Irving J. Gordon and Patricia J. Gordon-Reedy

Recorded February 15, 2006 Archived February 16, 2006 55:22 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby001111


daughter interviews her 80-yr-old dad about his childhood in Boyle Heights L.A., and his thoughts on the Japanese American internment, and on how his sense of justice has been an inspiration to her.


  • Irving J. Gordon
  • Patricia J. Gordon-Reedy

Recording Location

MobileBooth West


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00:02 Just wanted to clarify what you said that you had a conversation with a Japanese-American gentleman many years later you had beer with him and he said something to you. What what did you mean?

00:16 Ion hearing.

00:19 No, I had this was when I was in Japan on ship during the Korean War. I took a number by enlisted men to to Niagara and we had a Japanese interpreter how he wasn't Japanese-American. He was pure Japanese and after a while we're sitting and talking and we got to talkin about the atom bomb at hip Nagasaki.

00:50 And after a while I said, well you I said you've been very kind to us I said but

00:58 But I am sure you don't really.

01:02 Feel friendlier like Americans very much because of what was done and he said no. He said really said we feel honored to be the first people to have an atom bomb exploded on our country.

01:20 Should I just can't believe he's saying that I didn't want to push it any further.

01:26 I thought it was just a very extraordinary astounding comment to make.

01:37 Jack Koba, he was one of my friends. Yes.

01:46 Oh, yes absolutely left you the house is down from where we live. We were together frequently.

01:59 No, not favorite.

02:02 Mention the day

02:07 Why?

02:10 I just thought it was such.

02:13 And these people were given two weeks notice to vacate their homes or businesses everything they own and it was impossible to do that again.

02:26 We were

02:29 Password is known as a depression, but it's still really wasn't I mean

02:36 People didn't earn that much money. That was still difficult. I know some people working for a dollar a day in the market as a salary. So here they did have to try to get rid of these.

02:49 Expensive things and of course whatever would buy if I want to get it for at least amount of money. So her here they were leaving their homes. And can you imagine packing your belongings and two little suitcases and bags and then being hoisted onto these large open and trucks I could just I saw his mother and his father leaving and of course they had trouble getting up on a truck and I just hope people wouldn't do anything to hurt the United States. I mean, they didn't have any time to do anything but work and sleep and certainly their kids for not interested in.

03:35 I just thought it was it was a very touching time. I can say it in front of me right now.

03:44 And of course, it's been proven that this, Washington.

03:48 Proper thing to do

03:53 Thank you.

03:54 Markham

04:01 Yes, we are. He's he's installing a couple years ago.

04:07 We were in touch when we talk we send Christmas cards to each other every year until we didn't get one.

04:15 And then I did say his notice in the obituary of a l e x i did guide.

04:23 I don't know what's happened to his older brother when he still alive or not.

04:28 How old were you when this all happened back then World War II?

04:34 Well, that was 1942. So I was 16.

04:43 Did you used to know.

04:44 People saying mean things to the Japanese-Americans

04:48 I didn't hear him in our area, but your mother went to Washington High School in South West Los Angeles, and they had a large Japanese population because their parents were what they call a truck Farmers that it was a lot of open why in there and so they would grow things vegetable is a few things.

05:15 So they attended Washington High School and she told me that all these kids were good friends.

05:22 And the day after Pearl Harbor, which was Sunday then went to school on Monday and the Caucasian.

05:30 Kids were beating up the Japanese students.

05:38 Days Inn, what happened?

05:41 You mean to that particular aspect?

05:49 Print again, none of them at anything to do with attacking Pearl Harbor.

05:57 Winchester Heritage was the same as the individuals who did

06:05 You know, what's it's really no different now and what's going on in the world before being killed and dying for?

06:14 Because of what they look like or what?

06:17 And there's no lie.

06:20 No, right about a no sense of justice ER truth.

06:30 But you know what sort of thing is going on since

06:35 Since man inhabited the earth. I mean it's so man's inhumanity to man.

06:42 Casket doesn't stop.

06:45 We all thought sure it would all stop after World War II.

06:52 We thought we never say something and then when I just couldn't believe it when President Kennedy was assassinated just never thought it could happen in this country.