Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Mary Nomura Interview
Narrator: Mary Nomura
Interviewer: John Allen
Date: November 7, 2002
Densho ID: denshovh-nmary-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

JA: Tell me about extracurricular activities that you got involved with.

MN: Well, Young Girls Club, there were so many clubs that were formed, Young Mens Club, Young Girls Club, and we formed a club called the Modernaires, after the singing group. And to this day, we still meet together and we have lunch once a year together, and at the high school reunion in Manzanar, we always have a table together and we just yak it up, and we have just wonderful, fond memories of those days that we did -- we had sports, we played baseball as a team with other teams, and...

JA: So there was a girl's baseball team?

MN: Yes, uh-huh. Then this, they had a men's group and there were so many of them, and my husband, my husband-to-be was the advisor to a group called the Manza-Knights, and that's how we met, from his club and my singing.

JA: Where did your group perform? Where would your group have performed?

MN: Our group?

JA: Yeah, the Modernaires.

MN: Oh no, we didn't perform. It was just a girl's club, we named ourselves the Modernaires. Some of them were called Funsters, and some were called, oh, Star Dusters, and it's just names.

JA: I see. But you did sing?

MN: Yes.

JA: And did you sing in performance?

MN: Yes, uh-huh.

JA: Where would that have been?

MN: In Manzanar or before the war?

JA: At Manzanar.

MN: Oh yes, at school functions and Christmas programs, and I even sang at one of the Caucasian lady's funeral and just whenever they had some kind of program going on, they would ask and I would say okay. And Louis Frizzell would accompany me.

JA: That's great. That's neat, and then there were some bands that played at dances as well?

MN: Yes, there was... they didn't play too much for bands -- I mean, at dances. They just played as a group to play music. The dances were held in mess halls, and it was usually all recorded music, canned music.

JA: What were some of the band groups called?

MN: The group, the groups that played, oh, the Jive Bombers are the ones that were a group that played in Manzanar for different groups. But not for dances so much, but for programs, and we just had all those old big band music recorded.

JA: Sure. What were some of your favorite songs to sing?

MN: Oh, geez, I had "Night and Day" was one, my husband's favorite and my favorite was "Night and Day," and all the old Glenn Miller, and Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman, all those old music, the swings and the ballads. Those are all just fond, fond memory of the music that we had in those days.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.