Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Victor Ikeda Interview
Narrator: Victor Ikeda
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: November 6, 2007
Densho ID: denshovh-ivictor-01-0036

<Begin Segment 36>

RP: One of the things that you said you did as far as recreation was you ice skated on a cesspool?

VI: Right. Well, wintertime... well, some of the, a couple of my friends used to play ice hockey when they were young in Seattle. But when wintertime came, the ponds started to freeze over, and we had some smaller ponds around where it'd freeze over. So we have a Montgomery Ward catalog, we called it "Monkey Ward." So I ordered a pair of skates from there, and I used to be -- I could skate on a regular skate. We used to go to a lot of skating parties so when we got, when I got the ice skates, there wasn't that much change so I caught on very quick. So we used to skate on the smaller ponds, but that's not very fun because you can't go anything. But down by Block 22 where they had the cesspool for the... it was a big pond, and that would kind of freeze over. And we'd try to wait 'til it froze over hard so that... usually, usually it would freeze over hard, but still as you skate, you know, the skate will scrape the ice so you'd have loose ice on it. So you learned very quickly not to fall. [Laughs] So what we used to do is we got some boxes and stuff we put on, and we challenged people to jump over the box. And as you go at the end where you jump and you have a little, we put a little space on it so you'd have to stop with your skates and spray the ice. So sometimes we came home not smelling very good, but you sure learned how to skate well and stay on your feet. It is a big pond so you could skate around. It was like an ice skating rink.

RP: A lot of folks did that?

VI: Not too many.

KP: Not in that particular rink though.

VI: Yeah, 'cause not too many people had ice skates, and not too many people had skated in Seattle before they left. My friends had so I kind of joined them, but...

RP: You mentioned ordering the skates out of "Monkey Ward's" catalog.

VI: Right.

RP: Was mail order as big a thing in Minidoka as it was for Manzanar people?

VI: Probably, because that's the only way for a while, yeah. Later on, people got a chance to go to Twin Falls, you know, buy things there. But basically I remember getting the ice skates. I remember buying a sport coat from the "Monkey Ward's."

RP: Anything else?

VI: That's about all I can remember. Did I give you -- no, that must have been about all I had.

<End Segment 36> - Copyright © 2007 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.