Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Nancy K. Araki Interview II
Narrator: Nancy K. Araki
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Los Angeles, California
Date: July 19, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-anancy-02-0002

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TI: So describe, tell me about what it was like for you just working the farm, the pea farm.

NA: When we were, when we were young, of course, all we were doing much more is kind of like having fun as kids, and I think my dad eventually, as we got to be teenagers, then we had our jobs that we had to do. And what my dad had established was a good crew of workers that would come every year, and he would have a set number of people, and he was pretty strict about the set number of people 'cause he felt that he can, they can also earn good monies that way and so he had his own sense about, but he definitely demanded some kind of quality. So Mr. Ochoa was the foreman of this group of pickers that would come up from Delano and find their way to my dad's place. But there's a couple of interesting stories here, but as we got older it was our job to then go out there and man the weighing booth. That was my job. And my brothers, we would all make the pea crates, and then eventually as, when they turned, the oldest, the brother next to me turned sixteen, he had to drive, he became one of the drivers of the truck down to the market and he would do that. It's a hundred, about a hundred and fifty, hundred and sixty mile trip into the night into the market. Next day come back up, then the next loaded truck, truckload of peas, would go down. So both of the two brothers that are right under me, they, as soon as they turned sixteen they were doing that kind of job. But prior to that, as we were growing up, we would do all the kind of like out in the fields. Now, my dad's crop -- I think I told you this -- he had a one crop season, unlike most farmers, was just a one crop deal, but because he just basically wanted to fish the rest of the time, sports fishing. So we had, our life growing up was during the school year we would be in San Francisco going to school, but during the summertime we would be all moved up to Mendocino and we'd have a farming life.

TI: And what would your mother do during that time, when, the farming life? What was her role?

NA: Well, we had cousins that would come and work. As you know, then a lot of the Japanese American families, if you had a farming relative, cousins who were city-bound cousins would be sent up there to either work to make some monies for their schooling or shape up or whatever, and so there were several cousins that would come up, or cousins and friends would be part of it. So Mom would be the cook, of course, and then, but she's also the bookkeeper of the farm, so she'd maintain that kind of business part of it as well as the chore of the farm, I mean, cooking the meals and all that.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.