Tues. Oct. 17/44

And it is still rainy. But the garden grows right along and we have string beans and green corn. This garden track becomes more valuable to us as our food rations are being cut every week. I have a new job now. With a crew of five men I am in charge of carrying the food from the main kitchen to our barracks and then ladle it out to each person in as even distribution as possible. Rather a hard task when everybody is desperately hungry, and food is lacking.

Today we three younger boys had our turn of wood carrying again. There is a lack of transportation, and from 30 to 40 men must go up on the mountain each day to carry wood down. It was very wet and muddy today. We have “alerts” and “air raids” frequently now. Sunday we saw a large flight of our planes go over. It was a beautiful sight. I wish the end would come soon.

Our conversation often turns to food these days. Actually I never saw so many ribs before in all my life. Willie is very thin, and although Leo is not so thin, he has much trouble with his stomach. There is absolutely no choice of food now. Take the little there is or leave it. Often after meals, unless we are in a hurry to go to work, we sit and talk of food — good food. Willie will often mention that he would like some good toast, and we have had no bread for about two and one half years. Then that sets us off, and we go all through the various breads, to pies, to cakes and then back to the butter and through the milk products, cream, cheese etc. I would like some beef, mashed potatoes and gravy.

We think of macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with cheese and tomato sauce. We run the gamut of salads, from raw vegetables to fruit. We think of pancakes and waffles. We yearn for a drink of milk, one bite of an apple, fried chicken. We ask each other if such things exist anymore. Pie ala’mode is mentioned, and some one is so far gone they ask, “what is that?” Our mouth waters when we think of peas, carrots, lettuce, potatoes, beets, roast beef, lamb chops, and remember we have not seen any of these things for months, yes, for years. Candy, chocolate, honey would be the food of the gods to us. One would like a dish of strawberries and cream, another a peach cobbler. How about a sunkist orange or a Washington Delicious apple? And the prune, humble prune, I would mortgage my life for a mouthful.

A few days ago I was reading a story about a boy who lived on a cattle ranch in the U.S. Incidentally it told of his breakfast. He put a large hot cake on his plate, slid two fried eggs from the platter on the cake, and then put another cake on top. I could not continue the story. It was impossible!