Edith Roller Journals: Transcribed
Edith Roller Journal September 1977
At the end of the journal is a list of persons and groups mentioned in this Journal
1 September – Thursday –
I called Lorraine. Her office is being moved to the top floor of the new administration building where the offices of the President and the Senate are. She, Patty and Mike are going to see Dorothy at Moss Landing on the weekend of the ninth, so my visit will have to be postponed. Mari's fiancé is in Hawaii and will probably be visiting her here.
At 11.30 I went to the Coop to get a few items for next week. I had a long wait for a Kearney Street bus, finally took another one and had to walk two blocks. I ate my lunch which I had brought with me. I purchased Sanka, fresh vegetables and fruit.
Back at the office I made corrections on the print-out of Betty's file index, ordered another print-out, and ran a copy off on the computer.
I got Dorothy [Edith’s sister] on the WATS line. She had had her first required day of the school year. We had a long conversation, quite amiable.
I was late leaving the office. I took my groceries home. Etta and I went to the Temple to eat.
I received a letter from Dorothy [Edith’s sister]. She is thinking of spending her winters in Austin, Texas in order to work with the atheist group and her summers in Colorado with Edna and Mabs.
I did my laundry in the machine. I did personal chores. Wanda [King] had come home, and I waited until she was through in the bathroom, then washed my hair. I did my hand laundry.
I ate some snacks and tried to read newspapers, but Lavanna came out in the kitchen and talked. Morning and evenings I have a time and privacy problem because one or another of the seniors wants to talk.
I went to bed at 12.30.
2 September - Friday –
At the office I turned in my time card. I had nothing but general administration to put down.
The last print-out of the files index was satisfactory. I added the items which had to be put in manually and gave it to Betty.
Marquita had one document to revise. Aside from that, we received no work. Marquita spent most of her time telephoning on her moving plans and talking to her relatives.
1 caught up back entries to my journal. Betty said to any of us about the administrative reorganization or her plans.
I ate lunch at my desk, as the day was foggy.
I sat at the reception desk for fifteen minutes at the end of the day, filling in for Marquita who was filling in for Brenda.
I bought some plums on the way home from work, as I had forgotten to get fruit for the trip.
Wanda was packing for the trip and left when she was through. I packed. I prepared dinner and ate. I had steak, salad, corn on the cob. I washed dishes. I put up lunches for tonight and tomorrow morning. I was quite late in getting to the service.
Marcy told us a new baby has been born in Jonestown to Tim Carter and Gloria Rodriguez. The natural father of the three Carter children, a bigot, now has three grandchildren of mixed race: Gloria is Mexican; Terry married Lew Jones, who is Korean; Mike is married to Jocelyn Jones, a black.
Marcy dismissed the service about 9.00 o'clock. Four buses were going to Los Angeles. I got on No.6, sat next to June Crym, who was later moved to bus No.7, on which the leadership travels. My seat space was severely restricted, and I had an argument with Lu Ester Lewis behind me over putting my seat back. The spring of my seat was broken, and the back hit her knees. The bus had numerous young people on it and was very noisy before we left. I ate my lunch, sharing it with June before she left. I later learned from Judy Merriam that Rocki had forgotten to put my suitcase on the bus.
It was then too late to go after it. The buses didn't leave until 12.00. We stopped at 2.00, and I went to the bathroom and jogged a little. I slept soundly.
3 September - Saturday –
I finished the Friday newspaper and started to read The Silent Language by Edward T. Hall, which I have never read. I dozed for two hours. We arrived at Los Angeles at 12.00. An announcement was made that people, except for seniors, were not to visit their relatives but could call them. They were to remain in the Temple and take security shifts.
I greeted old friends, particularly Bob Davis and Inez Wagner, who have been working in Los Angeles.
I ate breakfast in the church. Before the service I wrote journal entries. I talked with Edith Cordell. She told me an attempt was made to put somebody in with her in her new apartment, but she refused, as Mark is enough. We talked about people who had left the Temple, in particular Pat Hess, who left some time ago, taking her two girls with her. She had occupied a leadership position. No details were given to the congregation.
The service began at 2.00, with Hue Fortson presiding. I wasn't asked to take offering, which was well, as I had no change of clothing. Housing was secured for seniors. I saw Beulah come in and I joined her. I told her some of what had been happening. She had been to San Francisco one weekend but hadn't seen me. She thought that I had gone to Guyana, but I was probably typing affidavits.
Marcy came on the platform. She explained recent events in the Temple and the attack to which we had bean subjected. She said both Charles Garry, our attorney, and the congregation wished Jim to remain in Guyana to continue building there and resettling the new people. Vincent Hallinan had supported this decision. Later on the Los Angeles congregation would have an opportunity to vote on the subject.
There was much music, especially band numbers. Marcy read the statement which Jim gave us from Guyana. Marcy conducted for Los Angeles the special offering for medical supplies for the baby clinic. She told us of some events in Guyana. She said she had talked to Jim, Jr. and found that his stutter has gone away. Earlier she had said that Chris Cordell had lost the tic in his cheek. The service was out at 5.00.
Eunice Stanford took us home. Beulah [Pendelton] and I talked more of Temple events of the past few weeks. For dinner we had chicken thighs. Later on we ate watermelon. Beulah gave me a dress to wear in the service tomorrow and also a pair of panties. She also made me a gift of a couple of blouses.
I read The Silent Language. I went to bed at 11.00.
4 September - Sunday –
For breakfast I had cranberry juice, a fried egg, bacon and sausage, and toast. Beulah gave me some chicken and fruit for a lunch on the bus. I read an article in Time on "The Underclass." While purporting to be a serious examination of a social problem, I think it will add to resentment of minorities and welfare recipients. Beulah gave me a shopping bag to put my belongings in. Eunice was late picking us up. I took my belongings to the bus. Service was in progress. Marcy came on the platform, explaining again the situation of the Temple. She made reference to the hard work done by some, had little tolerance for those who had not done their share. Discussing Jim's stay in Guyana, she asked for a vote of the LosAngeles congregation as to whether he should stay there or come back. It was almost unanimous that he should stay there. There was much music, vocal and band, and some girls danced.
The service was dismissed at 3.00. I ate dinner. I found a place in the shade to read a little.
Ujara (formerly Don) Sly found me a seat on another bus, No. 11, where I would not be so crowded and annoy Lu Esther. I sat next to a male teenager. We left Los Angeles about 5.00 o'clock.
I read The Silent Language. I tried to sleep, but though I was tired, I could not sleep. We had a long stop at Buttonwillow. I ran. I ate the lunch Beulah gave me, then joined some of the young people who were playing on the teeter-totter, merry-go-round and jungle gym. We left at 11.00. I slept. About one-half hour before the regular stop, either bus 11 or 12 had a flat tire. Both stayed back. The police came on the scene and took an interest, stayed until we left. At the regular stop, I ran.
We arrived in San Francisco at 4.30. No. 12 bus went directly to 1029 Geary. Jenny Cheek took me and some others home. Wanda was already home. We both went to bed.
5 September – Monday -
Laurie Efrein had told she wanted me to write some letters for her, and I thought she wanted me to come in to the Temple, so I phoned her, but I was told she went to work. (This proved to be erroneous.)
I went out and bought a Sunday and a Monday newspaper and some grapes. I pressed clothes. I mopped the kitchen floor.
At 2.40 I went to the Bridge Theater and saw "Cria [Cuervos]" with Geraldine Chaplin and a child named Ann Torrent. It was a very moving picture in Spanish.
I stopped at the Temple and had dinner. I talked to Thelma Jackson. She has a job taking care of a private patient, a wealthy woman. I saw Laurie, who assigned me a couple of letters to write. There was nothing in the newspapers about the Temple over the weekend. The New York Times had an article Friday, which Laurie did not have.
I walked home. I read newspapers. I went to bed about 12.00.
6 September - Tuesday –
Bob Garb, who is back from his trip to Europe, had much work as usual and gave me a memo to put on Mag Cards. He probably would have had more work for me, but Brenda was out, so Virginia Duncan put me on the reception desk. Betty Vasil was in, but Virginia seems to have taken over some, at least, of her functions. Dorothy was back. Many of the attorneys and secretaries were out, and the telephones were quite busy. I worked on journal entries but didn't make much progress as I couldn't concentrate. At lunch I intended to see the film in the employees' series, but Denise couldn't relieve me until 12.45 and I had to be back on the desk at 1.00, so I ate in the office.
I left at 3.00 for a gynecological check-up from Dr. John Schaupp. His secretary told me how highly she regarded Thelma Jackson, who on my recommendation had worked for her. She said Thelma was sweet-tempered and willing, had a good sense of humor, and the patients liked her, but she didn't know much. Renee didn't think much of the vocational school which had trained her.
I took the bus to the Coop to exchange a jar of instant coffee which, instead of decaffeinated coffee, I had got by mistake. I didn't have any extra money or I would have eaten some fish and chips for dinner.
I was too late to get dinner at the Temple. At home I boiled a turkey leg with potatoes, carrots, celery, onion, end okra.
Etta reminded me I had not put in my and Viola's need slips. I phoned the Temple. Those handling needs were working until 8.00, so I took the slips up and came right back.
I ate dinner and washed dishes. I had intended to defrost the refrigerator, but Lavana had bought ice cubes, so I couldn't. I cleaned out the drawer containing silverware and cooking implements, as it has been such a jumble that one couldn't find what was needed.
Lavana, Virginia and Etta all received their September Checks, and Lavana and Etta seem to have bought food with the money and filled up the refrigerator. The Temple had them, for legal reasons, cash their own checks, and I wonder how much will be turned over to the Temple.
I read newspapers. Wanda did not come in until late, and I did not have any conversation with her. I bathed and went to bed early, about 11.00.
7 September - Wednesday-
I worked on a project for Garb under the direction of his secretary, John Foster. It had to do with compliance with local law as a contractual requirement, a survey in connection with the Arab boycott of Israel. I dropped the work for a few minutes to do a rush draft for one of the legal assistants, which led to a dispute with John because his files were returned to the file room. He is very difficult to work with.
I went directly home, washed and changed clothes. I ate at the Temple. I had a conversation with Viola Godshalk. She said she had been very unhappy this past year. She complained about the unfriendliness of Chris, Wanda and Dorean, the nurses, and of Judy Merriam. I later conversed with Judy, who suspected that Judy [sic] and I had been talking about her. I said we had been talking about everybody. Judy told me it was her understanding that few people were to be sent to Guyana for several months, and that the leadership had changed their mind about vacating 1029 Geary. Several apartments, including ours, will be held for a while.
I lay down and rested at the back of the stage for about half an hour. I took my check to Debbie Blakey and asked about her mother, Lisa Layton, whom I had not seen for some time. Lisa, she said, had had an operation and was recovering in one of the rooms in the Temple. She took me in to see her, and we chatted for some time. I came across Daisy Lee, who said she was leaving soon for Guyana to join Bob Stroud.
Jenny Cheek is handling the healing affidavits in the absence of Phyllis, who has taken a job at night. I typed several affidavits, including a correction of one on the healing of April Klingman when she was a tiny baby from death from meningitis.
In the accounting office where we ware working we listened to the Temple service over the loudspeaker. Marcy announced that Charles Gerry was holding a press conference at 11.00, at which he would reveal the conspiracy against the Temple. The service was out and I went home at 10.00.
I read newspapers and had a snack. Wanda was upset when I told her of Daisy Lee's going to Guyana ahead of those who have long been members. I went to bed at 11.45.
8 September - Thursday –
I went to the apartment to eat lunch and get reports on Garry's press conference, but the news carried only a brief item, saying that he told of an Internal Revenue Service plot against the Temple.
Returning to the office, I did a half day's work with John on the compliance with law project. I also did a little typing for a lega1 assistant on monitoring legislation; the job, though wanted immediately, was easy.
I went to the Temple to eat dinner, and then home. Estelle was back from Los Angeles. Everybody was excited over the Gerry press conference, and people ran in and out talking about it, and to see Estelle.
I went ahead with my washing end personal tasks, then did my exercises. Estelle had gone to the Temple and did not return tonight. I washed my hair. I had a snack, including some watermelon shared with me by Lavana. She is very generous. Channel 2 carried a report on the Garry press conference. Garry, in addition to the allegations about the IRS, said Jim had been shot at twice in Guyana this weak, but he was uninjured. Dennis Banks was present at the press conference and named the IRS agent who had attempted to bribe him to testify against Jim. Banks had refused. Garry said the other informants had been organized and bribed to make the statements they gave.
During the day I had talked with Lorraine on the phone. Her office is being moved this week.
I want to bed about 12.00.
9 September – Friday –
At home I changed clothes, went to the Coop and bought groceries. I finished earlier than usual. I prepared and ate dinner. I had the leftover turkey leg and vegetables and a salad. I pressed clothes.
I had learned that Etta Thompson had passed a rectal cancer as a result of Jim's power. She had formerly had an operation for a stomach cancer. Furthermore, the nurse who was present was Janet Phillips, who later deserted the Temple. I thought it might be useful to have evidence that a traitor had officiated at one of Jim's healings, so I took notes from Etta on the episode.
Etta also told me how Jim had healed cataracts on her eyes, I read newspapers, Wanda has been trying to read Roots but doesn't get much time, She usually has a task in the evening, such as looking after Ruby Carroll's elderly mother, Ruby Jones, or security duty. As we have so few members left, the younger people are carrying an extra burden, Wanda seems to be annoyed with me most of the time, but I have decided she simply has a discontented nature, and I try to pay no attention. I went to bed at 12.30.
10 September - Saturday –
Wanda had taken the blood pressure of the seniors. Lavana has not been feeling well and has been in bed a good part of the time. Her pressure was high. Etta's was also high. She has been warned about her diet, but she likes high calorie food. I had some cheese and toast and a tomato.
Etta said Estelle has gone again. She is going to do Rheaviana’s work in Los Angeles and won't be here much. Rheaviana is to leave for Guyana. I washed my girdle, stockings and a blouse by hand; I had forgotten them last night. I slept from 2.00 to 4.00.
I went to the Temple to eat, carrots and peas and cake or pie. We had liver, mashed potatoes and gravy, I talked to Norm Ijames; he has been gone a long time. He said he had been in Eastern Canada. He told of the conflict between the French and English over language. Phyllis Chaikin had left word when she left for Guyana with Jenny Cheek to carry on the affidavit work, but Jenny didn't find any draft affidavits to type, so I attended service, instead of typing. There was much singing. Marcy was on the platform a short while at the end of the service. Two people later told me she seemed agitated. The meeting was dismissed early, about 10.00.
Lavana had not gone to the service: I read newspapers. I went to bed at 12.30.
11 September - Sunday –
I got up at.8.30 and bathed. I made pancakes for breakfast.
I went to the service with Etta. Phyllis was there, and I worked on affidavits all morning (I was mistaken in thinking she had left for Guyana). One was an affidavit from Etta on removal of cataracts from her eyes by Jim. I typed up a draft of Etta's account of her healing from cancer of the rectum by Jim, although I don't know whether it can be used, as there was no diagnosis from a doctor that she had cancer.
Marcy was not in the service. I later learned she had left for Guyana with Sharon Amos. According to Betty McCann, Tish LeRoy and Maria McCann are both leaving, so Betty will be alone to do the accounting work. Much crating is again being done under C. J.'s direction, and volunteers to help were asked for. Marcy had said recently that no more large groups would be sent to Guyana and that most of us would be here for several months. This was obviously meant to throw off the enemy, as another large group is apparently being prepared to go in the next day or so. It seems that as originally planned, only a small group of workers are to be left, except for non-communal people, especially those who don't want to go at this time.
My own departure before the end of the year is a little more possible; though I have no reason to think my offer to stay through 31 December will not be accepted. Housing arrangements here would also seem to be unsettled.
The service was. dismissed at 1.30, with instructions to be back at 6.00. I went home to eat. Etta also went home. I had steak, cauliflower, and a salad.
Lavana received $4,000 this morning as settlement in her injury case as a result of an accident. She gave $120 to her grandchildren; Etta told me, and the rest to the Temple.
On my return to the Temple, I typed three more affidavits. The congregation left for the Rally for a free Chile at Glide Memorial Church. 11 September is the fourth anniversary of the military coup. People's Temple is one of the sponsoring organizations. I helped Virginia Middleton and Washington Sanders get on the bus and find a seat at the rally. We were on the main floor. The program started about 8.00. The Temple presented some band numbers and a song by Marthea Hicks. There were several selections from a Chilean group.
Our Los Angeles people left at 9.00 so as to get back to Los Angeles, and at 9.30 some of our other members started to leave. Virginia and I thought that all the Temple was leaving, and we got up to go. Outside we found Hue Fortson who told us the Temple was not leaving. The Chilean speaker was yet to be heard. But we decided to go home on Muni then, instead of waiting for the Temple buses.
I read newspapers and ate a snack. I went to bed at 12.00.
12 September - Monday-
I went to the Temple for dinner. Very few people were there. A large number of people have left. Sylvia Grubbs sat opposite me. It has been a long time since I've seen her. She said she had been working on especial project and her meals were brought to her. Later conversation revealed that she was clearing out the Temple's second-hand and antique shop.
I have developed some pain in my elbow. It may have resulted from a fall I had in the dining room one day; I slipped where someone had spilled some soup. I was picked up and I felt no pain at the time. Contributing factors may have been a heavy Mag A job I did for Bob Garb, and the incorrect height of the chair at the Temple, I used when typing affidavits. Sylvia, who has had nursing experience, advised me to soak the elbow in hot water.
When I got home, Mabel Johnson was in our apartment talking to my apartment mates. She had been told by Chris Kice that she and her roommate were to be moved to 199 Divisidero, as the rent on her apartment at 1029 Geary is expiring. Mabel was very angry and said she refused to move. She was tired of this game of "musical chairs." She was also angry because her close friends, Jerry Brady and Jerry's sister, Amanda Fair, had gone to Guyana and she was left behind. When I inquired if the reason for this was not in connection with her son, she had additional complaints about Temple handling of his case. She said she had been told to have him get his passport, which she did.
Than after he had it, the Temple delayed in sending him over, so that he got frustrated and now didn't want to go. He has stopped coming to meetings. Mabel said that he had always "hated church." In a Council meeting with her, Jean Brown apparently had tried to convince her that if her son "didn't like our meetings here, he wouldn't like them there," but Mabel was not mollified. Etta Thompson seemed to be sympathizing with her.
I did my exercises. I put no particular stress on my elbow, and the exercise seemed to help rather than harm it. I read newspapers. I took a hot bath and soaked my elbow. I decided not to go to work tomorrow. I went to bed about 12.00.
13 September - Tuesday –
Viola told me Norm Ijames had talked to Mabel Johnson and, according to Mabel, said she didn't have to move. If this is true, I imagine the reason is that Mabel talks so virulently that Temple leaders may fear she would stir up trouble with outsiders. Viola also told me that Ray said Harry Williams was on the Temple bus to Miami, and when all was ready for him to board the plane for Guyana, he wouldn't go.
The only other time I have had breakfast at the Temple was the day in April when a group of us were being processed for departure (this plan had to be changed). We had fruit, biscuits and coffee.
Ray Godshalk had just got back from a trip to Los Angeles. He may have been driving a bus load of people leaving for Guyana. I left Viola at the Temple, as Rocki Breidenbach would bring her home after lunch, and took the bus to Polk Street. I went to the Salvation Army shop on Sutter. I looked for an apron; didn't find any. I also looked at shoes and got an idea of how much I could get a coat for, as I will need a winter coat if I stay here for several months. I rode the Sutter bus to Fillmore and then walked down Fillmore to Union Street and then along Union to Van Ness. I had coffee and a doughnut at a Shop where a number of children were playing while their parents were eating. I was told the group was celebrating the Jewish New Year. I stopped at the Junior League shop and another second-hand shop across the street, but their prices are out of my range. At a bookshop on union, I found a new issue of New West, which ran some letters on the Temple from Temple members. The day was delightful.
I took the Van Ness bus and then the Geary bus to the Temple for lunch. Lunch was very good; noodle soup, a rice dish, salad, cake or pie. This is the first time I have had lunch at the Temple. I had a conversation with C. J. about my projected article on the subject of early black civilizations.
Reaching home, I turned the refrigerator off, so that it could defrost while I had a nap. Rocki lent me an electric heating pad which I used on my elbow. I slept two hours. I then cleaned out the refrigerator and mopped up the floor. Etta was at Rocki's apartment, making dolls for the children's Christmas. Lavana has not been feeling well and spends a good deal of time in bed.
I went to the Temple for dinner. I talked with Dick Tropp about provision for classical music in Guyana. Dick plays the cello and Laurie Efrein the piano. He said some cassettes had been recorded, and we could send back to the United States for more. Dick said he expected to be here for some time, until the legal matters are cleared up. He has taken a leave of absence from Santa Rosa Junior College. I talked to Laurie who had received new directions for letters to Guyanese officials. She received them from Dick, who probably got them from Jonestown by radio. The Guyanese may fear being involved in international politics, presaged by the attempts to shoot Jim. I am to write to four of the top officials, indicating that we are helping to influence the Carter administration to pursue an enlightened Caribbean policy and that Guyana, by supporting the Temple, also protects its own interests.
I went home with Viola. She told me of an incident in which an ironic remark (it was about sex) she had once made was reported, and she had to meet with Council. It displayed the humorless attitude which is typical of bureaucrats. Viola, who is used to living independently, has had a troubled time since she came to San Francisco. I read newspapers. Estelle returned to the apartment tonight.
14 September - Wednesday-
Ten or so of the secretaries went to the Park Bench, an informal eating place on Beale Street near the Freeway. This was arranged by Deb Bowen (formerly McFarland). She phoned our orders in ahead of time; they were brought upstairs to us. We bought drinks at the bar. I had a martini. My lunch, chicken salad and a bowl of soup, was late in arriving. Dorothy Stookey attended, though she came late.
As my arm was still painful, I left the office at 3.00, although Garb had a job for me. I plan to take sick leave the rest of the week. When I reached home, I had a nap. I went to the Temple for dinner, although I usually prepare my dinner at home on Wednesday night.
Few were present at the service. During the service, Mabel went from person to person, no doubt giving her account of the controversy she was engaged in regarding her housing. I had heard that Phyllis Chaikin left for Guyana. Jenny Cheek told me nothing had been said to her about the affidavits. She didn't give me any to type. The service was dismissed early.
Wanda had told me personal needs were being handed out, and after some difficulty in locating the responsible person, I received toilet soap and toothpaste. At home I read newspapers and went to bed about 12.00 o'clock.
15 September - Thursday –
I had a conversation with Dick Tropp. I inquired of him whether it would be advisable to have my Russian books shipped to Guyana. I told him of my knowledge of Russian. He wants to study Russian himself and thought I should bring my books to the Temple for shipment. He suggested I accompany him to a meeting with a Russian delegation on 22 September and talk with them in Russian to the extent that I am able.
I received a letter from Bates. She said she was very happy. Apparently she has been rooming with Vera, Zippy and Hyacinth, and Lela had been put in with them. She said she had as a project making cups from Carnation milk cans. She threw her cane down the second day she was in Jonestown. She wanted me to send her back brush, manicure set and toenail clippers, and her glasses, all of which she said she had forgotten. She believes all is unchanged since she 1eft, and that those items can all still be found in her room.
I put my laundry in the machine, then the dryer, and put the clothes away. I took a nap. I ate dinner at home, broiling the steak I had left. I did my personal chores and washed my hair. I had bought about five pounds of grapes the other day and had given a big bunch to Etta, Virginia and Lavana. Wanda was not at home. Tonight I went to the refrigerator to get some and found few left. Virginia and Etta confessed they had eaten them.
I expressed my disapproval firmly. I read newspapers, went to bed about 12.00.
16 September - Friday –
I had an appointment at 9.30 with Dr. Fudgen, who had not been able to look at my teeth the day I had them cleaned. He took my blood pressure, said it was very good: 145 over 80. My mouth is also in very good condition. He filled a small cavity. I returned to the Temple, as I had forgotten to sign the letters I did yesterday. Dick Tropp found them for me.
I ate lunch at home. I took my cart and went to the Haight store. I got a few vegetables and some fruit and bread. I didn't need much, as I hadn't taken lunches to work. It was slightly rainy today, I walked home, pushing my cert, going down Haight to Fillmore, then on Fillmore to Eddy, along Eddy to Van Ness. This way I eliminated the steepest hills.
I packed my bag and left the apartment house at 4.00, buying some wine for Lorraine on Geary. I took the 19 Polk bus on Hyde and transferred on Market to a bus going through the tunnel. Some buses didn't stop, because it was rush hour, and the one I got on was so crowded that I had to stand the whole way. At the tunnel I transferred to the Park Merced bus. I arrived at Lorraine's about 6.00. Lorraine has a new roomer, a young Japanese man.
Lorraine and I discussed the murder which had occurred in the San Francisco State Library Faculty Reading Room. The victim was a young Chinese woman student. Lorraine said an atmosphere of fear pervaded the campus. The person who committed the murder must have been one of a few with access to an electronic card to open the lock of the Faculty Reading Room.
We had dinner, Lorraine and Ryn are exchanging tapes in addition to letters, She let me listen to a tape made on last weekend's trip to visit Dorothy at Moss Landing, Pat and Mike and the baby were the others in the group, Then Lorraine played for me the tape made by Ryn in Tunisia. She was at the time having an orientation and training period in a rural area, studying both French and Arabic, and had also done some traveling in Tunisia, Lorraine was making a new tape to send Ryn, and I added a section on my communal living, Meanwhile Mari had come home. She had been visiting friends on the Peninsula. We looked at some slides Ryn sent from Tunisia showing the ruins in the town in which she lives. They showed lovely Arabic tiles.
I finished the newspaper, Lorraine and I went up to bed about 11.30. I read The Silent Language for a while.
During the day I had called Marquita to say good-bye, catching her just before she left the office.
17 September - 5 –
Lorraine is firmer than ever in her apprehensive attitude about communal living, particularly in a rural environment, although we discussed the deterioration in society here, such as the increasing mental illnesses we observe and the breakdown in workmanship, lack of responsibility for a job, and so on.
Lorraine's life has become increasingly busy. Her social life has expanded because the number of people she knows has increased. I hadn't seen her for a long time, not only because I am busy, but because she entertains several times a week and spends most weekends with friends. Her apartment is cluttered, and she had a long hunt for a prescription she wanted to get filled.
She remarked that a quiet agricultural life is not for her. She analyzed the difference between us. She is more social but less communal. She treasures her individuality.
I went through my Russian books which she is storing for me and selected some to take with me to show Dick Tropp, not too many for me to put in my suitcase and carry. I hope to get a Temple car to come over for the rest.
We took the bus together about 11.30. She had to buy groceries, fill her prescription, and go to the post-office before it closed. We took the Park Merced bus to West Portal. I transferred to a bus going through the tunnel.
I arrived home about 1.00. The apartment was empty and I guessed that everyone had gone to a rally. Virginia and Lavana returned from shopping but said there was a rally.
Wanda and Etta had gone. The Temple group had joined others who marched in support of the Wilmington 10. Angela Davis was there. Few were there besides the Temple group, and except for ourselves, most were white.
I took a nap. I pressed clothes. I dressed and went to the Temple to eat about 6.00. I had brought two of the Russian books to show Dick, selecting two which I thought might be useful to him. The service, conducted by Hue Fortson and Norm Ijames, was uneventful and short. A few people had come from Los Angeles.
At home I had a snack and read newspapers. I went to bed about 12.00.
18 September - Sunday –
I want to the service at 11.00. Norm was in charge. There were announcements, congregational singing, music and dance numbers. A representative of Lt. Governor Mervin Dymally was scheduled to visit us today, but for some reason it was announced that he was coming between services. It may be that Jim does not want visitors in his absence. The service was dismissed early, at 1.30.
I went home on Muni. Lavana had felt ill and hadn't gone to service. Etta came home. Etta let me prepare my dinner first. I had liver, Brussels sprouts and a salad. I took a nap. I returned to the Temple for the evening service, which wasn't until 7.00.
This service was also short. I spoke to Vernell Henderson about the method to use to get underwear for Jonestown, including cotton panties, which all the seniors have been advised to buy. Vernell said there is a misunderstanding. Only girls who are menstruating are to use cotton, because of infection they get in the mucous membrane. I was told Chris Kice had even taken seniors out to buy cotton underwear. Vernell said she would talk to Chris about it. She advised me just to put what underwear I need on my needs slip. I had been trying to see Chris to ask her about Bates' requests. I finally found her in the accounting office. Her advice was to tell Bates that we would try to find items to replace the ones she left, but it is clear that she doesn't expect that we will.
I got a ride home in a car Ray was driving. Estelle advised me the items Bates wanted on my needs slip, get the money and buy them. Said that she would see that they are sent. She sends things to her children all the time. I read newspapers. I went to bed at 11.30.
19 September - Monday -
I went directly to the Temple to eat tonight. I had a brief talk with Dick about the shoddy items in the press nowadays. Any excuse is used to feature sex or dirty language. I felt rather bored (a rare feeling for me) and discovered that Wanda felt the same. She attributed the feeling to the short meetings and the lack of jobs to do which used to make demands on our time. I think, also, that people are rather nervous in this waiting period. No one seems very friendly. Estelle was not at home. The other women were quiet in their rooms.
I decided that, rather than exercise, I would walk for an hour. The weather was warm and pleasant. I went down Hyde to the public library and back by Jones, turning up on O'Farrell. I found outside a grocery store a box in which I can pack my Russian books, and I took it home. I mended some clothes for an hour. Wanda had gone to bed. I moved to the kitchen with my radio. I prepared my lunch for tomorrow. I read newspapers and a little in The Silent Language, eating a snack. I went to bed at 11.30.
About 2.30 I was awakened. Wanda and one at least of the other women were talking. I turned the radio on, hoping it would help me go back to sleep, but I didn't until after Wanda returned in about an hour.
20 September - Tuesday –
At lunchtime I sew the film in the employees' series, "Energy: A National Issue," which featured cartoons of the Flintstones.
1 went to the Temple to eat. Patti Chastain asked whether I could help proof the next issue of the Temple newspaper, The People's Forum, which we are getting out now. I read xeroxed copy for four hours, until 10.00 o'clock, about five pages. Others had read it, but I found errors they had missed, particularly punctuation and sentence construction. Patti was working on other aspects of the paper and we talked a good deal. I forgot to turn in needs slips for Viola and myself, though I had prepared the forms in the office. At home I read newspapers. I went to bed about 12.00.
21 September - Wednesday-
Norma Bondoc, who is Philippe Lamy's secretary, was out. I offered to help out Philippe and also Zaid Jadwat, an Iraqi, a new Bechtel attorney. Zaid gave me some contract negotiation material of C&I/Girdler, a Bechtel entity, to put on Mag A. Zaid kept revising it and I was tied up waiting for his decisions most of the day and I wasn't available for Philippe who wanted to give me work. While waiting for Zaid, I continued with my letter to my sisters.
At noon I attended the Toastmasters Club, which had another introductory meeting, this time at the Met Building at 11.45. Two speakers gave talks, one a newcomer to the club, a young black woman. I participated in Table Topics. I finished eating my lunch outside.
After work, I went home. I washed and changed clothes. I then went to the Temple and ate. I went upstairs to the accounting office and reviewed Russian vocabulary and phrases in preparation for the reception which a group from the Temple is attending tomorrow night. Dick Tropp on learning I spoke some Russian had wanted me to go.
The Temple service was short and uneventful. It was dismissed at 9.00 and we had a party. All were encouraged to stay, move about and talk to each other. The band played for dancing. I spoke to Albertha Smith. She said she had been scheduled earlier to leave for Guyana but wasn't ready, as she hadn't sold her furniture, but she will go. I asked Mae Spriggs if she were going, mentioning her grandson who is there. She said she "can't retire yet." I talked with Mary Tschetter and her daughter, who used to be Cathy Stahl. Mary said she is leaving for Guyana tomorrow accompanied by her husband, Al Tschetter, who is a radiologist, and her former husband, Richmond Stahl, who is now married to Carol Stahl. Mary said this could only happen in People's Temple. Cathy, who is married to a Ukiahan, will be going with her husband, but he has to wait until Jim returns, as he is new in the Temple. I heard that Robin Tschetter, who is the daughter of Mary and AI, is unhappy because she cannot go yet. Refreshments -- popcorn and sweet rolls -- were served in the Gold Room. I stayed about an hour, then went home on Muni with Lavana and Etta. I read newspapers and had a snack.
22 September - Thursday –
Dorothy Stookey has been very cordial the last few days. Her workload has been very light. I heard that there are no immediate plans to replace Marquita until it is decided what to do about the computer work. I have no intention of moving back to my old office.
I saw a videotape at lunch called “The Three E’s” -- energy. economies and environment. It was very good, with beautiful scenery. The tape broke with about ten minutes to go, so I didn't see it all.
I went to the Temple to eat after work. Then I went home to dress for the reception at the American-Russian Institute for a visiting cultural delegation from the Soviet Union. The others who attended were Dick Tropp, Hue Fortson, Laurie Efrein, Cathy Richardson, Andy Silver, Vera Young. The Institute is on California Street in the Richmond District. A large number of people came, and the small rooms were very crowded and hot. The delegation was composed of Latvians. There were several singers who gave a recital. A young American woman played -- badly -- a violin. We then had food and conversation. Only a few of the delegation spoke English. I tried to speak Russian to several members of the delegation and other people. The food was very good, and as I learned later, the punch was alcoholic. Many of the guests were elderly Russian-speaking Americans, undoubtedly white Russians.
Several in our group asked the whereabouts of Margot Spencer, the Russian woman whom Jim cured of cancer. She always made a public demonstration of her offerings. She may have gone to Guyana, but it is more likely that she quit coming on the outbreak of the conspiracy against the Temple and the absence of Jim. She has a husband who isn't a member, and of course she is not communal. I was hoping to get some help from her with my Russian pronunciation. I had asked Dick Tropp about the Chronicle article suggesting that Tim Stoen has left the Temple. Dick said the article, which was written by Marshall Kilduff, was full of errors.
We left the reception about 10.00. Several told of conversations they had had about the charges against the Temple.
At home I read an article in The Berkeley Barb by Art Silverman, giving some derogatory background information on the investigators making charges against the Temple. I went to bed about 12.00.
23 September - Friday–
I went to the Temple to eat. I had to do my personal tasks tonight which I usually do on Thursday night. I put my clothes in the laundromat and dryer and put them away, did my personal care chores, washed my hair, and washed by hand my girdle and stockings. Wanda had had a headache last night and stayed home today. Lavana told me she had discussed with Wanda her personal situation. She is kept awake by the TV which Estelle and Etta play loudly up until 2.00 in the morning. There is no way to close off Lavana's room. Wanda, said Lavana, had suggested that she change rooms with Lavana. Thus Lavana would be in with me. Wanda said nothing to me about it.
Everybody's nerves seem to be on edge. I think we are all upset with this waiting period, not knowing how soon we can expect to go to Jonestown. Wanda sees no particular reason she is staying hare, as she has no special responsibility. Estelle told me Etta, Virginia and Lavana all have medical problems which require the supervision of a doctor, and Jonestown does not yet have hospital or nursing home facilities. I went to bed about 12.00.
24 September - Sunday –
I intended to sleep as usual for a couple of hours, but Lavana and Wanda were exchanging their belongings. I had still not been consulted. I tried to sleep, but it was difficult with the two of them moving in and out. I probably got about an hour's sleep. I did tell Wanda Saturday afternoon was the only time I had all week to take a nap and reminded her that I was getting older and needed more rest. I think I made some impression on her. I got a ride to the Temple with Rocki who took several people. I brought a box with my Russian books up to Dick Tropp's office. I intend to get the rest of them from Lorraine, and Dick says the Temple will ship them. I was in time to eat at the Temple.
During the Temple service, Jean Brown, who has returned from the Guyanese mission, spoke to the congregation. She described in some detail the different facilities we have and the work people are doing. The service was out about 10.00.
I had a snack and read. As I had feared, my classical music programs probably disturbed Lavana, and I in turn am disturbed because she has a tendency to talk while I am trying to read. I went to bed about 12.00.
25 September - Sunday -
Carrie Langston came home with us last night, as usual when she is down from the Valley. Estelle was not there. Wanda slept downstairs and gave Carrie her bed. Etta told Carrie that Estelle's mood was quite different from what it had been. She didn't know what was the matter, I learned Etta and Estelle had had a long relationship before Etta came to live at Geary. She thought perhaps worry about her health was the reason for her change of attitude. I said I thought the reason was that she had looked on the apartment as her personal province, and during the two weeks she was gone, the rest of us took charge. Etta complained because the pantry is in such a confused state. We don't know why Estelle does not give back to the Temple the materials which were for the baking program.
Lavana, who appears to have a very low opinion of most other people, told me last night that I should see the amount of "swaying" that goes on during the day. The word, according to her, means begging or taking others' food supplies. Etta, Virginia and Estelle all do this, Lavana says. She doesn't like Virginia.
I myself think Estelle uses her ill health to get special provisions. She receives money from the Temple for her food, as does Etta, and prepares it for herself and Valysha. She eats what she knows to be bad for her. She and Valysha are together most of the time when Valysha is not working.
The morning service was short. I went home, slept two hours before eating, as I thought others would be preparing food. Etta and Carrie were there. I had hamburger with mushrooms, corn on the cob, and a big salad. Lavana asked for some of my salad.
I returned to the Temple and went to the accounting office to write letters for Laurie. I wrote to Cranston opposing Senate Bill 1437, which is s replacement of Senate Bill 1 with many of the same anti-civil liberties measures. I also wrote letters of thanks to the Berkeley Barb and the Ukiah Daily Journal for printing articles favorable to the Temple. Drafting these took a good part of the service time.
Dick told me another shipment of books was going out to Guyana. Judging by activity in the Temple, many other supplies are being sent, as much crating is being done.
Many people are using excuses to stay out of services. Vera Young inspired a call to get them back in. I went down for the end of the service, which was at about 8.30.
I tried to read while I had a snack, but again Lavana talked most of the time. I went to bed about 11.00.
26 September - Monday-
Betty Barclay told us that she has met another man, to whom she plans to get married. She and the man she has been going with had an understanding they wouldn't marry, as she would lose her benefits. I inquired whether she would not do so now. Betty has not been very successful in her new job in Weinberger's office. Weinberger, Virginia Duncan, and Bob O'Neill are all dissatisfied. Virginia doesn't know how to handle the matter. I ate lunch outside.
When I came to the Temple tonight, a sign let me know dinner would not be served until 6.00, but it would be worth waiting for. I took Muni home, changed clothes and walked back to the Temple. The hot water fixture in the kitchen had been out of order. The staff had decided to prepare barbecued ribs outside and give the communal people a real treat. Perhaps also the leadership had sensed that people are going through an uneasy period. A little after 6.00 serving was started. We had, in addition to the ribs which were excellent, potato salad, corn muffins, and a banana pudding. I had been standing next to Dick Tropp in line and I was telling him about intelligence techniques. A larger number of people than I have ever seen at the communal dinners appeared in line, as word got around.
I brought ribs for Lavana, and Judy Merriam brought dinners for several others at Geary who couldn't get up to the Temple. I walked home for the exercise. Because of Lavana's liking to talk, I had considered moving out to the kitchen with my radio so that I could both listen to the serious music I like and read the newspapers, but hadn't done it yet because of the lack of comfort sitting on a kitchen chair. Tonight Lavana even talked after I had turned out the light. She talks about how she feels (badly), about what she doesn't like about other people, and sometimes about her past life and her grandchildren, finally, at a quarter to 12.00, I told her I had to get to sleep.
27 September - Tuesday –
During the lunch hour, there was no film shown. I ate at my desk and went on the bus to Woolworth's and the Emporium to price Bates' needs. It won't be too expensive to replace her manicure equipment, but I had trouble finding a back brush. The Emporium basement had a few which seemed to have been on the shelves for a long time.
Denise gave me more details of Marquita and Deb's accident. Both cars were totaled.
After work I went to the Temple for dinner. When I turned in my needs list, on which I put down $30 for underwear for Guyana, I had a discussion with Vernell Henderson, who complained that people were asking for too much money and that requests would have to be cut back. (Chris Kice had personally taken some of the seniors shopping and had bought, for instance, ten pairs of cotton panties for each, and the other seniors have followed the example. Cotton socks, tennis shoes and jeans are also recommended.) I discussed the matter with Viola Godshalk. I felt aggrieved that apparently I would be denied what others had received. Eugenia Gerhardt is leaving this week and she was told to buy adequate supplies.
Lavana was quiet tonight and I went through many newspapers.
28 September - Wednesday-
At lunchtime I went to the office equipment shop and paid the balance for my typewriter. They will deliver it to Bechtel. Betty Barclay has decided not to get married. She fears the man wants her money.
I went home to change clothes. I went to the Temple to eat. I had xeroxed several copies of a thank-you for the kitchen crew for the barbecue on Monday and passed it around for signatures. I gave it to Wesley Johnson who mentioned it in the service.
During the Temple service new slides from Guyana were shown. We saw some of the new facilities, particularly the housing, which brought applause, and many of the people who arrived recently. They were probably told to dress up, as many were in their best clothes and jewelry. Pictures of Jim brought loud clapping. Jean Brown, who commented on the slides, said Jim was everywhere on the mission grounds, available to all his people.
In my needs envelope I received all the money for which I had asked, $30 for clothing and $11 for a Muni fast pass. I reached home after the service about 10.00. Lavana told me she saw Glenn Hennington at Farmer's Market one day. She spoke to him but was told by the other Temple members that he was a traitor. I had been wondering what had happened to him and the others who had a commune together, Janet and David Shular, who aren't seen at the Temple any more. I heard someone, perhaps it was Jack Beam, make a disparaging remark concerning David one day. I thought perhaps they were among those of whom Jim has spoken who have apparently left the cause but in reality continue to serve the Temple outside. Shulars had adopted two children.
I had phoned Bechtel information once to get Glenn's phone number, and they said he resigned in February, of course would not give me a forwarding address. I had a snack and read newspapers. I went to bed at 12.15.
29 September - Thursday –
At noon after eating lunch at my desk, I started on the bus up Market street to go to the Emporium to buy my underwear. An accident or other mishap stalled traffic on Market. I got off and walked up Geary. I tried to find what I wanted in Liberty House and Macy's. It was very hard to get waited on (there are almost no clerks, only cashiers), personnel were rude or indifferent, and I couldn't find cotton articles except bras, which were very high-priced, as was everything I saw -- I didn't buy anything. These stores didn't have a bargain basement, and I intend to go tomorrow to the Emporium, which does have.
After work I went to the Temple for dinner. I saw there Estelle and Valysha. I told Estelle of my shopping difficulties. She said she would take me to suburban stores "sometime." She finally offered to go tonight, as she wanted to get articles for other people.
Estelle drove Valysha and me to the Tanforan Shopping Center at San Bruno. We did much walking. We looked at clothing at the Emporium, Sears and Penny's. I bought four bras for $16.00, two cotton panties for $2.00 apiece, three pairs of cotton socks for $2.39, shoes (a low pump) made in Taiwan of man-made material for $6.99. The total cost with tax was $31.14. I have only a few dollars left for groceries this weekend.
We reached home shortly after 9.00. Estelle dropped me off and took Valysha home, did not return. Etta, Wanda and Lavana were all in bed. Lavana woke up when I came in. I put my laundry in the machine. I prepared vegetables for my lunch tomorrow. When I went to put the laundry in the dryer, I found someone had taken my sheet from the washing machine. I have only two sheets left. I always put a sheet back on the bad after washing and drying it. Lavana lent me a sheet. I ate a snack, read and went to bed at 12.45.
30 September - Friday –
Kate Walker is in Kaiser Hospital. She had been out for several days, came back and fainted on the way home, I understand. She is in the hospital for tests and won't be out until after the weekend.
My typewriter was delivered this morning. The adapter (for the prongs) had not been supplied. I ate my lunch outside. Dorothy had a book by Don Novello called The Lazlo Letters, consisting of letters written as spoofs by Novello, under the name-of Lazlo Toth, to well-known individuals and business firms. She brought it to take to Kate, whom she intends to visit tonight.
I read a good part of it. The serious answers the author received furnish the humor. I wrote some journal entries.
While I was on the way home tonight there was a power failure which stopped all the buses on Market Street. It lasted about half an hour. I walked all ths way home. Evan after the buses started again, I couldn't get on one, as they were loaded at starting point. I phoned the Temple and asked them to save my dinner. Jane Mutschman at the telephone keeps a list of those who will arrive after 6.00.
When I got home I did the personal tasks which I normally do on Thursday: washed my hair and did my hand laundry. I also pressed clothes. I read in the kitchen so as not to interfere with Lavana's sleep, as it was late. I went to bed at 11.45.
Apostates/People Who Left PT
Non Temple Names
New York Times
Roots by Alex Haley
Mag card [IBM Selectric with memory]