Diary of Charles Mock

Sunday, May 30, 1943

Memorial Day—Ever since I can remember, this has been a memorable holiday, the kind that children remember because of their impressions. Strangely enough it has always been associated with warm, clear weather and the smell of lilacs in the air, in contrast to Independence Day, which has always been rainy, or at least spoiled by a shower at some crucial point. The food is improving gradually and we are beginning to get more to eat. Porky now insists that we remove hats and bow to all commissioned officers and give sentries on beat a clear path. Nothing else. Calhoun scheduled to go to Manila tomorrow and I hope the bus brings back a note from you.

My back has been lame from the shoveling yesterday but I went to sleep readily last night, so I guess the exercise was beneficial. I’m pretty thin but feel fine. Some of the conditions here are not so hot, although the J plans are complete for what should be an ideal camp. For instance, there are 4 toilet seats in the Gym for 543 men. The overflow from the septic tanks on the hill behind us are draining onto the athletic field: there are odors, particularly behind the gym, where another sewer drains openly into the creek. All the cooking is done in the open on wood fires. There are almost no medical supplies in camp. Things are OK but really, there’s not much margin and this place could be plenty tough very suddenly.

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