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Debbie Goldey (Duckie) Wardick's
Class of 1976 Pages
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Photos and Material Contributed by Debbie Goldey Wardick '76
Duckie and Charlie
Photo #1

Charlie and Duckie '76

I copied this from a book my mother bought when we first arrived in the PI. She told me that the Officers Wives Club quickly sold out and when they went to the printer for a reprint - the book had been banned by the Philippine government. I typed it as published, mistakes and all. There are also many illustrations, but I only have copied the text. If anyone here can narrow down the time as to when it was written I would really love to hear from you. There is no date in the book. I believe it was written sometime between '69-'72.

Poor Man's Paradise

written by, Mary Lee O'Neal and Virginia Woodruff illustrated by, Lois Lindsay

This is the experience of three Air Force wives as they lived it, suffered it, and loved it. With these words, authors Mary Lee O'Neal and Virginia Woodruff and artist Lois Lindsay introduce their lively and amusing chronicle of a sojourn in the Philippines under the auspices of the US Air Force. Told in jaunty rhyme and illustrated with wryly humorous drawings the story is one that almost any Air Force wife on Clark Air Base could tell, although few would have thought of telling it in so clever a fashion.
It is all here: the flurry of arrival, the first impressions the heat the pleasures (and later the exasperations) the bewildering round of activities the mad rush that follows.
And it is all related in sprightly style.
The book is clearly a must for all those who would like to have a record of the pleasures and frustrations of a tour of duty on Clark Air Base as seen through feminine eyes. It will serve equally well as "picture letter" for those who wish to give friends and relatives back home an idea of what such a sojourn in the Philippines is like.
To service wives everywhere who, in spite of hardships and heartaches, learn to make their own paradise.

Life in the Philippines, whatever you've heard Combines the exotic with the absurd.
You've shed you coats, your hats and gloves. And muu muus and sandals are now your loves. A flowery fragrance you sniff everywhere. Gardenias and ginger blossoms you wear in your hair. Life in this country club is lots of fun, With golf and swimming and games in the sun. Your big screened porch has a lovely view Where you sip your iced tea and have nothing to do.
Jungled hill beckon in the west. When shrouded with clouds they look their best - Mysterious, and misty - like Bali Ha'i; But head-hunters live there, to go is to die! A variety of orchids grow in profusion. Bananas and coconuts give the illusion That you are living on a tropical isle. Idle, happy hours fill your vial.
You order meals for the maid to prepare And watch her cleaning the house with care. She scrubs and polishes the floors of concrete With a coconut shell under one of her feet. To watch her movements you can't resist. The rhythm's astounding in this "Philippine twist."
The hardest day for you to endure Is the day the houseboy airs furniture. All that you own goes out in the sun, The battle with mildew is never done. All the furniture out in the yard? Entertaining friends sometimes seems hard!

With so many people doing your work, You're bored to tears, what a strange quirk. So you go to the BX, the one place to shop And on your list is a sponge and a mop. "I'm sorry, these items are out today. We're expecting some in on a boat in May." "It's the same old story," you say to yourself, "Wonder what I'll find on the Commissary shelf?"
You brace yourself as you enter the door. The cooler system drips on shelves and floor. You show your ID and your CEX card. A lady checks your name and looks at you hard. You wait while she gives you an OK to buy No more than your share of tea bags. Oh my! All this trouble to get into this place Whats the use, it's such a wild goose chase?
You wheel your basket as fast as you can And head for the fresh produce man. "Sorry - no lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes. No celery, no apples, not even potatoes." Bananas and avocados are there, over-ripe. So, on canned goods you stock up though the family will gripe. The day is not wasted, you hear a friend shout! "Chocolate chips! Hurry! Before they run out!"
Worn out with shopping, you want to get cool. You wilt on the porch, but the kids want the pool. You make the big effort. The kids can't wait. "Pool pump broken" says the sign at the gate. "Well, how about the movie," you say off hand. "But mommy, we've already seen! "Savage Sam". You've hit rock bottom. You say with a moan, "There's still the library and an ice cream cone."

The mail from home is out of date. Newspaper's arrive three days late. You Pick up the paper and what do you read? TYPHOON MINERVA APPROACHING WITH SPEED! The radio confirms it. Condition two? You've got to save water, there's so much to do!
Do you have enough food? Are you set for the night? You've run out of candles. What a plight! At the BX there are only left to buy Birthday candles two inches high. Your family at home seems so far away You almost wish they could share your dismay!
The wind blows hard, the rain slashes in. You batten down tight, vigil begin. The power goes off. The kids want to eat. The maid saves the day and barbeques meat. She sops up the water out on the porch And turns the hot dogs before they scorch.
The rain is deafening and you hear branches fall. The wind cries out its tortured call, And flings garbage cans and other debris. CRACK! "What was that? Our favorite tree?" The storm is spent and morning brings to light Our acacia tree uprooted during the night. Thus you weather your first typhoon And brace to meet the next one soon!

The long wet summer has finally past. The dry season comes to the P.I. at last. Glorious, sun-drenched dazzling days Lure you outside to feel the sun's rays. "Isn't this the life?" you sigh to a friend. "This could go on and never end."
Your serenity is shattered when a friend you spy Coming out of Toyland with packages sky high. "Christmas toys" You gasp - "It's only September!" You've got to buy now - they'll be gone by November! >From the pool to Toyland is quite a transition. Christmas - in summer - a ridiculous position! Out of date toys offer no appeal, That heat's so oppressive your head starts to reel. Time to mail Christmas cards so you've heard. The BX is showing snow scenes - how absurd! There are shelves of Christmas paper, a colorful array. But the ribbons to go with it are still on the way! To a slim choice of gifts the BX is confined. Why! You SOS when you're in a bind. So you decide on Manila, you'll buy some wood . . . Everyone thinks Filipino art is so very good.
A car you hire for the three hour haul Past rice fields, Nipa huts and sugar cane tall; Natives in fields working very hard, Mothers washing clothes from a pump in the yard. Unrestricted children play happily in the sun Along with dogs and carabao they freely run. You like the local color once you get off base, In the air-cooled car you don't mind the slow place.
In Manila the city market is the first place you eye. "Driver, stop! I know I'll find something I can buy." Armed thus with baskets and trinkets you might use, You go to Mabini street, more items to chose. With horse-drawn calesas the streets are congested. While jeepneys race by their speed uncontested. In a shop you find banana cloth in turquoise blue And wood fruit and place mats, and salad bowls, too. All these bargains and your frequent stopping But these are for you - you've forgotten the Christmas shopping!
Christmas Eve comes in spite of the weather. In sun suits and muu muus you're gathered together. The Christmas tree is lighted and the porch is aglow. The 4 A.M. queue to buy it was worth it you know. Carols now rise in melodious air. But your voices are joined by others somewhere. Smiling little people in the dark you can see. The Negrito guards have joined your Christmas tree.

Christmas once over, you feel no depression. For each sparkling day brings an impression Of beauty that's fresh and sparkling bright, Of orchids on trees, a spectacular sight! Deep red poinsettias tower roof high, Flame trees are orange beneath the blue sky. Pink Plumeria blossoms drift to the grass. Thus the tropical winter comes and gently does pass.
In the States it's a struggle with snow and ice! But look at you here - you're in PARADISE!

The End

printed by: The Letterpress Angeles City, Philippines sometime between '69-'72 

Photo #2

The Class of 1976 Commemorative Medallion (larger than original)

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