS: I don't remember.

KL: I mean, there were other people on the staff, too, but I think she's...

MS: Not that I know. But, see, I probably knew just the teachers and the people that I would report to because they would be in a different building. So I don't know anybody by that name, don't remember.

RM: You mentioned over lunch that you don't think that you remember any other teachers that stayed from the very beginning to the very end.

MS: Offhand, I don't think so. I think I was the only one. I can't think of anybody... Lucille, I'm not sure about Lucille Smith, she may have, because I was in contact with her after I moved down here, even up to several years after I moved. But I don't know that she was there... but after the school closed down, I think I was the only one who stayed on to help do the closing of the camp.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

RM: I had a question about what it was like when the school was closing down.

MS: I don't remember.

RM: Do you know when that happened?

MS: Well, it closed in '45 and it was gradual, so the classes were less and less. But I don't remember much about the closing, to tell you the truth. It's strange.

RM: How did your job change?

MS: Well, I didn't have classes anymore, and it was very easy living. I'd help out in the office with little things like here and there. I think the school closed the last, would have been in June of '45. And so from June, I was there until the following March, and to tell you the truth, I don't know what did in that time. We were working with records and this and that, but it doesn't stand out in my mind. But I was there until, I think my release was in February or March.

RM: I'm just going to try to grab a paper out of your donation, oh, here it is. You said you started working as a clerk for the Office of Acquisitions.

MS: Yeah. So whatever I did was filling out papers or this or that. But it was a very easy job. And see, originally, they had the dormitories. They got the... originally we were in the barracks, okay, and then they had the dormitories. So I did move back from Independence. When the schools closed, then I moved in, I had an apartment like in one of the... well, I guess before the schools closed I moved back from Independence to camp, and I had a room in one of the dormitories.

RM: What was that room like?

MS: It was nice. It was a room, just a bedroom, and we had showers and toilets and so forth down at the end of the hall. And I remember Lucille had an apartment next to... it wasn't an apartment, it was a room, dormitory, she had the room next to mine. And I remember one time it was very, very cold, and we had no hot water, and I was just going to show the girls that I was still going to take a shower, so I got in and it was cold, we had no heat, no hot water. I got in, by golly, and I took a shower, a cold shower. Isn't that stupid? I sometimes think about that when I get in the shower and I think, "Oh, dear." [Laughs]

RM: You were a rugged pioneer, a little bit.

MS: Yeah, I was a rugged gal. And I never was a rugged person.

RM: And that was in those, in the building in the end.

MS: The dormitory, yeah.

RM: The dormitories, wow. So were you there on, do you remember the last day that Manzanar had Japanese Americans in it?

MS: I don't.

RM: Do you have memories of families leaving in those last couple of months?

MS: I really don't.

RM: What about after, so camp is shut down, no Japanese Americans are there anymore. You said you were doing paperwork, do you remember what the camp was like? It would have been empty.

MS: It was empty... I don't remember much about that. The dormitories were here, I would have been in the office, so the camp was sort of empty. I don't recollect much of that.

RM: Were you still there when they started selling buildings?

MS: No. No, I left in February, March?

RM: Of 1946?

MS: Uh-huh. I don't remember about their selling anything.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

RM: What was it like to look back on those years? I mean, that was a long time that you spent teaching in Manzanar.

MS: That was four years, but remember, those were war years. When you moved around -- you could move around freely if you chose, but you couldn't, because the transportation and rationing, everything entered in. So it wouldn't be like now, you just conformed to what the situation is. So it was fine for me, I was restricted, I mean, I was there. I could have gone home, why didn't I? I don't know, I just decided I'd stay to the bitter end. So it was just not much going on at all. And it doesn't make sense for a young person to stay in a place like that, does it? But I did, those last few months. Maybe because I had a job, it was secure, I didn't have to go home and start looking for another job, who knows?

RM: Do you remember helping with the Manzanar Final Report at all?

MS: No, I don't. I don't think that I would have been the person... there would have been other people that, you know, higher up that would have more information. I think I was just kind of a flunky around there. Well, you know, all I remember is that it was very easy, whatever I was doing. Just spending government money.

RM: Is there anything about Manzanar that you remember that I haven't asked you about? I didn't ask about gardens, if you ever did any victory gardening or you remember any Japanese gardens?

MS: No, but the Japanese were very artistic, and they'd have pretty little things around, right outside their door as best they could. I don't remember any areas that were outstanding. I do remember that toward the end, or maybe in the middle -- this has nothing to do with gardening, but I just thought of it, that some of the Japanese residents would go outside, not the gate, but out the back. And the management knew that, but they would get out, you know, and I don't know whether, was there someplace where they could catch fish or something? I can't remember, but they were sort of free to get out, roam about a little bit, just so they were back at dark.

RM: So you remember security lessening towards the end of camp.

MS: Yeah. And it was always at the back, toward the mountain side. And they knew that they were getting out a little bit, but it didn't seem to matter.

RM: Kristen, did you have questions about camp? Okay, so what did you do next?

MS: When I came home, I got the chicken pox. [Laughs] Never been so sick in my life, it was terrible. I decided that I was gonna take up shorthand, so I tried it. And then I came down to... toward the end of '46 maybe, late summer, I came down to, I got a job at the Red Cross here at the Marine Air Station, and I worked in the Red Cross there. A very nice man, field director, his name was Kramer, same as mine, and he had a nice family, and he had another girl who worked with him in the Red Cross, so two of the gals and George Kramer, and Julie, her name then was Cicerelli, we became very good very good friends. Okay, we worked at the Red Cross office, and mostly helping the soldiers get loans and stuff like that, you know, we had the teletype. And then Julie and I bought a little nursery school on Balboa Island. The main road, Marine Avenue, on Balboa Island. It was right next to the fire station, and we ran, we kept the two women who operated the little nursery school, because we were working in the Red Cross office. But we kept the two women, it was just run for, in the morning. We had the peanut butter, Scudder, Laura Scudder's little grandson. See, it was a wealthy area around there, and when we purchased the school, why, we got the car, too. And the two women who ran it, very nice, competent women, would pick the kids up, they'd have 'em only in the morning.

So Julie and I kind of ran that, and then that was... well, it doesn't matter what the year was. And I stayed down here until '49, and then I had to go back to look after my father in Hollywood. So we sold the school and I left the Red Cross. The Red Cross wanted to move me, they wanted to make me a field director someplace in Arizona, and I didn't want to go there. I decided to go back to Hollywood to look after my dad, and I took about a year, I went over to Hawaii to stay with a friend of mine who was a secretary to the Department of the Interior in Honolulu at the base there at, what is it? I went over and visited her for a couple months while she lived with her mother there. And I came back and then I thought, "I've got to do something," so I went back to teaching.

RM: Where did you go?

MS: I went, for two years I taught in the junior high at South Pasadena, and then they incorporated with the San Marino, so then I went to El Monte Union High School district, it was the new high school, Rosemead High School. Then I stayed there about fifteen years. And then I quit because in the meantime I had married, so just quit, that was the end of my working days.

RM: Were you still teaching Latin?

MS: Uh-huh, I was.

RM: Did you teach other subjects as well?

MS: I think once or twice they use you in some of these special classes, you know. Once or twice I had to... once I had an English class, because I knew grammar. I didn't know English literature too well, but I'm good in grammar, or English and so forth. I think I taught that, and then I think they put me with a, it wasn't a retarded group, it was sort of semi, like social studies. But basically Latin, yeah. And that's where I had Marianne, who runs this place, I had her for a couple years in Latin. And I just, it's interesting, I taught the four years in Latin, and I just, all these years, I quit in '67, and all these years I've been in contact with one of my former students. My husband and I went to her wedding, and I received a note -- every year we'd exchange Christmas cards -- I didn't get a Christmas card this year. And her daughter sent me a notice that she had died, she was only seventy. But this has nothing to do with Manzanar or anything, but you asked me, and I was just remembering Rita and going back to teaching. But I quit in '67 and I haven't worked since then. That's the story of my life. [Laughs]

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

RM: I'm curious, so you got married to George McCarron.

MS: Jim. James Francis McCarron.

RM: Oh goodness, all right. [Laughs] I'll let you tell that part of the story.

MS: Well, bless his heart, he was a wonderful family, Irish, obviously, and he had all the charm and everything, a good man and a very dear, lovely man, he was the love of my life. And we were married for thirty-two years, but he had, he died of pulmonary fibrosis. When he was a kid he'd had pneumonia a couple of times, so he was vulnerable in the lungs. And it was good when he went because it's a terrible thing, struggling to breathe. And then he died in '90, and I remarried in '92. I married Al, he and his wife, Rose, and Jim and I, and other couples had been good friends for, oh, I don't know, maybe fifty years. Al lost his wife in January, I lost Jim in the fall, and two years later we were married and we had a good fifteen years together. So I've had a good life. I've been very fortunate, good health.

RM: Did you speak with either your first husband or your second husband about Manzanar and your experiences there?

MS: Oh, they knew, yeah. Al and I a couple of times took trips with people through Leisure World, I lived in Leisure World after Al died. But Jim and I had built a home up here in the hills, and so we would take trips that would go up 395, that's the route, isn't it, 395, up to Mammoth, and I would always point out to Al... he knew about Manzanar, but, see, he was a World War II veteran. He had been five years in the South Pacific. Jim was not in the service because he was in the marketing business apparently in supplying food, because he's the one from Massachusetts. But anyway, and Jim and I had gone to the 25th, I think it was the 25th anniversary at the Otani Hotel down in Los Angeles. And so Jim was well aware of Manzanar, and Al and I, by going back and forth to Mammoth. But then there wasn't much going on at Mammoth.

RM: Did you keep in touch with any of your fellow teachers or anyone at Manzanar?

MS: For a while, but it petered out because we all scattered. And I think now, what a shame to not have kept contact, but I didn't. You know, other, more important things, and you can't keep piling on more and more. So I have no contact with any of them anymore. I did the first few years with, like, Lucille. And the couple I mentioned, the tall gal and a short gal, I can't remember their name, but they returned to the Midwest. The Campbells, they were such nice people, lost all contact. So there's nobody that I have been in contact or even could talk with about Manzanar.

RM: Were you aware of the Japanese American redress movement in the 1980s?

MS: The what movement?

RM: Redress movement?

MS: Oh, the money that they... yes, I was. And this couple I mentioned, the Yamaguchis, here at the women's, they have a new women's group here, and Barbara is the leader of it. And she had, Miki is the wife, Miki Yamaguchi, and she was the one that was at the camp in Arkansas. They had her as their first speaker about the internment and her situation and all of that. And it was heartbreaking because... and I think a lot of people didn't realize that, because many people living here are from other states. They're not all from California. And I think a lot of the people in the Midwest and East really weren't... they probably didn't care then that much, you know. And I'm sure that it was eye-opening to them. And she mentioned the fact that eventually there was a certain amount of money. And somebody in the group, it was just a women's group there, but a couple men were there, and Miki's husband Bill was in the back, he's a dear man. He was in the back, and somebody asked him, "Did you get money? Each one got money?" and Bill said, "Yes." And I think it was $20,000.

RM: That's right.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

RM: Could you tell us about the group that you're still part of? You were telling us you go to a group.

MS: Japanese group.

RM: Yes, what is that?

MS: I don't know many of them. See, because this Barbara Otaki that I mentioned, she's the one who -- she's the one in Japan now -- mentioned it to me. But the first time she said, "Would you like to go?" [Phone rings] Let it go. She said, "Would you like to go?" I said, "Sure. I don't know any of them, but I'd be happy to go with you and with Bill and Miki." Incidentally, Bill was the chairman, we have a council here, the people elected, Bill was the chairman for the whole complex, the chairmanship is for two years, for two years ago. So he's well-liked and well-known. But anyway, Barbara said, "Would you like to go to a luncheon?" I said, "I don't know any of 'em, but I'd be happy to go." So I just go with them. In fact, I had a phone call the other day reminding me of one, it's gonna be next Wednesday. We go on Wednesday. The last one we went to, we went down to, it's a golf course in Newport Beach. We just go and they don't have a meeting, they don't discuss anything like that, it's just a get-together. And I don't know any of them really, other than those three, but I go because I want to go.

RM: Do they know that you were a teacher in Manzanar?

MS: Yes, they do.

RM: And what do people think about that?

MS: Oh, they think it's great. [Laughs] Why not?

RM: Yeah. That brings me back, you mentioned that you went to the reunion at...

MS: The Otani Hotel.

RM: Yeah, the Otani Hotel.

MS: It was the New Otani, and I think it was a brand new hotel downtown. And there were some of the former teachers there. I think it's the pictures that I... I think Louis was there, I don't remember. I remember seeing Mr. Hooper there, and there were a lot of people I saw but there's so many people milling about. And, of course, my husband didn't know any of those, you know. But anyway, it was a nice experience, and there was that picture in there, that they took a picture of everybody. But that was a very nice meeting. There were a lot of people that were... I didn't think there were a lot of teachers there at all.

RM: What was it like to see your former students again?


MS: At that meeting downtown, one of my students -- and I don't remember his name -- and one of my students came up to me and he handed me... we spoke. And he handed me this package, I was going to show you, it's a sweet little bracelet. And I thought that was so thoughtful of him, and I often wear it. It's a little thin... it just fits on the wrist. But I thought that was so thoughtful after all those years. Because that had to be, what, twenty-five years, twenty years, something like that.

RM: I was so impressed, I'll just tell the camera, that you had donated your yearbook, it was the class of 1944 yearbook from Manzanar, and I was glancing through it before this oral history, so many students had written such kind words in it.

MS: Yeah, but people always do. No, you know that. Whenever you're writing in somebody's... when you were young, writing. I mean, you meant it, but you never say anything bad in a yearbook, you know. I don't think they thought equally of all of their teachers, unless the person was a real ogre. I think it's just natural that if you write in somebody's yearbook, it's gonna be complimentary, don't you? I wouldn't read too much into all of that. [Laughs]

RM: Okay. Well, it looks like we have about ten minutes left on this tape, so I want to ask Kristen if she has any questions, otherwise I'll just ask you one final question. What do you think?

KL: I have two, hopefully one of them's not the same as your final question.

RM: Go ahead, yeah.

KL: So my first one is, you mentioned that your husband Al was a World War II veteran from the Pacific Theater. What did he think of... where did he grow up?

MS: He? Very interesting, Monterey. Obviously his name is Italian, his father had come from Sicily, and Monterey was established by a Italian fisherman. And so Al grew up there, and he was attending the University of California at Berkeley when the war broke out. He was two years older than I when the war broke out. And he was drafted and sent to Hawaii and then to New Guinea. So in New Guinea, it's kind of funny, he didn't see a lot of fighting or action unfortunately. But in New Guinea, apparently the American forces were here, and the Japanese were here, but there was a lot in between that you couldn't get through, fortunately. I don't know enough about New Guinea to know. But five years of his life.

KL: Did he have friends from Monterey who left the West Coast and were sent into the camps?

MS: Japanese? I don't think there were any Japanese in Monterey.

KL: What did he think of Manzanar, of your teaching there and --

MS: Oh, it was fine with him. If he had known me when I was at Manzanar, the feeling may have been a little different. But, you know, with time passing and with understanding, and knowing that the people in Manzanar had nothing to do with the Japanese who bombed us, so there was never any feeling on his part of... because he wasn't that kind of a man anyway, you know.

KL: Sometimes people even now, but especially then didn't see the difference.

MS: Yeah, they can't differentiate between the enemy and the other. No, both men were very understanding and supportive of what I had done. And they learned from it, you know. If you don't have people telling you, why, you don't understand, or think, realize these people had nothing to do with what the Imperial regime in Japan did.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

KL: And then the other question I had was Manzanar became what was authorized as a unit of the National Park Service in 1992. It's been around for a little while as a National Historic Site. What do you think of that? What did you think when you heard that?

MS: Terrific. And I think I wrote a note, didn't I write a note to the... I can't get up to get a manila folder over there. But no, I wrote a note complimenting you people on how... you're talking about last year?

KL: Well, I just wondered, not only on how we've done, but what... I mean, what this means, when Manzanar is a unit of the National Park Service, it means it's extremely significant to the United States' past.

MS: Oh, no, I didn't think of doing anything like that, I just wrote to 'em saying what a terrific job they've done there. But I didn't think of associating it with the park situation.

RM: Did you ever think when you were teaching at Manzanar that somebody your life would become part of this really important history that we're preserving?

MS: No, I did not. And I probably didn't think about it until the last ten years.

RM: What made you decide to donate so many of your papers to Manzanar?

MS: Well, it means nothing to family. It doesn't mean they don't care, but what are they gonna do with something like that? Not to them personally, they never went through those experiences. So what are they gonna do, hang onto it or throw it away? Well, isn't it better for you to have it if you can use it? If you can't use it, then you can throw it away. I mean, it makes sense, doesn't it? If I had children that could relate back, but that only made sense to me, and I think it does to you, too. I wish I had more. I'd give anything... there's a lot of things I wish that I had kept, but I...

RM: Well, we greatly appreciate...

MS: Well, I appreciate what you gals are doing, too, and the Park Service. Because this is all part of our American history. This is one portion that for a long time was neglected and not understood because it was kind of localized here in California. So I think it's wonderful that they let you come down and interview people, get whatever information you can because it's leaving us. I think on the phone I mentioned to you that the local high school, El Toro High School, funny combination, social studies/English teacher, a man, Tyler is his name, brought a group of his students over here about three weeks ago to interview the people who would have gone through World War II. And this is a good place because you'd be surprised at the number of... well, maybe not. A large number of veterans here, still from World War II, but we're dying out. Anyway, he brought these young people because he thought it would be a good experience for them. And each one had interviewed one, you know. And it was all phases, and part of it was the Japanese internment, and of course, I fit into that beautifully. And I had a, there was a phone call, I think it was last week, saying that they would like to follow up on some of these. And so the young people, the high school are learning about this part of our history, too.

RM: I guess maybe one last question, because we only have a couple minutes left, and it ties into what you're saying right now, which is, you know, the Park Service's job is to protect and preserve and teach this history to people like these students that you're talking about. What would you, if you could stand at the front desk of Manzanar and to tell somebody about Manzanar, what do you think is the most important think to tell them?

MS: Gosh, I don't know. To tell the people at Manzanar, or to tell people about Manzanar? All I can think of, that I don't know of any other group of people that would have accepted their internment as graciously as the Japanese did. And I think I would attribute that to the fact of their belief in their emperor as supreme and divine. But I don't know if that's what you're talking about, , but I've often thought that they accepted things, it's terrible what they went through, but they accepted it. And they didn't do the grumbling and complaining that other groups of people would do. They were just so kind of gracious about it. Maybe not in their hearts, or in their own little barrack, but they certainly were publicly.

RM: Kristen, do you have any questions? All right. Mary Jean...

MS: Am I gonna... oh.

RM: We're gonna finish the interview with only a minute and thirty seconds left, so I want to say thank you on behalf of both Kristen...

KL: Unless she had anything else, we'd be glad to change the tape and keep going if you wanted to add anything.

RM: Oh. Did you have anything last that you'd like to say?

MS: I don't.

RM: Well, then I want to say thank you on behalf of both myself and Kristen, and also the National Park Service for sharing your story.

MS: Well, and I thank you for your service. I think your service is fabulous.

RM: We couldn't do it without you.

MS: See, it's mutual.

RM: It is mutual, thank you so much.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2015 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.