Thursday, June 4, 2009

Skies over Manzanar

The day we visited Manzanar the skies were a beautiful blue and filled with spectacular clouds. When we moved to the Owens Valley in 1977 there was little to indicate what was significant about this place. I'm not sure this sign was in place then. There was a simple sign on the highway that said "Manzanar" and pointed to the entrance.
There were usually cars parked by the old guard house. I always wondered who these people were. What did this place mean to them? Had they lived here? Had their parents?
In addition to the old guard house, the old auditorium remains. When we lived in the area it was used as a maintenance building for the Inyo County Road Department. The Park Service now uses it as an interpretive center. Here you can see a film about the internment with the voices of many who had lived here.
At the site of one of the gardens I tried to visualize what it must of looked like when it was being cared for.
But the cemetery was the most moving place.
We were there just after Memorial Day and we could see the many tokens that had been left. There is a Japanese legend that who ever folds 1000 paper cranes will have their heart's desire come true. From this legend has evolved a tradition that 1000 paper cranes symbolize world peace. I'm sure that there are at least 1000 paper cranes in this wreath.
There were many smaller tokens left as well.

I suppose there are many people who still do not realize that we imprisoned 120,000 people, most of them born American citizens in ten camps just because of their race. None of these people were ever accused of a crime much less convicted

It would be impossible to visit Manzanar and not think of how we can allow fear and prejudice to cause us to treat a group inhumanely.

It would be impossible to visit Manzanar and not see parallels to what has happened over last 7 years and is still happening today.

You can find more information about Manzanar at the Park Service site.
The Library of Congress has many pictures taken at Manzanar by Ansel Adams here.


You can see find many beautiful skies, most without a lecture,

by clicking here.

46 comments:

Ebie said...

Hello Ms Martha, we did not cross our paths when we were there, the Wednesday after the Holiday. You came earlier. We almost have the same skies and clouds photos. When we come back in the Fall, I will ask for more "tourist guide" info, and I will keep you in mind.

Daryl said...

These are beautiful posts and an education (long overdue) for some.

ellievellie said...

I really enjoy your photo essey. The way you try to look at the world through the eyes of another person is a great quality. I admire what you do. Wish to take a look at every single photo you took at this place. I'm pretty sure they are all worth seeing. Thank you!

Rob Ripma said...

Awesome photos! Sounds like a very interesting place to visit.

Diane C. said...

The colorful wreath and smaller tokens at the cemetery are very touching. I felt the clouds really added to your photos. The fourth picture with the barbed wire is especially moving. Great post.

koala said...

Hi,
I enjoy your comments on my blog. @the last one: there's a lot attention focused on the people born in 1989 which makes no sense to me cause they didn't know what was going on as babies. It's more interesting for my generation. We were 7 which is the age when you start school in Poland. So the political change happened at the same time when the our pre-school childhood ended.

Photo Cache said...

We wanted to see this during our 395 roadtrip last year. Did not do enough research to locate it though. I love that part of CA.

Sylvia K said...

Marvelous photos and skies, but what a sad commentary about our own country. A wonderful and very moving post! Thank you, Martha!

bowledover said...

Lovly post and great photos, full of atmostphere.
Thanks for sharing. Thanks for your visit and comments.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, thanks for the history refresher. The good old days were not so good for everybody.

Great post.

TCKK said...

Such beautiful skies. Wow!!!!

Happy SWF!

Carletta said...

Awesome skies - love the clouds and your composition of each image!

Thanks for dropping by. :)

J Bar said...

Great skies.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Pam said...

There is something so amazing about the skies in the west. They seem larger than life, I love them.

Carver said...

What a great post. I love all the shots and also the text. Very interesting and well done.

Wren said...

My husband and I drove by there a few years ago when it was still marked only by a small sign - easy to miss. I don't know if it was open for visitors then, but if so, they certainly weren't encouraging them.

We both recognized the name right away. On the same trip we visited the Japanese-American History museum in LA which has a detailed exhibit about the era and the interment camps.

The skies are beautiful, despite the sad history of the location.

Mary Elizabeth said...

Stunning sky.
Thanks for the history. Have a great weekend.
Now and Then

Oz Girl said...

The sky looks painted in these pics, incredibly beautiful.

I can't even begin to imagine the emotions that might run through a person that would visit this place. Intense I would think. It is a shame what humans can do to one another.

SandyCarlson said...

Thanks for teaching me about this place with your words and photos. Those cranes are really something to see.

Rinkly Rimes said...

That word Manzanar is delicious. I almost feel it could be the start of a novel rather like 'Rebecca' which started with 'Last night I dreamed I went to Manderley'

'Last night I dreamed I went to Manzanar'! Goose-bumps!


And the shots fit the words.

Thanks for visiting.

Sue said...

Thanks for sharing your photos, thoughts and experiences there. The skies are beautiful wherever we go, aren't they?

Baruch said...

Beautiful skies captured very creatively!

Dimple's Mom said...

Impressive sky shots! Lovely cloud formations in a very blue sky. I need a sun glasses if and if available an umbrella to go around the place. I enjoyed seeing the photos and the sad history behind the places clutches my heart. :(

great week-end to you!

Arlene
http://www.midlifedancing.com/2009/06/sky-watch-friday-54.html

Arija said...

Superb scenery with the clouds echoing the mountains.

Bim said...

Beautiful photos and a very interesting post.

David C. said...

Very good pictures and thoughtful essay. Thank you.

Regina said...

Beautiful place. Nice shots.

mountain.mama said...

Excellent post. You are so right about the travesties that humans continue to commit on each other. I particularly liked the picture of the barbed wire fence and landscape.

ramosforestenvironment.com said...

Great shots. Beautiful story and place.
Luiz Ramos

Owlfarmer said...

I guess I don't have to worry about not getting home this year; I can just read your posts and you bring it all back. Thanks for both of these, Martha.

My father worked at Manzanar when I was a baby--just after the war, and just after they'd dismantled the camp. He was on the road maintenance crew. Years later, when I was going to college in Philadelphia, I met a woman who'd been interned at Manzanar, and she was bitter about the experience, except for the fact that the place was so beautiful. The sheer spectacle of the landscape may well have kept some of the inhabitants sane.

The name "Manzanar," by the way, comes from the Spanish manzana because of the apple orchards that were already in place before the camp was built.

Russ said...

Nice article. Beautiful photos.

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." -- Benjamin Franklin

Island Rambles Blog said...

Hi there..I love the puffy clouds framing the sky in each picture.. doing some quick catching up on Sky Watch and visiting your lovely blog as I have just returned...cheers.

BirdingMaine said...

Beautiful scenery and awesome photos!

Thanks for visiting my site!

ifmomsaysok said...

The mountains and the clouds are gorgeous! Such an interesting park, so full of memories and history.

Michelle Johnson said...

Wow! Those are beautiful pictures and wonderful information. I remember writing a report in high school about this camp. Sad story, but very interesting.

Tammie Lee said...

Each image is wonderful and each sky draws me in with it's beauty!

David said...

glad to see your skywatch post
Thank you for beautifying the internet

tapirgal said...

What an interesting post. I was at Manzanar briefly one time, but I spent a lot of time in the Sierra Nevadas. I love to see that country (and the dramatic sky in your photos). It's good that we don't forget these places.

Linda Reeder said...

It certainly does make it more real when you can visit the site. This was a shameful episode in our history, and yet with enough politics of fear, it could happen again.

Lakshmi said...

one of the best posts that I saw today in skywatch..the pics are so wonderful..thanks for dropping by

Karen said...

A wonderful, informative and touching post..

I think that this is something that should never be forgotten..

Lisa Wilson said...

Great photos and a great history lesson that shouldn't be forgotten, too.

JOE TODD said...

Thanks for letting me visit a place I've read and wondered about. I have been to Jekyll Island
and may spend some time there this coming winter
Thanks

John said...

Lovly post and great photos!

Andrea said...

Thanks for stopping over to my little site and thank you for the beautiful post. My thoughts have been moved to those who are or have been struggling to live a free life. A~

Karen ~Georgia Angel aka ~Leah Rose's Mom said...

These photos are so beautiful! Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my blog. My moon photo was a fluke. I just happened to be at the right angle, with the right clouds, and the right lighting behind me.
http://www.ageorgiaangel.com/blog/?p=906