My Posts


The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 7: Assembly Centers

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Image courtesy of www.pinedalememorial.org

This blog is Part 7 of a series discussing the internment of Japanese in the United States during World War II. This sequence is meant as an accompaniment to my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me?

Part 6, “One Family’s Journey to their Internment Camp,” discussed one family’s journey from Bellevue, Washington, to their permanent camp in Tule Lake, California, one of ten permanent camps created for the Japanese in the United States. As bad as the internment camp experience was to become to all internees, on the way there, most internees were waylaid in what were called Assembly Centers. This delay was necessary because many of the permanent camps were not yet complete when the government ordered Japanese removed from their homes. There were fifteen assembly centers, with twelve in California and one each in three other states: Mayer, Arizona; Puyallup, Washington; Portland, Oregon. The California locations were Fresno, Marysville, Merced, Pinedale, Pomono, Sacramento, Salinas, Santa Anita, Stockton, Tanforan, Tulare, Turlock.

My fictional story covers the actual route taken by internees removed from Bellevue, Washington. That route included a stop at the Pinedale Assembly center in central California. Compared to most assembly centers, Pinedale had been built new, which wasn’t saying much, considering that the physical structures were nothing more than uninsulated barracks made miserable by the summer’s heat. Worse, some of the assembly centers were, in fact, race tracks and fairgrounds not designed for human habitation. Sanitation was a major issue at those locations. According to the Densho (see note below) Encyclopedia, internees spent an average of 3 months in assembly centers before moving on to the permanent facilities.

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Aerial photo of Pinedale Assembly Center courtesy of densho.org.  See note below.

An interesting tidbit: once the internees departed Pinedale, that facility became an Army/Air Force training facility for signal technicians. A common refrain among the Japanese who later learned this: “They can have it.”

Coming up next: The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 8: the Tule Lake internment camp

Note: Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project is a digital archive of videotaped interviews, photographs, documents, and other materials relating to the Japanese American experience. Additional information on the project is available at www.densho.org

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Stories you can listen to, #6: Jailbait

In my continuing series of short stories, Jailbait is told from the point of view of a young woman who finds herself in serious trouble after accepting a ride while hitchhiking.

 

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As youngsters and teenagers, we’ve all made stupid decisions that have landed us in trouble. Some of us have even made them as adults. Could Sheila’s hitchhiking mistake be her last? Click here to listen to or read the story.

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Readers! Listen up! It’s not OVER until it’s OVER!

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My historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? came out on August 12th, and I’ve been reading reviews since. Several of them gave me the disquieting feeling that the reader hadn’t finished the book.

Finished? “Why wouldn’t anyone finish the book? Is your book that bad?” you ask. How Much? is a mystery and love story. The love story involves a primary secret/plot twist that is revealed near the end of the book. Clues are embedded throughout the story (and are discussed in my BookClub questions on my website). However, a second, completely unexpected revelation foreshadowed early in the book comes pages later. Several reviews have boasted that they had figured out the secret. Which secret? I wondered. I wrote to three reviewers of whom I was suspicious, asking them if they had recognized the final, critical reveal. Not one replied, which worried me. Still, I hoped that I was mistaken.

And then, a couple of weeks ago, after a book signing, I received an e-mail from a young reader who had bought my book. He impressed me by the detail he wanted to discuss concerning several Japanese customs of which he was very familiar. He was also particularly proud of the fact that he had figured out the plot twist two pages before it happened. At that point, I had to know and wrote him back, asking if he had also figured out the final secret (highly unlikely). He wrote back and said that he hadn’t even noticed it.

I’m sure that for nearly all of my readers, I’m talking to the choir, and this blog is beneath you. But for those of you who tend to read quickly or to skim, please don’t stop reading when you think the story is over! IT ISN’T!

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U.S. reaction to Pearl Harbor and Ebola: Similarities?

More than one reviewer of my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me?, has remarked about how sad the internment of the Japanese Americans during World War II was. Of the photographs I have seen, none encapsulates that sadness more than the one above (courtesy of the Library of Congress), showing a young Japanese-American… View Article


How Much Do You Love Me? garners positive review from Kirkus!

Kirkus Reviews (or Kirkus Media) is a respected American book review magazine, founded in 1933 by Virginia Kirkus (1893–1980).  Click here to read their review of How Much Do You Love Me?


This weekend’s Barnes and Noble book signing–what fun!

I had the opportunity for a two-day signing at the Almaden Expressway Barnes and Noble (San Jose) this past weekend. I usually feel apprehensive before signings, this time wondering how I and my new historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? will be received. Before long, those cares melted away. It’s such fun to talk to… View Article


Stories you can listen to, #5: Double Exposure

In my continuing series of short stories, Double Exposure is told from the point of view of a teenage girl in the early 1960s.   If it weren’t for the title story of my book of short stories, The Errant Ricochet: Max Raeburn’s Legacy, this one, Double Exposure, would be my favorite. In her own words that she… View Article


Weekend special! Get your 99 Cent ebook copy of How Much Do You Love Me?

This weekend only, Friday through Monday, 3-6 October, my publisher, Cedar Fort, in coordination with my publicist, is selling all e-book versions of my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? for only 99 cents.  Grab your copy while the price is low.  Click here to choose your favorite e-book store.      


The Japanese Internment of World War II, Part 6: One family’s journey to their internment camp

This blog is Part 6 of a series discussing the internment of Japanese in the United States during World War II. This sequence is meant as an accompaniment to my historical novel, How Much Do You Love Me? As discussed in Part 5, following President Roosevelt’s decision to sign Executive Order 9066, the die was… View Article


Penn State alumni dinner, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

There is a good reason that the first and third of my thriller trilogy involve meteorology: that was what I studied at my alma mater, Pennsylvania State University. Last Friday, the 19th of September, Becky and I had the good fortune to attend an alumni dinner (College of Earth and Mineral Sciences) there. We had… View Article