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Title: Floyd Shimomura Interview
Narrator: Floyd Shimomura
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Emeryville, California
Date: March 11, 2019
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-466-1

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TI: So today is March 11, 2019, we're in Emeryville, California, at the Hyatt House. We're interviewing Floyd Shimomura, on camera is Dana Hoshide, and then interviewing is me, Tom Ikeda. And so, Floyd, I'm going to start off at the beginning of your life. Can you tell me where and when you were born?

FS: Well, I was born on March 13, 1948, on the Tufts Ranch, which is about two miles west of Winters, California, and it's on a road that's referred to as the Horseshoe. And so if you say you lived on the Horseshoe, then everyone in Winters knows where you live. Because there's a road that comes out of Winters, Highway 128, and it goes from Winters up into the mountains and it runs west. And the Horseshoe is a road that goes off from the main road and then just loops around and comes back (to it) again, but it's almost like a big box shape. So it kind of looks like a horseshoe on the map.

TI: And where on that horseshoe is the Tufts Ranch?

FS: The Tufts Ranch is on the eastern side of the horseshoe, coming down from the freeway, or the highway. And then I'll let you ask the next question.

TI: Well, so if I went to Winters and asked an old timer, and mentioned the Tufts Ranch, would people know where that is?

FS: Yeah, I think so.

TI: So tell me a little bit about the Tufts Ranch, or Tufts family, because, why were you born there? Why didn't you talk about that a little bit?

FS: Well, the Tufts family, the senior member of the Tufts family is named Warren Tufts, and his title is Professor Tufts, because he was a pomology professor at UC Davis, and in fact, he became the head of the department. And he lived in Davis and he had a son, and he was a junior, he had exactly the same name, Warren Tufts, Jr. And Warren Tufts, Sr., I think, got the farm around 1924. And UC Davis had an experimental farm out on the south side of Putah Creek, which is the opposite of where the Tufts Ranch was. So he was out at the experimental farm a lot, and I guess had the opportunity to buy this farm and acquired it.

TI: And so what was your family connection? Why were you born there?

FS: Well, (I was born) in 1948. Obviously that was about three years after the camps closed. My parents, after they left the camp, took a train and went to Sacramento. And then from Sacramento, they got a job in the Fairfield area, I don't know if you know where that is, but it's about 20 miles south of Winters, so it's pretty close to Winters but kind of in the next town, that area. And my grandfather knew one of his friends' son returned earlier from camp and became a foreman there for a big ranch, and hired our family to work on it. And they stayed in a little cabin there, it was pretty basic, but at least they had some place to stay. But after being there for about a year or so, Warren Tufts, Jr., contacted my dad and invited him to come back to the ranch.

TI: Okay. Now, before the war, was there a family connection to the Tufts family?

FS: Yes, they were our neighbors, because the Horseshoe goes south and then it goes west and then it goes north again. And the ranch that my father and grandfather lived on as tenant farmers was on the south side. So it's really the bottom part of the Horseshoe, and Putah Creek is on the south border of that ranch. So it's really a great property because the soil near, that's right near the creek bed, Putah Creek, it's like the richest soil in that little valley area. And my grandfather, I think, came onto that farm around 1921, and became a tenant farmer there. And then my dad was born in 1920, about the same time that they went on the ranch.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2019 Densho. All Rights Reserved.