Santa Barbara Stories

Please know how pleased I am that you featured Miye Ota’s story in your December 10 issue. The Otas made a positive contribution to the lives of many young people in the late ’60s and early ’70s with the Social Dance classes they taught. My daughters, now 60 and 58 years old, still tell stories of their first interactions dancing with young men and learning necessary social graces in an anything but prissy manner from Ken Ota. We, parents, who did the carpooling, still giggle over the conversations we heard as we drove our children to classes.

Santa Barbara was very fortunate to have this delightful couple in our community.

Miye’s story about her family’s experience in the Desert Internment Camp, echoed what I heard from the Tanouye family, who were our neighbors on Lassen Drive in the early ’60s. Mary and Bill met at an Interment Camp and their brothers served in the U.S. forces, Japanese division.

In the context of the need today to have cultural diversity in Santa Barbara, articles such as the one on the Otas and other residents of different backgrounds is important.

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