5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR, 97211
Monday, February 24, 2020
Kennedy School History Pub
Kennedy School - Kennedy School Theater
6 pm doors, 7 pm event
Free. First come, first served. Arrive early!
All ages welcome
Qualifies for “Attend a McMenamins History-Sponsored Event” Experience Stamp.
Why not stay the night? Receive 15% off your hotel room that evening using the code HISTPUB or mention it when you call the hotel.
6 pm doors, 7 pm eventFree. First come, first served. Arrive early!All ages welcome
by Toby and Kenneth Loftus, including video footage of their mother Mitzi
For Japanese Americans who lived in the West during World War II,
the removal to prison camps in 1942 as decreed by Executive Order 9066 is an
experience they will never forget. Mitzi Loftus was a child living in Hood
River when her family was forced to leave their belongings and home and sent to
Tule Lake Camp in northern California in 1942.
For this presentation, Toby and Kenneth Loftus will interview
their mother, Mitzi, regarding her time spent at Tule Lake and Heart Mountain,
Wyoming. Loftus will share related photographs from her personal collection and
will detail her parents’ immigration story to the United States in 1904 and
1911. In addition to describing the forced removal from her home in Hood River,
Mitzi will tell of her family’s movements through World War II and
re-settlement in Oregon, with the attendant discrimination they experienced in
the postwar years.
About the Speakers:
Mitzi Asai Loftus was born in Hood River, Oregon in 1932. Her
parents emigrated from Japan and owned and operated fruit orchards in Hood
River. She was in the fourth grade when World War II began and her family was
sent to the Pinedale Assembly Center in Fresno, California and later to camps
in Tule Lake, California, and Heart Mountain, Wyoming. Her father was swindled
out of some of his land after he was sent to the camps. In April 1945, the
family returned to Hood River where Loftus finished school. When she was in the
ninth grade, she changed her name from Mitsuko to Mitzi. She attended the
University of Oregon and studied education, then taught in Oregon schools for
47 years. Loftus also taught English in Japan on a Fulbright scholarship. She
has written a book, Made in Japan and Settled in Oregon, about her
family's history and experiences during World War II, and frequently gives
presentations about the camps and her life as a Japanese-American in Oregon.
Ken Loftus is the second son of Mitzi. He enjoys surprising new
acquaintances by disclosing that he is half Japanese-American. Ken is proud to
also claim Norwegian and German in his background and pleased that his daughter
Helena can add Greek to that mix. He lives, works, and plays (e.g. trombone,
gardening, play-going) in Ashland with his wife, Melissa. They have enjoyed
working on their McMenamin's Passports while simultaneously celebrating family
events such as a wedding, graduation, Mitzi's 70th birthday, and recent 21st
birthday in the family. Cosmic Tripsterhood is a ways off, but may get easier
once McMenamin's spreads farther southward into the Rogue Valley....
“Unaccustomed as he is to public speaking,” he is happy to support Mitzi in
spreading the word about her wartime experiences in the hopes we will not be
forced to repeat this bit of history again.
Toby Asai Loftus supports his viola habit working high tech. He
has performed in Newport Symphony over 15 years and performs occasionally in
other orchestras and string quartets. He recently traveled twice to Japan with
his mother and blogged extensively about those experiences. Outside work, music,
and travel, he likes to spend his time fly fishing lakes and singing karaoke.
These monthly, free events are open to everyone interested in Oregon and Pacific Northwest history. Co-sponsored by like-minded historical and civic organizations, we bring you experts, scholars, first-person experiencers and historians who expound on topics from Lewis and Clark to shipwrecks, hop growing to women pioneers and far, far beyond. It's like being back in the classroom - except this time you get to settle into comfortable seats and enjoy a drink or two with dinner while you listen and learn.
This event is eligible for a History Pub Stamp
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