Densho Digital Archive
Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL Collection
Title: Tom I. Mine Interview
Narrator: Tom I. Mine
Location: Watsonville, California
Date: July 29, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-mtom_2-01-0022

<Begin Segment 22>

TI: Well, there's one thing, you mentioned earlier you were drafted but didn't have to, you had an exemption.

TM: Yeah.

TI: During the camp, the government came out with that questionnaire, that "loyalty questionnaire."

TM: Yeah, yeah.

TI: Do you, do you remember that?

TM: Yeah. I forgot when we received it, "yes" and "no," yeah.

TI: Yeah, it was 1943.

TM: I guess, '43...

TI: Or end of '42, early '43.

TM: Yeah, January '43.

TI: So describe what happened with that questionnaire at Poston. Did that cause some problems or anything?

TM: Well, there's lot of, some commotion going on, and I looked at it and said, I don't know what I signed, either "yes" or "no." [Laughs] I just signed. And there was some commotion going on. I didn't want to get involved, so I just stayed out. Some, some Niseis were, you know... I don't blame them to be that way, but I didn't want to get involved in it, so I just stayed in the background.

TI: Now, did your, now that you were in camp, did your exemption still hold, so they didn't try to draft...

TM: That I had, I had no idea.

TI: So they never tried to draft you again, though.

TM: No, they start working on you later on when you start moving around, I started moving around. I went out looking for a job. Or just mainly, I was looking for a job, I got curious. I didn't want to sit in the camp, so I just went out to Salt Lake City one year, one time, then I went into Seabrook Farm, said, well, since being a farmer, I went over there and looked around over there.

TI: And what did you see when you went to Seabrook?

TM: Well, it's just like any frozen food product, like he had frozen food product here. Just an excuse to get out of the camp, travel.

TI: And so when you saw Seabrook and looked at it, you weren't that interested.

TM: No, no. Just, just a way to get out.

TI: And then Salt Lake City, what did you look at?

TM: Just looked around.

TI: And then, so nothing was really that interesting to you.

TM: No, no, not the work.

TI: Well then when the war ended, they allowed people to come back to, to California.

TM: Yeah, '45.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL. All Rights Reserved.