[Letter to Clara Breed from Tetsuzo (Ted) Hirasaki, Arcadia, California, April 22, 1942]
[ bio ]
April 22, 1942
Gift of Elizabeth Y. Yamada
1 letter and envelope from Tetsuzo (Ted) Hirasaki to Clara Breed.
April 22, 1942/Dear Miss Breed,/I received your swell letter yesterday morning, but was so busy that I did not get around to reading it until just now (11:00 AM.) I also received the box of barber equipment so that is now complete. It was better that you mailed them in installments, for if you had mailed them all at once I would have had a deuce of a time trying to carry them all. Besides it would have made many of the other people feel bad seeing one fellow getting so much at one time./The postal setup here is getting better now. At first they had the Japanese boys who had had postal experience prior to coming here to Santa Anita working under supervision of a postmaster from Arcadia. They did very well, and things were going smoothly. Then they decided to bring in postal employees from Arcadia to work in the Camp Santa Anita Postoffice. The Japanese boys were released, and boy did those poor Arcadia men take a beating!!! We did too. They did not know one Japanese name from another and we had to stand in line for hours before we could get our mail. Finally the postal authorities "got wise" and placed the Japanese boys back on the job. Now we have a Main post office near the administration buildings, handled by the Arcadia employees, and a branch located in the "town" that is handled by the Japanese boys. The branch handles just the letters. We have to go to the main post office for an parcel post./ On the question of sealed packages, if a person wants it to go as parcel post, he must write on the package that the package may be opened for postal inspection. Otherwise he must pay first class postage./At the present time I am a messenger during the day and barber at night. The mud here is not so bad, just in places it is gooey. I have just finished giving haircuts to the hospital staff. I am glad to report that the Dr. Tanaka, our San Diego doctor, was finally placed on the staff. Now that I am barbering my arm seems to be getting better all the time. I am glad you heard from my father. I have not received news from him as yet./ The menu here is very nice but--the food isn't prepared as well as could be expected. For breakfast we have coffee, buttered bread, jelly or jam, one egg, and prunes (sometimes we have 1/2 orange or grapefruit or 1/2 banana) For variety in stead of the egg we have a box of corn flakes or Wheat-o-nuts (bird-seed to us). For lunch we have tea, bread (unbuttered), stewed vegetables, canned fruit. Sometimes we have rice, with fish. Other times we have beans. On specialldays we have roast meat. For supper we have tea, bread (still unbuttered) beans, and a canned fruit. Of course, I almost forgot. We have sugar, salt, and pepper. The tea and coffee are such in name only. So you see the food situation can be improved greatly. I have spoken to the officials in charge and I am sure after talking with them that conditions will improve. The mess halls are cafeteria style if lining up for food is such. Everyone receives the same food. The mess hall that seats 5000 is the RED MESS HALL. It is in the main building where the pari-mutual windows are, under the grandstands./We are living in the stable buildings that have been converted into barracks. The Army style barracks are all located on the huge Santa Anita parking lot. They are only one story high. They are the same as those in Manzanar. We are using the race track and the grandstand area as recreation areas. We are getting up a softball league. Teams are being made up of the people from the various areas. San Diego and Chula Vista are represented. Some of the others are Long Beach, San Pedro, Gardena, San Francisco, Hawthorne, and a few others that I cannot think of at present. Fusa just came in and told me to tell you that she is not going to write to you until you answer her letter. She says that she is "mad as blazes."/I am kept rather busy messengering as I have to go from th
All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (email@example.com).