Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jeannette Rankin and WWII

Along with this letter of Dec 11th 1942, Dad included a copy of the Congressional Record with Congress woman Jeannette Rankin's speach on Dec. 8th 1942. She spoke on the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and as a congress person who voted against US entry into WWII. Her remarks are very interesting and ask questions about wether the US and Britain worked to provoke the Japanese into attacking the US, so that the US population would accept the idea of declaring war and help the British Empire out in the pacific. It is interesting that part of her argument is the use of 'economic sanctions' as a prelude to war with a nation. She quotes one source as saying " Japan has no choice but to go to war or to submit to economic slavery for the rest of her existence." She also includes a quote of Congressman Sumners of Texas on April 4, 1942 "We have been a very foolish people, which has made it possible for ___ politicians to get away with murder. This blaming the Peal Harbor tragedy on the Japs is like the fellow who had been tickling the hind leg of a mule trying to explain his bunged-up condition by blaming the mule for having violated his confidence." It reminds me of the phrase "Chickens coming home to roost" after the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, used by a professor at the University of Colorado, who was highly criticized for his statements. We seem to be less open to critics of our foreign policy than we were in 1942.
Congresswoman Rankins speech is 3 pages and rather interesting to read.

December 11, 1942

C. P. S. #23
Coshocton, Ohio
Dec. 11, 1942

Dear Folkes,

I don’t have time to write much, but I’ll make it good. Things have really been happening around here. The camp is to be cut down to 35 men very soon, there is to be a bunch of 39 men to leave here the last of next week for a camp in Oregon. They hope to get enough volentiers, but most of us are pretty happy here. We knew that this was coming sometime but hoped that some of our men in Washington could avoid it. The reason seems to be professional jealiousy and a polititions promise to have us moved out of here before election. He didn’t get in done that soon but we have been getting better work done here than was done when it was run by Gov’t men and CCC boys. Nobody knows the exact reason but that is the most popular guess.

I’m going to be one of the 35 if possible. If I have to go west I hope to get in a camp quite similar to this one at San Deimis Calif. I don’t want to go to Oregon very bad, however if it cam to drawing names out of a hat I would go if I was drawn.

If I have to go west this winter would you like to have me take my furlough before I go or wait till next spring? I think I would be about twice as far from home as I am now either place in the west. Maybe I could help with the corn if you don’t have it done by now. I have about 8 days now and next spring I will have about 20. If I come now I will have to get back here before Christmas as all of the Christmas furloughs are taken. Personaly I’d just as soon wait till spring then I’d have more time to be home and wouldn’t waste as much traveling. I think I’ll know pretty well whether I’m staying here or not by the first of next week I’ll write a card if anything of importance happens. Paul Furness is coming Mon. and he should know how things stand. Some think that they will move this camp completely but we don’t know.

I’m rather sorry to hear that Harry is quitting school. What I wonder is if he is going to be a CO? If he is I would think he might have time enough to get another semester while they fool around making him appeal. He needn’t worry about getting a V*E. There are some pretty wild guys here that got by, of course they didn’t have our board. Harry has a lot more reason to be in a CO camp than 75% of the fellows here. There is one guy that got out of the navy a couple years ago and another that was working in a defense plant when he was classified.

Well keep your chins up and write me a few cards if you can’t get time for a letter. I’d like to know how the corn situation is as soon as possible.

The cookies sure taste good and I am to thank you for all the guys in the dorm. There are about 5 or 6 of us that get cookies and stuff about the same amount too so we have plenty to eat at our bedtime snack parties. That chocolate sure is welcome it will last for a long time, what did Dad do buy out some store’s supply? The thing I’m afraid of is that our little bunch will be broken up. There are nice people every where.


P. S. I’m still surveying, it is sort of cold sometimes and we don’t get out much.

Attached: Congressinal Record, Proceedings and Debate of the 77th Congress, Second Session and “Strange Things Happen” a Christian flyer)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Grandma's Cookies

Reading this postcard of Dad's about the cookies and planing a trip up to Colorado reminds me of Grandma Aldrich's cookies. When we were children our Aldrich Grandparents would come out from Iowa twice a year usually in June and November. They would drive from Iowa and bring cookies and eggs, a whole crate of eggs and between Aunt Eileens family and ours we would eat them up. I now use the egg crate to hold magazines and some of the hoard of catalogs we get. But I was thinking about cookies. Grandma made wonderful cookies and I think I liked them better than anyone else. My favorite were the banana chocolate chip ones she would bring from Iowa. She often put them in a bag and they would be a bit crumbly and mushed together after the two day trip. I was so happy once I got the recipe and made them myself but they didn't taste quite right to me so I put them in the cookie jar. A couple days later when they had stuck together and crumpled a bit they were just right.

Dec 7 1942

Mon. Morn.
I got the package Sat. afternoon. Everything in pretty good condition. We just had some very cold weather last week but it has warmed up since I got the blankets. The cookies as far as I can tell are in extra good shape. Boy was I glad to see the Cocoa! The other guys were too. Our supply was getting low. There were a couple of boxes of Cocoa leaking a little, the top of one box had cut the next one, lost about a spoonful, it was on the blankets. I hardly expected so much Cocoa it is so hard to get around here. No matter about the rags, we could use some & I thot they might help in packing. Say! You’ve spent a lot on postage for me. Thanks a lot for everything.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Eileen is Dad's youngest sister and was 14 years younger than him so she was around 9 or 10 when theses letters began. He sometimes calls her toots in the letters also. This was one of the few letters we have written directly to one of his brothers or sisters, I assume that all of those ended up in their possession.
I failed twice at trying to get a table into the blog. Not sure what happened but maybe you can figure out the game he is talking about even though the columns went back under each other.
C. P. S. #23
Coshocton, Ohio
Nov. 29 1942

Dear Eileen,

How’s my baby sister? I’ll bet you don’t like to be called the baby of the family, do you.

You and Charles sure having a tough time. I sure am sorry for you, being sick isn’t so bad fro a few days but it gets ole.

I’m going to tell how to play a crazy game that we play here once in a while. It is a word guessing game and it sure is a lot of fun and a suppose it is good for one too.

You take half a page of paper and mark it off in something like squares like this only biger.
Birds Animals Countries Names of people Names of cars
W Wren Water bufflo
4 0 William
2 0
O Oreol
3 Otter
5 0 Opal
5 Oveiland(?)
R Red bird
5 Rat
1 Russia
4 Roy
4 Rolls Royce
K Kite
4 0 0 Katherine
2 0
S Swallow
5 Skunk
1 Sweden
5 Sam
3 0
18 11 9 16 8 62

Then you put the names of groups of thing at the top like I have here. Then down the side you put any five letter word. The idea is to put in the squares any thing that begins with the letter on the lefthand side and comes under the head of that column. I’ll fill out some of them to give you an idea. Now the numbers you see are the way you figure the score. Supposing there were five or more playing, it can be played just as well with tow or three tho. If two people get the same thing in a square they both get a score of 4, if three, they get 3, if four they get 2, if five they get 1, if more than five they get 1 you can’t get less than 1. If no one else gets the same thing in a certain square they all get 5. You see, where I have swallow written there weren’t any other swallows so I got 5, while where I had William there were three others besides me which made four so I got a score of 2. Then you add them all up and the highest score wins. We usually set a time limit on the game, 5 or 6 minuits. You might like it longer. When you start a new game you can change the top heading or the five letter word or both. Some headings are easier for some people than others so we usually let each one playing think up a heading that they like. The name of the game is “Googenhime”. I hope you and Charles are feeling better, maybe you can have some fun playing this silly game. You’d laugh to see us guys playing that game. One time there were guys playing that used to be a lawyer, a teacher, and artist, a law student, and me.

We have some snow here now. It was snowing this morning when we woke up and then it changed to rain and now it has stopped.

Your brother,

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Peace work and Prizes

This week Dad talks about detached service, which CO's started doing in WWII and what all CO's did during the vietnam war. Detached service meant that you were not supervised in a camp but worked in a hospital or a mental hospital. CO's were credited with improvements in some mental hospitals during the war.
This week I listened to and watched the video of President Obama's Nobel peace lecture it can be found at the nobelprize site below. I recommend that people listen to the entire speech or read it completely. There is a lot more there than 2 - minutes of pro-war sound bites that the media has put out. The complete lecture is 36 minutes long and worth listening to.

November 22, 1942

C. P. S. #23
Coshocton, Ohio
Nov. 22

Dear folks,

I’m still alive and seem to be keeping ahead of the cold. My winter underwear feel pretty good some of these mornings. We have been having some warmer wether for the last days till today.

It is Sunday night now, about 9:00. We had one of the few local preachers in tonite that aren’t against us. We had one last Sun. nite too and it was really good to hear a real sermon again tho they just talked to us it was different than what we had been hearing from various campers.

This camp is about to be reduced through the winter to about 100 men. We have about 158 now. Now that the election is over the detached service projects are opening up rather supprisingly. There was a couple of Drs. from a Mental hospital at Cleveland today and they will take 20 men and would like a lot more if the NSBRO thought it wise to concentrate so many men in one hospital right at the first. So I guess there will be 20 fellows leave here next week fro the Cleveland Hospital. I imagine there will be a lot of this sort of work in the future. I think I shall stick to this camp till I figure I have exhausted its possibilities which seem to be amazing. I’m getting to like this country more and find that there is some better farm land not so far from here but this land around camp here is not fit to farm.

Thanks for the Dollar, a little money has to go a long way here and I sure appreciate it. Thanks for the cookies too. Say, isn’t postage quite an item? I see a lot of stamps on the stuff you send. I really can’t say as any kind of cookies havn’t been as good as the others but the ones that stand the trip best are the chewy type. Perhaps you can’t always tell whether they will end up chewy or not. This last batch was in good shape except one kind and they were pretty well pulverized. They sure must handle that stuff rough. The other fellows always rave about the Iowa cookies and they only last through about one tea party. I have few left to piece on when there aren’t too many around. There was one kind that some of the thot were very good, they said they had heard them called Tollhouse cookies, they had little chunks of chocolate but they were the ones that crumbled the worst. I imagine that the more cookies you can get into the box the better they will travel, it seems to me that it is the rattleing around that crumbles them. Also we need some rags to wash the printing press with and maybe you can pack some around the cookies next time. Don’t make cookies too often for me I’m sure tha the rest of the family needs some attention too.

I think that by the time my blankets get here I will want them. So you had better send them now. The temperature doesn’t go so low but it certainly cools off at night and sheets feel pretty cool when you turn over. I suppose you know what blankets I’m talking about. Those two sheet blankets that I bot. when I was at school. Not the heavy ones. We have four or five wool army blankets each, depending on the distance from the stove and personal taste. I am the third bed from the stove and the third from the door which puts me in the temperate zone.

I’m giving you that list of stuff I’d like for you to include with the blankets if you can locate it. My Discipline, those pamphlets on “What Should a Christian Do?” by E. Stanely Jones, the belt to my raincoat, and you might pick up a few “Young People’s Weeklies”. I miss the good short stories that they have. Say do suppose that you could send the Y.P. Weekly to me? May you could put a couple of them together in one packages and stick as stamp on them. I think that if all you put on them is my address they will go as second class mail which is cheeper.

Now about that Chocolate business. One of our tea party guys’ mother sent him some Chocolate in a box, it looks like cocoa but it had some of the things that make it good just mixed with hot water. Well if you happen to see anything along that line I could use it. You’d never know me, I sit up way late and drink tea even and eat cookies and talk over stuff and things. I really enjoy it I have ever had such a variety of people to get aquainted with.

I’m still praying fro all of you, don’t work too hard, you only live once so you may as well enjoy it.

Some of us unsilent people here are starting a sort of mid-week meeting. This morning there was a discussion on the Sunday School lesson and they are going to continue that too. I sort of missed those things.


Thanks for all the trouble I am to you I guess you love(?) it tho.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cocoa with Milk in it

Reading this last post I feel so spoiled as we forget there were days before cocoa with milk in it. Between Thanksgiving and the end of the semester I have missed posting for a couple of days. I'm excited today as a few of us met to plan teaching a class on peace and activism at one of our charter high schools. One of the reasons I have been doing the blog is that I believe we need to educate ourselves about the nonviolent history and stories of our country.

November 15, 1942

Sun. nit, 11/15/42
How are you all? I’m still well and happy. Before long I’ll be sending up a smoke signal for you to send me my bed blankets, sheets will be getting cold. There are a few things that I wish you’d hunt up so you can send them to me with my blankets. The belt for my raincoat, my Disipline, and if there are any pamplets “What Should a Christian Do?” I don’t know where I left any of this stuff that is why I am telling you in time to find it. Also I could use some chocolate, the kind that you mix with hot water, one guy had some named Nestles it had dried milk in it and was very good. If you happen to see any get some for me. We could use some old rags to wash the printing press maybe you could pack some with some cookies. Cookies should be packed as tight as possible some of the last ones were pulverized.