Calmed but still sniffling, with Mom finally on a train to Santa Clara, I asked.
"Mom, what happened when you got to the Santa Clara train station?"
"Train stop. Train uniform ticket
man, he say, Santa Clara, me get out.
It little station, no many people. I ask people, where you go pick beans? No one know where go pick beans, think me crazy China girl with baby.
Portuguese lady, she hear me, she listen, she smile, she take me in car, drive to country. She find bean farm. It little farm, no big farm. She go out, she talk woman in old house, woman come out house, go car, see me, young girl, she see Rickie in blanket. She small, like me but Japanese, no enemy Jap, she nice, take me house, feed Rickie, feed me
She take us little bed, I sleep good but up early, pick beans. She take care Rickie, I learn pick beans with her husband, he Japanese too, but American. They live in camp in war.
After no more beans, Rickie, we go farm to farm. Farm women talk, help, know I Pinay Hawaii girl not China girl, no family, work hard but no know how I have Rickie, or bad things I did. I work good, some pay me clean house, some baby sit, some me cook for pickers better than picking. Pick prunes too, get 25 cents box picked. Easy pick, off ground.
No afraid more, happy, me and Rickie. I get away but no happy for Burma
girl, sad for Burma girl, other girl too.”
With things looking better for Mom I stopped crying. I needed Dad in the picture. I had to get back to what every girl wants to know how.
"Mom, how’d you meet Dad?"
She smiled, her tears ceased.
Relieved by this turn, I smiled too. Finally something good was obviously going
to happen to Mom.
"Things good, farm women help.
Priest, he hear of me and come find me. I get confession. I tell him my bad
things. He forgive me. Tell me, I not go hell. Tell me no worry about hell. I
not go hell, he …. promise, no hell. He tell me I good, not bad. He know
people, he get me work, I work Hawaiian Gardens. You know, it big restaurant. I
waitress, wear sarong, grass skirt but cover dede.