The story is an offbeat memoir of the American West based on his childhood in Cheyenne, Wyoming, after World War II and his experiences living around the state until he moved to Boulder, Colorado, circa 1993.
Alan’s original story is available on the Boulder Community Media website. He relates his experiences in the context of the current social and cultural divides prevalent in the United States today and the consequential need for greater civility.
Social change happens one person at a time. After Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which established the War Relocation Authority that ordered 120,000 Japanese-Americans to uproot and be transported by train to 10 relocation centers.
Japanese, including Alan’s family members, who resided in the U.S. interior, including Wyoming and Colorado, were considered “Interned in place.” They avoided life in camps like Heart Mountain near Yellowstone National Park and Granada in Southeast Colorado.
Nonetheless, Alan and his family were still subject to the subtle and overt racism toward Japanese residents during and after the War. He recounts his experiences and weaves them with the history of the once vibrant Japanese neighborhood in the 400 and 500 blocks of West 17th Street in downtown Cheyenne.