Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Gordon Hirabayashi Interview V
Narrator: Gordon Hirabayashi
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 4, 2000
Densho ID: denshovh-hgordon-05-0003

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TI: Well, why don't we, yeah, talk right at that moment? So what happened when you got off the train in Spokane? What was that like?

GH: Well, when I got off, I got off, I was free so far as being in handcuffs or anything like that. And it was up to me to get to someplace. I can't remember if anybody met me there. Eventually, I, since I had connections, experience of staying at YMCAs and so on when I went somewhere, I inquired there and found a room. And I, I, by the time Floyd came several days later, I was already, had a working space at the YMCA. And it was a kind of a social center for certain, certain transient population. So I, it was kind of a natural place for me to settle there as a starter.

TI: What was your first meal in freedom?

GH: I don't know exactly what it was, but I would guess that because I kept craving it, whatever the time of the day, I ordered fried eggs. I was having breakfast each meal because, never had breakfast. We had, when eggs were permitted as part of the breakfast, you know, bucket of hard-boiled eggs would be brought in. And each of us got an egg, plus some toast, bread, and so on. If we had cooked or dry cereal, some variation was served. And so one sign of freedom was having something like fried eggs, which never was part of our meal. Now, if you're in federal prison, fried eggs are one of the options there, I mean, when you go through the line. But we're, I'm talking about people held in cramped tanks, cell blocks, in holding places like King County jail. So when I was traveling en route to Spokane -- Heart Mountain...

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2000 Densho. All Rights Reserved.