Looking for shells (Roscoe)

Letter transcription:

Lt (jg) Yegerlehner MC USNR
Receiving Station (Hospital) omit
U.S. Naval Advanced Base
Noumea, New Caledonia
% Fleet P.O.
San Francisco, Calif.

Dear Mother,

Didn’t get at writing this until late because Dr. P. and I went for a ride to another beach in order to find new shells but had no luck with shells however we did see some of the more beautiful and rougher country. I’d say we drove all total about 50 miles and when you ride in a modified truck (command car) you know you been some place.

To begin with we, it being Sunday, saw some of the native Javenese and Tonkinese in their Sunday best. For skirts these women wear a type of dress that looks just like a wrap

[page 2] around. Of course I’ve never been able to look at one any more closely than a stare, but it seems to be a rectangular piece of cloth which is wrapped around them with plenty to overlap. These come down almost to the ankles and there must be plenty overlapped because no matter how much the wind blows one never sees a knee or even a portion of the leg. Pardon me for staring but I’d like to find out. We have tried to buy those things in town but they shrug the shoulder and say “sorry no ration card no goods.” Those I saw today were or look like very good grade of silk and most of them rather brightly colored. They wear a

[page 3] shirt with them and one woman in particular had a huge butter fly embroidered in the back of the shirt. It cover fully one half of her back. The front was just plain. The Tonkinese wear only one stule dress. The mother hubbard. I saw on today which was of the, or seemed to be, finest white silk – It really glistened. This wrap around I was describing looks just like a skirt only it isn’t sewed in front. Just wrapped. Maybe that gives you the idea. I wasn’t looking at the women all the time. That was while we were going thru town and there were lots of hitch hikers on the road. Not hitching rides. That is the only way they have of going places.

[page 4] Now something about the trip. To begin with we are in French territory but as you drive along you will see – signs which say – Do not pass on curves, private keep out, speed limit 20 miles per hour etc. Does that mean anything? Then other sign say 20 kilometers to so % so. And I also wondered as we drove along if they had R. F. D. because I saw no mailboxes. The houses remind one or rather one gets the impression that he is back in the rough in the States and a shack some farmer uses for tools and horses as being passed rather than a dwelling. Then after one gets about past the thing he looks back to see if any of the inhabitants are sitting in the front yard. There never is.

The next description was not all in one area but could well have been. I’ll try to picture it as such. We were

[page 5] on the side of a mountain about 4000 feet high. The road hardly wide enough for two cars to pass. The soil red – just about the color of the brick in our house of course on both sides of the road the vegetation was covered with red dust. Looking down one could see the tops of small vegetation but it is patchy, large spots of the bare red showing. Much of the vegetation is a fern like growth but more coarse and the dead plants of last year aren’t black as around home but a very pale lavender. This extends into the valley and up the side of another mountain miles away and by the time one reaches the level of the mountain on the other side all that can be seen is splotches of pale green and red.

Now to the right or up – The other was left and down the terrain wasn’t steep but moderately inclined and among the red bare areas there are streaks of yellowish soil which appears reminds one of sulfur deposits. The vegetation

[page 6] is much the same as down but here and there streams of water come trickling down and by the time they come to the road these streams are a foot or more in width and the water crystal clear. It runs along the side of the road for some distance then thru a sewer and on down into the valley.

Here and there straight ahead along the beach cocoanut trees can be seen and on past them the blue of the pacific with the white caps jumping up every square foot or two make a proper back ground for the setting.

I’d like to have a colored picture of the whole thing for description is so meager as compared to the real thing.

Well, if I think of anything I missed I’ll write it tomorrow.
Lots of love

P.S. No mail

©2013 copyright owned and/or written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/12/18/looking-for-shells-roscoe/

1 thought on “Looking for shells (Roscoe)

  1. davidmadison1942

    LOL: “Pardon me for staring but I’d like to find out.”

    In case you’re wondering: R. F. D. = rural free delivery

    A very good detailed description. I wonder what it looks like today.


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