Shaun Illingworth: This begins an interview with the Honorable Harry S. Evans in Long Branch, New Jersey, on October 31, 2003, with Shaun Illingworth ...
Christopher DeYoung: Chris DeYoung ...
Sandra Stewart Holyoak: ... and Sandra Stewart Holyoak.
SI: Judge Evans, thank you very much for having us in your home today and setting aside time to meet with us. We want to begin by asking you about your childhood and your family. Could you tell us a little bit about your father, where he was from and how he came to settle in Long Branch?
HE: My father, his name was Moses Evans and he was born up in Vermont. He was, I think, number thirteen in the family. He, subsequently, as he grew up, became a helper for a man by the name of Stanford, Harry Stanford, which now happens to be my first and my middle name, and my father worked for Mr. Stanford for years. Mr. Stanford had a bakery business and my mother was born Lillian Thomas, up in Rye, New York. My father, as one of thirteen children, didn't have two nickels to rub together. My mother had money she never even counted and, one day, my father was working in a bakery store and my mother met him and it went on from there and, subsequently, they married and Mr. Stanford decided to open up a bakery business here in Long Branch, because, at that time, Long Branch was the summer capital of the United States. I think we had five or six different presidents who had come here, and so, a store and a house were built on New Court Street in Long Branch, where my mother and father came to live. At that time, they already had a son by the name of Alton, and then, after that, two daughters were born to them, Alice and Edith, and another son by the name of Thomas and, lo and behold, without the knowledge of any of the family, except for my mother and father, I was born in the northeast corner of the house. After that, the family finally learned that they had a baby brother. [laughter] ... I had the two sisters who would fight over which one was going to take care of me [laughter] and I grew up there in that house on New Court Street. The house is still there and the bakery shop has been converted and it had been a great, big bakery shop in the back of the house. ... My father would hire German bakers. He thought they were the best bakers and my father eventually took over the business from Harry Stanford and my father continued the Evans Bakery, where we stayed and lived a very nice living. It got so [that] my father wouldn't even bother to open the bakery in the fall and winter, ... because we dealt with these people from the various sections of Long Branch and Deal and Elberon and they went back to the city in the winter, and so, my father's customers went with them. ... The bakery business thrived until the Depression. In the Depression, the only people around [laughter] weren't buying the hoity-toity bread, rolls, buns and cakes, but, before that, I was old enough, on occasion, to go with one of the drivers in the delivery truck. I would take a basket from the truck, with an assortment of various goods that we were selling, and I would go to the back door of these mansions and the maid, or whatever you want to call her, would come out and decide what they wanted, out of the assortment I showed, and then, ... I'd go back to the truck and we would deliver those items. So, you could see, it was quite a service. It wasn't cheap, I'm sure. [laughter] I wouldn't know about prices. That wasn't my affair. Well, we lived a very good life until the Depression. Then, there were no people around to buy the fancy goods that we sold and A&P moved in. They cut us down in price like nothing you ever saw. So, my father lost the business; he went bankrupt. We lost the house, everything. We had to move out and my sister, Alice, had already married a man by the name of Philip Schlenger and they moved to Harrison Street in Long Branch, where they were living at this time. My sister, Edith, who hated to be called Edith, because she liked the name that I gave her when I was a little boy, when I could not say Edith; I called her "Dee-Dee." She liked Dee, so, everybody called her Dee Evans and my brother, Tom, he had gone to college, well, my sister, Alice, my brother, Alton, the oldest one, we'll go down the chain; this will go on forever. [laughter] He went to college and law school and became a lawyer. He married a woman by the name of Gertrude Hunt and they had three daughters, Patsy, Bobbie, Julie. Alton opened his practice here in Long Branch, became a municipal judge in Long Branch and, with his assistance, we were able to rent a house around the corner, on Lenox Avenue, where the most horrible thing I had to do was cut the grass. [laughter] I was only about ten or eleven or twelve, somewhere in there, I don't remember, and we stayed there for quite a while. I kept growing up, [laughter] and then, my father got a job, through contacts of my brother, Alton, working for the State Highway Department, and so, we moved into a house in Elberon, rented a house in Elberon, where I kept growing up. In the meantime, my brother, Tom, he had gone away to the University of Maine and, while at the University of Maine, he married a girl here from Long Branch by the name of Francesca Molina, known as Fran, and Tom and Fran married and they moved up to Maine, which calls to mind the fact that, one summer, Tom came down from college, while we were living there across the street, and he and I hitchhiked back to his house in Maine. It was very simple, back in those days, to hitchhike. ... What he would do [was], he would put me on the side of the road to thumb the ride, while he sat back, because they see a little kid ... beside the road hitchhiking, they'll stop. [laughter] It took us almost no time to get up to his house in Maine, where I stayed for a few days, and then, I took a bus back to Long Branch. ... Alice, she went to college, graduated from college and became a schoolteacher here in Long Branch, for kindergarten and first graders. My sister, Edith, she went to college for a year and she didn't like it, so, she didn't continue. ... For a while, I don't know what kind of work she did, but, eventually, she went to work as my brother's secretary and she stayed as his secretary ... until the day that he became seventy and had to retire from the bench. ... In that time, of course, she put in a lot of retirement benefits, also. My sister, Dee, married a man by the name of Homer Riggs and Homer was not called Homer, he was called Riggsy, and he was in, ... what do they call it? National Guard and he also had a job, I think, on Wall Street in New York. I mean, he was doing well and my sister, Dee, married him and they moved into a house on Harrison Street in Long Branch and nobody wants to leave Long Branch. [laughter] My brother, Tom, he finished college and he was majoring in forestry and got a job from the United States Forest Service as a forest ranger in Utah and he and Fran packed up their buggy and a little trailer, didn't have any money, and they drove out to Utah where they lived in a cabin in the US forest in Utah, one-room cabin with an outhouse and a running brook for water, where they had innumerable stories. I could go on forever about that. One day, they had a little baby boy and came to Long Branch to visit and show us their little boy, et cetera, and they drove back to Utah where the little boy got into an accident and died. The hospital was over fifty miles away and he was still alive, as Fran was holding him, while my brother was driving the car to the hospital, but died before they got to the hospital. No use going into the details of the accident, unless you need to know, but, suffice it to say, it was an accident. ... So, they went about having another boy as soon as possible, named it the same name, so that the name continued and it would take the place of the one that had died. ... Tom and Fran eventually had two daughters. ... Dee and Riggsy, they had one boy, also known as Homer Riggs, [laughter] but they gave him a middle name, Homer Evans Riggs, so, he was called Evan, nicknamed Evan. Meantime, I'm growing up and I'm in high school. I belong to the high school chorus and, also, became cheerleader for the football games and the basketball games. There were three male and three female in the ... team of cheerleaders. ... Let's talk about my singing, as you said earlier, and that was this; when I was nine, I wanted to sing with the church choir. I was going to the St. James Episcopal Church, with the whole rest of the cotton-picking family, and anybody got married, they got married in that church. I mean, that's the only way to do it, [laughter] and so, I wanted to sing in the choir. ... I went to the rehearsal one time, I was brought there, I didn't go by myself, and the conductor refused to accept me because I wasn't ten. I had to be ten to join the choir and that was one fantastic choir. It had a waiting list of people who wanted to join it, because this was during the Depression and the church paid the choir members. If you had perfect attendance, you got a dollar a month, which was a lot of money and, also, if you had perfect attendance, you got a free week down at the Metedconk River, down in South Jersey, in their camp, where they had big cabins and a house with a kitchen and all the utilities, et cetera, and a big dock out onto the Metedconk River. They would keep you there for a week. I mean, [I had] a lot of reasons to sing in the choir, [laughter] ... but I was shocked, disappointed and grief stricken [that] I couldn't join the choir. So, my brother, Tom, decided he would take me back to see the Director and he took the Director aside, to explain to him how it would be a benefit to his health if I joined the choir [laughter] and, suddenly, there I was, in the choir, okay, [laughter] and I sang in that choir until my voice changed, started to change, when it was cracking all the time. So, I had to stop singing in the choir, at which point I became an acolyte and served at the altar for years. ... This is during the time I'm in high school, I'm in the high school chorus, I'm in cheerleading and that is when I went to Philadelphia on a ... bus trip and we went there to see the Liberty Bell and all that kind of stuff, you know. It was a school trip and, on the way back, I sat with a girl by the [name of] Emelie Bruno and, when we got back to Long Branch, I suggested that we stop and have a pizza pie on the way home and we did, ... and then, I walked her home from the bus place and the pizza place, which were right next door to each other, and talked about having a date with her, but she said, "No, you're married already," because I had been dating another girl. I told her, "I broke off with that girl just a week before." So, she said, "Okay." She would date me and that was way back then and the dating continued. ... [In the] meantime, I kept singing with the high school chorus, except during our cheerleading, and I didn't have any money to go to college, neither did my family. We had lost everything and we were just eating from hand-to-mouth. ... My father wasn't making that much money from the Highway Department. So, I took a State exam, the State Scholarship exam, and I passed with flying colors and I got a one hundred percent scholarship to Rutgers University. You can't argue [with] that deal. I certainly didn't even ask to go anyplace else, right? When I finished high school, I went on to Rutgers University and immediately signed up to sing with the Rutgers Glee Club. You saw the picture in the living room. The director gave you a test and that was, he handed you a sheet of music with a whole bunch of notes on it, one solid line, sharps, flats, the whole smear and he went over to the piano and he hit the first note. He said, "Sing it," and I, to this day, can sing that line. [laughter] ... Sang the line, I was in and I sang with the Rutgers Glee Club, which also was the church choir on Sundays, and we went all over, with our full-dress suits on, to sing at various and sundry things.
SH: Who was the director at the time?
HE: Soup Walter, nicknamed Soup. ... His first name, I don't remember, [F. Austin], but nobody ever called him anything else but Soup and, while I'm in college, I'm still dating Emelie and I was asked by a fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, to join the fraternity. I said, "I can't afford it." I said, "I can't pay for your meals." I said, "If you let me wait on tables in return for getting my meals free, I'll join the fraternity." In other words, they were coming after me, I wasn't coming after the fraternity and they agreed, and so, I was in the fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta. I [was] also in the chorus. I'm a very busy little college kid, right, and, in [the] summertime, I'd come home from college and continue dating my wife and I would work for a place called the Duschaine Hotel. It was in Elberon. It was only open in the summertime and I was a bellhop. It's a place that had three three-story houses with bridges, covered bridges, connecting the three of them. So, you never went outside, neither did the customers, and I would do bellboy work, bellhop [work]. ... These were not transient people. These were people that would rent their rooms for the summer. So, the work was sitting around, [laughter] but that's all right. I got paid. I also took my wife down to the beach, to the beach club, and they didn't have a swimming pool there. We would just have the beach and the ocean. We would spend our time there on the beach, and then, I would take her out in the evening, someplace or other. Meantime, I'm going to college, and then, World War II happened along.
SH: Where did you live before you went to the Phi Gamma Delta house?
HE: Yes, I lived in the dormitory, ... which was about a half a block from the Phi Gam House. I lived with a fellow I met after I moved in and he moved in with me. It was a two-bed bedroom. ... The bathroom was a community bathroom down the hall and the two of us met, his name was Robert Hyde, ... and Bob Hyde and I got along fine and he joined the fraternity. The two of us still lived at the dormitory; we did not move into the fraternity house, because the dormitory was free. Don't forget, I had a one hundred percent scholarship. You can't beat it and I continued in the dormitory, but, ... every few months, we would have a fraternity house party where the dates would move into the fraternity house and the men would move out and there'd be one father and mother of one of the members, one of the brothers, would stay at the house for, I would say, a little chaperoning, naturally, and the girls would all move in and Emelie would come in by train with a suitcase and Bob Hyde and I would walk down to the station and walk her from the station, we didn't take a taxi, [laughter] ... back to the fraternity house and she would move in with the other girls and live at the fraternity house and we would have dancing that evening and dinner and everything else, everything happening at the fraternity house. This happened several times, okay, and that's beside the times when we would have a date, I mean, a one-night house party, when the men would not move out. The dates would just be there for the evening. When they did that, I would have a date from across town, the women's college, which, of course, I did not discuss with my wife. [laughter] Of course, she was not my wife then. ... One of those parties, of the overnight parties; ... pardon me, I've got to backtrack. Then, World War II came along and we had the announcement that those who would enlist would be guaranteed to be able to finish their semester. So, the entire cotton-picking fraternity went down ... to the gymnasium, where they were registering, and we all lined up and all enlisted in the Army, and then, that was that, and we ... went on with our lives and we had one of these big weekend parties, with Emelie there and everything else like that, and, suddenly, the phone rings. One of the brothers, his mother or father called to say he had gotten a notice that he had to report to Fort Dix on such-and-such a date. "Wow, you know, gee whiz, kid, feel sorry for you," [laughter] but, then, another phone call, another brother, then, another phone call, another brother, another phone call, another brother, a phone call for me. ... We were to report to Fort Dix. Rutgers lived up to its promise. I was in the Army by February of 1942, but my credits were carried over for the entire semester and I received marks of the same mark that I got in the first semester. They gave me [that] for the second semester, so, I had full credit. I can't quarrel with Rutgers; they did their end. I didn't think much of the Army. [laughter] ...
SH: What year did you enter Rutgers?
HE: '41, and, oh, I was a busy boy in Rutgers. Besides being in those things, well, ... I also became a member of the ... manager's team for the baseball team, and so, I had all kind of activities. I'm always busy and [laughter] I look back and I even feel that, "Holy smokes, I was busy." [laughter] ...
SH: Do you remember where you were when you heard about Pearl Harbor?
HE: Oh, yes. Oh, I've got a good story on that. December 7, 1941, ... the Rutgers Glee Club had an appointment to sing at a concert. We were giving a concert down in Trenton, some place or other in Trenton, I don't know, and we were in the bus, in our full dress suit, white tie and tail, and the bus driver [was] listening to the radio and he heard about it and he announced to everybody what had happened and I thought to myself, "What the Sam Hill is Pearl Harbor?" I had no idea. As far as I'm concerned, Pearl was the first name of some woman. I don't know. ... Anyway, they pointed out that we were now at war. Wow, so, anyway, we go on to our concert. Soup Walter sent a couple of guys around to nose around and find out; nobody in the audience knew anything about the Pearl Harbor attack. They were already in their places, waiting for us. We marched in without saying anything about it and we gave our concert. At the end, Soup arranged [laughter] for, shall we say, a messenger to come in from the wing, hand him a piece of paper and he turned and told the audience about the attack on Pearl Harbor and said, "We are now at war. We'll now sing the Star-Spangled Banner." [laughter] Oh, did that go over and that was it, no more concerts. We left town and I went home and, on the day required, I headed down to Fort Dix and signed in, and then, that's where we got to this. At Fort Dix, I stayed not there for basic training, but to get uniforms and all that kind of stuff, and then, I guess because I enlisted, see, ... if you're drafted, your identity number starts with a 3. If you enlist, the identity number starts with a 1. Mine was 12101182. Bob Hyde, who was in front of me in line, his was 12101179. So, I was assigned to the Army Air Corps while I was at Fort Dix. I didn't ask for it. [laughter] I was assigned to that without any idea of what I was going to do, but, then, I was sent, with others, to basic training, which was to take place at Atlantic City. What a place to have basic training [laughter] and that's where I went and went through [the] basic training routine. While I was there, one day, my future wife came down with her mother and her father to see me, "Hello, nice to see you," and all that and they went home, but I finished basic training, stupid place to have basic training. [laughter]
SH: Please, tell us about it. Where were you housed?
HE: I don't even remember. ... We'd go out into the parade grounds and do exercises and all that kind of malarkey. Oh, yes, that was where I got a weekend off and I went home to visit my parents and everybody else and, also, visit Emelie and I had to get back ... to report for Monday morning. Well, I got back and we were all assembled in our assembly room and I'm exhausted, so, I sit down, leaned up against the wall and fall asleep. They called the roll and I don't answer. I didn't wake up. When I woke up, the room was empty. [laughter] I didn't know what to do. Well, they found me and they told me that I was AWOL and, therefore, I would have to be punished and I was put on KP duty, doing pots and pans in the kitchen of this hotel where I was living. Okay, you do what you got to do and I finished that tour of duty, shall we say, [laughter] and I was told I was going to be shipped out. ... I called home and told them I was leaving and I would let everybody know when I got wherever I was going. I didn't know where I was going and I, with a bunch of other guys, we piled into a bus, with all our clothes and bags, and headed out. Now, I didn't know whether the bus was taking me to an airplane or what was going on, but ... we kept riding, riding and riding and head into Eatontown. [laughter] I wind up at Camp Wood, over there in Fort Monmouth. ... So, I get off the bus with the other guys and I'm assigned a bunk in one of the buildings and I go to a phone and I call Emelie. I said, "Well," I try to make voice sound like I'm very far away, "I finally arrived. Here I am, at this new camp I never saw before." I finally wound up telling her I was in Eatontown, [laughter] what is it, three miles from Long Branch? So, there, ... in Camp Wood, [we were] all finished basic training; now, they're getting serious. I'm assigned to the Air Corps; I was already assigned [to the] Army Air Corps. They didn't have an Air Force back then. It was Army Air Corps and I was sub-assigned, shall we also say, to the Signal Corps branch of it and I was to learn Morse code, and so, they plopped me in front of a typewriter with earphones. They started all of us, all freshmen, shall we call us, out listening to, "Dit-da." "A." "Da-dit-dit-dit." "B." "Da-dit-da-dit." "C." You'd hit a key. I'd never typed on a typewriter before; I didn't even know what they looked like, but, here I am, trying to find both the letter on the typewriter and understand what the cotton-picking machine is telling me, that, "Dit-da," means, "A," and I'm looking for the A, okay. So, they start you out at five words a minute and you keep on that and you keep on that, until you can do that blindfolded. You don't need to look at the keyboard, okay, and you know exactly what the letter A means, et cetera, the whole alphabet and the numbers, and then, they grade you up to eight words a minute, then, ten words a minute. If you could get to ten words a minute, you're qualified now to be a radio operator on a bomber. So, I kept on running faster speeds. ... Finally, I got up to the fastest speed they had there, which was twenty-five words a minute. ... They didn't have any faster speed, at which point, what are they going to do with me? At which point, they decide that between my ears and my hand, sending signals, my hearing was much better than my hand. Therefore, I would be sent to intercept school ... and that was also in Fort Monmouth. Everything's Fort Monmouth. I'd parade from my bunk, ... down the street, across Highway 35 out on into the camp, and then, go right to the doggone school and I was introduced to Japanese. ... They had decided they were going to put me [in] to train to learn Japanese code. Japanese cannot use the International Morse Code, because it doesn't fit their language. Their language takes more signals than the Morse code has. Now, for example, the letter A, I gave you already, "Dot-dash." The same letter, A, in Japanese, "Dash-dash-dot-dash-dash," big difference, okay. So, here I am, starting all over again at five words a minute, "The letter A," "B," on and on and on, at five words a minute, until you get it down, and then, on up to eight, then, ten words a minute and there's no stopping. You either can pass the doggone course or else you don't pass it. All right, so, I got up to the twenty-five words a minute, which was their maximum, again. So, at twenty-five words a minute, I'm typing down like a cotton-picking nut, I'm going so fast, because the Japanese, not only do they just have the A, B, C, they're, "Hoo-ha, hee-ha," and so, you're hitting two keys, you know, "H-A," "Bing-bing," or whatever, but it'd be two keys you'd be hitting, all over the place. You're jumpy. [laughter] While there at Fort Monmouth and going through this radio school, I come down with the mumps, no, ... I think it was a hernia, and I was operated on at the Army hospital. Emelie came to visit me, my sister, Dee, and all that malarkey and I got over that. In the meantime, the gang that I had been training with, I was still in the hospital, but they shipped out, leaving me behind to recuperate and I recuperated, ... at which point, they shipped me out to go join my gang in California, all by my lonesome. They gave the transportation, "Go," and so, I said good-bye to the family and took off for California, Camp Pinedale, ... and I joined the group I had been with. Now, in California is where the actual Japanese signals are able to be received, because the signals sent from Japan, Okinawa, anyplace, in the Philippines, anyplace, ... they would hit the cloud cover and bounce back and hit in the United States, in California. So, we didn't train any more with machinery; we trained on the actual Japanese signals from the Japanese. Now, ... our group was assigned to listen to nothing else but Japanese Air Force. ... We ignored Japanese Army and we ignored Japanese Navy. We learned the difference in their signals. This is quite a mouthful. ... Our dot-and-dash signals were exclusively for the Air Force and you turned the dial and you pick up [a signal] and you listen, you don't type anything, you just listen, and decide whether it's Army, Navy or Air Force and, if it's one of your boys, you start typing and you just keep on typing until ... the guy shuts up or whatever and you put in your regular eight-hour shift. ... While I'm out in California there, of course, ... you rotated. You didn't keep the same eight hours. So, sometimes, I would have days off. ... With nothing else to do, so [that] we wouldn't get in trouble or anything, we found a, I don't know if you'd call it a factory or what, where they had, oh, I forget the kind of vegetable, I know it's in here, if you want to stop and I'll look for it.
CD: Was it an apricot?
HE: Yes, thank you. ... What I was assigned to do was, take a shovel and shovel apricots out of these tank railroad cars and shovel them up onto a dock; ... for eight hours, shoveling apricots? You don't even want to look at an apricot anymore in your life, right, but I was paid, with that and Army pay, and the guys and I, on some nights, would go out and hit the Mexican bars, which were the closest to the base or camp and we'd get stoned, shot and a beer, shot and a beer, and then, we couldn't find our way out the door [laughter] and we'd go on back to camp, and then, this goes on and on, and then, we were ... given the job of going out into maneuvers. ...
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SH: After you transcribed what you heard from the radio signals, where did that material go? Do you know?
HE: I would turn it over to another department, I wouldn't even get up and deliver it, it was just handed out, where they would break down the code. Our outfit broke down and was able to decipher every code the Japanese had, bar none, and it was amazing how, with our ability, we just kept on typing up their code and they would break it down. I don't know what it said. That was not my job. I had plenty enough to do listening to dot-and-dash for eight hours, right. [laughter] ... That reminds me of the story that, I think it was either February or March of the year I was in California, our intelligence got word from somebody that the Japs had figured out that we had been able to break their code, so, they were going to completely change their code system and we were then taught what the new code system was and the Japs decided they were going to start the new code system on April 1 of that year. Well, midnight of March 31 and April 1, everybody was on duty and the Japs started a brand-new code system and we just typed right along with them, no problem. So, that's what kind of outfit we had.
SH: Did you have any interaction with the men who broke the code? Did you know any of those guys?
HE: Our outfit, also, by the way, see, ... we were just doing Air Force and, sometimes, the Air Force would be using voice language instead of dot-and-dash code and, for that purpose, we had, in our outfit, Nisei boys and they would copy it down. We heard it and, while there, we were sent out on maneuvers in California, down into the desert, and I was assigned a two-and-a-half-ton truck. I had to learn how to do it sufficiently to get a license to drive a two-and-a-half and [I was told], "Just go out in the desert and start driving, the hills and valleys and all," and the instruction was to try to turn the truck over without turning it over. The truck had no doors on it ... or windows, [laughter] so, you could get out, if necessary, okay, and that's what we did, drive the truck until I was sufficiently able to get a driver license to drive two-and-a-half-ton truck. ... We'd have to take mail and records,et cetera, back and forth from this place out in the desert, back to Camp Pinedale, headquarters, and, every once in a while, I would get the okay to take the jeep, by myself, and head back to Camp Pinedale and, here I would go, I would go down the highway in the jeep, steel helmet on, my rifle alongside of me, carrying the bag for the camp and I'd go flying by state troopers. ... They weren't going to touch me and, halfway there, I would stop at some kind of store, soda or candy or something, I'd just sling my rifle over my shoulder and go on into the store, buy whatever I wanted, [laughter] go back out to the jeep, keep on going. That was fun, you know, gave you something different to do for a change, right, instead of dot-and-dashing for umpteen hours a day. [laughter] I would do that. In the meantime, I'm promoted from private to corporal. ... Of course, you don't get promoted overseas. You get promoted only while you're in the States. Once you leave the States, that's it. They don't have ... the records to bother with there. Now, I get promoted to corporal and, eventually, I get to sergeant, at which point, I no more had to do KP. The greatest thing in the world is this rank of sergeant. [laughter] ... We finished those maneuvers, we go back to camp, and then, continue our usual routine, and then, we go out on maneuvers again. I don't know why in the Sam Hill they kept us in California, but they were still getting the dot-and-dashes from us. We'd go on maneuvers again, into another section of California, where it was so muddy, a two-and-a-half-ton truck sank up to the top of the fenders. We had to dig it out with our shovels, wonderful job. [laughter] We were out there for many, many days. One Sunday, ... about six or eight of us decided to go to church. So, we get out, get all dressed in our Class A uniform, we go out to the highway, we thumb a ride. This is the farmland area and I mean farmland, farm country, and we get a ride into town and there's a church there. A group of us walk in and the service is going on and they were singing some hymn and the bunch of us slide into the last pew. ... They finished that hymn, then, they announced they were going to now sing, whether they usually did this or not, I don't know, hymn number such-and-such. ... We held our books up, we started singing, six or eight men in the back of the room, with almost no men in the audience, except women and girls, you could see the heads go, "Whoosh," [turning]. [laughter] After church is over, we were mobbed and a bunch of us were invited to some woman's farmhouse for lunch. Of course, we went, you know, and they put on a nice lunch for us. It was a nice afternoon, Sunday afternoon. One of the girls there took an interest in me. We got friendly, talking around, and then, after a while, we left and went back to camp. So, the following Sunday, guess where we went, back to church. We were so very religious, you know. [laughter] So, that went on for a while. We had a good time. ... While there at that camp, not only had I already learned how to drive a two-and-a-half-ton truck, but I now had to learn how to climb a utility pole with the spikes on your ... legs, okay. ... That's scary, folks, I kid you not. That is scary. I got up the damned pole, but I never want to do it again. [laughter] They took a picture of me up on the pole. My family has it someplace, I don't know where it is, but, there I am, up on the pole, my spikes dug into the pole. ... Our gang, we always had to be able to do something else, besides being a radio operator. As long as it wasn't KP, it was all right with me and it reminds me, when we first got to that camp, ... we [can] call them huts or whatever you want to call them, [that] we were going to live in, [we] found that this building was completely packed with bees and we had to get rid of them and I was ... one of the guys that went in, with masks on and all that kind of stuff, gloves and everything else, to spray out the place and get rid of them and, after we got rid of them, then, we moved in, a lovely place, [laughter] but, anyway, back to camp, eventually, and, during this time of bouncing back and forth, camps and maneuvers and all, I got a leave and came home and got engaged to Emelie, went to Red Bank, to, I don't know if it was (Lucille's?) or one of them there, to buy an engagement ring, okay. ... Those apricots were good for something anyway, right? [laughter] Then, from there, I came back to camp and life went on and we got, shall we say, the underground rumor that we're going to ship out, finally. ... I had been going to visit a good friend of my wife, [she] wasn't my wife yet, a good friend of Emelie, ... Roslyn Duncan, Roslyn and Fount Duncan, her husband. Roslyn used to live on the same side ... of the street where ... Emelie was born and brought up, where I dated her, Woolley Avenue, and so, I learned that they were out there. I came to visit them and was there a few times for dinner and Roslyn suggested that, if I married Emelie, I could move into that house and live there with them. Who am I to argue, right? If Emelie wants to go with it, I'll go for it. So, I proposed to her and her family was completely against the idea. Her father said, "Look, he might come back a physical wreck, he might never come back. Wait until he comes back, and then, marry him, if he's all right," and, no, she was going to marry me and that's all there was to it. So, I came home, I got married, we got on a train, we took a choo-choo train, four days, setting out to California.
SH: Were you married in the church that everybody else was married in?
HE: Oh, yes. [laughter] That's where they got married and that's where they ... wish they get buried. ... Going back to California, by the time we got back to Roslyn and Fount's apartment, [or] house, we could not ... tell where Emelie's ankles were; been sitting up for four days and four nights, her legs were just solid hunks of flesh. It was just awful. ... That went away, and then, that's where we stayed. Roslyn and Fount moved into the living room and gave us their bedroom and I would go to camp in the daytime. In the evening, I'd come home, back to that house, and then, one day, we got the orders, and so, I let my wife know, "We're shipping out," and we shipped out, all the way to San Francisco. [laughter] So, there I am, in San Francisco, and, while in San Francisco, our boat trip was put off for a couple of days or so and I called the wife ... [to] see if she could come on up to San Francisco and stay at the St. Francis Hotel. ... Okay, well, I didn't know it was New Year's Eve. I hadn't the foggiest that was New Year's Eve, but she and some of the other women got phone calls at the same time from our outfit and they all happened to meet at the railroad station, where Emelie said it was just full of Mexican, Indian, drunks, but they got on the train and they went up to San Francisco, to the St. Francis. They got to the St. Francis Hotel and they went to check in and the man at the desk understood where they were coming from and why. He said to them, "Look, wait, don't sign in yet. There'll be other rooms [that] will be vacated which are less expensive, so, wait," and, after a while, the man signaled them to come on over [and] register to come on in. So, they did, they come in and we met them at the lobby. When we, a bunch of us guys, got to our wives, and then, we all arranged to go out for dinner together and dancing. Emelie brought my dress shoes. I only had my big Army boots, you know. [laughter] That's what I lived in from now on. She brought my dress shoes, because she figured I could wear them, I think, or I wouldn't be stepping on her feet with the heavy boots, too. [laughter] You know, she's a smart woman, [laughter] and so, we all went out dancing and what we did was, ... none of the other guys had dress shoes. So, I would hand them around and we would take turns dancing, okay, and we had a nice evening. ... The next morning, I left. I said, "If I come back, fine. If not, you know I'm going." Well, I came back the next night and that was it. The next morning, I was gone and my boat sailed out under the ... bridge, the San Francisco Bridge, and on out to the South Pacific, without any Navy escort. Now, it was one of those tin cans. It was made with plywood, I think. The boat was one of the awful, awful ships and we chugged along, heading toward the island of Funafuti, [Tuvalu]. I didn't know where we were heading.
SH: What was the name of the ship?
HE: Oh, I have no idea. I probably deliberately eliminated it from my mind, forever and ever, because, for the first ten days, I was seasick. I could not eat, could not drink. I was so sick. I would take a dry piece of toast and I would crawl up as close to the center of the ship as I could get and lie there. All of the troops, we had nothing to do. I couldn't have done it anyway, I was so sick and I would be there, lying for ten days, so sick. After that, I was all better and I've never been sick again. Although I've been out on the sea ... a number of times since, I've never been sick since. I went through that and my body gets adjusted to it. Anyway, ten days and we're still chugging along, going south, and we are three days south of Hawaii when the ship breaks down. It had no more power. [laughter] I told you it was a lousy ship, and they finally got it to be able to move at three knots. The bow, you could look over the side and you could see the bow and you could not see it cutting the water. We weren't going fast enough. The Captain announced that, because of our condition, we would have to break radio silence. Oh, boy; everybody was on duty, voluntarily or not, looking for a periscope. We were too far away ... for their airships, but not for their submarines, okay. We were terrified and we had one gun onboard, that was it. [laughter] ... So, we're chugging [along] at three knots, broke radio silence and we ... had turned. Instead of heading down for that island of Funafuti, we were now heading straight for Hawaii, to get repaired, and it goes on, you know, we're speeding along at three knots [laughter] and, suddenly, ... while I'm on duty up at the bow, I could see a dot on the horizon, an airplane. "Sound the alert," and [laughter] everybody's watching and I called it out, what I said it was going to be, one of those flying boats, and it came closer and closer and closer and, finally, yes, that's what it was. It was a US Navy flying boat, came over us, circled us and headed back out, going back to Hawaii. After that, we were escorted into Hawaii, where we anchored a stone's throw away from the USS Arizona, which was the one that sank and, you know, was sitting there and we could see it. ... We tied up against a US Marine ship, full of Marines, and we would chat with them and watch them. They spent their time talking and sharpening their bayonet. They would sharpen it and sharpen it and sharpen it and ... we would watch supply men carrying in stretchers, loading the ship with stretchers, and, you know, it's a great feeling to know that these guys were really going to be in trouble and that's where we sat for ten days. We're not allowed to get off the ship and I'm looking out at the beautiful island of Hawaii, okay, and there we sat. It's a lovely looking place [laughter] and we sat there and sat there and sat there, until they finally said we were all better and we headed out for Funafuti, because we still had the supplies for Funafuti. Eventually, we get down to Funafuti, ... an island that didn't look like it.
All right, let's see now, where was I? heading towards Funafuti. We finally get there and that island, the whole thing could not have gone more than a foot-and-a-half, two feet, off the top of the water, okay. The whole thing was just flat, with some buildings on it, and we dropped supplies there for the poor clowns who were stuck there on that island. ... While we were there, watching them unload, some of us were looking over the side and we [said], "Hey, look, let's take a dip." So, we started yanking off our clothes right there on the side of the ship to climb overboard and take a dip, when, suddenly, a humongous shark comes swimming along. I don't know what make or brand it was; it didn't have a name on it. [laughter] All I know is, it came swimming along and we changed our minds [laughter] and we put our clothes back on and, from there, we headed up to the island of New Guinea. Now, the last I knew of Bob Hyde, remember him, my old college roommate, he disappeared when I went to Atlantic City. I don't know where they sent him. Eventually, after I did talk to him again, much later on in life, he was in New Guinea and he had been there all during the cotton-picking war so far, but, anyway, we stopped off at New Guinea, dropped off more supplies, didn't pick up anybody or drop any people off, just supplies, and then, we joined a convoy and this time, of course, we were escorted all over the place and we head up north toward the island of Leyte in the Philippines and, by this time, ... I get with a bunch of the guys to play cribbage, for money, and we just go sailing along, got nothing else to do [but] play cribbage. I'm winning hundreds of dollars and ... it's announced that the next day, we were going to land on the island of Leyte. We would be climbing over in the nets, into the landing boats, and we were to do this, this, this and this and follow these orders and you will do this. Okay, as soon as that happened, I thought, "Uh-oh." So, I got the guys together for a final game of cribbage, where I accidentally lost every dime that I had won. I did not want some guy with a rifle full of bullets who owed me hundred dollars to be walking behind me in the jungle, fair enough? [laughter]
SH: That must have been a serious cribbage game.
HE: ... I wasn't going to play games. So, I lost all the money that I had won and I get off at the shore, with the rest of the guys, and we get in Army trucks, which are waiting for us, and we head inland, head inland, head inland, until we finally get to some place, a flat area alongside of a river, and that's where we unload ourselves and our trucks. Tents go up and, when we get there, we find that we were on this one side of the river, the Japs are on the other side. ...
SH: How many were in this party?
HE: Oh, it must be about a company of men. ... While we're at this river, there are no houses, no streets, no roads. We lived there for quite a while, but, naturally, in one of the tents was our radios and our typewriters and guess what we were doing, right back to dot-and-dash, okay. ... We lived there, ... [took] our tour of duty, doing dots-and-dashes and, ... when we're off duty, we could [do] whatever you wanted to do, as long as we came back in time for duty. ... We'd walk around the area and we could see some native huts off in the distance and, every once in a while, we'd see a native and we got some of the women, native women, Filipinos, [to] come up and we worked out arrangements for them to do our laundry and they would take the laundry down to the river, they would go in the river, but we wouldn't, because we would then be perfect targets for whoever was on the other side of the river. So, none of us ever even put our foot in the river. We kept away from the river and we stayed there and stayed there and, one night, we got word that the Japs were coming across sometime that night. So, each one of us got our own weapon, I had my rifle, and I joined two or three other guys in a big foxhole, facing the river, one guy with a machine gun and the rest of us with rifles, and, there, we got into that foxhole, all of us were in foxholes all down the line, all right, waiting and waiting. Our commanding officer comes running along, says, "Don't call me Major, call me Harry," or whatever his first name was. So, everybody, "Hey, Major," [laughter] but this is pitch dark; he wouldn't know who called. Anyway, we stayed there and stayed there and stayed there and morning comes and we were released, okay, and then, we found out why. They did come over, but they came over a mile away, at where the Army had a tent hospital, and they slit the throats of every one of their patients in the hospital bunks, and then, they disappeared into the jungle, because we were in the jungle. That was the only experience I had with the Japs while I was in that area. ... Thankfully, our good luck, unfortunately, was their bad luck; ... nothing you can do about that.
SI: Were you given instructions on what to do during an attack, in terms of maintaining secrecy? Were you told to destroy your equipment?
HE: None whatsoever. That was not my ballgame. I was just the dot-and-dash man.
SH: Did you do any dot-and-dash work while you were traveling on the ship?
SH: Everything is packed away.
HE: Everything is packed away. We had absolutely nothing to do. They didn't give us any exercises.
No, they had nothing ... for us to do on the boat. That's why I played cribbage and we didn't do exercises either, ridiculous. That ship was terrible. Anyway, back to [when] we're in the island of Leyte.
SH: Did the place where you set up have a nickname?
HE: Not really. We're just in an open space in the jungle, alongside of a river. Outside of seeing the native women who would come and do our laundry, that was it. We had no town to go to, none. [laughter]
SI: Was it difficult to maintain morale with nothing to do?
HE: Well, the only thing we had to do was either sleep, play cards, or sleep, or do any kind of exercise you wanted to do, but there was one little pastime we were able to find out about and do and that was a tree called the tuba. ... You get a hold of a native man who could shimmy up a tuba tree. Tuba tree is just like a telephone pole, practically; it's straight up. ... The native would shimmy up with your canteen cup. He would slash a branch and let the liquid come out and bring it down to you and you give him fifty cents and, if you drank it right away, it tasted like hard cider and gave you a slight glow. If you let it sit overnight, the next morning, if you drank it, oh, you get stoned. [laughter] Tuba, I'll never forget tuba. Anyway, so, we left the island of Leyte and went to the island of Luzon. While I was in Luzon, I was in two, ... or maybe even two-and-a-half, different sections of Luzon. When I first got to Luzon, I was down in the southern part of that island and we [went] right back into tents and dots-and-dashes. The rule was this; our outfit was supposed to try to get as close to the Japs as possible and, as the Army moved up, you know, as it moved up from Leyte, ... as the Army moved up, we went up with it, and so, the Army moved into Luzon, we moved into Luzon.
SH: You were still listening for Air Force signals.
HE: I'm listening only to airplanes and, let's put it this way, it would get so we would say to the men in the Air Force, our Air Corps, I mean, "Here's the message. There's going to be X number of planes going to bomb a certain place of ours at such-and-such a time, so, go on up into cloud cover and wait for them," and then, we would see what kind of results we got out of it. In other words, our boys would be up there, knowing that the Jap bombers were coming, and then, they would come down on them. That's why we were working for the Air Corps. So, we could tell the Air Corps where the planes were. ... The Japs, in their own fashion, could not keep radio silence. Now, you know, I'm sure, that the United States is adamant about keeping radio silence, because ... every country in the world [that] can use the direction finders will find you. So, when we get in the planes, we keep radio silence, okay; Japs, no. They are bug happy; they have to signal and they're signaling, signaling, so, we just copy, copy, copy. ... You know where the Jap planes are. I have, let me say, "Sam One," another guy in the outfit, he's got Sam Two. We'd just count the number of planes and we'd know how many there are. ... They tell headquarters, "This is Sam One, heading to such-and-such a place to bomb it." "Oh, okay." [laughter] So, that's how it happened. That's all we did, and so, we are in Luzon and life goes on, and then, we get promoted to go all the way up to Clark Airfield, Clark Airbase, where the United States had its big base, and, when we got to Clark Airbase, it becomes real chicken[s--t]. They want us to salute, they want us to wear summer dress clothes, instead of jeans, you know. It was ridiculous. I didn't come to the Army to do this. [laughter] Anyway, while we were at that base, Clark Airbase, they went and put our camp in tents next to an ammunition dump and that's where we were and I was in the shower. These big water tanks, big, big barrels, they fill them with water and you get underneath and take a nice, not heated, but, you know, a nice shower and I was in there taking a shower when the ammunition dump started going up. ... Shall we say, I ran out of the shower, ran into my tent, grabbed my steel helmet, ran out the other end of the tent and dove for the closest foxhole I could find. I found one that was a one-man foxhole, which is just what I wanted, and ducked down into this doggone foxhole and the doggone bombs are going off and I'm watching and I can see there's a lieutenant and a little PFC, a fat, little PFC, all right, both trying to get underneath this one wooden table in a tent, only big enough for one of them. Rank did not have its privileges. They were just pushing each other out from underneath that. Well, you know, if it wasn't so awful, it would be a riot, but it was something to watch and I watched. ... Then, there was a pause and, during the pause, they ran, got out from underneath that table, and then, it started up again and more bombs were going off. ... Guys who had started to move away were caught with the shells bursting and they were phosphorous shells and one guy got hit right on his rear end with a piece of phosphorous. He had been running, up to that point. After that, he flew, way up into the horizon. After the bombing finally stopped and it really did finally stop, ... they were signaling him to come back and he stood up there and, way far away, ... he said, "Oh, no, I'm not coming back." [laughter] I don't know when he came back, but, anyway, while I'm at that camp, that airfield, one day, I'm in a truck, I'm in charge of a detail of men to do some stupid thing or other and we're riding down this road. Of course, now, ... as I said, we're fancy-dancy (plus?) and we come to pass this outfit and I tell the truck driver to stop, because it was the outfit where my old buddy, Bob Hyde, is stationed. So, I go inside the headquarters tent and they said, "Yes, he's stationed there." He was out and I left a message for him and I went on with my detail. When I got back, after supper, along comes Bob Hyde. It was wonderful to see the kid ... and he hadn't been home. He never got leave. He'd been out there in New Guinea all that time before he was transferred up, so, he hadn't been home. He didn't know anything going on in the world and we sat down, on the concrete or cement steps that was all that was left of a building which had been bombed out of existence, and we sat there for hours and I was filling him in on everything that had happened in New Jersey all the time he had been gone and we made arrangements to meet again and we went to Manila and, you know, we just went around, just like it was civilization. It was very nice, and then, I got fed up with this fancy-dancy saluting and fancy clothes and all that kind of stuff and the headquarters asked for volunteers to go up front. I volunteered and they took me and a couple of other guys in jeeps and we went up front. "What's the front? I'm taking radio signals," you know, but it was a very nice place and ... it wasn't a tent, it was more of a grass kind of ... hut and it was by the ocean and it was very lovely there and I didn't see any Japs. I saw Japanese fighter planes being in little arguments up there with our planes, but I didn't have any actual contact with them, which is fine by me. I wasn't looking for them and I just kept on doing my thing. They could say I was up front; I wasn't going to argue with that. It was nice.
SH: Your duties did not change. You were still doing the same thing.
HE: Dots-and-dashes, that's all I did, the entire life.
SH: For the Air Corps?
HE: Yes, and kept on going, and then, eventually, the United States invaded Okinawa. Well, so, you know where I'm going. I have to follow the troops. So, here we go and we transferred from the Philippines up to Okinawa and we get to Okinawa and, as we get off onto our landing ships, you could hear the cannons going off. You couldn't hear the rifle fire, it was too far away, but you could hear the cannons going off constantly and it's a good welcome. That was a celebration to welcome us, right, [laughter] and we go in and we go inland, someplace or other, not by any water this time, up on a little ridge over sort of a nice valley. As we get to this ridge, the officer says to me to take a detail, go to the edge of the ridge and shoot anything that moves. "Yes, sir." So, I'm leading the way. I'm the sergeant in charge, okay. I take these guys, we crawl up to the edge of the ridge and I holler out, "Hold your fire," because I looked down and I countermanded that officer, because all I saw down there were civilians, all kinds, just civilians. So, we just got up and walked back and said to the officer, "Forget it," and that's where we stayed, in Okinawa, for a while. ... While there, I had two interesting experiences. One was, they had, whatever they call them, I forget, in the Pacific, a hurricane or tornado ...
HE: Thank you. They had a typhoon, loused us all up, but, what we did [was], we climbed into our big, ... metal radio trucks, where they had the radio signals and stuff, and we climbed in there and the trucks would be rocking back and forth. ... Finally, the storm was over. We came back out and put our place back together again, as [best] we could, and, while we were there, the Army infantry would, every day, ... come by ... with their hand grenades and they would throw the hand grenades into these little tunnels that were built into the side of the hills where we were living. [laughter] They would just pull the pin on the hand grenade and roll it into the hole, let it explode. So, if any Jap was in there, he wouldn't be shooting at us. ... We were protected by the infantry. They thought a lot of us, I guess, and then, ... also, while there, ... for the first time, we used direction finders, okay. "Here is how you use a direction finder," so, we learned how to use direction finders and I would take my turn, go up, listen to dot-and-dash and type and, also, if I get a message to try track a certain signal, I would turn the direction finder on and go give them my signal, because ... they would go from island-to-island. In other words, I would give a reading, then, they would get the reading from another island across. So, one day, [with] the other guys, ... we walked, I would say, about ... maybe a half-a-mile, not even, no, a quarter-mile, to our direction finder radio signal. ... It was on a hill with the big antenna pole sticking up and all that malarkey and we would take our turn. One guy would be up there all by himself. ... We would go up there and do our thing, and then, another guy would go up and relieve him, go on and on and on, and then, one day, one of the guys, it was his turn, he goes, and as soon as he gets up there, he telephones back, "Japs up here." Well, the whole bunch of us piled into a jeep, all you could see was rifles sticking out all over the place, and off we went, up to the hill. We get up there and we drop on our stomachs and start looking and there was a dead Jap right by the antennas. ... The Jap soldier, evidently, killed himself with a hand grenade. Whether he was trying to damage the antennas or just kill himself, I don't know, because I didn't ask him. ... So, I just looked at him, and so did the other guys.
-------------------------------------END OF TAPE ONE, SIDE TWO--------------------------------------
SI: This continues an interview with the Honorable Harry S. Evans in Long Branch, New Jersey, on October 31, 2003, with Shaun Illingworth ...
CD: Chris De Young
SH: ... and Sandra Stewart Holyoak. Please, continue. We were talking about the invasion of Okinawa, which started at the north end, and then, you came ashore with the troops in the south.
HE: The Japanese had been pushed to the southern end of the island of Okinawa and we were in the middle. While we're in the middle, ... of course, an island, being surrounded by water, with nothing else to do, we decided to go swimming in the Pacific Ocean; sounds nice, doesn't it? So, I went with a bunch of other guys into the Pacific Ocean, where I got struck by a man-o-war and I never went into the Pacific Ocean again. [laughter] Painful? awful; it slashed me right across my stomach. [laughter] So, that ended my sojourning in the Pacific. We were going to, unbeknownst to me, they said, be invading Japan. They were going to throw everybody in. We got the story that the Germans had surrendered and people were all celebrating. We just didn't even shrug our shoulders. It had nothing to do with us. We had work to do, and then, this goes on until we get to August. Then, we dropped the first bomb.
SH: Were you still on Okinawa?
HE: [Yes], dropped the first bomb and we're all excited and it was pretty well figured out by the powers-that-be that the only way the Japs could retaliate, which they expected the Japs to do, would be by gas attack. So, we were all given new gas equipment, plastic tents, the whole smear, okay, and, of course, that's scary, and so, we waited, we waited, we waited, nothing happened, and then, they dropped the second bomb.
SH: What were you told about the bomb? How did they describe it?
HE: There was no press release. It was just word of mouth. I don't remember the exact wordage, but it was some humongous bomb, that one bomb dropped wiped out an entire city, ... just to try to get the Japs attention. ... When the second bomb dropped, that is when they stopped the war. Some of the guys went a little bit wild. ... One of them grabbed a machine gun and just started firing into the air. When he did that, I grabbed my steel helmet and I jumped into a foxhole. I said, "This is no time for me to get shot." I wasn't going to play stupid. Anyway, they calmed down and we were then assigned to go to Korea, because they needed two things. One, use our direction finders to guide our own planes into the Kimpo Airfield, where we were going to be stationed, which was right alongside the border to North Korea, okay. I didn't know either place, never heard of either one. [laughter] ... They were going to use our direction finders to guide our planes into Kimpo Airfield, where they'd never been before and, also, to monitor the Japs, to see if they broke radio silence, because they were unconditionally surrendered and were not supposed to use the radio for anything. So, we go up there to that lovely place of Kimpo Airfield and we are put into a Japanese dormitory. ... It had no heat, just plain wood, wood walls, wood ceilings, wood floor. I was on the second floor, wood, wood, wood, with a bunk, and, at night, it got so cold, everything I owned, including my raincoat, I wore to bed at night, bitter, bitter cold. ... We'd been in the jungles; all we had were summer outfits. We had nothing to keep us warm. It was terrible. We were there for quite a while, because the word was, we could not leave until our substitute had arrived and we did nothing else but monitor. I did not ... use the direction finder. I did nothing else but use the radio to monitor the frequencies, go from one to the other and listen for radio silence, no sound, no sound, no sound, eight hours. ... That's tough. I'd rather be doing that [laughter] and we'd be listening and listening and waiting for our replacement. Now, you know the war is over and we're sitting there in South Korea, right up by the border of North Korea, and, off duty, we went into Seoul, Korea, looked around the town; you shrug your shoulders and go on back to camp. [laughter] ... Sat there and did that thing and, one day, a GI comes up alongside me and says, "I'm your replacement." "Oh," I said, "do you know ... Japanese?" He said, "No, Russian." In other words, he had become an expert in Russian code. We were now finished with the Japanese code. So, I and my other guys, we all packed up and we shipped, by boat, to Tokyo, at the (Tachikawa?) Airfield. [laughter] I still remember that and we stayed there and we went into Tokyo and we could go to one restaurant, the only one that was at liberty for us to go to where they felt we would not be poisoned. They were afraid that the Japs would poison us, that's all. There wasn't much you could do. We'd drink the Japanese beer, which was like flavored water, hung around there, doing nothing, because we're no longer on the radio. We were packed to go home, just waiting. I'd write home, write to the wife, write to my mother and I did that all during the war. Finally, we get a ship and we climb onboard, this time, a Navy troopship. Now, that was something to travel in. [laughter] That's much better. I'm not saying it was palatial, but at least you felt like you were in something that was made of steel, instead of tin. [laughter] ... We got in and the ship headed towards the United States. Now, as you know, we came, from the United States, ... the southern route. We went back to the United States the northern route. That was nice, fine. We hit a storm like there's no tomorrow. Oh, I wasn't seasick at all, but the dining room was seasick. The garbage pails were flying from one end of the room to the other. You stood there. The tables were not seating tables, they were standing tables. You stood, because this was a real troopship. You stood to eat and you stood there at the table. You ate your food and you got rid of the dishes, the KP boys take care of it. ... You go outside and look, if you wanted to, or just go back to your bunk and we rode out that storm, heading back to, ... I think it was Seattle, and we get to Seattle. We were met by the USO, given coffee and doughnuts. We were taken to the camp, whatever camp it was, I didn't know, ... [we were not] there long enough to find out. We changed, now, this is winter, this is now February, and we get to this camp and ... we turned in our summer clothes we're still wearing and we're given regular winter uniforms, overcoat and the whole smear, okay, and we were given our insignias to put on our uniforms, ... climb in a train and head for Fort Dix, nothing else to do but sew insignia on my uniform while I'm traveling from Washington to Fort Dix. I get to Fort Dix, arrange for the family to come get me. So, who comes to get me but Emelie and Dee and I get in the car, we take off and, a mile or so down the road, we get a flat tire. So, here I am, just out of the Army, and I'm on the side of the road, fixing a flat tire, and that is my service for the United States.
SH: I am sure that everyone has a couple of questions, but I am going to ask this first, going back to when you were stationed in California, you talked about the Nisei who were interpreting the code with you, or not interpreting code, but they were listening to the Japanese.
HE: Yes, ... voice messages.
SH: How did the other soldiers treat them?
HE: Never saw them. I knew they were there, but they were kept separate.
SH: When you were in California, did you see any of the internment camps for Japanese-Americans?
HE: No, no. I wasn't near them.
SI: Were you warned not to discuss your work?
HE: Oh, that was ultra, ultra secret, never told my wife, never told anybody I was in radio intelligence. ... My title was Japanese intercept operator.
SH: Was there any kind of security background check done on you?
HE: I have no idea. All I know is that's what they assigned me to do and I did it.
SH: Were you restricted from any sort of activity because you were in this specialty?
HE: No. There were no cotton-picking activities around. [laughter]
SH: I meant, in California, did they tell you not to go into certain neighborhoods?
HE: No, no.
SI: Just out of curiosity, do you think that your musical background helped you become proficient in your work?
HE: It's a thought. I don't know.
SI: Did a lot of other men in the unit have musical backgrounds?
HE: I have no idea. We did not do any singing. No, no, we did not, onboard that ship, no.
SH: Did you ever run into any other New Jersey or Rutgers men?
HE: Oh, by the way, on that trip from California, too, which was supposed to take just a few days, it took fifty-four days for us to get from California to the island of ... Leyte in the Philippines, fifty-four days onboard that scow. No, we did not sing. [laughter]
SH: Did you have enough food and water?
HE: Well, when the ship didn't have any power, we didn't have any cold water to drink, either, and that's when we took our canteens, filled them with water, tied a rope around it and hung it over the side to let it sit in the Pacific Ocean to cool off the water for us to drink.
SI: When you were stationed in the field, either in the Philippines or on Okinawa, did you ever have trouble getting food, replacement equipment, anything like that?
HE: No, we were taken care of. As I told you, we were guarded. We didn't see the infantry, but [laughter] you knew they were there, because the doggone grenades were going off.
SH: Did you encounter any of the other branches? You talked about seeing Marines briefly in Pearl Harbor.
HE: That's the only time. ... I was with the Army Air Corps ... all the rest of the trip.
SH: Did you see any of the Allied forces, like the Australians?
HE: I don't recall seeing [them]. ... When I was on land, let us say in Tokyo, I might have seen them, but I don't remember. ... It didn't make any interest to me, although I did go walk some of the streets in Tokyo. Once I've seen one, I've seen the others and it was still scary, because you had to watch your back, okay.
SH: You had that sense.
HE: Yes, you had to watch your back.
SH: When you were on Okinawa, as you moved toward the middle of the island, what sort of devastation did you see?
HE: I didn't pay any attention, because we were taken in by truck, just, "Whoosh."
SI: At the time, there were many kamikaze attacks. In your work, did you pick up kamikaze signals?
HE: I wouldn't know what they were. All I know is, they're dots and dashes, I turn them over to the other guy to break the code down.
SH: Did the Nisei also travel with you from California?
HE: Yes. I don't know where they were, but they would travel with us. Whether they traveled on the same ship or not, I don't know, because there were a gazillion guys on that ship.
SI: As the war progressed, were you able to tell, by changes in the volume of signals, that the Japanese Air Force was declining in power?
HE: Oh, I don't recall off the top of my head whether the volume, that's what you mean, right? ... cut back. The volume cut back only when the bombs dropped, and then, it cut back a hundred percent, no more signals. They kept their word. You've got to give them credit; they kept their word. They didn't try to sneak any messages, [laughter] because, you know, those doggone radios, you lived with them, and, once in a while, one would break down and we had one favorite way to fix it. You take your fist and hit it on the side, works every time, never had to send a radio into repair. ... If it started to louse up, "Bang."
SH: Did you see any improvements or upgrades in your equipment over time?
HE: No, no, we lived with what we got. [laughter] "This is what you got and you keep it." No, it stayed the same, including those lovely, little, old Underwood typewriters. [laughter]
SH: When you were in California, did you have the truck and trailer that you talked about? Was that already part of your equipment?
HE: In California, ... remember, I told you, we had that one truck that got stuck in the mud. We had trucks with us in California. It reminds me, there was the fellow in my outfit I admired very much. His name happened to be Bob Evans. He was a national truck driver, professional truck driver, big trucks, you know, these great, big, umpteen wheelers. So, what'd they do? They made him a radio operator. ...
SH: And taught you how to drive. [laughter]
HE: Yes, because the Army rule is, "We don't want you to do what you know. You have to do what we want you to know." So, this guy, if ... one of the regular truck drivers had to park a truck, with ... a little trailer on behind, over in the corner of the field someplace and he couldn't do it, they would call on Bob Evans and he would just hop in the truck, "Vroom, boom," it's all done. [laughter]
SH: Did you pretty much stay with the same group of men from California throughout the war?
HE: Yes, that was our outfit.
SH: Where were they from, for the most part?
HE: All over the world.
SH: Was there any kind of turnover, any casualties? Did anyone get sick?
HE: Oh, yes. We had one fellow that was in Luzon at that Clark Airfield. He started to get a little wacky. He would not touch anything unless he washed it first, and then, wiped it down. ... Now, whether he was putting on something or not, you know, we didn't know, but ... we'd [say], "Take a look," and we'd watch him, make sure he wasn't going off over the brink on us, and, finally, we didn't see him anymore. ... Outside of that, I don't know of any fellow who got sick. I cut my knee coming off a landing craft, but I didn't get any Purple Heart for it. [laughter]
SH: When you went into Manila, what did you see? What were your initial thoughts?
HE: Well, we had ice cream made out of buffalo milk, stopped in a little restaurant, sat down and had ice cream. There were just little stores, little, wooden stores.
SH: Was it fairly well bombed? What was the destruction like?
HE: No, I didn't see any destruction.
HE: I didn't travel the whole city.
SH: Before we started the interview, you showed us a nice display case with your medals. Can you talk about what they are and what you received them for?
HE: If I can remember, just a second. [Judge Evans goes into the other room to retrieve the case.] Okay, my outfit overseas, Clark Airfield, my sergeant's stripes; there's my stripes showing the tours of duty. Here's my Expert Marksmanship [Badge]. I've got to show you my Good Conduct Medal [laughter] and over here is the Asian-Pacific Medal, with the three Battle Stars, showing the three Battle Stars for the three battles I [was] in, even though I didn't have to fire the rifle off, which was quite fortunate for me. I have a Presidential Citation, Victory Medal, all kinds of stuff. This is, I believe, the medal from the Philippine government. The citation from the Philippine government is on the wall. I think I sent that to you people. I can go into ... my closet and get out the list from the Army of what they sent me. ...
SH: That is okay. For the tape, I wanted you to talk about them.
HE: Well, I don't know, let's put this way, it was not until years, I mean years, after I was out of the service that I got the medals, and then, of course, I have one more medal to get. I'm waiting for that to come, so [that] it doesn't get lost in the mail. [laughter] That's the one from the State of New Jersey. [laughter]
CD: Did any of your friends pick up any Japanese souvenirs along the way?
HE: I have one souvenir. It is a Filipino knife. I can go get it, if you want me to; no, okay, but I also have a pair of Japanese dog tags. When we were in the island of Leyte, where ... we had that little invasion that happened, we paid the Philippine natives to go get those Japs and bring back the dog tags and each of us bought one set of dog tags when they came back and I brought that home.
SH: When you were in Leyte, were you confined to where you were?
HE: We had no place to go. We'd walk down the trails.
SH: Could you go alone?
HE: No, I wouldn't go alone. Some of us would meander out, you know, and we'd see their native houses in the distance. We wouldn't go up to them. We wouldn't want to intrude. ... Outside of that, it was just plain jungle.
CD: How did you and the other men get along with your officers?
HE: ... They stayed away from us and we stayed away from them. ... We got our orders, here's our shifts, here's what you do and, outside of that, we just lived our lives and whatever they did, we didn't have any idea, because we didn't hear from them and we were very happy about the whole thing. [laughter] We had nothing to do with them. ... We played cards, as I said, or take a nap or drink some tuba. [laughter] What else can you do in the jungle? You know, if the Japs weren't on the other side of that river, you know, we could have been swimming and having a lot of fun out in the river, but we weren't going out there because we would be a perfect target.
SI: Was sniper fire or mines an issue?
HE: No, no, it was clean.
SH: Did you ever think of applying for OCS before you went overseas?
HE: I told you about my brother-in-law, Riggsy, right. He went up in rank and he was a major in the Army at Fort Monmouth when I was there and he told me, if I ever signed up for OCS, he'd make sure I was not accepted and what he was doing [was], he was training the OCS school and he said he would make sure I was not accepted, because I had a much better chance of coming home alive as a GI than as a lieutenant. So, that was the answer to that, and so, I never even tried.
SH: You had been in the ROTC at Rutgers before you enlisted. Was there anything in that training that you found useful?
HE: No, no. That was just a pain in the neck. [laughter]
SH: Had you been a Boy Scout?
HE: Yes. ... I got up to be a Second Class Scout. I have one son who got to be, ... you know, the first grade, below a Second Class Scout, ... a Tenderfoot or something, and my other son, he became an Eagle Scout. ...
SH: Did you serve as a Scout leader?
HE: No. The troop I joined was not interesting at all. They did not give any activities where you could get something going, do something. It was very boring, so, I just butted out. What I did was, I sang and I sang and I sang, after I got out of the service and I was back in college. Of course, when I got out of the service, ... I contacted Rutgers University right away and he said, if I signed up within the next six days, I could get into that semester. "Whoosh," I was over there, and so, I was able to jump into that February semester and get back in the school. ...
SH: Where did you and Mrs. Evans live?
HE: We started out living with her father and mother and stayed there until we found an apartment about a block-and-a-half, almost two blocks away, on the corner of Westwood and Bath Avenue, second floor, nice apartment. ... We stayed there for quite a while and I was introduced to the barbershop singing and, for twenty-five years, I sang barbershop, also continued to sing bass in the church choir, and that's when disaster struck. One day, I'm in the church choir, marching in a recessional, down the center aisle of the church and I was singing away and, suddenly, I'm singing, but there's no sound coming out, not a peep. So, I kept my mouth moving, "the show must go on" routine, and I kept trying to sing but nothing, no sound. I get out into the dressing room, I can't talk. A little while later, finally, I could start to talk again. So, the next choir rehearsal, I started to try to sing and it cut out. So, I went to a throat specialist in Shrewsbury, and then, he said to me, "Never sing again." So, I didn't take his word for it and I went to another throat specialist in Long Branch. He said to me, "Harry, never sing again." That was my whole hobby. ... I get cut out from my hobby, I get my spine broken, I'm in great shape.
SH: Do you listen to music?
HE: Oh, yes, I've got music.
SH: Choral music?
HE: Barbershop, country-western, that's my kind of [music], country-western. My wife was a nut for Pavarotti. Her tapes, she's got stacks of tapes on her dresser; they're still sitting there. I wouldn't listen to them, but that's not my style. ... Oh, I gave my wife a terrific present one time. Pavarotti was appearing at the New Jersey Theater, up by Rahway or someplace on the Parkway. I went up there to try to buy tickets. I could buy admission to sit on the dirt outside the stadium, but I could not get a seat. So, I went back to the office and a secretary for one of the lawyers knew a friend, and so, she got on the phone. I wound up with two tickets, third row, center. You had to look like this, up at Pavarotti. [laughter] We were required, though, for these special tickets, that we had to go full dress. I had to rent a tux, she had her evening gown and we went there, had to go for dinner and the whole smear. Then, after the show, I took her ... backstage to introduce her to Pavarotti.
SH: That is a lovely present. When you returned to Rutgers, were you a commuter student?
HE: Yes, unfortunately, yes. Found a guy living across the street who had a car, I didn't own a car, and so, I went with him every day to Rutgers, but I was no longer a college student, might as well have been traveling to work, same difference. I would go to the school, take my class, get back in the car, go home, do my homework.
SH: Were you working at the time?
HE: No, only in the summertime. Now, while I was going to college, the veteran's GI Bill, don't forget, is paying for everything and, also, giving me sustenance, you know, room-and-board pay.
SH: Had the college campus changed much?
HE: Yes, a lot had change. Our fraternity house, as you know, the whole gang of us left town, so, what our fraternity did was, we rented it to another fraternity whose members did not go. They stayed. They didn't go into the service and they rented our ... fraternity house, which they proceeded, accidentally, to burn it down. Yes, some things changed. [laughter]
SI: Being a veteran, and I assume that many of your classmates were also veterans, what was it like to be in a classroom with students straight out of high school?
HE: Oh, yes. [laughter] Oh, dear, yes, we were the old men. [laughter] Reminds me, in law school, I graduated from Rutgers and didn't think ... any problem of going to law school, just signed up for law school and went to law school.
SH: You knew when you returned that you were going to go to law school.
HE: No, here's what happened. Here I am, I'm back out of the Army, no job, going to school, what am I going to do? What is my best opportunity? My brother had a law office. He started a firm. Well, I joined the firm and that was after I got out of college, but I went right into law school, figuring [there was] no place else to go. ... I didn't like the sight of blood too much, so, I wasn't much for being a doctor and, in law school, interesting story, veterans, after they completed the second year of law school, were entitled to take the bar exam without having taken the third year of law school or even graduating from law school. They were taking the bar exam. So, what I did was, besides going ... to law school, I took one of those cram courses and I took the cram course, went ... to Trenton, took the bar exam and passed it, went back to college. ... I was under the GI Bill, went back to finish my third year of law school and one of the interesting things was, one of the professors had never been able to pass the bar and he knew I had passed it, because the word went out. There were about five of us, five or six of us, that had passed the bar and we were students there and he went, "Mr. Evans, now, you are a lawyer, so, you will know the answer to this question," and he would zap me with a question, you know, blow your mind, wouldn't know the answer to it. He probably didn't either. [laughter] ... We were surrounded by the youngsters and they kept to themselves. They didn't mix with us too much and, anyway, we were too busy with our lives.
SH: Did you sing with the Glee Club when you came back?
HE: No, no, ... because I came right home. No, the Glee Club was only for the years I was there before the war. Then, after the war, I went back to singing in the choir at church, and then, I was introduced to the barbershop. I was in there for twenty-five years and traveled all over with them. We traveled from, I'd say, ... Long Island to Washington, DC, in concerts and in competitions and that was quite a life.
SH: When you were serving in the military, did Mrs. Evans work?
HE: Yes. She worked at Fort Monmouth, secretarial work at Fort Monmouth, and she continued to work while I was going through school. As soon as I finished school, passed the bar and I started to work for my brother, she said she had helped put me through school, she was now stopping work and she was not going to work anymore. That was it. I had to support her and that's what happened. She never worked again, [laughter] quite a woman, huh?
SI: Having lived in Long Branch for so long, except for your time in the service, what kind of changes have you seen over the years?
HE: ... All I can say is that we bought this house in 1950. Now, that's fifty-three years I've been living in this house. Now, when I was dating ... Emelie, and after I married her, my brother had his house, it's a ... lovely brick home up the street, colonial, real fancy brick home, and we'd be up there, time and again, for one party or another and Woodgate Avenue, to us, was just a foreign country. ... The idea that I would own a house [laughter] on Woodgate boggled the imagination. Now, here I am, I own almost an acre of property on Woodgate Avenue and the funny story is this, when Mr. McIntosh and I talked about buy-sell, I'm telling you this because it's now public record, I tried to negotiate with him on the price. Well, he wanted ten thousand for the whole property. I got him down to ninety-five hundred, on the grounds that the floor in the garage had never been paved. It was just dirt and it would cost me five hundred, at least, to [put in]. So, he knocked the price down to ninety-five hundred. So, that's what this whole acre of property cost me, ninety-five hundred. [laughter]
SH: I think that is what they call a steal. [laughter]
HE: Now, you saw the living room. Isn't that pretty?
SH: This is a lovely, lovely home.
HE: Well, it's a little ranch house. That's all it is, a ranch. ...
SH: It is such a gorgeous setting.
HE: ... You haven't seen any kids yet, have we? [Halloween trick-or-treaters] Now, I've got the gifts out there, in case we get a doorbell ring, but, you know, it gets pitch-black back here and, if I don't put any lights on and they come down, two hundred feet down, that dark, dark driveway, we don't get too many, okay. [laughter]
SH: Can you tell us about your family, your children?
HE: ... Okay, first child was my daughter, Helaine. She was born in 1947 and that was the year I graduated from college. [laughter] I was, thankfully, still being supported by the US government. ... I passed the bar in 1949, went back to law school, from which I graduated in 1950. My son, Alton, was born in 1950 and that's when my wife blew the whistle and said she wasn't going to work anymore, she wanted to stay home with the kids, and she never did. [laughter] ... My son, Donald, was born in 1955. They are ... three completely different people. ... Each one of them is expert in his own field, shall we say. [laughter] My son, Alton, graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology as an architect. He's been working for this developer company for umpteen years now and what he does is redesign houses for people. Let's say they're putting up five hundred houses and people come in and see the model, "Well, I don't want the bathroom here, I want it on top of the roof," [laughter] or whatever they want, you know, and he has to redesign the building to meet their desires. My daughter, Helaine, she studied to be a nurse. She didn't finish, because she became pregnant, and ... she stayed home, took care of the baby. ... She has worked on occasion since, as a nurse in doctors' offices and other things, but, now, she takes care of her two grandchildren, which are my two great-grandchildren. ... My son, Donald, ... for ten years, he was the camp ranger for the Boy Scout camp at Kittatinny Mountains, up in North Jersey. He had a job as the sole ranger and they provided him with a house, a three-bedroom house, living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, all utilities paid and salary, got to love it and the administration changed after ten years and somebody else's favorite son was taking the job. So, he lost his job and he's now in construction. Well, his favorite pastime is as a magician and he does magic acts and he had a two-evening gig, last weekend, working for the New York Park Authority, doing magic work up there on the pier in New York City.
SH: As a judge, how has the legal profession progressed in New Jersey since you became a lawyer in 1950?
HE: ... As I said, I was a judge for thirteen years at Monmouth Beach. I had also been a judge in Shrewsbury for three years before that, so, I've been a judge for a total of sixteen years. ... While I was a judge in Monmouth Beach, I guess I must have gotten a reputation, because, after a while, other towns were using me as the alternate judge when their judge could not sit because of a conflict of interest or something, or maybe was sick, sore or lazy, I don't know. ... Because I would get paid every time I went in, I didn't care what the reason was, but I'd also sit in Sea Bright and Shrewsbury, West Long Branch, ... as well as Monmouth Beach, and then, I got a telephone call from the assignment judge in Freehold. He says, "Harry, I want you to be the alternate judge in Long Branch," and I said, "Hey, Judge, I can't do that." "Why not?" "Because I have partners who appear before boards in Long Branch."
------------------------------------END OF TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE---------------------------------------
SI: Please, continue.
HE: So, he says, "I'm ruling that there is no conflict." He says, "Harry, you call them as you see them, don't you?" and I said, "Sure." He said, "That's why I want you in Long Branch." So, I was back where I started, in Long Branch, and, oh, boy, what a list we had there. [laughter] I mean, the others are little towns, you know, nice. That kind of judgeship is real smooth. [laughter] In Long Branch you've got the den of iniquity around there. [laughter] ... So, I would go to Long Branch, send my bill in, go to Long Branch, ... besides going to Monmouth Beach, Sea Bright, Shrewsbury, Eatontown, West Long Branch. The rules became worse and worse. The rules now, if they begged me to go, I wouldn't even go near the place. It's ridiculous. They have become so [out of control]. Once upon a time, a judge ruled his courtroom. I mean, now, he can hardly say, "Boo," before somebody in Freehold is trying to tell him, "Hey, rules are ... [like this] now." It's ridiculous and they've poured and piled much more on the judge than they used to. ... The State Legislature has thought up new things and the judge, see, the local judge, he's the one that gets the case first. Most people, almost everybody that sees a courtroom, sees just the municipal court. They don't go to county. You don't go to county unless things are heavy. All the other kind of cases, they all go before the local judge. Reminds me of a story; my old partner, Harry Lane, who is dead, he used to be the local judge in Monmouth Beach, for umpteen years, and he and his good friend, Clark Fisher, a federal judge, the two of them had gone to this bar along the beach for a drink and ... it was in the middle of summer. Harry Lane got a nice, cold summer drink, okay, and so, Clark Fisher ordered a fancy one, also, and the bartender says, "Uh-uh, you want I sell this or I sell that?" He said, "Well, yes, but you gave Harry Lane that." ... The bartender said, "Yes, but he's my judge." The local judge had power over the whole town. You were deeply respected by the town. Don't forget, you also perform weddings; I even had the unfortunate occasion to have to commit a person to Marlboro State Hospital and, after I did, the father of the boy I committed sent word, through my court clerk, to thank me, that I had the courage to do something he couldn't do.
SH: How did your family view Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal before the war?
HE: Well, let's put it this way, my father went bankrupt during FDR's time, enough said?
SH: Did anyone in your family ever think about entering politics?
HE: My brother, Alton, was in politics. He became mayor of the City of Long Branch for two terms.
SH: Did you ever entertain that thought?
HE: No. I'm not a politician, never have been, never will be. Politics and I, I'm not that type, and nobody tried to talk me into it, either, nobody. They know me. [laughter] That's why I became such a good judge. [laughter]
SH: Thank you for sitting with us.
HE: I hope you enjoyed yourselves. We tried to make some fun out of it. I'm sorry if it got a little bit tight for me there a couple times; I couldn't help it.
SH: No, you did well. Thank you, again.
SI: Yes, thank you. This concludes our interview with the Honorable Harry S. Evans on October 31, 2003, in Long Branch, New Jersey.
[Editor's Note: The following text was written by Judge Evans for inclusion in the final transcript:
I started to practice by myself. I was doing criminal law and matrimonial law.
I, then, joined Sverre Sorenson and worked for him in his office in Atlantic Highlands, handling mostly negligent cases, collection cases and real estate.
From there, I went to work for M. Raymond McGowan in Freehold and handled their branch office in Farmingdale.
One day, Harry Lane wanted to meet with me. I met him in the corridor at the County Court House. He was practicing by himself and needed help. We came to terms and I went with Harry Lane in Red Bank, handling almost entirely negligence and worker's compensation.
In that period, in 1955, Basil Bruno died and Donald was born. Also, I was offered the job of City Attorney for the Township of Shrewsbury, which I continued to hold for about twelve years.
At the Lane's house on January 1, 1960, he and I agreed to a partnership and formed the firm of Lane and Evans. The firm was successful and we started hiring other lawyers, including Harry Osborne and Bill Marriott. We were busy.
Then, I lost the Shrewsbury job, but they then appointed me Municipal Court Judge, which I held for three years.
At that time, Harry Lane was appointed a full-time United States Magistrate, so, that firm had to close. I agreed to buy out Harry's interest and started a new firm called Evans, Koelzer, Marriott & Osborne.
Harry Lane had been Municipal Court Judge in Monmouth Beach, but had to resign because of the federal job. So, he arranged for me to be appointed - which job I held (thirteen years) until December 31, 1987, when I resigned, because my firm could not practice any criminal law while I was a judge, thereby losing a lucrative line of business.
The firm has continued through various name changes and locations. I have handled cases appearing in courts in about eighteen New Jersey counties and, also, courts in New York. Without having to take an exam, I was admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York State and am also admitted to the United States Supreme Court.
I did continue going to court until I was struck with spinal stenosis as well as three herniated discs. The orthopedic surgeon and others told me never to go to court again, because my spine could not take the standing. So, I do my exercises every day and take my prescriptions to keep the pain reduced. There is nothing else to do. I sit at my desk at the office and push paper and send the young attorneys out to do what I used to do and miss.
On September 28, 1993, Em gave me a lovely seventieth birthday party. It was wonderful. Two nights later, she was dead. My world will never be the same. I am grateful for the support of my children and grandchildren. I love them all. I leave it to them to tell their own stories of their own lives.
During the many years of our married life, Emelie and I took our children on many trips. Naturally, first comes to mind the many trips to Bass River, where we stayed for several days in one of the cabins. Most of our trips were in the latter part of September. The cabins had everything but heat, so, we took turns feeding the fire in the fireplace. Among the activities were swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing, walking the track and enjoying the location and the family togetherness.
In addition, we took them to Massachusetts to wonderful trips to Bob Hyde's house, and then, to the lake where we stayed over, went canoeing and fishing, where Helaine caught a large bass while trolling in a canoe, catching the bass by hooking it in the eye. One time, Helaine and Debbie (Hyde's daughter) were fishing in one canoe and Bob and I were in another - all fishing. The girls caught one fish after another and we couldn't catch anything.
Then, there were trips to explore Washington, DC. We went through the White House, the Smithsonian, and the memorable trip to Mount Vernon.
A couple of times, we went to Williamsburg. This time was with Helaine's children. Once, I was able to rent a house right on the Williamsburg complex itself. That was great. We also enjoyed visits to Jamestown.
We had trips to Gettysburg, to Valley Forge, and on and on. I hope the children appreciated the family relationship we tried to develop over the years with our activities with them.
Of course, we cannot forget the years we owned the twenty-seven-foot seaskiff with the numerous trips taking our food with us, tying up to Uncle Alton's boat, having a rendezvous. We would go swimming and clamming.]
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Reviewed by Shaun Illingworth 7/2/04
Reviewed by Sandra Stewart Holyoak 7/16/04
Reviewed by Harry S. Evans 7/22/04