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The Saguache Crescent
Saguache , Colorado
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August 5, 1943     The Saguache Crescent
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August 5, 1943
 

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THE SAGIIACHE CRESCENT I I I I I See Here, Private Harorove! b. Marion Harqrove THE STORY SO FAR: EdwardomaS Marion Lawton Hargrove, feature edlo tor of the Charlotte (N. C.) News, has started his story of a prlvate's lifo in the army by giving prospective dough* boys some solid advice on what course to pursue the days and nights before induction. He advises them to "paint the town red." On getting into the army he tells them "to keep your mind open" as the "first three weeks are the hard- est." Like a Job in civil life, says Har- grove, it's the first impression that counts. He has received his own induc- tion notice and with a number of other soon-to-be-soldiers has completed the first day at camp. He is stationed at ]Port Bragg; N. Carolina. CHAPTER II A soldier stuck his head through the door of our new dormitory and gave a Sharp whistle. "Nine o'clock!" he yelled. "Lights out and no more noise! Go to sleep!" "It has been, withal, a very busy day," I said to Piel, who was bur- u d with his hay fever in the next nk. "It sure withal has," he said. "What a day! What a place! What a ifel With my eyes wide open I'm |reaming!" "It's been a little hellish out to- day," I agreed, "although it could have been worse. We actually saw a corporal and he didn't cuss us. We have eaten Army food twice, and, except for the haphazard way the pineapple was thrown toward the peas, it wasn't horrifying." "I am broken and bleeding," moaned Piel. "Classification tests, typing tests, medical examinations. The old sergeant, his face beam- big sweetly, purred, "You are now members of the Army of the United States. Now, damn it, shut up." I think I walked eighteen miles through those medical examina- tions. It's a good thing this is July. I would have frozen in my treks with all that walking and exposure. Nothing I had on, except a thin little iodine number on my chest." "Funny thing about the medical examination," a voice broke in from down the line. "Before you get it, you're afraid you'll pass. When you go through the examinations, you're afraid you won't." "I noticed that," I said. "I don't have any special hankering for a soldier's life, but I thought when I was going through the hoops this morning that this would be a helluva time for them to back out." "The little fellow who slept down at the end got sent back," said a loud whisper from across the room. "One of his legs was shorter than the other. He's a lucky dog." "I'll bet he doesn't think so," said Piei. "At this stage of the game, I'm glad it was him_ instead of me. A dark form showed itself in the doorway. "I told you guys to shad- clap and go to sleep. Do it!" A respectful silence filled the room fdr three minutes. ,, ,, ,, , Look at me, said Piel. Won t the folks in Atlanta be proud when they get my letter! Me, Melvin Piel, I'm a perfect physical specimen." Big Jim Hart, the football star whom I had known in high school, spoke up. "Don't go Hollywood about it, Piel. Just remember, Har- grove's a perfect specimen too. And just two weeks ago, when we were waiting out in front of the armory or the draft board examiner to get Elere, he had one foot in the grave." "And the other foot?" "That's the one he keeps in his mouth." "Yessir," said Pie/, "the Army makes men." So we quietly went to sleep. This morning we took the Oath. One of the boys was telling me later that when his brother was inducted In Alabama, there was a tough old sergeant who was having an awful time keeping the men quiet. "Gen- tlemen/' he would beseech them, "Quiet, please!" They were quiet during the administration of the Oath, after which they burst forth again. The old sergeant, his face beam- Lag sweetly, purred: "You are now members of the Army of the United States. Now, damn it, SHUT UP." This morning--our first morning in the Recruit Reception Center-- began when we finished breakfast and started claning up our squad- room. A gray-haired, fatherly old private, who swore that he had been demoted from master sergeant four times, lined us up in front of the barracks and took us to the dis- Pensary. If the li in front of the mess hall dwindled as rapidly as the one at the dispensary, lifo would have love- liness to sell above its private con- sumption stock. First you're fifteen feet from the door, then (whiff) ,ou're inside. Then you're stand- mg between two orderlies and the show is on. The one on my left scratched my arm and applied the smallpox virus. The only thing that kept me from keeling over was the hypodermic needle loaded with typhoid germs, which propped up my right arm. From the dispensary we went to a huge warehouse of a building by the railroad tracks. The place looked like Goldenberg's Basement on a busy day. A score of fitters measured necks, waists, inseams, heads, and feet. My shoe size, the clerk yelled down the line, was ten and a half. "I beg your pardon," I prompted, "I wear a size nine." "Forgive me," he said, a trifle weary, "the expression is 'I wore a size nine.' These shoes are to walk in, not to make you look like Cin- derella. You say size nine; your foot says ten and a half." We filed down a long counter, picking up our allotted khaki and denims, barrack bags and raincoats, mess kits and tent halves. Then we were led into a large room, where we laid aside the vestments of civil life and donned our new garments. While I stood there, wondering what I was supposed to do next, an attendant caught me from the rear and strapped to my shoulders what felt like the Old Man of the Mountain after forty days.. "Straighten up, soldier," the at- tendant said, "and git off the floor. That'smothing but a full field pack, such as you will tote many miles before you leave this man's army. Now I want you to walk over to that ramp and over it. That's just to see if your shoes are comfortable." "With these Oregon boots and this burden of misery," I told him firm- ly, "I couldn't even walk over to the thing. As for climbing over it, not even an alpenstock, a burro train, and two St. Bernard dogs complete with brandy could get me over it." There was something in his quiet, steady answering glance that re- assured me. I went over the ramp in short order. On the double, I think the Army calls it. From there we went to the thea- ter, where we were given intelli- gence tests, and to the classifica- tion office, where we were inter- viewed by patient and considerate corporals. "And what did you do in civil life?" my corporal asked me. "I was feature editor of the Char- lotte News." "And just what sort of work did you do, Private Hargrove? Just give me a brief idea." Seven minutes later, I had fin- ished answering that question. "Let's just put down here, 'Edi- torial worker.' " He sighed compas- sionately. "And what did you do before all that?" I told him. I brought in the pub- licity work, the soda-jerking, the theater ushering, and the printer's deviling. "Private Hargrove," he said, "the army is just what you have needed to ease the burdens of your exist- ence. Look no farther, Private Har- grove, you have found a home." ---- This was a lovely morning. We began at daybreak and devoted all the time until noon to enjoying the beauties of nature. We had a drill sergeant: to point them out to us. We marched a full twenty miles without leaving the drill field. Lunch, needless to say, was deli- cious. We fell into bed, after lunch, de- termined to spend the afternoon in dreamland. Two minutes later, that infernal whistle blew. Melvin Piel, guardhouse lawyer for Company A, explained it all on the way down- stairs. We were going to be as- signed to our permanent stations. I fell in and a corporal led us off down the street. I could feel the California palm trees fanning my face. We stopped at Barracks 17 andthe corporal led us inside. "Do we go to California, cor- poral?" I asked. "Naah," he said. "Where do we go?" I asked him, a little disappo:':]ted. "To the garbage rack," he said. "Double quick." He thumbed John- ny Lisk and me to the back of the barracks. "At the garbage rack we found three extremely fragrant garbage cans. Outside, we found more. Lisk and I, citizen-soldiers, stared at them. The overcheerful private to whom we were assigned told us, "When you finish cleaning those, I want to be able to see my face in them!" "There's no accounting for tastes," Lisk whispered. Neverthe- less, we cleaned them and polished them and left them spick and span. "Now take 'era outside, and paint era," said the private. "White. Oit the black paint and paint 'HQCO- RRC' on both sides of all of them!" "This is summer," I suggested. "Wouldn't something pastel look better?" The sun was affecting the private. "I think you're right," he said. So we painted them cream and lettered them in brilliant orange. All afternoon, In a blistering sun, we painted garbage cans. The other Charlotte boys waved to us as they passed on their way to the ball park. Happy voices floated to us from the post exchange. The straw-boss private woke up, yawned and went away, telling us J what would happen if we did like- wise. He returned soon in a truck. He motioned peremptorily to us and we loaded the cans into the truck. Away we went to headquarers com- pany-and painted more garbage cans. It was definitely suppertime by now. "Now can we go home, Private Dooley, sir?" asked Lisk. I looked at Lisk every time the blindness left me, and I could see the boy was tired. The private sighed wearily. "Glt in the truck," he said. Away we went back to our street. We stopped in front of our barracks and Pri-: vate Dooley dismounted. "The truck driver," he said, "would aP- preciate it if you boys would go and help him wash the truck." We sat in the back of the truck and watched the mess hall fade away behind us. Two, three, four miles we left it behind us. We had to wait ten minutes before we could get the wash-pit. It took us fifteen minutes to wash the truck. By the time we got back to the mess hall, we were too tired to eat. But we ate. It was through no fault of mine that I was a kitchen policeman on my sixth day. The whole barracks got the grind. And it was duty, not punishmenL It was all very simple, this KP business. All you have to do is to get up an hour earlier, serve the food, and keep the mess hall clean. After we served breakfast, I found a very easy job in the dining hall, where life is much pinker than it is in the kitchen. A quartet was formed and we were singing "Home on the Range." A corporal passed by just as Ihit a sour note. He put the broom into my left hand, the mop into my right . . . There was a citizen-soldier from Kannapolis to help me clean the cooks' barracks. 'For a time it was awful. We tried to concentrate on the floor while a news broadcaster almost tore up the radio trying to decide whether we were to be in the Army ten years or twenty. We finished the job in an extreme- ly short time to impress the cor- poral. This, we found later, is a serious tactical blunder and a dis- credit to the ethics of gold-brick- ing. The sooner you finish a job the sooner you start in on the next. The corporal liked our work, un- fortunately. Kannapolis was allowed to sort garbage and I was promoted to the pot-and-pan polishing section. I was Themes Kokenes' assistant. He washed and I dried. Later we formed a goldbricking entente. We both washed and made Conrad Wil- son dry. Pollyanna the glad giri would have found something silver-lined about the hot sink. So did I. "At least," I told Kokenes, "this will give me back a chance to recover from that mop," When I said "mop," the mess ser- geant handed me one. He wanted to be able to see his face in the kitchen floor. After lunch he want- ed the back porch polished. We left the Reception Center mess hall a better place to eat in, at "When you finish cleaning thost cans, I want to be able to see my face in them." any rate. But KP is like a woman's work--never really done Conrad Wilson marked one caldron and at the end of the day we found that we had washed it twenty-two times. Jack Mulligan helped me up the last ten steps to the squadroom. I finally got to the side of my bunk. "Gentlemen," I said to the group which gathered around to scoop me off the floor, "I don't ever want to see another kitchen!" The next morning we were clas- sified and assigned to the Field Ar- tillery Replacement Center. Gone Shumate and I were classified as cooks. I am a semi-skilled cook, they say, although the only egg I ever tried to fry was later used as a tire patch. The other cooks in- clude postal clerks, tractor sales- men, railroad engineers, riveters, bricklayers, and one blacksmith. But we'll learn. Already I've learned to make beds, sweep, mop, wash windov and sew a fine seam. When Congress lets me go home, will I make some woman a good wife! {TO BE CONTINUED i ii "FIRST-AID" ! by Roger B. 'hitmtm Roger n. Whitman--WNU Features. YOU may not be able to replae worn or broken household equipment. This is war. Government priorities come first. So take care of what you have . . . as well as you possibly can. This column by the homeown- er's friend tells yon how. STONE FOUNDATIONS |N PUTTING up a building of any -sort, it is never wise to have wood in direct contact with the earth. Sooner or later trouble will be sure to come from the rotting of the wood through dampness or from attack by termites or other insects. Some kinds of wood such as cy- press and redwood are resistant to trouble from rotting, but in time, even these are not entirely immune. In anything but a shack, the parts in contact with the earth should be of masonry, with well made poured concrete the first choice. When al- terations to an old building or re- grading around it may bring the wooden parts into contact with soil, it is best to replace the woodwork with concrete. Sometimes it is pos- sible to protect the wooden parts with a concrete wall, but for safety, this should be waterproofed with a coating of tar. * * Soundproofing Question: I live in an old house with a party wall. My neighbors begin their day when I am ready to retire. Is there any way I can have a room insulated against sound? Answer: Thorough soundproofing is not possible, but fair results may be had by lining the -noisy wall with a double layer of insulating materi- An old plaything comes in a new model. "This all-wood version of an indoor swing, on display at the Mer- chandise Mart, Chicago, resembles a scooter. It is suspended at three points. al. Fur out the wall with 2 by 4 inch studs, nailing them in place at the floor and ceiling. Nail a one- inch (or thicker) insulating blanket between the studs and then cover the wall with an insulating wall, board. Shingle Stain Question: What is the formula for mixing shingle stain? Answer: Mix in the proportion of four parts raw linseed oil, two parts coal-tar creosote and one part japan drier. For colors other than brown, tint with color-in-oil thinned with linseed oil to the above formula. Lumber for Bookcase Question: I wish to make some wall bookcases. What wood could I use other than white pine? Would maple be too hard for me to handle? Answer: White pine is easiest to work with. Maple, birch or oak can be used, but these woods are harder and cutting would not be so easy. Fuel Oil Stains Question: How can stains of fuel oil be removed from asbestos shin- gles on the outside of a house? Answer: Wash repeatedly with a solution of washing soda in water; three pounds to the gallon. Painting Screen Door Question: Which side of a screen door should I paint so that people cannot see through it from the street? Answer: For best results and ap- pearance, paint both sides. $ $ Painting Over Casein Question: What should I do to walls which are now finished with casein paint, before applying oil paint? Answer: A clean surface is all that is necessary. ON THE ME F ONT ODAY'S living room is often furnished with streamlined pieces that have served a more humble purpose. Almost any plain washstand or dresser may be giv- en long smart lines by adding open shelves at the ends. Here a top of plywood with a plain mould- ing around the edges extends across the stand and shelves. By adding a plain baseboard and a coat of paint the piece is finished with a modern air. The paint should match the woodwork and if old hardware is removed to make way for simple new drawer pulls the screw holes should be filled with plastic wood and sandpapered before painting. The diagram at the upper right shows how to make the wall deco- ration from a remnant of flow- ered chintz. If you use an old frame, the chintz picture may be given the appearance of an oil Housewives Are Urged To Turn in Waste Fats That there is an acute need for more fats and greases is empha- sized in n recent statement by Donald M. Nelson, chairman of WPB. Over 85 per cent of all glycerine produced is now used for military purposes and the need is increas- ing. Housewives have been most co-operative in response to ap- peals to save waste fats; but gov-, ernment surveys reeal that while six out of ten women are saving fats, only three out of ten have thus far been delivering their waste fat to meat dealer collec- tors. Directions are very simple. Housewives simply strain waste fats of every kind into a clean can and, as soon as the can is full, take it without delay to a meat dealer or frozen food locker op- erator. Any clean can will do. When the soldier talks about "the skipper" he means his captain, the head of his company. And that's just what the title "captain" means. It comes from the Latin word "caput" meaning "head." Another leader high in the Army man's favor is Camel cigarettes-- they're first choice with men in the Army. (Based on actual sales records from service men's own stores.) When you're sending gifts from home, keep in mind that a carton of cigarettes is always most welcome. And though there are Post Office restrictions on pack- ages to overseas Army men, you can still send CRmels to soldiers in the U. S., and to men in the Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard wherever they are.--Adv. painting by applying several coats of varnish, allowing plenty of time for each coat to d.ry taoroughly. Note: 2'he remodeled washstand is from Book 10 of the series of homemaking book- lets prepared for readers. Book 10 also ]contains more than 30 other things to make from things on hand and available materials. Bookleta are 15 cents. Addre- MRS. RUTH WYETH SPEARS Bedford Hills New York. Drawer 10 Enclose 1,5 cents for Book No. 10. NalTie....*eQ..o.-os..e.*oo*s.*...lelo Address ............................ ;. Brought Us Poinsettia Joel Robert Poinsett, American minister to Mexico (1825-29), no- ticed the striking beauty of the scarlet and green head of the poin- settia, and the fact that it usually came into blossom about Christ- mas time. Poinsett, who was a botanist as well as a diplomat, brought sev- eral specimens back to this coun- try, and fellow scientists soon learned that the plants thrived in sub-tropical parts of the United States. NO ASPIRIN FASTER than genuine, pure St. Joseph Aspirin. World's largest seller at ]0& None safer, none surer. Demand St Josapb AapiriD. Most Men Stammerers Although no one seems to know why, more than ten times as many men as women are given to stam- mering, research shows. Few Chinese Divorces Divorce is almost unimowa among the Chinese Hving in the United States. TABASCO te snapJieet eeemoninl known, and e worJu'a moat widely distributed food lUCt! A dash of this piquant sauce Ivsa a rare flvo to anooL TABASCO  the eeseonlniJ sect muter there fo mee than 75 rst i i i J --Buy War Savings Bonds--