Spring Forward Part 1 – Art of Gaman Continued

It is a few minutes past midnight on Sunday March 9, 2014. I have just returned home from Fresno County and I decided to post my photos from my last Fresno County visit. I wanted to post while it was still International Women’s Day, because this story reveals something unexpected about the struggle for liberty. The post is late, just as liberation often arrives later than desired.

 (bryan farley)

In January, I published the first installment of my long term project about Japanese Americans Internment Camp Survivors. When I returned to Reedley, California three weeks ago, Libby and her mother joined us. Libby and Tisha are related to many of the people I photographed in January.

 (bryan farley) Libby is my friend Carol Egoian’s granddaughter. Carol is my connection to the story. Carol introduced me to the Art of Gaman and she introduced me to many of her family members, including those who survived the relocation camps.

  (bryan farley)

When I started this story, I thought that I would find information about the camps. I thought that I would learn how a government could relocate its own people and take their possessions. I am reconsidering my central questions. While I am still concerned that a government could build relocation camps, I am more interested in the survival techniques of the people who were moved into the camps. How did they remain calm? How did they focus on the future? Did they prepare for a world where Libby would be free?

 (bryan farley)

I am also reformulating my questions about respect for authority. I had assumed that the Japanese-American culture respected their elders, because… well, because young people were taught to respect and obey their elders. After watching the elders interact with younger people, I have a different opinion. Young people respect their elders, because the elders care for the youngsters. Perhaps I have just found a caring extended family, but I suspect that there is a greater lesson. Young people respect those who care for them.

 (bryan farley)

To see more photos of Libby and her community, view the slideshow. Please leave a comment, especially if you have ideas about any of my questions. I am also curious about the origin of Libby’s name. Is it short for Liberation? If so, is her name a reminder of her family’s past? Is it also a sign of appreciation to those who survived? Lastly, I noticed that my previous post also featured someone named Libby. This makes the third Libby in one year to appear in my blog.


9 Responses to “Spring Forward Part 1 – Art of Gaman Continued”

  1. Hi Bryan! These photos are just as beautiful as the ones from your first trip to Reedley. I wish I had gotten to be there too! You truly are a visual storyteller, and we are lucky that you have taken an interest in our family’s story.
    I like your thought on Japanese-American culture and respecting elders. But I don’t think your two thoughts are mutually exclusive. I think one grows out of the other. In Japanese-American culture we are taught to respect and obey our elders, basically because they are our elders; it’s a cultural ideal and practice. But we FEEL respect, and learn to continue care for those around us (young and old), from those that care for us.
    As for Libby’s name, it’s short for Liberty. I’m not sure if my sister was thinking of all that you suggested when she and her husband named this little cutie; but if not, I think you just gave her name a layer of beautiful meaning beyond what it already had!

  2. I don’t know if she has yet, but I’ll make sure she does! 🙂

    • bryan farley says:

      Hey Whitney! Your sister has found the post! One of these days I will photograph you for the story. It’s funny that I rarely take your picture even though I see you almost every week. I enjoy visiting your family with and without my camera. I like being a person without my camera sometimes too.

  3. Bryan Farley says:

    Thank you Whitney Egoian. I had so much fun with her and more of the family. I wish that I could go back to The California Museum in Sacramento later this month when a large group visits the exhibit. I am glad that you feel lucky, because I feel lucky too.

  4. Tisha says:

    Hi Bryan (aka Uncle Special Guest)! Once again, wonderful photos! And ditto what my sister said (she’s much more eloquent than I am). Liberty is a name I’ve always loved and it’s fitting since her daddy is from New York. I love your take on it though…something I hadn’t thought of, but will now think a lot about. 🙂

    • bryan farley says:

      I see Liberty everywhere now! There are not so many Uncle Special Guests… that name is unique. (though there is a Man from U.N.C.L.E. and a band called Special Guest)

      I enjoyed my visit and watching all the generations interact with each other. Seeing how the elders respected little Libby gave me a new way to interpret “respect your elders.” Now that I am an elder, I must be a role model of respect and I saw that from the older folks when they were with Libby. All the older folks respected the younger people. They really earned the respect from the younger people. The elders loved the young ones.

  5. Tisha says:

    By the way…if you are able to get your hands on anything that says “Libby for Mayor” I’d love to have it! 🙂

    • Bryan Farley says:


      I will keep my eye open for a Libby for Mayor sign. Your parents might have better luck since Libby represents their market on the city council.

      Many of the candidates will campaign at the market this year too, so I am sure that they will find something. You could also leave a message on the earlier post and someone from the campaign will see it.