Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Elaine Ishikawa Hayes Interview II
Narrator: Elaine Ishikawa Hayes
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: May 18, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-helaine-02

<Begin Segment 1>

AI: So, today is May 18, 2004, and we're continuing with another interview session with Elaine Ishikawa Hayes. And Elaine, as we were just chatting earlier, you said that you had an incident to, to relate about when going back in time to Tule Lake camp in 1943, was it?

EH: (Yes)... I think that's right, '43.

AI: When your mother was leaving camp and, and about your mother and what happened when she decided that she was ready to leave Tule Lake.

EH: Uh-huh. My mother did not want to go into another camp. She was supposed to go to Amache in Colorado because high elevation was supposed to be good for people with TB connections or affiliations, and because my father was in a TB sanitarium, they assigned her to Amache, and she just wasn't going to go through with that, again, that process. So, at this point she's ready to drive out of Tule Lake because she is ab-, was able to get a job at the Winnebago missionary boarding school. And as she, you know, she, she must have had to work horrendously fast to pack everything they had into the Oldsmobile. And as she drove to the gate, here were a mass of people determined to stop her because they envisioned all kinds of dast-, dangerous situations that they might encounter. And a lot of them were our friends, the Inais, who, whose building -- you know, we were renting an upper flat from them -- were among them. And they literally tried to push the car back, and my mother just gingerly kept honking the horn and inching forward and, and then they realized that there was no way they could stop the car because my mother had the, the ability to keep going. And it was just -- my sisters say that was just an indelible memory. All these frantic people pleading with my mother to not do this.

AI: So, it sounds like these people were just convinced that it was going to be very dangerous, that, as Japanese Americans, and Japanese-appearing people --

EH: Well, especially someone like my mother with young children. Now, John Yoshimura was in the car, 'cause he was going to University of Minnesota. But still, you know, they were saying, "You're (going to) be raped, you're (going to) be attacked, the kids are (going to) suffer." But once she gets a notion... and, you know, maybe she had confidence in... because there were missionaries, for instance, one of the things that happened in the relocation process was the government, the U.S. government made all the, the missionaries, for instance, or people, Americans who were in, in dangerous situation -- dangerous areas or... come back because the whole world was in a, going to be in a war situation. So, missionaries were a major part, not the major part, but a good significant part of the teaching staff, were missionaries who were coming back from all over -- so my mother had some connections. There was a Mrs. Topping, who -- Miss Topping -- who apparently was, Toyohiko Kagawa was secretary or something. She was an American person. And, she knew Tohoku, the north country which, where my mother came from. So they were good friends. And there were people like that, you know, in camp. I had developed a good friendship with Harriet van Buskerg, who was a missionary in Turkey, and she was in Tule Lake teaching English. There was an, there was an English -- an American couple by the name of English. He was a Chronicle -- San Francisco Chronicle -- reporter. And she came from Issaquah, Washington. And I don't know what, she may have been a teacher, but they both came into camp to teach. And there were a lot of good people like that.

AI: Excuse me, it's, seems that most of the folks that you've mentioned and also that from what I've heard and read from other people, that many of the teachers in the camps, and people who worked in the administration in the camps were white Americans, European Americans. And I was wondering, at Tule Lake, were there other Americans of other ethnicities and races? Were there any, do you recall any blacks or Latinos?

EH: Oh, no, I think in prewar days, I think the country was not willing, or ready to hire blacks particularly in administrative kind of positions, as with Niseis that weren't able to get white-collar jobs, I think blacks were maybe even more handicapped. Certainly no Chicanos.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

AI: I would like to bring you back in time to just the year before camp, and the year when you were attending College, Sacramento junior college, and you were working for the Garritty family in Sacramento, and you were working with them as a domestic, and ask you about the race relations at that time and -- for example, these days, some people are not familiar with the term "color line." When, at, at that age, when you were just beginning college, were you aware of that term, "color line?"

EH: No. I didn't, I didn't become aware of the term "color line" until we got ready to buy a house, 'til, when Ralph and I... and you know, Ralph was going to the university, I was working at what was called Northeast YMCA. That YMCA is still at the same location, but in a totally different kind of building. And so we decided that despite our limited incomes, we should buy a house, it would be a good long-term investment, and when we went to real estate agents, they wouldn't show us anything -- they wouldn't even show us anything north of Montlake. I think the, I think the first house, Clifton Albright and I don't know about Hardcastle, Hardcastle handled a piece of property later for us. But there were one or two of -- oh, Tom Coppage, who was on the YMCA board, and I would've expected him to, because he kind of knew me, that as a board person that would've helped. But when we went to places like this, they would not show us anything. The first house they showed us was just off of Madison. And that's about as far north as they came. And that was '50, about 1950 when we were looking for that house.

AI: And so how did this, did this phrase come up? "Color line." How...

EH: Oh. Well, I learned... we were active in a small church, a unique church called Church of the People, that we just kind of dared to stop in and see what it was all about. It was on the corner of University Way and what's now Campus Parkway. The building is still there. And that was a very education, educating, broadening, socially broadening small church. And the housing discrimination and issues like that certainly came up, but, you know, we knew we were not, we were being withheld from coming north of the canal, north of Madison even. And what happened at the Church of the People was a white couple from Berkeley, Walt Hundley and his wife, were supervising the dormitory, particularly. The church built a twenty-nine room house, a dormitory, for particularly foreign and minority students because the campus had no facilities, they couldn't even -- blacks couldn't even get into co-op housing which was fairly common at, on big universities, but not here in UW. So the church took it upon themselves to build this twenty-nine room dormitory, and built a social area and kitchen, dining area on the ground level with a kind of a sunken garden. It was very pleasant. And when Walt Hundley and his wife left that position, there was another couple that came in from Berkeley, Handleys, Mary and... can't remember the husband's name. But they purposely were going to buy a house in Central Area, because they wanted to counteract this color line. And the bank almost wouldn't sell a white couple a house in Central Area. And they argued and, you know, studied the situation and they were liberals, ACLU probably was active by that time. And that's when we, when we started discussing housing problems, the term "color line" came up.

The banks were very insistent -- in fact, I'll jump ahead a little bit. When we went to buy the house that we were in, we bought it from a Franklin High School teacher who was buy-, who was teaching with Ralph, Ralph was Social Studies department head at Franklin in late '60s into -- no, mid-'60s to late-'60s he was at Franklin. And Marie Brannon overheard Ralph saying he had to get a bigger house, and he didn't -- when we had the house in Central Area, he was afraid that the, he didn't want the kids to go to school where he was teaching. And so we were determined to go north. We were also becoming after... after the Church of the People kind of broke up, a block of us joined University Unitarian and so I was teaching Sunday School there, we were also doing, being a little bit active there, and it would have been more convenient to live closer to that church, for one thing. But when Marie Brannon heard Ralph saying he had to find a bigger house, Marie said, Marie Brannon said, "Come and see my house, I have to get out of there," because her husband was going blind and he couldn't take care of the hedge in the garden, and she, they wanted to move to Tri-Cities where daughter was. So we went and it was just a very appealing, great double lot house. It was a Frank Lloyd Wright cohort-built house, Andrew Willetson. And had the planes, lines, and 3,500 square-foot, great house. So we ended up there, but we had paid a down payment on the house before we left for -- Ralph was on sabbatical in '65, '66 at Berkeley, so we paid the down payment and left, and that gave time for the Brannons to be able to move, and in April -- we left Seattle in June or July of '65.

In April of '66, United something, loan company, on Forty-fifth, a major... I don't know whether it was a bank, but anyway, they sent us a letter saying -- and a check, with our down payment back to us in Berkeley and, and saying that they couldn't proceed with this. And, you know, here it was... in April we were, we would have had to, we intended to be back in Berkeley, I mean, in Seattle by June, maybe a little later, but the kids had to be in school by September, and for us to find another house was (going to) be deadly. So we took spring vacation off and came back to Seattle and we stayed various places, Kuroses' for one, one place, and two other kids scattered to other places, but what had happened -- oh, it was funny 'cause the Brannons, Mr. Brannon was a real estate agent, and he was furious because he says he's given United a lot of business, so they took it upon themselves to go to Pacific National, I think. That was the bank, name of the bank on Forty-fifth and U Way. It's now a Wells Fargo, I think. But anyway, they went to the bank directly, and the bank agreed to help them by collecting the monthly payments from us, which included the normal interest rates and that kind of thing. So that's how we managed to solve that problem.

But it took every bit of time to get that through the system. So that summer when we came back, Ralph had been hired by Upward Bound at UW campus, and CAMP daycare, or CAMP, Central Area Motivation Program, was waiting for me to come back and take ov-, do the daycare business. So we were pressed for time, but we didn't have a place to stay, because that house wasn't available. So various people allow, and we end-, at one point we ended up at Victor Steinbrooks's house, Victor Steinbrooks had divorced his wife Elaine, and Elaine had the house, but it was an enormous house, so we stayed. We stayed at Kuroses' for part of the time, and we had friends in Green Lake and we stayed there the last month. But that's when we also discovered that this was a red-lining issue, that... but when, when an individual takes it on and it doesn't go through a loan situation, they can't, the bank can't withhold the service, and thank heaven Pacific National was willing to let us pay them. I don't know that they got any commission out of it. But those were severe issues all over the place.

AI: And that was in 1965, as you say. Where because of you and Ralph, because of your race, that you were being denied this opportunity to have your loan serviced and purchase the house.

EH: We also wanted to do it because GI bill was available to veterans, and that was incredibly low interest, and if we didn't take advantage, I mean, we didn't know how long that was (going to) last so we wanted to take advantage of that. I was pregnant with Larry and as we were going, we eventually did get -- oh, at our initial house in Central Area, even, it was about April or May, and I was pregnant, and Ralph said, "Don't you dare take that coat off; no matter how hot it gets, keep that coat buttoned." And so we survived.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

AI: Well, I would like to go back in time once again. And again to the, to the year before going to camp. And because I think it's so important to hear about the situation of people in different eras. And when you were in Sacramento and working for the Garritty family, do you, did you have a sense of -- at that time, I believe the term "colored" was commonly used. Did you have a sense that that term "colored" referred to you?

EH: No, no it, I think when you talk about "colored," particularly, it comes from the South, and that was distinctly blacks.

AI: And in Sacramento also? Would, was the term "colored" used to refer to, to blacks, to African Americans? Before...

EH: I think so. The term "black" certainly didn't arrive until fairly recently.

AI: Right, so in 1941 or 1942, "colored" would have been a commonly used term?

EH: Uh-huh. Somewhere I had an experience -- oh, well, anyway, somebody referred to a friend of mine, a Nisei person, saying -- well, I told you the term color-, Kuro-chan, but I had other people say, "(Yes), but she's colored." You know, meaning that they couldn't accept the fact that I was associating with somebody who was colored. But, but also, Caucasians used that term all the time.

AI: Right.

EH: And even, even in a good-intentioned way. "Well, coloreds do that," or "That's a colored, colored custom."

AI: And that would have been in the 1940s.

EH: Oh, (yes).

AI: Well, let me ask you --

EH: There was, I did have an experience at a dance, at a school dance, I guess it was, a high school dance, that a black guy came up and asked me to dance. And in those days I think I really wouldn't have, and I declined. And then I felt a little guilt or something, but I just wasn't ready to do that. My neighbor, Leona Henderson, was just a bright person, brainy gal. And I never had any experience of socializing with her much. We might walk back and forth to school once in a while, but I never saw much of her, I never knew much about, I knew she went to church, but I didn't know where that church was. We had a... kitty corner from Lincoln School was a small black church and we used to hear the music but we never, never ventured into it.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

AI: Well, let me ask you then, moving ahead a little bit farther in time, when you left camp, you went and first worked for the family and helping out with the wedding of the daughter, then you went to Michigan and assisted the elderly parents for a short while before then going to Milwaukee-Downer. And in our last interview session, you were talking about Milwaukee-Downer as being somewhat an elite private college for the daughters of the more wealthy families.

EH: But you know, in those days, colleges were desperate for enrollment because all the men had gone to the war front or taken, or other people took factory jobs because, you know, the pay was so much greater. So... I think it's interesting that, I think, even the most conservative of colleges eagerly enrolled... you know, people from, Niseis from, from the camps. I don't know whether I mentioned the fact that before an agency called Student Relocation was established by the Quakers, we were writing individual application letters because we wou-, somehow we would gather catalogues, just writing and they would send us catalogues, and we put those in a kind of a barrack bungalow, you know, small room, and we shared the information. And I wrote to, I think a Jefferson University in Missouri, and I got this letter -- did I mention that? I got this letter from, a very good letter from the college saying, "Thank you for your application. We're pleased that you are interested. But I don't think, we don't think you want to come here, this is a Negro men's college." And see, at that time, before the war, I don't think we were even aware that, how much segregation was intact and we never heard about "Negro colleges" for one thing. So that was astounding. And then you began to realize, then shortly, it was shortly after that that Student Relocation got established because I know that they handled my transcript. At the time I was leaving, even, Student Relocation was operating.

AI: Well, once you got to Milwaukee-Downer -- I think I didn't ask this the last time -- was, did you have an impression there that you and the other Nisei women were in any way equal to the white American women who were there?

EH: Well, I think, I think we were treated well and equal, though probably looking at us with a little bit of curiosity or stigma. A, you know, I told you about a Judy Johnson whose father happened to work in the Chicago relocation office, white, they were from Oak Park or somewhere just outside of Chicago. And she came up to me in a very friendly gesture and said, "What camp did you come from?" And I was startled that a Caucasian gal would know this and then she told me that her father worked at the relocation office, and so... that, that was a very -- that kind of experience was very precious, and heart-warming. But nobody else was much interested, I don't know that my, any of the dorm-mates, for instance, asked. And I told you about my dorm, dorm-mate was furious at me that I would talk to Judy Johnson about relocation camp, because she... because she was born in Japan and wasn't eligible for citizenship. She was kind of, for her, it was a psychological, big psychological problem 'cause she didn't feel like she had the same privileges that even Niseis did, but you know, there she was, in a good school.

In a sociology class, the teacher, the professor got sick, and we were getting a rotation of substitute profs, and... we had a woman who was a Tennessean and kind of had a southern drawl, and so she was testing, Gunna Merdle's book came out; it was a very significant sociological book on race. Probably one of the first major ones, and he, this came out of Sweden. And we were, we were having to read out of that, I don't know that we all had copies of it, but anyway, she was using that as a basis, and saying, asking us, for instance, would we have accepted Negro students at Milwaukee-Downer. And, and then she went into a general declaration kind of thing, and said, "How many of you would allow Negro students in the dorm?" And invariably I was the only one that would stand up with any of these questions, and I think at that time maybe Niseis weren't even ready to do that. It depended on the person. But it was an eye-opener for me because -- and of course I had that good experience at, as the spark, at the Student YM/YW when the black kids from Chicago, you know... I was in the room with them, and they would ask me a little bit about the camp, but gee, they were young kids, here I was eighteen, nineteen, and they were just out of high school, but I was amazed at their forthrightness. 'Course, by that time, the black population really had some belligerent, impatient attitudes built in. But I don't think we ever had, in Chicago, I mean, in Sacramento, we never had that kind of occasion. Lincoln School did have probably a dozen... in fact, in my ninth grade graduating class, I think there were three or four black kids. One of the black families -- and I never remember their last name -- was a boy, Roy, and his sister, Shirley, was another one that Ida J. North, the music teacher in Lincoln Junior High School, who had prepared Fumiko Yabe to be a beautiful vocalist, also did the same thing with Shir-, this girl Shirley. She just lived right behind us. We were on T and she was on S Street. I never really got acquainted with her, but we knew of her reputation because Lincoln, Lincoln School, because we had the stretch from kindergarten to ninth grade... performances, or programs that went on in the auditorium, very often we got a chance to see older kids perform. Not just limited to elementary school. So in that way, the integration issue, I think, never was a major problem, but it's true that we probably wouldn't have dated a black.

AI: In, in your Sacramento days?

EH: In Sacramento. (Yes), I mean... I think... we probably weren't prohibited, maybe some people were, but it just, it just, socializing just never occurred. It would have been interesting to have the YW provide that kind of experience. But they did do, we had a YWCA staff person talk about, came on a special program and talked about race relations and discrimination, but that was a very brief -- the other time I heard that, I think, was one of our older Nisei, I can't remember whether that was from, from a sermon, a pulpit, but this guy went into the ministry, became a Presbyterian minister, and he was another one that introduced discrimination and race relations. I can't remember whether that was a sermon or whether he was a Christian Endeavor speaker, but that was another -- you know, it's kind of interesting 'cause I looked back at it and almost could count on my fingers the time I heard these, these words. I'm not sure that, I'm not sure that we ever discussed it that much except, except in terms of employment discrimination. Even in my senior year, I had classmates who were rushing off to dime store after-school jobs, and my reaction was jeepers, we needed those jobs more than they did. How come we can't qualify, how come we can't get hired? We knew we couldn't get hired. There was no such thing as an Asian clerk in any downtown store.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

AI: Well, I'm wondering if your mother or your father -- although he wasn't around as much -- if either of them ever discussed discrimination or prejudice with you, in relation to employment or anything else?

EH: I think they never, my parents just never approached that kind of subject because I think they didn't want us to build a complex. And I think that's also true of a lot of black families. They don't go into it. I remember being in, there was an organization fairly well-known here in Seattle, relatively well-known, because it was kind of a pioneering group called Christian Friends for Racial Equality. And I remember a Jewish psychiatrist coming as a speaker, and a good black friend of mine stood up and said she was always in a dilemma about, not, whether to tell, prepare her son for discriminating, discrimination experiences that would come his way, or not tell him because she didn't want him to get, have a complex. And, you know, from that, and she did a remarkable job, she was a well-known piano teacher, and she taught, she taught several Nisei students because she was on Beacon Hill for a while.

But anyway, that kind of discussion -- I think before the war we really almost never touched the subject, even at the young people's conference. And then I was telling you that there was a junior high/high school conference that we -- I came across a negative and not the picture the other day -- and the name of that group was Christian Fellowship Conference, something like that, where the Young People's Christian Conference was well-known up and down the coast because each area district had their young people's, and those were more high school group or college, and young people, really young adult conferences where we had a separate one that we kind of got an early start at doing that.

AI: Well, I wanted to, I just had one other question about your experience at Milwaukee-Downer in relation to race dynamics. And I was wondering, at many colleges at that time, there were housekeeping help and people who did cleaning and cooking, and I was wondering what the racial composition of the, the workers, the housekeeping workers at Milwaukee-Downer was.

EH: There weren't even, there weren't even black domestic help of any kind. I think that's how restricted it was, you know, right up to the war. I think it wasn't until the servicemen came back from service that it really irked them, that they fought for democracy and they come back and things are just the same, and they have to face the same discrimination. When I was working for American Council on Race Relations, one of the articles that I came across, or issue, was that at New York's major railroad station, what is it? Anyway, the porters all had to have college degrees, but they were porters. And that's the level of, you know, discrimination that existed.

AI: And at that time, these were all black porters, African American porters.

EH: (Yes), (yes). Seattle is unique in that a lot, the porters here were Japanese, Niseis, a lot of -- Aki Kurose's father was a porter at the railroad. That never happened in Seattle -- I mean, in Sacramento. That was kind of surprising to come up here to find out. But...

AI: And let me ask you also, when you first got to Chicago, and that would have been the summer of 1944 and you were going to work at the Curtis Candy Company, which you told us some about that, but I was wondering, about, what was your first impression as far as the racial composition of the workforce there at Curtis Candy?

EH: Well, that's interesting. I was trying to remember whether there were black factory workers. There may have been but I certainly, you know, if there were, we certainly didn't associate. I think in some of the colleges, and the Quaker colleges, for instance, there may have been a black student or two. I know that the other, another correction I think I have to have you note is, Mrs. Redfield, the family I went to from Tule Lake to help with the wedding, Lisa Redfield's wedding. Lisa's, Mrs. Redfield's parents' names are Robert E. Park, Mr. and Mrs. -- somewhere it seems to me I said Burns, so I want to make sure that that gets corrected. He was one of the pioneers in, for urban sociology. And he was -- when I met him -- he was teaching at Fisk. 'Course, I think he was well into retirement, he might have been about eighty, but he was still teaching. And Fisk was a well-known, probably one of the best-known black colleges. They started, there was -- you ever seen the documentary on the Fisk Jubilee Singers, that immediately after the Civil War, the only way that they could finance or raise any money was for the, this chorus from Fisk -- immediately after the war, it's remarkable that they were able to garner that much finances to even be able to travel and dress appropriately, and they were very popular, and these students really sacrificed a lot of time and cost because they knew they were a major fundraiser for the university so they continued to sing all over the country. And that kind of spirit is remarkable, I mean, coming from slavery into upfront, prestigious white institutions, and that, fortunately, they have that skill.

AI: Well, let me ask you another question about that, when you first came into Chicago, and some people still today are, say that Chicago is one of the more racially segregated cities, but certainly at that time in 1944, but when you were, when you first arrived in Chicago, were you aware of that reputation of Chicago as being a black and white segregated city?

EH: Probably not, but I, there were so many other urgent issues. But see, when I came into Chicago, Dr. Redfield met me at the station and just whisked me off to Des Plaines, and then I was at Petoskey, Michigan, and then came back to, right straight to Milwaukee-Downer, so I was kind of sheltered, from observing --

AI: What about -- so you were sheltered at that point -- but what about when, after Milwaukee-Downer, when you actually moved back into Chicago proper, and you were at Curtis Candy Company. What was your impression then of the, of the racial dynamic?

EH: I, I don't, I don't think we saw many blacks. Even on, when we, when Mabel Sugiyama and I were sharing an apartment on Drexel, there really weren't blacks on the street much, there were, just a block away, that's kind of a borderline area, and a block, block away was maybe the heart of south side, which is totally black -- considered totally black. But around the University of Chicago, it's very, it's always been fairly well-integrated, but University of Chicago probably had a lot to do with the housing development, and the quality of upkeep and that kind of thing. And I don't think I really ran into any mixing experience in Chicago until I went to American Council on Race Relations.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

AI: So for example, when you were at Preferred Insurance --

EH: Uh-huh, I had that one encounter of black applicants coming to, answering a want ad. And I would have been, I was ready to... experience with trying to see if this would work, and at least giving them a chance. At that point, I, I didn't see where we, they should be totally ostracized, I knew that the rest of the staff was (going to) have a fit about it, but I was willing to try. And then to be told by the head of the department, "No, no, get away, do something to, say something to get out of that situation." And interestingly enough, I think there was an agency called Rappaport something, right next-door to, to the Preferred Accident, and I had been, I don't know whether it was JACL, but fair employment practice issues were cropping up. And I knew that the American Jewish Council was active and I was feeling very, questioning, and had a worry about Rappaport's being right next-door. Because somehow I knew they were active in social issues, American Council on... Jewish, Jewish American Council, or there's a committee of sizeable, and that was probably, early '50s. So FEPC kinds of issues was beginning to hit the press, and I think a law was passed that we couldn't discriminate. And so, if these black gals that came to apply were probably not that sophisticated, but if they, if they knew better, or if there was a system, system entrenched to combat discrimination, they could've easily walked into the Rappaport office and, and sought help. And they might have gotten it. But, and that occurred to me. I was aware that the Rappaport office was next door, and wondered whether they knew about discriminate -- the Jewish community was strong on discrimination issues. They did a amicus curiae for, I think the... the Japanese American issues on...

AI: Later, for the redress.

EH: (Yes), later. But...

AI: But, so at that time then, you said that you felt very uneasy, and that you personally would have hired --

EH: I would've, I would've liked to try it, and I knew there was going to be hell and high -- [laughs] -- water in the rest of the personnel, but I could have used them in filing system, I didn't have any idea what their skills really were. But I certainly... where I got that, 'cause until I met Ralph I didn't really get involved with -- Ralph was active in what was called American Ethical, American Ethical Cultural Society, and that was, that's a fairly significant group, especially on the East Coast and even in Chicago. That happened because he had a Jewish English teacher who apparently was active in American Ethical Culture, and it got him a scholarship to go to a summer institute in New York. And that was a significant experience for him because Henry Wallace and Eleanor Ro-, in fact, Eleanor Roosevelt, I don't know whether they were stationed at Hyde Park, but I, they were, we had pictures of Eleanor Roosevelt speaking, and it was at Hyde Park. And that was a, that probably was an early instilling for him, 'cause I, or he was active in American... AVC, American Veterans Committee, which is a more liberal group, and they, they were trying to break the color line in Chicago.

AI: But before you met Ralph, when you were --

EH: I, just a little vaguely probably, the Estes Park experience, having lived with the Parks, Mrs. Redfield's parents, knowing he was at Fisk, and those kinds of things kind of bridge a gap. I never met, I don't think I ever encountered a black person, whether, as a guest or in the period before.

AI: Well, in fact, I wanted to ask you, at Preferred Insurance, it sounds like your employers there, and your supervisor and boss at Preferred Insurance, really put you and the other Nisei workers in a category by yourself. You weren't quite the same as the white American workers, but you definitely were in a different, they seemed to put you in a different category from black workers, who they wouldn't even hire.

EH: (Yes), (yes), there was, I think socially, that topic just never came up, even in society very much. It was there because by the time I got to American Council, I discovered that there was a whole new world out there. But in the run of the mill association, we nev-, I don't think we ever discussed it. At Preferred, we were fairly integrated and, and --

AI: As Nisei.

EH: (Yes), we used to eat lunch together, and I heard all about dates, and parochial schools, and the girls, good segment of the girls, not, maybe not so much together, but the big thing about office girls -- and Chicago's a Catholic city -- would spend their fall weekends going to Notre Dame games. The would hop on the train, and go to... I've forgotten, Notre Dame is north, something Bend. And for them it was just a routine thing to do, and I wouldn't, we certainly weren't involved in football at all, practically. It didn't take long, because the Chicago -- what, Giants? Bears, were notorious. But the other kinds of social integration -- that experience was, was, I think, a good experience. When Mildred Suzuki's husband came home, the whole office was in an emotional uproar, and said, "Go, go home, go home, go wash your hair, go clean your apartment." That's what she was worried about, and that was, that was very heartwarming.

AI: So at a moment like that, it sounds like there was really almost no consciousness of difference at a moment like that.

EH: No, no, no. We certainly, we certainly didn't meet on the weekends, and we didn't do anything socially, but lunchtime, and...

AI: Well, so, then --

EH: One of the interesting things, it was, it was so well-integrated that there was a secretary, a typist, who got to my sister Martha when Martha came in for a summer job. Had borrowed money from Martha, and she was a very masculine, foul language and all. And she was just not going to part with her money, to give back, and I had to go to the assistant, the director kind of lawyer kind of guy, and I said, "Mr. Manning, your gal Friday here, Martha's leaving tomorrow, and Martha's having trouble getting her forty-five dollars back from, will you speak to her?" "Absolutely." Immediately called her in, and said, "Get that money or check out. She needs to leave and get out of here." And, so there was no bones about the equality kind of situation.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

AI: Well, so then I, I don't think I asked you, what was it that, that intrigued you, or that caused you to take the job at the American Council on Race Relations?

EH: Well, I just, I felt like I had been at Preferred long enough, and there were other things to do, and, and that the title American Council on Race Relations was intriguing and exciting-looking. There was a Pat Shitama, who's a Seattle gal, happened to be the office secretary, or receptionist, at the resettlement committee in Chicago.

AI: Chicago Resettlers Committee?

EH: (Yes), (yes), Abe Hagiwara was directing, it was a very good, he was a very good person. But because I knew Pat, and I think maybe I met Pat at Pocatello, at the YW conference, otherwise I don't know. Anyway, Pat called me and said, "Hey, Elaine, there's a great job description coming through here. Why don't you consider it?" And she knew I would be interested. I can't remember that I'd had that kind of discussion with Pat, but I knew the Resettlers Committee was active, and I'd been there enough that I knew that they were branching out in many -- and that was a very vital organization, in Chicago. So, I feel, in many ways, I did not get back to college to graduate but I felt like, especially at American Council, I was learning more there than I would have ever had, had I stayed in school. You know, the real nitty-gritty of life -- even, even at Preferred, where we never had opportunities for white-collar jobs in, on the West Coast before the war. Just going through that routine. There was such a labor shortage, and the high schools were sending part-time workers even -- or kids who had quit school would come to apply. I really had a huge headache with incompetent high school, almost delinquents, who didn't care what happened to the files, and wouldn't file them right. They would be at the wrong desk, and it was -- we had thousands and thousands, and when a lawyer wanted a file, he had to have that file. And I'd say, "So-and-so, you had the file this morning. I know their correspondence came through." And she'd say, "Elaine, I don't know what the hell happened to that file, that was hours ago." And, you know, I went through that so much, in a couple of weeks I, "Mr. Howard, we're not having any of this. I don't have time to be disciplining sixteen-year-olders." And so those were learning experiences.

AI: Well, so when you first got to American Council on Race Relations, and you said you learned so much, and this was a period where you really found out more about the realities of race, tell me, what kinds of things did you first find out about in your early days there?

EH: Well, the fact that, and here was a sizeable agency, now, all the agencies in that building had, had mixed staff. They certainly had black staff. And Charles Johnson, who was president of Fisk, I think, was a regular, routine stopover for him, he would jump a train and come in to Chicago just to have a yak session with a couple of other professors, or the head of, Edwin Embrey was the head of Rosenwald Foundation, and just, there was just never ending what we were picking up. And the fact that I had to go through all this newspapers and magazine articles, and learn, categorize them in different sections of, of the whole issue of race, was a learning experience. I told you about Mary Sabusawa who was, had a work assignment from Antioch College and then ended up being rehired when she graduated. She was president of JACL at one point.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

AI: Well, let me ask you, as you're, you know, going through all these articles on race relations, and you're, you're working with the racially mixed staff there at the American Council, did race relations include Japanese Americans? Or was --

EH: Oh, (yes).

AI: Did race relations mean mainly white and black?

EH: No, no. Mary Sabusawa herself being there, made it a point all the time. She couldn't tolerate the thought of, of... who was the California governor, who got into Supreme Court...

AI: Earl Warren?

EH: Earl Warren. She had no use for him. I always felt that Earl Warren was, to some extent, a good governor, and I, I just, you know, felt that he was in a political bind, like Franklin Roosevelt. I think they were under great political pressure, but Mary certainly brought up Manzanar, and where she was from, and, but she, you know, she had a sharp mind and she was a capable person for handling National Association for Intergroup Relations organization. She wasn't the head of that organization as much as she had to do the, the House Organ, and that was probably a monthly, slick news item for intergroup relation people all over the country. And she's the other, she's another one that had to grab every bit of new news -- there were a lot of Jewish and black kids who, women, who were having trouble getting into colleges because colleges were being very restrictive, and those are the kinds of issues that -- I've certainly learned when you sit next to somebody and listen to what they had to go through to get, get into college, and there was a black labor major student, Ruby something, and it was amazing to hear people like that, how sharp they were about labor issues. Evelyn Apperson was a quiet and dignified tall gal, but out of Fisk, out of Smith, and then she went to Fisk, and Mary Sabusawa questioned her, "With that intelligence of you to come from a school like Smith into, into an all-black college like Fisk, why would you do that?" And poor Evelyn was kinda stumped at being asked that question, and Fisk had a standing, and was, well-thought of and all, and, and for Mary, that was a step down. I don't know that Smith College, I don't know that Smith was integrated at all. And for black people, being in a black, total black environment, like Seattleites going to the South, to Atlanta, for instance, go to college, it puts them in a very different world. And a lot of them, places like Atlanta are so socially, you know, entrenched, but also ability to climb, and class, like it or not, I think there's, there is a lot of class structure in big cities, and a lot of professionals -- I think there's five, if I remember correctly, I think there's five black colleges in Atlanta. And so as a gathering point, and, and feeling like they're in their own world, they're, they're able to, rank and file, or climb, or dictate what goes on, where when they come back to a white world, things are quite different.

AI: Well, speaking of the differences between a "black world" and a "white world," where did the American Council fit into this picture, and where did you fit in as not black or white?

EH: Well, you know, you learn to be universal, you learn not to be restrictive, that concerns in every area hit you. At some point I remember that the migrant worker issues became an issue, they used, they used to call them "wetbacks." And, you know, eventually that kind of issue, inhumane-ness, it gets broadened. The Jewish population also had their share of problems, there were all devious, antagonistic steps to keep them out. So you learn... I remember riding the bus in Chicago, on Michigan Avenue, and there was a couple of Jewish women sitting behind me, and from their viewpoint they were saying, kind of oblivious to my sitting in front of them, but they were saying, "(Yes), grab 'em anytime you get a chance. They're great domestic people. They're clean, they're orderly, they're..." And they're talking about hiring people from evacuation camps. [Laughs] And I just thought, again, this is the world. But for Niseis, I think, adapting out of camp, into a city like Chicago was, took a real turn, and a change in environment and personality. Coming from a protected, ethnic Japantown, and to come out of camp, and then be entrenched in camp, and then to come out into this world where you really had to catch your grips, and watch, and be able to speak up. Because I think if you don't speak up, you do get stepped on.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

AI: So we're continuing our interview, and just before our break, Elaine, I was about to ask you about your, the way you felt, as neither being black nor white, in Chicago in 1944, '45, '46. Can you tell a little bit about that?

EH: I think, I probably didn't intend to stay with the Nisei associate circles totally. In fact, my, my mother, while I was at, (yes), while I was at Preferred, she decided to buy this two-story, brick flat. Now, I don't know how she went about locating that. There was a real estate office close by. We were kind of in the Addison, Cub field area, and this fellow was a Syrian -- oh, we had also joined Lakeview Presbyterian Church, which was the neighborhood church for that area. And among other people, there was a good, I became friends with a Syrian, college, I think college graduate, but, and that was a good experience in many ways. Though the minister was very conservative, I have to say almost out of line conservative, but I had some good friends there. And, so we, when we bought the house, that was comfortable. There was a Greek couple above us, very friendly, loud, noisy, kind of, but they loved, they were always making that dish, wrapped in grape leaves. The grape arbor that we had at, at 509 Newport, I think was the address, never bore any fruit, but the, but the Greek family always got, got the grape leaves, and they would make these, almost like cabbage rolls, but they were grape leaves, and, bring, bring them down.

They were... well, and my sisters went to Lakeview High School, which was also in that neighborhood. So, you know, we didn't really -- though my mother went to morning service at Lakeview, and then -- and I had Sunday School for a time there, my daughter, my sisters went to Sunday school class. And was only Anna and Sara by that time, Jean never left her Evanston domestic service job that she had until her senior year, her last semester of senior year, you could live anywhere and still graduate from Evanston High School, if that's where you were going. But my mother would dash home, grab a bite, and get to the Japanese, to the Japanese congregation which was meeting at the Fourth Presbyterian Church, the north end of Michigan Avenue. So, that, she enjoyed that group, and then from there it was kind of the usual social life, once, once in a while she probably went home with somebody, but that's also where... Jean, Sara, who was probably, well, she was in elementary school, and I'm not sure there was a junior high school. I don't know whether they went through eighth grade or ninth grade, but anyway, Sara wrote somewhere that she was living a split-personality life because she was in a white high school, and yet, on the weekends she was being a Nisei gadabout, and she was new in town in '40... '44, it was '45 almost, I guess, when we bought that house, but because -- oh, that's right, we were even renting a house still in that neighborhood, but she talks about going to Nisei dances. And I think the only place she would have found those is if she went with my mother to the Presbyterian Church. And my mother soon learned to travel, navigate through Chicago by herself, but, that's where she met, well... oh, I brought some printed material, but she befriends an Esther Yoshioka, and Jean, I think that's what happened, Jean and Esther's sister Julia were sharing the domestic job in Evanston, and both going to Evanston High School. So that these families somehow would have met, the younger sisters met, and they became bosom-buddies.

And my, I was also living at that -- oh, I think I was living, when initially I went to American Council, neighbors in that Rosenwald house, these were huge, cement, mostly looked like cement houses, I mean, they were big, in the University of Chicago area. Ellis Avenue at, at Cottage Grove or something like that, is a black section, and Ellis is maybe five or six blocks east. But there was a, a Jewish family lived -- the Rosenwald house is almost a double-block, they had a huge lawn, and, and servants' quarters with a carriage house, so it's an old house. But the Jewish couple had come to Julius Rosenwald's building and asked if they could interest somebody in earning their room and board, living with them there, and they had two, two children, a five- and an eight-year-old, something like that. He was a, what do they call it, the Jews had to have a special butcher, Kosher butcher's son, and she was a social worker, formerly. But anyway, so I said, wow, that would save me an hour's transportation, coming from the north side down to the middle of south side, so I said, you know, I'll try it. And so I with... I can't remember their name, Friedlanders, Frybergs, or somebody, anyway, for a whole year at least, and that was a good experience, 'cause I learned all about, they were excited about the establishment of Israel, and though Israel really didn't get their independence, or their established government until we were in Seattle, in '48, '9 probably. But I learned a lot... I should remember, I shouldn't forget this name. But anyway... in fact, there was a prominent doctor across the street, a black doctor, who was notorious as a dermatologist, and so that was slightly integrated. Even with the high cost.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

AI: So let me ask you, you just were mentioning, about how for your younger sisters, that, or at least one of them felt that she had a divided life, where one part of the, her life was --

EH: With white kids.

AI: With white kids, and then on a weekend she would have a social life with other Japanese Americans. Well, what about yourself at that time? I guess, before, before the American Council, did you also feel like you had kind of a divided life?

EH: Not really, I mean, I was aware that there was a different world. But, I could enjoy, and I wanted to be a part of both worlds. So at Lakeview Presbyterian I was with -- in fact, at Lakeview Presbyterian I was a Sunday school teacher, and they wanted us to go to McCormick Seminary, which was a Presbyterian seminary, middle of, close to, well, it was a little south of us. So I used to go every, once a week at least, to have Bible text discussions or Sunday school curriculum discussions, and that kind of thing.

AI: And was the seminary mostly white, or...

EH: Oh, (yes), probably. There may have been black students there by that time, we certainly didn't see them. But the Nisei life, I went to JACL meetings and dances once in a while.

AI: Were you dating anybody?

EH: No, I wasn't dating anybody. I did have a couple of -- well, I did have one or two dates, but they weren't, certainly weren't steady, and... oh (yes), that's right. I was dating a Seattle guy for a long time, I'd forgotten that. In fact, it was a little bit abrupt because I was getting involved with Ralph, and because we worked together, we'd see each other daily. But I went with this guy for six or eight months, and finally I had to tell him that, that I'm leaving for Seattle, and why. And that was a real -- I'm not even sure I told him he was black. But the, but the Jewish family wants to know what kind of a guy this was, 'cause I'd lived with them for a whole year, and they asked me if he was Japanese, and I said, "No," and, "Well, then, is he white?" "No," then so they made up their own assumption, "Okay, then he had to be black." And I had gone, when Ralph wanted me to come to Seattle, I thought, "Well, I'd better go meet his family," and I took it upon myself to -- I did get acquainted, she had a, he had a sister living not too far from the Jewish woman, so I had met her, and, and then I just took it upon myself to go down to the, to a housing project, way out the edge of Chicago, it was Meadows around then, and it was kind of, not risky, but an adventure, 'cause I'd never been out of Chicago on my own, probably, that end of town I never would have been, the only way to get there was go on a bus, and being a housing project, they would have had to have regular, but I had to transfer at kind of weird places. And...

AI: What direction was that?

EH: Due south.

AI: South.

EH: Altgeld Gardens. And that was a real eye-opener. I had been... at American Council I was having to clip things out, like we got brochures and major articles about Seattle's Yesler Terrace, and that's a, in Chicago that just seemed astounding that they would, that a city would have rambling, it looked like rambling tree-covered, tree-lined houses, and clean cottage-looking, where in Chicago they were really slums, or skyscraper, there were some, there were some low, two, one- or two-story masses of housing in Chicago also, but things really run down very quickly in Chicago. Anyway...

AI: Did you go out with Ralph to meet his parents?

EH: No, I went independently, and I don't know where Ralph was at -- Ralph had to work a lot of jobs to keep, he was getting his GI Bill, was, that was probably a hundred and five dollars at the time, and he was living at home -- oh no, (yes)... but anyway, he had to, he, for instance was a, bowling pin setter in a bowling alley before there was a mechanic, mechanical system of setting up pins. That kind of thing. But he was also active in American Veterans Committee, so he was gone at times like that. But this Altgeld Garden was a massive housing project. And absolutely, by the time you got out past Meadows, there's no stores or anything, and, interestingly, one of my, Ralph had one brother, or he had, one, two, three, brothers. His youngest brother, I think, at that time maybe was still in high school, and developed a real streak of art ability. Eventually, I, you know, he, the air-, he goes into the air force, and the air force never hires him in the art area at all. He becomes a tech-, communications specialist. And at one, but he's developed his skills, it wasn't until he was an adult, and we probably met him in, in the mid-, I met him for the first time in the sixties, 'cause he was out here at, close to Sacramento, and he was already in his arts. And at one point, the air force was honoring a general that was retiring, and who had something to do with a specific airplane, and something happened to the artist, so that the grand retirement party, big affair in Los Angeles, was already set, and, and ready to go, and they were going to present him with a major art, painting of the airplane that he was, kind of responsible for, introducing, and Fred was ordered to make a painting of that airplane, but they weren't excusing him from work, I mean, he, 'cause he wasn't classified as an artist, so he had to do this at night, all hours, all night, and they came to get the painting when the painting was still wet, and they flew it down to Los Angeles for this big occasion. But he never once got compensated or recognized for that painting. And that's the way life was for them. He had to comply, you know, because he was in the military and ordered to do that, but that's the way -- maybe at that point when he was telling me, telling us about that, here he was in, in Chicago in the school system -- I knew one, but he, he didn't know there was an institution like the art museum, the Chicago Art Institute. Here he was a part of the school system, so that meant that those kids never came into the city. Rarely were they able, nobody had cars, for one thing. So later he tells me that had he known there was, an un-, that's one of the things they wanted to see. Because as an adult he got married, and, and they wanted, they were eager to come to Seattle because seeing the art institute was a big thing for a potential artist.

And then, ironically, my sister, Anna, was visiting at some point. She had a Jewish husband who was sometimes difficult to cope with, but anyway... and Freddy must've been there at the same time, and, and it may have been when Candy died, that all the relatives were at the service, and they were getting --

AI: So this was much, much later.

EH: (Yes). They were getting acquainted, and, and, in the course of conversation they discovered they're the same age, and, and then they were remembering an art contest for juniors, in the Chicago school system, and he won that, all-city, juniors, art contest, and Anna said, "Oh, you were the one that took my prize." And that's all she said, and she never commended him, and, of course, maybe she didn't realize what a hard, hard time he was having, in real poverty, and to think that he was the junior class -- and that must have been thousands and thousands of juniors in the whole city of Sea-, of Chicago, and he never knew that there was an art institute, never, nobody ever introduced that to him, but that's the way, that's how deep-seated, and 'course, Chicago's school system is not the world's best, I mean, they were, it was, they were notorious for a corrupt system.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

AI: Well, so, let me ask you, at that time then, when you went to visit Ralph's parents and family at the project, would you say that the project was mostly black, or --

EH: Oh, totally black, totally. In Chicago, you're, the whole half, I think, at that time, of Chicago, was totally black. And when I was working for American Council on Race Relations, that was a major issue. But here I was working in a circle of fairly elite, educated people. Ralph Metcalfe, the Olympic track guy, his wife was in, on the -- she was about, maybe the same age, almost, maybe a little younger, when I was reading Chow Lee's obituary, he was among the congressmen that were there, and so, apparently, Fay Metcalfe's husband became a -- there was, there were two or three other people who were, who, whose husbands... see, these were kids fresh out of college, and ultimately they made something of themselves.

AI: Well, so tell me about your visit with, your first visit with Ralph's parents.

EH: Well, they were cordial, very cramped quarters, 'cause they always had grandkids to take care of. But, you know, they -- in fact, I was picking up, one of the things I was doing was picking up Ralph's sister's kids, who, grandmother took care of on the weekend, or something, they were spending time down there, so I brought 'em back. They were ten and five. And, you know, it was, I just knew I, I should meet them before I came to Seattle, so -- my mother even ventured out there, that was, that was kind of amazing. I didn't -- I, it was years later before I heard that. "Oh, I met them. (Yes), they were good people." Her father, Ralph's father was working in the meat packers, as Charlie was able to get a job. But, mother always had, I think his youngest sisters were probably, well, they were all, they were still in school, they were in high school. And...

AI: I was wondering if, if you felt that Ralph's parents were at all concerned, because you were Japanese American.

EH: Not in the least. I think blacks would always include anybody else. Because, you know, socially, and, and economically, they knew they were at the bottom of the rung. So whoever else they were able to meet, or associate with, was a step in the right direction for them. It was kind of a, I'm sure, a rare opportunity, but they were cordial, no matter who it was. And then Charlie -- the oldest brother by that time -- Charlie, apparently first, he got married shortly after his twentieth birthday, and so he and his wife were in Chicago already. And, by the, in ten years' time, in the labor movement, he would have probably brought white affiliates home with him, but there was a lot of mixing of the races in Chicago, you just didn't hear about it if you weren't in the right circles. And there were a lot of people that I didn't meet. What's her name... Endo, Mitsuye Endo, Mitsuye Endo was one of the Supreme Court cases, she was a Sacramentan, and I, I should have gone out of my way to look her up, just to say, "Hi." I knew her sister Grace better than I knew Mitsuye, but there was a, she was working for Homer, Homer Harris, Homer... anyway, Jack Homer, Homer Jack. Homer Jack was the head of a big, kind of a social integrationist agency -- I can't remember whether that was part of the city -- but there was, the place was so big, a lot of universities, so that millions of people were out there. You just never saw anybody. If you went to an occasion, you don't expect to meet somebody you know because the crowd is so big, or there's facets, so different.

AI: So when you were saying that there was a lot of mixing of the races, where were some of those places that, that the mixing would happen?

EH: Oh, organizations. We went to, after Ralph and I started dating, we went to Ethnic, Ethnic Cultural Society. There were a few blacks, I don't think there were any Asians. And it wasn't that big a group, but it was almost a weekly, weekly event. I think my circle, my associating circle was kind of around American Council friends. We, sometimes we had weekend parties at somebody's apartment, and you did learn to be careful, you had to, you had to be on the bus going home by such and such a time, you didn't, you didn't want to be caught in that neighborhood at eleven o'clock, or, there were brief explanations, or instructions like that. Ralph's family, at some point, I think maybe by the time we decided to come to Chicago -- well, no, it was later than that -- Charles was able to establish the only union hall in a black community, and the family had a lot of reunions, or celebrations at that, then. And, when we were back in Chicago I had to, we made a point to do things like, join things like that. But initially, socially, I don't, I didn't really socialize with the Hayeses except his sister Helen was not too, not too far so I met them.

And (yes), we would have church functions once in a while. I didn't go to the Presbyterian, to Fourth Presbyterian very often, maybe once or twice, once in a month or once in two months. Some speaker, special speaker was coming, or somebody was going to be there that I want to meet, or they were on their way going somewhere else, my mother would say, "You (going to) come and meet So-and-so?" Or, "So-and-so's (going to) be there." So then I would come. I have a unique picture, there must have been probably thirty people in that picture. And it's an early relocation gathering in a white church on the south side of Chicago. You know, Chicago is very distinctly, it could be well-mixed and predominantly white, and then you go, reach a certain street, and it's all totally black. Now, now it's, the black ghetto, kind of, is still there, but it, the rest of it is much more integrated, and the suburbia has grown so much that it's really a mixed area now. I think a couple of my sisters -- well, Helen and another sister, still live in a predominantly black area, but, you know, solid brick houses, and brick apartment buildings. But in the Nisei community, I think eventually, there, I know that there's an active Buddhist church, and, and I think there was another Congregational church or something. And I haven't been there since mid-'40s, although I, we went back every year, almost, because both grandparents were there.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

AI: I wanted to ask you, especially because in 1947, there were so many things going on in the country and the world that touched on issues of race. For example, Jackie Robinson became the first black in a major league baseball team, and, and then also in 1947, in world events, India got its independence from Britain, and as you were saying earlier, Palestine and Israel, that formation was happening. And I was wondering, were these topics of conversation at, you know, at the American Council, or just in your, in your circle of friends?

EH: (Yes), in American Council those were certainly topics of conversation, sometimes excitedly when something great was going to happen. It's interesting that I can't remember, I don't remember the dates for Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige, but I remember those being very exciting issues, and, seems to me I recently saw, I guess Jackie Robinson must have happened first, and then Satchel Paige, but, I saw those dates, maybe it was Satchel Paige, and I thought, "Gee I, I didn't think, I wasn't in Chicago then," or something, so I have to research that to see, because I just remember the excited discussions about Satchel Paige.

There were, there were social, the other thing we used to go, was once in a while, Mahalia Jackson, for instance, was singing somewhere, and Ralph and I went, two or three artists like that, but jeepers, the conditions were so crowded that, you know, we couldn't stay, and I have to say that black music is too loud for me. [Laughs] I never really got into it. My kids did, but...

AI: You know, there was in incident that I, I read about, I didn't, I wasn't about to find too much information about it, but I read that in 1946 and 1947, and I think, even after that, there were some riots in Chicago, that, in which white residents were rioting against blacks who were moving into public housing. I think, in 1946 I read that there was something called Cicero Homes, or Airport Homes, and then in the next year, '47, there was something called, an area called Fernwood. Do you recall any, anything like that?

EH: No, they may have gone on, but, you know, Chicago is such an immense place, I think, I think there were four million blacks alone. So the city was probably ten or eleven million totally, and I think when those kinds of -- they were just too far, I don't really, though I think if that kind of thing went on at American Council, we would have been, maybe not sending reporters, but we, we would've certainly known details. Now, the issue with American Council was, Julius Rosenwald had, had a firm belief that each generation needed to take care of its own. And he said this I think in 1922 -- at least, I think that's when, I think that's when he started Julius Rosenwald Foundation. And so when I was leaving in '48, or just before I was, maybe the year, within the year before I left, was a final, finale of Julius Rosenwald Foundation, and it was held at, Blackstone Hotel, or somewhere on Michigan, or one of the big downtown hotels. And the place was massive, with people, all the Julius, Julius Rosenwald Foundation recipients, people like Catherine Graham, and, Catherine Graham? No, Catherine, a dancer, Catherine Dunham?

JP: Martha Graham?

AI: I think Catherine Dunham. I think you're right.

EH: (Yes). Marian Anderson, a Pearl Bailey, I think. Several, several people like that came to the function. And the place was so massive, we couldn't even see them from where we were sitting, but the staff was all invited, and... so that was kind of the closure, I think, of Julius Rosenwald Foundation. So it, you know, it wouldn't have lasted much longer, except that the agencies, like Segregation in the Nation's Capital, and the, and the polling institution, whether it was Roper or somebody else, I can't remember. The Julius Rosenwald Foundation probably had years of, of research to finish, and I don't know that they kept that house. I should have managed to buzz by there, or talk one of my relatives into driving by there to see what's happened to that solid house. It's probably being used for something else.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

AI: You know, before, just before we leave this era, I wanted to ask, you had mentioned briefly earlier about some of the labor issues that had come up in '47, '48 while you were there at American Council. Could you tell a little bit about what were some of the key issues coming up around labor in unions?

EH: Well, you know, the most familiar one I would be, know about, is the meatpackers union that Ralph's brother was involved in. But again, those were maybe -- and maybe in Chicago, labor was a more significant issue. And again, I don't, we didn't get any labor kinds of insights when we were on the West Coast, though I now, decades later, I found out that the cannery workers had a good union. And I had a friend who, whose only daughter was someone who was always at our house, just lived across the street they were at the same church, and she died in Topaz, I think. That family was, you know, assigned from Tule Lake to Topaz, and she had always complained about stomachaches, and it turned out that she had TB of the intestines. But also that, as many serious illnesses, I think she died of meningitis, because that's, you know, that's what she succumbed to. But this woman, her mother, and a lot of Japanese in Seattle, in Sacramento, worked for the canneries. And when Mrs. Hiroda was in a retirement home, she was, she was living on the cannery's retirement checks, and I forgot what came along, social security or something, and she says, "Iranai yo," and she was donating it to the church or something, and she wasn't living luxuriously, but, you know, apparently was a, the cannery union was a strong union. And, I think that spells, that, that speaks well for that cannery. I wonder what it's like now. Thank heaven that was there for Issei women like Mrs., 'cause Mrs. Hiroda lost her husband shortly after coming back from evacuation, and she lost her only child in camp, so she was really alone. But my mother, I have a writing of my sister's, she writes a brief description of my mother. And she says, in that write-up she says my mother either got fired from the glove-making company, she got fired, or she got, quit, because she was organizing a union, and nobody appreciates that, so you, somehow find ways to eliminate you.

AI: How do you think your mother got involved, active, so active in, to the point that she would be organizing for union?

EH: Well, she, you know, she, she recognized good working environments, and if it was piece-meal, that one more penny per item was going to be significant. And, you know, you always feel underpaid... the other thing that worried me a little bit was she was disapproving of young mothers leaving their little ones in Grandma's care, and she would, she would tell them to, "You stay home with your children, you make Grandma come and work here," you know, things like that, and I, I don't know how well that sat, but in some ways she was right in that young mothers -- because you feel a little guilty keeping your -- and I think she also remembers that, that when Sara was past two, the Catholic Church in the neighborhood opened a nursery and they wanted my mother to send Anna and Sara, but particularly, think Anna eventually was in kindergarten by that time, but she sent Sara. And every morning the driver would come to pick her up, and she, Sara just cried and cried, and I remember how hard that was, to even see her going off early in the morning. And I think my mother remembers that and feels like... I remember her, when Sara was born, she was saying what a lot of difference she was feeling in motherhood from the time I grew up and when Sara, she considered herself, she said, "God certainly knew what he was doing, I'm too old for this," or something. And she was only thirty-four, but she felt you were in better shape in your twenties to be delivering and being a mother. And I think that -- her other influence maybe, was Toyohiko Kagawa in Kobe, who probably organized unions. He was a dynamic social work kind of, lived in, lived in the slums of Kobe. But her daughter, his daughter was the Issei minister here at Japanese Presbyterian. Ten, ten years ago probably, but my mother gave Reverend Kagawa lot of money. At one point she said, "No, I don't have any more money. Kagawa Sensei yoku takara," meaning she sent, she sent her savings to a certain extent to Kagawa Sensei. And I guess that's alright, that was her privilege, and we were supposed to be old enough to be self-sufficient. But she believed in, in union system, organizing.

She had to do a lot of educating for, to get the Issei and Nisei women to believe in this, and stand up for your, your responsibilities. If you want better wages, you stay and fight. And that was, that was hard because everybody had families to go home to, and dinner to prepare, and, but I think my mother was militant that way, and sometimes hard to cope with, in churches.

AI: Now speaking of unions, you also belonged to a union when you were at American Council.

EH: (Yes), and, and that wasn't very, we weren't very involved, we just knew we had to, we were, we would be supportive, you know, but there wasn't any that I knew of. I don't ever remember going to a union meeting, for instance. And again, maybe a core group made the decisions, and that was all right. The... people like meat packers really had very malicious tactics thrown at them, and dangerous, so they had a right to, to always be active in union issues. And, that's what Charlie Hayes believed in. That they knew, he knew what the poverty life was like, and they needed. His father worked for the same union, and -- but when it came, it comes to strikes, big companies can be very vicious. In fact, I think they had him in jail over a trumped-up charge of some kind.

AI: They had Charlie Hayes in jail?

EH: (Yes), you know, I was telling you that one morning at coffee at American Council, Charlie, I mean Joe Lowman came in bleary-eyed 'cause he'd been up all night, in jail talking to the strikers, and Ralph said, "Well, I have a brother in jail," and that was such a surprise, and Charlie brought, I mean Joe Lowman almost dropped his coffee cup, said, "You're not (going to) tell me Charlie's your brother?" "(Yes) he's my brother." And see, he had stayed up all night, and it took, it took a year or so to win that case. In fact, I think, the Wilson, I think it was Wilson Packing Company, the company had fired Charlie. After drumming up this, these charges and he was in jail, and they fired him. But when, then it took NNRB a while to verify, and win that case. And the fact that he had been fired was not serious because the union had picked him up as an employee by that time, grievance committee, and so he wasn't lacking for support. The kind of thing in those days was for a black official like Charlie, and he probably was unique. I mean, there weren't many black officials in any union, that when he had to travel to cover a seven-staff, seven-state area to travel to the South with black, with even a white co-worker, and the police would do all kinds of vicious things if you were black, and take liberties. So when they got stopped and the white guy said, and challenged him, "Here, call this number, let's see how far you get. Throw us into jail if you, if you have to. But I'm telling you, call this number." And Charlie had to say, after the police was out of hearing range, "Don't you ever talk like that to a policeman while I'm in the car, 'cause you may be able to get home, but they, they'll do all kinds of things. I'll get thrown in jail." And so poor Emma, his wife, was always, she was always a kind of a nervous wreck from worrying about what was happening to Charlie. Though she, she became active in PTA in Hyde Park in the early days. And that was kind of unusual for blacks to get, be able to be active in PTA, but he really was a great guy. I'll have to get you a copy of that obit when I find it.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

AI: Well, I wanted to ask about your preparing to leave Chicago. In our last interview session you already explained about why it was that Ralph, because of the discriminatory quota system for black students at Northwestern University --

EH: Journalism students. I don't know about the other departments but... and they were, Northwestern was famous for its quota system, probably in any department, (yes).

AI: And because he was, he, there was a requirement that he had to live on campus, but he could not, he was being refused space on campus because of the quota, then he decided to look for another university that he could go to and finish his undergraduate degree. So at about what time did, when did he and you begin discussing that perhaps you might move?

EH: Well, you know, when that happened at Northwestern, Joe Lowman, his boss, and Henry Wallace's vice president... you know, Henry Wallace was a third-party candidate for presidency, and his vice president candidate was... somebody Taylor, who was one of Ralph's journalism professors at Northwestern. There were a lot of people, Edwin Emery at, at Julius Rosenwald, people wanted Ralph to challenge that. But, you know, I think Ralph was in his late twenties probably, and he wanted to get through with school. So he didn't have time to be dealing with courts and that kind of thing. So he came in July. I think he, I think he came to take advantage of second half of summer session. And, and fortunately he found housing in veterans' Quonset huts on campus. And he was, his roommate was a Bill Brinsfield, a Garfield graduate, white guy, who was a forestry major. And fortunately, Bill having gone to Garfield was accustomed to black students, and they got along famously. He wrote, he had written, you know, two or three times asking... early he had asked if he would, if I would come as far as Seattle. And I said, "(Yes), I would go." So in November or October I came, wrote to the YWCA, and I point-blankly said to the YWCA, "If color is going to be a problem, tell me right now, because I'm going to be with a black student at the University of Washington, Negro student at the University of Washington." And I can't even remember what kind of reply I got, but I, I didn't get any negative response, so I stayed at the YW for a couple of weeks, and happened to see on the bulletin board, an employment bulletin board, somebody looking for a babysitter during the holidays. Well, first, before I did that, I went on campus, went to the registrar's office and asked me for, asked them for, Cletus Ralph Hayes' program, classes, and they gave it to me. So I knew where he was. And I hadn't -- I guess I'd hadn't exactly told him what time or when I was coming. And so I found the building and I stood outside the classroom and he just fell over when -- 'cause he hadn't expected to see me. And, but anyway...

AI: What a nice surprise.

EH: [Laughs] He, he thought that was a lot of nerve for me to do that without telling him. But I think the train ride in those days, there was no airplane boarding. Train, trains took from Chicago, three days and two nights. And that makes it a long haul. But I brought knitting, and I was reading, I grabbed a copy of Somerset Maugham's Razor's Edge, I guess it was. And, and then when this employment, this babysitting notice was on the bulletin board, I called and, and took the job. And I babysat two or three times and, and they finally said, "Would you like to live-in? There's a spare bedroom upstairs, and why don't you just stay here?" And then shortly after that, I also was on campus, and I noticed the American Friends Service Committee was right across the street from campus. And I just walked in. I knew... oh. I had a couple of Quaker friends at Tule Lake. Emily Light, I think, was one name. And she was a very popular English teacher. And got acquainted with the American Friends, and there was a Constance Honda here, who was about the same age. She was at UW campus, she was a student. And there was a black gal with her that came. Anyway, so it was an easy getting-acquainted situation.

AI: At American Friends --

EH: American Friends Service Committee. It's a Quaker service organization. So then, then they said, "Would you be interested in a job here? We need another typist." And so I, you know, I got the job there.

AI: And this was in 1948? Soon after you moved?

EH: (Yes).

AI: Or maybe early 1949?

EH: Early, (yes), early, probably early '49.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

EH: And so I worked for the Quakers for maybe almost a year, and, and then somebody called me about another job at the YMCA, which was paying more than the Quakers could pay, and that's all right. I think I worked at the Quakers for a full year. And when I took the live-in job at Bakers', they were just five minutes away, over the Roosevelt Bridge, and I could take a bus right to the foot of U Way, where American Friends were. And the, the YMCA was, the American Friends were on, like, Forty-second, and the YMCA, the next job I took, was on Fiftieth. So it wasn't that much of a difference as far as travel goes. And that was convenient -- the Bakers were another issue. They, they were both Garfield graduates, and he was a lawyer and she just stayed home with two kids.

But when Ralph started picking me up to, on weekend dates or something, Jane got furious. And, and it was interesting because one night, Ralph was waiting there, and they were having company, and her mother was there. And her mother turned out to be a Mrs. Robbins, who was in the, in the journalism classes with Ralph. And so they got to talking about classes and comparing professors and that kind of thing, and Mrs. Robbins just helped herself and made couple of cups of tea with, with Ralph. And, but Jane, despite the fact that she was proud of being a Garfield graduate, had said to me at some, in some course of events, course of time, she said, "Now, I love having you live with us, but I could never live next door to a black person." She couldn't, she couldn't tolerate a black person in the house, much less even live next door to that person. But, and she was angry at her mother for going to the door and letting Ralph in, and then having the gall to set a cup of coffee, or tea. And her, her husband also said, "Jane, get off of that." And he was adamant. And it was funny, 'cause they, they had some good friends who were from the South, but somehow they knew them. And this friend made annual trips to Seattle, because he had to see his great-grandparents, slaves' families, had settled here. And they were, I never met them, I can't, don't even know their names now. But, but he was astounded at Jane Baker's reaction, and said, "I would never hesitate to -- I wish I could get them to come down South and see the rest of the family."

And so that was, that -- and that went on for a little while, but, but then when we decided to get married, she took me to, she was as excited about the wedding, and she took me to her seamstress, who turned out to be Susie Tsukuyama. Anyway, she was a well-, her husband had the florist, Johnny's florist on the Avenue. But anyway, but in the course of the wedding issue, Jane forgot her, her prejudice. And, and we got married in this little Church of the People, which was a small congregation that broke away. He, Fred Shorter was dismissed from a very posh Capitol Hill congregational church that called him straight out of Yale Divinity School. And he was a very good speaker, an Australian, and carried on, we learned a lot from Fred and the whole congregation. But when my newsletters from the Church of the People would weekly come, Jane Baker's family turned out to be part of that congregation that evicted him from the posh Congregational Church. I forget... Pilgrim Prospect Congregation. Prospect Pilgrim... there's a third Congregational -- there's two Congregational churches on Capitol Hill. This one is right off Broadway. But anyway, she was dying to know the insides of this newsletter. Because Fred really was a very articulate and ethical, politically aware, and among other things, they had a Great Books discussion group, which was very popular in those days. And Jane being an English major, would have died to be in, in this, in this book club. And, but she didn't dare unglue the newsletter, but she could hardly wait for me to come home so she could read it.

And those were, by the time the wedding came along, and it was at, held in this, this church had... they somewhere got this big, square building. I don't know the, maybe they built it. But it was, it was not more than -- it was almost like a barrack, a half a barrack, kind of, with, very plain bank of south windows that looked out over a sunken garden. And then downstairs were offices, the first floor off the street was offices, and then they built this dormitory. The exit of that dormitory, actually, faces Campus Parkway. But it was open to the public, and lunch for fifty cents, dinner for a dollar, and students from all over the world were just coming back. So it was very exciting to hear from all the students, and there were a lot of Indian students, because India had gotten their independence, and they were eagerly training all their young, all, as many places as possible in the world, and there were a lot of aeronautical engineers because of Boeing. Though this church was basically a Socialist, pacifist church, and Fred Shorter would kid the students about their fields.

Even my mother, when Ralph got aggravated with this red-baiting assignment all the time, took a leave and went to work for Boeing, my mother wrote a letter saying, "If you build 'bomps'" -- and she always misspelled, she always says B-O-M-P -- "your house is also going to get 'bomped' one day." And she claimed to be a pacifist, but then when, when Larry was born, and then maybe when Peter was born, and then my sister had three sons in Berkeley, my mother would say, "Oh, now I have my own army." [Laughs] And Ralph would say, "Wait a minute, Mom. You said you were a pacifist. You can't be a pacifist and have a army." But, you know, boys have kind of a status symbol in, if you come from Japan. So she prides herself in boys. But she came, when she, she got married in '50, and we got married in '51, so Reverend and --

AI: Excuse me, your sister got married in...

EH: No, my mother. My mother got remarried to -- well, I have to go back and tell you about the two Yoshioka girls that... they must have met at the church on Michigan Avenue, and it was a non-denominational church, so when Esther, Esther was probably ten or twelve, no, maybe eleven or twelve, when Sara and, befriended her, and because Reverend was a minister, her, Esther's father was a minister who lost his wife, I think, I don't know whether in Manzanar, but early in evacuation, he had ten kids. And Esther was at the bottom of the ten, so Esther was probably five or six years without a mother, but she had lots of older sisters and brothers. But then by, when evacuation came along, Julie, I think, who was a sister just above her, was the same age as Jean. And they must have also met at the church. But anyway, Julie, and then she had a, the sister above her was also in high school, May. Anyway, so there was nobody home but Esther and her father. And, you know, Reverend didn't know that much about cooking and all, so Esther used to love to come to our house on the weekends. And my mother was pretty routine and disciplinary about cleaning, and I never really did learn to be a good housekeeper. But she had Sara polishing all the furnitures every, every Saturday morning. And my mother would say, "Esther, if you're (going to) be here on the weekend, you have to get a dustcloth, too." And so poor Esther was having to cope with that, but she would, at the dinner table, my mother was always making natto. And Esther said, "Gee, Obasan, why don't you invite my father? He would love this." And my mother said, "Well, tell him to come." And that's how they met and eventually got married. And I think Reverend Yoshioka also was maybe from the northern Japan, Akita-ken, just... Sendai, I think. But my mother, being the Protestant person she was, loved being -- and I think maybe in all churches, the minister's wife has a certain amount of status and social, in the social hierarchy. But people are always going to be respectful and kindly of minister's wives, despite the fact that ministers don't get a great salary. It's a struggle to be a minister's family. But anyway, pretty soon he was sleeping at our house, and, and then one morning, I guess he said, "We have to go downtown." My mother feels that he -- he was twenty years older than my mother. He had retired by the time he was in evacuation camp, and his oldest brother was in the relocation office in Chicago. So that's one of the, I think that's also the reason how Esther and Jean landed that Curtis Candy Company's daughter's domestic job.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

AI: So before the break, you were just telling us that your mother remarried to Reverend...

EH: Yoshioka.

AI: In 1949, and then in 1950, you and Ralph were married out here in Seattle, at the Church of the People.

EH: No. Well, (yes), we did get married at the Church of the People, where we had a small apartment on... that apartment was owned by a black/white, and black and white guy, a black guy and a white guy. And the Douglass Apartments kind of historically, in black history here in Seattle, is a main -- I don't know whether you know the name Millie Russell, she's a minority affairs kind of counselor at the U. I think she said she was born there, at the Douglass Apartments. The hospitals probably would not allow blacks to practice. I had Jewish doctor friends who couldn't get into a lot of, like Providence wouldn't allow them. But there was a black doctor who established his medical practice in the Douglass Apartments. It's an old, frame, three- or four-story building, no elevators. But that's where we lived for about a year.

AI: And where were the Douglass Apartments?

EH: Twenty-fourth off of Madison, at Twenty-fourth Avenue, or Twenty-fourth Street. Anyway, it was a sizeable... and so my mother, who was scheduled to come at a certain date, and we, we rented a hideaway bed, a fold-up bed, a portable bed, because we only had one bedroom. And, but she comes the day before the bed is due, delivered. And she knocks on the door and, and I said, "What, you weren't supposed to come 'til tomorrow. How did you get here?" "Oh, we came by train, we got a cab, and gave them your address and they dropped us off." And Ralph was at, was at an Urban League meeting, I think, that night. And he came home and he's shocked, and my mother just laughs and said, "(Yes), Inspector General has arrived." [Laughs] And Ralph said, "Listen, Mom, you're not any kind of an inspector coming to my house, you're coming to visit."

And the, one of the things that she wanted -- she was only here for three or four days -- one of the things she wanted to do was serve lunch, do a lunch for Japanese ministers. And so she tells me the next day to pick up a couple of stewing chickens, 'cause she wants to make creamed chicken and serve it to the minister. So I don't, at that point, I don't know anything about, much about cooking, and so I asked a nutrition education person, "How, how do you, what do you do with stewed chickens?" And she said, "Well, you have to cook it a long time." And so I bought two stewed chickens and took it home the next day, and stuck it in the refrigerator. And I, my mother ordered that and I assumed she knew what to do with it. Next day, I came home from work and I said, "How did the luncheon go?" And she kind of laughed and said, "Well, they ate a lot of rice and salad and peas." And I said, "What about the chicken?" And she said, "Mmm, I don't know." And I said, "Didn't you cook it?" "(Yes), I cooked it." So I said, "Where is it?" And I thought we were probably going to have leftover for dinner. And I went to pierce it and get a piece out, you couldn't even stick a fork into it. [Laughs] And she should have known that, she was, she lived on the rice ranch, and they must, they had chicken. And anyway, I was appalled that she, she... I should have gotten... now if I think of it, if she said she, I would have gotten plain, ordinary fryers, because that's what we use now. But here she, here were these two big chickens, and you couldn't even stick a fork in. They, it took another two hours of cooking before we could all have supper, and I thought, "Boy, I'm glad I wasn't there. How embarrassing." I thought, "The poor ministers." I said, "What did everybody eat?" She said, "Oh, lots of rice and gravy." [Laughs] And that was that. I just, I don't know that I ever allowed my mother to really cook in my presence, I'd have to take it over. She, you know, she was, she was a businessman. She used to tell the Inais, who had the grocery store, and if one of us couldn't be there to cook, she would have to substitute. And Mrs. Inai used to say, "Your mother always comes to buy vegetables for dinner, but saying, 'What can I cook without cooking? What can I have for dinner without cooking?'" And so she would, Mrs. Inai was always gathering tomatoes and celery and things like that. She really did not like to cook.

But on that trip, my mother said they were going to Mt. Rainier on Saturday, and I said, "Oh..." see, we had, we had been there a year, maybe a little over a year. We had not seen, we had not -- we didn't have a car, we didn't, limited means, you know, living on a, my meager salaries, and I forgot, it was maybe 150 dollars at the time, and Ralph's GI bill. So I said, "Oh, gee, ask Reverend if we could -- " and the, the minister that was in Tacoma's Methodist church was a, he used to be the Sacramento minister. So I could have, I knew him to some extent, so my mother asks if Ralph and I could go, and so we went all the way to Mt. Rainier and back, and Mrs. Niiwa packed the usual Japanese lunch, the onigiri and tsukemono and that was a, a nice treat for us. The, one other thing I -- speaking of nigiri -- when my, when Mother and I went to see my father as soon as we could, we were -- or no, maybe, maybe that was after the funeral. We were on our way back to Chicago, and there was a black porter on the, on the train. And Mrs. Inai's sister -- Inais were in Denver by then, but her sister was in Sacramento, George Nishikawa's mother -- and they had fixed a, fixed a nice big lunch for us to have on train, and so we were eating this Japanese lunch, and my mother ordered a, offered the onigiri to, to this black porter. And he says, "Oh, thank you, but anything but that." He said, "In Japan, the occupation forces, they, they were there," probably, but then he says, "I could eat anything, I love Japanese food, but I cannot swallow that lump of rice," he said. But everything else he, he ate, and I'll, I'll always remember that. But when we went, we went to Mt. Rainier and back, and anyway, that was a great event. The Japanese ministers like to gather every occasion they could.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

AI: Well, let me ask you, then, the next year, 1951, was, that was the year your first child was born?

EH: Uh-huh. We bought our first house -- see, Larry was born in August, and probably late in '50, we started negotiating to buy this house. And they wouldn't sell us anything north of Madison. So we ended up with this very nice, sturdy house that a Swedish guy had built all by himself. He worked in a lumber company during the Depression, and saved all the best lumber himself. He knew he was (going to) build this house. And it was a four-bedroom, three upstairs were fairly small, but on kind of a declining hill towards what's now Empire -- Martin Luther King Way. And, but a solid house, and six months after we got there, we were there, this Mr. Ostram came knocking on the door, and I invited him in and we sat in the living room, and he says, he said to us, "Mr. and Mrs. Hayes, I love this house. This is my house, I put every nail into it. I want to buy it back from you. I'll give you, I'll find you another house, I'll give you more than you paid for it." And you know, Larry was six months old, so it must have been maybe early '52. And you felt badly for him, but we, in many ways we couldn't move. We couldn't afford it, Ralph was in school full-time, and Larry's a toddler. But what happened was he said, "I never wanted to leave this house, but the women, you know, women always..." he had just a wife and daughter, his daughter was a nursing student at, at the U, was a Garfield graduate. And they wanted to live in Ballard, so that's where they ended up. Ballard was even more then, a Scandinavian part of town. You felt badly, but that was, it was interesting, there was a white couple across the street from, from us, and a white couple at the end of the block. It was a fairly integrated neighborhood, but the... and the neighbors, we really were very friendly with everybody, and they, they loved to watch Larry and Candy growing up, and Peter was, they said, "He's so dangerous, I want you to do something about it." Because we lived on a hill like this, and he would, at three years old, ride his tricycle downhill and not have, you know, have his feet hung out like this, and just managing to steer that thing. And neighbors would say, "Elaine, you gotta do something about that kid. Somebody's (going to) have a heart attack watching this." [Laughs]

And, but Peter was that way all his life. And he would, he was, he was always having accidents, not, not by accident, but because he was so much of a daredevil. And one, one year he had... he had, he almost injured his eyes, and I, we weren't in Group Health then. When I got pregnant with Mark -- that was the fourth one -- Larry says, "We're joining Group Health." And I said, "They're not (going to) cover you if the conception took place before you joined Group Health." But I went and inquired and (yes), they would cover us. We'd have to pay, what was it? Eighty dollars or something for delivery. So that was, that was great. But before we got to Group Health, Peter injured himself once, and it was close to the eye and it was a weekend. So I dashed up to Providence, and you know the name Henry and, Henry Itoi? His name was...

AI: Minnie?

EH: Huh?

AI: Minnie?

EH: Minnie, (yes). Minnie was a nurse at Providence, and she just happened to be on a glass-covered passage and saw us coming. And she, she thought somebody was losing their eyesight, come dashing down, inquiring. And it's just that he needed stitches over his eyes. And he was... I don't know whether I was pregnant -- no, no. It was just before Mark was born, or just before we got into Group Health, but when we first got into Group Health, we had two more accidents, when Peter, someone had, we had to rush Peter to... and the pediatrician said, "You know, we're going to have to do something about this kid." I mean, he was serious, that he was too accident-prone, and somehow he's not recognizing danger like he should. But...

AI: So, so Larry was born in '51, and Candy...

EH: Candy was born in --


EH: The, almost about twenty months younger than Larry, and Peter was a month and... I mean, two years and two months younger than Candy. But Candy always had, from the time she was three, or a little under, she always had maternal instincts. Peter, on the other hand, was so rambunctious, it was hard to stop him. And I was not always in the presence of those kids; we had neighborhood kids around. So Mark -- Ralph came home one day and Candy was laying on the top, top steps of the cement porch, because Peter was, Peter must have been not quite one, 'cause he was crawling. But he was wanting to get down those steps, and the only way Candy could prevent him from going down the steps was lay across the top of the steps and keep pushing, pushing him back. And just fortunately, that Ralph came home at that time. And praising Candy and said, "Thank you, Candy." But remarkable kid that instinctively -- but she also had to become the mother of, she picked up early instincts and doing things. I, by the time Larry was eight or nine, those kids had assignments in the summertime, that they had to do a chore before they could go. Larry could, "Okay, what's my, what's my chore?" And he would get it done and out, off he'd go. And they would all do that except Peter. Peter just, I, I had to really keep after him to get things done. But he was certainly healthy and no problems.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

AI: Well, so, I wanted to ask you then, you, when Candy was about three or four years old, is that when you started working part-time again, and you were also with the YWCA preschool?

EH: I took a part-time job when, after Peter was born, but that didn't start until 6 p.m. My, my frustration with that period was, I think we didn't have a car, quite. We got a car shortly after that, but when I first started working at the YW, Ralph was teaching at West Seattle, and he was riding with, sharing, somebody was picking him up. They would always stop at the Rainier Brewery, where, you know, there was always free beer and hors d'oeuvre and what all. And I was just not really understanding that, and I'm almost not willing to hear it, because I had to get on the job. And I, I knew I couldn't leave the kids by themselves, so I was always apologizing, I was really ticked by the time I got to the YW. And they would say, "Don't, don't get angry and don't stay angry. We don't want you to be angry and working here," and this kind of thing. But I, I think maybe I was there two years, because, see, Larry, Peter was just born, which meant that Candy was ready for preschool, probably the following year at about three. And I don't know what I did with Peter. I must have taken him to preschool, to the co-op with me. And I didn't learn to drive until Peter was probably three. So I, I must have shared rides or gotten rides.

That was, it was a good program, one of the, kind of limited in facility, because it was a long, narrow building. But we had, you know, play area and a, to, for fundraising, we decided to have, the YWCA had a fireplace and a patio, a fireplace that was useable from the inside and the outside. So we decided to have some barbeque benefits, fundraising. And Ralph wanted to do it all, and I knew he didn't, he never, he had, what, six sisters, and he never learned how to cook. And, but he was game and willing to do it. And for a couple of years we, we did that. Maybe three years. And it was, it really gained popularity. There was the Brunner Bakery, was on the corner of Martin Luther King, and the YW was on the next corner. I mean, there were... that must have been Twenty-eighth and, between Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth or something like that. And there were a couple of, the Brunners were Jewish, and then we had a kosher Jewish grocery store on the corner of Union. And we, we were maybe three blocks from Union, but we'd go around selling tickets, and they would buy it and I'd, I'd say, "You're a kosher meat market. Are you sure you wanna get ribs? How about chicken?" And he says, "Oh, how can you resist that smoky taste?" And they would buy their share. But it was amazing because everybody participated, and the other mothers would take turns delivering and so that was a good event. We could do all that with the kids being able to play around on the patio.

Then, then I kind of was not satisfied with the teachers, so I transferred Candy and Peter to Madrona, Madrona had another preschool. And we came, became active there. By the time... I guess it was Peter, before Peter was born, I guess, I was active in PTA, and we started some good programs at PTA. That was a very, Madrona was a good, integrated and socio-economically, also, a wide range. East of Madrona was almost, in those days, predominately white. Lot of UW and Group Health people. At the top of the hill, it was thoroughly mixed, and then, but going down between Thirty-second and Twenty-seventh was predominately black. Not totally black, but, and there were Asians sprinkled through there. But Madrona was an exciting school. We did a lot of experimental kinds of things.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

AI: Well, since Madrona was racially mixed as well as mixed socio-economically, and your kids were, were still young, obviously, I was wondering, at that young age with your kids, did you and Ralph begin talking to them about race, about prejudice?

EH: I think that's, you know... I think we didn't really avoid it, but we didn't bring it up. Again, because I didn't want them to, to develop complexes. They knew by the time they were in elementary school. We had a, I think there were no white kids; there were two white couples on our street, but no kids. So predominately, people were black. And Larry, from the time he was in kindergarten, went to school with a kid by the name of Herman Brown who lived on the, on Martin Luther King, which was probably then, it might have been Twenty-eighth. But anyway, from kindergarten on, and they trekked back and forth to school, and from where we lived, Madrona, we lived at Howell, between Howell and Olive, and Union was three long blocks away. And then from Union, Twenty-seventh and Union up to, to Thirty-second and Union, was a steep uphill climb. But they did it, and no gripes about it.

But one day after school I was hearing Herman saying to Larry, "How come you named Peter Bono as your best friend?" Because teacher apparently had asked everybody to name their best friend, not realizing that this kind of problem or hurt feeling could -- Peter was saying to Larry, "How come you named Peter Bono as your best friend? I thought we were best friends." And Peter Bono's mother, father was a math prof. on campus, and mother, they were both active at PTA. Larry, Ralph wasn't that active in PTA, but we became good friends, 'cause Peter and Larry were good friends. And that's something that was kind of a dynamics in social growing, that kids are going to find a lot in common with kids that are at the same level, academic or playing or whatever. Peter had two older brothers, so they were making complicated carts and things like that.

Even with, with, in our neighborhood, we had a, we had a cabin up at, in La Conner, which we bought when Mark was born, I guess. And we, I would take the kids in the neighborhood, especially for a birthday party or something. I know I took 'em once to Vashon Island, because I thought they probably didn't have that much chance to get on ferries. And I find that that was true... when I, we started Madrona enrichment program, I found that even if you weren't limited income, you didn't venture out of your community because you didn't trust the kind of reception you were (going to) get, for instance. So going to Vashon was a treat, but it was a strange treat for those black kids. They weren't that enthusiastic about the smelly air and the sand and all that. And I took 'em over to Burton, I think is the next community south of Vashon, and we had a picnic and came back. I took 'em up to La Conner a couple of times, and they had a great time because they could hammer away at drift boards and make floatable items at, in the neighborhood, I don't know where the idea came from, probably Larry, maybe Peter Bono's family did that.

But they wanted to make carts, so I would take 'em to Goodwill, where you could go through bins of all kinds of throw, throwaway items, and they would buy wheels and boards and, and I had to, I had to tell the neighborhood kids that, "Hey, you guys gotta bring your own hammers, 'cause we're losing too many." And even up at La Conner, they would be hammering and they would forget and leave a hammer out there, and the tide would come in and you'd never find it. But I was always running to Goodwill with a bunch of kids and turned 'em loose and I said, "Okay, you got half an hour, I'm not waiting any more than that." And they had a great time, though it was a little bit dangerous, I must say. Twenty-seventh had a slope like this, and then going down on Olive, or Howell, it was very steep going down to Martin Luther King. And if they didn't watch themselves, I wouldn't let 'em get on Howell, because there's no way to stop yourself to get out to Martin Luther King. But just racing down that one block was enough, enough fun. In the summer, then, you know, skateboards came along and that was, that took away that a little bit. But...

AI: You know, I wanted to ask you, when, again when your kids were at a young age, because there, at that time, there were not very many racially mixed children, and I was wondering, did they ever ask you questions like, "Mommy, how come we don't look the same?" Or, "Other parents look the same as their kids"?

EH: No, I don't know whether... I think they would have asked if that avoid, that bothered them. But they, you, I don't know whether you know and I'm, Onos will kill me if they hear this, but Stuart Ono was in Larry's class, and Stuart would come over and say to Larry, "Are you Japanese or are you Negro?" And Larry just never, just, he kind of looked at them and maybe shrugged his shoulders. He never, he never bothered getting into it, really. I don't know whether Candy and Peter -- I just happened to be there when Stuart asked that question, so I, I know that.

I also, one of the things that we did at Madrona was start after-school programs, and I forgot what Aki was always teaching some group, and she maybe taught science. And I said okay, I would do some basics about Japanese, and showing them A-I-U-E-O, the alphabet, and one day I made rice and took some tsukemono and rice bowls and chopsticks and just have them, let them have an experience at that. Oh, I think Aki made some phrases, "arigato" and "konnichi wa" and that kind of thing. But...

AI: And I think you mentioned in an earlier conversation that Aki and Junks Kurose had, some of their kids were similar ages to your kids.

EH: (Yes). (Yes), in fact, Candy, Guy Kurose and Candy were in the same class from kindergarten on up to sixth grade. 'Cause we left... what happened to seventh grade? I don't remember that Candy went to Meany. Maybe she was in seventh grade at Berkeley, but anyway, Larry and Ruthann Kurose were in the same class. So we, the Kuroses and Hayeses became good, intimate friends. We were always running over there, and I think Junks enjoyed Ralph, except that Junks worked at a graveyard shift, so he always had to get ready for work by ten o'clock and he would be gone. Aki liked, enjoyed Ralph because in her teaching -- she must have been, I think maybe she was getting her teacher's certificate, or she had to take some history for some reason. And she would pick Ralph's brain about... and she was always amazed at how thoroughly he knew, he could give answers about everything and anything. And they, they enjoyed... though Aki and I worked, she started Head Start work about the same time I started CAMP Head Start. So we were seeing each other in those circles a lot, and we were active at Madrona PTA. My goodness, she had her share, Madrona, and they lived in, at first they lived on Spring Street, which was on the west side of Madrona school, then they bought a house on Thirty-sixth, and they lived -- so they stayed in that one location.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

AI: You know, another thing I wanted to ask about was in the 1950s when your, your children were young. Of course, a lot was going on politically at that time, and I was wondering, because I think it was about 1949 or 1950, that Senator Joseph McCarthy was becoming very, very active in his anti-Communism, the so-called "red scare."

EH: I think that was even before we left Chicago, probably.

AI: Yes, actually, I think it was, he began in 1947 with the House Un-American Activities Committee, and I was wondering whether any of that news touched you or your, your lives or...

EH: (Yes), you know, Ralph being, having been a journalism person, was reading everything political. And, and Joe McCarthy was sticking up like a sore nail even before we left Chicago. When, when Ralph's brother was running for a vice-presidency in this seven state unions region, they labeled him a Communist. So we knew what the implications of that were. His mother was always worried, because it was a long, drawn-out court case. I mean, he had, he had to fight that for four or five years. And it was --

AI: Charles? Charles Hayes?

EH: (Yes). I don't know how, somebody, the union or somebody must have -- but the, it was a union that didn't want to give him that -- it was unusual for a black to get very high up into cabinet post positions, heads of, of regents, and they were fighting. And I'm sure there were people who, who were running against him for that position. Ultimately he won, but it took a long time. When Ralph, couple of times Ralph... initially he got a post office job early in the game. One of his first -- oh, I think maybe he was working for the post office before he started the U, somebody told me, and I wasn't aware of that, because I wasn't here. When he came in July, maybe he ran, he worked for the post office until the fall quarter. He probably didn't go to summer school. But that was, that was a good, secure move, because the post office couldn't refuse you, but at some point, when he left the university for a little while because of this red-baiting assignment, at some point he went, he went back to work for the post office, and I don't know whether it was for that, but for some reason, the FBI was all around his mother's neighborhood asking questions of Ralph Hayes, about Ralph Hayes. And the neighbors didn't know, because Ralph didn't live, hadn't lived in Chicago for, well, since '48, and this was maybe '50... I think after Larry was born, maybe he also did a stint in the post office. But it was good assurance, 'cause Christmastime particularly, you could always assure the, be assured of getting a part-time job. I think one summer he also delivered, but the FBI was all over that neighborhood, and pretty soon his mother called to say, "What are you doing and what did you do that the FBI is around here asking questions about you?" And whether that, I don't, I don't know whether that had a connection with Charlie Hayes, but it was easy to do -- here in Seattle, it was deadly, because there were three University of Washington, very well-accepted professors that just got blackballed forever.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

AI: And I, I think you did mention some of this earlier in our interviewing, but if you could say a little bit more about the red-baiting assignments?

EH: The red-baiting assignments? Oh, I don't know. I think it was normal kinds of suspicion, or criticism about the government, anything that the government did.

AI: And Ralph had some assignments that he was given as part of his journalism...

EH: Uh-huh. Classes, (yes). It was constant. It was every day, and he just got sick of it. Because he knew there was more to learn besides being anti-Communist. But this city was really that kind of -- it was kind of an influence over the whole community. There were many pop-, we went, we became active at the Church of the People... I think we were married there. So that was in '50, it may have started in '4-, I was working at the YMCA, and because of the same kind of red-baiting scare, that church was kind of labeled a Communist, or people were suspicious that there were Communists in... and even if there were, it wasn't going to bother the church. They would, they would not let them, they would not kick them out and that kind of thing. So it became kind of a notorious... and conservatives would label that church, so when we got married there -- and I was working for the YMCA, and they were being invited to the wedding, I could hear them kind of halfway joking about, "You think it's safe? Suppose So-and-so finds out." Meaning supervisory people. And I had to say, "Hey, look, you guys, if you're, if you don't want to come, you sure don't have to come. Don't feel like you're (going to) sacrifice," and then they'd say, "Oh, we're just joking." And I'd think halfway to myself, "You're not joking, you're really scared." 'Cause they were part of YMCA, and YMCA was conservative enough to discourage attending a leftist area like that.

AI: So that's interesting to me, because it sounds like it, in a way, they were, they were actually rather worried about, that they might be labeled as a Communist sympathizer for attending a wedding at this church, whereas they, they weren't too concerned about the fact that they were attending a wedding that was interracial.

EH: Oh, (yes), I don't think, I think that was kind of intriguing and exciting for our friends. But that wasn't going to... we were in a circle that weren't, weren't (going to) let that stop our association. I think it was kind of, in some respects, a bit of pride that they had us among their crowd, that kind of thing. You know the name Andy Shiga? Who used to have a gift shop on the Avenue, his wife still runs it. Andy was an early member of the Church of the People, but he was... I remember being at a party where he, Andy was, and Connie Honda's -- I think maybe Connie Honda's house, and we took Larry, and it was a fun kind of, naive in many ways. I mean, my kids would say, "God. No drinks, no nothing?" Well, of course not. I don't think we were even drinking beer at that point. But everybody enjoyed themselves. Of course, Connie had a black friend, girlfriend. Ultimately, she married a black guy, and I don't think it lasted long. We used to correspond to some extent, decades and decades ago. But Andy, on the other hand, was a conscientious objector, and was in a circle also, that he wouldn't have cared if they were Communists or not. And some, some people would lean that way.

I'm not sure -- it was funny, I remember ACLU wanted the minister to come to their national, go to their national convention representing Seattle. But ACLU could not afford to have anybody who was labeled "Communist," or espousing Communist membership kind of issues, to represent them. That just would not be allowed. And, but Fred Shorter was the kind of guy -- he didn't feel he had to sign anything, that you didn't have to sign where you're a member of the church or a member of... not a member, and he would not sign. And so then that naturally aroused suspicion with some people. "Wow," you know, "do you suppose he really is a Communist?" I just knew Fred wasn't (going to) -- he was a Socialist, he was a pacifist, and he had taken trips to, to Russia, but that didn't label him as a Communist. He might have been, to some extent, a sympathizer for Socialist ideas. It was funny because ultimately, he went, and so we, we used to chuckle among the young people's young adults group, "Wow, somebody succeeded and got him, got him to sign, because he, he wouldn't have gone, he couldn't have gone if he didn't."

AI: Well, to --

EH: It's funny, when we joined that church, Fred Shorter used to follow Ralph around to make him sign as a member. And Ralph would say, "Look, Fred, St. Peter isn't going to keep me out of heaven or keep anybody else out of heaven just because we didn't sign." He said, "You're not (going to) make me sign, either." He just, though again, at some point, Ralph must have signed because he was chairman of the forum board at... we used to have a weekly forum, and, Sunday afternoon forum. That's funny, 'cause I don't remember Ralph -- I think they had board meetings, planning meetings that I don't ever remember Ralph having to contact anybody to be a speaker of the board. But it was a good nucleus church, fifty, sixty, seventy members.

AI: Well, to kind of remind people about that, the era of the anti-Communism, I think it was 1951 when the Rosenburgs were convicted of, of conspiracy to commit espionage, and both of them, Ethel and Julius were then sentenced to death. Was that something that was, that was shocking to you? That...

EH: Oh, I think, I think we probably did analyze the system, and these forums were a good mind-stretching and searching. I don't know that, I think we were keenly interested, but I don't know that we voted any one way or another. We had people like Bayard Ruston, who traveled a lot, and seems to me we had Salk, the doctor. Who was it that was the vitamin C, big pusher of vitamin C? But anyway, I remember he was... and we had, we had people who came from, from the Bay Area.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

AI: Well, and then another thing that was happening, of course, was the whole Civil Rights movement was on the upswing. And I was wondering whether the, well, this year, in fact, is the sixtieth anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of the Supreme Court in 1954. And I was wondering, was that much of a topic of conversation, or --

EH: Well, it was exciting, but I think the Hayeses were not marchers, for one thing. He could talk to groups or teach, or get into long conversations, and, (yes). We had a lot of friends who were, Walt Hundley and a half a dozen people from that Church of the People participated. And to this day, they're active in, CORE was another, Congress of Racial Equality. Have a lot of people at, friends active in that. But, and Ralph would believe in that, but he, he just wasn't a marching kind of person. He would talk about it and lecture about it, as much as anybody wanted him to. I think his brother, Charles, did do a lot of marching as, not only as a labor person, but because he was at the heart of Chicago's residential and social action. He was a fighter for fair housing, and at the end, he was for fighting hospital, equal services and that kind of thing. That was, that was something that went on when I was at the American Council. That, that the hospitals were not taking in black patients, and there was a black, I think there was a black hospital at -- we had a friend who... I can't remember where that was. She was about to deliver and they would not let her in at the, at the closest hospital, she had to go to a black hospital, or Cook county. But here, here, interestingly enough, they did not allow, Children's Orthopedic, for instance, would not allow, I think, black physicians, Jewish physicians. And I had a doctor... see, my first-born was that, Doctor's Hospital. And that's right, the minister was a little critical of me because Doctor's Hospital was not allowing Jews, much less blacks to practice. And we had a mutual friend, George Sherwin, who was active at, at the church, was a Jewish doctor, European-educated guy. And when Fred Shorter heard that I was going to deliver at, at Doctor's Hospital, he said, "You know, George can't practice there." And that was just a gentle reminder on his part.

Eventually, by the time I was pregnant with Mark, we joined Group Health. Group Health, at that time, Group Health doctors could not practice at Children's Orthopedic. And they labeled Group Health as kind of a leftist, because the doctors were willing to accept salaries and, and doctors were not supposed to have to rely on salaries. They, they charged what they could get away with. But that was true -- in fact, we met when, when Larry was one, we were at a party when there were two black doctors who were new in town, applying, being interviewed for jobs. And interestingly enough, even at that time, Group Health was not hiring blacks, apparently. Blanche Levisio, who became head of Odessa Brown clinic, was a black pediatrician, and Group Health did not hire her. And for better or worse, when, when CAMP instituted... part of CAMP's mission, or part of the whole poverty program, mission, was to change society to be more accommodating to a cross-section of the population. Here in Seattle, if you were black and had to go to Children's Orthopedic, you had to take two or three buses to get there from Central Area. So one of the missions for CAMP, and there was a group called, department called... anyway, their mission was to negotiate and work, convince Children's Orthopedic that there needed to be branches, more accommodatable to populations like Central Area, and that's how Odessa Brown clinic got established at Yesler and Eighteenth. So that's a branch of Children's Orthopedic. Now they could go there, and this Blanche Levisio became the first doctor to oversee that program. But there was, cross-town transportation, for instance, was a big problem, and that was a major problem at Watts, that there was no cross-town, everybody had to go downtown to get any, to get back out. Like here, Central Area people would have to go downtown by bus or streetcar, bus, and if they had to go to Children's Orthopedic out of downtown, they had to get, then get back. Where there could have been, and we fought and we won the Twenty-third Avenue bus routes. And that was, that's the kind of thing that, you know, had it not been a black population, we might have accomplished it ages ago. But that's the kind of human rights issues that, basic social service needs. Medical, transportation.

AI: That those basic needs were not being met adequately, largely because of racial prejudice and discrimination.

EH: Discrimination. Uh-huh.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

AI: Well, I wanted to ask you, before we get too far ahead, that you had started talking about some of your work in preschools and daycare, and I wanted to, to pick up on that, on your, the, kind of the development of your work path there. Because you were, you had begun talking about how with the Madrona preschool, that you got active with doing the fundraising for that, and then what happened next as far as your, your work?

EH: Well, I, when I had Candy and Peter into a co-op, preschool program, which is... it's not totally unique to Seattle, but Seattle was one of the early cities, mid-'30s they started a preschool, a program that parents or adults could learn about preschool and how children learn by participating one day, one morning a month. In those days we were picking up four or five other kids as bringing our own, and we'd spend all day and then take them home. And then the next day, one of our other friends, one of them, another mother would pick up our kids and, and do her bit and come back, and we had monthly business, business and educational meetings. That was a requirement. But because I had that experience, and I think I was the only one in Central Area that had that experience, when CAMP decided to open their daycare program, they called me long distance in Berkeley and asked me to handle that. And I, I was willing at that time to do it part-time, because I'd never had a full-time job with four kids. But when I got home and started that, I found you can't operate daycare centers as a part-time position. Particularly because in those days, you had, you didn't have experienced people. You didn't have people who had even preschool, co-op experience. There was, there were half-a-dozen of us at the YW preschool, and there were one or two other black parents when I got to Madrona.

But at Madrona -- and I was program chairman when... see, Candy must have been six or seven. Anyway, almost from the time Larry got into Madrona, I was active at PTA, and I was doing program chairmans and, chairmanship and we had a program with all the teachers. The teachers came to PTA meetings as well as the parents. It was a good, active group, probably fifty people at least. And the teachers were saying to us, "By the time we get them in kindergarten it's too late." Meaning that that's where the problem areas were in Madrona. And so we began batting our brains about how to solve that and we came up with the idea: can we run a preschool program like the parent co-op programs, but parents -- I mean, the substitutes replace the parents. Because parents, young parents on welfare are not going to feel comfortable. In fact, in those days, there were a lot of blacks who were so ingrained and trained that you don't talk to whites, because in the South it was almost prohibited. If you were (going to) survive, you had to abide by the social culture. And so anyway, we decided we would do that, because I was working for Family Life, already I'd asked for supervisory person if I could do this, and Family Life would support it.

AI: And this was Family Life program at Y...

EH: No, Family Life was an adult education program of Seattle Public Schools. That's who ran the program, the preschool co-ops, and this was 1960-'61, by the time I became part of that staff, instructor staff, they called it. And... '62, anyway, because I was already on that staff, "Could I be assigned to Madrona, and would allow it with substitutes as mothers?" And they were well-aware, and every, I think and everybody in the school system knew that that was a fairly good idea. Everybody was having that problem, if you had racial minorities or low economic families. And Madrona church was willing to let us use their kind of basement facility social hall, which is not a good thing to have for preschool programs, but that was available, and we used it. Madrona then allowed us to use a new auditorium/lunchroom for fundraiser or Christmastime, we have something called Holly Fair. And that was very exciting, because at that point, society were, there were a lot of people aware of where the discrepancies were, so that artists and craftsmen, even restaurateurs and a lot of people were willing to contribute in whatever way they could. We had artists contributing paintings from all over the area. The Swinomish tribe in La Conner was, would send out, send us a box of hand-carved canoes, and those were real art examples. Five dollars was a lot to pay in the early '60s. But it was so successful that we did it every year, and we made our budget to carry on, we paid one, we had one paid teacher. And every, supplies and everything had to be, snacks had to be paid for. That, those were exciting years, and there were suburban areas that were wanting to pitch in and help. And we got invited to Edmonds for, on the water, on the beach, because a lot of Central Area people had never been on a sandy beach. If you lived, if you were born and raised in Seattle, you, you didn't go, you didn't venture out where you didn't know what the reaction was (going to) be. They would just as soon stay where they were welcomed and they knew they were secure. But when we did this, we took carloads out to Edmonds, and our kids had -- the Edmonds groups all chipped in, brought snacks and things.

And we had, one, we had, my job was to visit all these homes of the kids and explain the program, try to get them to come out, and in this case we had a couple of mothers. At least I know two mothers that I picked up. I, we had a nineteen-year-old mother who was born and reared in Seattle, never knew that there was such a thing as a beach. Never been on sand before. And she had a four-year-old, bright four-year-old, Arthur. She, and she kind of began to wander, just walking down the beach, kind of lost time and herself, and, and it got time to leave and she didn't come back. And we were frantic. We didn't know which way to go look for her. And pretty soon, finally, she came back late and apologetic, but she just kept saying, "I didn't know there was a place like this." And you're, she was probably on, on welfare. She had two kids, and when I went to visit her, she didn't have, she had a toilet, but she had no other running water except a kitchen sink. And so she had a big galvanized tub, and she would heat pot after pot of hot water to give the kids a bath. That was her only location. But she was an articulate -- I don't know whether she finished high school -- but anyway, she, she was willing to come.

I had another mother who lived on Twenty-third, and her kids went to Colman, the old Colman school. The one that they condemned for earthquake purposes, but when, once when I went to visit her, she was, she used to, as we rolled past Colman, she would say, "That's where I go to PTA." And at one point, she was caring for fifteen kids, and I said, "How could you? What, how, how did you end up with fifteen children?" She said, well, you know, all her, "My sisters and brothers are always so good to me," 'cause she had, she was a single mother and had three or four kids. And the rest of the family wanted to go home for Thanksgiving or something. It was their one, parents' anniversary or something. So she agreed to take all the nieces and nephews and keep them at her house for a week, and then I began to wonder, what would be welfare's reaction, or what would be Public Health's reaction to this? But she was very calm and collected, and she'd be telling me about how what went on the PTA meetings and, you'd be surprised what the kids could do, even on the stage.

And so there were people who never got a chance to be out of their own community or neighborhood, but they could take short trips like that. And for suburban area people, they also never had a chance to see this kind of population. I remember Edmonds or someplace, it was the Nordstrom family, daughter-in-law, who was teaching school, and she had managed to talk to her kids' third grade, fourth grade class about Madrona enrichment and what kind of children had to go there, and they didn't have anything at home to play with and all. She designed a horse made out of wire and -- what do they call that paste that you make newspaper and paste out of think layers of...

AI: Paper mache?

EH: Mache, paper mache. She had this elegant, heavy horse made out of wire and paper mache, all dried and painted, and loaded it in somebody's truck and brought it to one of our enrichment program, donated it. And it was just all kinds of imaginative ways, Presbyterian, Bellevue, one of the Bellevue Presbyterian churches brought clothes, and they would gather newsprint and crayons and cans of paint and things like that. So they were, they, society to some extent was ready to change. They knew the discrepancies that were going on. They would donate books and things like that.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

AI: So just before the break, you were talking about some of your activities and the, we had talked some about the co-op daycare and the Madrona school, but I wanted to, just to set the context for the era again. In 1963, of course, was the March on Washington for -- and, and it was actually called the March for Jobs and Freedom, which some people don't recall, because now, of course, it's so closely affiliated with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. And 1964 was the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act. And so, kind of within that national context, though, here at the local area there were also activities going on as you were saying earlier, because people were recognizing the discrepancies between those who were doing well economically and the mainstream white population, as compared with those who were not doing well economically, and especially those who were suffering from racial discrimination.

EH: Uh-huh.

AI: So if, maybe then if you could talk some about some of your work with -- you had mentioned CAMP, which stands for Central Area Motivation Program, here in Seattle.

EH: I think that's maybe one of the most satisfying periods of work that I had, because there were no daycare centers, and when I was in -- when Ralph was on sabbatical in Berkeley and we were living in Berkeley, I got a long-distance call asking me if I would be willing to direct a daycare center for CAMP. And I was a little reluctant because I'd never had a full-, never held a full-time job. I was, the Family Life instructors position went on the school calendar and we were off in the summertime and school holidays and things like that. But, so when we got back to, from Berkeley to Seattle, and Ralph also was on a new assignment program called Upward Bound at the University of Washington. That was a program for gearing very poor population, poverty group, who were potentially good scholars, to be able to cope with university work. And they picked, picked the kids up from their junior year, after their junior year, their all-summer intensive academic program, dormitories provided and all, and then they went back to the high school for senior year, and after graduation they started, that summer began taking freshmen courses, university courses. And so Ralph was (going to) have, have his hands full, but --

AI: And that would have been 1966 when you returned from Berkeley?

EH: Berkeley, uh-huh. '66, popular English prof. by the name of Roger Sale was the director for the first two years, and then there was a Jack Brenner was another English prof. Anyway, but seven or eight of those teachers all stuck by that program, every summer full-time. They hired tutors and counselors and transportation/recreation people. Anyway, the last, last three years that Ralph was involved in that was probably... see, he was in it for seven years, so almost '66, early '70s, until '73 or something, he took the directorship for the last three years. But no matter who was director, they did the directorship for part-time, and they continued to teach. So Roger Sale continued to be the English prof., and he and Jack Brenner continued to be English people on staff, and Ralph was teaching history. But when he did it part-time, he did part-time history teaching at the same time.

AI: And, and --

EH: But anyway, when I went to daycare, they had set it up to some extent.

AI: Excuse me, CAMP had set it up?

EH: (Yes). Central Area Motivation... that started in about April, and I didn't get back until July. But there was no training, and they were, they were trying and diligent, but they were using what we called OEO funds, Economic Opportunity money. And then within the year, the government said if, "If you're using federal monies for preschool programs, you have to follow Head Start guidelines." And that was, that was all right. That was a blessing, because Head Start provided training programs, teacher training material and teacher training classes, and I was either able to send people to community college, eventually some, a couple of them went to Western for a semester or two. But they were able to teach part-time and we could hire additional people, and then they continued classes. And that was all a learning experience. There had to be, licensing was fully implemented by that time, and I had to make sure that every bit of that license was followed. And it was detailed -- daycare works very minutely detailed, and it has to be for the protection of the children, including nutrition. And so we picked up a lot of information and knowledge, the Department of Agriculture contracts had to be followed. And it worked, I think it worked very well for people who were novices in the field, and yet, because we had ongoing, sometimes on-location training with community college people. Not supervising, but taking notes and then being able to make suggestions and be able to -- in various ways -- art, music, outdoor recreation. We had to have a certain amount of space for outdoors. So for the kids, it was great. Most of these kids were cramped in, in apartments, and they had very little space to play, and their parents didn't always understand how much kids needed to be outside. I had problems with educating parents and teachers that yes, we're going to go outside, even if it's drizzling it's not (going to) hurt the kids. The kids really enjoy being outside. They need to let, let off steam, and get their exercise. And gradually, everybody picked up the pace and learned.

There was also a national organization called National Association for the Education of Young Children. Here in Puget Sound it was PSAC, Puget Sound Association. And that gradually -- see, because daycare was not really a field until that time, along with Head Start. So we had good programs for Puget Sound Association, and we went to annual conferences all over the country. But for... and I could, I could understand, when I initially came on the scene, they were really reluctant. They didn't want to give up their ownership of that program.

AI: Who was reluctant?

EH: The staff that was, the staff that was already there. But I had to lay some rules down: no, no corporal punishment, no, we are not spanking children. We learned to talk to them, and you don't talk down, you don't yell, get in the corner and have a conversation. And sometimes the kids were unruly and could not tolerate having to sit still and being talked to. And you learned to handle children with respect and in that way, even if you have to leave the room a little while, just to calm the child down. But the parents had to learn those kinds of things. There were times when they, somebody would say, "But they don't understand. Spanking is what they understand." And I said, "Not here. We're (going to) teach without... and besides that, it's, Licensing won't allow you to strike children in any way." Voice-wise, even communicating with them. You talk to children with respect, no matter how much they're screaming or crying, get them aside and calm them before, and so they could sit and talk. If they have to be isolated or quiet by themselves to simmer down, provide that. But the parents wanted to do things like wash hair and, and give them baths or change clothes.

AI: Excuse me. The parents or the teachers?

EH: The teachers. And, and I said, "No, we're not going to change clothes or give them baths. If you feel they have to have that, let's, let's educate the parents why." And they would say, "You don't know what it's like to... you don't want to take kids messy and dirty to public market, places like that." And I'd have to almost, have to start educating them about, "What kind of reaction is this going to have for the children? What kind of, how are the parents going to feel?" If the parents don't know how, how you feel, they may not correct it. But if you explain to them right, then they'll learn to iron their clothes and launder their clothes. But that went on for a while, and, and at one point, because they were so... not quite hostile, but because they, they wanted to run things their own way, and I said to Walt Hundley, "Look, I'm going to go back to the Family Life staff, and I could understand their ownership, but I'm not (going to) tolerate spanking, and I'm not (going to) tolerate yelling at the kids."

AI: And excuse me, and Walt was the executive director of...

EH: Executive director of CAMP. Central Area Motivation Program.

AI: At that time, and so he was the executive over these, the ultimate manager?

EH: (Yes), he had many departments. CAMP was a very multi-faceted program. And Walt said, "No, we need you to stay here. I will find another place for the director that was there," and there was, she was a good worker, but she had the old-fashioned discipline attitude. And even if she didn't, the teachers were, so-called "teachers" were bound to use that.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

AI: Well, and also, I had a question here. Because, so, CAMP at that time was primarily a community-based program run by and for the African American community. Is that right?

EH: Not necessarily.

AI: Or... no.

EH: You know, it was totally for everybody. We didn't, the attendance we had was not, it was probably seventy-five percent black, there were a sprinkling of white kids.

AI: So a kind of a mix.

EH: Mix, (yes). I don't think, I don't think I ever had any Asian kids.

AI: And, and Walt Hundley was black.

EH: Oh, (yes). He was a Yale Divinity School graduate, and a very knowledgeable, dynamic person. We were very fortunate in Seattle to have Walt here.

AI: And then, may I ask about the, the daycare teachers that you had? Would you say a number of them were black, or some portion?

EH: Let's see... ultimately, it took five years of building. I almost set up a new daycare center every year for about five years. And so we started with maybe -- and they already had about six teachers over a twelve-hour period, and a director, so-called "director." And what, what we really needed was a director who oversaw an education coordinator, person that just zeroed in on the education system. We had a cook, and what we also needed was a social worker, because the families needed a lot of social service, and a nurse. And that didn't happen until we had maybe our fourth or fifth, fourth daycare center. I think we had part-time people sometimes. And, but once we got at least three or four set up, it was busy. Because you were always recruiting and always... and people would come to apply. I also had to set up a bus service, because University Presbyterian opened its door. All these churches, in five years' time, Temple de Hirsch was the first one... well, we were already at Grace Methodist, which is at Dearborn and Thirtieth.

AI: And Grace Methodist was primarily a black congregation?

EH: (Yes). No, no, it was almost, it was almost fifty-fifty, because that was kind of a new area for blacks. Fully half of the population, congregation was black, with a white minister. And then I guess First Baptist Church opened its door. University Presbyterian and St. Peter's Episcopal, Japanese congregation. I also had to take, talk to Blaine because Centro de la Raza was having, it was taking them a long time to set up their daycare system, and they needed a temporary place. So with every one of these congregations, I had to meet many times with a board, with the women's section, branch, and because we paid for the custodial service, we didn't pay for anything else, but then I had to meet with custodians and, and the women and the kitchen coordinating, because we had to use a limited amount of... but eventually I had to train a couple of bus drivers and just put some firm rules down, that the bus was not going to be used for anything but the children.

But the Department of Agriculture, by that time, had strict rules, almost from the very beginning. They, Department of Agriculture has the abilities to subsidize food costs, and because they supplement things like hamburger and bread, flour, powdered skim milk, powdered skim milk was a big headache because it wasn't the kind that whipped up as easily as the present. And the cooks didn't like to use it. At one point I had, Yesler Terrace broke out in some kind of bug, silver-something, and it was because the cooks had not used the powered skim milk, and it was up on the top shelf of some cupboard. And over the years the eggs started hatching. Anyway, things like that. So then you had to do all kinds of education. But the Department of Agriculture had stipulations of how much, three ounces of protein, a glass, eight ounces of milk, and on and on. How many ounces of fruit, vegetable. And so then you had to educate the cooks about what each of these items -- and the Department of Ag. was good about developing newsprints, or newsletters with recipes, easy-to-prepare recipes, and even in the, on another column, label the food elements that were, how much protein was in, in this and that. So it was a learning experience for a lot of people. I had to see to it that the head teachers knew some of this, because I couldn't be at all the kitchens, and I wasn't (going to) supervise the cooks that much.

But we were able to provide excursions and, and learn some basics about safety and, and talk to children about what we -- the zoo, for instance, was a popular place that... at one time we took 'em on the Vashon ferry for a beachfront activity, and they were, there was one very prominent young man now here, who would not let his toes, you know, get wet in that "yucky stuff." And the staff had to carry this kid all over the beach. And then we had lunch out there, and those were worthwhile experiences, because most of this population never got a chance to do that kind of thing.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

AI: So what you're really describing here is the beginning of, of well-organized, licensed daycare that was affordable for the lower-income families.

EH: Well, yes, and not only affordable, but you had to be within an income range, very low-income scale. And if you had a job, you had to list that, we had to have, I developed all kinds of forms, health examination forms, and parent permission forms, bio sketch forms, and parents had to learn that they needed to give us bona fide telephone numbers and addresses, and if they couldn't pick up their, if the child was (going to) be picked up and somebody else had to substitute, we had to know who that person was, and what the relationship was. And so we, the parents learned from the bottom what parent responsibilities were. And everybody learned. But these were parents who, a lot of them might have been doing domestic work, very low salaries, even at that. So they couldn't pay, if they were earning three hundred to four hundred, five hundred a month at the most, they couldn't pay three, two or three hundred dollars for daycare. So it was not only providing child care, but it was also providing, maintaining jobs for low-income people. And I remember a mother with three kids landed a job at Virginia Mason, and she was pleased and diligent, but she really worried about those kids. And I placed her at First Baptist Church, which was almost, it was closest item to Virginia Mason. And her doctor, one of the doctors that she was around in pediatrics, was interested in her attitude and what she was learning. And he consented to be our program physician, which we had to have, a licensed doctor who could give us advice. We relied mostly on Odessa Brown clinic, but that was a very good feeling.

But I also organized parent meetings, and education programs at Yesler Terrace, the parents and the teachers had certain kinds of problems; bedwetting and, and I called, then I called... child psychiatrist who was stationed at Harborview, and he was very good, because black parents never got the insight of a psychiatrist. And he was very frank and empathetic, he didn't, he wasn't cocky and he didn't yell at the parents, but I remember a parent concerned about her child regressing and bedwetting, and... Dr. Bill Womack, I guess it was, said, "What else is going on in the child's life?" And it took her a while, but she said she had a new boyfriend, and he said, "Are you giving your child your time priority, or are you giving it to the boyfriend?" And, "How does the child relate to the boyfriend?" You know, so it was an eye-opener for a lot of people, that the child's priority, takes priority. But what kind of reactions and how do you bridge the gaps? But these were eye-opener... I had a, I had a doctor who said to a patient, who was a teacher in a daycare center, was having some kind of problems with her little one, and, and the doctor said to her, "What do you expect when you send your kids to a baby factory?" And I was appalled and really angry, and so I wrote this up in a report, and at some point we had medical communication ability, and I wrote this up in a -- "how do you, you do you expect that parent to maintain her job in a daycare center when a doctor takes this kind of attitude?" It was a long time before doctors approved of daycare centers. But it didn't take them long to realize that it was a great thing if, if they didn't have this free daycare available, they wouldn't have the staff that -- and they would have very erratic staff, because if their children didn't have good, reliable care, the mother was going to be constantly upset or worried, or what was she -- sick children was another whole big issue that we had to help solve. We couldn't bring sick children into the center, but we had to help solve that. There was a lot of, daycare is a whole, new chapter.

AI: Well, so how long were, did you do this work with the, with the daycare centers?

EH: Five, five years.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

AI: And then what, what happened next with your work after that?

EH: Well, I, it, daycare is a real grueling situation, but I ended up with sixty-five staff in five buildings, 150 children. I had monthly reports to write, and, but people enjoyed hearing, because it was fairly new and it was, everybody was really concerned. And, and it had to be a fast-developing program, because everybody was having to go to work. But when I retired in '86, daycare had almost quadrupled, even at that point, because everybody was going to work, and everybody had to have daycare. But it's a good thing that they had this nucleus start. Ultimately, when I left there, somebody else took over but we had, we did have -- by the time I left, we had a social, full-time social worker, a nurse, education director, who -- education director's load is a heavy one, 'cause she's gotta cope with, I had sixty-five, but out of the sixty five, probably fifty-five, almost, with teachers at all levels. And parent education programs, volunteer coordinator, and so it, the detailed work is all there, but if you have good people, it's doable.

But it's the first time in society that parents had a secure place to leave their children and then be able to get some reaction, some learning experience, learn from what the children are experiencing, and then, and we put some brakes on. When parents were constantly late, they, they had to be cut out, because the staff wasn't (going to) stay there half an hour later. They got, we, we added fines, I, I had one child whose parents never did come. A parent, teacher took her home, I, this happened a lot. I eventually took the child, and she had, she had said, "(Yes), I have an elevator." So then I called, I happened to know the welfare caseworker on that family, and, or an old caseworker, and, but I said to the caseworker, "This child says she lives in a building with elevators. Where do you think that might be?" And she did some calling, and finally came out herself. And I think maybe she recognized the name or something. It wasn't her case, but she solved it a little bit. There was a building in International District that had an elevator, and as we got close to it, the kids say, "Oh, (yes), there's my house, there's my house." And I can't remember now why the parent didn't show up, but anyway, we were, it was 8:30 or 9 o'clock, and I could dismiss the staff. But that kind of thing went on periodically. And there's a lot of -- sometimes parents get caught in many ways, but their responsibility is to contact somebody by telephone. And there's always a teacher, once a month a teacher has to take a child home. But as long as they notify me, I know how to solve it. But it was a massive -- and this went across the whole country, was learning in various ways. I think we had pretty good support, both from CAMP and from the licensing people, and community colleges.

AI: Well, as you, as you say, there was, this was a massive change across the country in both that daycare was developing, and more and more women were going out to work, outside the home, and, of course, this is the late '60s and early '70s, so the Civil Rights movement had really come to its, its peak, and the women's movement had come along behind that.

EH: (Yes), the women's, women's movement was probably a lot later. Because if you're in, engrossed in situations like that, you really didn't have time to get into the women's movement. When I first started this, both with enrichment program was pre-Head Start, and during Head Start, we would send children to Public Health, for instance, for dental work or whatever. Everybody needed dental work. But there were times when, even at Public Health, and this would have been late '60s, a mother with three or four kids would go to Public Health to keep a dental appointment, or maybe show up without an appointment. At any rate, they would be left there sitting, and the kids would get hungry and, and crying, the staff would go to lunch and come back, and they'd say, "Oh, are you still here?" And if that happened twice, the parent would come to me, even if I requested that they see a dentist -- and we often covered dental costs, or welfare covered it -- the parents would refuse to go back to a situation, and I'd say, "I don't blame you. I'm not going to send you back to that kind of situation." Insensitivity is what it is. And we would pay for private dental care, or Odessa Brown eventually got going. I don't think they were there, especially with dental in the late '60s. But it was, it was just... that's the way society worked, that if you were poor and if you were black, they didn't really regard you as a bona fide paying person. Somebody was paying for their services, but too often...

Ralph Hayes was working for the Parks Department, in one of his early student days, I think, and chasing balls for kids where, they hit with a bat. There was a dip in the hole and he fell, he turned his ankle and flipped on his shoulder and broke his collar bone. And he called the, his supervisor and said what the situation was, and summer evening, so he, boss says, "Well, explain to the kids, can you get yourself to Harborview?" And he goes, and it's like almost 9 o'clock when he's there. Ten o'clock, after ten o'clock, the staff goes for some kind of break and comes back and same thing happens to him, "Are you still sitting here?" And he's in pain all the time, and he just gets disgusted and ticked off and he walks out and goes to a private physician, a friend of ours at the church. And, George Sherwin takes him up and I don't know that he got a, I don't know whether he got an x-ray, but anyway, that kind of experience, one you have that kind of experience, you're reluctant to go back to that climate. But that was so, such a common issue. 'Course, a lot of parents didn't keep appointments and that, that was a headache, and a lot of parents up to that point hadn't taken their children to medical attentions, getting medical attention.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

AI: Well, so then after you, after five years, and you had kind of built up this program, then did you take a break from work for a while, or did you go on to another position?

EH: No, I intended to take a break, I was having some problems with my third one's attendance records and that kind of thing, and when I found out he was cutting too many classes, I thought, "Okay, it's time for me to watch the homefront." And, but, you know, and then I got active in Roosevelt PTA more and that kind of thing, and before you knew it, I was getting calls and, "Can you be on the board?" "Can you help us solve this problem?" "Can you see this and give us some recommendations?" And people were writing grants, and they didn't know how to fill a lot of the gaps. So I, I would go in and help and pretty soon that became almost a full-time job. And I decided after two years, not even quite two years, I decided, "Heavens, if I'm going to be doing this much volunteer, I might as well go back to, to working at least part-time." And even at, even at Roosevelt, I was arranging for black... they always had board meetings on weekday mornings. And black parents who had to work couldn't get to those kinds of meetings, and there was a early part of mandatory bussing kind of situation and I, I decided that this isn't fair. And Roosevelt was a popular school, so I, I made arrangements for transfer parents to have PTA sessions on their own at the YWCA on Twenty-ninth and Cherry. And the faculty was enthusiastic about it, and anybody could come. The faculty was almost 100 percent, there were almost as many faculty as there were parents, because they wanted a chance to talk to parents, and they wanted parents to feel free to ask them questions. And I knew that in a fifty board PTA, white PTA meeting at Garfield, black parents were just too threatened. They wouldn't open their mouth even if they could ask a legitimate question. When we got to the YWCA it was just amazing the fluent amount of questions that came up. And some of them were basic questions that you would expect parents to know, but they didn't. And here were parents that worked all day and they come to a 7:30 meeting, and the faculty got a big lesson, learning lesson from that. They didn't know how, "What do you mean, grade-point average? What, how, how do you get that? How do you know that?" So right then and there, fortunately there's a blackboard present, and we could demonstrate how, how is a grade-point average... "Why do they have to study so hard?" And just normal kind of basic questions. But if they didn't have the opportunity to ask... but in preschool parent meetings, there was a lot of education to do, even among parents.

AI: So then when did you decide to go back to, back to work?

EH: Oh, and then what happened was Dorothy Hollingsworth was told, Walt Hundley had moved from Central Area Motivation Program to, CAMP, to Model Cities. Model Cities was going a whole year with... gee, I can't believe it was a million dollar grant, but it was, they, the government gave them a whole year to plan in detail what, what, how they wanted this. Model Cities was supposed to be city-geared and to change the social system. And Walt was very good at this. And they corralled volunteer teams and housing, health, education, employment, and we worked every, almost every night there was some faction of that group meeting. Hot summer nights in Mount Zion's basement, fellowship hall. There was a Reverend Katagiri, I think a Hawaiian Congregational minister, who was in Chicago, and I don't know how he heard about... well, I guess he was with OEO. That's right, he was with the OEO board, but anyway, I think even in Model Cities, he was still there, because it was almost a continuum. The same population had to, had to almost carry on. And he was good, because there was sometimes very rash, hostile attitudes being exchanged, and he was able to rationalize or point up to them, where the ideas came from, why this group wants this, feels housing was a major issue.

AI: What kind of hostile expressions were made?

EH: Well, all kinds of demands. And you, you couldn't meet every demand; housing subsidies, for instance. Eventually the city housing department, City, City Housing Authority could, could take over. And there was, there had to be a lot of agreements and merging. City, City Housing Authority had to join. One of the big, apparent experiences I was aware of, and probably a lot of people were aware of, that the Asians would not participate. There were surveys taken, door-to-door, and they would not answer questions or allow people to even ask questions. They just, that whole hot summer there was not an Asian -- there was one, there was one Chinese social worker, George somebody, who was there. My sister experienced the same thing in the Bay Area. She would just come out of... I think when she graduated with her architecture degree, my mother supposedly gave her a gift to trans-, to go to Japan, but she also was needing help in traveling. My, my stepfather was seventy, seventy-five, eighty. And he was only -- I know, he was ninety, because he couldn't travel until the doctor said, "Okay, your heart trouble..." you know, I think of old age, because of old age, it subsided or something. He got permission to travel. So then my mother took him to Japan, 'cause, 'cause he hadn't been to Japan in sixty years, since he came. And my mother hadn't been to Japan for forty years. So she wrote Sara with the bait of a graduation present. And Sara enjoyed it, got a lot out of it, because she was seeing relatives for the first time, and but anyway, she, after she came back from that trip, she worked for Model Cities in the Bay Area, and she was having to go door to door to take surveys. And she had doors slammed in her face, because they, they didn't want to be identified as, with poverty programs.

AI: So, so here in Seattle, also --

EH: In the same way, (yes).

AI: -- that Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Filipinos --

EH: They didn't want to be considered poverty, and I, I think, basically, they didn't want to associate with blacks. And they didn't --

AI: And the anti-poverty program at that time was, was --

EH: Basically black.

AI: -- strongly associated with...

EH: You know, the black activists hadn't come forward, and write, wrote grants and plans and door-to-door surveys and we wouldn't have gotten where we were. But, oh, two or three years after I joined the Model Cities group, there was a...

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 29>

AI: I'm sorry, but about when was it that you, that you joined with the Model Cities program?

EH: Well, I worked in CAMP Head Start from '6-, almost from '66 to '70, '70, '71. I took two years off, and about '72 I joined the Model Cities class, group, because Dorothy Hollingsworth had called me, and wanting me to help find licensable locations to expand daycare. And because I knew the licensing, having had to cope with it at CAMP, I did that. And I tromped all over the city looking at space, and once in a while call a licensing person and say, "Could you join me, look at this, what do you think?" And eventually, I found five or six more buildings. But we had a welfare subcommittee that met every month, community something, and in the middle of that meeting, a Chinese delegation marched in, and, and saying, "We feel like we're entitled to this money. This is our community also." And we were dumbfounded. I can't remember where... I think the chairman probably was Charles Johnson, who became a judge and was a lawyer at that point, was chairman of this community, and I, I don't know what steps he taught, but the next morning, I was at work and I, I said, that "Asian invasion" irks me, because they would not come to the planning sessions three or four years ago when everybody had to work night after night. And where were they then?

One of the funny things was Jackie... it was the first time a Chinese student body, Jackie Kei, was student body president at Garfield when Ralph was there. I think Jackie was in that class of 1960 when, Ralph's advisorship class. And she was leading the herd, and, and I really took an offense, and I don't think I could get to Jackie to discuss this with her; I wish I could. She took off shortly after that to earn a Ph.D. in Harvard, and she's still teaching. In fact, I think she ended up going to Southeast Asia to teach English, initially, and then came back to New York and got into Harvard. And she's still there, but I just never will remember that, "Asian invasion." Because that's the way Asians were in those early years. They did -- though I knew, I know three or four people who eventually got into poverty programs, and became Head Start nurses and things like that. There're a couple of well-known... Constance Ikami? Anyway, she was, I heard her at national conventions a lot.

But it wasn't a mass... and yet, the early childhood really has its benefits, and, and its pleasure in getting to know -- Aki was a great one in that field. She, she joined the Head Start staff. She ultimately... I know, I don't know whether she quit, she went to Western for a while. And, oh, I know, she also was qualifying, I think, whether Junks was ill, or they had a, there was a year when she was giving birth and two or three were in the hospital, and so she could qualify with her low-income, if she had a, also accepted another kid in. She was always doing that, the kids would bring somebody home who needed a home, and, and she would accommodate them. One of Aki's philosophies, which I really valued... and she, she developed kind of a peace curriculum as well as a science curriculum. She got a National Science Foundation award for demonstrating that even primary kids could learn. Her kids knew the solar system, they knew all the, the countries in the world. She had a globe patterned her floor, her linoleum, and the kids could identify all the countries. But she had a philosophy that said, "Kids that don't feel good about themselves can't learn." And I heard that also from Ryder Child Center. We, I used to, we used to have to get daycare directors that were contracting with the city, the city would have monthly meetings for daycare directors, and for some reason, somebody got Ryder Child Center. And I had to say to Ryder, "Why is it that you don't come south of the canal?" And, and they had the same principle that if a child doesn't feel good about himself, and I said, "You're not saying this, but if Ryder isn't coming south of the canal, makes me wonder how you're treating blacks, if you ever got blacks. And is it because some form of discrimination, or your hesitancy in getting black population involved?"

AI: What was their response?

EH: Something like, "Well, we never thought of that." [Laughs] You know? And in those days, there were a lot of people who -- you know, that's why, that's why mandatory bussing had to take place, because, on top of that, that was hard on the children and hard on staff -- I mean, hard on parents. But on the other hand, it took something to shake an, make an awakening in the school system to say, Candy was in summer school on, in third grade. I brought her from Central Area to Bryant, just north of Laurelhurst, kind of next to Ravenna where we ended up. And Candy was complaining that, "No matter how much I raise my hand, the teacher never calls on me, won't call on me." And she was taking Spanish, I think. So I finally parked the car and went in to see the teacher at the... you leave your kids in the car in those days, and I went in and said, "Candy tells me that you just do not call, raise your, call on her when she raises her hand." And her reply to me was, "I didn't think she really wanted to answer." And I, I said, "That's an odd answer for a teacher to give when, when a teacher's..." And yet I thought, "Well, maybe that's the typical rationale or kind of getting out of situations, and that's the way you're coping with, with problems. And no wonder we have to have mandatory." But I, my feeling was, okay, we need to do a lot more training of teachers off in the north end.

In fact, Aki was told, at one point when she, I think, was switching from Head Start to primary years, a ruling came up that minority teachers could not teach in minority neighborhoods. And Aki had to go to Laurelhurst, and really got put through the grind there. But there were all kinds of -- I had a parent who said to me, when, in parent board hearings way after I retired, that her, her youngster was in Garfield, and I think the mother had, was working on a Ph.D. And the girl refused to go back, I think, to Laurelhurst, because the teacher would say in the class, "Even So-and-so knows that answer." And, and the girl was bright enough to know that that was an implication that somebody of her color didn't expect, wasn't expected to know the answer. But the teacher's rationale is, "Even So-and-so knows that answer." And, and she was bright enough to refuse to, to listen to that anymore, and the, and the mother had to come to the appeal board to ask for a transfer. And I voted for, for the transfer. Other people didn't feel that that was serious enough, but, but that's the way the world was.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2004 Densho. All Rights Reserved.