Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: Alfred "Al" Miyagishima Interview
Narrator: Alfred "Al" Miyagishima
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Denver, Colorado
Date: May 13, 2008
Densho ID: denshovh-malfred-01-0003

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TI: So eventually he got to Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Do you know about what age he was when he got to Scottsbluff?

AM: I sure don't. We have a picture of him when he worked for the Western Nebraska Republican, there was a gentleman named Bill Westervelt owned, owned the newspaper, and we had pictures of my dad sitting there at the desk. I have no idea what he did there as far as working for the newspaper. All I know is he was sitting there at the desk with a telephone and all that. So I don't know what his capacity was, but he spoke and wrote English at that time, and at the same time, he sold State Farm insurance for a while. And I do know that he used to broker -- what I mean broker is that that's the in-between for some of the Japanese farmers soliciting contracts with the beet companies, the Great Western Sugar Beet Company, and assigning contracts, going to the bank and securing loans because you always had to put the money out to get the seeds and all that, as part of the contract with Great Western. But I do remember those things.

TI: Going back to that photograph you saw with Westervelt, what was he wearing? What was, describe that photograph a little bit for me in terms of what it looked like he was doing.

AM: Well, I have to look at that picture, but I would say he was in his thirties, early thirties. I believe he had... I think he had a shirt and tie on. I don't remember whether he had a jacket on or not, but I know Fred -- I mean, of course my dad was Fred -- but I remember Mr. Westervelt coming around the house every once in a while and Bill would have a little, little booze in him and I guess he'd start reminiscing about some of the old things, and he would come around and talk with my dad. But we were just little kids then so we didn't understand what they were talking about.

TI: But they were talking English back and forth?

AM: Yeah, oh yeah.

TI: So it was kind of like a friendly visit.

AM: Yeah, just a friendly visit, you know, like he'd maybe have a few drinks someplace along the bar and said, "Well, I gotta go visit Fred or something like that." Just kind of talk about some old times, I guess.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2008 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.