Great Lakes Training Station
Our train arrived in Chicago, where we came out and ordered in an instant line and ordered in row boats where we sailed to an island on Lake Michigan called the Great Lakes Naval Training Station. I never thought I could see a building like it. It was large gray fort that stood off the coast of Chicago. Chicago was a far opposite from the beach city of Los Angeles. I found it cold, windy, and dirty and smell of factory smoke. The beach of Lake Michigan wasn't near as clear or lively as the Pacific. The waters were a dark gray and filled with pollution. When our ship pulled in to the training station I saw a large red clock tower peeking through the mist. We came to the shores, I saw its red brick grand building aligned with clear windows.
We entered in from the side, as the grand entrance was meant for officers and their families. Instead we went to the side of the building where we received our health inspection. Kyo and I were instantly separated.
Upon health inspection he was sent to the 'non-white' inspection. Neither of us knew much about health, we figured they were checking us for different things. So we calmly agreed to meet each other on the other side. I stood in line for hours with nothing but a towel on, waiting to hand over my papers.
I wasn't the only one confused by the separation; there was a large train from the south of white men upset to be separated from their colored companions. One explained to the recruiter that they couldn't be separated because the colored boy he brought with him was his footmen. The man explained that men can't take their servants with them in the US. He explained the same thing to a small group of Irish men from the Maine.
This was the first time I ever came across southerners, Mom told me their ways were different, I guess she was right. I met men from all around the country, but this was the first time I ever had true interaction with them.
I noticed another group of boys from New England acting like it was no big deal, some even wanted to be segregated in different languages. The boys from the Mid-West had a look of relief on their faces upon finding out about the separation.
I then notice a group of Spanish-speaking men coming from another train, confused on where to go. The coordinator had trouble explaining to them. When I intervened and translated, a group of tough looking white boys gave me a traitorous look. The Spanish-speaking men seemed shock, One explained that they were from Texas and weren't used to seeing white men speak Spanish. A New Yorker suggested he go speak with the people from Boston.
We then went to a room, where we all had to strip down and were put in mass showers and given towels to cover ourselves. Afterwards we were weighed, some were sent home for not weighing enough. A lot of men weren't passing health inspection, some even ranted about growing up in factories and coal mines. Others ranted about farm work, and famines.
We were then quizzed on health inspection. One doctor in a white coat was going through the line:
"Have you had small pox?"
"Yes," I answered, "When I was seven."
"No," I answered.
"Bend down and touch your knees."
I did so.
He then wrote down a checklist.
"Take this to the nurse, you will be given three shots." He then went to the next boy. I then walked to a room filled with nurses and bed. I went to the first one available.
"Set down and show your arm," I heard a thick Italian accent I have never heard before. It was a beautiful one. Then she approached me. A woman in a white dress with a dark blue hat, dark tan skin and beautiful green eyes."
"Card," She asked. I gave it to her, she glanced at it. "First you need the schick test, then vaccine for typhoid, rabies, and yellow fever." She said strapping my arm to the table. "Now Mr. Calvert, this won't hurt. " She then inserted a needle in my arm as a bubble rose up.
"If it swells in a few days, you are good." She said. "What part of California are you from?"
"Los Angeles," I answered. "Where are you from?"
"I formerly lived in Pittsburgh," She answered. She then gave me three needles in my butt one after another in a systematic order.
"Good day, Mr. Calvert." She said simply.
"Good day, nurse," I answered.
"Goria," She said. "My name is Goria. Next."
Rose made it back East. She still strangely found herself thinking of John. She knew she loved him, she enjoyed the life they lived together in that tiny cramped apartment of theirs, sharing the same bed which was between the kitchen and living room, going to clubs at night, drinking beer on the beach. That was a life she had enjoyed for the past two and a half years. She was going to miss him, that was something that she wasn't going to deny herself. She grew up hearing the women of the National American Women's Suffrage Association, and respected Carrie Chapman Catt, and Ann Howard Shaw as a child, she never said anything due to her mother calling Suffrage a waste of time. However, this National Womens Party founded by Alice Paul and Lucy Burns was way more progressive to making the vote for women realistic.
The suffrage movement had always been secretly close to her heart, she knew that John was more aware of gender inequality than most men. She would have understood better than her family.
Rose have come across many men who'd fathered flocks of children with various mothers. Some of them were multimillionaires, and were never called immoral , some were considered pious leaders. John would have more than supported her to move Washington .D.C, she could have even written to him while away at training and…war. She couldn't get her mind off him.
Rose reminded herself she wasn't leaving him because he'd enlisted, she told herself that several times.
She walked to a large white house with green shutters and a large green lawn. She looked at the paper, it was the right address. Rose read this morning Alice Paul was arrested along with others for protesting at the White House. She heard the British Suffragettes, who were much more extreme put off their campaign for women's votes until the war ended. Americans weren't going to follow in their footsteps, they hadn't jumped under racing horses or set cars on fire yet, so why should they stop because Wilson couldn't keep the conflicts of European monarchy a European problem. She wanted to be involved in the movement that was facing this country.
Rose went to the address the employment office suggested. It was the office of Cynthia Dawson, who was apparently too rich to end up in jail with the rest of the suffragists, to many men depend on her employment. She owned a network of trade stores along the Midwest, she was also a supporter of the arts, culture, and education. She sponsored orphanages, and scholarships for young girls of impoverished families. She was also a big supporter of the suffrage movement, but everyone Rose talked to laughed when she asked about her views on the temperance movement. It wasn't an odd question, considering many Suffragettes were Prohibitionist, and the Prohibition Party was making it an issue. That was more of a NAWSA alliance. NWP was more soully focused on the vote.
Rose, first needed to find a way to make a living. That was by answering her ad for a gallery matron. Cynthia owned a Galleria in D.C., where she many artist and wanted someone to go around her galleries and talk people into buying from the artiest she invested in. Rose, herself, had three years of dating a photographer, a young art that she had help promote during her stay in California, she could easily promote the local art.
In need of young person with likable qualities to watch galleries and convince patrons into making art investments. Must feature lady or gentlemen qualities with knowledge of the Mid-Western Landscape.
Rose went through her résumé. In the past four years since she came back to America free from the control of her mother she had experienced being a factory worker, bar tender, train maid, peanut girl, fair actress, gallery assistant in photography, photography assistant, horse attendant, and piano player. Her skills included etiquette training, and knowing French, Spanish, and Japanese. It was a very odd resume, she didn't know why the employment office sent her here, but she said she wanted a job with a known suffragist.
She also wanted to keep her job, and Cynthia Dawson wasn't under the threat of being arrested. Cynthia was active in the Silent Sentinels, but would always send her assistant when the weather was bad during her shift. Rose looked at the newspaper, to read recently many members of the National Women's Party were being arrested after refusing to let their guard down in the name of the war support. Some of the women who were taken by authorities were the wives of senators and congress men.
Rose went to the address to find wasn't an office, but a house. She stood at the gate of the drive way recognizing this world wondering if this was right. It was then a man came to the gate. "Are you here about one of the ads?"
"Yes," Rose answered worried, she certainly didn't want to enter domestic service.
"Come on in," The man open the gate.
"Do I go to the back?" Rose asked.
"Miss Dawson didn't grow up like that. She's Midwestern stalk, " The man explained. "I am to inform you to go to the front, the butler will lead you to the waiting room." Rose walked to the house and knocked on the door, a butler answered.
"Are you here for one of the positions?"
"Yes," Rose answered. "Rose Dawson."
"Any relation?" the butler asked curiously. He was informed the last of her family, Jack Dawson, Cynthia's nephew, godson and heir went with the Titanic. She has been bitter ever since.
Her office was her house, where Rose was to sit and wait for other young woman who wanted this job. The butler would come every so often to give her updates on when Miss Dawson should be home. He paid attention to her for having the same name, even those several were qualified.
"Miss Dawson's assistant is here to collect resumes" The man announced as the door opened. "May I please present Mrs. Dewitt Bukater."