Day trip saga

It's coming up very soon!
...A bus trip from the Golden Nugget-Las Vegas to Poston during the Poston III reunion in less than two weeks!!!! I'm pumped...as my kids would say..

I infiltrated the Poston III reunion committee meeting this year and finally (!) convinced the head honchos that they need to reach out to the descendants of the Poston III internees. The surviving internees are now in their 80-90's. I know one who will celebrating her 101st birthday this year!!!

I have heard some friends of mine who said their parents would not talk/or refused to talk about their camp experience. Others said that their parents were very vague and only said "it was hot, dusty and complained about the food". Those of us--their kids (their next of kin) who no longer have their parents living, now wish that their parents would have talked more about their experiences at camp..... But its too late now.....they are gone....

Well, let me tell you (since you ARE reading this) that (I think) I have succeeded in getting this year's Camp III Reunion planning committee to finally plan some educational events and branch out to all Poston I, III and III survivors. Yes, there were THREE (3) separate camps at Poston. A total population less than 18,000 people displaced in that desert in Arizona, which at that time, made Poston the 3rd largest city in Arizona! I understand that camp I and II have not had regular reunions. The former school-aged kids from Camp III regularly planned reunions and alternated the hosting job. (The Central Valley, San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego.) After all, as someone told me, they were friends and went to school with each other. Most of them were stuck out there for three years!!!

And YES, they ALL lived in the same place--the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Arizona. So what if the three (3) camps were separated by 3-5 miles of desert---the living conditions were all the same. I think it will be a good learning experience for the former internees to learn about the successes of the other guys---the former Poston internees who lived at Poston I and II. Why not?

By using the term 'camps', you should know that they were not really "camps". They were 24/7 in detention. When I was growing up, all I had heard was "I know so and so" because they were 'at camp'. I had always thought that they were referring to 'church' camp. A few months ago, I was reminded that I was not the only one person who thought it was 'church' camp. Hey, a whole generation of us baby boomers--the Sansei generation---were clueless. It WAS NEVER in our U.S. History books. We deserve to learn about it.

So PLEASE, invite the rapidly growing new group of Sr. citizens (us baby boomers---the Sansei generation) to attend your reunions! PLEASE educate and talk to us. WE WANT TO KNOW. WE WILL LISTEN. Don't take it to the grave with you.

As a side note, the reunion committee gave me the look. You know, of being overwhelmed with the thought of having to be responsible for the record-keeping of a bus tour -- in addition to the cost of reserving the conference site. One would think that they were planning an elaborate wedding!

Silly me~I volunteered to coordinate the bus trip myself! Let them get their well-deserved sleep at night. The bus trip is separate from the "official" reunion planned events. There! Let that put that issue to rest in their minds... Hey, I can pull this thing off.

Ahem...I am proud to announce that Chizuko Judy (Sugita) de Queiroz (Poston camp I), an international award-winning watercolor artist, will be in attendance at the reunion. She will have her "Camp Days 1942-1945" collection available for viewing and/or purchase.
I suggest you take a 'sneak peek' of her collection, which is posted on her website:

I am honored to announce that Kiyo Sato (Poston camp II) will be giving a presentation on Wed. April 7th at 10:00 am. Her book,"Dandelion Through the Crack" published by Willow Valley Press is now out-of-print. The new edition has been printed under a different title, "Kiyo's Story: A Japanese Family's Quest for the American Dream" by Soho Press.

Kiyo has received many awards for "Dandelion Through the Crack", including the William Saroyan International Prize for writing in non-fiction by Stanford University Libraries/William Saroyan Foundation, the Award of Excellence in Publications-Sacramento Co. Historical Society, the Gold Award for Best First Book-Northern California Publishers & Authors, and was honored for her accomplishments by the California Writers Club-Sacramento Branch, and by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell. Last year, Kiyo spoke at the 2009 Annual Day of Remembrance at the Smithsonian, in Washington, DC. She belongs to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Nisei Post 8985, and has given numerous talks to school-aged children about her own personal experiences at the Pinedale Assembly Center and the Poston Relocation Center (aka Colorado Relocation Center) during WW II. Kiyo is an EXCELLENT speaker--take my word for it.

Photo: Kiyo Sato. 2010

The Japanese-American Historical Society of San Diego will be will be in attendance and have agreed to have available for purchase, items that will be of interest to the reunion attendees, such as:
1. 13th Poston III Reunion (San Diego) booklet "Last Dance"
2. "Dear Miss Breed" Limited copies available. http://www.dearmissbreed.com/
3. "Japanese Americans in San Diego Images of America: California" paperback
4. Mohaveland (reprint of the Poston III Buddhist Church Pictorial directory)
5. Hi-Times Spotlight volumes 1 & 2 reprint of the school newspaper
6. "Democracy Under Pressure" DVD

The Poston Restoration Project will, of course be there. We will have tables with the Poston I, II, III blueprints, which have been ENLARGED so that you can actually see the barrack numbers and read the map legend. Block maps will be on display. These are 'draft" copies, as attendees will verify and correct the internee names in the barracks for each block. (If you are coming & were at camp I or II, let me know so that I will bring your block map for you to review.) Magnifying glasses will be provided--I kid you not!.

Items available for purchase:
1. "Passing Poston" DVD
2. " Sharing a Desert Home: Life on the Colorado River Indian Reservation, Poston, Arizona, 1942-1945" by Ruth Y Okimoto, PhD. Limited copies available. Read my review on Amazon.com:
3. "Poston Block 211" by Jack Matsuoka (Poston II). Limited copies available. Read a review on Amazon.com

Our videographer, Wayne & his lovely assistant, Heather, will be on recording oral histories for the Poston Restoration Project. PLEASE stop by and sign up for an appointment. Our same marvelous camera duo will assist with "class" and "block" group photos during the Tues April 6th evening banquet---just before the I-CAN'T-WAIT ( I really can't) performance of the Grateful Crane Ensemble. http://www.gratefulcrane.com/
There won't be a dry eye or still foot in the audience, I guarantee it. Some couples might even get up and dance! I wouldn't doubt it....
Okay, so back to the bus trip to Poston, there is NO set fee. NO.
Bring your tax-deductible donation to "The Poston Restoration Project" in lieu of a "fee" for the tour.

So I want that bus filled to capacity--58. Sign up now & reserve your seat.
Hope to see you very soon..........


P/S: Guess what? I counted over 320 have registered to attend!

No comments: