The Workbench

Burner Shack – Hill 65, 1968

Friday, August 23, 1968

Now that our burner shack was completed, it was time to install a working surface inside.  We had accumulated a pile of wooden planks (2″X12″ common stock) and decided to make a workbench.  This endeavor required a lot of sawing.  It was tedious work with a cross-cut hand saw . . . we had no power tools.

Reb designed a U-shaped bench 24″ wide on each of the three walls of the shack.  We took turns with the saw and finished two sides before noon.  As Reb slept, I continued sawing the last two planks in the afternoon, and the bench was complete.

Sumo had the “Southern Meal” under control, but he needed my help during the final hour before chow opened.  Leggs showed up at dinner and inspected our handiwork in the burner shack.  He recommended we make a “slot” for each burner with a built-in jig to secure it during maintenance.  It didn’t seem necessary to me, but I kept an open mind when he offered to help.

Toward the end of the meal, Reb joined us in the mess hall and said he planned to make ANZAC bars for the outposts as snacks with their hot coffee.  We had no idea what these bars were, other than something he had learned to make with Margaret in Sydney.

By the time we had cleaned up, he had three sheet pans of this concoction in the ovens.  It looked like oatmeal cookie dough and smelled wonderful as it baked.  The bars were done in less than an hour (from start to finish) and did, in fact, taste like chewy oatmeal cookies.  It was another addition to Reb’s bakery and eventually became part of the pastry set-up in the morning.  Reb insisted we call them by their proper name, “ANZAC BISCUITS.”

Next Edition:  Sumo Applies for Tokyo R&R

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