Returned to Rohwer War Relocation Center Today

Rohwer Relocation Center Monument, Photo by Phil Slattery, July 5, 2020
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I have been trying lately to create my own YouTube videos and develop The Chamber’s (and mine) YouTube channel to a greater degree to attract an audience. Over the last few nights, I have made a few videos utilizing my iPhone and a photographer’s tripod. This combination makes excellent videos. However, I do have a problem uploading them to YouTube, but I am hoping to work that out soon.

Today, I thought I would make a video on how to submit a story or poem to The Chamber. I pondering this on my return to Gillett from Dumas today, where I had picked up a few groceries, medicine, etc. early this afternoon. When I started to pass the turn-off to Rohwer, it occurred to me that there is no place better suited to discuss a magazine of dark literature than at a location where a dark chapter of American History took place: Rohwer War Relocation Center National Historic Landmark.

Update November 8, 2022: I am finally returning to this post after having let it slip my mind for about two months. I did go down to Rohwer and set up my iPhone on a tripod and attempted to record a video on submitting stories to The Chamber. Setting up the camera (because of my background in photography) was simple but getting my voice to be fluent and near flawless proved difficult. I stumbled over words like I do in my daily speech, but any miniscule mistake or flaw shows up like a flare in the final cut. This is why I rarely do videos of myself–even though people who have heard me interview on the radio tell me that I have a voice for radio. I still don’t like the sound of it personally. Hearing my own recorded voice makes me feel awkward.

Rohwer War Relocation Center is an interesting place to visit. Now it is a little speck of park in the center of what seems to be nearly endless cotton fields. It is hard to imagine living in this camp and working in the cotton fields during hot summer days and then returning to the spartan conditions at the camp at the end of the day. You should drop by if you are ever in the area, which is kind of remote and off a back road northeast of McGehee, Arkansas. There are some monuments to the Japanese-Americans who served the US during WWII, a small cemetery, and several wayside exhibits describing life at the camp. A couple of miles farther south is the old train stop/ end of the line, where the prisoners got off the train. It is well preserved and has a couple of wayside exhibits. In McGehee, there is a whole museum to the camp, but my lousy timing hasn’t allowed me to get to it when it’s open yet.

I will probably go back for a third visit and take some serious photos to put in the Wikipedia article or maybe try another shot at a video for the YouTube page.

Take care.