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-01-0020

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AI: Well, before we get to that point of your leaving, I wanted to back up a little bit toward, to the end of 1943. And I understand there was a, something of a Christmas celebration there, even though conditions were difficult at Minidoka, that there was some, some Christmas festivities. Do you recall much about that? I'm sorry, the Christmas of '42?

RC: I came home for Christmas.

AI: To Sacramento?

RC: To Sacramento because my brother, who'd been overseas, had come home on a furlough and I wanted to see him. And school was out for, oh, I guess a week or so. So I came home.

AI: Well, that must have been very special for you to be able to be back at home with your family.

RC: (...) Yes. One of the special things that I must mention that would give you an idea of what my mother was like. She worked in a, in a boy's store in Sacramento. And she had a week's vacation. And I wrote her probably four or five times a week telling her everything. A living history for her. And she wrote back and (asked), "Would you find out if I could come and have my vacation there with you?" So I started with the principal. He took it to the superintendent, who took it to the head of the War Relocation center and got an okay. And then the women's dorm had a guest room and they thought it would be great for my mother to come. So my mother came and spent a week. And she loved every minute of it.

AI: Is that right?

RC: She came and sat in my class, and my kids thought it was great that my mother was there. And between classes she would talk to them and then she would go into other classrooms. And it was a wonderful experience for her and for me because we were very close. So, then she came home -- and she was active in the Presbyterian Church (...), I'm still a member of. And she gave talks about her week, her vacation week. [Laughs]

AI: Well, my goodness, what kind of reaction did she get?

RC: Oh, people were interested in it. The women in that church are very mission-minded. And this was a mission. And there was no religion involved, but there was, there was love involved. And the kids just loved visiting with my mother. [Laughs]

AI: That's, that's wonderful.

RC: (Yes).

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2003 Densho. All Rights Reserved.