Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Shanghai Address, Part 2 of 3

Art's charcoal sketch of a child beggar in Shanghai.

(Continued from yesterday... This is the second part of a speech that Art presented at a Southampton Methodist women’s club sometime during the second half of 1950.)

The docks were haunted by thousands of children.  At chow time, they would stand alongside the ship and shout, “No momma, no poppa, no chow chow,” with tin cans in their hands, but if you felt sorry and gave one of them something you were immediately besieged by hundreds of them.

The gangway watch with a .45 automatic, an
officer waving a fire ax, and a mob of hungry
One time the cook on the ship came out of the galley and went to a bin that was on deck to get some apples.  The kids on the dock spotted him and a mob of them tried to come on board shouting for chow chow.  The gangway watch with his .45 automatic and an officer waving a fire ax kept them from overrunning the ship.

When we went on liberty in the city there were always crowds following you trying to sell things.  One thing they seemed to think no sailor should be without was a leather blackjack, and maybe they were right.  One time when my buddy and I were walking down Nanking road, one of the principal streets, we stopped to look at a little carved chest one of the peddlers was trying to sell us.  In a minute, we were surrounded by a mob.  I knew what that meant in Shanghai and grabbed for my wallet.  There was a little hand in my pocket along with it, a kid no more than 4 or 5 years old was picking my pocket.  We both got out of that crowd in a hurry.

To be continued...

Art (on the right) with two friends in Shanghai.

(Tomorrow – part three of Art's speech on Shanghai.)

© 2011 Lee Price

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