Edith Roller – June 17, 1978 – Saturday

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A house check was conducted this morning at 5:00, waking me up. I got up and went to the bathroom.  I tried to go back to sleep but the rat was up again. Inez and Irra thought he was dying on Versie’s bed. Inez got up and dressed for work. I did not go back to sleep.

At 7.30 I dressed and went to breakfast.

The answers to the political enlightenment test were put on the chalkboard in the school tent last night for the teachers last night but had been erased. I talked to other teachers and Don Jackson about grading the papers. I went by Rob Christian’s house and got the answers from Rob.

Borrowed Rita’s tub and did the laundry that had accumulated since I did it Thursday. I had a conversation with Don Fields. He was asking what I thought about the Guyana` referendum to be held in July. We talked about Guyana politics in general and I told him I had very little knowledge not even being acquainted with the personalities or issues involved even through the maps.

Conversed with Rita. She is still urging me to tell Ruby Carroll that Inez and Irra have taken large amounts of fabric scraps to make clothes for themselves. We both believe this is irresponsible as money can be made for the commune by making articles to sell. Rita furthermore had a personal interest. When I told her Inez was talking of making a quilt for Mark Wagner and his companion she said, “My daughter (Ruth) does not even have a blanket.”

I graded half of the political enlightenment tests, taking the other half to Don Jackson’s cottage. I took half of the senior papers. The scores were better than I expected. A fairly good range was represented. However, my opinion was reinforced that the test gave a very poor idea of the knowledge of news events of the week.

Went to lunch.

Sewed for a good part of the afternoon. I started to make another bag from the material which was believed to be some Patty had. It was in a box which was returned from her house and I decided to use it.

Went to dinner.

Returned to the cottage and prepared for the rally.

Newscasts: Lee Ingram announcements.
The crowd was very hard to get quiet. New rules of Needs Committee. Community singing.  Baby owl brought in. Jim referred to atmosphere we have given our children. Mrs. Rogers, a visitor yesterday with Mingo. She is our strong supporter, hates US and member of PNC, overstayed by three hours. Our people were very impressive to her. They have no illusions what they are in for. The PNC sent $20,000 to S. African freedom battle.

Little bull calf born this morning.

Jim explains restrictions on freedom. Can’t report on finances freely yet Mingo said he didn’t realize how dangerous the US is. We have got to honor work more than they do.

Jim asked for more comments and criticisms. Marthea says we need Department of Public Service on regular basis. Maintain cleanliness and upkeep. Present system of New Brigade is too haphazard. Jim feels New Brigade could do this work.  Jim named the New Brigade the Public Service Department.  She thinks violence is getting worse in the commune. Three children and three adults now on New Brigade for violence. Tschetter criticizes bathroom cleanliness, upkeep especially in cottage area discussed, for instance laundry lines, straightening the pole.

Ruby reports cloth scraps being scattered around by children. Jim says very important to go ahead with sewing projects as we make money from clothing,

TV according to Guyanese prevents people from reading. They don’t believe in it. Average Guyanese reads much more than we do. They’re better educated than we are. Ruby wants people to sew to specifications, what will sell.

Tom Grubbs reported on expensive items he finds in trash cans.

Jim: when we get the people here that are there, you’ll have to prove to us to stay. Everybody who wants to go can go. Seniors, young people and ones with a constant problem were mentioned.  After what Debbie said in the newspaper article, nothing you can say will make any difference.

Edith Cordell makes a complaint about young people in the cottage who don’t help in the cottage and leave everything dirty.

Marie mentioned teenagers sitting while seniors stand in the dining area. She will be watching and so will police it until we gain sensitivity beforehand. Jack Beam says also tables and chairs are to be returned from where they were taken so that we have a place to sit to eat.

Agricultural reports
Jim Morell [Bogue] introduced reports competently.

Etta Thompson: progress on soap manufacturing. Gene Chaikin suggested a logo of excellence with a slogan.

Ernestine March on herbal gardens: gave list of special trees and foods now being produced for use.

Counseling: Altercation between Alfreda March and Mike Lund, in class. Determination is that she taunted him on purpose.

Nancy Jones on cost of soap stolen from her said “that man can send me back to the states,” With her attitude, Jim says she’ll never be healed when she needs it. Jim says if she does this once more “you’re going to be flat ass on your back.”

Leana Cordell [Natasha LaNa Cordell] had stroke under pressure and has recovered.

Praises: Tom Grubbs, much overtime and extraordinary effort.

Willie Malone has bad attitude in cleaning bathrooms and spoke insolently to Katherine Domineck. After several people’s testimony, Jim says he takes advantage when given money.

Jim discerns he was pale from lack of sleep.

Jim noted that Daisy Lee had been very spunky when the police talked to her. She wouldn’t tell anything about anyone in the cause. She deserves much credit.

Ernestine March had come for the poison control group and set out a baited trap for the mouse. He had not been found dead. There was more talk of the rat. Irra moved to another bed as the rat had left turds in hers.

We had got out of the rally early and I was in bed by 11.00.

Eleanor Beam is on the Public Services unit for not doing her inspector job and letting other people do it.