I arrived here on June 17, 1950. My husband was one of the pioneers here. He arrived here in 1923 with the intention of going to school. But when he arrived here, he went to Alaska and he worked in the cannery. The conditions at that time were terrible. After that, he worked in the fields on the farm. And he cried—he said, "How come I'm coming here!" But, he was stuck here.



I was twenty-six. I just turned twenty-six when I landed here. When I came here I went to beauty school. So, I'm a United States cosmetologist. But I didn't practice because I was still pregnant, so I could not leave the kids alone. I only worked one day a week, that’s all. My husband did not want me to work. He said that my place is at home, that I should raise my kids. So I did not work until [my daughter] was in high school.

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We went to Alaska in 1972 because [my husband] goes there in the summer time. “You know,” I said, “I think it's time for you to go for a steady job here.”   So he worked until he retired at the age of sixty-five. That was the policy—at the age of sixty-five you have to retire. Age discrimination at that time!   He went back to Alaska again in the summer until 1983. And I said, “I don't want you to go to Alaska! Suppose you fall down because of your age!” That was his last time, 1983. He was the cannery foreman. He supervised all the workers.  

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Oh yes, my husband was discriminated against. At the cannery, he was not hired again because of his age, and then they hired a younger person who took his place.

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The first time he went to Alaska, it was during the depression time. They only paid him five cents an hour and the white people made ten cents an hour. The first time we went to Alaska they were only paid with soup and rice. Terrible! Then the contractor got most of the money, there was no union at the time.

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After the Alaska season we went to California, picking grapes, apples, watermelons. There was no water and people would just go to the river. Work conditions were pretty bad in California.

When he came back he worked in Bremerton building the boats.

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