Densho Digital Archive
Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL Collection
Title: Tom I. Mine Interview
Narrator: Tom I. Mine
Location: Watsonville, California
Date: July 29, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-mtom_2-01-0001

<Begin Segment 1>

TI: Okay, so Tom, the way we start this is, today is Tuesday, July 29, 2008, and we are in Watsonville. And I'm interviewing Tom Mine. But, so let me just start, and on camera is -- I'm sorry -- is Dana Hoshide, and interviewing is Tom Ikeda, and we're with the Densho project. And so the first question is, can you just tell me when and where you were born?

TM: Well, I was born in Watsonville, where?

TI: Yeah, so Watsonville, and where in Watsonville were you born?

TM: Well, it's, right now it used to be an apple orchard. My folks used to farm berries, and it's close by from here, actually. The location would probably be about, from here, about a half a mile, mile from here.

TI: Okay, and right now we're located at Kizuka Hall.

TM: Uh-huh, Kizuka Hall, so it'd be over on Hushbeck, right now it'd be Hushbeck Street. So you know, if you go down, say, down to East Lake Avenue and go do down, oh, about five blocks. So right now it's in the community, but in those days, I was born out in the country.

TI: And so when you say an apple orchard, so was it kind of like a...

TM: In those days, yeah, it was an apple orchard and some vacant land, and that's where my folks used to farm berries.

TI: And so what kind of home did you have on the apple orchard?

TM: Well, it's hard to describe it. It's just an ordinary... the owner of the property made it livable condition anyway, so that's all I can say.

TI: And then who helped your mother deliver you? Was there, like, a midwife?

TM: Well, that I don't know. I never did ask her. [Laughs]

TI: So maybe, maybe she just delivered you.

TM: Well, yeah, I'm not, I'm not sure. I don't think I went to the hospital. I'm not sure.

TI: And when was your, what was your birthdate? What was the date of the birth?

TM: March 14, 1918.

TI: And when you were born, what was the name your parents gave you?

TM: Isao, I guess.

TI: So Isao Mine.

TM: Yeah, and then later on, when I went, started to go to school, the Caucasian boys or students couldn't say Isao too well, so, "We'll name you Tom," and I said, "That's all right." So it kind of stuck to me. It's not official or, you know, it's not on my birth certificate.

TI: So, like, on your driver's license...

TM: It's Tom.

TI: So it's Tom. So at some point, you started using it. So tell me again who gave you the name Tom. Who chose that?

TM: Well, I just, they started calling me that. I didn't pick it myself, but my fellow student, or the fellows I went to school with, they don't, they just called me Tom, that's all. So I said, "Well, that's fine."

<End Segment 1> - Copyright ©2008 Densho and the Watsonville - Santa Cruz JACL. All Rights Reserved.