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John Sammon


John Sammon is a freelance writer and newspaper reporter, novelist and historical fiction writer, non-fiction book writer, political pundit and column writer, comedy and humor writer, screenplay writer, film narrator and a member of the Screen Actors Guild. He lives with his wife near Pebble Beach.

Updated March 2018


Stories from This Author

Thumbnail for Man Uses Historic Fiction to Portray Heroism of the 442nd
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Man Uses Historic Fiction to Portray Heroism of the 442nd

March 25, 2024 • John Sammon

There have been non-fiction history books about the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, but Andrew Lam is one of the few writers to portray the heroism of the World War II unit composed of Japanese American volunteers in a historical novel. The book Repentance is so true to life in its depiction of combat that an actual veteran of the 442nd Susumu Ito; praised the book for its accuracy. Ito’s courage in combat won him the Bronze Star medal. “That a veteran …

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Camp Survivor Recalls Killings at Manzanar

Dec. 1, 2023 • John Sammon

Jim Morita a concentration camp survivor of World War II was old enough at the time to see the impact imprisonment made on the inmates. The heartbreak among the older prisoners was evident. “I could see it on their faces the older prisoners the adults,” Morita recalled. “Like those in their 50’s. They suffered. Teenagers in the camp like me, we hadn’t lost as much. We had a ‘to hell with it attitude.’” In 1942 the U.S. Government shamefully locked …

Thumbnail for Photos Preserve World War II Tragedy of Marysville Japanese Americans
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Photos Preserve World War II Tragedy of Marysville Japanese Americans

July 19, 2023 • John Sammon

You look at these pictures and they haunt you. Who were these people? What were they thinking and feeling when the photos were made? There is no hint of their thoughts at that moment. The expressions are deadpan. But it’s clear that these are not happy photos. There are no smiles among the adult subjects. Only a grim and bureaucratic type of coldness pervades them. “The elders show the greatest concern in these pictures,” said David Reed, executive director of …

Thumbnail for Bay Area Woman Turns Love of Softball into Coaching Career
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Bay Area Woman Turns Love of Softball into Coaching Career

April 14, 2023 • John Sammon

Shannon Mortimer has been instrumental in helping to grow women’s softball into the major sport it always had the potential to become. As a player and today a coach of young women of Japanese ancestry, she has seen the sport rise from an obscure past to an internationally recognized event. Women’s softball has come a long way from the formation of its first team in 1895. At the time it was considered merely a diversion….for women. Men often thought of …

Thumbnail for Bay Area Man Recalls Career Exploring World for Energy in Exotic Places
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Bay Area Man Recalls Career Exploring World for Energy in Exotic Places

Dec. 28, 2022 • John Sammon

Doug Uchikura traveled the world through his job with Chevron seeking sources of energy and some of the places where he lived you may never have heard of…for example Ashgabat in the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan. “That country was isolated from the world, it was somewhat a closed society,” Uchikura recalled. The sight of an American was so rare in such places. Uchikura agreed that in a way he and his wife Maris became ambassadors of a sort. Locals …

Thumbnail for Sacramento Man Recounts Struggle to Become Internationally Recognized Sculpture Artist
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Sacramento Man Recounts Struggle to Become Internationally Recognized Sculpture Artist

Nov. 6, 2022 • John Sammon

Yoshio Taylor will tell you and he’s told his students that to be a sculpture artist takes a special resolve all its own. “I used to tell my students, ‘yeah it’s great to have artworks all over the place but art is a commitment,’” Taylor said. “You have to have a passion, you have to persevere, you have to sacrifice. Even if you have talent someone might pass you up in your career unless you push it. You have to …

Thumbnail for Film Recounting Japanese Americans who fled imprisonment through banishment
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Film Recounting Japanese Americans who fled imprisonment through banishment

July 4, 2022 • John Sammon

What would be your reaction if this had happened to you? You’re told by the U.S. Government to pack what you can carry in a suitcase and get on a train with your wife and children and your grandparents. You’re under arrest because of your ancestry and you’re going to be imprisoned in a guarded barbed wire-enclosed jail somewhere in the desert of Arizona. They’re doing this to you because you and your family are (they say) a threat to …

Thumbnail for Sacramento Woman Remembered for Japanese-Style Box Lunches, Giving Heart
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Sacramento Woman Remembered for Japanese-Style Box Lunches, Giving Heart

March 27, 2022 • John Sammon

Mollie Oto is one of those rare people of whom it could be said was truly irreplaceable. But though her recent passing saddened so many, it remains a consolation she will live on in the hearts and minds of the hundreds of friends and fans whose lives she touched over the years. A diminutive woman physically (she was 5 foot 1 and 90 pounds), Oto left a big legacy in Sacramento. From her 14-hour-a-day work ethic to her extensive work …

Thumbnail for Central Valley Artists seek to Map Japanese American Experience through Multi-Media Process
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Central Valley Artists seek to Map Japanese American Experience through Multi-Media Process

March 4, 2022 • John Sammon

The Yonsei Memory Project (YMP) is an ambitious plan to chronicle using art, story-telling, memory recording and sharing of dialog between generations, a connection between the Japanese American experience including imprisonment during World War II, with current struggles for civil liberties. It is a project that will celebrate the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans that have so enriched American life, and also combat hate directed against Asians, recently on the increase. “The heart of YMP is our motivation to …

Thumbnail for Works of Sansei Artists recalling World War II Imprisonment of Japanese Americans on Display at the Monterey Museum of Art
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Works of Sansei Artists recalling World War II Imprisonment of Japanese Americans on Display at the Monterey Museum of Art

Nov. 24, 2021 • John Sammon

Sansei (third generation American born) Japanese Americans often have prior family histories that have been blacked out; their Nisei (second generation) parents who were imprisoned by the U.S. Government during World War II never talked about it. It was too painful an experience, one they desperately wanted to forget. “Through their silence my family protected me from what happened to them, but silence is a powerful transmitter of emotional trauma—there’s no statute of limitations,” said Monterey-based photographer, designer, and writer …

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