Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Hal Keimi Interview
Narrator: Hal Keimi
Interviewers: Brian Niiya (primary), Emily Anderson (secondary)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: February 5, 2019
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-458-10

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EA: So we're going to switch gears a little bit, Hal. So as part of your activities as a kid in camp, I know you ended up getting involved with the Boy Scouts. Do you remember how you first found out about the Boy Scouts or what led you to get involved?

HK: No, other than my brother first joined the Scouts... because when I got there, I was too young. I think you had to be twelve years old to be a Scout, so I became a Cub Scout. So I was a Cub Scout for a year or whatever, and my mother even got involved, so my mother was a den mother. And even with her being a den mother, I don't remember what we did as a Cub Scout, any activities.

EA: What troop were you with?

HK: So from the Cub Scouts, and when I became, I guess, old enough, then I became a Boy Scout, and in the camp it was Troop 379. And so the Cub Scout pack was connected with 379, so the Cub Scout pack, I think, was called Pack 37, the first two numbers of 379.

EA: So you don't remember much about the Cub Scouts?

HK: I recall little or nothing about what we did as a Cub Scout.

EA: What about once you were upgraded into Boy Scouts? What do you remember about being in the Boy Scouts?

HK: Well, this is Troop 379, we went to troop meetings. I don't recall much about the activities because I was a first-timer and I just had to follow along and see what everybody else is doing.

EA: So, I know that Heart Mountain ended up with some of the... so Troop 379 is the Koyasan, the big famous Koyasan troop, right?

HK: Correct.

EA: So the other boys in your troop, were those the Koyasan kids mainly, or were there kids from other areas that ended up joining as well?

HK: Oh, okay, I have no idea where the other 379 people came from.

EA: Were the other Scouts in your troop, were they mostly in your same block? I mean, how did you end up getting connected with that troop as opposed to one of the other ones?

HK: I don't know how. My brother had some connection, because he was in 379. So he was in 379, so that's why I ended up in 379. And I do not know how he got started in 379, because there were seven troops there in Heart Mountain.

EA: Did you guys get to go on any local camping trips or things? Because I know you guys did Yellowstone, but were there more local activities that you were able to do?

HK: I do not recall anything other than the Yellowstone (camping trip).

EA: What do you remember about the Yellowstone trip?

HK: The Yellowstone trip? We slept in this one big building. One incident was, one night, there was a bear that came right into the camp area, so that was a big deal. Main thing was just to stay out of the way, maybe go take a look outside and then go back inside the building.

EA: Did you see the bear?

HK: I did not, but everybody was saying there was a bear there, so watch out.

EA: So I know that you got to know Bill Shishima, because you guys were in the same block, and Bill was in a different Scout troop, right?

HK: Correct.

EA: He was in...

HK: 333.

EA: So did the two of you... the two of you hung out. You got to know each other, and did you guys do things together when you were there at Heart Mountain?

HK: We knew each other because we lived right next to each other. And I know I saw a picture of our softball team, and he was in that picture. And he was on the corner, he was not a player, so obviously he was one of our helpers or a coach or assistant coach. So he helped out in that matter, so I saw a lot of them, we were playing some of the sports.

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