Flora Ida Ortiz provides memories as “an outsider” and recounts her life-long friendship with internee pen pal Reiko Nagumo.
Note: To listen to a specific clip, move the slider on the video to the designated clip time listed below.
Flora Ida Ortiz with Reiko Nagumo Interview
00:00 – Introduction
00:18 – Clip 1
Discusses how she and Reiko became pen pals, writing to each other from age 9 to about junior high.
04:03 – Clip 2
Flora shares her image of “camp.” She thought it was like camping – with tents and fishing and fun things. She did not understand it was like a prison. They was very little information given to the children in her community about the camp. Talks about her second pen pal, Frances wrote, who responded very differently to her letters than Reiko’s responses.
05:30 – Clip 3
Flora sent cookies to Reiko, and even though mice had gotten into them, and even though there was nothing left but crumbs and mouse “droppings,” Reiko still ate the crumbs because she had not had cookies for so long.
09:08 – Clip 4
Reiko talks about how she did not want it to be known that she was Japanese so she would write to Hollywood stars and ask for their autographs and sign her name Virginia. she was very sad and lonely and homesick – and embarrassed to be thought of as Japanese.
13:14 – Clip 5
Additional information about her pen pal Frances.
Video production provided by the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium – http://www.secctv.org