WAY UP IN THE FROZEN NORTH
BY HERBERT M. FRISBY

You're in the Army Now

"You are in the Army now." That was the greeting I received early one morning before breakfast from an officer at the headquarters of this post at the border of the real Frozen North (July, 1944).

"We have got you checked, and can put our hands on you at any time," he added. That's more than they can do me at home, I thought. Previous experiences have taught me that "home" and the "army" are not synonymous.

I am here waiting to be equipped with special clothing and then transported farther North. My itinerary will cover military installations where there are colored soldiers--a fine assignment, I've been told by many about here.

I believe our boys are everywhere about these parts where important and responsible assignments are to be executed. I received a cordial greeting at breakfast from the commanding officer.

He knew a lot about me, much more than I thought. I forgot that those FBI's and Army Intelligence Officers, have I.Q's ad infinitum and beyond, by which they seemingly can precipitate crystals of information from unsaturated character solutions.

But returning to the C.O., he had this to say: "Many colored boys pass through here, and they are a fine bunch of chaps. You'll have an enjoyable time visiting them." I felt that those words were encouraging, and made a darn good start for me.

I managed to keep comfortable under three blankets last night. I might add that these blankets were ably assisted by a slow burning fire in the room. This morning I was transferred to other quarters pending my departure.

From this location, natural scenic beauty rivals anything I have previously experienced.. Here's just a sample--a contortious stream of rippling water winds its way along the bases of snow-capped mountains.

The other occupants of this room besides myself and cot are three other cots and a stove, which make an ideal situation for reflection. I looked around a moment ago and spied a piece of palm hanging over the doorway, and what I mistook for an improvised ash receiver turned out to be a tintype picture of Christ.

I know I'm not superstitious or over-religious, but these tokens activated me to make signs of the Cross immediately, and pray that they were left here for me by Divine direction, to assure a safe trip yonder and a happy return.

I shall try to beat everybody to Mass tomorrow. I shall take these tokens along with me wherever I go, for they must have been left here especially for me.

There's just one Afro at this port at this time. I am either it or he, and that it or he is now on his way to the Officers' Club to perform an operation upon the ivories of a very fine field piano.

 

Copyright 2001-, Terry Muse
Revised: December 30, 2001
URL: http://black_and_hispanic.tripod.com/blackhistory/
Contact: Terry Muse