May 26, 1942 (Tuesday)

Pearl Harbor

Task force pulled in this noon – Hornet and Enterprise – are they in from the Coral Sea? (Later — no)

Went into town and had another look at that Alexandrite ring. Took it to a Mr. Klumpp of Wichman And Co.,  Hawaii’s leading jewelers, for appraisal. He was very nice and took quite a bit of time with the stone. He said he was not positive it was real – the flaws were rounded, as in synthetics, but otherwise the stone seemed quite good, especially in the color change. The green was good and rich. But, he assured me, that the price asked ($962.50 with tax) was entirely too much. As proof he showed me an excellent star ruby set in a similar fashion, for only $550 – he said that the Alexandrite, even if proved genuine, was not worth much more than this ruby. Had every reason to believe him, as the Detor’s Jewelers Ltd., who owned the stone, were distinctly middle-class jewelers, well Wichman’s is on the same plane as Tiffanys. Clump is sending it to the states for me, for some Alexandrites, one of which, if good, I shall buy.

Went to see Lorrin Thurston, publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser, on both Buff Chandler’s request. A damn nice fellow. Office building distinguished by central fountain – pretty fancy for a newspaper. Talked over war conditions. He complained a little about the news throttling censorship. He said that the morale of most of the civilian contractor labor is going from bad to worse through the shortsightedness of the local military bigwigs. These workers put in 8 to 10 hours per day only be locked in their houses all night – no movies, no bowling, no entertainment in any form, even a decent evening meal is hard to get. And 9, and now 10, o’clock curfew is a pain in the neck. He told how the hospitals and doctors and blood banks of civilian Honolulu save the many lives that were saved in Pearl Harbor Dec. 7. The military and naval medical corps, like everyone else, were caught with their pants down.

They finally managed to float the West Virginia. She should be moving into drydock as soon as the California pulls out. The other day I commented to someone over the night and day pumping in the after turrets of the sunken Arizona, and I got the startling reply – “Hell yes, haven’t you heard, they’re trying to strain the bay through it.” In the same line, Thurston said that only the other day they were tempted remark in their Sol Pluvius column that three of Pearl Harbor’s two sunken ships have been raised to date – they thought better of it, though.

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