The column that says when you meet Nancy DiLisi, you wonder why Sal DiLisi spends even four hours a day at his Carll’s Corner ristorante because she is an exercise trainer who lives well being and destains red meat.
By Jack Hummel
Radio: 92.1 FM WVLT Saturdays noon to 2 p.m.
U.S. Army: RA13815980
Google all columns at jackhummelblog
Millville Police Chief Thomas Haas told us he couldn’t wait to retire in Maryland during an interview in 2013.
Haas passed away earlier this week.
Here in the interview:
Project Thanksgiving and all the queens of South Jersey take over the first hour of 92.1 FM next Saturday followed by an interesting second hour from 1 to 2 p.m. of kids in the neighborhood.
In two hours of open forum today, we didn’t come close to how to get rid of drugs in Millville, although Rich Hoch said by phone that we have to reach kids with realistic photos of what happens when you get hooked on heroin so they don’t start on the killer.
Nobody wants to traumatize young people with visits to drug clinics to see addicts that have hit bottom, but if that starts to save people, we can more easily deal with the traumatized than the hooked.
Too many people are dedicating their lives to this seemingly invincible problem to not take it up a notch before it consumes the country.
“I remember handsome Pete Tisa, delivered soda to the OnIzed clubrooms.
“Happy Birthday, Pete!”
— Jane Hemighaus
Jane is the one who got away.
“Another Brazilian restaurant like the one in Delaware called Rodezios, in Voorhees.
— Linda Eisenberg,
The Spot in Vineland
And why have you not invited us to dinner?
A Vietnam veteran speaks unfiltered on Veterans Day:
“Jack , you were on a paid vacation. Some remfs had that.
“We lived like pigs and got treated like shit!”
And got treated the same way by our government when they got home.
Agent Orange is the biggest disgrace since internment camps.
They suffered and they died!
And here is what fear does to good people:
Every time he goes to the Fitness Connection at the Bridgeton Health Center, he asks the question.
He even took the fitness instructor home and made her watch it.
He repeated the question last week at The News.
“I don’t know why you want to talk to me,” he said. “It’s all in the video. Have you seen it?”
You talk to Frank Ono because he lived the internment of Japanese-Americans in camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
Yes, it’s in the documentary narrated by his son.
“It tells everything,” he said excitedly. “It’s all there.”
It all started on Terminal Island, near San Pedro, Calif.
“It was a fishing harbor of about 3,000 people,” said Frank. “My dad and two uncles had a tuna fishing business.”
They first built a 100-foot boat.
Just before the Great Depression, they built a 130-foot boat that was a double-decker. It carried a crew of 15.
The big fishing boat carried close to 200 tons of tuna in one trip.
Frank’s uncle designed it, including the brine-cooling system so the fish didn’t have to be packed in ice.
What happened next, nobody talked about for years.
“Until the younger generation wanted to know what happened,” said Frank. “Now, everybody talks about it.”
Frank’s father and uncles couldn’t become citizens because they were Asians.
“Italians could get citizenship,” he noted. “So, they could own land. My family couldn’t own land.”
The unthinkable started when Frank was 18 and in college.
“When the war broke out, my father and uncles were down in Mexico fishing,” he said. “It took them three days to get back to port in San Diego.”
On Dec. 10, Frank and his cousin went to help unload the boat like they always did.
The fish were still there.
But, that was all.
“The boat had been stripped clean,” he said. “It had been ransacked. Everything was gone.”
The lathe and drill press from the machine shop were gone. The engine room was gutted.
His father was arrested immediately and thrown in the San Diego jail as an enemy alien.
“I didn’t see him again for 21⁄2 years,” he said.
Dad and his uncles were moved from camp to camp about every six months.
Everybody on Terminal Island was evacuated.
“I moved to North Hollywood,” he said. “Then, about March or April of 1942, I was put in the camp at Manzanar.”
College was a memory.
Manzanar was his home for the next 31⁄2 years.
Until V-J Day in 1945.
His father was luckier, getting out after only two years.
Frank’s major was electrical engineering and his hobby was radioing.
When he came to Seabrook to visit his family that was already here, he went to work for Joe Deal when he was moving his shop to North Pearl Street where Kentucky Fried Chicken is now.
Three years later, he and a partner, Robert Dunn, opened Arrow TV Service in Millville.
It lasted for 40 years.
One year, Motorola awarded them a boat trip to Canada for selling so many TVs.
He remembers the day his life changed forever.
“I had bought my first car and I was taking three other students with me to Compton College.
“It was Monday morning, Dec. 8, and I didn’t know whether I was going to school or not. I felt kind of bad. The guys told me not to worry about it, ‘You didn’t have anything to do with it.'”
He didn’t feel that way. And he had good reason.
His family’s two boats wound up being confiscated and turned into mine sweepers.
The land farmed by his people was the worst around when they first started farming it.
“But, they turned it into the best — the most fertile,” he said. “That’s what they wanted, so they seized it.
“It’s all in the documentary.”
Mom and five kids all moved to North Hollywood.
“I worked maybe two weeks in a nursery before the call came in to evacuate — to go to a camp,” he said.
They were transported by bus to Manzanar Relocation Center.
A 20-foot by 100-foot building was divided into four “homes.”
A total of eight lived in the Ono home, with living quarters divided by sheets.
For 21⁄2 years.
Teachers came in from the outside. His younger siblings graduated high school.
After two years, an auditorium was built.
Frank Ono was the first one to get operated on in camp.
He had an appendectomy in the mess hall performed by a Japanese doctor who was also interned.
To make matters worse, some of the administration people were stealing food provided for the incarcerated.
A protest of the administration building followed and somebody started up a truck and headed it for the military police on duty, so they opened fire.
“I think seven were wounded and two were killed,” said Frank. “When it came time for the inquest, the MPs that had been on duty had been moved to a new duty.”
Manzanar held 10,000 detainees.
He remembers the good times.
“There was a fire break between each section of the camp, and we used that for a playground,” he said. “We made gymnastic equipment. A horse and rings.”
When Frank Ono got out of Manzanar after 31⁄2 years, his family had already moved to Seabrook, where Seabrook Farms was recruiting workers.
They had been released after dad was released and joined them at Manzanar.
So Frank, the last to be released, headed east to Seabrook for a visit.
He remembers his sister being used as a test case.
“She was put in different schools to see how the other kids reacted to her,” said Frank. “Two weeks here, two weeks there. I remember her going to Swarthmore. She finally wound up at Juniata, where she graduated.”
Another sister became a cadet nurse at Lankanau Hospital, and later a registered nurse.
A younger brother graduated Juniata and was sent to MIT, later working on the U.S. early warning defense system.
He was Ray Ono, Tex Robinson’s backup on the football field in high school, who wound up with seven U.S. patents.
In October of last year, there was an Ono family reunion in Reno, Nevada.
Naturally, Frank Ono attended from this area.
“Hey, Frank,” said another attendee. “Did you hear about the honorary degrees given out at your college this month?”
It was the first Frank had heard about it.
“When we got home, my son called Compton Junior College,” said the 88-year-old Ono.
His wife, Fumi, who he met and married in Seabrook, had gone to San Jose State, starting a year earlier than Frank.
Four days after his wife passed away after a long illness, her honorary degree from San Jose State arrived by mail.
She never knew.
Frank’s degree from Compton came right before Christmas.
It took 70 years to get them.
Now, if you want to know about Frank’s children, including son Richard Dana Ono, who went to Johns Hopkins, then Harvard, and who narrates the documentary that covers from Terminal Island to today, News reporter Lauren Taniguchi is doing that interview.
And we’ll all know why Frank Ono keeps saying, “Don’t ask me. It’s all in the documentary.”