Densho Digital Archive
New Mexico JACL Collection
Title: Roy Ebihara Interview
Narrator: Roy Ebihara
Interviewer: Andrew Russell
Location: Roswell, New Mexico
Date: March 7, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-eroy-02-0017

<Begin Segment 17>

AR: So what were you saying about the mountains?

RE: Well during the thunderstorms we would all sit around or stand around and watch the lightning strikes. There were times the lightning would hit some trees and there would be small forest fires. And the Forest Service would quickly get up there and douse the fire. But it was always a spectacular sight to see bolts of lightning hitting tall pine trees.

AR: And even on clear days it's beautiful mountain range, huh?

RE: Yes.

AR: You said that you and some of your siblings actually hiked those hills.

RE: Uh-huh. I would believe my brother Ben initiated that. You know, he was a teenager and was always daring to do things, and so we never got too far. Us kids only went part of the way, always followed the crick that ran down the mountain so that we wouldn't get lost. We had to have some landmarks or something to come back to. The crick ran down and along in front of Mr. Tenney's cottage there. And, would you believe, that's where we gathered the watercress, in that area. It was always something, yes.

AR: Did you, was there any flack for going on that long hike?

RE: No, you know, we never said anything. So apparently, you know, they ignored the fact that we were kids, and kids needed to travel to do things.

AR: And there were no guards or guard towers?

RE: No, they pretty much, the immigration authorities really trusted us.

AR: And where could you go, right?

RE: Yeah. And we became very close, so nobody's gonna run away or go anywhere. Where would we go? We also, kids, used to, we used to entrap trouts on the streams, and by golly it was fun catching trout.

AR: So there's another stream on that side of the camp?

RE: Uh-huh. The stream ran over to that area, and of course, seasonally it ran continuously, sometimes a little low, sometimes with the rains up in the mountains, the crick would rise. But we created a dam so to speak, or rocks, let the water sieve through, chase the trout downstream and then we would trap 'em in that pool and net 'em out.

AR: So there's a little creek on this side of the camp and a little creek on...

RE: Uh-huh, the little crick there was more of the small cricks and the bigger cricks ran from that way.

AR: I see, uh-huh.


AR: Was there any kind of a, you know, marking at the entrance to the camp or anything like that?

RE: No, there was a gate.

AR: A gate.

RE: There was a gate. Most likely they wanted to keep any people of curiosity out of here.


AR: There's another part of it, is this too far down to be part of the housing?

RE: Yeah, 'cause I remember there was, it was from that road, we'd not paid much attention, us kids used to walk down here, go across the roadway, and up to the farmer's. He had a little orchard and we used to raid that during, when the apple was growing in the fall. Ate green apples.

AR: But you said that the house, the cottages your sisters lived in were much closer to the guard tower?

RE: Right there, yeah, right up in there. The first quarters you hit was right to the left side. And then there was the next one, where my sisters lived in, and then administrators' building up over where the fireplace is. So there were three.

AR: Pretty closely together.

RE: Yeah, pretty close together indeed.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2008 New Mexico JACL and Densho. All Rights Reserved.