I Know We'll Meet Again - Transcripts

Correspondence and the forced dispersal of Japanese Canadians

Jackie Takahashi

Magrath, AB on February 24, 1947

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: Magrath Alta.,
: 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 --

Preferred Citation

Takahashi, Jackie. Correspondence from Jackie Takahashi to Joan Gillis. 24 February 1947. RBSC-ARC-1786-01-33. Joan Gillis fonds. University of British Columbia Library Rare Books and Special Collections, Vancouver, Canada.