Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Bob Y. Sakata Interview
Narrator: Bob Y. Sakata
Interviewer: Daryl Maeda
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 14, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-sbob-01-0014

<Begin Segment 14>

DM: So you, you mentioned that you thought Governor Carr's stance was very heartening and courageous, and Colorado State University, so you were drawn to the state of Colorado. But what drew you to the place that you eventually settled? Where was that, first of all?

BS: Well, every, every time, I guess, on every person's life there's some kind of a break that really comes. And when I, I batched and worked for a farmer over there, his name was Bill Schluter, S-C-H-L-U-T-E-R. And he and I became very, very close friends, very close friends. And somehow or the other he really was impressed with whatever I did, and he would, he invited me to dinner. He said, join Mrs. Schluter and invited me in his house, and boy, that was a feast. And he, he started to ask questions -- he was a man of few words. He started to ask questions where, "You really like farming, don't you?" I said, "Yes, I do, Mr. Schluter." Then the other question was, "What is your family gonna be doing?" I said, "You know, I really don't know, but there is one thing that we've decided, that we don't think we will be going back to California." And that was about it, was the conversation, was about it.

And then a few months later, why, he called me in again for dinner, and he said, asked, he said, "Well, how much money does your whole family have if you put it all together?" I said, "I really don't know, but I think, I think we have probably about, about $1,200 that we were able to save." And that was about it that day. And then the next time he called me up for dinner, why, he said, "I'm gonna buy you a farm. Call your, call your family to Colorado." And he showed me the forty-acre farm that he wanted to buy, buy for us, and that's how it all started.

And that forty-acre farm was six thousand dollars, 150 dollars an acre. And he said, "I'll loan you that, and I bought it, and you just pay me back whenever you can." And that's how we started in Colorado. And so I immediately called my brother and told him what was going on here, and he said, "That's great because he got news that the camps will be closing because the war was ending. And so that's how the whole family came to Colorado.

DM: So this was, this, when he bought the farm, must have been in late 1944?

BS: Yes.

DM: Let me, let me back up just a little bit and... so how did you, how did you hook up with Bill Schluter?

BS: It was just the grace of God, I guess. [Laughs] That I needed a place to go, and I knew some friends that said, "He's a good man, he can probably use you." So that's how we got together.

DM: Was that, had you already come to Brighton at that point?

BS: Yes.

DM: Okay.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright ©2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.