I Know We'll Meet Again - Transcripts

Correspondence and the forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians

Albert Ohama

Rainier, AB on August 12, 1942

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: August 12, 1942
: Rainier, Atla.
: Dear Joan,
: Hel-lo! How’s the thrill of Scott Hill? Thanks for your very nice letter. I certainly enjoyed hearin’ from you. Jesus, Joan, don’t let writing long letters bother your sweet conscience, ‘cause I love ‘em. I love to (as you say) “wade through ‘em,” too.
: Well, Joan, what are you doin’ this bright and cheerful morning? Oh! Good morning, Joan. Sleep well? (I hope you read this in the morning)
: Well, anyway, how are you Joan? None the worse after that “horrible” weekend, I hope. It sounded like lots of fun to me. And say, I don’t mind being your “it”.
: Now for more about your letter: About the work over here; holy ??? but I must of put it on thick. Of course I have time to eat! I’m usually first at the table and last to leave. Boy, but do I love the dinner call! Not because I’m hungry but because we can rest - ah!
: Beautiful rest! Seriously, though, Joan, I’m not working that hard. The work has been hard but I’m getting use [sic] to it now. We’ve finished all the field work and there’s really not much work to do now. But there’s enough to keep us busy -- darn it. But don’t worry, Joan, I’m not working myself to death. Here pinch my arm. See, I’m alive. Ouch. (You pinched me too hard). Silly, ain’t I?
: What do we do in the winter? Nothing! Nothing ‘cept the chores. My brother and I may try to find work elsewhere--but not till I have a vacation. Gee, I wish I could go home for a visit, even for a few days. That’s day-dreaming, though.
: Music? I think I like Bing the bestest. I like smooth lingering music. Of course I classical [sic] -- but not too classical. One thing I don’t like --yet is that corny cave-man music (racket -- I mean). It actually drives me nuts.
: (Of course that’s taking for granted that I’m sane--which I’m not out here)
: Of course everyone has their own particular
: likings but I like Bing everytime. He drives me nuts, too--in a different way.
: So you were building castles in the sands? How romantic? Oh, I forgot. There were children with you. How horrible! I pity you, but I bet you did have some fun, huh?
: A working woman, are you? School’s your job. Stick to it. I would if I could.
: Which reminds me, school begins soon again, huh? Tech, tech, how time flies. More books and scraping with the teachers. When I think of school now they seemed lots of fun.
: You mentioned disagreeable odours of fish. Phooey! I met a skunk the other day and I thought it was very cute. Seems he doesn’t think the same of me, anyhow, i got the worst of him and he got the best of me. I’ll leave it to your imagination as for what happened. Anyway, the dog killed him and I went on my way. Well for the next week the dog and I were both in the dog house. I wouldn’t attempt to describe the odour. Phew!
: The moon? I don’t think I’ve ever stopped to admire it. (What-they-hay just about dark)
: The sunset is pretty out here, considering the fact that there is nothing but bold-headed prairie hills to give it a beautiful atmosphere. I think the other kids will back me up when I say that the sunset is very beautiful.
: I work in my birthday suit so I have a pretty fair tan--but if I keep this up much longer I’ll be burnt to a black crisp. Boy, it sure has been hot on some days, the last two weeks for instance. But today was cold! Can you imagine that? In mid-summer, too! Cold today -- hot tomorrow! Gosh, what goofy weather! How is it out there?
: Did I leave any questions out?
: Well what are you doing these days? Working in the peat-plant or are you taking care of the husband with the sick wife? Oh yes, there’s a baby in the family too, isn’t there? (I ain’t a bit funny am I?)
: How are Donnie and your folks? I hope they’re all well. And you. Are you taking good care of yourself?
: Say Joan, do you see many shows? Gosh, I haven’t seen one for so long, I forget what they’re like. Honest. I haven’t gone to Calgary yet, but I expect to some time
: during the month. My brother took a truck laid of vegetables in last week. He’ll be goin’ in quite often now and I hope to make one of the trips with him. I honestly wouldn’t mind seeing Calgary again. I can still remember some of the old haunts where I used to play and get into a lot of mickey. After all it’s only been about ten years ago.
: Gosh! Here I’m talking about nothing -- I guess I’m boring you, huh?
: Take care of yourself, Joan. And give my love and best wishes to your folks and of course Donnie.
: Good-bye till next time -- and don’t worry about us ‘cause we’re all fine.
: Yours,
: Alby
: P.S. ------
: P.P.S. Imagine that! No P.S.
: Bye, Alby
: (Oops! Over)
: Joan will you tell me how long my letters take to get to you. This letter will leave Ranier on the 14th one of the two mail days we have.
: Thanks
: Alby.

Preferred Citation

Ohama, Albert. Correspondence from Tad Nagamori to Joan Gillis. 12 August 1942. RBSC-ARC-1786-01-36. Joan Gillis fonds. University of British Columbia Library Rare Books and Special Collections, Vancouver, Canada.