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Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Frank T. Sata Interview I
Narrator: Frank T. Sata
Interviewers: Brian Niiya (primary); Bryan Takeda (secondary)
Location: Pasadena, California
Date: March 28, 2022
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-499-12

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BN: And then your family ends up staying almost 'til the very end, right?

FS: Yeah.

BN: Do you remember any sort of discussion about where you were going to go or was there the thought of going to the Midwest or other parts of the country, or anything like that?

FS: No, I was never a part of any discussion with my parents. And we were, if my understanding, we were some of the last families to leave because my father, he had no money. He had nothing to come home to, had no property. And he apparently refused to go out until they found them a job. So that's how we ended up in Phoenix. He also wanted to make sure I could get my schooling. And so I think I might have been a little bit late into my class but it worked out.

BN: So when you say he wouldn't leave until they got him a job, so it was through the WRA that they arranged for his job interview?

FS: I don't know it was arranged. They were one of the richest families in Phoenix. They had a large department store. They really, yeah, I think they took my parents on the cheap, you know, they really got 'em both to work for hardly anything.

BN: So they were like caretakers, domestic work.

FS: Well, my father had to do the outside yard, garden lawn, which is huge, with a push mower. So I remember that because he didn't have a good leg, he had a bad leg, and he had to push this lawnmower in the 120-degree heat in Phoenix. So that was another learning lesson for me. Again, being young, I was allowed to go in the swimming pool that they, kind of rich people had. And my mother, we had a little older house in the back that we lived in, and all she got for her work was that we had a kitchen area, I believe, a living room, small living room. She was given an electric... or maybe she had to buy it. All she had was an electric stove, twelve by twelve with a coil, that was what she had to cook with. So that was the first experience out of camp.

BN: Did you have to help out with anything in this estate?

FS: No, I can sit in the pool. In fact, I think the daughter was maybe about my age, and she was allowed to swim with me. That was a shock. [Laughs] I hadn't known any Caucasian girls, especially a twelve-year old.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2022 Densho. All Rights Reserved.