Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
MAY 1940
 
 
 
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JUNE 1940
 
 
 
 
 
 
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JULY 1940
 
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AUGUST 1940
 
 
 
 
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AUG 1940
9

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Friday, August 9, 1940

The International Date Line.
Two Fridays in succession to allow for an extra day.

The windows in the cabins were all screwed up tight last night as some people have been careless with their lights.

Had breakfast alone at 7:30 feeling depressed over the photograph situation. Had a walk on deck with David and mentioned that I expected to file my duplicate negatives with him. I think he was pleased and that this arrangement should be satisfactory.

Played by first shuffleboard match with Mr. Weerman, beating him 53 – 32. It was a long frame and hard to play on account of the pitching of the boat. Went to Marian’s cabin afterward and had some refreshment.

I concluded that everything will work out all right about photographs as David and I seem to be really very friendly. I have to allow for his rather rigid and dominating way to thinking.

Played shuffleboard with Mrs. Houlding as partner against David and Mrs. Whittaker, beating them. It was good fun. Mrs. Houlding constantly slapped me on the back after a good shot and said “what a man!”

We all sat on deck in the moonlight and had a pleasant evening with beer and sandwiches at 10.

The captain told me this morning that there are no typhoons east of the Ladrone Islands. He said that many of the children on board were ill, that they had malaria which came out on a sea trip.

 
AUG 1940
9

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Friday, August 9, 1940

Alexander Graham Bell, father of Marian Fairchild
Alexander Graham Bell, father of Marian Fairchild.
A complication has arisen with David about my films. The exact reason for it is not entirely clear. I have two theories, one is that I have not planned to file my films with Fairchild Tropical Garden in Florida, and the other is that I suggested that he pay the cost of materials for enlargements. Whatever it was has struck him so much on the wrong side that he is apparently ready to have nothing more to do with my films or color photos. I could hardly believe that he would take such a rigid and extreme view. He did say that he wanted me to come to Florida and assist him in giving some lectures. I am rather at a loss to know the best way to handle the matter. Marian, who is very sensitive about such things, has sensed the trouble, and it may be that I will talk with her about it. If there is going to be a split here it is certainly unfortunate after all the time and effort expended on photographs for the trip. I did not sleep well last night thinking about it.

Played shuffleboard with Gheno, beating him 53 – 20, which pleased me after his beating me at ping pong.

Did not see Marian and David all morning, but at noon Marian looked me up to come to her room and have a drink. She was very pleasant and I could see was anxious to be nice to me on account of the upset. I did not mention the subject.

In the late afternoon David sent Marian to my room to get me to come on deck and play shuffleboard. I and Mrs. ??? beat David and Mme. Regolier.

Marian was especially nice to me in the evening and we sat and talked on the rear deck about Baddeck and Garrison for sometime. She also told me about her father, Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone. David joined us later. He remarked that “when I come to Baddeck I could bring my camera to photograph the rug making there.”

 
AUG 1940
8

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Thursday, August 8, 1940

An announcement was posted that we would stop at Honolulu, arriving at 8 AM on Monday and leaving at noon. The captain has previously denied that we would stop there. The boat is sailing under the British admiralty and no information on places is apparently given to the passengers.

Did some typing for Marian. Played a little shuffleboard in the afternoon after walking a mile with Marian. Talked in the evening with Gheno and Marian. He said that no Englishmen were allowed in Arabia. He spoke of a special tire for sand made by the Firestone Co. He personally preferred the Chevrolet to the Ford.

AUG 1940
7

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Wednesday, August 7, 1940

Drawings for the tournament were posted. I am to play Mr. Gheno in ping pong and Mr. Vurman in shuffleboard.

Talked with another Standard Oil man from the Persian Gulf. He told me all about the difficulties of taking photographs in that country without getting arrested.

Did some typing for Marian getting through some of David’s notes.

Played my match with Gheno and got beaten twice in succession. Gheno is one of 18 Standard Oil men who are on leave from the oil wells and refinery on the Persian Gulf.

AUG 1940
6

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Tuesday, August 6, 1940

Rumor that we will stop at Honolulu and I hope so. Sea calmed down during the night and was blue and fresh looking this morning but no motion.

Read “Grapes of Wrath,” the most interesting book I have found for some time. Everyone quiet and no one playing games. The proposed tournaments have definitely evaporated. Played 3 games of ping pong with the Hamel boy, beating him in each.

Later talked with a number of people among them Mr. D. Gheno, Standard Oil driller on vacation from the Persian Gulf oil wells. Very interesting to hear about methods used. He considered that the world’s oil sources had been hardly tapped.

AUG 1940
5

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Monday, August 5, 1940

Shuffleboard
Shuffleboard. Photographed in 2007 by Bret Arnett.
Played a game of shuffleboard with Mrs. Whittaker, beating her 36 to 1.

The tournaments which were posted and in which I was entered for shuffleboard & ping pong, seem to have evaporated. The people on board do not seem to be much on sports, swimming in the canvas pool seeming to be more popular than anything. The English do not like to be beaten at games and I do not think that Mrs. Whittaker will want to play again.

Marian stayed up and talked with me in the evening and we had some beer and sandwiches. She told me about their place in Florida.

There was a fresh breeze and a little more motion, but the Pacific is well named. David came up later. He had been reading Harold Noice’s account of a trip up the Amazon which I bought in Manila. [ed: probably Back of Beyond]