I remember how the Japanese counted and counted and counted us over and over again at roll call when they discovered that two men had escaped.
I remember you as a dark-haired shy little boy.
I remember the peanut oil lamps but I only recall using them after lights out at 10pm. etc.
That I was standing here on a warm summer afternoon when I heard Aliosha falling down from a big tree. He killed himself. I was cook in kitchen #1 and Aliosha had been punished because he didn't show up early that morning for he was "stoker" and had to light the fires in kitchen #1. His punishement was to seek for dry wood to start the fires for the next days.
"My" tree, full of catkins that first spring. Sometimes, looking up, there was a flash of golden oriole wings, and looking west, I watched the sun set way beyond the wall. Once, a mushroom grew on it's trunk. Mr Churchill ATE it, Daddy didn't dare!
sitting on the outside wall at the baseball field, the second time paratroupers dropped. We had put up parachutes as a backstop for the homeplate. All of a sudden, canisters started to drop where we were sitting, because they thought that was the place to aim the parachutes. Luckily, someone figured it out before anyone was hurt and rushed to tear the parachutes down.
I remember --- roll calls. Standing in pairs, we Chefoo children always numbered off in Japanese --- ichi, nee, san, shee, guo, rogo, shichi, hatchi, koo, joo. Waiting for the Japanese guards to come to count us. Sometimes we played leap frog. Sometimes practiced semaphore and Morse Code for our Brownie and Girl Guide badges. I remember that awful evening ...
I remember my half hour shifts pumping water at three pumping stations - sometimes at the bakery, sometimes near the shoe repair shop near the hospital, and sometimes near the ladies' toilets next to Block 36.
I remember walking on the corrugated tin roofs of the Japanese compund with (Leo? Leon?) older than I, and our feet were burning on the heat and we caught two fledgling pigeons for food. he cooked them and I brought half back to my family. I cannot remember who he was except that he was (Russian?).
I rememberI was standing with Major Staiger when he saw the misdirected chutes going down. He pulled his pistol and went off toward the village. Later a couple of wagons came back with all the stuff loaded on them. Those chutes were red as I remember.
I remember another occasion, we sneaked to that tree. We had to creep along the ground so as not to be seen. We loved staying hidden in the branches -- until the Japanese commandant came along with a book to read and sat under the tree. Of course we had to stay put. However, ...