Heart Mountain, as seen from Tak and Emmy's homestead © kjm
I'm having an exciting week.
On Wednesday, I visited with an aunt, uncle and cousin in Denver, who I hadn't seen in a decade. In the telling of family stories, I learned new things about my dad's family, from both before and after the war. And now I'm in Cody, Wyoming, visiting the area around the former Heart Mountain internment camp site, where the family (minus two aunts, who headed East) was sent from Tule Lake.
My path here is a result of a panel discussion I was on in the Fall, where I discussed my Camp Home project, and the history of my family's incarceration during the war. At the presentation was a professor from the University of Wyoming, who informed me that he and others from the university were researching the reuse of buildings from Heart Mountain. Barracks were re-purposed at all the sites, but at Tule Lake, the program of homesteading by veterans, and their use of the buildings, had been the compelling component in Camp Home. I've come to now know that homesteading, with incredible similarities, occurred here as well.
In the past two days, I've already met fantastic and kind people, including three original homesteaders now in their 80's. On many levels, it feels so right to be making this work, and I'm excited to have started phase two of Camp Home.