Densho Digital Archive
Frank Abe Collection
Title: Dave Kawamoto Interview
Narrator: Dave Kawamoto
Interviewers: Frank Abe (primary); Frank Chin (secondary)
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: August 1993
Densho ID: denshovh-kdave-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

FA: In camp, when you got to Heart Mountain, what was your first impression of the camp itself; physical layout, temperature, the camp, Heart Mountain?

DK: Well, the camp, our first impression at the camp when we arrived was really devastating in that they had this big dust storm when we arrived, and it was hot and that's what we were, have to put up with.

FC: What happened to your stuff in your farm? How did you, what happened to that stuff? How did you deal with your farm when you had to leave, had all your possessions?

DK: I left my farm equipment, my home and my car, I left it with a neighbor, Mr. Beecroft. And he said, "Oh, no problem, I'll take care of it for you. You'll be home in six months, everything will be over by then." So he said, "I'll take care of it," so I left it with him. I didn't even board up the house, doors or the window, and I left it just the way it was. And we came home to a home that was just the way it was.


FA: So tell me, Dave, just tell me about, you left with King, your dog King. Did you leave any pets behind?

DK: Yes, we did. We left our, our two pets with the neighbors. At first I was going to put 'em to sleep, but my neighbor says, "Oh no, no." He says, "We'll take care of 'em for six months," so I left it with them. And the small dog, after several days, it started to eat. By my dog wouldn't eat or drink. She put out water for him and feed for him, and just wouldn't touch it. And walked around the house and just left a path, and just passed away lonely and sad.

I'd like to relate one incident where... it was during vacation, school vacation, and I was working on my car. And about three or four of the wrestler friends came, came over. And you know how they stick their hands out to shake hands? I don't know where my dog came from but he grabbed that hand and wouldn't let go. And he left a big gash in his hand, so we had to take him to the hospital. But he went wherever I went, and I believe just before the executive order, he felt something different because he had his tail between his legs and just moping.

FA: How did you get the news that King died?

DK: My neighbor wrote a letter, and she gave me the progress of what the animals were doing. And she says she couldn't get 'em to eat or drink.

FA: How did you feel about that?

DK: Well, I think we all cried in the camp. [Laughs]

FC: Any dogs in camp?

DK: No. Towards the end, I guess, I seen some house pets.

FC: What kind of dog was King? Shepherd?

DK: It was a German Shepherd.

FC: Say that King was a German Shepherd.

DK: King was a German Shepherd, and a friend of mine gave me the first choice of his litter, and there were two males, and one was a small puppy and the other one was much bigger. But for some reason or not, I chose the smaller dog, and that grew up to be the bigger dog. [Laughs]

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1993, 2005 Frank Abe and Densho. All Rights Reserved.