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Interview with Robert Y.S. Steamy Chow

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Item Summary

Title:Interview with Robert Y.S. Steamy Chow
Contributors:Nishimoto, Warren (interviewer)
Chow, Robert Y.S. Steamy (interviewee)
Keywords:Hawaii (island)
Law Enforcement
Natural Disasters
South Hilo (district)
Date Issued:1998
Series:Tsunamis Remembered: Oral Histories of Survivors and Observers in Hawaii Volume I
Source:29-1-1-98, 29-4-2-98, 29-5-2-98, 29-9-3-98
Description:A Hilo-born retired police officer describes his parents’ background, father’s shoe repair shop, childhood jobs selling newspapers and shining shoes, downtown Hilo neighborhood, toys and games, and Hilo Union School education. He talks about the military presence on the Big Island following the Pearl Harbor attack and the interaction of military and civilian police. The 1946 tsunami is detailed in a street-by-street and wave-by-wave sequence of events. His duties included identifying bodies, surveying the damage, and helping in the cleanup. He also covers the 1960 tsunami with another street-by-street description of wave action, damages, and cleanup. He reflects on his philosophy of helping people which stemmed from the 1946 tsunami, tsunami education, and Pacific Tsunami Museum founding and volunteer work.
police officer, insurance agent; Chinese; male
Interview conducted in English.
Pages/Duration:3 hr, 15 min
56 pages
Coverage (Spatial):Hilo, Hawaii (island)
Appears in Collections: Tsunamis Remembered: Oral Histories of Survivors and Observers in Hawai‘i

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