U.S. Symbol
Communicators AND Others Enjoying Retirement
Issue 41May 1999Volume 4 - Number 6

Welcome to the CANDOER News. Suggestions as to what you would like to see in the CANDOER are welcome. Letters to the editor, articles consisting of general information, feature articles, G-rated jokes, or poems, written/submitted by retirees or OC/IM employees, past or present, will be published, unedited. Material may be submitted on a 3.5" floppy disk (disk will be returned) using WordPerfect Version 6.1 or earlier (if it contains graphics), on a plain sheet of paper (if it has no graphics) or via e-mail. The deadline for submitting material is no later than the 25th of each month. Material received after that date will be published in the next issue of the CANDOER, space allowing. Please, restrict articles/submissions to two single spaced, typed pages. No hand written submissions, please.

The snail-mail address for submissions or letters to the editor is:

Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
Publisher/Editor CANDOER News
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062

ATS History
Automated Reproduction and Collating System (ARCS)

by Will Naeher

Part 1 of 2

In spite of the state-of-the-art concepts and equipment of the ATS, processing of telegrams was delayed in the manual labor intensive procedures of reproduction. Telegrams arrived in the Reproduction Section minutes after being received in the ATS. However, on a high volume traffic day, they languished in Reproduction for many hours. On Thursday and Friday, it was unlikely that a "routine" precedence telegram would be delivered before close of business. We were transmitting messages around the world at the speed of light and delivering them on a bicycle. The incongruity of this delay in writer to reader cycle was painfully apparent. Something had to be done. It was a classic case of a problem in search of technology. But, none of the then available technologies offered cost effective solutions.

In the late 1960's, the Department sought a solution to its reproduction bottleneck. Working with several other federal agencies, an attempt was made to define the general requirements. The technology available at that time, to solve our problem, was expensive. One by one, other agencies withdrew from the search. As they did so, the cost to the Department of State became prohibitive.

However, at the continued urging of the Department, XEROX Corporation continued its search for alternative solutions that would be cost effective. Finally, in 1974, the Research and Development staff of XEROX Electro-Optical Systems Division demonstrated a bread board model that had successfully married laser and computer technologies with existing printing and collating equipment. They demonstrated the feasibility of this approach and negotiations were begun.

The Manual System

To fully appreciate the ARCS, we should first review the manual system which it replaced and the requirements which were met by the new system. Before the ARCS, the reproduction and collating of messages was accomplished pretty much by brute force. Messages from the ATS were routed to skilled analysts, who used CRT terminals to edit and analyze the messages and to provide routing and distribution instructions. Once cleared by the analysts, the message was transmitted over communications lines to Data Products 2910 printers in the reproduction area, which prepared off-set masters. The message was then sent though a control clerk to one of nine Addressograph Multilith 2650 off-set presses for the preparation of an approximate number of copies as indicated by the Analyst. Because not all copies may be of acceptable quality, the press operator would produce more copies than are needed to obtain the required number of copies. Even so, the last few copies of a large run may be marginal. Unused copies were subsequently destroyed.

The messages were then given to people who checked the copies against the distribution list, collated them, stapled the copies into message sets by destination, and checked them against a control sheet. Multiple page messages were collated on a multiple page collator, which fed the assembled message into a stapler. The messages were then placed in the appropriate distribution bin, to be sent via pneumatic tubes to their ultimate destinations.

System Requirements and Objectives

At the time of the development of the ATS, the communications center handled about 4,500 terminal messages a day. However, this resulted in an average of about 750,000 pieces of paper per week, not including overrun copies. To avoid expensive short term development costs, we asked that the system be able to sustain a significant growth over the next eight years. The system was to be transparent to the ATS and be TEMPEST approved. The system must be able to print and sort messages in order of precedence and place collated and stapled messages in the proper destination bins. Printing of incoming telegrams would have precedence over outgoing messages and be able to distribute into 150 destination bins. The system was to be available 24-hours-a-day, seven days per week.

The front end of the system consisted of a master controller, which included two minicomputers, each with its own disc storage device. One of the computers was used as a backup device. It had to received all of the messages from the ATS that its partner did. The data was erased from both discs as each message was processed and reproduced. This was possible because the ATS had full storage and retrieval capability.

Each dual computer master controller, controlled a slave subsystem, which in turn controlled two print stations. Each slave system had a character generator, which electronically scanned the image of an entire page in a matter of milliseconds. Once the image for a page had been created, the message was transmitted to one of two XEROX printer/duplicators. The copies were then sent to a 50 bin sorter. The final ARCS configuration included two master controllers, for redundancy, and four slave subsystems, which supported seven printer and collating stations. The master controller was capable of directing up to 10 slave systems, controlling 20 printer/sorter stations.

The disc capacity of the master controller allowed us to store approximately 500 messages, averaging 1 pages each. It was designed so additional storage could be added. The type font was created through software instructions that spelled out the page density and patterns for each page, as it was created electronically. This versatility permitted the reproduction of about 70% of all messages on one page. If the message was two pages, a new compact font called "two-up" printing was used automatically, which permitted printing a two-page message on one side of a sheet of paper. To eliminate the need for an in-line stapling machine another smaller font was developed that allowed for longer telegrams to be printed "four-up" in a two column format. Later the capability to print on both sides of the paper was added.

The ARCS computer also checked the distribution designations and underlined the indicators for each bin, as the massage was printed and distributed. Messages were noted as Incoming or Outgoing. In addition to the heading, hash marks were placed down the right hand side of all outgoing messages to give immediate indication that this was an outgoing message. The action copy was also clearly indicated. A special hash mark was used on the top of the first page of each message set destined for the same office. Thus the end user could riffle though the pages and see at a glance where the new message set began. The precedence was clearly marked. A special visual sound alarm, on the controller of the sorter, alerted the operator when a FLASH message had been processed. These alarms continued until the message was removed from the distribution bin.

Letters to the Editor

In last months issue, I mentioned that I had heard from Francesca Kelly about an organization she was associated with called the SUN (Spouse's Underground Newsletter).

Below you will find a letter from one of the people who works with Francesca on this endeavor, Fritz Galt, explaining what the SUN is all about and how to subscribe.

Dear Robert,

Francesca Kelly forwarded me a message you sent her about your newsletter requesting information about our newsletter, the SUN. Below your readers will find information about our group.

Foreign Service Spouses! What's on Your Minds?

The bureaucracy often treats us as less important, less than full partners, even on occasion, less than full citizens.

Shannon Jamison
Let's Rewrite the Book
The SUN, Winter 1992

It was our first assignment, Kingston, Jamaica, and the CLO ad read, Come climb Blue Mountain: view the exotic fauna and flora amidst fresh mountain air ... The ad worked on me, all right, my senses were invigorated. I was ready to go.

Jeanne Lauderdale
Blue Mountain
The SUN, Fall 1991

On and off for the last three decades, I have been studying foreign languages ... So what does all the foreign language study add up to? Confusion!

Shirley Connuck
On Becoming Non-Lingual
The SUN, Winter 1992

She tore herself away from him and slapped his face, hard... "You insolent bastard!", she hissed. "You know bloody well I can't fraternize with a national from this country!"

Francesca Kelly/Rebecca Long Fairchild
Foreign Service Spouse (continuing saga)
The SUN, Spring 1991

The above are just a few of the articles you will find in the SUN. If you're a Foreign Service spouse, you can't afford to miss reading The SUN (Spouses Underground Newsletter), the first publication written exclusively for and by Foreign Service spouses. In it you'll find thoughtful articles, letters, satire, light verse, and helpful advice, all of it pertinent to YOUR life because it's written by people like you! So don't miss another issue; subscribe today!

A one year subscription (three issues) is available for $15. Back issues are also available. You may also request a free sample issue by contacting us at the snail mail or e-mail address shown below.

Send your check (made out to The SUN) or a request for more information, with your Name, and address to:

The Sun/Francesca Kelly
P.O. Box 166
Vienna, VA 22183

Or contact us on the net at: or by e-mail:


/s/ Fritz Galt

Editors Note: I have paid several visits to The Sun Web Page and have read an issue of The Sun Newsletter. You cannot go wrong to look at this site and/or to subscribe to this Newsletter. Francesca Kelly and Fritz Galt do an outstanding job with both the Web Page and the Newsletter. I know you and your spouses will thoroughly enjoy both!

The following letter was received from Jim Prosser.

Dear Bob:

Graham Lobb's April CANDOER article on USIA Wireless File radio operators, brought to mind several that I had encountered in my career. They all were interesting personalities in their own right.

Francisco Vaquero came to Geneva and immediately was employed by the GSO, and was an outstanding, conscientious, employee. I was quite friendly with him and enjoyed listening to his experiences as a Wireless File relay operator in Tangier back in the 50's and 60's. He worked two jobs there, one for USIA and the other for RCA. He said, "Jim, all those DITs and Das running through my brain were driving me crazy. I had to leave and find another job." It was a pleasure knowing and working with him. I suspect he is retired by now.

Robert (Pete) Lacock's story is rather unusual in two aspects. After completing his US military service in Germany in the 1960's, he desired to remain in Europe, eventually drifting down to Geneva. Somehow he signed on with USIS Geneva to copy, print and distribute their Wireless File at night and work for the US Mission's Conference Attache office during the day in a variety of tasks. With his social life and two jobs, I often wondered how he found time for sleep. Eventually, the US government prohibited having Americans employed as Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs) so Pete decided to join the Foreign Service, but from abroad. Pete eventually had a number of assignments as a communicator in Europe and Africa. He probably holds the record for the total number of years served in Niamey. Pete will retire from Oslo in June. Why not recruit him as a CANDOER?



Cat's Corner

Does anyone have information on how I can contact Robert (Pete) Lacock, via e-mail or snail mail, either one?

Luncheon Log

We had a good turnout for the April Luncheon at TGIF's in Alexandria. The following people were in attendance: Bob Alexander, Bob Campopiano, Jim Casey, Bob Catlin, Al Debnar, Paul Del Giudice, Charlie Ditmeyer, Ed Ferry, Tom Forbes, Charlie Hoffman, Ken Loff, Mel Maples, Will Naeher, Nate Reynolds, Robby Robinson, Val Taylor, John Tyburski, and Tom Warren.

Jim and Mary Prosser will be in the Washington area in May and plan on attending the May 11 luncheon at Phineas in Rockville. Jim and Mary ask that you bring your wives along for this one.

Retiree's Report

On March 25, I received an e-mail from Diane Peterson requesting information about the CANDOERs. I sent her my normal canned message. Diane's e-mail address may be found on the last page of this and future issues.

On March 25, I received an e-mail from Rey Grammo. Rey is now on-line. His e-mail address may be found on the last page of this and future issue.

On March 31, I received an e-mail message from David Neuser. David furnished a new e-mail address. In addition to the new address, he will be keeping his old address. His new address may be found on the last page of this and future issues.

On April 1, within a five minute period, I received a telephone call from both Rey Grammo and Rob Robinson reporting that Bob Scheller had been hospitalized on Wednesday, March 31 for quintuple bypass heart surgery.

By the time you read this, Bob will be convalescing at home.

On behalf of the CANDOERs, I have sent Bob a get well card.

On April 2, I received a letter from Bob Sandberg. Bob and Sally have a new summer address. It may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue.

In addition, Bob furnished the name and address of 12 retirees who may be interested in the CANDOERs. I have sent all 12 my canned infogram about the CANDOERs and how to contact me if they wish to become a member.

On April 4, I received a letter from William W. Ford, in response to my infogram described in the previous paragraph. Bill sent a check and his bio. Bill is presently assigned to the IPC at American Embassy Bonn. You will find his bio in the Pen and Ink section of this issue and his e-mail address on the last page of this and future issues.

On April 4, I received an e-mail from Swain Britt. Swain is back on the air. By the time you read this, he will have taken delivery of a new computer and a new motor home. His e-mail address may be found on the last page of this and future issues.

On April 5, I received an e-mail from Don Norton, in response to a snail mail I sent him about the CANDOERs. Don is on his way to England for three weeks and will get back to me when he returns. His e-mail address is on the last page of this issue and future issues.

On April 6, I received an e-mail from Frank Pressley. Yasemin gave birth to a bouncing baby boy on March 22 in Ankara, Turkey. He weighed 7 lbs 4 oz and was 20 inches long. Mother and son are doing great. Frank advised that Yasemin and the three boys will Frankfurt in early May.

On April 6, I received a telephone call from Don Woellert. Don called to inform me, among other things, that Fru Tooraen had died. More information may be found later in this issue. Don reported he is retiring from his second career and that he and Charlotte are going to enjoy the "good life" in Albuquerque.

On April 10, Jim Prosser furnished a new e-mail address for Ray Norris, in Paris. Ray's new e-mail address may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue as well as on the last page of this and future issues.

On April 14, I received a letter, and contribution, from Bill Belk in response to my infogram. Bill has retired retired and is now spending his winters in Florida and his summers in Washington state. After retirement, from 1989 through 1993, he owned a restaurant/tavern in Bellingham, Washington. He sold it in 1993 and reported he is now spending most of his time playing golf.

Bill's bio may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue and his e-mail address on the last page of this and future issues.

On April 19, I received a telephone call from Bob Scheller. Bob said he is doing well and is on his way to a full recovery. By the time you read this, he will be walking 20 minutes every morning and evening.

Bob stated that he and Rose Marie were overwhelmed by the number of cards, letters, and telephone call they received expressing get well wishes and prayers for a quick and full recovery. He said there is no way he is ever going to be able to answer all of the calls, cards and letters and therefore asked me to pass on to everyone, his overwhelming gratitude and thanks for your very much appreciated prayers and good wishes.

On April 20, in an e-mail message, Jim Prosser furnished an e-mail address for Shirley Epstein. Shirley's e-mail address may be found on the last page of this and future issues.

On April 20, I received and e-mail message from Jim Thompson. Jim is retiring from the Foreign Service on May 3, after 37+ years. Jim's bio and e-mail address may be found in the Pen and Ink section of this issue.

On April 21, I received a telephone call from Will Naeher informing me that Al Giovetti has had a stroke that effected his right side.

The morning of April 22, I called Al and talked with him for a few minutes. Al reported that on April 12, he had a mini-stroke that effected his right side. He spent six days in the hospital and is now at home convalescing and receiving therapy. The stroke had a minimal effect on his speech, but he says he has some weakness in his right hand and leg. Because of this, he is unable to answer e-mail and asks that everyone refrain from sending him any until further notice. Al said, his doctor told him, with time, he should experience a full recovery.

I have sent Al a get well card in the name of the CANDOERs.

On April 25, I received and e-mail message from Marcia Melnick, informing me that on March 17, Ed had surgery for cancer of the esophagus and because of complications from the surgery passed away on April 24.

A card has been sent to Marcia in the name of the CANDOERs and a donation of $50 has been made in Ed's name on behalf of the CANDOERs.

DEATH - Fru Tooraen

It is with deep regret, I inform you of the death of a long-time member of the Foreign Service and a 1985 retiree, Fru Tooraen.

Fru died in Albuquerque, NM, on April 5.

Manila, Vienna, London, Paris, Geneva, and Pretoria are just a few of the posts where Fru served with distinction.

Her niece, Shannon Gurbaxani, asks that anyone sending cards of condolence please include a story of where you met Fru and/or any stories about Fru's career you may have.

Don Woellert furnished the above information and asked that if you send cards of condolences and/or stories, please send them to his wife, Charlotte.

A card of condolences has been sent to Shannon in the name of the CANDOERs.

Death - Edward P. Melnick

It is with deep regret and great sorrow that I inform you that Ed Melnick passed away yesterday morning, April 24, after a hard fought battle against cancer.

Ed served 21 years with the U.S. Air Force and retired in 1977. He then served from 1978 through 1994 with the Foreign Service at Accra, San Jose, Managua, Buenos Aires, Victoria, Rio de Janeiro, Durban and Windhoek. Ed retired from the FS in June of 1994.

As of the date of publication of this issue, full funeral arrangements have not been completed. Marcia said, "A viewing and religious service will be held in Zephyrhills, sometime this week, and interment will take place at Arlington National Cemetary, as soon as arrangements can be made."

Keep The Embassies Open

The following was received via e-mail recently from Jim Prosser, and is included for your edification.

On April 1, Mobil placed the following public service announcement in the New York Times:

Keep the Embassies Open

As the U.S. takes on new international obligations, U.S. embassies are becoming flash points for anti-American resentment. Witness recent embassy demonstrations sparked by NATO's military strikes in Serbia and the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania last summer. Can we keep our embassies safe without compromising their role?

In the wake of the bombings in Africa, a government commission examined embassy security and recommended steps to keep American diplomats safer in their posts. That review, though, has also prompted a larger question about the need and the cost for a widespread U.S. diplomatic presence. Inside the White House and State Department, experts are discussing regionalizing embassies, streamlining staff and closing missions. We applaud moves to improve efficiency and to upgrade the safety of U.S. diplomatic personnel, but we are concerned that the importance of an embassy on the ground is being forgotten.

There simply is no better way for the U.S. to represent itself in other countries on significant issues than keeping the flag unfurled over an American embassy. Country data can be gathered from the periphery, but only firsthand knowledge and key contacts can provide the "glue" that shapes events. Special envoys fill an ad hoc role, but they can't be expected to deal with a country's day-to-day problems or to negotiate for solutions in the best interest of the U.S. from a distance.

With the end of the Cold War, the U.S. has actively pursued a global agenda based on expanding free-market capitalism and promoting democracy. Many countries have opted for a new order, committing themselves to a significant period of economic, political, and social transition. The journey hasn't been smooth. U.S. embassies in these countries have provided advice on the development of financial, judicial, and political institutions. Such counseling requires day-to-day attention. People --- no matter how good -- can't do this from afar; they must be present to listen, respond, nudge, and help. It's not a job for e-mail or an occasional fly-in.

As an American company whose business is tied to finding oil and gas, we operate in some pretty remote parts of the world. In many cases, these are some of the countries going through this difficult transition, and the pressure for change can be unpredictable. So it's comforting to know that Uncle Sam keeps an office nearby.

These emerging economies present great opportunities to other American companies and their workers, providing vast new markets for infrastructure providers as well as those eager to trade with consumers. Other nations are notably adept at courting such opportunities aggressively for their companies. Our diplomats also promote a bigger role for U.S. investment and businesses. But these new advocates for American commerce cannot do their job as well from Washington or a regional capital. An in-country embassy is required.

This is not to ignore the danger that diplomats face nor the cost of assuring a prudent level of safety. But we do believe that a well-staffed, broadly deployed diplomatic presence is a critical factor in advancing America's national interests. Let's not shutter our embassies for lack of resources.

That Gypsy - Part 5 of 5 (His Teddy)
by Jim Steeves

Gypsy had a teddy bear. I know lots of kids have a teddy but I never knew of a dog that was nuts about a stuffed animal. He would lie on the back of our couch (on top of the back) and go into a trance with teddy in his mouth while his eyes glazed over. He would not let our girls get near thinking, I guess, that they'd want to take his teddy away from him. My wife never tried to get it but I'd play with him by sneaking slowly close to him while he made crying sounds. When I got hold of it I'd tug but never hard enough to actually pull it away from him. He knew I never seriously wanted to take it from him. Except when it was time to throw it in the washing machine. In a few weeks it would get so slick, when wet, you wouldn't want to touch it and when dry, well, yeeccchhh. I'd pick it up using channel locks.

When he waited for my wife to return from a trip to the mall or visiting one of the neighbors, he'd go into overdrive searching for his teddy. It was often on the couch in the living room, or on the floor behind the couch, where he'd dropped it after seeing something out on the street that needed barking. He'd lie on the top of the couch to catch the morning sun in winter. From there he could keep an eye on the neighborhood cats. At times he'd bolt out through the doggy-door to the back yard, where he'd occasionally leave that teddy. (If I were a dog I'd know you can't catch a cat in front of the house by going to the back yard.) He had a habit of dropping his teddy whenever he heard a plastic bag being opened or a spoon strike a dish and, of course, the sound of the refrigerator door being opened. We'd normally pick it up when finding it in an out-of-the-way spot, knowing he'd need it later.

Poodles don't shed but they do need to be groomed, which is when the wire brush got filled with fur. They also need periodic clipping. It took us a while to remember to bring Gypsy's teddy whenever he went in for a grooming because the poor thing would be frantic when my wife picked him up, unless he had his teddy. In the early days, when she'd forgotten to take Gypsy's teddy with him to get his clip, she would dig her wallet out of her purse so he could chomp down on something. He accepted anything soft as a temporary substitute but, since he'd drop his teddy or the wallet anywhere when the urge struck him, she eventually learned that the teddy had to be essential baggage.

There aren't many stories to tell about Gypsy. As my wife says, he had few of the adventures that Samson had. He was our all around family dog whereas Samson was pre-kids and consequently tolerated them provided they kept their distance. Gypsy was the sort of creature who showed his delight in being scratched by groaning with pleasure. He loved to play chase, around the furniture or from one room to another. The bed game was perhaps his favorite. When one of was in the master bathroom, Gypsy would bound up on the bed and bark toward the bathroom. I or my wife would emerge from the bathroom holding hands and arms out as though to catch him while the other of us would sneak in from the opposite direction and actually catch him. Sometimes. Usually, though, he'd see the reflection in the bathroom mirror and whirl around in time to avoid both of us. Then he'd scramble off the bed and head for the family room or living room, only to reappear in a few seconds and bound up on the bed again, barking happily, ready for another round. When all four people joined in a game of "chase the poodle," he got so excited his eyes sparkled.

In February of 1996, just past his eleventh birthday and when in otherwise perfect health, Gypsy developed a tumor in his mouth, back on one side, between his jaws. In a very short time, we had to make the decision that tears your heart out. My younger daughter drove us that last time to the vet. Gypsy sat between us in the back seat; gagging from the obstruction between his jaws. As we approached that well-known and dreaded parking lot, he looked up at me and seemed to say that it was all right; that this had to be done. Yes it had to be done but that didn't make it easier. When the vet came in with that fatal injection we could see nothing through the tears. Gypsy will live in our hearts for the rest of our lives. A wonderful little companion. And it's going to be a lot harder to talk me into getting another dog than it was when "That Gypsy" joined our family.

A friend sent a poem about man and dog some months ago. I don't have it now but remember it reviewed the basic question about why "man's best friend" lives such a short time compared to the people who love them. It seemed to touch the essential part of what makes us human and tried to salve the hurt that comes from loosing what we love. These are, of course, sentiments that describe the "man and dog" issue; how much harder it is to loose those people whom we love, or are about to leave behind. But that's life and we have to be grateful for the good we get and not dwell on the loss.

Remembering Lt.Col. Howard W. Brown - RCO Manila and Accra
by Graham Lobb

This is a follow-up article to that by James Prosser, about RCO Howard W. Brown, and his distinguished World War II record. (See CANDOER News, October 1998, Volume 3 - Number 11, page 8, Resourceful RCO.)

I was an enlisted man at MacArthur's Headquarters in Central Bureau, an Allied Signal Intelligence Service, U.S. Signal Corps detachment at Brisbane, Australia.

Later our detachment moved to the Philippines outside Manila, near Clark Field.

The work of breaking Japanese Army codes and ciphers was compartment in scope. I was an IBM Tabulating Machine operator. We had Australian and U.S. Signal intercept units, which sent their material to Brisbane for processing.

Lt.Col. Brown was Commanding Officer of the 126th SRI Detachment.

I did not know him nor his name in the SIS Record, a book received after World War II.

I first heard of Brown, then a staff officer, who briefed me for assignment to Port-au-Prince, in May 1960. He warned me about the post Motorola radios, and the need to keep them operational. They were used to maintain communication between the Marine Guards at the Embassy and key officers in their residences. There was no voice communications at post. The Marine Guard would call the Duty Code Clerk upon receipt of a Niact and sometimes Immediate or Priority telegrams from the Department.

I recall leaving Brown's office somewhat taken back at his command manner, and then the years passed!

As a civilian, I was at the NCS in the National Command Center, representing American Satellite Company, in 1987, when an employee of Booze-Allen and Hamilton left a copy from Military History about an article, Grim Fate for Station 6, by Jack Finnigan, on my desk.

I began to wonder who Howard W. Brown was and checked at State, to find out we were in Australia during WW II.

At Archives, I located the source of Historian Finnigan's article. It was a declassified memorandum, once Top Secret, in the form of a briefing given by Lt.Col. Brown to SIS Arlington Hall-my parent organization.

Here in Brown's own words were a starting account of his role in events before and after the Japanese Air Force attacked Manila on December 8, 1941, following their earlier attack on Pearl Harbor.

The final paragraphs told how then Lt. Brown briefed General Douglas MacArthur in which he concluded:

"I made my explanation to General MacArthur. He said, "Thank you Son," and I left. He never moved a muscle or changed his expression during my explanation."

Jack Finnegan's article is edited for this article.

Detachment 6, Signal Intelligence Services, stationed at Fort McKinley, Philippines, December 8, 1941. The unit consisted of two officers and 16 enlisted men of the 2nd Signal Service Company. It was headed by Major Joe T. Sherr. The operations Officers was Lt. Howard W. Brown.

By mid-December 1941, the Japanese 14th Army had landed on Luzon.

Lt.Col. Sherr, recently promoted, received orders of reassignment to MacArthur's staff. Detachment 6 was deactivated. Lt. Brown was now assigned to Corregidor, where he performed signal intelligence duties.

In March 1941, General MacArthur and his staff, including Lt.Col. Sherr, were ordered to Australia. Lt. Brown and four enlisted men left Bataan for Mindanao, where they were joined by six additional EM.

But, the Mindanao operation was short lived!

MacArthur's Headquarters at Melbourne directed Brown's detachment to leave for Australia. But mechanical problems resulted for the B-17s sent to evacuate them. Only one plane left, with Lt. Brown, who left April 14th-the day Bataan fell! From Darwin, Brown went to Melbourne, where he joined three non-coms and Nisei (Clarence Yamagota.)

The six EM were stranded on Mindano. On May 6, General Wainwright was forced to surrender on Bataan. The six EM were Cpls James Rhen, Irving Stein; PFCs Paul Gill, Stanley Kapp, Michael Maslak, and Jay Bradbury. Bradbury elected to surrender.

The other five fled into the jungle. PFC Gill and Cpl Rhen linked up with guerrillas. Cpl Rhen was shot in a personal quarrel with another American.

The last three survivors, joined with other Americans and sailed for Australia, reaching New Guinea. Here, they were captured by the Japanese. Only PFC Maslak survived the Japanese prison camps.

Lt. Brown and his handful of men would provide part of the American nucleus of a growing SIGINT effort. In April 1942, General MacArthur established a Joint U.S.-Australian Signal Intelligence organization, under the enigmatic title of Central Bureau.

Col. Shirr died in an airplane crash at Calcutta in 1943. Lt. Brown became a Lt.Col., heading the 126th SRI, as he moved with CB to Hollandia, and then took part in the liberation of the Philippines.


The war over, Brown returned to Manila and became District Superintendent Cable & Radio with Mackay Radio. He entered the Foreign Service and was assigned RCO at Manila. In 1948, he was assigned to the Department. He became RCO at Accra and then retired. He resided with his wife, Bobby, in Salinas, California.

In mid-August 1995, I returned to Sydney and Birsbane, attending ceremonies marking fifty years since Victory in the Pacific.

In Brisbane, Mrs. Rita Taylor Balin, then a WAF at Central Bureau, took me to 21 Henry Street, now the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Look. Here, we toured the Hqs, of Central Bureau under Colonel Abe Sinkov, who died recently in Arizona.

Rita was a key punch operator in our unit. She recalled Howard Brown and told me of his concern for the Australian service woman newly enlisted and assigned to Central Bureau.


Letters from Jim Prosser
State Department BIO Records
Jack Finnigan's article on Station 6, October 1976
Archives records: Report of Lt.Col. Howard Brown, Declassified from Top Secret

Birds On The Wire
by Will Naeher

Secretary Kissinger traveled frequently to the Middle East on "Shuttle Diplomacy Missions." He departed on very short notice, which did not give us much time to prepare for his arrival and upgrade communications at the posts he visited. He also demanded that all telegrams of any substance be sent to him with an Immediate precedence and he wanted the full text, not a synopsis. The telegrams were frequently long. As a result, the single 100 wpm circuits to most Embassies became quickly backlogged. After two or three of these lengthy telegrams, the rest became Routine, regardless of their precedence. He complained about the service and I explained to him that I was unable to take corrective action unless the Operations Center told me where and when he was going to travel and in sufficient time so that I could send equipment and people to support him. They authorized a communicator to go with him on his next trip. However, one day before his departure this was canceled, because he needed the seat for a newspaper reporter. I had the late Bob Lochmiller ready to travel with him. This happened on a weekend, so I got Bob on the phone and told him to get a ticket for Tel Aviv and depart the next day. We would send a package of equipment as soon as possible. This package was one of the CANDO packages.

On this trip, the Secretary decided to go to the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea. We did not have facilities at Aqaba, so we quickly airlifted the CANDO package via a Jordanian military flight from Amman, along with Bob, and a technician. We also obtained a Jordanian military teletype circuit, part time, for the Secretary's traffic. This circuit was to be patched through to the Department.

According to the schedule, the Secretary was due to arrive in two hours. We had traffic for him. The circuit was not in operation. After repeated calling on a monitor teletype, by sending bursts of RYRYs, I started getting a garbled response. I sent a note saying, "If you are receiving me, send three letters." I received an immediate response. The circuit was in, one way, so we went ahead with traffic. After a while, the circuit became fully operational both send and receive.

After the traffic cleared, I asked Bob what was the matter. He replied, "too many birds on the wire." He explained that he went to the Jordanians complaining about the circuit. After they looked, they said there were too many birds on the wire, so they sent a truck with some soldiers in it to fire their weapons, as they rode along the highway. It seems that after a time, the wires lost their insulation and when too many birds get on the top wire, it causes the wire to touch the wire below it and short out the signal, in one director or the other.

You learn something new every day!!!



Barbara & Bernie Weinstein

If you can't find sea bass, substitute cod or halibut. Because these varieties of fish are low in fat and calories, you can splurge on a slightly larger portion.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 12 to 15 minutes
Degree of difficulty: easy

4 sea bass fillets (4 to 5 oz. each)
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 red onion, cut in half
1 lime, cut in half
2 oranges, peeled
1/2 ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup finely diced jicama
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno chil

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Sprinkle fish with 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place fish in glass baking dish. Cut one half onion into thin slices. Cut 4 thin slices from half of lime. Arrange lime and onion slices on each fillet. Bake fillets 12 to 15 minutes, or until just cooked through.

2. Meanwhile, remove white pith from oranges; cut into segments, then cut each segment in half. Transfer orange pieces to small bowl. Mince 1 tablespoon onion from remaining onion half and squeeze 1 tablespoon lime juice from remaining lime half; add to orange pieces with avocado, jicama, cilantro, jalapeno, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Serve with baked fish. Makes 4 servings.

Calories 225
Total Fat 6.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.5 g
Cholesterol 52 mg
Sodium 238 mg
Carbohydrates 18 g
Protein 25 g
Calcium 68 mg
Calories 2,000 (F), 2,500 (M)
Total Fat 60 g or less (F), 70 g or less (M)
Saturated Fat 20 g or less (F), 23 g or less (M)
Cholesterol 300 mg or less
Sodium 2,400 mg or less
Carbohydrates 250 g or more
Protein 55 g to 90 g
Calcium 1,000 mg (F), 1,000 mg (M)

Sorry --- only the memories get delivered
by Herb Walden

I have groceries in my blood. Now that I think of it, I guess that's true for all of us. But I'm speaking figuratively about myself.

I wasn't exactly born in a grocery store, but coincidently, I was born in an apartment above one. That, however, is not the reason for my lifelong interest in the grocery business.

From a few years before I came into the world until 1946, my Dad, Bill Walden, worked for his brother, Vic, in the Red and White store in Waterford, PA. Later, in the 1950's, Dad had the store by himself and I worked there part-time.

The building that housed the Red and White stands at the corner of High Street and South Park Row and is known as the I.O.O.F. Block.

The earliest record I can find shows that in 1910 the storefront housed "Phelps and Sherman Furniture and Undertaking." Apparently, it first became a grocery store in the 1920s and remained that until the late 50s when a restaurant moved in for a short time.

A little later, Merle Heard moved his drugstore from next door into the old Red and White. It remains a pharmacy today.

Back in the 1940s and 50s grocery stores sold --- groceries. Oh yes, there were tobacco products and cleaning agents, but they were nothing like today's supermarket/variety stores.

There were many things in the grocery store that came in bulk when I was a kid. I can still remember the big vinegar barrel with its wooden pump standing in the back. ("Bring your own jug!")

No waxy chocolate

But more importantly, I remember bulk cookies (Nabisco and Ontario, by brand name). They came in boxes about a foot square that were fitted with a metal frame and a glass door. I think there were about a dozen boxes on display, and customers bought their cookies by the pound.

Each kind of cookie had a name. I do recall that the best kind were chocolate-covered mounds of marshmallow that sat atop a semi-soft cookie with just a tad of jelly inside, Boy, were they good!

Marshmallow then was always soft and gooey and chocolate tasted like chocolate, unlike the brown, waxy stuff we have nowadays. There were similar marshmallow cookies that were covered with coconut instead of chocolate. Some were white and some were pink. They were extra-good, too.

And then there were rectangular cookies with ridges that . . . hmmmmm . . . I'd better quit this cookie stuff. Otherwise I'll have to stop writing and go to the store!

The real difference

Meat was all in "bulk," too. This was in the pre-pre-packing era. I am sure there are young people out there who think the deli section in a supermarket is quite an innovation. It's no big deal to us old guys; that's just the way it was in the 40s and 50s.

What is really different are the prices?

Around 1950, one could buy a pound of most kinds of cold cuts for 49 cents or 59 cents. Hamburger was 59 cents per pond and link wieners and chicken were 39 cents per pound.

Hamburger was scooped into a thin cardboard disk, weighed, covered with a sheet of waxed paper, and then wrapped in brown "butcher" paper. Cold cuts and all other meats were handled the same way, except for the dish.

Neatly wrapping a package of meat isn't too difficult until you come to some ridiculously shaped thing like a chicken. In my early teen years, when I worked for Dad, I got pretty good at it, if I do say so myself. Trouble is, there isn't much call for chicken wrappers anymore.

Except for cold cuts, all of our meat was cut by hand on the big maple butcher block. Power saws hadn't made it to Waterford at that time. Some things, like ham, were easy: Just slice down to the bone, cut through the bone with a meat saw, and finish the slice with a knife.

Pork chops were a little different. Starting with a whole loin, you sliced between the ribs with a knife. The bone is then chopped through with a meat cleaver. My Dad was really good at this; one hack with the cleaver for each chop. On the other hand, I required at least three swings of the cleaver, none of which ever quite hit the same place. My pork chops tasted fine, but they weren't pretty.

It's strange how little things change in the grocery store. Oleo margarine was called just "oleo" back then. Now it's just "margarine." No matter what you call it, it used to come un-colored. It looked pretty much like lard. A little tablet of yellow coloring was included in the package, so if you wanted to pass it off as butter, you could mix in the color at home.

Some law prevented the manufacturer from coloring it beforehand.

In the produce department, bananas came in long, wooden boxes and they were still on the stalk. The stalk was hung on a long ceiling hook, and customers could break off whatever number of bananas they wanted. A bunch of bananas was called a "hand."

Forget the oranges!

Oranges came in crates, and the oranges were individually wrapped in tissue paper.

But never mind the oranges, the crate was the thing. The wooden orange crate was one of the great inventions of mankind. It was composed of six slats, about five inches wide and three feet long, and three solid wood boards about 14 inches square (two ends and a middle).

What made the crate so wonderful was that a kid could use it to build just about anything. With a little care, a crate could be taken apart without splitting more than one or two slats. Two or three crates made quite a pile of lumber when they were disassembled. I even saved the nails --- 36 per crate.

At the store, Dad had rows of the crates stacked in the back room for shelves for stock. We even used a few in the attic at home for storage shelves.

Cantaloupes came in crates, too, but they were different and not nearly as good as orange crates. And cabbage crates were totally useless, at least to us kids.

The best part was that the crates were free. Any kid who wanted one had only to ask. We never had a stockpile of crates at the store. They went out about as fast as they came in.

Fruits and vegetables came and went with the seasons. Now you can buy strawberries in January. Back then, you could only get them in June. I suppose being able to buy any kind of produce at any time of the year is a good thing, but it's taken away a certain thrill. I mean, if you can have corn-on-the-cob anytime of year, then what's the point of August?

Clever Donnie

A lot of our produce came from local farms, especially potatoes. Waterford has always been potato country. Dad bought potatoes in 100-pond burlap bags, and I usually got the job of re-bagging then into pecks (15 pounds).

Of all the different jobs I had at the store, bagging potatoes was the worst.

Not only was it boring, but occasionally I'd run into a rotten potato. If you have never plunged your hand into a rotten potato, then you don't know what rotten really is!

My cousin, Donnie, worked at the store, too. A year older than me, Donnie was always clever enough to get out of potato-bagging. When the time came, he was always busy stocking shelves or putting up orders. I have never even been accused of being clever, so I was always available.

Donnie and I started working on Saturdays as stock boys. We soon graduated to putting up orders, waiting on customers, and elementary meat-cutting.

Many customers would come in and tell us what they wanted, or hand us a list, and we would go around and gather the groceries. Others would phone in their orders, either to be picked up later or delivered. Dad delivered groceries all over town, and quite often way out in the country. It was a free service. Imagine that!

My Dad has been gone a long time. So has Donnie. And the store even longer. But sometimes in the back of my mind, I can still hear Dad answering the phone to take someone's order on a busy Saturday.

"Red and White!" he'd say. No "hello" or any greeting; just "Red and White!"

Occasionally he would forget himself and answer our home phone the same way.

I still remember the store's phone number: 2341.

We don't deliver any more.


See you next month.

Issue Index    Issue 42