Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Harvey Watanabe Interview
Narrator: Harvey Watanabe
Interviewer: Stacy Sakamoto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 4, 1996
Densho ID: denshovh-wharvey-01

<Begin Segment 14>

SS: What happened to your family's home when they were evacuated?

HW: It was leased. The farm was leased. But the lessee just stole everything. Didn't continue to farm and then left the house vacant so then the vandals got in and got rid, vandalized all of our personal property that was stored in the attic of the house. All the photographs and everything were all... gone. The lessee had stripped it of all the appliances and everything. Plumbing and appliances were stripped out of the house. The horses were sold. The farm implements were sold.

SS: That must have been very hard for your parents to hear.

HW: Well, under the circumstances, yeah, very hard. But they didn't know about it for the longest time. They didn't know about it 'til they got back. And I know they didn't know about it when we visited, because when I finished my schooling for Military Intelligence Service, Edith and I got on the train and we visited Poston. And I was in uniform, and we were escorted in by another GI that had a gun and was in the same, same uniform as I had, with a gun, to see my family.

Then another weird thing happened after that, that we weren't supposed to be on the West Coast. But when I bought the train ticket in a hurry in Minneapolis, they routed us through Las Vegas, and so we can go to Poston, Arizona, and then to Los Angeles, to San Francisco, to Portland, and then back to Boise, so we can see her folks. 'Cause by then they were out of camp but working at a hospital doing the hospital laundry.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 1996 Densho. All Rights Reserved.