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Dec. 14, 1942

It is a constant struggle to get spoons enough to set the table, bowls in line, to keep track of tins or soap. Once a thing is set down and left, it is never there after sixty seconds. Pails disappear like magic, onion tops are snatched up, the mental process apparently being that it is not wanted and in the discard. It is a wild life of fighting to hold your own, to keep the little you have and not do others’ work way beyond your share.

Dr. Skerl is growing yeast for those needing Vitamin B. Jerry, whose ankles have long been swollen, has been much helped by it. Many with this symptom are on the verge of beriberi or pellagra (B-complex deficiency). Mrs. Tangen brought in the start of yeast. One thing leads to another—she advertised on the board to sell starts to those who are cooking.

The camp News for Dec. 14 says, “This was one of the ‘no’ mornings; no syrup, no salt, no coffee, at times no spoons, no plates; one of those days upon which a person, after a suitable wait in line, is served and sits down to contemplate the pleasure of eating soft rice, completely flavorless, with a fork, seasoning the mixture with what passes for a banana—the kind of a day one realizes, if he hasn’t already done so, where he is and why.”