[Letter] 1945 April 12 [to] Dr. Stoughton

Dublin Core


[Letter] 1945 April 12 [to] Dr. Stoughton


Baez, Albert V.
Davidheiser, Lee Yorgey
Pidgin English
Mariana Islands


Lange writes of his travels since leaving Seattle, especially the beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. He writes of his current assignment on the Mariana Islands and what life is like there. He writes about learning Pidgin English and includes a few phrases and translations.


Lange, Roland


Wagner College Archive, Horrmann Library




Wagner College, Staten Island, NY

Is Part Of

A complete index to the letters in this collection can be found here: http://library.wagner.edu/wagnerarchive/StoughtonPDF/Correspondence index.pdf









Document Item Type Metadata


12 April 1945
Dear Dr. Stoughton,
Two weeks ago I received letters from both Dr. Davidheiser and Mr. Baez, informing me of your acceptance of the position of first stewardship secretary of the United Lutheran Church. Yesterday I finally got Wagner’s February Bulletin. First of all Prof, my heartiest congratulations!
Perhaps you remember that I have attended an Augustana Synodical convention, (the implication being that I have at least a superficial knowledge of church organization) and so have some idea of the size of the job you are undertaking. Sincerely, I don’t believe a finer man could have been elected.
Wagner has made tremendous progress to the good while you have been its president, perhaps phenomenal would be a better word. Why? Well, it hasn’t all

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been due to you, Prof., but to you goes the lion's share of the credit. And here of course I could make a long list of your attributes and achievements, but like Al Smith, I’ll say “look at da record”.
Mr. Baez thinks the world of you. I am afraid he is now somewhat apprehensive of Wagner’s future. I had a chance to talk to him when I was in California. Palo Alto, where he lives, is one of the prettiest little towns I have ever seen. His daughter’s health has shown considerable improvement, mainly due to California’s sunny clime. (Dean Kleintop would mutter something about being trite on that one!).
Mother and Dad are both well, and quite cheerful. Naturally, being somewhat of a nomad, I haven’t heard from them for weeks.

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I might mention that back in the States, (State-side as it is known here) I qualified for O.C.S., Chemical Warfare. However, my shipping order for overseas duty came first, so yours truly is a rifleman. Funny tho it might seem, they (riflemen) are pretty important over here, and I can understand Uncle Sam’s recent avariciousness in gobbling them up first. Any young fellow, in good health, being inducted in the Army now, has one chance in one hundred of not being in the infantry.
Since leaving Seattle, Washington, I have taken a few boat rides. I can assure you that the trips were a bit longer than the nickle one I used to get on the S.I. Ferry. The most important place I have been was on Oahu, the home of Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, and Waikiki Beach. The Hawaiian Islands

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are attractive if you don’t look too thoroughly. I was mostly interested in the type of vegetation growing there, which, as one would expect, is both abundant and varied. Sugar cane and pineapple raising are the main industries.
On one occasion, we had been out in the jungle eating c rations for too long a time to suit us. So being Epicurians, we decided to stomp off that nite and try to find some native café, even tho the menu would afford little more than monkey meat. So we went crashing thru the bushes that dark nite and finally hit one. Menu? Ham and eggs! On our way back we stumbled into a genuine native hula hula dance!
At present I am in the Mariana Islands. They are fairly large, certainly look better than some of coral atolls I have seen, but of course are not quite as well

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developed as Brooklyn. The nasty Nips are still dashing around in the hills in a most undignified fashion. Around about are strewn grim reminders that Sherman was a man who spoke from experience.
I am starting to pick up Pidgin English (Melensian). Although State side this may be thought of as the babblings of a Chinese laundryman, and while it would make very bad reading in an advanced English Literature class, it is definitely a very useful thing to know down under — Especially when you want to ask a native which subway to take to get to the nearest ice cream parlor.
It must have been devised by a Republican, because it does make some sense. Vis: tree = dingah; baby = pickaninny hence: fruit from a tree = pickaninny belong em dingah.

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hair = grass belong em head
female = mary
girl = monkey mary
boy = monkey.
They tacked an Isaac Newton however in deriving their mathematics:
one (1) = one pella
tweleve (12) = two pella ten two
one thousand (1000) = too mas [much]
The pidgin English of personal pronouns is comical:
you = you fella
I = me fella
we = us fella
everyone = altogether fella.
While the natives would never take first prize on their knowledge of Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason," they do know what to do and how to get along in the jungle sans a Saturday night pay check. This learning they have passed on to G.I.s to help win the battles against the brush.

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Naturally, we live fairly primatively. Not that we roam about in leopard skins, but if this were the Astor, I should most certainly complain to the manager.
The heat is fierce. An ice house would do a terrific business here.
The good thing about living out here of course, is the fact that you can give an annual Bronx cheer to the Income Tax Collector.
Now I'll have to watch my "Ps" and "Qs," especially about that adjective "good." As I remember, you spent a whole hour at Tottenville High School lecturing on the proper use of the word "good" - and there I went breaking all the rules.
Honestly, I have meant to write for some time. First of all I wanted some clean white paper and ink for my pen. I write thus to all respectable people over forty.

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It might interest you to know that many more men are reading the Bible than on State side. Over there the craze was Detective Mysteries, the bloodier the better. However, a man can mature mentally very rapidly. The words of Our Lord are making a deep impression on us, and is there any poetry that will bring the heart of man closer to God than the magnificent simplicity of the Psalms?
Please give my best regards to Mrs. Stoughton, Jeanne, and Donald.
And to you Prof. - my very fondest hopes and sincerest wishes.
Very truly yours,

Original Format


Date Digital



Lange, Roland, “[Letter] 1945 April 12 [to] Dr. Stoughton,” Wagner College Archives and Special Collections, accessed August 16, 2022, https://wagnercollections.omeka.net/items/show/16331.