April 23, 1942

Just as I gathered my frying-pan, dishes, and other utensils from under my bed in preparation for lunch, three American men entered the room, armed with a steel tape measure. As they measured the dimensions of the room and recorded them in a notebook, I became suspicious.

“How do we stock up for space with the other rooms?” I asked.

“Why, you girls have plenty of extra space!” one of the men answered.

My worst suspicions were confirmed, and I knew that soon more women would be squeezed into Room 25.

“My legs and thighs are black and blue now,” said Margo in an undertone.

“Why, you couldn’t swing a cockroach around here!” I replied indignantly.

We had become so accustomed to walking sideways to avoid hitting beds and other objects that it had become second nature to us. With an increase in our census, we’d probably have to hold our breaths and suck in our stomachs as we passed in the narrow aisles.

This week’s camp paper described this congested situation beautifully as:

Ouestion “Do you feel that your present quarters insure you sufficient air space?”

Answer: “Show me the air, and I’ll get the space!”

Question: “What would you do to improve the camp?”

Answer: “Open the gates.”

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