I Know We'll Meet Again - Transcripts

Correspondence and the forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians

Jackie Takahashi

Magrath, AB and Rocky Mountain House, AB on 1942-1947

Filter by topic:

152 of 152 rows (click a missing row to make it appear)
: c/o George C Card
Letter 1
: Magrath, Alta.
: Saturday, April 25, 1942
: Dear Joan;
: On Wednesday we reached our new home after 2 1/2 days 2 nights. We left New Westminster around 9 Mon. All the time along to Kamloops we had our heads poked out of the window looking at the scenery but [once?] there it was night. During the night we stopped at Salmon Arm, Revelstoke. The next morning April 21 Harding [???] and I were up from 3 am walking up and down the train and watching the scenery throw [sic] the pass. There it was so cold that the Kicking Horse River had ice around the banks and streams were frozen. In daylight we reached Frields where we put our time ahead one hour. Later we reached Banff. Along the way between Fields and Banff we saw many elks and a moose. Near noon we reached Calgary where we spent the rest of the afternoon till about 7.
: There we saw the show “Babes on Broadway” and we walked about the town. About 11:00 PM we reached Lethbridge and spend the whole night there. From about 4 AM I roamed around the station the town. About 5 AM Yoshio and I and some girls at breakfast at [Lethbridge]. We started again for Raymond at 8:20AM. We reached Raymond at 11:30.
: Afternoon we took our own baggage off the freight and load [sic] it on trucks to our new home which is 18 miles out of Raymond. Our home is about 2 1/2 mi apart from Yoshio’s home but bout 20 miles apart from most of our friends. I find it quite different over here for it is colder, windy, no trees and the place is so rolly and places level. On Thursday
: April 23 when I awoke I found out that it had snowed about 2 inches. Today the wind is so cold that your hands and face turns red and purple from the cold.
: I bet Surrey is so warm that you could go out with no sweaters and I bet you sweat while we freeze.
: We are all healthy and happy and I wish you are too. I wish you would write for I would like to know how you are getting along and know your and my school pals are getting along.
: This is all I got to say so I wish you will write for me to read at lonely nights.
: Your School Pal
: Jackie Takahashi
: c/o George C. Card.
Letter 2
: Magrath, Alta.,
: Sunday, May 10, 1942
: 2:00 P.M.
: Dear Joan;
: I received your letter on the fifth day of May but I didn't get it until the next day for I was out working somewhere else for a couple of days. We have been here 18 days. On the 8 and 9th my brother and I started planting the garden. Boy! What a place to make a garden. Clumps of hard dried dirt all over and the ground hard as stone. We had to plant the garden for there isn't no body else to do it.
: Last night it rained and thundered and lightning flashed so bright that things could be seen plainly. This morning it was still raining. Boy! You should come down here and walk around. Mud about 2 inches. Go out side and you get mud all over your shoe. All we can do is sit in our little wee shack which is only about 10’ by 20’. No radio no nothing in fact no room to move. Yesterday it was so darn windy that your had, paper, cans, pails, and every thing was blown around. The wind made a terrible noise around the corner of the house. Gosh! I'm getting sick and tired of this country. Gee wiz the wind is starting to blow again. Anyways maybe it will dry the ground so a person could walk around with out getting a new sole on your shoe. Friday night about 11 o’clock the irrigation water came down the ditch which is along the side of the road right near our house. The water comes from a mountain in the United States. I haven’t told you about the surrounding yet. Well towards the north the land is quite level without large trees like B.C. Towards the east and south there is a high hill which is about 600ft higher then [sic] where we are. On the
: side of the hill strips of green and brown can be see. From near our home if we look westwards we can see part of the Rocky. From Yoshio’s place which is SW of our place and much higher we can see part of the sugar factory at Raymond which is about 18 miles away. From there we can see about 4 train stations. We can tell if there is a station for we can see grain elevators.About a mile east of our place there is a low steep banked river or a creek running. This is a nice place, clean water down below and small trees and green grass.
: One thing I miss is the big trees. Out here you pay 50 cents for a spruce tree about 2 ft tall.
: There isn't nothing to do at all around here but go see your friends or catch goffers [sic] or try to. Riding a bike isn't much fun when the wind is blowing against you. I don't mind the rain but darn the wind and rain.
: But soon I guess I will be saying gosh it’s hot I wish the wind will blow. The darn wind blows dust around the place and into your eyes. When the sun shines it gets too darn hot and dry.
: In another two weeks time we will be working on our good old sugar beets for some are out all ready [sic]. Boy! Oh Boy! You can think of us bent over sweating and thinning the beats. Gosh!
: I feel going to school but they told us not to consider school till September.
: And about your hope. The letter you wrote came to me with black letters reading “examined by censor.”
: Gosh I will miss the cherry and other fruits and even the flowers. Anyhow I remember seeing a tulip before I came here.
: I am fine and I wish you are too. Well Good-bye till I write again.
: Yours
: Jack Takahashi
: P.S. Where you get the idea that I write interesting letters
: Magrath Alberta,
Letter 3
: June 10, 1942
: Dear Joan;
: You aren't mad at me for not answering your letter right away are you? I was sort of lazy to write right away and I just about forgot to answer your letter. I just finished super and I remembered I still had to answer your letter.
: Boy it felt good to come in the house after being working in the sugar beets when the wind was blowing like the heck. It sure was windy. It made tear [sic] come out of my eye and water out of my nose. We started beet thinning last Tuesday, June 2nd. We worked about 1/2 day on the 2nd, 1/2 day on the 3rd. The other half day it rained. That Wednesday it changed from sunshine to rain while we ate our dinner. For the rest of the week we stay at home. Sunday night we had a thunder storm.
: Around Raymond they had hail and rain but we were lucky for we were on the outskirts of the rain and it only sprinkled around here.
: Monday we started work again and have worked every day till today so far. We finished over 6 acres that is thinning the beets.
: Thinning isn’t so hard as I thought. All we have to do is to cut out the beets with a how so to leave a beet a hoe length apart. You are supposed to leave only one beet and not two at once place for it won't grow as big. The sugar beet plant is all the same as a ordinary red beet but the leaves aren't red but are green. It look more like a spinach plant than a beet. The only thing wrong is that the weeds cover the garden for it rained so darn much.
: I got tired last night so I put away the half written letter for I knew I couldn’t mail it till to-day June 11 when our boss comes here to his farm from town.
: This morning my eyes
: opened around 6 o’clock but I heard the sound of the wind and the rain and slept soundly till about quarter past eleven. I waited for dinner and then here I am writing again. Gosh rain again. That mean [sic] no work for a couple of days, more grass, more mud, can't go outside without getting muddy. When it rains it’s as same as being stranded on an island for you can't go outside. We hauled some travel along our house so it won't be as muddy as before that’s one thing. I’d for rather [sic] work or be outside than stay inside out from the rain. This month we had only about 2 days with sunshine. When the sunshines [sic] and when the wind isn't blowing it sure is hot. Sweat just pours down my face last Tuesday. Yesterday we had sunshine most of the day but the wind was blowing like the heck.
: I heard from Yosh that the Blue House had won the Inter House [???]. That sure is something I never thought the Blue House would win even though I was in it. Well I was in the winning house for the track twice. So was Yosh
: Are you still going to school or have you finished yet? Have you past [sic] all your subjects or don't you know yet? I wish I could of [sic] finished grade nine. I don't know if I have to start grade nine over again or not if I start in September yet but if I start school again I'll find out.
: How are the cherries and other fruits I sure miss my strawberries and cherries.
: The strawberries here that is our bosses is just flowering. Their tulips are fresh blooming here. The lilac and all of the flowers are just blooming here. I guess you don't see tulips and lilac at Surrey now? Spring just got here in Alberta.
: You want to know something about our garden? Well it’s more grass than anything else and that’s about all there is anyway.
: That’s all I've got to say so I'll end there.
: (I just moved the page and didn’t look where i was writing)
: Good-bye for a while
: Jackie Takahashi
: P.S. Excuse my paragraphing and everything else
: Magrath Alberta,
Letter 4
: July 24, 1942
: 8:00 PM
: Dear Joan,
: I thought I’d better write this letter before I forget again. I'm just fooling around now.
: We finished thinning on Tuesday, July 1 around 4 P.M. We went up to Yosh’s place to help them thin their beets for a couple of days. On Monday 13th I've started hoeing, that is, taking out the grass around the [???} beets that were left. On Wed. I think it rained so we couldn’t work for a couple of days. We just about finished Wed. that is day before yesterday but when we were all on our last row a big black cloud came over our head. It started thunder and lightning and started to drip. We started on our way home as fast as we could. (We had about 1/2 mile to go). Just as we started it started to pour. It kept up getting worse and worse. Soon it began to hail too. We were all in our shirts soaking wet before we even reached half way home. The wind was blowing from the west and oh boy I really felt the hail as it bounced off my bare arms. I couldn't see about 500 ft in front or around me. When we got home we all were dripping wet. The rain even went through my boots. That sure was a rain and it taught me to run when ever I see big black clouds coming. We just finished having another storm a half an hour ago worse than the other but it was shorter. I thought the cloud would miss us but the wind changed and the cloud came towards us. I’d say it was the blackest clouds I'd ever seen yet. It was as black as coal. When I saw the clouds
: our way I wasn't dumb enough to stay out this time but I just got in the house in time. The rain was more like snow for its blown all over by the wind. It’s the first time I'd ever seen rain like that. A couple of miles out from our place they had hail bigger than marbles the other day. Lucky we didn’t. These storms come all of a sudden that you aren't even prepared for rain. Today till about 1 it really was hot.
: They celebrated the birthday of Magrath (I don't what birthday [sic]) to-day at the town park. It isn't what I'd call a park it’s just a play ground with a grand stand. I didn't go although I was playing. They all [sic] kinds of sports and broncho [sic] riding, milking wild steers, that is, they let out a herd of steers out and cowboys lasso them and others on foot carry a milk bottle and try to get some milk the first to get milk gets the prize. They had a parade too. I don't know how that was but I guess it couldn’t be so bad.
: I went to the Raymond Stampede on July 1st. There wasn't much to see but they charged me 50 cents. All they had was milking the wild steer, lassoing and typing up calf (the first one to tie a calf wins) decorating a steer by leaping off a horse onto a steer and put a ribbon on its horn. They had wild broncho [sic] riding, steer riding, 3 cowboys saddling a wild broncho [sic] and riding to the opposite end of the ground. They also had horse races. It sure was hot that day and I had to sit in the sun. A seat in the Grand Stand was 2 bits and I was full anyway. I rode both ways on my bike and did I sweat. That was about 30 miles all together.
: From the beginning of July we have had hot weather but we have rain about 4 times this month all ready. July seems to be
: the month of hot weather and storms.
: We finished thinning on Tuesday, July 1 around 4 P.M. We went up to Yosh’s place to help them thin their beets for a couple of days. On Monday 13th I've started hoeing, that is, taking out the grass around the [???} beets that were left. On Wed. I think it rained so we couldn’t work for a couple of days. We just about finished Wed. that is day before yesterday but when we were all on our last row a big black cloud came over our head. It started thunder and lightening and started to drip. We started on our way home as fast as we could. (We had about 1/2 mile to go). Just as we started it started to pour. It kept up getting worse and worse. Soon it began to hail too. We were all in our shirts soaking wet before we even reached half way home. The wind was blowing from the west and oh boy I really felt the hail as it bounced off my bare arms. I couldn’t see about 500 ft in front or around me. When we got home we all were dripping wet. The rain even went through my boots. That sure was a rain and it taught me to run when ever I see big black clouds coming. We just finished having another storm a half an hour ago worse than the other but it was shorter. I thought the cloud would miss us but the wind changed and the cloud came towards us. I’d say it was the blackest clouds I’d ever seen yet. It was as black as coal. When I saw the clouds
: No the [???] family aren’t very close to us for their [sic] about 13 miles from here. The whole family was up at Yosh’s place today but didn’t come here at all.
: Yes, I received a copy of the June Q.E.Vue and it wasn’t bad for I found out how the school was and how the time ended. I really enjoyed reading the paper.
: It’s the first time I ever wrote such a long letter so I better quit now before I keep writing all night.
: Sincerely Jack.
: P.S. I didn’t seal the envelope last night so I thought I’d tell you how Magrath town took the storm last night. My brothers went to town and told me about it. In town they really had a storm for big hail poured down. The windows on the north end of most of the building and house were all broken to bits, the grain around town that is east and north of town were all knocked down, beets that got hit were all knocked over and they say it
: Looks as if they (the leaves) were all chopped up. We were lucky only a little of our beets were hit although not so badly damaged. To-day we can still see hail piled up a little out of town from here. The wind even blew over big trees and took a roof of [sic] a house or barn near town. We were one of the lucky ones but maybe we may get one next time. I hope not anyway. Well so-long!
: Magrath Alberta,
Letter 5
: Nov. 17, 1942
: Dear Joan,
: It’s been a couple of weeks since I received your letter so I thought I better write while I got the time.
: How’s the weather out there. Near the end of October and the beginning of Nov it started to get cold and began freezing. We had about 3 snow falls in the beginning of Nov. We had about 4 to five inches of ice (enough to skate on anyways). All of a sudden the weather changed. It began to get warm again for a week or so. Now it changed again this Sunday night. We had snow Sunday night and yesterday which amounted to about 12 to 14” of snow in different places. Today it seems to be clearing up again but no body knows what will happen
: I’ve been out working for a couple of weeks now after we had finished our beets for my school days our [sic] over for this term or for ever. Before I stopped school for topping I didn’t know whether I should go to school or go out to work but now they say that we have to pay $5.50 a month to go to school so I stopped going and I didn’t go after we finished topped [sic]. Instead of school now I have to work. I bought a few books so I can still keep on studying at home in spare time. I’ve been out to other farms topping beets and for the past three days I was out with my brother pitching bundles onto
: wagons and into the thresher but the snow fall stopped us for a while I hope.
: These schools in Alberta won’t let you take some subject if you aren’t the smartest ones. I got B for grade 9. So I was able to take only 2 out of French Physic and Algebra. I dropped Physic and took typing. The typing book is the only book that I know which is the same as your grade 10 books. The Social Studies seems to be the same as out here. I believe most of the subjects are as same as yours but they say that Alberta schooling is ahead of B.C. schooling. I guess I can send you a school newspaper if they have one now. Yosh is still attending school so maybe you can ask him.
: I’m sorry I can’t tell you where Tori or Mitsuo are. I was going to ask you in the last letter but I didn’t.
: No, Joe and John are still in grade six they should be in seven but they won’t put them up. Harry is only in 4 but should be in five. Our boss made a covered wagon so they don't’ have to walk to school.
: This letter is only a big jumble but I hope you can read it. I’m signing off here so Good-bye till the next letter.
: Jack Takahashi
: P.S. Tell Don and the others to write because I don’t know there [sic] address
: Box 76,
Letter 6
: Magrath Alta.,
: Oct. 28, 1943
: Dear Joan,
: Hello! Joan. This is your old school pal Jack writing a few lines again. Sure is a long time since we heard from each other.
: How’s school? No doubt your [sic] getting along fine there. Sure wish I was still going to Q.E. In Alberta school started on the 10th of October and I just started on the 21, that’s yesterday. It feels sort of funny to be in grade 10 with all the younger pupils. The courses have been changed so the schooling is much better. In grade 10 there is 5 compulsory courses [sic]; English, Mathematics, Health, Social Studies, and Science. Besides that I take French and Industrial arts and typing. There isn’t much activity at school yet but I believe they are going to start some clubs soon. Next Friday we elect a president of the school.
: All summer I was away from home working on a farm as [sic] hog feeder and trader man ]. Beet topping kept us busy the last 3 weeks but now we’re finished so we can take it easy now.
: The weather has been fair for a long while but it doesn’t look so good to-night. We have had frost in the morning just about every day since the middle of September. We had enough snow on September 18th to make everything white believe it or not. That’s the first time I saw snow in Sept. Soon we’ll be seeing plenty of snow and cold weather. I sure don’t like the winters here. Br-r-r it makes me shiver to just think of it. I guess you won’t be seeing old man winter for a while yet.
: That’s about all so I wish my best regards and Good-bye till I write again
: Yours truly
: Jackie
: Box 76,
Letter 7
: Magrath Alta.,
: June 22 /44
: Dear Joan,
: I sent a letter to you on the 28th of Dec. but it came back to me for I put the wrong address on -- must of been day-dreaming
: Well how’s everything? Good as ever I hope. Not much change here -- never is.
: Talk about school. I’m sick of school. Sick of going 3 miles to learn nothing. All I learnt so far is a little math and french. Hardly learnt anything in the three subjects.
: School is a little bit livelier now that they play badminton during noon hours. We are making a ping pong table in shop so we’ll be able to play ping pong soon. The tumbling club isn’t getting
: ahead very fast. Yesterday we had club period so I went down to tumblr and I was doing these forward rolls and things again I don’t think I’ll go down to tumble again till they get a little better.
: Last night we (the B team) went to Cardstone to play basketball and lost by one point. Two weeks from now we play them again on our own floor. On the 7th we beat Raymond by about 6 points.
: Last night going and coming back from Cardstone we were like sardines in a can. Twenty-one of us crowded in a little van about 8ft x 5ft. Four sat in the front and 17 of us were in the back crowded so much we could hardly move. There was 10 boy and 7 girls in the back. After the game last night we all were invited to a dance in an [???] Church. I was just a wall flower. They
: sure have a nice dancing hall there.
: I read your [sic] having nice weather on the coast. Well we haven’t anything to kick about for we are having swell weather too. We haven’t seen snow since Christmas when we had a little snow. The days are really warm but the last few days the darn wind has been blowing terribly. Most of the ice have [sic] melted now so we can’t go skating.
: I’ve got to go [???] now so I’ll close here. Oh yes I got a few souvenir hankies so I thought I should send one to you.
: Well So-Long now
: Yours sincerely
: Jack T.
: Atlas ??? Co. Camp 9
Letter 8
: Rocky Mt. House, Alta.
: February 16, 1945
: Dear Joan,
: The last time I wrote must have been around December of 1943 or the beginning of 44. A year has gone by and it sure did go fast.
: I must have been still going to school when I wrote the last time. Last March I stopped school again before I finished grade 10 and went to work on a farm and worked there most of the summer and fall. The summer past [sic] without much change. Fall came and passed by November the tenth I left with my brother to camp. I’ve been up here in the wilderness since then and intend to stay till the end of March.
: Life isn’t very exciting up here. Work day after day and no where to spend our money or have a little fun once in a while. Rocky Mt. House Town is about 35 miles from here so we can’t go there when we feel like going. Two weeks ago was the first time I saw the town since I came here and most of the boys here haven’t had the chance. I had to see the dentist so i got off a couple of days. Lumber trucks have lumber every day so there is transportation if you get off. Rocky town is right at the foothills of the Rockies and is only a small town just like Magrath or any of the Southern Alberta towns.
: After work hours are spent by reading, writing, or playing cards or just sitting around talking. Sitting
: around and talking is the favorite pastime. Sometimes we listen to records or listen to the radio. No there isn’t much here to do to pass time. Sundays are spent like any evening -- nothing to do.
: The work here isn’t bad at all for I really like the trees and woods for I’ve always lived in it. The trees only average 20 inches and a few 3 ft so they can’t be compared with B.C. logs.
: The logs are small so most of the work is done by hand here. First the trees are fallen, branches cut off, and cut to length of 12, 14, 15, 18 or 20 feet. Then the logs are hauled out by horses to skidways and loaded on sleighs (that’s my job - been at it about 2 months) and sent to the mill and cut. The loading is done all by hand so when large logs come out we have quite a time loading them. Soon they intend to drag out long logs with catipillars [sic] and cut them up at once place then send them to the mill. This way they wouldn’t use as much [sic] horses as the way we are doing it.
: Each day we are supposed to put in 8 hrs but the bush crew only put in about 7 hrs while the mill crew has to put 9 hrs in. Working hours are supposed to be from 7:30 to 12:00 then from 1:00 to 5:30. We start from 8:00 and stop about 5:00. Dinner time we stop work around 11:30 and don't’ start work till about 1:30.
: The weather all along has been pretty fair some days it got a little cold but most of the time it has been warm. Yesterday it turned
: awfully cold and this morning it dropped to 38 degrees below zero so we didn’t have to go out to work. When it goes till below 30 below we don’t have to work. This is the first time it got so cold. Just last week it was up to around 40 above with the snow melting. We have still about 10 inches of snow around the bush in places.
: Although I’m fed up with everything here, I intend to stick here till end of March so I’m waiting for the day to return back to civilization.
: The best regards to you and all and thanks for the Christmas card - sorta late to thank you but later is better than never I guess. Well I’ll say good bye now.
: Yours Sincerely
: Jackie Takahashi
: Magrath Alta.,
Letter 9
: February 24, 1947
: Dear Joan,
: Hello Joan -- I think that’s a better way than just saying Dear Joan --
: I hope except [sic] my apologies for not answering your letter sooner. To tell you the truth I started one before but didn’t answer it - it’s just like me - plenty of time to do everything but to [sic] lazy to do anything --
: Well it sure has been a long time since I have corresponded with you. I’m still alive and living yet if you didn’t know. I don’t remember the last time I wrote but things are much the same -- I’ve kept myself busy doing [???] -- working in a cannery and going to the bush in the north --
: I was there in the bush for only 2 months this winter -- came home a month ago with a few dollars to show -- I’m living a life of ease at present but I find it sure is hard on my pocketbook. I had a job with a carpenter for 2 days but cold weather ended that. We had good weather after but I had other business so never got to working -- I stay home in the hotel and with my pal but since I can’t get to work I guess I’ll go home again.
: We’ve been here for four long years now and most of us not knowing what our future will be. This winter a great many Japanese have went east hoping to find a better future. Last week I went to Brooks-(about 100 miles from here) to see a farm-- We’re now intending to go there try our luck in farming -- I found the town of Brooks a fairly nice place. My dad’s getting on
: age now and my brothers coming up mechanics so I have to take over the family and that I don’t like.
: My brothers are still going to school yet. My twin brothers are just in 10 now. They should be in 11 but they had to one year back when we came for the school wouldn't let them up for they never finished their term when we left. Henry is in 8 I think. -- I’m enclosing a snap of me and my brothers -- it’s not a very clear picture though but I thought maybe you would like to see it. Sometime if I ever get a good one of myself I’ll send it to you -- Say Joan I sure would like to get one of you. --
: I sure hate to leave Magrath for the people here are sure treating us as citizens. This is the only town in Alberta they gave us the right to vote in a town election. Some of us have joined into the clubs and they sure treat us swell. -- But the future here sure doesn’t look very good here I tried to rent a farm here too but with no success so we’ll be going to Brooks as far as I know. We have regulations upon us so we can’t do everything we please -- though they have cancelled many of the regulations. --
: You ask me about the other fellows you know -- well I don’t know much about them either for you know how my correspondence is. I read about Tom Hashibo [?] a few weeks ago. Sure wish I could send you that article from the paper -- He got the highest honor in a university in Montreal I think and now is attending one in Ohio now. He sure is getting places. Sure wish I were in his shoes -- Other fellows I don’t know
: much about.
: Say Joan -- You do sound a little -- can’t think of a right word -- my vocabulary isn’t very good. You said foul tempered but I would say that -- anyways cheer up chum -- life isn’t that bad is it -- I guess everyone gets lonesome for home and other things but one has to some work to live so I’ve found out -- I think when you get to know a place for a while you start to like it even if it is a dead place -- Magrath is just a small store on a road but now I hate to leave it -- I sure hated the place the first few years --.
: You say you are a terrible teacher -- I wouldn’t say that for I know your intelegent [sic] enough -- I think -- (don’t take that serious - I like tickeling [sic] people) -- for I sure couldn’t keep up to your marks ever. -- good old school days. --
: Say Joan you say you are nineteen and you hate getting old -- I wouldn’t call that old. I myself am a year older but I don’t mind and feel fine although a woman is suppose [sic] to be a few years older than a man the same age -- I was fourteen when I came here and those five years have sure changed me a lot in way of life. I guess I grew a little too -- I’m 5ft 6 now and have been for the last 4 years -- My brothers that is the twins are getting bigger than me. Soon I’ll be the smallest. My older brother is about 5 ft 9. --
: Can’t think of anything else to write about at present so I take this [???] to say good bye dear teacher --
: I wish you my best regards and say good bye again.
: Yours very sincerely
: Jackie
: P.S. Hoping this have found you fine and healthy. Hoping you’re able to read my small and pardon my mistakes for I never reread or rewrite my letters
: Good night Joan --