Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Tom Matsuoka Interview
Narrator: Tom Matsuoka
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Ridgefield, Washington
Date: May 7, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-mtom-01-0009

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AI: Now, when you were working there, is that when you first found out about baseball? How did you first get interested in baseball?

TM: Oh, baseball? Well now, my dad saw it at kids' school and everything. "Maybe we have to move out from Barneston," about one year after I came. "And if go back to Japan, whole family, I need quite a little expense, too." So Dad said, "Well, I don't know what's best to do is visit Japan or start something go out from sawmill." I guess he must have decided to start a farm. That's what he likes. That's why he moved to O'Brien where start farming. Well, it was pretty good when father was started with the farm, was pretty good because end of the first world war and all the farmer and pig farm, everything, was making pretty good. The father started. Well, by gosh, I think 1920 I'm pretty sure he started. President changed again and the war is over and that was hard time on the farming again. [Laughs] But for myself, anyway, springtime when planting season come, Dad want help, too. I quit Barneston and I went to help my dad in planting cabbage, and he had 10 acre cabbage and that's all plant by the hand. Take a long time to plant that 10 acre cabbage. Anyway, and he had a contract so Libby, Libby Canning Company, and they had canning company in Kent. Well, we finished the planting cabbage then nothing to do.

Well, then I go back to work in the, work in the sawmill again. So I went. Yeah. I went out to Seattle and look the employment office. There was one in Main Street those days. You go there, all kind of work they have in show window. And there was one looking for the man for the sawmill. That's a Port Angeles. I said, "Okay, I go Port Angeles." So I went to the Port Angeles sawmill. Then that time I didn't stay too long. Anyway, I come back again. Then I don't know how -- oh, yeah. Then I help the dad again next year. Next year is Dad was moved to the different place, different farm. And I help little bit in the spring. Then I went out. That's right. I went back to the sawmill again. That's the same Port Angeles, same place I was. And I work there and, by gosh, and springtime come. There is a bunch of Japanese boys. They want to play baseball. That's what I started, baseball over there because they are the one -- he was in some university in Japan and ballplayer and he was a real good catcher and he was a ballplayer. And by started, quite a few ballplayer. Yeah. I learned how to play the ball, by that time at Port Angeles sawmill. Then I, then I have to come out to Seattle again. I quit. I don't know why I quit there. Maybe I quit because my friend quit, that's Mr. Nakashima, was working together. He shared one room, one room, just Port Angeles big bunkhouse, long, and top part is all the bed sleeping quarter and bottom is kitchen and play room and all kind of room was in. But, anyway, I remember it's Mr. Nakashima want to quit and like to go out to the Seattle. I think that's why I quit Port Angeles and I come out to Seattle, I guess. Well, by gosh. Come to Seattle. Lots of haiseki, you know. Then hard to find job again.

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.