Last week MobileWest pulled into sunny southern California and parked at the East Los Angeles Public Library. The trailer sits in an idyllic spot next to a pond where Angelenos fish, toddlers waddle after ducks, high school students turn up the radio, and one can always find a cart selling elote (corn-on-the-cob) or shaved ice.
We kicked off our stay in East Los Angeles with two powerful stories. Miyo Ukita brought her mother, Nellie Mitani, into the booth to share her experiences in the Japanese Internment Camps during World War II. Nellie was living with her husband in Fresno, California and remembers the moment she heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. “That was the saddest time in my life.” Nellie and her husband were ordered to evacuate Fresno and sent by the government to an internment camp in Arizona. “Here we were, citizens of the country and we were treated like enemy aliens.”