Kermit Sheets was interned during WW II in CPS Camp, 21, Cascade Locks, OR, and CPS Camp 56, Waldport, OR.
"My father was a religious man in the sense that he based everything on the first of the New Testament. And so every evening there was a blessing on the meal that we were about to eat, asking for it to be blessed. Then my father would talk a little bit about what was in the New Testament.... So we grew up on that. He went on to say that the New Testament then represented a change from the Old Testament and that this was the new statement, as it were, from those who had followed the Old Testament. That we should take it as the heart of our New Christianity. And see where that would take us. So I thought those were pretty good things for him to say about it....
"Why had I entertained becoming a Conscientious Objector when the draft came about? I just walked into that draft board and I guess was asked that question because I always said I was born into what became a faithful follower of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ."
Kermit was a legendary character. He worked in the arts all of his life. As a young man during his time in CPS he developed ideas for theater, even producing plays in camp. His production of "The Seagull" is still talked about by those studying experimental theater (also noted in this blog is Henry Blocher, who photographed this CPS production, rare pictures that form part of the Henry and Mary Blocher Collection soon to be part of the Special Collections at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR). Kermit was also a publisher and ran, during the 1950s, The Centaur Press in San Francisco. Kermit traveled to Europe along with James Broughton to avoid Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his accusations of un-American activity. Kermit and James were a creative force in the 1950s, working together on avant-garde film and theatre for many years.
Kermit passed away in 2006, just a few weeks after this interview was recorded in San Francisco.
Kermit Sheets in CPS Camp days.
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