Densho Digital Repository
Gerald L. Beppu Collection
Title: Tom Ikeda Interview
Narrator: Gerald L. Beppu
Interviewer: Josh Tuininga
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date: June 10, 2021
Densho ID: ddr-densho-435-1-1

[Correct spelling of certain names, words and terms used in this interview have not been verified.]

<Begin Segment 1>

GB: When he was a teenager, like I say, I think he was probably eighteen, nineteen years old. And he started working at a store called Togo's on Third and James Street. And that was actually a fishing tackle store. He told me that he was not interested in fishing at all, he just, it was a job for him. And he never went fishing much, but he learned from the owner how to sell fishing tackle, and that's where it all started. And as the years went by, one day, I guess he would always ask my dad to go fishing with him. But my dad was more interested in baseball, and he was on a good baseball team. And anyway, this one Sunday, I know for a fact that my dad said, "I'm sorry, I got a baseball game to go to." So the guy that owned the store went fishing by himself. And apparently, you know how if you go in the rivers, you use waders. And apparently the waves came up and filled his waders, and the poor man drowned. And my dad didn't know until after, you know, the next day, I guess, when he went back to work, that he had passed away. Because he actually drowned while he was fishing there. And my dad and, there was one other fellow that was working at the store, and they tried to do the best they can to keep the store going and everything. And I guess out of the blue, the lady says, asked my dad if he wanted to purchase the store. Because I guess she saw that he kind of got the hang of what's going on. And he was the younger one of the two people that were working there. And he said, "Well, I don't have a lot of money." He was doing this to earn a few bucks on his own. And I guess they made an arrangement somehow where he would pay her so much a month a month or whatever. Anyway, she moved back to Japan and he took over the store from this lady. And there was a lot of people in that area that patronized the store. It became pretty popular and successful as far as during that period of time, talking about prewar, he really started to get the store really going.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2021 Densho. All Rights Reserved.