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Santa Cruz County History - Executive Order 9066 and the Residents of Santa Cruz County
Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. June 22, 1942. p. 3
READERS' REFERENDUM--JAPANESE LIKE FOOD AT SALINAS CENTER
by HENRY TANDA
To the Editor:
We have been in the Salinas assembly center undergoing new experiences for nearly two months. At first, things were not so well organized but today as we are almost ready to make our next move to our relocation center, everything is running smoothly through our efforts of the past month.
Many improvements have taken place since the first day. Food, work and finding something to occupy our time and mind was, we believe the first thing that was in the minds of the people. The majority of them had to adjust themselves to the change of food and gradually as time passed, the supplies increased, so that today the people in the center are enjoying food that they really enjoy.
All the improvements in the messhalls and kitchens were due to the untiring efforts of L. C. Leval, chief steward and Sidney Harris as head chef. They have been sympathetic and understanding towards us. They were able to receive cooperation from the Japanese cooks and messhall employees to make everything easier for everyone concerned and more contented. The work has been distributed equally and responsibility placed upon those who could bear it.
We have our own committee and representatives from the staffs of each messhall. These meetings, plus the executive staff meeting is going far towards making things easier for everyone concerned. In other words, our chief steward tells us what has been requisitioned and our menus are made out on a sort of cooperative basis. We have some who want American dishes and some who enjoy the Japanese dishes, but this, however, has been well balanced and here is two of our sample menus arranged for Sunday and Monday.
SUNDAY'S MENU: Breakfast, half grapefruit cold, scrambled eggs with fried bacon, buttered toast, coffee, milk, bread butter. Dinner, tomato with rice soup, roast sugar cured ham, fresh string beans, baked potato, head lettuce, french dressing, chocolate layer cake, orange sauce, tea, butter, bread, milk. Supper, assorted cold cuts, rice, mixed fresh vegetable salad, sliced tomatoes, mayonnaise dressing, mustard, American cheese, ketchup, whole orange, bread, tea, milk, butter.
MONDAY'S MENU: Breakfast, sliced peaches on shredded wheat, hot cakes, syrup, coffee, bread, butter, milk. Dinner, navy bean soup, steamed frankfurters, boiled cabbage, macaroni with tomatoes, cottage pudding with lemon sauce, tea, bread, butter, jelly. Supper, Sukiyaki (Japanese beef dinner), rice, celery, fresh green onions, daikon, prune whip, vanilla wafers, tea, bread, butter.
When we read about the disturbances in the other centers and from letters that we receive from out [sic] friends in other centers, we realize how fortunate we are in having the people that we do have operating our messhalls and kitchens.
We, of course, hate to leave this vicinity and we don't know if we will be welcomed back, but we sincerely hope we will, because we all in our hearts and in our minds are truly American and for the United Nations' cause, we, who all hope and know will win in the end.
In order to show our appreciation for the efforts that these men, L. V. Leval and Sidney Harris, put forth in our cause, we wish to make this public acknowledgement before our departure to the new destination in the near future.
President of the Salinas valley chapter of Japanese American Citizens league, chairman of the messhall and kitchen staff of Salinas W.C.C.A. assembly center.
Copyrighted by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian. Reproduced by permission.