Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: June Takahashi Interview
Narrator: June Takahashi
Interviewers: Beth Kawahara (primary), Larry Hashima (secondary)
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: November 17, 1997
Densho ID: denshovh-tjune-01-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

BK: What were your last memories of Petersburg as you left? How were the townsfolk?

JT: The townsfolk that came out... nobody came out. That was another thing that just irritated me was the fact that nobody came out to say, "Is this necessary? Do you have to, do you have to separate these people?" [Cries] And the people who came down to see us off were mostly the Indian friends that I had. They came down. And it was harder on them than it was for us because we were going on, as I say. To us kids it felt like an exciting adventure. But they were just crying and having a hard time but I didn't see any of my other friends who came down to see us off. So I really don't have too good feelings about that.

And my brother, too, when -- although he wasn't there -- in later years I talked to him and he said he was just not happy when we went back for, to get my father, I think it was, who had become very ill. He went back to pick him up and be with him. Nobody would even speak to my brother. He said it was so, it was so disagreeable. He got along fine with everybody during school days, but when he went back after the war to get my father and bring him down to Seattle to medical help, nobody would help him, nobody would talk to him. He was just so happy to leave. So when I look at all that, I think I figure now that it was pretty much, they just, they didn't want any part of us, they didn't want us back. But, after the war when everyone did go back, it was, they bought a home, because, as Frank says, his home was all trashed so they were able to get another home. I don't know if they rented it for a while, but anyway it became their home and things were better. But at the very beginning, they just didn't want you to come back there because your jobs were their jobs and nature, the same type of things that would happen anywhere. And so they had a very rough time for a while. But it was, it took several years before things got settled down again. But I know my brother said he'd never go back to Petersburg again and so he wasn't too happy about that. Although in later years, we did go back for one high school reunion, which was fun, but that's about it. I mean, I don't think that I would want to go back and live there again. The friends that I thought were my friends were no longer that cordial. They were nice during the reunion but they just weren't very cordial. Or, we had maybe one party where we went to, my girlfriend's house. But when I went out to Washington, D.C. -- this was much after the war -- but I remember calling up one of my girlfriends, close girlfriends. And I thought the least she would have said, "Why don't we get together for lunch or something," but there was nothing like that. It just really frosted me so I just didn't bother after that either.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 1997 Densho. All Rights Reserved.