Densho Digital Repository
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Robert Moriguchi Interview
Narrator: Robert Moriguchi
Interviewer: Brian Niiya
Location: Granada Hills, California
Date: October 4, 2022
Densho ID: ddr-densho-1000-515-20

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BN: So how long were you in the army?

RM: Yeah, I went in December of '54, and I got out in September of '56. I was supposed to stay 'til December, but if you went back to school, you got out early. So I went back to San Francisco State as a graduate student and took up some courses like merchandising or finance or something that prepared me for, to own a pharmacy. So I took some courses for one semester, and then I quit and I went to work. But I got out three months early because of school. And then before I got discharged, I came home on leave and I bought a car. So I bought a 1956 Oldsmobile, so when I got out of the service I had a new car and that lasted me a long time.

BN: Then where was your first job?

RM: The what?

BN: Where was your first job?

RM: Oh, yeah. When I got out, I looked for a job, and it was very hard to find a job, I couldn't find a job. I had one temporary job in the Mission district in San Francisco, that was very short term. And then I got a job in San Mateo. It's kind of a long drive but that was the only job that I could find. It was a new housing district and there was a new pharmacy that opened up. Can't remember the name of the school, the name of the pharmacy. It was right off the 101. But anyway, I got this job. I swept the floor. [Laughs] I swept the floor, I didn't mind that. There was an old man that was the pharmacist there, and then that was the first job. So I worked there, so from about, I don't know, just maybe a year or so. Then my friends who came to Southern California, my friends from the University of Utah, like Gen and Yosh, they were, well, Gen was a pharmacist, Yosh was an aeronautical engineer, they were rooming in Burbank and they had other roommates who were working in Burbank for Lockheed. And so they said I should come and join them since Gen was now going to active duty, he took ROTC so he was going to active duty as a second lieutenant. And so they needed somebody to take his place, so they told me to come and join 'em.

So I moved down here and I looked for a job, and I got a job, what's that main drag that goes from the airport? I can't remember, what is that street in Burbank? But anyway, Alba's Drug is the name of the drugstore that I got a job with. So I got a job there, and that's where I met my first movie star, Debbie Reynolds, Debbie Reynolds. She was queen of Burbank. At that time, she was married to Eddie Fisher. But anyway, I met Debbie Reynolds as the first customer. And then DeSilvan, that's the guy's name, he had another pharmacy in Toluca Lake, so sometimes I worked at the Toluca Lake on Riverside Drive, and that's where Bing Crosby lived, I never met him, and Bob Hope lives there. Well, I met Tennessee Ernie Ford, I met him there. So, let's see. When did I change jobs? Then I changed jobs to Van Nuys Boulevard, a medical building. Medical building, I don't know if that was after I got married. Maybe it was after I got married I moved there, because we had an apartment. In fact, October 3rd was our anniversary. [Laughs] I had forgotten all about it, she reminded me yesterday.

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