Dear Miss Breed: Letters from Camp

Clara Breed
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Gift of Ms. Elizabeth Y. Yamada, Japanese American National Museum (93.75.31G)

Avenue 7, Barrack 1-C, Unit 20
Santa Anita Assembly Center
Santa Anita, California
April 13, 1942
Dear Miss Breed,
Here is the letter I promised you. Little did I think that I would see Santa Anita, where once trod the millions of pleasure seeking fans of the sport of kings -- horse-racing. Why I'm actually treading the ground where the mighty Seabiscuit won his great duels on the track.
I am in good health and my arm is getting along fine. I received a doctor's order so I am allowed to have milk with my meals. The food here is about the same as the food at the county hospital with the exception of less meat here. Now that we have a number of San Diego men working in the kitchens the food has improved quite a bit, especially with the salads. I have heard that we are to receive meat soon, but I think it will be mostly stew because we are not allowed knives, just a spoon and fork as eating utensils.
The state rooms that we live in are not bad since the roof didn't leak at all during he rains that we had -- which reminds me that we certainly lucky that it didn't rain while we were being assigned to our quarters. I think I have the autograph of Blue Sun on our wall. I thought it was Seabiscuit's but my friend who lives near the center of town claims that his wall has Seabiscuit's signature. You see I live in the bachelor quarter on the edge of town. I am with four fellows from S.F. who are former members of the merchant marine engine gang of the Matson Lines. Two of them are alright but the others and I don't seem to get along. I am awaiting permission to move to another unit with a group of S.D. fellows.
I finally received my messenger's job. The way it requires "pull" is terrific, & one does not have friends or is not able to bluff, he just about doesn't receive a job. Things are changing however because results are not in proportion to the amount of labor hired. Ability will count more and more from now on.
April 14, 1942
I am writing this letter in sections during my spare time as you can see by the above dateline. Yesterday (the previous page) I mentioned that ability is going to count more and more. How true today, for last night the head man of the personnel dept. gave orders that no more people are to be hired by dept. heads, that all requisitions for workers are to be filled by Mr. Horn, personnel dept. Head.
I really like this messenger's work as that was what I wanted. Yesterday I covered the whole section in which living quarters have been established. Pretty close to 80 barracks. What a walk!!!!
I am getting to like this place very much, the view is wonderful with the mountain (I don't know the names yet) practically in our back yard. Santa Anita must have been truly beautiful when it was in session, since it looks beautiful now.
The children of the younger age groups are now being organized by the Recreation Department. The schools aren't set up as yet, but the Recreation Department is going to do what they can for the young children in the way of education.
Please send me my barber equipment. I think they are packed in the small boxes. One has a York Co label, the second I believe has Sandwich Spread written across it, and the other I cannot recall (it is 4" x 6" x 8" about the size of the York Co box). I would also like to have my blanket roll as it contains the barber towels.
The address is:
Tetsuzo Hirasaki
Ave 7 Barrack 1C Unit 20
Santa Anita Assembly Center
Santa Anita, California
Well, I can't seem to think of anything else to write so until the next time I'll say so long with best wishes to you and your mother.
P.S. Please excuse the condition of the letter.

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