Letter dated May 1, 1942. Elizabeth Bayley Willis Papers. Box 1. Manuscripts and University Archives, UW Libraries.
May 1, 1942Dear Mrs. Willis,
All is confusion here. I arrived just before noon yesterday. Today another and larger group arrived at noon. Last night I was given a job as a dishwiper.
The hours are very uncertain because of the confusion. Two shifts are in force -- morning and night. The morning shift is from 6 A.M. to 2:00 P.M. while the night shift begins at 12 noon and ends at 8:00 P.M. I'm on the latter.
(I left off at this point to go to work, and I also worked till 9:30 last night (overtime), therefore I must apologize for not being able to finish this letter on the same day.)
May 2, 1942The rooms here are 17' X 20' they claim, but it does not seem so big -- at least it's crowded -- after 8 beds and a stove (the only furnished necessities) take up 3/4 of the floor space and the baggage for 8 of us and ourselves taking up the other 1/4. Some families of over 5 members have acquired two apartments (that's what they call these rooms) but we have as yet not been so fortunate.
My address is:
Area A - Section 4 - Apart. 101
These are busy days for many, making makeshift tables, chairs, benches, etc. while others have acquired common laborer jobs which means doing miscellaneous work such as hauling baggage, etc., and still others, like my brother, are on the trucking crew.
I have not yet made inquiries about having a lettering class here once a week but I shall ask some of my friends whether it meets with their approval when I get the chance. I shall let you know about my results when I believe I have enough willing persons to make it worth your while to go to the trouble of getting permission to do us such an excellent service. If I fail in my mission -- well, I shall notify you on that score also. But there is a good chance that I shall succeed because there are boys here who are willing to peel potatoes for the reason that there is nothing else to do but load. I hope you won't mind teaching eighth graders whom I intend to include among my hopefuls.
If Kay Sato is still in your class I wish you would tell him that if he is send [sic] here, too, he will find plenty of work to do. About the only things he will need is a change of clothes (his half boots he works in while working with the railroad gang would come [in] very handy when it rains), a mirror, some hooks for clothes, nails, hammer, saw, ax or hatchet, toilet articles (toilet paper is furnished), and a few nic-nacs for his own pleasure. Of course he must bring his own bedding, clothes line and clothes pins.
There are 11 "avenues." 2 avenues constitute a block. At the head of each block and between the avenues are located the men's lavatory, women's lavatory, men's bath and women's bath in the order given.
I forgot to add to the things Kay should bring that a wash tub or a bucket to wash his clothes in will come in very, very handy.
The Post Office and temporary headquarters is located at the head of 2nd Avenue. There is also a tool shed at which place any person desiring the use of tools may borrow them. However it is very inconvenient to wait your turn and it also takes a long time before your turn comes.
A broom is another article he should include in his baggage if he wants his floors to be swept and if he does not wish to order them here and wait till the order arrives.
I must go to eat now and then to my job. Byt the way, breakfast is from 7 to 8 A.M., lunch from 11:30 to 12:30, and dinner from 5 to 6 P.M. There are six mess halls. I work in No. 4.