[Letter to Helen McNary 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 Helen McNary.
November 11, 1942/Dear Miss McNary,/This is Louise who is getting blacker and blacker by the minute in sunny Arizona. Since the last time I wrote nothing exciting has occurred. We are all fine and I hope you will receive this letter in the best of health too./Saturday, Nov. 7th, I experienced something I shall never forget. I went cotton picking with my 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 to our feet and saw a little house. In it sat a military police who counted us like cattles. Then we were again winding through the Mosquite trees until finally we were surrounded by cotton plants. We all cried, "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 bag 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. It certainly was a good thing that I wore slacks and a long sleeve blouse for you get scratched all over. I often crawled on the ground to pick the fallen cottons. I picked the long staple cotton./A.--long staple cotton--small cotton which is hard to pick--the price is 4 c. a lb./B.--short staple cotton--large cotton which is much easier to pick but the price is 1 c. a lb./I hate to mention how much I picked but I'll be bold and tell you. But before I do promise me you won't laugh! I picked only 14 lbs. Now, isn't that sad? I only made 56 c. for the school. But when you add up all the students who picked 14 lbs. I guess the amount will be much greater. If I ever have a chance to go again I'll try to pick much more. At least this time I'll know how to go about it. You see, we were given no instructions as to how we should pick it. We were told to pick everything that was white either on the plants or on the ground./Cotton picking certainly is a boring job. It is no wonder that the negroes have developed such a talent in singing. But I enjoyed it tremendously. We also sang songs and cracked jokes while working./Do you remember Emi Himaka and Kikuye Kawamoto (one of the twins)? Well, in the morning Emi picked 4 lbs. and Kikuye picked 5 lbs. and I picked 6 lbs. But my other friend who is formerly from Visalia picked 8 lbs. Then in the afternoon Emi, Kikuye, and I together picked 18 lbs. We put all the cotton together in one bag. Emi carried the bag. Emi and I had to carry the bag together to take it to be weighed. We didn't expect it to weigh 18 lbs. Even though we didn't accomplish as much as we would have liked to we had a great deal of enjoyment./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 spring chicken so the straw mattress is good enough for me!/Oh by the way, this is how I looked when I went cotton picking: [drawing] Please use your imagination for it'll help alot./
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 was very successful. The seniors are planning to have a social too. I hope this w
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