Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Mary Hirata Interview
Narrator: Mary Hirata
Interviewers: Beth Kawahara (primary), Alice Ito (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: March 27, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-hmary-01-0015

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BK: At that time, was there any kind of concern about "what was going to happen to us next," or was it just a much more pleasant time, in terms of, kind of, getting to know one another and getting to...

MH: Well, for people of my age, I believe it was a time to -- we weren't smart enough to figure out that, "what if we get stuck here forever?" like the older kids, and the ones that are in high school and getting out. All we thought about was making friends and doing all the things. I don't know if everybody else felt the same way, but for me it was kind of an adventure to... and Mom and Dad were always in good spirits, they never were sad. I don't remember my folks ever getting really upset. The times that we were in camp, it was always, they always kept everything quite pleasant.

BK: Do you recall your brothers' moods while in Puyallup?

MH: They never... I guess because my family's more like that, we, I don't ever remember them getting mad or raising a rumpus or... they all worked, they all got jobs of some sort. Like Teddy says, "Oh, yes, I did latrine duty." So can you imagine, he was a garbage man? But he says, "It was something to do," so, they did it when we were in Puyallup, and then, when he went to Minidoka, he decided, well, he got into delivery. My other brothers all went into other... my one brother was doing, driving the trucks in Minidoka, and things like that.

BK: So, you're leaving Puyallup. At that time, was there any discussion about where you were going to go?

MH: We were wondering, of course. I'm sure my brothers knew, but you know me, I just tagged along. The only thing I was upset about was that we went on trains that were so old, they had velour seats. And of course, the water wasn't good, and I got so sick on the train. Quite a few of us did, because of the water. And then, we couldn't have our shades up, because they wouldn't want anybody to see us, so the shades had to be down. And that's the only thing I never liked about it, was because... and there was no place for us that got sick, so Mother put -- I know, there was somebody else that was in the same car as we were that was sick -- so they just put us down on the floor, in between the seats, and that's where we, I slept all the way to Minidoka. And then, to get there and see the dust, it... it was quite a surprise.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.