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Ada Rice: 1945

"With August 1940 the first episode which is to be recorded in Chapter V began, for I took a sudden notion to visit the ancient homes of my ancestors. My first stop was at Princeton, Illinois where an aged cousin resided. Near this county seat my parents had resided on adjacent farms from childhood until their marriage. My mother's birthplace, however, was at Ligonier, Pa., my father's at or near Portland, Maine.

"So, after a brief stop in Chicago, I journeyed to Pennsylvania, stopping on the way to visit one or two Quill Clubs and their faculty sponsors. Although my mother had left the town of her birth at five years of age, her memories of the place were very vivid and I found to my surprise that her description of the great mansion which my great grandfather had built was not over-drawn - it was indeed a great big red brick house with white trimmings. I had a visit with my mother's aged cousin in that house - a delightful experience.

"My father who came from Welsh-English stock was a descendant of pilgrim Deacon Edmond Rice of Sudbury, Mass, whose numerous family became connected with many well-known New England families in pre-Revolutionary War days. Boston, however, claimed most of my attention, for there was no end to the landmarks of historical and literary achievements in that city. It had been 35 years since I had seen that important city with its vast harbor. As to the latter, I was impressed with its defenselessness. I kept thinking how helpless these numerous seagoing craft would be under an airplane raid! How glad I am today that Boston has not been put to that test!

"As to the city itself, there was something strange about it; it did not square with my memories. Finally I concluded that the mass of automobiles accounted for the change. In 1905, there were no automobiles. I am sure that we used only horse drawn vehicles for short trips, and by tram or train for long distances.

"At Scarboro, Maine, I walked the half mile into the suburbs to view again the typically New England house that was my father's birthplace. The new owner, however, had torn out the sheds that were the connecting links between the house and the barn so that it had lost its ancient aspect. With an afternoon spent at Old Orchard Beach two miles away, I was ready to return to Portland and thence to Boston.

"The year 1941 was not fruitful of personal experiences only those that in December concerned everyone in common. To my students, it meant material for writing themes, sketches, stories. In January 1942, however, the internment of American civilians in Manila meant that my brother Carl was imprisoned. The year 1944 was full of sadness for all. Army, Navy, and air casualties touched many of my friends and made us all sad but the war was going in our favor and we kept our hopes high in spite of all the sorrow. On February 3, 1945 when the 1st Cavalry entered Santo Tomas Camp, we knew that MacArthur had kept his promise and that ultimately all would be well. But we did not realize the price in blood we would have to pay for it.

"About the third letter that my brother wrote me after his liberation, he told me about his family and about the loss of one son in the battle for Manila. Soon arrangements were made to have the two oldest sons, aged 17 and 18 respectively repatriated and sent to Manhattan, Kansas. They arrived on VE Day and are now in summer school (high school). They were deprived of schooling during the past three years, for no American schools were permitted to operate. They attended our class meeting on Sunday p.m. and our commencement exercises in the evening. They think Kansas is wonderful and hope they can stay here always, so - in this late period of my career, I become the head of a family with all the responsibilties and advantages appertaining thereto.


Source: KSU Class of 1895. The 'Ninety-Fivers: Brought Down to Date. (Manhattan, Kans., 1920- ) v.5
Any typographical errors are the result of retyping.




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