Transcript of the first entry of my paternal grandfather’s memoirs from World War 2 in the Philippines. All parenthesis in red are mine.
RECORD OF THAT FATEFUL PERIOD OF HISTORY
December 1, 1941 to August 23rd, 1945
THE GREAT WORLD WAR 2, AS IT AFFECTED OUR FAMILY.
Dec. 1, 1941- We are living at 1235; #1 Interior, Leveriza Street, Malate District, Manila, just off Harrison Park, the Yacht Club and Dewey Boulevard (now Roxas Boulevard; this location is basically in the heart of Manila). We live in a small five room chalet, with yard in which are Guava, Santol, Mango, and Banana trees, also oleander and hibiscus bushes, cadena de amour vines cover the porch. There are nine of us in the Family, i.e.; Dad, CARL E. RICE (the author of this diary; referring to himself in the third person in this instance), age 64 (meaning he was born in 1877; unusual indeed for me to be barely two generations removed from the Civil War); Mama, Maria Salvador Rice, age 32 (yes, there was a 32 year age difference between my paternal grandfather and grandmother); Charles Ephriam, 15 (and yes, they had their first child when my grandfather was 49 and she 17; they were married the following year), in first year high school, Bordner public school; Robert Henry, age 14, in eighth grade, same school; Arthur Calvin, age 11, in fifth grade same school; Mary Eleanora (eventually goes by just “Ellen”), age 6, in first grade, same school; Norma, age 4; and James William (my father); age 2 (meaning my grandfather was in his sixties when my dad was born); also Magdelana R. Collins, age 16, whom I have cared for since the death of her father Wilkie Collins, she is working at the Bata Shoe Store on the Escolta, and is also an emergency nurse. I am retired from the Federal Civil Service, receiving $95.00 annuity per month ($1,557.73 in 2016 dollars), receive $50.00 per month ($819.86/2016) Spanish War Pension (meaning he served as a young man in that war, which is how he came to the Philippines in the first place). I also am administrator for the Estate of Wilkie Collins, and own half of the land of the estate in Castilla, Sorsogon Prov., which so far is a losing proposition because there are no ships available to take our copra to the USA.
I have been in Sternberg General Hospital for several days for Medical examination prior to re-entering the Civil Service; am in the ward assigned the U.S. Veterans Administration for use of Spanish War Veterans; many old vets in here, mostly filipinos; with me are William “Buck” Taylor, Messenger; and Jake Selzer;—my family come to see me nearly every day; also the families of Taylor and Selzer come. I AM NOT SICK—and Doc. says wishes to take some tests over again, but will sure let me out Saturday, the 6th. I eat at the hospital mess and better food cannot be served in any Hotel in Manila. The nurses are very efficient and the Doctors are also; the hospital is full of soldiers, many with injuries received in training for coming war which will probably come in January or February (remember, this entry is December 1st, just days from Pearl Harbor). I am anxious to get out of the hospital and get back in the Service, as Chief Clerk Wilson and Col. Brezina the Department Q.M. (quartermaster) want me as soon as possible. Every day the papers show War is coming closer. If I can I will send Mama (Maria) and the younger children down to the farm for safety.