Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Robert Coombs Interview
Narrator: Robert Coombs Andrews
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: SeaTac, Washington
Date: August 2, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-crobert-01-0014

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AI: Well, so, within about nine days, then, you received this notice.

RC: (...) I had a trunk and I had books in it and my clothes and I had train reservations. And I got off at, oh, what was the name of that place in Nevada? (Wells) Way out in the wilderness, there was a little desert town and then they packed my trunk onto a bus and I went on into Twin Falls.

AI: Well, even today, Twin Falls is not a very big town.

RC: No.

AI: What was it like then?

RC: (...) I was floored by the sagebrush and the rocks, the lava formations all along there and I thought, "What am I getting into? This is not a garden of Eden of any kind," you know. [Laughs] And I was met at the bus stop there, which was by the Rogerson Hotel. And I had written them for a reservation that night. The person who met me was from the War Relocation Authority. And the person said, "Tomorrow we'll take you around town and see if we can find a place where you can rent a room." And I said, "I don't want to live in town. I want to live on the project." I understood there was a men's dorm. And it was rather strange that some official of the War Relocation Authority would say, "Well, you don't want to live out there." And I said, "Yes, I want to live out there." I said, "There are times when I, maybe I could be of help to the youngsters, my evenings would be free." "Well, if that's what you want. Meet me here at seven o'clock in the morning. We'll get your trunk, put your trunk here." I had a small suitcase with clothes and (...) things like that. And so I went in and registered and asked for a call in time, (...) so I could get breakfast and go out with the people who were working out there as officials. They processed me when I got out there. And they took me across to the men's barracks building, and, where there was a cot. That was that. [Laughs] And I lived out of my trunk for a while until furniture from a hotel in San Francisco had been purchased. The men's dorm and the women's dorm were then furnished with something other than a very uncomfortable cot.

AI: Well, now this was August of 1942, wasn't it?

RC: Yes.

AI: When you, when you arrived there?

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2003 Densho. All Rights Reserved.