From Steveston to Greenwood

I was four and a half when we moved to Greenwood. I started kindergarten there. My sister Christine was born in Steveston. She was a baby when we went to Greenwood.

My father was sent to a road camp. We couldn’t live on the coast anymore. I thought that everyone went to Greenwood or Grand Forks in the interior, but apparently some of them went to Winnipeg and some to Alberta. I didn’t know this. I know that some people in my class went to Toronto, back east later on. And some of them went to Japan.

My dad came back to Greenwood before the war ended because my mom got sick. I was in Grade 1 when he came back in 1943 or so. My mom, Christine and I were alone for about a year and a half. We lived with relatives in a house with my aunt and my cousins. There was another family, the Shoji family. The three families lived together. The house had an upstairs so it was quite a nice house. They had indoor plumbing and a little kitchen with a wood stove.

Then we moved into building number 10 where there were a lot of people. I don’t remember why we had to move. My mom had to take turns cooking. She was given time to cook and to wash the dishes in this kitchen so it was important for us to eat at a certain time. I think that’s why even now, we eat at five o’clock because my mom would say: “Well, hurry up and eat, because I have to go and do the dishes.” Otherwise she would have to wait until everybody finished and there might not be hot water.

I don’t remember the trip from Steveston to Greenwood. The first thing I remember was that my mom took me to a fountain shop. I sat on a stool with my mom and Christine. There was my mom’s relative Mrs Kawamoto and her two boys. We had ice cream. That’s the only thing I remember about that time, and then starting kindergarten.

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