Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Shanghai Address, Part 3 of 3

Pencil sketch of Shanghai by Art Price.

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

It was against the rules for anyone to go on liberty in Shanghai alone.  I always went with this buddy of mine and usually there were 3 or 4 more of us.  Even then we never went in the old Chinese section or even down a side street at night.  Plenty of sailors out alone with too much to drink ended up in the river.  Plenty of Chinese would murder just for the value of the clothes a sailor wore.

I saw the body of a Chinese in that river, the Huangpu, and it wasn’t pretty.  It was wedged in between the dock at N.O.B. and a ship tied up there.  No one paid much attention to it and after 3 or 4 days the Chinese police got around to taking it out.  It was a coolie so no one cared who he was or how he died – one more or less didn’t make any difference to them.

Dinner on board the ship.  Pencil sketch by Art Price.
They only well fed children I saw while there were from an orphanage.  The Navy gave a Christmas party for 100 of them and I was drafted to work at it.  They were toddlers or up to older girls who looked after the younger ones.  The woman
in charge was also Chinese.  They gave the Christmas story in Chinese along with folk dances, etc.  I wish I could say it was a Methodist orphanage but I really don’t know what organization ran it.

I’ve just told you some of the things I saw in Shanghai.  There were other more sordid things going on in that city I’d better not tell.  There’s certainly plenty of room for Christianity there but it’s hard to teach a starving child not to steal.  It seems impossible that anything can be done for them when you’ve seen them but maybe it can.

Ships at anchor in Shanghai.

(Friday – Setting the stage:  September 1950.)

© 2011 Lee Price

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