[Letter to Clara Breed from Louise Ogawa, Poston, Arizona, November 11, 1942]
[ bio ]
November 11, 1942
Gift of Elizabeth Y. Yamada
1 letter and envelope from Louise Ogawa to Clara Breed + sample of picked cotton. See 93.75.31JO regarding the cotton.
November 11, 1942/Dear Miss Breed,/Since the last time I wrote nothing exciting has occurred. We are all in the finest of health. I hope you will receive this letter in the best of health./Saturday, Nov. 7th I experienced something which I shall never forget. I went cotton picking with my fellow school-mates to raise funds so the school will be able to have a school paper./We left home at 8:30 A.M. on a cattle truck. We were going bumpity bump down the narrow dirt road when all of a sudden we came to a halt. We quickly jumped ot our feet and saw a little house with a military police sitting in it. Then we were counted like cattles and again were on our way. We went winding through the Mosquite trees until finally we were surrounded by cotton plants. Everyone cried out, "Well, here we are--let's get busy!" After piling out of the truck like ants, we were given a large sack in which to put the cotton. This sack was very very long. It weighed 2 lbs and often got in our way. We flung the bag over our left shoulder and began picking the cotton. I often crawled on the ground to pick the fallen cotton. It certainly was a good thing that I wore slacks and a long sleeve blouse because, you get scratched all over. I picked the long staple cotton./A.--long staple cotton--small cotton which is very hard to pick--4 c. a lb. in the price/B.--short staple cotton--large cotton which is much easier to pick for it is the larger cotton but the price is 1 c. a lb./It certainly is a boring work. It is no wonder that the negroes have developed such a talent in singing. But I enjoyed it tremendously. This is the way we looked:
[drawing]/Please use your imagination for it'll help a lot. This bag holds 150 lbs. or more cotton, the man said. I only picked 14 lbs. but I tried! I was disappointed./We stopped work about 4:30 P.M. and were taken to the trading post which is about 8 miles on this side of Parker. The trading post was one of thise country stores where they sold from shoes to food. There were many Indians there. That is where they do their shopping./One thing I missed was water. It was like being in the middle of a desert. When we arrived at the trading post, we ran in the store expecting to buy a soda. But to our disappointment no cold drinks were sold. Even though I had no water and came home exhausted I enjoyed every minute of it. It certainly felt good to get home!!/Today all the elderly people and invalids received a mattress. My father received one but I'm still a little spring chicken so the straw mattress is good enough for me!! I have heard linoleums are going to be laid on the mess hall floors. I think this is wonderful./Since school began the first school affair was the Junior Jubilee. It was a social put on by the Junior class. It seems to have been very successful. The seniors are going to have a social soon. I hope this will be successful too./Every morning I see men with packs on their backs walking toward the east to the plateau for petrified wood and mineral rocks or toward the west to the Colorado River to fish. This seems to be the main activity for the older folks./
My! I am practically writing a book and I do want to hear about you. I imagine the library work keeps you busy as usual. I heard San Diego is a boom town too over-crowded for words. I probably won't recognize S.D. now./Do write during your leisure hours for I just love to hear from you./Hoping to hear from you soon/Louise Ogawa/Ps. I enclosed a piece of cotton I picked. It has the seed in it. I wanted to send you a few branches but I was told it would not last so I changed my mind./November 12th./Today it was my great privilege to hear Mr. _____ speak to us. He is the assistant to Mr. Ickes, Sec. of Interior. He came to see how we were getting along--as a special mission for the President. He seemed quite please with this ca
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