PHOENIX – Thirty miles southeast of Phoenix, on sacred land belonging to the Gila River Indian Community, lie the remnants of an internment camp that once housed more than 13,000 people, mostly Japanese Americans, during World War II.
Concrete foundations and cisterns remain, but gone are the fences, barracks and gun tower that revealed the purpose of the place was incarceration rather than internment, at a time when Japanese Americans were suspected of being spies and saboteurs.
“These internment camps were less like camps and more like prisons,” said Koji Lau-Ozawa, an archeology doctoral student at Stanford University whose grandparents were incarcerated there. “There’s a complicated history, but it’s important to note that.”
Gone, too, are the bases, bleachers and foul lines made of flour that represented a form of escapism for those inside the wire: baseball.
Two months after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the U.S. government issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the incarceration of an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast. They often were given just 48 hours to sell their homes, businesses and possessions before assignment to one of 10 locations.
The owners of El Charro Cafe are collecting stories from patrons to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the restaurant's opening.
The Flores family is asking the community to submit "memories of special occasions, favorite dishes, and stories that are a part of the lore and love of this iconic restaurant," according to a news release. The best 100 stories will be featured in publications, social media posts, newsletters, etc. The writers of each of the selected 100 stories will receive a $100 Si Charro gift card. Entries will be accepted through December at sicharro100.com
“Over the years, our guests have generously shared their wonderful memories, as they have celebrated the special occasions of their lives with us. We would love to have a permanent record of these stories to commemorate the hard work and dedication that started with our dear Tia Monica in 1922 and has taken us through to today,” said Carlotta Flores, who along with her husband, Ray, and their children moved from California in the 1970s to take over the restaurant operations from her ailing aunt.
The photos in Issue 2 are all taken using his Kodak Brownie Hawkeye box camera. He described the camera as being meant for the amateur photographer "who was more interested in taking pictures of the family vacation or a child's birthday party."View this post on Instagram
View of a young nephew at work. . 📷🎞@Kodak #Brownie #Hawkeye, #Kodak #TX400 . #believeinfilm #shootfilm #mediumformat #120film #film #photography #filmphotography #analog #analogphotography #bw #bwphoto #blackandwhite #blackandwhitephotography #boxcamera #toycamera #browniehawkeye #gmc #truck #repair @kodakprofessional @kodakcameraclub_roc #tucson
Online previews are currently available for the 75-piece “Robert Shelton ‘Old Tucson Collection’” as part of a 600-piece Hollywood Auction run by RR Auction. Highlights of the selection include a rifle gifted to Shelton by John Wayne, a collection of Old Tucson film scripts, and multiple wardrobe and set pieces. Estimated auction prices of these items run from $200 to $8,000.
Bidding begins Friday, May 17 and ends Thursday, May 23.
Originally a country club developer, in 1959 Shelton leased the Old Tucson property from Pima County and began to restore the facility originally built by Columbia Pictures in 1939 for the movie Arizona. Shelton was involved with Old Tucson production for decades, working when classic Westerns such as Gunfight at the OK Corral, Cimarron, and Rio Lobo were filmed at the studios.
The props are especially rare considering they survived the 1995 fire that destroyed much of the Old Tucson studios.
RR Auction worked with Shelton's widow, Carolyn Olson Shelton, to properly place "these rare relics in the hands of people who will treasure them."
For more information and to see the collection, visit RR Auction’s website.