I Know We'll Meet Again - Transcripts

Correspondence and the forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians

Sumi Mototsune

Raymond, AB on May 30, 1942

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: c/o Mr. J. Maudsley
: 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.

Preferred Citation

Mototsune, Sumi. Correspondence from Sumi Mototsune to Joan Gillis. 30 May 1942. RBSC-ARC-1786-02-10 . Joan Gillis fonds. University of British Columbia Library Rare Books and Special Collections, Vancouver, Canada.