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-01-0009

<Begin Segment 9>

JA: So tell me a little more about how you met your husband.

MN: Oh, well, the club that my husband was the, husband-to-be was the advisor for was having their annual turkey trot, they called it a turkey trot. It was at Thanksgiving time, of course, and they asked me to be the entertainer there, and to sing a few songs. And my husband-to-be, being a stickler for formality and all that, he asked the boys in his club, "Who is taking Mary?" And they said, "Well, her boyfriend just left camp, so I don't think she has a boyfriend now to bring her." He said, "Well, then, one of you boys take her. Pick her up and take her." And they all.. hmm, hmm, you know, they all had dates already, and the only ones that didn't have dates were, I think were only 5 feet tall or less. And so they said, "Well, Mary's tall compared to the other girls," and so he said, "Well then, I'll take her this time, but you guys have to make sure the next time you do something like this, you make sure the people you ask to come to entertain for you has an escort." So he told the young man to go to Public Works where I was working and said this person, Shi Nomura, was going to come pick me up and take me up to go to dance as a blind date. And the fellow who came to ask, to tell me, was my husband-to-be's best man at our wedding. But anyway, that was in September of '40 -- excuse me, November of '44, and then from then on, we're a twosome. [Laughs] And then a little over a half-year later, we were married. We had left camp in January of '45, and June of '45, we got married. So I would say, he's a fast worker.

JA: That's great. A fast worker. [Laughs] That's pretty neat. Tell me a little, you started talking about the turkey trot and stuff. Tell me any memories you have of holidays or celebrations there.

MN: Well, the turkey trot was because of Thanksgiving. We didn't have turkey and things like that. Maybe we might have had a little special thing like later on we had chicken, there was a poultry farm in Manzanar. But being asked to go to those things, it was always fun to ask who and who is going someplace and with whom, and it was always a fun thing. And people would try to crash those parties who were not invited. I remember one time when I was dancing with a guy, and one of the fellows who was, who had crashed the party, tapped him on the shoulder and was cutting in. And it was so funny, I was dancing with this young man and his body was just shaking because this guy who wanted to cut in was one of those hoodlums in Manzanar, and he was actually shaking. But I won't forget that, but things like that happened. And, but the dances were always fun, and we always had our last dance, it was always a nice, long, schmaltzy music. Something we, us girls always looked forward to going to and being asked to.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2002 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.