Densho Digital Archive
Manzanar National Historic Site Collection
Title: George Uchida - Leo Uchida Interview
Narrators: George Uchida - Leo Uchida
Interviewer: Richard Potashin
Location: West Los Angeles, California
Date: April 9, 2009
Densho ID: denshovh-ugeorge_g-01

<Begin Segment 1>

RP: This is an oral history interview for the Manzanar National Historic Site. Today is April 9, 2009, and we're speaking today with George Uchida. George lives at...

GU: 2811 Colby Avenue, Los Angeles, California.

RP: And also sitting in on our interview today is his brother, older brother, Leo Uchida. And Leo's from Torrance, California. And our interviewer is Richard Potashin, and the videographer is Kirk Peterson. Mr. Uchida will be discussing his experiences as an internee at the Manzanar War Relocation Center. And our interview will be archived in the Park's library. Do I have your permission George, and Leo, to record our interview.

GU: Yes.

RP: Thank you very much. Tell me first your birthdate and where you were born.

GU: I was born on March 14, 1929, in Florin, near Sacramento, California.

RP: And Leo, your birthdate?

LU: June 15, 1926.

RP: Also in Florin?

LU: Yes.

RP: Were you, do you know if you were born at home or a local hospital?

GU: Neither. I was just outside the hospital when I was born in a car. [Laughs]

RP: Didn't quite make it.

GU: Didn't quite make it.

KP: Do you remember the make and the model of the car? No. [Laughs]

GU: It was an old Ford.

RP: It was an old Ford, okay. Well, we have that on the record. What was your given name at birth, George?

GU: It was a Japanese name, Sei, S-E-I.

RP: And where did you acquire the name George?

GU: When I started school, because the name Sei was very similar to the word "S-A-Y," when people would talk and they'd say the word "S-A-Y," I would answer, thinking it was, they were talking to me. One of my sister's names was actually Sumi. She suggested I have another name, and she picked George for me. It's been ever since. But it's never been entered in my birth certificate or anything like that.

RP: On your birth certificate it says Sei?

GU: Just Sei, yeah.

RP: Leo, what was your, did you have a Japanese name, too?

LU: No, at first... yeah, it was a Japanese name only, R-Y-O.

RP: R-Y-O?

LU: Yeah, Ryo.

RP: Ryo, yeah.

LU: And I guess, like him, at school, when they say my name, I have to correct them because people think it was L-E-O. And also I think somehow I adopted the name L-E-O. So I didn't have to explain the difference.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

RP: Tell me what you can about your family background, both your maternal and your paternal side in Japan, where did your parents come from?

GU: I knew very little about their background other than the fact that they came from the town of Hiroshima. They lived in the farm there, away from the main town of Hiroshima.

RP: Can you give us your father's name?

GU: Father's name is Masaichi, and mother is Shizu.

RP: And they both came from the general area?

GU: Of Hiroshima.

RP: Outside of Hiroshima.

GU: Yeah.

RP: Do you know if your father had much schooling at all?

GU: He just went through part of grammar school. He didn't go to high school.

LU: Yeah, I don't know for sure, but he came here when he was young. And I think when he first came, he worked in Montana area on the railroad, that's all I know. Before I started to realize it, we were living in Florin, California, so I guess somehow he got around to Florin, California, and started the farm.

GU: One thing I heard about him working on the railroad was that because he was small... well, most Japanese people were small. Anyway, one of the, I guess, managers, the leaders of that group that he was working for took, decided he would be better working in the kitchen or something where it was a little easier for him as far as physical labor. So he became a pretty good cook, himself. Even after we were growing up, he did some cooking and was good at it.

RP: Was he better than your mom?

GU: No, I wouldn't say that. [Laughs]

RP: There were two cooks in the family.

LU: I guess that's why when we first went to Manzanar, he, right away, he started working in the kitchen.

RP: He was a cook in the mess hall?

LU: Uh-huh.

RP: Well, we'll want to talk about that a little bit more, because we just recently restored a building to look like a mess hall at Manzanar, so we'll talk a little bit about that later.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

RP: Tell me what you can recall about your father. How do you remember your father as a person, his personality?

GU: I remember him as a disciplinarian. He was very strict. But even when he got real mad at me, he never struck me physically. So his voice was very loud, and so I, it was very difficult for me to say anything against him, do anything against him. And I guess that's helped me to go through my life trying to stay on the right side, not to bring shame to him, his name and to my dad. I think that was mostly generally true with Japanese people, that you don't try to bring shame to your family. You can't say that about that nowadays, but back then, it was, it was pretty common, I think.

LU: That's why it's about what he said. He was strict.

RP: Any other values or...

LU: He was a hard-working man on the farm. And when I think back on that, for a person that came from Japan with hardly no education, he, I guess he accomplished quite a bit.

GU: Yeah, I guess that's what, in thinking back about it, his life, he, for education that he didn't have, he really accomplished a lot and he was able to provide for his family a lot better than any of the other people, even educated people.

LU: Besides raising a big family.

RP: You had thirteen kids?

LU: There were eleven children plus two...

GU: Cousins.

LU: Two cousins that came from Japan and just stayed with us.

RP: They came at a young age and then were raised by the family?

LU: Yeah.

GU: I don't know what age they came, but I imagine they were in their teens.

LU: Yeah. It's a long story, but they came here for another reason, to try to join with their mother that was living here. But somehow, it didn't turn out, so my father, rather than go back to Japan, he told them that, "You could stay with us," if they wanted to, so they did.

RP: But their mother was living in the United States?

LU: Yes, I think so. And I don't know the whole story, but I think that was it. That's the reason they came here from Japan, the two cousins.

RP: Were there any other family from Japan that settled in the United States that you're aware of?

LU: You mean part of the family? No.

RP: Another -- I don't know if I would call it a tradition, but there many Issei parents that for one reason or another sent children back to Japan for schooling, did that occur in your family?

GU: Not that I can recall.

RP: Everybody who was born in the United States stayed here? Do you recall any trips back to Japan just for a short time? Did your father take trips?

GU: Some part of the family did go to Japan for visits, but that was before I think either one of us were born. In fact, one of my brothers was born in Japan and then the family came back here, he eventually got naturalized as a citizen.

RP: Which brother?

GU: That was David.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

RP: Tell us a little bit about your mother. What was her maiden name?

GU: Ushio. U-S-H-I-O. I don't have any kind of background information on her.

RP: It was kind of traditional sometimes for Issei men to get a picture of a woman from Japan and...

LU: Oh, you're talking about a "picture bride"?

RP: "Picture bride." Is that...

GU: I think they went through that. I know she came on a boat to here.

RP: Later.

GU: Yeah. That's about all I know.

RP: What do you most remember about your mother?

GU: Well, to me, since I was the youngest, she really babied me. [Laughs]

RP: Somebody would say, use the word "spoiled"?

GU: That comes out real big. [Laughs]

RP: Was she, did she complement your father? You said your dad was very sort of stern and a disciplinarian. Was she a little softer with the kids?

GU: I would say so, yes.

RP: You might go to her for a little understanding, a soft shoulder?

GU: Yeah, mainly soft shoulder. Because there was very little conversation, because she spoke only Japanese -- well, mainly Father, too. And by the time I could remember, I was speaking mostly English. And there was very little that we could understand -- I mean, she didn't know any English. So I had a difficult time talking to her. But I guess that she always had a soft shoulder for me.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

RP: Let's go down your list of siblings, maybe just a brief comment about each one. In order of their birth, oldest first, who was the first brother or sister?

GU: The first was named Mary. She married into a Kiino family, K-I-I-N-O. And she was the only one from our family that didn't go to Manzanar.

RP: Where did she go?

GU: She...

LU: Oh, when the war broke out, right after Pearl Harbor, I think, from next day, they started to round up, they called it the... they figured they were kind of possibly "dangerous aliens." And somehow, Mr. Kiino, I think he got a job as an interpreter at that, one of those detention centers. I think it was in Santa Fe, New Mexico. And so I don't know, I found out later on, but instead of going to camp, they both went, they were over there in Santa Fe, New Mexico. So they never went into relocation center. And like I say, he worked as an interpreter.

RP: In the camps.

LU: Yeah. And so when we were in Manzanar, one of the sister, Mary, she was able to visit us in Manzanar with her daughter.

RP: Do you know how long they stayed in Santa Fe?

LU: I think until the place was all cleared up after the war, I guess.

RP: Was Mr. Kiino a Nisei or an Issei?

LU: He could speak both Japanese and English pretty good, so I would consider him an older Nisei, I guess.

RP: So he, it sounds like he was hired by the government to interpret.

LU: Yeah. Before that, in Florin, he was in charge of Strawberry Association, that big shed was for the...

RP: As a cooperative?

LU: Yeah, they shipped the strawberries to different markets and all that.

RP: He was in charge of that?

LU: Yes. So he was a pretty capable person. I think my dad, since he can't speak English, but Mr. Kiino, he could speak both. So I think my dad confided in him a lot for legal matters and things like that.

RP: A very important person to have around.

LU: [Laughs] Yeah. And after the, after he's working in New Mexico, I think somehow he landed in, he was in Michigan. And they operated a restaurant over there.

GU: He has a brother there.

LU: And his brother and a wife.

RP: Is there, is there the possibility that he might have been an internee at this Santa Fe camp rather than an employee?

LU: Mr. Kiino?

RP: He was taken by the --

LU: Yeah, I guess I would say that if he wasn't working in Santa Fe, he would have, just like us, he would have had to go into one of the camps.

RP: So that was your older sister Mary. How much older was she than you?

GU: I think she was old enough to be my mother. [Laughs]

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

RP: Who came after Mary?

GU: Ruby Nakano.

RP: What do you remember about Ruby?

GU: She was a, I remember myself, as a disciplinarian herself. Well, one time, this was when I was, like, seven, six, seven years old, I used to catch dragonflies, and I would tie a string to the tail and let it fly off. Well, she caught me doing that, she gave me the same treatment. She tied me to a bed, bedpost because of that. [Laughs] Other than that... because she married early and moved to, lived in Los Angeles for a while, I didn't have too much recollection of her at the farm.

RP: She married before the war?

GU: Oh, yes. I don't remember what year it was.

RP: And she was the one that married Fred Nakano?

GU: Yes. She's Grace's mother.

RP: Dr. Ruby?

GU: After Ruby was Elmer... I think, at that time, he was the only one that actually went beyond high school.

LU: He went to Sacramento junior college. And I don't know how long he went, but those years, I heard people talking that, "What's the use of going to college, because you can't get a job, good jobs." But anyway, he, I don't know whether he graduated or not, but I think he learned enough to, with another friend of his, they started a market in Lodi, California. And I think that's where he worked until the evacuation. I remember, I think between the two of them, once or twice a month he used to take a day off, so he used to come home on the weekends. But all the other time, I guess he was living in Lodi, California.

RP: Was he married at the time?

LU: No. He got married in camp.

GU: In your interviews, have you ever run into any family named Sakakihara?

RP: What was the name again?

GU: Sakakihara. Anyway, they were a family in Florin that we knew. Anyway, one of the boys in that family was named Harry. And Harry's the one that Leo's talking about that Elmer did the, worked together in the market.

RP: Sasaki? Harry Sasaki?

GU: No, Sakakihara. That's the whole name.

LU: Sa-ka-ki-hara.

RP: That was a, that was a Florin family?

GU: Yes.

RP: So Elmer kind of broke away from the farm life and decided he wanted to start a business in Lodi? Who was your next sibling after Elmer?

GU: It was a sister named Ruth. She, in her, I guess she was in the teens, she contracted TB. So I only remember her being in a sanitarium, and she died from that.

RP: When did she die?

GU: This was before the war.

LU: Yeah, maybe about, oh, about three years before the evacuation, something like that.

RP: She would have been a teenager?

GU: Yeah.

RP: And where was the sanitarium? Was it in Sacramento?

GU: No, Chico. Chico, California.

RP: A tuberculosis sanitarium.

LU: It's near Chico, but the place was called Wiemer. W-I-E-M-E-R.

GU: That's the name of the sanitarium, huh? Wiemer Sanitarium.

RP: Were there any visits from the family?

LU: Yeah, I still remember that whenever my dad went to visit, or mom or dad, he would take, oh, about three of us together, we would go visit her. I remember riding. Because living on the farm those days, we hardly went anywhere. And to go out of the cities on a trip, it was a, kind of a big thing for me, anyway.

GU: Yeah. [Addressing LU] Do you ever remember going into the hospital?

LU: No.

GU: 'Cause when I went, I only remember that we stayed in the car all the time, when they were visiting.

LU: She was able to come out and sometimes we used to sit on the lawn or the bench and talk to her.

GU: I don't remember that at all.

LU: Those days, for TB, I guess they figure high up in the mountain, fresh air is the best place for them, I guess.

RP: So she died at the sanitarium?

LU: Yes.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

RP: Let me guess. Was Sumi next?

GU: No. Had two brothers before that. Had Daniel.

RP: Daniel?

GU: And he never married. Also, he had problem with his eyes, he eventually became blind. And, but he, before he became blind, he was, after we came out of the camp, he did work as a gardener. And he was able to save some money, that he bought his own, had his own home. And he lived in that home by himself, and he died there.

RP: Where did he live?

GU: On Purdue Avenue. I don't know the exact number, it was in the 1900 block on Purdue Avenue. And I remember my wife would make dinners for him, the sisters took, the family took turns making dinners for him. So I would take it when, after my wife made the dinner for him. And one thing is, that he liked was playing... what's that other game besides checkers?

RP: Chess?

GU: Chess. He liked playing chess. And I would play chess, too, and he'd always get mad at me because I would beat him. [Laughs] But he and I were the only ones that played chess.

RP: Another brother?

GU: Then after that, had David. He's also deceased now, but his wife is still living. He was very interested in health. Like drinking, you have to drink milk, things like that. He raised, he was in the Future Farmers when he was going to high school, and he raised his own goat. Nobody liked the goat milk there, they're terrible. But he drank goat milk. And the only way we could drink, have any goat milk was when my mother made pancakes out of the goat's, with the goat's milk. That's the only way I could take the goat's milk.

RP: You couldn't drink it straight.

GU: No, I couldn't drink it straight.

RP: So he was into nutrition.

GU: Yeah, and he was very conscious of all these vitamin pills, too.

LU: I think he, I think one time he had a touch of TB, too. Yeah, I think that's the reason he, you know this book, the Charles Atlas? I think he, I think from that he really started to watch his health. And so he exercised and kind of built his body up some, too. And then like you said, was real careful about the nutrition. I remember when we were fishing, he used to take a lot of pills. And then this drink he used to drink.

RP: Oh, like a special drink?

LU: Yeah, to keep his health up. So I guess he was pretty healthy after that, I mean, health conscious.

RP: What did he do for a career or a job?

GU: Oh. When we came out of camp, he also went into gardening. He didn't have any education beyond high school like most of the...

LU: Besides us, too, all the brothers and Dad, they all went into gardening after the war. Came to L.A. Because I guess being a farmer, it's kind of a natural to be a gardener. And it was easy to get into, too. So I guess they were good gardeners, too.

GU: Okay, after David was Sumi. Sumi and I were fairly close, I don't know. I kind of took her as a favorite sister. And, of course, after camp, they moved to Denver, and that's where she is now. She's always lived in Denver after the camp. So I visited her several times in the past. I used to take an airline, but because of all the difficulties going through the airport and things, that I, the last couple times I went by train. And I think the two, the last time I visited her was two years ago. She's about, what, six years older than I am? And she's getting down in her... health-wise, she's pretty good, but her memories are not as good as it used to be. She repeats a lot of things when I talk to her. [Laughs]

RP: She used to babysit you, too, or take care of you?

GU: Well, I think everybody babysat me. [Laughs]

RP: How about after Sumi?

GU: Then that was May. She... I don't remember too much about her. Sorry to say that. What I know is that she's always there, but there wasn't too much going on between...

RP: Did she marry eventually?

GU: Huh?

RP: She married?

GU: Yes. She married and she had...

LU: After we moved from Maryland, we moved to L.A., then she got married in L.A., West L.A.

GU: She had five children. She also had cancer. I imagine that's eventually what took her.

LU: The cancer was in the cheek area, and the doctor had misdiagnosed it for something else, and eventually, by the time they found out, I guess she lost part of the bone in here and then her one eye. They had to take it out. But she was able to survive after that.

RP: Who came next?

GU: Then Leo.

RP: Leo, we got to Leo.

GU: What I remember about him, although I don't know whether he realized it or not, but when we were small, before the war, he liked to draw. And one time he sent his drawing to the, was it Sacramento Bee newspaper, you had it printed? They print children's drawings, and so I wasn't gonna let him beat me on this, so I drew a picture and sent it in. I also had it printed in the paper. But mine was a lot easier because I drew a comic character that had a, wore a mask, so he didn't have the details of the, you know, drawing a nice face. [Laughs] Anyway... and I was more or less in a competition with him. Anything he did, I'd try to do better. But I think we generally got along okay.

RP: Leo, what do you remember about this guy growing up?

LU: I don't know, he was always there getting in the way. [Laughs]

RP: Did you ever talk each other into some kind of trouble?

LU: Oh, once in a while we get into a fight, but usually he was pretty good.

RP: Did you say there was another sibling between...

GU: Yeah, Eileen.

RP: Eileen?

GU: Yeah, E-I-L-E-E-N. She was married. I can't remember what she died of. Anyway, her husband is still living.

RP: Did she also settle in the West L.A. area?

GU: Well, she was with the family in camp, in Maryland, and then coming back here. She also married fairly late. Do you remember how old she was when she got married?

LU: Huh?

GU: Do you remember how old she was? She was like forty, in the forties, wasn't she, when she got married?

LU: I guess mid-thirties, I guess.

RP: And then there were the two adopted...

GU: Pardon?

RP: Then the two adopted cousins?

LU: Oh, the two adopted cousins, the older one, he passed away about, several years before evacuation, of heart attack. He used to get up early in the morning and used to feed the horses. And I guess, I can't... I didn't realize exactly what happened, but I heard that, I guess, after feeding the horse, I guess, he had a heart attack and he collapsed in the barn. That's what I remember. And the younger one, he got married before the war, and he moved to, his bride, the family had a store in Chico. I don't know if it's a dry good or grocery store, but anyway, so he lived over there and helped them run their business. Then after Pearl Harbor... where did they...

GU: I think it was in Colorado or somewhere. Amache, I think.

LU: Well, anyway, they went into camp, and then after the war, he moved to, he came to L.A., to live in L.A. And he started to do gardening. That's where he passed away, in West L.A. over here.

GU: Yeah, he had only one son.

RP: Well, thank you both for going through all the members of the family, give us a little insight into each one. I know it takes a while.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

RP: I wanted to go back a little bit and talk about your father. In particular, he was able to actually own the land on this farm. Did he start really small and then build up, or did he...

LU: No, he didn't own the land because at that time, aliens couldn't own the land. So he got the farm through my oldest brother's name.

RP: Right, that's what I meant. He had, what, 40 acres?

LU: 50-acre farm. Raised mostly grapes and maybe about 2 acres of strawberry, and he had a, maybe about an acre of persimmon orchard that he was able to pack it and ship it to make it profitable. And I don't know, sounded like he got all different kind of fruits that was growing in the ranch here and there, prunes and... so I guess, I guess were exposed to all different kind of fruits.

GU: Pears, peach, walnut, persimmon.

LU: Pomegranate.

GU: Figs, apricot.

RP: But primarily grapes and strawberries?

GU: Right. Grape was primary, and strawberry next.

RP: Can you give us a little bit of a picture of what the Florin area looked like at the time you were growing up?

LU: Well, there was, you know, there was quite a few Japanese farmers that lived in the Florin area, and I guess the main center of entertainment was Florin Japanese church, and then the Buddhist church. And I remember throughout the year, each church would take turns putting on Japanese movies for fundraising. And that was, I guess, one of the, kind of a big event for me. I know we used to, I used to go to go see those Japanese movies at the, both the churches had a big hall, so they would show the movie in the hall.

RP: What kind of movies were they?

LU: Oh, well, they usually have one samurai and one modern drama picture. And that was a big thing, those days.

RP: Were these silent movies?

LU: No. They were talkies.

GU: Talkies with no subtitles. [Laughs]

LU: Yeah, that's right.

GU: And in the wintertime, they would show it inside the building. But during the summertime, they had it on the outside. They had a, we had a big blank wall, blank wall at the end of the church hall, and they would put a big screen on the outside, on the wall. I remember that.

RP: Now, did you attend the Methodist church?

GU: Yes, we were Methodist.

LU: And then in the Methodist church, it was a minister and his wife. I would say they were both Isseis. And they also used to teach Japanese language. And the minister would, in one room, teach the boys. And the minister's wife would teach the girls Japanese. And this was on Saturdays, so we used to go to regular school weekdays. On Saturday we used to go to Japanese school. And I guess I wasn't too good of a student, but at least it kept me from working on the farm on Saturdays.

RP: Did you go all day Saturday?

LU: Yes. And the people who went to Buddhist church, they had Japanese school every day after the regular school for about, I don't know, one or two hours. So, but we, ours was on Saturdays.

RP: We heard many Nisei kids complain about losing their play time, they had to go to Japanese school after...

LU: Yeah.

RP: That's an interesting perspective, you know, it keeps you up and working. Now, how far did you get in your language studies?

LU: Well, you go by Book 1, 2, 3. And maybe I went to about Book 10, and I don't know how far...

GU: I remember, like, 7. So I learned the least Japanese when I was growing up.

RP: But enough to converse with your parents?

GU: Some. It had to be the most easy, children's language rather than the adult's language.

RP: Most importantly, were you able to understand the movies?

LU: Some.

GU: No, I didn't understand the movie because of the language, but like samurai movie, you don't have to really know the language to understand what the story was about. It was mostly, you know, swordfighting and all that.

LU: And then, once a year, the whole town would have a picnic. And usually it used to be at a, someplace right next to the river. I guess the Sacramento River or someplace, one location, it was sandy and we were able to swim. So both the Buddhist church and the Methodist church, the whole town gets together and they have this big old picnic. And that was one of the big annual events for the town of Florin.

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

RP: Now, did either one of you get involved in sports while you were growing up?

GU: We were too young at the time. I don't know about you, but...

RP: Florin had a baseball team.

LU: Yeah. Florin had a pretty good baseball and basketball team. And I think it was mostly, the participants were people from the Buddhist church that was in the, into sports a lot. But they were good in both baseball and basketball.

RP: How about Japanese martial arts, kendo, judo? Was that available in the community?

LU: Yeah. You know, I might be wrong, but maybe the sister, Ruth, that had the TB, maybe that might have been the cause of it. I heard that when you were, she was into kendo, and even during the wintertime when it's cold, you sit on the floor. And maybe that might have, that might have caused her to get sick or something. But I remember they were having kendo classes. I never attended it.

GU: Yeah, I didn't have anything to do... but we did have those kendo equipment, you know, the metal masks and all the other things. They were big and they were heavy. And so I don't see how she was able to manage doing kendo lessons.

RP: You said you observed both the Japanese and American holidays? Was your upbringing both Japanese and American culture as well?

LU: We never, I don't think we observed any Japanese holidays.

GU: Well, New Year's we ate Japanese food and sake and things like that. That's the only thing... but yeah, I don't know of any particular Japanese holidays that we celebrated.

LU: I think some families, they observed the Girl's Day and the Boy's Day, and the Girl's Day, I think some families had a big array of doll exhibition. In our family, I think it was mostly American holidays.

RP: Christmas?

LU: Yeah, Christmas, New Year's, Easter, Thanksgiving. I know for...

GU: Oh, we had mochitsuki. Yeah, I don't know how, my father had gotten this big tub like metal, made of rock and cement to pound the mochi. And we always had mochitsuki at our farm. All the neighbors would come down together.

RP: So who did the pounding?

GU: Well, I never got into it, I was too small then. [Laughs]

LU: Yeah, you know, our family, well, there are three older brothers, and then the farmers, lot of 'em had a good-sized family, so there were a lot of guys who could do the pounding.

GU: Yeah, the Sakakihara family that I mentioned, they had... well, how many boys? Five boys?

LU: Yeah, five boys.

GU: They were all older than us. I'm sure they did a lot of pounding. [Laughs]

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

RP: Were there, were there other ethnic groups who farmed in the Florin area, Caucasians, Hispanics, Filipinos, or were there primarily Japanese?

LU: All I can remember is Caucasian farmers. But as far as, I mean, the blacks, all I remember was one black student in elementary school, that's it. And as far as the Mexicans, I remember maybe two Mexican students in grammar school, that's about it. But, see, as far as education goes, in elementary school, around Florin there was, there was about, I don't know, three or four elementary schools, and then they all went to this one high school in Elk Grove. And I spent one year in high school before the evacuation. When I went to... so, and then, and then not only that, I don't know what happened, but the grammar school we went to, there was, in town of Florin, there was two grammar schools. One was called the East Grammar School and one was the West. The railroad divided that. And the East was all Japanese, segregated. And then the West was all the other ethnic. And so I went... oh, in my eighth year, the last year in the elementary school, somehow it was brought together. And I think the first, up to fifth grade was the West, and then from the sixth through the eighth grade was the East Grammar School. That happened the year before the evacuation. And so I spent seven years in segregation school. Then when the war broke out, then in high school, then I was in a segregated school again. So out of the, I mean, in the twelve years of schooling, eleven years was segregated. And just one year was the...

RP: Integrated.

LU: Integrated school.

RP: Did you have any feelings about that?

LU: No. All I know is that the one year in high school when it was integrated, it seemed a lot easier. [Laughs] Maybe the segregated school was, scholastically it was a little harder.

RP: So you, most of the kids you played with were Japanese? Most of the kids you played with, you know, neighboring kids, were Japanese?

LU: Yeah. Especially before high school, anyway. 'Cause elementary was all Japanese, and then most of the neighbors were Japanese farmers. Most of the friends were all, we played with mostly Japanese.

RP: Were there any, towards the later years of the '30s and early '40s, were you aware of any signs of anti-Japanese feeling or attitude in the Florin area, places where, that were off-limits to you?

LU: You're talking about before Pearl Harbor?

RP: Before the war happened.

LU: No. Because like I say, when we lived on the farm, my dad was always busy working, so we'd hardly go anywhere. The only time... well, I know he likes to fish, so he used to go fishing quite often. And he used to take us sometimes. And to me, if I remember, the only time I would get in contact with a lot of other people was if I go shopping with my mom to Sacramento or go to the doctor. That's about it.

RP: The farm life was very isolating.

LU: Yeah, I would say. Because he raised both strawberries and grapes, there was work all year round. If you weren't working in the strawberry, then you're working in the grapes.

RP: Pruning grapes.

LU: Yeah. Some type of farming, you have some lull in between. But when you raise both strawberries and grapes, it was a year-round job. That's why most of the time, the family used to work on Sundays, too.

RP: Would your father have somebody pick up his fruits and produce and ship them out? Was he responsible for hauling?

LU: Okay, this was before my time, but if I recall, he used to have several buildings on the farm. And there was one, it was kind of like a residential type of building, it's old. But I heard that there were some workers who used to live over there. And this was, when you first start to farm in Florin, like I said, the land was pretty rich, so he had a good strawberry -- I mean, grapes crop. So he was, we were lucrative. And then little by little, as the years go on, the land started to go down. And so, by the time I realized that, he didn't have any workers living on the farm anymore. So by then, I guess the brothers and sisters all grew up, so they did the, whole family did the picking, the strawberries and grapes.

RP: Is that what you did?

LU: Yeah, I was just about getting into that stage, getting older, still have to start working. But when I was younger, we...

RP: You just went to school.

LU: Yeah, went to school and that's about it.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

RP: This is tape two of a continuing interview with George Uchida and also his brother Leo. We were talking a little bit about your father's farm and what you did on it. George, did you do any farm work or you said you were just too young?

GU: No, I was the lucky one. My two, two things I do remember doing, contributing my time to it was, one, was to, we had the old fashioned large tub, like a community tub. And I had to get the water warmed up by the time they were ready to come home from work. So that was one of my jobs, to heat up the tub water. And the other one, I cooked rice. We had a fireplace, and because of the large family, we had a tub like this with rice in it. And my sister next to me and I would cook, make the rice for the dinner. In regards to the rice, my father bought 100-pound bag of rice, I don't know how often. But we had two or three bags all the time in the storage. We always, we all ate rice.

RP: Did you have farm animals, too? You said you had horses, did you have cows or chickens?

GU: We had two work, two work horses, and we had chickens. And my brother David was mainly responsible, he took care of them. And we had a dog now and then. I don't remember particularly having any cats.

LU: Huh?

GU: Any cats.

LU: No.

GU: But Elmer had gotten a dog, a collie brand. So other than that, we didn't have any farm animals. No rabbits, just chicken was the only other, except for the work horses.

RP: Did your father have any mechanized equipment, tractors?

LU: Yeah, a tractor, and he had numerous plow, and I guess they call it harrow, disc, there's a bunch of disc in it and pulled it with a tractor.

RP: You also used the horses, too?

LU: Yeah, I think he used the horses mainly for plow, to do the plowing, to make the ditch to water. I remember he, once in a while he'd really cuss out the horses. [Laughs]

RP: They understood Japanese? Where did the water come from? Did you have your own well?

LU: Yeah. He had a well dug, and I guess it was pretty deep. I know he had a ladder for them. There was a pump in the bottom, so every once in a while he had to do something, so he used to go down there. And then there's a tank tower on the side there, and as the water come up, there's a pipe that came out, little pool, and then that would go into another pool. And this pool was like a swimming pool for us, and the water would go through there. And then to fill the water tower, he would cap this and then the water would go up to the water tower to fill up the tower. And I remember one winter, he went fishing, and he forgot to, he forgot to fill the water tower. And so, and then we had a storm, and the wind knocked the water tower down. I guess if it was full of water it would have stayed, but without that water in there, it collapsed.

GU: I don't remember that.

RP: You used to swim in that little tank?

LU: Yeah, there's a little tank and then a big, like a rectangular pool. And somehow, they got some big old carps, and there was about three or four carps in there. We used to chase it around. But it wasn't, you know, it wasn't real deep, but then it was... I know some of the neighborhood kids used to come to swim in there.

RP: And that was your drinking water, too?

LU: Yes, from the well.

RP: And did you also have electricity and indoor plumbing?

LU: Yeah. We had electricity, and the water to the house, but we didn't have any toilet in the house, it was outdoor, outhouse.

RP: Only running water was for the kitchen for cooking and things like that.

LU: I guess the water tower is up there, so just with gravity, you feed the, in the kitchen.

RP: So your farmhouse, was it large enough to accommodate a big family?

LU: Well, like you said, you have several buildings. And from the main house, there was another building, like a dormitory, for the older brothers and a cousin, they slept over there, and then older sisters and I guess me on down, we stayed in the main house to sleep at night.

GU: And we had a kitchen, dining room, parlor, and three bedrooms.

RP: So when we get towards the outbreak of the war, the attack on Pearl Harbor, how is your father doing financially, do you recall?

LU: Well, by that time, like I said, he'd been raising this grape for a long time, and I think... it seemed like every year, the crop would go down, down, down. And he, like I said, we had about several acres of strawberry. He rented another location about five acres for strawberries. And even then, I guess it was a struggle for him. And when the war broke out, I guess, I don't know, I'm guessing, but maybe to settle a lot of the debt, he had to sell those farms. And he was able to sell it. And you know that 50-acre farm with all the buildings and farm equipment, he got five thousand dollars for it. And I heard that... oh, this couple from Oklahoma, they bought it. And a year later, I heard they sold it for ten thousand to somebody else.

GU: Yeah. When the war broke out, my father had already planted young grapevines. And when we had to evacuate, that year, the first crop started to come out. And my understanding that I heard later on was that the family that bought the farm, they were no farmers at all. They just harvested what was there. And I understand they made a small fortune out of those grapes, because during the, because of the war, they would have to sell these grapes and all that. So that was, that thought always ran through my mind. Father had worked so hard to finally get a nice crop, and somebody else profited from it.

RP: Oh, so strawberries, strawberries would be coming on, too, at that time.

GU: Yeah. And particularly strawberries, strawberry is, you have to take care of it. It doesn't grow by itself like a vine does. And so I don't think, after evacuation, I don't think any strawberry farm prospered.

LU: That's a backbreaking job, strawberries. You're always on your knees or bent over. And there's always weed, so they had to keep weeding. But now, you know how they raise it, they... before the planting they lay a plastic sheet, they poke hole and then they plant. And so there's hardly any weeds, weeding to do, plus, if it rains, it's not in contact with the ground so the strawberry doesn't rot like they used to. Before, when the ground gets wet, the strawberries rotted. So nowadays, to raise strawberries is a lot easier than before. Although to pick is still backbreaking job.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

RP: Do you recall your reaction to the news that Pearl Harbor had been bombed?

LU: Do you remember anything?

GU: No.

LU: All I remember is this was on Sunday. And our family happened to be working that Sunday. And we went to this other place where we was raising the strawberry. And then we came home for lunch, and I think that was for the day. Came home to, for lunch, and then someone turned the radio, and then that's when we heard about Pearl Harbor. You know, until then, I don't remember Pearl Harbor like we do now. I remembered it must be someplace in Hawaii. But anyway, heard it on the radio, that one.

RP: How did your life change after the war started, or did it?

LU: Well, we kept hearing a lot of rumors. "Don't go out at night," and I heard maybe one or two people, they got beat up going to the movies. And as far as... by that time, I was in high school, and I didn't see any big change in high school, when I went to high school, anyway. I don't know about you, in school, grammar school.

GU: I just don't remember anything.

RP: So what... what arrangements were made in terms of any other property, the farm was sold to this family. Did you have to store any other personal property with the neighbors?

LU: Well, you know, we've heard that some people were taken. Day after the Pearl Harbor, the FBI came and, in our town, there was one man, he had a dry goods store, and he was kind of a jovial man, smoking cigars. And so he was kind of like... everybody considered him as a town mayor like. And you know, next day he was gone. They took him, although he wasn't an official mayor or anything like that.

RP: How about members of the church and the language school?

GU: I can't remember whether they took the minister and his wife or not. I don't think they did, although they were teaching Japanese school. Other than that... and then I heard that they started a curfew, as far as, you got to be, you can't be out after about seven o'clock or something like that. And at school, I didn't have much, no problems. It was for a short time, anyway.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

RP: Do you remember the day that you assembled to go to get on the train to go to Manzanar?

LU: Yeah, we had to go to Elk Grove. That's about five miles?

GU: No, I think it's more... I would say about ten miles.

LU: Ten miles from Florin, and we had to go to the railroad station there. All I know is each one, we could only take one suitcase. I don't know how we got there, whether one of the neighbors took us or what. Somebody, we got to Elk Grove and then got on the train.

GU: Yeah, I always thought we left from Florin, but like you say, we went to Elk Grove. Because Florin had a train station, too. But we had to go to Elk Grove.

LU: All I remember was once the train started moving, once we come into a town, they want you to draw the blinds. And after a day or two, we wound up in the Mojave. And we had to stay there, we were kind of derailed because other train had to go. I remember staying there overnight, it was pretty cold out there. And then it was either there or Lone Pine or someplace, we got on the bus. And from bus we went to, they took us to Manzanar.

RP: Had either one of you ever been on a train before?

LU: No, for me that was the first time, I think.

GU: Same here.

LU: Like I say, we were pretty isolated in Florin.

GU: Yeah, that's the first, that was the first train ride and the first bus ride. [Laughs]

RP: When you get into Manzanar... well, you came in sort of toward the end of May, I think.

GU: It was somewhere around there, April, May, yeah.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

RP: We were talking about coming to Manzanar, your first days in the camp, you were put in Block 30, and most of the, a large part of the Florin community was in Block 30.

GU: Right.

RP: Did you have any initial reactions or impressions about the camp or about the landscape around you? What struck you the most when you first saw that place?

LU: The first thing I... well, the thing I remember was, first thing we had to do was get our bedding. They give us those canvas bed and then we have to put straws in there.

GU: For the mattress.

LU: For mattress.

RP: What was it like sleeping on those straw mattresses?

LU: I guess I was young enough so that it didn't bother me too much, I guess.

GU: Me neither. [Laughs]

LU: You know, you go into that... you know, there's eleven of us and the parent. And then in this one barrack, you were divided into four apartments. So our family, we had one, and this... in our apartment, him and I, and May, Sumi, Father... so there were seven of us in that one apartment. And then the last apartment, my, the, see, three older brothers, and then the brothers from another, the Sakakihara family, five boys, so they stayed in that room, one room. And then the next one, the Sakakihara, the father and mother, daughter, and the two daughter, they stayed in there. And then in the apartment 1, the Nakano, Ruby, Fred, and then four kids stayed in that apartment.

GU: No, it was only Grace and Eleanor at the time, I think. I mean, Walter... Grace, Walter, and Eleanor. I think... wasn't she born there?

LU: No, I think she was a baby.

GU: Was she a baby? Oh, okay.

LU: So you could see how cramped we were. And you walk -- I went walking into that, the apartment, and just one headlight and the stove, that's it. Nothing else. And, of course, the main thing was the cot. Little by little, with a sheet or something, they kind of made, divided it off for the ladies and boys and then parents.

RP: Pretty crowded. Seven of you.

LU: Yeah.

RP: Did your family make any improvements to that room?

LU: Well, like I said, with sheet, it divided. And then somehow, able to make a small table. I don't know where we got it, but we had, had a little table and some chairs to sit on. I noticed some of the other families, they were able to make a desk and all kinds of things.

GU: Did we get plasterboard later on to cover the walls?

LU: Yeah. When we first moved in, the outside was that oilcloth.

GU: Tarpaper.

LU: That was it. And inside, yeah, you could see the studs on the inside.

GU: It was bare.

LU: Of course, there were some board, and then the oilcloth. And then on the floor, there were some knotholes, holes, so sandstorm... you wake up in the morning and there's a layer of sand all over. And then, like he said, later on, they came with the linoleum for the floor. Then after that, they cover the wall, inside wall. But still, if you have a sandstorm, it was kind of dusty.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

RP: You lived in Block 30, which was right at the corner of the camp right next to the highway. There was also a guard tower not too far from your block. George, you told me about an encounter you had with the Military Policeman there.

GU: Yeah. Well, I wouldn't call it an encounter, but we did talk to each other. There were about two or three other friends with me. And a guard was walking his route on the ground, and he was very friendly, and he, that's when I first learned about the tracer bullet. He opened up his ammunition and he showed us that every fifth bullet had a red mark on it showing that it was a tracer bullet. You know what tracer bullet is, right? At nighttime, when you shoot it, it has a streak of light following it. And that was the main thing I remember about that, other than the guard being friendly. He was a young man himself.

RP: Was he inside the fence or outside the fence?

GU: We were inside, he was outside.

RP: What type of weapon did he have that he opened up for you? Was it a rifle?

GU: Yeah, it was a type of... it was a rifle. I don't remember him wearing any sidearm. I think it was, he just had the rifle. It could have been that carbine, 30-caliber carbine.

RP: Was he curious about where you'd come from, or ask you any questions?

GU: You know, I don't remember much about what kind of conversation we had, other than him showing us the bullets. I'm sure we did, but I don't remember now.

LU: What grade were you in, then?

GU: Huh?

LU: What grade were you in?

GU: I had, I had just finished the seventh grade.

LU: Oh, seventh grade?

GU: Yeah. So I was thirteen. I had turned thirteen at the time.

RP: At that age, for boys, guns are pretty fascinating. I remember that age.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

RP: You were there, you pretty much had the whole summer before you started school in the fall. What else did you do? Did you go around the camp, kind of looking around and seeing what else was around? Did you, were you trying to make new friends, or what occupied your time during the summer?

GU: Only thing I remember is I wasn't that curious to go around the camp. But the canteen, I remember the canteen, because that's where you go and try to get something like ice cream or candy, or some kind of clothing. And then, somehow, I learned how to play pinochle, so a lot of people were playing pinochle at the time. Spent a lot of time playing pinochle. [Laughs] And then gradually, they started a sports league, and so I played basketball.

RP: You had a team in your block, didn't you?

GU: Yeah. We called ourselves the Mikado Midgets. [Laughs] And our team wasn't very good playing basketball. I guess we were the last team on the league as far as standing goes, so they gave us a sportsmanship award for that. [Laughs]

RP: Well, Hank Umemoto always brags about how bad you guys were. [Laughs]

GU: Is that right?

RP: Yeah, he's really proud of it. Now, did you play against other blocks, or did you just...

GU: Yeah. There was a league where we played other teams from other, other areas in camp. We didn't do too well.

RP: Do you remember some of the other kids that were on the team?

GU: On my team?

RP: Yeah.

GU: Well, there was Hank, of course, and then we had a old family friend, the Miyaoka family, that the boy was, Ben Miyaoka was in that. And I guess one of the older players... I forget now what his name was. He wasn't tall, but he was short and stocky, but he was one of the better players on that team. There was somebody named Tom Takahashi, and he was fairly tall. Other than that, I don't remember. I can't remember who the other two were.

RP: Leo, were you, did you play on that team?

LU: Yeah. I remember one summer, the first summer, I think, I worked in the message... no, census-taking office as a messenger. And then another summer, I worked on the farm. And another time -- this was during the school year -- after school, worked at the... where they make the armor, you know, to camouflage net? There were, they had a camouflage factory with a net strung down, and they would weave different colored tape. And when I was going to school, after school, when the workers left, we had a small crew that went and cleaned the camouflage area. And then another summer, I guess I worked in the hospital warehouse, I guess, helping with the delivery.

RP: Supplies?

LU: And then all the time there was... I mean, twelve dollars a month.

RP: That was your first job, though, wasn't it?

LU: My first job was a messenger for the census-taking office.

RP: And that's the first time you'd ever actually been paid for your work?

LU: Yeah, I guess so. [Laughs]

RP: What did you do with all that money?

LU: I think I just gave it to my mother.

RP: You didn't go down to the canteen and buy up all the ice cream?

LU: Oh, yeah, a few times, but I remember most of those pay times I give to Mother.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

RP: Now, you spoke about your father being a cook in the mess hall. What do you remember about eating in the mess hall or the food or...

LU: Well, the thing that really I remember is that mutton, you know, the green-looking mutton, and I just hated that. So, but other than that, I survived. It was okay.

RP: Did you eat with your friends?

LU: Yeah, most of the time.

RP: Not with your parents?

LU: Yeah. Because, like, I don't know when... my dad gets up early in the morning, he's working. Maybe at first we were, kind of went as a family, but little by little, we...

RP: So your father had the morning, a morning shift in the mess hall?

LU: I guess so, because when I woke up, he was already gone.

RP: How about you, George?

GU: There was two... there was one particular food, liver. Remember liver?

LU: Yeah.

GU: That's the food I hated most. And then they also had jams. There were orange marmalade and apple butter, two I really hated. But my favorite was eating noodles, udon.

RP: Udon?

GU: Udon, yeah. One time, this friend that I was talking about, Ben Miyaoka, he was about a year younger than I am. We started to eat bowl after bowl of udon to see who could eat the most, and I think I had like five or six bowls. I can't remember who ate the most. [Laughs]

LU: To me, it seemed like the only jam they had was apple butter and the marmalade, that's it.

GU: Yeah.

RP: Did you ever eat at other mess halls?

GU: Once in a while I would go, yeah. I would hear that they had a good food there, some kind of good meal there. But usually it's at our own.

RP: Now, would you, did you wait on line to get into the mess hall?

LU: Yes.

GU: Just like the army, hurry up and wait.

LU: I had, you know, this... one of the brothers of the Sakakihara family, he used to work in the butcher shop where they, when the first meat come in. And every once in a while, he would come home with little bits of...

GU: Steak.

LU: ...meat from when they cleaned up. Meat or pork, fat on it. And he would cook that on the, the hot, the hotplate.

GU: Top of the oil stove.

LU: And boy, that thing really tasted good. Because we didn't have much meat for, on the farm. The only things I could remember is the mutton. Yeah, I used to look forward for him to bring home those bits of meat and stuff.

RP: Did you have a hotplate in your room?

LU: I guess he had it. I don't know where he got it. Do you remember that?

GU: Yeah. We didn't have it in our apartment, but they did, and lucky enough for them to give us a piece.

LU: Yeah. Henry used to work in the butcher shop.

GU: Yeah, like you say, it really tasted good.

RP: What did you do out on the farm, Leo? You worked on the farm.

LU: Oh, you mean in the camp? Well, I remember picking potatoes, and then we used to load 'em on the truck and then put 'em in the underground, we had to store it in there. And that was a big thing, I think.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

RP: Did either one of you have, take a chance and go outside the fence to go fishing or hiking? George, you told me about a story...

GU: Yeah. Ben, my friend Ben and I, we walked out one morning telling ourselves that we can walk out to that base of the mountain. Not realizing how big that mountain is, and it seemed close to us but we walked and we walked and never got anywhere near that base of the mountain. Finally walked back to camp. But I just can't remember going through a fence to get out of the camp. I'm sure we had to do that, we didn't go through a gate. Anyway, I don't remember trying to climb through the fence at all, but we did go out to walk. And the other time, it was where we had a youth group. I was in a youth group that we camped out, I think, at the Alabama Hills area, one time. Other than those two times, I don't remember being outside the camp. Would you believe we had a golf course in that camp?

RP: Well, you know, when we talked to Henry Nishi yesterday, he helped construct the golf course.

LU: I read about it.

GU: And it was near this creek, Bear Creek that was running through.

LU: Oh, I don't know where it was.

GU: Yeah. Anyway, golfers would hit the ball, and they'd, some of 'em would land in the Bear Creek, and Ben and I would go around picking up the golf balls. Sometimes the golfers would be close by, they'd get angry at us for going after the golf balls. [Laughs]

RP: Did you try to give 'em back to 'em and get some money for 'em? Or did they pay you to put 'em...

GU: You know, I don't remember anything about that.

RP: Or you just collected them?

GU: I'm not sure that we even, how many, if we did find a golf ball. I just can't remember the details. I guess just the fact that we were there, the golfers were mad at us.

RP: During your time there, did you collect any... there used to be a number of Indian sites where the camp was built. Did you see any arrowheads or collect arrowheads or anything else during the time that you were there?

LU: No, I never did.

GU: Only thing I remember is the first time I'd seen a scorpion, and I think it was a horned-toad lizard. The scorpion was the first time I'd ever seen one. I was told never to touch it. [Laughs]

RP: Where did you see it? Outside, or in one of your...

GU: On the ground in the, around a barrack.

RP: How about the latrines?

GU: For the community.

LU: Wide open.

GU: Yeah, wide open. You can sit next to each other while doing your business. And then, of course, the shower was also community, no separate stalls.

RP: Did your block build any ofuros in your bathrooms? Some of the blocks did.

GU: They did?

RP: Yeah.

GU: I don't think our block had it.

RP: Cement tubs.

LU: So I don't know if the mothers with small babies, I don't know how they washed it. Maybe they went into the laundry room.

RP: Yeah, they put 'em in the washbasins. And some of the Issei guys got the idea that you have, too.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

RP: Did you, did you hear about a group in camp called the Yogores?

GU: Yeah.

RP: What did you, what did you hear about them or did you have any contact with them?

LU: All I know is they're from San Pedro, and then, you know, they were mostly fishermen. So they were considered pretty rugged. And so you would say, they kind of ruled the camp. Because if you imagine, there was a pretty big group there from San Pedro.

GU: Yeah, there were several groups like that. They were from San Pedro, they were from San Fernando, they were from East L.A.

LU: But I think San Pedro was the most...

GU: Yeah, they were the most well-known. I think the only contact I had with them was the basketball game.

RP: You had a game with them?

GU: Yeah. But I don't remember any details, getting in any trouble with them. I think we just didn't play hard enough against them. [Laughs] Didn't want to cause any problems.

RP: Most of the, most of the groups that came to Manzanar were from the southern California, Los Angeles area, and you were a group from outside that area, from Florin, Sacramento?

LU: I think there was some groups from the Lodi area or Stockton area, too, small groups.

RP: Right, French Camp?

LU: Yeah French Camp.

GU: French Camp, yeah.

RP: And there was a group from Washington, Bainbridge.

LU: Yeah, Bainbridge.

RP: Did you ever get the sense, did you feel like you were kind of an outsider group? 'Cause you grew up in another area of California?

LU: No, because I think, as far as from Florin area, the whole Block 30 was from Florin.

RP: So you kind of congregated there?

LU: Yeah. And then the next block was, part of it from California, they were in the next block, too.

RP: Florin, too?

LU: Yeah.

RP: So would you say that you pretty much stuck to your own block in terms of friends and relationships?

LU: Yeah. But once you started school, then you started making other friends, too. I remember when we first started to go to school, going into a barrack and sit on the floor. [Laughs] Then little by little, they started getting chairs and some desks.

RP: And did you, did you feel like they made an effort to give you an education there? What did it compare to what you previously knew before you went to camp?

LU: Well, compared to regular school, it was different. It wasn't quite that much. But I think most of the teachers were pretty... what do you say? They wanted to teach you. But I remember one teacher, she taught English. And I guess, I guess she was considered kind of pretty. And I don't know what she was doing the night before. You know, this is an English class, so most of the time, she would read to you. And every so often, she would stop and yawn. But I think as a whole, most of the teachers, I think they were pretty good teachers.

GU: I don't think I can recall anything particular. I'm still in the younger grades, and school was school. [Laughs] And so there wasn't anything at that level that I remember in particular.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

RP: Did either one of you join any clubs while you were in camp? Boy Scouts?

LU: No. We just kind of, in a way, had a basketball team and a softball team, that's about it.

RP: How about your older brothers? How did they occupy their time?

LU: Seemed like the three older brothers, they were never really into sports. So I don't know what they did.

GU: Well, Elmer was working in the hospital.

LU: Oh, yeah.

GU: And the two, the two brothers below, Daniel and David, some years they would go on the furlough trip to work on the farm. But other than that, when they were in the camp, other than playing cards, I don't remember anything in particular.

RP: One of your brothers got married in camp, Elmer?

GU: Elmer's the only one, only brother, and Sumi also, was the only sister to get married in camp.

RP: What was marriage in camp like? Was it the same as... what do you recall about that?

GU: I can't remember any of the, part of the wedding.

RP: Even the wedding cake?

GU: Not even that.

RP: Do you remember anything, Leo, about your older brother's wedding?

LU: No, I can't. I know they got married in a church.

RP: Speaking of which, was there any... you had a very strong connection to the Japanese Methodist church in Florin. Did you attend a church in Manzanar?

LU: Yeah.

GU: Yeah, I even got a small perfect attendance pin. [Laughs]

LU: But it was, I mean, the Methodist church was a small group.

RP: Was there a particular person that you recall from camp, a character or somebody that really touched your life while you were there?

GU: I wouldn't say he touched my life, but I do remember one person that did stand out was Ralph Lazo, yeah. He didn't have to be there, he just wanted to be with his friends. He was in camp. But other than that, I can't think of any other person that stands out.

LU: Seems like he, he got along with anybody, that type of guy.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

RP: You graduated, the last class, in 1945. Do you remember much about your graduation?

LU: No. I think, I know we had a cap and gown, and went through the procession and all that. The one thing I remember was before the graduation, this was about a month before, I got a draft notice, you know. And so I think there were six of us got the notice, so the principal found out about it, so he told us that, he said he's gonna try to get a deferment, 'cause we only got about a month to go to graduate. So finally, he said, he said he tried, but he couldn't get the deferment. So we have to go. So day before we were supposed to go, the, I remember my class, they put on a little dancing party. And then my social studies class, the teacher made all the other student write a, some kind of goodbye letter to me. And all that happened, and then, that night around suppertime, we found out the deferment came through. [Laughs] So the next day I said, "Oh, I got to go back to school again." But anyway, had to, I had to check all the books out, so I got to check all the books back in, so I had to go back to school again.

GU: By that time, the family was in Maryland, right? You and somebody stayed behind.

LU: Yeah. Just my next sister, May, she stayed with me until I finished, graduated.

RP: And the rest of the family had resettled.

GU: Yeah, they have already gone to Maryland.

RP: And what kind of arrangements did they make to go to Maryland?

LU: Okay. Before that, before they went to Maryland, my dad and Daniel, they went to, they went to Seabrook to work. And you know, over there they have housing and all that. Well, working there, I guess my dad always wanted to go back into farming. And somehow, he got in contact with this one big German farmer, his name was Heine.

GU: He's a gentleman farmer, he's not a farmer himself. He just owned big farms.

LU: Big estate, big farm. And so he agreed to let Dad do sharecropping. And agreed to that, so, and they finally moved over there, moved to the farm. 'Cause this farm is such a big, that they had one... at least four different homes on this farm. And the biggest home with electricity, the foreman lived over there. But the other three homes, they had no electricity.

GU: No running water.

LU: Yeah. So we lived in one home, and then this other Japanese family lived in another home. And then this one colored family lived on this other house. And... let's see, what's, what was the question?

RP: So that was the arrangement.

LU: Yeah. Okay, so this sharecropping, this farmer, he allowed my dad, I think, one acre? Or two or three acres of tomatoes. You know, tomatoes, I guess, once you plant it, you don't need much work, I guess. Seemed like all they do was work for the owner doing other -- 'cause he had cattles, and he raised potatoes and other crops. So we were always working over there, and I think... how much did he pay us? Twenty dollars a week or something. So there were my dad, Daniel, David, and then I worked sometimes, too, when I was there. And then May worked as a maid for the farmer that lived, the foreman that lived on the... and George and Eileen was still going to school. Yeah, I think the foreman we worked for twenty dollars a week or something, until I got drafted. And I don't know, tomato, if he made any money from the tomato or not. So it wasn't such a good deal. So after, I think, my dad lived there for about two years, and then he started to get out of there, so moved to L.A.

GU: No, we lived there only one year.

LU: Huh?

GU: Only one year.

LU: One year? I think before then, my older brother Elmer, he lived there for maybe one or two months, then he came back to L.A. Because his wife and the family, Nishis, already did this. So Elmer came back here and he got into gardening. And once he sees everything, how he could work out, he, the whole family moved, and then everybody went into gardening.

RP: Mr. Nishi gave him work?

LU: Huh? Yeah, yeah, I guess at the beginning, he would get a landscaping job, and then everybody would pitch in.

RP: So it gave, it gave you little bit of an economic foundation to kind of get going again.

GU: Yeah, he kind of, Mr. Nishi kind of helped us get started in the gardening business.

RP: So you worked on the weekends?

LU: Yeah, well, I... when they moved, I was in the service, so I didn't know, I wasn't involved in the moving. So when I got out of the service, they were already moved to L.A.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

RP: George, you worked, then, gardening on the weekends?

GU: Sometimes. I would help Elmer or Daniel, David, but very little. No, like I said, I didn't do too much when I was small, since I was smallest. I think I didn't work very much, just helping sometimes here and there.

RP: So what was the most difficult part of resettling back? You were actually in a new area. Was it, you're going from a farming area in Florin, go to Manzanar, now you're in Los Angeles, and you're going to university and high school.

GU: I wouldn't say there was any particular difficulty. I was just going with the flow, moving here and there. And because, because, like I said, I was the youngest, I didn't have that much sense of responsibility either. Like I said, I went with the flow and then lived here and there and did what I was told, asked to do. So I can't say that I went through any kind of difficulty. The rest of the family was making do for me.

RP: Then after you graduated, you went into the Air Force?

GU: Yeah, I think about a month or two after that. I had the intention of trying to get into the flight, in the flying part of the Air Force, but I wasn't physically fit to be any, like pilots or any other flight crew, so I ended up in the Aircraft and Engine Mechanics, and that's how I spent my time in the service.

RP: And what type of planes did you work on?

GU: Oh, B-29, B-50, B-47. I think that was the only three major type of aircraft that I worked on. I was always in the heavy bomber group. Did get to fly 'em few times, in those planes, as a flight, as a ground crew.

RP: You told me that you were also involved in the first efforts at refueling bombers in the air?

GU: Yeah. At that time, at that time, the Air Force was trying to get this air refueling system worked out. And it started out by using a flexible gas hose, but after that, they finally were able to get into the, what they called the flying boom, and with a hard metal tube, pipe, that would come out of the tanker and go into the nose of the fighter or bomber type aircraft. And so I was, I was due in the service when it was in that flexible hose type of experimenting with the refueling system. Of course, I was just a flight crew member, I didn't have anything to do with how the refueling system was organized or anything like that.

RP: During the time you were there, you said that there were, there was a flight around the world?

GU: Yeah. The air refueling aircraft involved in it were from Tucson, Arizona, but the bomber, actual bomber is the B-50s.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

RP: This is tape three of a continuing interview with George and Leo Uchida. And George, from your Air Force service, you pursued a career in engineering?

GU: Yeah, yes. I worked for Northrup Corporation for thirty-one years and retired.

RP: And what specifically, what part of Northrup or aeronautics were you involved with?

GU: You call it data reduction, where you get test results, whether aircraft or engine was tested, and we get information from them and analyze what went on. But I also was good in... I don't know what you call it, making, drawing graphs of the, with the data. And so I did a lot of that, and it wasn't a really, really big deal, it's just drawing, connecting lines and things like that. But I was fairly good at that, so I did mostly that type of work. I wouldn't call myself an actual engineer. [Laughs] Anyway, I guess I was working at the right place at the right time, and I was able to stay with the company. Even when we went through this layoff type period, I think I was the most, longest I was laid off was like one year. But I was able to get back into the same company in the same area. So I was, I consider myself lucky to have been able to stay in the company. People that I worked with, they all worked with people, I got friendly with them, and they tolerated me, I guess, for me to stay with the company. [Laughs]

RP: And then you got married?

GU: Yeah. I got, actually, I got married before I started working. It was just right after I graduated from school. Graduated Friday and Sunday I was married. [Laughs]

RP: So it was a gal from your high school?

GU: No. Frances was living in the Whittier area. And the reason I came in contact with her was she started to a school, UCLA. And while there, because her uncle and aunts and cousins were member of the church that I was then, she started coming to that church and got into the choir group. That's how I got to know her, and eventually ended up getting married.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

RP: You were in the choir, too?

GU: Yes.

RP: So you liked to sing.

GU: Well, I like to sing, but I can't say I'm a singer. [Laughs] I'm not in a choir anymore.

RP: Did you do any singing at Manzanar with Louis Frizzell?

GU: You know, I think I was in the glee club there with Mr. Frizzell's class, yeah.

RP: He brought a lot of voices to life there.

GU: Do you know anything more about Mr. Frizzell? Is he still living? No.

RP: After we're done, I can give you some more information.

GU: For some reason, I thought that he came back and became music teacher at Uni High, but I think I'm wrong on that. This Maeda, if you know him, I think he was supposed to have followed up on that music teacher or whatever, the life of Mr. Frizzell.

RP: Made a short movie about him.

GU: Yeah, I didn't see it, so I didn't know. But I, for some reason, I thought this was the same person that I had in Manzanar, but I don't think it was. It was somebody else that worked, worked in the Uni High music department.

RP: As far as I know, I think he went on to pursue a Broadway career.

GU: Really?

RP: Went into movies and television.

LU: That's after Manzanar? Oh.

RP: Did you have him, Leo?

LU: No. I know he was a music teacher.

GU: I guess I can say I knew him once. [Laughs]

RP: George, have you returned to Manzanar in the years since you left?

GU: Well, as I mentioned before, I go fishing a lot to, up in the Bishop, Crowley Lake area, so only... every time I finish fishing, coming home, I'd stop by, but only at the gate. Once or twice, I did go visit the museum itself. For no other reason, just to stop and have my refreshment they gave. [Laughs]

RP: Did you have children?

GU: Do I have children? Yes. Up there. [Indicates photograph] All five.

RP: Now, do they have, have they asked you or inquired about your experiences at Manzanar?

GU: No, I don't... I don't remember, recall them ever asking me about it.

RP: Did you talk about it with them at all?

GU: Very little. In fact, with one of my daughters, I think it was the fiftieth anniversary, you know, at the end of April they always have that trip to Manzanar cemetery. I think I took my, one of my daughters to that one year on the fiftieth anniversary. Other than that, none of my older children have ever been there.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 25>

RP: Leo, you said you were in the army for a time, and what did you do with your life after the army?

LU: Oh, you know, they had the GI Bill at the time, so I started to take auto mechanic at the Santa Monica Technical School. And, well, going to the mechanics school, during coffee break and stuff, I got to know this welding instructor. Joking around, and got to know him pretty good, and he persuaded me to, he said, "You better come into welding. You don't want to be a grease monkey all your life." So I, somewhere, I did change. So I changed to welding. And I guess I took for about a year and a half, and I got certified. And so I got certified in the structural welding. So I worked in the... structural fabricating shop, and I worked in the shop for about ten years, I guess, and then it was the first time that the, you know, I belonged to the union. And went on strike, so while on strike, I started to look around for the other jobs. And the Water and Power department and the L.A. City School had an exam, so I took the test for both, and I passed the test for the L.A. school system. So I got a job as a maintenance welder for the school. So I guess I worked for the school until I retired. It was a pretty good deal.

RP: Did you also get married?

LU: Yes. After I came out of the army, I went to school, and then it was after I started to work that I got married.

RP: Now, did your wives have camp experiences, too? I'm just assuming they were Japanese American.

LU: Yeah. My wife was in Poston. I don't know where...

GU: I think she was in Poston, too, wasn't she?

LU: Yeah, Poston had, I think, three camps, I, II, III.

GU: You know, I could never get straight in my mind which camp Frances was in. I think it was in Arizona.

<End Segment 25> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 26>

RP: Can you share with me your feelings about your camp experience, given that you were relatively young, how do you see it looking back from your sixty-six years later, George?

GU: Well, like you said, I was young then. And I can relate it as a young person. And it was the first time I ever got a train ride, the first time I ever got a bus ride, and the first time I'd ever seen something like a scorpion. And we had snow in Manzanar one year. Lot more snow than we ever got in Sacramento. So, and so as a young person, it was like a camp for me. I didn't have all the negative feelings that this camp was, meant to the older people. It's only later that I started to look at it from my older siblings' and my parents' point of view, that this was, must have been a really, really hard experience for them, especially for my parents. When they had worked so hard on the farm and raising such a large family, and then having to sell it for, you know, real small amount of money for what they had worked for. So that's, that's the two point of view that I have as far as camp life goes. To me, it also meant that the Japanese community, where they were concentrated at each particular town, they got, made 'em spread out and join other communities. And so I think in that way, it was good. In other ways, having to sacrifice all those things that they worked for, and that was the bad part of it. And from my point of view, I have to say it was not a negative experience for me.

RP: Leo, how do you feel about it?

LU: Well, when I first started to go to high school, I thought, well, I was going to be some kind of artist. And the first year in high school, that was before camp, I wasn't exposed to that art class. It was, I kind of liked it, but when I went to Manzanar, they didn't have any, no good art classes at all. So I just quit about art. And as far as the camp goes, I did have a lot of fun trying to play baseball and basketball. The main thing was, like the farm, you didn't have to work all the time. [Laughs] You had a lot of spare time. And then, you know, it's like living in the city, compared to living in the farm, so you're in close contact with everybody. That made it a little more sociable. And, you know, at times, I never, I never thought about war going on. And then met some, lot of new people, compared to just living on the farm. So it was, well, really a different life from living on the farm.

RP: And you get together with those people every year.

LU: Yeah.

GU: You know, that's true in a sense, and yet, when I go to the reunion, it's usually just the immediate friend that I have from my hometown. Yeah, I really don't associate with all the other people that are from the camp, unless for some reason, we got put on the same table and we had something in common. Other than that, it's usually just within the immediate friends from the hometown. I don't really, I'm not that sociable type of person. So I don't mingle with all the other people. Once in a while, I see somebody that I remember in there, and have conversation with that person. But most of the time, it's just within the hometown friends.

LU: You know the thing with this reunion? It's getting so that you go there, they all changed, so you don't know who they are anymore. You know, I can't recognize anybody.

RP: From high school?

LU: Yeah.

<End Segment 26> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 27>

GU: [Holding photograph] Yeah. I wanted to show you this picture. This is a picture that a good friend of my father, a photographer, took. You know the old fashioned camera where it spans the group, a large group? And that's how this picture was taken. And my father had the photographer make several copies, the same thing, and he gave it to different friends. And this was one of 'em, that got I back from this, close family friend, the Miyaokas, Ben that I'm telling, I mentioned. One of the Florin, at one of the Florin reunions, they brought this and gave it back to us. And since then, my wife had it framed in this frame. I don't know if you remember other families having this picture.

LU: The one I have might be the same one, I don't know.

GU: No, it is exactly the same thing. Father had several made from the same negative. What's significant about this is this is in the Smithsonian museum, in the Museum of Natural History. You know, they had that exhibit called "We the People," which opened in 1988, I think. And the first set of exhibits in that exhibit was a town called Florin. And Mary Tsukamoto was heavily responsible for that, and she was able to include this picture in that exhibit. So I heard that they were gonna make that a permanent exhibit, but I don't know. I haven't been there since -- I went there in 1999, and I haven't been back there since. But the odd thing about it, that picture, the title of this picture in that exhibit does not have our name in it. It has another, the Tsukamoto family.

KP: So they're taking credit for your father?

GU: I guess so. I don't know if they have changed it since then or not. I know for several years, they haven't changed it, no matter how many times we have, somebody in the family had talked to somebody there. And for some reason, they would not change it. And you know what the last comment was, why they couldn't change it? They were waiting for budget to make changes, because this is not the only thing that needed to be changed.

KP: Actually, we understand that quite well at the Park, run into the same thing.

GU: But when you have something like that, can't somebody on their lunch go to the computer and print out a name and put it in place of it?

RP: I'll even give 'em a Sharpie.

GU: Yeah.

RP: Yeah. That's not -- but then they have the rules and regulations.

<End Segment 27> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 28>

KP: What year is that?

GU: This was like 1926, about two months after he was born. See, this picture has my father on the tractor here, and it has my mother in the porch holding Leo. He was about two months, he was about two months old then.

LU: I guess so, because these are grapes and these are real young.

RP: They kind of grew up with you.

LU: I guess so.

KP: Is that the water tank that blew over?

LU: Yeah, this is the one that blew over. He had to get it redone.

RP: Now, I see some more of the buildings in there. There's a building way over on this side.

GU: Over here, I think that's the barn. And between the barn and this main house, there's another smaller house, and that's where all the boys were, used to sleep. Yeah, all the brothers.

RP: That's another barn over where Leo is?

GU: That's another farm.

LU: Oh, this is a neighbor.

RP: Who is that neighbor?

LU: Do you know?

GU: No. It's been so long, I can't think of the name.

RP: Oh, wow, grapes everywhere. Are those all the fruit trees?

LU: Yeah.

RP: What does that area look like today?

LU: Okay, this is all homes now.

GU: All this is gone.

LU: The house is gone.

GU: Property has changed about three times, and the last owner built a new home and got rid of all these. So the new home is the only one on that property.

LU: This whole area is subdivided into homes.

GU: Yeah, once what was grape vineyards like this, the people who took over, because they weren't farmers, they just made it into an open field, pasture land. And part of that land behind here is, I don't know whether you've been to Sacramento or not, or even Florin. Have you been to Florin?

RP: Yeah, we were there --

GU: There's a park called Sunrise Park, that was part of this property. Who's the people that we visited last, the farm? Fletcher.

LU: Bob Fletcher, he was the foreman of, inspector of grapes.

GU: He was also a fireman, too. He retired as a fireman. (Narr. note: When we had to evacuate, Fletcher took over about three farms, Tsukamoto, Nitta and another farm.)

RP: He was the foreman of grapes? Inspector, you said.

LU: Inspector. You know when you picked the grape and then you ship? Before you put 'em on the train, he would open up, inspect it to see, I guess...

RP: Bugs and diseases?

LU: Huh?

RP: For bugs or diseases?

LU: Or maybe test for sugar content or whatever.

RP: You know, his name came up last time we were in Sacramento as one of the farmers who took over several Japanese American farms.

LU: Yeah, he was next to the last owner. He finally sold it, and he lives in Canal assisted living community. Not too far, right in back.

RP: He took over the Tsukamoto farm?

GU: Oh, is that right?

RP: So they had, they had a farm when they came back from camp.

LU: Oh, Tsukamoto.

RP: Tsukamotos and two other families. He managed the farms. Oh, so that's interesting. So he would have been around at this time, Fletcher?

LU: I guess so, yeah, because he's older than I am, I think.

GU: There's a street that runs north and south that comes into Florin Road, it's called Old Fletcher Farm Road. And every time I think about it, I think, "Oh, I'm gonna make a sign to put over it says, 'Old Uchida Farm Road.'" But I haven't done it yet.

RP: That school you're talking about, East Florin elementary school is still...

LU: Still there.

RP: Still there.

GU: I heard that they were gonna make a museum out of it, but they haven't done that.

KP: It was some type of rehabilitation... it's in the county...

RP: The county owns it and they're using it as some type of educational rehab center. It had, like, a fenced gate around the area, but there was no plaque or anything to acknowledge that it was one of the schools, segregated schools.

LU: The west is gone then?

RP: I'm sorry?

LU: The West grammar school is gone?

RP: I don't know. I don't know where it actually was.

GU: Yeah, I think it's gone. I think it's all homes now.

RP: There were a few other old buildings, I think one was a Japanese store in, sort of, Florin, the center of Florin, where the railroad tracks are. Two or three old-looking stores.

<End Segment 28> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 29>

KP: Were you gonna show us something else?

GU: Pardon?

KP: Were you gonna show us something else?

GU: Yeah. This is the rest of my family, siblings. All the... let's see, eight children from... this is Mary Kino, this is Ruby, Elmer, this is Ruth, and Sumi and May, and I think this is David or Daniel. Must be David and Daniel, David or...

KP: David's on the end. I can see the cheat sheet over there in the corner.

GU: Oh. [Laughs] Yeah, I wrote the, made this out so that anybody else after me can see who they are.

RP: Great picture, thank you.

GU: But my father had a real good photographer friend, and he took many, many pictures.

RP: What was his name?

GU: Kuroko

RP: Kuroko? Last name?

GU: Yeah.

LU: K-U-R-O-K-O, Kuroko.

GU: Yeah, and I think when we left Florin in evacuation, I think we just destroyed all those pictures, many of them.

LU: Yeah, like I said, we used to have those annual picnics, Mr. Kuroko, he would take those picture every year.

RP: That's so important to document stuff, those events. History of a community. You guys were a pretty tight-knit community.

GU: Yeah. I've heard of some smart kids, when they're taking pictures like this, he would stand at the very front of the picture where the group, where the picture would start, camera would start, and as the camera moved over, he would go hide behind the people standing there and stand over here and have his picture taken again, on the same picture. [Laughs]

RP: Well, do you have any other stories or memories that you would like to share with us before we conclude our interview?

LU: Pardon?

RP: Any other stories or memories that you'd like to add to our interview before we conclude it?

GU: Have you seen our family picture that was taken in Manzanar? You know, I've always been amazed, thinking back, how the parents were able to have everybody, all the boys, in suits. I could never imagine them ever to do that. Had everybody in suits.

RP: You were there.

GU: Yeah. And Mary Kino was there for that.

RP: Oh, she was back --

GU: She was in the camp at that time.

LU: I think that's the reason they had the picture taken.

GU: Could be. And also, it was right after Elmer got married. I think that's why everything fit together.

RP: Everybody's in suits, so let's take a picture.

LU: Yeah, I guess that photographer was, he had everything in perspective to have the mountain in the background and all that.

RP: Nice picture.

GU: Yeah, it's a beautiful picture.

RP: Well, thanks to both of you for sharing your stories with us. On behalf myself and Kirk and the National Park Service, we really appreciate it.

<End Segment 29> - Copyright © 2009 Manzanar National Historic Site and Densho. All Rights Reserved.