So what of the future, that my grandfather expressed trepidation over at the end of his memoirs? Having become refugees in the land he embraced and settled in as a young soldier during the Spanish American War, my grandfather was forced to relocate back to the family home of Manhattan, Kansas at the conclusion of World War 2. Settling in with his sister Ada, he subsequently spent the next two years petitioning the U.S. State Department to allow him and his family to return to Manila; among the old photos we have are letters exchanged with officials corresponding on this issue. They were finally allowed to return in 1947.
On the way back my grandmother gave birth to one last child, Freddy, in October 1946 in Los Angeles as they awaited passage back to the Philippines. This would indeed mean my grandfather sired one last child at the age of 69(!). Finally, the following March, 1947, they departed and returned to Manila.
The photos below are primarily from that latter half of the 1940s, and many of them have handwriting indicating who’s who and what’s what. My oldest uncles, Charlie and Henry, joined the Navy, Charlie at least eventually attaining the rank of Commander, like his father. My dad and I think the youngest, Freddy, also served in the Navy when they came of age.
My grandfather, Carl Ephriam Rice, the author of these memoirs I just completed sharing, passed away on August 2nd, 1950, at the age of 72. This led to my grandmother returning with her youngest children to Manhattan for good the following year. Suffering from asthma all of her life, in an era before medicine had enabled relief from the condition, she was to pass away at the young age of 55 in January 1965. (“The worst day of my life”, my father said once.)
My dad graduated from the same high school me and my brothers would graduate from 30-odd years later, Manhattan High, turned down a scholarship offer for Commercial Art from KU before being drafted and joining the Navy in the early 60s (my Uncle Charlie, I think, did get a degree in the same program from KU in 1952). The siblings all eventually dispersed to different parts of the country with my dad being the only one to stay in Manhattan and raising us. Charlie and Henry each married and had children and grandchildren and lived out their lives in Hawaii before passing away in 2005 and 2011, respectively. My uncle Freddy died young in a car crash under the influence at age 30 in 1977. My aunts Norma and Ellen currently reside in Oregon (Norma) and I think Ohio (Ellen) with families of their own. I vaguely remember Ellen’s family visiting us in Manhattan when I was six or seven in 1979 or ’80. For whatever reason we haven’t been too connected even though I have many cousins and extended family.
Uncle Charlie, 1948
Uncle Charlie and friend, and my grandfather, late 1940s.
Uncle Freddy, 2 years old, 1948
Uncle Charlie (middle) with friends at the Manhattan City Pool, 1948.
Class photo; my dad is third row up, second from right, looking to his right. Mid-1950s, Manhattan.
Uncle Charlie, late 1940s
Grandmother, late 1940s
My Dad, early 1950s in Manhattan, Kansas
My Aunt Ellen
My grandfather’s funeral. At far right is my grandmother with my dad peering over the coffin. August 1950.
My Great-Aunt Ada, sister of my grandfather
Uncle Henry and his wife Liz, 1950s
Grandfather with youngest son Freddy, 1947
Next: Final assessment of my grandfather’s memoirs.
June 22, 1945—Moved to San Carlos Camp, on a hill in Mandaloyan, an old Spanish Convent. Spent first night in a tent with Mr. Jones, rained and hard wind blew the tent down on us. Moved in a few days to the lower floor of convent, good room occupied by about all the old timers.
July 12, 1945—Received from the finance section of Recovered Personnel Branch, U S Army, the arrears in pay due me. $10,223.74 ($137,298.58 in 2016 dollars). Bought seven $1000.00 “E” War bonds. Numbered Series E, M-10091547, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53. In name of myself and Mrs. Rice.
July 24—Received Spanish War Pension Checks for period July 1st, 1944 to April 30, 1945, total $500.00.
July 31—Put on repatriation list #15. I don’t like to do it. Mrs. also does not like it although she wishes to be with Charlie and Henry; my friends here are all against it; but the three children here with me must have school, which they have been deprived of for three years and need food they cannot now get here. I know that as far as I and Mary are concerned it will be a hardship, and a costly trip. Also we all need better food and a change in climate so we are hoping we do not find such bad conditions as we hear about in States and that we will soon be able to return to Manila (they eventually would two years later).
Aug 1, 1945—Embarked on the Navy Transport Gen. John Pope, by way of San Bernadino Straits, Saipan, Marshall Isles, to Seattle; the Atomic bomb fell and Japs surrendered while we were on the sea.
Seattle Immigration made it hard for all on board, we arrived on Aug 17, left by Union Pacific Aug 20, arrived in Manhattan (Kansas) about 9pm, Aug 23, the boys and Sister Ada met us and HERE WE ARE.