I Know We'll Meet Again - Transcripts

Correspondence and the forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians

Albert Ohama

Rainier, AB on July 4, 1942

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: July 4, 1942
: Ranier, Atla.
: Dear Joan:
: Hello there! I just received your letter last mail-day. Gee it was swell to hear from you. Thanks a million for writing.
: Gosh, I’ve been a terrible pal. You’ve got all the right in the world to be angry with me, Joan. I love being busy -- but not so busy that I should neglect writing to you. Gee, Joan, I’m awful sorry, I guess I was never cut-out to write letters. But from now on you can be sure you’ll hear from me often--
: maybe too often. I hope you don’t think I’ve forgotten you. Do you? I was swell of youto write -- and -- gosh',' I just feel awful about it. Anyway we’re writing to each other now-- and thats what counts. Isn’t it? I still feel terrible and I guess I always will--unless you Say you’ll forgive me. Please!
: Well to change the subject to something much more important, how are you, Joay[?]? How are your Mom and Dad? And little Donnie? I just know everythings all right. How are all your friends?
: I hope I’m still one of them. Let’s talk about you, Joan, shall we? Say, did you know you are a beautiful little flatterer? You had me “redder than a beet.” Really! But really Joan, you’re so understanding and everythin’, I think your [sic] swell. Honestly!! And, gosh, where did you learn to write so well. Honestly, when I read your letter, I think I’m sittin’ right next to you.
: Are you enjoying your holiday? Wasn’t that last minute of school, a grand and glorious Feelin’? I can just picture you, Joan, slamming your
: books in your suitcase and probably giving a shout of joy. I bet you made faces at the teachers you disliked. Say for instance,
: “Jackie Hockin[?].” Gosh, Joan, I hope and pray you didn’t have her next time. She’s just like you said, “Stupid,” and gosh I mean stupid. She’s the most ignorant person I know. I ought to know. She taught me for a couple of years and look what she done to me. Ha ha. Honestly though, I think she’s not fit to teach. But then, who am I to judge?
: I am sorry to hear Mr. [???] is leaving you. He was swell to us. I haven’t much To say for Mr. Sanford. You won’t lose much by his going -- but Keatley! Ye gad! What a prize-sop[?]! Phooey on him!
: Gee isn’t it terrible weather we’ve been havin! I guess it’s the same here as in Surrey, coz we’ve been havin' rain, rain and more rain. Honestly the last week (4 days) was the only “hot” days we’ve had since coming out here. Gosh! but was it hot. Whew! I never seen nothin’ like it.
: I think I could fry an egg on a chunk of iron (we have no sidewalks).
: At present we’ve been haying, and gosh is that a job. We’ve got some 30-odd acres of hay to put up. We cut it last week and now we are Bringin’ it in our hay-racks. We are blowin’ it into the barn loft with a grain separator. Gee this is the hardest job yet -- Oh! come to think of it, I hate fixin’ fence themost and we spent about 2 weeks fixin’ about 10 miles of fence. Gee that’s a job and
: I’ve got plenty of scars to show you, Joan. That darn barb wire can sure make some really nasty cuts.
: Say, by the way, now that you’ve got your holiday, what are you doin’? Are you workin’ somewhere?
: And, Joan, will you do me a favor--eat plenty of cherries for me--but don’t eat the green ones, I don’t want you to get sick. Gosh, I like cherries, don’t you?
: Joan, have you been in [???] swimmin’ lately? I guess we are pretty lucky ‘coz we’ve got a swell lake to swim only a few steps from the house.
: Which reminds me, you ask about
: the farm so I’ll tell you about it. I guess Sonny has told you most of the things though. Well it’s not such a big farm as compared to some of them a round here, it’s got 3/4 [???].
: (I guess it’s large compared to our 10 acres back home -- but it’s far from being home.)
: You see we’re running the farm for a Mr. Burnett. He moved out to Calgary, so we’ve got the whole farm to ourselves.
: I guess we are pretty lucky at least I sure hate to work sugar-beets. It’s such a monotonous job. Well, anyway, we’ve got lots of cows (20), only 3 are milking cows.
: By the way, Sonny does all the chores. He milks like an “old maid” now. We have lots of horses about 25 but only 8 are working horses the rest of them are wild and they just romp around in the pasture back of our fields. We have two swell ridin’ horses. Gee, their [sic] beauties. I fell off once when I was too lazy to put on the saddle. (I couldn’t catch the horse again so I had to walk)
: I’ll send you some pictures of them and the farm as soon as I can.
: And Joan, remember those pictures you took when Sonny
: Was over to your party, well he’s got them developed and he’s gonna send them to you -- but not until I get some prints. Some of them are swell.
: Well, back here on the farm, all our crops are in, and they are coming along swell. We’ve got acres and acres of grain, and lots of spuds and vegetables like that. Gee it sure is some job keeping them clear of weeds.
: Say, Joan, how is your “Victory Garden” coming along? Swell, I hope.
: Say, Joan, one funny thing that I learned out here is that back home we cleared trees to plant
: things and out here we plant trees to get a wind-brake and to have some shade. Funny isn’t it?
: Oh yes! You asked how Rainier was. (I think you wrote RANIER but its Rainier) Anyway you won’t find it on the map its such a small dump. Its only our P.O. and our store and garage.
: We get mail 2 times a week. By the way how long did this letter take to get to you? I ask because all mail coming in takes from two to three weeks! I only realized this a few weeks ago when my Brother brought it to my attention.
: Well, to get back to Rainier
: as I said before it’s a dump. Its 3 miles away. Brooks is the nearest town it’s about the size of Cloverdale. I’ve been there only once. It’s about 25 miles away. We are about 140 miles South of Calgary. 80 miles from Lethbridge. So you see we are away from civilization. Ha! Ha!
: I guess I’m just pushin’ words along so I guess I’ll say good-bye but before I do will you please give my best to your Mom and Dad and Donnie?
: Well take care of yourself, Joan, and be good.
: Good-Bye and Good Luck!
: Albert Ohama.
: P.S. c/o of Mr. Bennett is not necessary. Call me whatever you like, Joan. I could add a lot more of nick-names to your list but anything will do. I ain’t fussy -- much. Ha! Ha!
: Al.
: P.P.S.
: Please excuse my hen-scratch. I know I’m a terrible writer. We have hens but they didn’t help me! Ha! Ha!
: Al.

Preferred Citation

Ohama, Albert. Correspondence from Tad Nagamori to Joan Gillis. 4 July 1942. RBSC-ARC-1786-01-35. Joan Gillis fonds. University of British Columbia Library Rare Books and Special Collections, Vancouver, Canada.