I Know We'll Meet Again - Transcripts

Correspondence and the forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians

Sumi Mototosune

Raymond, AB on 1942-1946

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366 of 366 rows (click a missing row to make it appear)
: c/o Mr. J. Maudsley
Letter 1
: Raymond, Alta.
: May 16/42
: Dear Joan;-
: Hi Joan!! Was I surprised to hear from you so soon!
: It’s so lonely and quiet here I keep thinking about you all the time and what you’re doing.
: Gosh, was I pleased to hear from you. I received your first letter on May 12, [&] then two days later, while I was in the garden, my sister brought home another one! I recognized your writing on the envelope and ripped it open & read it immediately. The way how I threw down my hoe to read it, my mother knew who the letter was from. I read your letters, I don’t know how many times. Next day, I happened to look in the envelope and the first letter was dated (or stamped) May 1, while the second, May 8. I don’t know how it happened, but I suppose it was because we haven’t been to town for ages.
: You’re wondering, no doubt, why you haven’t got word from me, but I’m writing to-night, which is the only night I could find spare time.
: How is your father, mother, Donalda and yourself? I hope you are all well. We are all feeling fine and gradually getting used to this Alberta surroundings. It’s not quite as bad as we first came out here to Raymond.
: We’ve had a very bad weather all this week. It has been raining, windy, rain and sleet, snowing & freezing. Yesterday and this morning I found a thick ice covering the surface of our water pail. Especially this morning, we were all shivering because we couldn’t start the fire. It certainly has been a very bad week, and we hope next week would be better. I hope you had a nice weather back in British Columbia.
: I am sorry to hear that you have not been feeling well, but staying home and getting rested up and relaxed would make you better, I hope. Well anyways, please take care of yourself.
: I hope your Social Studies test wasn’t too hard as you said it was. Boy am I lucky I didn’t have to write it!! But a “proffessional [sic] student” like you always say [sic] it’s hard and then the result – the highest mark in “Grade 9.” How are you getting along in French, English, Math, Science, etc?
: Gosh, but I wish I was together with you back in school. Do I wish to see the faithful “Queen Elizabeth High School” again, but it won’t be for quite a while.
: Yesterday and the day before, we have been in the garden planting some seeds. We planted some water mellons [sic], canteloupes [sic], potatoes, carrots, cabbages, beans, …. etc. It’s a pity you can’t come down & eat some of the things we have grown (if they growe well).
: The roads around here are terrible after it rains. No cars nor bycicles [sic] can ride on it. The earth gets soft and sticks onto the tires; therefore just skidding and slipping in one place. We can’t even walk on it ourselves, or else the mud sticks on to our shoes so much it gets too heavy to walk.
: There isn’t such a road in British Columbia even if you searched fore one. That’s true!
: Yesterday, while I was riding on a bike going to buy some eggs, I took a bad spill. My slack’s leg got caught on a hook or something that was sticking out and [there], I didn’t know it and was going full speed ahead. Bang!! we both fell, and a piece of my slacks got torn. I got several bruises, but not as bad as what yours was. I tried to get up, but I couldn’t for a minute. Then a car comes along towards heading my way, and somehow I managed to get up and drag the bike to one side of the road. A young man was in the car and he asked if I hurt myself badly. I just said I only got a few bruises which was nothing at all. I haven’t seen him since.
: Many cars pass in front of our house, and every one of them honks their horns. I don’t know why, but I guess it’s just a friendly way of passing instead of not honking.
: I heard there was a “May Day” this year. Did you go to it? We wanted to go to it, but was impossible. All that day, I was thinking about the school. — only have [sic] of the pupils present.
: It is a common sight to see the clothes-line only about the height of myself, while the clothes-line back in B.C. was higher than the roofs of our houses. I suppose it’s because the wind is too strong.
: There are no trees here in Alberta. Everywhere you look, just level plains of farming lands can be seen, while back in B.C: everywhere you look are trees and nothing but trees. Not one speck of the beautiful mountains can be seen either. We all miss our beautiful B.C. trees and mts.
: We left our cat and dog at home and are always wondering if they are still alive. We all think our dog would be dead because he always used to bark at many people and get stones thrown at. This is none of your affairs to look after, but I just wrote it in to fill up space.
: You must have had a good time riding home with Kirkbride. Afterall, any body would like to ride home with a companion who says funny things rather than a companion who isn’t interesting to talk with very much. He hasn’t got anybody to ride home with him now and you haven’t either, so what’s the matter riding home together? I think that’s swell.
: That was a tricky thing Betty did of taking pictures of you & Kirkbride. If you ever get hold that picture, will you please send one? (if you don’t mind.) We haven’t a camera yet, so are unable to take pictures, but if we do, I promise I’ll send it to you.
: The letter is getting long and boring you, no doubt, so I had better close now. Give my best regards to your mother, father, and sister. I think I’ve said everything what I have to say, so good-bye Joan, I am thinking of you all the time.
: With love,
: Your friend as ever,
: Sumi Mototsune
: P.S. You’re lucky to be decreasing in weight. I think I’m increasing.
: c/o Mr. J. Maudsley
Letter 2
: Raymond, Alta.
: May 30/42
: Dear Joan,
: Thank you ever so much for the letter I received today. You could have imagined how surprised I was to hear from you so soon! I am not wasting a minute in writing to you. But, oh! fat, large letters every time! That’s what I like. I don’t know how you do it, but gosh, it’s so interesting, that I read it over I don’t know how many times. There isn’t any interesting things to write around here, so you can write all the news back home.
: I feel sorry for you and Donalda about being
: missing a week of school, especially you, when you missed two final exams! I don’t blame you for not getting mad. I know I will.
: Where did Setsuko Fujii go? And where did Sonny & Albert go to? We don’t get any newspaper so we don’t know anything. Whenever Dad goes to town, he buys a “Lethbridge Herald News” paper. It has only the half of the pages from that of Sun or Province, and there is no news of Vancouver or New Westminster. The other day, I sent a letter to “The Vancouver Daily Provinces” asking them if they can send a newspaper over here to Raymond. Do you think they will?
: As for the pictures, you don’t have to send them to me, but I am asking for only the spare ones you have. I will be very
: grateful to you if you can spare some few to me.
: Yesterday (May 29th) was Sports Day, and my sister & I certainly hope the “White House” would win. The way you write about the “Whites,” it sounds as if we are in an awful position. I hope the White House will improve. Good going for 2 E. [ill.]!! Three times in succession now. I hope they defeat the Langley High School this time. Were the same persons on again? I wish I had listen to it, but it was impossible as we have no radio. Maudsleys’ got a bycicle radio, but we can’t hear Vancouver, tough luck.
: We don’t get blackout practice over here. Even if we do, we don’t hardly put our lamp lights on, so it’ll be simple, I think.
: The time is now 9:05 P.M. and it is still light outside.
: The weather here is very peculiar. For few days before, it was so hot that we went barefooted in an irrigation ditch (even though we aren’t supposed to.) and we couldn’t eat our meals heartily. Then the next day (cold) it would be cold. This week, it was so cold! and it rained too much!
: The peas, beans, cabbages, & corns have started to grow, but the others haven’t. Dad says maybe it may be rotten, because the ground is too wet and form large puddles in low places.
: Today, I have gone out killing gophers. Only one in one hour.
: That’s bad! One afternoon, Teruko and I got twelve in five hours. We’ve altogether killed approximately fifty by now. We were told to kill as many as we can because they do damage to sugar-beets or vegetables.
: We still haven’t started on our sugar-beets yet. It has only two large & two small leaves, while it has to have at least six leaves. I don’t think I’m going to like the job of thinning. Some people have started working on them already, but was held in because of the bad weather.
: When we go back to school in September, we will have to repeat the same grade. Even
: if I go back to QEHS, I won’t be in the same grade as you and the pupils in the present Grade 9. I don’t know if I will be able to go back to school. It all depends on how our sugar-beets turn out. I really want to go back to school though.
: We are still living in our one-room house, if you can call it a house! Only mice can have the pleasure of living in here. Every night, they come in and eat everything they can find. Last night, it chewed my Dad & Mom’s socks, and made beautiful decorative holes in it. Still worse, it made a large hole (about 2 inches in diameter) on the back of my best summer coat. Was I
: mad! I lost my temper then. Mom isn’t going to mend it because she said it’ll look funny. Instead, she’s going to take it to the tailor’s to get it mended, but the trouble is, there is no tailor in Raymond, so it is still how it is. My Dad can’t fix or improve the house because there is no material yet. We all hope it will arrive soon.
: Listen, Joan, your letter isn’t a scrawl, no more than my scribbling. (and how) I rather want to read your handwritten letter than anything else I can think of. It doesn’t seem right if its [sic] typed or pressed. And I certainly like reading long letters
: , and if you don’t mind, you can write everything what has happened.
: Thank you very very much for sending those pink roses. There is no bush of them growing here, and it certainly looks dull, without them. It reminded all of us back home in B.C. “You are very thoughtful,” mum says, “to send them to us.” Same here.
: Do “purple violets” & “forget-me-nots” have seeds? If they have seeds, will you please send a teeny weeny bit? Mrs. Maudsley wants some of those seeds & she can’t get them here in Raymond.
: Mom wants a little bit if she can. Oh, gosh!! I forgot to ask if you have any at first; and if you have, will
: your mother mind giving away just a few?
: Was I surprised when you wrote to me that Mr. Sanford is going to join the Air Force. I didn’t even dream of him joining it!
: The letter is getting too long now and I had better close it. Your eyes must be sore trying to read and make out my scribbling. I am sorry to write such a long letter, but I hope you don’t mind. We all wish to be back home as soon as possible, & I’ll remember you always. Well, I guess I had better stop for final, as I am getting to the end of the page so good-bye & good health till
: we meet again.
: Best regards to all from us. Your friend as ever, Sumi M.
: P.S. I have been jabbering & forgot how to inquire how you all are. I hope you are fine. We are all very fine, and getting along well.
: c/o Mr. J. Maudsley
Letter 3
: Raymond, Alta.
: July 31/42
: Dearest Joan,-
: Hello Joan! I’m sorry but honestly I meant to answer your lovely letter the night I received it, but somehow or rather its [sic] almost over a month now. (my head is hung in shame. ahem!!) I just love long, long letters and yours just hit the spot – swell! but I can’t write long letters for anything. Also, your letter’s the most interesting and I drop whatever I’m doing and read it immediately.
: I bet you were proud when you received your first pay from berry-picking. I certainly wish I was in your boots! Were you able to find another job? I hope so, but not a strenuous one.
: Did we have some heat last week and now do you know that it just poured like cats & dogs and it even hailed. We started running home but by the time we were half through the field, it even poured harder and we reached home just drenched. There was no fire and did we ever feel comfortable! Gosh, it’s a crazy weather out here. It certainly know [sic] how to change suddenly. Almost every night, there is a thunderstorm following with
: heavy rain, and is it ever pleasant working in a wet field, let me tell you.
: The only reason why I didn’t write to you earlier was that I couldn’t find time, Joan. (touch of laziness may be included too.) Every time when I start to write I can’t seem to get it finished. You know, I tried at least six times and every time, I had to start newly again; but this time I’m going to finish it for sure. Mind you, I couldn’t get it off my mind.
: And oh, Joan! Am I ever glad!! We finished our first hoeing yesterday but after this we’ve got to hoe Maudsley’s corn. (I thought we get a rest; but oh, no!) Hoeing isn’t so bad as how thinning was. Usually, every year by this time people say that they should be on their second hoeing by now, and fighting for water. We needn’t fight for water this year, no sireeee! You see, Dad had to haul hay in for about a week and a half so we had to do the best without him. We didn’t want to get behind the others so we worked longer hours than most people. And now, Dad is building another room approximately the
: same size in which we are living in now. (12’x14’) Then, it’ll be a decent house to live in; don’t you think?
: Many of our beets got drowned on account of too much rain, poor things. The ones which were planted on a higher land is [sic] coming just dandy, but I’m afraid the ones planted on a lower land isn’t [sic] coming along so good as we thought. Certainly, I’m going to bring home some “Raymond Sugar” to you. I don’t know if they’re the finest and sweetest sugar in the world, but at least, they taste like sugar. Every sugar we buy in bags or sacks, it has “Raymond, Alberta” written on it. Imagine, a small country-like town of Raymond written on sugar bags! Someday, it’s going to make a history of the largest sugar producing factory in Canada. Day after day, you do the same work and it seems like ages until you get accustomed to the long monotony of working in the beet-fields.
: I haven’t been to town for ages, so I just can’t tell you what fruits they sell. I Know they sell oranges because we buy it ever so often. Sometimes my brother goes to town and he says that they sell oranges, apples, cherries, raspberries, and strawberries. He also said that the berries look half rotten, or I mean stale, and not so large and juicy and red as back in B.C. We’re all going to miss our fruits & berries this year.
: Our garden is coming along good and
: bad – I don’t know which. Cabbages, carrots, corns, lettuces, and potatoes are coming along swell. Mellons [sic], cucumbers, squash & canteloupes [sic] didn’t come up at all. I think they probably got drowned. And do you know what? The tomato plants have started bearing fruits now. I hope the rain won’t ruin them after they’re nice and ripe. Honestly, the rain & wind just ruined our peas & beans. They weren’t good at all this year. Altogether we have five hundred fifty plants of cabbages & is it growing dandy. I think I’ll go on a “Cabbage Diet” this year winter – but don’t say anything about diet just now, because I’m eating like a hog. How’s my waistline did you ask? Well – ahem, I think I look more like a sack of potato than I looked before. I don’t know how much I weigh ‘cause I haven’t weighed myself since – heaven knows when!!
: Has the carpenter finished fixing your house yet? If he did, surely your house must be pretty now; even though it was from the beginning. Have you, by any chance, strolled down about our vicinity? If you have, that is if, will you please tell us what condition it is in? Even though we barred all our windows & doors, we don’t feel safe ‘cause many of our things are still left in the house. (especially the attic.)
: Mind you, we even forgot to bring our photo album. Mother was sure she put it in the suitcase, but I guess it
: must have gotten misplaced with other things & taken up to the attic. And oh! we left behind so many things that we just don’t want to think of it. Now, Joan, you don’t have to walk all the way down there purposely, - but I just said if by any chance.
: It’s so peaceful & quiet and nothing happens here, so I haven’t anything much to write to you. Ah, yes! There was a Stampede on the 1st & 2nd of July. On the morning of the 1st there was a parade with fire-crackers going off. Imagine, fire-crackers on Dominion Day!! It seems funny to us, but I guess its [sic] their custom. We went on the 2nd, because it was said that too many people always attend on the 1st that you couldn’t hardly see the performances. Lucky for us that we did! and it was a wonder that both days were fine. There were many different performances such as bucking, steer decorating, calf roping, horses, etc.. . A cowboy was sent to the Lethbridge hospital because he got kicked or stepped on or something by the horse. (P.S. there is no hospital in Raymond.)
: It was fun, but I would have enjoyed it more if you were with me, Joan. And I certainly wish you did see it too. Mother was the only one that didn’t go because she didn’t want to see them get bucked off. Raymond is noted for having its first stampede in the whole Dominion of Canada, thirty-nine years ago this July 1st, 1942.
: I have lot [sic] more to write about the Stampede, but I guess I had better stop or they’ll charge me double.
: I don’t know how much to thank you for those plants & seeds, Joan. You know, I only asked for the seeds, and here, you sent the plants so you could just imagine how surprised I was. Mom told me to thank you very very thank much. It’s just coming along swell.
: And – thank you very very much for those lovely pictures you have sent. Were [sic] still allowed to have a camera yet, but since we haven’t one, we’ll have to borrow someones. We’re intending to take pictures before our cameras get banned, if they ever do. I promise that I am going to send you some, but I don’t know when, only that its in the near future.
: Well, I must say that this letter certainly got long, but I hope you don’t mind, do you Joan? Even though we’re far apart, I know we’ll meet again – and I hope it’ll be soon. I’ll always remember you and think of you, no matter when & where. I’m just itching for the time to come, when we’re all together and happy once more. Convey my best regards to your parents.
: Heres [sic] hoping you’re all well & happing.
: Your loving friend,
: Sumi
: Box 167,
Letter 4
: Raymond, Alberta,
: January 9, 1943.
: Dear Joan,
: Honestly, I’m so ashamed of myself I just can’t find the right words to tell you how sorry I am for being so long at writing you. But I hope you understand, I and forgive me, please???? To start out with “Hello to you all” and I hope you all had a nice “Xmas” & “A Happy New Year”. (Though I never wrote a letter wishing you so, but I took granted [sic] that you meant it from me anyways.) However, here’s hoping that this letter finds the Gillis’ family in best of health.
: Thanks ever so much Joan for your lovely present which you sent; it’s just perfect & the thing I needed most. Honestly, I never dreamed of receiving such present as this under the present condition; I never expected to receive anything from you this year so you can just imagine how pleased I was!!! You know, we can’t seem to break the “tie” between us & I hope that we never do. (not on earth, I won’t.)
: Well, here’s me going back to school for another year. – Really??? but I doubt if I’ll go back again next year (I mean if I am still in Raymond then.) Boyohboy!! I’d give anything to be back at good ol’ Queen Elizabeth. I’m suffering enough as I am now & I don’t think I could stand for another year! After two whole month’s work to catch up, it was impossible for me to
: write to you. (I started school on Nov. 2nd, same day as Teruko Ikeda.) I think I really could have written to you if I had tried harder. I don’t know how it happened, but I’m sitting in the Grade X room anyways. French I, Soc. St., English, Health, General maths, Biology I, Home Economics are the subjects I’m taking this year, making a total amount of 30 credits for Grade X. If I go through school in Raymond, I’ll have to come 2 years of Gr. 12 to get all my credits. Credits start from Gr. 10 over here, and by the time you get out of high, you’ll have to have a hundred credits. Only Typing I is given & Bookkeeping I and no shorthand writing. Home Economics & health ends in Gr. 10. Grades 11 and 12 will not have to take health unless they wish to get some credits and take it with some lower grades. It certainly is a crazy way, don’t you think, Joan? I get 11 study periods a week and that’s monotenous [sic] so I wanted to take more credits, but the principle (Mr. Jacobs.) said 30 credits is enough for a late-commer [sic] so I’m still carrying 30 credits. You can’t take more than 35 credits a year. Every Thursday, last period we get a 20min seminary. Mostly everybody out here are Mormans [sic]. I never heard of this religion back in B.C. The
: religions are divided into 3 groups; the Mormans, United, and Budhists [sic]. I go to the United, & Mrs. Rolfson’s our lecturer. Did you read an article in the school-paper about Miss Gottenburg being married to Mr. Rolfson? Well, this is our teacher while Mr. Rolfson is a Morman and he teaches the Morman pupils.
: There are no lockers in this school, and you just hang the coats up as we used to do in S.W. Public School, except that the coat hangers are way higher. The class-room doors doesn’t [sic] open until a teacher comes along & opens it for us. Do you know why the doors are kept locked? Out here, it seems as if the kids can’t be trusted, & I think this is true! I had a brand new ruler an [sic] pencil and after one week it disappeared right off my desk! Was I mad. After that, I brought another new pencil & this one disappeared also. Now I don’t carry a ruler or a pencil except for my new fountain-pen which I keep it in my jacket pocket and take it around with me wherever I go. On the whole, work is fairly easy and not as much homework as we used to get back in B.C.
: Tests out here seems [sic] just like those oral questions we used to have nearly every day. In June, they have the final examination. $1.50 or $1.70 per test. If I take every one of these examinations, believe me I’ll be broke! They also take a Government examination in Grade 9. Kids say that Government exams are easier than teacher’s exams, but I wouldn’t know
: unless I took one myself.
: Oh, goodness gracious!! but are the boys noisy! They (the boys) run in the hall-ways, run up or down the stairs, shout, fight, etc. in the school building and whenever the teacher comes, the teacher passes on without saying anything about behaving! If you’re caught throwing chalks, the penalty is one new box of chalks for the school. The kids are allowed to wear slacks, ‘kerchiefs, skii-pants [sic] or skiis suit [sic], coats, etc. during classes. When they answer the teachers, their reply may be no, yes, sure, etc. And not. — “no, sir”, “yes, sir,” and in cases of a lady teacher, “yes, so & so” or “no, so & so.”
: The kids thought it was funny when Teruko Ikeda or I said “yes, sir” or “no, sir” to a teacher. This shows how much they are mistacken [sic], & not us. Pupils aren’t so co-operative as the ones back in B.C. schools and they think that their school is of a high standard, but not to me. Our building has only two floors, while the Public building has four floors. You see, Joan, High School & Public School are separate buildings. On the whole, public building is larger. Both buildings are made of brick.
: For 3 months school starts at 9:30 A.M. because it is so dark in the morning around 9:00 A.M. Lunch is from 12:15 P.M to 1:30 P.M. School begins again in the afternoon at 1:30 P.M. until 4:00 P.M. but there is a ten minute afternoon recess.
: For a month, since we started, we walked to school until December 1, the van from the cheese factory began to run. In the mornings, the van isn’t so crowded as in night because the driver makes 2 trips; but at nights, he takes us all in one trip so you can just imagine how crowded it is inside! The Raymond Highway kids gets [sic] on the first trip (this is us.) and the Stirling Highway gets on the second trip. We reach school around 8:30 A.M. so we asked the principle for permission to play basketball in the mornings. The principle said “yes” so we play in the gym, which is only about 1/3 of 2.E.’s gymnasium. For P.T., girls may wear skirts, dresses, shorts, slacks, or even leather sole shoes because I do. In Lethbridge or Raymond, I went all over the shoe stores asking for girls’ white running shoes, but they don’t have anymore in stock. After P.T. everyone’s supposed to take a shower, but no one ever does, besides there isn’t any time. Well, Joan, I think I’ve talked enough about school, so I think I’d better leave the rest for the next letter.
: The weather certainly changes quick out here. Just last week it was so cold, but now, the temp. is up to 40 degrees. The coldest has been around 20 degrees below. Out here, even if it is 30 degrees or 20 degrees below, you can’t feel it, but just to make people say “Gee, it’s cold today.” Once we walked 5 miles to school in 17 degrees below zero. It was kinda colder than most mornings we
: thought, but I didn’t imagine it would be 17 degrees below. The van didn’t run at this time yet. When we rush and walk without resting, our body is warm but our cheeks, nose, and chin are just about frozen. There are quite a number of families living at least 5 miles out of town, but I don’t there there [sic] is any family living more than six five miles.
: Almost every farmer has started threshing again since the weather is excellent. My Dad has gone threshing also, except that our owner’s thresher machine is old & gets broken easily; then my Dad has to stay around the machine & fix it everytime. He’s more of a mechanist than a wheat hauler, but he doesn’t mind as he likes the job as a mechanist better. You know, he’s so small & short, he’s able to go under the machine & fix it.
: Our beet crop on the whole was satisfactory. It averaged around 11 ½ tons per acre, while most of the other crops yielded 9-9 ½ tons per acre. We harvested ours quite early so we did 5 acres of anothers man’s crop. If we had just finished harvesting our own crop and then went to school, I won’t be so far behind in my school-work. However, I’m getting caught up on it soon.
: Joan, do you know what I got for my birthday? Guess, — first. I got a pair of black skates!! Just what I had been wishing for the last three years, and now I got my chance to get them.
: When I return home again, you & I would go skating to the arena or wherever there is a skating pond. (if you want me as a company.) I think that would be fun. There is a rink in Raymond town which anybody can go in free & stay, as long as they want to skate. I believe it’s open every afternoon until 10:00 P.M. and 12:00 midnight, only on Saturday nights. There is also some music playing from the girl’s changing room. There is also another rink for boy’s hockey square next to the larger skating rink. I practiced skating on Teruko’s skates on the frozen pig lake. Here’s where we go mostly afterschools [sic] because it takes just about 8 minutes’ walk, any anyways [sic] it’s Maudsleys’, so he won’t chase us out.
: Well, I’ve written enough for now so I guess I had better close. It’s such a long boring letter that it’ll take at least 2 days to read it, and what a scribble! If you can’t make it out, Joan, send it right back & I’ll rewrite it over again. Perhaps that’ll teach me to be more careful.
: Hoping to hear from from you sooner than I wrote to you —
: Your pal as ever, Sumi.
: Box 167, Raymond Alta
Letter 5
: January 31/43
: Dearest Joan, —
: Hi – Joan! How are you and all the rest? Well, I hope, as we all are fine in spite of the cold weather we’re having.
: This isn’t going to [sic] such a long letter as I believe I haven’t much to write. I admit I don’t like writing letters but somehow or rather I get it done anyways – thoughs its [sic] nothing compared to yours.
: Thank you ever so much for your beautiful card & hankies. Honestly I’ve never dreamed of receiving such presents. And look at me, I tried to send your present in time, but lazy me, I never do get things done right away. Everybody in the house was just about practically driving me crazy saying – “When are you going to buy Joan’s present? When are you going to send it?” That’s all what I’ve been hearing in the house until last Friday I went to Lethbridge to get a picture taken for registration. (I’ll send you one if its OK.) It’s nothing much & I’m really very sorry its going to be
: awfully late but still wishing you a “Happy Birthday, Joan, and Many Happy returns of the day!” Enclosed is also a Valentine Card. I was just wondering who the “two brides” are? Could it be “Joan & Lionel?” Please tell!!
: Yesterday I went to the skating rink with my sisters for a bit of fun. Really, I don’t think it was much fun. There was one particular guy who kept on pushing me & another girl who was skating with me, & every time he pushed us, well, we’ll fall! You see, Joan, I’ve been on the ice only four times and I’m nowhere an expert. If I was, well, I wouldn’t g let him get away with it. After all, he’s a way better skater than both of us. I figure it would be better if I skated on our own ice pond, but heavens! it’ll take ages to shovel all the snow off. Raymond is the only place where you can go in and skate for free. Other places charges [sic] you so much for so long, so I guess were [sic] quite fortunate.
: We’ve had a very cold [spell] for over a week. The coldest was 50 degrees below.
: Other days were below 30 degrees below and it never went above anymore than 30 degrees below. At noon, it’ll be around 35 degrees below while at night it suddenly drops down to 45 degrees below. Our window glass was covered at least an inch with ice inside & not outside. We could’nt [sic] see anything until the ice melted, and it makes such a mess when it does melt. Nobody sits near the window as it is cold, but all crowds around the poor old stove who’s trying so hard to give off heat in spite of all its efforts. When it gets to be so cold, you can’t feel the coldness but it stings your nose and cheeks.
: We’ve had only one blizzard this year so far. And what a blizzard! You couldn’t see an inch ahead of you. We didn’t go to school that day. Quite a lot never went also. The van driver said that he started out the same time as every morning, but was at least an hour and half off the schedule.
: The thermometer is up to 30 degrees above right now. It’s quite a change after those cold days. People say that this coldness is
: the same as the year 1935. Usually, they say that it isn’t this cold every winter. How are the things at school? Are you very busy with your homework? We hardly get homework except S.S. & French almost every night. Every gym period we play basketball. Most of the girls take P.T. in their dresses and so do I. Rules over here aren’t so very strict. Teruko’s class went ice-skating for 3 periods one afternoon twice. We planned on going last Fri. but it snowed the day before so we couldn’t skate because the snow wasn’t scraped off yet.
: Gee, I wish you were over here or I over there, well it doesn’t make any difference as to where it is as long as were [sic] together.
: This writing pad is the first one I used on your letter which you gave me for Xmas. I haven’t used any envelopes yet.
: Mother just handed me out the bunch of lavenders which was in my Xmas present from you & she wants to know if you can get hold of any more of them. She just loves the scent of it & she’ll be very grateful if you can send anymore if you can get some more.
: Well I think I’ve said all I wanted to say. Best regards to you all – yours as ever,
: Sumi M.
: Box 167,
Letter 6
: Raymond, Alta.,
: April 24,/43.
: Dearest Joan;
: “Happy Easter” to you, Joan. “Best Wishes” to you from all of us. How are you and everybody? Well, I hope, as we all are also. I am very very sorry for not writing to you sooner …. for some … ah … unfavorable circumstance! I hope I didn’t keep you waiting very long. Ahem!!!
: Well, Joan, how is school? Fine? Well, I hope so, as I’m getting used to this “hostility.” You know, about two weeks ago snakes started to appear & some boys thought that they were smart and put a live snake into a girl’s zipper loose-leaf. She didn’t know anything about it, and when she unzipped it during the period (study period.) the snake just sprung at her & was she frightened! Poor girl, & she just can’t stand snakes. This isn’t the only incident that has happened. I saw a snake coiled on the banister and several times live snakes wandering in the rooms. Especially the Grade X room because its [sic] only the Grade X boys who would think of doing it. Well, I’m glad as the principle gave a lecture on such a behavior. Baseball game has opened up once again. We play baseball every gym period. Outdoors if the day is fine or indoors when it isn’t.
: In the first French test I had 85%. Then the next test I had 88% and then the one I took the other, I had 94%! Would you believe it? (I was the highest, and the rest came in with 10%, 20%, 32%. Gee! what a bunch! Even our French teacher said that we’re the worst French I class that she ever taught.) Well, this is our Raymond High School as they call it. Just now, we’re having a four day Easter holiday. 23rd, 24th, 25th & 26th. This is only for the High School; the public school got off from 23rd to May 3rd, lucky things. The school van is still running, thank goodness. We were going to get a 2 ½ hour Easter exam (for each subject I mean) before the holiday but the teachers decided not to give it this year as we’re fairly behind in our school work. We’re all looking forward to the June Exam!!
: On April 21st we saw an Air Force Picture, brought by the Air Force Company from Ont. They are showing the picture all over the Prairie Provinces encouraging the girls to join the Women’s Air Force. It shows mainly what the girls do when they join up. It lasted for about two hours and it wasn’t bad at all. You haven’t by some chance seen it, have you?
: On April 3rd, all of our family went to see some a plays, dances, singing, etc. which lasted from 3:00 P.M. to 11:30 P.M. We had to take our lunches and had ½ hour off from 6:00-6:30 P.M. to eat it.
: The hall was just packed full; there were trucks from Picture Butte, Cardston, Coaldale, Stirling, etc. We had ride [sic] all the way home. Next morning I didn’t wake up till 11:00 A.M. Then on April 11th, we all went to a two feature Japanese show which lasted from 7:30 P.M. – 12:00 P.M. We had a ride home again all the way free. On April 14th, I went to the “Iceland” matinee after school with Teruko Ikeda. We got in for 15 ȼ. Did you see this picture? I thought it wasn’t as good as “Sun Valley Serenade” although “Iceland” had more skating in it.
: On April 17, the whole family went to Lethbridge C.P.R. station to meet our uncle & his family from Kaslo en route to Ontario. We last saw them on April 20th, 1942 when we left N.W. & we didn’t see them till almost a year. I was disgusted with them because they wouldn’t stay in Raymond. We had only 15 minutes to chat and bid farewell. Good thing it was on Sunday.
: We’re all looking forward to the day when we sight the New Westminster station again.
: Tomorrow, April 25th (Easter Sunday) the United Church decided to take a trip to some kind of a lake, about 36 miles from Raymond to pass the Easter Sunday. Well, they discovered that they couldn’t take us all as there won’t be enough room so only 2 from each family could go. Sad thing, we were waiting for this day. Only father and mother are
: going from our family. There’s only one chance out of ten when you find us all at home now a days [sic]. We’re nearing to our beet work again this year so we decided to go out when the weather is fine and before we get busy again. There are several places where beet seeds have been planted already. We haven’t got our seeds planted yet, but are expecting it in a short while. The field has been ploughed & ready to be planted.
: This year it seems as though its [sic] going to be very hot. For the past few weeks, I’ve worn no overcoat but a ¾ jacket every day. We can’t compare it with the weather when we first came here. This year I think we’re going to have 25-27 acres of beets. Last year we had only 21 acres although we came for 25. Dad doesn’t want to do so much. We tell him that we could do at least 30 acres, but he won’t say “okay.” He keeps on saying that 25 acres is enough. Oh, well, its [sic] up to him,
: & so much the better I am sending you some pictures with this letter. Don’t you think its about time to do so? The’re [sic] not very good pictures, but when we do take some better ones, I will send you some even if its a year after.
: Well, I think this is all I have to say for now, and I’ll try to write sooner next time. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting for your sweet hand-writing to come. Very
: best regards to your father and mother and wish you the best of luck in future [sic].
: Love from a pal, Sumi.
: P.S.1. I just finished looking over your February 21st letter and you wanted to know how we were making out on ration cards. Well, as for sugar, we’re going swell. For butter, we get so far behind that many tickets have been thrown away. We use around two lbs. a week. We don’t buy any coffee at all. As for tea, we just can’t buy all the tickets worth. Only ones who drinks [sic] it are my mom, dad, Kay & myself very seldom. The rest drinks milk or cocoa.
: P.S.2. Mother would be very glad if you could send some plants. She’s planning to have a flower garden this year & have already planted some poppy seeds. She doesn’t mind what kind of plants you send unless it won’t be such a bother to you. I’m sure she’d appreciate anything you can send. When we do go back to S.W. she said she’d take all the presents back, so if you want anything special, just say so in the letters. This is about the only way in which I can ever repay you. S.M.
: P.S. 3. Please overlook my errors and scribbling (AND HOW!!).
: P.S. 4. I forgot all about the “Sadie Hawkin’s Day.” We had it last month for a month week. Some boys were dressed up as ladies and what beautiful ladies they seemed! (especially the legs.) Three of the tallest boys were on stilts which made them appear as a giant. The got a good kick of it. Almost every girls wore pigtails. This was the first time I’ve ever worn pigtails to school. Some sights!!!!! Enough said, I think!!!!! S.M.
: Raymond Hi-School.
: The trees at the front of the school has [sic] been cut down. There are three cement walks leading into the front of the building. This picture shows only one in the centre. More rooms has [sic] been added at the farther side of the building. My home room is at the corner where the girl is standing all alone.
: Box 167,
Letter 7
: Raymond,
: Alberta.
: July 18/43.
: My dearest Joan,
: It was a pleasure hearing from you after a long time. I was terribly worried if you had stopped corresponding with me, but I knew it couldn’t be true because you’re not the type of a girl who would so such things. Well, anyways, thanks a million for your ever-welcomed letter and I was certainly glad to hear from you again.
: How is everybody in your family back home? Well, I hope, as we all are also.
: School’s over, and here I am at home. I stayed out almost three weeks from school on account of beet work and went back on the day before our June exams. That was June 18th, and the following week from Monday to Thursday I went to take my tests. So I got out of school on June 24th.
: Teruko (Yr. 8) got out on June 21st and went back on the 22nd to get her report card. My smallest sister, Marion, passed with honour, so she got out from school on June 16th. Lucky thing, she gets out the earliest and doesn’t have to do a bit of work in the beets. She’s just a spoiled kid in our family who never “grows up.” Gee, I was boiling mad the day I went back to school our health teacher gave us our Health Exam and I didn’t even glance over my notes. I still think it was her fault because Health Exam was scheduled on June 25th and I was expecting it on that date. I don’t know whether I passed or flunked in it (most likely flunked!) because we get our results mailed to us around middle of August from the Department of Education. On the same day we also got Home Ec. Exam and a little Soc. St. test. I don’t think I have to say much
: about that! All I have to say is that I fail my grade, I intend to quit school and go out working. Probably house-working in winter and farming in summer. That’s about all the work there is for girls out here. Well, I hope I passed (because I prayed to God about it) because I still want to continue with my schooling.
: All in all, we did thirty-four acres of thinning beets this year, (we have only twenty-six acres of our own.) and about forty acres of hoeing beets. Dad helped us hoe about half of our beets and then he went to work for our boss. So the rest of the family – Kay, Teruko, Sam & myself finished our beets and did fourteen acres of a man’s down at Stirling. Mom did washings and cooking for the family, making lunches and caring for the house. Marion would stay all day at our boss’s and just come out to the field when its [sic] time to eat. She wouldn’t miss her share of the lunch for
: anything. This year, we worked shorter hours; from 6:00 A.M – 8:00 P.M. We were all really surprised to find ourselves working faster this year. Last year, we worked longer hours and did only around 1 ½ acres, while this year, we worked approximately three hours shorter and do almost three acres a day. It rained quite a bit this year, but not as much as last year.
: Whenever it rained, I stayed home and rested. Heck, who wants to go to school when they’re tired? If I did go to school, I’ll be sleeping during the classes.
: We finished our hoeing thinning on Friday, June 25th, one day after I finished my exams. We started on our hoeing on June 28, rested on 30th because it rained, & also on July 1st, (Stampede Day) and finished on July 8th. Last year, on July 8th we just finished our thinning beets. The weather plays a large part in our work, I’ll say.
: Gee, Joan, I wish you were with me or I with you. It’s a shame war can endure in this civilized
: world, isn’t it? I hope we can meet all over again just once more in the near future.
: Dad has gone to the Church Service to-day [sic]. Since we came out here, I haven’t gone to a service but once. Back at the coast, we used to go to Sunday-School every week, but out here, it’s so inconvenient – no bus, or no tram to take. Walking nine miles (both ways) every Sunday over a gravel road is too far, so we stay at home and tune in a service over the radio. Sam takes his bike and goes to the Sunday-School in the morning and Dad takes the bike for the afternoon service. The could take turns between them, but the girls can’t, so we ordered another bike among us.
: Dad is looking for a car which he wants to buy, ‘cause it’s too inconvenient from town and we don’t want to walk half mile [sic] to our beet field (one way) every day.
: Everybody in our family went to the Stampede so I tagged along
: with them. This year we went on the 1st instead of 2nd, so we saw the parade. For such a small town as Raymond the parade was really quite good. The stampede programme was same as every year and I didn’t enjoy the programme part, but otherwise I did. After the stampede we went to a Buck Jones’ picture. The theatre was so full they had to close the wicket for a while. I never saw such a crowd of people in Raymond since I came here. Streets were crowded and cafes were just packed full. To get an ice-cream cone, I had to wait approximately twenty to thirty minutes. There was [sic] at least 18,000 at the stampede. (so it says in the “Raymond Recorder.”) Lucky for us, we had a good chance and got a ride home it was around 10:00 P.M. when we arrived home. Next day we worked Fiddle-sticks! It seems to me that I get more tired when I
: rest instead of working steadily day after day. I believe it was on June 22nd, I wasn’t intending to go to Shirley Temple’s “Miss Annie Rooney” show, but I went anyways, in spite of the tests the day after. I had to refresh my memory by going to a show. Oh! my! I forgot! ……
: Congratulations, to you, Joan & I hope you find your next grade as simple as you did this term. Don’t worry, you’ll always pass your grade with the highest honour, and if you don’t, nobody will. But that’ll be the day! You’ve always did and always will! To me, you’re the brightest student in the whole school.
: Father will be starting on [sic] Mr. Jensen’s chicken-house tomorrow. Mr. Jensen is the manager of the Social Credit Bank in Raymond. Chicken-houses are a nuisance to him.
: He wants to build boats, the ones he was building back at the coast; but I’m afraid he won’t get any chance to build one out here on the prairies.
: We decided to raise chickens, but we can’t as the hawks & weasels gets [sic] them. Then we decided to raise pigs, but we also find it a great problem to solve.
: I’m afraid, Joan, I can’t write such interesting letters as you could. There’s nothing interesting to write about, and even if there is, I can’t write it as you do. I guess I had better close as this letter will, no doubt, be boring you, so I will close with love and hoping to meet you very soon,
: I remain,
: Your affectionate friend,
: Sumi.
: P.S. Excuse me for the water blotches on the letter.
: P.S. Please write soon as possible [sic].
: P.S. Mother send her best regards to you and the rest of your family. Love – S.
: Box 167,
Letter 8
: Raymond,
: Alta.,
: Sept. 24/43.
: Dearest Joan,
: Just a sheet with few lines to say “Hello” and “How are you”. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve heard from you last, and I hope you are all well as we are also.
: I imagine you’re going to school every day and enjoying your everyday life. That’s swell!!! Life is very dull out here … no school, no play.
: Guess what??? It’s but topping season now. Think of us in the field pulling and topping beets while you’re doing your geometry, social studies, etc. will you Joan? And I’ll think of you having a wonderful time while I work. School begins sometimes in October this year. From Tuesday this week, we’ve been going to top beets every day (about two miles from here.) He comes for us about 7:30 A.M. and takes us home again around 7:00 P.M. This year
: we do around 1 ½ acres. We might do more when it comes to our beets because we’ll start earlier in the A.M. and quit later in the P.M. and also we’ll work twice as hard as what we’re doing now. This year we have 26 acres and I suppose it will take around 2 weeks and no later, I hope, as we don’t want to pull beets out of the snow. Last year, we finished just in time. The day after we finished, it snowed, but we still had to work in the snow as we did 3 acres of somebody else’s after ours.
: Oh! but I have so many things to tell you about the beets and every thing out here; I don’t think I could write everything I want to in the letter.
: Well, I’m just wishing for the day when you and me, telling and hearing each other’s story for hours and hours of what we’ve missed. I only wish it would be soon, don’t you think so, Joan? I’ll write again; a longer letter and I’ll be waiting for yours everyday.
: Your friend as ever, Sumi E. M.
: Dear Joan,
: I am enclosing with this letter a postcard showing you a corner of the C. Sugar Factory. The things which are in the box cars are beets. You see at the extreme right of the picture, a pile of beets. This pile grows at least fifty times larger. I am not exaggerating. Love, Sumi.
: Box 167,
Letter 9
: Raymond, Alta.
: Dec. 28/43.
: My dearest Joan,
: I am just writing few lines to tell you how glad I was to receive your package. Thanks a million, Joan. Honestly, I never dreamed of receiving such a lovely gift. Thanks ever so much, again, Joan. The package arrived in good condition after all the careful work you put into it.
: After I received your gift, I’m really ashamed of how I sent mine and the content inside it. I m [sic] very sorry, but I was rushing and just got what was at hand, and I didn’t get pretty wrapping paper, nor stickers nor anything. I’m really ashamed of myself and next year I’ll know better what & how to send presents.
: Did you have a good Christmas Day? Did you have a White Xmas? We didn’t, but I hope you did. Honestly, Christmas day [sic] seemed just as if it were an ordinary day and an autumn weather [sic] – no snow.
: As a matter of fact, we didn’t have much snow so far this winter as we did last winter; and it seems as if it is warmer too.
: I came home on the morning of the 25th. On Christmas Eve, those folks (The Roddicks) went out from 8:30 P.M. and came back around 11:30 P.M. with a bunch of friends & they didn’t go home till 3:00 in the morning. I had to stay home and put the baby to bed. She slept well until the bunch came and she was up till they went home. Poor kid, I don’t blame her for staying up so late with the radio going on full blast, piano playing, singing carols and talking so loud. On Christmas morning, I slept in till 8:30 A.M. and they slept in till 9:30 A.M. We had breakfast and I finished dishes around 11:00 A.M. Mr. Roddick helped dry the dishes. This was
: his first time to help me with the dishes and he hopes that it will be his last. I don’t blame him as there was a whole stack from the night before.
: I reached home around 12:30 and we had our Christmas dinner around 6:00 P.M. This year we got two turkeys for Christmas present so we had one for Xmas and the other is to be fore [sic] New Year’s. Honestly, I had the most worst stomach ache I had for ages. I think I ate too much turkey and cranberries. Christmas is dull out here. I wish we had the same Christmas as we did back there. Out here, we don’t have a Christmas tree, nor Church Services nor a picture show. We could have a Christmas tree, but we didn’t bring our tree ornaments with us. Xmas isn’t fun out here, and on radio
: programmes they don’t sing many Christmas carols nor have a [sic] good Christmas stories on the air. It doesn’t seem a bit like a [sic] Christmas.
: The other day, my father won a quilt from a ticket which he bought for 25ȼ. Oh, it’s pretty and nicely finished. (I don’t mean to brag or boast about it). It’s a wine taffeta comforter with a pretty design on it. The drawing took place in the 2nd Ward Morman [sic] Church. I was certainly surprised when his name was drawn, only he wasn’t there, so Kay went and received it.
: Well, I really think I must close now. Thanks again, Joan, for the lovely present and I hope you had a very merry Christmas and hope to have a “Happy and Prosperous New Year.”
: With lots of love,
: Sumi M.
: Box 167,
Letter 10
: Raymond.
: Alberta.
: Ap. 7/44.
: My dear Joan:
: I am so ashamed of myself for not writing to you, that I don’t deserve to have such a good friend as you. Don’ you think that I’m terribly ignorant and stubborn?
: Well, how are you, Joan, and the rest of the family?? I hope that you are all fine as we all are well. How is your little brother coming along? I bet he’s the cutest little baby in this whole world. Aren’t you proud of him? Gee, I can’t wait to see him.
: How are you getting along in school? No doubt, you’re getting along fine as you always doe. We only have our Easter holidays today (Ap. 7) and on Monday. (Ap. 10). Isn’t it a short
: holiday? How long do you get yours? Now’s my chance to get my book reviews written. Imagine, five book-reviews and then “school-books.” (they’re library books, but a list of books are suggested for school-reading; and we have to read 10 off [sic] this list.) I’ve read all my ten books but I haven’t written any book-reviews, yet.
: In French “Author’s” text, we read ten stories out of fifteen. In French “Grammar” text, we’ll be finished with this course by the end of this month, & we’re going to review over [sic]. There is only 12 students in Fr. II class – 9 girls & 3 boys!
: In Typing, I’m on Block 13. I’m taking it over because I didn’t finish to the end in Gr. 9. Instead, we get only 3 credits because we take only 3 periods per week.
: We had a debate against
: Gr. 12 and we lost by one point.
: We finished our Sociology text, so we’re reviewing over again. After we have finished that, we’re going to work in groups on a project. We haven’t decided on the topic, yet. I went to the Kinsmen’s – “Milk for Britain Fund, Victory Revue.” It was held in the opera house, and was there a crowd!! The programme [sic] was good – from 8:30 to 10:30. P.M.
: We’ll be moving very soon but I don’t know when or where. Don’t worry, the address will be same [sic], only we’re not going to work on Maudsley’s farm anymore. It’s too far from school and very inconvenient.
: Kay is still working at Mrs. Kate Card’s. See, Card’s house is certainly pretty, both inside and out. It’s a very modern, streamlined, well-equipped home. All in all, there is are 16 rooms and 2 large hallways. Kay says that the folks are nice.
: I’m still working at the banker’s [sic]. They had a notice to move since last fall, but they haven’t been transferred yet. The girl certainly is getting honory [ornery?]. And is she ever spoiled, being the only child. She’ll be two years old in June. I’m teaching her to point where-ever I say; such as nose, mouth, eye, etc. She might be a spoiled child, but she’s not so dumb. On the whole, she’s quite clever.
: Our school-paper, which was destributed [sic] on Monday, created quite a disturbance. The cover, which had every teacher’s cartoon and nick-names on it, had “APRIL FOOLS” written on it because it was an April issue. That afternoon all the teacher’s bowled Hazel Taylor (the artist) out, not for the cartoons, but for the word “FOOLS.” They didn’t like the letter “S.” on “fools.” The
: whole school got mad at the teachers and the next day the high school went on a strike. (I forgot to mention this, but the principal locked the “Hi-Times” Room on Monday P.M. [sic]) On the bulletin board, somebody pinned up a large paper with the words painted in red paint “DICTATORS – FREEDOM OF THE PRESS.” On Tuesday night, around 10:00 - 10:30 P.M., the kids had a – a real one, with torches and banners declaring the freedom of the “Hi – Times” room. They even stopped the traffic and blockaded the roads. It surely was some “mob mind.” The radio broadcasted about this over the air and it was also written in the papers. Some school, and some kids!!!!! Majority [sic] of the students came back on Wed. but there was [sic] some who still stayed out. The whole town was talking about the “high-school.” The kids were
: so mad at the teachers that they pinned the “Hi-Times” cover all over the town and broke into the school office and pinned the covers all over the walls and the desk [sic]. So you can just imagine what the whole town was talking about for four days. I’ll enclose the Hi-Times cover with this letter. The cartoons are very good, especially Mr. Gloat, who certainly is a gloat. And how!!!!!
: Well, I guess I’ve talked enough about school, so I’ll quit. But I couldn’t let this riot slip by unless I wrote to you about it.
: Write me something about QE. school, what’s happening and so on.
: Some day I’m going to Lethbridge and get my picture taken. I promise to send you one as soon as
: I get it taken. Don’t faint when you see it though.
: Well, today was Good Friday, but it didn’t seem as though it was. I got a new dress for Easter which I’m going to wear on Easter Sunday to the church. It’s gold and brown with dirndl effect skirt and V neckline and short sleeves. I’m also getting a jacket made. It The material is green tweed with brown leather buttons.
: I’ll have to close the letter for this time, as it is getting late. Wasn’t this some trash? I admit that I dread writing letters but enjoy receiving one. So please write as soon as you can. If you put it off as I did, well, I wouldn’t be angry as I deserve
: to be negelected. So I’ll close now with love –
: Your friend as ever,
: Sumi
: P.S. I hope you have a good Easter. S.M.
: Box 167,
Letter 11
: Raymond,
: Alberta.
: July 6, 1944.
: Dearest Joan,
: I was very glad to hear from you again, Joan. I think it is time that I write to you now.
: How are you and everybody in your family? And how is your brother coming along? I bet he’s cute; I [sic] like to see him. Send a picture of him of you have any, will you please?
: Well, I finished writing all my exams today. Hip! Hip! Hurrah!!! We started writing ours from Monday. When did you write your exams? (that is, if you had to write any.)
: I hardly knew a thing, since I was out for beets and missed all the important preludes to the examination. I hate to hear my marks, which will be sent probably next month. Well, school is over for another term and am I ever glad! Aren’t you?
: We moved, did you know? Oh yes, I forgot that I wrote to you about it in the last letter.
: Our French exam was exactly one and three-quarters hours [sic] long and even at that, we had to rush. There were two very long passeges [sic] to translate from French into English. One of them we took it up in authors and the other one was the one we had never seen before. It was a joke and it was quite
: funny. We also had ten verbs in the principal parts to translate from Eng. into French. Last but not least, we had 15 long long sentences to write. I mean from Eng. into French. On the whole, the exam wasn’t bad. She gave us a harder test in French many times before. Our French teacher is Mrs. Shortliffe. She’s still very young and she is loads of fun, especially in French class, because there are only twelve in the class. She’s quite different in our English class. There’s always some foolish smart alecs who cracks jokes and which makes her mad. Talk about her temper, whew!! And she hasn’t red hair either!
: Our Chemistry exam wasn’t bad either, but our Eng. test was. I guess it’s because
: I never even looked at my notes or verses or essays and proses. I am quite certain I flunked in Eng.
: Oh, Joan, but you don’t know how lucky you are to have a formal gown. I wish I was in your boots[.] If ever your gown gets too short for you, send it over. I’ll be glad to have it, and how! How did the banquet come out? Did you have a good time? I certainly hope you did. Goodness, I don’t even know how to dance.
: Did you know what? We have sixty baby chicks, but they are grew quite a bit now. We have 4 mother hens and no roosters, but I think half of the chicks are roosters. My! but hase [sic] some got long legs and necks. The chicks are in their ugliest stage right
: now. We also have two kittens, but they don’t bother the chicks because mother hen pecked at them once; and now they wouldn’t even go near the chickens.
: The radio is now playing “The Campbells are Coming.” I like that song, don’t you?
: Gee, you know, Joan, I missed a good chance of going to Waterton Park this year. You remember the Roddick family, don’t you? – (The family where I stayed as a school girl last winter.) Well, they came over and asked me if I wanted to go with them to Waterton Park for a week from July 1st to July 8th. Boy! I certainly wished to go, but heck! I had to write exams that
: following week. Was I ever mad!!!! I don’t think I’ll ever have such a good chance like that again.
: We went to the Raymond Stampede again this year. It’s the same thing all over, but you know, one can desire fun when there’s a crowd down town [sic]. The day was just perfect – not hot, and not cold. I had five cones, two hot-dogs and three bottles of orange crush (orange crush was all that they sold.)
: I also took a picture of which I am going to enclose one in this letter. It’s not good, but it’s just me with the same big face and funny nose. It’s about time I sent you one, don’t you
: think? A man from the Lethbridge studio came over to Raymond and established a little room to take pictures. I think he’s going back to Lethbridge this Saturday. He is quick in developing pictures so lot [sic] of people get their pictures taken. Usually, he has them develop-ed the next day.
: This summer is quite hot and dry. The beets are not so good as last year’s, either. But for a change, it rained today for almost two hours! Were we ever glad! Especially Dad! He kept saying to himself, “Ah! rain, rain! Good for the ducks and beets.” Satisfied, Dad went to bed at 8:30 tonight. It is now 10:05 P.M.
: Well, Joan, I am out of news so I guess I had ought to close. I hope I’ll to hear from you soon. Here’s hoping you’re all well and happy,
: Your friend as ever,
: Sumi Mototsune
: P.S. On July 1st I went to see Roy Rogers in “Song of Texas.” This was my first time that I saw Roy Roger’s picture. Being a Dominion Day, there were 2 features. – Song of Texas and the other one which I forgot; but both pictures were swell. S.M.
: Box 167,
Letter 12
: Raymond,
: Alberta.
: Aug. 16/44
: My dear Joan,
: Since I haven’t heard from you for a long time, I thought I had better write to you and see what’s the matter. I hope you are not seriously sick or ill. If you are, I wouldn’t know what to do; but I am just hoping that you are well and having such a fine time that you can’t be bothered writing letters. I hope that my guess is right.
: Today, I put up six quarts of table-beets. Yes, I really did all the work by myself. Imagine!! But I wouldn’t
: be a bit surprised if they spoil within a month or so. In fact, I’ll be surprised if they don’t. All in all, I’ve put up 12 qt. of green beans, 12 qt. of table-beets, 4 ½ jars of plum jam, 1 ½ jars of blueberry jam and 1 ½ [jars?] of raspberry jam. We’ll be putting up fruits later and probably some more jam if we have any sugar left. This is the first time we have ever put up any vegetables or fruits or jam. We are sort of climbing up to it. I suppose you have put up some vegetables already and probably some fruits.
: Our garden isn’t too bad providing that this year is rather hot and dry. We
: irrigated it 3 times already. How is your garden? Our sugar-beets at first seemed burned up and almost hopeless, but since we irrigated them, they grew all of a sudden. We
: The other day I went to see Roy Rogers in “King of the Cowboys.” Did you see that picture-show? I thought it was a good picture. I hardly go to shows unless they are cowboy or mystery pictures. I can’t resist cowboy shows; I don’t like comical pictures much. Do you?
: Well, I guess I had better close for now. Please excuse my scribbling and please overlook my errors. I am very poor in writing
: letters. I guess you know that by now. Here’s hoping you are in the best of health and best regards to you all.
: Your friend forever;
: Sumi Mototsune
: P.S. Please write soon and tell me if anything is the matter with you. I’m worried. S.M.
: Box 167,
Letter 13
: Raymond, Alta.
: June 4, 1945.
: Dearest Joan;
: I’m so ashamed of myself, I don’t know how to start this letter. Let me see …. When was it when I last wrote to you? It’s been so long I haven’t the faintest recollection. Well, anyways, I hope you will forgive me, Joan. I was so busy ???????? etc.
: Dear me, we started thinning our beets this morning and the rain ruined our first day.
: Here we are at home, 10:45 A.M., and I decided to write and tell you I am safe and sound. Hope you and the rest are all well. I didn’t know that we were out of ink, so please excuse the pencil. Don’t mind my scrawl as I am in a hurry, for
: we’ll be going out this afternoon again.
: Do you know, I’m writing five government exams this year? I’m so thrilled — only I hope I don’t flunk any of them. I’ll be writing three of teacher’s exams before June 27th. I hope I could go back for a week’s review. When do you get your exams? When will you be out of school? I write my last exam on July 6th. [Ill.] that horrible? It’ll be so hot then, that I don’t think I could think.
: How did you celebrate V E Day? On Monday we had a holiday from the afternoon and on that night we had a thanksgiving service from 8:30 P.M. and after the service we had a bonfire (rotten railroad ties and salvaged rubbers) and after the bonfire we had a free dance at the Opera House. Oh yes, I forgot to tell you, we burned Hitler (dummy)
: in the bonfire. It was awfully cold that night but the bonfire certainly warmed us up. A huge crowd had gathered that night. Aren’t you glad war’s half over at least?
: We have two of the cutest whitest kittens. Honestly, I don’t mean to boast, but I really think they’re cute.
: I believe your brother’s cute too, if he took after you. I wish I could see him. How old is he now? Here’s a small boy at the place where Kay was working. He’s only five but he’s quite clever. I think he’s sort of cute too.
: I ran out of writing material so I guess I had better close for now. Please write soon. I’ll be waiting for your reply. Send me love to all and especially “to Little Kenny” —
: With loads of love
: from Sumi.
: Raymond,
Letter 14
: Alberta.
: Aug. 20/45.
: Dearest Joan:
: I don’t know whether I should congratulate you first or tell you I’m sorry for not writing sooner.
: At any rate, Congratulations, Joan, and I hope you all the success in the world. I’m awfully glad you graduated and for being the most proficient girl student. You well deserved the title.
: Thank you for the Q. E. VUE and the pretty photo. You look so charming and mature. Everybody says you are so pretty. If ever I take a picture of myself, I promise to send you one. I could not find a suitable card so I just bought one which was the most suitable. What I sent to you about a month ago is just a small appreciation for your kindness and to show how glad I am you graduated.
: It’s nothing much —.
: I bet you didn’t worry half as much as I did. My gov’t exam results came a week ago last Monday. Honestly I was scared stiff even to open the envelope. I won’t tell you my marks in number, but I got an A in every subject. You should have seen how surprised I was because I had expected D’s & failures. My teachers’ exams results – Psychology, Alg. I, Law – have not arrived yet but am [sic] expecting them soon. At least I know I passed Soc. St., Eng., Chem., and French, thank heavens! Now I have only 7 more credits to complete my 100 cr. and I’ll get my sen. matric next year. (ie. I hope!!!) Since I missed a month’s review (from June 4th – 28th) I thought for sure I was going to fail, but luck certainly was with me. I wrote my
: exams from June 28th – July 5th. It’s a choice between writing or failing flat, so I thought I’d write, and I certainly am glad I did. Teruko Ikeda wrote only her Eng. Exam and didn’t write the rest. She found the exams too tough. You should have been with me the night before the exams. With such a clever girl as you, I might have got something in my dull mind. I used to come home about 6:00 P.M. and study steadily until midnight – sometimes even until one. I didn’t like to go home while the rest were out in the field working, but I could not help it. Trying to study a year’s work in six or seven hours is quite difficult for me. (of course, it would not be so with you.) When the next morning came, my mind was a complete blank. I’m still surprised how I even passed my exams.
: You are fortunate to graduate in a formal, banquet, dance and everything. It was always my dream to graduate that way, but it seems as if my dream has vanished. Over here, it is really dull for graduates, although I am not one this year.
: You’ll make a very good teacher (even if I say so) and I am sure you will succeed as one. If I had as much brain as you, I will definitely go in for teaching.
: Congratulations to Donalda, too. With such pep, energy, cleverness and a leading ability she will make a school term successful and lots of fun. She is a lucky girl.
: Thank you for the Q. E. Vue I read every word in it and it surely was interesting. There aren’t very many students left by the time they reach Gr. 12, are there? There were about 24 in our
: Gr. 12. last year.
: I am glad the war is over for good. What did you do to celebrate? In Raymond there was a bonfire and a free dance. I can hardly believe war is over.
: Have you seen “National Velvet”? I saw it last [ill.] night. It’s good. Marion (she is the baby of our family) went to see it twice. She is so crazy about horses – all day long she does nothing but draw horses and Margaret O’Brien. She wants a colt for herself but we’ll have to think of our credit first.
: Right now I am doing nothing. Just loafing or else canning. On Sept. 15th I promised a lady I will come and help her clean the house they are going to move in. It is a big Gambling house – 3 floored and lots of rooms. It was formerly owned by
: Dr. Hall (dentist) who moved to Vancouver last winter. I have decided to stay with her this winter — going to school part of time and helping her part of time and getting paid. Her husband is a manager of the Bank of Montreal. They have only two girls — a six year old and a two year old.
: How is everybody? Well, I hope, as we are all in good health.
: Government exams are tough, don’t you think so? Every exam is 3 hours long. Of course, those who made up the exams do not expect you to finish the paper. Some papers, such as French contain as much as 22 pages. Chemistry had only 19 pages. It had the least.
: I don’t know where Tori is but Mitsuro is in Man. If you want his address,
: it is Box 365, Emerson, Manitoba. Did you know that his sister (the one just below him) passed away almost two years ago?
: The weather over here is not so hot as it used to be, which proves that autumn is near and that means beet topping. I even hate to think about it. I don’t like farm work but I like a [sic] business work. I wish I could go to a business school but I guess that’s out. Our credit, you know.
: I think I have written a lot for now. Please excuse my scrawly writing as I got sleepy and scribbled just to get through quicker. I hope everything is okay your way. I might be a bit late, but just the same, congratulations and good luck! Thank you ever so much for all what you
: sent me. I can’t thank you enough. Many success in the future.
: Love, Sumi.
: Box 167,
Letter 15
: Raymond,
: Alberta.
: January 21/45.
: Dearest Joan;
: Oh, I’m sorry, Joan. I’m so sorry, I never wrote sooner. I haven’t any excuse whatsoever.
: Thank you, thank you very very much for the school pin and the pretty socks. Honestly, I was always praying for a Q. E. pin but I never dreamt of getting one. It was a gift from heaven, I’m sure. You should see me now, I wear the pin all the time — to school, at home or to anywhere else. I thank you again, Joan. And oh! thanks a million for the pretty socks. It fits me well. How did you guess my size? (I wear 9 ½.) Honestly, you shouldn’t have sent me
: such a gift. I don’t deserve it and it makes me ashamed of myself for receiving it.
: This may be a trifle late but, I’m glad you had a good Christmas and I hope you had a happy New Year’s too. We enjoyed our Christmas and New Year’s, thank you. We also had a marvelous Xmas dinner with an eighteen pound [sic] turkey. (It was a pound less than yours.) On that night we went to see — “Sensation of 1945.” I didn’t like it much [sic] as I did, “Bathing Beauty.” Have you seen this picture? I thought the picture was pretty but the story wasn’t too hot. On the 27th, we were invited to a dinner party and imagine, we came home at 3:30 A.M. I slept in ‘til 11:00 of the
: following morning. It was lots of fun and I hoped you were there with us too. It would have been merrier, since its [sic] always gay & merry with you around.
: Anyways, we had snow even though we had no Christmas tree. Oh! how we long for a Christmas tree that we had back there.
: We haven’t had much cold weather but we’re having plenty of snow, – more than last year. The coldest day we had this winter, so far, was 12 below. It’s not cold at all.
: How are you passing your time? Do you like school? Oh, I dread school now. I used to like it before but I don’t know what’s happening to me now. I guess it’s because of the school and well, you’re not here with me or I with you. Another year of school for me and I’ll get my 100 credits
: and a senior matric. I suppose you’ll be through this year. I’m very jealous, you know!!! I take four government exams this June – Soc. St., Eng., Chem., and French. I’m also taking Law, Psychology and Algebra. I love Chemistry and Algebra. I used to like Fr. I + II but I don’t now, since we have a different teacher. She’s Mrs. [ill.] Ridell from the east, of all places! Worse than that, she’s a real French-woman. We have to pronounce every word exact to suit her, and if we don’t, she docks some marks off the average. She takes up so much time on unnecessary work that we don’t seem to be travelling very fast; we get a government exam in it too!
: How is school back there? Please write all about the dear Q.E.
: Basketball & skating are the
: only sports now. I wish you were here. The ice is nice and the rink is free – no admission and no limited time. I’ve been to 2 basketball games this winter, & Raymond won both times. Oh, say, did you know that Sonny Ohama comes to our high school now? He’s on the basketball team too. I guess he can’t quit playing ball. I stayed for the dance after the game and danced ‘til 11:30. Usually, the game ends around 10:00 P.M. and the dance is open until midnight. It was lots of fun although I can’t dance very well as some kids.
: If you were here, I’d take lessons from you but since you’re not, it’s quite impossible, isn’t it? I’m telling you again; I hope you were here with me
: and share the fun together.
: Last Wednesday night, I went with Teruko Ikeda to see “White Cliffs of Dover.” Honestly, I thought this picture was perfect. I’d see it if I were you; or have you seen it too? “Jane Eyre” was also good. I read this story in Gr. XI and I vowed I’d see the show when it arrived. Well, I didn’t break my vow.
: Believe it or not, our hens are beginning to lay eggs. We get 2 a day. There are left only 20 hens and one rooster. We ate all the rest. For a while, I was fed up with chicken but mother forced me in eating it so I had to eat it even though I didn’t appreciate it much.
: A miracle has happened to Raymond. The Raymond town bought a regular city bus for a school van. It
: hasn’t started running yet. I heard that it was waiting for the licence, though I’m not sure. I’m glad the new bus is going to run soon. Then we won’t have to crowd or stand in a 45 degree angle. The size of our van right not is about 3/4 the size of your van (the orange one) and 12 kids ride on it, so you can imagine how crowded it is.
: Mother is always praising you. She says that if she were able to write, she’d write and express all the feelings she has for you. Honestly, she loves you. (ditto, here.) Remember the picture you gave me in Grade VIII for Christmas? (You are sitting on in your lawn with a book in your lap and you are wearing that pretty blue dress.) That picture is in our photo album and I’m sure it’ll always be there. The other pictures you sent of cadets and of dear
: Joan in her overalls is are in the Album too. I love pictures and I could look at them all everyday without getting a bit fed up. That’s how much I like them.
: I guess this is all for now. Really, you must overlook my numerous errors; they’re horrible! I ought to check and write over again, but I haven’t the time so please try and make out what I’m trying to say. I hope you will be able to read this scrawl. It’s horrible!!! isn’t it???
: Give my regards to all and I hope you are all in the best of health. Meanwhile, I’ll be looking forward for your reply.
: Your pal as ever,
: Sumi Mototsune.
: P.S. I bet your brother is cute! I love him because I know he must have taken after you S.M.