Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: James T. Johnston - William R. Johnston - Dorothy J. Whitlock Interview
Narrators: James T. Johnston, William R. Johnston, Dorothy J. Whitlock
Interviewer: Kristen Luetkemeier
Location: Sedona, Arizona
Date: April 16, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-jjames_g-01-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

KL: What did you all think of the forest?

WJ: Oh, we didn't get, wander around that much.

DW: I think everybody -- yeah.

WJ: There was one little stretch of woods, if you remember, back to the north of our barracks, we had nice, big hickory nut trees. We used to go back there and...

DW: I liked those. You had to cross that ditch to get there.

JJ: I don't know if it was on the camp or off the camp, but I do have flashback memories of, as a little kid, picking up pecans.

DW: Oh, yeah. We went out of the camps to --

JJ: That was out the camps?

WJ: Out of the camps.

DW: Yeah, we went as a family out gathering pecans over by the --

JJ: Real fine memory, just... in my mind it was just wide open, beautiful forest.

DW: Probably somebody, pecan growers.

KL: Yeah, farm. [Laughs]

WJ: Now, there was a lot of native pecans in that part of the country.

DW: All the way up to, there's pecans all along the levees in --

WJ: In fact, we went to and stayed at Lake Chicot state park, which is not too far. And the whole park was...

DW: The little wild pecans.

WJ: Tame, not tame, but wild. No, wild.

DW: The little wild pecans.

WJ: Little small wild pecans. Every tree in the whole camping area was pecans. We were there in the fall and they were thick.

KL: What do you guys... there were Indian mounds that I've read were kind of near Rohwer, too. Do you have memories of those or talking about earlier residents?

DW: I do, but I don't know whether it was near Rohwer.

WJ: Well, remember Joe Stroud who lived in McArthur, that's the next little town between Rohwer and McGehee. I'd gotten to be friends with him while she was friends with Barbara Gould, and I'd go out to his house, and they had Indians mounds right beside their house, dig up areas.

DW: Just always... all my life growing up, seemed like Indian mounds are part of that part of the world.

WJ: That part of the world there was always Indian mounds. They'd leveled an awful lot of 'em off.

DW: And the bayous.

WJ: Oh, yeah, the bayous.

DW: Oh, remember the fish frys we used to have from the camp?

KL: At Rohwer?

DW: Yeah. We'd go out to... now, this would have been the Caucasians, because it was before they were letting the Japanese out. But we would go out on the banks of the bayous and the guys would catch fish all day and would have these great big kettles, have big fish frys. All us kids running down...

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.