[Letter to Clara Breed from Tetsuzo (Ted) Hirasaki, Poston, Arizona, December 1, 1942]
[ bio ]
December 1, 1942
Gift of Elizabeth Y. Yamada
1 letter and envelope from Tetsuzo (Ted) Hirasaki to Clara Breed.
322-14-D / Poston, Arizona / December 1, 1942 / Dear Miss Breed, / We received your package today, a very pleasant surprise indeed! You should have seen the looks of pleasure on the faces of our friends with whom we were able to share the candy and nuts, especially the coffee candy and rum and toffee. Receiving things from the outside is such a rarety that most of us share what we receive no matter how little it is. / I gave Mrs. Ohye the brick design crepe as well as the crepe with the children design you see she is interested in the nursery dept. of our school. By the way she is a certified teacher of the Los Angeles School System. She sends her thanks and says she certainly can make use of the paper. / To Mrs. Umezawa went one package of pipe cleaners. She also sends her thanks. Yes, she is the one of whom your mother speaks of as "the missionary lady." She is teaching flower-making under the Industries Dept. / Mrs. Kushino and Mrs. Hirai and also little Jane Kushino send thanks for the candy and crepe paper that I was able to share. So does Mrs. Nakamura. No, this Mrs. Nakamura was from Santa Maria before coming to San Diego. / I am glad you liked what little I was able to send you. The pins weren't too hard to make, perhaps because there isn't much size to it. They were my first pins and took several days to make. The nameplate was the hardest to make. It took me about 14 solid hours of work to finish it. My choice of wood was bad because instead of a sharp division between the sap wood and the heart wood of the mesquite there was a gradual darkening, so that I had to cut quite deep before a contrasting color was reached. On the knot pin the name was burned after being carved to give it that black finish. / As to the tools I used, there weren't many. Most of the work was done with a pocket knife, but for the fine work I used a cutter fashioned from a discarded dentist's drill. (By the way if you know any dentists who have old tools of any sort, drills, chisels, etc. that are ready for the scrap heap, could you have him send them here?) In making your nameplate I took an old bedspring and made an 1/8 inch chisel so that it would be easier to carve around the letters. So many people want pins and nameplates made that I am swamped. It may be several weeks before I can work on new requests. However send in the names and also a pin for each as I am out of pins. The W.R.A. wage scale is approximately 8 1/2 c. per hour for me when and if we're paid. On the average a five-letter pin takes about five hours of actual working time. Sometimes a letter cracks off so the pin is made all over again. It happens quite often in names that have a dot and also "E". So for the first five letters 40 c. - 5 c. for each letter thereafter. / I haven't decided what to charge for the nameplates. I doubt if I'll make very many as it takes too much time and that means not enough time to make pins. / By the way you haven't sent me your mother's name. / I was interested to hear that Howard Pease is in S.D. I certainly wish I were there to meet him. His books used to give me many a thrill. I can still remember Tod Moran and many of his adventures on the high seas and at foreign ports. Yessiree Howard Pease's characters really lived. / Here in Poston we have a Dept. of Sociological Research whose job it is to record the effects of the evacuation. Every now and then I have a "bull session" with one of the fellows who work in the dept. We discuss why we don't get along with people from other areas, juvenile delinquency, church attendance, schools, gossipers and their effect on the community, human behavior in general, nisei vs. issei (first generation) and so on into the night. Thus far we haven't gotten very far with definite conclusions, but the Research Dept. has made quite a number of surveys which have brought out interesting sidelights. I haven't talked with my friend
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