Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Elaine Ishikawa Hayes Interview III
Narrator: Elaine Ishikawa Hayes
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 24, 2004
Densho ID: denshovh-helaine-03

<Begin Segment 1>

AI: Well, I should say that today's June 24, 2004, and we are continuing our interview with Elaine Ishikawa Hayes, and I'm Alice Ito from Densho, we're here at Densho, and John Pai is on videography for us. And so, as we were chatting earlier, we were kind of recalling that in our last session, you had just been telling us about how your not-yet husband, Ralph Hayes, due to some racial discrimination at Northwestern University, had needed to find another place where he could finish his undergraduate education, and he had left Chicago to come here to Seattle to attend University of Washington. And you had stayed behind in Chicago, and were tying up some loose ends there, and we did talk some about the experiences that you and Ralph had had as an interracial couple in Chicago, and a little bit about your families getting to know each other in Chicago. And then, so now we're just on the point of, I believe it was November 1948 that you left Chicago and moved here to Seattle. And so, when you came out, did you say that, I think you said at that time, Ralph was living on University of Washington campus, in housing for return-, for veteran students, U.S. army veterans who were now students.

EH: That was a Quonset hut in '48 on campus, and there was a lot of construction going on on campus. But, so I had to find -- and I made arrangements ahead of time to, to stay at the YWCA. I knew that that was going to be possible, and then I, for some reason, or somehow, on the bulletin board of the YW was an ad for someone to babysit, and I thought, well, I didn't have a job at that point, I'd better take whatever job I could get. And so just as a start, I took that babysitting job, and after two or three times of babysitting with them, they asked if, would I be interested in living-in with them, earning my room and board a little bit with, helping with dinner, cleaning up dinner dishes and all that. And I, by that time -- oh, let's see, I did get a job at the American Friends Service Committee, which was across the street from the Y, UW campus on Fifteenth, and that didn't take long. I think maybe within two or three weeks of being here, I landed that job. So when I moved in with the Bakers, I said, "I have this job, and I can help with dinner and after dinner, but I'll be gone during the day." And that was all right. It was north end of Capitol Hill, right off of Eastlake. And I could take a bus right in to the UW. And that worked all right, I lived, I lived with them for oh, two or three years.

They were, she was a relatively conservative Republican family, and had trouble coping with Ralph. When Ralph came, she was very tense, and she didn't like it, but at one point, she was having guests for dinner, and her mother was there, and she wanted me to help. So I, I was helping, and when Ralph came to pick me up -- I wasn't (going to) stay around for dinner -- but when Ralph came to pick me up, her mother answered the door, and it turned out that they were in the same journalism classes at the university. And that was so much fun for them, she just hurriedly fixed a, a cup of tea for both of them, and they sat on the kitchen table just yakking away. And Jane Baker was furious. She was just furious, and, but, we got along, and I left, and the next day, she told me that she didn't appreciate her mother letting Ralph in. And I said, "Well, he's a friend of mine. Am I (going to) be permitted to, to at least have him pick me up?" And, and her husband bounced in and said, "Jane, get over that business." They were both Garfield graduates, and they were very proud of it, and she would tell me she knew Leonard Gayton very well, because they were classmates, and he was a jazz musician. And yet, she couldn't tolerate having a black person in the home. This was just the north end of Capitol Hill. But anyway...

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

<Begin Segment 2>

AI: So that gives a flavor for the times, the era here in Seattle, and, and some of the attitudes that, about race at the time. 'Cause I also wanted to ask about something, about other things that were going on when you and Ralph were here in the late '40s and early '50s, and one was that, just on the national scene, Senator Joe McCarthy was becoming very prominent with the anti-Communism.

EH: Well, he, he was... '48, '50, '48-'49, in '49, when Ralph was still in journalism, his assignments were constantly anti-Communist, called red-baiting, and it was patterned right after Joe McCarthy, and 'course, the university had fired three professors, prominent professors, I don't know whether they actually were Communists. Mike James, who was with channel 5? Anyway, he and his sister, a prominent psychologist, writes for the Times, anyway, their father apparently got, was one of those fired. But Ralph just got sick of the red-baiting assignments, and said -- well, and this was after we were married, so this was '50... '50. And he said, "If I get another red-baiting assignment, I'm leaving. I'm taking a leave." And I said, "You know, you've been saying this all year, tomorrow's not going to be any different." But sure enough, the next day he came home and said, "Well, I left." And fortunately, when he first came to Seattle, he, it was summertime, and I guess he was able to get a job at the post office. Post office was a saving grace for a lot of blacks, that was the one civil service job they could land. And he worked at the post office for, I think, part of the summer until school started, but two or three times during the Christmas rush he was able to get mail carrier jobs, and anyway, this, when he left the university, I mean, took a leave from the university, he went to work for Boeing and two or three months after that, he said, "No, I'm not going to do this for the rest of my life."

And he came back to the university and changed his major to political science, and got his degree in political science. And then, then went on, wanted to get his master's degree in political science, but wanted to do a thesis on the new Indian government, because he had, he was stationed in India for three years, segregated army. But in the army, he was in the -- well, there was a black Army Corps of Engineers, and I, I don't think he was part of that Corps of Engineers, but he was on the typing pool, he was in, in the office, because he could type. And he had to do things like order all kinds of supplies, trucks, and that kind of thing, and, but Nehru was becoming a very popular, respected, and they were expected, they were excited about getting their independence, because Britain had promised them that, if they had, if they would help in the war effort. And Gandhi was also prominent. And so it was (going to) be an exciting era to write about. And anyway, they got their, they got their independence, but when Ralph wanted to write his master's degree on India, there wasn't anybody on campus that was interested in India. But he wouldn't give up, and he kept going around and around, he couldn't find an advisor in any department. And finally, in political science, there was a woman who was heading, she was specializing in British affairs, and so she said, "Okay, if it's okay with everybody, we'll put him in the British department, and I'll be his advisor." And so that's, he did his master's degree on India. There was a, there was a Professor Martin, who was a political science professor, and he had gotten an assignment to India, maybe five years after the war, and so he, he came back when Ralph was still doing his master's degree, and he said, "Where's that young man that wants to do his master's degree on India?" And he wanted, he was, he was eager to get this supplemental help, but Ralph wasn't going to change his plans. He was well into his thesis, and he couldn't afford to start over again, and he wasn't willing to, so he didn't pick that up. But anyway...

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

<Begin Segment 3>

AI: That must have been quite meaningful to Ralph as a, as a black American who had personally been in India during World War II, in a segregated U.S. army unit, to then be writing about this new India had achieved its independence from Great Britain.

EH: (Yes), it's kind of significant in that you imagine in the millions of blacks that have been in the segregated army, with very little education, that they come out of high school and go to a country like India. And Ralph really had made a, made a lot of it. He went around independently, got acquainted with Indian families, and one of them even gave us a, gave him a copy of the Koran. You're not supposed to do that if, if you're not a real religious believer, but he picked up on issues like that. He wrote his mother and said, "I'm no longer a Christian, a Methodist. I am not any of these things, but I am all of these things." Just because his scope was so broadened that he realized that there's more, more to philosophy and religion than Christianity. And, and he kind of starts off with that, takes off on that even during his teachings.

But those were great lives that he, he had one occasion where the telephone system was poor, and he, he had his assignments to do a certain amount of office work, and he got into a British general's home, inadvertently, and a sixteen-year-old daughter answered the telephone, and she was eager to strike a conversation with anybody, and she ends up inviting him to Sunday tea. And Ralph said, "No, you better ask your parents. This is a very different system." But she wouldn't take no, so he showed up at tea, and elegant house, and here were a lot of American soldiers, white soldiers, and they really got upset with her for allowing this black person to come in. And she couldn't understand that, and she wasn't willing to understand it either, being a British person. So they had a long-term... not a relationship, but she, her mother liked him, and they had to tell the white soldiers, "If you can't, if you don't like him, then you don't, you don't need to stay." [Laughs] So they would be evicted if they, they couldn't tolerate this. And even after we got married, I corresponded with her for quite a while. They, the British had to leave India, so we followed that a little bit. She was back in England, and had three kids about the same age as our three kids, and we kind of dreamed about at some point, being able to, wouldn't it be fun to meet. But anyway...

AI: Well, and then speaking of your children, you did, your, your first child was born in, was it 1951?

EH: (Yes), uh-huh. We got, between... while, while I went to work for the American Friends Service Committee for probably a year, and then a job opening came up in the YMCA, Northeast, it was called Northeast YMCA in the U. District. And I took that on, I worked for about, I worked there until two weeks before Larry was born, the first one, in '51. And those were interesting times. We had also joined a church called the Church of the People. It was a small congregation who was actually kicked out, I guess, of a Capitol Hill prominent Congregational church. Let's see... Pilgrim, I guess. There were three -- I can't remember what the downtown one was. There's, Prospect is also on Capitol Hill, but this one is off Broadway. And so then half of the congregation broke off because Fred Shorter was a little bit too progressive, too advanced for this very proper, posh congregation on Capitol Hill, and they, Fred was straight out of Yale, an Australian, and a little probably Socialist-leaning, but he was preaching against things like lynching, and against Hitler, and some of the things that were going on in the business world. And he was always for the poor, concerned about the poor. Anyway, that was just too antisocial for the, the Capitol Hill congregation. So this church, half of the congregation follows him, and they were able to buy a piece of property at University and what is now Campus Parkway. It's, and that was a very good, small, warm congregation. We ventured into just because it was on the Avenue, and we were curious about how this was -- but Fred turned out to be very influential. He was, had a British accent, but a great leader, and a teacher.

And that congregation did things like... this was in 1950 -- no, they started probably in '35, and we didn't get there until '50, '49. But immediately after the war, there were no places for minority students. There were no dormitories, not even co-op housing allowed minorities. So the church took it upon themselves, they somehow got a hold of -- well, they built, anyway, a two-story building. I think some of it was not pre-fab, but somehow they were able to get part of a building. And the property had a kind of a sunken garden, and they had built the church facing University Way. And, but they decided to do something about housing for minority students. And they, the church took it upon themselves to build a twenty-nine student men's dormitory, and they allowed a couple of Americans, two or three Canadians, but the rest were all students from all over the world, Indians, particularly. Indians because India had just gotten its, its independence, and the government was sending students all over the world to, to accelerate their ability run their own government, and a lot of them were coming here for aeronautical engineering with Boeing here. And, but it was exciting because there were students coming from Europe and from Asia, probably the first solid crop after the war. So we had a chance to hear what life was like, and how they accomplished things.

The church had service in the morning, and then a lunch. The church had a, a very nice kitchen and a student lounge and a dining room, and they allowed people, anybody to come in, have dinner for a dollar and lunch for fifty cents. And so after church service, we would have a fifty cents lunch, and then a forum. And every Sunday we had tremendous interesting, tremendously interesting speakers.

AI: I feel like I need to make a comment here, for people who may not be aware that at this time -- we're talking the late '40s and early '50s, of course -- racial segregation was still legal in the United States as far as restaurants, hotels, public accommodations. And so, to have a place like this, where everyone was welcome regardless of race, and that there was actually interracial mixing, and that there was housing specifically for racial minority people, people of color, was very significant.

EH: (Yes). Twenty-nine, housing for twenty-nine students is a very small drop in the bucket, but it was, it was significant that it was demonstrated. Here it was -- and there were two, couple of other church members who owned property on, in the University District. And I remember an Amy Smith who was probably in her seventies, but she ran a sizeable room and board place on Sixteenth Northeast, and she always had a very good mix of students. It was, it was just a real learning environment, because we had these forums every Sunday.

AI: Excuse me, I was wondering if you ever, this group that was active with the forums and the, the Church of the People, did you ever receive any kinds of racist hate messages or comments because of the racial mixing that was going on at these activities?

EH: No, but for example, that's where, ultimately, Ralph and I got married there. It was a very exciting moment for the church group and we, we enjoyed it. And we had quite a good mix of people, we couldn't afford a lot, but it provided a nice environment. And, you know, churches often get to be -- small churches in particular -- get to be like an extended family. The, by then I was working for the YMCA, and the YMCA is a very different kettle of fish. [Laughs] I mean, they were, they were finding it very intriguing that I was going to get married there, and I think the Church of the People, by and large, in that era, the majority of the business world would probably consider it Communist-leaning. And there were all kinds of negative feelings about it, but, but that's the church that did some of the ground-, the initial meetings for, in this city, the initial meetings that started Group Health medical services and hospital, ACLU, we had a, I think there was an Evergreen Co-op, a milk co-op system, that was a, kind of a true co-operative. Andy Shiga was able to be one of the first drivers, because... in fact, he was kind of the leader, the president as well as truck driver and all. Because he was able to get a teamster's license in, on the East Coast when he was, he was in a CO camp, conscientious objectors -- not a camp, but a medical facility -- and must have had to do some driving. But in those days, in Seattle, minority people could not get, get into the teamster's union, except that here came Andy with his card, and they had to let him drive. But any number of avant garde things. I think the, there's a People's Memorial that's very big and active now, but I think that also got started a little bit later than '50s, probably. I don't know. But anyway, it, the People's Memorial was to combat the high cost of funerals and caskets and that kind of thing. And it's still going much stronger now than, than it was then.

But anyway, when I was working at the YMCA, and here was this wedding going to take place in the Church of the People, the rest of the YMCA staff, and there were only three or four of us, for them it was (going to) be a intriguing experience. And I would hear comments about, "What do you think So-and-so would say?" Meaning people downtown, you know, that, if they went. But they were all right. They, it was kind of an exciting thing for them to do, and I can't remember, they gave me a Revere Ware frying pan for a, for a wedding, wedding gift. And, but it was a fun -- and it was a thoroughly mixed group. The Church of the People, that's right, we also had a, developed a young adult group called the Frontiers Club. And that was a fairly, it wasn't a large group, we were probably ten families, and six or seven, two or three of us were minority families. I think there were two or three other mixed families, mixed couples in that group, and we all had kids, and we would do things like camping. We were looking for property to establish some kind of retreat area. Not that any of us had a lot of money, I don't know how we, why we ever dreamt about things like that when we were on such limited incomes, but anyway, those are the kinds of things that we did.

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

<Begin Segment 4>

AI: Well, and then you then had two more children. After Larry...

EH: (Yes), (yes). Larry, Larry and Candy -- well, I had three, actually, two years apart. Interestingly enough, when Larry came along, that was very exciting for the whole church, and Fred Shorter said, "We're going to have a dedication, we're going to have a children's dedication day." And they didn't, baptism was not that big of an issue for that church, but, and Fred said, "We are all Larry's godfathers." And so you think of the term "a village makes a child," now, but in those days, they were all willing to take on. But it, that was a learning experience. That church folded up, that church also was the church that called Walt Hundley into Seattle. Walt had finished Yale, and they were particularly interested in getting a black associate minister. And it was great that Walt accepted, and... and then the church fell apart, but it was great that Walt was here in the city, because henceforth, he was a figure, a significant figure for the city.

AI: So it sounds like what first drew Walt Hundley out to Seattle was to be associate minister at this church.

EH: (Yes). He had finished Yale Divinity School, and after the church fell apart, then he -- incidentally, I remember that half of the, well, most of the young people in that church became part of University Unitarian, and I remember that one Sunday, Walt and I were both on toddler-sitting duty -- [laughs] -- at the church. 'Cause we both had two-year-olds, and, but after Church of the People -- when I got pregnant with Larry, then I had to quit. And, but I was in a interesting situation, because the church, the YMCA was in a residential house, and they had a craft room, a big craft room run by a Bill Danner, who, who taught mostly leather work. But Fay Chong, who was a well-known Chinese artist, had, was teaching watercolor classes. Priscilla was around, and I, I they had two kids, Bruce and... I forgot what the daughter's name was. But, so they were around a lot. There was a somebody Booth who was a ceramic engineer professor, and their kids around. Lou Gellerman, who became crew coach for UW, was also a teenager, a thirteen-year-old, and I used to have to dodge, summertime I used to have to dodge Lou Gellerman and his gang shooting water pistols right across my typing table, and, or typing desk, and, but eventually, it was interesting because Larry became coxswain on the freshman crew, and so I got, I didn't get reacquainted, but Gellerman and I used to talk about the YM.

There was a YWCA, one-room office upstairs. I should remember her name. Lillian Hayashi, who's active now in Seattle, was a secretary. And I don't, I think her husband must have been in, at the university. But that, that residential building was being torn down, and the present building, which is a significantly different kind of building now at Twelfth, Twelfth Northeast and Fiftieth. So then we had to move into a small gym that was donated by one of the churches that, and that was the only building left standing, and so we took an area about the size of this room as the office, along with a noisy furnace, and a wall was built so that we didn't encounter the basketball. But there was absolutely no plumbing. And when you're pregnant, you've gotta have bathroom facilities close by. So that was a hassle, and the neighbors were very good, allowed me to come running into their kitchen, through their kitchen. But we tolerated that for, I don't know. It seems to me six or eight months, because the house had to get knocked down and there was a big hole by the time I left. And I didn't get back to the YMCA until about ten years ago when Group Health had a contract for an exercising class called Silver Sneakers, and that was the closest one to my residence in Ravenna, so I got back into that building. I used to chuckle and tell the secretaries and the directors about what it was like fifty years ago. But after that --

AI: So, excuse me, I wanted to just double-check when Candy, Candace was born.

EH: Uh-huh.

AI: Was she born in 1953?

EH: (Yes).

AI: And then two years later...

EH: Peter.

AI: In 1955, Peter was born?

EH: Uh-huh.

AI: And during this -- well, and, of course, you had another son a little bit later, that was Mark?

EH: Uh-huh.

AI: And he was born in 1959?

EH: Right.

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

<Begin Segment 5>

AI: Well, I really wanted to ask about, also, in the, going on the 1950s was, of course, now, because it's the fiftieth year anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, desegregating schools, I was wondering, right now, it's kind of been in the news, but at the time, in 1954, do you recall much about, hearing much about that up here in Seattle? Did that make much of an impact here in your community of people?

EH: What, the Brown decision?

AI: Yes.

EH: (Yes), I think...

AI: Because a lot of you had young kids at that time, some of you were interracial couples, there were black families.

EH: Now I, you know, I, I remember how exciting the Brown decision was, only because I had been involved in the American Council for Race Relations in Chicago, and every time a major news or new impact came on like that, how exciting it was for the whole office. I remember when Satchel Paige got hired and when Jackie Robinson got hired, those were exciting times. Although when Ralph and I -- after Ralph and I got married, and I was working at the YM, we decided that we ought to take advantage of the GI Bill that gave us low interest rates to buy a house. And because Ralph was going to the university and expected to continue in graduate school, and I was working at the YMCA, we tried to find a house in the U District. They would not show us one. I went to Tom Coppage, who was on the board of the YMCA, and even his office would only show us houses south of Madison. And if we wanted to -- the ironic thing was, the neighbor that was allowing me to use their bathroom facilities, the house was, had gone on, up for sale for eleven thousand dollars, and it was a, a big, two-story colonial kind of -- not a colonial house, but two-storied with a porch, and that was (going to) be ideal. But the real estate people would not, not even consider it. So they took us south of Madison, and we looked at one or two houses. The one house particularly was appealing on Thirty-second, but we thought the lot was too small, and we went farther to Twenty-seventh and Olive, 1716 Twenty-seventh Avenue, and got that house. But it was really interesting that they would not show us anything north of... north of Madison, now, well, probably within five years, we could have looked at something in Montlake, maybe. No, not even into Montlake, but the north, north of Madison. But anyway...

AI: Excuse me, what, what kinds of things would they say to you in refusing to show you? Would they come right out and say because Ralph's black, or because you're both not white, or...

EH: (Yes), that, "This, this area isn't open to you." Or, "There isn't anything available for you in this neighborhood."

AI: And you would just know that they meant because...

EH: Oh, (yes), and if you wanted the house, you couldn't... I suppose if you wanted to challenge it, you could have, but in those times, when money's very limited and Ralph's in school and I'm maintaining a small job, and then about to have a little one -- in fact, I was probably five months pregnant when we were in, we were at United something, Federal Savings Bank on Forty-fifth, and Ralph said, it was, like, May, April or May, and it was warm. Ralph said, "Don't even unbutton that coat" -- [laughs] -- in the office, and so, and we could only get it because I managed to do a payroll deduction system and had a, just a barely, a bare amount in, stashed in the bank for closing costs and that kind of thing. But...

AI: And Ralph didn't want to you take off your coat, because if you did --

EH: Because, (yes), because my pregnancy would show, and...

AI: And then the loan officer would...

EH: (Yes), would probably not... you know, when, there are times now, even, when a single parent has trouble getting a mortgage, and it's kind of ironic, because Ralph was only, in those days, we were getting a hundred and five dollars for, for GI Bill. And he did manage to have a part-time job here and there. Interestingly enough, the YMCA would not hire him for any kind of group work, they would only hire him as a janitor, and that's kind of typical for the YMCA in those days. Eventually, when we got into that house, got into the house in Central Area, the YMCA -- the boss I had was a very good, well, Verne Emery, and there was a black YMCA director at what's now Matthew, Meredith Matthews YM, and on Twenty-third and Olive, and I think his name was Coleman, he was in the office, and for some reason, those guys wanted to see my new house. They wanted to see what kind of house we were able to get. Coleman had -- who was black -- had trouble getting a house that he wanted. Eventually, I don't know, he must have bought a house, but they wanted to see the house. So I said, "Okay, let's take a ride." And they were very impressed at the quality of house we got.

The house we got was built by a Swedish fellow, Mr. Ostram, all by himself. He was working for a lumber company, lumber mill, and he saved the best pieces for himself, 'cause he knew he was (going to) build this house. And this was during the Depression, he had this stash of lumber for himself, and he built the house all by himself. It was a, it was four bedrooms, small bedrooms, and a full basement, and solidly built. We were really very fortunate to get that. And it had a sizeable yard, except the terrain was sloped towards what was then Twenty-eighth Avenue, later became Empire, now it's Martin Luther King. But three... let's see, four months later, he came back, and, with tears in his eyes, pleading with us to let him buy the house back. [Laughs] Because he said, "I put every nail in this. This is my house." And (yes), I really, we really felt badly for him, but you have an infant and you're struggling financially -- he was willing to give us back our money and help us find another house, and all that kind, he was a very good fellow. But again, they were white, she had a, his daughter had just finished Garfield and was in nursing school, and the, he said the women wanted to move to Ballard, and I suspect that might have been a racial issue. The street we lived on had two black families, they were still predominantly white, but I guess in those days they could see the change coming, and, but it was a, it was a good neighborhood.

And as far as school goes, there wasn't that much trouble. Madrona was, was quite a hike for my kids, but Madrona was probably a third black, if that much. Still a lot of Asians, and, and then the rest white, because it covered from Twenty-third down to the lake, and the school was right at the top of the hill, so the east half is particularly, prominently white, and the west half is not all black -- Kuroses became fast friends, because they were, they were on Thirty-second and the school was on Thirtieth... no, they were on Thirtieth and the school was on Thirty-second. But (yes), a lot, there were half a dozen... we became kind of lifelong friends, we kept that, attended weddings and it was a good mix of school, and it was, Madrona was in a location where it was very attractive for UW faculty and Group Health doctors, so it was an exciting area to live in.

We kept up a lot of activities, I got involved in PTA, and we did a lot of innovative kinds of things. But in those days, in the '50s and into '60s, it was time for a change. And in that kind of a well-integrated neighborhood, you get concerned about schools, you're ready to do things. We looked at ungraded primaries, and we traveled a bit to go places to find things like that. But it was, it was a good community.

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

<Begin Segment 6>

AI: Well, and you did start telling us earlier, in our interviewing, you did start telling us about how this was also the time when your children were young and you were, you became involved in cooperative daycare, which was then a new idea where the parents were actively involved in conducting the daycare activities.

EH: (Yes), it wasn't actually daycare at that point, because daycare was still a little... most of, in those days, most, a lot of us were stay-at-home moms, and we just, wives just didn't work that much. Unless it was necessary, if you had a family grocery store or something, you would probably expect to go help. But they were preschool co-ops. It was an early period of where we were beginning to learn a lot about preschool, and infant stimulation, that kind of thing. Preschool co-ops in this city got started in the mid-'30s, and that was fairly early in, in that field. But by the time my kids were preschool age, there, adult education of public schools picked it up. And there must have been a staff of about twenty or twenty-five of us spread all over, I think, into the south edge of Snohomish and I know as far as, there was a group called Bow Lake, and that's where the airport is. I don't know whether that still makes it King County, but anyway, and then across the lake. So we covered a lot of ground. Eventually, I got hired in that program, when I think by that time, I must have had three kids go through there. In fact, one of the early preschool experiences we had was at Temple de Hirsch, which was kind of in our neighborhood, Fourteenth, Eighteenth and Union. Temple de Hirsch had decided to do a preschool program for, particularly for incoming refugee kids, Jewish refugees who were beginning to come in. They wanted to help accelerate, accelerate kind of an Americanization program. And they opened up a preschool, and they wanted it integrated, so...

AI: Excuse me, they wanted it racially integrated?

EH: (Yes), and they wanted to give the kids an American experience. So Aki Kurose had heard about it, and so she said, "Let's join them." And well, there was a black family, Alf Hollins. He was a Boeing engineer, and I think Stim Bullitt's kids, you know, the Bullitt family kids were there, and three or four other young activist families. We knew a Sussman in the Harrison school district, and they were, we all ended up being good friends, and they hired a good teacher, and that was a good learning experience, initial learning experience for us. And poor Junks was working graveyard, and he would, after a hurried breakfast, he would pick up three or four -- he picked up Larry for one, for one thing. And Ruthann and Hugo all went to that Temple de Hirsch preschool. After that, so Larry didn't go to a preschool, to co-op preschool. Candy did and Peter did. And, and they were having, we had a preschool at the YWCA on Twenty, on Cherry and Twenty-eighth, a preschool co-op. And in that program, you have to have monthly educational business meetings among the parents. And, and the parents participate one day a week, and that's also a good learning experience. We also, on the day that we participate, we pick up three or four other kids, and then on the day that another parent works, she picks up the kids, and that way, we're all learning and co-oping at the same time. That's an old program that's still going on, that started in mid-'30s, and here it is, 1004, 2004, and it's still a strong program.

It's, I think this city's one of major learning experiences for early education. We got kind of a head start. I know that Berkeley was going at the same time, I had a sister with her kids in the preschool. But that made a very good working ground. That kind of experience contributes to good integration. There was another organization here about the same time, even before we had our first one. There was a group called Christian Friends for Racial Equality, started by a returning missionary from the Philippines. Edith Stimetz, at the age of eighty, when she came, she retired and came through Seattle, she found that all her Filipino students that she had in the Philippines were not getting jobs outside of domestic work. And that just angered Edith Stimetz, and she, even at her age, she proposed to do something about it. And before... Ralph and I didn't join that group until maybe '49, but even by then, there were probably a group of fifty that moved from church to church every month and had a good speaker. But even then, the ministers were taking a stand on this and opening their churches. But the congregations also often weren't, and you didn't see a lot of the congregations there. But the fact that we could move from church to church, at least it opens the gate and it forces the churches to be a little participant, participate to some extent. But that, that group, I think in the late '40s, early -- and they went on into early '50s. After my children came, some of these groups I didn't manage to keep up with, but they were, they did some great programs, Sunday afternoon picnics and teas.

One of the things that that group... actually, that group didn't start it, but they were great participants, and lent a hand and really pushed it. We all attended what's called New Year's Callers. There was another missionary from China who, I think his name was Pyle, thought that this was the New Year's visitations from house to house. Even in Japan, it's more males that do this than women, because the women have to stay home and prepare the food and present the food. But here, they decided that this would be a good way to open up a lot more doors, and there were people ready to do this. And so every New Year's, sometimes prominent families, but families with sizeable homes would open up for New Year's, and we would go from house to house and maybe three or four houses at least. This got to be such an impressive occasion that the papers played it up every holiday. And showing pictures of people having tea in integrated group. And in late '40s early '50s, this was a significant practice.

AI: So, it really was a major activity because -- and it was, made an impact because there would be a picture in the major newspapers showing racially integrated groups.

EH: (Yes), and people had to contribute. I mean, people had to help put this on, but we didn't have a car, for instance, and so we were always delighted to have somebody pick us up. And I remember one year it was, I couldn't, I can't believe it now, but I think it was below seven, and it was very precarious to be walking around on hilly Seattle streets. And in those days we wore heels and dressed a bit. And now I would not advise walking on hills with spike heels on in Seattle's icy streets. But those were opening days.

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

<Begin Segment 7>

EH: The other thing CFRE did was test restaurants, because restaurants were famous in the late '50s. Well, late, late '40s into '50s, not every restaurant would allow blacks to come in. We had, we had a couple of experiences where there was a restaurant on Third and Union and we were, I don't know, on the way to a movie or something. And we waited and we waited and we didn't get served, so finally I went up to the cash register and said, "I think we were here long before they were." And at that point, they'd tell us, "Well, we don't serve Negroes," and that was that. But that happened two or three times. Well, Christian Friends for Racial Equality took it upon themselves to go in a group to restaurants, and I think they had to have some discussions, but, and they didn't picket, but they would put some pressure on. And it would end up, they'd be advocating boycotting if nothing else. But it, so it took time.

I think as late as... see, we had a house fire in late '60s, late... (yes), late '60s, and because the house was damaged enough, we were, we went to... we went to a seafood restaurant that was in the terminal, the salmon terminal area. And the kids were all there, and I guess I must say, I think to some extent we try to protect kids from that kind of experience. But when we all ordered our dinner, when Ralph's plate came, it was so loaded with salt he couldn't eat it. And that's, that may be a subtle way of doing things. And you try to avoid real traumatic, emotional experiences when you have kids, and I think at that point, we just shared with Ralph. Now, I would wonder if maybe one of us shouldn't have gone up and demanded a correction or a new plate. Whether we could have done it without arousing a lot of furor in the environment... I think we discussed it to a limited extent with the kids, but we didn't really carry on. And I think the Hayeses never went on and on about that kind of issue. We never made it a forceful -- I think a lot of black families would have, I think I had friends that probably would have done something about it; bring legal action or get them to write some kind of statement.

I think the other thing that I did, we did when we were traveling, and there must have been a time when I think... oh, I know. In Sandpoint, Idaho, we went to get a motel, and they turned us down. They said they were full, so when we passed -- we had to go to the restaurant to make this arrangement, and as they said, "No," we, they said they were full, so we got back in the car. And as we passed the motel, the vacancy sign was still there, so we went back, and I said, "You said it was full. Why is the vacancy sign still up?" But you couldn't win that issue, and the kids were tired, we had to find someplace to stay, so you let that pass. But thereafter, I always went in and registered. And I think when that happens, they can't, they can't turn you down once they take your registration. And that just becomes a subtle habit. I'm not sure that I even said this to the kids to this day. I certainly could, and I probably will one day.

But you avoid -- I remember at Christian Friends for Racial Equality, a Lietta King, who was, supported her family by teaching music, and she had a vast number of kids. I remember there was a psychiatrist as a speaker, and Lietta King asked... I forgot what the guy's name was, Dr. So-and-so, that, "What would you recommend?" She said, "I'm always in a dilemma about whether to tell my son to get, prepare him for negative experiences like this, or not to tell him because I don't want him to develop a complex about this. And what would you recommend?" you know, or she wanted to talk about it. And she wanted his insight on what could be consequences. And I can't, I think it stimulated a good discussion, but I, I can't remember.

You know, in cases like that, I think the black population or the audience could better help solve the situation, because we would all contribute to that kind of... I think we never had that kind of problem at Madrona as a school, just because there was a good leadership even in the rank and file in the PTA, and the teachers knew that we wouldn't tolerate. Or, not only we wouldn't tolerate, but that we would try to help solve that kind of, any kind of negative social problem. We, in Madrona we, PTA meeting, we decided, "Let's help the teachers. What can we do to help?" And, and so some of the teachers were willing to take a volunteer or two in the classroom every day, and we took turns doing that. And then we learned about the teacher's techniques and how well she copes with one difficult child. And then you realize that one difficult child, how disruptive that is to the classroom, and so then you get more involved. "What can we do to help our kids in the classroom? We don't want this disruption."

I remember one, when Larry was in fifth grade, a girl said to the teacher, "I don't have to do what you tell me to do." And I could just hear her having gotten some of that at home, criticizing white teachers or white people, and saying, "You don't have to do this or that." And the teacher kept saying, reminding the girl about respect. And Asian families would have really pushed the fact that teachers are to be respected, you know, adults are to be respected. But this girl was not about to... and Larry went through the whole drama -- I wasn't there, but she said, she says Mrs. So-and-so kept saying, "Respect" -- and then, by golly, the parent came marching in. The girl had gone home for lunch and the... and I thought, what a great opportunity that would have been for somebody to sit down with that parent and hammer some issues in, parents' responsibility versus teachers' responsibility and the support. But to that extent, that kind of thing went on occasionally, but usually that was the principal's role, to handle that kind of thing.

But genuinely speaking, I think we had a lot of good black participants in the PTA, and they would try to help, or they would try to be objective, and we would come up with all kinds of ideas. And one of those was we had a, small group discussions in a PTA meeting with a teacher or two, and three or four parents, and coming up with, you have a freer discussion with a smaller group. And having the teachers say what, what some of their major problems were, and having the parents participate, or at least listen. And when a first-grade teacher and a kindergarten teacher both said, "By the time we get some of these kids, it's too late." So from that, it was a jumping-off point, and we said, "What can we do? Let's do something before kindergarten. And I was working, I was on the Family Life staff already, the preschool co-op group, and a number, probably a dozen people who were participating in preschool co-ops. And so the idea was, "Let's, let's see if Family Life department won't let us have a preschool co-op system worked in, and we be substitute mothers." 'Cause, you know, if you're a welfare mother or a young teenage mother, you're not going to come out to participate.

And in those days, I think the thing you also have to remember, I learned early that there were, there were blacks who really... it's so ingrained in them not to talk to whites, because in the South, you don't, you don't talk to a white person unless you're spoken to. And they were very, a lot of parents were very reluctant to, to say anything to school, at school, or even worry about what their kids are doing or not doing. But anyway, at this PTA, we decided in one night, "Okay, let's ask Family Life department if they would let us set up a co-op for special kids, kids that were having, that are discipline problems or slow learners," and they could be easily identified, but when I approached public schools -- I mean, approached Family Life, they, we got into it with the principal. Olaf Kwami was a very good principal, and he's still quite a reputable guy. We decided to ask public schools for a social worker, social worker, also, to help recruit. But the schools knew they could make lists of kids that, for this program, it'd be very fitting. And I think maybe Harrison and T.T. Minor and Leschi probably participated. I know that, I wrote one letter and I, we got flooded with volunteers. Forty-five volunteers and, in one week's time, and they're all signed up and eager to help, and then, and interestingly, Madrona Presbyterian was kitty-corner almost, from Madrona school. And I think they were there at that PTA meeting, and Ed Crawford volunteered his church.

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

<Begin Segment 8>

AI: We'll just continue on, because as you were just saying, you wrote a letter and many people volunteered to help. And then what were you saying about people in the suburbs?

EH: The letter eventually hit some suburban acquaintances even, and they wanted to participate. We ended up calling this program Enrichment Program, and it, we got started before Head Start got started. So, but at the end of the first -- well, within the first year, I think, Diana Bauer, who happened to be, who was president of a board that we selected, came up with the idea of, "Let's have a holiday fair," and so Madrona was, had just been renovated, and it was spanking new. We had a black sculptor who had gone to Rome to study; a guy that lived in the neighborhood. There was a Madrona tree, and the tree was saved to do something significant for this new addition. And so he was asked to do a sculpture, a fitting sculpture, and he came out with a very elegant, oh, high as the ceiling, 8, 10 feet high, of a mother and two or three children, done in Madrona wood. And the problem was, after I don't know how far he got -- I think it was up, but Madrona does not survive well in a sculpture job; it cracked. And they had to redo another one, or what. But those were very exciting times for this school that was so well-integrated.

The other thing we did was, there was a Tom Patello, and we were always discussing how to solve problems. And Tom came up with, "You know, you ladies are always here, but I never see fathers. I never, I never get a chance to talk to fathers very much. How about a father and son dinner?" And we thought that was great, and Nobi Kodama, Nobi Kodama... what's her second, her married name? She married a Chinese judge. I should remember that name. But anyway, she was in the PTA, and she volunteered to, "Okay, I'll do the teriyaki chicken, you guys have to do everything else." And she spent all day in that hot Madrona, brand-new kitchen, and I walked in and she had, two big ovens were going, just loaded with beautiful bronze teriyaki chicken at four o'clock. And I remember I said, "Okay, I'm (going to) ask ten Asian families to donate a pot of rice, big pot of rice," and things just fell in place. Other people brought two-pound bags of peas and they just dunked 'em in hot water, and that was the vegetable. We probably had Dixie cups for dessert. But it was just for fathers and sons, and it was very interesting because the women were all in the kitchen or setting the table and this kind of thing. It was this sea of fathers and sons. And for the ten-year-olds, for a lot of the boys, it was so exciting to have... just fond memories. But for probably twenty-five cents a plate -- chicken was maybe twenty-five cents a pound in those days, so, but to see all these -- and Tom Patello was great.

We talked about the kinds of messages we want to put up, and we had come up with the idea that it's time to get homework assignments registered in and signed by parents. Get the parents involved in homework. And so every Friday night, they had Pee-Chee folders, and the kids had assignments in there, and the parents had to review each major assignment for each day, and sign it. And if there are corrections to be made, or if the teacher made corrections, the parents then had to know about it, and there were steps to correct that kind of thing. But those, in, let's see... '50s and early, early '60s, those were exciting, innovative ideas.

AI: Well, about when was it that the enrichment program got started for the, the preschool-age kids before kindergarten?

EH: Let's see. Mark was about two... no, let's see. Mark was two, and he is, he was born in '59, so again, early '60s. My goodness, talking about suburbia participating, when we decided to do that holiday fair, art teachers and artists just flooded us with free artwork. The Swinomish tribe up in La Conner donated boxes of hand-carved canoes. Small, and we couldn't sell much beyond, couldn't charge much beyond five dollars, no matter how elegant the artwork was. But some company donated wreaths, because it was holiday fair, and I think at one point, I made... I know at some point I've made sushi a couple of times, and we would sell two slices of sushi and a cup of tea for ten cents. [Laughs] Now, it might, we might have charged a dollar. But there was just all kinds of innovative... and people were so excited, they would come from -- and the place was so crowded, you couldn't move around.

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

<Begin Segment 9>

AI: Well, one thing I wanted to ask about was, from what you've been describing, it sounds like a very good-hearted, very good-willed, good-natured effort, and that, to me, this is really interesting to hear about as a racially integrated program and series of activities. Because at the same time that you're speaking of, in the late '50s and the early '60s, in other parts of the country, especially in the South, of course, there was racial violence, because of the Civil Rights movement was becoming very strong and visible, and, of course, the march to Montgomery and the Montgomery bus boycott had been going on. And then in 1963, there was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. So I was wondering, how, how was it that here in the Seattle area, there was, it sounds like there was so much positive feeling and effort, while at the same time, in the national news, you heard about some of these other activities.

EH: I think I've always said that Seattle was a fairly ideal place to raise kids. We had, that Madrona neighborhood was kind of a foundation, our social life was always among Madrona. And it, it was an exceptional neighborhood, but there also, Harrison, Leschi, were neighbors, we did go to, a couple of times from Madrona, I remember going to Hanawalt's. Hanawalt was a, I think at that time, a principal at Garfield or at Roosevelt. Anyway, I knew that, we knew that they were interested and concerned, and so probably ten or fifteen of us were invited to the Hanawalt house, a very modest house in the Viewridge, a small house. And we went there for a discussion once, and I -- you know, there were problems. Jerry Ware was an active, kind of an activist leader kind, leadership kind of person. And her husband was Bethlehem Steel, labor guy, and I remember Jerry saying she had a four- or five-year-old who was, I guess younger than Larry. But she was, she would quote, telling us, for instance, that it just hurts her so much to hear... I forgot, Felicia or Joan, looking at television and ballet and saying, "I wish I were white." And that's the kind of impact that even, even if I had a close relationship with a lot of black families, it's a kind of emotional statement that we don't really hear. The insight, feelings. But it was a, this was a group that we were concerned, and wracking our brains to find, find out ways of solving this situation.

It's true that Seattle still had segregated housing; I remember... I think, let's see. I went to work for CAMP in '66. There was a Mayor Braman, and I think the city had just defeated Equal Housing. And then Watts occurred in mid-60s, '65, and when that occurred, within twelve months, I think, here was the mayor at CAMP, asking, "What can, what can we do?" The city had just, just defeated Equal Housing, but... so there still were, employment restrictions were terrible. I mean, Ralph had a lot of typing and warehouse experience working for the army, he couldn't get a job out of the UW employment office. There was a, there was a small co-op movement going, part of it ended up with Group Health credit union. But I think he at one time was, considered being an insurance agent for this Group Health co-op-oriented insurance company. And he would have doors slammed in his face, and so realized that he, he couldn't qualify for... even in Seattle's teaching corps, the first black teachers were hired in Seattle in late '40s, two or three of 'em. Ralph got his first teaching job in '5-... he was doing practice teaching in '55, (yes). And they were having trouble placing him on the secondary level. And it wasn't until a good Ph.D. social studies teacher at Sharples junior high at that time said she'd take him, and she really turned out to be a great teacher. But I know -- and we visited, we were in Berkeley visiting my sister during the holidays, and Candy was eighteen months, so she was fifty-five. San Francisco was having trouble finding places for practice teaching, and I remember my brother-in-law asking Ralph, "How, how did they manage to find a place for you?" So that was the climate.

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

<Begin Segment 10>

AI: Well, and just to clarify for people who don't, might not understand, when you say they were "having trouble finding a placement for Ralph," can you say exactly what that means?

EH: Teachers, schools didn't want a black -- you know, there were a few primary teachers being hired by late '50s, but this was mid-'50s, and second, on the secondary level, they were reluctant still. And I, and actually, he was the second black on the secondary level to be hired, and that was '55, (yes), he started teaching in '56 at West Seattle. And again, it certainly depends on, on the principal, or the staff that's there, and usually it's the principal that says, "I'll be glad to have 'em," and Pop Hanaford turned out to be just a wonderful guy in West Seattle. And I think we didn't have a car in that time, but there were a couple of West Seattle teachers on Capitol Hill, and they would pick him up. I think he didn't want to leave West Seattle because of Pop Hanaford. Sealth was just being built and opened up, and the new teachers had to take the Sealth assignments, so Ralph was psychologically prepared to go to Sealth.

And what happened was... the story goes, we had a, we had a Bill Hewlett who was living with us at one time. He was one of the first black, probably the first black male teacher to be hired on the elementary school level. And because his assignment was at Madrona, Urban League or somebody called to ask if we could house him, and we said, "Yes." And so, and then later, let's see, that was '5-, (yes), about '55. Later, Bill, Bill and Ralph may have been working for their, their teaching credential had required Washington State history, and Bill Hewlett met Ralph on campus and congratulated him, and Ralph said, "What for?" And Bill said, "Well, I hear you're going to Garfield." Well, that's the first time Ralph ever heard that. He'd been in West Seattle, and he was beholden to Hanaford practically. 'Cause there, there's always (going to) be opposition when a black teacher comes in. But if the principal stands up behind you, that's half of the battle. And when Bill Hewlett told him that he was going to Garfield, and somehow Bill knew about it, and it turned out that Urban League had sat on the school board steps and demanding that Ralph Hayes get sent to Garfield. And that made Ralph furious. Nobody tinkers with his job assignments, but that's what happened. He got a call after his second year at West Seattle saying, introduce, principal says, "I'm So-and-so, I hear you're coming to Garfield. What would you like to teach?" And Ralph was furious, but he couldn't do anything about it, he went to Garfield.

AI: And again, just to clarify here, why, why would it have been, why would the Urban League have pressed for him to be transferred to Garfield?

EH: Because Garfield was the school where -- not the majority, probably a third of the students at Garfield in those days were black, not more than a third. And they wanted, they, even back then, you're aware that a black or an image of a person among students of color would make a difference. There's, I think, always the feeling of black kids that white teachers don't understand. And there is a lot, lot to that. But he, Ralph went to Garfield, and I think once he got there, he really felt that that was the prime place, that he would have liked to be.

AI: I'm sorry --

EH: Actually, what happened was -- well, and then after that, the Urban League director, who was a friend of ours, met Ralph at the Garfield steps and said, "We got you where we want you now, but we expect a monthly report to find out how things are going." And Ralph just shot back and grabbed him by the collar and said, "Don't you ever tell me what I'm (going to) do on my job. You don't pay my salary, I don't, I haven't signed a contract with you, I am not doing anything that the school system doesn't ask for." And so that was let go, but oh, how many years? Ten years after that... ten or thirteen years after that, the director's wife and I worked very closely at the Family Life department of the preschool. She was one of the best; people just loved her. But Louis Watts had gone on to get his Ph.D. and was teaching at Sacramento State when I just inadvertently ran into her, because Ralph was on sabbatical at Berkeley and he had a brother at, just outside of Sacramento in the air force base. And ultimately, we, I ran into, what I ran into, who I ran into was a Madrona, a fellow parent, and, at a supermarket. And she, she said, "Oh, I gotta call Alvie, we gotta have dinner together." And so when Alvie called me to invite us to dinner, I said, "I'm not sure Ralph is (going to) want to... Ralph may not show up." And she asked why, and I told her about this incident at Garfield. And I told her that before I even talked to Ralph about it, but anyway, we went to dinner and Louis greeted us and said to Ralph, "I hear you have a bone to pick with me." And Ralph helped him recollect, and Louis denied it up and down, so we just dropped the subject.

But it was that meeting, and this was in '65, that we were at the supermarket, and I, it was at the edge of, edge of town, and I think maybe it was at the edge of a suburb called Del Paso or something. I looked out over the horizon, and I saw this landscape, and here was this huge oak tree. And I just recognized it, because that's where Camp Walerga was, the assembly center that we were in. And I just, I thought, you know, in all the world, how could that turn up? And you couldn't miss it. It was such a familiar landscape, bare yellow hills and just this one big oak tree. That's what I remembered. It turned out that there were oak scrubs on the other side of camp, but that was a very emotional moment. Then as I walked across the street towards the, coming out of the parking lot, then I saw this street sign, "Walerga Avenue," and I thought, "They really did it." So they were remembering, by mid-'60s, they were commemorating.

AI: That is so interesting and amazing.

EH: (Yes), amazing. I don't know what they, I wonder what else they would have done. We were there for... well, I always say that we moved, we were put on trains on, like, August 6th and moved to Tule Lake, and it took like two nights. I mean, Sacramento to Tule Lake is maybe four or five hundred miles, and it shouldn't have taken two nights. But I just, maybe it was just one night, but it certainly was a whole twenty-four hours, and it shouldn't have taken twenty-four hours to get to Klamath Falls, or south of Klamath Falls.

But back to Madrona, I think it will always be kind of a model community. I don't know what it's like now, because what with mandatory bussing and all that kind of thing, it might have changed. But in those days, it was -- and we're still very good, close friends.

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

<Begin Segment 11>

AI: Well, I also wanted to just check the time. Approximately when was it that Ralph was transferred to Garfield? Was that...

EH: '58.

AI: -- in the late -- '58?

EH: He teaches at Garfield from '58 to about '63.

AI: And you had mentioned that, that a number of black kids, African American kids, have a feeling that they really are not understood or, and in some cases, not respected by white teachers. Was this something that you heard from your own kids? Did they ever say anything, or give you an indication?

EH: No, I think, I think my kids really recognized a cross-section. Madrona had a good crop of potential kids that, high academic. I mean, Candy, from the time she was in third, second or third grade, was aware of who the brightest kids were, and kind of in a good, good-natured way, they would keep track of who was, who was bright and who was... Guy Kurose was in the class. [Laughs] He was bright, but he was always getting into trouble, and she would say... and she had a teacher, a third-grade teacher once, who did, would not let the kids, would deprive the kids of excursions because of one or two kids. Not that Guy was one of those kids, but the kids were quick to label who was (going to) create this kind of a problem. But that class of hers was really amazing. Bright, bright kids. And I think there was a good camaraderie, even among the kids. Larry talks about, he doesn't now, but I remember in high school, college, he was always reminiscing about the kids that were, what, what they're doing. Cleveland Tyson I guess is his name. He's on Channel, on Channel 9's staff, and he's been there for decades. He was in that fifth grade class of Larry's at Madrona. Ruthann Kurose was in, in his class. So the school itself drew, I think, a good population, and it was, it really developed a good nucleus of permanent friends.

I think Candy had a rough time after we got back from Berkeley. There was, I don't know whether it's the age, because she was just beginning high school, that I think she felt some ostracism or discrimination. That she found a lot of her old friends from Central Area, Asian friends, weren't speaking to her. But as she got into Roosevelt and she fumed about a -- but she was also a very counterculture "loudmouth." [Laughs] An activist, but she went on to become junior class president and had developed new -- she really wanted to back to Central Area. I had a CAMP meeting at the house, and she came up to Walt Hundley and said, "Mr. Hundley, I have to get back to CD." Walt Hundley said, "Candy, I'm sorry, but you're the wrong color." We had moved to the Roosevelt area, to Ravenna, and that was, Ralph took his sabbatical leave in '65-'66, and Candy had come to Eckstein in her eighth or ninth grade. Anyway, but junior high school age, your friends are so valuable, that's the most important thing in your life at that time.

But that era of Garfield, Ralph becomes class, class advisor for the class of '60, and I went to that class's reunions until, even after he died. He died in '99 and I guess I went to the '60, '60 class reunion and had to say something. I think maybe I went to sixty-two, but we always went to, Garfield became the apple of his eye, kind of. And a wide cross-section. One of the things he did -- well, he, when this principal called him about class assignments, he said, "You want to teach economics or Far East history?" And Ralph took Far East history because that's what he got pounded with at the university. When he decided to do his master's degree on India, they made him take five areas of concentration instead of the usual three for master's degree. And he had to learn every government in Asia; Korea, Japan, China, Philippines, India. So he really knew the Asian field. But generally speaking, as a poli-sci guy, he really had to know governments all over the world. He could give you a European history lesson just... of course, he loves history. But he needed to know what the invasions and the overseeing, European overseeing Africa, and all the territories that European governments had.

And, but, he took Far East history, and for Garfield, that was perfect, because you had a big cross-section of Asians and Jewish kids. It was, at that time, Broadmoor was there and the Lakefront was there, and the International District, he had the Moriguchis, Tomio's younger sisters, couple of 'em. Kiharas were a big family in the Buddhist church and a lot of the black kids, there's a letter in there from a black kid who grows up in Yesler Terrace, poor, but she comes over to ask, pick Ralph's brain about going to, going on to get a Ph.D. in anthropology in Chapel Hill. She'd gotten her MSW and was the sole support of a daughter, but she ends up going to Chapel Hill, the first black to get a Ph.D. out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

But any number of -- I should have included another letter that he also, we also went into, having come back from Berkeley, the kids were, two oldest ones were freshman and eighth grade, I guess. Ralph took a job in what was called Upward Bound, I think it's a Kennedy project, where, with the philosophy that a country this rich has no business declining college education for kids just because they don't have enough money. The government should do this, and they set up a program called Upward Bound, meaning they recruit low-income, low, low-income kids in their junior year, after their junior year, put them in a university setting, and they live in dorms, they supply the tuition, the books, even a small allowance, travel money, and that started in '66. Well, Roger Sale, very popular English prof. on campus was the first director. See, you had people like Roger Sale, who was, also was a Madrona resident, very eager to do whatever, to make some changes, and they'll try things. So Roger was director of this program, they recruited, ultimately there was about eighty, eighty students, it seems to me. They recruit about twenty new students every year, maybe thirty, and, but they have to travel all over the place, because some of these, these are parents, families that are so poor, the parents have never been to college, never, have never seen a college, they don't really understand the college system. So you have to go out to the homes and explain what college means, and what it's going to require. And parents have to sign off on allowing their kids to do this.

They pick 'em up in their junior year, and then they also have to go to school to recruit, find out where the promising kids are. And they get 'em signed up and they're given bus tickets to come into town, and in Seattle, half of the high schools denied that they had poverty kids, and so they won't participate. But Lincoln, Franklin, Sealth, West Seattle, I think Roosevelt, Hale -- maybe Hale wasn't even existing then -- Ballard did. Anyway, and then, and then Tacoma, Renton... and Ralph and Roger went out to the Indian reservations, because they were, the government says in Washington state, those are primary grounds, 'cause we have enough reservations. So they'd go around and recruit these people, these kids, and put 'em in dormitories. The director takes on a two-year stint there as an assistant director who's kind of being groomed to be the next director. And that went on for seven years that Ralph was there. And the same bunch of teachers, most of them profs, will carry on their same -- Roger always taught English, and Ralph always taught history, somebody, Al Davis or somebody took science, somebody taught math, and there were mandatory study hours, there were mandatory, there were tutors, a recreation leader, transportation head.

But up and at 'em at seven o'clock in morning, be down there for breakfast by quarter to eight, and if they're not there, Ralph would be wanting to go bounding up the stairs with a pitcher of ice water, "You're (going to) get up, or not?" [Laughs] And so you have, you have to be tough and be able to cope with it, but their, the kids' assignments were also tough; they had to study. And if they acted out, Ralph would be one to send 'em home.

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

<Begin Segment 12>

AI: So, really, these kids, who were recruited in their junior year of high school, then were really prepared as much as possible to be, as they were finishing their high school requirements in this college campus setting, they were really being prepared to go on to college.

EH: (Yes), that, the purpose of the program is to get them through college. I have a copy from Ricky Leonard, who, appreciating what Ralph did for him after, when he graduated, almost through tears. And he says, "When I first got into your class, I thought, I thought, 'Here's a black, power-hungry monster who's just (going to) pour it on us like there was no tomorrow.'" And, but he survived that first year, and then by the second year, he realizes that -- and Ralph says to the, to the whole class, "My job is to help you get through this institution called UW." And so from the second year, he really sticks to it. They have to, after their summer in junior year, they have to go back to their senior year at their high school. And then as soon as they graduate, they're back at the UW campus taking their first freshman classes. But for kids who, who had never been approached about going to college, 'cause they never thought that was going to be possible, it's a big adjustment to, to get on a campus like university.

Some of 'em do test. I mean, there were times when Ralph would come home to sleep, if the telephone rang and said, "So-and-so isn't in yet," he would go bounding back to the dorm and he'd sit there in front of the dorm door, and I remember one night he jumped out of bed and he was back at the dorm, and he sat there until this gal showed up and he said, "Pack your things, we're going back. We're going to Tacoma." And he ran 'em home to Tacoma, and... some of these kids didn't have telephones. That was a major problem. I mean, they were too poor, and they were in rural areas, and so you had no recourse but to run the kids home, transportation-wise. And then they would be permitted to come back after he had a conference with the parents and they, they committed themselves to continuing.

But for the kids, missing their summers and missing maybe an opportunity to work was a big sacrifice. But the kids who came from Eastern Washington who, particularly the migrant workers, I mean, they were astounding. We, in the process of this first or second year, we were moving to Ravenna, and Ralph hired a couple of Upward Bound kids to help move. And this one kid had been packing things for his migrant family every summer, maybe two or three times a summer, he was so fast at packing and loading, that we had trouble keeping up with him. But he said, "Hey, if you had to do this since you were ten, you'd be good at it, too."

But they, but they were, the university has what's called Pack Forest, up by Olympia -- not Olympia, Rainier, Mt. Rainier, at the foot of Rainier. It's a forestry department... it's a, it's a conference ground, kind of, but it has dormitories and big kitchen facilities. And because the majority of these kids would never have been to Mt. Rainier, that was one trip that was always, one weekend that was always planned. And we had a cabin up in La Conner on Skagit Bay, I guess. And, and so we made it a point to take the crowd up there, seventy-five or eighty-five people. [Laughs] I had to prepare, we kind of simmered ribs at home, and husked all the corn and wrap 'em in foil and that kind of thing, and then on the beach we made this big fire and we'd finish cooking the rest of the salmon.

There was a, Ralph did some recruiting up at the Swinomish Indian Reservation, and we got to know a Landie James who was a, just tremendous Native American guy who grew up there, but was, got a basketball scholarship to Washington State. And because football came, season comes before basketball, the football coach saw him horsing around or practicing, he recruited him first for football, and then the basketball scholarship came into play. But he was teaching up at La Conner by that time. He, after teaching in Spokane for seven years, he decided that he needed to come back to the reservation. So when Ralph went to recruit Native American kids up there, he lent a big hand, and we practically ordered poor five or six Indian kids up there, "Yes, you're going. Don't give me any lip, your parents want to go, you're going." And the other thing he always did was bring a lot of salmon to the barbeque.

So those were great trips for the kids that never have seen a waterfront. They did some wild things; they would get driftwood and hammer rickety floating apparatuses that too many would get on one, one floater and tip over -- [laughs] -- and everybody would get wet. So they, but it was, the university always provided the transportation, the buses, though Ralph had to be very strict about the rules of driving university property because -- and he, I think he was right. From the very beginning, he would hammer away that, "Hey, one break, one rule break... the university is itching to get rid of us." The university didn't want, this university's relatively conservative. They didn't want Head Start, and they didn't want this program. Both of these programs they were ordered that, "You're the biggest institution in the Northwest, yes you're (going to) take on these programs." And they take something like twenty percent of the grant money, even at that, we were using their dormitories, but the dormitory and the feeding kinds of, tuition, they come out of the, there's money granted. But the university is going to take twenty percent off the top, and then you've got your budget. But those were great experiments, and it hadn't been done before.

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

<Begin Segment 13>

AI: Well, it's very interesting to me that both you and Ralph were very active in these kinds of things that hadn't been done before, and here he was doing Upward Bound and working with kids in their high school years, getting them off to college. And then at the same time, you had mentioned earlier in the interview that after you came back from Ralph's sabbatical in Berkeley, that then you were recruited back into, into working at CAMP, and working with kids on the, on the younger end of the spectrum. So can you review again a little bit about... was it 1966 when CAMP hired you, after you had come back?

EH: Uh-huh.

AI: And you were hired as education director?

EH: No, I was hired to direct daycare, because in the mid-'60s, there were virtually no daycare centers. There was one daycare center, Seattle Day Nursery at Broadway and Spruce. That was the one Community Chest funded daycare. And they were fully licensed, but virtually noplace else was there a daycare program. And if you could think of the employment situation then, employment was also very limited. You could, you couldn't get a job, practically. We knew a John Cornithan, who came probably in 1950, he was also at the Church of the People. He tried to get into City Light, and they would only assign him janitorial jobs. There were lots of situations like that; they could get into the post office, but...

AI: And you're referring to African Americans.

EH: (Yes), (yes). Women could only get into domestic work, and even then, even if you're doing domestic work, you have to have child care. But what happened was in... I think it was early... well, they started, probably started planning on this, in this, in maybe late '65. You have to do a lot of planning if you're (going to) do a mammoth, multi-service agency, because you also have to write grants, and you have to know where your money's (going to) go, and how many employees and that kind of thing. But I think in early, somewhere along there, three children died in an apartment fire because some guy who was supposed to be taking care of them forgot and flipped his ashes, cigarette ashes, in a wastepaper basket and the whole place went up in flames, and these kids died. And so Walt Hundley, who had been recruited to run -- they were called OEO programs, Office of Economic Opportunity -- and Walt was hired to direct CAMP, and he said at that point, "Okay, daycare's going to be number one. Come hell or high water, we're (going to) have daycare." So they called me in Berkeley and asked if I would direct this, and I really didn't want a full-time job with four kids. [Laughs] So I said, "Okay, I'll, I'll do it on, on a part-time basis." And just to get me on, they said, "Yes."

Well, when I got on the job, then there was no way you could run a daycare program -- especially in those days when nobody was trained, there were training programs, and you had to comply to Licensing. People barely knew that there was a license for this. So there was a lot, lot to do. There were some people already hired by the time I got on it in July of '66, but that was an interesting transition period, because nobody was trained, the gal that had started it in April was a beautician, hard-working gal. But they were firmly into spanking and washing hair and ironing clothes, and I said, I came on and I said, "Now, look. You know what kind of message you're sending home, that the parents aren't doing an adequate job." And they're saying to me, "You don't know how embarrassing it is to take dirty kids to the Public Market, or to the, anywhere, to the parks. We're not (going to) travel with kids looking like this." I said, "Okay, if that's the case, let's call the parents in and say, tell them what your concerns are. And if you need to help them learn how to do this, let's do that. But we're not, we're not (going to) have you washing hair and that. Ten years from now, these kids are (going to) look back on this and they'll use it as ammunition against their parents when they get into an argument and that kind of thing."

So, but also at that time, while I was, the year I was gone, community colleges cropped up. And community college were also quick, on the ball. Head Start was probably beginning, let's see... when we had the enrichment programs opening in the first of, early part of December, or '60s, Head Start hadn't happened. And, but when we were going with the enrichment programs, Head Start was just coming on, and they were beginning training programs on the university -- and probably all across the country on university campuses. But before that even happened, maybe it was Licensing, somebody wanted an enrichment, Madrona Enrichment group to help with training to get other people aware, and so at the university, we were beginning to do this. And, and then Head Start came on, oh, almost at the same time, overlapping. And Head Start wanted to use Enrichment program as demonstrators. So we were racing from our workshop, we were having a workshop at Leschi school, and we were racing between Leschi and the university, trying to meet everybody's needs or demands. But when... I remember talking to, at the university, there was, it was in an auditorium and people were there from Yakima, and asking, "What would you do in a migrant work situation?" But those were exciting, challenging days, and there was beginning to be an awareness of daycare needs. Anyway, one of the things that I had to really revamp when I got back into Seattle was do a structural change in the -- at that point, they only had one unit, thank heaven.

AI: When you say "one unit," do you mean one...

EH: One daycare center. But people were willing to help. The Grace Methodist Church was on, I think, Dearborn and Thirtieth, and they were providing the space free, they were allowing us to use the kitchen to prepare meals, but I had said to Walt Hundley and the CAMP administration that, "Hey, I've got to hire at least an education director that's qualified, has a degree in early childhood," and eventually I had to hire a secretary and if we're going to do transportation, we've got to have some bus drivers, but I've also, we have to have excursions, we're (going to) lay some rules down. Just any old guy isn't (going to) do it. But the... it worked. At one point, I knew that blacks always want to run their own program if they can, because they've been deprived of this opportunity. And here was government money proposed for this kind of program, and I was beginning to get some flack, but I finally said to Walt Hundley, "Look. I'll go back to the Family Life staff, because I could understand why they want to run their own program, but I'm not going to tolerate spanking, and I'm not going to tolerate bathing and changing clothes. That kind of thing belongs to the family, and somehow, we've got to get that across." And Walt said, "No, I want you to stay. We'll find a place for the director." And they did; I knew she was, it wasn't (going to) be easy. It wasn't (going to) be hard to find a place for Odessa, she was a born leader and very strict about what staff can do and cannot do.

But Walt wanted me to stay and so I can't remember whether at that time I had an education director, but eventually I had to have a staff of sixty-five, because I developed five centers. And Grace Methodist was first, Temple de Hirsch opened up their facilities, and First Baptist, I think, was the next one. University Presbyterian, St. Peters Episcopal, which was a Japanese Episcopal, opened up. Blaine Methodist allowed, allowed me to help Centro de la Raza use that facility until Centro de la Raza got on their own. But I had to talk to the women and the administrators and talk about cost and be willing to sign papers, CAMP would be willing to sign papers about what to expect and what we will guarantee not happening. But by and large, people were really willing in those days. They knew that things had to change, and people were willing to learn.

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

<Begin Segment 14>

AI: Well, maybe, maybe again for folks who aren't familiar with the history of CAMP, CAMP stands for Central Area Motivation program, "Central Area" meaning here in Seattle, the Central Area, or Central District, which you've described before, was becoming increasingly black in the population area. And so when you're talking about the different centers that you developed as part of CAMP's program and the economic development program, can you kind of characterize these centers? Were they racially integrated, or were they primarily staffed by black staffers and tended by black children? How would you describe them?

EH: They, they were, I think any time you're working in a inner-city, it's maybe going to be numerically primarily black, or a good segment. But, but we always had, every one of those centers had several white families, a few Mexicans -- there weren't, in those days, there weren't many Chicanos in the Seattle area. There certainly weren't Asian, there certainly weren't Vietnamese, because the Vietnam War hadn't cropped up. But occasionally there would be an Asian family, a Chinese family, particularly single, single-parent families or a family with an ill parent. But basically, they were black and white. I had, I had two, two Asian teachers, or assistant teachers. I should remember... Margaret Hattori, Shikumi. I can't remember her name, but anyway, Mary Johnson was a Japanese war bride, but she was very good. And, and we had a good mix of teachers. People really wanted to -- there weren't, it was also true that in the late '60s, jobs weren't that plentiful either.

But the churches, every one of them allowed us facilities and didn't charge us rent. We paid for janitorial, we might hire their janitor to add another ten hours, twelve hours during the week. Sometimes we had to put things away because Sunday school or somebody else would... I did design, I bought unfinished bookshelves, had, had some carpenters put casters on the bottom, and put hinges to connect two bookshelves so they opened up like a book, but when it came time if we had to move 'em, we could just close 'em, put a hasp lock on the end, and with wheels, they could be rolled out. Eventually, I think with a lot of equipment, I had to run down to Goodwill and buy a lot of old bicycle tires, and had them put around the edges of plywood, 'cause we designed some moveable, a platform to move smaller pieces, and so we wouldn't scar the doorways. We just had them hammer bicycle tires around the edge so they would scratch the corners, because every one of these churches, we were using basically their Sunday school rooms. But this way, if we could lock the bookshelves and leave 'em in the classroom, it saved a lot of work.

AI: Well, so I wanted to ask you also, you had mentioned a little bit earlier that Walt Hundley had really strongly supported you as the administrator for this program, that he really wanted you there. And I was wondering, after he, after he made that statement, and after he convinced you to stay in this position, and the program grew so much while you were administering it. After that, did you have any other questioning about why you, as a Japanese American were in charge of this program? Did you, were there some, any protest or suggestion that an African American be brought in for this position?

EH: Well, what happened was, I was the only person in the area that had preschool, work with preschool, work experience with preschoolers. There was nobody else in, in the Central Area. There was a Naomi Murray who was the preschool teacher for Candy's co-op at the YW, but she ended up -- and she was a very strong person. One of the things I didn't like about, about Naomi was she would construct children's playhouses right there in the classroom, and we had to tolerate the hammering and everything. As a teacher, I didn't approve of her doing that during class, when the children were there. You do that kind of thing after the kids are gone. But, but she was, she was a hard worker and she was a good teacher. She took on the first preschool for disabled kids, special education kids, and she did that at Temple de Hirsch. Temple de Hirsch, again, opened another section of their, they had kind of a big gym, and Naomi, with very little equipment, she had a few climbers and tricycles, but those were the days when nobody had any training or programs for special-ed, and it was good the Naomi took that on. Bob Bass, who was eventually a public school principal, moved around a lot, Bob had one of the first Down Syndrome kids that I knew, and I remember David being in that, that class. But there were a lot of kids with that kind of handicap, and Naomi continued to do that kind of work.

There was probably a bit of resentment that, that I was there, but they needed somebody who was (going to) comply. The black teachers that -- and they weren't all black, there were a couple of people who were just marvelous people, and I think they just got, they couldn't fend off those that demanded their... "We know how to raise our kids," and I'd say, "You're not (going to) spank. I don't care whose kids they are, you're not (going to) spank any child in these programs." In the first place, License won't require it, but I'd have to say, "If you think you can't teach without the use of spanking, then you're the one that needs to go take some classes to understand why."

Head Start eventually gave us funding for training, so community colleges got so they would be willing to come into the classroom and teach on, for using what was happening. They would bring in supplies -- the donations of books and dolls and that was just amazing, unbelievable that we got flooded with all kinds of.... but the government eventually also would budget for good equipment, and I had a Ruth Benoleo who came out of Tri-Cities, had a degree in chemistry and domestic science, and that's about as far as you got with preschool education. She got that, she was a bit older than I was, and she got that probably, maybe in the late '40s. She, her husband had left her with four kids, and the only job she could get was in Job Corps out of, from Washington state's Tri-Cities, she had to move to Iowa to work in Job Corps, and that's a tough job. But she would come back once a month to check in with the kids, but her kids were high school kids. But eventually she decided that she couldn't do that, and she came into Seattle, saw our ad, and applied for the job. Now, working with -- well, she had the experience at Job Corps, but living in a white community like Richland, I think you need more assimilation. But she did, she did all right. That was a tough job; you cope with teachers who were not sometimes willing to do what you advocate. But I think in that kind of program, the education director probably has as tough a job as anybody, because you're also starting people who are just brand-new in the concept, and it takes a while to accept.

And I think in, I must say, I think in black, the black world, harsh discipline is -- what we call harsh discipline -- is kind of normal discipline in their eyes. And it takes a while for them to absorb it. We did send, we did continual training, it was almost mandatory to have continual training. Usually, the training went on during nap time, and, but we always had one or two people up at, even at Western. And we'd pay for tuition and room and board, and they would have to make their own arrangements to come back to check in on their families on the weekend. But even six months of full-time on the campus, it's a real learning experience. Most of those people would not have -- I remember two or three of 'em had never been on a college campus, but they made it. They don't always get a four-year degree, they might get an AA degree, but they could finish at a community college.

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

<Begin Segment 15>

AI: [Photograph of Ralph Hayes] So, so this was your husband Ralph Hayes.

EH: And I guess I'm just showing you what a good part of my life gets involved, because we did a lot of, we got involved with a lot of things that, in common.

AI: And I wanted to go back a little bit and ask you, you had mentioned while we were on break that it might have, your relationship and your, the fact that you were married to Ralph, might have affected some of the attitudes that people held towards you as, as a Japanese American who was administering a program that really was founded with a purpose to assist the black community, the African American community.

EH: And I suppose the fact that he, he was who he was, certain number of the administration and people would have confidence in his philosophy or my picking up his intuitions and philosophy that, the fact that he was a teacher. And, and the other thing is that we knew Walt very well. We were in the church when he was recruited, so we had a lot of the common foundations. I think, on the other hand, we lived in Central Area, and that makes a lot of difference. Those were exciting times, I think, particularly... maybe it's true of other communities, but I think in Seattle, it was an exciting time. And the fact that we were in Madrona, I think, was particularly valuable, kind of endearing as far as, we considered ourselves Madronites for a long time. And I still see friends, and we still get together, despite the fact that we're gradually thinning out, and we've moved, but we still keep in contact. I often wonder if the community's still the same. Some of the same people like Roger Sale still live there. Potentially, it's also geographically an ideal model to have half of the community coming up from Twenty-third, west, and the other half coming from the lake.

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

<Begin Segment 16>

AI: Well, so now, before our break, you were just talking about your work with the daycare centers being developed under CAMP's program, and so you were there in the late '60s and into the early '70s?

EH: No, I stayed with it for five years, roughly. One of the things that happened was my, one of my youngsters was cutting school too much, and I decided, "Okay, it's time for me to watch the homefront a bit." But as I -- and we had just moved into Roosevelt, Ravenna area in the late, well, '66. So there was a certain amount of being familiar, getting reacquainted with a new environment, and then I became active in that PTA, but also did things then to accommodate a better cross-section, that Roosevelt could be quite an elitist school, but OEO was just starting, and OEO was significant in that not only did daycare start up, but they were opening up doors for a wider cross-section, and also then making the public aware, and the city aware of where and when it had to change. They also tried to change housing patterns a little bit, but when Mayor Braman came into CAMP to say, "What can we do?" knowing what happened at Watts, and Watts happened in '65, late '65, and that was a riotous situation. That, I think, allowed CAMP to, for instance, point up that Seattle also is missing cross-town transportation. In those days, all the buses went downtown, and if you wanted to go to the University District from Central Area, you had to go downtown and take a bus out to the University District. So that's one of the things CAMP was able to do, put them, put cross-town transportation into effect.

The other thing that happened was the hospitals were in outlying, particularly Children's Orthopedic was way out there in Sand Point, and here was a concentration of a population that needed medical facilities, particularly for children, closer at hand. A lot of people didn't have cars, even, and to pay a cab or to find somebody to give 'em ride to Children's Orthopedic was a job. So Odessa Brown clinic got established in Central Area, and Children's Orthopedic took it upon themselves to make this an annex of Children's Orthopedic. That made a lot of difference in the world. I was having trouble, for instance, getting, mandating physical exams for children, and dental exams. And the only place they could go -- at least for dental -- was Public Health. And initially, even when enrichment programs were started in early December, we would somehow help parents get dental attention if they needed it. But I remember a couple of families coming back to me, saying, complaining, and saying that they didn't want to go back to Public Health because they were kept waiting there right straight through staff's lunch hours, and then they may or may not get served. And when you're a single mother with three or four children hungry at lunchtime, and still having to wait for the staff to get back to get dental attention, that's so inconsiderate and unfair, I said, "Okay, I'm not asking, I'm not (going to) ask you to go back to Public Health. We'll find the money to get dental services for you." But that's the kind of thing that often happened; it was hard enough, I think, for black parents in those days to go to a white institution or white service doctors and nurses. They didn't really, they couldn't be confident in what they were, services they were getting. But that's the kind of thing that, it took a while for people to build up enough confidence.

One of the, I think one my great satisfactions in the daycare situation was to provide daycare to enable parents to get whatever jobs they can, or go to school and not have to worry about what their children were going through. I had a, I remember one mother who finally landed a job as a nurse -- no, as a LPN, Licensed Practical Nurse at Virginia Mason, and she was a single parent and had three kids, but grateful that she got the job, and she loved the doctor that she was working for. As she communicated with that doctor about daycare and some of the concerns that staff was expressing, he was willing to become our program doctor. And by that time, I think I had three or four centers, so he wasn't seeing every child, but he was kind of overseeing, or if I had problems, questions, I was free to call him. And he would come out very regularly. Sometimes I think we even had to meet on Saturdays for him to go over files. But that kind of thing probably wouldn't have happened had that kind of bridge not established. And Elsie was just a faithful, hard-working mother, and she was, her kids were at First Baptist, so she was in walking distance from Virginia Mason. But there were any number of health problems that -- and sometimes, sometimes it was a problem to get parents to, to take you seriously, and if they had a question, a health question, I just couldn't risk letting them come back into a center without a doctor signing off on... but that was happening all over the country.

When I was working for Public Health, or even before I got to Public Health, I would get calls from daycare centers hither and yon. A lot of them from Rainier, Rainier Valley area, to say, "What is shigellosis?" And I would explain to them and they, and their reaction would be, "How are we supposed to know this?" It was a black daycare operator, and I, at that point, I had to say, "Look, that's one of those diarrhea situations that you have to get a doctor's release." In fact, I think it was shigellosis that required two negative stool cultures before you could come back into a daycare center. And in one case, a doctor had signed off to say, "This child's been in the hospital with shigellosis, but she's recovered and free to come back." And I had to call that doctor back and say, "You know, I need proof that she's had double-negative stool cultures." And, "What? I never heard of that. Where'd you get that information?" And I said, "Well, call the epidemiologist in Public Health." But, so sometimes you ran into challenging situations like that, but all over the, particularly south end, Beacon Hill, West Seattle.

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

<Begin Segment 17>

AI: Oh, excuse me. So, now when was it that you went back to work, and you were hired at Public Health?

EH: Well, I, before Public Health I got hired on a new program, a new federal program called Model Cities came on immediately after OEO. And that was to get cities involved, signed contracts that would get cities involved to change some of the social systems, employment, particularly housing. And when... Model Cities covered a wider area, covered the whole city, and at some point, Walt Hundley had said to Dorothy Hollingsworth, who was a public school social worker but had taken leave to work for Model Cities, and was kind of his assistant director. And at one point, we were trying to expand daycare and couldn't find a director who could, who was qualified to take on that directorship. It covered a wide, a whole city, so it was a bigger job than CAMP was ever going to be. And she called and asked if I would come back or somehow help her find more locations for daycare. So I was willing to do that for a year, year-and-a-half, I worked on, solely on finding potential licensable facilities. Then when I got through with that, then she asked me to come on and stay on and monitor the health and nutrition areas. Because for preschool programs, the government will outline all the phases of the program that need monitoring, and you have to do that. Daycare is a very detailed business, and if you don't watch it and see to it that every one of these are complied to, it's so easy for, because you're so encumbered with so many details, that you let things slip or wait, and then it doesn't get done. But anyway, that's when, because I was having to monitor health and nutrition, and I developed, even when I was running CAMP, we had to develop exam forms and parents' approval forms and any number of forms. I'm afraid we really inundated the parents with forms, but oftentimes we would call parent meetings in each center and go through these steps one by one, and explain why we had to have them. But certainly, once daycare got started, it really picked up speed.

And the other thing that Licensing began to do was license daycare homes. A mother could take care of up to six children in her, in her home, providing she met all the license requirements. And I think in those days, I think daycare homes also have to be on one floor, they have to have a suitable backyard, fenced backyard, play equipment, and if you got more than six children, then you could hire an assistant, and sometimes it required more because as the children got older, or older sibs would have to have someplace to come, come to after school, and it was much more convenient to have the children at one center. But daycare home operators also then began to learn some details, and you couldn't just be a normal stay-at-home mother and let the kids, like your own kids, freely play. It took some time; they had to, they organized daycare home associations, and we would bring speakers in, or we would invite them to come to daycare center meetings, but very often, what happens in the daycare home is a little different from centers. So there was really a lot of learning. I think the community colleges even picked up on that kind of training.

AI: Well, so excuse me, when was it then that you then moved to Public Health after doing this monitoring on the nutrition and health in the --

EH: Well, and it was in that process, I was at, it was called... I think Seattle Childcare. I was probably there for about four years, and I kept badgering Dorothy Hollingsworth, who was directing then -- by that time, I think we had about twenty-five daycare, licensed daycare centers and homes, and covering from Ballard to the south end of Rainier Valley, and I was having to travel those areas, so I was driving a lot. But one of the things that happened was Ross Labs -- [coughs] -- excuse me. Ross Labs came up with a research result that said milk has no iron, and we all grew up thinking milk was the perfect food, but I would often have parents say, "Well, don't worry about it. He gets a lot of milk." But because milk has no iron, it creates, it causes low hematocrits, meaning the blood cell has to have iron to carry oxygen to the brain, for instance, and if you don't have iron, you're not (going to) have -- and vitamin C -- you're not (going to) have adequate amount of iron developing the cells. And, and if you're poor, meat is probably the highest cost item in the food budget, so the children don't get a lot of meat, and meat is where your iron is, probably your, meat is your prevalent source of iron.

The other thing is, the finding was that babies under one don't digest cow's milk as well, therefore they worked on, they developed milk, soy milk, Similac came on the scene about that time. I think I was using Similac before that, but anyway, so what Ross Lab wanted to do was change our use of milk to change it to Similac, because soybean has, is a very rich source of iron. Soybeans, actually, has more protein, calcium, iron... and potassium? Maybe one other food element that... actually, I think soybean is what saved all of China. But Public Health had a head nutritionist whose belief was that private industry has no business using a public agency to increase their business and potential.


EH: I talked to the nutritionist at length, and she wouldn't come off of that pitch. So I said to Ross Lab, who came to me because they couldn't find, Odessa Brown clinic said they didn't have an adequate lab staff, and they couldn't get involved, and nobody else was willing to undertake the state Public Health. Philosophy was that King County had the biggest population in poverty, and therefore King County had to accept this and be the onstart. But this nutritionist wouldn't get off of that pitch, so I said to Ross Lab... I knew probably six or eight months before I went to Public Health that I was going there, but I decided, "Okay, I'm (going to) take advantage of this freedom of Public Health." I said, "I'd be willing to call a meeting of medical people, pediatricians and nurses and Head Start people, anybody who's involved with preschool groups, to at least listen to you. And I'm not (going to) promise anything, I'm not (going to) advocate it so much, but let, give them an opportunity to hear your pitch." And I got forty-five people immediately, and we met for six or seven months. We got a, Mary Bridge Hospital in Tacoma, I think, had a contract to work with Muckleshoots, or one of the Indian tribes, and Indian tribes are autonomous of county or state jurisdiction, so they had accepted the Ross Lab findings, and were beginning to use soy milk. Plus the fact that Ross Lab was willing to donate certain number of case to each preschool or infant center, and this was also an education opportunity, because I think at that point, who of us knew that milk didn't have any iron? It was practically that situation. And it just made sense to this group of forty-five, and we talked about it and implementing it all.

So anyway, it took four or five meetings. I forgot what the Mary Bridge doctor's name was, but she came up and spoke a couple of times, and talked about the kinds of implementations she used to get women in the reservation areas. They were scattered, and some of them didn't have transportation and that kind of thing. But, but they had developed kind of a food stamp, it was called WIC, Women, Infants, Children nutrition, and that's what they're still using. But when the group decided, "Okay, let's present this to Public Health," and I didn't mention anything about the nutritionists' philosophy, but when the group decided to go talk to... I can't remember his name. Dr.... anyway, and he was about to retire, but he said, "Hey, look at this, Bernadine, it sounds, it sounds good, don't you think?" She had to go along with it, and that's how it got started.

So then immediately she had to contact State Health, and they had to set up statewide meetings. And I remember that one of the first meetings held on this whole issue ended up in Ellensburg, because that's the central location for the state, and people came out from Yakima and Spokane and places. That, that was a good, successful experience. They, eventually we had to move out of -- we were, Seattle Day program, Seattle, Seattle Daycare, I guess it was called, it was at 200 Broadway in a small, it was a two-story brick building, but we had only the first floor, and there wasn't a meeting room big enough. And I had also asked the nurse in Red Cross, who was dealing with daycare and infant center particularly, they helped us open one at Garfield High School for teenage mothers, and we hired, we stole a domestic science teacher out of Renton who ran that program at Garfield. But, so we moved our meeting to Red Cross, the Red Cross building down on Twenty-fifth somewhere. And then it wasn't long before it became a statewide program, and it got instituted. And it really picked up speed. Now, WIC is being used all over the place.

When I was working at Public Health -- I did this before I got into Public Health, because I didn't want to have to buck the nutritionist, so that I was out of the WIC picture by the time I got to Public Health, and that was all right. It was, now it's going boom, but that, her jurisdiction deprived the state of two years of WIC benefits before we got it going, and that's too bad. When I, they called the first pediatrician's meeting at the University of Washington to introduce this, and I just thought I would go listen to what kind of questions the doctors were going to come up with, and the opening statement, there was the same Ross Lab people at the podium and saying, "The mother of WIC in this state is Elaine Hayes" -- [laughs] -- and I didn't know that was (going to) happen, but I, I just thought, "Well, I guess that's, that's one way to look at it." And it, as I watched in Public Health, the issuance of WIC, they called them WIC certificates, it's really a booming business. By the time refugees, the Vietnam refugees came along, it was a boom. I think they couldn't have, daycare centers, infant centers couldn't have operated without the help. And it got so that the parents then had to, in over three or four year time, the parents then had to bring in their own supply of Similac.

I lived through the introduction of a big debate over disposable diapers versus regular diapers, and there was a philosophy that they didn't want disposable diapers polluting the air -- [laughs] -- and the way it would, and the city even instituted -- and I think Walt Hundley was a little bit responsible for this -- they installed a... I don't know that it was called a diaper disposable furnace of a small kind, high, high heat disposal on, I think at the Cherry, Eighteenth and Cherry DSHS office. Somewhere right in there, that, that furnace never got used for some reason. There was always a controversy about... and then it wasn't long, right at that time, diaper service came into play. And that was a nip and tuck, there was a debate about whether diaper service was safe. Eventually, I think they won, 'cause a lot of people began to use that service. In the daycare centers, that was really a godsend, because though I think now probably a lot of daycare centers probably use disposable diapers, but there was a time when we were using diaper service in the infant centers. That was nip and tuck.

The other thing, I guess, eventually, when I got into Public Health, the other thing we did was institute first aid training. And I, I virtually got into Public Health because there was one nurse who was willing cope with this whole new big concept. There weren't a lot of Public Health nurses that were empathetic to daycare. They just thought it was going to be a big problem area. But training was going to make a lot of difference, and Anita Pitts was willing to institute some training programs. One of the things she did was assign a nurse practitioner, a pediatric nurse practitioner to work with me to do first aid training, but we covered not only accidents, but also preventative, identifying communicable diseases or symptoms, and accident preventions, but also need to know what, what, how to handle a child that falls, has a severe fall, or a child that throws up.

And we had to, we mandated... every center had, every staffperson had to have an annual first aid certification, and then we did four hours of that, and then four hours of CPR training with the fire department. And they were always willing to come and train. And that's, that's a big chunk of a day; I mean, it took eight hours on a Saturday, on a precious Saturday, for these daycare staff to do that. And that got enlarged into, it became a mandatory issue in licensing all over. Initially when I did it, it was just the twenty-five contracted centers, but that was interesting. And we learned a lot in the process; I mean, I wouldn't have picked up CPR, and the firemen that were certified to do this, I think they enjoyed presenting that program. It was interesting to... there was... see, what was it? Jinka was his last name, but he's a Sansei kid, there's a, there's a big Jinka family here, and he was, we knew Joyce Jinka in Garfield, and I suppose he may, he was probably a Garfield graduate. But anyway, those were, and we used the first aid manual, and used overhead projectors. I used to carry around boxes of printed material. And Public Health had tons of printed material that... I, you can't expect people to absorb everything in four hours, so we have to pass them printed material so that they could review it. Now, they finally, by the time I left in '86, they came out with a manual, a first aid manual, and that should be well-used.

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

<Begin Segment 18>

AI: So, that was 1986 that you retired?

EH: Uh-huh.

AI: Well, in between that time, before, before you retired in 1986, lots of things were happening in the country and here locally as well. You had mentioned, of course, that people were coming as refugees from Vietnam in the '70s, because of the Vietnam War, and I wanted to ask you, when the Vietnam War was going on, were you or your family members involved at all in some of the protests that were going on? Or what was your thought at that time?

EH: (Yes), when we were in Berkeley, Berkeley, in '65, '66, Berkeley had its first anti-Vietnam march, and that was an experience. And we knew that that was once-in-a-lifetime. Berkeley had, by then, the reputation. So we did, Ralph and I went, and a bunch of John Hay Whitney fellows that were there, couples, families were there, we all went to participate, not so much, not so much to be anti-, anti-war, but to experience it. I just came back from a visit in North Carolina where one of the fellows was, from North Carolina to Berkeley, and she writes, she ends up writing a book of, as a Southerner, Berkeley Through Bifocals. And she writes about this Vietnam experience, and it was significant. There was masses of us, it was dark, it was probably fall, but the Berkeley police would not let us get past Prince Street, which is the street that divides Oakland and Berkeley. They would, the marchers were, wanted to go down to Oakland to boycott the army depot down there, but they were not (going to) let us get into Oakland, so we had to turn around and come back to the city park in Berkeley. But Berkeley was very livewire that way. When Candy got back to Seattle, she was regretting having to leave Berkeley, because as a... and she, she might have gotten her activist start there. But she remembered vividly as a junior-higher, going around that junior high neighborhood, I suppose, tying yellow ribbons on lampposts as a, signifying being an anti-war, Vietnam, and she got to Berkeley, and -- I mean, she got back to Seattle, none of that was going on. She just thought Seattle was a stay back community. [Laughs] But, (yes), Berkeley was a real livewire.

AI: And in comparison, back here in Seattle, it wasn't as active as far as anti-war activism.

EH: No, but there were some anti-Vietnam movement going on. We were, I guess we were at the Unitarian church by then, and there was, there will always be peaceniks. Interestingly, Larry, her older brother wouldn't have been that much, but Candy would have been out there marching. But that was an era when -- in Public Health, witnessing all these Vietnam refugees coming on was a real learning experience, 'cause I had to kind of calm the daycare staff, because they were so afraid that we were (going to) get swamped with all kinds of bugs. One of the things they did find in, among the refugees was worms, intestinal worms. And, but they were getting, they would get medicated for that. When the child was not picking up weight as they should, then there was always a suspect that there may be worms. The other thing that happened was tuberculosis... a lot of the refugees -- not a lot, but some of them were getting medication for TB, and the daycare staff would get so upset and call me and say, "How come we're getting patients that have, people that have a potential for TB?" And you'd have to explain that once it's under control, it's controlled.

Though I had a, a black army vet who apparently had been a cook in the army, and to become a cook in the infant center, he had to have, have cleared the Public Health's food handler's permit, that kind of thing, and have, he had had a discharge, medical exam. But one day at Public Health, one of the nurses said, "Hey, Elaine, is Washington one of your centers?" I said, "(Yes)," and he says, "Well, you need to know, the cook, I just isolated the cook for TB." And I thought, "How could that be?" And I went up to the TB clinic, and I said, "Why does this happen?" But it did, and then I had to go to the center and calm the staff down. [Laughs] But they all had to take skin tests by then, and I don't think anybody found any danger items.

But in infant centers, you had to be particularly careful because things like diarrhea would travel so fast. We had a new item called giardia, which was strange around here. It's, it's kind of known as a diarrhea that kids picked up in the woods, it's a natural, I've called, I've heard it called "beaverrhea," because that's one of the suspects of a carrier. And one of the nurses at, one of my friends at Public Health came down with it, and they could never find out what the cause was, because it was so strange around here. And she should have known, because she had that bug in Colorado as a Public Health nurse, and she was a mountain climber. But it was interesting because gradually, by the time I left in '86, we had had an infant center with giardia, there was a daycare home in Bothell that had giardia, and a couple of centers. But I think they had to close the home in Bothell, and there they assumed that the dog had gone out to, to the woods, the streams in the woods and had picked it up and brought it home. But they, that situation, they, they vacuumed the, Public Health came in and vacuumed the rugs thoroughly and took all the samples with them.

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

<Begin Segment 19>

AI: [Laughs] I'm (going to) ask you to kind of come up a little bit more quickly now about another issue, because I can see that you, you went through many, many different things in the Public Health arena, and I'm sure there are many other things you could tell us there, but I wanted to kind of redirect another area, because another thing that was happening in the late '70s and into the '80s was redress for Japanese Americans. And I was wondering what you thought about this when you first started hearing about it, because I have heard from some other Japanese Americans that when they first heard about the idea of actual payments to Japanese Americans for redress, they weren't so sure that was such a good idea, and they feared possibly a backlash. So I was wondering, do you recall when you first started hearing about this idea and what you thought about it?

EH: I thought that, I thought it was that the government needed to do this, the government needed to do this to make Americans aware, and unless money was involved, Americans weren't going to, to remember it, or it wasn't going to sink in. (Yes), I testified here in '80, I guess early '80s, because I really felt that something, some kind of restitution was necessary.

AI: How did you get involved in that, in getting to the point where you actually decided to testify at the Commission hearing?

EH: Well, I just figured that not only was it wrong, but I thought the country and the world should be aware that this kind of thing could happen. And, to me, it was racially motivated, though I remember in camp, when I was doing the recreation work, I used to feel like -- and I was maybe naive to think that if we had lived in an integrated environment, if we had been scattered through the neighborhood and cities, that this might not have happened. And I think I wasn't aware in those days so much about, of red-lining, or how discriminatory the world really was. I think I was comfortable living in a Japanese community; I wasn't in Japantown exactly, but our friends were all Japanese and you were accepted. I think I had a few, a Chicano friend that I used to walk up, walk to school with sometimes, there was a black gal, bright, black gal, Leona Henderson next door to me, and a Mexican family. But there were never, the only whites you got acquainted with was kids at school. But you didn't always socialize with them; we had fun talking about, they would tell us about their dances and who wore what, but it was never socializing.

I do remember that in my senior year, there was a picture in the paper, in the society page of the Sacramento Bee, there was a picture of a classmate of mine, and it named her parents. And her father happened to be the head of the insurance company that my, my parents had to go downtown, and so knew him quite, quite well. And my father was kind of delighted to see that picture, and I said, "Oh, (yes), I know her. She's in my math class," or something. And later, he, Thanksgiving time, he says, "Can we invite Mr. So-and-so for Thanksgiving dinner?" Apparently he was divorced and he didn't go to family dinners. And I guess my reaction, and maybe typically, I just didn't think we were an appropriate, that we didn't have the niceties and the finery that Mr. Butler should come to. And I regret that, because I think it would have been a good experience for all of us, but knowing his daughter in school and all, I just wasn't willing to... and that's one of those ironic things that I wish, I wish I had been more aware. But integration to that extent wasn't, we weren't that much into pushing that.

AI: So your, your awareness of the kinds of discrimination and the causes of segregated neighborhoods before World War II, your awareness was quite different and less than, than it was by time the redress hearings were happening.

EH: (Yes), you know, that was, early '80s, my kids would have been in their teens or college years by then.

AI: I think it was 1981 that there was a hearing here, in 1980, '81 across the country.

EH: Uh-huh. And we were beginning to read a lot about it. I just felt that if the, if we didn't force the government to do something about it, it was not going to be remembered or meaningful. Just a thank you, a thank-you letter, I knew wasn't (going to) stay in the history books. And I felt, it's kind of interesting the redress, the committee came up with addressing the economic factors, the family solidarity factors, health factors, and mental health problems. So I, I chose to talk about the economic costs on my mother, particularly. Did I give you a copy?

AI: Yes, right.

EH: Okay.

AI: Yes, so we do have a copy of the testimony that you gave.

EH: I, the, I'm waiting for somebody to come out with a readable compilation of those testimonies, because the stories of every one of those people -- this was at what's now the Broadway theater building -- was so significant. Every story was so meaningful, even from Alaska and, and that's when we heard for the first time about the Aleuts and what happened to them. It's the first time, if you didn't grow up here, you weren't aware of Walter Woodward, the Bainbridge Island journalist. He, he testified at the Seattle hearing, and that was... you really felt gratitude.

AI: Were you, in listening to the hearings, the testimonies at the hearing, were you surprised at how outspoken some of the people were about their experiences?

EH: I don't think... you know, I don't think it's outspokenness. I think it's just presenting the facts and telling it like it was. I mean, most of us, there were people who were younger than I was, and as children, they're witnessing their parents, their fathers being taken off to who knows where. The kinds of things that women had to cope with when the, when the men were, the leadership-caliber people, men were taken off, gee, what were the women supposed to do? They didn't understand English, they didn't know enough about the business, but what a horrendous trauma that must have been.

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

<Begin Segment 20>

AI: And when you were presenting your own testimony that day at the hearing, what was your own feeling as you were doing that?

EH: Well, I had typed and re-typed this thing -- [laughs] -- so I was willing to just read it as it was. I have to admit that when they sent us notifications about the redress schedule, the notification must have come in a red, white and blue envelope, kind of... and there were so many advertisements and things, you know, Reader's Digest and things that come, I didn't pay any attention to it. And it turned out that I probably didn't respond adequately or something, maybe that was the notification of the schedule, the timing that I was... and I had responded to other things, because they knew I wanted to say something. So when I got to, I think I had to miss the first day because something at work, that I couldn't miss a meeting, and I got there the second day, and I was greeted with, "Where have you been?" I said, "What do you mean? I just came to hear." And she said, "But you were scheduled yesterday at four o'clock," or something. And I said, "Gee, I didn't know that. How was I supposed to know that?" And somebody said, "Didn't you get an envelope with such-and-such?" And I said, "Gee, maybe I did and I probably, not aware that that's what it was. I didn't really read it." And so then they scurried around, they said, "We have to squeeze you in." And at some point, they wanted me to sit up front because, "You're (going to) get called after So-and-so." But I certainly, I regretted not, I regretting missing that first day. I think I heard maybe two days of it.

But I really appreciated hearing... you know, the other... no, I guess that wasn't the, the Episcopal priest was at another incident. But there was an army sergeant who spoke about having to help people in Yakima get on trains to come. And he said, he told... I forgot who, his commanding officer or somebody, that, "These people are harmless; I know." And he must have lived somewhere in the state or on the West Coast and saying, "These people are harmless. This should not be happening." And he was there testifying. That was impressive. That's where the Aleut picture was a very different picture that we got from that testimony, compared to what we heard recently.

AI: I wanted to ask you, did the commissioners ask you any questions when you were giving your testimony?

EH: (Yes), I think maybe one or two, but mine was a hurried situation, and the other people did. My husband didn't, Ralph didn't know I was (going to) say all this, and he was just dumbfounded at it. [Laughs] But Frank Abe, who runs that mechanic shop, or owns the mechanic shop at Maynard, he was there and I had taken my car there for a couple of years, and he told me what his reaction was. He was seven, and he said, "At that time," he said, "when I was in camp, I always wondered what they had done wrong," thinking of the, that the, that the army guys had done something wrong, that they had to be on the other side of the fence -- [laughs] -- and he didn't consider himself having been, at seven, he didn't consider himself to be restricted, and he was having fun, probably. But (yes), I think it's, the whole issue... I told you about my problem right now in North Carolina, I have to dig up some government material. I was just going to look at your, the Park Department, Forest Department's Minidoka plan.

AI: The National Park Service.

EH: I'm not sure that's (going to) satisfy this guy, but there is a federal, there is a federal department that would have probably maybe used the term "concentration camp," so I have to look at that and see if I found my solution, though I think I have to find two or three more solutions. This fellow is, doesn't want the relocation camps to be called "concentration camps."

AI: Well, I wanted to ask you, after you gave your testimony, did you, what was your feeling about the chances of redress actually being approved in Congress and signed into law? Did you think it was (going to) happen? 'Cause some people thought it was, had no chance whatsoever.

EH: I guess I'm an optimist -- [laughs] -- and I, for one thing, I really thought the public needed to be educated, and I thought if only for the education, that was going to be worth -- I think I, I really, I was impressed with the caliber of people. There was this Massachusetts black senator... Edward somebody. Anyway, and another person that was on that staff was either Magnuson or Jackson's staffperson. It was a very good person who was from this area. Bill Maruyama? Murayama, was on that commission. But I just think that they had to do the full scale of what needed to be done, and they were traveling. San Francisco, I think, Los Angeles, Chicago, forgot where else. But it was a real learning experience for all of us, and I think it's stimulating. The people that worked on redress really did a noble job. That took a lot of work. Molly Yasutake Fujioka, who was a Seattle person, spent days and days on the road. And I think by the time that happened -- 'course, it took another ten years.

Mike Lowry, who was the governor here, had said to Norm Mineta and Robert Matsui that he introduced something, a redress for evacuation. And they weren't prepared; they thought, people thought they had to do a lot of good, sound research and count votes and study of who, who's going to be for it, who's going to be sympathetic and who's not. But when Mike Lowry said he introduced this, I remember Robert Matsui and Mineta saying, "You what?" They were horrified. And that might have been a very early, preliminary step. There was a JACL function here, I think maybe it had to do with... oh no, it was a campaign for Mike Lowry's election, and both Robert Matsui and Norm Mineta came up here for that. And Ralph introduced himself as Charlie Hayes's brother. They were yelling, "Hey, this guy says he's Charlie Hayes's brother," and they were, they were elated. Charlie Hayes was Ralph's brother who was in Congress at, with Norm Mineta and Robert Matsui. So that was a good event, but it was also satisfying to think that Mike Lowry was getting that kind of help. It's too bad he isn't on the scene anymore.

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

<Begin Segment 21>

AI: So Elaine, before our break, we were just talking about the redress for Japanese Americans, and how you had testified at the commission hearing here in Seattle. And then, of course, it wasn't until 1988 that the redress act passed, and then, and was signed, and it wasn't until 1990 that the apologies and checks actually started coming out. But when you received yours, what was your reaction?

EH: Well, you get into a lot of preliminary discussions and you do a lot of reading, Pacific Citizen, and so it is, it was a real issue and a joyous moment when it actually got done. Actually, the JACL convention was here in Seattle, and they took a red-eye flight to D.C. to sign this, and my friend Molly Yasutake was on that flight, so it was a big sigh of relief, and fairly joyous. They came back to the, to the convention and was able to tell us what all the ramifications... and then, interestingly enough, I think there were a string of meetings... before or after? I guess it was maybe before -- the period between signing it and when the redress came out. But there were, there were some concerns and issues. I remember going to a meeting at the vets hall, and there were a couple of other meetings, because we really didn't know how well it was going to be implemented.

And I think when my check came, I was very matter-of-fact about it, and I invested it. And my kids said, "Wow, what happened to that check? I thought we were (going to) get a piece of it." [Laughs] And I said, "No, that will be for my retirement investment," and I said, "You guys are making good, getting good wages. You don't really need this little bit that's relatively precious for me." But I do know that -- my sister, my youngest sister bought a Lexus. [Laughs] And one of my sisters in New York called and said, "What did you do with your check?" I just felt like saying, "None of your business." But I said, "I invested it." "Oh, really?" And I said, "What do you think you're (going to) do with yours?" Different people have different priorities, and different financial needs. So my mother died before she got her check, and they gave it, I think, to the, the older you were, the earlier you got it. My mother died in 1990, so she just missed it. Though she was aware that it was going to come. And oddly, your siblings can't get this check if you die before you get it. Your, your offsprings can, so when my mother's check came, I think split in four at that time. I think that now... but my sister died the following year, before she got her check, and I decided that her sons should have it. They sent it promptly back to me -- [laughs] -- and said, "No, you use it for whatever." And I only got a third of it, I guess. No, maybe I got a fourth. 'Cause there were four of us left.

AI: It was, it was sad because there were so many people that died before they received their, their redress.

EH: Uh-huh. But I, I sent it to Amnesty International, because that was one of her favorite programs. I think... gee, I really can't remember what we did with my mother's check. But she would have had, she had a list of places, churches particularly, but Reverend Kagawa in Kobe would have... but it was significant. I have a friend who, whose father was so impressed with that, that a president would sign a letter of apology, that he said, "You guys could have this," gave the check to them, but he wanted that letter framed, because he thought that was, what a unique country this was. So it meant different things to different people. But I think it took a lot of hard work for the commission and all the people that traveled all over the place, voting for it. I, it was kind of amazing to me that I could understand that to pass Congress, it was (going to) take some work. But like Molly was traveling to get the Japanese Americans to vote for it, pressure for it. And I think, I think it was well worth it. It may not have been that much, but I really don't think this country would remember it in history if some monetary issue didn't arise from it.

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

<Begin Segment 22>

AI: Well, that leads me to kind of bring things up to the present, closer to the present, because, of course, one of the reasons that so many people did work for redress was because they wanted the government, the United States government and the public to have some greater awareness that rights had been taken away from people during World War II, and they didn't want this to happen again. But then, of course, September 11, 2001, with the terrorist attacks, then we very soon started seeing a backlash against anyone who was perceived to be Middle Eastern, or anyone who someone thought looked like "potential terrorists," whatever that means. And I was wondering, if you look back to September 11th...

EH: I certainly, it was emotional when the Muslims were raided here, when their shops were broken into, and it just made you wonder, "How could they, how could they do this? Don't they remember?" And then, and then I felt, "Gee, Japanese Americans need to speak up about it," because we could identify with what, what was happening. I think a lot of the parents had to take their kids out of school, because children were being harassed. And that's sad that we can't immediately acknowledge and remember that we can't abuse, we can't flaunt a person's identity, just because they look like... on my North Carolinian trip, I spoke to a rotary group, and I said, "Looking like an enemy doesn't make you an enemy. We need to remember that, because it could easily happen again, no matter what group." And the sad part is that we, we bounce on Mexican Americans just because in certain segments, they're labeled as sneaking into the country against our will. But when you think of the dire needs, and the fact that they're so desperate for work that they would do this, let's respect them and give them some protection; they're human beings. The number of people that die because they're searching for normalcy in life.

I think, on that score, the evacuation was a period in our life, but you think of the number of people that tolerate some kind of abuse all their life ought to make us feel, have an awareness of what abuse and unfairness in society, that we ought to be working to equalize opportunity. If it takes helping kids in school, or helping teachers cope with unruly kids, I think we ought to get to the bottom of what's causing this unruliness. I think we still have parents who don't know how to be good parents, and I think schools can't be blamed for poor scholars or the inability -- I mean, it isn't, I don't think we could hold the teachers responsible, because, if the kids aren't making the WASL tests or "no child left behind." I mean, the theme of "no child left behind" can't be held as a sole, the teachers' sole responsibility. I think we really have to help parents understand what academic work is, and sometimes it's a matter of helping parents become better students. And I think it's about time we say to these kids who are not finishing or... and as tough as some of these kids have it, that their, they need to be reminded that they're (going to) be parents, and how are they going to help their kids if they drop out of school, or if they're not able to continue in one way or another. Those are abuses that some people live with every day of their life. You think of the migrant workers, how, how do they manage to keep up, or even know what goes on in school, when they have to live the kind of life that they live?

There are so many issues in life that I think could be improved. Medical, medical problems, what that does to, to a family. Automobile accidents and what that does to a family. I think if we have to curtail and deprive some of the reckless driving, that maybe we need to do that. But something needs to be done to correct what's happening to a lot of young lives.

AI: Well, you were mentioning about how after, after September 11th, there were a number of schoolchildren who were harassed, and some of them were even afraid to go to school, I understand, partly because of the way they looked, or because the way they dressed. And I was wondering, I also had heard that, from some Japanese Americans, that they started having some flashbacks themselves, because it reminded them of after Pearl Harbor was bombed. What kind of things, did you experience any of that yourself?

EH: No, but I remember being a little self-conscious, not socializing as much, where I think I was maybe the kind of person that would speak to anybody sitting next to a bus or something. But we really became quite silent, a little self-conscious, but all in all, I don't think I experienced any negative... my mother was always afraid that, that that would happen, but, and then she went on about her insurance business with no fear. But I think it does, we need to be sensitive, that we have a responsibility because we went through some of that. I think sometimes teachers could also help people recognize... and maybe it's not fair to rely on teachers or say this, but after all, if it's your job to teach, then you must have some insight through reading or contact. These Rotarians that I spoke to, I could almost hear a couple of them saying, "(Yes), but how are you, how do you recognize? How do you know you're not an enemy if you look like an enemy?" The, the deep south, though North Carolina, North Carolinians don't really consider themselves "deep south," and, but my friend that I was staying with feels that this is a backward country, she thinks. [Laughs] And so, I don't mind speaking or explaining to anybody wherever I go.

When I went to the Elder Hostel, out of forty of them, maybe there were five or six Californians, consequently that knew about them, knew about the evacuation. And I don't know that they had intimate friends, but they certainly knew about it. But the rest of the people in the country, it was literally their first time meeting anybody that really went through that. And three or four people hadn't heard about it.

AI: Had not heard at all about Japanese Americans being incarcerated?

EH: Or they, they, "Oh, that's right, that was in a text somewhere," but they forgot about it, because it doesn't, it's not something that they run into more than once. And a lot of people can't believe that, "You really did go through that?" And so it's worth, it's worth talking about, and letting them know that it could happen, and it shouldn't happen. Not in this country. Lot of people take the attitude, "(Yes), but sometimes you can't avoid it." I think there are a lot of people who still are hung up on the Pearl Harbor issue, and cannot remove that. I forgot where I was, somebody said, "Your people," and I said, "Wait a minute. I'm an American." And they just can't get that through their heads, that there's a difference. That in this country, there is a difference. It may not happen in other countries...

AI: When you say, "in this country..."

EH: That we should not, that in this country, we are made up of a variety, we have a lot of ethnicity variations, we come from different cultures and backgrounds, but uphold the fact that in this country, no matter what, what your culture is, that we uphold certain constitutional rights, and legal rights, that the law still protects us. And just because we look different doesn't mean that you can sidestep legal issues. Just because you look different doesn't mean that you're guilty. And I think in a, in many times, I think that's one of the handicaps of blacks, and in some areas, farm areas, Chicanos don't get a fair chance just because they're identified, they're stereotyped. And it's too bad -- I think, I have to really credit teachers that will stand up and be counted, or be able to say things when the majority of teachers may not care, may not identify.

But I think, I think even in the Japanese community, we need to overcome stereotyping issues. I think, I think basically for a lot of Niseis certain yet, they don't really have a black friend that they could call a real friend, and feel free to discuss or even inquire. Sometimes it's a matter of really getting acquainted, that that's to them not so much an awkward thing, but they just don't consider. And I think you're losing an opportunity. And I think that Sanseis and Yonseis probably don't have that problem because we've changed to some extent, but I think that when we were with our parent group, I think it's still a problem. That's why I like to see organizations and churches particularly, integrated a bit more, just 'cause it's a social opportunity. And schools do that; that's where, where people are in schools and academic settings, I think you have more of an opportunity.

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

<Begin Segment 23>

AI: Well, we've covered a huge range of topics and a big span of time in our interview sessions, and I was just wondering, is there anything else that you wanted to mention or comment on that, or anything else that you wanted to raise that you haven't touched on before?

EH: Well, I think, I think Asians can well be proud of the culture we have, and the social instincts that it gives us: respect for elders, respect for knowledge, respect for teachers, and the family first. And I don't think we need to impose that or lord that over anybody else, or make others feel that we want to... that we feel superior or that we want to impose that on anybody else. But the basic practices for sound family and society isn't, those are usable traits in any social environment. And instead of emphasizing so much that, "This is how Asians feel," or, "This is the way we would do it," that, drop that issue, but keep practicing and help people understand what basic family values could be. And I think we could do that without feeling like, or having somebody else feel like we're imposing our culture on them, particularly in schools. And maybe schools are doing it much better now, and we're not aware of it because we're not in the classroom, but I think teachers maybe can benefit from sharing and learning from each other.

I think that Chicanos and blacks have some characteristics that we could benefit from. I'm not sure that I could go for the loud jazz or the hip hop business, but there are some, some characteristics where they can speak out strongly about certain practices, and maybe call it to our attention, because we're not aware, or we're not as sensitive to what the black child might be going through. And if you're not -- Aki Kurose used to say, "A child who doesn't feel good about themselves cannot learn," and I think so often we, our reaction to another person or another child may not be as warm and as receptive as it would be to another child, and I think that's the kind of thing that I think we could be more sensitive to, and be aware, "How are we reacting?" "How is that coming across to the child?"

AI: Well, thank you so much for participating in this really long and interesting interview, and I really appreciate your time.

EH: Well, it's been an opportunity for me. I think I enjoyed it, and it's good to share ideas.

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