By Wayman L. McElhaney
Midway Island, 1951 – 1952
Wayman worked at the Midway Dry-cleaning Plant – PO2
Wayman loved living on Midway, in his little cabin near the sea
2/6/1927 – 9/4/2013 – RIP Wayman
After getting the cleaning plant into operation, the next thing was to fix up, and get moved into, the nice little one-room cabin that set some 6 to 8 feet behind the Quonset building housing the plant. The cabin also had a number of nice, tall ironwood trees in front and back. It was quite adequate for my needs but required painting and a little fixing up. It was 8′ X 10′ with two windows. One at the front on the east side, and the other on the south side. The view from the side window was fantastic. From there I had a magnificent view of the south reef, the channel, and a lot of the lagoon area. The east end of the runway was also clearly visible.
The painting didn’t take very long. Still had lots of nice dark green paint left from the work on the Quonset building, so used that. It blended perfectly with the plant, trees and other surroundings. For the inside I used the same light, soft green paint I used inside the plant. Matching outfits of course. In front of the cabin was an area about 40 sq. ft. of smooth surface where someone at one time had planted plain old Bermuda grass. The grass would flourish with the rains and wane when it was dry. Mostly it waned.
The cabin was a nice place to live, but had no furniture. Plenty of places to scrounge from though. Off duty I would visit old abandoned buildings to see what I could find. One place was especially productive. Lots of bed frames, chest-of-drawers, bureau closets and chairs all varying in condition from quite good to just plain trash. I selected the best bed frame I could find and put it to one side. Found a bureau in excellent condition and put that aside, too. The chest of drawers was a little more difficult. Finally found a very good cabinet but the drawers were shot. Put that aside as well. There must have been 8 or 10 other chests in that building but they were in very bad shape. Some, however, contained very good drawers. I got one drawer from this frame, another from that one, and still another from over there until I finally got six of them. Since all the frames and drawers were the same size and color I ended up with a very nice, complete chest-of-drawers. The chairs in that location were awful. Try some place else.
The next few places were empty of anything useful, but about the fourth old building I visited, pay dirt! First thing I saw was a very nice desk in excellent condition which I just had to have. Stacked against a nearby wall were six matching metal chairs with padded seats. Been used very little. I got two of the best ones and put them with the desk. In another building I found where the mattresses had been stored. Now, here let me say something about the “rats” that I’ve seen mentioned in someone else’s postings. WE DIDN’T HAVE ANY. It really blew my mind when I learned that rats had infested the Island, and quite frankly it made me sick to my stomach. They had to arrive sometime after I left in October of 1952. Ditto for the spiders. Never saw a spider of any kind that I can remember the entire time I was on the Island. (Could have been some there, but I never saw any ). The ants of course, were a different story. More about them later.
Since there were no rat or spider problems to deal with, I went about finding the best mattresses I could. Finally found two. Stacked together they would be quite comfy.
Now I’ve got my furniture but its in lay-a-way so to speak. So … now I have to get all that stuff from where it is to my private cabin-in-the-pines. That will be a little tricky but there’s got to be a way. Right?
Midway Island, 1951 – 1952