They married with makeshift rings, and Lyn wore a blue dress. She struggled at first to eat the oily, garlicky food, and she was horrified by the idea of eating more than one egg a week after living on rations for so long. Ben, who was unemployed, and Lyn, who by that time was pregnant, ended up living in a shack in the woods, surviving on potatoes brought to them by his uncles and aunts. The couple remained happily married, celebrating their 40th anniversary in Ben died in , but seven years ago Lyn met former GI Richard Smith with whom she has a close friendship.
I think, to be frank, the idea was to propose and get a bit of nooky. If they found someone to marry, it gave them a bit of permanence. After taking her out a few times, Bob was invited to meet her parents and impressed them with gifts of sardines, shampoo and eggs. Sylvia had to save up to fund her own trip to America, and was the first person she knew to travel by plane — a terrifying hour journey in a tiny aircraft, with four refuelling stops.
At first she could not find Bob. She stuck it out and now lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Bob died in having never shaken his gambling addiction. After a dashing lieutenant broke her heart, she got pregnant on the rebound and was forced to marry the father. Her husband, an older American officer called Lawrence McCaskill Rambo, was not quite the Southern gentleman he at first seemed. While the couple lived in a flat in London, he racked up debts which led to their eviction. Things went from bad to worse and he was kicked out of the army in She was shocked by the racism of the South, but when the couple moved to Akron, Ohio, where Lawrence worked for the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, life only got worse.
Lawrence spent all their money on alcohol, leaving them short of food. Lawrence tried once to see her, arriving drunk. Happily, she later met Patrick Denby, a management trainee at the company where she worked, who proposed after just two weeks. They married and moved to Geneva, taking the children with them for a new life. Patrick died in He waited outside her quarters every day until she agreed to go out with him. At the end of the war Raymond was sent back to America and Rae, now 89, recalls how nervous she was at going to join him.
And if I could have swum back, I would have. After at first trying to tough it out, Rae decided to pack her bags. Or disappointed. So they feel the same to what feel towards us, now I feel the same thing to young people. So we stayed at their house maybe a month. Then we moved to Kentucky, stayed two years, eighteen months actually. Went to Japan. And after we settled down in Washington State they come and see us. Just two weeks or ten days. SARA: Before the organization. Any other stories about when you were young?
Was it difficult to go back to Japan? So I went to Japan and stayed with my mom and dad for a whole year. And my oldest daughter was eighteen months old and I was pregnant then. My daughter was eighteen months, almost two years old, and when I talked to my daughter my mother copied just what I said and put it on notepaper.
And in six months she could speak good enough to talk to my daughter. And at the same time my daughter learned Japanese. So my mother is speaking English to my daughter and my daughter speaking Japanese to grandma. That was a good one. And one year I had a good time. I fulfilled, I did what I feel do for my dad and mom.
That is between and And the Vietnam War soldiers got hurt in Vietnam, come to a Japan hospital and some of them got married. Some newspaper reporter used to say , So actual numbers nobody knows. And England and Canada have quite a few. And New Zealand and Switzerland they have that too. Other countries I could contact but not in France. And this Tokyo reporter said War Bride land in Seattle back in First war bride land in Seattle.
We should do something. So what I did, and I did ….. The fortieth anniversary of Japanese wives into US, the title was. And I started writing a letter to everybody I know and all the Japanese newspapers in all the United States. So every time I moved, I moved to Kentucky and found some Japanese there to become friend. And every one of them have two three good friends. So if I write a letter to one lady, that lady have two, three other friends.
So when I had a convention in we had people showed up in Olympia.
What happened to the GI brides?
Washington State, Olympia. But anyway, reporter from Tokyo from the famous Osahi newspaper, Yomudi paper, and they have about fifteen reporters come to IWS. And one reporter from Los Angeles said I interviewed quite a few people and the question was after you come to United States when is the most happiest of time?
And I think two of them said this is it. So he said you know…he said just that made it worth doing that. I think so too. I had several speeches. The consul-general in Seattle and the mayor in Olympia and I had professors. And a lady, her name Mietche. I hope.
The way I heard everybody was proud of it. And Uke Matreo is helper. She was sixty-nine years old. Now, so Mrs. Tsuchino Forrester is Vice President right now. The last one we held in Hawaii. And for this one we had in Hawaii and the last one, number five, we had the same place, same hotel at the convention, we had people. From Australia, about ten, United States thirty…I think thirty states they come from. But a mini-convention. Worldwide is too much a job for me anymore. And most member is so-called war bride.
Ladies married after World War II and before s. So average age right now is 80 years old, 75 to 80 years old. And another lady went to college and at 70 years old they graduated. Even Japanese dance. The traditional dance. And Okinawan girls who married are young, 50, 55, some are forty years old. People married before the s you call a war bride. Because for the past fifty years, nobody knew we existed. Even in the United States, in Japan.
So I said you have to have a legacy to leave to young people. But now, because of this convention, because of this newsletter. And the Empress, Empress Mitchko, reads my newsletter. I met the Empress three times already and I think we could stop right now, still we did leave legacy.
I am satisfied with it. So people say what happens now? We stop right there after I quit someone could take over. Yeah, young people could take over.
But they think different than we are. When young people married and come to the United States they knew English already and they come here and have Japanese food. You talk about tough. That was the toughest for two years. Somebody could take it over. So Seattle have Sana Nikkei. I think Portland TWS is the most oldest. Forty-some years, the club. And Seattle my Vice President, she was the president for ten years so she could tell you. And Corrada have Tsirakada Nikkei.
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And California have Nikkei. And they have Massachusetts and Florida. They have smaller ones and some of them get together to talk or some of them get together to go to a restaurant. So they could talk to each other. They know what kind of place United States is. They know all about it before they get married. Much, much easier and more spoiled.
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Just like neighbors. No airplane. I said okay. So I picked people I think were good writers. I picked ten ladies and one husband, Colonel Silver. And wonderful book. Two ladies from Australia and the others from the US. And he say you write about what you experience from childhood to old age. To marriage and the club until now. So it took two years, we finally got it, I got it yesterday. Pioneer Kyroku. Forrester wrote that.
It will be real interesting. Takes a good four weeks to send it because ship. Japanese people are interested right now. But if I do it in English, and I know a lot of people, especially like my children and their children, grandkids, maybe two hundred thousand young Japanese brides living in this country and they could read the English. So probably I could send that. And the second one is a typical American girl. She drive a truck.
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She can even drive a semi-truck. Anyway, my youngest one is working in the post office for the last twenty years. And step-grandkids included, I have thirteen grandkids. And five great-grandkids. And everyone living in the Yelm community, somewhere around there. Everybody within ten minutes. The only grandson living in Boston. He graduated from medical school and he become a doctor really soon. I had a good life.
I have to say I have a good life. KAZUKO: That was when I had the convention and the newspaper reporter asked and the two ladies said this convention is the most happiest time in their life. Like a class reunion. Anybody, any marriage of fifty years you have a happy time. My husband been good to me. And one husband said to wife, you know I thought I married Japanese cute little kitten, but after you come to United States and you turn out to be tiger.
But you have to. The only thing we know is husband, nobody else. So you have to be…. This was my dream, probably my last dream for volunteer jobs. Then we got almost nine thousand books donated by those interested and quite busy right now. But unfortunately he died before I get to here. I come over to this country because for his funeral. So we got notified and leave next day and come over here so my trouble is I just …I say. I never been Tokyo or any other place either.
So they say if you want to get married to Americans, you have to take off the family register from the family. So I thought at that time and I wrote a letter to him. I say you are the professor, you teach younger peoples what is moral people to do. I should before war he tells you have to be honor to country…. So to me, after you knock the door someplace what do you want? You either get the answer yes or no. So I want to try to knock door for my life, not for your life.
So they went away to sent him home. But he still have one year left in Japans. So we kind of break up. So we decide to not stay, so I got vacation to my home at that time and he go to stay also. Then one night the APs and the Japanese toktas come knock on the doors of my house. They say your father has died so you have to go home.
Then I have to come back too myself because so much is able to do so quickly. So the red cross gave me peace letters, they say this girl is traveling such, such, such, so, please take care of her, so I hold that letter then I get in the airplanes and I come across the ocean all by myself. And the airplanes got to wait in Anchorage, Alaska, because at that time immigration takes so much time. So they take, everybody takes so long. So we missed the ride to Seattle and I was supposed to get to Seattle, change jet flights to New York that day, but I missed that one, so I have to stay Seattle all night.
They did a good job, they helped with everything and the family was there. Because I got the civilian flight so I got there two days earlier than him. So the airport family meet me and I went straight to the funeral parlor. To the wake. So everybody kind of carry us. But the grandma says nonsense just come and sit down by me. So I have to stay with grandma.