Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Jim M. Tanimoto Interview
Narrator: Jim M. Tanimoto
Interviewers: Tom Ikeda (primary); Barbara Takei (secondary)
Location: Gridley, California
Date: December 10, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-tjim-01-0014

JT: Well, Block 42 is situated in such a way that on the west side, there was a big firebreak. There was no, no more building, we was on the west side. And the closest thing on the west side was the barbed wire fence and the guard towers. And there was a pile of lumber over there, lumberyard. And during the nighttime, you couldn't imagine all the traffic going over there, and they're bringing lumber back. I've seen it in the movies where the actor spots the spotlight coming and they all drop down to the ground. Well, over there, like I say, we had guard towers and they had these lights going back and forth. And every time the lights would come their direction, they'd stop and they'd lay on the ground. And just when the light passed, they'd get up and they were walking. And most people had lumber on... and they're using this lumber to build a porch or something that they want to put their, what they own, so they have more room inside the apartment and they wanted to make a little place to store something. And some of 'em was ingenious enough that they tied a long rope, and they tied the lumber with this long rope, and they'd walk. And then after they got so far, they'd pull the rope. But other people just put it on their shoulder and they carried it out. But we eventually built our porch, too. So after we got our porch built, it was nighttime, we'd just sit there and we could see lumber going by like you can't believe.

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