Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Sue Takimoto Okabe Interview
Narrator: Sue Takimoto Okabe
Interviewer: Alice Ito
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: December 3, 1999
Densho ID: denshovh-osue-01

<Begin Segment 14>

AI: Tell me, did you, did you ever have any jobs that you, that were more of the glamorous type?

SO: Yeah. The Flower Drum one. The show I did for Long Beach Civic Light Opera, which is a large organization. It's a professional organization. And a full orchestra. And thirty-five, I think they used about thirty-five pieces of the Long Beach Symphony guys. And that was, that was because I was filling in for somebody that they released.

AI: For which role?

SO: I starred in it, Linda Low. But I didn't audition. They came to where I was working, the director, the music director, the director, the choreographer. They all came. I had no idea that's what they were doing. But the pay was good, and the experience was wonderful. And the place I was working released me for that time. And that's when I went to Chicago too. From that show, Mona Matoba at Nakanoya offered me a pretty good deal over in Chicago.

AI: So --

SO: That was the second time I went.

AI: What, what did you do when you were in Chicago that time?

SO: Supper club. And then they have later hour license, like 4 o'clock. So after the supper club, which was 12:30, I connected 1:00 to 4:00 with another jazz club.

AI: Oh, my.

SO: So it became a lucrative stay for the summer.

AI: Then you returned back home?

SO: Uh-huh, to Long Beach.

AI: Oh, my. Well, any other highlights or things that stand out in your mind about that period of your life as you were working and singing, performing?

SO: Not really, 'cause...

AI: Raising your kids?

SO: It's just a job. And then the kids' activities increase. And I was very fortunate to be able to remarry.

AI: And when did that happen?

SO: Gee, thirty-one years ago. Or is it thirty-two? Thirty-one, something like that. But he, he just said, "One job." He didn't care which one, but one job, either teach school, teach music privately, or work in clubs. I chose to teach privately, because I was doing all three.

AI: And did you stay in Gardena after remarrying?

SO: Uh-huh, we're still there.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 1999 Densho. All Rights Reserved.