Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Laurie Sasaki Interview
Narrator: Laurie Sasaki
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: Richmond, California
Date: April 16, 2010
Densho ID: denshovh-slaurie-01-0018

<Begin Segment 18>

RP: Do you remember the day that you left Poston?

LS: I remember we had to go to, I guess it was Poston. Was that the name of the...

RP: Oh, that small town?

LS: Small town.

RP: Parker?

LS: Parker. That's it. We went to Parker and got on the train. I remember that. Going through Barstow and coming up to Oakland.

RP: Another very common recollection of folks who went to camp was the shades being drawn on the train when they went into camp.

LS: Oh, so I didn't experience that.

RP: Right. But, I don't know how it was going back from camp to...

LS: We were on a train filled with army people. Just think that all the soldiers were on this train. I don't know where they were going but they were all soldiers on that train. And...

RP: How did that, how did that feel? Did you get special attention?

LS: [Laughs] Yeah, right, we had this whole train full of armed people. Yeah, we had... all of the soldiers were on that train. As I said, I cannot remember why they were on the train but we were, we were kind of, "My gosh, what is this all about?" We're getting an escort out of camp. And that train was horrible. That's the only thing that I remember is that that train ride was so horrible. Just every time it stopped somewhere, I think they were, they had a new conductor on, in training or something. And I mean it would just bang and just shutter all over the place and, but we finally made it up to Oakland. Then we had to stay in the Oakland Buddhist church for about a week. And so, until we found the housing in Richmond.

RP: So the church had been set up as a hostel?

LS: Yes, yes.

RP: And were there quite a few families that were there?

LS: Yes, uh-huh. There were families there.

RP: How did they lay that out? Was it just cots lined up?

LS: Right. Yeah. So that was kind of different to be sleeping in this great big old hall with cots all lined up.


RP: Right, at least in camp you had a wall, a wooden wall between you and...

LS: Right, right. And then later, you know, when everybody started to leave then the apartments opened up and so my sisters got to move into another section of the block. And so they had their own little unit. And then when one of the, the... there's only one sister living over there then I moved in with her. So, you know, as people left and there was more room then we were able to move around the barracks there.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2010 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.