Dec 18, 2014

Mon, Dec 18, 1944: Christmas card

"Dear DeVere:- So glad to get a Christmas card from you and know where you are stationed.  Joseph is in New Guinea and Henry in the Rhine Valley so we are scattered far.  Sure hope Joseph & Joyce can get together he doesn't think they are very close.  And suppose it will be just luck if Henry & Dale & Wayne should run across each other but don't suppose they might."

-- Letter from Lillian Burge, Argenta, Ill., to my father, Boulder, Colo., December 18[?], 1944.  Henry and Joseph were her sons.  The other men mentioned were their cousins.

Dec 16, 2014

Sat, Dec 16, 1944: ethusiastic patriot

[language warning] "Incidentally we sang the Japanese Dept. song [at a graduation ceremony] -- words by Henry Tatsumi.  He's the fellow, whom I mentioned previously -- the one who keeps his World War I service button and his Navy key prominently displayed. Tatsumi, though of Jap descent, is one of the most enthusiastic patriots, I've ever seen.  Most of the naval officers distinguished guests, and teachers on the stage apparently mumbled the words to 'The Star Spangled Banner', but Tatsumi sang it lustily -- I noticed."

-- Letter from my father, Boulder, Colo.,  to my uncle, Bloomington, Kans., Saturday, December 16, 1944.  On this day, December 16, the Battle of the Bulge began as Germans launched a counteroffensive along the German border.

Dec 9, 2014

Sat, Dec 9, 1944: instructors

[language warning] "Most of the instructors are very prominent Japs.  Hayashi worked for an export company in Mexico City before coming here to work for his master's degree in economics in addition to teaching.  He's a very conscientious man and yesterday made two trips up to my room to make sure that I was all prepared for the test….
“Ozamoto had some interesting jobs before being deported from the West Coast.  He worked for the Hollywood NBC studios catching Far Eastern news broadcasts, and was in charge of a Reader's Digest broadcast beamed at Japan, when that magazine was planning to start a Japanese edition -- among other things."

--Letter from my father, Boulder, Colo., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., December 9, 1944.  

Dec 2, 2014

Sat, Dec 2, 1944: ironical quotation

“A rather ironical quotation from the Christian Science Monitor appeared in the Denver Post last Sunday.  At least it was ironical to us.  Perhaps you also, have read it.  Anyway it went something like this: ‘Don't gripe about gasoline rationing. It would be much worse to be learning Japanese.’…
“Our radio broadcasts in Japanese still are given every day at noon, and it's encouraging to note that I can pick up a stray word now and then.  Early this week we heard a transcribed rebroadcast of the Tokyo radio's account of the second B-29 raid on that city.  Following the meaningless (to me) jumble of sounds, the instructor next to me at the table translated it as being a claim that that 150 superforts had come over and 99 shot down.  Apparently, he and the other instructor at our table are not firm believers in the veracity of Tokyo reports; for I noticed that they had been chuckling together all through the broadcast.”
-- Letter from my father, in Naval Japanese language school, Boulder, Colo., to his family, Bloomington, Kans., Saturday, December 2, 1944.