Trotsky Guard 1940 Aug 6

Aug 6, 1940

This morning I awoke at 7:30 and couldn't go back to sleep so I got up at about 8 A.M., washed, shaved, stood guard while first shift ate breakfast. After breakfast I fixed a sandbag rack with a quick release feature I should have patented. It's simple, positive, and works swell. The idea is to have 4 or 5 small sandbags suspended about a window in the control tower. A quick pull on a rope releases the bags and they drop into place on a concrete shelf I built into the window. The window itself is a long narrow horizontal opening.

I stayed on duty all day doing another fellow's shift so he'll do mine Thurs. The routine job of cleaning up in the tower, cleaning the guns and operating the door keeps a person so busy he has no time to read or write while on duty. I started to write to the folks several times but finished only one sheet.

This afternoon LD (Lev Davidovitch - Trotsky) gave a newspaper interview so

we cleaned the place up a bit. The laborers were all busy putting the roof on the 2nd floor that was added to the guard's quarters, so I was given the job of setting a marble plaque in the inner door facing, in memory of Robt. S. Harte, the young guard who was murdered when the assault on Trotsky's life occurred last May 24. We were done before the newspapermen arrived - about 14 - representing all the important newspapers and news agencies of N. Am.

Several comrades I had met at the Convention in NY last July came in the afternoon also. A class for another group was given but I was kept busy in the tower and had little time to talk to anyone. Some tourists wanted to get in to look around but were refused.

Dinner and supper passed uneventfully and I was scheduled for the 7 to 1 shift.

but to get off early (at 11 P.M.) if the Mex. Comrade came by 9:30. He didn't come - it's 10:20 now so I'll be on until 1:00 A.M. - maybe have 15 min off for milk and rolls at about 11 or 11:30.

The 7:00 to 1:00 shift blends so into the day shift it isn't much different. You've been awake all day. This shift just drags it out a little. You can still get almost 8 hours sleep because they don't wake you intentionally until 8:45 A.M., sometimes not until 9:15 - just in time for breakfast.

All evening telephone calls have been coming in. A newspaperman who couldn't get here this PM called in person trying to get an appointment for tomorrow. Various members of the household out on duty or pleasure continue to come in until midnight and after so this shift doesn't seem so long. If the Mexican had arrived I would have gone off at 9 and stayed off to 11. That breaks the shift up enough so a person

can be vigilant all the time.

It may rain before midnight because the sky is cloudy and lightning plays over the Mt. tops. The noises of the day have diminished but a fellow in the next block must be a tinner, a sheet metal worker or garageman. He has been beating on a piece of metal for over an hour - just banging away.