"Life is a bowl of cherries." I heard that phrase somewhere in my childhood and it was a very apt one for me. The camp experience forced me into a bigger world, exposed me to people who thought and acted differently than me. Surrounded by people that care most about me and whom I cared most about, life was truly "a bowl of cherries"....no work and no responsibilities, my stomach was full, and I had clothes to wear. For a 12 year-old kid, was anything else necessary? It also forced me to move into a world without farming ... especially with the subsequent move to Chicago. If we had stayed in Oregon, being a kid without much ambition and drive and being one who was very easily satisfied I would have probably become
Paul's hired hand if he would have had me, with straw sticking out of my hair. So the positive aspect of the camp was the eventual relocation to Chicago and exposure to relatively easy accessibility to institution of higher learning which led to my present contentment. I say this with some ambivalence because my immediate family keeps reminding me that although I've been removed from the country, the country has clung tenaciously to me.
It=s true, I am basically a pretty simple guy, with simple aspirations. Having been deprived of our constitutional rights may have indeed moved me into a better way of life, which was good. On the other hand, had we remained in Oregon unviolated I may have accomplished much less, which is bad. Or is it?
The Camps: Tule Lake, Minidoka