Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Mae Hada Interview
Narrator: Mae Hada
Interviewer: Masako Hinatsu
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Date: June 18, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-hmae_2-01-0007

<Begin Segment 7>

Masako H: So you met him in the assembly center. You dated.

Mae H: Uh-huh. They actually showed movies there, so we'd go see movies. He would play tennis with me, just to please me. I think he was more interested in other sports, but we'd play tennis and that was it. We worked. I have to tell you something humorous. Is this all right? My children used to say, "You only knew six months and you married him?" I said, "Listen, kids, I saw him every day." After we moved to Idaho, I saw him every day also. We're pretty concentrated, right, so I got to know him well. He got to know my mother and sister, and we did get married in Colorado later. He called me because he had work to do. You had to have a goal or go to school or have someone who would say, okay, here's a place to come to, to get out of Minidoka at the time. I'm ahead of myself, I know.

Masako H: What block did you live in, in Minidoka?

Mae H: I believe it was Block 43. And I forgot how many people were there, but they mostly were from Portland, Oregon, area and some from Southern Washington.

Masako H: And did you work in Minidoka?

Mae H: Yes. I wasn't worth much. I played, I worked for the, I said played because it was mostly for fun. What would you call it. All of a sudden, see, I just don't seem to come up with the right words, but I did have work to do. I got enough money to get extra things that the people had desires for. They had a little store in camps.

Masako H: So how long did John stay in camp too?

Mae H: Let's see. He didn't stay long because he was able to get work quickly through writing letters and so on, connections he had in Midwest. So he called me from Denver, and that's where we were married. And subsequently, he worked in Iowa, Michigan, another state, I can't remember, but we did travel some during the war. And when Mr. Hughes, and they were in contact. He says, "Now you can come back. I want you to come back and sex here in Oregon." He already had a house ready for us, so that made it very smooth. By then, I had three kids.

Masako H: So you traveled because of his job, sex, chick sexing?

Mae H: Yes. And we were fortunate to have this friend who said, "Well, Granddad's gone out of this house. You can stay in his house," and so we had a place to come to which made it very nice.

Masako H: How long did you stay in Detroit?

Mae H: Well, let's see. I think two, three years, uh-huh. My sister was able to finish her high school by then, you know, after a couple of years. And so it must have been about three years.

Masako H: And how about your dad? He was still in the Justice camp?

Mae H: He was there in the shop that John found for him. He bought a place where someone had passed away or moved away, so it was already set up for a cleaning business and took in cleaning. And as I said, he did alterations. And as I recall, it was a different neighborhood from where we lived. And so my dad was fortunate that John would set him up like that. Soon afterwards, we moved out of the house, and we left my folks there and my sister there, uh-huh, but they were okay.

Masako H: So then that is the reason why you came back to Hillsboro?

Mae H: Because Howard asked us to come back to Hillsboro, uh-huh.

Masako H: How many children do you have?

Mae H: I have four. One was born here after we came back here.

Masako H: Can you name them? There's your oldest son.

Mae H: Ronald and Judy, Laura, and Victor.

Masako H: And Ronald was born in Detroit?

Mae H: Yes, uh-huh, so was Judy. Ronny was born in Colorado. That's where we were married, yes. We lived with relatives for a while in Colorado.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.