The Past Arrives by FedEx

A box of stuff came to me by way of my cousin. In it, dozens of letters and pictures pre and post WW II. Only two pictures appear to be taken between the years 1942-1945. One shows my aunt and uncle sitting in front of a tiny Charlie Brown style Christmas tree in their Salt Lake City home. The picture, a b&w, is about 2″ square, and my aunt appears to be holding some sort of a gift.  A watch, maybe, or a hat – it’s nearly impossible to tell at that scale.  The other photo, also about 2″ square, is of my uncle’s typewriter.

My aunt was a journalist during WW II, she and her husband Larry relocated from California to Utah to run an English language Japanese newspaper called the Pacific Citizen.  I’ve been writing a children’s book about my aunt’s life, but struggling with the information gaps.  My cousin’s box of stuff filled in many of those gaps, but I’m still amazed by how few photos exist, at how little there is to document a life lived during the war years. The government not only uprooted and relocated over 100,000 people of Japanese ancestry during the war, but they also succeeded  in obliterating much of those family’s histories.

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