Monday, March 4, 2013

April 24, 1954 B Writes a Letter, Classes Resume and Preparations for Sailing Begin

Dear Mother & Dad,

"I just started to type this letter when Bobby came running in to show me a couple of green frogs he had just caught and Ann had a bottle she had found. Bonnie is over talking to the next door neighbor, so I don't know whether I'll get very far with this letter or not.

We have had company for the last two days, and they just left this morning.  The man is a Fulbright psychologist who is spending the year at Nagoya, about 125 miles northeast of here.  They had been on a combination sight-seeing and lecture trip to Hiroshima and were on their way back to Nagoya.

He is a psychologist at a state hospital at Elgin, Illinois.  Tomorrow morning we are going to Hiroshima to visit there until Tuesday evening.   I have to be back for a class on Wednesday morning, but we will probably have enough time to see the sights there anyway.  The trip should be very nice since the train travels along the Inland Sea much of the way.

My classes started this past Wednesday and I have about 40 in one class.  That is quite a jump from last semester when I had that in both classes.  I will have just about 10 weeks of classes now since the last class before the summer vacation is on June 30.  After that we shall have ten days or two weeks to get ready for sailing.  I think Bonnie told you last week that our ship was scheduled for about July 15 and I think that is the date for sailing from Yokohama.  From there it goes non-stop to San Francisco, but we may go on board at Kobe since it will be so much closer and more convenient with all our baggage.  Also if the sailing date should be postponed we could just stay in the house here until time to leave.  If we wait to board at Yokohama, we would have to live in a hotel until the ship left.  If we sail from Kobe, we will be on the ship two or three days more, but we would have a chance to get off at a couple of ports and see the city while the boat is loading and unloading.

The next few weeks before we leave will go in a hurry and we have started to think about some of the things we will have to do.  Today we packed away a bunch of winter clothes.  We just put them in a trunk with moth balls so they will be already to go.  We really didn't need to pack so soon, but we won't need the heavy clothes any more, and also we wanted to get the dark things put away before the rainy season.  Sometime  late in May or in June the rainy season comes, and it sometimes rains every day for two or three weeks.  From what they say around here it is quite a problem to keep dark clothing and shoes from mildewing.

After our Hiroshima trip, we don't have any definite plans for trips, but we do hope soon to go to Toba to see the oyster-pearl beds.  We can go there and back the same day.  I do hope to go see some school people in Osaka, Kobe, and Kyoto.   One of the men in the Fulbright office in Tokyo used to be with the Ministry of Education so he knows lots of people in the schools and he gave me introduction cards for people in those three cities near here.  I would also like to visit some of the schools nearby.

One day this week we went into Osaka to get Bobby some shoes.  It is hard to find shoes that fit since most of them made here are much too wide.  The people wear geta (wooden sandals) so much that I guess their feet spread out and they have to have wider shoes when they wear leather.  We found some for Bobby though and he had some tennis shoes not long ago.  They make lots of tennis shoes here, and export lots of them to the U.S. I expect.  Bonnie is having her a pair of crepe-soled walking shoes made.  I like the tailoring on my suit and topcoat so much that I am thinking of having another suit made.  This winter I have worn those two suits I got in Lebanon three years ago, and they are getting pretty thin now.  They have been good ones and I have worn them almost constantly this year.  If I get another suit I think it will be gabardine.

Tell Mabel Ann that we enjoyed having her letter this week.  Today we had a letter from Bonnie's mother and one from Beulah.  Yours came earlier this week, so we have had quite a lot of mail.  Tell Sister her tea set was sent on March 18 from Kobe, so if it isn't there yet it should be soon.

Dad, I remembered today the money you gave me last August before we left and said it was for my birthday.  So thanks for my birthday present.  I won't spend it today on my birthday, but it won't be long before we will be back where dollars will come in handy.  Also I had a nice birthday card from Bonnie's folks.  We still enjoy getting the Richland Mirror from them."



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