MAE MARSHALL ORAL HISTORY (PORTIONS)
INTERVIEWER: What were the conditions like where you were living, before the war?
MARSHALL: I was raised upstairs above the restaurant on Market and there were, I want to say four, it’s a four room flat, that type of thing. We had hot water, obviously, but I think I remember a cold stove and I remember, that there. I considered myself poor, but we weren’t. I think it was because the, maybe, times were hard, maybe my father was discreet or tight with money, I don’t know, but we really weren’t poor. My husband pointed it out to me (laugh) said you really weren’t, but anyway. Here I was. Primarily because I was in a black neighborhood, but I don’t know.
INTERVIEWER: You said you lived above…
MARSHALL: Above the restaurant, uh huh.
INTERVIEWER: Was this a brick building?
MARSHALL: Uh huh. It was at 2333 Market. Just up the street about a block away was called the Pig Meat Market. That was a cafeteria, also Black and Joe, Eddie and there’s a third brother, I’ve forgotten what his name is, he’s in New York now, and their name was Tanaka, and Mr. and Mrs. Tanaka died since, but they had a restaurant about a block away.
INTERVIEWER: Do you recall any problems that there were for Asian immigrants?
MARSHALL: At what age?
INTERVIEWER: At that time, before the war.
MARSHALL: No, I was too young.
INTERVIEWER: Do you recall any problems after the war?
MARSHALL: Uh, I recall when I, I’m trying to think what age span the war, it must have been in 1942 or 3, as I was maybe 7 or 9 years old. I remember the FBI coming in and closing the restaurant down, searching our house for any weapons. We did have a gun, my father did, and then taking our camera. I remember that vividly, coming into our house.
INTERVIEWER: And this was after the war started?
MARSHALL: It must have been 42 or 43.
INTERVIEWER: What about after the war?
MARSHALL: I never felt any discrimination myself and I guess I was too niave or didn’t want to realize if there were any problems. I have never felt it, actually.
INTERVIEWER: Did you know if any of your friends felt discrimination, or had problems after or before the war?
MARSHALL: I was trying to think. Of course during the war time, there
were only ten Japanese families here I think, and most, all of them had
older kids. There weren’t any kids my age and uh, so I really wasn’t
aware of what was going on, and after the war, uh, talking about 1946
to 48, is that what you mean, around that time, I don’t know how
many year after the war. Do you know about that time, a couple of years?
I was twelve years old, and I must have been on a cloud. (laugh)
Marshall Family Photo- October 1987
Mae, Charles, Susan (16 years old), Debbie (11 years old)