It was a note to Neighbors from Charles Linderman, Carrington, N.D., some months ago which stirred interest in the story of Harry Hayashi, who was born in Japan, came to the U.S., settled in Carrington, where he opened Rainbow Gardens, the region's first motel, then was detained during World War II as an "enemy alien."
Harry's son Bob and Charles were classmates in the 1962 Carrington High School graduation class.
Charles writes that although some members of that class keep in touch with one another via a website, Bob hasn't participated, so Charles has no idea where he is these days.
Charles also writes that a low income housing facility now is on the Rainbow Gardens site and is still known by that name.
The previous column about this led Virginia Baker, McHenry, N.D., to write that she attended New Rockford (N.D.) High School, and has been told that one of her classmates was Huygene Fujiwara, whose father also was detained during the war.
That fired up Thomas Witte's interest. Thomas, of Sugar Land, Tex., did some research but could find no information that Huygene's father, whose first name was Rinney, was detained.
"All of Rinney's children have died," Thomas writes, "but I looked at the obituaries of each and did not find any reference to their father being interned."
But Thomas passes along information he learned about Rinney and his family.
Rinney was born in 1898 in Japan, came to the U.S. in 1914, registered for the World War I draft in Havre, Mont., then, according to the 1920 census, worked in a cafe in Minot, N.D., in 1920. The Minot directory says he was a cook in the US Cafe, Minot, in 1922.
Around 1927 or 1928, Rinney married the former Lydia Cunningham, who had been married to Clyde Morgan but was divorced. They lived in New Rockford, where Rinney owned a cafe.
Rinney's marriage to Lydia gave him three stepchildren: Paul, who was 12 at the time Rinney's and Lydia's marriage, Grace, 11, and Clyde. 9. He and Lydia had four children: Tayro, Karlo, Sue and Huygene.
Lydia's son Clyde, who was an Army sergeant during World War II, was killed in action on Guadalcanal in 1942 and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Then his brother Paul was killed in action on Iwo Jima in 1945. Both are buried in Hawaii.
Lydia died in 1954 and Rinney died in 1983. Both are buried in New Rockford, as is their oldest son Tayro, who was a major in the Air Force during the Korean and Vietnam wars and who died in 1978.
"I would hope that in view of the obvious patriotism of this family, Rinney was not interned," Thomas says.
Do any of you neighbors know whether in fact Rinney Fujiwara was interned? And do you know where Bob Hayashi is now? If you have information on either of them, let Neighbors, Charles and Tom know.
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 241-5487 or email email@example.com.