HALVAR 'HAL' LINDGREN
Title: 1934 + 1935 ORIGINAL PAIR OF MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HANDWRITTEN BY A 24 YEAR OLD SWEDISH AMERICAN WHO IS A YOUNG SAILOR BUT AN OLD SALT DESCRIBING IN WONDERFUL DETAIL ABOUT LIFE ON AND BELOW DECKS
Book Condition: Very Good
Size: 12mo - over 6¾
Publisher: PACIFIC COAST  1934
Seller ID: 0002577
On offer is a super pair  of original depression era, 1934 and 1935, manuscript diaries handwritten by a young Swedish American seaman Halvar 'Hal' Lindgren [born 1910]. The two largish page a day diaries about 90% full provide a day by day retelling of a young man but an 'old salt' by sailor standards. As inscribed 'Property of Hal Lindgren' he was aboard was the S.S. Talamanca (S.S. Talamanca A.F. 15 was a United Fruit Co. Cargo and passenger ship and later served as a U.S. Navy ship during WWII) which was just one of many of berths the sailor had offering historians and collectors a real work a day life of a competent, engaged seaman at deck level. This sailor was also witness and observer to a number of Depression era events. Having worked for Standard oil Company which had difficult labor relations at the time and as such Hal was involved in the West Coast strike against Standard Oil by tanker ship operators in April 1935. He was in a tough position, and writes how tormented he was in deciding if he should walk out. His entries on the strike are quite revealing and mentions details such as armed guards, men being robbed of pay etc. He also mentions stowaways in Hawaii, robberies aboard ship, working conditions relations with the crew Capt. etc. As a writer Hal has a dry and droll sense of humor and is able to communicate a sailor's life both on deck and below decks with panache. (We could not help chuckle when reading his sublime way of writing his displeasure or unhappiness with ship life by remarking he is think of beekeeping or chicken farming as a living!) In 1934 he spent three months doing similar farming with his large extended family somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area perhaps near Palo Alto. Here are some snippets: Jan 18th, 1935 Seattle to Richmond 'According to one of the old sailors aboard here this has been one of the ugliest trips he has made north. Real cold with passing snow, and hail storms. Has been with us off and on ever since we left PT Wells. Reading two Gentlemen from Verona. Clark speaks well of Capt Holm, quiet and cultured, smartest mate in company once I have finished my case for radio proud of it. Jan 25, 1934 Arrival at Honolulu 12:30 pm Tense feelings present when the Captain is giving orders on the bridge. Prominent people on board. Scripps, Howard and the wives of navy officers who flew from SF. Workout on the wheel no mistakes no thrill as I expected while docking- reason - responsibilities hanging on my shoulders. Ordered a summer suit and bought a white tailor made coat. Surf riding on Waikiki. Stewards watchmen telling us about a note from a redheaded woman. Robbery aboard in a salon. True statement: The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things - Henry Ward Beecher. Jan 26, 1934 Honolulu Stood a gangway watch from midnight until 8 in the morning. Recent robbery aboard made it necessary to take all names of persons passing over gangway. Spent the watch working on my belt. Rainy weather Many watchmen on dock. Slept during the morning. A 8-12 watch in the evening completed my 12 hours of watch for the day. Big insult from Bisby are you perfectly sober - reason - caught drinking a bottle of beer. Absolute lack of romance- two letters sent home Fitz. Jan 28, 1934 At Sea About 10 am this morning a Porto Rican stowaway was brought up on the bridge by the JR. Very unconcerned about his plight. Stuck in the brig. Swam aboard. Hawaiian lethargy must have been in my blood today by the way I felt. Finished my belt at last. Would hate to have to sleep in the fashion that some off the crew do on this ship. Have to put up with boat drill turned out to be a rather muddled affair Criticism was in the air after having to swing the boats out twice. Hard work thinking of choosing a different occupation. To know how to type is a very valuable art. Jan 29, 1934 At Sea Sent down from the bridge to have the stowaway clean up his jail. The brig is a very dark and gloomy place to keep a man. Managed to scrape off a little paint off the flag box. Met the President Hoover about 10 am Sent up our code flags. Late in dipping Called the watch late. afternoon nap. Lecture by the 2nd Mate on Marriage -Statement : It is not fair to women to marry while going to sea. Pitfalls - Pos & Neg. Blue uniforms again. Thinking of beekeeping and chicken farming as a living. Feb 27, 1935 Pt Wells to El Segundo Friction with several persons on board today. George shows his red when I brought my hotcakes back to the stove to keep warm. Very near on the brink of fighting and told him off again today. Let him know in no uncertain words that I was ready for him anytime. Very furious for a while, but he soon calmed down. Feb10, 1934 Departure from Honolulu The chief officer threatens to fire all the quartermasters but it is all a bluff. Unjust in his opinion about the QM about the gangway episode. Soiling my uniform in carrying out orders for people who lose their head. Shortening cord belt in the afternoon. Have almost made up my mind to quit in Frisco. Sell all my uniforms and go home to start farming in earnest. Hard to make up my mind. Hunter with fever Akerly decides to quit and tells somebody. Wallace promised QM job Jotting these notes after coming off of watch. March 13, 1935 El Segundo From the skipper on down all hands are thinking openly of one thing - Strike and its probable outcome. Listening to all of the news broadcasts. Radio operators walkout in Sympathy. Crocket, stevedores go on strike. Arguing pro and con with myself as to what will be the best course for me to take in this strike. Would hate to ever be called a "Fink" so that settles this question. March 18, 1935 Home Very restless over what I have lost by walking out from Standard Oil - 7 months service and out of hire for promotion - description all my efforts seem to be futile . I should have struck like Engs Hopkins RJ Adolf working hard on the other twenty. March 24, 1935 Long Wharf Day spent in misery over my desire to leave the company and thus escape being branded as fink. Make a confession to the M.M. & P nothing that could think of today appeared to carry any hope - Chaos. March 28, 1935 Long Wharf Plenty of excitement on the dock during the day. Two guards armed with two high powered rifles left on the Redwood after Lee and myself got off. Mystery and secrecy surrounds all that is done during the the day. A Crowly speed boat left the dock with 15 guards armed to the teeth - sub machine guns and sawed off shotguns - heard later they were bound for Stockton all four of us have moved over in the Hanna - Ritzy quarters in 2nd mates room. Glen is in the Hawaiian Standard here his radio over in my room. once again I am eating heartily. March 31, 1935 Nothing to do but eat and sleep while standing by out here. Another man off the Watson is beaten up and robbed of 37.00 Olsen pay check for 35.00 certified, besides a 10.00 bill was given to me for my first paycheck for 2nd Mate again.' Ports mentioned in the diaries are San Francisco, Honolulu, Balboa, Puerto Armuelles, Wilmington, Calif., Acupulco, Manzanillo, El Segundo, San Diego, Long Beach, Juneau, Seattle, San Pedro, Long Wharf, Coos Bay etc And much much more. Overall VG.
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