[Letter to Clara Breed from Louise Ogawa, Poston, Arizona, August 27, 1942]
[ bio ]
August 27, 1942
Gift of Elizabeth Y. Yamada
1 letter and envelope from Louise Ogawa to Clara Breed.
August 27, 1942/Dear Miss Breed,/Greetings from far-off Poston, Arizona! We arrived yesterday about 3:30 P.M. It was a very long train ride--about 17 hrs. After leaving Barstow, we began to feel the heat. They say yesterday was a cool day but to us it was extremely hot./We traveled through desert after desert. There were many houses which looked as if they were built many years ago. We seldom saw a human being except when passing through a small town. One of the most beautiful scenery was when crossing a bridge which was right above the Colorado River. It is, indeed, a beautiful river./One common thing you see while coming here is--the beds and beddings are all placed outside the homes. It has been said that the heat is so hot that the people all sleep outside. It is very hot here. We traveled by bus through acres of cotton plants--so you can imagine the heat because cotton has to be grown in a hot climate./After leaving the train, we had to travel by bus--about 20 miles. We are in Camp No. 3. It is not quite yet completed. It is so sandy here that everyone's hair looks gray. Sometimes the wind blows but when it does the sand comes with it. This camp is so far away from civilization that it makes me feel as if I was an convict who is not allowed to see anyone. I'd much rather sleep in the Santa Anita horse stables--this has made me realize how fortunate I was to be able to live in Santa Anita. The nearest town which is a very tiny one is about 20 miles away. This trip has made me realize the wonderful work of nature. Her delicate work in shaping the stone mountains, the beautiful coloring of the surroundings--it seemed as if I was looking at the picture or a painting of a genius./This place differs greatly from that of Santa Anita. In Santa Anita we were allowed to keep a bucket and a broom in our homes until the time came to leave but in Poston we are allowed to BORROW a bucket, broom or mop for 1/2 hrs. This makes it very inconvenient because often they run out of them and we have to wait until one is returned. Even in the dining rooms we have to take our own spoons and forks. They provide just the knife and cups + plates and, of course, food. Yesterday I ate rice, weenies and cabbage with a knife. That was a new experience for me! You never realize how valuable a thing is until you experience it. The dining rooms are very small here because there is one to each block. There is about 16 barracks to one block. To each barrack there are 4 units. A laundry, lavatory, + shower are in each block. There is also an Recreation Hall to each block too. There is no post office here. There is one (just one) which is in Camp 1 (about 3 miles between each camp--so we have to walk 6 miles in order to go to the post office. We take our letters to the Block Manager and he inturn takes the letters by truck to Camp No. 1. That is how the mail is handled./The houses which we live in have a double roof. The regular roof and another one which is much larger on top of it. This is for the safety of the occupants in case of a dust storm./There is to be a movie Saturday night--and I am looking forward to it./Miss Breed, I lost one hour when the time changed to "war time"--well, I lost another hour because in Arizona it is mountain time which is one hour ahead of Pacific War Time./We have to mop the house every day because of the dust but it does not do any good because before you know it it's dusty again./My, this letter is getting too long and it's probably getting boring so I'll write again soon. If you have any questions, I'll be glad to answer them if I am able./I hate to ask you this but mother insists so I picked up the courage and decided to ask. Mother would like to have a paddle-lock costing between 75 c.--$1.00. She would like 5 keys. Would you please send me a lock and if not enough keys please have them made so it'll total to 5? I am asking too much when I ask you t
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