Densho Digital Archive
Topaz Museum Collection
Title: Helen Harano Christ Interview
Narrator: Helen Harano Christ
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 18, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-chelen-01-0016

HC: But then one of the things that I remember and left an impression on me was when we were in Tanforan, we had this chain link fence all around the camp. And we lived maybe quarter of a block away from the fence, and the fence was guarded by soldiers who walked back and forth with their guns on their shoulders. And I was feeling wistful one day and went up to the fence, and I heard a rustling in the grass. I really was kind of wistful for what was outside the fence, and thinking, "You know, I used to be able to do that," and what's going on in the world now. And watching the cars go by and people going by and all. Then there was a snake that rustling around in the grass, and I, I saw it and I put my foot out like this to kind of, or away, and when I moved my foot, and it must have frightened him 'cause it wiggled right underneath the fence, and I thought, "Oh, that garter snake has a lot more freedom than I have, it can go under the fence and go away, and I can't do that." And I kind of felt awful sorry for myself for a long time after that, realizing that freedom was, is a very important thing, and that we are not to take it for granted.

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