May 5, 1944

We had a casual conversation with Father Barter last night in which we told him of Bedie digging under the house. He said he had watched him out by the bank. I kidded him that we would allow him one third interest in our Underground (Curt being a third) if he would help on the project. I never dreamed he would take it seriously, but to Bedie’s and Curt’s delight he came to use a pick and shovel for them for awhile at noon. We may have some fun over this yet.

Jo loaned Jerry P100. It seems like the hand of the Lord!

On the Board: “Hours 9 to 12 a.M. 2 to 4 P.M. By appointment. The dentist wishes to announce the reopening of his dental office in its new location at the hospital on May 6, 1944. The hours above are on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Please make appointments at the office, to avoid emissions or duplications. . . . The dentist wishes to express his gratitude to the Commandant and his staff for their helpfulness in bringing in the equipment to camp. . . . In order to correct any misunderstanding which may exist in the minds of the camp members regarding dental service, I wish to make the following announcement. This service is not a camp project but is a part of the personal services which have been rendered to the camp. With the exception of the limited supplies purchased with the Red Cross Relief Funds, the materials and the equipment are the personal property of the undersigned and as such may be bestowed at the discretion of the donor as are other charitable donations. Signed by Wormrath.”

“Bestowed”! With all his former flourish and suavity, as though the opening were prewar and social. Many do not know what to make of it ask what he is driving at. Some ask if he is broke, leading up to charging for services at a time when no one can pay. Others ask, “Do you vote the right ticket to get an appointment?’’ A number who heard Dean’s fight with him, over a year ago [Actually, two years], when Dean wanted him to go out and get the cached materials from the Army Post before the Japanese came in, remember that these cached dental supplies were taken as were all the medical and hospital supplies by Dean at the same time. But Dean turned the others over to the camp hospital which the dentist did not. In this he was far ahead of the dentist who has only now produced it as personal property, reminding the camp that this is the case.

Things are happening almost too fast. The gardeners who thrive on their
own fresh veg, and the sun and air and quietness which comes with digging and growing things ——-the gardeners who have been encouraged are now being disheartened. There is a new ruling and all gardeners are called to a meeting to hear it. There are 30 odd gardens but only 10 gardeners may receive passes to go outside the fence to cultivate, water and pick the green things. There is despair among some who count heavily on their gardens,

The Opposition have seen all the cosy, attractive cubicles, with curtains and kitchenettes and dressing corners, happy families in each, children gathered around a home center, stability—no longer roaring and rolling up and down the centre aisle, screaming, colliding, fighting. Father is now a permanent part of the picture, his deep voice and firm hand quietly taking over when Mother’s frayed nerves turn her voice shrill. Many circles are complete. Children’s bad dreams and talk in sleep will grow less as stability creeps over the circle, from quiet evenings as father reads and smokes, and mother sews, all together—no longer hunting for each other or for a place in the crowded dining room where there is no room for family life. No longer will children tear about the parade ground or around the building long after dark until bedtime, overstimulated and keyed-up from dawn till dark. Communal life combined with Family Unit is a vital arrangement. They are all like new people. If only we had it too. Bedie is so disappointed and has a lame back from digging under the house. Cubicle or Bust is his slogan.

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