“It was a chilly afternoon in the fall of 1944 when my grandfather arrived at their room in Block 17, breathless, full of excitement. There was a posting, he explained to Obaachan, on the bulletin board at the community center. There were job openings for young, able-bodied people willing to leave Heart Mountain. “A man has a factory, a farm and factory, actually, and he’s willing to relocate people from the camps to come and work for him. He’ll provide housing, plus we’ll be paid.” Most importantly, the three of them could leave Heart Mountain, its short but stifling summers; its white, tiring winters; the lack of privacy; the rumors and gossip. He would not have had to explain all of this to my grandmother. She knew this was an opportunity to leave and finally have a chance to live their lives on their own terms. Obaachan was of course interested.”
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