Silly Grins

Monday, September 26, 2011

Years of Sorrow, Years of Shame: Enough with the Blame!

Part V of V

Photo:Trounce/Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Will!

Thank you for your note!

Four years ago my kids gave me this pc for my birthday. One of them thought I'd have no use for a computer, but the others prevailed, so I'm told, and now look at me, a retired department store "service a la clientele" (customer service) worker exchanging notes with academics halfway around the world! My kids roll their eyes and the grandkids assume I'm "on the computer again" when they phone and the line is busy!

I bet you think that a retired senior would have lots of time for reading and knitting and stuff, but you'd be mistaken! My friends are all busy all the time--a 78 yr old friend belongs to 3 bowling leagues and a bridge club, and if you want to catch her you'd better phone by 9 am! (And she had a knee replacement just 7 months ago)

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All this to say that I only now finished reading chapter 5 of Years of Sorrow, but by golly, I think it's the best book I've read about the internment! It's such a true reflection on the way we were. I laughed so much reading "Barbed Wire -and Beer' (page 130) and the following "Dumb Things Happen in a War". I've so often thought the same things as these two men. I thought the evacuation was not only racist and unjust, it was just DUMB -- think of the cost to the taxpayers! and for people may age living in Slocan with its fresh air and mountains and crystal clear rivers and mountain fed lake into which daring show off boys dove into off the cliff was a four year carefree holiday (what a horrendous sentence--but never mind--if you are an English teacher, you can cite it as an example of a VERY poorly constructed sentence !) 

I am so glad you reminded me of the book. It's been on my bookshelf for years. I think it was the title that threw me off. BTW, what did your friend think of it? 

I'm showing off by sending you a picture I took of four of my grandchildren with my digital camera. Aren't they beautiful kids? 

I have two more who live in Switzerland. 

Cheers from Canada



Your free time in retirement is well earned. Spending time with family, especially with grandkids, seems to be one of the best things a person can do. You are so fortunate to have happy, healthy grandchildren. 

Living away from community and family can be hard for me sometimes....but I am learning to make due with what I've got. And, funny enough, communities of people can be found here. For those willing to take another step, family too. 

As far as computers and technology go, E-mail and word processing allow me to become much more organized than what I was schooled for. Although "teaching English" is my livelihood, at this time, my credentials are nothing more than a BA and a non-Japanese passport. Reading books and looking at history have helped me pass the time now and again. TV is something I rarely turn on, even in Japan (it would help my language skills). 

You mentioned your friend who bowls and plays bridge. Although that game tends to be associated with purple hair, pink poodles, and retirement homes in Florida, I was turned on to it two years ago by a group of people up at the university (they needed a fourth). Weekly bridge games have been a great way to socialize and gossip while sharpening the mind-the best of everything!

Confidential WWII documents on relocation were released in the US in 1980. Within the past month or so I learned of a book published using that material for research.  Curiosity is getting the best of me on this one. 

Thank you for taking your time to correspond with me. 


So, folks, there you go. As it happened, a string of correspondence between two people about a topic. No, the communication wasn't perfect. And, yes, there may have been a few things that both of us missed, but that's not what I found to be important. 

This whole thing, asking questions, reading books, and (lord have mercy on my soul) communicating with people... yeah, it is hard sometimes. People have chips on their shoulders, bones to pick, axes to grind... who doesn't? 

What is kind of kind of irritating, is when people imagine that they are somehow above it all, no chips, no bones, no axes. Or when people get into the 'I'm more of a victim than you are' pissing contest. In my humble and I-probably-don't-even now-how-ignorant opinion, none of us is clean. Admitting that seems to take a heck of a lot of cojones, and very few people seem to choose that path and actually live that way.

Trying to figure out how to be more truthful and honest...we all could use it. But I'd be naive to think that it isn't dangerous (though not necessarily out of concern for my well-being). This is uncharted territory for me, but a little voice in my head, maybe my conscience, isn't going to let me rest.

Now, this is the end of this series, the...uh, 'prologue' to what will be the telling of a story about someone's experience, in her words, mostly. This will take some time and I sure hope to do her right in the telling of it. Notes from interviews, a recording or two, and maybe a few books, those are what I've got to go on.

So, what about the 'theme' and 'noble pursuit' you mentioned in the last post? 

The theme would probably be: Dispelling Myths. 

 And that...

Restful peace? "L" passed away only about a year ago, if I've got my facts straight. Left one heck of a dent on the Internet about the internment and relocation. She left this world maybe a year over the eighty mark. If heaven was full, I imagine they found a way to make room for her too**

But this is all prologue to the introduction of one heck-of-a-lady who can be described as embodying one of the virtues in this altered quote: 

"Young and beautiful people are freaks of nature, 
While the old and graceful are true works of art."

Yeah, she was a 'work of art'...

As for the never-resting, always-testing, never afraid to look anyone in the eye, call it like it is...she must have scared a few souls on both sides of the divide....'cause wherever they were arguing about finding a place for her, there must have been an understanding that she was going to need some room cleared. She lived three lives and wasn't too many years shy of one-hundred. No waiting in line for her, first class all the way to that VIP area.  I imagine she and Hurricane Betty would have gotten along just fine...and Hiroko too.

Just a few weeks ago, I was invited in for tea by another lady who'd been through it all at the tender age of two. She smiled and said, "People will start to ask the questions and perhaps a few will even be embarrassed and humbled by what seems to have been will all come out in time." There was no sense of urgency though, just a slight smile I swore I could have seen before and a tone that was somehow familiar. Almost like an oracle had spoken through her. 

Yeah, it's Monday.... the best the needed fourth can do. Close enough. For now, this ceremony is over...till the next one.

**see: angel bones (in last paragraph... and the last three sentences kind of resonate...all metaphorical, of course - it's just a blog, nothing more, nothing less)



  1. "What is kind of kind of irritating, is when people imagine that they are somehow above it all, no chips, no bones, no axes."

    I wrap myself in a quilted patchwork of my many complexes and issues. Keeps me self aware and takes away the obvious ammo if someone wants to get "real". I can't be hurt by words that I say to myself when need be. And most...knowing I'm wrapped in it...don't even try :)

  2. Chris: Mine would definitely be a crazy-quilt, bit and pieces from all over...haphazard/irregular/asymmetrical. Not too sure about how this helps my self-awareness though...a wiring issue is my guess. Bungee-jumping might make a difference (as long as I've got my Depends).

    I do need to check a few more 'under the hood' issues before maybe making this blog more accessible. Got one hell of an idea, but still feel the need to be patient...kind of fits with a something I once heard with regard to having a policy, making a difference, and being outstanding...the last part of which may depend on a number of things.

  3. "Not too sure about how this helps my self-awareness though"

    My issues and complexes are who I really am. Knowing them helps me know how they can adversely affect myself and I can avoid stepping in holes that my issues sometimes make me blind to.

    Like that...for me anyway :)

  4. living away from family and community... I am struggling a bit with that of late. These really have been months, maybe even years of retrospect, wandering and wondering. I am now about to embark on a new adventure, at this age that some people would describe as "in the middle" of it. Stupid? Maybe? Necessary? Likely.

  5. Bigg: Family and community...yeah, definitely a struggle. In terms of being "in the middle" of life, one of my groups was rudely awaken to the fact that that middle had already passed for one of us...which was kind of a reminder that life is a luxury. And can be one heck of an the brave ones so demonstrate.