Diary of Tomas Confesor

34th Day, Jan. 29, 1945

San Francisco! Beautiful lights. Five o’clock in the morning cold—after thirty years—excited, surely.

An immigration officer got hold of us and almost put us up as prisoners.

We are met later on by Lt. Parker—a fine chap—of fine appearance— accommodating and a very likeable man. He immediately impressed me very favorably.

We eat a delicious breakfast of fruit juice, cereal, waffle and coffee for $.45.

Meet Col. Kune. We are being lodged in army quarters.

3 days from Tacloban to this city. In 1910 it took me 30 days from Manila. What a terrific change and transformation in speed of transportation.

Lt. Parker takes us to Keene’s office where the Col. informs us that our presence should be kept strictly confidential.

I have gone out to see Elma Stevenot in S. Rafael. What a meeting! It was hard. We recall Joe immediately. Both of us cried over his memory. I tried to console her. No, she told me, anything material that he left meant nothing to her. It was Joe that meant everything. I agreed with her. She showed me letters that she had received about him.

Certainly I grieve over Joe more than any one else. And I think more of Elma and her children than any one else near to me. I’ll do anything to help them. I shall work for them. I shall be ready to share anything that I may have with them. It’s my duty and responsibility to look after Elma, Margene and Shirley. For Joe’s memory, I must give them everything I can.

I am happy that Elma and the children have a nice and comfortable home, and enjoy the conveniences that circumstances permit.

This place reminds me of Baguio. Lt. Parker and I drove to San Francisco and went to Chinatown to eat chop suey.

Then I made purchases suit, overcoat, shirt, pajamas, etc. and had my eyes fitted with a new pair of glasses. The work was well done.

We are well accommodated at Hamilton Field. We enjoy all the privileges of the camp.

Lt. Parker is very helpful and accommodating.