Tag Archives: 1962

Alive in the Morgue

[Steve]: Auburndale went through to high school. Then went on to Gordon College and part way through Gordon College, I stepped out for a semester. It was the time of the Berlin Crisis [1961]. They called it the Berlin Crisis, when the Russians [Soviet Union] were behind the idea of isolating Berlin. The Americans went in and flew supplies over; they did a bridge of flying of all the supplies until that barricade, as it were, was broken.*

Steve in Fatigues, maybe 1963

Steve in Fatigues, maybe 1963

[Steve]: It was at that time [1962?] that they were “recruiting” people into the army. They weren’t recruiting; they were drafting. I went in, choosing what I wanted to do and that was to work in the medical laboratory. I did that and was a lab technician. When I came out of the army, I did more lab technician work. I finished up at Boston University, where I got my degree in psychology.

[Virginia?]: I think my parents were in South America. I was reading all this to my mom [Lee], that whole thing where you were talking about. . . . She goes, “I don’t remember him being in the service.” I said, “Mom! He was your brother. You didn’t know he was in the service?” Were they in South America at that time? What year was that?

[Steve]: Well actually, I recall being up to visit you in Bloomfield when you broke your leg and got chicken pox and had to be taken to. . . .

[Virginia?]: ‘72.

[Steve]: Yeah. ‘72? No.

[Virginia?]: They [who?] graduated in ‘72.

[Eric?]: ‘74.

[Steve]: Yeah, so actually. . . .

[Heidi]: When they [Steve and Marcia?] got engaged and you went down to visit. . . .

[Virginia?]: That was in ‘65.

[Heidi]: That was in ‘65.

[Marcia]: Yeah. You [Virginia? b. 1963] were just real little then and we got engaged in ‘65 and you [Steve] had just gotten your degree from BU.

[Steve]: Boston University.

[Marcia]: Your undergraduate degree.

[Steve]: But I was then in doing some graduate work.

[Virginia?]: So Mom and Dad had to have been in Peru because she probably doesn’t remember.

[Marcia]: It was early ‘60s.

[Eric?]: She probably doesn’t remember it, but I remember going to an airshow.

[Steve]: Yeah.

[Eric?]: Where you were working in . . . you took us . . . there was a morgue there or something.

[Heidi]: Yes. When you were working. . . .

[Marcia]: Fort Dix.

[Steve]: Fort Dix.

[Eric?]: OK. I don’t remember where it was, but I was just remembering you being there. And then you all sent us off.

[Steve]: Alive.

[Eric?]: Yeah. You gave us a tour of the morgue. But I remember you were working in the lab at that time. I remember you guys sent us off to the airport. I was so impressed with my Uncle Steve and I’m trying to remember why.

[Steve]: Why. Yeah.

[Heidi]: He worked in a morgue.

[Marcia]: He looked pretty smart in his uniform.

[Eric?]: Yes, he did, but anyway, I do remember being there.

NB: See also Steve Finds His Tie for another story from Fort Dix.

*Airlifts of supplies into Berlin took place during WWII, rather than during the Berlin Crisis, which culminated in 1961 with a military stand-off and the erection of the Berlin Wall. During the Berlin Crisis, Kennedy deployed 148,000 Air National Guard and Reservists and increased standing troop-strength in the army, navy, and air force. In my cursory reading, I see no draft mentioned with regard to the Berlin Crisis. However, my recall of this story cites the Vietnam War (1955–1975) as the reason for Dad/Steve being threatened with the draft.

story told by Steve to the family reunion gathering on January 10, 2014; recorded and transcribed by Dawn [Steve’s daughter]

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • There are a lot of pronouns and names followed by ?-marks. These represent my guesses as to who is talking and whom. Please verify that I guessed correctly or clarify.
  • The unresolved question was whether or not Lee was in Peru in 1962/3 when Steve was in the army. Was she?
  • What year did Steve visit Lee’s family in Bloomfield? Where was/is Bloomfield?
  • Whose leg was broken? Who got chicken pox? Virginia? Kathy?
  • Who graduated in 1974?
  • Why would Lee be in Peru but her kids be in the United States for Steve to visit and/or to visit Steve at Fort Dix?
  • Dad/Steve, I recall this draft-threat being attributed to the Vietnam War. Can you clarify? And can you give the dates during which you were in the service? The other story shows 1962 being one of those dates.
  • Dad/Steve, please tell the sleeping in the morgue story.

First with the Word

Lee, Will, Kids, Campa Welcoming Committee in Nenquechani, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee, Will, Kids, Campa Welcoming Committee in Nenquechani, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Nenquechani:   The Kindberg family marches purposefully past a say, welcoming group of Campas, en route to a new house at Nenquechani, built by Will while awaiting his family’s return from a trip to Yarinacocha. The Campas wear the cushma, a course woven sort of Mother-Hubbard of immense practicality in the insect-ridden jungle.

WBtW, Will and Campas, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will and Campas, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Cushma:   Cushmas are worn by mean, women and children, with vertical necklines for men, horizontal for women. The natural brown cotton cushma may be thrown over one’s shoulder to allow freedom of movement, pulled up to allow crossing of rivers without getting it wet, and camouflages dirt very well.

WBtW, Lee and Doug with Campas Looking On, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee and Doug with Campas Looking On, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Privacy:   Silently, these youthful Campa mothers watch Lee tend her youngest child. The Kindberg house has no walls. They learned very early in their relations with the Campas that privacy was impossible, that sharing the intimate daily routine of their household established a warm and respectful bond with the primitive Indians. “We put a ‘tucuyo’ (unbleached muslin) around our bedroom for some semblance of privacy, only to discover that the Indians loved to pick up the edge and peek underneath,” said Will.

WBtW, Will and Lee Study in Kerosene Light, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will and Lee Study in Kerosene Light, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Shared Calling:   Lee is a registered nurse, shares with Will an equal interest in missionary linguistic work in the foreign field. The couple met at Wheaton College in the U.S.A.; six months after their marriage [they] arrived in Peru to begin their life work.

WBtW, Will Consulting with Jose Flores in Quempiri, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Consulting with Jose Flores in Quempiri, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

José Flores:   In the Ene river village of Quempiri, Will consults with Campa Indian José Flores concerning text for the next day’s sermon, which José will deliver. Will, using his home, Nenquechani, as a base, visits other outposts in the Ene river area of the Peruvian Amazon. To reach the most remote places, he travels by canoe, raft, on foot, and occasionally uses the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service aircraft. One such outpost is Quempiri, 35 minutes by plane from Nenquechani, but seven difficult days away poling upstream in a canoe.

WBtW, Jose Flores Teaches, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Jose Flores Teaches, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

The school at Quempiri was built only last year. Teacher Flores was the first Campa with whom Will had direct contact nine years ago when he first began his language work in Peru. Before he came, many of the inhabitants of Quempiri had never seen a white man. Although Will visits Quempiri regularly, José Flores carries the main responsibility of this missionary effort. Nine years ago José could not read, write or understand Spanish, spoke only his own Campa tongue.

WBtW, Will Watches as Jose Flores Teaches, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Watches as Jose Flores Teaches, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Teacher José Flores instructs Campa children at Quempiri under supervision of his old friend and mentor Kindberg. José has provided cultural, educational, spiritual, social and economic leadership in the tiny Quempiri community. He is classified by the Peruvian government as a bilingual teacher, receives a yearly salary of 4,500 soles ($174). So eager are the Campa to learn, that official attendance records at his school show 53 persons attending out of a total village population of 100. Among José’s students: his wife, Felícitas.

José, encouraged by Will, learned to read and write, first his own language, then the national language of his own country. Now bilingual, in Campa and Spanish, and trained to teach by the Peruvian government training school for Indians of the jungle conducted at our Yarinacocha base José is an effective direct link between the Campa tribe and Peruvian national life and government.

WBtW, Will Teaches a Campa Child to Write, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Teaches a Campa Child to Write, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

His desire to share his own personal faith in Christ with others, plus his ability to read and teach the Scriptures already available, have made him a spiritual leader among his Campa people too.

José told his students, “I learned to read and write through working with Mr. Kindberg. If this had not happened none of you would be learning. You would not be able to read the Bible and to be Christians.”

Then Will, adding his word of instruction, said: “Jesus is in heaven, and we accept Christ’s resurrection as proof that there is resurrection and He will raise us up.” After Will spoke, the students sang “Onward Christian Soldiers” in the Campa language.

WBtW, Lee Bandages Campa Child, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee Bandages Campa Child, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Nursing:   In the daily routine of life a Nenquechani, Lee Kindberg bandages the punctured foot of a Campa child and introduces a huge forest parrot to young Dougie Kindberg.

WBtW, Lee Shows Eric? a Parrot, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Lee Shows Eric? a Parrot, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Little Kindbergs:   After dinner at the Kindberg home, the family enjoys “reading time,” first for the girls, who perch on their father’s lap and listen breathlessly to “tonight’s story.” The Kindberg boys await their turn to hear their father read from “Paths and Pathfinders,” a basic reader. Afterwards the family joins hands and prays, Daddy and Mommy get “good-night” kisses. There is no fighting to stay up late, for the children are tired after the day’s occupations.

WBtW, Will Reads Bedtime Stories to Gail, Kathy, Eric, and Bruce, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Reads Bedtime Stories to Gail, Kathy, Eric, and Bruce, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Whole New Testament:   “Before we leave the Campa work, I want to see the whole New Testament and portions of the Old Testament translated for them; to see adequate schooling provided, with basic books, such as reading primers, books on arithmetic, history and health, in their own language and in Spanish. We hope to leave an enduring testimony, practiced and led by the indigenous leaders developed during our years here. We hope to stay here until this is assured, however long it might take.”—Will Kindberg

WBtW, Will Kindberg, 1963or4, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Will Kindberg, 1961, courtesy of Jim Duncan

Mission:   A Wycliffe pioneer from New Jersey brings Christ’s Word to the Campa Indians, one of the 32 Peruvian tribes being served by the Wycliffe translators.

Missionary-linguist Willard R. Kindberg, of Orange, N. J., is opening spiritual frontiers along the Apurimac river of eastern Peru, three hours’ flight time—or one month overland—from Yarinacocha, headquarters of the Peru branch of our Summer Institute of Linguistics. Shooting the rapids of remote Apurimac tributaries, it is Kindberg’s special joy to be on a spiritual frontier—a joy shared by his wife Lee, and five “little Kindbergs.” For all the Kindbergs, the privations and dangers of jungle frontier life is a spiritual adventure, rich in Christian service, and in the privilege of being the first to tell the Indians, in their own language, about Christ.

An athletic, determined man, Will wants to see his Indians progress, pragmatically accepts the fact that, although he may imitate Campa dress and ways, he is accepted by them only as a representative of another way of life. He contends that the Indians will appreciate the Bible more if they pay for it in kind-bows and arrows or sugar cane.

transcription of an article in Cornell Capa, “First with the Word” in Who Brought the Word (n.c.: Wycliffe Bible Translators, n.d.), 46–57. found and contributed by Jim Duncan [Wally’s son], March 2015

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below. (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.)

  • What do you remember of the visitor who took these pictures and recorded these vignettes?
  • Doug was a baby in several of the photos, so they were probably 1961. But the original article says “Dougie” is the child looking at the parrot (and Eric and Virginia confirm it was him), which would mean the article and picture were at least 1962. Can you confirm the date of the article?
  • What else do you remember about Nenquechani? About the “old house” and the “new house”? Why did he have to build a new one?
  • Did they finish the New Testament? Any of the Old Testament as Will desired? How many years were they there?
  • Who else has articles about the Duncan Eight stashed somewhere that you might like to contribute to eightduncans.com? Can you scan them? Would you like to drop them in the mail? I can email you my address if you need it. Let me know in the comments box below.

Steve Finds His Tie

Walson Army Hospital, Fort Dix, NJ, n.d., ebookhatchdotcomIn 1962, I was a lab technician with the 87th Medical Group at the Walson Army Hospital, Fort Dix, New Jersey.

In many situations, uniform dress on base did not require a necktie, but a tie was always standard when a soldier left the base.

One Sunday, knowing that I was leaving base for an evening church service, I unbuttoned my shirt and shoved the required tie in between the uniform and my undershirt so I wouldn’t have to return to the barracks after duty. That afternoon, I went to the bathroom, but couldn’t find the tie in my shirt, so I ended up hurrying back to the barracks anyway. I quickly tied it, fixed my collar, and then headed out the gates.

The Baptist church was two miles down the road, so I walked and hitched. A couple of pretty girls in a sports car picked me up and drove me the rest of the way to the church, where I slid into the pew just as the service was starting.

In this particular church, visitors stood to introduce themselves. When they called for visitors, I stood up, and in good army “at ease” form, put one hand behind my back . . .

And found the missing tie, dangling from my belt down my pants like a tail. The girls hadn’t mentioned a thing about it.

story told by Steve to Dawn Harrell (Steve’s daughter), May 5, 2013 

Can you add to the story? Please do. Write in the box below (You may need to click “Leave a Reply” above to make the box, name, and address fields appear.).

  • Do you have other “Steve in the army” stories?
  • Do you remember any other details to this story?
  • Anybody have a digital photo of Steve in army uniform that they’d like to add?