Sunday, August 29, 1943

Apparently the camp is opposed to the proposed restaurant. Calhoun received quite a jolt, he looked dazed and a little angry at the monitors meeting last Thursday. The consensus was that until the line could serve something better than rice or beans with squash or camote and a cup of what is fondly termed “carabao sweat” there should be no camp restaurant. The subject was dismissed. I don’t know what was in the background, but I have an idea that there may be a large stock of canned goods or something somewhere in the picture. The fact is that if the proposition had been properly presented there would have been little opposition. As it was, there appeared to be something secretive in putting it over. Anyway, it’s out for the time being. No one liked the idea of Hornbostel at Santo Tomas buying sugar thru our canteen (allegedly) and sending candy here to be sold when none of the local boys have been permitted a license to manufacture and sell candy. The peanut butter project is under way and available at ₱1.15 per pint. The repatriates are practically on their way and some of them, old men for instance are pretty happy about it.

The camp kitchen, temporarily by the gym since our arrival, is moving into the barracks quarters tomorrow. This said that workmen will start on improvements within a few days and October. The time is flying by. Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have accounting, German and Spanish 1:30-4:30 Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday my history class 2:30-3:30 German every day 11:00-12:00, Spanish every day 9:00-10:00 p.m., English Literature Thursday 3:30, 4:30 shorthand with O’Mally Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 1:00-2:30 p.m. and as often in the evening 7:00-8:30 as possible. Analysis of Financial Statements Tuesday and Thursday 7:15-8:15, and Sunday afternoon 3:30-4:30 there will be an insurance discussion. I guess that’s all, but it’s too much for concentration and I’m only exposing myself to all of them because there’s plenty of time and I like variety. I have a monitors meeting once a week and that’s about the story. There are three ball games next week—I play on the average twice a week 5:45-7:00 p.m. Its quite a life—there are newspapers, I can read the Spanish fairly well now but there are very few rumors of the type that flew around Santo Tomás—the boys have been riding Jack Chapman since yesterday morning when someone passed him the next news that Bedloe’s Island been retaken with 4,000 prisoners. He passed it along to a group of fellows and apparently they let him develop the story until one of them let him know where Bedloe’s is. He’s been feeling pretty badly about it.


Thursday, July 15, 1943

Cal went to Manila today. Commandant offered information yesterday that new barracks would be turned over to us without electricity, running water and other than Chick Sale affairs for toilets, to say nothing of a lack of concrete floors and verandas. Cal is going to protest and try and delay your arrival here. I hope you come up anyway and that they move men into the barracks and leave the buildings to the women. I want to see you. Hope you send some peanut butter some time.


Saturday, July 10, 1943

No paper today, some say it was held at the gate because of the news. One copy came in contained something about expected naval engagements in South and Japanese claim that their major defense line, Sumatra, Java, Brunei and Celebes is impregnable. Wonder what you’re doing… I saw one of the kitchen help cooking a steak on an open fire out in front of God and everybody while I was choking over my mongo beans and squash this noon. I wrote a note to Calhoun and an investigation was underway before dinner time. He’s a pretty square guy… I heard today that one guy sold his pair of army shoes just issued to those who were “on their uppers” and lost the money at poker. After all the gab about the distribution of the shoes the whole affair is a mess. I sympathize with Bill McCandish in his utter distrust of 80% of the people of the camp. A new watch tower is being built on the hill near your old house. It’s high and overlooks the whole camp. I love you, pleasant dreams.


Thursday, July 8, 1943

Calhoun can’t get over Santo Tomás spending ₱475 for “pottie” washing equipment, does seem ridiculous when we can’t get lumber to patch hole in floor or pipe to repair defective septic tank that is draining on surface 30 ft. from living quarters. Wonder how far the Sit Down protest at Santo Tomas will go—talk is cheap enough but I’ll bet when the J. Mil. says move, they’ll move. I love you.


Monday, July 5, 1943

The glorious fourth is over and I’m suffering from a terrific hangover. Bill and I made honey yesterday and went to the hospital to have lunch with Mr. and Mrs. Curran. There was a vegetable salad, peas and corn, corned beef and pressed meat, pudding, bread, good coffee (yours) and fudge and peanuts. They asked the Lord’s blessing in their original fashion and requested the presence of you and Polly at the next such gathering. I love you darling. I wish you were here to take care of me because my stomach is rebelling and I feel like hell. We had beans and pork last night, maybe they should be blamed, at any rate I’ve been in distress since 3 a.m. today. Calhoun returned last night and it appears that some of the duds at Santo Tomas are finally convinced that the camp here is to be enlarged. The feeling is that Santo Tomas Authorities have deliberately refused to admit that the camp was to be moved and have regarded us as the unlucky guys that were sent to Los Baños. The refusal to release necessary equipment and charging us total amounts for things that will benefit those yet to come has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Classes started today and I enjoyed all three very much; particularly Newman’s German II.


Friday, June 4, 1943

The Filipinos are allegedly evacuating the Y tomorrow and we take possession Sunday—I wonder? Calhoun spoke to the crowd tonight. Said you were very crowded at Santo Tomás and there were no notes allowed thru the line. Food prices had caused CC to request increase from 70-85 cents per day from J, also that the ₱50,000 from abroad, was to be spent on medical supplies and distributed pro rata among the internees. I’m going to be able to take Accounting and another course or two. Guess the History is mine, looks as if I’d have a student or two this time. There were U.S. Army prisoners driving the trucks that came in with concrete tonight. They looked well fed and clothed. Porky refused to let the laundry go out of the camp today—arrangements had supposedly been made for men to send out laundry, but I guess they forgot to ask the captain of the guard.


Thursday, May 20, 1943

…Calhoun spoke over loudspeaker tonight, said news from Manila exceptionally good, etc. The news brought into Santo Tomás by some 70 reinternees is good, if we can believe what we hear. We have to remove hat and bow to sentries on point duty, there is one, sometimes 2 of them. But thing is to keep away from them. Fruit etc. is coming in great quantities…


Tuesday, May 18, 1943

About 2 PM, I’m sitting in front of cottage No. 2. M. Naismith just passed on his way to the Administration Office. I asked him if we were to go get the water by truck from Los Baños artesian wells today as promised (or almost) for drinking. He said it was all off, the captain of the guard will permit no one out to get it. We have the truck I guess, but what good is that? The boiled stuff we’re drinking is lousy. That Guard Captain will be increasingly popular as time goes on… Wonder if you’re still getting the Tribune, there was supposed to be a Sunday article on the new camp and interviews with Calhoun.Wish I had those cakes Dorothy Crabb baked –red ants, damn them, why didn’t you pack them in a tin can? The 12 nurses are now in the hospital, they’ve had a lot of trouble getting the use of that place. Dr. Leitch is finally there and in charge, although they’re removed some of the equipment, including the sterilizer. We certainly don’t rate very high in the scheme of things.

There was a ball game last night, I’m not much interested, haven’t recovered from the trip up. I weighed 67 kilos or 147.8 lbs. Saturday evening, the lowest I’ve been since about age 15. There is a serious question of water shortage and we’re just waiting. Yesterday morning M.P. called for 250 men to dig post holes for our barbed wire fence. There was nearly a sit-down strike and Naismith had quite a conference with the Commandant, who said the order was improper and assured us that further requests would come through his office in form of request for volunteers and there was nothing compulsory about it. Anyway I went along this morning because of a possible shortage, but 140 volunteered today so everything worked out OK –I worked with a couple of old codgers pulling concrete fence posts. Had a crew hair cut today, wonder if you’d like it, I think maybe. A gang of P.I. Constabulary just went by, maybe they’re our new guards? The canteen opened yesterday and we had coco milk in the morning mush. I’ve spent 95 cents since I left you and opened one can of milk. I think I’ll keep the cans, we may need them. I’m sure you’ll be here soon.

9:30 P.M. Small portion of chow tonight. Saw Lee and he has  had head shaved. The future doesn’t look very bright –the guards won’t even permit the carts to bring the fruit. Canteen men have to go to the gate with a truck. Earl told me yesterday that “just between us friends it was a good thing to get away for a while.” I grunted.