Most of you probably haven’t heard of Bob Fletcher. Heroism comes in many forms. In Mr. Fletcher’s case it took the form of preserving the farms of his Japanese-American neighbors who had been interned during World War II:
In the face of deep anti-Japanese sentiment — Fletcher was taunted as a “Jap lover” and nearly hit by a bullet fired at a barn — he stepped in to save the farms of the Nitta, Okamoto and Tsukamoto families.
He worked 90 acres of California table grapes, paid the mortgages and taxes, and took half the profits. He turned over the rest — along with the farms — to the three families when they returned to Sacramento in 1945.
“I did know a few of them pretty well and never agreed with the evacuation,” Fletcher told the Sacramento Bee in 2010. “They were the same as anybody else. It was obvious they had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor.”
During the war many interned Japanese-Americans lost their land due to unpaid mortgages, unpaid taxes, or thieves. Mr. Fletcher’s actions saved his neighbors’ land for them. If there had been many more like him, California after the war would have been a very different place. Juster, I think.
Who, in your opinion, was a neighbor to the Japanese-Americans interned during World War II?