Letters from Isthmian Canal construction workers

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Material Information

Title:
Letters from Isthmian Canal construction workers Contest solicitation, overview and entry requirements
Series Title:
Isthmian Historical Society competition for the best true stories of life and work on the Isthmus of Panama during the construction of the Panama Canal
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Language:
English
Spanish
Donor:
Afro-Antillean Museum ( donor )
Publisher:
Isthmian Historical Society
Place of Publication:
Panama

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Panama Canal

Notes

Scope and Content:
The Contest: In 1963, as the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Panama Canal drew near, the Isthmian Historical Society decided to make a collection of stories of personal experiences of non-U.S. citizens during Construction Days by means of a contest. This contest was publicized in local newspapers, by notices in the food packages given to Disability Relief recipients, and in newspapers in the Caribbean area. The following letter was sent to a total of 15 newspapers in Jamaica, Barbados, British Honduras, Trinidad, Antigua, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, and Grenada: "The Isthmian Historical Society is trying to collect the personal experiences and viewpoints of those West Indians who served in the labor force that dug the Panama Canal. Very little has been written by them or about them. Soon it will be too late to obtain personal accounts. In the hope of making a permanent record of their experiences during the construction of the Canal, our Society is sponsoring a competition for the best true stories of life and work on the Isthmus of Panama during the construction years. It would be much appreciated if you would assist us in publicizing our competition. I am enclosing a separate sheet with the information for this." The information sheet: "The Isthmian Historical Society announces a competition for the-best true stories of life and work on the Isthmus of Panama during the construction of the Panama Canal. The competition is open to West Indians and other non-U.S. citizens who were on the Isthmus prior to 1915. Entries may be handwritten but must be legible. Anyone who is infirm may have his story written for him by someone else, but in this case it must be stated on the entry that it has been written for him in his own words by someone else. Give name, address, year arrived in Panama, where employed there, and type of work done. All entries must be in the mail by November 1, 1963. The winners will be announced in December. All entries become the property of the Isthmian Historical Society. First prize will be: $50 (U.S.); second prize: $30 (U.S.); third prize: $20 (U.S.)…” Brief notices of the contest were placed in several thousand food packages ("Food for Peace" packages have been distributed monthly by the Panama Canal Company-Canal Zone Government). These notices read: "Competition -- For West Indians & other non-U.S. citizens who worked on the Isthmus before 1915. For the best true stories of life & work on the Isthmus during the Canal construction there will be awarded prizes: 1st PRIZE: $50; … Give year arrived in Panama, kind of work & where, name & address. Write of interesting experiences & people, living & working conditions, etc… The Entries: The majority of the contest entries were handwritten. In some cases the handwriting was difficult to read. In making copies of the entries, it occasionally was necessary to omit an undecipherable word, leaving a blank space to indicate the omission. Although an effort was made to reproduce the letters exactly as they were written, it is probable that there are errors. However, they will detract little from what these Old Timers wanted to say. It should be remembered that these letters were written by individuals who labored on the Isthmus prior to 1915. They are no longer young. Some are handicapped by the infirmities of age: failing eyesight, unsteadv and arthritic hands that find it laborious to form words and sentences, and minds that know what they want to say but communicate it imperfectly. Generally, unfamiliar spellings need only to be sounded and their meaning becomes clear. In cases where the entrants wrote as they speak, there may be dropped "H"8s so that "has" is written "as". Other features of West Indian speech will be noted. As spoken language, there is no English more colorful. Mr. Albert Banister's interesting letter is a good example. The Society is most grateful for all the entries and we regret that there could not be a prize for everyone. Ruth C. Stuhl Competition Editor

Record Information

Source Institution:
Bibiloteca Nacional de Panama
Holding Location:
Bibiloteca Nacional de Panama
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution.
System ID:
AA00016037:00011


This item is only available as the following downloads:


Full Text







Banister, Albert; c/o Fitz A. canister, I.D. card 5876,
Colon, R.P.


Memorandom and past history of the Panama Canal from the
10th of May 191 to 1953 when 1 got disability releaf retirree
first place I work same week I landed hear work for Cristobal
boiler shop work-ing for lOcent an hour with colored foreman
other words straw Boss working. under general fourrman Kri'. Cum-
mins Amcrican very .11 o'clock there was a fight in the area
the -Boss intorvean by :making rules prohibit of fighting during
working time 10 minutes wus allowed to any man who wish to
fight and mind you must not go to no Police after the fight
you will be fired that was the ruling cause Police not to
intervean at that time our brass check was round having I.C.C.
and your number on it ;-K during the time of War Kizar William
of Germany our braos check was change to round Poto check
hearing your number, after the war the check was change to a.
brass check 0 this Bhape bearing Panama Canal and your
number after that the check was change to round check bearing
Panama Canal and your number now of late it is change to
Identification card bearing your foto and your number:
betwin 8 to 9 oclock A.M. a man having a big leather bag full
with paper cups and a one gallon bottle full of quinine will
call you and give you a paper cup and will pore out for you
many will gladly take and many will behave bad then the man
will call the Police you either drink or go through the gate
you lost your job you will have to go to a next job where
nobody know you and the next bottle mnan don't know you. I
work from 10 cents 12 cent 16 cents 20 cents 24 cents
52 cents 62 cents last lap .1 jolne the Dredge Cardinass
dipper dredge in-the drydock after the repairing we depart and
go to Culebra 4 aman die n:et blow up get kill or get drown
during the time someone would asked where is 'Drown he dide
last night and burry ,:here is Jerry he dead a little before
dinner and burried so on anid so on all the time Malaria was
raging yellow fever was raging another fever was call tyfod
fever racing, in matadhin section United States Citensin and
West Indian lives and blood was taken to put'through this
Canal Uncle Sam ha.d to run through the dqor left it open
and Cet forenerv to do his war]: we.had Colored Americans
working good me-n skillful men but they can't pull with the
White Americans always. a fi.vht and trouble, ixxaat if not
West Indians could never be hear because Uncle Sam have plenty
Colored Americans to do his work also they don't like down
hear to get away they make plenty trouble at that rate West
Indians get a break if not so when we had arrived from our
native land to Cristobal Dock No. 2 we would have to take the











Banister, A. p.2


next boat back home it would be too many dogs for the pice
of bone the people of today working 8 hour long time from
6 to 6 six to six 8 hours cau-fht me working on U.S. Dredge 83
at cocoa-solo inoter Captain Carl a swdish Captain Hemfry
was first-?!aster all hnnds on deck the two watches was split
into 3 watches from 7 to 3 and 3 to 11 and from 11 to 7 Praise
God and United Stetez Officials that solve that plan At that
time hundreds that was out of a job get a job when the watch
was split it took a few more men to fill in each watch I was
from Dred6e to Dredge like a rat Cardinas will go to dry
dock men trans-fer to ..indee dipper Dredge from Mindee to
82-83-84-86 Dredge which I tye up in Gamboa fleet
I work on U.S. Dredge Marm.oth ladder Dredge Yaster Cp Lutio
a Creek I work for Mr. ?1eddinger at Pariso line man I work
for Mir. Stubee Master Barge repair I work for Mr. Wynne
Gravel plant Gimboa all so Mr. Randy Trower. I had friends
in Gatun Locks I here-fore voluntary quit to to Gatune Locks
show my clearance to Mr. Dowee he put me to work emediately
on the mule he lot to know that I know about splicing caMie
and rope. I was just the nan I was laid off a few months
later Mr. Dowee gave me a litter 'told me he is sorry but
take this letter to ,:-r. :7. A. S:-ith Chief-storekeeper I load
segment I unload sent I carry lumber until my shoulder
peel one day Mir. Smnh offer me a watch-man job I work 8
years watch-man from 11 P.;i. to 7 A.'. punching clock you'
must not miss the clock teel no lies I was call inside the
store get a job as ntore-_nan 1 work up to 1953 I got a
cirtificate of thanks fro-- the Governor of the Canal Zone and
Panama Canal We had plenty to eat good place to sleep good
medical attendance you get pay promp rain or shine pay -day
never put off their is not a a?.n can say Uncle Sam rub or
cheat/ him one black cent what you agresc to work for that
in what Uncle pjaid you I was .dmnittcd at Ancon Hospital
about 12 tinoec I haOd Hal.ria for five years I got hurt or
injur many times God bless the Officials that found out safety
commetee I wa.s a member in the store house Many. men was
working for the Panama Canal for 50 years may be at the
Panama railroad pear pushing hand truck 'working ship hole
checking cargo time keeper they have not all the oxperence
of the Panama C-'.nal in Culc-bra cut that is call Gilliard cut
that was where the ,ovepimcnt had the stiffest job which I and
others never belive ::ill over put through because today you
dig and it p'row tomorrow beside it slides every day the.
Government wash dc. on the hill give it a bath night and day
until the hill catch crap then blass it up with dannimite
that was done year aftcr years Enxthax2an~mz on the Panama










Banister, A. p.3


railroad labour train man r:et kill or injury every week being
late for work hup the labour train Fet kill foot cut off
'::hen they blass the dyke Colon trimble the big breakwater
outside Colon is protecting- Colon hebour all those rocks is
from Gold Hill which is c.ll now Oillard cut down in colon
city the street th.t is c.'.ll Broad-.y was mangro and stagnant
water with mosquitoes I was onr .DrcUge 36 and we fill that
earea who go to Jail petty c,.rgo 10 days 10i step aside
said the Judge you tet file and confine that was the law
men and woman would ruh for their lives through the bush if
caught go to Jail pay a fine and get married many people
get married for six months but it did not last for their was
no love they just went for a short time but bad luck catch
them so mar iage did not last but it was the law of the Canal
Zone don't stand for bad life. plenty men trying to save
some money to go home I a'ls6 every man you will find him
with a leather belt round his waste on his skin those that
want to care themself eat good and tidy themself was.compell
to spend what they have round their person Jundreads of men
lying down in Colon streets dead some pick up on arrival
dead some 2 days after dead axZ all the report from the .
Doctor was stavation *kill' him man hungry till he drop at
that time we use to get i:.y with gold coins police thief it
from them wheel. you round back to Canal Zone, Hospitae.1.
many men went back home beco.use he lick down some person white
or colored run and leave his pay-day and never come back
some stow-away kRzFxfrsXt the first gentflemani that learn
me to drink was Uncole-5ai.y I left my Homeland at 19 years
of age I never know Khx to drink, drink was introduce'to me
at Cristobal boiler-shop when you drink that auinine you
feel for 15 minutes you're the sweetest man in the land but
Uncle never told me to get drunk many get beat up Eet'kill
by Canal Zone Iolice. it never happen to me when you are
respectable law abiding person Uncle Gaim stand by you remem-
bdr the Laws must be at all cost rep'pected we had many nice.
Song during the tip.e at work first con;t, steam boat bill
down Missippy, second I love you yes I do. third. 'If you
don't like Uncle S:,.:any don't be i'mnrcatfull tp him and many
more it take me a whole year to remember all on account of
hig-h coit of living I am not in n. position of a little money
to purchase v.ritin -. n per to write all that I remember I
there-fore begr Uncle ~;n".:.y to re'ne:nber the disability releaf
retirree all pcrsonq from every country come to the Canal
Zone to see this Areat Cana:l we will soon dead out but while
we alive please give us a little to eat we cannot beg the
other fellow he dcn't know us every body want the Canal
all you can hear gee nme go-e me. See me nobody did help










Banister, A. p.1l

Uncle but Uncle and Uncl locne 1 a.m nervous I will close
Uncle Sam had down hear big American horses and mules Police
use to keep duty on horse back the mules will be drawing big
cart picking up garbage the mules are trained they knows
cachee blow at 11 oclock when 11 olclock they stick up their
ears straight if the driver was foolish to call him come on
Jacky for a next load he will kick up n:ae.sh up the cart
and put you in Jail they fine you 252 step aside you are
charge for being cruel to dum animals better you was charge
fighting with someone never you touch the mule he will look
you up he will kick until Police come many men run away
for a mule now a days the men go to work with a lunch keet
having a few piece of bread one apple a bottle of hot coffee
call it Lunch long before that uould not do that can't work
that can't dig Uncle Sam Canal you have to carry a proper
meals heavy meals and Uncle have it prepair for you the
best of everything but we we-o tired with the food so we gener-
ally wake up 3 A."i.. sometimes 2 '... cooking rice and pease
and heavy pork-chup or beef stake or big junk of ham the
meals is set we report at Uncle in the NMess Hall for breakfast
we bad moi e th.n plenty to cat they will take the bread and
the knife give the bread wap ;?ap take butter dump it in
their a big pioco of ham or cheese or beef stake double in
there accompany with hot coffee then you sit and eat fk
it was jodx very good rough and remurlar that was the
chief piece of tool which we une to dig Uncle Sam Canal
uncle knows what he was doing he both kill Malaria and open
up our a. ptite and got this work done we never know what
is call lunch time we know breakfast time dinner time and
supper time ten cents per hour was just like a flie into
one of those big American mule nosstrill why you did not go
home D snister respectful I answered 2:oam I would Slad to
go home but $1 1 can't go home empty handed first all of my
relative is dead nobody; know me at home I am a perfect
stranger no friends no family they all dead out I have all
my people do'.n hear whom accustom to 1 may fall into the
hands of robbers get br.nut up and rob so 1 rather stay hear
I have no one at ornme -:zC- away too long we did not have
autcmobil we had carL. :vn" -ornes buLty and horse we were
using for fueo wood and. coals all the houses have smoke stack
we had ice pitchtz s no r.-czocadocr we never know that
erroplane cone 1 te .ftcr the men of today have electric
stove radio telli'visaon recorder elictrict ice box tallefone
all we have w.as the wet clothes on rain falling every day
you see every man and wu n.n with raincoat and u''nberla you
will find good wAterrTrouf oil s in, at the Conm eary when w;e
was in Empire section their w s a big shed a steam boiler
in their plenty clothes line stretch out- white and colored










Banister, A. p.5


will bring their wet clothes their a man with a long stick
in charge of the boiler will receive your wet clothes put
tag on them take care of them he would make plenty money
he Set 10 cents an hour the Americans will all tip him when
they come for their clothes we never have anything to give
him clothes was very cheap no man would steal clothes
Soldiers will meet you take you round the back having on his
person three under-ware nell it to you now bran for 60
cents go 'loweb down and buy his rum one pint of rum for 10
cents he received a plenty of monoy to get drunk we had
colored time keeper they know their stunt they would time
dead man get plenty money pay-day get caught by Uncle go
to the Pennetentry or run away to cuba cuba was the place of
refuse for all those that commit them-selves in the Canal
Zone/anything that was carry away from the Canal Zone to Cuba
Castro receive oru ::.nd the article free of tax a colored
french-man fisherman }e he /w'as of age decide to go to the
Canal Zone and get a job he approach the Boss. Boss, I bog
you for a job the Bos:4 look at him saying you are too old
he left the man went back get a good trim a nice shave go
back to the Boss next day Va-e-say Wa-e-say now still too
ol. The Yankee answer you do6tone right you still too old.
I am nervous my eyes itn week 1 remain yours sincear faith-
ful servent -

ALTLET BANIST --:K
born in Ct. Lucia B.W.I.




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Banister, Albert; c/o Fitz A. canister, I.D. card 5876,
Colon, R.P.
Memorandom and past history of the Panama Canal from the
10th of May 191 to 1953 when 1 got disability releaf retirree
first place I work same week I landed hear work for Cristobal
boiler shop work-ing for lOcent an hour with colored foreman
other words straw Boss working. under general fourrman Kri'. Cum-
mins Amcrican very .11 o'clock there was a fight in the area
the -Boss intorvean by :making rules prohibit of fighting during
working time 10 minutes wus allowed to any man who wish to
fight and mind you must not go to no Police after the fight
you will be fired that was the ruling cause Police not to
intervean at that time our brass check was round having I.C.C.
and your number on it ;-K during the time of War Kizar William
of Germany our braos check was change to round Poto check
hearing your number, after the war the check was change to a.
brass check 0 this Bhape bearing Panama Canal and your
number after that the check was change to round check bearing
Panama Canal and your number now of late it is change to
Identification card bearing your foto and your number:
betwin 8 to 9 oclock A.M. a man having a big leather bag full
with paper cups and a one gallon bottle full of quinine will
call you and give you a paper cup and will pore out for you
many will gladly take and many will behave bad then the man
will call the Police you either drink or go through the gate
you lost your job you will have to go to a next job where
nobody know you and the next bottle mnan don't know you. I
work from 10 cents 12 cent 16 cents 20 cents 24 cents
52 cents 62 cents last lap .1 jolne the Dredge Cardinass
dipper dredge in-the drydock after the repairing we depart and
go to Culebra 4 aman die n:et blow up get kill or get drown
during the time someone would asked where is 'Drown he dide
last night and burry ,:here is Jerry he dead a little before
dinner and burried so on anid so on all the time Malaria was
raging yellow fever was raging another fever was call tyfod
fever racing, in matadhin section United States Citensin and
West Indian lives and blood was taken to put'through this
Canal Uncle Sam ha.d to run through the dqor left it open
and Cet forenerv to do his war]: we.had Colored Americans
working good me-n skillful men but they can't pull with the
White Americans always. a fi.vht and trouble, ixxaat if not
West Indians could never be hear because Uncle Sam have plenty
Colored Americans to do his work also they don't like down
hear to get away they make plenty trouble at that rate West
Indians get a break if not so when we had arrived from our
native land to Cristobal Dock No. 2 we would have to take the
2 image0043.jpg
Banister, A. p.2
next boat back home it would be too many dogs for the pice
of bone the people of today working 8 hour long time from
6 to 6 six to six 8 hours cau-fht me working on U.S. Dredge 83
at cocoa-solo inoter Captain Carl a swdish Captain Hemfry
was first-?!aster all hnnds on deck the two watches was split
into 3 watches from 7 to 3 and 3 to 11 and from 11 to 7 Praise
God and United Stetez Officials that solve that plan At that
time hundreds that was out of a job get a job when the watch
was split it took a few more men to fill in each watch I was
from Dred6e to Dredge like a rat Cardinas will go to dry
dock men trans-fer to ..indee dipper Dredge from Mindee to
82-83-84-86 Dredge which I tye up in Gamboa fleet
I work on U.S. Dredge Marm.oth ladder Dredge Yaster Cp Lutio
a Creek I work for Mr. ?1eddinger at Pariso line man I work
for Mir. Stubee Master Barge repair I work for Mr. Wynne
Gravel plant Gimboa all so Mr. Randy Trower. I had friends
in Gatun Locks I here-fore voluntary quit to to Gatune Locks
show my clearance to Mr. Dowee he put me to work emediately
on the mule he lot to know that I know about splicing caMie
and rope. I was just the nan I was laid off a few months
later Mr. Dowee gave me a litter 'told me he is sorry but
take this letter to ,:-r. :7. A. S:-ith Chief-storekeeper I load
segment I unload sent I carry lumber until my shoulder
peel one day Mir. Smnh offer me a watch-man job I work 8
years watch-man from 11 P.;i. to 7 A.'. punching clock you'
must not miss the clock teel no lies I was call inside the
store get a job as ntore-_nan 1 work up to 1953 I got a
cirtificate of thanks fro-- the Governor of the Canal Zone and
Panama Canal We had plenty to eat good place to sleep good
medical attendance you get pay promp rain or shine pay -day
never put off their is not a a?.n can say Uncle Sam rub or
cheat/ him one black cent what you agresc to work for that
in what Uncle pjaid you I was .dmnittcd at Ancon Hospital
about 12 tinoec I haOd Hal.ria for five years I got hurt or
injur many times God bless the Officials that found out safety
commetee I wa.s a member in the store house Many. men was
working for the Panama Canal for 50 years may be at the
Panama railroad pear pushing hand truck 'working ship hole
checking cargo time keeper they have not all the oxperence
of the Panama C-'.nal in Culc-bra cut that is call Gilliard cut
that was where the ,ovepimcnt had the stiffest job which I and
others never belive ::ill over put through because today you
dig and it p'row tomorrow beside it slides every day the.
Government wash dc. on the hill give it a bath night and day
until the hill catch crap then blass it up with dannimite
that was done year aftcr years Enxthax2an~mz on the Panama
3 image0044.jpg
Banister, A. p.3
railroad labour train man r:et kill or injury every week being
late for work hup the labour train Fet kill foot cut off
'::hen they blass the dyke Colon trimble the big breakwater
outside Colon is protecting- Colon hebour all those rocks is
from Gold Hill which is c.ll now Oillard cut down in colon
city the street th.t is c.'.ll Broad-.y was mangro and stagnant
water with mosquitoes I was onr .DrcUge 36 and we fill that
earea who go to Jail petty c,.rgo 10 days 10i step aside
said the Judge you tet file and confine that was the law
men and woman would ruh for their lives through the bush if
caught go to Jail pay a fine and get married many people
get married for six months but it did not last for their was
no love they just went for a short time but bad luck catch
them so mar iage did not last but it was the law of the Canal
Zone don't stand for bad life. plenty men trying to save
some money to go home I a'ls6 every man you will find him
with a leather belt round his waste on his skin those that
want to care themself eat good and tidy themself was.compell
to spend what they have round their person Jundreads of men
lying down in Colon streets dead some pick up on arrival
dead some 2 days after dead axZ all the report from the .
Doctor was stavation *kill' him man hungry till he drop at
that time we use to get i:.y with gold coins police thief it
from them wheel. you round back to Canal Zone, Hospitae.1.
many men went back home beco.use he lick down some person white
or colored run and leave his pay-day and never come back
some stow-away kRzFxfrsXt the first gentflemani that learn
me to drink was Uncole-5ai.y I left my Homeland at 19 years
of age I never know Khx to drink, drink was introduce'to me
at Cristobal boiler-shop when you drink that auinine you
feel for 15 minutes you're the sweetest man in the land but
Uncle never told me to get drunk many get beat up Eet'kill
by Canal Zone Iolice. it never happen to me when you are
respectable law abiding person Uncle Gaim stand by you remem-
bdr the Laws must be at all cost rep'pected we had many nice.
Song during the tip.e at work first con;t, steam boat bill
down Missippy, second I love you yes I do. third. 'If you
don't like Uncle S:,.:any don't be i'mnrcatfull tp him and many
more it take me a whole year to remember all on account of
hig-h coit of living I am not in n. position of a little money
to purchase v.ritin -. n per to write all that I remember I
there-fore begr Uncle ~;n".:.y to re'ne:nber the disability releaf
retirree all pcrsonq from every country come to the Canal
Zone to see this Areat Cana:l we will soon dead out but while
we alive please give us a little to eat we cannot beg the
other fellow he dcn't know us every body want the Canal
all you can hear gee nme go-e me. See me nobody did help
4 image0045.jpg
Banister, A. p.1l
Uncle but Uncle and Uncl locne 1 a.m nervous I will close
Uncle Sam had down hear big American horses and mules Police
use to keep duty on horse back the mules will be drawing big
cart picking up garbage the mules are trained they knows
cachee blow at 11 oclock when 11 olclock they stick up their
ears straight if the driver was foolish to call him come on
Jacky for a next load he will kick up n:ae.sh up the cart
and put you in Jail they fine you 252 step aside you are
charge for being cruel to dum animals better you was charge
fighting with someone never you touch the mule he will look
you up he will kick until Police come many men run away
for a mule now a days the men go to work with a lunch keet
having a few piece of bread one apple a bottle of hot coffee
call it Lunch long before that uould not do that can't work
that can't dig Uncle Sam Canal you have to carry a proper
meals heavy meals and Uncle have it prepair for you the
best of everything but we we-o tired with the food so we gener-
ally wake up 3 A."i.. sometimes 2 '... cooking rice and pease
and heavy pork-chup or beef stake or big junk of ham the
meals is set we report at Uncle in the NMess Hall for breakfast
we bad moi e th.n plenty to cat they will take the bread and
the knife give the bread wap ;?ap take butter dump it in
their a big pioco of ham or cheese or beef stake double in
there accompany with hot coffee then you sit and eat fk
it was jodx very good rough and remurlar that was the
chief piece of tool which we une to dig Uncle Sam Canal
uncle knows what he was doing he both kill Malaria and open
up our a. ptite and got this work done we never know what
is call lunch time we know breakfast time dinner time and
supper time ten cents per hour was just like a flie into
one of those big American mule nosstrill why you did not go
home D snister respectful I answered 2:oam I would Slad to
go home but $1 1 can't go home empty handed first all of my
relative is dead nobody; know me at home I am a perfect
stranger no friends no family they all dead out I have all
my people do'.n hear whom accustom to 1 may fall into the
hands of robbers get br.nut up and rob so 1 rather stay hear
I have no one at ornme -:zC- away too long we did not have
autcmobil we had carL. :vn" -ornes buLty and horse we were
using for fueo wood and. coals all the houses have smoke stack
we had ice pitchtz s no r.-czocadocr we never know that
erroplane cone 1 te .ftcr the men of today have electric
stove radio telli'visaon recorder elictrict ice box tallefone
all we have w.as the wet clothes on rain falling every day
you see every man and wu n.n with raincoat and u''nberla you
will find good wAterrTrouf oil s in, at the Conm eary when w;e
was in Empire section their w s a big shed a steam boiler
in their plenty clothes line stretch out- white and colored
5 image0046.jpg
Banister, A. p.5
will bring their wet clothes their a man with a long stick
in charge of the boiler will receive your wet clothes put
tag on them take care of them he would make plenty money
he Set 10 cents an hour the Americans will all tip him when
they come for their clothes we never have anything to give
him clothes was very cheap no man would steal clothes
Soldiers will meet you take you round the back having on his
person three under-ware nell it to you now bran for 60
cents go 'loweb down and buy his rum one pint of rum for 10
cents he received a plenty of monoy to get drunk we had
colored time keeper they know their stunt they would time
dead man get plenty money pay-day get caught by Uncle go
to the Pennetentry or run away to cuba cuba was the place of
refuse for all those that commit them-selves in the Canal
Zone/anything that was carry away from the Canal Zone to Cuba
Castro receive oru ::.nd the article free of tax a colored
french-man fisherman }e he /w'as of age decide to go to the
Canal Zone and get a job he approach the Boss. Boss, I bog
you for a job the Bos:4 look at him saying you are too old
he left the man went back get a good trim a nice shave go
back to the Boss next day Va-e-say Wa-e-say now still too
ol. The Yankee answer you do6tone right you still too old.
I am nervous my eyes itn week 1 remain yours sincear faith-
ful servent -
ALTLET BANIST --:K
born in Ct. Lucia B.W.I.


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