Densho Digital Archive
Twin Cities JACL Collection
Title: Sally Sudo Interview
Narrator: Sally Sudo
Interviewer: Steve Ozone
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date: October 12, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ssally-01-0005

<Begin Segment 5>

SO: Okay. Did you say that you were in more than one assembly center?

SS: No, we were in Puyallup and then from there we got moved to the permanent internment camps.

SO: In Minidoka?

SS: Right, to Minidoka, Idaho.

SO: What do you remember about being there?

SS: Well, all I remember is being on a train for quite a long time. I know it was a little more than a day that we were on a train. I remember the armed guards at the end of each car with guns, and just having like little box lunches to eat. Other than that, just when we got there it was really hot and sandy and just dirt all over the place. Nothing green.

SO: So by that time you were seven?

SS: I turned seven in December of 1942 so I was six when we were moved to these different places and then I turned seven. They didn't start school until November of that year, so pretty much I was out of school from March of '42 until November.

SO: When you were in camp and school hadn't started yet, what was the day like?

SS: Well, it was just playing with other kids all the time. I mean, there were lots and lots of kids around. Of course we hardly had any equipment, but we would just make up our own games. We would get empty cans from the mess hall and play things like Kick the Can, which is like volleyball -- not volleyball, but kickball, when you would kick the can and run around the bases. Other things that you didn't need much for, like, you know, hopscotch and red rover, red rover, things like that.

SO: And were you still doing, did you have to do chores?

SS: I didn't have to do any chores. Well, I used to help my mother once in a while with the laundry, 'cause that was almost like a daily chore with all these kids. And there was a common laundry room called the sanitation building, and so there were just the washtubs with these scrub boards, and you did all the laundry by hand. So I can remember just helping her wash the small things like socks or handkerchiefs, things like that. But other than that we were just free to play all the time. There was nothing to do in the rooms because we had nothing but a bed to sleep on. So that's how we spent our time.

SO: Including your older sisters?

SS: Well, anyone who was already out of school was put to work. So in that case, it that was my three older siblings. My brother Fred who was the oldest boy in the family, he was put to work in the warehouse, just helping organize supplies for the camp and things like that. Then my older sister Marian, she was twenty-two when we went into Minidoka, she was assigned to help as an assistant at a sort of nursery school kind of setting. And then my sister Amy, she did clerical work, like in the administrative offices, but the rest of us were all school age, so we were not assigned to work. My father was put to work and he was just kind of doing like janitorial kind of jobs.

SO: He was never a cook?

SS: No. As far as I know he never cooked in camp. Although what they tried to do was they tried to make use of the professions you had before you were in the camp, but he did not have to cook.

SO: So what was it like once school started?

SS: Well, once school started, they set aside a whole block for... actually in our camp there were two elementary schools because our camp consisted of 44 blocks so it was quite spread out. And had elementary school sort of like in each half of the camp and the one I went to was called Hunt. And in the beginning I know we didn't have much in the way of supplies. Because I was there in first, second and third grade, I can remember kind of sitting on the floor gathered around the teacher kind of thing, and I know later on we had sort of like picnic-style benches to sit on but all of the teachers I had in camp were Caucasian and I wasn't sure whether they were bused in and lived outside the camp or whether they actually had rooms for them inside the camp.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright ©2009 Densho and the Twin Cities JACL. All Rights Reserved.