Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Floyd Schmoe Interview I
Narrator: Floyd Schmoe
Interviewer: Elmer Good
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 10, 1998
Densho ID: denshovh-sfloyd-01-0002

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EG: When did you meet her? When did you meet Aki? When did your association together start?

FS: When did the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor?

EG: When did it?

FS: When.

EG: December 7, 1941.

FS: '41. I was at Friend's meeting Sunday morning when the meeting house was then just across the 42nd Street entrance to the campus, and we heard paper boy hawking papers, "Read all about it," hadn't heard that for a long time, "Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor." We had at that time four beautiful, young Japanese American girls, university students, from Yakima Valley living at our home with us in the Lake City area, and I had a son and a daughter who were also at the University, and they all drove together every day to the campus. Well, when we came home from meeting that Sunday morning, we found these girls just frightened. They knew it meant war and they had a pretty good idea of what might happen to them. They left immediately for home in Yakima Valley. [Pauses]

I then set up a regional office of the American Friend's Service Committee, and we were going to try to prevent the dislocation, internment. And I needed a secretary who had connection with the Japanese American community. I don't know where I first met Aki, but I remember she came to my office asking for a job, and she was so bashful that she brought her older sister Fusae along to talk for her. Well, I hired her, perhaps a hundred dollars a month, I don't know, not very much. And we began visiting Japanese families all over the area to see if we could help in some way. And Aki didn't speak very good Japanese even, and she couldn't type, but she was a joy to have in the office, and I fell in love with her.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 1998 Densho. All Rights Reserved.