Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Describing Tokyo's street system

This past weekend a very important character in this story passed away:  Bryant Holsenbeck Moore, Frances' little sister, died in the morning hours of Monday May 31st in Atlanta at the age of 91.  She is survived by her daughter Margaret, who we have read about a lot in recent letters, and her son Thom, who was born after these letters were written.  She will be buried next to her husband, Carl Moore, at Arlington National Cemetery some time this summer.  She was our family historian, keeping records and family minutiae that will be invaluable for future generations, and I was happy to have been able to spend some time with her during my 12 years in Atlanta.

This is just a quick letter from Maj. Gillham written on a surprise day off, for Washington's birthday.

22 Feb 1946

Dearest Darling,

After pulling out of bed this morning and going to the office, we were informed that it would be a holiday and we could have the day off to celebrate Washington's birthday.  Most of us just stayed on and worked a while.  This afternoon I went with Dick Wilson down to an undamaged area near the Imperial University. The stores were mostly second-hand book shops and the like.  It was a very interesting part of town.  I got some Victrola records of Kabuki and Geisha singing.  I also got one children's record, but I suspect the tune of being English or at least European.

One thing that makes it difficult to find your way around in Tokyo, or any Japanese city, is that the streets have no names.  Only areas are named and these sometimes contain many blocks.  The block within the area is numbered, but no order for this number seems to apply.  Next, the houses are numbered within the block but chronologically according to the dates when they were built.  Add to this a street plan which is a combination of Boston and Atlanta and you see what the problem might be.  One officer told me that he recently hunted all day for an address and finally found it -- a pile of ashes.

Enclosed is a picture that Wilson took of me recently while I was taking some of that last batch I sent you.

Loads of love,