I found this great old book in a Junior League thrift shop about a week ago:
Guerrilla Wife???!! Wow! I bought it just for the title and the cover alone, which I thought were pretty funny. I mean, seeing as how the woman is a self-described "guerrilla wife", you'd think she'd opt for a pair of pants instead of the long full skirt with crinoline. I guess she's rolled up the sleeves of her shirt and that's as casual as she gets- that's the only fashion concession she's making in this guerrilla wife business.
And it seems that the Guerrilla Husband, who's fleshed out by the illustrator as sort of a bus-and-truck edition of Clark Gable in "Mogambo", has been through some shit, since his shirt's ripped all to hell. But the more I look at it, the more those rips with brown skin showing through look more like she just tried to beat him up with a caramel apple.
And take a look at the elaborate endpapers:
Yeah, I forgot to take the price tag off. But books were half off that day, so I got it for two bucks instead. Anyway, I like to look at this beautiful scene as a sort of Bizarro Universe version of the "Jolly Holiday" scene from "Mary Poppins". Surely you remember that- when Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke leap magically into Dick's sidewalk pastel drawing, then they frolic around an animated English (and yet somehow American) countryside? And they encounter a barnyard full of farm animals that sing "Oooohhh, it's a jollly holiday with Maarrryyyyy..."? Yeah.
What's it about? Let's read the flap and see. Well, hey! Turns out it's a memoir! Here's what it says:
"This is charming Mrs. Spencer, who went to the Phillippines as the bride of her mining engineer husband. Life on Masbate [my italics] was pleasant: plenty of servants to do the housework, the Saturday bridge parties, and occasional sprees to Manila. Then the Japs. To avoid torture or even murder, the Spencers took to the hills, little dreaming at the time that the jungle would claim them for more than two years. Louise Spencer didn't imagine that...[blah, blah, blah]....They slept on bamboo poles or on the ground, ate strange native foods- rice or homemade peanut butter or anything they could get. They didn't think they could smoke the cigarettes they made from old scraps of paper or drink the cocktails they poured from a kerosene can, but they did. They longed for things like a calendar and some soap, and they nursed one fire for months to save matches. Louise Spencer held her breath while her husband was attempting to repair the only watch they had. The women's clothes were patched, tattered, and mildewed; and they treasured a single moldy old lipstick for the sake of the husbands who could slip back rarely from dangerous guerrilla operations."
Wait...what? The men wanted to put lipstick on when they came back to camp? Hmmm.
Anyway, looks like these American imperialist dogs got a rude awakening. Hey buddy, you should be happy you weren't unlucky enough to be in the fuckin' Bataan Death March going on a couple miles away!