Unearthing Amache: Listener Response

Sep 11, 2014

The Amache series has prompted a listener to send in these interesting Amache facts:

  • “But the [Amache] Japanese were enterprising, too.  They had fresh fish shipped in by rail every day, along with ice cream from Garden City, Kansas, and sake sent (illegally) from Portland, Oregon.”  “Forward Into the Past – At Camp Amache, a school project reopens an ugly chapter of Colorado history” by Jonathan Shikes, Westword Denver magazine, Sep 13, 2001
  • “Sources indicate that the [Amache] high school football team lost one game in three years.  One noteworthy event was when the Amache football team played the undefeated football team from Holly, Colorado, which is located just 11 miles east of Amache on U.S. 50.  This game was unique because Holly actually agreed to come up to the camp and play Amache on their home field.  One of the Holly team players was Roy Romer, who went on to become Governor of Colorado.  The Amache team won this game by a score of 7-0, the only touchdown coming from a trick play, thus the Amache team can claim to be undefeated on their own field.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granada_War_Relocation_Center  Note:  Story featured at the Amache Museum in Granada, CO
  • Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey is the creator of “Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp.”  In a review by Art Hansen for Nichi Bei, he said, “Lily Yuriko Nakai Havey has crafted in “Gasa Gasa Girl Goes to Camp” what is assuredly among the very most exquisite, insightful and candid memoirs of the World War II Japanese American experience. I vigorously applaud the University of Utah Press’s marketing of this volume — which hinges on Havey’s pre- and early-adolescence incarceration at the Santa Anita Assembly Center in Southern California and the Granada (Amache) Relocation Center in southeastern Colorado — as a “creative memoir.” While all memoirs (a literary genre that in recent years has mushroomed in popularity) embody creativity, the one under review here does so primarily (though certainly not exclusively) through the prism of its exceedingly talented Niseiartist-author’s retrospectively rendered watercolor representations of her wartime past in America’s concentration camps.”  
  • One of the water colors in Lily’s book is entitled, “Only My Freedom.”  She says this about the painting on her Facebook page, “I used to stand by the barbed wire at the eastern edge of Amache, the camp in southeastern Colorado where we were imprisoned for three years, and wish I could hop away like the jackrabbits to Kansas 15 miles away. The background of this paintings depicts tiny vignettes of the camp and of idealized landscapes.”