Sunday, May 16, 2010

School's out for-ever

In 1941 O.G. was going to UCLA. That same year the war started. The government took her and many others and put them in internment camps. It didn't matter that they were born in America - these people lost their homes, their businesses and their futures, and were forced to leave with only what they could carry.

Now, SEVENTY years later, UCLA is giving those interned Japanese-Americans their diplomas.
On Saturday we attended the ceremony - many of the recipients have long been deceased, and had to have other family members represent them. Well into their 80s and 90s now, many of them couldn't walk. But O.G. made it there and finally got her diploma after all these years.

It felt kind of bittersweet to me. Sort of like, 'Hey remember that time we made you live in a horse stable? Oops, my bad.' Despite the sadness and what could have been, it was a great day and the graduates seemed really excited and happy.
I made O.G. signs which the boys happily carried and waved. The double decker tour buses got an eyeful everytime they turned the corner - the kids couldn't contain themselves.
After the ceremony there was a reception...with ALL THE MOCHI YOU COULD EAT. Best. Reception. Ever. Even the traditional chi chi dango mochi was dyed UCLA colors which even this die hard Trojan found heart warming.
Later we went to Roy's downtown to celebrate - for some delicious Hawaiian fusion and amazing service. Misoyaki butterfish anyone? OH. YES. And, of course I had to bring a cake from King's Hawaiian to end the meal! (More info on the cake, here.)

O.G. was a media darling, I saw her on the news and interviewed for several papers. I don't normally post personal pictures, but this...this was a momentous occasion seventy years in the making - and frankly, I'd never seen her so happy.

Congrats O.G.! Good luck finding a job in this economy, sucka...
L.A. Times story on UCLA Japanese American honorees
L.A. Times pictures from the ceremony
Channel 2 news story
More pictures from the graduation, here.

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Blogger Lora said...

ConGRADulations OG!!!!!! :o)

Sunday, May 16, 2010 2:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Annika said...

Oh man, I am all teary-eyed. Congratulations, O.G.! It's about damn time.

Sunday, May 16, 2010 3:52:00 PM  
Blogger Kristen A said...

Fantastic! Thank you for sharing such a special occassion! Way to go O.G!

Sunday, May 16, 2010 3:53:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

This got me all teary, too.

BTW, I need an intern. The job is O.G.'s if she wants it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Hilary said...

That made me teary eyed too. Congratulations to O.G.!

Sunday, May 16, 2010 5:35:00 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Congrats O.G.! What a great story!

Sunday, May 16, 2010 6:13:00 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Tears again! Congrats to OG - she's so cute!! And how sweet that your boys were so excited!

Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:08:00 PM  
Anonymous foolstwist said...

De-lurking cuz this was just too lovely not to say thank you for sharing.

Sunday, May 16, 2010 7:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Dawn C. said...

What a lovely, touching story and so long overdue. Congratulations!

Sunday, May 16, 2010 11:26:00 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

As many books as O.G. has starred in, and now with a degree from UCLA, I think she could just show up at Pixar and she'd have a job. Thanks for sharing. It makes me happy, proud, and sad all at the same time.

Monday, May 17, 2010 6:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Babs said...

What a special day! And what a blessing that OG is still around to receive her diploma. Thanks for sharing the pics.

Monday, May 17, 2010 6:53:00 AM  
Blogger Sizzle said...

Waaaaaaaay overdue. Thank you for sharing this with us! Congrats O.G.!

Monday, May 17, 2010 8:08:00 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Well, I don't normally comment, but this was WONDERFUL. It really made my morning. Congrats to OG for finally getting that diploma! I've never seen someone make a cap and gown look so good...

Monday, May 17, 2010 8:40:00 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Congrats OG! Much aloha to you & your family.

Monday, May 17, 2010 8:52:00 AM  
Anonymous kirbie said...

What a sad, but also great, story. Felt so conflicted reading it! Love the signs you made for your OG. I'm glad she was able to finally get her long overdue diploma.

Monday, May 17, 2010 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger doahleigh said...

I just heard a story about this on NPR. How cool to read about your OG as part of it!

Monday, May 17, 2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger shizzknits said...

Wow, may congratulations to OG!

Monday, May 17, 2010 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Amazingly cool, even it if is kind of bittersweet. Go O.G.!

Monday, May 17, 2010 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Congrats O.G.!! Now time to par-TAY!

Monday, May 17, 2010 1:42:00 PM  
Anonymous Woodsy said...

OMG!!! This is your best post to date! Congrats OG!!

Monday, May 17, 2010 2:02:00 PM  
Blogger Rose said...

More tears here - thanks for posting such a personal story. Go OG - Class of 2010!!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010 7:33:00 PM  
Blogger The Daily Randi said...

I Loved this story. Congrats to OG! Thanks for Brightening my week.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger lilsprinkles said...

wow, congrats to OG...that's an awesome story. (lil sis)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010 7:37:00 PM  
Blogger The Nix Family said...

I can see why she was a media darling - she is darling! Glad she got what was coming to her ... lame so late!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 2:42:00 PM  
Blogger lilsprinkles said...

so proud and happy for OG! big sis

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:44:00 PM  
Blogger joyce said...

such a sweet post! congrats to OG!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 10:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Cassi said...

This is wonderful, just wonderful!! (And long overdue too) What a fantastic memory for you and the kids to be able to share that special day with her!

Thursday, May 20, 2010 12:52:00 AM  
Blogger Yum-e said...

Awesome! Love the signs your kids held up. I hope they remember this day when they much older...part of history man! I forwarded to my folks in Hawaii and they are soooo happy for your family! Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, May 20, 2010 9:20:00 AM  
Blogger Lucy said...

Don't make me cry at work! :) Such a sweet story and congrats OG!

Friday, May 21, 2010 1:21:00 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

This is such an awesome story! Congrats to O.G.!!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010 1:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Karen said...

While it's well over a year since you posted this story...thank you for sharing. My Dad and his family were sent from Hawaii to Texas and he never likes to speak much of that time...too many bad memories. It's so wonderful that OG got her diploma, very late, but still...

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 7:53:00 PM  

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