Camp as a Young Boy

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I think camp would have been a very different experience for me say, if I had been in high school or say if I had been in college or later- you know, a working person. But for a grammar school aged boy, it was not a bad experience. I think I would characterize it altogether as almost a positive experience. 

In other words, I had, up until that time, grown up in the city. You know, we were living in East Los Angeles- it’s now what’s called Boyle Heights. And I never really had spent time out in the country. So it was brand new to me. We would go in camp… for instance, Poston was 3 miles from the Colorado River so like every weekend, we would go to the Colorado River and go swimming, and it’s something you wouldn’t do if you lived in Los Angeles- no such place around.

We spent a lot of time outdoors. I learned how to fish. I learned how to swim. In fact, I remember I used to enjoy coming home. I could swim across the Colorado River even though I was only 8 or 9, and so I would tell my mother, “Well, mom, I went to California again today.” And she would kind of smile and not say anything. But anyways, it was a different experience. We spent a lot of time outdoors.

In our block, for instance, we raised animals- pigeons and rabbits,- and every once in a while we would have a rabbit feast- a bunch of barbequed rabbits we would eat. So we did things like that that you would never do if you were growing up in Los Angeles. So in a way, it was a different kind of enjoyable experience.

Date: July 2, 2014
Location: California, US
Interviewer: Sakura Kato
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Bar Association

boyle heights camp Colorado East Los Angeles incarceration Poston relocation River

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