Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Month of May

Four Rivers Community Center in Ontario, Oregon, was the venue for a Minidoka book presentation on Wed. May 7, 2014. Matt Stringer, the executive director of 4RCC, handled the publicity and gave me a tour of the museum and Japanese-style garden. My talk coincided with the Snake River JACL high school graduation banquet which I was able to partake in thanks to an invitation from Mike Iseri. There were five graduates and close to 100 guests from the surrounding communities. Howard Matsumura, the host for the evening, shared his special Minidoka memory. My cousin, Mary Ann Murata and her husband, Russ, hosted me that night.

Northwest Asian Weekly published an article on May 17 by Signe Predmore. Signe, a freelance writer, moved to Seattle more than 10 years ago. She was born and raised in the New York City area and first learned about the Japanese and Japanese American incarceration history in her formal education. After she posted the story on her Facebook page, she discovered her own family's connection by way of her mother's cousin who married a Japanese American woman whose father and family were in the Heart Mountain War Relocation Center in Wyoming. Signe also added: "I was also quite impressed to learn about the possessions that still remain in the basement of the Panama Hotel, left by all those who were forced to evacuate to the camps. To know that physical evidence of the evacuation like that still exists right here in the city where I live makes the history come alive for me."

Jennifer Liebrum of the Idaho Mountain Express, wrote a story to advance a book presentation in the Wood River Valley. And, Scott Burton, the new programs manager for The Community Library in Ketchum, Idaho, hosted me on his first live radio broadcast on KDPI, a non-commercial community radio station. Scott also introduced me to Yorkshire Tea, a proper English black tea, which he served with milk during the sound check in the library's lecture room before my talk on Saturday afternoon of the Memorial Day weekend. I emphasized the contributions of some of the military veterans associated with Minidoka. Sarah Hedrik, owner of Iconoclast Books, handled book sales.

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