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RATS! June 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in People.

Continued from:  Thanks . . . But No Thanks!

During his stay in Korea, dad enjoyed interesting assignments.  When Dr. Syngman Rhee, a high ranking Korean official who later became the first President of South Korea, returned from conferring with the President and other government officials in the states, dad received the assignment of going to the airport and following the parade back to Seoul:

“Nearly all the important Rightest leaders in Korea were at the airport to greet him and I got pictures of some of them and several of Dr. Rhee and his wife who was at the airport to greet him.”  [April 23rd letter to Marjorie]

Wikipedia ~ Syngman Rhee (in Public Domain)

In a letter to his father, dated April 28th:

“Time is going quite fast.  Tomorrow makes a total of 10 months since I was sworn in.  Only eight more months, but that is plenty.  When I get home I think you will be interested to hear about some of the things I have worked on.  I can’t write about it, because all of the information is Classified, Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret.  However, you may be interested in an extract from one of the secret reports:

This headquarters wishes to commend the following agents for their tireless efforts in the conduct of investigations and on their splendid reports of same:

S/A  R.V. Butler
S/A  R.W. Hatch
S/A  A.L. Swinnerton
S/A  T. M. Greene

Butler, Swinnerton, and I spend most of our time together in the evenings and weekends.  We are all stationed here in Seoul.  I don’t know Greene as he is in one of the district offices.  It is really nice to have the officers think that you are doing a good job.”

In a letter to Aunt Lucy, dated April 29th:

“Our house is infested with rats.  In fact, they are so numerous that we sent two men to Rat Extermination school.  The other day before dinner some of us were talking about the rat problem when one of us turned around and saw a big rat sitting on one of the tables eating some bread.  About 10 minutes ago, I was sitting here in my room and a rat stuck his head out of the drawer where I keep my clothes.  I didn’t catch him.

I have a lot of work to do.  Right now I have two men in jail. Tonight I will have to work, probably until well after midnight.  However, the work is still interesting.  Only 8 months to go.  I should get to spend the last month at home.  I wish I could get home in time for deer season but I probably won’t.”

 Continued next Monday . . . Things Don’t Go According To Hoyle


1. Jill Weatherholt - June 9, 2014

Ugh…rats! Boy, it must have been bad if they had to send 2 men to Rat Extermination school. I’d be sleeping with one eye open. 🙂

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Growing up, our house backed up to a farmer’s field. In the winter months, field mice would sneak into the homes in our neighborhood for shelter and warmth leaving “calling cards.”

Like you, I don’t want to share a roof with rodents.

2. Thanks . . . But No Thanks! | Spirit Lights The Way - June 9, 2014

[…] Continued next week . . . RATS! […]

3. jannatwrites - June 9, 2014

Rats? I’d be exhausted… sleeping with one eye open doesn’t make for good sleep!

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Agreed. Rats are NOT my preferred “bunk mates.”

4. Carol Balawyder - June 9, 2014

I can’t imagine being invaded by these pesty vermins. Enough for me to move out!

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

I hear ya, Carol. I don’t care to have rats for roommates.

5. colonialist - June 9, 2014

I love his throwaway lines – ‘Right now I have two men in jail.’
They should have been sent a recipe for rat stew!

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Thanks, Col. Like you, I enjoyed some of his one-liners. I wonder what you’d find if you googled “rat stew.”

colonialist - June 9, 2014

Very little found. There should have been a reference to Cane Rat Curry, a local favourite among the cane-cutters of old. Mind you, the cane rat is larger than the common-or-sewer type.

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Thanks for the search, Col. I think I’ll stick with veggie curry, peanuts, and chutney.

I’ll leave the rats (cane, common, sewer, field, and fruit) for more intrepid eaters.

6. ericjbaker - June 9, 2014

Everyone’s favorite mammal!

Poor critters. We’re closer to them genetically than we are to cats and dogs.

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Why am I not surprised by that degree of kinship?

ericjbaker - June 9, 2014

It’s to be expected based on some poeple’s behavior, no?

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Mais oui!

7. Pix Under the Oaks - June 9, 2014

Nice recognition of “splendid reports” and your Dad’s investigative work. I can’t imagine your Dad doing anything but an excellent job. Creepy, creepy, creepy about the rat in his clothes drawer.. ewww, ick, and holding in a little scream. I have a story about rats in the tack room of our barn when I was around 15 but I won’t go there. My Dad was my hero getting rid of the rats.. 😀 I was hoping your Dad would be home for deer season but seeing the title for next week, I am thinking maybe not!

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

Dad excelled at most everything he tried . . . except maybe sailing. He know how to sail, but neither he nor mom ever really relaxed into the flow when they were at the helm.

Rats in the tack room of the barn is preferable to having them in the house . . . but glad your dad took care of them for you.

I don’t know if dad made it home for deer season that year. I know when he got home, but don’t know if hunting was over by then. And I don’t know if he ever went hunting with his dad again. The next fall, he was back at college. Then he got a job in NJ, got married, had kids . . .

8. Barbara - June 9, 2014

It feels good to get some recognition for your work, and it must have given your dad a great boost.
The rat problem must have been huge to send two men to Rat Extermination School….too many rats for my liking!

nrhatch - June 9, 2014

That’s what I’m thinking, Barb. Two men must have meant more than a few rats loitering about.

9. Grannymar - June 10, 2014

I just had a vision of the rat in the drawer appearing over the edge in a shirt, tie and shorts! 😆 Better than thinking about any others running about in my rafters. * Shivers at the thought.*

nrhatch - June 10, 2014

Haha! If your imagined rat had a chef’s hat . . . it might be Ratatouille!

Grannymar - June 10, 2014

I forgot about him.

nrhatch - June 10, 2014

He doesn’t have the staying power of a Mary Poppins.

10. joannevalentinesimson - June 11, 2014

What year(s) was he in Korea? You may have told us, but I’ve forgotten.

nrhatch - June 11, 2014

November 1946 – October 1947. After the end of WWII and before the start of the Korean War.

11. Things Don’t Go According To Hoyle | Spirit Lights The Way - June 16, 2014

[…] Continued from . . . RATS! […]

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