Densho Digital Archive
Oregon Nikkei Endowment Collection
Title: Ted Hachiya Interview
Narrator: Ted Hachiya
Interviewer: Molly Peters
Location: Portland, Oregon
Date: March 4, 2003
Densho ID: denshovh-hted_2-01

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

<Begin Segment 1>

MP: Today we're interviewing Ted Hachiya on March 4, 2003. And Ted, you indicated that your memory goes back as far as when you were two and a half years old, so I'm curious, what is it that you remember from that time?

TH: Well, I could tell you where I was raised up to that two and a half years old, which is on Ninth and Couch, Northwest Ninth and Couch. It was a block away from the armory, the old armory, and I remember the rabbits that my grandfather used to raise in the backyard. And when we, when Dad bought a rooming house in Portland, I remember moving. And he was, he exported, besides being a bell hop and a cook, I think he was exporting motorcycles, Indian motorcycles. In part, there was a duty on it if you send it whole, so you used to part it. And I remember he stepped on a nail one day, and he was out for about two or three weeks there with an infection for stepping on a nail, went right through his foot. That's all I remember. Oh, I remember Grandma. I used to give her fits, I guess. She used to chase me around the kitchen, and she dropped her false teeth on the floor, and it broke. I thought is it was so funny, and I laughed and laughed, and she got madder and madder. That's about all I remember, but I did have a grandmother and a grandfather here, I guess, in America. It either has to be back in 1923 or '4.

MP: You, I liked to hear what, you know, you remember about your father. You indicated that he was pretty strict.

TH: Yes. He was a disciplinarian more or less according to Japanese custom. I was the firstborn son, and he taught me from the time I can remember things that an oldest son had to take care of the affairs of the family if he passed on, and he, I guess, he made rules as he went along of what he wanted done if something ever happened to him. But he was a young person at that age. That's about all I can remember of my father. But he was a disciplinarian, and he, boy, he didn't lay off the switch or the... he used to use a rubber hose with lead inside that he used to keep as a safeguard, you know, the rooming house that he ran because he used to get a lot of riffraff, you know, in that area. And he hit me a couple times with that darn thing, and I prayed to God, you know, I didn't die.

MP: What did he hit you for?

TH: Well, the one particular time that, I remember the last time he hit me was when one of the boys in the neighborhood stole money from his family. I don't think I said it before, but he took the money, it was ten dollars. They were barbers, they ran a barbershop and the laundry down below our newly acquired hotel, and I think I was around eight or nine years old at the time. But this family found out that the boy took the money, but we helped him spend the money. But I was more or less a kind of a leader, I guess. See, he didn't want to take the money home, what change there was. I think we spent I think maybe five or six dollars of the ten, original ten, but there was four silver dollars left. And god, of all places to hide it, I put it underneath the rug that led up to our rooming house. And by, the folks found out that the boy stole money, and they called my dad, and my dad asked me if I stole it. I said, "I didn't steal the money. I helped spend it." But he said that's just like stealing, and he whipped me with that rubber hose. I actually rolled under the bed to escape him. I remember praying to God at the time. It's the first time I ever asked God besides, oh, I guess it was the first time I prayed to God to save me. I didn't know anything about God, but I did go to, you know, church and knew that there was a higher being.


TH: What part do you want to hear? You want to hear about my, taking a bath with glasses on? My eyesight was so bad that I couldn't even shower without glasses.

MP: When you got in a fight, what did you do with your glasses? Did you take them off?

TH: Oh, yeah. If I broke my glasses, they were made out of glass in the old days, and now it's plastic, plastic lens. And we don't have that problem, but I used to just throw 'em aside so they wouldn't break them because my dad would give me old age. He was really strict. I used to break glasses all the time because I was always in a scrap. But I was kind of a, oldest brother. I had a younger brother, Hiram, and he'd start fights and always bring it to me to finish. But being the oldest brother, I suppose I took care of most of his problems.

MP: What were Hiram's fights about?

TH: He always got in an argument. He, you know, he liked to talk a lot, and he used to get into arguments with guys. People used to tease him. He was almost as big as I, but he wasn't, wasn't the kind that defended himself. I was a boss in my neighborhood.

<End Segment 1> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 2>

MP: Tell me more about your father. And I want to get into the, we'll get into this, the high school fights and so on, but tell me more about your father and about his story, how he got to this country and your grandfather and so on.

TH: Well, as far as I know, Dad came to this country at the age of fourteen years old, I think. That's what he said. He came with his father who had signed up with the Union Pacific as a laborer on building the railroad in Eastern Oregon. And I guess he worked about four, three, four years, and then he went back to the old country with Dad for his promised bride. And he came back himself but not with his bride because there was, I think she was interned for quite a while, someplace in Seattle that took care of people that were migrating over here, and I think that she stayed in that place over six months. Usually inspection for tuberculosis, it was kind of prevalent with Japanese people, I think with Eskimos and Indians as well. But I know my father didn't, I think he was, he must have been twenty-two or twenty-three when he got married, but he was eight years older than Mom. Mom was sixteen. I know my mother's age because she's exactly seventeen years older than I am.

MP: How did they pick a bride for your dad?

TH: Well, the two families got together and more or less agreed that the son would accept the daughter. That's all I know about the picture brides. She wasn't really a picture bride. She was spoken for, and the families arranged everything, I guess, before he came here the first time, and I know he went back after her.

MP: Did he know her at all?

TH: Yes. They were born in a similar area. I think you would call it county, I guess. He lived in the next county next to her, but she went to same, basically same school. I think, she said started finishing school about twelve because she was ready to be married at sixteen. It was four years of finishing school. It's a little different than the regular high school. They taught them, oh, arts, you know, cooking, and keeping house and being a good wife, I guess, that's all.

MP: Did they teach that musical instrument?

TH: Yes. If you had a talent for music, they would have had their choice of picking a musical instrument; and of course, you learned how to cook. Grandma was a pretty good cook, and Grandpa was a good cook. But she learned everything about keeping house and raising children, I guess, oh, making clothes too. She sewed a lot.

MP: What kind of clothes did she make?

TH: Well, when she was in Japan, she made Japanese dresses, you know, with the long sleeve and stuff like that. But when she came to America, she went through some kind of a tailoring school and learned how to make dresses and suits, and I think a lot of Japanese women that come over here, they worked for Pendleton or Jantzen or White Stag. They were pretty good seamstresses. I think in the early ages of the women folks, they were taught, you know, sewing. It was very important.

MP: Did you say they were taught swimming?

TH: No, sewing.

MP: Sewing, sorry. You said your father's dad was working for the railroad?

TH: Yes.

MP: And your mother's dad was a pastry chef?

TH: Pantry chef, they called them. All they did, you take care of salads and making, you know, cakes and pies, and that was his duty, and he was working for the University Club.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 3>

MP: And how did your, what was the attitude of people here toward your mom and dad?

TH: Well, my dad used to tell me a funny story. He could speak some English, but my mother was required to shop, and he used to have to, when she wanted to buy eggs and the grocer didn't understand, she used to imitate a cock, he understood, but it was funny the way she shopped. And Dad like eating fish heads, and I remember my mom one time, and Mom kind of told a fib. She said, "I want the fish head for my cat." And I thought she really meant cat and brought it home, and she cooked the head for Dad, and I learned to like it myself. I understand the Indians in this country still eat heads. I think a lot of people eat heads. But when you talk about eating heads and part of the innards, it turns their stomach. [Laughs]

MP: So, Ted, do you still eat the heads?

TH: Yes. But I used to be an avid fisherman, salmon, salmon head particularly and tuna if I could get it. But the salmon head is delicious, really. You boil the stuff, and you eat the skin. You eat the eyeballs if you like it, tastes like chalk. But there's little pieces of meat inside the head, and the cartilage was good to chew on after it was cooked. And we cooked it in the soy sauce and sugar and ginger and put onion and lemon slices, and it was very tasty. I actually made teriyaki like that for people who I fish with, Caucasian fellows, and they liked it, but I didn't tell them what it was. They would barf right in the boat. [Laughs]

MP: Where did you go fishing?

TH: Well, I first started to fish in Oregon City, but it got kind of rough up there because a lot of people that worked the mills, they thought they owned the river, you know. And if you did something that not to their liking, well, they had a way of shoeing you out of there by cross, you know, anchoring you and putting you out of position. And as soon as we were able to get cars, we started to go down to a place near Scappoose, and a lot of people that sport fish down in that area call it Tokyo Bay because a lot of our people moved down that way. And we were, when we started to fish with herring, most of our people were lucky, not particularly good, but they were lucky. They were, seemed like the Japanese guys were always catching fish down there.

MP: What year would we be talking about here?

TH: Well, let's see. I started fishing in 1946 at Oregon City, and I moved down ten years later, so it was about, I guess in the '60s, so I guess we moved down below to Scappoose. The river is wider, and there was, you know, you can move about, and we did trolling down there, anchor fishing in Oregon City. We picked a spot, and we anchored. That's why I meant where they could cross-anchor you and put you out of position up there very easily.

MP: So in 1960, still they were calling it Tokyo Bay?

TH: Yeah. They were talking, as soon as we started to fish down there, we started to fish with herring I think in the '70s, and we were catching a lot of fish, but we even caught a lot of fish with lures, you know, brass spinners.

MP: Do you think that... that when they called it Tokyo Bay, was that derogatory or was that --

TH: No. There's Coon Island down there just off of Scappoose, and we fished in that particular area, and we, there was a big concentration. We had a fishing club. It was probably about ninety people strong. That's how many fishermen there were.

MP: It's all Japanese?

TH: All Japanese. And I think a third of us punch the cards out, you know, when they started to keep track of us. I think there was twenty fish allotted per year, and we'd catch fish, and we'd have to quit.

MP: Were you fishing for salmon?

TH: Yeah, mostly for salmon. This was always in March and April and part of May.

MP: And then did you freeze all your, what did you do with your catch?

TH: A lot of us didn't have freezers in those days, earlier. We smoked a lot of the fish like the Indians. Spring Chinook is very fat. It's a very tasty fish, but it's also very fat, and a lot of Caucasians didn't like it because of the strong fish flavor. But now, they all learn to eat the darn thing. The Jewish people didn't seem to mind, but they smoked it too dry mostly because it kept longer, you know. When you smoked it light, it had a tendency to, what is it, mold.

<End Segment 3> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 4>

MP: So going back to your mom and dad, was your mom as, was she strict like your dad or was she more --

TH: No. That's the strange thing. Mom was a very quiet person, and she always, every time Dad scolded us or whipped us, why, she was always trying to comfort us. When Dad died in the year of '43, I figured that I had to take over, but she didn't let me take it over, I mean about the family affairs. She became a very strong-willed woman, and she was perfectly capable of running the business that was left to us. We had a hotel, you know.

MP: Yeah. So Ted, tell me about the whole hotel story and history of that building and so on and how you got that.

TH: Well, Japanese people have a tendency to go into the grocery, the barber shop, the laundry business, or the rooming house business. We didn't call it motels those days. It was a rooming house. Maybe some of them were twenty or twenty-five rooms strong. But my dad was not a pioneer, but there was, he had his eye on a hotel called Matisson Hotel at the time. It was run prior to the time it was offer for sale by a Japanese family by the name of Furusho, and I don't know what he called it at that time. But that hotel was offered for $29,000 by the First National Bank, and my dad was a, offered to pay that money, and he sent me to the bank to dicker for that, and I was only sixteen years old at the time. And I remember I, you can always come up, I learned this from the Jewish people that I associated with. You could always come up if you had to pay more if you want it bad enough. But you started low, and I offered him $15,000, and they looked at me and asked me how old I was. I said I was sixteen and I have a guardian. He says, "Well, we'll take it up with the board and let you know in a week." About a week later, there was a fellow by Bushnell and Bennett. They both got on the phone and told me, he says, "You can have it for that." But I said, "There's a catch. You got to pay all the back taxes on it," and they had to have another board meeting. So they paid the back taxes on the darn thing, and I think I made them an offer of so much down. I don't remember exactly how much, oh, it was $3,000 just offhand, $3,000 down and $300 a month payment on the thing, and they accepted the darn thing. And that turned out to be a real godsend for the family. We bought it in 1938. And Dad had his eye on that darn thing, and we were one of the first of our people to own a hotel that large. It had 117 rental rooms, but the hotel was originally designed to be something like that like 130, but we occupied one-fourth of the first floor for the family's use.

MP: When you made that purchase, Ted, how did you, you were sixteen, how did you, how did you dress or how did you --

TH: My father, he bought me an overcoat, a hat, and the thing that I remember most was a briefcase that was thrown out of the window couple times to make it look worn, and I carried the papers in it, and that's when he asked me how old I was. It was so funny. I said I had a guardian." He says, "Well, do you got an attorney?" I says, "I have an attorney." It was my grandfather's attorney. His name was Maclair in Hillsboro. He was an attorney for the Mailing Family that started the Birds Eye Cannery. And oh, I think Dad worked for them, I mean, Grandfather worked for them for quite a while after he quit the University Club, went to Japan with his, you know, to be with his family, retire so to speak. But Grandma was a spender. She spent all that money and send him back to America to make a lot of money, so he went to work for Mailings as a private cook, and Mailings had a beautiful house down there in Depoe Bay. Some people might have seen it, you know. I think it's been sold out of the estate, but I remember Mrs. Mailing. She used to come after us with a, there was a car called Accord. She was a sporty woman, but boy was she thrifty. She raised strawberries and took them to Depoe Bay, the city Depoe Bay, and sold them. She didn't give them away, but I don't know why. I remember particularly she had us pick them when we spent two weeks down there for vacation.

MP: So your dad worked for Mrs. Mailing?

TH: No, grandfather.

MP: Your grandfather worked for Mrs. Mailing?

TH: Yeah. She was famous for her canned peaches, and that's how they got started, you know, the canning business. I guess now it's frozen food, but the Mailings doesn't own any of it. He sold out years ago. That man weighed 300 pounds, Mr. Mailing. I remember, he broke the bed in the Arlington Club. He was a member there where my father worked. He broke the bed, and they had to hire a carpenter to rebuild the bed. He's 300 pounds. He was a big man, but he was a kindly man. He loved kids, you know. He always kept us, gave us a dime. The old days, that was a lot of money.

MP: So your grandfather worked for Mrs. Mailing or the Mailings, and your --

TH: That's the second trip see. Grandma sent him back to America. I think he came back in 1932. I keep remembering that because I was still in grade school then.

MP: And you were here?

TH: Yes. I never went to Japan until I, when my wife and I celebrated our 25th, Mother insisted I go back and meet the relatives, so we never had a honeymoon. We got married in Salt Lake City in the Methodist church, would you believe. But she gave us, I think, $1,500 for the trip.

MP: What was that like going back to Japan?

TH: Well, both my wife and I can speak fairly fluently in Japanese because we were, well, my wife was the, she was the third girl in the family, but her family spoke Japanese at home. And my mother couldn't speak English at all. She could understand it, but she couldn't speak it, so we spoke Japanese at home, so I was fairly fluent. After I stayed there for about two weeks, I was like a native. I could jabber away in Japanese just as good as a native. I don't know how it came to me... oh, yeah. My dad did send us to language school, Japanese school. I went through sixth grade, and I quit and played football instead.

<End Segment 4> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 5>

MP: Were you required to go to language school? I mean, was that pretty much a requirement in the Japanese community for everybody?

TH: Yeah. Almost everybody had, if they had children, they went to Japanese language school. It was two hours after you got out of school. School usually let kids out by three o'clock. We went to school about four until dinner time.

MP: So that was in grade school between, when you finished school then you went to the language --

TH: As long as you wanted. I guess you could, they allowed you to go up into the high school, but I didn't make it. I went as far as the sixth grade, then I went back to third grade, but I learned it well.

MP: Do you think you were like a rebel?

TH: Yeah, I guess so. I was kind of, yeah, self-appointed bully, I guess. There was two, three guys that were growing up in our neighborhood. One is a pretty well-known fellow. He, I don't think he invented the plastic lenses, you know, but he has a big factory back there in Chicago. And there was a Jimmy Hongo, was a great fisherman, and Tom Oki who, I don't know what he did, but he was back in Illinois too. But those guys were the bullies, and they used to take our pants off and take our shoes off, make us walk home.

MP: Was that in grade school?

TH: Yeah. We were, they were in high school, but we were in grade school when I became a bully. When they, when they graduated high school, I took my turn.

MP: What grade school did you go to?

TH: I went to Ladd originally, and then I transferred to Shattuck. A lot of people don't remember that school, but where the Portland Museum is, that's where the Ladd School used to be. And I went to Shattuck, and I actually graduated from Lincoln High School.

MP: So you were in the, you were living at that time in the, in the hotel. In the Columbia Hotel?

TH: That's when I was sixteen, I guess. That's about the time that we bought the hotel and moved into it.

MP: And that's how you could go to Lincoln High School because you were in that neighborhood then?

TH: Yeah. I think, well, the Hachi Rooms was on Third and, I mean Second and Taylor. The building is still there where the old sign down there is. It's called Hachi Rooms, but it's empty because it's been condemned. It's an old brick building. A woman by the name of Mrs. Wood owned the darn thing, but I think it passed down to her estate. I don't know why they don't sell it or tear it down. It's kind of just junky. It's got a bar downstairs, secondhand store on the main floor, and the upper floors are empty, I understand. It was condemned.

MP: Have you been there to look at it? Did you go?

TH: Oh, yeah. I pass by there so, you know, every time I go downtown, I pass by there.

MP: Is that nostalgic for you when you look at it or --

TH: No. It isn't, doesn't hold a, that's where I took a beating. [Laughs] It doesn't hold good memories for me.

MP: What's all that about?

TH: I'm not going to, I'm not going to say.

MP: Now, you mentioned your brother, Hiram?

TH: Yeah.

MP: Did you have other siblings?

TH: I have two sisters. One is named Yoshiko, and she's in Hawaii, and Masako was married to Dr. Oyama here in town. You know, strange part of it, I have four boys in the family, and I have one 6' 4" and the other one is 6' 2" and the other is 5' 11", same height as I am. But my sister's boys are all 6 feet. I don't know why my oldest sister, well, I say older, she's below Hiram. She has two sons and both are 6 feet. My sister, Masako, she has three boys, and they are all 6 feet.

MP: Were your parents tall?

TH: My mother was considered tall. She was 5'3" or 4", and Dad was about 5'8", but they were considered tall for our people.

MP: Did the girls in your family get off easier than the boys?

TH: Oh, yeah. I had to look out for, they led a protected life, I tell you. My dad always made me look after them. I even had to tutor the youngest one. She didn't remember it, but then I said, "I tutored, I had to tutor you in reading. When I was in high school, you were in grade school having a tough time."

MP: That was in English reading, obviously?

TH: Yeah. But Yoshiko was pretty, well, she was a better than average student, and she got along real fine, but she was a domesticated. She didn't go on to college. She's the only one that didn't go on to college because she didn't want to. She went to business school.

<End Segment 5> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 6>

MP: Was that at that time, you all going on to college, was that unusual?

TH: You know, a lot of families couldn't afford to send their siblings, I mean children to college. My dad always wanted me to go to college. But I got out of school too early, and I didn't enjoy college as much as I might have had I realized what I wanted to be. I didn't know what I wanted to be. He just sent me to college. So I went to Reed for a year and a half, quit, and went to work down for CRPA Tuna Factory. I learned how to butcher tuna fish.

MP: And why did you leave Reed?

TH: Well, long story. You know, they were on the honor system. The student body threatened to have us thrown out of school because we were gambling. There was a fellow named Sam Lee. Everybody called him Ham Bone for short. And the Student Union Building was built newly in, I think, 1938, and a lot of students played cards in there, either bridge or hearts or, they didn't gamble too much, but we got to running a gambling table and then blackjack table and hearts table, and we used to take, we called it tedai. It was a take, you know. You used to take five percent of the pot all the time for supplying the cards and what not, and we managed to get two hours lunch, both of us, he ran a table and I ran the other table, and we were making better than spending money. But it got so interesting and so lucrative that, and we kept the kids broke all the time, you know. And these, people that went to Reed College was supposed to be smart kids, but they're dumb when it comes to gambling. I think a lot of people referred to them as rednecks, but I didn't think they were too bright. A gambler is sharper.

MP: So what happened?

TH: Well, then we got called before the student union one day, and they threatened to have us, you know, kicked out of school if we continued on. So I says, "Well, you don't have to kick me out, I quit," and I walked out of school. I took a lunch every day for six months. Dad thought that I was still going to school, but I was working all the time. When he finally found out I wasn't going to school, he asked me what I was doing, and I told him I was working. And I said, "If you want the money, it's all here." I gave him all the money. He didn't say a thing, but he said, "I want you to go back to school, any school." So I went through, I think I worked for half the year for CRPA Cannery, and then I got admitted on a Licksey football scholarship to Linnfield. Well, I got to tell you about that football in high school, you know. We didn't have time to go out to practice football with the varsity squad or any of the group. And there was a coach there, Waldorf. I think his name was Waldorf. I don't remember exactly his name, but he came to see me. He asked me one time, "How come you don't turn out for football?" because, you know, I was knocking all the linemen around, you know. I weighed 180 pounds, I guess, in school. One hundred eighty pounds was a big man in high school. Now, they got behemoths, they're 250s, almost 300. But anyway, he came to see Dad. I said, "It won't do any good," because Dad had an answer for him. He says, "How come you don't let your son go to play athletics?" He says, "School is a place to study, not to play." And Waldorf never said another word. He turned right around, walked out, and thanked my dad for allowing him to speak to him, and he never bothered me again.

MP: That was in high school?

TH: High school, yeah. Oh, I got to mention the Reed College too. I played for the football team the first year. We were undefeated team, and some of the national newspaper picked it up, and it was Reed College versus Chicago in the Brain Storm Bowl. Bowls were beginning to become popular. I think I kept an article on that darn thing. I forgot about that, but I was playing on a football team. We played a lot of CCA boys that were, you know, and some small college. We beat them all. I think we won ten or twelve games, you know, during the season, and it was, we had quite a write-up in our newspapers.

MP: So where was the Brain Storm Bowl?

TH: Well, they just talked about it. It didn't actually come up, but they talked about us. Reed College has a football team, and it's undefeated. See --

MP: Did you actually play University of Chicago?

TH: No. We didn't play Chicago, University of Chicago, but they were known as a kind of a brainy college in, back in those days. Reed College was a pretty highly rated college, but I don't know. I don't know why they call them rednecks, but that's what they used to call everybody that went there.

MP: Who were the rednecks?

TH: Why they call it, it's just a nickname. That's what they named them, you know. They were the, considered little radicals really.

MP: At Reed?

TH: Yes. But they were considered a highly rated college.

MP: Still are, yeah. What kind of a student were you?

TH: Well in science and biology, I got good grades in those. I majored in science but didn't do good on the rest of it. I didn't go to classes.

MP: Why? Were you busy --

TH: Well, because busy organizing the gambling. I thought that was really something, you know, because imagine the student in those days, 1938. My dad worked for something like $185 a month, and I was making all of that in maybe a couple weeks, and I had more money than he did. Oh, speaking about money, you know, I don't carry coins in my pocket. My mother used to hear the coins jingle in my pocket, and she'd want to know where I got the money all the time, so I started to carry paper money. [Laughs] It's so funny. She would hear this coin. I'd be walking up the stairs or someplace, and she'd hear the coins jingling in my pocket and says, "Where did you get that money?" She thought I was stealing it from her.

MP: So she thought you were up to no good if she heard the jangling coins? [Laughs]

TH: Yeah. I was very enterprising. When I was, when I was going to Linnfield College, it didn't work out too well there. They wouldn't furnish the glasses, I had been wearing glasses to play football. I couldn't see beyond my nose. I even made a touchdown one time. I caught the ball. I don't know how it got in my hands, but I ran the wrong way, made a touchdown for the other team. Well, that was at Reed, that's right. But anyway, the following year, they offered me a tryout at Oregon, so I went to Oregon, and they gave me a job down there, but I had to work, and I didn't like that because it was the athletic scholarship that I was after. They offered it to people that were outstanding. But I wasn't particularly outstanding, I was just rough. I was a tough guy. You couldn't get by me too easy.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 7>

MP: So tell me about what happened at University of Oregon. How did you --

TH: Well, you know, I had a little store in my dormitory. I had, I got all the people that were in charge of the candy machine, they didn't have a Coke machine then, but the candy machine, the laundry, and the dry cleaning, I guess, they gave out percentage of the stuff they would send out in all the dorms in Oregon. I bought all those kids out and got the house, I forgot her name, but the lady that took care of the dormitories, I convinced her that I have kids that are appointed to pick up the soda pop bottles. That's one of the reasons they wouldn't let them have the Coke machine in there. You know, they throw or spill it on the floors and lay the bottles around. But I gave her all these kids, each dormitory, the laundry, the dry cleaning, the candy machine, and the Coke. We made a lot of money, you know.

MP: How did you get, how did you get the money to even buy these franchises or whatever?

TH: I had money. Either I was selling typewriters and fountain pens, and there was a Parker pen and a shaker dot, white dot pen. A lot of people don't remember those, you do. Well, I was selling it for twenty-five percent off for cash. That's how I made money there. I had another enterprise; I never told you this. There's an Italian boy that made these big long sandwiches, you know. He was from New Jersey, and I used to eat them all the time, didn't pay him anything. But he used to, people used to, I used to, you know, watch it, sell it for him, you know. People come up to the dormitory, and he'd have sandwiches in this big pile. He was cooking all this stuff. But I learned how to do business with all the Jewish, well, I was born, raised in a Jewish community, you know. South Portland was known as a, a lot of Jewish people were businesspeople there. And I worked, I used to take care inventory for Gilbert Brothers all the time. I knew how much it cost and how much they had in a bin. And the inventory time, they used to call me in, and I used to take inventory for them, took me three, four days, but they had millions worth of stuff in hardware, you know. They had, anything in the hardware business, they handled. They were the biggest in town. But it's funny about siblings, they have a fight, after they get, their wives get involved in, and they're all separated, you know. The oldest father, he lived longer, and Leslie was the youngest son, he died early. But Abe, he married a sister. He wasn't a Gilbert.

MP: So you learned that you could buy cheap and sell high?

TH: That's right. I bought, I used to, for pay, I used to take merchandise out of the store. For instance, I took, the year I was going to Oregon, I got a case of steam irons. Steam irons were relatively new, and I rented them out for two bits a day. And the girls, men didn't iron, but the women in the women's dormitory, you know, twenty-five cents was cheap for them, paid to iron their clothes, and they kept it all day. Some didn't return for two, three days. I didn't care.

MP: So, did you get the steam irons, did you buy the steam irons?

TH: Well, no. They gave it to me in lieu of pay.

MP: Okay. So --

TH: That's where I got my fishing tackle. I got wads of fishing tackle. What else do you want?

MP: So, okay. Let's, let's go to this period. You were at University of Oregon for a little while, and then the war was --

TH: Yeah. Actually, I was sleeping in the dorm when the war broke out, you know. All the kids were running around, "Hey, war's been declared on our country by Japan," and I woke up with a start. I said, "You got to be kidding. That little country can't do anything." But I guess it was true. I listened to the radio broadcast, and I got kind of worried, and I went back home, and I found my dad was stricken with ulcers, bleeding ulcers. He was worried about it too, apparently, and I didn't know that he was that ill, and he sent me to school. He gave me $100 a month to pay my room and board, and heck, I was making more than that. My dad, he wanted to know why I was doing that. I said, "Well, I want to be self-sufficient." I says, "You need the money, I'll give it to you," and I gave him all the money I had. He paid it on the hotel payment.

MP: So you gave your dad money?

TH: Yeah. He was not very pleased even though he took it.

MP: Was that, so ill-gotten goods or --

TH: Well, he thought it was. He thought he was paying for an education, and I was paying him back for that.

<End Segment 7> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 8>

MP: Let's go back. You said something about being a "woman hater" in college, I mean, quote, unquote.

TH: Yeah. I was a football player and a wrestler and a judo man, and we just didn't date girls those days. We paid to, more time to working out all the time. I don't think I disliked women, it's just that I didn't know how to get along with them, you know, having associated with men or boys all my life. I had sisters, but I had nothing to do with them.

MP: Did you date at all?

TH: Yeah. When I graduated high school, that was the first date I made, and she was the prettiest girl in town. Her name was Ruth Nishino. But I didn't know how to dance, you know, and I had a friend that was there. He danced with her most of the time, and I thought to myself I'm not, I'm either going to learn how to dance or I'm not going to date anymore. And I had paid all the expenses, you know, like the little dinner or whatever, refreshment we enjoyed. I remember going to Jolly Joann with her.

MP: Jolly Joan?

TH: Jolly Joann they called it. There was a little soda fountain, you know, hamburger place on Broadway. That was a kind of hangout for a lot of high schoolers in those days. I don't think they had Dairy Queen, but they had soft ice cream place. I forgot what they called it. Anyway, you didn't spend a lot of money. Of course, kids didn't have a lot of money in those days. I remember the first job I got, $85 a month I worked, and I worked like a dog.

MP: What was that job?

TH: I worked under my dad after school, you know, working at the Arlington Club. Dad was a great believer in doing a lot of things, you know. I went to Alaska in 1936 and worked at the cannery, and my first paycheck was $450 for the season. That was three month's work. That was a lot of money. First thing I bought was a bicycle that he wouldn't allow me to have because the city streets were too dangerous he used to say. I rode it for about three months, and I gave it to my brother. [Laughs]

MP: How old were you then?

TH: Let's see. I remember I was a sophomore in high school, so I had to be thirteen or fourteen.

MP: That was very young to be working up in Alaska.

TH: Oh, yeah. Well, my dad was, I was a big boy. You wear overalls and you look older than you really are. I don't know why. But anyway, I told them I was eighteen, and they allowed me to go up to Alaska. I went up there three years.

MP: But your dad said you could go?

TH: Well, he's the one that got the job for me. He had a friend who was, I guess they called him, I forgot what they called him. What he does was supply the labor, and he runs the kitchen and the paychecks. He be sure that he gets his money first, then whatever is left was given to you. But I remember the older fellows. They all gamble when they're up there and nothing to do in the evenings. But when the fishing season was on, you worked eighteen hours a day at the cannery. You had to can them as fast as you can; otherwise, they spoil. That was way up in the, I guess in the Bering Sea. Bristol Bay is where I went. I was way up north.

MP: Did, were there other Japanese there?

TH: Oh, yeah. There was other canneries too up there. There was two or three canneries that operated in Bristol Bay, and most of them had Filipino and Japanese workers. I didn't see too many Chinese people there. The Chinese people were down there around Ketchikan area.

MP: What were they doing in Ketchikan?

TH: Well, they were working the canneries, canning the salmon. You had to butcher them first. And you slammed them which means washing it out, and then they had a, cut the salmon in the right size so they fit inside the can, and they hand pack them.

MP: What part did you do?

TH: I was a, I have to put the lids on the cans. They had a, upstairs on the second floor, they used to have a machine that put the lids on the, the cans came flat, and the machine would widen it and, you know, permanently seal the bottom.

MP: No place to spend your money either?

TH: Well, I had an uncle that went with me. He was about three years older than I was, and he talked me out of loaning him money, and he wouldn't pay it back. It was small amount of money. It was $20. And when I got too insistent, I saw him playing, gambling, and he was ahead. I says, "Pay me back the money you owe me," and he tore a twenty dollar bill, cut it in half, just gave me half. He said, "I'll give you the other half when we hit Seattle."

<End Segment 8> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 9>

MP: So your uncle was up there gambling, and --

TH: My uncle came in 1939 from Japan to avoid the drafting, getting drafted in the army.

MP: Was that hard for him to get out then to avoid the draft?

TH: No. See, he was a citizen of this country. He was born here. Mother had a lot of other siblings. There's four, I don't know whether they're uncles or aunts. There's four children buried in the Rose City Cemetery. The names are hardly discernible now because it was made out of sandstone, and it's washed out. My mother is not here to tell us who they are anymore. My sister seems to know, but she didn't know their names, but they were a part of Mom's family. So they were, I think some were born miscarriages, really born stillborn, but they had names. They were one year old.

MP: Did you learn this fine art of gambling from your uncle?

TH: Oh, I was a gambler, but I got cured real fast.

MP: How?

TH: Well, I went to Reno, no, Las Vegas, with a load of cherries. I was working in Salt Lake, I drove a carload, I mean truckload of cherries down there in Las Vegas, and I remember the Las Vegas hotel there, and we gambled on the floor, not the gaming table, just for drinks or eats. But I, have you ever hear of anybody throwing a $6,500 crap? That's what I did. I lost the money I got paid for the cherry load. I had to wire back for money to drive the truck back. Well, what I was going to do, I was going to buy a house with that money. If I doubled that money, I could buy, still buy houses for $10,000. The cherry load, I got paid $800, but I lost all of that too.

MP: Gambling?

TH: Yeah.

MP: How did you get the cherries? What was that all about?

TH: Well, I had an interest, I was a silent partner in a produce market, and they had an order for cherries down there, and nobody wanted to drive down there. That's quite a ways from Salt Lake to Las Vegas. I remember it took over eight hours to drive the darn thing, the truck, but it was about ton and a half. They called it a ten wheeler, but it was, I think ton, it was rated ton and a half, I think, but you could put from four, three, four tons of cherries on it. We got extra wheels on the back. They put extra wheels on the back, so we could carry the load. But the tires, I had two flats going down. [Laughs]

MP: So the, were the cherries yours, or were they belonged to --

TH: We, the farmers either consigned them, or we bought them outright. If we had a sale for it and the price was favorable, we offered the farmers less money, and naturally, we make the profit.

MP: Who's "we"?

TH: Well, I had a partner called Tom Kurumata and Henry Nakamura. They were two senior members. They didn't have too much money. I had enough money, you know. I had 3, $4,000. That was a lot of money to be packing around in those days, at the start of the war. This was in 1944, I think, yeah.

MP: So it was during the war?

TH: Oh, yes. But I also worked on the railroad, SPNS Railroad, you know, putting in, I forgot what they call them, the ties, railroad ties, you know. You have to replace them. And I also worked as a whistle punk, keep the boiler fired up.

MP: A whistle punk?

TH: I think that's what they called them. I don't remember exactly. But anyway, my duty was to keep the boiler hot, to make steam to run the engines.

MP: And what engines were these, the engines that were used in --

TH: Portable sawmill, but I gotten a lot of work. I've done gardening work besides a cook.

MP: So being the whistle punk, was that part of... I'm confused. Was that part of the railway thing or was that for --

TH: For the portable mills. We used portable logging mills. They took all the equipment up into the forest and just made lumber right there, and they kind of took finished, half finished lumber in by truck.

MP: So what was the steam dome?

TH: Well, you need it to run the engine, you know, power. You had to use steam to run the machine.

MP: So was that what you were doing? Were you feeding the --

TH: Yeah, the boilers. You had to keep it fired up at a high pressure so it makes steam.

MP: Well, you certainly had a lot of different jobs. That was like during the war, when you were married and --

TH: Well, no. After I got married, my wife wanted me to start my own business. She told me at one time, "I married you because you got a lot of ideas that I know you can do."

<End Segment 9> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 10>

MP: So what year were you married?

TH: 1943. I've been married almost, well, I would have been married almost sixty years. We did celebrate fifty-five years.

MP: Well, congratulations. That's a long time.

TH: Oh, yeah. It was good. Well, I still remember what my mother used to tell me. My wife was a very vivacious and likeable person, you know. She made a lot of friends here. She's a Seattle girl. She didn't know people from Portland. That's the one thing that I think the evacuation did. For our people being put into all these, you know, concentration camps if you want to call it that, you met people from other areas that you never would have had a chance to meet.

MP: That's a good point. So a lot of networking could go on and opportunities could occur.

TH: Yeah. That's why she, that's why she tells me she married me because I showed a lot of promise.

MP: How did you meet her?

TH: Well, it was arranged. She had a friend that knew me, and she introduced me to her quite by accident. One day, I got the rash, you know, from that, they were using chlorine in the water system, you know, and I'm allergic to chlorine. And when you bathed in the stuff or shower in it, your skin itches. It dries up and itches like crazy, so I had to go to the hospital. And she was a nurse's aide in the hospital, and she put calamine solution all over my back. I liked it, feel. [Laughs] It was great.

MP: So you asked her for a date?

TH: Oh, yeah. Well, we dated in the... we had a canal system in camp that was a runoff of water from some distant hill, and we camped, I mean, we picnic near there, the canal, I remember, with maybe two other friends that I have. They all had their girlfriends. One girl was pregnant. I didn't even know she was pregnant, and I made a remark. That's why you don't want to talk too much. I didn't know she was pregnant. He left the next day, left camp to marry her.

MP: So, but you, okay. There's a lot to talk about here because we're getting into this, the camp era here, and I do want to concentrate on that and, because you were not in the camp. I mean, let's, first we better clarify our terms because we're referring to the camp. When you say the camp, I think you're meaning the assembly center, right?

TH: No. Minidoka.

MP: Minidoka. Okay. But you were only in Minidoka for a short time, no?

TH: One month.

<End Segment 10> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 11>

MP: Let's... okay. Let's leave that, let's leave Minidoka for just a minute, and we'll go and talk about, you were at U of O when the war was declared and then came this evacuation notice. Okay. Everybody... tell me about that and how that affected you as well?

TH: Well, the evacuation notice didn't come until April that year. The war, you know, it started in '41 and in 1942, I think. The evacuation notice in the month of April came, and my father was pretty ill with bleeding ulcers. God, I remember, I should remember the doctor's name. But when I came back to camp, he was eighty years old playing tennis out there at the Portland Adventist Hospital. It wasn't called Portland Adventist in those days. I think Portland Sanitarium was the name of the hospital. But he decided that he had, his ulcers were so bad that he had to cut the stomach out and become, my dad gave the decision to have it done. Why, I think he is, he had influential friends, acquaintances I should say. Knowing that he had to go in when the evacuation notice came, the operation was supposed to take place, and he asked somebody, I don't know who he asked, but he asked them to exempt me from evacuating to act as interpreter for him. They said, "You're granted," and I found out it was Joe Carson had a lot to do with it and a fellow by the name of Munson.


MP: Okay. So Joe Carson was influential in backing up your dad's request to have you be interpreter.

TH: That's right. And I don't know exactly when I got it myself. It was in the mail. It was a pass that excluded me from the evacuation. And so I stayed home, stayed at the hotel, and I ran the hotel, you know. But every morning, I went to visit my dad and did whatever he needed, then I went to visit my mother and siblings out at the assembly center which was the Pacific Livestock.

MP: And how long were they at the assembly center?

TH: Three months. They evacuated in May, June, July, August. We had orders to go to Minidoka in September.

MP: Tell me about the assembly center, what that was like. What was, what did it look like, what --

TH: To begin with, it stunk. It was good for pigs and cows, but the place wasn't cleaned out real good, you know. In the summertime, it was horrible, and June or July, it smelled to high heaven. But, you know, if you stay in one place long enough, you get used to the smell. You can tolerate it.

MP: That's true.

TH: Yeah.

MP: Was it, had it, so it had been used for livestock?

TH: That's right. It was being used for livestock, and it's still being used for that. I don't think they have livestock there anymore. They had, they improved the building and the arenas.

MP: But after the Japanese were then sent out that they, it was used again for livestock?

TH: Uh-huh.

MP: Well, tell me about how they lived, how did your family live there?

TH: Well, the areas were all divided into family units with a, I think, plywood. It was plywood. I think it's four-foot wide, eight-foot long, so you had eight-foot ceilings, but it was all an open area. You can hear whatever your neighbors are talking about and whatever they're doing. My imagination went on. You're sleeping right next to somebody with just a plywood wall between you, you know.

MP: Was there, were there, but there, you were in, was everything inside one big building or --

TH: Yes. But there was Arena 1, 2, and 3, I guess, and then there was the Henry Thiele Building. There was a Henry Thiele Building in there that was the eating area.

MP: Was Henry Thiele supplying the food?

TH: He used, no. He ran the restaurant over there when they had the livestock shows, and it was still, you know, you could see when we visited in there, there was certainly a lot of Henry Thiele's name on the outside of that building.

MP: And what kind of food did they serve there?

TH: I don't know. I didn't eat there.

MP: Lot of rice?

TH: Well, they furnished rice, and I understand they had Vienna sausage most of the time. That's what they furnished.

MP: So what did you do to, to help kind of alleviate --

TH: My family, I took in food all the time. I even, I used to order a hundred hamburgers at a time for the kids in there.

MP: Where did you get those?

TH: Oh, it was called the Brown Jug, and it was shaped like a shoe right outside of the exposition ground, was only maybe three, four blocks from there on, well, it was [inaudible] off of Union Avenue, I think. But anyway, the man used to tell me, he asked me to give him notice because he had only two cooks. To put out a hundred hamburgers in one time is a lot of work, believe me. But he used to, at first, he used to give me individual packages of William's potato chips, but he said I had so much trouble. He started to give me five-pound or four-pound boxes. He gave me four of those darn things. They used to divide it all up. There was a fellow by the name of Tosh Shimizu. He's passed on now. But he was in charge of the young kids that were called the laborers, and they worked hard in there filling straw mattresses and cleaning up, you know, garbage and stuff like that, and he always felt sorry for them because they didn't get fed good, you know. So they had a special dining table, and he ordered hamburgers for them, but not every day, twice a week.

MP: And you were the one who got the hamburgers?

TH: Yeah. I got caught carrying booze in there, too.

MP: What did you do, carry some whiskey in there or --

TH: Well, Dr. Oyama, he's, or Yamada, he's passed on, but he's, he was an alcoholic. He was a good dentist, but he was an alcoholic, and he cried on my shoulders to bring him in a pint of whiskey, so I did. I'm naive, you know. I just had a bottle of whiskey in my pocket. I just took it in, and the guard saw me drag it out. He says, "Hey, hey, that's a no-no, you know. You can't take that kind of stuff in there. You can take food in there, but you can't take whiskey in there." So he confiscated it, but he says, "I'll give it back to you when you walk back out," and he did give it back.

MP: So the doctor never got it?

TH: No, he didn't get it. He, you know, he devised a way to bring alcohol in there. You were allowed to carry food in there particularly if you're on a diet. He canned whiskey, but the whiskey turned the cans black, and he was afraid to drink it. Inside, they went blind for alcohol.

MP: How, who did the canning of the whiskey?

TH: There's a fellow named Dick Saito and Dr. Oyama, they canned whiskey. They took in a case of canned whiskey, and they were drunk for quite a while.

MP: That must have been half poisonous.

TH: Well, I think Dick, he found out he could filter it through charcoal or something, and he drank all of it.

MP: This was all inside the camp?

TH: All inside the camp. It was a no-no. It was a, you know, contraband really because they told us how much luggage you could carry in and what foods you can carry in as a supplement to your own diet.

<End Segment 11> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 12>

MP: Yeah. That's a question I wanted to ask you. What were you allowed to take in? What did your family take?

TH: My family were a healthy people. They didn't take in any food, but they took in lots of clothes, you know, because they knew it's going to be winter back there when they, they had, there was no rooms around, the Heart Mountain was started before Minidoka, and they found out where they were going, the interior, and the country is pretty wild, so they made sure that they had heavy shoes and, you know, heavy clothing.

MP: And then how did, I mean when that notice came, how much time did, was there to decide what you're going to take and, you know, what, how to dispose of things?

TH: Yeah. I don't remember exactly how much time we had, but I think, after United States declared war against Japan, I remember December 7th. That's when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. But I went back to school, my dad told me to finish school which I tried to finish, but I didn't, and I was going back and forth every weekend because my dad was ill in the hospital. I think, I think they had less than a month.

MP: Did, but you looked after the hotel, and meantime, your sisters and your mom and your brother went to the assembly center?

TH: I went with them.

MP: And you went with them?

TH: Yeah. I had to take them out there.

MP: And did they take mementoes with them at all?

TH: No, hardly anything. You were allowed what you could carry as an individual, so everybody had a duffle bag and a suitcase for some of the personal things. The duffle bag, you had clothing and shoes and stuff like that, but you couldn't take, they didn't know whether they had to have cooking implements. They didn't know what to take except clothing.

MP: And that was it?

TH: That was it, their personal things.

MP: Did they, then was it possible to buy things in the camp?

TH: Yeah. They, afterwards, I think they, I recall that they had, I don't know what you call it. They had a first aid station. They had a repair shop for radios which was a no-no too. But for local station, you couldn't get shortwave, that's all. You can get radios that played local stations. But they had a, what do they call these, a PX, like a PX, a store you could buy things, and people run that, and the government took all the profits off of that. But there was a fellow by the name Don Sugai and Roy something, I couldn't recall his name before, but they ran a fresh fruit stand. And they called me one day and asked me if I could drive a truck, and I said, "Yeah, how big?" And they asked me to bring out a load of watermelon and oranges in July from Pacific Fruit. I said, "Well, how come they won't deliver it?" He says, "Well, the truck drivers, the union won't allow them to take it out there because you're enemy aliens." Okay. "Well, I'll drive it out there, but somebody got to come after the truck. I'm not going to drive it back." And I took the load out there, and they drove it in, and they parked it outside the compound after they got through unloading it, but they had a great time. They had to get ice special to cool the watermelon.

MP: It was hot then?

TH: Yeah. It was very hot in that building. And I think to supplement whatever refreshments, they actually bought, bought that with their money.

MP: So you drove this semi truck load of fruit out to the --

TH: I think it was approximately five tons on that thing. That's a lot of fruit.

MP: And you could come and go in and out of the camp?

TH: Yes. I had a pass, so they recognized me in the end. I didn't even bother showing it. The main guard, I would always go a certain day and time. I went usually in the afternoon, and then in the evening, I went home. I visited my dad again, and I ran the hotel there.

<End Segment 12> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 13>

MP: So in the camp, I'm just curious like what was the whole sanitation and toilet facilities and that type of thing like, bathing, and how was that all done?

TH: I know the showers were open because we did a peep show. [Laughs] I had friends that were in the fire department, and some of the building was to be watched on a fire watch. You get up on the roof to see if everything was okay. And we found out that women were big, hairy, and they're all, you know, it was one big bathroom was what it was, and like the men are also, but men didn't care. But they had big long crock-like urinals. I think it caused like water rot originally. But the sanitation was bad. I remember one woman, she had diarrhea so bad, she didn't care what she was doing. She lifted her skirt up, up around her waist, and she was, dirtied the floor, and she ran, tried to run down the hall. And there was a man with a yellow can following her, trying to catch her. It was comical in the beginning, but I felt sorry for her.

MP: Yeah. That must have been very embarrassing --

TH: For her.

MP: Yeah, for her.

TH: Yeah. I'm not going to even mention her name. You know, she's gone, but that's not the point.

MP: So like the shower area, it was showers, it was all open, everybody showering together?

TH: Yeah. They didn't have stalls, so you could see whatever you wanted to see. But the girls found out that there were peepers up there.

MP: And then what?

TH: They used to holler in unison.

MP: What did they holler?

TH: "Peeping Tom." God, it was funny. You should have heard all the fire guys scurry off the roof. That was the funniest that I ever experienced in camp was that. Oh, there was something else that was funny too. There was a man and woman having an affair inside one of those stalls, and they got discovered, and they froze, I guess. They had to carry both on the same gurney to the hospital.

MP: Like two dogs?

TH: Yeah, like two dogs. He's gone, but let's see, the other girl is alive. She never got married.

MP: So was there a lot of that? Was there a lot of like, I mean people sneaking around and having sex and what?

TH: I didn't look for it, so I don't really know, but I just happened to witness that at the time.

MP: Some people came and actually got them and tried to separate them and then --

TH: Well, yeah. The first aid man came, and they found out what was happening, and they just covered them up, put them on a gurney, and wheeled them to the hospital. And I guess they were able to break loose as soon as they got to the hospital, but they were embarrassed.

MP: That is an amazing story.

TH: I've seen dogs that way. They turn around, one would turn around, trying to run away from the other one.

MP: So tell me, tell the story about the Dalles.

TH: Oh, that was the most embarrassing part. There was a girl who was a neighborhood friend. She'd call me and ask me if I'd go pick up some under things for her, you know, underwear that don't last very long, especially the kind women wear. Anyway, she asked me if I'd be good enough to stop at the Dalles. She knew a manager or somebody there, a sales lady. She'd order it and give me the money, and all I had to do is pick it up. They had no way of delivering out to her, in the mail maybe, but they needed a lot of this stuff. So she'd make a list, and she gave me the money, and I'd take it in to her, and I was always embarrassed to go inside the store because I would be the only man walking in there.

MP: That was a women's store?

TH: Yeah. It was a women's store. But she'd always wait for me, you know. She'd sight me, and she'd come outside with me, and I'd give her the money. Then I have to wait there until she fills the order, you know. I don't know why they didn't telephone her and order the thing, have it ready for me to just pick up. It would have been fine. But I know I did that several times for them. But that lady was a nice lady. You know, nylons were hard to get, but she gave them a quota of nylons. I think women were only allowed to buy one or two a week or something like that, and she had names on them. And as long as she got paid, she didn't care, but she saw to it that they got nylons. I don't know why they want to wear nylons in camp.

MP: My, that is curious.

TH: They liked to doll up with it, look good.

MP: Was there a social life in the camp?

TH: Yes.

MP: I mean were there dances that --

TH: They had a Lil Abner and what the heck was the girl's name, you know, the girl chase around the boys?

MP: What is that called? Sadie Hawkins.

TH: Yeah, Sadie Hawkins. They had things like that. It was kind of fun. I went in the evening. I wasn't supposed to be there, but I went in there one night, and my future stepsister was one of the girls that asked me out, and I didn't know who she was. But my stepbrother was engaged to her. She didn't tell me this. She was a tall girl. If I showed you a picture, she's a very attractive woman.

MP: So you had step, when did you have stepsisters and step --

TH: Well, she became a stepsister. I should have said that. My mother and my stepfather married in the camp in 1943 after my father passed away, of course.

<End Segment 13> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 14>

MP: So your father passed, did he pass away, when did he pass away actually?

TH: 1943.

MP: In '43?

TH: Yeah.

MP: Did he die of those bleeding ulcers then or what?

TH: Well, no. He died from what they call a blocked, it's an organ that expels the yellow stuff, you know, out the urine. They cut out four-fifths of his stomach, and it didn't heal good because it got stuck to his liver. Gall bladder. It was a blocked gall bladder, but it turned jaundice, and the doctors in camp were a bunch of, I don't know. They weren't really MD's, I guess. I wanted to kill him when I came back because he made the wrong diagnosis, and he kept telling my dad that he had cancer, and I got, I borrowed a friend's car who owed Dad a lot of money and put him on this car and took him down to Salt Lake. I was already out, and there was a Richard, Richard or Richardson, they were brothers. They were both specialists in that field at the LDS Hospital, and they saw him, and they diagnosed it right away. He says, "Well, he's got a plugged gall bladder. We'll open him up tomorrow, 8 o'clock." But that night, his fever shot way up, and they said they couldn't do anything until that fever went down. They had a rubber liner around him, on his bed with ice cubes in there. I can see him just shaking away in this thing, but he wasn't conscious, but he passed away that way. I watched him die. I watched my mother go, I watch my son go, I watched my brother die. And I'm the only one in the family that witnessed all those things. My sisters weren't there. Of course, I wouldn't ask them. I felt somebody should be there, and I was always there.

MP: So you didn't feel that your dad got the right treatment? Was --

TH: It was the wrong diagnosis. They didn't treat it right, you know. They could have sent him outside the hospital, outside the camp to a specialist, but they didn't.

MP: So he was then, was he in the camp then at that time?

TH: Yes, he was in camp.

MP: And that was Minidoka?

TH: We evacuated from Portland from assembly center. The family was in assembly center. The day they were scheduled to go to Minidoka, I took my dad with them, and I went with them. We all went as a family back there. The day we get there, gee, it was bad. There was a dust storm, and men were crying to see this dust storm. You couldn't see ten feet ahead. It was so bad.

MP: Did you, did you all, how did you get there?

TH: Train, old wooden train that they resurrected someplace. They're made out of wood, and it was shuttered so you couldn't look outside or you couldn't see in.

MP: Was the whole assembly center evacuated at one time?

TH: No, I think in two or three bunches. They couldn't get them all at one time in the train. There was five or six thousand people.

MP: So they ran cycles of people up to Minidoka?

TH: Yeah.

MP: And so your dad went to Minidoka, I mean, your whole family then was in Minidoka, and you were there for like a month, and your dad then got sick again there?

TH: Yeah. Well, see, when we got to camp, Minidoka, it was September. I went out to work.

MP: Now, tell me how you could get out to work? Why were you able to?

TH: Well, the employers would come to the office seeking help. And if you signed up with him, if you reached an agreement, he was supposed to be responsible for your behavior, you know, and we signed up.

<End Segment 14> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 15>

MP: Tell... we'll get back to this and then tell me about that train ride there to Minidoka. What was that like?

TH: Well, I wasn't sleeping. I was gambling all the time. But you couldn't sleep in the darn thing because it was a rickety old car just made eerie sounds, you know. It isn't like those trains these days. Trains are pretty quiet except you could hear where the rails were welded.

MP: It had windows though. You could look out and --

TH: You couldn't look out. They wouldn't let you open, you know, raise the blinds.

MP: So there were blinds drawn?

TH: You couldn't see inside or outside. That's the way it was.

MP: Just like cattle.

TH: And they had two soldiers to each coach, you know, one in front and one in the other entryway. They wouldn't let you go except to go to the restroom.

MP: And the soldiers were armed?

TH: Yes, with rifles.

MP: Were they like army?

TH: Yeah, they were regular army.

MP: And you couldn't go to the bathroom?

TH: No. They would allow you to go to the bathroom, but they went with you.

MP: Was it pretty dirty on the train or what was it, crowded?

TH: Well, it was clean, I guess, as well as it could be. God, they had these rattan seats. I don't know whether you remember the old streetcars used to have those. But I remember there was the rattan on the seats, and they all, they face one way, I guess.

MP: Was it a long ride?

TH: Yeah. Well, I don't remember exactly how long it took because I was gambling all the time, you know, rolling dice on the floor. Gosh, I don't remember exactly, but it took at least, well, if you drive the darn thing, it's around six or seven hours easy, eight hours I think it would take.

MP: So it was a day, a day ride?

TH: The train ride was more than one day. They left here in the afternoon. We didn't get there until late in the afternoon the next day.

MP: And so when you got to Minidoka, there was a wind storm and dust and so on. And then what kind, what kind of process did you have to go through then at Minidoka?

TH: You were assigned right away by what, they had block managers already arranged, and a block, I forgot how many barracks there was to a block, but I think there was four on each side with a mess hall in the center. It was like an army camp. Anyway, all they had was wood and tarpaper outside, and I don't know about the roof. It leaked probably. But everybody had, was assigned according to size of family.

MP: But families got to stay together?

TH: They were, yes allowed. Each unit, if you were just two people, you got the end one. It only allowed room for two people. You couldn't cook in there. You had to go to the mess hall to eat. All they had was cots in there to sleep in. But a lot of people improvised, you know. They made writing desks and bookcases. It's funny how some of those people were very creative.

<End Segment 15> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 16>

MP: And then what did you do during that month in camp?

TH: I didn't do much really because my dad was so anxious to get well. He was out exercising all the time. I think that's what killed him too because he's supposed to be resting. I don't remember too much. But I used to remember the rations were so slim that we, Jack Yoshihara, Bill Saito, and Will Sata, there was four of us that ran around from one mess hall to the other.

MP: Doing what?

TH: Eating.

MP: Was that allowed?

TH: Well, we were big guys, and we didn't threaten them, but we looked tough. And the head cook was good friends of my family, you know, so hey, feed them if you have leftovers. They used to take all the leftovers home anyway, you know.

MP: So they'd either take it home or throw it out so they might as well --

TH: Well, they didn't throw anything away, I tell you. They had a pig farm where they fed, the pigs had all the leftovers. They didn't, they were very cautious about throwing food away.

MP: But, so it would be the cooks that would take the food, the extra food home to their own pig farms?

TH: Well, the pig farm was a community thing anyway.

MP: You mean in the camp?

TH: In camp. There was big gardens and big enough to be self-sufficient.

MP: So there was a vegetable garden and a hog farm or the hog operation. What else?

TH: And a dairy farm. That's all I remember on that because I wasn't a farmer then. I know a lot more about it now, but I have my own farm.

MP: Were you gambling in the camp too in Minidoka?

TH: Yeah. I gambled until I learned my lesson down there in Vegas. I played a little poker sometime, and I played a little bridge sometime. I don't find it too amusing anymore.

MP: So when did you give up the gambling after the Las Vegas --

TH: Yeah, yeah. After the $8,500 crap --

MP: Fiasco. How old were you then?

TH: Well, I must have been twenty-two or three.

MP: Well, you got cured young.

TH: Yeah, I did. My brother, god, he was kind of an addict there. I used to win all his money back gambling. I don't know, play stock market as a freebie. If I don't put any money in, I make money. When I invest in it, I lose money. That's strange, so I don't play the stock market.

MP: So I'm curious, was this gambling thing, was that a particularly Japanese deal or did all kids do that?

TH: No. I think the Chinese and the Japanese and the Filipinos are pretty heavy gamblers. The Caucasian people are big gamblers, are big, really big. When you say big gamblers, you know, they think nothing about dropping five, six hundred dollars. I've seen guys in Vegas lose a million, two million.

MP: Do you go to Las Vegas now? I mean --

TH: I don't have any interest in it. I go see the shows sometime. The last time I was in there was for my brother-in-law's 100th birthday. He had a birthday party given to him. He lives in Los Angeles so it isn't too far. It's a four-hour ride for him. But for us to go fly down there, well, fly down is only about two hours I guess, not quite two hours.

<End Segment 16> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 17>

MP: So when you got out of, then this guy came, this employer guy came to find help, what kind of work did you do outside of Minidoka?

TH: Well, what was considered, there's a name for it. I can't think of it, but it was for the government anyway. See all those produce, sugar beets was, wasn't as favorable, but the potatoes and the onions and some of the row crop like lettuce, you know, they had to have that.

MP: So that was considered war work?

TH: Staple, yeah. It was for the war.

MP: And what part did you do?

TH: You negotiated how much they were going to pay you for it, and you rode out with them. They furnished the fare. Either, they either paid, rode you in a car or gave you bus fare.

MP: And then did you come back to the camp every night, or did you stay out?

TH: No, no. We stayed out. I volunteered with the crew of... let's see, five, yeah, I call them town boys. There was three from Seattle and three from Portland and six from Wapato. These were the real farmers. I mean that's what they were, but I signed up with those kids. And I wasn't a crew chief or a head man there at first. You know, I was just another laborer. And we agreed to work for, by the hour rather than by piece work, you know, the amount that you picked or whatever. It was seventy-five cents an hour I remember, and that was over what they call, I think they had a, I don't think they froze the wage. That was considered good wages for farm labor. Anyway, we went out there. And one day he didn't want to pay us, so we pulled the first strike in camp, the Colorado FHA camp, and the government officials came to see me because I looked like the head man. Anyway, he asked me, he says, "You want to go back to camp?" I says, "You can send me wherever you want." You know, I was all done about everything, you know. I said, "This guy promised to pay us seventy-five cents an hour, and he won't pay us."

MP: And why wouldn't he pay you?

TH: Because he didn't want us out in the field. Lettuce price was so bad that it didn't pay for us to cut the lettuce. You can't blame him, but then there's other work he could have given us, you know.

MP: And that was in Caldwell, Idaho?

TH: Uh-huh.

MP: And were you in, somehow when you came out of the camp and you were working on the farm, were you restricted in any way? I mean, were you --

TH: No. We were allowed to go any place outside the western defense area. See, it was all marked on the map about where you can go. It was an imaginary defense line.

MP: What was that western defense line? Did it go down the coast?

TH: Yes. It was about a little over 100 miles inland. See, Hood River was 150 miles from here, no. It's only about 75 miles I think from here, 65 miles, Hood River.

MP: So was Minidoka inside the defense zone or not?

TH: No. Minidoka was in Idaho. It's by Twin Falls.

MP: Yeah. But it was not inside the defense zone, so --

TH: No. So we were able to move any place. We could go back to Chicago or go back, some people even went back to New York because there was no defense, I mean, you know. They didn't disallow us from going back to New York. A lot of people went back there as students in college.

MP: So you could get out of the camp if you were --

TH: Yeah, but you had to have an acceptance. In other words, if you wanted to go to school, I know a lot of kids went to Illinois and Minnesota and New York, and a lot of people went to Philadelphia, Quaker town. But they were very friendly to our people and very helpful in furthering your education. So a lot of students went out as students rather than going out to work. They weren't well-off, but they offered you a job at the same time, part time, so you could pay for your way.

MP: So were those students, did they have to get scholarships, or did they, how --

TH: They got scholarships, but they had to work to get, to feed themselves and find a place to live.

MP: But you couldn't just decide that you, during the evacuation, no, I'm going to go east. I'm going to go out of the zone. You had to, you couldn't just leave.

TH: You had to have an employer or a school acceptance, you know, or something, somebody that's going, reliable, be reliable for you.

MP: What happened to the hotel when you were in the camp in Minidoka?

TH: Well, there's a company called Common Wealth, and they agreed to run the hotel for us. There was a young fellow by the name of Holbrook, he had a father that was there that was president of the company, and young Holbrook was a good friend of mine. He was a little older than I, but we were friends, and he agreed to look after that hotel. And every month, he sent a check to us.

<End Segment 17> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 18>

MP: And then you said, you'd made a statement about the, when the evacuation came that the Italian produce, well, producers, whatever, weren't too, I mean, nice to you.

TH: No. See the Japanese people were truck, berry farmers and truck gardeners if they were in the farming business, and they controlled a lot of the market people. The Italians were the strongest in there because they were peddlers, you know. They took, bought the fresh vegetables, they didn't raise it, but a lot of them were farmers. But they occupied, they acquired Japanese farms. The Japanese farms weren't owned; they used to lease them. Japanese couldn't own land, so they were leasing them. But they acquired their leases, and they acquired their crop, you know. And we had to evacuate in, most of them in April and May, and that's when strawberries start to come out. Strawberries used to come out a lot earlier than now. Nowadays, it's late June before you start to pick strawberries here in this country. This is a different variety and it doesn't mature as fast.

MP: They're probably now raised more for shipping or something than --

TH: Our berries don't ship. We raise the sweet berries that don't keep too long. It's the California berries that are the everbearing that they have down there that is being shipped all over. I got some strawberries that are a week old, they look fresh yet. I just haven't opened it. I didn't know what was in the container. My daughter brought it I guess Monday, last Monday. That's a whole week, through the weekend, but they look fresh yet, and that's the advantage of California strawberries. They can ship the thing and demand the price for it because it's looks fresh all the time. So grocery stores don't lose money on strawberries, but they do on local. That's why they will not sell locals.

MP: And that's why the berry crop here is going, disappearing practically?

TH: Well, no. What they're doing is they make beautiful jam, frozen or, you know, regular preserves, and there's a call for jams. It gets mixed with California berries, and they put it out. The raspberries are good here. But like loganberries, some of the old berries that they used to raise, they're gone. The farmers don't raise them. There's no market for it.

MP: Because they don't hold.

TH: Well, if you don't see it, you're not going to buy it or try it.

MP: So also, what about, so that was the, so the Italians sort of took advantage of this opportunity and purchased, did they purchase the crops or --

TH: I say steal it. They stole a lot --

MP: Why?

TH: Well, the people couldn't harvest it anyway, you know. They were here, I mean, they were evacuated, and the farmers just took over the lease.

MP: They weren't, nobody was paid for those crops or --

TH: Some of them paid. Some people paid, but they didn't pay a fair price.

MP: And were they, did they just pay you a part of what it was worth?

TH: Yeah. They, yeah, I would say so. I'm not too familiar with the farms. But in town there, I could have bought brand new cars for seven or eight hundred dollars. They didn't have hardly any mileage on them. And our hotel was big enough where you could store two, three cars. There used to be a garage there on the main floor, and I told my dad, I'd like to buy two, three of those cars. I don't know how long the war is going to last, but it's cheap.

MP: And why was it so cheap?

TH: Well, there's seven or eight hundred dollars. That's all they were offered for the cars that they were paying maybe $1,200 or $1,300 for, brand new ones, practically new. A lot of people bought cars just before the war.

MP: So was that just because of the economy that everything was cheap, or was it --

TH: No, no.

MP: I'm missing something here, I think.

TH: It was a chance, it was mostly Jewish people that bought those things, you know. We had over a hundred hotel operators in Portland. Most of the hotels were all leased, not, all of them were with the exception of ours. They couldn't buy us out because it was ours. But people bought the leases back off of the owners of the building, but they didn't pay them anything for it. Lots of them had to just up and leave with whatever they could carry.

MP: That's why I was curious how long that period was. I mean to dispose of property particularly, how was that done?

TH: They had a very short time, I remember, because they had to sell, well, whatever they could get for it, they sold. I know a lot of people bought brand new refrigerators and, I could have bought dozens of those darn things cheap. I told Dad, "Here's your chance to make money." He says, "You don't want to make money on the misery of others." "But how about a retail store? They make money." "Yeah, but they don't have to have a conscience. You know the people that you're buying it from." So in there, he would never stand for that.

MP: So were those the cars of Japanese that had to leave then?

TH: That's right.

MP: That's why they were cheap.

TH: I had a car available because one of my employees, at the hotel employee had a car, and he allowed me to use it any time I wanted.

<End Segment 18> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 19>

MP: So tell me about when everybody was in the assembly center or in Minidoka and you were here, this Japanese guy walking around town, I mean, didn't people sort of wonder what --

TH: Oh yeah. Well, the people in the neighborhood wondered a lot of the time.

MP: Did they say anything?

TH: No. Most of them didn't say anything. They were curious. They would ask me about some things, but then they left well enough alone.

MP: Tell me the Tex story.

TH: This guy was a bootlegger. He was serving drinks out of a storefront, operating a bootleg place, but he used to threaten me all the time, and I told him just to, "Cut it out. I'm going to throw you out in the street." He says, "You and who else?" and he was a bigger man than I was. And one day I got so mad, I did throw him on top of the hood of the car, and he rolled out on Columbia Street and a car nearly run him over. I was scared to death. But he got to be a best friend, you know. He'd find somebody make a remark, you know, he tell him shut up. And he'd always ask me in for a drink. I guess he knew I didn't drink, but he offered it to me anyway.

MP: Did you ever get called names?

TH: Sure. They called me a "Jap." I didn't know I was a "Jap" until I was in the eighth grade in grade school. I got along fine with most everybody.

MP: And what happened in the eighth grade?

TH: A guy called me a "Jap," and I said, "What's that?" And he said, "That's you, you yellow Jap," and then got into, that's the guy that, well, that's the guy, one of the guys that really made me look like I was beat. He bloodied my nose and got me two black eyes. I know his name too. It's Jessie Renalt. He turned out to be a professional boxer, and he ran the, a beer tavern down there on Third and Burnside. He was kind of a bodyguard to the owner there. He was a tough monkey. But I had him pinned down with judo, and I was banging away at him when the principal came and pulled me off of him. I looked at the other guy. He had hardly any marks on him, just little red welts. I don't know. I don't think I pounded anybody so hard, but he was tough.

MP: So did you, you knew that was, I mean, did, when he called you "Jap" and he said that's you and you got in a fight?

TH: Yeah.

MP: And so did you, what were you feeling? If you said you didn't know, I mean, what did that mean, "Jap," to you?

TH: Well, "Jap" used to be used in a derogatory way. If I guy didn't like you or he wanted to call you a name, that's what he called you.

MP: Whether you were Japanese or not?

TH: I didn't realize that I was a "Jap."

MP: What about the Chinese? Did they get mixed up in all that? Were they sensitive --

TH: Well, they were afraid because it's hard to distinguish between Chinese and Japanese. I boarded with a Chinese family that owned the Rice Bowl, you know, restaurant there next to the Capitol Theater. I had my dinner there every night. And the old man, he brought in a lapel pin that said "I am Chinese," and he told me to wear it, and I, I just thanked him, but I didn't, I didn't accept it. I said, "No. I'm not Chinese."

MP: And he wanted to wear, he wanted you to wear the pin because --

TH: To get, for protection.

MP: Was that common?

TH: They did it down in Chinatown, everybody down there that I know of. I heard that they all had pins to identify themselves. They were innocent, you know. They didn't do anything. But you hear Oriental, you look like a "Jap" to me, and bang, some of them got beat up. That's what I heard. I never saw the actual beat up.

MP: So, and then there, so like here, Ted is walking around town, and there were a few other people who you told me worked at the listening station. Can you describe that?

TH: Oh, yeah. I found out... yeah. Before I evacuated with Dad, I found out that some of the people that were, they were actually Kibeis. They're born here but raised in Japan, and they were hired to listen to this shortwave radio that came over from Japan, and it was located in the Hollywood Theater Building upstairs. I didn't actually go there, but that's, they told me that's where they worked. And what they did was take the Japanese and write it in English. It's called romaji. So they, and they send it on to Washington DC.

MP: And they were picking up Japanese transmissions?

TH: Yes.

MP: War transmissions?

TH: That's right.

MP: Plans?

TH: I don't even know what they were picking up, but they were picking it up, and it was vital to the war they tell me, and I only found out because they were renting a house from a friend of ours, you know. I just happened to go to camp one day. He says, "Hey, will you do me a favor? Go and look and see if the house is being taken care of," so I did. It was a house in Montavilla.

MP: They really needed you. They needed somebody outside the camp that could, you know.

TH: I suppose. Well, there were others, but they were confined to a hospital, you know, like Bobby Wadi was in the, I called him Marumoto, but it's, she was married. I forgot her married name, but she just passed away too about a year ago. But they were up in the tuberculosis section up in OHSU. It wasn't called that, but it was the hospital up there. They had a tuberculosis ward up there. A lot of Japanese people were susceptible to tuberculosis because of the way they lived. They lived on the ground floor, and then there was no air circulation, or they were actually mixing with the, the low class people, you know, in downtown.

MP: Right. So that would make them susceptible to catching --

TH: Yeah, catching. Tuberculosis is easy to, it's very contagious in certain stages, and I know lots of people ended up in the sanitarium. My own sister-in-law was in the sanitarium for about three months. But now, they have a fast way of curing them. But I understand the tuberculosis, the strain they're getting now is getting more resistant through, you know, the antibiotics.

MP: So there were these, so there was a whole Japanese ward of, is it in tuberculosis at OHSU?

TH: No. There were only people that had admitted it and then applied to doctors, you know, that turned them in.

MP: Admitted it?

TH: Yeah. But there were a lot of people walking around with tuberculosis, known tuberculars.

MP: Were they in the susceptible phase or, I mean, what --

TH: Well, this I couldn't tell you, but I know there was a Mr. Miyoshi. He had a hotel next to ours, and his wife was tubercular and he was tubercular because he... but he wouldn't go into a sanitarium.

MP: Did a lot of Japanese people die of tuberculosis?

TH: I don't know about that. They were the older people, the first generation, but I know a lot of them were in and out of the hospital. They didn't let you out until you were considered cured. I guess there's certain stages that tuberculosis is very contagious, and for some reason, the Japanese people, Eskimos, the South Sea Islanders, and the black people were very susceptible. Like our people, not too many of them get infantile paralysis. We're not as susceptible as the Caucasians are.

<End Segment 19> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 20>

MP: Then your family was in Minidoka for how long then?

TH: My mother stayed through the bitter end.

MP: '45?

TH: Yes, to the end of '45. I think it was September is when I went after her.

MP: Did you go back and visit them then? You were outside working then?

TH: I was taking care of the hotel already. See, I was the first one back after they, you know, revoked the exclusion act, and I can't think of the guy's name yet. To this day, he ran Packer Scott. He was president of Packer Scott. He came to welcome me back when I got my picture in the paper. Because of that I said, "Gee, is that necessary?" He says, "Well, we want to welcome you back." And he says, "If you have any problems, you give us a call." He was a nice fellow. That's why I went in the janitorial business that he would, he would sell me stuff, so I could resell it and make money.

MP: So were there people then that, I mean, Caucasian people that felt this was like not, this evacuation, whole thing, was just a little over the top, I mean that it was unfair?

TH: Well , I think, well, there were a lot of educated Caucasian people that were well aware of what was going on, and they, they thought it was unfair to do what they, the government did. I had a schoolteacher that I was a teacher's pet you might say, and she was a dean of Lincoln High School, and she never married until late in life. But she was a nice teacher, and I was a star student in her class. When I came back and I called her, she said, "Why don't you come and visit me at school?" She didn't want me to go to her home which I always did before. I used to sit there, eat with her. I used to go to her home freely, but she didn't want me to go, be seen with, you know, outside of public gathering, so she had me come to school. I said, "Thank you," but I never did go back to her.

MP: Was this after the war?

TH: Yes. When I first came back, I called her, and she was happy to talk to me, but she didn't want to be seen in public with me, I mean, want to be seen in public with me.

MP: She didn't want a Japanese coming to her home?

TH: That's right. So I felt ostracized and figured, I never went back to see her again.

MP: So do you think she then changed her attitude after, through the war?

TH: Yeah. I don't think that she felt any animosity towards the Japanese people, but that's the way she made me feel. I might have taken it wrong.

MP: Well, was that, was that a common reaction that Caucasians didn't want to be with Japanese? I mean, was there, was there, was there any interaction at all?

TH: I got crucified in the Presbyterian church one day. They asked me to come and talk about my experiences in camp. And they asked me some pointed questions, you know, that were kind of touchy as far as I was concerned. I didn't think it was very fair for a learned person to put me on a spot like that.

MP: Do you remember what, anything that he asked you?

TH: No. I just wiped him out of my mind, but I do know that he tried to embarrass me.

MP: So they invited you there to speak and then kind of embarrassed you?

TH: He asked questions that were a little touchy. I wasn't too happy anyway.

MP: So just, you know, going, I mean, was there, did you, yourself, associate with any Caucasian, or were you mostly with your Japanese friends?

TH: No. I had a lot of Caucasians friends that I actually grew up with. I think, I consider my association with Caucasian, I think more and more with Caucasian than with my own people. Not so much today because there's, most of them have passed away. But I go to all their funerals. And all the Jewish kids that I grew up with, I go to their funerals, and most of them came to my wife's funeral.

MP: Tell me about when you did come back and you went up to Seattle, too, right?

TH: Yeah. My in law, father-in-law owned an apartment up in Seattle, and he wasn't getting any money off the darn thing, and he was always delinquent in his payment that he was making payments on the thing. But anyway, I went to a real estate company, and they offered me a price that I thought was fair considering what he paid for. I think he only paid 8,000 for the thing before the war, and they offered me something like 14 or $15,000, and so I said, "Well, it's okay, cash." He paid me cash, and I took it back to him, and he was happy to get it. But the following year, that property sold for $60,000, and boy, he really held it against me and always mentioned it. He said, "You know, I give you a lot of credit. I thought you were a good business man."

MP: At the time.

TH: Yeah. At the time, I was. It was a good price for it.

<End Segment 20> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 21>

MP: So okay. Let's talk about this, the year rule and the Alien Land Law repeal. Because you, when you came out, that law was still in effect when you came back --

TH: Well, there was a fellow by the name of Takeoka who had a, he had a law degree, but he wasn't a practicing attorney, and a lot of our people in our community don't realize how important this man was. Of course, he solicited business. That was a way for him to exist. But he organized the Alien Land Law committee, and there was I think, I had a picture of it, and people I loaned it to lost it.

MP: A picture of the committee?

TH: Yeah. I published a directory for JACL, the first one in 1948, and I had pictures of every committee that was organized in town, and our committee was on that. I was the youngest in there. So there was five Niseis our age and there was about five Isseis, and we formed a committee, and we ran around and raised money. You know how they raise money, the Japanese people?

MP: No.

TH: They get the most likely good looking guy to donate the most money to sign up first. He puts his name and the amount.

MP: And then that encourages others to --

TH: Yeah, to donate accordingly. "Well, if Ted's donating this kind of money, we're worth just as much. We'll do the same."

MP: So it gets to be a competition?

TH: Yes. But that's the way they collect money.

MP: You get the big donation first.

TH: Yeah. I was first because I was the only land owner.

MP: Because of the hotel?

TH: Yeah, here in Portland. I'm not talking about some of the farms. But anyway, we solicit all the Japanese in the State of Oregon, every place we thought there was Japanese existing. We went to Vancouver, Washington. There were a lot of them living over there, but they cared less about what we were doing.

MP: And you were raising money for?

TH: Yeah. We raised $17,000 to pay to Mr. Dusenbury.

MP: And Mr. Dusenbury was?

TH: He was the attorney that argued the case. I, there was another attorney that did all the dirty work. He did all, I forgot his name. I got it someplace.

MP: So you drove around the state?

TH: Yeah. And I used my car, my gasoline to run these gentlemen. I had three Issei people riding in the car. They had friends back in Ontario. I had friends, but I didn't stay with them. I stayed in a motel. I had paid my own way. I spent a lot of money, my own money. That's what my mother disliked. She said, "You know, you don't get paid for it. You're spending your time, aren't making money for us."

MP: So you basically volunteered your services?

TH: Yeah. Well, I thought it was important because we were the only owners of land at that time. But there were a lot of farmers that own land back then. They were old enough to buy land. See, when we bought ours, there weren't too many fellows of age that could buy or could buy land even if they were of age.

MP: So tell me how you then, what was your pitch? What did you say to people when you, to ask for money?

TH: Well, we explained the law to them as it was understood by us, and they agreed that it was well worth fighting, and most of them were very generous. In $17,000, there was only maybe five or six hundred subscribers, so, you know, we come up with a lot of money.

MP: And you made the directory of all the Japanese in --

TH: Yeah. It was an address book, see, with the phone numbers, and then I had pictures of all the organizations. And all the guys that advertise was all the hotel people, the grocery stores, and what not, you know. Even Meyer and Frank was in there. I had Robert Brothers, Rosenblatt's.

MP: How long did it take you to collect that $17,000?

TH: It took us about three, four months.

MP: Three or four months. What would be like an average donation? What were people able to give? You said they were generous.

TH: Well, some of them donated up in the four or five hundred dollars, but they didn't know, I don't talk, I was the one that first signed up to put $100 down. I had to fatten it to $500. [Laughs]

MP: Why?

TH: I felt a little embarrassed. I didn't have the money really, but I put it up.

MP: And then it was given to Dusenbury, and then how it was, then there was this lawsuit?

TH: Yeah. It was argued in court in Judge Solomon's court, I think, and I was too busy working. I didn't go to the hearings, but all the transcripts were, I could read if I wanted it. It was in his law office, says, "You can have it or we will make copies for you if you wish it." I said, "I don't want it as long as we beat them."

MP: And what was the result?

TH: Well, they rescinded. My parents could go out and buy land. And any foreigner could go out and buy land if they wanted to, and they didn't necessarily have to be citizens.

MP: So that was a major shift?

TH: The major, the bad part of that law read that they could, the State could confiscate land that was bought even by a citizen if their non-citizen parents were living with them. They could assume that they had an interest in the place.

MP: So they, you could, if you had a non-citizen...

TH: My father lived with me, for instance, who was born in Japan and wasn't a citizen. He wasn't allowed to become a citizen until the war was over, quite a bit longer. We fought for citizenship for our family, our Issei parents, and a lot of them became citizens. My mother never could because she never learned to read or write it.

MP: So you had to read and write to become a citizen?

TH: Yeah. But most, I think most of them were questioned in the immigration office in their native tongue. Some couldn't speak English. That's where Clinton, in a way, he did a service for the people that are minorities, you know. They could give testimony or answer questions in their native tongue. But when he passed the federal law requiring the government to put out, you know, like a voter's pamphlet or something, it's got to be in bilingual language. I had a list of languages there. There's ninety-seven or eight languages recognized. That's a lot of languages to interpret and, you know, for anything, for voting or for referral. I didn't believe in that. We're in America; you speak English. My dad used to tell us that all the time. He said, "You were born here. You American citizen. You speak English." And he used to speak English.

MP: So you don't think that, that speaking, I mean, that speaking, retaining the native language is --

TH: It's all right, but it should be a secondary language and not the primary one. You should learn to go out, be able to shop in English and be able to talk to somebody in the English as long as you are living in America.

MP: So when that, when that land law was repealed, were you, did you celebrate? Was it a happy time?

TH: No. It cost me a lot of money I thought at the time. [Laughs]

MP: So is there anything else you want to say about that?

TH: No. Well, I think I, I think there's a young fellow that's a veteran, a war veteran. He's running around giving speeches about that thing before different groups that want to hear about the evacuation claim, I mean not the evacuation claim but the Alien Land Law, and I think he's taking a lot of credit for which he didn't really earn. I'm not going to even name names.

MP: Well, I want to thank you for this --

TH: Well, you're welcome.

MP: -- this fabulous interview.

<End Segment 21> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 22>

MP: You told me this story about you were called up to the war by the army, and then what happened because I forgot to --

TH: I know I was a poor effort to begin with because I had been rejected once. But when I got to final, everybody, while they were, you know, dragging in people that were disabled and whatnot, you know, and I got called to report to Fort Douglas for induction. So I made, I got my wife ready to go back to camp, you know, stay with the family and, or with mine, it didn't matter. Anyway, I went through this health check-up, you know, it was that bend over process, and I should have got a pink slip at that time because he asked me to read the thing. I can read the E, that's all. But I rattled off about three or four lines, and he says, "It's not correct." God, I didn't know they had changed eye charts. I memorized the one in Jerome, you know, and I read the chart, and it was different than the one at the Hart Hospital. He says, "You want to get in the army that bad?" I says, "Well, I figure I got to go do my duty, you know, just like the rest of the guys." I was not afraid to go, and I was the oldest son. My dad didn't want me to go because he had, he figured I should take care the family. But I, my brother and I actually fought over that. I said, "One of us should go, you know, and do our share." He was going to Boise College at the time. He didn't want to go, but he's not a fighter. He's a big boy, just as big as I am, but he's not a fighter. He will back off, try to talk you out of it.

MP: So when you, when they sent you to Fort, they sent you then to Fort Douglas and what happened?

TH: I don't know. Anybody that's been inducted know that you're quartered in the barracks. And the sergeant that took care of the barracks was playing cards one day, and I was playing cards with the boys, and he asked me to run the table for him, which means that you furnish the cards and the chips, and you take a percentage out of each pot. But he found out I was adept in making money for him. He didn't give me my pink slip right away. I could have left there, you know, right after physical. He kept me just because I was making money for him that first night. He kept me almost two weeks without a pink slip.

MP: So after you had the physical and you didn't, and the eye chart was all, you couldn't even read the eye chart, what did they tell you? How did he keep you there?

TH: Well, he can keep you for stenographic work, you know. I told him, "Hey, I can't even take a bath without my glasses. I can't see my toes."

MP: But you still had to stay there and wait for this pink slip?

TH: Yeah. They give you what they call a pink slip. It's a rejection form, and they mark it 4-F, reaffirm the 4-F again. But he found out I was adept at running a table, card table. I made money for him the first night that we were quartered there. See, after they quarter you, they, I don't know. It took a couple days before you took your physical anyway. But I spent a lot of time in the barracks. I didn't go anyplace, and I played cards.

MP: And then how long did you have to stay --

TH: Two weeks he kept me, and my wife was afraid to go back because she didn't know, I didn't leave, you know, the Fort Douglas there. That's in, right by the campus there. By the way, I went to University of Utah too.

MP: Oh, that's one you didn't tell me about. [Laughs]

TH: Hey, I was making more money than the professors. And the girls in the office told the professors, and they raised heck, and I got fired, not fired. They cut my hours down.

MP: At University of Utah?

TH: Uh-huh.

MP: What were you making money there?

TH: You know, the average wage was around seventy-five cents an hour, but I was making a lot of money because my time, you know, you're supposed to check out on the time card, I never went out. I worked there 24 hours a day, and I collected it because I organized their kitchen. They had what they call a, I think a V-9 program. It was a navy program. I had 1200 students there they were feeding. And I had applied for a job there as a kitchen helper. They found out that I can do a lot of things in the kitchen that the women volunteers couldn't do, and they had me order equipment in there. Yeah, I ordered a lot of equipment. We made our first pancake batter out of a, we used a garbage can and a canoe paddle. We had the women stir it, and they couldn't stir the darn thing. I had to hire boys to do it, you know that?

MP: So you just punched in and you didn't punch out?

TH: I went to school, come back, and worked again.

MP: Twenty-four-hour shift?

TH: Yeah. How can a man work twenty-four hours? I says, "Well, I'm thinking all the time." My brain never shut down. But then, you know, I think the law, I mean the professors were only making around $300, $350 a month, that was tops.

MP: And how much were you making?

TH: Well, around $400. [Laughs]

MP: How long did you last?

TH: Two months, then they cut my time down. "You work six hours, and that's all." "That's all. I don't want to work." I can make more money in the produce market. I don't think I was money mad, but I was always adept at making money.

MP: Definitely.

TH: Well, I don't flash it around, you know. A lot of kids, they have an idea that I got money, but I don't drive the world's biggest car. My wife had the Caddy, and I don't buy a car every other year or anything. I don't have the best home in town either, you know. My kids have better looking homes than I do. Can you beat that? See that big TV screen, that's brand new. You know, the kids gave me that for Christmas. I said, "What are you guys doing?" I said, "I don't want, I don't want clothes." They buy me the wrong size. I got to go change it, you know, and I don't look good in it. I don't like it. Buy me food instead. Well, the food don't last very long around here. Well, you guys get the food back. I says, "Why don't you buy the canned stuff that you know I use." That's why I got all those big canned stuff there.

<End Segment 22> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 23>

MP: Yeah. Tell me about what you do with all that food.

TH: Well, to begin with, I became like a kim chee king. He knows what kim chee is. He goes to Korean restaurant, but he knows about more varieties than I do. I just make Chinese cabbage and pickles, cucumbers. But the Koreans, I got a couple Korean friends that they want, they want mine.

MP: You have a real food and cooking background.

TH: Yeah. Well, my grandfather was pantry chef. My dad was cook.

MP: Your grandfather was what?

TH: Pantry chef at the University Club.

MP: And your father?

TH: Father was just a cook. He was second cook they called it. Me, I was a flunky. I washed dishes. I washed pans that you dirtied or all the cooks dirtied and mopped the floors, cleaned the tables off. I did that kind of work, but I watched them cook.

MP: And then what about that, you know, that thing with Jake's?

TH: Oh, yeah. Well, I wasn't instrumental, but Jake's found out that my dad could make a bisque, crawfish bisque soup that he was, you know, well known for, and the customers used to tell him, "Hey, Huntington Club has got better bisque soup than you have," so he got curious. He knew Chef Horne. He was a German fellow. He was the chef, and he asked a sample of the bisque soup, so he had me run it over after Dad made it. And he said, "Who makes this?" I says, "My father." He says, "Ask him if he'll come work for me." So you ask him yourself. You know, I can't tell him. So he phoned my father, and he offered him a job. He says, "What are you making?" Says, "None of your business," my dad told him. He says, "Well, I'll give you more money than you're making now if you just make bisque soup." My dad said, "I don't think you would want to know how I make it, so I'll stay where I am." God, I used to mash the stuff all --

MP: Why? Why did your father turn that job down?

TH: He didn't actually want to go to work in a restaurant like that. He liked Arlington Club. Arlington Club had lots of, he was allowed, he went to work for them pretty cheap wages. He says, "If you allow me to take home all the stuff that goes in the garbage and feed my family and do my laundry for me, all the clothes I have to wear and change all the time," they were very strict about clothing, you know. You had to wear a starched shirt, pants, cap. And he got that privilege, so I learned to eat a lot of things that people never got used to. But you know, the guys that go to Arlington Club, they eat simple things like lamb stew, oxtail, braised oxtail, you know. What else I used to have to make? I used to wait on Bishop Dagwell.

MP: Yeah. Tell me the Bishop Dagwell story.

TH: Yeah. He actually had a room there. He'd come in late, maybe about eight or nine o'clock, you know, and he'd send for food from the kitchen. The kitchen was closed. But he'd come in and say, "I want two lamb chops, Boy." Anyway --

MP: To you?

TH: Yeah. Anyway, I said, "There's no cook here." "Well, you know how to cook." "Well, I guess I can put two lamb chops on, but I just cleaned the broiler." He says, "Well, you clean it again." You know, he was a kind of an old geezer. He had me put the lamb chops on there. He says, "Hey, when you serve lamb chops, you got to cross them on the plate." You know, you had to have it a certain way, and they have to wear their, you know, he called it caps.

MP: Those little leg things?

TH: Yeah. Well, I knew where they were. They used to have them made already, you know. And I just slipped it on, and he says, "No veggies?" You boil them yourself. But you know, he'd come and thank me for broiling the lamb chops. Ten cent tip come in with the waiter, ten cents. I still never forgot that.

MP: He gave you ten cents?

TH: Yeah, sent a ten cent tip in. I guess it's still was a lot of money. I only got about $85 a month.

MP: So you worked, yourself worked, your dad worked at the Arlington Club, and you worked there with him?

TH: Yeah, but I was a dishwasher and pot washer then, see, and my dad was a cook.

MP: And you were picking up cooking tips, and so you knew how to cook?

TH: Yeah. But one day he said to me about the time I got out of school, it was 1938, see, I got out when I was sixteen, just turning seventeen. He said, "You either go to work or learn how, if you're going to cook, you cook. Don't go to school." I liked school then all of a sudden.

MP: So did you go to school?

TH: Yeah. I went to Reed, but I think I broke his heart though when he found out I wasn't going to school. I took a lunch every day. Mother would make lunch for me. I'd take it and catch the trolley just runs outside of our house, go to, I mean, go to the campus and play with the guys, but I was never in school.

MP: You just pretended you were in school?

TH: But I got a job in the meantime, you know. I got a job working for the cannery down there. Let's see, what the heck here, Cranberry River Packers, CRPA. I help put in the first tuna line down there. They sent us down to San Pedro and learn how they're butchering the tuna.

MP: Where did you go?

TH: San Pedro.

MP: Where's that?

TH: In California.

MP: Oh.

TH: Yeah. That's where all the fishing boats are and all the canneries are.

MP: So a tuna line meaning a, like a conveyor, tuna?

TH: That's right. There was a conveyor, what they do was the loader, he picks the tuna up by the tail and throws it on the table facing you. And if you're a butcher, it has to face the right way because he has a sharp knife, he slits their, you know, belly open. And then the, then I forgot what they call that guy. He took the guts out, but he had to separate it. He saved the liver, the rendered oil, vitamin oil I guess was the thing. Then they put it in racks, and they steam the whole fish whole. They asked us to go down and learn how they're doing it, so we can do it right. We used to drop on, you know, the tuna is so fat and so solid. If you drop it on the concrete floor, it's splits. The fish will split on the side. We say, "Sashimi." We'd take a tuna home, eat it. Some of the guys couldn't wait. They used to get out there and bring the soy sauce with them. You know, all those Finnish girls, they see us eating raw fish down there. We did a lot of funny things. All those guys that were working the cannery, they're almost all gone. The last of them went not too long ago.

<End Segment 23> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.

<Begin Segment 24>

MP: Do you still have friends that are alive that share your childhood, share childhood with you?

TH: No. Most of them are gone. Jack Yoshihara and I were both about the same rank in judo. He lost his wife six years ago, but he remarried a neighborhood girl. And he, his wife has a home up in Seattle, and he has a home over in, I don't know what area this is, Jewish neighborhood.

MP: And you carry on the cooking tradition.

TH: Well, it's been forced, a lot of people find out that I can make things. They will ask me sometime, and I make sometime a rare dish. I don't know whether you ever heard of a steamed fish, I mean, steamed pork and fish. It smells. You go to a Chinese restaurant and somebody orders it and they take it, the restaurants don't like to serve it when they got too much, too many Caucasians in there. God, you can almost throw up on the smell of the stuff. But boy, does it taste good.

MP: And you make this?

TH: I make this thing for 'em.

MP: For whom?

TH: Oh, people who want it. They know I can make it. I tell them now I don't have the right dried fish. I have, gee, it costs ten bucks for dried fish about that long. That's what you use to flavor the fish with. You ever taste fish sauce? You open the lid, you have to keep your nose out of there. God, it makes you want to throw up. Even me to this day, but I stick my finger in and taste it. Boy, it taste good.

MP: But you cook for a few people --

TH: Mostly widowers that can't cook. I cook for one widow, that was the girl that was on the phone. She called to thank me for the meatloaf I sent her.

MP: What do you cook usually?

TH: Well, my, I pickle more than I cook actually, but I make a lot of kim chee and in season, you know. But I cook a lot of, our people make a chow mein that is dry. It's not like Chinese chow mein that's all, people, they eat the noodles more than the vegetables that you use to flavor it with. But our chow mein, I got to tell you a story about when we used to go to grade school. My mother used to make chow mein sandwiches. Everything smells like a Chinese restaurant. You know when you walk in a Chinese restaurant, you can smell certain kind of cooking. I used to take sandwiches, and we were, we had to put our lunches up in the cloak, where you put your clothes.

MP: The cloak room.

TH: Yeah, that's right. Every time when lunchtime came, not every time but a few times, I miss my lunch. Somebody swiped my sandwich. I look for my sandwich, I can't find it. But I see a bag there, I take it, and I got peanut butter sandwiches or bologna sandwich somebody left. But I never did get over that. It happened to me two or three times. And then the teacher always sit there by the cloak room, see, because you usually wrote your name on the bag, your paper bag, or you had a lunch box. My mother always used paper bags. I don't know why. I didn't have a lunch box because I used to kick it home all the time and put holes in or dents in it.

MP: You kicked it home, your lunch, your lunch box?

TH: Oh, yeah. Did you play ever Kick the Can?

MP: Sure.

TH: Used my lunch box. It was bigger and heavier.

MP: I'd really like to know what a chow mein sandwich is?

TH: It's dry. It's like a Chinese chow mein except it isn't, doesn't have a gravy in it. It doesn't have all this soup in it.

MP: Was there vegetables?

TH: It's got a lot of vegetables in it, but you don't see the vegetables. But our younger people, the third generation, they want to eat the noodles. It's flavored. See we flavor the noodles first before we put the vegetables in. Someday, I'll make it.

MP: You're famous for your chow mein noodles, right?

TH: Yeah. I'm not, I'm a Christian, but I'm not a Methodist church, you know, pardon to the people that support it. I do help them though. They always ask me to come down and do this, do that. I volunteer, but they, I don't, they have a Caucasian minister now. She's a lady. Good. She speaks Japanese, can't say anything bad around her.

MP: She is Japanese.

TH: Yeah. She gave a sermon yesterday, you know, at a funeral, and she did an excellent job. But she recognizes kim chee, boy. I make that stinky stuff. They have the church bazaar once a year in October, last Sunday in October, and a lot of people come to eat there. I was surprised. They make so much money. They make 17, $18,000 just in four hours.

MP: Do you do kim chee for that event?

TH: Yeah. I make ten gallons of it for them. I don't know what they do with it. I see people eating it, but then I know they can't, that crowd can't eat that much one time. Well, I eased up a little bit. Well, some people didn't like it. It was a little bit too hot. Our people don't like it that hot as Koreans, so I eased up on it. But this time, boy, they cleaned it up.

MP: What's the population of this area? Is it Japanese, Korean, or what?

TH: In this area here?

MP: Yeah.

TH: Well, there's hardly any Japanese here. There used to be quite a few over here. I don't know why my wife, well, I think she liked the swimming pool that was in the front yard. But I said if you could buy a house for $2,500 down, go ahead. She objected living in a hotel for so long because our children were growing, and the areas are getting rougher all the time. She came home and says, "We own a house." "Yeah? What you paid for it?" She said, "Oh, I gave him $2,500 down. You told me I could write a check for it." And then I met the realtor. She happened to be a customer, and so she got a good buy. I think I only paid $22,500 for this house.

MP: What do you think it is worth now?

TH: One hundred twenty-nine thousand maybe. I had an appraisal for this. This is a big lot, 20,000 square foot lot. There was a baby acre here. I sold the back half, and I paid for my house. I had, I think I paid into the house about five years, but the principal never goes down, you know, the first five years or ten years. Anyway, I figured that it paid for my house, so I live in here free, but I got to pay property tax. It doesn't take a lot at all. The thing that I object to is this darn, the sewer tax. I don't mind, but they charge that, you know, the rain runoff water. I think, I don't know what they call that. But I said, "Gee, we got our well." I said, "How do you base your assessment?" He says on the amount of water you use, the sewage charge. I said, "Well, I'm a single man, and I don't use this john here at home. I'm out most of the time." I said, and my water, the property absorbed my water because there was a time when they asked us to put in dry wells which we did. We just disconnected. Of course, we were always, didn't have sewer. We were, what the heck they call those things. Well, there was a well anyway. So we, they just put in my sewer about four years ago, but it's a well-built house.

<End Segment 24> - Copyright © 2003 Oregon Nikkei Endowment and Densho. All Rights Reserved.