Getting a coconut became an obsession. After several months I got one open and it was nothing like the coconut mom put on cakes. Relief from C-rations led me down many roads, most culinary dead ends. My weight dropped from 205 on arrival to 145 going home. Anson Smith from the Big Island of Hawaii joined the battery and knew how to pick ripe local bananas, coconuts and pineapples. Every soldier from Hawaii I met had the nickname “Pineapple”. Their bananas were green when ripe and my untrained eye helped me pick out overripe ones every time.

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