Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sundays and Sabaths

Sometimes I think about what we have lost and what we have gained in the last 50 or 60 years. Having a sabath day was one. In this letter Dad talks a bit about his brother going skating on a Sunday evening, which evidently was not a normal thing to do. My mother often mentioned that when their family was studied by the selective service when my Uncle Bruce applied as a CO (he didn't get the status and spent time in prison during WWII), one of the neighbors mentioned that they had done their laundry on a Sunday. Mom would tell us this was only once that she knew of, but it was seen as something unusual by the neighbor.
When we were growing up in the 50's and 60's we would go to Quaker Meeting each Sunday (sometimes called 1st day) and then have a big meal at noon when we came home - often a pot roast. Then we would rest. I remember occasionally that Dad would take a nap on a Sunday afternoon. All the stores would be closed and the city would be quiet. We might go out to the property where the berries and garden were, or once we were older we would have homework to do. I still have that desire to rest and take it easy on a Sunday afternoon.

February 5, 1943

C. P. S. #59
Elkton, Oregon
Feb. 5, 1943

Dear Kin-folk,

How time does fly. In a few days I’ll have been in CPS 6 months. It sure doesn’t seem like that long. Tho a lot has happened.

I got your letter dated Sun. today which is Fri. Is that fast or slow fro airmail? How long does it take for my letters to reach you? Would it help if I’d go to sending them Airmail?

I’m glad that you liked that letter. It has been so long that I forgot what I wrote and my carbon copy is over at the dorm. I’m in the wood-shop now. I found that I get more letters written if I stay in here than if I get some one else to keep shop and go to the dorm to write. When I try to write in the dorm I get to talking with some one and the first thing I know it is 1:00 and I have to go to bed or I won’t feel like getting up for meditation.

You are right about the town not being able to supply the boys with candy and stuff. We have a Co-op store in camp run by some of the fellows that want it bad enough. They sell shares to any one in camp that wants one at two bits each. Then we get a share of the profits in proportion to what we bought. The Co-op sells a little candy when they have it. On Tuesdays the head cook and some of the office men go to Eugene to buy supplies and they usually bring back some Ice cream of some sort to be sold in the Co-op. also they sell fig bars or fig newtens and some other kinds of cookies. The Co-op handles toilet articles and a few other items like stationary and ink.

That ‘Buck’ you pined on the corner is appreciated. It will go into some worthy cause, or at least I’ll think so at the time.

Imagine “Toots” weighing 108# and being taller than you, Mama. I’ll bet I won’t know her when I see her again. I hope they don’t take a nothion to shut off Civilian travel altogether before I get to come home.

So Charles is going in for skating and Mary. Well I always said that Mary was a cute kid. And I always like to skate with her. I suspect that I would be above going on Sun. night tho. That makes Charles quite an old sinner don’t it. He’s about as bad as Harry, you know he seldom went to church on Sun. nights at Osky. However I doubt our concern will change his mind any. In myself I have had a disire for freedom from restraint many times and most of the time I have stifled this disire. But occasionally I would break down and do something out of the beaten path. Like one time Harry and I drove to Jeff one Sun. night last summer to see some show after church. Well that was quite a departure for me. I wonder if Charles may feel something the same and want to do something after being on the shelf sort of and also sticking pretty close to church too. Then of course there is the “Mary” side of it too. There is a guy here in camp that will darn near worry himself sic once in a while because he’s afraid that all the girls will be gone when we get out of CPS.

Say but I really enjoy this job. This guy that was working with me is the original gaget maker. He is far worse than I ever will be. We had a great time making gagets and fixing up the shop, then the Assistant Director went on furlough and we chose him to take his place so I lost my good man, but he is very good as assistant director. He knows how to get a long with people. I have a pretty good man helping me now tho. He has been a ‘carpenter’s helper’ and then in the last few years he built himself a house. He has never wirked with any power tools tho. There are several guys here that know more about some of this work than I do but I just let on like I know everything and don’t say too much and no one finds out. I’ve found that if you use your head you can figure out the right way and it is the way that I manage to give good service and keep the job. Right now we are building drafting tables. We made two and now they have brought us some lumber that is supposed to be clear kiln dried Ponderosia Pine. It is not clear at all every one of the boards has a knot but it isn’t very big, and there are going to be two tables made entirely of warped boards. They are soft tho and that is better than fir. I’ll tell you more about it some time.

Time to quit and go to bed. Sat. is a busy day.

I have read a little of the Eugene guy’s prophesys and it is rather interesting. I’ll send it home if I ever get it done.


February ,?, 1943

Mon. nite

Dear Folks,
The cookies arrived today and the top layer is in good shape. I was glad and a little supprised to hear from Harry. He certainly must not have anything to do or he wouldn’t have written so soon.
The wood-shop business is booming. Every man in camp except those on overhead and drafting will be going to a tree-planting camp in about three weeks and there are going to be some boxes made between now and then to pack clothes in. After they are gone I’ll get something done, there won’t be more that 25 or 30 here. There will be new men coming in tho.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

CPS Camps - Religious run or Gov't run

The issue of having the Gov't run the camps instead of the historic Peace Churches comes up in this letter. In WWII conscientious objection was religious based, though some of the CPS people seem to be more politically based. Having the Peace churches run the camps gave the men more freedom to do self organization of each camp and also did not put all of the financial burden on the Government. Some objected to helping the government out during war time. It was a unique experiment. It was reminding me of Gandhi in England in 1914. When England was in the midst of WWI, Gandhi and other Indian citizens living in England, all part of the British Empire volunteered to be part of an ambulance corps. They ran into trouble as they wanted to follow their own leadership and not be lead by others in the military. Eventually they ended up helping at a hospital which would allow them to take their own leadership.
I think most governments allow for conscientious objectors and keep them away from those in the military since they cause so many problems with conscientious approach to most work.

January 30, 1943

C. P. S. #59
Elkton, Oregon
Jan. 30, 1943

Dear folks,

What do you suppose, it has been snowing all afternoon here and we have about an inch and a half of wet slushy snow. It just stoped a little while ago. This wet snow sticks to everything and the REA light lines aren’t made for it out here. We are expecting to have the lights go out any time now. The last time we had this kind of snow they did and stayed out for three days. While we were eating tonight the lights faded out real slow and we thot we were in for it and the assistant dirrector ran out to start the small generator that they had rigged up the last time they were out but while he was trying to start the engine the lights came back on and he had his back to the buildings and didn’t know it till somebody yelled loud enough to tell him. The current made by the generator is DC and all the motors and radios are AC so when the current is off and we make our own no motors or radios can run. And that means the wood-shop isn’t open either. I have been keeping it open for the fellows to work in the evenings. I get somebody to take a couple of nights and then there is a camp meeting each Wed. so it isn’t open that night. I usually spend about three nights a week in here. That’s where I am now.

It has started to rain now. Say, I’m getting so I write weather reports too.

I don’t have much to say this time. I told most of the new in Harry’s letter. There is to be a special camp-meeting at 8:00 tonight and it is that time now. There was something important or we wouldn’t have had it called I don’t know what it was tho, guess I’d better go find out.

Back from the meeting. It seems that there has been some agitation for Gov’t operated camps. This was started mostly by the pacifists that base their stand on the economic or political side rather than the religious. There was a committee set up to investigate this and see what could be done to get camps to suit those who were dissatisfied. This meeting was called because our director had received a report on this committee and had been asked to read it or see that it was brought to the attention of every man in camp. The report didn’t amount to much in my opinion. The committee wasn’t able to decied anything definite. They made a couple of poles of the men in camp and found that there were only 47 that would definitely go to a Gov’t camp. There were, I think, over 200 that would go if the camps were run a certain way, which seems rather unlikely to me. The committee didn’t think it wise to do anything that might cause the CO situation to be brought up in congress. If the Gov’t. was to maintain a camp for a few men it would have to come out of the money appropriated for the seclective service and they would not have enough to last them, then they would have come to congress for more money and that would give those against us a chance to start thinking what good we could do if we were to all work in the munitions plants or something.

That’s all the meeting amounted to. This camp is new and hasn’t had much to say about this sort of thing. I don’t think that there would be many here that would want to go to a Gov’t camp so there wasn’t much said about it then. It is clear that if the Gov’t. was sponsoring a camp it would dictate most of the policies and the men would have very little to say, so that keeps some of the agitation down.

Dash me off another letter when you get to it, I’ll answer them as fast as I get them. I just got this one today. It was written Sun. and Mon. It has an airmail stamp on it. Did you send it airmail? If you did it sure went slow, I got it Fri. morn.

I was glad to see that Christmas program. You don’t need to send me that FOR stuff, I can see plenty of that here. We get a copy of that CPS news letter too, but I hadn’t read it yet so I did so this noon. They always put the news letter up on the bulitten board but I hadn’t got around to read it yet.

Well, good nitht.


P.S. I got that pamplet from that guy at Eugene Or. but haven’t had time to read it yet. I’ll send it home if it is good enough.


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Quakers and Chocolate

Dad once again gets to talking a bit about Chocolate. With the selling or take over of Cadburys by Kraft last month it is nice to note some of the history of Chocolate candies and it's origin in English Quaker families. I found the following from a Meeting website in England.

As the 17th Century drew to a close, Friends were gaining a reputation as good merchants. Of course, few other career paths were open to them. Quakers were excluded from the universities. And, as people committed to nonviolence, careers in the military were certainly out of the question!

In time, Quaker merchants were attracted to the chocolate trade. With its medicinal qualities endorsed by estimable scholars, Friends embraced chocolate as a healthy alternative to alcohol.

The first Quaker to make a name for himself in the chocolate trade was a British physician named Joseph Fry. Friend Joseph's Bristol shop sold pharmaceuticals. He included chocolate among his other wares.

By 1795, the Fry family had nearly 50 years of experience in the chocolate business. That year, with the help of a Watts steam engine, Fry's Chocolate became the first chocolatier to use factory methods in the manufacture of their product.

In 1824, at the tender age of 23, Quaker John Cadbury was given a sum of money by his father and told to sink or swim. Perhaps inspired by the liquid imagery of his father's ultimatum, Cadbury opened a shop selling tea, coffee and cocoa. Cadbury's shop was also noteworthy for its plate glass window (the first in Birmingham) and for employing a Chinese clerk at the tea counter.

The trinity of Quaker chocolate is completed by the name Rowntree. The Quaker Rowntrees opened their chocolate shop in York.

During the 19th Century, Friends helped to transform the way we eat chocolate. Up until this time, chocolate was a beverage or perhaps an ingredient in other recipes.

In 1847, the descendants of Joseph Fry introduced the chocolate bar to English society. Melted cocoa butter was mixed with cocoa powder and sugar. The resulting paste could be pressed into a mold.

Other innovations were taking place at Cadbury's Chocolate. For years, people had been extracting cocoa butter from chocolate in order to make powdered cocoa. But no one could squeeze all the fat from cocoa. Therefore, additives (like potato flour) were used to keep the powder, powdery. In 1866, the Cadbury's were able to eliminate additives from their cocoa powder by discovering an improved method of extracting the natural cocoa butter. This innovation allowed the Quaker Cadbury's to advertise, Absolutely Pure: Therefore Best.

Not only was the marketing strategy a success, the process provided the company with extra cocoa butter (a boon for their candy making operation).

As another feather in their cap, the Cadbury's started the trend of boxed chocolate candies (achieving this distinction in 1868).

Milk chocolate was invented in 1875. This time, the credit goes to Nestl� (who was not a Friend). Soon thereafter, the Quaker companies developed their own formulas for milk chocolate. Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate bar became the company's best seller by 1913. It remained king of the British chocolate bars for the following 75 years.

Although the brand names all survive, the chocolate empires of Fry, Cadbury and Rowntree are no longer under Quaker control. Fry's and Cadbury's merged in 1919. In 1969, the resulting company merged with Schweppes Ltd. Rowntree was purchased by Nestle in 1988.

The Cadbury company is worth special mention for its enlightened attitude toward employees. This Quaker-owned chocolate company was the first firm to grant its workers a 5-day work week. Also, sports facilities, medical facilities, schools, kitchens and community gardens were built for the employees.

In 1893, the Cadbury brothers purchased 120 acres near their factory (to help workers escape the slums of Birmingham). 144 cottages were built for Cadbury workers and for the public at large. By 1915, rates of death and infant mortality in the Cadbury development were half those of Birmingham as a whole.

January 21, 1943

C. P. S. #59
Elkton, Oregon
Jan. 21, 1943

Dear folks,

Well, Warren got here a few days ago and we have talked over everybody around Baton and some that aren’t. It sure is good to see someone from home. I guess I missed Ab a lot. He and I used to get together about once a week and talk about people we knew.

I got the chocolate today and ate one bar, gave some of it to some of the guys in the dorm, we all thot it was pretty good. The cocoa we get doesn’t tast very much like cocoa. It must be either cheep stuff or some kind of subistute. What we had for cocoa at Coshocton was an imitation but it didn’t taste bad. So you see real chocolate tastes pretty good.

I still have quite a bit of that Nestle’s chocolate left. At first out here I didn’t find quite the right bunch to drink chocolate with. But I have been working with a very swell fellow in the shop and we will heat up some water and have a cup of chocolate along about 4:00. Then there is another good guy that isn’t able to do hard work that I have become very will aquainted with. They let him stay in the infirmary and sort of look after the few guys that are staying there because of bad colds or typhoid shots. That gives him about a hald days work to do every day and then he can rest. Well, he and I have got to be pretty good pals and find we agree on most everything. Last Sun. nite I took a box of Chocolate over and we and the one patient he had had a good visit and some chocolate too. Both these fellows came from Coshocton.

The guy that helps me in the shop will be there till we get through with some work we are doing in there for the project. They are going to do some sort of drafting work here and they want some drafting tables made. So we are making them. It is a rather annoying job so far tho. No one seems to know exactly what the nature of the work will be or how many tables they will need but we have to make tables. Kit and I designed and made a table. This guy’s name is Harold Carson, they call him Kit. Well, the project superintendent looked it over and couldn’t seem to find anything wrong with it but he had see one that an old lumber-jack friend of his had made and he though that it couldn’t be beat. So he wouldn’t have anything but we should make one like that. We naturely don’t think it is as good as our but we figure the only way to prove him wrong is to make a table and let him see. I have learned a lot about how to get along with bosses since being in CPS and think that I wouldn’t make a very good one. I’d be too inclined to let people do things the way they wanted to. I don’t know maybe that would be good. That is the way I would like for a boss to do. I find it makes a lot of difference whether I’m interested in what I’m doing or not too. Now, I sure hate to have a guy telling me to do something that I know is a dumb thing to do in carpenter work, while I didn’t care so mush about some of the other things that I did before now.

The main purpose of a wood-shop in CPS is usually rescreation for the fellows and small improvements, along a cabinet-work line. However, this shop is a little different. We have here all the tools that belonged to the CCC before they left. There are a lot of good tools too. At Coshocton there was a Gov’t man that had charge of the camp grounds and buildings and had frist claim on us before the project did. He was called the Teshnical Supt. Here we have only a Project Supt. At Coshocton there were two men that did only repair work and worked under this man while here all the tools have been signed over to CPS and there is not Tech. Supt. and no CCC tool room like we had there. So I am in charge of all the tools and the repait work too. There is much less work along that line to do here tho. At Cosh. there was an awful lot the ASFC spent 2,000 dollars on repairs and improvements and they havn’t spent hardly any here yet. The buildings were in much better shape and the weather isn’t cold just rainy. The most noticeable thing here is the doors most of them wont close, they are swelled and the kitchen roof leaks. I am a long way from getting to that tho. as soon as we get this drafting table worked out, I must get the tools collected and fix a place for each one and then the shop will be in good enough shape to let go while I do some repair work.

Those cookies are still good, I have a few left. I sort of horded them a while, there was a lot of candy and cookies around just after Christmas so I just didn’t pass mine around much and there were a lot in that box too. I don’t know if I’l ever get those magazines read. I don’t have much time to read tho I do like to. We have to work on Sat. afternoons now and I have to spend some of my nites in the shop to keep the fellows from doing something dumb like sawing nails. I have time at night while I’m in the shop to work on some thing for myself so the time isn’t wasted and I enjoy it too.

Well, I’m convinced that the Lord takes care of his own and all we have to do is take care that we live so that the Lord will be proud to claim us.

Thanks for the dollar. I’m thinking of trying a little photography out here. They have two dark-rooms and a sort of Co-op deal on the chemicals used in developing so it wouldn’t cost much. I think it would be a good chance to learn something about it. I imagine that some of the money you have been sending me will go for that.

Don’t work too hard and keep trusting in God. I think He has been pretty good to us.

Your son,
P.S. Say if there is family group picture around there that belongs to me put it in with the next package you send me. I’ve been going to have you send it but always forgot it. I want to show the fellows how goodlooking the rest of my family is.

There is about 2” of slushy snow on the ground here. The natives here say it is very unusual. The light wires are down somewhere and that whole area has been without light all day. It is the R.E.A. that explains it. The town of Elkton isn’t on a R.R. so they use REA too. The camp rigged up a D.C generator to use with a gasoline engine and (?) we have light while it snows(?). It has ---- some so the lights are out once in a while. We can’t use any of the motors or radios tho cause it is DC not AC.

Eugene is 54 mi N.E. up the coast

Monday, February 15, 2010

Turning around in the rain

This is a Monday morning post. I thought of something to write last night. Usually I read the letter I'm posting and it prompts me to write something. It took longer this time. I was thinking about rain and our family and the camping trips in the 1950's. The first trips we did were in the Desoto and most of the roads we traveled on were dirt with a lot of switchbacks, not that many tunnels and no Interstate highways. Dad liked to go to out of way places where there were not lots of people and especially no fisherman. A couple of times I know we ended up on these high narrow mountain roads in the rain, I would look out of the window of the Desoto and could see the road washing away down the side of the mountain. Father was always a calm driver, mother was not, so we were glad in the back seat when he was driving as the road seemed to disappear on one side while on the other side rocks and mud were coming down into the road. I remember once when he actually turned around the car on one of these narrow sections in the rain, we didn't wear seat belts then and I was so scared I just hunkered down on the floor, I couldn't stand to watch the turn around process. I didn't look up until by the tilt of the car I could tell we were going down the mountain road instead of up. I think maybe Dad got his comfort with the rain while in Oregon. I feel a frustration as many do today with the position our country is in, I feel we are on one of those muddy dirt roads high up in the Rockies and it's a road that does not lead anywhere. We need that acceptance, knowledge and skill to turn around.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

not much to say and more wars

I don't have a lot to say either. Dad starts his letter this way and I thought I would follow in the same pattern. It's February here and a big offensive was begun in Afghanistan this week. I'm taking Spanish and for class we are learning the past tense and had to write about the past and the present so I wrote about going to college in 1969 and the protests against the war and the noise on the campuses then and the quiet in the mountains when we went camping. Now the mountains and parks are full of ATV's and noise and the campuses are quiet.

January 14, 1943

C. P. S. #59
Elkton, Oregon
Jan. 14, 1943

Dear Folks,

This won’t be much of a letter, I don’t have anything to say. I guess I’m just writing to get one back. I sent 18 carbon copy letters and now have only five left to answer so in a few days I’ll have the letter writing sewed up.

They are sending new men in here thick and fast, there were ten came in last week and today and tomorrow there are supposed to be 8 new ones. One new man came from Iowa today. His mane is Shoemaker and he’s from New Providence and knew Dillons and one of the other fellows here in camp.

I wouldn’t be supprised if Warren would land out here and maybe some of the other fellows that I knew in the past. They seem to be trying to fill this place up. It has a capacity of 200. Now the score is around 80 or 90.

Elkton is on the same road that Drain is I think. It is a good black-top road. I don’t know which direction it is tho, we came in the dark and it rained ror 2 weeks and the sun don’t shine much so I’m completely mixed up in my directions. For about 10 days now it hasn’t rained and the sun has shon some but as far as I can tell it has been coming up in the west and setting in the east. I can’t get straightened out. Wait till summer I guess the sunn shines all the time and we will wish it would rain. But don’t get me wrong I think this is a very pretty country. Nothing like tall pine trees. They say that it is really beautiful here in the spring.

Thanks for sending the sugar book. They just went to buy sugar the day it came but I guess the stamp was gone anyway so I’m glad you got it. I got the cookies from Grandma A. I havn’t eaten the jelly yet but the cookies went.

The eats here aren’t quite as good as they were at Coshocton. We had an extra good dietician there. They have one of the campers for a dietician here that has had some training in that sort of thing. He isn’t so bad but the main thing it that till the camp gets up over 100 they cant run it as economically.

All those corn figures were interesting. You sure put out a slug on dough for picking this year, lots of corn tho.

I hope you can get a IV-F for Charles. They have two guys here now that have IV-Fs and havn’t got their releaces yet.

I am very happy with my new job but it is a big one. I’m busy as the dickens. We have a lot of good tools here and I am in charge of them and up to now they have been taken out by any one and never brought back and I have to get them all back and make a place for them then keep track of them and keep them sharp. Besides that there is plenty of repair work to do and new little items of improvement to make. It is the best suited job to me that I have found in CPS so far I think.

Well write soon and keeping praying.


P.S. I’ll write to that guy in Eugene as soon as I get to it. It should be interesting.

Ps again---We heard from Coshocton that on the 10th they knew that the SCS had said 35 men plus overhead and AFSC had said 50 plus overhead men. The only way the Service Committee would let 35 stay was to have the Gov’t pay part of the expense. Paul Furnas was to come out the next day and tell them what had been decided. So Ab may have writ on something. My guess is that Coshocton is doomed.

Thanks for the Buck and for the check.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lathes and egg cases

In this entry the first one for 1943 Dad gets the job of running the wood shop. I guess he had started doing carpentry work earlier than this job but he does continue with it the rest of his life. Both family and friends have received bowls he made on the lathe he had in his workshop. I remember the Christmas that he first started making things on the lathe, Carol helped him wrap the presents. We had always had presents from Mom, she would put both of their names on the presents or else she would put 'from Santa', but we knew it was her. So this year there were presents that said 'from Dad'. At first we thought it was Mom who had done it but she had one also. I think Carol was in college and Bonnie and I still in high school. Both Carol and Mom got bowls or platters and Bonnie and I each a jewelry box, all made on the lathe. After that there were always bowls, platters, and other lathe items around the house in various stages of completion, waiting for oil or waiting to become gifts. They were usual items at the AFSC fund raising craft sell that Mt. View Friends Meeting would have each year. At one point he tried being part of a craft co-op, I offered to put in the time at the shop and he put in the bowls. I think that was the only time he sold them for his own profit, or that of the co-ops, I don't think it lasted long.
Another item mentioned in this letter is 'egg case fillers'. When our grandparents would come out to visit from Iowa, they would bring a case of eggs from the farm. Tim thinks a case was a dozen dozen eggs. I have the old egg case that they brought out, it is made of wood and we use it to hold magazines. The bottom is solid and sides have wood slats connected by metal rods. The fillers were cardboard and would stack in side holding 24 eggs on each layer. Between our two families in Colorado and with Grandma and Grandpa there for 2 weeks or more we would eat up those eggs. I imagine for packing the cookies that grandma cushioned them with the carboard egg case fillers and just made a box to fit.

January 6, 1943

C. P. S. #59
Elkton, Oregon
Jan. 6, 1943

Dear Folks,

You should have had two letters from me by now. It takes so long to get one out there that I suspect that it seems like I have forgotten you.

I got your letter yesterday that was written on the 31st. I wrote on the same day which you should have gotten by now. The cookies came the day before yesterday. They were in very good condition. I guess that that system of making eggcase fillers for them is pretty good. That must be quite a bit of work to fix up a box like that. How will my having to have my sugar book effect the cookie situation? I hope that after a few months this camp will be able to get the same deal that Coshocton was. But they may not. Some of the fellows that were in on the beginning of the Coshocton camp said that at first they had trouble getting enough sugar too. Another thing is that this camp is growing pretty fast too and the new fellows that come in don’t have any sugar here so they have to eat off the rest. There were 30 men here when we arrived and there were 39 of us and now the score is 83.

The weather has improved a lot this week. It seems dry cause we havn’t had any rain since yesterday afternoon. I guess that is normal Oregon winter a good day every once in a while. The sun shone quite a bit today and I almost got my directions straightened out. The sun came up in the northwest today and I got around to seem more like it went down in the south instead of the west. In a couple of days I may get straightened out right.

I got into a really good job here. I am in charge of the camp wood shop which means that I am a sort of official carpenter and handy man to fix most anything. I really love that kind of work and It will be mostly dry too. There is a lot of swell wood-working equipment here. It was left by the CCC and the Land Office (which we work under) requested that they leave it here for us. The director signed for it which means that the Service Committee will have to replace anything damaged. Well, this carpenter shop has a 36” turning lathe, planer that will take a 7” board, a jig saw, an 8” bench-saw, a 12” bench-saw, a band-saw, and electric press-drill and an electric hand drill. Also a lot of hand tools such as saws and planes. I’m really having a picnic getting that stuff arranged. It had been set up in a hurry by some of the 30 men that were here before we from Coshocton came, but it was done so sloppy that it wasn’t safe or efficient. Besides all that shop machinery there is a lot of smaller machinery of the same type that is stored here. 5 other laithes and 2 or 3 saws. WE have three 16 mm. movie projectors and about 20 typewriters. Only one of the movie projectors works right now but I think they can be fixed. The typewriters don’t all work either but I imagine that most of them be repaired.

I have been doing carpenter work on the project up till today which was the first day that I worked in the shop. I think I am very fortunate to get this job, I had some competition and I’LL have to do good work to keep people satisfied.

I think I shall be pretty happy here, in some ways this camp is going to be better than Coshocton but the weather is lousy.

Don’t get to thinking that I’m not interested in what happens back home. I’m looking forward to getting back to help youns next spring if it can be arranged. Plenty of time to talk about that. Its time to go to bed now.

Thanks a lot for that last fiver, I know of something that I think I shall spend some of it for, tell you about it later.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monkey Wards

These are the last two letters of 1942. There's a lot about rain and rain coats. Dad gets a coat from Monkey Wards, which was Montgomery Wards. I've heard that the coming of the catalogs Sears and Montgomery Wards to rural america impacted local stores and communities the way that Walmart has or Taking away business from the small local stores. I don't know if others refered to the store as Monkey Wards but Dad and grandpa did and always bought their overalls and jeans there.

December 31, 1942

C. P. S. #59
Elkton, Oregon
Dec. 31, 1942

Dear folks,

Here it is the last day of the year. It is still raining too. We have had an awful lot of rain here, more than they usually have they say. The River that goes by camp is way up and you can see logs go by most any time. It caused the road to cave way and slide into the river between camp and where we work. Luckily we didn’t go to work today or we would have been shut out of camp I guess. We don’t know exactly how bad the road is, it is a blacktop highway so the state men will have to get it fixed. According to the rumors there was a guy driving along and couldn’t stop in time so he drove right into the hole then there was a truck that was close behind him and it came in right on top of his car, there wasn’t anyone hurt tho. Ite first man had just climbed out of his car when the truck came in. In an ordinary rain we keep right on working but the last three days it has been raining extra hard and the day before yesterday it was quite chilly too. Yesterday the wind started to blow so we came in right after dinner cause it isn’t good to stay in burned over timber when there is much wind. Today we didn’t even go out it was raining so hard. By now the rain has slacked to an ordinary drisle.

Your present came the other day and I’m very greatful for it. I havn’t decided what to use it for yet but there will be something that will turn up that I can use it for. I got grandpa and grandma Aldrich’s dollar yesterday. It came to Coshocton first.

I don’t have much to say this time. I really wrote to get you to send my sugar ration book. It seems they havn’t got this camp on an institutional basis. I think they will afterwhile but they want our books so I guess you’ll have to give it up. Maybe I’ll get it back before long.

My ‘tin’ coat and hat came but the pants didn’t come. We sent to Monkey Wards at Portland. The papers havn’t come yet so we don’t know whether we will get them or not. The CCC left some ‘tin’ clothes here but not near enough to go around. I borrowed a pair till mine come. I felt that I should buy myself some since I had a little money cause lots of the fellows don’t have any. That tin coat sure is nice it would be a dandy coat anywhere. The Monkey Wards catalogue sure is different here. A lot of western clothes, boots, big hats and that sort of stuff.

Thanks again for the three bucks.

C. P. S. #59
Elkton, Oregon
Dec. 26, 1942

Dear Folks,

Well, I’m still in Oregon. I’m sort of behind with my letter writing. You wouldn’t get much of a letter this time. I made some carbon coppies of a sort of report of some of the main things that happened and about the camp and project here. It seemd that that was the only way I would ever get caught up and be able to tell some of the I wanted to tell about the trip out here.

This is the rainiest place I ever got into. They get over 100 inches a year and they get it in 8 months they tell me. The other 4 months are very dry and then is when the forest fires are bad.

I just got some warm winter clothes for the cold weather at Coshocton and now I come out here where it doesn’t get cold but it rains all the time. Well, it looks like I’m going to have to get some rain clothes. I wore my good raincoat one day and I couldn’t stand to wear it to work in the mud and slop. So I got one of the raincoats that the CCC left here it was a lot lighter but isn’t too water proof. A raincoat isn’t a very good thing to work in anyway, the tail is always getting in your road and they are hot if you are getting any exercise. Out here in the west they wear what they call “tin suits” they are made out of 8oz. army duck. They make them triple thick where the wear is and on the shoulders and claim they shed water beter than anything else. They are called “tin” cause they are stif and bend like they are made of tin. Well, I figured that it made about the same difference if I spent my money for clothes instead of giving it to the Service committee and then some one else can use the raincoat that I’ve been using and also I’m be more comfortable. So I’m sending for a “tin suit” with several other fellows, one of them has checking account and will send his check. I’d like for Dad to send me a check for 11 dollars. I image it would be better for him to send it by check but he can suit himself.

Another thing, if I remember right my insurance is due about this time. I suppose Dad had better send them a check too. I have about decided that if I have to stay in C.P.S. I may have to spend some more money for clothes. So I’ve got a nothion to hang on to the last $50 to spend on things for myself. What do you think of that?

It takes a long time for letters to get out here so I hope you can answer soon and I’ll try to do better to.

So far I’m just as healthy out here as ever. I wouldn’t be supprised if I’m healthier here. In Coshocton the weather would get warm then the next day it would be cold, but this is pretty steady here---it rains all the time. Oh it isn’t quite that bad, it didn’t rain at all yesterday, out here they don’t want a white Christmas they just want a dry Christmas.
Mrs. Weant sent me, or is sening me, a subscription to the Christian Herald. Pretty nice. I just got a card saying that I was to receive it.

I just got your last letter yesterday, it had to be forwarded from Coshocton. We left here on the 19th at noon.

Write soon.


P.S. That ‘Buch’ you sent me will come in handy. I was flat broke when I got here. I never got that letter till the 24th either. I hope the corn is out by now.