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George Takei

Tribute by David J. Lutes

Good morning Mr. Takei &hellip I had a good friend who passed away about 11 years ago. Alice Lowery Westerfield lived in Indio, CA and was president of the Coachella Valley National Bank. Its founder, John Westerfied, took over properties of interned Japanese from the Coachella Valley and ran their ranches/farms, only to turn them back to the families when they returned from the camps.

Little is known about this happening, but I wish I had learned the name of the young lady who came back to the valley to gather info about the families who lived here. Ray and Cherry Ishumatsu had been sent to a camp and knew the young lady. Perhaps there is much more to be learned from the farmers in the Coachella Valley—especially in the Coachella, Mecca, Thermal areas.

Best wishes and look forward to visiting your museum in the future. David J. Lutes