The Empty Chair
In May, 1942, the valedictorian at Juneau High School, John Tanaka, was absent because he and others of Japanses ancestry had been forcibly removed and incarcertated in government internment camps a month earlier. The graduating class left an empty chair in his honor at their graduation, honoring John and the other Japanese Americans. John’s younger brother, Bill, was in my mother-in-law’s class and naturally she remembers this incident. The Empty Chair Memorial is in Capital School Park between 5th and 6th Streets and Franklin and Seward.
Today was the rainiest day of our trip. While Dorothy was at work, Cathy and I spent the morning in the State Museum and Library, which I highly recommend. We also drove around downtown a bit with Dorothy after she got off work. That’s when this photo was taken. You can also get an idea from this photo of the steepness of some of upper Franklin Street.
The original intent of this doll was that the owner could make clothes to fit it. Of course, making clothes that small is not as easy as it sounds. My mom, to whom it was given, says that it’s actually easier to make full size clothes for a person than it is to do the very fine, fiddly work necessary to make clothes for this doll. She doesn’t remember exactly when it was given to her but she knows it was when they lived in Raeford, North Carolina, where her father was the principal of the school. They were there during the second World War and her mother made this nurse’s outfit for the doll and it was displayed in a bank window along with a sign asking for donations for the Red Cross. There was a “thermometer” where they showed the amount that had been given by extending the red line up the middle. As you can see, the buttons are out of scale with the rest of the clothes, but putting scale buttons on something this small would have been pretty tricky. I know people who won’t sew buttons on full size clothes.