Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: James T. Johnston - William R. Johnston - Dorothy J. Whitlock Interview
Narrators: James T. Johnston, William R. Johnston, Dorothy J. Whitlock
Interviewer: Kristen Luetkemeier
Location: Sedona, Arizona
Date: April 16, 2012
Densho ID: denshovh-jjames_g-01-0023

<Begin Segment 23>

KL: What about you two? Where'd life take you after high school graduation?

WJ: Well, I graduated in '54 and when you graduated in '54, I'm sure it was like him, everybody had to go. You either joined the army or they were going to come get you. I enlisted in the army for three years in order to get the GI Bill and go to college when I got out. And I served in Germany, overseas for a couple of years, got back, went to, got married right there.

DW: To his childhood sweetheart.

WJ: Went to University of Tennessee at Martin, I got a BS in agriculture. Then left and came back to Arkansas, Pocahontas, where my grandfather had bought 320 acres of land probably in the '30s. But we'd always, family had always just kept a renter on it. And so I decided I'd come back and farm there. I bought him out, and their share of it, so I farmed there until I retired in 2001.

DW: Well, you skipped something there.

WJ: What?

DW: Oh, you retired and went to the stockbroker.

WJ: No. 2001 is when I retired. 2002 is when we started traveling. I had bypass surgery between that --

DW: I know. But you're acting like you farmed right up to then.

WJ: I did.

JJ: But you also had the commodities business.

DW: You did the commodities thing.

WJ: Yeah. The last fifteen years I ran a stock and commodities brokering business, turned the farm over to my hired help.

KL: What did you grow?

WJ: Soybeans and rice. Dabbled in cattle at one time. But any rate, the brokerage firm was just one-man office, it was on (Broadway St.) and I was there nearly sixteen years. I did have one day off, I had surgery on my hip one day, and was back to work the next day.

DW: He couldn't get away. Then you retired.

WJ: Then I retired and have been traveling ever since. I visited Manzanar, all the other great places.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2012 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.