Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Dorothy Kuwaye Interview
Narrator: Dorothy Kuwaye
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: May 13, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-kdorothy-01-0012

<Begin Segment 12>

RP: And then you came back to California. Did you settle in Covina?

DK: No, we settled in Los Angeles. And, yeah, we came back in about, when was it? 1955 I guess it was. Yeah, and been here ever since. My husband passed away in '93.

RP: And did you continue your education or pursue a career or just raising your...

DK: Oh, I worked in Los Angeles for a Dr. Wagner for thirty-six years. Soon as we came back I got a job with him and I stayed with him for thirty-eight, thirty-six years. Then he, he retired. We both retired at the same time. And then he passed away a few years ago.

RP: What did you do for him?

DK: A medical assistant.

RP: Medical assistant?

DK: Yeah.

RP: And, did he have a specialty or...

DK: No, he was general practice, uh-huh. So we had, I had thirty-six good years with him. It was real, very nice working with him.

RP: You mentioned that, that Mr. Lanfear passed away in 1945 and you made this special trip --

DK: Uh-huh, right.

RP: -- from New York to come visit to the funeral.

DK: Right, right, right.

RP: What was that like?

DK: I didn't make it for the taxes because... what was it? I was... some reason. I couldn't make it for the funeral, but I did come right after it. So I thought maybe I could be a little comfort to Annie and so, yeah that was, it was a scary experience. Just coming on the boat, on the plane -- on the train.

RP: You said there was soldiers...

DK: Oh yeah, there were a lot of soldiers. Everybody was, I don't think there were any civilians on that train at all, it seemed like. But they didn't, they were all cordial. And they didn't bother me.

RP: You heard the news about V-J Day on the train?

DK: Yeah, yeah.

RP: What happened?

DK: Well, of course, every, everybody was all excited on the train. And, I kind of stayed by myself and tried to be invisible. But, yeah, I was, of course, I was happy. On V-E Day I remember going down to Times Square and being in Times Square on V-E Day. 'Cause this other girl and I were supposed to, we ditched school. And, we were down in, in Times Square. So, that was exciting too. And this girl that we, that I ditched with, we're still in touch. We see each other. I mean, not see each other, but we correspond all the time. She's in Florida now.

RP: What was the atmosphere like in Times Square?

DK: Oh, it was wild. [Laughs] But I always remember that.

RP: So you hadn't seen the Lanfears for, what, three years or so when you came back after the funeral.

DK: Right, right. From the time we went to Heart, Heart Mountain to the funeral, yeah. And then she moved up to Modesto, so I hardly got to see her after that. We, my son took, took me up there one year and we visited with her. But...

RP: [Looking at a photograph] Oh, she looks Swedish all right.

DK: Yeah.

RP: And that's you.

DK: Yeah.

RP: Wow. He is a tall man.

DK: Yeah. He was big. He was not only tall, he was broad, too.

RP: Yeah.

Off Camera: He was six-two, yeah.

RP: Six foot, two.

DK: Yeah, but he was very gentle.

Off Camera: Uh-huh. Gentle giant, we call him.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.