Oral History Interview with William ""Bill"" Matsumoto
Nisei male was born 03/18/1918 in Newcastle, CA to parents who ran a grocery store. The family moved to Elk Grove, CA to sharecrop strawberries and grapes. After graduating high school in 1929 George worked in various grocery stores in Berkeley and Oakland. In 1938 he opened a general grocery store on the Davis Highway road to San Francisco. George, his father and brothers built and ran a successful business until the end of 1941. The Matsumotos went to Walerga Assembly Center, then to Tule Lake, CA in 1942 when George was 24. When Tule Lake became a camp for pro-Japan dissidents, the Matsumotos went to Amache, Colorado. In Tule Lake George worked in food distribution; in Amache he was a meat cutter. He left Amache for Rocky Ford, Colorado and processed onions. In December 1945 George, his wife and children returned to Sacramento while his parents moved to Chicago. He sharecropped a farm, worked at the Signal Depot, General Produce and sold insurance part-time. In 1949 he became a full-time agent with West Coast Insurance as it did not charge an extra premium for people of color; he retired in 1994. He also had a partnership in a bowling alley for 20 years.
Transcript available at California State University, Sacramento University Library
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