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LIGHTING THE BARRACKS STOVE
(Did this really happen or did I dream it? Didn't we have a better way to warm our barracks? I can't remember what.)
So what's the big deal about lighting a stove?
It's the gasoline we had to use for heating fuel, that's what.
A few yards from our row of concrete barracks buildings was a big pile of what I'm told was coke. But not one lump was for us. It was surrounded by a wire fence and there was a guard on duty.
To solve the heating problem, resourceful barracks occupants had gone to the scrap pile and obtained a glycol tank, some metal tubing, and a valve. The tank was mounted at the edge of the roof. Tubing was attached to it and run down to the stove. The valve was located at the tank. A layer of bricks was laid on the bottom of the stove.
Straws or cards were drawn, or some similar method used, to determine who was going to light the stove.
I believe the old standard lighting procedure went like this:
Fill the tank with gasoline.
Evacuate the building.
The designated stove-lighter would
---enter the building
---open the stove door
---wait for the guy at the tank to open the valve, then
---approach to within a few feet of the stove
---strike a match
---throw the match at the stove door opening
---run as fast as possible away from the stove.
---If stove did not ignite. Start all over again.
Surely, there was a better procedure than this but I don't remember what it was.