Memories of Pop (short story)
Creators: Jiro Saito
Short story by Jiro Saito about a young college dropout Sansei returning home to San Diego for the funeral of his estranged father. Written in the first person voice of Mas Mayeda, it is set in around 1960. As the story begins, Mas gets a call from his sister Rose informing him of their father's death. Disowned by his father after dropping out of UC Berkeley's engineering program to become a writer, Mas had not seen the family in three years. Upon his return, Rose tells him that their father, though stubborn, indicated that he wanted Mas to return. Before the funeral, Mas sees old family photos that tell their story: his parents' wedding in 1927 (his Issei father married a Nisei woman from San Diego); a successful farm; his father becoming a community leader; his father's subsequent arrest after the attack on Pearl Harbor and the family's removal and incarceration at Poston ; and their return after the war when they had to start over, his father working as a gardener and his mother as a cook. After the funeral, his mother gives Mas an envelope from his father containing a receipt for a radio purchased in 1949; his mother recounts the story of that radio, which became symbolic of his father's fortunes turning around after the difficulties of the postwar years.
"Memories of Pop" appeared in the 1979 Rafu Shimpo holiday edition.