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
4

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Sunday, August 4, 1940

Agrihan, Northern Mariana Islands
Agrihan, Northern Mariana Islands. Photographed in 1990 by Dick Moore, U.S. Geological Survey.
Some of the Northern Mariana Islands were in sight when I got up, barren looking and rather mountainous. They are owned by Japan and were formerly German.

Marian, David and I talked with the Captain and showed him some maps of the Philippines and Dutch East Indies. He said that the steamer sometimes went from Manila through the islands on her way to Los Angeles and sometimes around the north end of Luzon. He said one way was as good as the other.

I asked Marian to play shuffleboard but she would not do so, probably afraid of getting beaten. She always makes games a very personal matter. I played David and won, then Mrs. Whittaker and won by a narrow margin.

I am reading “The Grapes of Wrath” from the steamer library, one of the most interesting books I had read for a long time. In the evening Marian got me to tell about Alaska to Mrs. Whittaker.

David, Marian and I have a table with one more, a Miss A.E. Rigollier. She has some sort of business in Manila, probably a beauty shop or women’s clothes.

 
AUG 1940
3

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Saturday, August 3, 1940

David got me up at 8:30 after I had slept almost 12 hours.

I understand that the ship will be closed in at night until we reach Los Angeles, and suppose that the danger, if there is any, is from some German raider camouflaged as a freighter.

The food is rather poor, the service fair, but everything very clean and comfortable.

Walked a mile around the desk with Marian and then played three games of Chinese checkers with her using my small chess board which I adapted to the game. She won each time and very apparently made a great effort to beat me. She asked me at dinner whether I had “allowed” her to win, and I answered “of course”. I think she took it seriously.

Toured around the deck alone in the evening and then turned in.

AUG 1940
2

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Friday, August 2, 1940

There are a number of animals in cages on the lower deck, for a zoo in San Diego. Among them are two Hippopotami one of whom is sick, and a large orangutan from Borneo.

The wife in the Dutch family of refugees from Holland is quite ill, with a temperature of 104° F.

I walked a mile around the deck with Marian.

David has been looking over his films, of which he as about 1500. My own collection, however, contains almost all the close up views of botanical specimens and is therefore much the more valuable. I expect to make a complete set of 8×10 enlargements when I reach Garrison.
Turned in at 8 PM after an uneventful day.

Comments

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By admin
2010-08-03 05:42:47
There is some good footage of the animals upon their arrival in San Diego.
AUG 1940
1

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Thursday, August 1, 1940

Very beautiful view last evening of the volcano Mayon in the southern part of Luzon. This was nearing the last of the Philippines as this morning we were out of sight of land and I think will remain so until we reach Los Angeles.

Developed one roll of flashlights of the junk. Result unsatisfactory because over exposed and not in good focus. Development 5 ½ mins at 82° with 777 and Alpha Press film was correct. Decided not to do any more until I reach Garrison, so threw away materials.

Have not spoken to many passengers, but beat the young Hamel boy at ping pong, also put my name down for the shuffleboard and ping pong tournaments. Had beer with David and Marian and stayed up till 10:30 talking with them about Anne’s shortcomings. Neither could tell what had started the trouble. The missionary, Hamel gave a good report on Schofield, and Marian said that she was mean enough to feel sorry.

Everything was closed in last night but there was plenty of ventilation in the rooms. I discovered however, after a helpful suggestion from Marian, that I could open my window so had plenty of outside air tonight.

Mayon Volcano, southern Luzon, Philippines
Mayon Volcano, southern Luzon, Philippines. Photographed by Carl Lewis in 1999.
 
JUL 1940
31

Manila, Philippines to Los Angeles, USA

Written by Edward Beckwith on Wednesday, July 31, 1940

There were no restrictions about opening windows and the state room was cool and airy. Our fellow passengers do not look very prepossessing so far. The Hamel family from Ambon are on board.

We learned this morning that the chef, the butcher and one other, did not return to the boat at Manila and were left behind. Perhaps this is one reason that the food is not very good.

David wrote a letter to Mrs. George Fairchild and had a good deal to say about my not writing to Baby Fairchild. He was somewhat over insistent about it.

In the evening a Hollander introduced himself to me and later told us how he had left Holland in May as the Germans invasion was going on. His story was quite dramatic. He, his wife and two children left their home and managed to get on a boat to Batavia while the Dutch cities and towns were being bombed and destroyed. He had with him enough money with which to get to America and try to start again. He was in insurance and had left a good job in Holland.

JUL 1940
30

Manila, Philippines

Written by Edward Beckwith on Tuesday, July 30, 1940

Fruit basket from Mrs. George Fairchild
Fruit basket from Mrs. George Fairchild. Photographed by David Fairchild.
M.S. Bloemfontein
M.S. Bloemfontein.
Packed up and drove to the boat with 6 pieces, leaving them locked in my stateroom. A fine clean Dutch boat, painted black and gray and with no name in evidence.

I called up Lydia and she asked me to dinner. The Fairchilds stopped for me at 5 PM and I took my remaining baggage to the boat, returning afterward to the George Fairchilds.

Blanquita called me up then to ask some photographic questions, although she was coming to dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wolff, the whole George Fairchild family, David and Marian, and Blanquita were at dinner, served on the porch at little tables as usual. I sat next to Lydia and she made me rather angry by making a remark doubting the truth of my treasure hunting story. After telling her that Kilkenny had confirmed everything I said when he came out one day, I changed my seat and talked to some of the others. How she got started on the idea that I was a fabricator is beyond me.

Lydia later got up, came to me, and led me to a table where there was a beautiful basket of fruit for me to take to the steamer, David and Marian having a similar one. It certainly took me by surprise. Around 11 PM most of them drove to the steamer in 2 cars. They were not allowed on board but said good bye at the gang plank. I kissed “sister” goodbye and Lydia kissed me twice. Only shook hands with Blanquita but promised to write her about photography.

A we were going up the gang plank David turned round and in a loud voice so they could all hear, said to me “you must write to her (meaning Lydia), I have spoken about that before.” I was amused and really pleased although I thought David’s manner dictatorial.

Marian, David and I sat on deck until the boat started. There were very comfortable steamer chairs and we had a pleasant, friendly time. David and Marian think very highly of the George Fairchild family and I think they consider me rather unappreciative. However, the George Fairchilds, I have noticed, are on their good behavior with Marian and David, while I have seen them and heard them under other circumstances.

The boat started at about 12:30 and I bet Marian a bottle of beer that we went through the islands instead of around them.

Turned in at 1 in my fine clean single stateroom with a private bath almost as big as the room. Cost $446.00.