Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Nobu Suzuki Interview I
Narrator: Nobu Suzuki
Interviewer: Dee Goto
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 3, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-snobu-01-0031

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DG: So now we're into October. Okay. So the immediate press of relocating the students is over. But you begin to, or not begin -- you constantly, all through this time, talk about everybody needing to relocate and not stay in camp. Why didn't you think it was a good idea to stay in camp?

NS: Well, there was really people with nothing to do and they were just... well, I never thought that idleness was a virtue of any kind. [Laughs]

DG: You used a term...

NS: I'm always doing something.

DG: You use a term that I like; you say, "They become some good-for- nothing moochers."

NS: [Laughs] That's it. And so...

DG: So then that's why you got the girls going. Okay. Now, shortly you said there's 150 girls involved. That's a huge number when you figure that there were maybe four or five hundred in the high school, girls, and so a fairly...

NS: Fairly good number. Then I found that, I found that there was a group of national officers going from New York to California to a conference. So I persuaded them to stop at camp and...

DG: Now this is YWCA national officers who were going to go to a...

NS: To a meeting in California. So I persuaded them to stop at camp for a day and a night, and I made arrangements for them to stay in camp to see what it was like. I think it was a -- I mean, to do some interpreting and to show them what it was like. I don't think anybody else did that, but I did. [Laughs]

DG: Do you remember some of their comments or were they surprised?

NS: They were surprised, but they were grateful, too. It was unfortunate that I had an appendix operation just at that time, and I was in the hospital. I wasn't too awfully well, so I missed -- I got to the meeting and the banquet that they held for the national officers and for all the YWCA people in the neighborhood. And so we had a big banquet hall full of people with a good banquet and a meeting.

DG: Well, it says in one of your letters there was over 200 people there.

NS: Yes. We had a whole barrack full of people, which was, I thought, quite an accomplishment.

DG: And I think as many as 180 girls from camp were involved by that time.

NS: Yes.

DG: Back to...

NS: I'm glad I wrote all that down; otherwise it would be lost, wouldn't it?

DG: Right.

<End Segment 31> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.