Densho Digital Archive
Emiko and Chizuko Omori Collection
Title: Harry Ueno Interview
Narrator: Harry Ueno
Interviewer: Emiko Omori
Location: San Mateo, California
Date: February 18, 1994
Densho ID: denshovh-uharry-01-0003

<Begin Segment 3>

HU: My wife was born in Japan. She came over in 1923 or '24 to United States. And I met her on the place I worked, and we get together. And we're very poor those days... Depression and we haven't got hardly no money -- [laughs] -- and well, we just simple wedding in a Shinto church there in L.A. Then I worked for the, most of the time in the market. Out of that about four year, I had my own small place in a Jewish market there. And they called it Pearl Market in Melrose and LaBrea, in Los Angeles. You know, Hollywood side. Yeah.

EO: Jewish market?

HU: Yeah, Jewish market. They sell nothing but kosher stuff, you know, kosher meat, kosher chicken and everything's kosher.

EO: How come you had a market there?

HU: Well, they needed a fruit and vegetable stand there so I went in and worked for them. Worked with them, in other words, that's my own fruit and vegetable, and most of those is telephone order. Like we had a good customer, like Louis B. Mayer and Carl Emery used to be a owner of the Universal Pictures and B.P. Shubert, Shubert Production, that was United Artists before that. He owned that movie thing and then David Selznick, and well...

EO: All these people ordered from you?

HU: Yeah, through the telephone. And we had a lot of big customers, you know, like Sidney Lanfield, the producer, and a lot of people I know, because once in a while, delivery boy, and the people owned the Jewish market, they do the delivery, too. Because one day a customer wanted something they need right away. See, that's very hard. So once in a while I'd deliver, too. Use my car and bring the stuff over to their homes. So I had many peoples, sometime in Santa Monica, sometime way behind Beverly Hills.

EO: Where did you get your produce?

HU: I get it wholesale, I have to go every morning about 3 o'clock or 4 o'clock. Used to be a wholesale out there. You know, L.A. was very big wholesale. They had two places, a ninth market and seventh market, they called.

EO: Are these mostly Japanese?

HU: No. They got a Caucasian, Japanese, Italian, some Koreans. Vegetable was handled most by the Japanese because the farmers, most of Japanese. And you have to, used to be the wholesale open at 12 o'clock in the midnight, then open 'til 10 or 11 o'clock the next day. So I used to go about 3 o'clock in the morning and buy the stuff and then stop at my home and have breakfast and go to the own retail store. I did that for the, some store in Beverly Hills. They wanted me to come over and manage their store, so after I quit those Jewish market, I went there for work for them, see, the buyer and to manage the place, too.

EO: So, is that what you were doing...

HU: Yeah, 'til 1942.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 1994, 2003 Densho and Emiko Omori. All Rights Reserved.