Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Lillian Sato Interview
Narrator: Lillian Sato
Interviewer: Megan Asaka
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: July 6, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-slillian-01-0011

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MA: So where did you arrive, then, when you first came to...

LS: We came to Fort Lupton, that's where my aunt lived, my aunt and uncle and their family lived.

MA: What were they doing in Fort Lupton?

LS: Farming. It was all farming. And we stayed there for just a little bit, and then went to this German farmer that needed workers, someone to help him out.

MA: So how was that for you when you first arrived? I mean, what were your first impressions of Colorado?

LS: That it was cold. You know, March was still cold, and we knew nothing about farming, so it was kind of a shock to us to have to get up early in the morning, work all day in the field 'til late at night.

MA: I imagine, yeah, coming from more of an urban background.

LS: But we had a lot of fun, you know, in the city in Santa Monica with all our friends. And then coming to Colorado, and then work, work, work, work was all we did.

MA: Were there other Nisei children that you met?

LS: Uh-huh, they all did, and not just the Niseis, but there was a Russian family, and there's a German family, Italian, all kinds. But all the children worked; they all worked.

MA: So what was a typical day for you working on the farm? What would you, what type of work would you do?

LS: Well, we would, going right down the line, we would thin out the onions, and by thinning we thinned it out so they were about four to six inches apart, so that they would bulb into regular dry onions, or green beans, lettuce, and sugar beets that came in the fall, which was the hardest work.

MA: What would you have to do with sugar beets?

LS: Sugar beets, they, a tractor would come along the aisle and loosen them up, and then we would have to grab the beet itself and top off the green. And they weighed, oh, they must have weight about five, ten pounds.

MA: Each beet weighed five to ten pounds?

LS: Uh-huh. And then there were times, there was one farm that we went to, when we got done with ours, then we'd help others. And we went to this one farm and there was a huge coyote come running across the field. That's the first time I ever saw a coyote. And they were pretty common around there.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright ©2008 Densho. All Rights Reserved.