Densho Digital Archive
Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection
Title: Brooks Andrews Interview
Narrator: Brooks Andrews
Interviewer: Joyce Nishimura
Location: Bainbridge Island, Washington
Date: October 7, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-aemery-02-0005

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JN: Okay, well, what... let's go back to when, when the families heard of the Exclusion Order Number One. And how was your family affected by that? How did they help families prepare to leave? What were the kind of impressions that your Dad that shared with you at that time?

BA: It was just a time of, just disbelief in what was going on. And of course, everybody had a very, very short time in which to, to gather their belongings together or dispose of properties if they could, make arrangements to have a caretaker look after a house while they were gonna be gone. And so what Dad did, in the Japanese Baptist Church, in Seattle, there was a gymnasium, and Dad took tape and he marked off the gymnasium floor in ten-foot-square plots. And everybody, as much as they could, stored their belongings in, in the gymnasium in the church. And it, and it stayed there, continued that way all through until they came back after the war. And Dad, when he went, when we moved to Idaho, just outside of the camp Minidoka, he made several trips back to Seattle, in the Blue Box again, to pick up items that were stored in the basement of the gymnasium to bring back to the internees at Minidoka. But his story is that, that every time he came back to retrieve an item, the item that person wanted was always on the bottom of the pile. So he had... it seemed like he always had to un-pile everything to get that item. And I remember walking -- before we moved to Idaho -- walking down the aisles between these stacks and it seemed liked they, they were, went all the way to the ceiling. It was just a horrible time because people had maybe two weeks or maybe a little bit more to, to bring items with them to camp. And that meant they couldn't bring furniture, they couldn't bring really even any toys. The children were allowed to take one toy with them. But everybody else had to pack their belongings as much as they could in suitcases or bags. It had to be something they could carry. They couldn't bring any, any items from, from home or apartments or, or wherever they lived like that. So...

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.