Hokkaido was an interesting place to explore on weekends. There were a lot of interesting trails and me and some of my friends utilized these to get away from the normal mess chow and do a little camp fire cooking.
Food just seemed better away from camp. We rarely saw native Japanese using these trails. I suspect that they used them to get to their job during the week and were not interested in hiking them on week-ends. The two fellows in the left picture were both married with wife’s back home and were not too interested in going into towns to party.
This was the summer of 1949 and in never did get hot at the northern island like it did in Korea or Southern Japan. That was a very calm part of the occupation that I enjoyed. I was somewhat tired of being a clerk typist in the G-3 section and when a job description was put out to the GI community that they were needing a radio disc jock I thought that I would apply for the job. The Captain who handled the radio asked me to come in for an interview. He also gave me a test using a recording apparatus and played my voice back. His conclusion was that I had too much of a southern drawl to be doing radio work.
The summer on Hokkaido did not last long. Sapporo was the capital of this Northern Japan area. There had been some Russians who had fled from Russia to Sapporo, Hokkaido and they started some Russian Language Classes with one of the men of the community conducting the lessons. I enrolled in this course and enjoyed interacting with this gentleman. I did not retain much Russian but it did keep the boredom down somewhat.
Another way that I was able to break the boredom was working at night in the NCO Club. This club was for the Higher Ranked Sergeants and then there was the Commissioned Officer’s Club. I was the bookkeeper and enjoyed doing this job, mainly at night and this did not interfere with my other military duties.
I felt somewhat isolated on Hokkaido in spite of this other activity. Probably this island atmosphere was the cause or it may have been the length of time I was away from the states.