Densho Digital Archive - Sumi Okamoto Interview (denshovh-osumi-01-0016)
Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Sumi Okamoto Interview
Narrator: Sumi Okamoto
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Spokane, Washington
Date: April 26, 2006
Densho ID: denshovh-osumi-01-0016

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MA: What did you, what did you do after he was...

SO: I went to secretarial school and learned to do shorthand. I learned how to type already 'cause I learned that in high school. And during that time, we were still at the hotel, so my father-in-law was cleaning the halls and making the beds and everything, and he, he took care of my kids while, for half a day while I was at the secretarial school, and then they went after that, the kids, those kids, the kids went to school, grade school. And let's see, did I start... I started working in 1955, I started working for the public assistance office, state public assistance office, and I worked until 1985 and then I retired. I worked for the vocational rehabilitation office, that's, which is a state, state job, and so I worked for thirty years and retired.

MA: So right after your husband passed away, you then lived with his parents?

SO: His, his, my husband's dad was doing the, cleaning the halls and making the beds and everything like that, so he took care of the children while I went to school for half a day, and then we moved to a little house behind my sister's house. It was just a little house, but it was good enough for us, and we stayed there for, oh, until my children went to college. And then after they went to college, of course, they moved, my youngest daughter went to Seattle and she was a speech therapist for a while, and my son went to Gonzaga, then he went to Seattle to finish his education, to University of Washington. And my middle, my oldest daughter went to... let me see, what do you call it? Fort Wright college there, got her degree, so she's a medical technologist. And so... we stayed, we were behind my sister's house for quite a while, and they grew up there with their children, too.

MA: Was this your sister, Miyo?

SO: Uh-huh, yeah. So they, they played with them.

MA: What was, you said you went to school. What was that like? Was it secretarial school?

SO: You mean me?

MA: Yeah.

SO: Oh, yeah, it's a... what is it called? It's a secretarial school, you learn how to type and do shorthand, and I remember, I think that was about it. It was right downtown, it was not far from the hotel where I was living, about four blocks.

MA: How long did it take for you to complete those...

SO: Oh, it only took about, let me see, about six months, I think, and then I started working for public assistance department as a secretary, so I was lucky. [Laughs]

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2006 Densho. All Rights Reserved.