After having moved into our new quarters, we were feeling a bit unprotected. Shrapnel could easily penetrate the plywood siding of the new hooch, and we would be vulnerable during a mortar attack. We made a commitment for each of us to spend at least an hour a day strengthening our sleeping quarters and adding a fortified bunker adjacent to our front door.
We used a combination of powder canisters and sandbags as a barrier against flying projectiles or debris. It was demanding work during the heat of the afternoon sun, but it meant survival during an attack.
The bunker required a lot of digging with shovels. We had a good pickax to loosen the dirt, and the manual labor was invigorating. I wondered if I could tone my muscles and get a tan before meeting Jenny on R&R.
Leggs stopped by to inspect our work and made a few recommendations. As I was digging, he said, “The reefer is running and blowing cold air. It’s a good unit with a solid compressor.” He explained how he would gravity feed the diesel fuel to the unit from our electric generators. All we needed now was a highly insulated structure to mount it on. The only insulation available was Styrofoam blocks from the artillery fuse containers (each block held three fuses). Reb guessed we would need 300 blocks of the Styrofoam (the equivalent of 900 rounds of artillery).
The good news was, we had a shower to get cleaned up after all the work. My folding chair was set up to watch the war, and the Grunts in Arizona territory made the nightly show interesting.