Tag Archives: japanese american relocation

A Southern California Life

3 Nov
This is the second installment by Marlene Duckworth (see the first post on September 22, 2012).  Drawing by the author.
 
I was seven when we became involved in World War II.  My earliest memory is of finding out that some of my friends had disappeared.  At the time my mom, dad and I were living in a one room apartment on Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles down the street from Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, later sold to Scientology. 
 
There was a small market on the next block where my folks shopped; one with a butcher on one side and a produce section in the front of the store like many markets in those days.  The produce section was run by a Japanese family who had a daughter that went to school with me.  Some days after school she would either come over to my apartment for a snack or I would go over to the market and have a snack in the back of the store with her family.
 
One evening I went with my dad to the store and I noticed the produce section had different people there that I didn’t recognize.  I asked my dad where my friends were.  He didn’t know so he asked the butcher.  My dad had lifted me up so I could talk to the butcher.  He told us that the Japanese family had been taken away.  I understood that we were at war but not why that would mean this family that I felt close to and had been very kind to me had been taken away.  I still don’t understand it.