Passtimes of the HDC

Sergeant Thayer: Yes, oh ya, ya, something's come back, come back, flash back there just a moment ago. Ya . . . I remember at Fort Canby, we got over there, and, somehow or another . . . somebody had captured this small bear and they fed it beer. It got nasty . . . it had a "hangover."

Ya, we played baseball a lot there. We went to Chinook (Washington) one time--you know where that is?--we went several times down there to play baseball, down at some school. I remember quite a few of us went down there. And then we used to play, right, there's a level ground in Fort Canby right there--used to be a water tank--and we played there quite a bit, really. [A lot of baseball?] Ya, quite a bit, as the weather permitted.

A lot of guys went fishing because they were, it was there for ya, at no cost--they furnished everything. And don't remember, I don't think I went, but I did go, what I did a few times was go down and help them form a cranberry bog. I worked down there at Long Beach quite a bit. A dollar an hour? I thought gee, a dollar an hour, that's fantastic wages. I'd never gotten a dollar an hour, never! And so a lot of us went down there--three day pass--you could make quite a few bucks depending on whether you want to work eight hours or twelve hours.

Corporal Wilson: [We] had movies. We probably had two different movies a week. A lot of cards. Most of the time, actually, in some areas you weren't allowed to gamble for money so you played, oh, maybe you had to pay the guy off with a drink in town . . . there was card games, but they were not actually sanctioned by anybody and we didn't have that much money anyway. Any card game was like a ten, fifteen, twenty cent card game.

The Beer Bust!?! Ya, they'd throw their money in and go get their beer in there and beer was very inexpensive, a dollar a case maybe or eighty cents a case for beer . . . we actually, in different areas, turned-out some hard liquor once in a while called "raisin jack." We used the power plants for this . . . we had a still set-up at one time and one of the fellas was running it, he was one of the people from Georgia. And he actually set a still up and you could get yourself liquored-up with that stuff. We used to go to town. But town was, it was kind of a break from the routine, but there wasn't much in town, you know.


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Last updated: Jan. 8, 2000.
James C. Scott (e-mail).