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One View of America in the World War II Generation: The Life and Times of Richard Warren Seltzer, Sr., born June 5, 1923

Part One 1923 to 1988

autobiography, written 1984-1988

for part 2, 1989 to 2006 go to http://www.seltzerbooks.com/gen/seltzer/lifeandtimes2.html

by Richard Warren Seltzer, Sr., West Roxbury, MA seltzer@seltzerbooks.com


The Washington Evening Star of Tuesday, June 12, 1923 reported on page 9, under “Births Reported” -- Warren R. and Lillian Seltzer, boy.”

I was born on Tuesday, June 5, 1923 at 640 E Street, NE, Washington, D.C. My older brother Philip had been born at Sibley Memorial Hospital, North Capitol Street. (you know how it is with your first child). Mother and Dad decided to have me “at home”. I’m not sure, but have vague recollections of being told that a midwife did the honors. I recall Mama telling me that I had a black Mammy (Lisa) for a while.

For this writing (April 1984) I went to the Public Library in Washington, D.C. and read the Evening Star for my birth date. A sample of the news follows:

The weather:
“continues warm, generally fair, possible thunder showers tomorrow, High 94, low 72.”

The headlines:
"20,000 Brilliantly Clad Nobles - Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, invaded Washington for a two week celebration. Presiding Warren G. Harding(he died later the same summer) and Gen. Pershing reviewed 110 bands. Harding addressed the Shriners at Keith’s. 20 fell from heat in line of parade.”

“Cuba legation elevated to embassy in DC”

“Only 2 arrests for drunkeness in 24 hours (this was during prohibition)

“Germany’s new reparations note delivered to entente capitals on Thursday afternoon to specify a prescribed number of annuities and German capacity for payment be left to an international committee of experts.’  “Spectacular rescue of crew of schooner Cecelia R. Sheppard from Colonial Beach, Va. in the Georgetown channel, N of Highway Bridge by Coast Guard using breeches buoy (a demonstration).”
“Heavy emigration from Canada to US has practically ceased.”

“Italian Line vessels to load and unload liquor at Halifax as to not enter US (Prohibition).”

“Navy planes forbidden to fly over Capitol - they interrupted Pres. Harding’s speech.”

“National Convention of Sojourners Club (offs. of military service who are Masons) at Columbia Country Club.”

“Gov. Al Smith(NY) repeals NY state prohibition enforcement - Chicago to follow.”

“Plea for ,Flag Day' be established June 14 by B.J. Cigrand President of the National Flag Day Association.”

“John J. Tegert, US Commissioner of Education ‘We have a 50-50 cganceof saving America’, praises NC schools.”

“Navy planes. ‘fight’ thrilling ‘battle’ over Potomac Park for 2 hours ‘bombing attack of a tiny battleship target.”

“Delmonico’s Restaurant in NY  auctioned off as a result of prohibition,”.

“Era of properity here says Banker.”

“Lincoln’s barber, Paul Boriaveries dead here at 86”

“Judge Elbert Gary spoke to American Institute for Iron and Steel re: Christianity and the 12 hour work day in steel.”

“Secretary of State - Charles Evans Hughes”

“Mutt and Jeff in Funnies"

“By radio today --  Naval Radio Station and others on air only part of day 3-10 PM”

“Jay.Gould wills $36 million in Toms River, NJ to widow and 10 children.”

“British government earnings in Opium increase -- - government operation - consumption grows.”

“World’s largest bomb 2 tons on exhibit Munitions Building.”

“Rockefeller gives millions in 1922.”

“Noble Tyrus Raymond Cobb (Detroit) play Griffs(Wash)”

“Willard/Firpo bout scheduled for July 12 Jersey City” 


Parents

Mother was born October 6, 1890 in Washington, D.C. I don’t recall ever knowing the address. She died April 13, 1973 (Easter was April 22) and was laid to rest on April 15, 1973 in Fort Lincoln Cemetery Mausoleum - Bladensburg Road, Washington, D.C. Services were held in St. Lukes Lutheran Church, Highland Drive and Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland. She died at home (1234 Pinecrest Circle, Silver Spring, Md.) from cancer. The dates of her death and burial are etched in my mind because I could not be present. During the two week period overlapping the above events, I was in traction at the Holy Redeemer Hospital in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania - lower back trouble. I do have an audio-tape of the memorial service which brother Paul sent to me.

My recollections of Mother are of a short, plump, jovial, loving person. She was always busy at something. I always enjoyed her cooking and recall that she always remembered each one of our favorite dishes. As a child, I remember her reading to me and usually Phi1ip too since we were only two years apqart. Peter Rabbit, Aesop’s Fables and assorted Bible Stories. Mother also sang to me. She had a mello alto vioice which I recall lulled me to sleep many many times.

Lillian Leona Daly was one of seven children (Will,  Harry,  Adolph,  Mabel, John, Margaret) born to Margaret Matilda Thour and William Walker Daly in Washington, DC. lillian attended public school in the Northeast section of Washington in the vicinity of 9th & Maryland Avenue. Apparently she became affiliated with the Keller Memorial Lutheran Church at an early age. The church was the hub of her social activities throughout life. I remember Mother speaking of taking a business course and then working in the US Patent Office for a time. (Now it is known as the National Portrait Gallery, 7th & G Sts., NW). She and Dad often spoke of the young people’s group at Keller. Most of the names escape me, but I do recall: Voneiffs, Ed & Flors Weber, the Mannings, theKirsches, Irving Wood, Paul Miller. taking of snapshots was quite a pastime around World War I so there are numerous pictures around showing the group activities and various couples as they paired off.

Most of my memories of Mother were at the 1234 Pinecrest Circle, Silver ,Spring, Maryland address. We moved there in May of 1929. This was my home until I bought my own in 1951. Mother was a busy homemaker Since there were four boys in the family, it was quite common and expected that we would perform household duties and help Mother. James was born July 7,1928, so we very early learned to help with a baby around the house. Phil and I shared duties such as, washing the bathroom floors (two tile baths) cleaning toilets and scrubbing sinks. We also took turns washing the kitchen and pantry floor.’ Added to these chores, we also helped by dusting furniture, running the vacuum cleaner (The Hoover), and dustmopping. One task I didn’t like was the seasonal cleaning of radiators with a special brush. Of course, window cleaning was also a Spring and Fall job. Dad had installed “Fepestra” steel sash windows which opened out allowing for cleaning both sides. There were also roll screens which we waxed seasonally to keep from rusting. They were made of galvanized steel which with time did rust out.

As we grew older (teens) we helped with painting the house. The exterior was rough stucco and required no treatment. The interior walls were of a stucco sand finish - very scratchy, but Dad hired a local painter by the name of King in the early ‘30’s to do the first paint job. Thereafter, we did the job ourselves to save money.

Phil and I would hang around the kitchen while Mother baked. We competed to scrape the mixing bowl. We would also help Mother by beating the batter and help with the icing. Several times we helped make raisin bread. Mother also taught us how to make scrambled eggs with shad roe, cook hot dogs, make, corn meal mush, make buscuits, fry fish and make mashed potatoes. She was a good teacher injecting incentives so that we didn’t mind doing the work.

Being in a  sparsely populated area, stores were not readily available. Mother, I recall, would telephone in her order to Rosen’s DGS Store in Montgomery Hills on Friday and the store would deliver it in the afternoon. Som,etimes Dad would drive to the store after work and pick up the order. Mother was a gregarious person and I’m sure missed the closeness of neighbors in Woodside Park. To compensate, she would visit at length with the Homes Baker (breadman) and the milkman, and the egg man9loose eggs, no boxes).

Much of the time we lived in Woodside Park’ (all of the 30’s) the country was in the grip an economIc depression. Many people were out of work. As a result, there were a number of beggars that ventured into the suburbs. They would approach our home and beg for a handout. Mother, at first would give bits of food in the early years. I don’t recall her ever giving money to a beggar.  She commented about these men using money to buy whiskey. She also learned very quickly that if she gave something to one beggar, all of a sudden a steady flow-of beggars appeared. She then retreated to the second- floor and when the doorbell would ring, she would call out the window ‘Who’s there?” and then proceed to tell the beggar she didn’t have anything to give, or that she gave to the church. Phil and I found a number of chalk marks at the end of the driveway that were signals from one beggar to another that a handout could be had at this house. As the depression wore on, it became quite common for people we knew to be going door to door selling things. Mother always tried to buy a little something in such situations.

Being boys, Phil and I used to misbehave on occasion. When this happened, Mother would scold us and sometimes spank us. If we were particularly bad, Mother wouldsay, “I’ll tell your Father!” We quickly learned that this could be a traumatizing experience. We frequently received a hand spanking. I don’t remember the razor-strap routine but I do recall Dad resorting to a broom one time when I was particularly exasperating.

Mother was quite musical. She played the piano very well and was an excellent accompanist. She could sightread virtually any piece of music. She loved to play and sing hymns. Practically every day she would play and sing a few familiar hymns before breakfast as a signal for the household to wake up. In later years, as Phil and I learned to play various instruments,- she would always encourage us and play accompaniment.

I remember Mama as usually smiling.. I’m sure sh& must have had her times of sadness, but I remember her smiles. Joking, kidding, laughing - we had an enjoyable’ childhood. She was not a sickly person, as I recall, ‘but she did stay home from church on occasion because of ‘head-aches’.  Considering how she loved church, she must have been sick to miss the weekly trip. The big illness I recall was in 1936 when Mother went to the Sibley Hospital for appendicitis. Dad was upset and cried at night. At that time, appendicitis was a major operation and frequently fatal.

Mother was in Sibley Hospital for two weeks. All four boys were at home and Aunt Augusta stayed with us for a time. Then Aunt Ruth came to live with us and take care of us during this time. I should note that Aunt Ruth was head of the Junior Separtment at Keller Memorial Lutheran Church I was twelve years old at the time and preparing for confirmation. Consequently, I had a lot of Bible work to commit to emory. I recall reciting my “memory work” while Aunt Ruth was ironing. I learned the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed, the 23rd Psalm, the Beatitudes (they were tough), John 3:16, and parts of Luther’s Catechism.

I recall Mother coming home in an ambulance and being bedded down in the living room. She was in bed for six weeks, as I recall. All of this was traumatic for all of us. Phil and I did the laundry and took over ironing chores. We also learned how to sew on buttons and darn socks. We did what we could by way of cooking too. I remember making pancakes for breakfast.

Aside from this one period, I remember Mother having a seige of “lumbago”,back spasms, at Colonial Beach. The weather was cold and damp and Mama was in great pain. I’m sure this was years before the appendicitis experience. I recall Dad putting mustard plasters on Mama’s back and then applying hot irons to reduce the muscle spasms.



 

Dad

Warren Ray Seltzer was born on April 20, 1891, in Washington, DC. As I recall the story, Dad was born in the house at 445 5th Street NE across from Carberry School. Dad’s parents were Henry Hacker Seltzer and Susan Arnold. Dad died, November 15, 1978.

Warren was apparently a sickly child. As an infant, he cried alot and suffered an abdominal rupture which was controlled by a truss. The infant size truss was kept in the old blanket chest (Sallie has it now). I first saw it after Dad’s death and I retained the blanket chest. In it were an old Evening Star dated 1915 (the year Dad graduated from Catholic University of America), the truss and assorted silk dresses from the World War I era. The dresses were in too poor a condition to keep.

At any rate, Dad used to tell the story of his sickly state. This beginning explains in part Dad’s desire to do farm work as a boy on summer visits to PennsylVania and later on in working hard on his property in Woodside Park. I recall having a difficult time believing Dad had been sickly because during the ‘30’s he had muscular arms and shoulders and walked a great deal.

As a boy, Dad read alot and played solitary games. He spoke of toy guns, marbles, and toy wagons. There were numerous stories about playing on the undeveloped land around the 5th Street home “all the way over to Union Station.”

Dad was one of three boys: Charles, the eldest (Uncle Charlie) was eleven yearsolder than Dad. We saw a great deal of Uncle Charlie and felt close to l’iim over the years even though he lived in the Philadelphia area; Edgar, was second - I never knew his exact age - (he chewed Beechnut tobacco - what a way to remember your Uncle). On his infrequent visits, as young boys, we were fascinated with his tobacco chewing routine.

Warren apparently was very close to his Mother - I never knew her - she died January 1, 1917.

Warren’s relationship with his father was probably one of admiration and perhaps awe. Judging from Henry Hocker Seltzer’s diaries, he was a strong-willed, determined person. He had tremendous ambition and tenacity. He overcame all kinds of adversity to become a self—made and well—educated man.

It was in Warren’s young years that his father completed his work at the Columbian University Medical Department 1892-96 (now George Washington University Medical School). Henry received his M.D. on May 7, 1896 “proudest moment of my life” he wrote in his diary. This accomplishment in mid-life certainly impressed Warren. He spoke proudly of this achievement throughout his life. H.H. Seltzer in his autobiography, states that he undertook to complete the arduous program more to keep his mind active than to become a professional. He used his medical knowledge more to take care of “needs of my family” than anything else. He never made any money from his practice. H.H. writesabout his strong feelings and attachment to his father, Henry Uhland Seltzer. This attachment was apparently passed on to Warren; he felt very closeto his father. I can say the same for myself - I always felt very close to Dad even when I had to be disciplined severely. I felt that Dad would sacrifice anything to help me. I remember particularly the sacrifices that both Mother and Dad madefor all four sons. I recall the expenses of music lessons which during the depression could certainly be considered “frills”. Dad was emotional with me to the extent that he was not afraid to give me a warmhug. Nor was he embarrassed to have me kiss him goodnight. On the other hand, I do not recall any deep discussion in which either he or I revealed what we really felt. A classic example was at my wedding.

Dad was my best man (the war and distance plus time made it impractical for me to have a male friend there). At any rate, Dad never discussed “the birds and the bees” with me. We simply never discussed such things. I don’t recall ever saying anything to him about girls - or he to me. Yet, as I was ready to meet my bride before the altar, he pressed a small packet into my hand without comment.

As I mentioned, Dad liked books. He apparently was a better than average student. He attended McKinley Technical High School (Tech) and pursued an academic course which included drawing, metal shop, woodshop and other regular courses. He was also a member of the Cadet Corps -an early version of Junior ROTC - which was very popular in pre-World War I high schools in Washington, DC. He achieved the rank of Corporal. At this time he was studying the violin with Mr. Joseph Harrison. He became a better than average player, becoming a member of the school orchestra and playing in the Keller Memorial Church Sunday School orchestra. Dad graduated from “Tech” in 1911.

He was very good in drawing and had success in preliminary drafting at “Tech” which influenced him to study architecture. Also, important in this vocational direction was the fact that his brother, Charles, had completed the Architecture course at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia around 1905. So, Dad entered the Catholic University of America in October 1911 - because it was the best course offered close to home.

He often spoke of riding his bicycle from 640 E Street NE (Henry H. Seltzer bought that real estate in 1902 for $5200.) to the University out on Michigan Avenue. I imagine the distance was about 5 miles one way. He lauged at how he managed to pedal his bicycle while carrying his drawing board. Although Dad complained that he was not good in mathematics, he successfully completed all of the required work for the Bachelor’s Degree including calculus,geometry, trigonometry, algebra, physics, chemistry, etc. He graduated in 1915. Quite an accomplishment. Dad demonstrated H.H. ‘s determination and doggedness which I believe was passed on to me.

Dad did not keep a written record or diary, but he did orally recount his activities during these college years. As I recall, his collegiate tenure was a rather Spartan experience. Not the “Joe College” of the ‘20’s. I do notrecall how he earned money, but I do know he had to work to pay his fees and expenses.

Upon graduation, I recall him saying he couldn’t find a job as architect or draftsman. I recall seeing correspondence he had with his brother Charles in reference to taking the teacher’s examination for the Philadelphia School District. Uncle Charlie had been appointed a teacher of drafting and architecture at the old South Philadelphia High School and remained there for 35 more years. Dad never took the test, but rather did something else in the Washington, DC area. He was turned down for military service in 1917 (his hernia condition, he said). He married Lillian L. Daly, June 19,1918 and then worked as a clerk at the W.W. Daly stand in the Center Market on Pennsylvania Avenue. I am reminded, that at sometime during WWI, he worked as a draftsman at the Washington Navy Yard.

Although my recollection is not crystal clear, it seems to me that it was about 1921 that he passed the Civil Service examination for architect and received an appointment in the Supervising Architect’s Office. During his 35 years of Civil Service, he was architect in several offices. During the 1930’s, I recall he worked on the Federal Triangle buildings, e.g., Apex, FBI, Post Office, Commerce, Interior. He also worked on many Post Office buildings located around the United States in the 1935 period. He ended his Federal experience in the Veteran’s Administration in the old Munitions Building on Constitution Avenue, drawing Veterans Hospitals. IL visited him in the latter situation several times in 1942 while I was working for the Navy Department as a messenger.

I know of three homes that Dad designed on his own. The first was his own pride and joy at 1234 Pinecrest Circle Silver Spring, Maryland - 1928. This was an English Tudor style. The second was for a friend in Alexandria, Virginia (it may have been Roslyn) by the name of Tucker. We visited the home several times in the 1928 Essex Dad drove. This home must have been done around 1930 since he bought another car in 1932 (DeVaux by Continental Motors). The 3rd home was for brother-in-law Paul Miller and still stands at 1519 Dale Drive, Silver Spring, Maryland. I gather this project was more of a thorn than a rose. There was considerable ill-feeling between Paul and Warren and Margaret and Lillian. I never understood all the details, but Dad was very sensitive about his work and I’m sure Aunt Margaret and Uncle Paul offended him. This home was built about 1935. Whether or not Dad was paid for his work may have been an issue. At any rate, there were bitter feelings right up to the time Mother died. There was some sort of reconciliation between Dad anb Margaret at that time. Paul had died several years earlier.

One of Dad’s favorite activities was singing. As a young man he had studied voice — I’m not sure from whom. He was a tenor and sang solos out his life and was always a choir member right up to his death at age 87. He and Mother always seemed to enjoy their music together and it seemed quite natural for the four sons to continue the musical tradition.

As I mentioned, Dad was always in the choir, as was Mama. The ritual from 1929 to 1940 was for Mother and Dad to drive in to Keller on Friday evenings for choir rehearsal. When we were young, we thought of this as a fun time, because we could see Grandma Daly, Uncle Adolph, Aunt Mabel, and cousins Doris and Virginia and Billy Miller. I recall one year staying with Aunt Mildred (Uncle Adolph’s bride) in her apartment at 910 Maryland Avenue. She gave us licorice gum drops in the form of “nigger babies”, as they were called. Uncle Ad was married only one year. We often stayed with Grandma Daly and a couple of times
for their collection of National Geographic magazines. More about this later.

Back to the Keller Memorial Lutheran Church Choir. This was the focal point of Dad’s social life. In those early years all the people in Dad’s age range were in the choir -or so it seemed. The choir had its activities and then of course the church was the other focal point. Mother and Dad were always closely tied to church activities.

In addition to singing, Dad played the violin. He had studied with Joseph Harrison before World War I. over on “D” Street. Later.. in 1933-34 when I started violin, I studied under Mr. Harrison who had a studio in the 9th Street Christian Church. (He was the organist there) Dad had played violin in high school and continued in the REBEW orchestra. So named for its founder, Henry Weber (spelled backwards). It was quite an accomplishment to play in this orchestra. They had amny excellent musicians one of which was Henry Weber himself, who played the French Horn and conducted. They played a number of excellent concerts each year. Phil and I had the opportunity to play with this group in the late ‘30’s and early ‘40’s. For me, it was a real challenge. I recall my admiration for Dad when I heard the difficult music the orchestra played and how well Dad played. Ed Weber was also a violinist in the orchestra - very good instrumentalist. He was one of Dad’s group as teenagers and youngmarrieds. He married Flora. They were divorced in the late ‘30’s and Ed moved West. This was quite a shocking thing at the time. His wife, Flora, continued to be a friend of Mother and Dad and was also a vital part of the music program at Keller, being an excellent pianist and organist.

It was during the 1940-41 period with the war and gas rationing that St. Lukes Lutheran Church got started in Silver Spring. Mother and Dad began to attend occasionally. St. Lukes first met in the Masonic Lodge Hall on Georgia Avenue over the furniture store. Mother played piano, Dad and I played violin and my friend from Blair, Meredith Yost played clarinet. This was the first Sunday School Service for St. Luke. Shortly after that the so-called “Sunday School Orchestra” disappeared from the scene.

In addition to the REBEW, Keller had an excellent Sunday School orchestra which Weber conducted. It was so good they had paid players from the US Marine Band every Sunday. They played solos and duets as part of the Sunday School service. The two I remember were Frank Wiblitzhouser on saxophone and cello, and Lindsay on flute. Both were first chair in the Marine Band. I later studied alto saxophone with Wiblitzhouser in 1940-41. Brother James also studied with him.

Dad continued with his violin. He had also studied some piano and would frequently sit down and play although never as good as Mother. At one point, Phil played piano and Dad and Iplayed violin in some ensemble work. These were all very pleasant experiences and even to this day are a source of joy to me either playing by myself or with my brothers when we infrequently gather.

Perhaps Dad’s greatest pride and joy was his own home, 1234 Pinecrest Circle. Dad designed his own home using ideas based on the English Tudor style. A good architect Dad took pride in every feature of the house. It was built of solid masonry construction in 1928. We moved in during the month of May 1929.

The house had a half-basement - Dad was economizing. The idea was to excavate the other half later. It was never done. The basement was excavated by a team of mules pulling a scoop. Phil and I observed the process. The man behind the scoop would stick the blade in the dirt and then prod the mules who pulled up a scoopful of earth and the driver piled it neatly to the side. The house was built of cinder block. Over the cinder block went several layers of stucco - a rough finish which had a slight pink tint which was accentuated when wet from rain. The windows were steel sash “Fenestra” windows with self—contained roll-screens - made of galvanized steel. The interior walls were a rough stucco except in the living room which was panelled in chestnut with real supporting beams. The chestnut panelling was from local trees - the blight eventually killed all the chestnut trees so the panelling is now quite rare. Dad enjoyed hisfireplace which was built of native stone from excavations for Connecticut Avenue which was then being constructed. The large fireplace had large wooden benches on either side. The living/dining room was floored in random-width oak, pegged and tongue and grooved. French doors led to the stone-floored porch. A beautiful picture window was positioned opposite the fireplace. Floors throughout were oak except in the kitchen/pantry which was covered in linoleum. The baths were completely tiled. A beautiful oak stairway with wrought iron railing led to the second floor. There was a large master bedroom and two smaller rooms — one of which was in the back, was for Phil and me. There was an attic with foldaway stairs. Dad had special wrought iron light fixtures in each room.

I must say, we four boys gave the house a good work out over the years. The outside stairway to the basement was of special interest to me. When we moved in the driveway was relatively soft and Dad had his heavy printing equipment to put in the basement. I recall four massive black men taking the press off the van. When it landed on the drive it sank down about a foot. Phil and I watched the four men grunt and groan as they carried the press down those stairs and all the way across the basement to the platform Dad had built for it. Needless to say, it was in place to stay. Dad had developed printing as an avocation during the ‘20’s and had quite an elaborate shop complete with type cabinets and paper cutter. During the depression he did many print jobs for extra income. Of course, he always did his own Christmas cards. Phil and I both learned to operate the equipment and made some extra money throughout high school, e.g., programs,tickets,stationery. James was the one who really took hold ofprinting. He worked for Westland Printing while in high school and college. I believe he sold the equipment in 1979.

Dad taught us a great deal about gardening, planting, landscaping. All four sons chipped in with the responsibilities for keeping the property looking nice. We took pride in cutting the grass (reel type, push mower and hand clippers). We learned to prune, plant, andcultivate. Dad was forever planting new trees: peach, apple, plum, cherry, pear, sickle pear, grape vines. Then, once they were mature after several years, he would cut them down. He tried hickory and walnut trees - squirrels always got there first he would say. We also learned how to graft fruit trees. It seems to me Uncle Gus taught us this on one of his visits. Dad also loved to build things and subsequently taught us to use tools. We built several grape arbors as I recall. A big project was building the bell tower in the rear of the house for the farm bell obtained in Pennsylvania. Of course every year we raised chickens or ducks or both and we built the appropriate cages or houses or whatever. Then there were the goats Elmer and Elsie -- this was during the war when James and Paul did most of the building. I recall a large chicken house which we helped to build. This familiarization with tools led Phil and me to build all of those cabins and huts mentioned in the toys and games section.

With cutting down so many trees, we always had a woodpile. All of this was used as fuel in that beautiful fireplace. We each took our turn at cutting wood and building saw horses and a sawbuck. Dad, I recall, bought a two-man saw from Sears, which Phil and I worked together. We pretended to be lumberjacks when working the saw and swinging the axe. When I was 17 I remember cutting at least one cord of pine by myself - had a monumental case of poison ivy as a result.

We routinely went through the pangs of poison ivy and oak poisoning - so the medicine cabinet was full of calamine lotion and other items. The other problem was with bee stings, not to mention hornets and wasps. The most vivid recollections I have are of James getting stung by a hornet when I knocked loose the nest in the persimmon tree near Highland Drive. He was above the eye in a short while his whole head swollen up like a balloon. The other occasion was when Grandmother Seltzer (Behm) came to visit and was stung by a wasp on the back porch. There was much excitement and a flurry of activity applying baking soda to the sting.

Dad and Mother were very close andrarely did things apart. As I mentioned, church and choir were the centers of activity. Even after I left home to go to Gettysburg and then during World War II, they went everywhere together. From 1929 until retirement in 1966, Dad commuted every day from Silver Spring into Washington and back again at the end of the day. He rode the bus from the District Line - for some years he rode the trolley cars, depending upon where he was working. However, during all that time, Dad never wasted a minute. He developed the uncanny skill of reading while riding. I could never do that without getting a dizzy stomach. Dad must have read a thousand books during those years. This was before paperbacks, so the books were heavy and hardbacked.

Warren Ray Seltzer was a handsome man. In his younger years he had a full head of wavy hair which was the topic of interest to many of the young girls. Of course, in the late’20’s and early ‘30’s, Dad balded on the top, but always kept a long strand on the side which he combed over the bald spot. The wavy hair was inherited by Philip. None of the rest of us carried that gene..

After Mother passed away in 1973, Dad stayed in his home and enjoyed puttering about. He kept active at St. Luke. He continued to sing in the choir up until he moved to the National Lutheran Home in August 1978. He became a fixture at the church. He would attend the 8AM service, arriving a full half hour before. Then he would mill around and chat with everyone until Sunday School. He would follow this by attending the 11AM Service as a choir member. It was a good way to occupy his time in a place and with people dear to his heart. The church looked after Dad, as they did all their seniors. Each week someone would visit. They had an arrangement whereby he would hang a white cloth of the side doorknob when he was inside, and when he went out he would take the cloth off the knob. It worked well. He also continued to drive right up to 1978. He suffered a few dizzy spells and on at least one occasion became disoriented. It was then that we decided he needed to be with someone for supervision. Of course, he didn’t want to leave his home and as stubborn as he was, he didn’t want to live with any of us four sons. The preference was to live at the Lutheran Home in NE Washington. All his life he had been associated with the Home. As a part of the church young people and Keller Choir he made frequent visits over the years. He liked the idea of being with Lutherans.

So it was in August 1978, he moved in. Everything went as well as could be expected. Although he ran into some old friends there it was not like being in his beloved home. Then on November 15, 1978, he suffered a stroke and died. He was buried in the mausoleum at Ft. Lincoln Cemetery on Bladensburg Road, beside his wife, Lillian. A beautiful memorial service was held at St. Luke’s and brought most of the relatives and family together to remember.


Grandparents and great grandparents


According to the Seltzer Family Genealogy my Seltzer grandparents were:

Henry Hocker Seltzer, b. August 28,1856, Annville, PA; d. August 7, 1925, Washington, DC (buried Prospect Hill Cemetery off N. Capitol St. NE)

(1) Susan Arnold, b. April 21, 1859, Campbelltown, PA; d. January 1, 1917, Washington, DC
(2) Behm, b.,  d. JTUNE b 1939,  Belmar, NJ

Great grandparents:

Henry Uhland Seltzer, b. June 15, 1824, Bellegrove, PA; d. November 25, 1897, Palmyra, PA (buried Palmyra Cem.)
m. Anna Hocker, b. May 10, 1827, Hockersville, PA near Hershey; d. January 10, 1914, Palmyra, PA.
 

My Daly grandparents were:

William Washington Daly, b. December 4, 1854, Pocahontas, VA., d. November 29, 1922, Washington, DC

m. November 21, 1882 to Margaret Matilda Thow (Thour),  b. April 16,1856 Dresden, Germany, d. July 1943, Washington, DC

I was only two years old when grandfather Seltzer died in 1925, but I do recall him bouncing me on his knee at 640 E street. I remember his second wife Behm -she was a trained chiropractor with her own practice. She was plump, pleasant and enjoyed having tea parties for Phil and me. These were probably at the Lexington Place house and I recall we had sections of orange served on these occasions. I mentioned her visiting in Silver Spring - this had to be in the ‘30’s - where she was stung by a wasp. The only other reference I can recall was her death when Dad, Uncle Charles and Edgar drove to Belmar, NJ to settle the estate.

The Daly family was more important from the point of view of contact. Grandpa Daly died around 1920 so I never knew him, but Grandma Daly was the matriarch. According to Mother, her father had made a lot of money during World War I through his butcher supply business in the Old Center Market on Pennsylvania Avenue (torn down during the ‘30’s to make way for the Mall). Grandpa owned a small apartment house at 914 Maryland Avenue NE and the Cottage at Colonial Beach, VA. I was never quite sure of exactly where the family lived when Mother was growing up. I am told, she was raised in a home at 914 Maryland Avenue and the apartment house was later built on a vacant lot where the stable was originally. “Old Ben” was one of the horses Mother referred to. Mother also spoke of “Papa’s” carriage drawn by a matching pair of black horses. We had the carriage whip for years until it decayed completely. The Center Market business continued into the ‘60’s. At sometime Mother, Adolph, Will, Harry, Earl and Dad worked there. Even I worked there as apprentice clerk, parttime in my high school years as did Phil and Billy Miller.

None of the Daly ancestors left any written record. However, Henry H. Seltzer was a prodigious writer and chronicled his life and times thoroughly. He wrote an interesting autobiography, copies of which are in the possession of Richard, Jr., in Boston and Sallie in Philadelphia.



 

Other relatives: Daly family


Uncle Adolph: Adolph August Daly, b. January 29,1895 and d. March 1, 1973 (Miami, Fla.)
Recollections: I first remember him as being married to Aunt Mildred. This was when Phil and I visited them during the choir rehearsals at Keller. I remember her as a very pretty young woman from Madison, Wisconsin. From then on I had very nice thoughts about Wisconsin, even though I had never been there. Uncle Ad and Aunt Mildred were married for about one year around 1930. The story Mother used to tell was that Mildred couldn’t stand him being so close to his Mother. He must have been about 30 years old when he married.

Uncle Ad never married again. He was the manager of Grandma’s affairs and all during the ‘30’s that’s all he did for a living - manage the Daly family business and investments. He was a dashing debonnair and social person on the one hand and yet very lonely on the other. He took an unusual interest in the cousins (his nieces and nephews). He seemed to do all the things which the proverbial rich Uncle would do - give gifts, provide treats,and take us on interesting trips. I sensed a streak of jealousy in Dad toward Uncle Ad. Uncle Ad could, during the depression, spend Grandma’s money entertaining the children which he and Mother could not afford. Mother reacted in the manner that it was her money too and her family(children) was entitled to the benefits. I had the feeling Aunt Margaret and Aunt Mabel reacted in a similar fashion. At any rate, we all lookedforward to Uncle Ad’s visits. He was an interesting character.

Now for a little background on Uncle Ad(we always called him that or “Adolph”). I found that there was no birth certidicate for him. After World War I, he needed to prove birth so he had an official letter from the minister of Keller Church attest to baptismal records of the church which loosely set his birth at March 1, 1895. (Based upon the time he was confirmed). He was raised in the Maryland Avenue home. The outstanding achievement of his lie was his service in World War I. I have a letter he wrote me in Otober 1972 (the Fall before he died) in which he summarized his military experience. Also of interest is his 80th Division History, which I have.

According to his letter, Uncle Ad entered the First Officers’ Training Company at Fort Myer, Virginia in April 1917. (His Army record states 5/15/17). That was the month the United States entered the war. So Uncle Ad answered the call at age 22. I recall Mother saying he was a Captain at 19 and that was why he grew a moustache. Obviously, that age was incorrect. He was a Second Lieutenant at 22 (1917) and was eventually promoted to Captain, February 24, 1919. He was then Company Commander o. the 318th Machine Gun Company, 80th Division He served with the same company throughout his entire time in Europe during the war. After the war he served in other assignments before returning to the US. He states, he “received war service ribbon and stars for service with the British, French, and American armies. No medals.” He was honorably discharged as Captain at Camp Dix, NJ in October 1919. After his military service, he attended Harvard University completing a special business program for veterans including banking. For a couple of years he worked in New York City on Wall Street. There is no record of exactly what he did. Probably with the financial crash of 1929 he was out of work and returned to Washington, DC.

For all of us, this was a “glamorous” background. As a youth I was always in awe of Uncle Ad’s military career and I am sure his experience influenced my own desire to earn a commission. As mentioned earlier, Phil and I fell heir to pieces of Uncle Ad’s army equipment and spent years playing “war” using his uniforms, hats, helmet, gas mask, putties and leggings. These are all now housed in a museum in California.

Uncle Ad was a bit of a braggart, I am sure, but then he had accomplished alot on his own and had.something to brag about. He was probably the smartest of the Daly offspring. He oversaw the management of the Daly stand at the New Center Market when located at 5th and NY Ave., NW. This covered the 1930’s and the 1940’s through World War II. At various times, Uncle Will and Uncle Harry worked at the stand as their major source of livelihood. Grandfather Daly must have been a very successful merchant in the Old Market. Phil, Bill Miller and I each had gratuitous employment at the stand during our high school years, 1938-40. By gratuitous I mean the stand was not making money and Uncle Harry would pay us out of his own pocket. We usually worked on Saturdays. It was good experience - making change, assembling orders, waiting on the public. The part I liked best was the soda fountain. Boy! did I put on weight sampling the delicious “Colonial” ice cream. Uncle Ad always supplied the ice cream for the Thanksgiving feasts we had at Aunt Mabel’s when Grandma lived there.

During the 1935-40 period, Uncle Adolph used to take the “cousins”(usually Bill Miller, Doris and Virginia Wood, Phil and me - sometimes Alma) to Annapolis and the US Naval Academy for football games. At various times we would havea fun Saturday watching a morning parade, wrestling or swimming, lacrosse, followed by an evening of basketball and boxing. They’were the days of “Buzz” Vorhees. We called the combination evenings “double—headers”. Of course, in between we would visit the various Academy buildings, e.g. Dahlgren Hall, McMahon Hall, The Chapel (J.P.Jones), and Carvel Hall (the hotel in Annapolis, since burned down). Talk about glamorous! We were in heaven with all the excitement.

Uncle Ad usually called Thursday or Friday and we would be all scrubbed and dressed for an early morning drive in the 1928 Buick (later the 1936 Buick). Of course, Uncle Ad treated us to lunch and dinner which was great. I remember one such meal in Annapolis where I ended up with kale on my plate - Uncle Ad insisted I eat the stuff. This I did after drowning it with vinegar. Curiously, I eat it that way today. During the Spring and Fall, the Naval Academy provided visitors (Uncle Adolph was always addressed there as “Captain Daly”) with boat trips to ships in port. One visit was to the old battleship WISCONSIN. We went out on the Captain’s Gig. What an impressive sight. What an experience to stand next to the 16” guns. I was fascinated by the galley and how they could feed over 1000 men on that ship.

On other occasions we would board World War I minesweepers and go into the Severn River to watch the crew races. As I recall, these activities, I become indebted to Uncle Adolph for providing such broadening experiences.

Another regular trip (we were teens) was to the Cottage at Colonial Beach for the May 30th weekend. We cousins would pile into the Buick and have loads of fun on arrival at the Cottage. We actually enjoyed cutting the high grass with sickle and scythe, white washing the tree trunks painting the boat or porch or lattice work. In other words, we had fun working. Oh yes, don’t forget white washing the out house. That was quite an institution. Whenever we stayed at the Beach, it fell upon the males empty the night jars every AM (no indoor plumbing until around 1938 or so and then only for Grandma). May 30th sticks in my memory because as we worked we listened to the Indianapolis 500 on the radio from the Buick.

On two occasions Uncle Ad took us to Atlantic City and then on to New York City. The first time was in September 1934. The weekend after Labor Day featured the Miss America Pagent. I believe we were in the Madison Hotel -since torn down. The Steel Pier was the big attraction then with several movies going on, one with Richard Cromwell. Dancing was a big deal too (Iwas only eleven). I believe Rudy Vallee was there playing saxophone and leading the band as well as singing. We ate our meals at the YWCA and enjoyed them. We went on to New York City and stayed at the Taft Hotel. What excitement! Visited the Monarch of Bermuda tied up at the Cunard pier.

The second trip was in 1939 at about the same time of year. We stayed at the Jefferson in Atlantic city and the Taft again in New York City. Only that year 1939 the New York World’s Fair was on. Uncle Ad took us to the fairgrounds several times that trip. Being older and interested in “big bands” Phil and I particularly enjoyed seeing Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and others in concerts. The water ballet was impressive with Eleanor Holm Jarrett. During that trip, I remember the Empire State Building - also visited the cruise ship Queen Mary being painted gray for the war, and other ships in port also the Normandie. We had our first visit to Radio City Music Hall and saw the Rockettes.

In 1938 the big thrill was to be invited to go to the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia. The Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 26, 1938, we were up at 5:30 AM. We took a special train to the game from Union Station. (Army 14, Navy 7) To add to the drama it began to snow at the end of the game. We rode up Broad Street on the top deck of the old “double decker” bus. As an impressionable kid I couldn’t get over the drunks who seemed to be lying all over the place. I was really scared to death on the train coming home when a drunken woman approached us cousins and started making unintelligible utterings. I think it was in 1936 or 37 that Uncle Ad took us to Baltimore for the Navy-Notre Dame game. We sat in the end zone and couldn’t see the game so I concentrated on the drunks being carried by and sometimes collapsing in front of us while an airplane flew over head trailing a sign “Clear Heads Call for Calvert”.

Uncle Ad wrote me a “To Whom It May Concern” letter of recommendation for Officer Candidate School - which I never used, but I appreciated his thoughtfulness. The night before I left for active duty at Camp Lee, Va. Uncle Ad took me to a basketball game at McKinley Tech - I believe
George Washington University and Georgetown wer e playing. Uncle Ad had told me onetime at Colonial Beach that he had offered his services in World War II as a Colonel, but had been offered a Major’s leaves instead. I suppose he felt hurt - having been a Captain twenty years before.

Until my wedding in June 1944, there was occasional correspondence with him. Although he couldn’t attend the wedding, Uncle Ad gave us $100. which paid for the honeymoon at Cold Spring on the Hudson (across the Hudson River from West Point).

My next recollection of UncleAd was after the war and we were living in the Veterans Housing at the University of Maryland. As a student veteran I belonged to the “52-20” Club. That meant I received $20. a week for 52 weeks when not in school. This is where the money came from for a two-week vacation at Colonial Beach. Uncle Ad generously offered the ‘36 Buick. We would never have had a vacation without this help.

Uncle Ad was then living in the Falkland Apartments in Silver Spring and would visit us on occasion. Later when we livedin Rockville, he would baby sit for Ritchie and stay overnite with his little Chihuahua. We were using several pieces of his furniture at that time. During the 1950’s he became disillusioned with the Federal Government job. During the war and for several years following he was working in an administrative position with the Social Security Office. He couldn’t stand working with the Jews he said - funny though, because he left DC to live in Miami. This was not a new area to him since he took winter vacations there for years. In fact, his interest in Florida went back to the’20’s when Uncle Will bought some swamp land therein a real estate swThdle.

Uncle Ad was a proud person and would never admit to failure in any respect. He was generous with his family, but had atendency to “blow” his money at the race track. His vacations took him to Garden State Park Race Track in New Jersey and Hialeah in Florida. At one time he owned a race horse and often spoke of the time he won $50,000. Which I am certain he did however, he lost it just as quickly. At one time he owned a home in Chevy Chase which he sold to pay off betting debts. When we were living in Philadelphia on Sunnyside Avenue, I received a curious telephone call from Uncle Adolph — it seems he was at the Garden State Track (just across the river from Philadelphia) and wanted to borrow $100. Mind you, being that near he didn’t come to visit, but did call only out of desperation. I didn’t have a nickle to my name.

For a while Uncle Ad had tried to live with Mother and Dad, but that didn’t work out. When he was in Miami he was connected with Channel 4 WTVJ. He never stated what his position was. At the time of his death in 1973 I discovered that he had sttled for “night watchman” which meant he was free during the day to visit the race track.

Helen and I visited him in 1972 - still proud but pitiful. He lived in a shabby rooming house, wore out of date clothes, and ate in a neighbohood cafeteria. Even so, he entertained us with a flair “Do you want to go to a ball game?” (a neighbohood sandlot game) or “see the dog races?” or “watch the moon come up over the ocean?” We chose the latter and had an interesting evening talking over old times. We never saw him again.

Mother’s other brothers and sisters come to mind as follows:

Aunt Mabel was the loveable, quiet, steady, conciliatory aunt. She welcomed us always, cooked lovely meals, and taught Phil and me our first piano lessons for about a year. She was married to Irving Wood who was successful in real estate in Georgetown. His death was the first time I saw a corpse laid out in a coffin for viewing. I recall his coffin and cold presence in the parlor at 417 10th Street NE. It must have been in the early ‘30’s. After his death Uncle Ad took over as surrogate father. I remember how embarrassed I was when at the Cottage I was acting up and swung my hand around and broke Aunt Mabel’s glasses.

She was born, January 18, 1888 and died August 10, 1947. Her death was due to cancer — I recall I was at the University of Maryland at the time. They needed my type of blood and I hitchhiked into Sibley Hospital and gave a direct transfusion. She died within a few days. Aunt Mabel had daughter Virginia in 1919 and Doris in 1921 (Bill Miller, Doris Wood and Philip Seltzer were all born in 1921 - sounds like real competition).

William Washington Daly, Jr. born September 10,1884 -died July 10 1938. He always struck me as being lazy, but I think he was really ill. He worked at the Daly stand in the New Center Market and seemed to laugh a lot. He seemed to take life very lightly - one time Phil and I were going to Colonial Beach with Uncle Adolph and he stopped by the Market to pick up Uncle Will. Will got into the car without any luggage, pulled out his tooth brush from his coat pocket and announced “I’m all packed, let’s go!” He spent the whole time at the Beach in the hammock. Will was married to Aunt Augusta (his second wife). His children Earl and Alma were to the first wife whose name I do not recall. MyMother, Lillian, virtually raised Alma after her mother died in child birth. She was very close to Mother.

Harry W. Daly, born September 29, 1883, died June 27, 1959. Uncle Harry was short and fat, had a crossed eye, and laughed alot in his own unique style. He was married to Auntblanche they had no children and lived near Grandma Daly of Maryland Avenue. Phil and I stayed with them occasionally and remember them for the fabulous collection of National Geographics.

Edwin E. Daly, born March 15, 1889, died January 1973. I have very scanty recollections of Uncle Ed, probably because he had moved out of the Washington, DC area before 1 was aware of him. Uncle Ed married and had Peggy and Keith. Sometime in the ‘30’s he was divorced and lived by him— self near Denver, Colorado. Mother was always mysterious about Uncle Ed. It seems he studied law, but must have suffered a nervous breakdown. He gave up law and became a letter carrier in Denver. After his divorce he lived on a peach ranch. I do not know if he owned it. Uncle Ed came East each year to visit Uncle Adolph and the others so we saw him only briefly. Onone occasion, I remember meet— ingPeggy and Keith (they were around 5 years old). Peggy now lives near Lake Tahoe and Keith is a teacher and lives in Denver, Colorado.

I was on an educational conference in December 1972 in Denver and got to see Keith and family. While there, Uncle Ed came for a visit - he was in bad shape then and died in January. During that year Edwin, Adolph and Lillian died within four months of each other.

John M. Daly, born November 19, 1891, died in 1985 in a nursing home located in southern Maryland. He married Aunt Lorraine - a beautiful, black-haired Catholic. They lived on the corner of 5th and Maryland Avenue, NE. Aunt Lorraine ran a Tourist Home and Uncle John was a ticket salesman for the Pennsylvania Railroad at the Union Station. We never saw much of them probably because of Aunt Lorraine being Catholic. At that time, that was strictly forbidden. They had two sons, John, Jr. and Arnold who I recall seeing one or two times.

Margaret A. Daly, born January 20, 1897 and still lives at 1519 Dale Drive, Silver Spring, Maryland. Married Paul Miller and had William (Bill) and Leila. Aunt Margaret, Mother’s younger sister, was pretty and spoiled as a child - according to Mother. She does not stand out in my mind other than always being pleasant and hospitable. Phila and I played with Billy a good deal in Woodside Park. Leila was younger and being a girl did-not get involved with us. I do recall several mild Spring evenings when we played “Simon Says” while our parents visited. As I mentioned earlier, there was some friction between the families so we were not as close as might be thought. Uncle Paul was the more memorable of the two. He was a great cut-up and lots of fun - always playing practical jokes. Aunt Margaret and Uncle Paul gave a nice party for Helen and me when I was getting ready to ship to Japan after World War II (I never went). Uncle Paul died in the ‘60’s. Bill Miller went to Gettysburg College while I was a Freshman there, and on to the Lutheran Seminary. He is still pastor of the Lutheran Church in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania. He lost his first wife - they had a son Joel. Leila didn’t finish Gettysburg College and married a Lutheran minister. In the past 20 years she has been incapacitated with arthritis. I havven’t seen her for more than 30 years. I understand she is now living in North Carolina. Bill Miller showed up in Columbia, Pennsylvania at a performance of Richard’s play “Right’s Crossing” in January 1977. I haven’t seen him since then. Helen and I visited with Aunt Margaret this past April - took her to the super market -she seems remarkably sharp and well.



 

Other relatives -- Seltzer family


Warren had two brothers: Charles (who Dad said was eleven years his senior), born March 29, 1880 and died May 4, 1969. He married Edith Early, born November 21, 1879, died January 22, 1973. They had no children. Edgar, born died 1956, married Ruth Latham - I have no dates on Aunt Ruth. They had one daughter, Olive who died about 1975.

Although Uncle Edgar lived in Washington, DC, Uncle Charles and Aunt Edith were the more memorable to me. Charlie, being eleven years older than Dad was greatly admired by him. Charles graduated from McKinley Tech as did Dad. He removed to Philadelphia around 1900 and attended the school of architecture at the Universityof Pennsylvania. After graduating he took the examination to teach architecture and drafting in the Philadelphia School System. He taught in the South Philadelphia High School for Boys located on South Broad Street until 1945 when he retired.

One of the big events in my life was when Uncle Charlie and Aunt Edith came to visit or even when we occasionally visited them. Since Uncle Charlie taught, the visits usually took place in the summer. I recall one of their visits to Pinecrest Circle in the early ‘30’s in their Model “A” Ford sedan. Uncle Charlie was so interesting. He not only was a good architect but he was an artist. I marvelled at his water color sketches. Phil and I both were fascinated with his work because we enjoyed drawing and painting - he was a real inspiration. His appearance was rather classic — somewhat stooped in his carriage he had a bushy white moustache which was stained from his pipe and cigar smoking. He and Dad would enjoy a Sunday afternoon cigar together. His hair was white as I recall and he was bald in the center which he corrected as did Dad by combing over the extra long side locks. Uncle Charlie always had a bunch of anecdotes about his students and their antics. I was greatly influenced by his stories about teaching.

I also remember Uncle Charlie always had his morning soft-boiled egg in an egg-cup which Mother reserved for his visits. He very skillfully cracked the egg shell with his knife, removing the top half of the shell then dipped strips of toast into the egg.

Uncle Charlie and Dad would always takes us sightseeing in Washington, DC and both being architects, we saw all the important buildings, bridges, memorials and churches. It was a real occasion when Uncle Charlie came to visit. I recall he had studied under Paul Crei who designed the beautiful bridges in Rock Creek Park. Crei had taught at the University of Pennsylvania.

Several times we visited Uncle Charlie and Aunt Edith in Philadelphia. One time they lived on Rockland Street, and another time they lived on Wyoming Avenue. The last time we visited them in Philadelphia was 1940. Phil and I had the 1937 Ford(Uncle Ad had bought it for us) and we slept at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas in Upper Darby. We would then drive over to North Philadelphia through Fairmount Park. At any rate, Uncle Charlie was interesting to talk to. He loved learning: he read French, bound books, taught Sunday School, and designed fabric patterns and tools. He played pooi too - Phil and I had fun playing. I later acquired the beautiful pool table when we lived in Huntingdon Valley. He was always a good friend and close relative. It was he who came to Helen and my wedding and then drove us to the North Philadelphia RR Station for our honeymoon trip. He was never wealthy in terms of money, but certainly wealthy in human kindness. From him I learned how important it is to write to your relatives regularly. Dad and he had a weekly correspondence that lasted thirty years. Dad wrote on Sunday and Uncle Charlie wrote on Wednesday. We all gathered around on Wednesday evening to hear Dad read the letter.

Aunt Edith could be described as a character. Aunt Edith was unique - she was a frail little “bird”, never exerted herself physically, was always smiling or laughting and liked birds. Her early photographs make her appear as someone out of Victorian times. Frills, earrings, fancy hats, shawls and all in a very petite mode. She had a rooster as a pet for many years - she carried it with her when she travelled. I recall one visit where she and Uncle Charlie came by train and arriving at Union Station, Aunt Edith had this rooster cradled in her arm while she fed him cracked corn from her hand. At the time, I thought it was quite natural. It never occurred to me that a rooster was a strange pet and carrying iton a train was even stranger.

Eventually the rooster expired and she branched out to canaries of which she had several. Her last pet was a wild sparrow which she befriended and taught to live indoors and in a bird cage.

Aunt Edith was great at remembering birthdays and other important dates. For years, she and Uncfe Charlie gave each of us shirts and ties to match at Christmas, candy at Easter and a nice birthday present (all from Strawbridges) Her handwriting was Aunt Edith’s pride and joy. She developed a beautiful script with a reverse slant and wrote her letters and cards in that mode. In later years, her neuritis and other ailments bothered her and she could not get out of the house. In her late 80’s (she lived to 93) she had a cataract operation at the old Wills Eye Hospital on Spring Garden Street. Helen and I visited her there and found her in a jovial mood. She treated her stay like a vacation and thoroughly enjoyed all the attention being given her.

Uncle Edgar was an enigma. He liked to be by himself. When with others he didn’t talk much. He was a printer by trade and had his own press at home where he did job printing including the church "messenger". His regular job was with the Government Printing Office. Phil and I visited him there one time (N Capitol St. across from the Post Office). The most memorable thing about Uncle Edgar was that he chewed Beechnut tobacco. As kids we watched the phenomena of taking a batch of stringy stuff from the pouch and sticking it in his cheek. After a time he would look around for a place to spit. After the tobacco was chewed out he would take the residue out of his mouth and throw it away. He died of a heartattack while shovelling snow.

Aunt Ruth was a memorable person. Quite strong-willed but lovable, at least to us. I always remember her as Superintendent of the Junior Department at Keller Memorial Lutheran Church. She struck me as being a good leader. She certainly influenced me a lot. I mentioned earlier how she supervised myiJcemory work’ for confirmation when Mother had appendicitis. We also had lessons to learn in the Junior Department for promotion, etc. We learned the 23rd Psalm, the Creed, Teh Beatitudes, the Love Chapter. Each Sunday as part of the program we recited various scripture. I recall learning about Mother’s Day and Memorial Day among others. We always had dramatic presentations for the Holy Days too.

We loved to go to Aunt Ruth’s for dinner. She was a good cook and liked good eaters. I was a “good eater”. We got along just fine. My last recollection of Aunt Ruth is of Christmas 1940 - they had a new radio-record player console (Philco) and Phil and I were so taken with it that Dad went out and bought one for our family from Mr. Potter. Up to that time we had a 1928 Philco table model radio. We certainly enjoyed that new machine - it lasted until 1983. Phil conducted the funeral service for Aunt Ruth at Keller Memorial.



 

Toys and games


The first toy I recall was called a “pick-a-ninny” doll. A black doll. I must have been two or three years old at thetime and living at the house on E Street. I remember the doll in conjunction with my black “mammy”. Mother told me in later years that she had a colored mammy take care of me during my first few years. I often thought later that this arrangement was probably the result of my Mother’s Southern background. Washington, DC natives seemed to me to be more Southern than anything else. Mother’s father, William Washington Daly, had come to Washington, DC from Norfolk, VA. Southern influences came with him.

At 640 E Street, NE, my father hung a swing between the kitchen and the front room (basement level). The swing had a wooden seat mounted on an iron frame that went around the body and hung from the top by two chains. It-was a comfortable swing and very safe for children since there was support at the back and sides. Philip and I used to enjoy playing in that swing.

Although not a toy, per se, Phil and I used to have fun using the iron steps in the front of the house as a “pretend” truck. One of us would get a large lid from the kitchen and pretend it was the steering wheel to a truck. We would sit on the bottom step and put the right foot on the water meter lid - this we used as the accelerator. We would spend endless time in this arrangement making oral noises sounding like motor vehicles shifting gears. As I recall, we even differentiated the noises to suit the type of truck we were driving. I’m sure we got our inspiration from the vehicles that passed by the house.

For Christmas 1928, Dad gave Phil and me the most fabulous wagon ever made. I recall Phil and I always received a single large gift at Christmas. We never worried about it at the time, later on it became a problem trying to determine who the gift belonged to.

At any rate, this wagon was made in the form of a covered wagon. Complete with bows and canvas cover and a little driver’s seat. It also included conversion runners for use in snow. The wagon was made of wood with small spoked wheels in front and large in the rear -just like the real wagon of frontier days. It was equipped with a shaft for accommodating a goat to pull it.

It also had a pulling handle in the event the goat was not available. When James had goats in 1944, he attempted to hitch them up to the wagon and nearly frightened them to death. We used the pulling handle almost exclusively since at that time we had no goat. This was while we were still on E Street. The first time we tried it out on the sidewalk, as I recall, I was pulling and run-fling - first thing I knew the wagon went out of control and plowed into the iron fence. The cross piece on the handle was broken. You can guess who got paddled for that.

For years after we moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, this wagon was our most popular toy. The new house which Dad had designed, was located on the site of the Noyes farm (he had owned the Evening Star newspaper) We used the wagon to play ‘pioneers’ and 'cowboys and Indians’ over by Mansion Drive, the water tower and the ‘three pines’. Most of the time one of us pulled the wagon by hand, but at least on several occasions we tried to hitch “Babs”, the neighbors’ collie to the shaft. Babs cooperated with the hitching, but never pulled the wagon an inch.

Behind the house in Woodside Park was a dirt road. Actually, it was a roughly graded road which wasn’t finished for many years because of the depression and the fact that real estate development called “Woodside Park” did not sell well. So, the road, known to us as “the dirt road” or “the hills”, became a wonderful playground for creative kids with wild imaginations.

One of our playmates was Harry Elkins who lived on Highland Drive. His father had been in World War I and had a collection of guns. I don’t recall that they were operable or of what vintage. I do recall that Phil and I were impressed that Harry could get a rifle for each of us to play with. Using the dirt road as our area of operations, we dug trenches, marched around, and waged “war”. We would spend hours at this sort of thing. Harry would also provide entrenching tools, canteens, and a helmet or two. Phil and I brought to the scenes Uncle Adolph’s World War I uniforms and equipment. Mostly we used his wrap putties. These fascinated us - eventually we learned how to wrap them expertly.

At one time we got caught up in the Civil War. A boy by the name of Buchanan from Georgia moved into the neighborhood and we immediately took a dislike to him. We never really ‘shot’ anything at each other, although we were tempted. We did throw clods of dirt at each other when the feelings became quite bitter. Many years later I ran across a Dr. Buchanan, Chiropractor, in Bucks County, Pa. when Helen had a back problem. It was the same fellow.

During the 1930’s the Tootsie Toy cars were popular. We used to call them “little cars” and whenever we wanted to play with them we would say ‘‘Let’s play ‘little cars. These were basically indoor toys at our home in Woodside Park. All during the depression years, the genuine Tootsie Toys cost l0 cents a piece. Of course, 10 cents was hard to come by, but we would save for quite a while to a new ‘little car’.

When the weather was good, and particularly in the summer, we would play ‘little cars’ on the dirt road. This was something like a sandbox the size of a football field As we grew, Phil and I and our playmates became quite skilled in building roads, bridges, and tunnels. Sometimes the highway system became quite complex. I recall the special effort we put into grading and banking the roads. Even to the extent of constructing appropriate drainage ditches.

When the weather was bad we went indoors to play. I recall that we had a rug in the living room for years which was made in a series of squares. It was great for pretending we were driving in a city. The Tootsie Toys were scaled ideally to the rug. We spent many happy hours playing this way.

Every year for the 4th of July, Phil and I would get a cap pistol. After 10 years we had quite an arsenal. Pistols, revolvers, cowboy guns — any new cap pistol caught our eye. From that interest we spread out to making our own guns. This was probably around 1933-35. We would cut out a pistol silhouette in wood and then make strips of rubber bands from inner tubes. The object was to shoot the rubber bands from the pistol. Some of the release mechanisms became quite good. Several times we made rifles with pipe for the barrel. With this weapon we used firecrackers - it probably was dangerous, but we would light a cracker and put it in the end of the barrel to go off. The other 4th of July game was lighting firecrackers and dropping them in a big metal drum. What a bang! From that we learned from Uncle Charlie one 4th to light crackers and put a tin can over it. The competition was to see how high you could blow the can. There was some skill in placing the can to get the greatest height from the blast. Uncle Charlie was quite an expert at this.

For a number of years, Phil and I were involved in building things. We learned how to handle tools from Dad and then we watched a great deal of construction being done on home-building, road building, and ditch-digging. I had a fascination for pick and shovel activity. I can remember spending long hours in the summer watching ditch diggers skillfully twirl the long bladed pick and swing it into the soil. Then they worked the long handled shovel skillfully scraping and scooping and then tossing the shovelful with great precision.

As kids we were great imitators and if we watched ditch-diggers we had to be ditch diggers. So we would go home and become ditch diggers ourselves. Phil and I would get out Dad’s tools and dig tunnels and trenches. Some of these were quite elaborate with several levels and changes of direction. We would work for hours on these projects. I remember Dad coming home from work about 6 PM and becoming furious at our digging up the lot next door. I recall he said something about someone accidentally falling into our various holes. He made us fill them in. From digging we graduated to building log cabins, brick shacks (bricks borrowed from nearby construction projects) Harry Elkins was involved in some of these projects. We laid bricks with mud for mortar. We took particular pride in building working fireplaces. One notable house we built around 1935 in the sumac woods across the street. It happened that a house was being built next door and Phil and I ‘borrowed’ lumber for our house. The style was somewhat of an “A” frame. We had fun hanging the door and installing two windows in addition to a working fireplace. I recall we used up all of Dad’s sheets of cardboard to provide wallboard for out house. It was such a good house , we slept in it several nights. Eventually, we tore it down and returned the lumber to the construction site.

During the years 1932-38, Phil and I earned money selling magazines. At that time the Curtis Publishing Co. in Philadelphia put out THE SATURDAY EVENING POST, COUNTRY GENTLEMAN, AND THE LADIES HOME JOURNAL. The Post sold for 5 cents and came out weekly. The other two were monthlies and sold for 10 cents. We had quite a business going. In addition to money earned, we received coupons good for premiums. These included certain Boy Scout equipment, wagons, sleds, flash lights, canteens, games and many other items. Many of our toys during these years were obtained through coupons. I recall we got baseball mitts, caps, baseballs of all kinds. We even got a Boy Scout bugle which we learned to play. Phil also got a harmonica. The big prize we earned was a 4 man bobsled. We won this by selling so many yearly subscriptions to Curtis publications. Unfortunately, we rarely had enough snow to use it. When we used it we usually made the run down Highland Drive hill.

Probably the most frustrating toy we had was known as the “Irish Mail Car”. This was a 4 wheeled car steered with the feet and powered by a hand-car device. It took great strength to make the thing go. Most of the time we used it in the garage in bad weather. We needed smooth cement to operate it and the roads were all rough macadam. The same thing applied to roller skates. We had them but we carried them over to Georgia Avenue where we would skate the length of the sidewalk into Silver Spring.

On a few occasions when we had a thick ice coating, we would put on Dad’s old clamp ice skates and skate on the driveway. I recall that around 1937 I earned a pair of ice skates through the Curtis plan. I used these for many years.

Dad passed on many of his prized toys to Phil and Me and we really enjoyed them - to the extent we wore them out. Dad had quite a collection of iron animals - a few are extant today. I recall a beautiful cast iron, horse-drawn fire engine. About 18” long, this was from the turn of the century, and had the boiler on the back, rubber hose sections and two iron horses. One of the horses still exists, but everything else is gone. There was also a hose reel attached to the wagon. Another fabulous toy was the Schoenhut Circus. Dad had the whole thing with all the jointed animals and performers. I have seen the same thing in antique shops recently, selling for $500—$600.

Dad always took good care of all his things so they were like new. I don’t know whether this was a Seltzer trait or the result of having only a few things, or that money was hard to come by. At any rate, the toys and games were in perfect condition when given to Phil and me. Of course, after we two gave them a work out, they had to go through the hands of James and Paul.

Interestingly, guns were not part of Dad’s toy collection -that fell to Phil and me. Dad collected spinning tops, pen knives, and marbles. The spinning tops were an old tradition among boys. They were usually cone-shaped with a metal tip. They varied in size from 2” to 3” and were grooved so that a two foot string could be wound around the cone. The trick was to pull the string with such force that the top would spin. Sounds simple, but there was considerable skill required. As one became more proficient the tops were spun from various heights landing on a smooth surface and spinning in perfect balance. The competition centered around how long the top would spin and the difficulty of the launch.

Pen knives were an important part of our young lives. Each boy usually carried one during his elementary school years. As I reflect, we never thought of thin as weapons or dangerous toys. The primary use was in playing the game of (mumble the peg or “mumbly-peg”. Every boy had his favorite pen knife. It could be colorful or quite simple. What was looked for was perfect balance to make the toss true. Therefore, the knives were not cumbersome -usually two-bladed or frequently one-bladed. The open blade was grasped between the thumb and index finger and flipped. The game required a square of bare ground approximately 3’ on each side. This was marked off using the knife blade to score the ground. Ah yes, the best soil was available in Spring since it should be somewhat moist. Firm soil was preferred - sand would never do. Once the square was marked off, the players (usually two although three or four could play) would take turns flipping the knife into the marked area. With the blade in the ground the player would score a line in the soil in the direction of the blade, from one of the previously scored lines to the other. The next player would follow suit . In this manner, taking turns, the available undivided space was reduced to its smallest size. As the spaces became smaller, the player with the greater skill would predominate. If you flipped your knife and it landed in the opponents territory, you would lose your turn. The winner would be the last one to flip his knife into the available space.

The popularity of this game was enhanced by the presence of high-top boots. These were leather boots with long laces that came up to the knee or covered the calf. They were great for winter since they were waterproofed and you didn’t have to wear overshoes in the snow and rain. The other feature was a little pocket on the side of the boot for a pen-knife.

Marbles was the annual Spring game played by all the boys. Girls were not part of our friendship circle so I don’t know whether or not they “shot” marbles. Dad had some beautiful agate shooters. The “shooter” was usually a large marble which the individual took great pride in. Therefore, many of the “shooters” were quite showy. Dad passed his shooters onto us and, I must admit, we took pretty good care of them. The agates (“aggies” we called them) were most expensive - sometimes costing 25 cents. The remaining marbles were of glass and very colorful. Each boy had a leather or cloth bag to carry his marbles. I always carried my agates or shooters separately in my pocket. To play the game, a circle was drawn or marked on bare earth - about 36” in diameter. Each player placed a given number of marbles in the center of the circle. Each player would then shoot from the circle edge at the marbles in the center. The object was to hit a marble in the circle and knock it outside the circle. In this way the player won the marble. If the player was successful in knocking a marble outside the circle, he retained his turn and continued to shoot until he missed or the struck marble did not leave the ring. The play was similar to shooting pool. A good player could win a great many marbles before giving up his turn. The player could shoot standing, kneeling, or prone as long as he was outside the ring.

One Christmas Dad gave us a pair of boxing gloves, each. This was probably the most troublesome ‘toy’ we ever had. At first, we were too young to have them - someone got hit in the nose. As we got into our early teens, we set up a boxing ring on the dirt road. Because of the national interest in heavy-weight boxing, we as kids were impressed and tried to imitate again. Primo Camera, Max Baer, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis were contemporary champs. I remember the Murphy brothers from Highland Drive -Julian was the older( I can’t remember the other name). Being Irish, they were belligerent and loved to get into a boxing match with us. Phil was “big” Seltzer and I was “little” Seltzer. There several bloody noses developed - the contests ended when Julian brought a bottle of beer to swig on in between rounds. Mama and Dad didn’t like that.



 

Illnesses


I suppose everyone has a history of sickness of one type or another. I was no exception. My first recollection of this sort was my pine-school vaccination (smallpox) at Peabody School(DC). Mother took me - 1 can remember the frightening experience of being stuck with the needle in my left arm ( on later reflection it must have been a series of pin pricks to form a scab).

Over the years as a child I recall a lot of stomach aches I don’t recall the causes, but it probably was the food I ate. Early recollections include Dr. Atkinson coming for a house call and prescribing “powders” which I took with water — tasteless, but I hated them. At various times, Mother and Dad would give me Castor Oil - terrible! After an upset stomach, Mother’s routine was bread soaked in hot milk. Laxatives came to be a big part of our health care. Living in a family where parents believed in “cleaning out” the system, I became a logical participant. We were raised on Castoria and later graduated to the adult “pink pills”. They tasted horrible and produced violent results the next day to the extent that I hate the color pink to this day. This went on weekly until I left for college at age 18. This routine stopped abruptly!

I recall a bout with the measles over one Easter vacation. In those days we were kept in a dark room for a week or so. I also had chicken pox.

My most vivid recollection is of poison ivy and poison oak. Living in Silver Spring, which was wooded country then, we were constantly getting a bad case of poison ivy. It seemed as though every Spring and Summer I would get it whether in contact or not. One particularly bad case came to me in 1940 when I was cutting wood and stacking logs -I had ivy poison from head to toe. I swelled like a balloon. I was forever getting stung by bees and wasps and hornets.

Cuts and bruises were common. One special occasion I was using a sickle to cut tall grass in front of Pinecrest Circle. I had my left hand on my left knee and sickle in the right hand. I suppose I became careless and before I knew it my left index finger was spewing blood all over I couldn’t stop the bleeding - I recall wrapping it tightly in a dirty rag until the bleeding stopped. I secretly cleaned it and said nothing. I was deathly afraid of being chastised for my stupidity.

At age twelve it was decided that I should have my tonsils removed. It must have been May or June because I recall electric fans in the Sibley Hospital room. I was there overnight and I can still smell the ether I naively inhaled and the sick feeling I had coming out of it. Cold water hurting my throat and ice cream wouldn’t go down even though I could have all I wanted. I recall not sleeping all night and the beautiful nurse who came to see me in the night. I remember Dr. Atkinson checking on me. I seemed to live on Aspergum for weeks after.

I don’t recall any prolonged illness until I went into the Army in March 1943. It was on Monday the 8th (my diary told me) that I caught cold in the drafty barracks. This hung on until the 16th when I was put in the hospital with high fever. I was there until the 23rd, in the meantime I missed my shipment. Everyone in my group was gone. It was April 2 before I was assigned to Quartermaster School.

My adult illnesses seemed to be primarily colds and viruses. I had several prolonged bouts with intestinal virus which kept me in bed. I never had much need to see the dentist until, living in Rockville, I had wisdom teeth give me trouble. Being very naive about dentists I simply walked off the street and made an appointment for a Saturday at 9 AM - I didn’t bother telling Helen because I thought I’d be home before she woke up. I recalled the dentist simply pried loose three of the wisdom teeth and then he was confronted with what he called an “impacted wisdom tooth”. I had no idea what that meant. When he laid out hammer and chisels I thought he was kidding. Having my lower left jaw shot through with novacaine he commenced to hammer away. This went on until 4 PM. He would shoot the jaw with more novacaine every couple of hours - needless to say, I was really groggy. The dentist finished what he set out to do and I was in no condition to drive home so he drove my car home. You can imagine Helen’s reaction when I showed up at the front door half-carried in a stupefied condition by the dentist. I could-not speak and was put to bed. The dentist laced me with codeine to which I had a negative reaction and broke out in a rash. I recall hearing him tell his assistant toward the end of the session, “I should have done this in the hospital.” Apparently I recovered although my lower jaw is still without feeling in places.

In 1970 I underwent a hernia operation at Holy Redeemer hospital in Huntingdon Valley - I was in the hospital only 2 or 3 days and was discharged in time to go on my
Army Reserve active duty at Indiantown Gap (August 1970). I recovered satisfactorily after taking it easy for several months.

My only nagging ailment has been the lower back problem. Back in 1948 I was on duty during the summer at Fort Knox and in an effort to lose weight, I worked out in the gym. A physical therapist there suggested I workout with the medicine—ball. One of his exercises was with me on my back, knees drawn up to my chest, medicine-ball on the bottom of my feet, the therapist leaned his full weight on the ball and me — crunch went my back. I couldn’t stand up straight - terrible pain. I hobbled around like a pretzel for 10 days until I finally straightened up. Ever since I have been prone to have my back go out. Sometimes doing nothing more violent than playing ping-pong. For years I would go to an osteopath or chiropractor and get fixed until in 1973 (April) the osteopath could not help me anymore and a orthopedic man put me in traction at Holy Redeemer. I was there when Mother died -so weak I couldn’t walk. Since 1981, I have been doing modified yoga exercises which have helped to strengthen my back. Actually, I haven’t had any problem since 1973. although, I am careful about my activities - how I bend, what I lift and so forth.



 

Religion


It seems to me that I was born into religion, or at least a religious environment. As I have indicated, Mother and )ad were always involved in the Church community and before that Grandfather Seltzer was an important person in the life of Keller. Mother’s parents were less involved, but they ‘belonged” to the church and certainly the sisters were involved. One must remember that at the turn of the century :he Church provided most of the social life for the community. Church picnics, suppers, pageants, choirs, Sunday School, Luther League, Cradle Roll, Junior Department, orchestra, and others activities were all part of the church. Even sports found teams in the churches. Strictly social activities included straw rides, skating parties, steamer cruises, railroad excursions and even dances. Therefore, it was quite natural that Mother and Dad were an integral part of the church community including us children. They were so involved for their full lives,  so much so that in Dad’s later years he would go to St. Luke at 8 AM on Sunday, attend 2 or 3 services, Sunday School and any afternoon special sessions which might be held.

Going to church was a natural part of my life. I was baptized y the time I was 3 months old and, Mother would take Phil and me to regular church as long as we behaved. I have conscious recollections of sitting in the “Seltzer” pew,  the first pew below the lectern. I don’t recall even raising the question,”Do we have to go to church?” It was simply taken for ranted.

After we moved to Silver Spring, MD, we continued to attend Keller. So from 1929 to 1939 this meant every Sunday was full day for church and family visits. These varied as we became older --  sometimes a visit to the cemetery, sometimes concert at Constitution Hall, or a drive around the Basin to see the Cherry Blossoms. Sunday was a big day in our lives e were up early - most of the time we would all gather in he living room for morning prayer. As we grew older, we took urns reading scripture and leading prayers. We all joined in the hymn singing. This was before breakfast. After dishes ere cleaned (we took turns washing and drying) we all piled n the car for the drive to Keller. Dad would vary the route from time to time, but usually it went: Highland Drive, Georgia Ave., Blair Mill Road, Soldiers Home, N. Capitol Street, Florida Avenue, 10th Street . We would park on Maryland Ave s close to Keller as possible. Sunday School came first -round 9:30 - 10:30. Then we would gather for church which meant sitting in the pew down front with the brass plate Seltzer”. Mother and Dad were usually in the choir so they kept an eye on us from that point. They had some help from Mrs. Manning, who always sat behind us, Mrs. Herald across the aisle who always sang the hymns louder than anyone, William and Ruth Wertman, Mrs. Daviney, Mrs. Reilley, the Gunthers, Rouses, Wine’s, and Mr. Calvert (My Sunday School teacher).

Church was usually an hour in length except at Communion which was conducted several Sundays each year. Dad was Vice President of the Church Council and used to assist Dr. Nicholas at Communion - collecting the little glasses. Phil and I used to enjoy watching the people come down the aisle and stand in front of our pew.

To recall Keller in my life time, I must recall Dr. Nicholas (the Doctor was honorary). Dr. Nicholas, to me, was the epitome of God’s servant on earth. He was selfless, dedicated, loving, and hardworking. Physically he was very small - he stood on a box in the pulpit so he could see over the Bible. He preached a powerful sermon. He could be soft and he could boom his voice to the rafters to make his point. I’m sure in my early years I must have dozed during one of these sermons, but generally I was interested in what Dr. Nicholas had to say. He used to use members of the church as examples in his anecdotes without mentioning names - we had fun trying to figure out who he was talking about. He also peppered his sermons with interesting anecdotes so even if you missed some of his profound points you couldn’t miss his stories. He knew his Bible and recited the stories with interest. Of course, we boys were raised on Bible stories. Mother read to us from Bible Stories and let us look through the Daly Family Bible which had beautiful illustrations. Then we received a New Testament every time we turned around. They were used as prizes promotion gifts, Christmas and Easter gifts, and graduation. Aunt Ruth handed them out on every occasion in the Junior Department years. This procedure was followed into adult life. I received a testament and prayer book when I left for the Army. Dad and Mother gave each of us a beautiful reference Bible for Christmas 1943. Phil gave me a grand RSV Bible by Nelson when I received my doctorate in 1957.

Memorizing scripture was part of our way of life. Mother knew lots of scripture and would recite throughout the day not to mention playing and singing hymns. Both Mother and Dad prayed. We always said Grace before meals. We were taught to say our prayers at night before retiring while knelling at bedside. The church routine I recall as a pleasant one which I looked forward to. When church was over there was the pleasant mingling and conversation with peers and elders. I recall we received a great deal of favorable comment when we particularly well behaved. In fact, I don’t recall ever being punished for some miss-doing in church. In our growing years, I recall becoming very hungry during church (breakfast had been at 7:30 AM) particularly if the sermon was long or service protracted. I used to eat the erasers off the pencils Mother gave us to write and draw with during church. Also I used to chew on the Sunday School lesson sheet and the church messenger.

After the visiting outside the church we walked first to Grandma’s at 914 Maryland Avenue and then to 417 - 10th Street (Aunt Mabel’s) for more visiting. Usually we didn’t stay for lunch or dinner - just visiting. It was now at least PM or 1:30 before we piled into the Essex (1928-32), or De Vaux (l932—36), or Lafayette(1936-46) for the journey home. Dad used to take us to the local drug store (a triangle formed by Maryland Ave. and D St.) where he would buy licorice root, among other things. I was so hungry, I would suck and chew on the root furiously - I learned that the taste became unbearable if I chewed too fast. Usually the ride home took a different route. We would go by way of Maryland Avenue to the Union Station or the Capitol and then down Pennsylvania Avenue, Constitution Avenue, around the Lincoln Memorial and then out 16th Street after passing the White House. If Dad happened to have drawn on one of the Federal Triangle buildings we would be sure to drive by and note the progress.

Sunday in our home was a quiet time. After we finally ate dinner around 3 PM we were allowed to pitch baseball or play non—violent games outside. We usually took a long walk with Dad - I don’t recall Mother ever going with us. This walk was a time for us to listen to and talk with Dad - he shared many fascinating thoughts with us as we walked through Woodside Park. Of course, all during the ‘30’s many new homes were being built. Our Sunday walk always included a visit or two to these new homes. Dad could then evaluate the construction and make comments for our benefit.

During my youth, each school day began with the Lord's Prayer and prayers were also part of all school and public assemblies. Feelings about religion were influenced primarily by Mother and Dad, then by our other relatives and finally by our church activities. We very early learned to hold the clergy in high regard. Mother and Dad always spoke highly of ministers they knew. Gettysburg College and Gettysburg SEminary were supported by Keller and consequently received much attention. Keller supported a missionary to China -- Malcolm Shutters. In fact, our Lenten collection, which we saved for thoughout the Lenten season, was athered for hte express purpose of supportin gthis missionary and his family. I recall the big in-gathering in Sunday School in which we raised $1500. (This during the depression). ON one such Sunday, Malcolm Shutters was actually present. What a thrill! The celebrity was actually there! Only in later years did I realize how austere his existence was in China. I never learned what happened to him after the war began.
 
During my youth, each school day began with the Lord’s Prayer and prayers were also part of all school and public assemblies. Feelings about religion were influenced primarily by Mother and Dad, then by our other relatives and finally by our church activities. We very early learned to hold the clergy in high regard. Mother and Dad always spoke highly of ministers they knew. Gettysburg College and Gettysburg Seminary were supported by Keller and consequently received much attention. Keller supported a missionary to China - Malcolm Shutters. In fact our Lenten collection which we saved for throughout the Lenten season, was gathered for the express purpose of supporting this missionary and his family. I recall the big in-gathering in Sunday School in which we raised $1500. (this during the depression). On one such Sunday, Malcolm Shutters, was actually present. What a thrill! The celebrity was actually there! Only in later years did I realize how austere his existence was in China. I never learned what happened to him after the war began.
Keller was the center of social activity as Mother and Dad grew up and so it was natural that, at least Phil and I had a strong social connection there. As I recall, this began with the Christian Endeavor Society. It was a Sunday evening meeting for teenagers and young adults. Curiously, Keller did not have a Luther League. At any rate, as Phil and I went through the high school years, we went to CE. This was the source of hayrides, roller skating, bowling, and picnics. I don’t recall any church sponsored dances. In the summer months I recall beach parties to Beverly Beach and boat trips on the Potomac to Marshall Hall amusement park. There were trips to Great Falls, Glen Echo amusement park. Picnics were regularly held in Rock Creek Park. These were not only sponsored by CE, but there was always the annual Sunday School picnic -usually in June. Of the latter, I recall one such affair on June 4, 1938 at the site of the juvenile detention center near Fort Meade, MD. — called “Jolly Acres”. I won a baseball for batting 1000. Was I thrilled!

The church also sponsored a “pre- Freshman Day” at Gettysburg College. I should say the College sponsored it and Keller supported it by sending likely students for the experience. My diary tells me that I did not attend in 1938, but I do recall Saturday, May 6, 1939 attending such an event. I recall vividly how much I liked the Gettysburg campus, the buildings, the library, the dormitories, the students - the whole atmosphere permeated my soul. I still have the brochure we received. A great lunch (at least it seemed so to me) in Plank Gymn followed by dancing. It seemed to Bill Miller, Doris Wood, Phil and I went in Uncle Ad’s Buick. I recall being very interested in fraternities. I must admit, I was impressed with the prospect of attending Gettysburg College - even to the extent of possibly becoming pre-ministerial. At this time Dr. J. Harold Mumper (he received the D.D. in June 1941) was pastor at Keller He made a very positive impression upon us. He had been in WW graduated from Gettysburg College; became an engineer and then entered the ministry. He even made some progress in bringing Uncle Ad to church which Mother appreciated. Dr. Mumper was good at leading young people - he prided himself in having five Keller men enter the ministry (Emory Ackerman, Woody Moreland, Bill Miller, Bob Lang and ME) or course, I got only as far as the freshman year as pre—ministerial at Gettysburg. I was an impressionable teenager and really sincerely thought I should enter the ministry. I prayed a lot about it - I enjoyed Bible study, working with young people (I taught Sunday School). I enjoyed being in the church environment and probably receiving all the attention. As the time came close for making a college selection, I was more and more convinced that I wanted to go to Gettysburg and be pre-ministerial. As I look back on those days, I probably was more interested in attending Gettysburg than preparing for the ministry. Gettysburg cost $600/yr as opposed to the University of Maryland $150/yr. The only
way to get to Gettysburg College was through financial aid from the Church’s Maryland Synod. This was the time when CedricTilberg came to Keller as an intern for a year. I was very much impressed with his quiet intellectual approach to the ministry (his father was Dean at Gettysburg College). As it turned out, Cedric married Mary Jane Opdike from Keller. Mother had her all picked out for me as the perfect minister’s wife. Well, she was the perfect minister’s wife, but not mine! I note in my diary that on Monday, May 26, 1941, I met with Rev. Mumper, Cedric Tilberg, and Mr. Benham (from Keller), and appeared before the Lutheran Synod in Baltimore. I received the financial aide to attend Gettysburg College 1941-42. As I recall they subsidized the full $600. tuition and room. I paid for books and board and incidentals. I became even more religious now - after all I had an image to maintain. I was teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, playing violin at church, and leading CE evening meetings. I must say, I enjoyed getting ready for Gettysburg.

As far as religious behavior went, I felt quite free to pray at any time of day or night and in any place - remembering Christ’s instruction “go into your closet and pray”. I found strength and satisfaction from prayer. I can say I had some “mountain-top” experiences which were very spiritual for me. One was deciding to go into the Army (I enlisted November 2, 1942) - I attended the Baptist Student Union noon prayer meetings on the University of Maryland campus. Another was at Camp Lee in March 1943 and the months following. I found comfort and strength in the Army Chapel — the Chaplains I encountered were very genuine servants of God and helped me a great deal in very positive ways - one of these was to find my records and get me assigned to a Quartermaster Corps unit in April 1943. Being in the Army, away from home and family and with the imminent danger of the war all around, I found a great need for prayer. On the rifle range at Camp Lee on Easter morning, I recall a very moving religious experience as the Chaplain conducted sunrise services. I had numerous decisions to make during 1943, e.g., OCS or ASTP; I decided on ASTP then I had a choice of where I wanted to study, I applied for and prayed for the University of Pennsylvania -my prayers were answered, I went there, met Helen, completed the course and married my life’s love. All during the time at Penn in ASTP, Helen and I were constantly praying for guidance in deciding our future together. When sent to the 106th Infantry Division in May 1944, we prayed hard. I prayed hard to get out of that fouled up unit - my prayers were answered as I was plucked up and transferred to Military Intelligence at Camp Ritchie just before the Division sailed overseas. At Ritchie I prayed for OCS at Benning. I finally made it and prayed the whole time for success. I was commissioned 24 April 1945.

One of the things Helen and I have had in common is our attitude toward religion. We believe in God, the Trinity, the need for religious guidance for successful living, and the need for imbuing one’s children with a religious and moral basis. Helen and I have always enjoyed attending services together - some of our closest moments have been in a place of worship.

When we first met, Helen was attending Good Shepherd Episcopal Church (off Midvale Ave.) - she was singing in the choir there so I joined her. I was in uniform and in the Army Specialized Training Program majoring in German Area Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. I would go to choir rehearsal with her on Thursday or Friday night and then sing on Sunday. Remember, I had been raised a Lutheran and here I was popping up and down throughout the Episcopal service. As I recall, we also went to services at Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church (Mid-vale and Conrad --  where we were married). Several times we went to Lily and Bill Moyer’s Lutheran Church in Roxborough for the early service in German. Later on as we moved around the country we seemed to end up in an Episcopal Church. I recall when I was at Fort Benning 1944-45, I went to Episcopal Christmas Eve Service in Columbus, GA. When we lived in Blue Ridge Summit, PA., we attended the little Episcopal chapel there. When we shipped to Camp Campbell, KY, we lived in Clarksville, Tenn., and attended the Episcopal Church there. After the war when we returned to Philadelphia, we attended Redeemer Lutheran Church again. This was for a brief time in the summer of 1946. In August of that year we returned to Silver Spring, MD - lived briefly with Mother and Dad while I got started again at the University of Maryland! In November we moved to the “Log Cabin” — we were there for just a couple of months. While in Silver Spring we went to St. Luke’s on Colesville Road. I forgot to mention that I was part of the first Sunday School ever held at St. Luke’s

Returning to the post—war period — there was some turbulence within my little family - Helen returned to Philadelphia with Ritchie and lived with Aunt Lil. I can’t recall exactly, but I must have gone back home to live because I recall driving over to the University with James that Spring semester. I finally managed to secure a Veterans Housing Unit VF 2F in College Park. Helen and Ritchie moved down in June. I do not recall church attendance from June 1947 to January 1948. Ritchie was an infant and if we went to church we attended the Episcopal Church in College Park. I had no transportation -“shanks mare” - thumbing a ride. I was custodian at St. Luke’s during this period(Rev. Robt. E. Lee) - I worked a day or two a week at that job. I also was Scoutmaster for the troop which met there. I was also driving a private school bus AM and PM while at the same time student teaching at McFarland Junior High School (this was adjacent to Roosevelt High School in DC).

At Christmastime I worked the night shift at the Main Post Office next to Union Station. The only connection all this has to do with religion is that I prayed a lot - I was loaded with decisions to be made. I was active in the Footlight Club at the University, plus I was trying to get a job teaching for January 1948. My prayers were answered and I was appointed as social studies and English teacher and Assistant Track Coach at Upper Darby Junior High School. Helen, Ritchie and I moved back to the East Falls neighborhood and lived with Aunt Lil until May 1948 when we rented the house on Sunnyside Avenue (3509). From January 1948 to July 1951 we attended Redeemer Lutheran Church. Although it was Helen’s home church and we had been married there, the congregation was anything but warm. This was one of the least satisfying church experiences I ever had. About the only thing Helen and I did was to sing in the choir. The congregation wasn’t interested in getting us involved. They are still that way in 1985.

We bought a cute little house on Viers Mill Road in Rockville called “Broadwood Manor”, in the summer of 1951 - I had been appointed a social studies and English teacher at Montgomery Hills Junior High School (since sold to a Jewish synagogue). I was to teach 9th Grade - no coaching in Montgomery County at that time by teachers. I did direct the Drama Club and Student Council. Also sponsored a cartooning club. This was quite an experience for me to return to my own Junior High -I had graduated from there in June 1938. A couple of teachers I knew were still there - the Librarian H. Warner and Mrs. Bosley the Home Economics teacher.

While living in Rockville - there being no Lutheran church -we went to the long established Presbyterian Church. A lovely old Gothic building and nice congregation. We were made welcome in the Southern tradition. Helen met the Haltiwangers and began her series of activities through the Junior Women s Club. This church and, in fact the community, had vestiges of Southern influence from 100 years earlier. Rev. Cobb, a Southerner, was a Chaplain in the Navy during WW II. We became very involved - I taught the adult Bible Class and found it satisfying. Ritchie attended Sunday School. After a couple of years, the American Lutheran Church started a mission congregation which first met in the Lone Oak School. We changed over because we were Lutheran and the new church was to build at the corner of our block. This church was called Crusader Lutheran Church. Rev. Howard Wilson was the bachelor pastor -young, energetic, he lead the congregation at the outset. Helen was the volunteer secretary and being an expert matchmaker she fostered his marrying Shirley the organist. Shirley was engaged to another at the time but Helen, undaunted by such obstacles, egged Howard on until he married her. I really do not remember much about my experience at Crusader — I was probably too involved in working on my doctorate to devote much time to church. I was Vice-Principal at Wheaton High School in 1955—56.

We moved to Baltimore in the summer of 1956, I had been made Director of Field Services with the Maryland State Teachers Association - 5 E. Read St. Our new home was at 7000 Rock-ridge Road in the Villanova section just off Liberty Road in Baltimore County. We were in Baltimore just two years, but made many fast friends during that short time. The initial church affiliation was with the Church of the Brethren. The minister had visited us to welcome us to the neighborhood so we went. This was in November 1956 and close to Christmas. Helen and I didn’t care for it too well - the Minister was constantly harping on “tithing” and his wife was always impressed by the number of college degrees in the congregation. Our attendance was sporadic - I do remember attending the special Christmas services there that first year. I followed a notice in the newspaper where St. Paul’s Lutheran Church (formerly downtown Baltimore) was building a new sanctuary in our neighborhood and in the interim was meeting at a recreation hall in the Forest Park area. I struck out on my own one Sunday with Ritchie and was warmly welcomed at Sunday School and Church. It rather reminded me of St. Luke’s beginning -- folding chairs in a public hall and a makeshift altar. I had the good fortune to meet Jack and Janet Bauer — very cordial and warm people. I told Helen of the experience so the next week she came along. Immediately a friendship blossomed and Janet invited Helen into the Junior Women’s Club which was fun for all. Also met Zeni and Madeline Hooper at St. Paul’s (Dr. Schroeder was pastor). They were fun - they had a son who became a physician and a daughter the same age as Ritchie - went to Campfield School in the same grade. So out of the church group we made many friends. Ritchie was confirmed at St. Paul’s in a crash course by The Rev. Dr. Schroeder, when we decided to move to Plymouth, New Hampshire in 1958. We were part of St. Paul’s as the new church was dedicated — a beautiful structure - I recall I was one of the guides on opening day. The crucifix was made from imported Linden wood. Good choir in which Helen and I sang. Oddly enough the paid female soloist was Jewish! I also taught the adult Bible Class there.

Moving to Plymouth, NH, as Dean of the College, we joined the Congregational Church. This was the prestigious church of the community. What an experience! We sang in the choir of course — Ellen was the organist. A very large woman with good basic musical talent, who delighted in telling dirty bathroom
jokes to the choir just before we processed into the choir stalls. She had an illegitimate child to a black man when she young. Each week was another surprise for Helen and me - the first Easter we were shocked to hear the minister say that it didn’t make any difference whether or not Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was a virgin. Another time he let it be known that the Trinity was of no consequence. I tried to be part of the church as did Helen - at one time we tried to lead the young peoples’ evening service — disaster! Ritchie was now a teenager and liked the minister’s daughter. Aunt Lil died that first year and we had to leave Ritchie with someone - the minister (Hodges) and his family did so. They were basically good Christians, but theologically I had nothing in common with the Congregational Church which shortly thereafter joined the United Church of Christ. Ritchie went to Holderness School (grades 9-12) which was affiliated with the Episcopal Church. We began attending the little Episcopal Church in Plymouth the last year we were there -after the minister left the Congregational Church.

We moved from Plymouth to Bristol, PA where I was Superintendent of Schools in 1963-64. We lived just outside of town and did not attend any local church. Instead we began attending a Lutheran Church, St. Stephen’s, in Feasterville where we were building our home on Steele Road. Helen was pregnant with Sallie. She was born January 8, 1964 and was christened in St. Stephen’s. Helen didn’t care for the minister since he knew Rev. Bauers from East Fails and said some derogatory things about him. Our attendance there was sporadic. After one year at Bristol, I was named Superintendent of Schools in the Lower Moreland School District, Huntingdon Valley, PA. We began attending Gloria Dei Lutheran Church - Rev. Ernst Schmidt - the church was newly built - folding chairs in the sanctuary. We joined there and sang in the choir for 10 years. I was also an usher. We were both involved in the Gloria Dei ministry. I recall attending prayer breakfasts, congregational meetings, conferences with Schmidt, joint school/church seminars, and church! community meetings. Sallie grew up in Gloria Dei - the Sunday School was so progressive it really did nothing to teach the basics we expected to be taught. Schmidt was an excellent preacher, but he left a lot to be desired asa person. Egocentric, he did everything for his own aggrandizement. He was ruthless with people who could not serve his purpose. We left i.v1974 when we moved to Columbia, PA.

As Superintendent of Schools in Columbia, PA., we began attending St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The Rector (Ned Heeter) was on the School Board and I had no desire to attend Lutheran services after the experience with Schmidt. St. Paul’s was a beautiful church in a rundown provincial community made up mostly of bigots and hypocrites. Some thirteen churches in a community of 10,000. None of them was properly supported - mostly old members holding on to old ways in a changing world. Once again Helen and I sang in the choir. Lovely choir director but poor choir. I finally acceded to Helen’s desire and became an Episcopalian in 1975. Sallie was confirmed there by Rector Ned Heeter. He was frustrated and couldn’t wait to leave that church. He finally received a call to Mechanicsburg, PA -he left in a flash. I was elected to the vestry and took part in the search for a new Rector. I really felt good about our choice - a young fellow from mainline Philadelphia. His wife (second time around) was a professional violist. I was a lay reader and assisted the Rector with serving Communion (licensed by the Bishop). I enjoyed this and began thinking about becoming a Deacon. I even undertook the prescribed weekly classes at the Cathedral in Harrisburg. I was really doing some soul searching actually trying to determine if I had received a “call”. As things turned out, the position of Superintendent turned sour with changing school boards, I got sick and tired of all the backbiting and politics involved. I planned retirement in 1980. Helen moved first to Lancaster and then to Bryn Mawr. Saliie was boarding at Shipley School. Helen took an apartment across from the school — Conwyn Arms — and became associated with the Episcopal Church of the Holy Redeemer in Bryn Mawr. I was still in and around Columbia, but attending church in Lancaster (St. James) - I assisted the interim Rector who was a woman. Served as lector and assisted with Communion. When I was in Bryn Mawr I went to Holy Redeemer, Mr. Pickering, Rector, a warm and friendly man of great intellect. He had a British woman Deacon who really took us into the church in that short period of time. Sallie taught Sunday School and played piano. The congregation was terribly snooty, but not the clergy.

By 1979 we were back in our Huntingdon Valley home -- Sallie boarded at Shipley because it was too complicated to commute. Helen thought it would be nice to go to St. John's Episcopal. Sallie had had a nice experience theree in the Girl Scouts and we all knew a number of people there. Margy Keane had been of the Lower Moreland School Board as had Ray Baker who was a Deacon at St. John's. However, Paul Lingle had been Rector of St. John's when we were By 1979 we were back in our Huntingdon Valley home - Sallie boarded at Shipley because it was too complicated to commute. Helen thought it would be nice to go to St2 John’s Episcopal. Sallie had had a nice experience there in the Girl Scouts and we all knew a number of people there. Margy Keane had been of the Lower Moreland School Board as had Ray Baker who was a Deacon at St. John’s. However, Paul Lingle had been Rector of St. John’s when we were in Huntingdon Valley earlier - he had retired by the time we joined St. John’s in 1979. At any rate, Helen and I sang in the choir and tried to become part of the church family. The new Rector, James Hampson, preached a “born again philosophy that was more Baptist than Episcopal. He obviously didn’t like us for some reason and was downright rude at times. We sweated out one year of that farce before we moved into Philadelphia and settled in at The Church of the Holy Trinity on Rittenhouse Square. Our first experience here was a very warm one. Norman Kerr, Rector, and his wife Dorothy (she had been Sallie’s English teacher at Shipley) we met quite by accident when looking for an apartment. Lovely, dedicated people doing God’s work. Holy Trinity with membership on the short side of 200, was squeaking along. Almost a completely elderly congregation. Norman got us involved right away and we found the church members to be very warm and sincere. I had just become Lector when Norman Kerr died suddenly (4th of July weekend 1983). I was asked~ to serve on the selection committee for a new Rector and susequently was elected to the Vestry. Helen is a greeter and has been involved with the women’s groups. We now have a fine healthy Rector --  John Smart and his wife Marie. Both gracious and friendly, working hard at the ministry of this church in an urban setting which is often very difficult. At this writing Holy Trinity is again moving forward.



 

The Depression


This period known as “The Great Depression” began in October 1929 with the “crash of the stock market” and continued up to the beginning of World War II or approximately September 1939. The latter date I have picked because that was the date of the Nazi invasion of Poland. The so called “war effort” had started by this time and jobs in munitions and the military related production had gotten under way. Certainly by December 1941, with the United States in the War, there was no unemployment problem.

This economic depression was all pervasive. Even though it began in America it soon spread around the world. The end result was extremely high unemployment in the U.S. - there simply were no jobs to be had. Wages were low, food was hard to come by - most people were challenged to “make do” with the little they had. Coupled with this economic crisis came a great drought in the mid ‘30’s which destroyed agriculture in this country.

In October 1929, I was just six years old, living in Woodside Park (we had moved in May to Dad’s “pride and joy’). Dad was an architect with the government. This was a relatively secure position to have — the money wasn’t sensational, but at least he was earning an income. James had been born in July 1929, so Mother and Dad faced the depression with a seriously heavy burden. Methods of saving and pinching money were commonplace. During this period we children were never aware of the Depression, we simply accepted all the frugality as the normal way of life. Everyone who could, worked - Phil and I sold the Saturday Evening Post/Ladies Home Journal/Country Gentleman; also delivered an advertising newspaper (Shopper); cut grass for neighbors; did odd jobs and baby sat. Through all this Mother and Dad saw that I had violin lessons (75~/week) plus carfare. Phil was taking piano at the same time. Actually Dad was pretty well off with a regular full time position. Even he had extra jobs - the printing press in the basement turned out Bowdier’s labels (Center Market),invoices, statements, Christmas cards, stationery. Dad taught each of us how to set type and operate the press. I was never really any good at it, but I helped to make money printing school programs and tickets. As I entered high school, I worked at the Daly stand in Center Market, and later (1940-41) I had a job at Forsythe’s (Rexall) Drug Store on Georgia Avenue - soda fountain and deliveries (there was a Western Union telegraph office there too). I recall there was a cute little Bantam auto which we drove to make deliveries. Wesley Stewart, a classmate, got me the job. It paid 35~/hour. I also worked the soda fountain in Peoples’ Drug Store at Park Road for a while and then Phil got me a job with Stock Brothers nursery in the summer of 1941.

All during the depression we learned not to be picky about food. Mother reminded us that were “lucky to be eating since so many were out of work and starving.” So we ate whatever Mother prepared - and liked it. Cornmeal mush, oatmeal, eggs infrequently - for several years Dad decided we should eat salt-mackerel for breakfast (he had it shipped from Maine ma wooden bucket full of brine) - we learned to like it. Mother made interesting shad-roe omlettes too. We drank some milk and frequently had cold cereals such as Wheaties, although Mother was a great advocate of oatmeal and Cream of Wheat. I recall several times Mother made raisin bread which we helped prepare. Chicken and meatloaf were standard fare - always with potatoes and gravy. Then there were those special times at Colonial Beach when Mother would make her famous crab cakes from our catch in the river.

The apparent lack of cash during this decade, compelled all family members to do everything possible to make and save money. In addition we were compelled to spend as little cash as possible. I mentioned earlier some of the money-making efforts, but equally important were the things we did to reduce spending. First of all, we learned to make things ourselves. If something broke, we fixed it ourselves. One memorable activity was shoe repair. With four active, growing boys in the house, shoes wore out fast. Dad invested in a shoe-repair outfit - just like the cobbler had. We (Phil and I) learned how to put on new heels and half—soles. Some of these were the stick—on variety. We also learned to make lawn ornaments from wooden cigar boxes. The coping saw and vise were the main tools. We made wooden birds, pin—wheels, flowers, rabbits, ducks. Also learned how to make the “dancing man” - (I made one a few years ago for Sallie). During this time we made good use of Dad’s ‘tools when we cut out wooden swords, knives, pistols, and rubber-band guns.

Buying things during the Depression was quite an experience as I look back upon it. Living in somewhat isolated if not countrified Woodside Park, we enjoyed shopping from the Sears, Roebuck Catalog. There were no suburban shopping malls. A few specialty shops existed on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, but any big buying was saved for the infrequent visits to Hecht’s on 7th St. NE or the Palais Royal or Woodward and Lothrop. consequently, the arrival of the new Sears, Roebuck Catalog was a big event. Phil and I would pour over the fascinating pictures of sporting equipment, guns, toys, automotive equipment, housewares, farm implements1 hardware, and boys clothing. We even sneaked a look at the women's section.

The Depression brought some pretty shoddy goods to the catalog. I remember one pair of black and white shoes Dad ordered for me. They really looked sporty, but caught in the rain, they virtually fell apart. They were made in Czechoslovakia of pasteboard and glued together.

Mother was always looking for a bargain to save money. I remember one visit to Hechts (Christmastime) where she bought two gloves — not a pair - two separate gloves. They were a false fur type, but she couldn’t resist the “bargain”. The other bargain with four boys was the “hand-me-down”. Phil usually got the new clothes, I got the second shot at them, then James and finally Paul. This was not always the case, because I remember at Easter we all got new outfits. When Phil and I were very young, Mother often made our outfits. When it came to costumes for school plays, and pageants, Mother always made them. She was good at it too. I remember Brownie outfits clown costumes, even a George Washington outfit for me (Feb. 22, 1932). I think there is a snapshot of this one somewhere.

Vacations during the Depression were homely if not unusual. In thinking back on these times, it is a wonder we ever had a vacation. Dad always had a car so we had the basic transportation. Then there was the Daly Cottage at Colonial Beach, Virginia. on the Potomac River - near George Washington’s birthplace (Wakefield, Westmoreland County). I was never quite sure how the “Cottage” arrangements were worked out at “The Beach”, but we usually made several excursions to Colonial Beach each year. I mentioned earlier the annual May 30 jaunt with Uncle Adolph. Then Mother would go down there for a week or two with Phil and me - Dad would show up on the weekends. I suppose this was the family mecca because Grandma Daly held “court” here and actually it was a continuing family reunion. There was the Daly lot on which the Cottage was situated and then the other half of the property belonged to Irving Wood (the real estate Uncle) and ultimately went to Doris and Virginia. The whole thing went to Bill Miller in the 1970’s when no one else in the family wanted to keep up the property.

Back to the Beach and the Depression - it was an inexpensive gathering place for all the relatives on Mother’s side who, I am sure, accepted Grandma’s hospitality willingly. It was an unusual setting, steeped in family tradition and history which held the several generations of the family together for more than 60 years. Considering that Grandfather Daly shipped the building materials and furniture down the Potomac River at the turn of the century and that my Mother and Father and their peers went through their teens and young adult years there, The Cottage was quite an unusual place. The whole Beach was impoverished during the Depression. Farmers produced very little and what they produced sold cheaply. Many who were unemployed made things to sell, door to door. I recall one man, who over the course of several years, made rough furniture from branches and twigs - he painted them with ordinary tar which

he scraped up off the road on hot days. Every year Uncle Ad would buy a couple of flower stands or a garden chair. It was pitiful to see.

Vacationing at the Beach during the Depression meant going “down front” in the evening. There we occasionally played at bowling (duckpins). In fact, it was here we learned the game. I believe it cost 5€~ a game. The grown ups would whoop it up at Bingo. On a good evening we might even include a movie. I saw my first movie at the Beach with Jackie Coogan - the theatre was right on the “boardwalk”. My faint memory tells me we sat on benches and the floor was loose gravel - no roof either. Of course it was a silent film, probably around 1927 or 1928.



 

The School Years


My school years began in September 1928. Of this beginning, I recall Kindergarten at the Carberry School on 5th Street NE. Miss Sewell was my teacher. I can see her now - she appeared to be tall and thin, graying hair in a knot behind her head. She wore wire—rimmed glasses as I recall. She seemed to fit my later picture of the typical spinster school teacher. She seemed to be a kindly person and I remember having good feelings about going to school.

Carberry School was the typical turn-of-the-century school building. A basement with a lunch room, four rooms on each of two floors surrounding an open hall in the center with a wide staircase. I recall crawling through a sort of window entrance at the basement level to get into the lunch room area this was probably during bad weather because we did not eat lunch in kindergarten. As far as class activities went I recall sitting in a circle and shaking a Mason jar filled with cream which eventually became butter. The other activity I remember was making a continuous roll of pictures pasted together which we wound on a scroll and reeled through a cardboard box which served as the movie screen. I liked this because I got to draw most of the pictures. The only other recollection I have of this first year was my smallpox vaccination. This was a horrifying experience. I recall Mother taking me to the Peabody School which was at Lincoln Park, waiting in line rolling up my left sleeve, smelling mediciney, and feeling the pain from the needle prick. It couldn’t have been all that bad - probably more the anticipation than anything. I also recall what must have been a school assembly where we all went out into the hail and sat on the steps to watch some kind of program.

As was noted earlier, we moved to Woodside Park in May 1929. I recall the process of transferring from Carberry School to Woodside School. Dad picked up Phil and me. We left in the middle of the day. I entered Mrs. Lyons Kindergarten at Wood-side - what a big event. The classroom was newer that at Car-berry. The only thing I remember about Woodside at this time was the rhythm band and how I always wanted the tamborine or the opportunity to lead the band - I did once (the baton reminded me of a broom handle) in the assembly hall. Woodside had a nice auditorium, I thought - a stage and folding wooden chairs for the audience. There were classrooms immediately surrounding the assembly room. Woodside also had what I thought was a mammoth playground with swings, sliding board, monkey bars and seesaw - not to mention several softball areas which I learned about later.

As I recall, I had Mrs. Crossan for First Grade. I remember nothing of the curriculum. I do remember recess, however. Recess in First and Second Grades was important to me (Laura Jenkins was the Second Grade teacher) because I got to tell stories whenever we had a rainy day recess - we couldn’t go outside to play so I would tell stories. The favorite I recall the class asking for was “Hansel and Gretel”. I must have really hammed it up. Also, I remember doing a lot of drawing and clay modeling. I also remember each room had a sand table which became the scene of many villages and buildings which happened to be in our studies. These two grades must have provided good experience for me because I recall enjoying them. Mrs. Crossan was a short stout woman built much like Mother. She lived on Highland Drive near Georgia Avenue.

Then came the Third Grade --  my nemesis! Miss Warfield was the most attractive of my elementary school teachers and she was being courted by her beau throughout the year. Perhaps I resented the attention she gave her friend, but I recall her talking with him out the second story window while we sat and waited. I’m sure I must have taken advantage of the situation e.g., throwing spitballs, paper airplanes, making cat calls. She obviously didn’t like me either. My report cards for this grade were horrible. I really had trouble with reading at this level. My arithmetic was also noticeably poor - division I believe was the problem. Once again, my art work excelled - I drew everything - made posters, cartoons, beautiful sand box displays. Also acted in every little play or pageant that came along. The coup de grace was the final report for Grade Three. I was "passed on condition”. This meant I had to do certain work during the summer and then pass a test in September in order to be placed in Fourth Grade. I recall a horrible summer trying to read a book about birds which was too hard for me. I had to read a given number of pages for Dad’s approval each evening. I must have been a terrible student at that time. I recalled being frightened by not passing and being embarrassed, after all, no one else in the family ever had this happen to them. Why couldn’t I be a good student like Phil? Believe me I heard this many times throughout elementary and high school years. Well, I must have passed the test in September because I was placed in Mr.s Harmon’s class. Was I thrilled! I had her as a substitute teacher in other grades and really liked her. She turned outto be the best teacher I ever had. A kind, loving, considerate person, she gave credit when and where credit was due. I remember being on the spelling honor bulletin board practically every week - these were 100% test papers. The other activity I liked so much in the Fourth was reading THE WIZARD OF OZ - Mrs. Harmon read us the original a little bit at a time on Friday afternoons if we had been good. You can bet we were on our best behavior. I learned to love school and learning during this year thanks to Mrs. Harmon.

During recess in these upper elementary grades we played what we called “speed ball”. Today it would be called softball -I was pretty good at it. We also ran relays and played soccer -the latter was mostly for the Sixth Grade. I remember in Grade Two during recess, being on the seesaw with Bob Enlow where he was showing off for Ethel Ely — she was cute even then. Well, Bob fell off the seesaw and broke his arm. I was scared. In those days there was no “special education” so everyone was in the same class. I remember Jack Lyons (son of the kindergarten teacher) had epileptic fits and I was always asked to help out. Then there was Gwendolyn Phelan who always sat near me. She smelled badly and was ugly. She had epileptic fits in class. I was called on to help her out — I was scared to death.

In Grade Five I had Miss Anita Pepmeir. She had a temper and scolded me frequently. She had a way of banging the point of her finger on my desk as she made her point in correcting my behavior. I spent the time watching her finger and wondering whether or not she would break the nail - I don’t recall hearing anything she said. Despite my mischievous behavior, I liked her. I thought she was a good teacher. The class was half Grade Five and half Grade Six. The other Fifth Grade Teacher was Miss Montgomery. “Pepper”, as we called her, took us on an interesting trip to the Washington Flour Company where we learned how to make biscuits with self-rising flour. I had fun making biscuits for years after.

Grade Six for me was with Miss Nichols. She was also the school principal. Her trademark was a ring of keys which she kept on her index finger all the time. She would spin them around while she taught much to the distraction of the class. She was very prim and proper and loved to read poetry. My favorite was Poe’s “The Bells”. Miss Nichols also let me use my art talent extensively. I recall doing a pastel of Daniel in the Lions Den, which was framed and hung in the room for years. She also called on me to make music charts for Mrs. Lyon’s kindergarten. These were pen and ink notes on musical staffs which I drew and inked.

The Sixth was the grade for the Safety Patrol - quite an honor. In the previous grade I was being groomed for Captain when I got into some trouble with a broken window. I was dropped from “Captain” and could only be a “plain badge” patrolman. The Captain’s badge was a beautiful blue. Hilton Brown was named Captain in my stead. At the end of the year the AAA took us all to Griffith Stadium for a Senator’s baseball game. It was also during this year that I began taking violin lessons so at graduation I played a violin solo. After the graduation I played “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” with George Tilghman singing at the Manor Club home of the art teacher Mrs. Zeller. For me it was a great event.

The next big step in my education came with the move to Takoma-Silver Spring junior High School (TSS). This was a giant step. Of course, I always had brother Phil two years ahead of me so the anticipation was enhanced by his accounts of what was going on. It seemed to me that the trip to TSS was about three miles. Since Phil and I had bicycles, this was our mode of transportation. On occasion I would walk particularly on days when I had violin lessons with Mr. Harrison -Phil always had his piano lesson the same day.

In September 1935 I began seventh Grade - Miss Stabler was my teacher (Homeroom and mathematics). At TSS I had several teachers each year - I was there for Seventh and Eighth Grades - in addition to the above there were Mrs. Hranac (Art), Miss Collins (Lib), Miss Smith (Social Studies and Latin), Mr. Quinn (PE), Mr. Cummings (Orientation), Miss Kessler (8th Math), Mr. Feddeman (IA), Miss Simpson (Drama, Public Speaking and Creative Writing)Mrs. Steigner (Art), and Mr. Marks (Principal) I can’t remember the science teacher’s name. I enjoyed art most of all - did some pretty nice work too. I was always cartooning and making illustrated booklets for class. Social Studies was fun too - I really liked Miss Smith - good looking blond. She always presented interesting lessons and liked my work.. It was unusual for me not to get an “A” in History. I had an introduction to both French and Latin.. Miss taught the latter and Mrs. Holmead taught the French. I was in the annual operetta “Sunbonnet Sue” and several variety shows. I used to do a series of impersonations during these years. I was a hit at these shows if I say so myself. I didU "Uncle EZRA and the Powerful Little 5-Watter”, “the Shadow”, Lionel Barrymore, and several blackface characters. These were the days when we always did minstrel shows. In addition, I played violin in the school orchestra. We also had a dance band outside of school: Phil on piano, me on violin and others. Our first paying dance job was at TSS --  pay was 75 cents and all the cookies and punch we could drink”. Mr. Quinn had a very favorable influence on me. He encouraged my participation in basketball (he even took me to a basketball clinic in downtown DC one evening with a group of fellow students), track, gymnastics. I won several running relays at the spring relays. Basketball was never my forte. Mr. Quinn married one of the teachers, a Miss Fenton, and later went to the University of Maryland as an ROTC instructor and track coach. His wife Mrs. Quinn, was my English teacher at Montgomery Hills Junior High in Ninth Grade. She also directed the school play which I was in” The World Loves A Lover”. I had to pretend I was smoking a pipe.

During my stay at TSS I recall several winter sleet storms which created a sheet of ice to the extent we put on Dad’s clamp ice skates and skated to school. I also remember vividly an assembly program we had there , put on by American Indians from the Department of the Interior. One particular Indian girl (young lady I guess) did several native dances in costume — I was really taken by her beauty.

The big change in 1937 was the opening of Montgomery Hills Junior High School in the Fall. I was in the Ninth Grade and the new school was anything but glamorous. It was Strictly a depression time functional building . There was no auditorium or gymnasium. The basement served the latter. The cafeteria was on the top floor and served occasionally as a auditorium if you can call it that. This was a very emotional year for me. During the summer I had decided my handwriting needed improvement so I taught myself from Grandpa’ Seltzer’s “Spencerian Method”. Consequently, my handwriting changed completely. I recall the principal, Esthlene Morgan, didn’t believe me when I told her I had changed my handwriting. I was really hurt because I was trying to improve myself, but she didn’t believe me. This school had no playing field either. There was no such thing as playground equipment. Mr. Savigny (PE) took the boys PE class out to the adjacent field and ran us around as a group until we had trampled down all the weeds to form a running track and softball diamond. We had no lockers or showers so we did our PE in street clothes - no shoe changes either. I remember playing baseball on that field and doing very well at bat - I could really hit the long ball occasionally. Mr. Savigny went into the Air Force during the WW II and made a career of it. He retired as a Lt. Col. I met him after the war at some military affair I believe.

I had a lovely teacher, Miss Lynda M. Carver, for homeroom and history. She really stimulated my interest in ancient history and archaeology. She introduced me to Roy Chapman Andrews, the famous archaeologist of that time. Of course, I made beautiful notebooks for her filled with my colorful maps. For Algebra I and Latin I had Miss Bernadine M. Jones. I disliked her intensely to say the least - you cane deduce in which two subjects I did poorly. Not only that, she was the newspaper sponsor and tried her damndest to keep me from being Editor of MO-HI-JU-HI (John Long,  an old school friend of mine had suggested the title - he later went to Catholic High School in DC and I lost track of him). Well, the stuáents elected me Editor inspite of Miss Jones. She hated me ever afterward and devistated me in Latin and Algebra. I barely passed. Mrs. Quinn was great in English and Drama. I don’t believe we had enough students for a school orchestra. We did have clubs, however. One was social dance. I thought I should learn to dance - girls were becoming an object of interest at this time. We usually did Paul Jones in this group and I remember avoiding those of Italian heritage because I couldn’t stand the garlic odor. I danced with Jacqueline Hood - a tall attractive girl - as well as others. My first date was with Jacky. Her father came with her to pick me up and take us to the school dance. Talk about awkward arrangements! I though the whole thing was a disaster.

Art was an enjoyable subject. Mrs. Steigner was a quiet, helpful, considerate teacher who really knew her subject. I did my first oil painting on fiber board, linoleum block printing, ceramics, charcoal and sculpture. Mary Elizabeth Smith later told me she had a crush on me in art class. I didn’t know enough about girls to know she was even interested. I always had fun making jokes and cutting up with the girls. I did lots of lettering and poster painting for dances and plays, but I learned most of that at home.

September 13, 1938, I entered Montgomery Blair High School as a sophomore (10th Grade). Phil was a senior that year. I’m trying to recall the teaching staff: Mr. E. Merritt Douglas, Prin. (he later disgraced himself by losing money at the race track and had to give up being principal); Mr. Knight (Pope), Asst. Prin.; Miss Brechbill, Biology (her father was at the U. of MD) Mrs. Metcalf, Orchestra; Miss Bratt, Latin; Miss Williams, Eng.; Mrs. Lyon, History; Miss Stickley, Librarian. According to my diary, I took Peggy Ballard out several times this year, e.g., tennis, movies, school dances. She lived on Noyes Drive -- made good company. Bud Bergman (Phil's age) was with Phil and me a good bit in 1938. We had had a good summer at the Beach. I always seemed to be around Phil’s group. During the year dance orchestra activity took an important place in my life. During the Fall, I started playing violin in dance orchestras, but apparently I decided I should play the saxophone and Phil decided on the trumpet. By November we had new instruments from Sears. We both started out teaching ourselves. I recall the need for a real teacher. I was still taking violin lessons from Harrison when I started sax lessons~ Mr. Hart was my first sax teacher whom I met on Saturday mornings at Takoma Elementary School. The group lesson were cheap but very poor. I soon started with Frank Wiblitzhouser. He was the alto saxophone soloist with the Marine Band and a paid cello player in the Keller Sunday School orchestra. He was an excellent player on both instruments. His prize was a gold plated Sellmer alto sax which had been given him to endorse Selmer. At that time Selmer was the top of the line in saxophones.

All of this was going on while I was playing a lot of violin solos at church and school, tried out for the basketball team -I was cut from the team. On November 26, 1938, I had the great thrill of attending an Army/Navy football game in Philadelphia. Uncle Ad took Phil, Bill Miller, Doris and Virginia and me. Army won 14 to 7. Exciting - snow after the game. We rode the football excursion train --  double decker buses on Broad St. These were the days when there were 102,000 spectators.
At this time, I was thinking about dentistry as a career -reading a good bit about the profession and the University of Maryland Dental School. I was also a member of the Dance Committee at school having fun planning dances - did a lot of decorating too. It was in December that I had my first opportunity to hear the National Symphony Orchestra in a special school concert at Wilson High School (DC). I was thrilled! Hans Kindler was the conductor.

I was a good friend of Meredith Yost - we were in the same homeroom and school orchestra together. He played clarinet at school and tenor sax in Henry Miller’s Orchestra. At this age Meredith Yost was a professional musician playing regularly for pay. He invited me to his house to hear Miller’s orchestra. I thought it was great! The group was made up of grown men — Meredith was the only teenager.

For Christmas 1938 I had my saxophone and Phil gave me a copy of Gone With The Wind which I read voraciously. I note today (1985) that the movie is available for home viewers on video cassette. Our social life included visits to and by the Webers, Rouses, Doris, Virginia, Uncle Ad, Aunt Mabel, Uncle Charles, Aunt Edith, Violet and her family, the Arnolds from Lebanon and Manheim. Phil and I used to go downtown to the big stage theaters ,e.g., Earle  Capitol,  to see big bands. Among them were:
Jimmy Dorsey, Eddie Duchin, Charlie Barnett, Tommy Dorsey, Bob Crosby, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Gene Krupa, Harry James. I continued to go to Meredith’s house to hear Henry Miller’s orchestra. I was hoping to play with the group. I even bought a sax stand. I finally got my first sax job with Henry Miller at Western High School (DC) February 14, 1939. Usually the orchestra used three saxes, but this was a special job where Miller needed a fourth sax - an alto. The job paid $4. The greatest ever! The biggest laugh came when I tried to get into Dad’s old tuxedo. Remember, Dad was several inches shorter and smaller in the limbs than I. The orchestra had to be dressed formal with wing collars and black ties. It was all I could do to squeeze into the trousers. I couldn’t button the jacket -sleeves too short. The pants were half way up my calf. This didn’t really show since I sat behind a cardboard music stand and could hide. Despite the tux, I was in seventh heaven playing sax for the first time in a professional dance orchestra. From then on I was invited to play with them whenever they needed a fourth sax.

My diary indicates I had feelings about going to Hollywood. In between I was dating Peggy Ballard and Noticing Nan Griffin. My literary enlightenment included: THREE WHEELING THOUGH AFRICA, GWTW, THE CITADEL, HORSE AND BUGGY DOCTOR, and the University of Maryland Dental School catalog.
In March I got my own tuxedo - I recall Phil got one too -at Hechts. Helped the ego tremendously to look sharp in formal attire. I played sax with a group called Royal Aces at Blair dances. When not busy, I was looking at used cars -I always did. Meredith had an old Dodge he drove to school. He was about one year older than I. This was great. Phil was beginning to play piano with dance orchestras - he took popular music lessons from a woman over on Connecticut Avenue. Playing chords and improvising. WE used to practice together a great deal too. In April Phil and I stopped formal piano and violin lessons after five years with Mr. Harrison. We were now into dance music. Bill Allen played trumpet in our dance group and we frequently practiced at his house. He later became a fighter pilot in WW II and was killed). I also tried my hand at driving the car. Dad let me practice going back and forth on the driveway. At about the same time I was performing on the violin in the annual Variety Show at Blair. My diary informs me that I was the only Sophomore to win anything. I played ADORATION by Borowski and WHEN THE MASQUERADE IS OVER. The same week I played ARIA in church at the morning service -Flora Weber on the organ. During the following week I played again in a school assembly - this kind of schedule went on almost all the time. Max Calloway was beginning to hold dance orchestra rehearsals at his house. His father managed the Acme Market across the street on Georgia Avenue and his mother a Southern lady, prepared delicious snacks for the orchestra.
Bill Allen and Phil were in this group. While this was going on, I had a regular group of lawns to cut, printing jobs, delivering the weekly shopper, working at Center Market and at the Acme. On my 16th Birthday I was busy with learning to drive and preparing for the driver’s examination. Grandma (Behm) Seltzer died in Belmar, NJ, on June 6, 1939.

Remember Jean Cavanaugh! She was MISS WASHINGTON in the Miss American contest that year - really gorgeous. This was the June that Phil graduated from Blair. I went to Dawn Connor s party -I got my learner’s permit - big deal! It was apparent, that if I were to succeed in the dance orchestra business, I needed to double on the clarinet. Every good sax player did the “Licorice stick”. So I bought one - at a pawn shop on E Street near the National Theater. Paid $15. for a chrome plated job (American). I passed my driver’s test on July 6, 1939 - took the clarinet to the Beach, bought an instruction book and taught myself. I remember just about blowing my brains out trying to get the right sound. The embochure was different from the sax and I tended to get a lot of squeaks. Boy, did I have a headache! It was during this summer that I taught myself to type on Dad’s little Corona portable.
The Eleventh Grade included: English - Miss “Maggie” Wood, Plane Geometry — Miss Aud; Chemistry - Mr. Lester Welch; Spanish - Miss Antoinette Santini; Art - Mrs. Elizabeth Steigner. I was still thinking of dentistry as a career and was in correspondence with the University of Maryland Dental School in Baltimore. Phil was now a Freshman at College Park in Agriculture. This was also the year when St. Luke’s Lutheran was a mission church (Rev. Bieber) meeting in the Masonic Hall. A new experience at school was the appearance of Helen Bogen in my class. Helen was the first and only Jewish girl in Blair at the time. Her father was a big time liquor dealer who bought the big house on the corner of Highland Drive and Crosby Road tennis court and everything. Helen was a big girl and tried hard to be accepted. She was in the drama club with me and invited me to her big party September 23 -I think it was a Jewish holiday “Yom Kippur”. Everything was overdone in a style I was unaccustomed to. Abundant food(including bloody turkey), an orchestra for dancing, party lights, a special wooden dance floor built on top of the tennis court. Her parents were there with their friends - they had the alcoholic drinks - not us kids. Good thing. I recall having a good time --  my diary notes “Nan Giffen".

Bill Allen acquired a “school” car --  I think it was basically a Plymouth coupe which he had modified and souped-up -- we referred to it as a “crate” --  he was a wild sort of guy and we had lots of fun riding around. He later went with Nan Giffen. At school I was reading WuTHERING HEIGHTS, serving on the school legislature ( homeroom representative), and doing well in Spanish. I liked Miss Santini. The dance orchestra was going strong and I was getting pretty good on the clarinet.

Aunt Grace Behm came to DC to work and visited with us. Later in the year(Dec) Aunt Grace, cousins Patty and Roger moved in with us. They were Catholic and had always attended Catholic School. The father, Homer, apparently was a brilliant chemist in Chicago and there suffered a disfiguring injury in the laboratory which finally drove him insane. He was in an asylum when Aunt Grace came to Live with us. Patty was sort of cute~ - pudgy as I recall, and very sweet and polite. This was the first girl around the house on a long term basis so you can imagine the adjustment problems - on both sides. Her brother, Roger, had been at the University of Notre Dame - I don’t remember all the details. He got a job as an usher at the Capitol Theater - we didn’t really see much of him. I think they were hard pressed for funds and Mother and Dad simply took them in.

Phil was a Freshman at U. of M. and active in the band. Bill Miller was at Gettysburg College and Doris was at Maryland (Living on campus). Virginia, two years older, was already a Junior there. I was impressed with all the college talk and vicariously reveled in their experiences. In November 1939, I got acquainted with LaJeanne Echols. I thought she was great - a flirt, she made the boys feel good about her. She was quite a good tennis player ( came from Dallas and knew Linda Darnell the actress in school there) She was a great dancer and was very popular. Of course, if you read my diary, you will see I had my eyes on a good number of girls. I recall an Ilene Wilson --  good looking blond in the Tenth Grade.

In December I got my own pair of ice skates, sort of a pre-Christmas gift to myself. This opened up a whole series of social events since the crowd at Blair went skating a great deal. The Chevy Chase Ice Palace on Connecticut Avenue was the popular gathering place. Later in the winter when ice formed outside we used to skate on the “moat” in Rock Creek Park. On various other ponds around the neighborhood we gathered on cold days and nights for skating.

As 1940 began, I went back to Mr. Harrison for violin lessons — this time paying on my own. Incidentally, Harrison's daughter was a Freshman at the University of Maryland too. Since I was advanced, Harrison asked me to play in his orchestra at the Christian Church on 9th Street. This group met every week after my lesson.

At school I was in every play that was ever given plus I was drawing cartoons for “Silver Chips” the High School paper. Every year I performed in the “Variety Show —this was an exciting event. I was at this time writing to Hollywood. I received Pasadena Playhouse literature as well. This was the year that I tried out for the baseball team as catcher(McBride was the coach). I was also singing in the glee club. Blair always had a good chorus. For years under Mrs. Metcalf, she put on an original operetta. Quite good too - all original. Phil performed in one.

The Spring of 1940 was a big time for Phil and me. Uncle Ad bought a car for us. We spent a lot of time looking at used cars. The idea was to help Phil with transportation to College Park. I suppose it was Grandma’s money, and probably Mother negotiated the deal. Finally, on June 7 we bought a 1937 Tudor Ford (Black), 85 HP. As could be expected, with a used car, there was always some problem. First it was the radiator thermostat. Phil and I took turns driving to separate activities or to the same destination. Remember when gas was l5’~/gal? Sunoco was two gallons for 25~ - so for 50~ you could drive quite along time.

The other big thrill in 1940 was my trip to Montana. I’ll write all about that elsewhere (with Mr. Thomas) In September 1940 (my senior year at Blair) I got a job with Wesley Stewart at Forsythe’s (Rexall) Drug Store on Georgia Avenue. I mentioned this elsewhere too. This was my main source of income in addition to dance orchestra jobs so it was important. My senior year teachers were:  Orchestra --  Mrs. Scanlon; US History -- Mrs. Edwards; Algebra --  Mr. Bready; Solid Geometry -- Miss Aud; Physics -- Mr. Welch; English -- Miss Schwarts. I started Spanish II but dropped it for some reason. Mrs. Kendall was my Homeroom teacher as I recall. The drug store job was interesting: three nights a week 6-11 PM and alternate Sundays. Duties included: the soda fountain, delivery, Western Union telegrams, and helping clerk throughout the store. Met lots of people and learned a lot about the business and people in general. Old “Doc” Forsythe used to let us sample the ice cream ( I put on some weight). Remember Cherry Cokes, Lemon Phosphates, milk shakes, ice cream sodas?

As I recall it was during this year that Dad bought a Marlin .22 cal. rifle. We used to set up a target in a special metal container and shoot .22 shorts in the basement. Later I used to go with Meredith to the dump in Takoma and shoot rats. Good practice.

At school a new wing had been built during the summer. Everything wasn’t really complete by September so we had to do without lockers for a month or so. Once again I was active in dramatics and orchestra. The nation was now involved in its first Peacetime Draft — so we seniors also signed up (registered for the draft).

This was the year that James and I started taking sax lessons from Wiblitzhouser - these were on Saturday morning at his house in NE Washington, DC. He was an excellent teacher and player. Told us stories of how he joined the US Army after WW I and played in the horse band of the cavalry - he played the kettle drums. Joked about cleaning up after the horses. I was still going to Harrison for violin and his orchestra on Monday evenings. To add to everything else I grew a moustache. It lasted until November when we went downtown to have senior pictures taken. I was working regularly at the Drug Store and had some
money for Christmas gifts. I apparently bought a musical powder box for Gladys Gingerich in Campbelltown. At the same time I was working on a part in the Christmas play for school “Red Lamp”.

I was always having trouble with mathematics, but my senior year with Mr. Bready was terrible. He was busy studying law while teaching so he didn’t have his mind on teaching to start with. Add to this, he would face the blackboard and talk to it as he wrote on the slate. I couldn’t hear him much less understand. A nice enough fellow he was harmless as well as not helpful. You couldn’t get angry with him.

To change the pace, I had the lead in a school play “Empty Room”. I don’t remember it really, but I must have enjoyed doing the role. This was just before Christmas so I was also busy dating new girls like Phyllis Bollinger (she was the racy type) and Terry Febry, a cute little blond I met at Bollingers. Had a number of dates with her (After the war, I ran into her at Sears in Bladensburg while shopping with Helen). These were the Christmas eves when we stayed up all night and then went to the 6 AM Dawn Service at Keller. New Years’ Eve, we had a party at 1234 - Terry(l5) was my date. I took her to church on several occasions - I always thought this lent a degree of credibility to the relationship.

January 1941 - Inauguration Day came on the 20th - Phil and I saw Roosevelt and the parade from atop a tree at the Capitol. This was a busy winter looking at college catalogs, taking tests, hoping for the best. Wrote lots of letters and had many long discussions with Dad. My academic report was only fair. The second semester my last at Blair, was a real challenge for me. Algebra II was my nemesis — I did manage to pass. College discussions led to my considering the ministry. Talked with Dr. Mumper a great deal about this. Mary Ann Mitchell played piano for the school orchestra and accompanied many Variety Show Acts. She was a year younger than I - she also wrote songs and composed music. I worked with her on the show, dance orchestra and later on graduation music. She was cute too - I don’t know why I never took her out. This year I participated in the big Maryland Day celebration at the University of Maryland. The Governor was there.

I decided on Gettysburg College and pre-ministerial -- I suppose with reservations. At least, I applied. Mr.
Knight helped. At the same time I got a part in the senior play “Growing Pains”. I started reading religiously oriented books. e.g., THE NAZERENE. On April 9 Bill Miller was down from Gettysburg and brought a letter accepting my application. Now all I had to do was to figure out how to pay for it. To save money I discontinued sax lessons and started looking for another job. Was also in church play”He Is the Son of God”. Finished at Drug Store on April 18. Met Mumper’s niece Evelyn Claire. I bought an inexpensive guitar from Sears and learned some chords --  then back to trying out for the senior play - I got the part. Meanwhile I met Mumper and Gettysburg Alumni. I was MC for the Variety Show which we took to Sherwood High for an exchange program. Had a great trip to Gettysburg on sub-Freshman Day, May 3. The excitement of the campus really got to me. I was applying for all sorts of jobs for the summer. One was to the Library of Congress -cousin Olive was in a good position there.

Cedric Tilberg came to Keller as an intern and I got to know him pretty well. His father was Dean of Gettysburg College. On Monday, May 26, I went with Mumper, Tilberg, and Mr. Benham to the Lutheran Synod Meeting in Baltimore. I was seeking financial aid ($600) - each year. This was pretty expensive in 1941. The Synod agreed to finance tuition, room and fees - I had to handle board myself. Pretty good dea — of course this was because I was pre—min-isterial student. Rev. Mumper received his “D.D.” from Gettysburg in June.

I got a job at People’s Drug Store, 14th and Park Road and began on Tuesday June 17 - worked the big soda fountain.

They served full course meals. I made my share of mistakes spilling water, dropping things, and bumping into others. The pace was feverish. At the same time I was trying for another job. The Library of Congress was no go, but I did get a job at Stock Brothers Nurseries where Phil was working — 35~/hour. I was familiar with all the work --  cutting, trimming lawns, raking, planting, mulching. Some heavy work preparing spray, carrying big stones -I strained myself badly doing the heavy lifting. Also drove the dump truck on occasion. At least I was outside and getting plenty of sun and exercise. The work was sporadic. Several days I didn’t work - I then hired out for odd jobs obtained through the Maryland State Employment Service. Phil was going with Mary at this time.



 

The Summer of 1940


After school closed in the middle of June, I went about my business of cutting grass as usual. One of my customers, Mr. Thomas on Highland Drive, always chatted with me when I came to cut the grass and one day he surprised me by asking if I would like to help him drive to Montana. Was I flabbergasted! In my diary, I hardly mention it - all very casual on the outside, but inwardly I was really excited. Mr. Thomas had built a metal detector from material he read POPULAR MECHANICS - it hung over both shoulders with one box with knobs and dials in the front and another box behind. A wire ran to a set of headphones. What happened was, radio waves were aimed at the ground and would bounce back a signal when a piece of metal was found. He said he wanted to look for gold in Montana - what a thrilling prospect. It seems, he was an engineer for the Department of Commerce and help build or at least plan US Highway 10 through the Dakotas, Montana, Idaho and on to Spokane. He wanted to retrace the route. His wife a German, spoke broken English - didn’t want to go and she couldn’t drive either. Thomas needed some help driving. I was 17 at the time. I couldn’t contain myself. The arrangement was that he would pay all expenses. All I had to do was provide my own sleeping gear and help him drive. What an opportunity! I always wanted to travel and the best I had been able to do was Colonial Beach, VA., and Palmyra, PA. The time table: leave July 1 and return the second week of August — six weeks. The prospect of driving across the country was the greatest thing I could imagine.

In preparation, Thomas told me what to get at the Army-Navy store in DC - a canvas tarpaulin (to make a bed roll), a Navy white canvas hammock (to sleep in). I can’t remember any other items. Thomas would provide everything else. The excitement mounted until July 1 arrived. I kept a daily record of expenses and car service as well as mileage, room and food. I also expanded my notes to serve as a diary. My trusty little Kodak went along with me and I made good use of it (see special album) Thomas had been in the Navy in WW I which explains his ideas for camping and sleeping in hammocks. The drive out was generally uneventful except for the overall thrill I experienced driving. We took turns - I enjoyed the new countryside and the places we-were driving through - Pittsburgh, Canton, Chicago Heights (we went around the big city), Madison, Wisconsin (I always loved that state), Eau Claire (a pretty name and place), Little Falls, Minn. (we crossed the upper Mississippi River). Crossed the Red River into North Dakota. The great expanse and bigness of the country impressed me. Distance was relatively unimportant -sample sign “cabins 126 miles” at Fargo. Dramatic place names. Remember this was 1940 - there were no super highways as yet, mostly two lanes. I thrilled at seeing the Badlands - we stopped for a while to absorb the beauty of the wild country and recall all the cowboy stories I had read.

We crossed into Montana on July 4 and stopped at Glendive. It was just like being in a Western movie. A rodeo was in town, crowds of cowboys, girls, horses, even the typical Western barroom. Lots of noise, excitement, and drinking. Liquor was like soda pop. I’m sure my eyes were as big as saucers. The Montana landscape was breathtaking in its vastness. The weather was different too. Hailstorms hit us several times on the open prairie and in the passes. Bozeman was quaint -traffic was held up while a flock of sheep was herded down main street. We passed Anaconda (copper mines) coming into Butte and Missoula. We first started meeting local people here. We ate at the Palace Hotel Coffee Shop --  the man LaCasse, built it. Met Mr. and Mrs. Trouse at Camel Springs -they told us of active prospecting at the Jensen claim. I was excited about going after gold. We went on to the village of Superior, which is the last community on Route 10 before entering Idaho and going on to Spokane - lots of 16 wheelers on this route. We stayed in the Charette Hotel (small) — got very little sleep because of the all-night noise of the huge trucks shifting as they climbed into the mountain turn.

The fun really began on July 7 - we drove 15 miles up to Cedar Creek to the LaCasse placer mine. This was along one-car-wide roads dug out of the side of the mountain. Thrilling! Mr. LaCasse was an old timer — reminded me of a storybook prospector except he was French Canadian and spoke with a heavy accent. He proudly showed us his camp. It was remarkable to me. A number of wooden buildings laid out in a square amidst thick trees and a big clearing in the center. There were several sleeping cabins, a mess hall and cook shed, tool shed, power plant (he used a steam donkey—engine to power an electric generator) - there was electricity in every building and all around the square. He generously invited us to dinner. Mrs. LaCasse was an invalid. Old Mr. LaCasse said, “Gold is where you find it!” and “Prospecting is an adventure”. Cedar Creek had been worked since 1869. He came down from Canada and took out millions. Things were slow now because he wanted it that way. He showed me his tunnel in the side of the hill. He would go into the tunnel whenever he needed some gold, take out a carload or two of material and wash it in the sluice box. Pick up his gold and go to town. The vein must have been pretty good. We Planned to look at the South Fork of Trout Creek the next day. We returned to Superior and rested and resupplied for a return visit. Mr. Thomas and I enjoyed exploring the South Fork of Trout Creek. He could tell me what geological formations to look for - he was a geologist too. You look for a crease in the mountain with a stream and then you look for black sand- really minute squares of black material - gold is always found in conjunction with this black sand. Mr. Thomas proceeded to make coffee -just like the cowboys - in an enamel pot over an open fire -rotten black MUD. I referred to it as “mud” from then on. That was the indigenous nomenclature. He made fried Spain, fried spuds
(potatoes), and cold spam on dry bread. You can imagine the effect on the gastro-intestinal track. We then slung our hammocks - I started trying to get in it at 6 PM and finally made it by 8:30 PM Didn’t sleep at all. I gave up trying at 4:45 AM

The morning was cold — in the 30’s. Breakfast was “mud”, bacon and eggs. Left a great deal to be desired. We tried the South Fork for ¼ mile - no black sand, iron or “colors”. We packed up and left that spot. Returned to LaCasse for advice. Stayed for dinner. Thomas was demonstrating his machine. I drew several cartoons and gave thin to Mrs. LaCasse who appreciated them very much. Found an old fiddle with 3 threadbare strings left. Rhett played piano - had a great time. We stayed for supper. Ingle Storm was the cook. She was a teacher from North Dakota - a big country girl. Pleasant. We had more music after supper. Mr. and Mrs. Robb and crew came up. Rhett showed her movies. The men always drink hard liquor - passing the bottle around. I didn’t participate at this point. The folks were very hospitable. We stayed overnight and next morning watched Ranger Robb’s pack train leave. They packed everything including lumber. I recall admiring the tremendous size of one mule -I inappropriately walked around behind him looking at the hitches whereupon he let go all over me.

Thomas and I left camp for Oregon Gulch. Up at this elevation it takes two days to cook beans. Water would boil away before the potatoes cooked. We climbed the Continental Divide and marveled at the eagles flying about freely. We saw the Gold Nugget Mine and had lunch near Oregon Lake. Dry bread and jelly. Some eats, eh? I was amazed at the way the gulches were torn up. In the greed for gold big companies would come in with power shovels, trucks, dozers, and just rip out a whole valley. Talk about environmental protection - but then we didn’t have that in 1940.

We went back to Superior for an overnight rest. Back up the mountain the next day. We stopped at St. Joe River crossing camping grounds. (Just a clear area — no improvements). We set up our equipment and then visited with the chap in California Gulch just over the hill. Thomas cooked a foul supper. He sized
up the situation — color. Tried sleeping in the hammock again —this time I put a spreader bar” at each end to keep it from closing in on me. Didn’t sleep well at all - up at 3:30 AM -40 degrees. That’s cold in July. Next day started with another rotten breakfast. Did some panning - a little “color”, no more. Went up Bluebell’s Creek. Set up camp again and tried to catch some sleep. Thomas was in the creek with the gold pan I made sandwiches and lemonade for lunch. I snoozed in the car —Thomas under the bridge. Bud Malmedal, from California Gulch came down for a visit. With so few people around, you tend to develop everyone and anyone. He showed us a possible spot for gold - no luck. Sky was clouding up so he invited us up to his cabin for the night. The storms in the mountains could be pretty frightening. Thomas wanted to stay in camp and get wet. I was somewhat annoyed, to say the least. At 5 PM it started pouring and Thomas and I piled into the car. When it stopped we struggled to get a fire going with wet wood. Learned how to dig under leaves for dry material and scrape sticks to get dry wood. We got a fire going and ended up with another foul supper. Bud came down and asked us again to come up for the night. This time we went. Almost like being in a hotel by comparison. It was a rough cabin with a sleeping or bunk room separate from the eating and living room. We had lots of fun talking throughout the evening. Bud was a real character about 25 years old he had a withered right arm but his left compensated - it was massive. He wore a slouch hat and dungarees, cowboy boots. His stories were outlandish! Sleeping in doubledecker bunks seemed like a luxury after the hammock routine. This was my first decent sleep in the woods. In the morning I doused my face in ice cold spring water which flowed right past the cabin, six feet from the door. Bud made hot cakes as big as a plate with eggs. We checked on our things at the camp ground then did some prospecting near MacDonald’s cabin (every— building of every type had the owner’s name). We ran into several trail cabins - these were built by concerned herders and prospectors as a haven for anyone who needed shelter. There was usually a pile of dry wood for the fireplace and canned food on the shelf for emergency. The etiquette of the trail required that you replace whatever you used. Bud and I went deer hunting -he had a 30/30 Winchester, but on this occasion we didn’t even see one. It never occurred to me that you don’t hunt deer in July -legally that is. Bud apparently would shoot whatever he needed because he had a nice chunk of venison steak for dinner. Delicious. Thomas and I decided to throw our grub in with Bud and stay until his Boss came. I took a 4 mile hike up the road sizing up things - beautiful, rugged, virgin country. With Bud cooking, we were finally eating respectably again. That awful mud of Thomas just about did me in. Bud played the harmonica and I played the ocarina I had brought along (sweet potato). Forest fires were a great hazard in these timber lands. The Rangers were responsible for the firefighting. When a fire occurred everyone who was physically able was expected to be drafted to fight the fires. Bud joked about having to get up in the AM and milk the bears — do you milk bears? There were no cattle certainly - some goat herds, however.

Another great breakfast of cakes and bacon — good thick, fragrant Canadian bacon. I read my Bible and sat around taking it easy. During the day sheep pack train came through. These herders really have to like solitude. In the evening the owners of California Gulch (Rickerts) came over from Portland.
Mr. Rickert and Bud went fly casting for trout. I talked with Mrs. Rickert and an aunt who accompanied them. They brought the first newspapers I had seen in a week. This was 1940 — Europe was at war, Republican and Democratic Conventions were being held. We ended up playing Pinochle. Bud left the next day to go to town and stock up. Meanwhile the Rickerts remained in camp. Thomas and I looked over Al Wade’s place. He had a nice cabin - we panned a little - found some traces (all in all we collected a little over an ounce of which Thomas kept as a souvenir). Bud got back from Superior just as a storm blew—up , no luck fishing. I didn’t really understand fly casting. Thunder and lightning storms have a special ominous effect upon residents of the forest. We had no luck fishing --  lightning was scary. Smoke began to fill the gulch - a definite sign of forest fire. Everyone was excited - Bud called the Ranger then the men in our group walked up the road to investigate. There was no fire in California Gulch. We piled in the car to go find the fire. We never did find it. The activity was reported to the Ranger tower. (Ed Rickert, Portland Road, Newberg, Oregon).

The wildlife was beautiful in this setting. Frequently, deer appeared in front of the cabin. A couple of mountain goats appeared on the mountainside across the valley (about 600 yards) and then there were bears and their tracks all around the cabin in the morning. One day while sitting around reading (it was raining) a doe stuck her head up at the cabin window. Bud picked up his Winchester, stepped outside and shot the animal in the heart at point blank range. Bud and I butchered the carcass and dug a pit for the leftovers. He then informed me that this was out of season for hunting deer. This is the closest I ever came to killing a deer. I don’t think I could kill one with those big soulful eyes starring at me.

We moved in time to work Al Wade’s territory. En route, we stopped by the LaCasse camp and had fun playing the violin again. The bottle was ever present at the gathering.

The following day we were prospecting. It occurred to me that even though it was quite hot working the sluice, I did-not perspire. Our efforts weren’t very productive - it seems the stream bed had been overworked. After bathing in cold spring water, I did some reading.

This was followed by sluicing at Medicine Creek. We cooked out and listened to the animals in the evening. In between working the sluice and cooking, Bud and I went fishing in the cold mountain stream (Bluebell’s Creek). We ate huckleberries as big as cherries. The country was rough and hard going, but prospectors had been all over this country for years. We were eating venison as our main meat every day. I observed that Mr. Thomas wasn’t so young, and Bud and I would get away for awhile. Bud certainly had some wild tales to tell about his friends and women in his life. Mr. Thomas made it clear he didn’t want to talk or think about women out in the wilderness. I began to understand the meaning of the statement that "even the local women are beginning to look good” or something to that effect. We ended up playing poker for match sticks.

We were awakened at 7 AM by a Ranger checking on the fire report. Conversations were interesting — a lot of bragging and bluffing. Daily prospecting was producing a great deal of color and nice iron cubes, but very little gold dust. Prospectors never tell too much. At night I slept fully clothed under two blankets on a straw mattress in a doubledecker bunk — I believe I was in the top one.

We continued up Medicine Creek prospecting likely sites -no gold to talk about. We did eat lots of huckleberries. Bud shot another deer which we butchered on the spot. I then helped him build a bridge across the California Creek. The nights were getting colder. This was only the end of July. Stories were told that it had snowed as early as August. Usually snow came the end of September and it was common to get 6’ before the Spring thaw. Bud and I cut wood with the 2-man saw much like at home. (Fawn sheds dots and doe and buck play checkers with them).

Still looking for a good site, we came upon the Gold and Copper Mine - hard rock job. The rain at night was very peaceful and I slept soundly. Because of the rain, we read most of the day. Bud even got to reading my Bible - I thought this was great.

Regular chores took a lot of time each day.. Clean yourself then the cabin. Cleaned the car and started arranging things for the trip back East. Each day we shoveled more material into the sluices. In all, Thomas and I had about 1 oz of dust to show for 6 weeks work. I had more luck catching rainbow trout. Bud showed me how to clean and panfry them. He was really a good cook. We usually had some music each evening — he his harmonica and me on the sweet potato. It was Tuesday, July 30, ~940, when we left California Gulch. I made the note: Bud Malmedal, Brisbee, North Dakota. We dropped by the LaCasse camp on the way out of the Shoshone Mountains. We had a festive time at LaCasse’s. Ingle and I played music while the men drank. We also tossed horseshoes. We went on to Superior for the night. Caught my first glimpse of girls my own age. We left Superior on the 31st. We travelled through Missoula and Helena - fascinating towns. All show the effects of gold minig, sheepherding. The main street in Helena follows a gulch created by large scale prospecting and mining. We went through Drummond -in the flat I dug up some cacti plants to take home. Evidence of gold was all over the place, but hard to get at. By evening we arrived in Livingston. Mr. Thomas and I were approached by agaudy, flashy, ancient female. He later informed me that she was a prostitute. On we went through the alkali flats. I found a bleached horses skull which I brought home - it was in perfect condition and bleached pure white. By the time I got home half the teeth had fallen out of the maxillary bone (I later threw it away when son Ritchie was frightened by it). This was in Rockville, Md.

The trip home was uneventful, but interesting. I really enjoyed driving and particularly observing the changes in the countryside. We arrived in Silver Spring at 7:50 PM on the 6th of August. I will always be grateful to Mr. Thomas for this extraordinary experience. I kept in touch with him until he died during WW II(not in the service) and Mrs. Thomas used to correspond with me in German until after I was out of the Army. She had moved from Silver Spring by then and I lost track of her.



 

College before the war


My college activity actually overlapped the end of high school and the summer of 1941. During July I received registration materials for Gettysburg. I spent a lot of time reading catalogs and course guides, and trying to figure out courses. Looking back on it all forty years later, I needn’t have been concerned since everything was pretty well set. I did talk with Bill Miller a good bit. Concurrently, I was busy at church and sunday school teaching class and participating in services. I was encouraged financially when Grandma gave me $200. toward college. By August 18 I was laid off at the Nursery — there wasn’t enough work. I then began doing odd jobs which I got through the Maryland State Employment Office in Silver Spring. I always managed to keep busy. I even made a shoe box to take to college with me. In preparation for college I got a new saxophone from Sears - James got the old one. I really appreciated having the new instrument — it played beautifully and had the latest fingering pad arrangement. I also got a brand new trunk plus laundry mailer. The Nursery called me back for a few days which I was always glad to do - I needed the money. During this summer of 1941, poliomelitis reached epidemic proportions. As a result, large public gatherings were prohibited. The opening of college was postponed until September 29. Polio seems to be less infectious after the first frost. (Infantile paralysis) This was the disease which cripp1ed President Roosevelt earlier. Being delayed merely heightened my excitement for entering college. I continued to work at the Nursery and at odd jobs. My unknown roommate wrote me a letter --  Robert Koller from York, PA. The “G” Book (Freshman Handbook) arrived and I almost ate it up. On September 10, Bob Koller and several of his friends from York paid a surprise visit to Woodside Park. He drove a Chrysler Town and Country convertible. Looked like the typical “Joe College”. Seemed like a nice fellow as did his friends. Shortly thereafter my Freshman Program arrived — more excitement! I continued to work at the Nursery after Phil quit to go back to the University of Maryland. I quit September 18, one week before going to Gettysburg. The remaining days heightened my anticipation. Visited with Mumpers several times, also with the other ministerial students from Keller. Sunday School and Church kept me busy and of course I practiced my music everyday and I was performing several times a week. I even played my first real round of golf with Dr. Mumper at Rock Creek. I remember loosing a couple dozen balls. I was reading everything I could get my hands on - KEYS OF THE KINGDOM - playing sax duets with James, doing my Charles Atlas exercises — I was a real dynamo. Finally, on Sunday September 28, l94l (after Sunday School) I left for Gettysburg.

I arrived at 3 PM and had a great day meeting other Freshmen. Professor “Hips” Wolfe was our mentor - a great fellow, former football great at G-burg. Met Bob Koller and his friends again and had fun fixing up Room 218 Old Dorm. This building had been used as a hospital during the Civi1 War battle -- Room 218 allegedly was the surgery. I was thrilled to finally be at college. Frosh orientation began the next morning. I had made arrangements to board at Mrs. Sheely’s since the college had no dining facilities in those days. She was a pleasant Pennsylvania Dutch type who loved to cook -
I loved to eat so we got on well. The only unpleasant part about this arrangement was the hazing we Frosh took at the hands of the upper classmen.. English achievement and literary tests were completed in the AM. I walked around Gettysburg - I always liked the town and now I felt I had a special interest in it. We had a bonfire for Frosh at the Student Christian Association building that evening. Linnaean Hall, which was next to Old Dorm, was vacant — an old building -Dr, Nicholas at Keller had told me how students in his days at Gettysburg, had built the building themselves as a science hall.

I enjoyed the Frosh girls - some real cute ones, according to my diary. Apparently I had a date that first eve and of course I wrote home as well as keeping my diary up to date. One of my best friends among the Frosh was John Rasmussen. He was a local. Lived on a dairy farm outside of town. We had many a good time together as well as deep discussions. I remember we both smoked pipes — that was supposed to be very sophisticated behavior. There were form meetings, a physical examination and registration for classes. I also had a tryout for the band on my sax. Several other Frosh and I had a jam session in my room - we did this a number of times during the year. In the evening there was another affair at SCA - this was a center of social activity on campus. There were more tests and then opening of classes with all the upper classmen present. I tried out for choir - The Gettysburg College Choir was quite famous - it was a real honor to be selected for it. Parker Wagnild was director, however, I did not make it. Was I disappointed! Bill Miller sang with them, but I didn’t. I was crushed. Fraternity rushing started immediately. Fraternities were very important at Gettysburg. First of all they served as dormitories since there were only Old Dorm and Knight Hall. They also served as dining halls, and then they were centers of social activity and athletics. I was “rushed” (this meant I was invited for a visit) by Sigma Chi and Alpha Tau Omega - nice houses and well respected. Dr. Mitchell in Silver Spring was an ATO and saw to it that I was rushed.

My first class was held on Friday October 3, 1941 at 8 AM -Biology, Prof. Bowen. I was really excited. He was assisted by Prof. Kromhout who conducted the Biology Laboratory.

I was invited to eat lunch at Tau Kappa Epsilon. In between classes I was buying books in the Bookstore. I loved books and acquiring these new ones was exciting. In the afternoon I had my first German class - Professor Starr. The text was ICH LERNE DEUTSCH - I still have it. I had always wanted to study this language because of the Seltzer family background and Grandma Daly being a first generation German immigrant. She still spoke some. This day I was invited to dinner at the Phi Sig house — one of the nicer ones. The evening I spent at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon house - I thought the members were a bunch of smart asses. I didn’t like them at all. Saturday began with English, Professor “Hips” Wolfe. I had dinner at Lambda Chi Alpha (on Broadway near the TKE house). They were pleasant enough but a little jerky - not quite “with it” socially. I was getting confused by all the fraternity invitations and propaganda. Each one was better than the one before. Consider, that my social life never included anything like this. I soon discovered that most of the Frosh were in the same boat with me. The girls were getting the same treatment except that there were not nearly so many sororities to choose from, plus the women had nice dormitories and the sororities only had meetings rooms in the dorms no separate houses at Gettysburg. The male-female ratio at Gettysburg was about 3 to 1.

Saturday afternoon and evening I spent with the ATO group on a picnic and at their nice pillared house across from the Chapel. I seemed to like either Phi Sig or ATO. On Sunday I went to Sunday School and Church at St. James Lutheran. Not as exciting as I had expected . More typically small town and quaint. After studying in the afternoon I took a walk around the Battlefield in the moonlight. I did this many times during my first year of college. In fact, it was quite a common pastime for many students.

Monday of the second week began with a Frosh class called “Orientation” - what it was really, was psychology. Studying the self “id” and behavior, motivation, reactions, and testing. I found it very interesting - it was taught by a Theological Graduate Student (Donald Heiges). Dr. Bowen gave the biology lecture and then I had my first Military Science class. I was part of ROTC. I enjoyed this military training immensely - particularly the manual of arms. I had another German class and then tried out for the dramatics group. Would you believe I was turned down! As things developed, I found that getting in the drama group was largely dependent upon your fraternity and who you knew. Dr. Arms (mathematics) was the sponsor. The Band rehearsed and I spent the evening studying.

ROTC drill periods were held first thing on Tuesday and Thursday. My history class met for the first time with Dr. Robert Fortenbaugh. (His son was in the freshman class). He was a well known Civil War historian, but he was teaching this large lecture class (about 200) World History. Small discussion sessions were held once a week with a graduate student. M. recollection of Dr. Fortenbaugh is that he very quickly got up to the Civil War and spent most of the Spring term on the Battle of Gettysburg. Regardless, I found him very interesting. I was particularly impressed with an older student who sat next to me at lecture. He was married, had a family and worked for the Western Maryland RR, lived in Westminster, MD., He was working on his degree piecemeal, taking a course now and then when he could schedule it. The train would come into Gettysburg, he would take his lecture and then return to the train. I was very much impressed by his determination.

The classes continued as noted and all of the activities fell into place. I was in pretty much of a daze with all the activity. I was enjoying biology laboratory and practiced my music regularly. I tried out for the orchestra and made it. Professor Sundermeyer conducted. His wife played cello. He was professor of German and head of the department - spoke with a heavy accent and had a Prussian saber scar across his face.

Freshman activities were rather fun at Gettysburg. We each had a rule book to learn, including college songs. We also had to wear little orange and blue caps called “Dinks” or “Rat Hats”. One of the rules was that Frosh had to wear them all the time even in class until sometime set by upper classmen when they would be discontinued. Part of the hazing required Frosh to be subservient to upper classmen, e.g., get out of their way, carry their books, sit for them in compulsory Chapel. Failure to do so resulted in being called before the TRIBUNAL - usually sophomores. These sessions were held on Fridays on the Old Dorm steps. Punishment included wearing silly costumes or carrying signs.

Another friend was Spurgeon Gotwalt “Spurge”. He lived in York. We got on well and he invited me to his house the second weekend. I met his sister, Margaret. She was very sweet, pleasant but not pretty. (Later married a fellow TKE) I liked her though and had several dates with her. Spurge’s father was in the insurance business, but suffered from acute back trouble. His mother was a great cook. They were good Lutherans and I went to church and sunday school with the whole group.

I enjoyed being in the marching band - the fall meant football. It was a totally new experience for me - I enjoyed marching and doing the specialized moves we did at different football games.

I particularly remember the trip to Bucknell at Lewisburg, Pa. We had fun on the bus and fun at the games. After a Friday night pep rally, I recall the band members (including me) went into town and rather disrupted things at the Gettysburg High School game - the Principal came after us with a chain ( it was a night game). Being in the band, I also played for the ROTC marches, in Army uniform of course. Had a great trip to Lancaster for the F & M game.

Curiously, when looking at fraternities, I wanted to pledge Phi Sigma Kappa but was never invited (Bill Miller was a member). I often wondered why I didn’t get a bid. I did get a bid from Tau Kappa Epsilon - I pledged here. I got a bid from ATO also, but I thought they were a little too “fast” for me. I therefore began taking my meals at the Frat. Mother and Dad and J.P. and Jim came up for Fathers Day weekend. I played in the band and got wet - there was a banquet in Plank gym for the families. The boys stayed in the dorm -I don’t recall where Ma and Pa were. But as a consequence of getting soaked, I took sick. Folks left on Sunday. I saw the college doctor and ended up in the infirmary. The next day I was back in class feeling better. Some others and I got a dance band started. I did pretty well at budgeting my time so that I had several hours prep for each hour of class. Frat pledges had regular meetings where we learned the Greek alphabet (that was positive) and rules and history of the national fraternity. As frosh we had to watch out for F & M students sneaking on to the campus and stealing something. After two nights F & M arrived at midnight. They were captured and had their heads -( shaved and painted college colors.

The next day, attending compulsory Chapel, the building was closed and we didn’t the AM devotions -- somebody had put a live skunk in the chapel and he “odorized” it.

The next day the big thrill was for the whole college to go to the town theatre to hear the poet Steven Vincent Benet. The football weekends were great. Homecoming was a big event too. By now the dance orchestra was getting a few jobs. Played with Harry Oyler’s Band at a roadhouse outside of town on Halloween. Homecoming included the traditional SophFrosh tug-o-war across the “Tiber”. Went to York for a date with Margy Gotwalt then back to G-burg at 2 AM. For the first time, I missed Sunday School and Church. My diary tells me there was too much going on - social, study, frats, music, etc. I was worn out. Even though I complained about being too busy I kept on trying new things. I went out for fencing. I thought I was studying real hard, but I was coming up with “C” in history — my favorite subject.

One Sunday I went to Hood College in Frederick, Md. with Morris Zumbrun from TKE — I was impressed with the college women. Hood at that time was female. To make a little extra I waited tables at the frat and also washed windows in the girl’s dorm.

Among all the confusion, I was managing to get myself sufficiently organized so that I could study productively. Part of this came from Orientation which taught me how to read for comprehension and learning to study. This was real competition in the real world not simply the “kicks” from Montgomery Blair. I was frustrated by not always getting as good marks as I thought I should, but then I was proud to do well.

The weekend before Thanksgiving found me hitch-hiking to Silver Spring on a truck. I applied for a Christmas Post Office job and generally enjoyed being with the family -we always had family music at these sessions. Sort of a form of conversation. A busy week followed and on Wednesday I hitched a ride to York for Thanksgiving. With the Gotwalt’s -had a great time. Hurried back to G-burg for traditional football game which we lost. Friday brought forth a formal dance — I had Margy over. She went back in the morning to take nursing tests, then came back to G—burg for the Military Ball in the evening. For a rest, I had taken a 7 mile hike in the afternoon. Sunday we all took a tour of the Battlefield after which they left and I studied and went to Vespers at the SCA You would think I’d slow down a bit - no! I went out for wrestling. This meant lots of time spent on physical fitness -long runs over the Battlefieldm, numerous push ups and work on the apparatus. In wrestling practice I was always put with a fellow (senior) named Romagna. He must have weighed a ton. He flattened me regularly.

On December 5 we heard the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Huhe Shie. Quite exciting considering the world situation. The next day at the frat I got involved with Boyd Cassidy who was hypnotizing willing subjects. He was a psychology major and apparently knew what he was doing. He really did hypnotize a couple of the boys - one I recall was stiff as a board and stretched over two chairs with only heels and head touching. I tried hard to go under, but it didn’t work. I guess I’m too strong-willed for that.

December 7, 1941 was a special day for me as it was for many Americans. Sunday started out quiet enough. I bathed and went to church. When I returned to my room and turned on the radio I first heard the news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The news spread through the dorm and then the campus. At the frat house everything was abuzz with rumors. I tried to study all afternoon. I ended up writing the following:  December 7, 1941 - The Lord’s Day. As this Sabbath Day draws to a close we find the United States and Japan in a state of war. It has been a beautiful cold day and as I sit here in 218 Old Dorm, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, it is very difficult for me to believe that this great country could be at war. At this time I am listening to one of the ever frequent United Press Bulletins which have come in today. Everyone here seems to be perplexed as to the situation. We have heard of Germany and Russia and England and other belligerents fighting, but to think of America, these beautiful United States, possibly being damaged! This country is so beautiful, refreshing, it is almost impossible to believe reports of war.

This morning Japanese planes attacked and bombed Oahu, one of the major Hawaiian Islands. We have heard that several capital ships have been damaged and that several hundred troops have been killed. We have radio reports that the Dutch East Indies and Costa Rica have declared war on Japan. It looks like this is the real thing. God help this nation! Reports have come in that Guam has been bombed and also that Congress will meet tomorrow to vote on the war question. San Francisco is now on a war basis and all air raid officers and men have been ordered to their posts immediately. This also holds true in New York City. Sailors on leave in NYC have been ordered to their posts as have all military men at major bases. Everyone appears to be in a daze not knowing what to believe. I suppose the situation is to be left up to Congress. God help them and let them act wisely.

Monday morning I was up early. ROTC took on a new significance this morning. Rumors flew freely. To add to the shocking events, the 38th Division passed through Gettysburg en route to New England after completing North Carolina maneuvers. Here we were in quiet little Gettysburg with tanks, trucks, armored cars, artillery and soldiers swarming all over town. As dark fell, the troops bivouacked outside of town, but President H.W.A. Hansen in the spirit of patriotism, opened the dorm showers to the troops. They came in several shifts all night long. If you know anything about the National Guard you know in what condition they were by the time they got to the showers. There was very little sleeping being done by anyone. The Congress officially declared war on Japan. This created a very tense atmosphere on the campus. By 0500 the 38th Division had pulled up stakes and in a steady roar of engines left Gettysburg.,

After an 0745 ROTC drill in which we all had the feeling we were marching right into the battle, we had a special Chapel service at which H.W.A. Hansen pleaded for sanity. Admonishing all the young men not to react hastily, but to take things in stride and the proper time would come for each to do his duty. Well, by noon a number of men had already decided to enlist and they left within a couple of days. Washington, DC was in a blackout and I listened to President Roosevelt on the radio. “...Day of Infamy” speech. By the next day I was thinking of joining the Navy. Amidst all the excitement classes went on as usual as did the exams. Newsreels were showing a Gettysburg graduate as one of the US fighter pilots who got airborne in Hawaii and shot down a Zero. By December 11 the US declared war on Germany and Italy - more excitement. This was countered by decorating the frat house for Christmas. The next day’s history discussion centered on Japan — my diary tells me I got a B- in the exam. The snow began to fall as the weekend for Christmas house parties began. I was dating Margy Gotwalt at this time. Throughout these several days of bad war news, I was unsettled about joining the Navy. I subsequently wrote to the Navy - I don’t recall what about. At the same time I received notice that I had a Post Office job for the Christmas recess. “Smilin’ Thru” was the movie to see-  Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond. The next night was the annual Pig Roast at the frat. That event closed up the college calendar for the Holidays. Arrived home on the 18th after the wild frat party. I started working at the Post Office sorting mail. As I recall this was at the Takoma Park Branch - Phil was working there too. I followed this routine of working nights, through Christmas - that meant 7 nights work (rate of pay was higher for the night shift). During the day I was with the family shopping, music and fun. On Sunday we had an air raid warning at the church. Dean Tilberg and Prof. Wagnild were at Keller too for some reason. Worked 8 PM to 4:30 AM at the Post Office. Monday was the same. Tuesday took me through to SAM --  slept for two hours then went back to work at 7 AM on a carrier’s route delivering mail in the 16th Street area until 10:30 AM (this was Christmas eve)

On Christmas morning we always attended the 6 AM service then came home to exchange gifts. We had lots of music and I recall building models with the boys. We all then headed for an evening at Grandma Daly’s with all the relatives. Next day I saw Ronald Reagan in “International Squadron” - all about the RAF. Did I mention that he was a TKE fraternity brother? Certainly never expected him to be President of the US. Everyday brought worse news about the war - allies getting clobbered everywhere. Manila bombed. Phil was dating Mary Pailthorp. She was at the house several times during the holidays. During this week I saw my favorite movie “One Foot In Heaven -Fredric March and Martha Scott - about a Methodist minister, New Years Eve 1942 - we had a big party at the house. Mary
was with Phil and I met Barbara Kephart - I thought she was cute and I had a swell time. By the next day I was calling “Keppie” for a date on January 2 - we were at Mary Pailthorp’s. Mumpers came for a visit on the next day which was Saturday. On Sunday we heard Dr. Mcli a missionary, after which I packed and left for Gettysburg on the 3:15 Greyhound. Ice on the road held up arrival until 7 PM. Monday, I was back in the swing of things preparing for semester examinations. This was a cold January — on the 8th it was 6 degrees below Zero. My routine when studying was to hit the books for two hours and then take a brisk walk in the open air, return to the books and do the material over again. When I studied, I first underlined the text or notes and the second time through wrote the main ideas on another sheet of paper. I felt that the system worked well for me. I found I had to memorize material much like a part in a play. Meanwhile, I dropped wrestling - I still enjoyed watching the matches. The band frequently played at the home basketball games. In the midst of this schedule John Rasmussen had me out to his farm one weekend - actually Saturday and Sunday. It was a fascinating experience! Everyone slept in unheated rooms on the second floor. At 5 AM we scurried into the kitchen where the cook stove was going and we climbed into our clothes. Before eating any breakfast we went out to the barn where I helped feed cows while John et al. did the milking. What a revelation! Barns are not the pristine palaces the milk company would have you believe they are. Hay in one end, and you know what, out the other. Meantime, you wipe off the udder with a disinfectant and proceed to milk. I tried and had minimal success --  quite a technique to be learned rippling your fingers to get the fluid to flow. Just when you think you are doing so well, ole bossy turns around and gives you the eye as if to say, “Well, why don’ you learn how to do it right?”

We then delivered the big milk cans. Afterwards we had breakfast and I went to church and then back to the frat for a ham dinner with glazed pineapple - that was the usual Sunday fare.

Since my wrestling experience, I got in the habit of running cross country. I would frequently run several miles. It was really what we call jogging today although we didn’t have fancy shoes or gawdy outfits. The course was anywhere through the Battlefield - usually up to the Peace Light Inn or Seminary Ridge. It was an interesting jaunt. On the 20th of January Roosevelt was inaugurated to his third term — unprecedented! Exams began on the 23rd - this was my first experience with semester examinations and I admit I was scared. Gettysburg had quite a reputation for being a tough college and I found this to be true.

In between exams and study the war burst through. Sugar was rationed on the 25th. I really worked hard on my German. I was disappointed that my grades hadn’t been outstanding because
I really liked the language. I had a good accent and could do decent German to English translation. MY nemesis was the grammar and syntax. During these exams I got to know Bob Becker very well. He was from Valley Stream, NY, and quite a good student of biology - we studied this subject together. This was an innovation in itself, because I disliked studying wit others. It was while working with Bob that I observed that I wanted to travel and I would someday “so help me!” Bob and I later planned to room together for the sophomore year at Mrs. Sparigler's.

History was the next exam (English and Orientation were out of the way). The pressure was beginning to wear on me. For a diversion, the next AM I packed a knapsack and hiked 15 miles to Camp Nawakwa (Biglerville) and then 15 miles back. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure of hiking an unknown route, the solitude, the opportunity to challenge my own endurance. Dad had raised me to enjoy walking and I still do today.

February 5, I found I had a C+ average for the first semester -nothing to rave about, but I rationalized that I had learned something and could do better. I put my trust in God and found satisfaction in prayer.

The Junior Prom was held February 6 in the Plank Gym. Will Bradley’s orchestra played. I wore my tux and took Margy Gotwalt. Pennsylvania Governor James was present to crown the Prom Queen. LIFE photographer was on campus taking lots of pictures but nothing ever came of it. Margy and I won 3rd Place in the Jitterbug Contest.

We knew we were at war when the country went to Daylight Saving Time on February 9. I now had Prof. Mason for English He was a stiff Virginian, but interesting. In the evening I appeared before the Synod at the Seminary to report on my progress and get my tuition and fees for the Spring Semester. In biology I was working on the frog. Today students study this animal in high school. I had fun teasing the girls in lab when it came to cutting up the specimen.

In the f rat, I had been doing all the necessary things, such as, the Greek alphabet and learning about important Tekes like Ronald Reagan. We had a pledge test in February before being initiated. The Pan-Hellenic Council set aside a period called “hell-week” during which pledges were required to do all kinds of things to test one’s dedication to the frat. I had to make several signs and got other hazing equipment - this was Ash Wednesday. The Pledge class scrubbed the frat house 1st floor from 9 PM to 2 AM. Pledges sang at the Women’s Dorm and then spent the night on a scavenger hunt. The memorable thing about this hunt was my requirement to “obtain a fish at least 12” long. Where was I to get such a fish in the middle of the night. After much frustration, I recalled a
Josephine Fish (junior year student) from SCA so I went to the dorm and managed to talk her into going to the frat with me. We had a great time and I must say she was a good sport. We fresh pledges were worn out from being out late hours and working at the frat all day. This was all in addition to classes.

Saturday the 21st of February was initiation day. The initiation was a formal affair, complete with all the hokus-pokus you might expect. It lasted from 1:30 until 5 PM. After which I was a full-fledged TEKE! complete with pin. I was practicing violin with Prof. Schaeffer (piano) - he taught Greek. This was for a future date at the SCA Sunday night program. I was reading MARTIN LUTHER and THE MAN WHO KILLED LINCOLN. I was also enjoying the cultural music programs held in the Brua Chapel. I dated Gloria Mehring, from Philadelphia -her father was a dentist. - wrestling match, then the Peace Light Inn to dance.

I moved into the frat for a weeks stay - each new member did so. I must say I didn’t really care for it - cold dormitory sleeping arrangements. I was having trouble with a leg strain at this time, but the week was capped off by the fraters giving me a hair cut. In ROTC I became a group leader. I was now thinking about going out for Debate and I was back to washing windows in the Women's Dorm, I was also doing a lot of work on
my violin program which I played for SCA in the Sunday Musicale. Prof Schaeffer on piano. I was disappointed because no one showed up. It seems the choir was out on tour and they usually sang - I was the replacement. Naive me! It was a good “rehearsal”. My German Professor (Starr) heard me however, and excused me from the next day’s assignment because of the time I had to devote to practice for the concert.

I had the task of writing a skit for the inter-fraternity weekend function coming up. MY problems were complicated by no money, no sleep, and my consuming interest in girls. I took Gloria Mehring to a violin concert and enjoyed her company as well as the violin. She was more interested in an upperclassman. I was gratified with a B+ in history. I drew my ROTC uniform and had a counseling session with Don Heiges about my vocation. The evening was spent presenting the Frat skit - I have the script somewhere. The administration (Dean) questioned the propriety of my skit, in fact I was afraid I’d be thrown out of college. I had to appear before Dean Tilberg. That was on March 24.

Saturday and Sunday, fraternity brother Howard Fishel and I hitch-hiked to Penn State University. Stayed at the TEKE house there - a beautiful building. What a weekend! It made Gettysburg look like Sunday School. Girls all over the place,
everybody drinking, necking. I was scared stiff. I had a blind date for whatever it was worth. Fishel had a regular friend there. Sunday I enjoyed the University “Blue Band Concert” - we got a ride back to Gettysburg which took only three hours.

The next day I was back in the swing of things - took Gloria to hear Dan Poling (Baptist minister - big in youth work). He later went down on the ship “Dorchester” in the war with three other Chaplains. The Chapel of the Four Chaplains at Temple University was established as a memorial to the four who gave up their life jackets to others. A number of speakers were coming to campus e.g., Dr. Stine VP of Dupont, Dr. Bertha Paulsen.

The middle of March brought some warmer weather so I started practicing tennis. I was drying dishes at the frat for 30c~/hr - how about that for poverty. Optimism raised its head as I proceeded to make out the next year’s schedule. I was also washing windows in the grills’ dorm. War news was regular and bad. US and Allies back-peddling everywhere. ROTC was extremely important and I took it very seriously. I was disappointed in not being selected for the drama group, but after I saw what they produced I was happy not to be part of it.

In the midst of the warm weather there was a freak snow storm on March 28 for Palm Sunday — 2 feet of heavy wet stuff. I made a dollar or two shoveling the stuff. On Wednesday of Holy Week I hitched a ride home for the Easter weekend. I ended up working on a paper at the Library of Congress. April brought lots of talk about summer jobs, the draft and the war. Easter Sunday the church school raised $1900. to keep Rev. Malcolm Shutters in China as a missionary. Easter Monday I took Barbara Kephart with the Maryland University crowd to Great Falls, VA for a picnic. We had lots of fun (I was driving the ‘37 Ford), but I didn’t have my door key - I ended up sleeping in the car - lots of commotion trying to “find” me. I bought a tennis racket and tennis shorts then hitched two rides back to Gettysburg. My tennis game was anything but outstanding. I’ve always been like that in all sports - I enjoy them but don’t do them very well. I’m still a mediocre tennis player after all these years.

With beautiful weather, I took off on long walks over the Battlefield. I would stop frequently to read the markers. It was a great experience reliving the battle we were studying in class. I was doing a lot of dreaming about Keppie these days, my diary tells me. I was really anticipating the end of the term and return to the Silver Spring area. My history grades were steady “B” now. I was reading some of MEIN KAMPF in English. I took more hikes over the Battlefield. I lost my tennis match. so that ended team ideas. An Army officer spoke at Chapel and heightened that concern. There was no doubt that I was confused. I was playing violin solos at a number of functions at the college and in the community. I was now dating a Ginny Weitzel from Baltimore. Ronald Reagan appeared again in “King’s Row” with Ann Sheridan.

May came upon us quickly and because of the war the year was to end May 15. A short year which began October 3. The weather was beautiful and mild. Did a lot of studying out-of-doors on the grass during the day. I had been in touch with the TEKE Chapter at George Washington University in DC -Alpha Pi. I arranged to take Kephart to their dance May 16 at the Bradley Hills Country Club. Gas was rationed now -3 gal/wk for a “C” sticker. That is what Dad got.

Before I left college on the 15th I got a “Special Delivery” from Kephart - was I thrilled. Rode home with Dr. Mumper who happened to be in Gettysburg. As soon as I arrived home I started looking for a job. I did take time out to escort Keppie to the Alpha Pi formal. We had a good time. Those dress up affairs were nice. I still like them. During this time I would, on occasion, go to “Perky’s” (Mary Pailthorp) with Kephart. What a nick name!

My diary lists my job searches: Civil Service, Dept. of Justice, OPA, WPB, Curtis, Red Cross. Filled out lots of applications. This repeated itself each day - add to the list, Navy Dept. Applications everywhere - a real shotgun approach. Also tried Capitol Transit. I managed to get a stop gap job at a fountain for the next week, meanwhile filled out Civil Service application for Messenger - good summer job if I could get it. Meanwhile I cut some lawns for a little ready cash. Took Kephart to dance at Phil’s f rat (AGR). I thought I was in love. We got together quite frequently. My job was in the cafeteria of “X” Building, 19th and B Sts. NE - 9:30 to 2:30 and 6 to 9, I spent the afternoon at Aunt Mabel’s. I really didn’t like the job at all. I was still going to the Navy Department. Met a Lt. Tallent (a TEKE from Ohio). I took the Civil Service exam for clerk-typist. After two weeks at the above cafeteria I was sent to another location on Monday -- a news stand in the Navy Department on Constitution Avenue. In the evenings I was dating Barbara and going on moonlight cruises on the Potomac River with the Christian Endeavor group. One day Uncle Ad took Phil and me to the baseball game -(Nats 4 - St. Louis 1).

My 19th birthday came and my diary tells me that I thought it was the worst of all. Maybe it was the war. War was a constant threat to normalcy, I was in a job I didn’t like, I didn’t have enough money, I was tired most of the time, I was anxious to go somewhere and do something - I didn’t know what - I thought I was in love, but I was dissatisfied with my relationship with Kephart or any other girl for that matter. This would prove to be a very eventful year for me.

The war milieu included six days of work a week - everyone was on such a schedule. The next week I moved to a news stand in the Munitions Building. Evening movies and Sunday tennis with Barbara.

I applied for a “Junior Clerk” job. The following day, June 9, I got a job as clerk with the British Purchasing Commission on K Street. Rather novel, what? The British chap who ran the operation was named Mr. London — how apropos. A British woman was in charge of my work. I laughed inwardly because I wasn't a “clerk” type of person. The office was full of young people my own age and certainly no more experienced. I wanted to do a good job and even went out and bought an accounting book.

Even with the British job I kept after the Civil Service -I had an interview at the FBI but nothing came of it. At BPC the next week I got into handling money and keeping track of hospitalization payments. In my own way I enjoyed the experience. I was still calling the Navy Department and applying for the Junior Clerk in Civil Service. I was practicing my typing all the while and trying to increase speed. Finally on June 18, I received an appointment to the Navy Department as Messenger - $1200/yr ($25/wk) I was assigned to the Supplies and Accounts Division on contracts. My job included picking up mail from various typing stations, sealing envelopes, delivering outgoing mail to the Mail Room and then delivering incoming mail. The whole group of messengers was made up of college kids like myself. The job didn’t require much thought and it paid relatively well, and certainly was better than working in the news stand. I recall extremely hot sultry days (no such thing as air conditioning). Lots of perspiration -- salt tablets at the drinking fountains. Lunch sometimes stretched into two hours - plus. We usually ate at the Reflecting Pool, under the trees. The days soon became routine. In the evenings and weekends I was busy with dates, movies, music, church work (Sunday School class in the Junior Dept) and speaking at Vespers and CE. Also studied German and read a good bit. Although my vocational objective had not changed I began thinking seriously of going to the University of Maryland rather than return to Gettysburg College. I rationalized that the undergraduate courses were the same, and besides I wanted to be near Barbara. some thinking! I took another Civil Service test for Junior Clerk. (I was reading VICTORY THROUGH AIR POWER)

I was able to get in some overtime by working Sundays which I did as often as possible. My reading included THE MOON IS DOWN, Steinbeck; DRAGON SEED, Buck. I apparently was serious about going to Maryland University because I was getting my
room fixed up for study. By July 8 I had completed my application to Maryland. Dates also included going to the Water Gate Concerts with Barbara. A whole crowd went to the Beach for a weekend. Barb .Kephart, Mary Pailthorp, Phil, John Gilmore, Doris, Ann Patterson and Carl Harris (Thour) and me.

John Rasmussen came to Washington for a visit. He went to the Beach with Phil, Mary and me - we had great times on these weekends. When back in Washington, John Rasmussen and I went to Alpha Pi house. John was trying to get a job - as I recall his mother was working for the government and had an apartment on Pennsylvania Avenue. On one such time the two of us saw Martha Raye on the Capitol Stage. Ras and his date went with Barb and me to the Alpha Pi house for a TEKE dance. Ras then stayed overnight at Woodside Park and we all went to Keller the next day. It was Cedric Tilberg’s last sermon as an intern - he was returning to Gettysburg.

Phil was home this summer working at the nursery. He was also doing art work for the OLD LINE and I got back to cartooning again. I was anxious to get started at Maryland U. Periodically, joined in with Phil and the Maryland crowd for hayrides, dances, watermelon feast, picnic. I kept in touch with John Rasmussen and kept dating Barb all summer. I sent for a desk from Sears and sent a trunk to Mrs. Spangler’s for Bob Becker to pack things there.

One evening Mr. Early (one of Dad’s relatives via Uncle Charles from Philadelphia) came down to sell his drawing instrument to the Navy. Stayed overnight and held us spellbound as he discussed “Hitler in the Bible” - quoting Daniel and Revelation. He was fascinating. He was clever at inventing many things -I took him to the Navy Dept. and got him started. John Rasmussen was back in Washington. Barb and I went to see Tommy Dorsey’s band at the Capitol Theatre - Frank Sinatra was a young singer with him then. I had to go to Gettysburg to pack my things - made it up in 2 hops and back in 4. Sent the trunk via RRX. I was back in time to take Barb to a lawn party at Phil’s frat. All of these things were great fun - no wonder I complained of being tired. The war was going a little better -the US Marines took the Solomons Islands - expensive in lives. US Commandos attacked the French coast. Dates continued -lots of double dates with Phil and Mary. At work I’d walkover to the District Building or the Treasury steps for Bond Drive shows a couple of times a week. Tony Pastor was there with his band. I see in my diary that on August 26 I gave notice that I planned to resign October 8. There was a lot of talk going around about the draft. Apparently, Ras was working in DC, because I got together with him and his mother for a show. Russia was still fighting Germany at this time and doing poorly - looked like the Nazis would overrun Mother Russia. At work, my pay was raised to $1320/yr. By this time many of the messengers were returning to college. Labor Day 1942 was a rest for me (Sept 7) - I spent most of the day drawing cartoons. An epic classic film on the screen at this time was “Mrs. Miniver” with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. Certainly brought the war home. My patriotic inspiration was to give blood at the Red Cross. On the first try I was turned down. James and Paul went back to school on September 13. The same day I gave a pint of blood to the Red Cross at the Naval Hospital - I thought it was fun. I was trying to buy tickets for the famous “This Is The Army” show. Working for the Navy Department we were aware of losses the US was suffering. Another aircraft carrier went down. I expressed my disapproval of working with colored (Negro) messengers. I was supposed to train the new boys. Didn’t care for it. Riding back and forth on the bus I was impressed with the myriad nationalities in the city. Russian Officers, British, Canadian, Chinese, French uniforms and foreign tongues. I was reading JOSEPH IN EGYPT and REVEILLE IN WASHINGTON. Dad was working as architect for the government still, but trying to transfer to another department. Meanwhile, I was taking Kephart to dances and other functions at the GW TEKE House. I received the Maryland U. material for registration - the snap in the air really made me long for college to start. The frat and sorority functions were already in full swing. Pep rallies and football!

On my last day at Navy I saw President Roosevelt. In the eve I took Barb to see Irving Berlin’s “This Is the Army”. It was a great show and really stimulated the patriotic spirit. The war was taking over all phases of life - notice Maryland played Lakehurst Pre-Flight in football. More and more college men were either enlisting or being commissioned. ROTC at Maryland was all inclusive - everybody who was warm was in. On October 4, Keller celebrated its 50th Anniversary. This was a big event in our family - Dr. Nicholas and Dr. Wiles were there among a tremendous crowd.

Although not on campus yet, I was studying in advance - certainly German. I wanted to become an expert. Took Barb to see Josef Meier “Passion Play” at Constitution Hall.

October 8 was registration day at Maryland. I was already chaffing at the bit. Drew ROTC uniform and new shoes. Studied for German qualifying test. Dieter Cunz - my teacher -a real Kraut! Excellent teacher. These days I was riding my bike to College Park. Met Barb and went to Lee and Lotti Adkins wedding (friends of Phil).
When I wasn’t riding my bike, I would walk from Silver Spring to College Park - a six mile trek - but I enjoyed it. One Saturday I was at Maryland in the morning taking 3 hours of aptitude tests, then I returned in the evening (walking) to go to a freshman mixer dance. I was drawing cartoons for the OLD LINE and the DIAMONDBACK. It was October 12 before I had my first classes in physics, speech, and German. History, English, education and ROTC came the next day. It was quite a change from cozy little Gettysburg. I should mention, Barb was in my physics class. I was also in the marching band -Sgt. Seibeneichen. Funny little fellow with an Army background. I also was a member of the Baptist Student Union - they met at noon for their daily devotions which was convenient plus they were a lot more interesting than the Lutherans. My other interest was the Footlight Club which I tried out for and made. Did several skits - all we had was the little auditorium in the Agriculture Building. Once again ROTC and Band were important to me. The band always performed in Army ROTC uniform because of the war.

Course wise, I quickly ran into trouble with physics. The math floored me, plus I couldn’t understand Prof. Morgan -he was undoubtedly brilliant, but beyond me. The football weekends were big social times for me - played W. Maryland in Baltimore. Bob Schutrumpf and Dot (they later were married), Phil and Mary and Barb and me. I recall we had a picnic in Sligo Park at 9 PM - some fun! I continued my active role at Keller with teaching Sunday School and playing violin at church and leading Vespers. I also kept in touch with the TEKE house at GW - no TEKE chapter at Maryland as yet. The war was still very much part of my life - filled out Selective Service papers. The last thing I wanted to happen was to be drafted. I wanted to serve voluntarily. I thought of the Navy, Marines, and even of flying in the Army Air Corps. I was afraid of math however. I decided to enlist in the Enlisted Reserve Corps. This would allow me to volunteer, but the Army wouldn’t call me until they needed me. Many thought they could finish college this way. I was officially sworn in November 2, 1942 in the University Administration Building. I really was fascinated with the glamour of the uniform and the Army - I couldn’t wait to be called to active duty. I thrilled at martial music, Retreat ceremonies, marching, drilling, discipline, snap and precision. The demand for punctuality and immediate action thrilled me. I was really trying my best in ROTC and: German -physics was getting worse each day. I could handle English and history without any trouble. I participated in the German Club too - I wanted to get as much practice as possible. Phil was in advanced ROTC and bought his officer uniform at this time. Up to now, ROTC would give the commission upon graduation, but beginning this year (1942-43) the ROTC grads would have to go to OCS. It looked like Phil would go to Infantry OCS at
Fort Benning, Georgia. On November 8, 1942, the war took a favorable turn -the US opened a second front in North Africa with Eisenhower in command. Bud Bergman was called up for active duty this day. He ended up in the Air Corps and received a commission (he was administrative, not a flyer). Later he served in the CBI.

My romantic experiences with women were very curious. While I thought I was in love with Barb, I didn’t hesitate to pursue others, e.g., Marilyn Henderson, Jean Burnside, Betty Butts, et al. As November ended with dances and lots of study, I was planning on a Christmas job at the Post Office. My exam grades were disappointing “D” in history my favorite subject - Prof. Gewehr. Physics “D”. German only an average of “B-”. I got “C” in Education and English. As part of Introduction to Education I went back to Blair to observe classes. War movies kept me stirred up to do something patriotic.

I took Barb to the big Rossborough Dance and then on Thanksgiving went to her church in Takoma (Presby). Followed by family at Grandmas’s - a big family get-together with lots of music. Saw Reagan in “Desperate Journey”. I told my diary that I was “thinking about possibilities of marrying Barbara”.

On December 7,1942, I had deep thoughts about the war. It seemed grim to me. I was involved in a play at Maryland -it took many hours. Mixed in with taking the Army Air Corps Qualification exam. The play was “Mr. and Mrs. North”. It ran for four nights. MY part I don’t recall. The play over, the Post Office job started on December 16. I was on the night shift again - 8 PM to 4:30AM. The rumors ran wild - I expected to be called to duty in one month. I was invited to a party at Jean Burnside’s for December 26 - I had a date with her for the 30th. Played violin at St. Luke’s Christmas eve - held in the Silver Theatre. Barbara was with me. I gave her stationery so she would write to me. Took Marilyn Henderson to Jean Burnside’s party - while there met Betty Butts. I was reading OUT OF THE NIGHT, Jan Valtin. Now I was expecting to be on active duty by February. Phil was scheduled to go in February too. I was debating whether or not to go on active duty - apparently I had a choice. Each new day brought a new rumor and plans had to be revised and adjusted. I took Jean to see “Arsenic and Old Lace” at the National Theatre. By December 31 there were many conflicting reports about Army duty. Ended the old and brought in the new with a little party at home and then we adjourned to fraternities at Maryland - Barb was with me.

I began 1943 year with serious thoughts about myself and the war. My mind drifted from my studies to mentally planning what I would do in the Army. I was certain I would be in by February. On the on~ hand, I wanted to do a good job in my studies - on the other, I wanted to quit right now! The war in North Africa was proving difficult for the US. The Solomons had changed little. The Aleutians were seeing some action now. My Sunday School lesson also wandered from the text. I had my class of boys (15-17 yrs.) discussing their "responsibilities today and tomorrow.” The usual visits were made to Grandma and then Aunt Ruth and Uncle Edgar. I was studying “properties of liquids” for physics. My best class was Speech. As usual I ate lunch at the Dairy. Being an Agricultural College, there was a fabulous dairy available for all. The ice cream was delicious and plenteous. I made a practice of attending the Baptist Student Union noon devotions. Such quiet times were a big help to me. In the evenings I was working on my part in “Long Voyage Home” (Eugene O’Neill). My Post Office job paid off pretty well so I felt good about money. I also sent away to Charles Atlas for his “Dynamic Tension” muscle building course. I was doing very well in ROTC class work which I enjoyed. Major General Reckord USMC Commandant and Rev. Peter Marshall spoke at the February Convocation. After play rehearsal at night, I walked home in the snow - in bed by midnight. I rather enjoyed the challenge of overcoming the elements.

I took Jean Burnside to the Varsity Show and Sophomore Prom. The good times were interrupted by the bad. I rode my bike to College Park to take a make-up physics test - the make-up was worse than the original. Took Barbara to basketball and boxing at the Coliseum. The following day I hitched a ride to College Park for play rehearsal and then spent hours talking with Barb. I knew I was going away soon and I was trying to get up enough nerve to tell her I loved her. Hard words to get out when you are young and inexperienced. But again, I was never at a loss to ask another girl out. I took Ruth Startzman to the Saturday Rossborough Dance.

I was enjoying the ROTC class on compasses and azimuths -- a new experience which I liked. There were also voluntary sessions on the manual of arms which I attended and enjoyed. We were the new Garand or Ml Rifle. I hitch hiked home again after play rehearsal. Everyday I wished that I would be called up. I noted that I wanted to travel and to see the world — this has been my nature throughout life. I took the Army test for prospective non-coins. Now the rumors were running around that we would not be called in February. I didn’t to the Junior Prom (held at the Willard Hotel in DC - everyone went by street car).
Play rehearsals kept me occupied for the next week. I even got a “B” in German. To add to everything else the Ford was acting up and frequently wouldn’t start, thus I ended up walking or hitch hiking. I was optimistically working out a second semester schedule. The prospects for teachers were very good. Heard Professor Joyal and Dr. Neweld (Elizabethan Theatre). We finally put on the play - 4 performances. Mother, Dad, and the boys finally saw a performance - that was Thursday. After the Friday performance I ran to KD House and took Barb to last half of the Military Ball - can you imagine such a schedule! I get exhausted thinking about the things I did. The play had been scheduled to go to Ft. Meade for the USO but that was cancelled. Meanwhile, I started working on my Atlas exercises - today they would be called aerobics — they made a lot of sense. Muscle against muscle sit-ups, push-ups, no equipment necessary.

In my diary I entered my Army serial number 13,156,787 which was to stay with me for a good many years. I was deep into study for semester finals. My history exam was on the Civil War - I thought I really had a chance. I noted the news on sabotage and underground forces at work against the occupying Nazis. Even with a head cold, I was out cutting wood for the fireplace. January ended with me having a terrible cold, trying to study for finals, thinking about Barb, wondering when I’d be called to active duty and planning second semester. My first encouragement came with an “A” on my education term paper. My German final gave me a “B—”, I was disappointed. Dr. Prang gave a special lecture on Adolph Hitler which I found fascinating. Hitler had the same birth date as Dad, April 20, 1891.

The band played at the first mid-winter graduation at the University of Maryland in the Coliseum. Under Secretary of State, Sumner Wells, spoke. ROTC grads received commissions all others would have to go through OCS. I was so anxious to be called up, I even wrote to Senator Tydings asking to be called. The restrictions on the civil population were beginning to tell. Gas rationing, food rationing, shoe rationing, and my lack of money again. I also sprained my little finger on my left hand in an altercation with Phil. Plus I damaged my violin by sitting on it. Phil and I got work at Maryland doing a lettering job for President Byrd. We prepared posters for his budget presentation to the Legislature in Annapolis. Paid 35~/hr. Dad and the boys started planning to raise chickens. The idea was to provide eggs and an occasional Sunday dinner. I recall we tried this~ periodically over the years, with little success. So we all set about planning and building the chicken coop.
I registered for the second semester after receiving average grades for the first round. My second term began with US History, then Sociology. I took the second semester of physics (electricity) — I must have passed the first. German became more interesting since it was Military German I had Dieter Cunz again and did a great job on this subject. I still have the book. I received word that I would go on duty in March. Some fellows were already being called up and left campus. Once again - should I study or not? I made enough from the poster making job to pay for my books. Further confirmation of the March date for active service. I managed a date with Kephart and told her of my love, rather awkwardly, I believe — it was obviously not mutual. I began having thoughts of using my German to get a commission as a “Liaison Officer” — I don’t know where I got that information. I was also learning to write German script courtesy of Dieter Cunz.

On February 15, 73 ERC boys were called up and shipped out. I was planning on the next Monday. Met with ROTC Ccl. Wysor (all of us did). US took a defeat in Tunisia. (Kaserne Pass) I couldn’t keep my mind on class work or study with all the Army talk going on. Army class broke down and assembled the .45 cal. automatic. Ccl Griswold called ERC’s together and told us what to expect. What to take to Camp Lee, VA. That was the Reception Center for all of us then we would be shipped out from there. I was doing a lot of thinking about which branch I should go into. I recall Mother advocating the Quartermaster Corps because I could learn how to run a business there. On reflection, she probably offered the most sound advice. On February 17, I finally got written orders to report on March 2, 1943 at 8 AM. Was I thrilled! I immediately proceeded to withdraw from school. I went to German class anyway. Now I stopped the study routine. I was hoping to settle something with Barb.

Next day I closed my bank account - drew out $25. Listened to Madame Chiang Kai-shek address Congress. Heard Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker. I was chaffing at the bit. The 19th was my last day at Maryland. Turned in ROTC uniform -party at eh BSU for a couple of us going into the Army. Saying Goodbye and feeling real patriotic! I found out Barbara was going out with another fellow at the same time she was dating me. I hate to be used!

My last Sunday at Keller --  Spurg Gotwalt called from Union Station on his way through to York. He was already in the Army.

I had a farewell date with Barb on February 22. The war came home -the boys stayed home from school for a week because of rationing. During this last week of civilian life, I did a lot of thinking. I began to question my entering the ministry as a profession. I exercised, played my instruments, worked around the house, played with my brothers and visited relatives. I was really ready to go! On my last Sunday at church I was given a Testament to take along with me in the Army then I said my Goodbyes. Dinner at 417, The next eve, Uncle Ad took me to a basketball game at Tech - I thought it was a nice gesture. He had a lot to tell me about the Army.



 

World War II


My service in the “big” war began officially 2 November 1942 (military way of writing dates). That was the date of my swearing in and for the rest of my life that would be the effective date from which my service would be counted. Upon enlistment (I was proud of that) I was given a number 13,156,787. The beginning numeral "1" indicated that I enlisted. As I have already noted, I was on the reserve list until 2 Mar 43. That date was the beginning of Active Duty and probably the most significant day in my entire life. With this day began a way of life that overpowered all other influences I would ever experience. I was in the Army, and I loved it! I was a great believer in record keeping (like Grandfather Seltzer) so I kept pretty complete diaries. These notes are based upon my diaries and the correspondence I carried on with my wife Helen. In addition, I have called upon my memory to recollect as much as possible.

So, on Tuesday the 2nd day of March, I said “Goodbye” at home (o630) and assembled at the Armory on the Maryland campus. Waited until 0845 when, in our civilian clothes and carrying a small handbag, we marched - where? Down the street to the trolley car stop in College Park. More than 100 of us piled into several streetcars for the trip to Union Station. I recall we were routed the wrong way on “F St.” — which was one—way — so we could get to the Station without changing cars. A quaint way to travel. We left Union Station at 1130. The train was slow and pokey - stopping frequently for routing changes. We switched cars at Richmond and went to Petersburg. From Petersburg to Camp Lee we backed in. Arrived at 1530. We had lots of fun nervously joking on the train. We climbed out of the train and walked several blocks to the Reception Center — these were one story, tarpaper—covered barracks. The first thing at Camp Lee was “short arm” inspection. A rather embarrassing, but standard part of the enlisted man’s life. All line up and drop pants and under shorts - the penis is skinned back while a medical man looks at the private areas to detect venereal disease. From this rude awakening, we proceeded to supply for raincoat, towels, shaving items, comb. Initially, I was assigned to Co. E, Bldg. T-46, 1303rd SU. Camp Lee, VA. All was excited confusion. Uniforms were to be drawn the next day. The Mess Hall at 1730 was an experience. All metal divided tray with various items plunked on the tray -everybody else seemed to be complaining but I actually liked the food. I wrote a card home after eating, then our detail went to take Classification Tests from 1900-2130. I didn’t know it at the time, but these were the tests which sealed your fate for all time to come in the Army - they produced and IQ that was used as a cut off for OCS and all other schools. Some months later I learned that I actually scored very well  --  I saw the 132 in the IQ box on my 66 Form (Personnel Record). Everyone collapsed in bed after such a day.

Wednesday, March 3 was the first full day in the Army. The pace was fast - Reveille at 0515. This came as a shock with a gruff-voiced Corporal blasting over an amplifier “Drop your cocks and grab your socks!” - how crude. Everyone crowded into the latrine to wash, shave and take care of nature. What a revelation - try to be unconcerned and perform your duties with five other guys on toilets beside you and a bunch waiting to get on the pot. This is the Army! We were called repeatedly for one formation or another. After chow we went to the Classification Officer for interview (on the basis of the previous night’s scores) and Insurance Officer ($10,000) everyone got it automatically, but beneficiary had to be identified. The issuing of uniforms was another crazy experience. While moving along a line, disinterested individuals looked at you and threw a part of the uniform in front of you can imagine the fit. Everything was thrown in a barracks bag and we marched back to the barracks where we put on the ill-fitting fatigues. The first detail was to wash all the bed springs in creosote. It was bitter cold. We swept our own floor area and then mopped the floors. After a day of this, we got typhoid and tetanus shots and returned to shower and shave again and dress in the woolen dress (olive drab) uniform for “Retreat”. The first such ceremony stands out in my mind very vividly. I was proud to be standing at attention as the flag was lowered and the National Anthem played by the band - a chill went up my spine as it always does at this ceremony. A call went out for “volunteers” - volunteered and found myself on the pin-setting detail at the Officers’ Club bowling alley from 1800—2100. This activity on top of my shots really was killing me - my arms and shoulders were crying out in agony. These were ten-pins with the big ball. I felt a pang of envy as I watched the officers and cute nurses play.

The next morning was bitter cold. Remember the only heat in these barracks was a coal space heater at each end --  they didn’t do much good at all. After the nights’ activity I was stiff as a board. We had a long cold wait in chow line - in the dark yet. Swept out the barracks with chattering teeth. It took all day to complete the thorough physical examination. We marched all over the camp in the process for different parts of the examination. Sent civilian clothes home and was happy to do so --  like cutting the cord at birth. This was followed by a sex talk by the Chaplain  -- - I was curious and scared to death at the same time. I knew a little about such matters, but never had them discussed in the open so matter-of-factly.

Then we had the traditional Army sex movies which were in color and planned to scare the hell out of you. It would be interesting to see if any study proved they had the desired effect. The Army preached prevention or prophylaxis, not abstention. I thought the whole thing was gruesome. Rounded out the day with a blood test --  I felt like a dart board. We dressed for Retreat. I didn’t pick any details for the evening so I managed to write a letter to Barb. Had my first visit to the PX --  the prices were great although the items on sale were functional necessities. I tried to get into the barber, but hundreds were in line so I took a shower and went to bed.

I managed to get my first good sleep in the Army that night. Friday greeted me as did every Friday, as an Enlisted man -- clean up day. Ever thing moved out of the barracks and we scrubbed (G.I. Party) the floor three times. The Corporal always found some little thing wrong so we had to do it all over again. Such behavior was planned to teach each person to follow orders, get used to hard work, and build camaraderie through a common project about which everyone griped/ After all that, I was put on Fire Guard detail - on 2 hrs. off 4 hrs. for 24 hour period. This was in the company areas where one coal furnace produced hot air heat for both floors of the barracks as well as a separate hot water heater. I would sit there and watch the thermometer go up and down and open and close furnace doors. It was rather like our old coal furnace at home. After the first shift I was back in my own barracks putting everything back and learning to make a bed the Army way -- hospital corners, bounce a ½ dollar off the blanket. Second shift 10-12, I nearly fell asleep. I had a sore throat as did most of the guys in the barracks - sounded like a coughing contest. I tried to sleep for 4 hours but had to get up as soon as I fell off. The last shift 4-6. Just did make it. It was wet and rainy and I had a real mess keeping the fires going. If the water wasn’t hot in the morning, I really heard about it. I didn’t know where one day ended and the other began. Back in my own barracks I had to clean it out again - we had an inspection by an officer. So we did an extra special job on the beds. It rained hard all day so we stayed in barracks except for chow and PX. I did go to the day room and wrote a letter home. Some of the wise guys were playing poker, black jack, etc. and it wasn’t long before the non-coins cleaned them out. My Saturday evening was all set to go to a movie, but I got put on pin-ball detail again (I didn’t volunteer this time). I didn’t really mind it. I liked being around the Officers ‘Club. I also made $1.60 in 6 hrs. This was certainly better than furnaces or KP. I was shocked at the drunks at the club - women too.

My first Sunday at Camp Lee I thought was “the” day. I got to sleep until 0700. It was cold and everybody had a cold. I felt like I had pneumonia. Showered and washed some clothes. Bob Schutrumpf and I went to Chapel #1. Everyone was coughing and sneezing, you couldn’t hear the sermon. At mess we had what I thought was a swell chicken dinner. After chow, Bob and I took pictures (see album) and wandered over to Service Club #1. I wrote some more letters and then in the eve saw a corny movie. I don’t remember the title.

Monday Reveille at 0515, I had a beautiful cold. I nearly choked to death — the coal smoke, the cold air, everyone sick. I had a draft whizzing right over my head all night. I couldn’t make it to breakfast. Went on sick call for cold pills. I was then taken to hospital for a “blood sugar”. I managed to get to the Library and wrote to Dr. Mumper and read magazines. It was very cold and uncomfortable. At chow, I had the job of dishing out steaks. I was getting impatient - I wanted to get into basic training. I was even thinking about being an Army Bandleader. I got assigned to KP for all day Tuesday so I tried to get some rest - the cold was worse. I was awakened at 0430 for KP by the CQ (Charge of Quarters) I got the dishwashing detail. MY only comment "it was devilish hard work". Scrubbed dishes, pushed them through dishwashing machine and pulled them out again. This was continuous from 0500 to 2000. I flopped into bed.

The second Friday was like the first and every other Friday — scrub and clean up. Washed windows — no cleaning materials, used newspapers and water. I got the fire guard detail again. I really hated it - dirty, disgusting, frustrating. Dirty coal dust- fires going out - I had to build new ones. In the off minutes, I thought about going to Richmond.

The next day was warmer and I had rested fairly well. Second tetanus shots. Sky cleared and immediately we fell out to “police the area”. That means picking up cigarette butts, papers or any trash. We scrubbed and swept tents and raked sand between barracks - makes them look much neater. It felt like Spring for a while. After chow, Schutrumpf and another fellow named Spry went with me to see a Tarzan movie. We had a documentary film on “North Africa” which was very inspirational. I still liked the Retreat ceremony the best. We cleaned the barracks each day, but the sooty smoke messed things up immediately. Policing the area was a big deal. I was enjoying the good meals - roast beef. Got a detail to move a big fir tree. We transplanted it -- like being at home (I did this kind of thing at the nursery). I did get a letter from Dad which was nice. Made me feel good. Curiously, I received a Draft Deferment from Gettysburg Seminary - what a joke! I wrote them and declined. This evening we were confined to the barracks.

Everyone did a good clean up job on Saturday AM so we could get our first weekend pass. Took the bus out of Camp at 1600 - another from Petersburg to Richmond. My first leave in the Army - I even liked Richmond. Went to the USO and registered for a room. To the trolley to Mrs. Clarke’s on West end of town. It was a duplex apartment but a cute little room she let me use. She had-a little boy Dickie and a little girl Charlotte. Mrs. Clarke arranged for me to meet Marian Burke at USO dance. I had a great time at the dance and girls and fellows. The place was packed (it was held in the Armory) consider all the military installations around there. I took Marian home and planned to meet her the next day.

Slept until 1030 in a real bed with a mattress , it was great! After I cleaned up, Mrs. Clarke prepared an excellent breakfast unexpectedly - real Southern hospitality. (Bacon and eggs) I was almost late for church - Marian was waiting for me with the rest of the gang. First Baptist Church of Richmond, a massive place. Good sermon by an Australian. Marian invited me to dinner but I turned it down like a fool to go down town and meet my traveling companion Phipps. The darn fool wasn’t there and I was out one dinner - you learn not to depend on others. I wrote home and to Barb from the USO - sent her fresh peanuts. Went back to Marian’s place and met her family. Sailors and their girls came over and we sang songs and had fun cutting up. Marian was a lot of fun. No glamour girl, but easy to look at. We listened to records. Had supper at her place then had to leave. I was late getting away from Richmond - just did make it back and checked in on the dot of 2000.

Monday the routine started again. Loafed for a while, so I wrote 8 pages home. Played volleyball in afternoon with Co. F in the next block. Rested in the afternoon and then washed up. I was late for Retreat. Took in a movie after chew. Tuesday was much the same except I woke up feeling miserable - cold, sore throat, the works! Went to sick call - confined to bed with temperature at 99.6. At supper time I was worse with a temperature of 102.2. I waited several hours before they transported me to the Station Hospital, Ward 16 , bed 15. My temperature was up even higher. Didn’t sleep all night - nurses took temperature readings all night and gave me pills (this was March 16). Wednesday, my temperature was down some. I had hoped to ship out on this day - ha! ha! Forget it! I was disgusted with myself. Big hero - 2 weeks in the Army and I end up in the hospital. I learned that the minimum stay for my condition was two weeks. Temperature went up in the evening Bed at 2100 and up at 0600. I was taking mostly liquids. The next day I was whoozy and could hardly walk - temperature up. I felt better as the day wore on. - it was beautiful Spring weather. I was confined to bed for the day - boring. By Friday the temperature was better. I was reading my Bible —a good many of the boys had Testaments in my ward. I got letters from everyone at home except Jimmie. I slept most of the day. Phil said he hadn’t seen Barb since I left. He was going to be able to finish the semester and graduate. He was scheduled for active duty on April 5. I wrote to ‘Sis’ Pailthorp. By evening, I was sitting on the outside steps. On Sat. the hospital ward was just like the barracks - we even had inspection. I felt better

The temperature hit normal for the first time in four days. I thought I might get out the next week. Rather strange night: one fellow started to howl and was taken out with spinal-meningitis - we were quarantined. Learned he didn’t have it, then two left with measles and we were quarantined again. I helped to sweep up the ward - my appetite was coming back. Rested in the afternoon and listened to operas on radio. It was nice to hear good music again - most of the local stuff was hillbilly. We went to see the Retreat parade. Made me feel that I was still in the Army. I heard I was to ship out as soon as I left the hospital.

Sunday, March 21 I woke up at 0600 - it was snowing. Went to Chapel in the Hospital. My temperature was normal and I thought I could be out by Tuesday if ever thing was OK. I went to the Red Cross Chapel with my cute day nurse. I wrote to Mumper, Grandma and home. As soon as I started feeling good, my nurse put me on KP - I felt demeaned by this job. I was hoping to get sent to a warm climate. I was getting some rugged experience with fellows of all backgrounds. Being 1943 we never had much contact with Negroes - they were in separate units or in separate camps. It was bad enough coping with ignorant hillbilly’s and stupid ethnics. It seemed that most non-corns were from the hills. I felt ok on Monday and had another day on KP. New patients came in to fill the beds. I read the newspaper and read Aunt Mabel’s letter. A Red Cross nurse brought me a book QUIETLY MY CAPTAIN WAITS by Evelyn Eaton. Story about New France - fairly interesting. I spent the afternoon reading and talking. I was worried by not hearing from Barb.

Tuesday up at 0600 and learned I was to be released from hospital at noon. Spent the morning mopping up the ward and helping nurses. I was released after dinner and walked back to the barracks - all the old gang were gone. I was now in T-48 next to the Orderly Room. I cleaned up and went to a movie. I made a long distance call home -- talked with everyone. I had trouble with my bed, someone else had occupied it. I was anxious to settle down and get back to playing my instruments again. Being separated from my group so long, I was now an individual and no one knew what to do with me. I learned quickly to keep quiet and out of the way - always leek busy and be carrying something. I did just that! I spent a lot of time in the Library reading. I did help on a mop detail. I went back to a movie and met a girl from the night before and we ended up at the Service Club Dance.

I started the next day the same way. I did drill for a while and got my 3rd typhoid and tetanus shots. These shots didn’t bother me so I played some volley ball. I finally got a letter from Barb.. It was strained so I decided not to write again. I had a nice letter from Phil -- he said he was going to give Mary his frat pin -- they’re engaged! I had expected it for a longtime. They were a great couple together and should be married. We had a USO show “Room Service” - a Broadway show. The Hollywood actresses were very good. KP the next day. I was up at 0400 and got stuck in the kitchen - that was better than dishwashing. I cleaned the big caldrons and helped with preparing food - I was learning how to “gold brick” (a phrase meaning do nothing while looking busy). Enlisted men who were to survive learned to be skillful at this business. Even KP was hard labor -- and it didn’t let up, particularly in the consolidated mess. I didn’t get off duty until 1815. I then showered and washed fatigues. Went to Ginger Rogers movie "The Major and the Minor”. I still wasn’t any closer to shipping out. I was impatient again - I planned to go to Classification on my own and see what was wrong. I received four letters which was nice, but I wanted to be starting my Basic. The next day I was assigned to a supply detail. I mopped the supply building and proceeded to assemble helmet liners -- this meant snapping in the straps. I took a long dinner hour and then spent the afternoon assembling canteens. and hauling crates of shoes. I was tired by 1530 and returned to barracks — washed and dressed — reread the weeks letters. I then went to see Chaplain Humphrey about my disposition - he said he would help with my classification. I went to Petersburg in the eve and went to a USO dance then went to see "Hitler’s Children” I went back to the dance and met several cute girls and had a good time. The odds were overwhelming 10 guys to one gal. I got soaked in the rain returning to Camp Lee.

Sunday was welcome - slept ‘til 0700. I took my time dressing and then went to Chapel after breakfast and sat and thought until the service started. I was praying to God to be shipped. I sat around the Service Club until dinner. Spent the afternoon writing letters. and a dozen or so cards. We had the “franking” privilege — no stamps - so I didn’t have to spend money on stamps. I then wrote to Phil, Barb, Dot Groover (Schutrumpf’s girl --  he ended up in the Air Corps).

Up at 0515 - moon still shining - mopped barracks (I thought I was in training to be a caretaker). Got stuck on police duty for the morning - 3 hrs. Read magazines in the Library and after dinner played volleyball. Prayed all day to be called. Chaplain Ostergren (Lutheran) found out that I was going to Quartermaster School, but he didn’t know when - I was hoping for this week. Movie in the evening and bed early because of power failure. Each day I hoped to get my orders and each day nothing came. I followed the routine of scrubbing and reading in the library ; played volleyball, started back on my study of German. I also met the Special Services Officer and ended up doing a radio show “Okay America”, broadcast over WRVA (Richmond). The barracks emptied and filled several times since I came.

The next few days, I avoided work details. Even avoided floor scrubbing. I did get on a detail for the Officers’ Quarters - sweeping, mopping and making beds for officers. I was impressed with the different living conditions -once again, I was envious. Some of the officers - 2d Lts.
- weren’t any older than I. This was April 1 and after chow I found my name on the shipping list for the next day. I had made some momentary friends while in this barracks but I never was very sentimental about keeping in touch.

At Reveille on Friday, April 2, I was called up and proceeded to inspect baggage and moved off at 0730 for Co. L 12th QM Tng Reg, T-322. My destination - 3 blocks from the Reception Center. Changed into fatigues and started cleaning windows with newspaper. After chow we went to the rifle circle for preliminary rifle instruction. We also proceeded to dig up stumps. I was meeting new fellows all the time. The digging was hot and hard, but better than washing windows. In the evening we got our bed assignments for the next 5 weeks of Basic - I was really looking forward to it. We seemed to have a pretty good group of non-corns. Once beds were made, we scrubbed the barracks.

After the usual cleaning we drew field packs, filled ditches. We were confined to the area. Took test for squad leader - I really tried to do my best. Mostly college fellows in this training Company so we have a lot in common. One of the Cadre who paints all the signs and visual aids turned out to have been the sign man in Silver Spring.

I found real solace in Chapel on Sunday. Communion seemed so much more meaningful. I read Sunday papers thoroughly and then did the letter writing. In the evening we met with our Platoon Sergeant to go over what to expect in five weeks of Basic. After the regular chores we marched to the drill field for 2 hrs. of close order drill. Followed by training film in the theater.. The afternoon brought a lecture on Military Courtesy and Discipline -all a repeat of ROTC and that was better. I didn’t make Squad Leader so I was upset - my name wasn’t even mentioned as having taken the test. I planned to see the 1st Sgt. New gas masks were issued.

The second day began with a session on sanitation and we sampled chlorinated H2~ - saw a film on the subject and the importance of not discussing military matters. Letter came from Mom - Phil married Mary April 1, 1943 - kind of quick I thought. More films in the afternoon. Each morning we have PT. I made application for US Bond withholding

The next day we o- served a demonstration of a bivouac area. It was cold and raw. Drill included facings and flanking movements like I had in ROTC. Enjoyed the “World at War” propaganda newsreel. I heard from Spurge Gotwalt (I think he was at Ft. Eustis, VA) and Bob Schutrumpf in Florida. We heard the Chaplain after chow. We learned to make a full field pack then marched to the drill field and laid it out for inspection. This took lots of work. Calisthenics at 0530 - that really gets the juices flowing. Marched to the theatre for an impressive propaganda show - multiple mikes, big world map, lights. It was a review of the European war. Marched to the field and learned “To the Rear March!” Had a lecture on guard duty --  challenges. Heard from Bud Bergman(Air Corps, Florida) and Janet Griffith (U. of Md.), Jean Burnside, too. We marched to the field again for gas mask drill. Then out again for Air Defense lecture followed by dental examination. Dressed in OD’s for Retreat. Company had panoramic picture taken. Signed first payroll. Then spent the evening setting the pack display and rolling the pack again - requires some little practice. As usual, scrubbed floors and cleaned windows.

The Army was a tremendous equalizer for all men. Considering the diverse backgrounds and mores it was probably a shock for all to be thrown together on such an intimate basis. You never know a person until you’ve lived with him (or her). The personal habits of others from different locales and training not to mention family background. Being so close together, personal hygiene was extremely important. I remember one occasion when an individual from the backwoods wouldn’t bathe. He simply smelled bad. Who would want to sleep in the same barracks with such a person?
I know he was told by the non-coins to bathe, but he refused. Now, he was not a meek little lad - he was a muscular and tall well-built young man who had never had a bath in his life. After a couple of weeks - a group of fellows grabbed~ the young fellow, squirming and hollering and threw him in the shower --  completely clothed. There must have been 15 in the group. After they got his clothes off, they scrubbed him raw with a GI Scrub brush and strong GI soap. I never heard whether or not there was anymore trouble with that guy..

Each day in Basic was new and exciting to me - some were bored with everything, but not I. We drilled regularly and were indoctrinated via film and lecture. Inspections proliferated and always the threat of punishment or denial of privileges hung over our heads. Despite the anxiety there was tremendous personal and group pride in a job well done and recognized. We were constantly quizzed and evaluated on our performance. As time went by there were Classification reviews for placement in Technical Schools. Our interviewer, I liked especially well. He specialized in Bandsmen - I thought that would be great for me. I also found out I had “potential for OCS”. That sounded good to me! I went ahead and took the bandsman test on sax and clarinet, I also took the Truck Drivers test. I wasn’t so keen on the latter since all the Training Films showed Negroes driving trucks.

Mail took on undue importance - it was the only link with the outside world or the past we knew. I heard regularly from home, Mumper and others. Curiously, our entire Training Regiment went to Sunday Chapel en masse — at least there was an effort made in the right direction! On one Sunday we had a formal dinner in the mess hall - Officers wives, linen table cloths (I think they were bed sheets), steak with singing afterwards.

By the second week of Basic we were seeing the famous series of indoctrination films entitled “Kill or Be Killed” - depicted modern dirty fighting. The American mind needed to be trained to kill. We drew complete field equipment in anticipation of moving to the field. This was the middle of April and even Camp Lee, VA, is pretty in the sunrise. I thoroughly enjoyed the marches - short, long, or forced. Gas mask drill with real tear gas added some realism to the whole activity. We practiced pitching pup tents and then saw the films entitled “Why We Fight?” ( I believe Wolper was the director), We had QM braid put on our field caps. I had lots of fun with extended order drill — this was getting closer to combat. In the evening I worked en disassembly and assembly of my 1903 Springfield - even the rifle felt good! In between I got stuck with Fireman duty again - it really bothered me to be doing such a job and missing my drilling. On this particular day, I was called to the Orderly Room to march a detail to Special Services for an interview on art work, musical instruments, and acting. I took a voice test for radio work - looked pretty good. I was officially made Squad Leader. A thrill being given responsibility for some leadership. This was followed by leading my squad in a tactical problem - we attacked Battery 8, hill and company met at the top of the hill - what fun! We hiked back and forth and had a tear gas attack. The glamour of leading the squad was balanced by the responsibility for cleaning the barracks and setting up full field pack inspection. We began rifle marksmanship “coach and pupil” - a terrific way to learn such a skill. Meanwhile, my sax and music had arrived. When Palm Sunday arrived I found myself doing rifle marksmanship --  even missed church. My squad moved to the first floor and we prepared for the next day’s obstacle course. I had fun playing the sax in the barracks after duty. I was beginning to feel physically good - the exercise and marching were beginning to show in toughened muscles. I was in good shape for the Obstacle Course although some of the obstacles bothered me. Vaulting over the low fence and pulling over the high wall were bothersome. Creeping and crawling and running presented no problems.

After a day like this, I would go to Special Services and rehearse a radio show like “Conquer We Must”. I played Hitler and GI goldbrick. I still caught KP - really distasteful chore. Did the radio show after KP. Did you ever hear of “Butts Manual”? - exercises using the rifle, real clever.

Now was the time for the rifle range. Marched to the range --  fired 5 practice shots then coached my squad. This was my first experience firing a “High Power” rifle. I had fired Dad’s .22 but that was a pea shooter. I got a score of 20 out of a possible 25 - not too bad for starters. This was Good Friday, so I went to Chapel service in the evening and took Communion - very inspiring. I was deeply moved by this service. On Saturday, after more marksmanship training, we played softball. In the evening we rolled packs for the next day’s march.

Up at 0430, marched at 0730. Two and one half miles to the Range. We started firing right away. I was a coach all morning and then shot in the afternoon -- 5 prone, 2 sitting, 3 kneeling - was disappointed with my showing. Coached some more and then fired standing and then 10 sitting and 10 kneeling (rapid). I felt fine but dirty. We used no ear plugs in those days so my ears were really ringing. We had a field mess and then had Easter Service at dusk with a beautiful sky. The familiar hymns really brought me close with God.

We slept on cots that night - I thought it was awfully hard. I spent 8 hrs. coaching and firing. Sitting and kneeling (slow) 21 each, 31 standing. Rapid fire score 44 and 33 = total 150. I qualified as Marksman, but I wanted to be Expert.

On Tuesday bright and early we rolled packs, but hung around until everyone qualified. I think there were some .30 cal “pencils” there too. I coached again and enjoyed it. I felt like I was really applying what I learned about teaching. Applied Psychology and handling different types and attitudes. The range reminded me of Colonial Beach --  sand, pine trees, the odors, and the woods, the doves. We were back at the barracks by chow time. I tried out for a part in “The Patriots”

After the excitement of the range with real bullets, the next few days had little to offer in dry-run anti-aircraft firing. I was worn out from the range experience and kept dozing off. Our CO said Farewell (Capt. Miller) as he was transferred to the Military Government School at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. I was impressed. The new CO had us set up for full field pack inspection. I was now looking into the Army Specialized Training Program - for college students in various languages, economics, physics. I really was excited about becoming an Officer - the literature said ASTP would result in becoming a 1st Lt.

More drill and field packs for a march to the anti—aircraft range. We fired. 22 cal ammo at radio controlled drone aircraft. After marching back we had Battalion parade. I went to see the Chaplain about OCS.

Basic was winding down and as I awaited orders (any orders) we saw several restricted films, e.g. “Fighting Men”, “Booby Traps”. Took an interesting 13 mile hike through the Petersburg National Park - an official guide joined us and narrated the battle. The hike was peppered with gas attacks, air raids, and commando tactics in the woods. After a long hot day, I showered and went to see the Chaplain again
- expecting a pass. I was offered the course at the Cadre School, but I wanted OCS. The Chaplain suggested that I go ahead and take the Officer Qualifying Test. Saturday was loaded with inspections - rifles and packs - some fear of being confined. At Close Order Drill, I was given the platoon for a while - great! In the afternoon I ran the new Obstacle Course - what a honey. I twisted my leg on the 15 ft wall jump (coming down) - climbing and hand over hand. Had pay call - ($42) picked up a pass and headed for Silver Spring on a bus. Crowded, no seats, arrived home about 0100. Dead tired and my leg hurt me. Sat up and talked with the folks until 0200.

Sunday at home included church - played violin again, talked to my class about the Army. I enjoyed seeing everyone again. Spent Sunday night getting back to camp - arrived at 0530. Changed clothes and fell in for Reveille. Went on sick call and had knee bandaged. Then through the Obstacle Course again - went around the 15’ jump this time. A busy day with current events lecture and training films, demonstration and identification of gases - classes on up-coming night problem. I completed the OCS application. Night problem began at 2000. My platoon was security for the Company.

I spent the next AM on the drill field and 3 times through the Obstacle Course - the heights really unnerved me, but I kept on going - you have to overcome fear! Interior guard instruction was followed by an unusual program at the theatre. Christians and Jews telling about keeping all Americans fighting despite different kinds of worship Some of our company were ready to be shipped. Got going on field fortifications — fox holes, etc.

Another hike to bivouac area (8 mi.) Set up pup tents. After beans for chow we did extended order drill - first with the squad in offense, then the platoon in defense. I found it interesting with camouflage, and individual defense. We did a lot of running and hitting the dirt, hard and fast. After chow we tried to get some singing going - so many dumb-heads the non-coms wouldn’t cooperate. We slept on the ground with only a shelter half and blanket on the ground - this was before air mattresses. I also did some guard duty in the wee hours - very uncomfortable. We did a forced march back to the barracks area at 4 mph
-a pretty fast clip. Stupid non-coins bothered me - a bunch of hicks from the woods. I found a bunch of “Diamondbacks” and “Old Line” from Barb when I returned. The Company had a big dinner celebration complete with beer and cigarettes -- I didn’t like either. Went to the open air theatre and played violin for big dedication.

May 7 was the last day of Basic. Brigade inspection -my platoon was only fair. It was warm in the sun. More “Why We Fight” films. There was also an orientation lecture for the Technical Training which was to follow. I was still praying for Band. Called up for an interview with the CO. Read my prayer book while waiting. I was interviewed by Lt. Murphy - questions on Basic and current events —I thought I did ok. In the evening attended dedication of the Thomas Jefferson Open Air Theatre.

The next day I packed for transfer to Technical Co. I thought I’d be in the band, but it wasn’t to be and I ended up in truck driving. I was disgusted. By now I was learning to make the most of whatever  came my way -- so I decided to “enjoy” the course — I might even learn something. Started out as usual, scrubbing the barracks. First lecture was followed by the Obstacle Course again. We had 2 Regimental parades - it was really hot - I was also table waiter. The new assignment: Co. C, 12th QM Tng. Regt. T-371. Sunday was a work day - the others in the Company were a bunch of jerks. The Technical Training was to be apprentice mechanic school. Learning tools and uses on “Shop Road”-- I thought it might be helpful someday. I even took off engine accessories, carburetor, fuel pump, etc. I learned I was to report for Regimental Board for OCS interview. I went over to the library to study up on current events. The day came and I was all spruced up to wait for my Regt. Bd. interview. Questions were about Congress and Commanders I wasn’t overwhelmed by my performance although hopeful. I prayed a lot I tell you. God’s Will, etc. I then had an appointment at Personnel(S-l) where I was asked to attend Cadre School. At the shop we tore down pistons. Spent the evening in the Library on current events and heard Maj. Gen. Edmonds (Post CG). Followed this by practice at Special Services for Sunday Program. The next few days followed the pattern of marching to shops with band music. Putting engine back together (‘36 Chev). Instructors were civilian mechanics - some good, some ugh! I spent evenings at the Library hoping for OCS. I filled out a much longer OCS application this time. I believe this meant I had passed the Regt. Bd. In the shop we ran the engine we had assembled - never thought I could do it. Studied the generator, starter, fuel pump and carburetor. Practiced for a show in the evening - tough trying to find an accompanist like Phil.

Saturday was test day at the Shop. Afternoon to the Obstacle Course, current events lecture and Retreat parade. Finally went into the little town of Hopewell, but I didn’t have much fun. Sunday I played the violin at the Service Club "Ave Maria” and “Moment Musicale” - I used an Army fiddle. Also played at Vespers. At the Shop we studied the chassis and clutch and transmission, power train and differential. Now I filled out ASTP application - thinking about being sent to the University of Maryland. I had all kinds of irons in the fire - couldn’t afford one at a time. Funny the way things happen - I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned, but they were too clean to clean. I waited to see the Company Commander Capt. Payne - found out I passed Regimental and am on my way to Post exam —I was also made Acting Corporal (brevet). I was issued a set of Corporal stripes. In the Shop, I worked on brakes and steering gear. It was very warm in the shop and hard to stay awake. After Retreat, I moved to the 4th Plat. where I am Acting Corporal. Sewed my stripes on uniforms. I had fun leading my squad! After lecture on military courtesy we marched to Shop - sultry. Steering gear and live front axle. I got a pass for the weekend. and planned to go home. Told to report to Post OCS Board. Went to dance and then to the Library to bone up on current events.

After strenuous PT, I showered and dressed -- reviewed notes for OCS interview. The test seemed easier than Regimental. I prayed hard all day. I felt everything would turn out for the best, no matter what. Meanwhile, I was trying to arrange a ride home and still work on GMC 6x6 - Quite a truck. In the evening we had some fun with music in the barracks --  an accordion, guitar and my sax.

Saturday was a rough day - I didn’t sleep all night because bed bugs ate me alive - what a horrible experience. In the dark they crawl all over you and bite like a mosquito. Turn on the lights and they hide in the mattress. I fell asleep in the shop and the Officer in Charge made me shovel coal out of the bin and then fill it up again. All it did was make me tired. I did enjoy the afternoon Brigaded Parade — the first in my Corporal stripes. I managed a ride to DC after Retreat - the driver hit 100 mph - never under 70 - scared me silly. I got off at College Park to see Barbara, but she was in Takoma Park. Had a long intimate conversation together. It was 0400 before I got home and into bed. I was up against 0800, went to Phil’s Baccalaureate at Maryland University, St. Andrew’s Chapel. The relatives were there. Uncle Ad took everyone to Hayden Farms for dinner. After walking to Takoma to see Barb, I met my ride at 14th and Pa. Ave. Back at Camp in the wee hours and up at 0530. When you’re young you can do that sort of thing. I had an interview at Classification -I waited hours for a 5 minute interview on ASTP. I was intrigued by it even though I preferred OCS. In the PM I learned rules and regulations for truck driving. Got in a softball game in the evening and then wrote letters. I found I had passed the Post Bd. OCS and was scheduled for a complete physical exam the next day. I passed in good shape amid a multitude of rumors about OCS, ASTP, and other schools. I prayed to go to OCS. Washington officials reviewed our Brigade in parade (Sir Herbert Wilkins) We were carrying British Enfield rifles now. In the evening I started attending preparatory OCS lectures - Organization of the Infantry Division (I had this in ROTC)

The bed bugs were still biting, but life went on. PT -command of my squad in Close Order Drill - I enjoyed this. We then spent hours riding 6x6 to the big black top area which would be our practice driving range. Lectures on tire preventive maintenance and repair. I marched the detail back and forth to trucks. I was feeling better about truck driving and school now. OCS lecture in evening was on Motorized and Armored Division. I was still praying for OCS. We started another day on the Obstacle Course then rode trucks to school, got into lubrication and map reading. Battalion Parade was followed by another OCS lecture --  I really enjoyed it. Now if the bed bugs would only leave me alone. Even in bad weather (rain) we continued instruction on rules and regulations of driving. I decided to finish Technical Training before OCS.

I was doing pretty well on my tests now 92% (should have been 100%) Lecture in PM followed by a Commando Hike. Six miles at 6 mph --  that’s moving! Gas attacks, etc. More like a game for me. I dressed in my khaki’s under my fatigues, stood Retreat, then ripped off fatigues and was ready to go to Roanoke with Bill Sheaf. Caught 5 rides and arrived in Roanoke 2300. This was Bill’s home — a nice friendly fellow, but a local. Enjoyed his home and Mother’s hospitality. We returned by train to Petersburg. I ran into John Rasmussen and his Mother from TKE at Gettysburg.

I was now enjoying PT every AM. Enjoyed getting behind the wheel and driving the truck. Nights were miserable with the bed bugs biting. I got up in disgust and went to sleep on the bench in the latrine - someone came in and turned the light on - the place was crawling with roaches! I countered this with seeing “Battle for Britain” - brought the war home. Our driving practice at this stage was hour after hour of going around in circles on the blacktop. Shifting gears and double clutching was the skill we were trying to develop. OCS lectures continued after which I visited with Rasmusset and mother in the 8th Regt. Area. They were just beginning Basic. Next day I ran into Bob Petzold, from Woodside Park. We were driving in figure 8’s. backing and parking. 110 degrees in the barracks --  no fans, just salt pills. OCS lecture and problems with the weekend — this was the big event “The Weekend”. Our unit was put on Camp Reserve. I was confused with decisions about Cadre School, OCS, ASTP. I was impressed with the Army’s use of visual aides in instruction. I went to Capt. Payne about a weekend pass. Continued the evening OCS lectures. We were now starting to drive in convoy - quite a challenge for the good driver. Difficult to keep the convoy moving smoothly, shifting by hand. and avoiding accordion effect. Of course I enjoyed driving through the Virginia countryside. Now inspectors included the trucks
-constantly cleaning them. Learned how to sleep under the truck and appear to be working - some skill. My 20th Birthday was on Saturday. After duty, Bill Sheaf f and I went into Petersburg - payday $30. Nothing exciting happened. I found some solace at Chapel next day - the Chapel was a real refuge in another world. It was hot and a group of us took a bus to Wilcox’s Lake near Petersburg where we enjoyed swimming and sunshine. The Post delousing unit finally made it to our barracks and we moved every thing outside. PT and convoy driving. To end the day, we dressed for parade - a roach crawled out of my right leave as I was at salute in “Present Arms” - yuk!. We then put everything back into the barracks. The delousing didn’t work -another miserable night. In the Truck Co. I was put on the lubrication pit - I even enjoyed that. I think I always had a secret desire to work in a gas station. I had plenty of time to do lots of thinking.

The convoys were getting longer now - 75 miles - countryside was beautiful. Ate from mess kits - singing and cutting up. I was impressed with the CWS lecture at OCS prep —the fear of gas and other chemicals. I was thinking of being a Chaplain at this time. A gas shortage hit us and our trucks were stilled - so we did nothing. I was also impressed by the responsibilities borne by Officers in “Military Law” -- serve on Courts Martial with no legal training.

Driving up steep hills was a challenge - shifting gears without rolling back. I was directing traffic. June 11 (Friday) I got a pass for Saturday. I supervised cleaning the trucks for inspection. Got to Petersburg by 1300 got a ride with Cpl Canton to Flower Ave. (Silver Spring). I bought a necklace (cross) for Mom, candy for the boys and talked with Uncle Ad. Got to church on Sunday and played violin. Lawrence Gunther was a Lt. Comdr. in the Navy Legal Branch. I found out Mary expects a baby next month. I was never informed - but that’s the way Mom and Dad were - the unpleasant was never told. Got back to Camp at 0330 Monday. Went right into Infantry drill and manual of arms. Driving trucks with trailers. Tricky. Had my first picture in uniform taken in Petersburg. Driving extended to Richmond, Norfolk and points all over Virginia. I had fun with the transfer case, hairpin turns, and low range. Learned the winch and snatch block. Really hot and sultry - lots of perspiration and dirt.

The Obstacle Course was run several times a week — I was getting better at it. I was a guide for another convoy. Inspections abound -competition among units to have the cleanest trucks. I was in a singing group that did the Regimental song. Took bus to Richmond on a weekend pass. Dates and USO - bed in the Armory (35~). Met Benham’s from Keller.

Back on the trucks we made a convoy trip to Schuyler, Va. (130 mi.). Quite an interesting drive up into the Blue Ridge Mountains. Lt. Hubbard of MIT was with me. Schuyler was a little village of 800 in the mountains - we came to pick up a load of slate for Camp Lee. Had a date with Barbara Hall - cute. Bill Sheaf f was with me. Heavy rains forced us to sleep in the school gym — no one slept. Back to Camp Lee via convoy the next day.

Dead tired - took truck driving test. Practiced blackout convoy procedures. Whenever this sort of thing happened, one would drive and four or five would ride in the truck, we would take turns behind the wheel. Can you imagine trying to sleep on a metal truck bed? Another parade and then night convoy 2100-2400. So much dust, dirt and sand - eyes hurt terribly. My eyes hurt so, I went on sick call. As if that wasn't enough the whole company suffered from food poisoning at the noon meal - everybody throwing up. In fact, it is a wonder this didn’t happen more often considering the conditions and the millions of persons fed. We managed to muster one platoon for the afternoon parade. Even so, we GI’d the barracks - it was Friday! However, being a Corporal I did not scrub — I supervised! Tech Tng was winding down and I was anxious about future assignments. I was getting frustrated with OCS. Another hot hike on Saturday and then to Hopewell with fellow named Hummel. No money, so we went to USO dance - thank God there was such an organization. We ended up having a good time meeting new girls - some real cute Southern belles. The problem was too many guys for the gals. Sunday we went to Wilcox’s Lake again,- got a good case of sunburn. It gave me something else to think about. Went to sleep with the usual rumors about shipping out..

In my last week of Truck Driving School I was teaching a group how to double-clutch. It was hot, windy and sandy. Another parade and then night convoy in gas masks - that’s really something in the heat of June 2030-2400 I felt that I had had a “close night with God”, riding in the truck, looking up at the stars in the heavens - even the rumble of the trucks was quiet. Interior Guard lecture then more driving in the afternoon - I actually dozed off a couple of times and almost left the road. Went to another OCS lecture on “Post Supply” then stopped by to see Rasmussen. Spent another day on the long convoy after which I went to Classification. I decided to go to ASTP rather than OCS. I was losing hope for the latter. ASTP would provide an opportunity to get college credits which I couldn’t do at OCS. My ASTP specialty would be German and I thought about being in the occupation whenever that would come. Anyway, the challenge of academic study won out. There was a possibility that I might even go to Philadelphia and be at the University of Pennsylvania. Evelyn Claire was in Philly too.

Finally, I had a morning on the infiltration driving course. Received a letter from one of the kids I met in Schuyler./ All the Truck Co. except Sheaf f, Parker, and myself were to get a furlough on Monday. I was trying for a 3 day pass. Friday July 2 would be the last day of this stage of my training. I was settling down to the idea of ASTP each day and liked my choice. I still went to OCS lecture and then ended the evening playing sax as I did most evenings and, after scrubbing web equipment, went to sleep.

PT in AM made me feel good - then wound down truck activity by changing water and airing the tires. In the afternoon I was called to playing the band at Camp Lee - so I spent the afternoon practicing with the band for the Sunday afternoon concerts. I really enjoyed it. Played pretty well if I do say so myself. I was offered Corporal stripes (real ones) to join the band on a permanent basis, but I stuck with ASTP. Praying a lot for guidance - these were momentous days for me. I began brushing up on my German at the Library. Other than a recurring case of Athlete’s foot, I was in good shape. I was doing a lot of letter writing now that I had time. Barbara had her 20th Birthday on July 3. Continued with the Band and had another payday $40. I bought a new overseas cap at the PX - looked good.

On Sunday, I was in my first real Army Band march heading for Regimental Chapel. After chow, Band marched and played at ball game between WAAC and Nurses. Quite a novelty. WAAC are cheap looking, nurses educated and decent looking. The Band played again after supper - a regular sit down concert. I observed the Officers had sharp looking wives.

Monday, July 5, was the first day of no school, so I started to prepare for ASTP in earnest. Ran a one mile course cross country which reminded me of Gettysburg College. Paratroopers were in Camp talking up their branch - rugged physical types. I was now into busy chores like counting mattresses for Company inventory. I heard from Evelyn Claire, but I was still wrapped up with Barb — at least in my mind. Studied German and saw the Captain about a pass. Short arm inspection as usual. July 6 was a big day according to the diary “I signed my life away”. Studied German and was unsuccessful with the pass. After a nap, played sax then Capt. Cummings of Special Services called me over and asked me to be a violinist with a theater group going overseas. Like a bolt! Impetuous as I am, I said “Yes”. Went to Chapel and prayed hard. The idea of traveling overseas really tickled my imagination. But I still went to the OCS lecture - see how mixed up I was? Heard Lanny Ross sing at the outdoor theater - I thought I’d be doing similar work soon.

I didn’t sleep much with the excitement of a new future on my mind. My German study was interrupted by duty in the Supply Room filling out requisition forms. I wanted to play violin but didn’t have time. Next day I got to practice on GI fiddle at the Service Club. I was having thoughts about marrying Barb - Mother didn’t care for her though. At night I was Corporal of the Guard in the warehouse area - packed an old six-shooter - one bullet. Duty was 5220—0030 and 0530-0800. Such late hours screwed up the next day. I was ogling the good looking women. After sleeping most of the day, I went to a big dance at the Service Club (Friday). I enjoyed all the girls and a Sarah Trig from Hopewell. I heard from the Hall girl in Schuyler - invited up for the weekend.

Saturday I read some and then ran 2 miles in the rain for exercise. After Retreat Sheaff and I headed for Schuyler (via Charlottesville). Had fun with wine on the bus - we were really ready to unwind. The Hall family met us in Charlottesville and drove us to Schuler. Had a great time with Dale Hall! I found out she had a heart murmur so I kind of lost interest in her. Sleep by 0400. Wonderful fresh food. Great cooks in the country. Dale, her sister, Sheaf f and I had a great day doing all the things we thought great. Talking, walking, joking, enjoying each other’s company. On the way back to Camp Lee, Bill picked up a tight 1st Lt. Nurse and had a great time with her on his lap.

Next day received notice I was to ship out the following day. I wrote letters and packed my gear. The first move in ASTP was to a staging area called a “Star” unit — mine was Va. Polytechnical Institute in Blacksburg, VA. I packed my sax and sent it home. A group of us shipped out at 0900 - lots of hurry up and wait but we finally got moving on a “huckleberry special” - it stopped at every bush on the way to Blacksburg. As I poured over my box lunch, I prayed I would be successful in this endeavor. Arrived at Blacksburg 1900 hrs. This was like I was back in college —  VPI is a beautiful campus much like West Point. Gen. Marshall graduated from here and went on to become Chief of Staff and later Sec. of State. I felt like royalty - slept ‘til 0600, took everything at a relaxed pace for a change. The rumors ran rampant. No one knew exactly what was going to happen here. Everyone was a college student from somewhere in the East. Looked over Blacksburg - one beer joint, six churches and one dozen women. Swell meals in the huge mess hail - we even had waiters serving us. Military Training started soon with lecture on tanks. We swam in the beautiful indoor pool. After roaming around town I went back to the dorm to study German. Rumors were that we would have an interview Auf Deutsch to see how proficient we were.

By July 15, we heard a lecture about the whole ASTP setup - it seems it was difficult to get into. Underwent a psychology test( similar to U. of Md. last Fall). I was determined to make a go of this. In the afternoon I took a Language Aptitude Test and German Achievement Test. These were given by VPI faculty and administration - all civilians.

I learned that I would take the oral fluency test the next day. Ran cross-country course 3.5 miles (we didn’t call it jogging then). Wandered around in the evening then studied and practiced German - prayed a lot. After a good night’s sleep (these were the mountains of Virginia) prepared for 1000 test - postponed to 1350. I studied like mad - tried to memorize German phrases which I thought would be helpful “Ich habe Deutsch auf der Universitat gelernt.”, “Ich bin nicht ein geborener Deustcher,” usw. I thought I did “fairly well” in the fluency test - the Head of the Language Department tested me. Prayed more. The Retreat parade was rather sloppy I thought. On the other hand, there was a lot of spirit - singing as we marched from place to place on the campus. Marty Handler, a big-mouthed Jew from Syracuse was a real character. Dirty mind! I was already anxious to get out of Blacksburg after one week. The pace slowed considerably and I was itching to be on the move. Went to a dance at the Student Center and met Jammy Murray - originally from Michigan, but now a student at Ohio U. - her father was a professor at VPI and had a house on campus. She played flute which gave us another reason to g together. I started off by going to the Presbyterian Church with Jammy. Had dinner at her house - chicken. Walked her to “Shadow Lake”- not fancy but fun. Her sister had a violin and we played duets for fun. I dated her practically every night while there. With time on my hands, I drew cartoons, ran cross-country, wandered the town, and waited for STAR Board. I passed successfully - now I had to wait for my destination. Meanwhile, a refresher course was scheduled for those who were now in the program waiting for assignment to a college or university. Geography 0800, history (US Foreign Policy) at 0900, at 1000 Geography of Australia. Free 1100-1200. All of these were very interesting - I love to learn. Volleyball in the afternoon and German at 1600. Dated Jammy after her choir rehearsal. Beautiful weather in this part of Virginia - like a vacation. Classes in geography of Canada and New Zealand. Government (Isolationism) and English (Propaganda). Ran the steeplechase (3.5 miles) in the afternoon — great exercise. Took Jammy to see “Coney Island” with Betty Grable. Continued with geography (SW Islands) and history (Causes of WW II). Interesting discussions. I was reading THE RETURN TO RELIGION. I was getting mail from Barb about this time. On a date with Jammy we got on the subject of religion. I suppose I had a routine for any girl I liked, to see if she was worth pursuing. Jammy was luke-warm on religion.

I was giving my classes full attention and real effort. I also wrote letters to everyone I knew. The local Lutheran Church was led by a Pastor Cobb who was a roommate of Cedric Tilberg at Gettysburg. Dated Jammy and then returned to barracks to think about my future. Classes were held on Climate, Nazism and more Geography. Exercise came in the form of an Obstacle Course. Continued with German. My dates with Jammy grew to be an invitation for an all-day trip on Sunday. Wouldn’t you know on Friday I got orders to ship to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. I was really excited - just where I wanted to go. I really liked Philly. Cleared the campus and packed and said "Goodbye”. On Friday, July 30 after much hurry up and wait, we pulled out of Blacksburg at 1130. The train went via Christianburg to Roanoke then the streamliner “Tennessean” to Washington. Fine dining car. Called the folks from Union Station. Phil and Mary had “Nancy Lee”. Fought for seats to Philly - some drunk GI threw up all over me in his sleep. What a revolting mess. Arrived in Philly 0130, ate at  0230 and finally in a bed (or rather cot) by 0330. We walked from 30th St. Station to the University campus. We were up at 0600 - great night. Finally got a room assignment --  clothes filthy and no way to wash up. First room was in the tower at the entrance to the Lower Quad on Spruce St. just across from the University of Penn Hospital. Went around the area and downtown with some of the fellows —Bill Connolly was my roommate. (from Brockton Mass.) Called Uncle Charles. Women were operating streetcars and cabs. GI”s didn’t have to pay fares on streetcars, buses or subway. Went to the Stage Door Canteen for the first time on Saturday, July 31 - in the basement of the Academy of Music. Went to the Earle Theater and saw 3 Stooges on stage. I enjoyed the hustle of the big city -- Horn and Hardart “automat”. My first church service was at 22nd Chestnut - Church of the Holy Communion. Meals were great I thought. The Palestra (gym) at Penn was to serve as the mess hall for all military on campus. Catered by Horn and Hardart, we had Navy V5, V7; Marines; and Army ASTP (Japanese, Russian, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Engineering, Medicine) I had fun trying to use the subway - periodically I’d run up to the street level to find out where I was. Visited cousin Elizabeth and Bob Lord in Collingdale.

Here it was August 1943 already and I had 3 day pass to Silver Spring arrived at 2100. Enjoyed lounging around in civvies (shorts). The garden and chickens looked good. Helped Mom with the wash and played with James and Paul. We caught ball and listened to the radio (life without TV). Phil was at Fort Meade by now. I went to Takoma to see Mary and little Nancy Lee - 7 lbs. I was back playing my violin and riding my bike to the store. Went into DC with the boys and we saw Earle Theater show. After supper as the family often did, we sat on the porch and talked, on this occasion about women and the war. The porch was a great forum for us all. Saw Dad off to work the next morning, then I left about noon. I splurged and took Silver spring taxi to the DC line (25~i. Met Pat Koepfel - I knew her from school - a couple of years behind me. Had luck riding air-conditioned car to Philly. After settling down, Bill Connolly and I headed for the Stage Door Canteen. Cute girls , free food, good entertainment. Also went to the Plaza USO - dancing with Betty Collier - good looker from South Philly. I was quite a jitterbug enthusiast in those days. My high school piano chum, Ellen Mitchell, was singing with the band. Friday, August 6, we got the word on our classes. My program was German Area and Language just what I wanted. We drilled in the afternoon and after showering, I wrote letters to Jammy, Evie, Barb, Dale -who else? Enjoyed the Stage Door Canteen again. Had free theatre tickets courtesy of the USO. Danced at the Plaza again --  worn out by this time.

I knew it couldn’t last --  I slept through Reveille --  I didn’t get caught! Had a pass in the afternoon and went in town with Connolly. Ate at the Jewish YMHA - free food (Kosher). Teenagers (girls) running loose - plenty of VD. Did the Canteen and Plaza and danced with Betty. Took her home via subway - home at 0430. The next day, Sunday, I visited Independence Hall - after all this is Philadelphia. I even skipped church - felt quilty though. Betty and friends had suggested Atlantic City next weekend - something to look forward to.

Monday, August 9, the ASTP program was in high gear. All kinds of restrictions. Classes started at 0800 with German conversation - Otto Springer, Herr Weimar, et al. 1000-1200 and 1330—1430. Grammar 1430-1530. Also geography. The object is to speak German 8 hrs. a day whether you understand it or not. I was having some conflict - I wanted to do well in my studies, but also enjoyed the freedom of the city - then again I had no money. At the outset we had no lights to study with, no laundry either, and I was looking forward to seeing Evelyn Claire again.

Three days a week we had PT. Seasonal sports,e.g., soccer gymnastics, boxing, swimming. The German conversation was most interesting, but difficult. Herr Springer told us we would be no good at it until we began to “think auf Deutsch”. Loads of vocabulary to learn. Little or no literature. Plenty of grammar and writing. Eventually weeven wrote in script. We were reading old German printed script at this time. The geographyand history were all interesting. As we progressed, more and more of the related lectures were presented in German by native experts. After classes, roomates had fun with joking andharmonizing. We even recorded some of our tunes at the Canteen. Bill Bottomly was one of the group as was Bill Connolly. I was frightened by formations and penalities. Moved to 401 Ward Hall (the lower quad near the  ospital). The Christian Association had regular dances that were fun where we had a chance to meet the nurses in training. Marcy Shenk was one.

The August humidity of Philadelphia really settled in on us. This didn’t slow down the evening socializing at the canteen and Plaza. Met Ann Starr (college girl). I noted that I liked ambition in my girl friends. I finally arranged to meet Evelyn Claire. Had a Sunday date for dinner with cousin Elizabeth - Violet and Uncle Gus were visiting on Pusey Ave., in Collingdale.

I was into a routine of evening study which I stuck to for the most part. I enjoyed the German conversation and script writing. The idioms were the most important to learn. Academic literary German was not apropos. At this time the Allies were taking Sicily. Used the Goode’s Atlas a great in geography. Phil was now in OCS at Ft. Benning, GA.

Wednesday, August 18 - the fateful day! Started calmly enough with letter from home and Jammy. Classes went well and I wrote letters in the afternoon. Then came the eventide— yes, I headed for the Stage Door Canteen. There I met the best person in my life — Helen Estes. We had a wonderful time together. We had so much in common - religion, music, drama, politics - sensational! I loved putting my arm around the perfect waist to dance - and what a smooth dancer. We planned to meet on Sunday. She spotted me climbing up a light pole on Broad Street in my excitement. Bill was with me and thought I was nuts. He was married.

Just as everything was going well, I found I was restricted on the weekend for not having a bed tag showing - I was hopping mad! I really was looking forward tobeing with Helen and planned various ways to skip out. The military staff (company commander, non—coins, etc.) were all “limited service ‘‘ . That meant they had something wrong which would keep them out of combat. At any rate, Friday evening, Bill and I went to the Stage Door Canteen. Called Helen to tell her about the weekend. On the spur of the moment she suggested I come out right away - so Bill and I hopped on the Norristown local to East falls. It was great —she was beautiful. Bill visited with her sister Mildred while Helen and I walked up to the Henry Avenue Bridge. We were obviously attracted to each other and had lots to talk about. Discussed her being 3 years older than I - this was a “thorn” for some time. We had our first kiss — a very modest affair - I was super careful not to scare her off. She told me later she thought I didn’t know how to kiss.

We made plans for the following weekend. And so I plodded through my Saturday without Helen — gymnastics and German conversation. Did my laundry, wrote letters home telling about Helen. Interestingly, I dismissed all the others from my mind -- Barb, Evie, Jammy, etc. My “restriction” meant I had to check in every 2 hrs. I was reading CLAUDIA by Rose Franken. Read my Bible and prayed hard for wisdom and understanding. It seemed all my previous associations with women had prepared me for my meeting with Helen. Iwent to church and then called Helen after chow. In the evening I studied my German with Bill - we did a lot of cutting up. I was thinking of the future and wrote Senator Tydings about the Diplomatic Corps I was making a committment to work hard on the program. What Helen and I planned was a trip to a YMCA Camp (Hilltop) near Doylestown. she had been there a year earlier. Seemed like a great place to go together. My room was changed again to 301 Warwick - a suite of rooms with six fellows there — some nice some not so nice. One fellow was supposed to be the son of the Navy Chief of Chaplains - at least he said he was. Another was a central European who was always catching the “clap” for his female contacts. Lecherious in my mind. Bill was still my roommate. Our class work was graded each week so there was constant pressure to perform well. After evening chow I went to see Helen at the Stage Door Canteen - lent her my copy of CLAUDIA. We spent the eve at the Canteen talking with a little dancing -we didn’t need anyone else. The rules said she could not leave with any of the GI’s so I would meet her across the street where I walked her to the train - we stopped at the Plaza for a dance and finalized arrangements for the weekend at the YMCA. I was flying high now. Next day I breezed through the Obstacle Course and played a rugged game of soccer. Took the big German exam - thought I did well! I really enjoyed the letters from home.

I memorized Goethe’s “Du Bist Wie Eine Blume” for Helen. Made plans to catch 1211 train at 30th St. Station on Saturday. After trying to play bridge with the boys, I went to bed excited about the up-coming weekend. Saturday was a cool day and somewhat cloudy — not too good for the mountains. After 2 hrs. of PT and an hour of German, I raced for the train. Met Helen - she looked great in red and blue. We enjoyed the train ride to Downingtown - Bob Crise met Helen and continued on to Harrisburg ( his home was in Camp Hill where he still lives). Bob attended Dickenson College. We were met at the Station and driven to the camp. A beautiful spot - great scenery with a beautiful girl. We spent the afternoon in swim suits - it was too cool to swim, but I think we wanted to look at each other anyway. I took several photos of Helen (see album). Lots of fun talking walking playing badminton. After supper we played ping pong. There was an evening “doggie” roast too. The night was cool and I didn’t sleep very well - Helen had me all worked up. The cool mountain air really felt refreshing after having been in the city for several weeks. Sunday saw a church service in the Recreation Hall. WE sat on the hillside, looking over the Valley (25 yrs. later we returned with a group of school kids - the camp hadn’t changed). We enjoyed singing songs — found we could harmonize together (we still do). Even though it was cool and cloudy we had a bright arm relationship. Closed out the evening with a campfire and singing and then caught the train back to Philly at 2230. I left Helen at the Reading Terminal and got back to Penn at 0200. I had difficulty keeping my mind on my work after such a fantastic weekend. The scene shifted some as my sax arrived from home and I received letters from Dad and Kephart. Spent an hour or more on the phone with Helen in the evening.

The German study was moving along at a fast pace. Teachers spoke only in German so you either understood or flunked. Now I had Helen, women, marriage on my mind in addition to German, my career, my future. I read books about women from the library. I was playing sax in a dance orchestra rehearsal. The next Monday would be Labor Day - Bill Connolly was to go home with me. Helen had prior plans to be in New York - I was envious of her. Even the diary writing was becoming mundane. Wednesday was Helen's night at the Stage Door Canteen, so Bill and I headed there. After her shift we went to see the film version of “This Is The Army”. I was deeply involved with Helen now.

The weekend at home went fast - I returned to Philly on Labor Day and scurried over to see Helen - brought her some candy which we enjoyed together. We sat and talked in McMichael Park. Great time together even though I was frustrated by not having enough time to take her anywhere. This was the day the “Congressional Ltd.” train crashed in Philadelphia, 100 killed. All was confusion at Penn where everyone available was going to the Hospital of UP to give blood.

The next day went pretty well — I scored a goal in soccer and got a “C+” on German test. Bill Connolly had an emergency furlough to Boston --  his wife needed a Caesarean. I went to Red Cross in the afternoon and gave a pint of blood - had fun cutting up with the nurses.. Dr. and Mrs. Nicholas were living in Upper Darby and invited me and “a friend” out for Saturday dinner - I wrote saying I’d bring Helen. I hadn’t even consulted her. I missed Wednesday Canteen, but I needed to study. The Geo-Politics lectures were outstanding -- many native exiled Germans (Jews) some formerly high in the Weimar Republic. My telephone conversations with Helen went over the hour all the time. I never chatted with anyone on a phone like that. I loved her voice and of course she had a lot to say - she agreed to Nicholas’s on Saturday. I met Helen at the elevated stop on Market Street and rode out to 69th St. on into Upper Darby. We had a pleasant dinner and evening with the Nicholases -- they were always such dear people — genuine and loving. Afterward we went downtown — then supper at Helen’s. We then went to Weber’s Hofbrau (NJ) to dance. This was a well known night club in the Camden area. Of course we traveled by public transportation. Had fun dancing, but I didn’t care for the drinking - I’d never been in a night club before. We waited a long while for a bus and finally a couple gave us a lift back to Philly where we caught the 66 Trackless Trolley that took us out Ridge Avenue to East Falls. Walked up Queen Lane - it was downright cold for September and all I had on were khaki’s. It was late - in the wee hours - so Helen suggested I stay over. I slept on the sofa in the living room. Her Aunt Lil was a great person — made me feel welcome. I was real philosophical in my talks with her. Helen and I walked again to the park and sat in the moonlight. I just caught the train in time to make bed check at Penn. Helen was always put out that I left on time - she never knew how scared I was of being punished.

Such a weekend gave me new commitment and determination to be successful. Of course, it was mid September and school weather and I was ready to study for real. Tests were getting tougher and the screening process was at work. At this time, the report was that 32 had flunked out of the program. I really was making a strong effort to do well. PT test - 26 push ups, 38 squat jumps, 36 sit ups.

I was preparing for another big “prufung”. (test). My trouble was grammar and structure in writing sentences. I could memorize the vocabulary very well, but cases and endings always bugged me! It was 15 September “our first month” anniversary! I bought a lipstick “Dorothy Grey” for her at the Drug Store across from the SDC. My German was picking up slightly “B-” then an 88% i14 geography made me feel better. Saturday night Helen and I had dinner and saw “Claudia” — it wasn’t as good as the book. We had fun though. WE really were getting to know each other — we were fortunate to have the time to be together. I wrote down what she wore --  I thought she was really chique. We enjoyed our Sunday walks in the Wissahickon Creek area. Then I would have supper with Aunt Lil, and sister Mil. Sometimes Aunt Annie Jane (Christian Scientist) would visit and occasionally brother Jack (enlisted Air Corps) would be around. It was real homey — Helen knitting a sweater for brother while we listened to the radio. I was all sold on marrying her at this time. My routine was to work hard on my German all week and look forward to the weekends. My $42/month didn't go very far and I was usually “broke”. Remember that money was paid once a month.

Our military program at Penn was wrapped around the civilian program. Penn still played football as did the rest of the Ivy League. Most of the players were Navy, Army, or Marines. We were in CD’s now - they looked much better than khaki. I don’t recall seeing any games in 1943- I was more interested in Helen. As on several other Saturdays, we saw Philly on foot, e.g., Franklin Institute, Art Museum, etc. We ended up in East falls cooking dinner together --  all kinds of cute domestic things. We even sang together washing the dishes - she was gorgeous in her black dress with gold stars — pleated as I recall — high heels with great legs. She’s always been a sharp dresser. We then returned to Penn for a dance at Houston Hall. Took her home and returned to Penn. Early Sunday I was in East Falls again. We went to Aunt Lil’s Good Shepherd Episcopal Church - we walked in those days. These were great days. I was getting impatient now - I wanted to get married and get on with my career, whatever that was. But then that h~ been my impetuous nature! I was even thinking about agriculture and wrote Phil for his input.

On September 28, I went to the hospital with an intestinal virus - great! I did a good bit of reading there but neglected my diary. No entries the rest of the year. Generally, I recall a continuation of the program in German - we changed instructors every 8 weeks. Continuously being regrouped by abilities as it was demonstrated. I recall having Herr Weimar (a young good—looking professor- he had a gorgeous wife). He also led the Deutscher Manner Korps for Weihnachzeit. Great music and singing. I was holding my own. Helen and I were getting more serious --  in early November we went to Silver Spring together. I wanted her to meet the family and relatives. I have pictures of our walks in Sligo Park. I gave her my fraternity pin - for all intents and purposes we were engaged.

I don’t recall Thanksgiving, but we enjoyed Philly. We did not have the day off, as .1 recall, because we ate a big dinner at the Palestra. I got inexpensive tickets to see and hear Jascha Heifetz (violin) ; Rachmaninoff (piano); saw stage shows, visited her sisters and other relatives. Mil was married to Jimmy Brinton (1st Lt. Engr. in the Italian Theatre) when I met Helen. By Christmas Mil had a nervous breakdown which was traumatizing for all. Helen and I survived the trials and tribulations of this period. Christmas 1943 was a quiet time, not much celebrating. Helen gave me a solid silver ID bracelet. I can’t remember what I gave her, but we were definitely making plans to marry when the time was right. She worked in town for a Mr. Boyer and enjoyed the pace of the city. We had photos taken at Wanamakers -- expensive and terrible pictures. I just read that I gave her a blue robe and maroon slippers. Mil had helped me shop for them.

My diary resumes for 1944 with New Years Eve at home (East Falls) - the way I always liked it. Aunt Lil, Aunt Jane, Helen and me. January 1 was back to classes - Maggie Shepherd and Bill Bottomly went with us to see “Blossom Time”. Ate at Michaud’s on Walnut St. Mil was in the Pennsylvania Hospital on Market St. in West Philadelphia. My first experience with psychological problems. I was surprised to see so many Catholic nuns there for treatment. In those days they were prescribing electric shock treatments -how barbaric. I stayed overnight - it was Saturday and next day Helen and I visited her Aunt Florence, Lily Mae, and Isabel in Camden. It was cold and the Cooper River was frozen over so we went ice skating.

In the news, Russia was moving into Poland and there was talk of an invasion of Europe. I was into more examinations since the 2nd Term would end in 3 wks. I had Mundliche Prufung (oral) and Schriffliche Prufung(written). Dad and Mother sent me a beautiful Bible (I still have it). Helen and I kept in touch on the telephone every day - usually an hour or so in the evening — I’d go to the snack shop in the quad to call her. Also the SDC every Wednesday. History exam and a couple of more penalties for missing Reveille. My German was getting good enough so I went to German Lutheran Church in Roxborough where I met the Knittels. During this time we went on Sunday afternoon to visit Mil. Helen was taking piano lessons now. My money was so low I resorted to the Blood Donor program where I got $6/pt. Took military written and oral examinations “surprise”. Some of the guys were moving out. The Engineering program closed - the whole group left for the Infantry. The Italian program closed and most were put into another language or sent to the infantry. I was assured of another term. Karl Kundra was the man at the German Lutheran Church who helped me. Mil’s friend Monica visited her at the hospital - Mil was improving. Bahnsen (Alvin) was our professor of politics and really made an effort to know all of us. Later he was the one who wrote a newsletter until the end of the war which kept us informed. In 1982, Bob Crist, Aaron Finger and I had a reunion of sorts with Alvin Bahnsen in New York City at the Union League where we reviewed the past 40 years. Aaron was retiring from teaching and moving to Florida. Al Bahnsen died in December 1985.

Helen and I were doing everything together. Met her sorority in Germantown — Helen was Corresponding Secretary. Went to a discussion on marriage at the CA on Penn Campus. We really that session to answer questions about differences in age, marrying during wartime. After SDC on Wednesday we went to Plays and Players to see “Pursuit of Happiness”. I started joining Helen in choir at good Shepherd Church on Thursday evenings. The Episcopal is probably the most confusing around. Sang “Finlandia” - beautiful. On her birthday (jan. 31) I gave her a camellia — followed this custom for several years. When we weren’t visiting Helen’s relatives, we visited Uncle Charles and Aunt Edith. Helen enjoyed reading Grandpa Seltzer’s biography. We bought a photo album and scrapbook - needed to preserve our momentos and pictures.

When on furlough Feb., I dug up old OCS papers and Phil's Infantry Drill Regulations. I was thinking about OCS again. I found out that ASTP would not result in a commission as we were told originally. When at home in Silver Spring, I visited Mrs. and Mr. Thomas and spoke German - she was German born. Helen came down to Washington on the train and spent the evening with the family (Helen wore a new red dress with little roses. It was at this time that I gave her my fraternity pin , not back in November as I wrote earlier. She wore a lovely blue sweater when I pinned her. We celebrated by seeing “The Student Prince” with Uncle Ad.

February 6 we took the train back to Philly then began the 3rd and last term. Rumors were rampant with the war continuing. I wanted to apply for OCS, even inquired into the Air Corps. Bill Connolly left the German program with ten others. Mil was home now and Helen and I made plans for a trip to New York. All the Nazism and Hitler study was annoying me, now but I still held on. Helen and I played our first duet. We talked and planned in light of all the rumors about being with the troops by April. I completed my first year in the Army on March 2. Helen’s Uncle Stan died - I had wandered all over the crumby neighborhoods with Aunt Lil looking for him. He simply drank himself to death.

Meanwhile we visited Mil's in-laws (Brinton)  in Huntingdon Valley. We saw a play in town and at the Academy. Even got to wash Helen’s hair -- cozy. Three hundred ASTP’ers left this weekend. We were making honeymoon plans in March - didn’t exactly know the date although we thought it would probably be in August. Phil had washed out of OCS before Christmas and was with the 77th Div. when they shipped to the Pacific.

The Russian and Chinese companies left Penn. I got a new typhoid shot - somebody was planning something. I ordered Helen’s wedding present - Gov. Winthrop desk and mirror --  she still has the desk. Went to Helen’s dressmaker -Miss Roach - for her Easter dress - hot pink. Spring came and I bought a spade and we dug a Victory Garden and made more plans. We walked up the Wissahickon and on over Henry Avenue Bridge and under the pines - planned our dream home.

With all the changes in ASTP we moved to Ward Dorm - plans called for one more month. Helen and I saw “Porgy and Bess” (Erlanger). Palm Sunday was on April 2 and we were making wedding plans. I got 87% in a German test --  how about that! Helen got a new job at Nice Ball Bearing (Henry Ave. and Hunting Park Rd.). Good Friday we went to St. James the Less, right near her work. Then I painted Aunt Lil’s porch for her. Another visit was to Helen’s Austrian friend named Botsteiber (Viennese). His mother served delicious delicacies. Things were winding down fast. We got our blood test information from City Hall. While waiting for orders, I visited Mumper at the Lutheran Publication House. The German Program ended and I had a weekend pass, so Helen and I went to Silver Spring --  met all the relatives and had fun. Mary, Doris, Aunt Mabel and Uncle Ad. After a pleasant time we returned to Philly via train. May 1 came along and I got my clearance papers and found out that I was going to Indiana to the Infantry. Wrapping up things, I did some more painting for Aunt Lil and worked in the garden with Helen. My orders were cut on the 4th giving me “10 day delay en route”. Helen and I decided to go to Atlantic City for a weekend --  we Stayed in separate rooms at the Milestone Hotel. There we enjoyed the moon on the Boardwalk. The train brought us back on Sunday evening. While Helen was at work, I helped Aunt Lil. I put up clothes lines, and painted some more. Went to Silver Spring and informed Mother and Dad that Helen and I would get married. Played violin, read some, dug Dad’s garden and planned finances for the wedding. By Friday I was back in Philly - the 10 days went fast. Left Philly at 2100 for Indianapolis. I dreaded the prospect of life in the Infantry.

My orders assigned me to the 106th Infantry Division. Had a terrible sleepless night on the train and arrived in Indianapolis at noon. It took until 1900 to get to Camp Atterbury. Anti-tank Company, 422nd, Infantry Regiment - the Division was out on a 2 week bivouac so the only guys around were the replacements like myself. Aaron Finger and Robert Crist traveled with me and were assigned to the 424th and 423rd Regts. respectively. All of the replacements coining into Atterbury were from ASTP or flunk outs from OCS. A real motley collection. At any rate, our Company cook took good care of us and fed us well (he was from Baltimore). After writing to Helen and home, I flopped into my cot.

I spent the first day trying to get field equipment issued. All I had was the OD’s on my back and good uniforms in my duff le bag. This was May 15 and it was hot in Indiana. We finally got a truck ride to the bivouac area. It was almost like being thrown into battle after the protected environment of Penn. I pitched my tent with Bill Dalious (a Penna. Dutch fellow from Hamburg, PA - friendly guy about 28 yrs. old and married).My bed - a blanket on the ground - of course I didn’t sleep.

The second day, I rode back to Camp with others to get necessities - still in OD’s. Back out to the bivouac and guard duty. Four hours on and four hours off. Really spooky at night -- and since it was pouring rain, I got soaked. Try sleeping that way. After I came off guard duty I had to dig two foxholes. Then we had 2 hours of individual cooking - learned how to put pebbles in a #10 can full of nail holes, doused in gasoline - it made a fine stove with a steady flame. It rained again and I was soaked again. I was really depressed by this time. Add to the above, I was thrown in with the rabble - hillbillies, Georgia crackers, West Virginia hicks, crums, drunks with VD in various stages, ignorant jerks who couldn’t or wouldn’t follow the simplest orders. I began to fear for my life - was I to go into combat with these bums?

Up at 0600 — calisthenics, lectures and demonstration of rifle grenade, creeping, crawling. We cooked our own dinner such as it was. Mostly heating “C” rations --  but this was before sterno. They did have a movie in the evening out in the open. The next day we were up at 0530 and trucked to the station hospital for overseas physical and another round of shots. I was really groggy. We fired the anti-tank grenade and then worked on the 57 mm AT guns which were our standard crew served weapon. Personal weapons were either the .45 pistol or .30 cal. carbine. I had the latter.

Next day produced Orientation Lecture - current news, tent and equipment inspection two nice thick letters from my honey. I ended up on guard duty again. I was a PFC at this time - actually I got that single stripe back at Camp Lee when I finished Truck Driving School.

After this rough week in Indiana, the word was that the Division would be rotating the next month or so on pre—overseas furloughs. Sunday in the field, I did a short guard duty stint and then sunned myself - I got a good burn as usual. Took a bath in the nearby creek and in the evening we had a USO show in the field. We needed that entertainment. Monday, I was on KP - in the field it is a mess - big GI cans to scrub- utensils to scrub and just plain heavy dirty work. Rained again in the evening and soaked everything including me. Helen’s letter came every day  -- what a God send.

I must say the days in the field were busy  --  there was a sense of urgency on my own part because I realized that the clock was winding down quickly for the real thing. I rather relished that idea, although I didn’t particularly want to go with this Division. Bill Dalious and I kidded around with German - he wasn’t bad at conversation, helped me too. On May 24 I learned that I’d go on furlough June 1 - we were still in bivouac —   more rain. I was making mental plans for our wedding. Marched back to Camp on the 27th and I immediately phoned Helen. I told her, I was coining home and we would be married on June 5, I wired Mrs. Foster’s Travel Service at Strawbridges, arranged for blood test at the Station Hospital - in between I had hand to hand combat, bayonet drill, etc. I saw Personnel(S-l) about OCS and had and interview with the CO - Capt. Witz. Before I knew it was Friday , June 2 and I was on my way to Philly and my honey to take the big step. Helen had to make all the local arrangements. Photos, car, bridesmaids, reception. I contacted Dr. Mumper to serve with Rev. Bauers. Spent Sat. shopping together then had wedding rehearsal at Redeemer Lutheran Church. I bought a new khaki uniform and asked Dad to be best man - I didn’t have anyone my age who would be available. Sunday came and went without comment. Monday the 5th arrived and Helen and I were at City Hall to get the License . The wedding was at 1600. Helen looked beautiful - Dad and Mom were there. Dad was real nice - tried to be a good “best” man — was proud and I could tell. Aunt Lil was sweet to have everyone back to 3348 for a nice reception. Uncle Charles and Aunt Edith were helpful and drove us to the North Philadelphia Station. We arrived in New York at 1900 - the Paramount Hotel. We stumbled through the night and by AM we heard that the “Invasion” of Fortress Europe had taken place.

Cold Spring on the Hudson, Mrs. Montifiore. A beautiful residence now a honeymoon lodge. A great place to begin life together. We had the honeymoon suite - double bed with canopy. From out of a storybook. We enjoyed sleeping late then after breakfast, walking leisurely about the grounds and around the area. Even though it was cloudy we enjoyed the scenery. Meals were excellent. Not enough sun to try a tan. By supper two other newly married couples joined us. A Jewish fellow and bride(2d Lt.) and a Merchant Seaman with his over sexed bride. I can’t remember their names. All three couples like the “Dix’s” Castle - partially completed during the depression. We tried to swim in the freezing spring water.  the girls chickened out and the “brave fellows” stripped and plunged in. The girls watched from behind the trees — such modesty. In the evening we relaxed before the fire. For June it was extremely cold.

There was a nice pool too, but the water was too cold for enjoyable swimming — Helen~ looked good in a swimsuit. On Saturday - a rainy day — we moved to another room on the first floor - not as fancy but quite adequate with a nice fireplace - I enjoyed building the fire. All dressed up in my new uniform the waiter, who was flirting with Helen, spilled greasy gravy all over me. Mrs. Montefiore took the uniform to be cleaned and sent it to me in Indianapolis. The honeymoon was over - we left on Sunday morning arrived in Philly 1730. By Monday I was broke and borrowed train fare to Camp from Aunt Lil. Our honeymoon was financed by the $100. which Uncle Ad gave us. Helen was back at work, but I managed to have lunch with her before saying “Goodbye”.

I arrived in Camp Atterbury in time for Reveille. Back into the swing of things - practice parade all morning, then we worked on the 57’s. Wrote to Helen and home, also saw Crist and Finger - they had furloughs too. Being a musician, I was assigned to Bugle School - actually the Captain asked me if I would like to be a bugler. Five or six of us from the Regiment took Bugle instruction books and bugles out under the trees and taught ourselves to blow the daily calls. The bugles were GI plastic with metal mouthpieces. I had done the preliminaries with our Scout bugle back home so I knew a little. At least, we didn’t have to do all the weapon cleaning and drills now. Infantry Day was on June 15. I was thinking about having Helen come out and stay near the Camp. Went to look for a place in the town of Franklin. Ended up reserving a room at the Guest House for July 1—4. My diary comments only on Helen’s letters and my waiting for her - Bugle School continued daily - I could even double and triple tongue. On June 22 we hiked 15 miles to bivouac. I was now AT Company Bugler - my assistant was a Georgia cracker who drank “white lightning”. I was trying to arrange a 3 day pass for Helene s visit. (the other Bugler was named Floyd). After a week in the field we marched back on the 30th. Capt. Vitz said I could have 2½ days (not 3) - got all cleaned up to meet Helen. I was disappointed in her room - two GI cots bath down the hall. Met her at the train in Indianapolis and rode the bus to Camp - Helen looked great in a black and white check dress. We danced at the Service Club and retired. I was conscious of not being an officer.

Helen and I managed to have a good time together -- we ate at the Service Club, swam in Franklin. Helen slept in the Guest House while I rose at 0500 and took a 9 mile hike in 1 hr. 40 mm. I took the Bugle Test and spent the evening with Helen - she was looking for a job in the area, but nothing suitable turned up. She decided to return to Philadelphia on July 6. After she left I sort of wandered through my duties — bugle, KP, first aid, gas, 15 mile hike, Range firing of carbine and .57 mm AT gun. The entire crew fired just 3 rounds of live ammo on each gun. (I learned years later from Bill Dalious that those were the only rounds fired by the crew. The whole Regiment was captured Dec. 18-19, 1944). The war news was good as the Germans were falling back on all fronts.

Back into the field for another 2 weeks beginning July 17. I did guard duty as Bugler of the Guard and blew all the calls — First Call, Reveille, Mess, Assembly, Recall, Mess, Recall, Assembly, To the Colors, Retreat, Mess, Lights Out, Taps -great fun except for the ungodly hours. There was an attempt on Hitler’s life on July 20. The war was close at hand when in a big Air/Ground demonstration 10 were killed. We went through the infiltration course again. It was during this bivouac that news came of Jimmie G. Brinton’s death in Italy, on July 8. Sad situation. The Nazis were retreating on all fronts now. We were cleaning equipment and looking toward another furlough. My mind was continuously occupied with thoughts of Helen. I was trying for OCS but heard nothing. American Troops were in Brest and St. Nazare. I was in the Motor Pool and Bugle School for a week. Buglers were messengers in addition to other duties. I heard from Mom that Helen and I could have the Cottage (Colonial Beach) and use the Buick for our hoped for furlough. The Regiment had a maneuver problem — everything screwed up —  goof offs! I was scared to be with these guys. Ended the problem with a massive firing demonstration — the fire power was overwhelming. Phil was on Guam with the 77th Div. I was enraptured and preoccupied with my wife.

While anxiously awaiting furlough, I received orders transferring me to the Military Intelligence Training Center at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. Some years later I figured out that the whole thing had been a planned experience to familiarize one with the Infantry Division. Crist, Finger and I and all the ASTP German crowd ended up at Ritchie exactly 90 days after finishing at Penn. I was elated to get out of the 106th - The 1st Sgt. could have killed me - he hated to see anyone get thrilled at leaving him.

The three of us (Crist, Finger and me) left for Camp Ritchie, Md. at 1100 on August 16, 1944 --  one of the happier days of my life. Camp Ritchie was formerly the Camp Headquarters for the Maryland National Guard (29th Div) nestled in the Catoctin Mountains near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa. in the Hagerstown, Md. area. The President’s hide-away Camp David was in the same mountains. Actually, it had been a Victorian vacation spot. Mother and Dad told me of taking the excursion train to Pen-Mar (an amusement park a mile or two up the road). There was a lovely lake, called Louise, on which Mom and Dad used to go boating around World War I. Lovely, large homes were scattered throughout the area - these had been vacation homes at one time. By 1944 modern barracks were up - a beautiful Officers Club by the Lake, large mess halls, horse stables and warehouses. It had been designated as the Military Intelligence Training Center with a Brigadier General Banfield in command. He had a unique idea that Americans were hung up on six day work(Mon to Sat.) and Sunday off. He wanted to change that so he initiated what we called “Ban Day” - work seven days, eighth day off. So one week you’d be off on Sunday, next on Monday, next on Tuesday, etc. It wasn’t a bad idea really.  Of course it gave all of us GI’s something to bitch about. Ostensibly, I was here because of my German language training. However, there were different grades of ability to match to different assignments: the most proficient (native speakers) were assigned to IPW (Interrogation of Prisoners of War) — ironically, there were a great many American Jews in this program because of German family background and similarities between Yiddish and German. Then came German OB (Order of Battle) and finally P1 (Photo Interpretation). The test given was the same as at Penn. I was only Fair so I got P1. But once again it was a do-or-die selection. At least I was in one of the nicer installations in the country. Rather like a country club in some respects. Being located close to Washington, a number of important people were assigned here. In addition, the big-wigs made certain they had the best cooks around. The Mayflower Hotel Chef was in charge of the Officers Mess. He selected the best POW’s to assist. First, Italian and when I was there, German --  every once in a while these two groups would break into a fight. However, the food in the Enlisted Mess was every bit as good as the Officer’s. It was a relatively small camp with very select personnel so it was something to be proud of. Mostly college types. A typical Sunday in August -- Chapel, big dinner, swimming or boating in the afternoon, movies in the evening. Since the Camp was out-of-the-way, I needed to hop a ride to Baltimore (about one hour due East). Since this was a problem for everyone here, some of the old cadre had organized taxi service which they operated for a profit. If I recall, the round trip between Camp and Baltimore was $6 (High, but better than the rinky-dink bus that ran occasionally).

I was assigned to Co. G, 2nd Tng Bn. for Photo Interpretation. After assignment I went swimming then in the afternoon. I got a pass to Silver Spring. I hitched a ride -- the route was pretty direct through Frederick. I was home and back again in a few hours. The instruction began quickly --  it was interesting to me. Tests started right away - again screening process; Technical Intelligence, Army Organization, Signal Intelligence (learning Morse Code - Pigeons), Combat Intelligence and map reading. I always liked the map work - lots of drawing and sketching. Of course, I wrote Helen every day and she wrote me. The days were full - the P1 course was just six weeks and there was a lot to learn. Crist was in OB and Finger was in PI. Everything moved so fast, you couldn’t afford to miss a minute. Classrooms were close together so there wasn’t much time wasted marching about.

On my first “Ban-Day” I went to Philly to see Helen.   We got a room at the Ben Franklin - must have looked like newly—weds - the waitress called us “little chickaddies” The one day passed quickly and I left at 1815. I changed my life insurance with Helen as beneficiary -- I also missed pay call. I was deep into maps and Army organization. The mapping problems were interesting --  took us out into the countryside — using the adelaide to locate roads and construct a map --  beautiful scenery from Pen-Mar and of course the Friday night GI Party. I started German Army organization, foreign maps, code test, signal wire splicing. I was learning some practical skills. Daily tests in each subject.

For transportation, I thought I could do like the wise guys and use a car as a taxi. So I borrowed Dad’s ‘36 Lafayette and then I had to scrounge for gas - a “C” sticker wasn’t much good. Tried for a “B” that would produce 10 gallons. So on my first trip to Baltimore, the car broke down on the return trip in Taneytown - 0400. There I was with 4 passengers at that hour, knocking on farmers door in desperation. I don’t recall how we got back to camp. I do know the at I left the car by the side of the road and did a lot of telephoning from Camp trying to get a garage to tow it in and fix it. Burned out main bearing -of course with an odd car nobody had the parts, so the mechanic tried to make it. I was going crazy.

Meanwhile, the war was going on --  September 13, Germany was invaded --  the first time in 131 years. BanDay again, Helen and I went shopping in Philly (Wed). Bought frame for our wedding picture. Helen quit her job at Nice Ball Bearing and took another at Reynolds Stock Brokers at 15th and Walnut - she was in great demand with her secretarial skills and looks. Phil was still on Guam. Went through photo reading test - we used the stereoscope and learned to measure heights and depths from shadows - needed some math for this. No computers in those days. Helen was planning on taking some college credits. She started working for the Reynolds Co. and they encouraged her to take English and helped pay for the course at Temple. She was also taking piano which I thought was great. We really relished our days together --  each one was like another honeymoon.

I ended up having a garage in Silver Spring go up to Taneytown and tow Dad’s car all the way back. This took every cent I had. Had tests in PI, German Organization and British Army. We had representatives from Britain, Russia, France, on the staff at Ritchie. On September 29 Helen took the train to Washington and I met her at the Union Station. We rode the bus and taxi to Silver Spring and had a nice visit with the family. We were looking over house plans which Dad explained.

At Camp the PI course was winding down -- 48 hour map problem took us through the Catoctin Mountains --  day and night. Learned to navigate under all conditions. Didn’t get lost once - but I was dead tired. Helen spent the week with the family in Silver Spring - somewhat of an experiment you might say. The P1 Course ended with an 8 day problem. I was busy to say the least. I functioned in various Intelligence non-corn slots. Worked the field switch board, message center, received a commendation for a good job. Also took another OCS test. A number of ASTP people were going to Fort Benning for a commission and then returning to Ritchie. I really wanted to be an Officer now! The 8 day problem involved scouting and patrolling, spotting enemy moves. Drove the jeep and got soaking wet - field conditions not comfy barracks. One day I would be in Division G-2, next in Regimental 5-2 - interesting but exhausting. Slept on the ground. Even worked at Corps P1 - chased skunks away from my tent at night. Served as Battalion S-2- did so well our whole team received a commendation, felt very proud. Next day we had graduation ceremony in the Post Theatre.

Sunday was BanDay -- great to be with Helen - then back to Camp by 0530. Made quick change to fatigues and spent the day on the range firing the M1 (166) Sharpshooter. Worked the pits in the afternoon. Following day, fired small arms and took another OCS test. I was anxious and hopeful. Most of our time was now spent in basic training - Close Order Drill, etc. Went before the OCS Board (Lt. Col., Maj., and Capt) I did OK and told to go before the General in the morning. I saw the General and did OK. The results were posted in the afternoon — I was an alternate. The selection was made alphabetically. I shouldn’t have worried because I would be selected in a few days — but I didn’t know that at the time. Meanwhile I had passed the physical with flying colors. Spent more time on the range and then one of the ASTP’ers who had returned from Benning (2d Lt. Helstrom) briefed us on what to expect. Ten were on the list and five alternates. I recall an old timer Sgt. vintage WW I, I imagine he was waiting for retirement, was assigned to give us Close Order Drill. I doubt if he had done it since WW I --  he barked out “Right by squads right!” and “Wheel right and left” all obsolete. We were all mixed up, but trying not to embarrass him. He had served in the Philippines.

The rumor was that I would be scheduled for OCS in November. I had a pass for the weekend and was working on one for 3 days. Keeping myself in shape with PT. Benning was notoriously rugged on the physical fitness. November 2,3,4 and 5 was a good weekend - Helen and I really enjoyed planning and talking and walking and just being together. We knew we would be separated shortly and we had had a close call before. The 106th Division was in England by this time.

I was in sort of a holding pattern now. Not in school, not too many details and waiting for OCS. One day I hitched a ride over to Gettysburg with a friend and I visited Bill Miller and Woody Moreland at the Seminary. Another day I hitched a ride on a cabbage truck to Silver Spring - I’d return to Camp by Reveille. I brought my violin back after this visit and got in some playing in a pick up dance band at the local USO Club. We had several parades where I was given some responsibility to lead a squad or a platoon. On November 11 I was back in Philly where Helen, Mill and I went to the Hofbrau. I was a little more sophisticated this time. We had a nice homey weekend of music, scrapbooks, and photo albums. Helen did the cooking. She already had a complete service of silver plate, pots and pans, the few presents we received and was anxious to use them. All was not easy back at camp, I still got stuck GI'ing the barracks and a full day on KP in the Consolidated Mess. More work on the Ml and CQ (Charge of Quarters) for the Battalion - gave me time to write letters. My diary was blank for two weeks until December 1 when I was selected for OCS. Great excitement and sense of pride at having accomplished this elusive goal on my own. The next day was BanDay and I was in Philly doing Christmas shopping with Helen. We decided to have an early Christmas, since I might get orders at any minute. So after church we wrapped gifts and exchanged them.

I returned to Camp Ritchie setting my mind on Ft. Benning, determined to make a success of it. I really wanted those gold bars. I never did find out what happened to Phil at OCS, then it was a rugged place to be.

I at least had two years of duty before I got hit with the rugged program. The object of OCS was to screen out those who couldn’t cope and believe me every day presented an opportunity to succeed or fail. On December 5 (our 6 months anniversary) I was packing things to ship home and served as acting company commander. Big thrill. The word spread that we would leave in one week so everyone tried for a pass. Helen was to meet me in Washington, DC. I turned in my things to salvage and hitched a ride into DC in the rain. Enjoyed the next day at home - we had another early Christmas --  fond memories. Sunday we all went to church then Uncle Ad and Harry came out in the afternoon. Helen and I rode to the Station and I was on the train with her to Baltimore. Monday the 11th was cold and sleety. Packed up all remaining gear, closed the records and said “Goodbye” on the phone before hitting the sack. On the 12th we were on the train pulling out at 0658. to Baltimore, then Washington. We had a 4 hour delay because of a train wreck. I kept thinking about the next critical four months. We were three in a sleeper compartment — I had the upper berth.

To add to the discomfort, I was cutting a wisdom tooth. I wrote to Helen as we rolled through the Carolinas --  food was good, but we were six hours late by now. We held over in Atlanta - where I wrote again and finally pulled into Benning at 2330. Cold as ice - you would never expect this in Georgia. The first day was in the Reception Area -- loads of OC’s from all over the country -- some from overseas. Filled out forms, wrote autobiography, did an hour of PT, watched training film and then for excitement we took the bus to the main post. Fort Benning was a massive place with permanent buildings - this was the home of the Infantry School.

It was so cold , I thought we were up North again. We went through another physical and dental check up. Wrote home and did PT --  pull-up bars everywhere for practice. Saw more training films and was assigned to Class 440 - 14th Company 3rd Stud. Tng. Regt. (Harmony Church area). Had photos taken and wrote home again.

On Saturday the 16th, filled out more forms -- heard the Chaplain, took a three hour general knowledge test and moved to the new company area. Tired, but still managed to write Helen. This was the fateful day for the 106th Division. The Germans broke through the Schnee Eifel and began what was to be known as the Battle of the Bulge. But for the Grace of God, go I! It was long after the war before I learned from Bill Dalious that the Anti Tank Company in the 422nd Regt. had been captured in tact. They had moved into the line 5 days before and had only two rounds of Anti Personnel ammo for the gun -- they never fired it. Just as I had feared -- they were so screwed up they could not even protect themselves. In summary, Bill ended up a PW and wandered around Germany for six months going from one PW camp to another before they were freed in April 1945. His wife had no word all that time.

My remaining entries in the 1944 Diary are for Christmas eve and New Years Eve. On the former, which was a Sunday, I went into Columbus, Georgia (a trailer type bus packed to the doors). I tried to call Helen, but all the lines were busy. I ended up at midnight Carol at an Episcopal church where I bumped into a couple of the U. of Maryland ROTC grads who were now on the Benning Staff. (They were in Phil’s class). Christmas day I tried to call again and send flowers but I couldn’t get through. Helen saved my letters to her from Benning so I didn’t keep much of a diary. I was waxing nostalgic on New Years Eve -- no party, just writing and reading. I was supposed to graduate from college in June 1945 --  fate!

A Bernie Serotta had come down from Ritchie and we got on well — in fact he was quite a staunch friend. I don’t know what happened to him after OCS - he did return to Ritchie but then I lost track. I was impressed by the number of fellows who were washed out of the course and allowed to reenter - we called them “retreads”. The rumors would fly like mad. I was continually being impressed by the urgency to perform well. I knew I could do the job and I was determined to succeed. Helen’s letters kept me going through thick and thin. I kept her letters for years until one time they got ruined in basement water.

In the company area, we had colored soldiers on permanent KP so I knew that detail was done for -- thank God! I was the second man in the 4th Squad of the 4th Platoon - a short Lt. Miller (unlikely build for an officer) was our Tactical Officer. The first week classes included Map Reading, which I felt comfortable with, washing equipment, sewing on OCS patches, shining shoes, lining up books and putting everything in its place. The motivation was to do everything perfectly and avoid demerits — too many demerits and you wash out. Just like West Point at this stage. We wore what we called “coveralls” instead of issue fatigues. These were one-piece affairs which eliminated a belt to hold up trousers --  one problem in the cold Georgia air if you had to defecate you were completely uncovered --  no trap door. I suppose I was more concerned about my keeping up to the physical standards more than anything else. Since I was never a great athlete - I had considerable apprehension about doing enough push ups, sit ups, chin ups - the muscular things. Hiking never bothered me, I could walk their butts off. Sabetelli (from Penn and Ritchie) was in the same company. I was frightened to death of all the restrictions, “off limits” places in town, that I only went to Columbus 2 or 3 times in four months. The personnel makeup of the company seemed to be pretty good — mostly college, some non—corns, all backgrounds ( non-colored soldiers in those days). It was important to be with a cooperative group because everything we did required someone else helping out --  crew served weapons, taking turns at command, helping each other --  we used to say “cooperate and graduate”. At several points during the four months we did the “buddy sheets” — rating our peers for dependability, reliability, honesty. The school wouldn’t accept "white wash” either. You had to justify orally why you made a particular statement good or bad. Very interesting psychology - but important to survival of the individual and the group. I observed what happened to the wise guys. I had a real complement paid to me after OCS when Serotta met Helen at Ritchie, he said that I was the one he trusted most to lead him in a battle situation.

The class work moved right along - the Army has its instructional methods down pat. Very effective techniques for teaching. Training Management was interesting in this regard. Each evening, we had a required “quiet” study period - usually two hours. After study, I did such things as sewing and cleaning the rifle - it had to be spotless all the time. I also did my own laundry of coveralls - we each had two sets which meant that we scrubbed one every evening so there was always a clean set available. Duties were rotated among all the personnel - I had CQ early. I sat in the Orderly Room and studied. I used most of my “free” time to practice my physical tests.

Helen and I worked out an arrangement of allotments and bank accounts so that we were both saving for the future together. I was also losing weight - considering that I was eating less and exercising more. Sunday dinner was always the same: chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, ice cream. We called the chicken “a la Bangalore” because it looked like the cook had blown up the chicken house — feathers, bones, all mixed together. 0 f course in Georgia breakfast always included “grits” with thick gravy. Never did get to enjoy that dish. By the end of OCS I was a solid 165 pounds. Helen and I shared our ideas on books, trips to Florida, children, music. She also corrected my grammar and spelling which were atrocious.

Our instruction included the use of Training Aids and Methods of Instruction --  sounds like an education course. This is because Platoon Leaders (2d Lt) have responsibility for teaching recruits.

By now Phil was in the Philippines --  landed with the 77th Div. on Leyte, Mindinao. His V-mail came through infrequently. On this day, December 21, I was the Acting Platoon Sergeant. which meant I was in charge of “Falling In” and checking weapons, marching the Platoon from place to place. I really barked out the commands - some of the guys really had trouble with voice command. Two hours of Practical Work were followed by aerial photo reading — a piece of cake. Then strenuous PT. I mean done to the point of exhaustion. I typed up my report as Platoon Sgt. and my report on fellow OC’s (Buddy Sheet), TAC Officer liked it. I quickly learned that to succeed at Benning, you had to do well in your first assignment and then the TAC Officers left you alone. If you screwed up in the slightest, they would continue to give you increasingly difficult responsibilities so you could really fall on your face - then you washed out. Phil gave me a subscription to TIME magazine which I appreciated. Helen sent a box of nuts and I ran the Obstacle Course a couple of times on my own. I wrote Helen twice on Christmas evening - it was like a conversation. I suppose I learned to like letters because there is always something tangible to refer to — not like a phone call - once and done. The weather warmed up for Christmas in Columbus. We even talked about Helen coming down for a short visit. It never materialized and probably it was for the best.

On Christmas Day 1944, I wrote Helen a very long letter. As usually happened on such an occasion, I was in the telephone exchange trying to place a call to her --  so I wrote while I spent seven hours waiting. I also wrote to the folks, Phil, Dr. and Mrs. Mumper. I wrote about Christmas eve and how Crist and others, went first to the Methodist for their carols and eats, then to the Presbyterian where we ate some more and how we ended up with the Episcopalians. We also went to the Lutheran Church, but it was quiet so we returned for the Episcopal midnight service. Interesting —it was a “high” church, so rather than stay for the long communion we headed for the USO. Got back to Camp at 0200. On Christmas we had a traditional turkey dinner - which was the only time I left the telephone all day. After waiting eight hours I gave up and went out to run the Obstacle Course a couple of times until I was pooped out. I was trying to increase my speed. I also practiced giving commands for PT. We used the Buddy System --  so another fellow and I stood 100 yds apart giving commands to each other --  good practice. With all the planning we were doing at Christmas, I was figuring the finances for a trip after graduation. I didn’t want to borrow to take a trip even then! I couldn’t get a call through on this day either. Training was on map reading, field exercise and foreign map.

I continued to work hard on the physical fitness program: December 27 - started with Obstacle Course, pull ups and pushups (we often did these while waiting in chow line), ran the grenade run (350 yards picking up a grenade every 25 yards). Four hours of Sanitation and Personal Hygiene — probably boring to everyone, but absolutely necessary to survival. This program includes setting up a bivouac area: location of kitchen, latrines, water supply. Four hours in the afternoon on the assembly and disassembly of the Ml Rifle --  the Basic Infantry weapon. I was very interested in this since I never really knew how the piece functioned --  gas cylinder recoil. In the evening I memorized the Manual of Arms for the next day.

My next letter was written 12-28-44 at noon since we were to go on a night compass problem. I couldn’t write as usual. The day was taken up with dry-firing exercises. On the 29th I received three lovely letters from Helen - they made the day. I should note here that I kept all of Helen’s letters very carefully for about twenty years and then because of our many moves they were stored in wet areas several times and eventually decomposed. It is a shame because they were beautiful. On this date I wrote Helen about the fate of the 106th. Apparently I had caught a head cold - since I went on sick call. But couldn’t afford to lose time through sickness.

New Years Eve was on a Sunday in 1944 -- I wrote about the “Chatahootchee- Choo-Choo”( a small gauge Railroad used to transport OC’s about the Fort for different classes - mainly to the ranges). It was an 8 mile ride and though dirty, it was better than hiking. Saved time. We fired and pulled targets in practice firing. Since it was rainy, everyone was full of mud — for realism we never postponed anything because of the weather. You learn that you can accomplish anything you REALLY want to. After the range we returned to the Company area and had PT - it warmed up as the sky cleared. A movie was the standard Saturday night fare. Sunday, I attended Chapel. The Sunday chow was sparse and inedible so I settled on PX snacks.

You know it must have been bad because I’m not picky. Took in an afternoon movie and then ran the physical test course for practice. Everyday or so each OC had to scrub his coveralls — we had two pair. Wear one clean one - and they had to be clean. Became very adept at the scrubbing game. Also scrubbed webbing regularly and socks too. I saw Crist - gave me a chance to find out what was coming up. Our letters continued to refer to life together and having children - we were thrilled at the prospect.

Monday, January 1, 1945 - on the Rifle Range - an appropriate beginning for 1945. I scored 178 (Sharpshooter) and took the Graded Test on the Ml - I missed only 2 questions. Washed fatigues and took shower - didn’t write on this date. We had our “date” on the 2nd — each writing session I referred to as a “date”. The day on the range was wet and cold. As the day warmed up I got better, but I missed "Expert” by 2 points. Falling out in the AM was always a rush. Shave, dress, chow, cleaning bunk area, prepare -- area and bunk for inspection -- leave everything spotless! Hard to do in dusty, red Georgia clay . I was sensitive even then to Helen bragging about my becoming an Officer. I know she was being positive, but I was in trepidation that I might not make it! OC’s flunked out for all kinds of reasons. Helen wrote a 15 page letter - great. We even set up a code for future correspondence if I were to ship overseas. I’ll include it elsewhere.

With the set back in the Battle of the Bulge, it became very apparent that the Army needed all the 2nd Lt’s it could get. Another class graduated every two or three days and most were shipped right over to Europe as replacements. Now we had been told that those at Benning from Ritchie would return to Ritchie, which was reassuring, but one could not guarantee that orders wouldn’t be changed if need be. Consequently, we were always exploring the possibilities of other assignments. The story was that an OC should know by the 14th week, whether or not lie will graduate. I was in the third week - eleven to go. Helen and I wrote often of a trip after graduation furlough. As each day passed it looked more and more as though I’d ship over seas soon after. We did talk of moving up to Ritchie and getting an apartment. I kept an enlargement of her picture at our honeymoon spot on the underside of the lid to my wooden footlocker - I could get a good look at her each time I opened it. This day was devoted to Chemical Warfare, Malaria Control, and Close Order Drill. Followed by the Obstacle Course - my time was still only average. Helen sent me a telegram when she had to work late.

The Company next to us graduated and we all noted what went on. Graduation takes place in one of the small theater buildings, the ceremony lasts about 15 minutes and each new Officer merely grabs his commission and heads for the nearest taxi. Helen had written about coming down for my event, but I was discouraging her form doing this. The transport between Columbus and Benning was terrible and I wouldn’t have her on one of the dirty crowded buses. We also noticed that one week before graduation the screws are really applied. Grads have to turn in their issued uniforms (blouse, trousers, etc.) all you have are cover-all fatigues. There is also a midnight curfew in town and missing bed check is a sure way of getting thrown out in the last few days. Without a uniform, I couldn’t get to town anyway. I suggested she stay put and I’d fly to Philly --  it would be simple all around. But it was still open for discussion. This day we were in the field dealing with Field Fortifications, camouflage and related matters. I was in charge of a group of the to dig a light mortar position -- looked pretty good. We also set up barbed wire defenses. Followed by PT and policing the area (picking up cigarette butts, matches) The Army taught men to “field strip” cigarettes -tear off the paper and let the remaining tobacco become soil, then roll up the paper as small as possible and discard. In the evening I studied the machine gun. I was still plagued with Athlete’s Foot - I had it ever since I came into the Army. Chapel continued to sustain me in this time of stress and strain — decisions to be made all the time. I felt close to Helen while in Chapel. Visited Crist - he was in his 14th Week (I was incorrect earlier) and I in my 4th. The following day we went on bivouac so writing had to cease briefly.

Back from Bivouac, I took up the Basic Machine Gun again - I found it very interesting. The Army visual aids were great - operating oversized models made it easy to understand. Ended with PT.

January in Georgia can be horrible weather wise -- and so it was in 1945. January 6 was cold and rainy -machine gun all day. In the AM we study functioning, relationship of parts. It was interesting, but the instructors went awfully fast. Not enough Practical Work. The instruction teams are excellent! We sat in “bleachers” and watched a demonstration team “go into action” --  all precise and exact. This was followed by our own Practical Work in the mud. After the heavy MG we worked on the light. I felt a sense of accomplishment in having completed 3 weeks of OCS.

My Sunday letters allowed me to be philosophical -- I kept anticipating graduation and living together. Eight January I was on the 1000” Machine Gun Range. The heavy MG is quite involved and requires considerable skill in traversing and elevating and also sighting and aiming. I fired “Expert” - was very proud! I had the best shot-group among the four on the gun so I was made #1 Gunner. Just a minor item but an item at any rate. Each evening I was busily studying for the next day. We fired in the field using live ammunition. I fired the light MG at silhouette targets spaced at various ranges from 400—800 yds. The object was to estimate the range, set the sights and fire on the target. (two bursts of six shots each per target - the belt was loaded that way). It was bitter cold. By the end of the day I had a sweat shirt on, plus my overcoat and raincoat. No heat in the barracks either.

A curious entry in my letter reminds me that shoes were rationed and one must have a stamp to buy. I bought Helen a n$18.75 Savings Bond (War Bond) for her birthday. I couldn’t go shopping and the PX have anything worthwhile.

Out in the field in the bitter cold, I took the GT on Machine Gun and got an “A” - encouraging. I was squad leader for several days and had reports to write as well as continue studying. Had an afternoon run of four miles in forty minutes and then spent an hour giving PT. I gave two exercises myself, namely, “side—bender” and “bank twist”. Every once in a while the load of duties got too heavy and I had to postpone my letter to Helen. There was a two day lapse here — I finally wrote a fat letter on the 13th. I wrote this in between duties — Platoon Drill and PT - in our letters we discussed Helen’s plans for the second semester at Temple Univ. Four letters arrived at one time and I tried to answer each of them. I enjoyed this time together. Helen was crocheting a bag for Easter - putting together an ensemble - a blue coat. I was feeling more positive about physical fitness. We even planned to build our own tennis court - it happened 40 years later. We wrote about the theater and acting together. I shared my concern about “no security” in acting as a life work. Helen was always reminding me of our age difference, but I must say it never bothered me then or at anytime. In between letters, I ran the Combat Conditioning Course with fixed bayonets (rifle got awfully dirty and had to be taken down completely). We were in the field for Advanced MG Course - fired the guns all day in a variety of situations at field targets. I did very well. More PT and then preparation for AM inspection. We stood the inspection in OD’s - I received no gigs.

This was followed by Physical Achievement Practice Test - must do 6 pull ups - I did 7; Grenade run must be in 75 seconds; I did it in the time allotted; Push ups - must do 30, I did 31; Sit ups, must do 65 in 3 minutes, I did 74. Despite this I must still run the Obstacle Course for record. I was too slow the first time.

Bahnsen’s Newsletters came through periodically and were very informative — I kept most of them somewhere. The OC’s and I were working out a uniform budget. It seems we get $250. uniform allowance - most have things tailor made in Columbus. The material is purchased from Post QM - top NY tailors make up the uniforms. Sunday, I got in some more PT, running and Obstacle Course work.

With no letter from Helen, I was always down in the dumps, but activities went on anyway. More days of firing in the field making up range cards for the last line of defense. We considered where the fire would be effective, marking areas not covered by the same guns. All this information was obtained by trial and error and then recorded on the card so the gun can then be fired effectively in any direction. Very interesting and practical. In the afternoon, we worked with precision instruments to determine ranges --  aiming circle and range finder. Studied more MG in evening. “Rates of Fire”, “Angles of Elevation”. The whole day was devoted to the MG - firing from reverse slope of a hill and then from the forward slope - considerable technique required for this. Members of the platoon rotated positions - at some time during the day I commanded one gun then two guns (each gun had a gunner, ammo bearer, a tripod man, and a cooler man - heavies are water cooled).I did pretty well in command. PT ended the day’s activity except for evening study.

More MG work now on the .50 cal. Browning Heavy Barrel. We practiced assembly and disassembly then two hours of firing on aircraft. Radio controlled drone models were used as targets. Very difficult to hit moving aircraft -- - not like the movies. The afternoon was spent on “Indirect Laying”, i.e., firing from behind a hill into a target which the gunner cannot see. At evening PT I gave two exercises. There was no comment from my Tac Officer, Lt. Miller. I was squad leader since Monday. Everyone learned quickly that the OC who screwed up on a simple assignment ended up being given greater responsibility which usually ended in being flunked out. Once again, “cooperate and graduate”.

Sometimes you really tried to help, but the OC had no ability and figuratively “hung himself”. It was the kiss of death to be given the company to command --  they fell like flies. We were also preparing for the IG (Inspector General) the next day. The IG we learned could be friend as well as foe. He was the only one to complain to and get some action - but you had better have your facts straight. Routine griping could wash you out. I went to, sleep thinking of plans to take the train to Philly after graduation.

My studying was becoming more intense as some subjects were getting more technical and complex. I was anxious to do well. Field work (very cold) followed by various “Company Formations” and then PT. We were visited by high ranking Guatamalen Army Officers and then had a couple of hours on Combat Intelligence (a repeat of Ritchie). Haircuts were of the shortest crew cut variety -no time to fool with it - an advantage to shower not have to comb anything.

Out in the field again - this time for anti-aircraft firing, but it rained so hard we couldn’t fire. For the first time ever at Benning we stood around for four hours doing nothing. The afternoon cleared and we fired .30 and .50 cal. at towed radio controlled aircraft. Finally shot it down - after much ammo was used. Foreign Officers observed. We took our MG final test, PT and then Student Rating Forms. An observation of your buddies. We have groups designated to observe and rate each other --  they are in the same barracks and preferably on the same floor.

We went through an all-morning inspection --  very thorough. Got off at noon --  so it was worth it. Spent the afternoon writing a rough draft of my 12 observations. Helen was always sending candy, cookies, nuts— helped me tremendously. Of course, everyone shared his “goodies” with the OC’s.

Bayonet and grenade training went on in the rain. The “mad” Major — he’s a German named Bronkhorst -- calls us all “cabbage heads” - he’s effective though. He makes you so angry you want to chop up your target. We throw grenades from a variety of positions -mud all over everything, back to bayonet for another two hours. Spent the afternoon cleaning equipment and rifles.

Everything was not rosy --  the day we did the Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was a disaster for me. On the range I stuck with a piece that wasn’t properly set and received a terrible score. Not only that but while helping another OC, I didn’t see the “Cease Firing” signal -- TAC Officers gave me hell.

I read the gruesome details about the fate of the 106th in TIME magazine. The same day we had more Bayonet Assault Course and Physical Achievement Test. On the latter, I tripped on a wire and missed qualifying by one second. I was burned up because I knew I could do it. I made the Grenade Run in good time: did 8 Pull ups (needed 6), 31 Pushups (needed 25), 70 Sit ups (needed 60), Pick-a-Back in 11 sec (14 Sec limit), 50 yd. crawl in good time - everything considered, I surprised myself. All this with in a two hour period. I got an “A” in Training Management and a “B” on the MG Test.

Next day on the BAR - regular range - I had a better weapon. Fired at 200 and 300 yds., slow and rapid fire - you have a magazine to change on this weapon. I amassed a sufficient number of points to be classified as “Expert”. The weather was warm and bright and I’m sure that this helped. In the evening, after cleaning the weapons, we had a lively bull-session. Helen meantime had taken history and English at Temple and was taking her examinations.

My next day included several hours of PT and then hand-to-hand fighting. Then some more Chemical Warfare. three hours of bayonet in the afternoon and an hour on hand grenades. The company had a party in the mess hall. A piano had been moved in so we were able to have lots of singing. There was the traditional 3.2 beer and pretzels and Coke for my type. I ate plenty too. Great entertainment - we had several Hawaiians in the Company who sang and danced native style -- they were good. This was the best GI party I had attended. Next morning (an hour later than usual) we had orientation and review of this week’s news. Each session was to be conducted by an OC. I thought it would be a great opportunity. I re-ran the Obstacle Course, but it still wasn’t good enough. Two hours of Extended Order Drill followed the week’s work was piling up. I needed Chapel to fortify me for the coming week. I was anxious about the confidential buddy reports which were turned in a week earlier - they could help or hinder.

When it came to Helen’s birthday on the 31st, I was back at the Telephone Center trying to get a call through. Earlier I had written to Riden, our Florist, to send her camellias. I had spent the day on Flame Throwers (appropriate for a cold day), and throwing live hand grenades. I was in charge of the daily PT drill - it seemed to go well - but you never can tell what a TAC Officer thinks. I found that I did not have to appear before tomorrow’s Preliminary Board. A great relief and a day off! I waited for hours to get a call through. Helen had written that Mil had taken a trip to Florida with Florence. I finally got through on the phone. It was great if only for a few minutes.

On the 31st, after having spoken to Helen on the phone, I felt encouraged and ready to plan for my life as an Officer and a Gentleman by Act of Congress. Rolled my pack for the up-coming bivouac and spent the rest of the day on the Main Post - PX, QM, uniform store, bowling alley (poor score).

During the past week I was 1st Sgt of the Company -I was in charge of forming the Company for all formations. I heard no comments so “no news is god news” -I felt good about the job. I apparently had some kind of grippe which I struggled through -- I didn’t want to go sick call.

The bivouac created a gap in my correspondence. The week had been very full - in the field we observed firing on field targets. In the evening we set up our bivouac equipment and froze - it was bitter cold. Try taking off coveralls in the cold to do your business --  I learned to smoke cigars at this time to avoid the stink of an open latrine trench. From 1900-2400 we observed a night demonstration of “Scouting and Patrolling” --  very necessary for personal survival, short night --  up at 0600, everything was done on the double. Went to the Combat Assault Range - silhouette targets appearing in situations common to combat. Fired live ammo at all of these targets. The whole thing was a good experience. Right after chow we double-timed out for a night of patrolling. I acted as point for a 5 man patrol. I read the compass and directed the patrol. I think I did a darn good job - right on target. Another short night, then up at 0615 and bussed back to the Company area. The AM brought a lecture on “River Crossing”. Learned how to work with the Engineers. They provide the assault boats and we paddle them. Orientation and world news followed. The situation looked much better for the Allies now. Spent hours cleaning rifle and equipment. One learns to be responsible for his own.

The bivouac had been a good practical exercise --  simulating real combat conditions. For example, I led a patrol of 11 men in an attack against a Japanese pillbox similar to those found in the Pacific. I learned a lot through my mistakes. Do you realize how difficult it is to control an attacking force. We used live ammo and fragmentation grenades - the only thing missing was the enemy fire coming down on us. The physical strain on an infantryman is really terrific. He must be able to run long distances, cover difficult terrain, and be able to fight with everything he has. I was doing my best to get into condition and so far was doing a fair job. I had lost six pounds at this point. We were in tents, 10 to a tent. We went through the technique of rifle fire on enemy positions and how to fire one squad while the other maneuvered into position for an assault. I took part in an attack on an enemy MG position. I’ gradually learning what to do and what not to do. I received another “A” and "B” on tests.

Payday $25. (an allotment went to Helen) sent an additional $15. to Helen - I had $6. left for the whole month of February. However, I was too busy to go anywhere anyway. Graduation was getting closer. We enviously watched neighboring companies graduate.

It was cold in the field again. We sat in bleachers on top of a knoll with the wind whipping around us. We were learning about mortars. A fascinating weapon --  AM on the 81 mm. We studied the various methods of laying down fire on enemy positions with this weapon and then we put the theory to actual practice. There are numerous “fire" orders to be given, and each one will bring a different result from the mortar. All the while I had a case of diarrhea. In the afternoon we did the same thing with the 60 mm. I was also working to pass the second physical test coming up. The mortar study took several days - very complex, calculations for firing different fuses settings. A very effective weapon against pill boxes, troop concentrations - relatively easy to move around and bring down on a target. Always end the day with PT. The final day of mortar was demonstration of smoke shells and instructor telling us combat experiences
- then the Graded Test. I wasn’t that anxious to get into combat, but expressed my feelings that I would “go over when ever I have to”. This particular evening I took in a movie and got down to writing at 2300 -of course lights were out --  except in the latrine where I did my writing.

The 8th week of OCS started out with had-to-hand combat on the drill field. Consisted of throwing each other off balance and on to the ground - followed with an hour of PT. I was still preparing for the PAT. I presented a brief orientation of the situation on the Western Front. The afternoon was spent watching “The Battalion In the Attack of a Fortified Position”, namely, a model of the Ziegfried Line in Germany. A number of visiting Generals, foreign observers and members of Congress were in attendance. Quite an impressive affair. A wonderful chance to see the effects of coordination --  working together --  what resources are available to the commander. It was 1900 hrs. before we arrived back in the company area. In my letter I mentioned the name --  DeGooyer --  John DeGooyer was about 36 years at this time which was pretty old for OCS. We had met at Camp Ritchie - he was a Mormon and lived in Silver Spring. I rode with him on at least one occasion. I recall he had an Oldsmobile coupe with automatic transmission (one of the first). A real nice family man - he had his troubles with the Physical Test too. (Years later when I was teaching in Silver Spring I read where he had died, I went to the viewing at Humphries and met his wife)

Combat Intelligence was another subject we studied. The instructor mostly told war stories. We went from area to area in GI school buses - on this date we had trouble getting around in the Georgia mud - slid off the dirt road 3 times. Results of Technique of Rifle Fire were and “A” and “B”. In the evening I studied and then before bed ran a couple of miles with another OC - the weather was warmer and the sky was clear. The weather continued mild as we went to work on the .57 mm AT gun — just like the 106th. We fired sub-caliber mounts for record -- made "Expert”. Through out my 4 months OCS I was paid my PFC rank ($54) Earlier in the war everyone was made at least a Corporal as was Phil.

14 Feb 45 --  halfway point (Valentine’s Day). I felt lucky to be at this point. We even knew our graduation date to be 24 April. We worked on the .37 and .57 AT guns - instruction was on the Main Post so we rode the Chatahoochee Choo Choo. Saw fruit trees in bloom --  great feeling. I received a “B” in the Mortar Test. I had a pretty good average at this point. We had a company party in Columbus at this point - I really don’t recall it, but my letters tell the story. Everyone piled into GI busses - lots of singing, quite boisterous really. The party was in a USO building which was fixed up for Valentine’s Day --  a lot of hostesses on hand and dressed in evening dresses (Southern hospitality). The orchestra was good too. I was with another married OC and we spent the evening drinking punch and listening to the music - dreamed I was with Helen. The day after we were on the AT range firing service ammo --  noisy to say the least. I enjoyed it though. We had no ear plugs so my ears rang for a day or two. Saw the movie “National Velvet” - I didn’t even mention Elizabeth Taylor, she was just a kid then anyway. I was at the point where I was checking off the days until I got back to my sweet wife - 50. I was really hungry for those “gold bars”. In those days Helen used to put a “kiss print” at the end of the letter. All through February, my letters continually look forward to April as the big month.

Rarely did the weather impede our instruction schedule - PAT was delayed because of rain, however. I recall doing ‘‘Combat Orders in the pouring rain — after all the battle doesn’t stop because of bad weather - one must learn to function under all conditions. The same night we went out on an all-night patrolling problem. Everyone was soaking wet and cold. We were out until 0330 then we sat in the bleachers for a half hour critique of the problem - in the sack by 0500. The day was Friday the 23rd (two months until graduation) and we had free time, so many of the OC’s went into Columbus to order their uniforms - greens and pinks. One blouse (jacket) $47.50, one pair green trousers $16.75, one pair pinks (same), one pink shirt $7.50, one officers bag $23.40. While in town, with another OC we ate cream puffs, went to the RR Depot and picked up schedules. Lined up “The Southerner” but had to wait until 24 March to make a reservation. I eliminated the airplane idea because of priorities. We went to the local hotel(I can’t remember the name) and watched people milling about. This a rare opportunity to experience life again. Ate apples, ice cream Sundae - this was the first real trip to town since I started OCS. Also ate dinner in Columbus.

I saw Crist on Sunday at Chapel, this was his 17th week - my 9th week. I was Platoon Sgt. for a day while we studied Signal Corps Communications. This was a repeat of Ritchie - voice procedure, radios, and telephones. In the afternoon we did a paper problem covering Battalion Supply - interesting but confusing at times. Problems of supply down to small units the size of a Platoon (40 men and 1 Of f) are very difficult and very complicated even when the elements are favorable. I was very conscious of mistakes I made in drill - worried about whether or not they were noticed. PT in the evening followed by rifle cleaning.

The next day was interesting as we learned Engineers work. We built bridges, made rigging and worked with demolitions. The sort of work men in the Corps of Engineers are trained to do, however, in combat you don’t always have the Engr. so we have to know the basic fundamentals of their work.

The morning was spent on explosives and their correct employment. I like this immensely since I knew nothing about explosives. They are not dangerous if employed properly with care. We practiced setting fuses in TNT and then detonated the charges - we had a bang up time. In the afternoon we prepared rigging on a cable to enable us to move a jeep across a stream. We also spent an hour on the bridge. We built the whole 5 span affair and then had a truck run over it to make sure we did a good job. I had fun and learned a good deal.

Crist dropped by to let me know he had signed his discharge papers. In the 17th week an OC is discharged as an EM before receiving a commission.  I was 6 weeks away. Evening PT was in the mud - something about doing things together under adverse circumstances knits the unit together more closely. We really felt the increasing pressure from our TAC Of f. and instructors.

Another brought a four-hour demonstration of the Infantry Cannon l05 mm. This was the weapon Phil was working with in the Philippines. (Cannon Co.) The afternoon was spent on radios in the field and telephones (same as Ritchie)/. It never hurts to practice. The wiring applications were all very practical — splicing wire. I was still anticipating the physical conditioning course.

March began with this physical conditioning test. It consisted of 12 obstacles spaced to make a run of 1¼ miles - we ran it with fixed bayonets, and believe me those rifles certainly got heavy. I thought I made it is time, but I was really pooped out. This marked two years of active duty in the Army. How did I feel about it? "two of the best years of my life...”

In the AM we had a demonstration and practical work in the construction of Road Blocks - ways and means of making roads impassable to enemy vehicles. We also watched a US tank go through some maneuvers— very interesting. Radios and telephones again in the afternoon _ GT tomorrow. Other demonstrations included aircraft and air-ground communications.

The next topic was Troop Movements — not particularly thrilling, but necessary. The subject consisted of time elements to be included in marches and preparations for next day bivouac. At noon my platoon learned that we would be restricted for the weekend, first to make out the second and final Student Rating Form and ,second, because of numerous dirty rifles. Took the GT on Communications. Rode the bus to the area for instruction on Supply Problems of the Battalion in Defense. The sun felt like summer. Foot inspection in the evening - company sits on the ground, takes off shoes and socks and holds feet up in the air to be gazed upon. Looking forward to a week of tactics coming up. We had an opportunity to read our TAC Off’s observations --  I had 2 unsatisfactories, one was that BAR incident --  the other, I don’t recall. Not bad over 10 weeks or more. Beginning the next week we have a Board every two weeks. Another rifle inspection planned. The world war news was much better at this time although, I told Helen, I expected to be in for at least another two years - look at Japan, prepared for 100 year war. Helen and I had played with the Ouija Board last year to help find out what would happen to us - nothing came true although we had fun with it.

Saturday the 3rd we spent four hours on a supply problem --  necessary but boring. Cleaned my rifle during the noon break for inspection in the afternoon. PT and hand-to-hand combat were fun. Inspection was after supper. I noted that it was lucky Helen was not near the camp, because several of the fellows whose wives were near, could not get free to visit - a terrible situation. In the evening I wrote observations. Missed Chapel on March 4 because of rifle inspection - I was always put out at missing Chapel. Beginning with the 12th week - pressure to succeed. Spent Sunday afternoon writing Student Ratings. March 5, 9 months of married life I noted that the famous Maj. Bong took a bride in the Lutheran Service. Helen and I reminisced about that June 5 occasion. We started our study of tactics --  I was fascinated! So important that it predominated the remaining six weeks. This next 3 weeks are the most important - two Boards will meet during this time. Lots of OC ‘s wash out or retread. Letters were more sporadic during these last weeks. Night and day tactics of the Rifle Weapons Platoon. The practical work was the closest we got to combat. I was machine gunner with the Heavy MG section and just like a kid I had lots of fun. Went through all the orders and plans of action then student leaders took over different units and put them through their paces. All through the day I shot up 1500 rounds of ammo. Pretty expensive training. We marched through swamps, woods, jungle, steep slopes, gullies. I was carrying the tripod for the gun (50 lbs) on my shoulders for 2 miles cross-country. Worn out. In the morning we took one objective, then in the afternoon another. Artillery and mortars were firing in support with live ammo. All lent to realism. At 2100 we launched a night attack. More cross country marching - back in by 0100. No time off so the next day started very quickly. Went through Orders and Plans for Attack on a Fortification such as have been found on the Western front. Very practical. I was charged with the job in the Assault. Squad blowing a path through barbed wire entanglements with a Bangalore Torpedo. Lots of excitement. In the afternoon we did a jungle attack. Quite a full day.

Over the weekend, I prepared for Monday’s GT on Tactics and the PAT. A beautiful warm weekend -- we stripped to shorts and lay in the sun. Our letters were full of plans for children and a house. Helen commented that she wanted a Lady Hamilton watch. Money being tight, we postponed that one. Crist was finished and we got together several times before he returned to Ritchie. He was going to look into apartments or rooms for us. Hoping for the war in Europe to end.

I ran the PAT and did well in everything but two crawling events - I got another shot at them in the 16th week It occurred to me that I really have to work for everything I get. The GT on Tactics went well - I missed 3. The TAC Of f made two Satisfactory observations on me. We had a conference on the 81 mm mortar in Platoon in the Attack - watched a Tank Infantry Problem in the PM. Then we stood Retreat parade. Some received combat decorations. Back in the area we spent an hour on Orientation (news). It was late, but I still had to scrub leggings and coveralls for the next day. Another day on the Heavy MG Platoon in the Attack. Conference and demonstration in the AM and Practical Work in the PM. Georgia was warming up by now! I had a scare - Lt. Miller, my TAC Off, called me in to the day room and I thought I was getting called before the Board. It turned out that he needed to clarify an observation I made on one of the OC’s who was going before the Board. The TAC Of f said that if I kept up the good work I wouldn’t have to worry about a thing -- - I was relieved! Scrub leggings and coveralls every evening now - daily personal inspections. Clean rifle, daily. Had to type another report in the evening before retiring.

Remember “keep your powder dry” Lana Turner and Susan Peters - a story about WAC OCS - naturally all the OC’s in the theater had a wild time hee-hawing at the girls trying to be like men. Anti tank Platoon in the Defense - I thought of the 106th and Bill Dalious --  I wondered what had happened to him. AT work seemed to bore me. I felt great not having to appear before the Board. I was writing a paper on “Leadership”, also looking for a watch at the Main Post PX. Apparently, I needed an affidavit to purchase, so I didn’t. I did buy good sunglasses ($12).

Helen wrote that Mil and Florence had returned from Florida, and Flo was marrying Harvey.

Warm as summer in the middle of March. Worked on “village fighting”. Learned all the fundamentals of taking a town. by combat - quite an achievement. I thought I would be more productive to be studying agriculture rather than killing. I went on to philosophize about Christian Faith and Peace. I found some time to read TIME which Phil had sent to me and Readers Digest. Ended the 13th week and began the 14th. Getting anxious.

Phil received my Christmas letter in March - he was now a draftsman with the 77th Div Arty. He could use his drawing ability at that job. Got some more sun so welcome after the cold winter. I didn’t think much of my paper on Leadership so I don’t have a copy. My suntan became more of a burn, so I was quite uncomfortable for a couple of days. Out in the field we worked on the Tactics of the Infantry Cannon. Mostly demonstration - we didn’t handle the weapon. The evening was spent in a variety of inspections: foot, rifle, clothing, pack - all prior to the 5 day bivouac. I was squad leader so I had a lot to do in gathering squad equipment to be sent out to the area. The march was only 10 miles - not too tough. The army life of getting up at very irregular hours made me a light sleeper and made me capable of waking up whenever I wish. Five days later I started writing again.

The first day out we got soaked in a heavy downpour. Rain continued and Georgia turned into a red mud puddle. It also became quite cool. Try to sleep on the muddy ground in wet clothes with wet blankets - not too much. Aches and pains didn’t stop us - we went through extensive reconnaissance. Employed the 81 mm mortar and Heavy MG plus AT guns. Next day we were on a dawn attack at 0400. Very uncomfortable -hungry, tired. Friday was even worse - up at 0100 and worked straight through. Manhandled the AT gun through woods and then marched several miles back into camp - took the whole day to clean up. Never say die - PT and hand to hand combat. Then study in the eve for GT. Got a “B” on last week’s test. Only four weeks to go! I made my train reservation --  lv Atlanta 2000 ar Philly noon next day ($25). Helen sent a portrait of herself for my Easter present. Still fearful of the Final Board coming up - a major obstacle.

Sunday, after Chapel I sewed some equipment and studied Logistics. I was beginning to feel confident about graduating -despite the coming test. in Logistics - that subject always bothered me. Another hour of maps - Operations and Situation -staff type duty such as at Ritchie. Two hours of Personnel Adjustment - dealt with the psychology of adjusting the new recruit to Army life. The Platoon Leader (2d Lt.) must act as "father” to the 40 men under him. Two hours of strenuous PT — we would just keep doing exercise after exercise for 45 minutes. This was followed by an hour of hand-to—hand combat. We threw each other all over the place until no one could move — then we quit. I was Platoon Sgt. again (innocuous) so I had another report to type up. I still needed some parts of my officer uniform - field jacket, raincoat.

I was fortunate not to have to appear before the 14th Week Board - those who did had to start over again. I got my train ticket and reservation for April 24. (Atlanta to Philly) I still had to get from Columbus to Atlanta. My uniform tailor was Smith-Gray from New York - tried on my uniform -great feeling! I bought a tropical wrosted uniform for summer.

(Actually I bought the material from Qm and had it tailor made.) $2.44/yd - complete $31. Back at the Company, I filled out the Officer’s Personnel Form 66-1. (Stayed with me for 35 years).

Nice warm days now. Took the Chatahootchee Choo Choo to our training area for a “tactical walk” through Georgia - Rifle Company in the Defense. Work always progressed from smaller to larger units. We had to select gun positions over a wide area and then had to make a plan of defense for the Battalion. Good instructors made it interesting.

At this time Patton was at Nurenberg --  more than half way across Germany. I was getting nostalgic about Philadelphia. We had a second day of walking through Georgia. GT tomorrow. Received a letter from Crist who had returned to Ritchie.

The GT was very practical - selected various localities as gun positions. I passed it but not too well. Got two “Cs” from last week. I must be slipping. Discussion in the PM on then Platoon Position. Excellent Officers gave us this instruction. Next came Introduction to Company Administration. Necessary information. Followed this with two hours of valuable information on Leadership. A well experienced Colonel gave a very inspiring talk on this subject - really good. (Still vivid in my mind in 1985). The PM was devoted to Umpiring -- dull. I sent Helen an orchid for Easter. The nights in the Georgia countryside were beautiful - clear skies with stars and moon shining brightly - no pollution or atmospheric interference. The papers reporting “peace feelers” by Adolph Hitler.

April 1 --  23 days to go! It was Easter Sunday and I was in Chapel thinking of Helen. I was still practicing for my re-test on the PAT. April was the month to plan for graduation. Started off on Staff Functions and how to run a Command Post. Same as what I had at Ritchie. Enjoyed it because I knew something about it.

I passed the remainder of the PAT! Followed with the last hour of hand-to-hand Combat. An hour of news Orientation and an hour of free time. The afternoon was a dull with Defense of Rear Areas. I still couldn’t buy a watch --  PX closed, etc.

Three weeks to go! Then it was April 12th. Eleven days to go. I was counting every one of them. Couldn’t write for three days. We were in the field on a 30 hour Problem. We ate “C” and “K” rations and on the go the whole time. I was a messenger and ran my feet off. Boiling hot in the PM. Back at night, we had all of the equipment to clean and be inspected. Some of the new uniforms were delivered this evening - a wave of excitement ran through the barracks. Franklin Delano Roosevelt died today and Truman became President -only a few miles from Benning (White Springs, GA) Lots of commotion in the barracks. Instruction kept on as usual with two hours of Leadership followed by two more of Censorship, which I had at Ritchie. Mess Management in the PM and then a lecture. The next day we had a four mile speed march and General Tactics GT plus the Rifle Company in the Attack with live ammunition. After this week on GT and one problem left. Helen wrote about walking through Rittenhouse Square on Easter Sunday - coincidental. There was a rumor running around that all new 2d Lt. had to be in the states for 3 months before going overseas. We were already planning to return to the University of Maryland after the war.

Aaron Finger showed at OCS from Ritchie. We got together and took in a movie. He had gotten me a handbag to give to Helen last year when those things were hard to find.

Company Administration continued with Unit Funds - a little bookkeeping and small time finance. Battalion Medical Service followed - the steps through which the wounded go. Had a great demonstration of the Battalion in the Attack --  lots of artillery and mortar fire --  back by 1930. This was the end of the 17th week - one week to go! Unbelievable. This was the 15th of April 1945 and we had a big Memorial service for FDR. (Sunday) I was impatient for this week to fly by. I managed to arrange for a room with cooking privileges in the Blue Ridge Summit (next to Ritchie) Mrs. Hoffmaster.

With one week to go, we set out on Jungle Warfare. My role was minor so I rather enjoyed the activity. Helen’s brother-in-law George Myers - entered the Army. He must be the last to be called (he ended up in occupied Germany). Helen and I were planning our 10 day leave with each other in each letter we wrote.

Another day we went through Motor Maintenance or ‘‘ how to care for an Army Truck”. Had a good lesson on “trouble shooting” -finding out what is wrong with an engine and then Fixing it. I would find it very helpful on my own car. For a change, we had records playing over the PA during our ten minute breaks. (Did I mention each hour of instruction is 50 mm. inst ruction and 10 mm. break). The entire company was excited by the prospects. The company next door was getting ready for graduation - we watched with envy and expectation. I made plans to fly with several others on a charter from Columbus to Atlanta.

With four days to go, we turned in our old weapons for salvage. All uniforms except the coveralls which were ours. We had more Company Administration and then the PM was devoted to Customs of the Service ( social and military). I found this quite interesting. The Company next door graduated and we could hardly contain ourselves. I planned to meet Helen at 30th Street Station at noon and then we would stay at a hotel (Ben Franklin). I was packing my newbag called a “Val-Pack”. I signed my “Oath of Office”, received my new Officer Serial Number 01,334 639. Real excited. Instruction continued with Methods to Cross Streams - improvising boats with shelter-halves and other objects. Phil’s letters indicated he was near Okinawa, still with Diy/Arty/77th Div. Our last problem was the Rifle Company in the Attack. We used live amino, consequently had to spend the evening cleaning my rifle. Turned in all other equipment. Scrubbed field equipment for the last time.

Graduation took place at 1000, 24 April 1945 in the 3rd STR.. The Oath was taken en masse with appropriate remarks by the Regimental Commander. The whole thing was over in 30 minutes. Everyone was anxious to get going. Taxis were on hand as were busses. I don’t recall how I got to Columbus, but I was dressed in “greens” for commissioning and travel. A custom of the service says each new 2d Looie will give a dollar to the EM throws the first high ball (salute). I don’t remember just when that happened to me. I do remember 3 or 4 of us chartered a Stinson, single winged, single engine plane for a 40 mm. ride to Atlanta. I don’t recall what I paid. It was a bumpy ride I know. In Atlanta we made our way to the Depot. I had sometime before my train so I went to the barber shop and asked for “the wo Shave, shampoo, haircut, hair tonic - I fell asleep in the chair. The train ride was uneventful. I do recall meeting Helen at 30th Street Station and then proceeding to the Ben Franklin. After the 10 day leave, we proceeded to Ritchie and Blue Ridge Summit via Greyhound Bus to Hagerstown, then local bus to Blue Ridge Summit. We got to Mrs. Hoffmaster’s Inn — she and Helen got on right from the start. Blue Ridge Summit was quaint. The room was in the main house and adequate — at least we were alone. Numerous other Officers and wives were scattered about in cabins, apartments and rooms. Everyone was in the same boat. We had this room for a week or two, when a little cottage became vacant and Helen managed to acquire it. While in the house we became good friends of Gail and Joe Hoffman (1st Lt - back from Italy and a wound) and her mother. They were a few years older than we, but we all got on well together. They were from Chicago - no children at the time. Joe had won a silver star in Italy. When we first arrived he was on TDY at Ft. Leavenworth --  C&GSC.

I checked in at Ritchie on 5 May 1945 - 2d Lt. Seltzer (sounded nice — and felt better). I was immediately assigned to take the Photo Interpreter Course --  the same as before only now as an officer.

Helen seemed to enjoy her new home --  we ate several times a week at the Officers Mess — it was excellent. Helen also started playing bridge with the other Officers wives --  she didn’t go along with the idea of rank among the wives. The CO’s wife was the big wig and so on. We enjoyed the boating and swimming (Lake Royer, formerly Lake Louise) and movies and above all nights together. Bob Crist visited on occasion and Mrs. Hoff-masters’ daughter Louise was there with her Officer friend. V-E Day came shortly after we arrived (May 8) - I missed the celebration altogether - only church bells that we heard -I didn’t want to be premature. Helen gives me the devil even now for missing the big celebration. C'est la Vie! During May Helen became pregnant. We hadn’t expected it, but were thrilled with the idea of a child. I know I was proud in anticipation -- expected birth date 24 February, 1946. Helen went to the local Doctor - she really blossomed during these months.

I finished the Officers’ PI Course by the end of June. There were a number of weeks when I was in limbo. First we studied Chinese, then we started Japanese. The plans were for occupation in the Far East. With V-E Day the emphasis changed to the Pacific War Theatre. As July wore on we began training with Nisei (American born Japanese). One 2d Lt. in charge of a team of 10 or 12 Nisei to be used in the Invasion of Japan. We went through weapons familiarization - explosives, sabotage, espionage, booby traps, Japanese Order of Battle, Japanese language. Also did work on vehicles. During this period I had to ride the re-mounts (horses) in the Post stable - what an experience. Early in August the A Bomb changed the picture in Japan. V-J Day, I was there for this one, and our mission changed. Crist and most of his group shipped out for Japan in a couple of months I was assigned to Counter Intelligence Corps work. This called for a move to Ft. Meade, Md. When Helen and I learned of this we decided she could stay at home in Silver Spring and be relatively close to Ft. Meade and have plenty of company. WE made that move and I ended up at Ft. Meade going through the CIC course -Japanese training. We worked on the language, picking locks, counter espionage, counter intelligence, counter sabotage, also police work - .38 cal marksmanship, physical fitness (I was beginning to gain all my weight back). Learned to conduct surveillance pick locks, do finger prints, and other police work. From Ft. Meade we Went on a series of two seek TDY specialty assignments, e.g., Ft. Aberdeen for tanks and heavy vehicles training. Ft. Belvoir for engineering and explosive training, Ft. Hamilton for POE sabotage, counter intelligence and police work with the New York Police Department. We also did a stint at Edgewood Arsenal for Chemical Warfare. When this was concluded we were assigned to Holabird Signal Depot right in the heart of Baltimore. It was designated as the new Military Intelligence Training Center including CIC School. We continued the CIC work (surveillance, Japanese language). and then were assigned for overseas shipment to Japan in November. I had my bags all packed and we had done all the farewells - even an early Xmas. Helen was still in Silver Spring and was planning on returning to Philadelphia.

When I left. With the war done , most people were thinking “out” so there was a large exodus toward the end of 1945. I had 33 months of active duty, so I could get a waiver from overseas duty.

At this point let me back track a little bit with some side-bar information I ran across. Back at Camp Ritchie, Helen met Serrata and Becko, friends of mine from Ritchie and Ben-fling. While at Ritchie, He1en went to the Post Hospital to sew with Velda Heck (an off. wife). Also served at the Officers’ Club for Red Cross making men’s shirts. We met the Edward Baldridges. We also celebrated our first anniversary. On June 9 we went to Silver Spring for the weekend - Helen noted in her diary “took Mother a 50 pt. roast of beef”. We went to Church at St. Luke’s. John Paul and James played at Mrs. Thompson’s recital. Back at Ritchie, we went bowling a couple of times on Post. Helen was very friendly with Gail and in these days she “ironed khakis”. We swam in the Lake on June 16. Helen and I had a code set up to use in case I went overseas:
“George and Bessie” --  I’m coming home
“Tweed” --  Scotland
“O’Malley” --  Ireland
“Sir Richard” --  England
“Good Voyage” -- France
“Home”--  Germany
“Hell” --  Italy
“Well-Browned” -- Turkey
“Lawrence” --  Arabia
“Humphrey” --  N. Africa
“7 Wonders” -- Egypt
“Aquiline” --  Palestine
“Adieu” --  Sweden
“Fjord” -- Norway
“Lutheran”--  Finland
“In Our Time” --  Poland
“North Star” -- Russia
“The Rains Came” --  India.

On 12 September 1945 I applied to take the examination for Foreign Service Officer and was not designated. I believe because I did not have a college degree as yet. On 22 September in Silver Spring, Helen felt life for the first time. She was very happy. I was on duty at Ft. Hamilton at the time. On 12 October, Helen came to Baltimore and we stayed at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. I was stationed at Ft. Holabird then. On 20 October we were together in Silver Spring and on the 21st (Sun) we went to hear Fritz Kreisler play the violin at Constitution Hall. Next day Mother and Dad went with us to Great Falls and then to Aunt Mabel's. Helen and I played bridge with Doris and Virginia. On the 24th Helen was sick in bed “Dick brought up my breakfast and lunch and was very sweet.” How about that!

Continuing, I was on my pre—overseas leave and we had various parties to send me off. Doggie roast at Bill Millers, Helen met Alma, Doris, Virginia, Al, Mary, Bill’s Mary Ann, friend Grace, Paul and James. The 28th was the last day of leave (Sun) at Keller. Helen met Aunt Augusta. Aunt Ruth and Uncle Edgar, Uncle Harry. Helen and I wrapped it up with a walk in S1igo Park. Helen gave me an Xmas party o.~ 9 Nov. -big family affair - in addition to this: Leila, Johnnie, Earls wife Helen. Played charades and Matsies. I was still at home on 12 Nov (Armistice Day) then I called Helen next day - I was not being shipped overseas. Phil came home 19 Nov. 1945 to the US and at Ft. Meade on the 28th.

Helen and I had discussed the idea of the waiver and I decided to take it and remain State-side. Early in December my assignment was with the 5th CJIC Detachment , 5th Inf Div), Camp Campbell, KY. 1st Lt. Elko was the detachment CO, 2d Lt Seltzer was second in command. We had an allotment of noncoms who were supposed to be CIC qualified. So we had orders to Camp Campbell a week before Xmas. We celebrated early at home and caught the train to Clarksville, TN (closest town to Camp Campbell). December 17 was our first night in Clarksville -it was horrendous! We had a room in the crummy Clarksville Hotel - complete with roaches. Helen was quite pregnant by now and we sought better living conditions. We found a nice room for a week or so and then moved in with Katie MacFall - we were there over Christmas and New Years. She couldn’t accommodate a new born so we looked for another arrangement. Helen went to a Dr. Hunt, recommended by a nurse in Silver Spring. He was dirty, unkempt with rusty instruments. Wanted $30 to deliver the baby, more if forceps were used. Helen didn’t want him as her Doctor in any way. (She didn’t tell me her feelings for a while) Travelers Aid sent us to Mrs. Condon’s which was nice. We ended up moving into a room “with cooking” at the Sneed’s. Cooking privileges included an ice box and oil stove similar to Colonial Beach. The room was heated by an oil space heater. Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t get cold in Tennessee.

The other members of the CIC Detachment were: 1st Lt. Edward Elko (Phila), Sgt. Sam Ivrey, Sgt. Pyrus Loukas, Sgt. Seymour Shiner, Cpl. Teme Hernandez, and Pfc. Andre Leroux (Phila) of the liqueur business.

While all this moving around was going on I was trying to get settled at Camp Campbell, Kentucky. The camp was 5 or 6 miles from Clarksville and I arranged a ride with several other officers who lived in Clarksville. One was the Army dentist as I recall. It was rather like going to the office. We had regular hours and stayed pretty much in one place. The 5th CIC Detachment was assigned to the 5th Infantry Division, which was stationed there after coming back from Europe. The whole time I was with the Division it was in a mustering out” mode. Of course the fighting war was over so most of the combat veterans were either home or being discharged. I ran into 2d Lt. Bob Moore from Blair (he had received a field commission in Europe). The 5th CIC Detachment had a separate building from all other Hdqs and service bldgs. We were no where near the troops. Our mission was to counter act espionage, sabotage, and communist activity. With all the troops being discharged, we had a considerable amount of pilferage. Regularly picked locks on footlockers being sent out of Camp. We would uncover pistols, carbines, machine guns parts, all kinds of GI equipment -even parts of a Jeep. All illegal items for shipment. So we
cooperated with the MP5. Then we would follow up on letters to Congressmen from dissidents and others trying to get out early, occasionally we would be in Clarksville or Hopkinton, KY checking on civilians. Most of the time we were making our own work. We had several Jeeps assigned to us — rather me (it was my name on the property book, Lt. Elko always managed to keep his name off of any responsibility). He was a shady character from Philadelphia who was a real BS artist, unreliable, undependable, and lecherous - ugly too. He was primarily interested in getting promoted to Captain, but in a demobilizing Army that wasn’t going to happen. We also had Colt .38 cal snub nose and long barrel pistols assigned. We picked these up at Holabird and never cleaned, handled, or fired them. They were kept in the field safe. I was dying to fire on the range, but Elko wasn’t interested in weapons firing so we never used them. For the most part we wrote reports about nothing of consequence, we rode around in the Jeeps and we ate at the Officers Club. Elko was single (ugly as sin --  but he thought he was a great lover). We had a very insignificant daily routine. We did have several nice cameras and plenty of film. I used the small Kodak (126) never was able to master the 5X7 press camera. We would photograph vehicles, buildings, stolen goods, ourselves, etc., and have them developed at the Post Signal Photo Lab. Guess who was running that operation? A German POW. He was quite capable and did a good job. Since the war was over there was no place to run to, so except for his POW letters on the fatigues he was virtually free to go as he pleased. He was writing a war novel in German - I think I still have the manuscript - or a copy.

Our social life during this time was not very exciting. Movies in town or once in a while we would take a bus to Camp. The Officers Club had the usual activity. I recall meeting a Major ________ who had been a 1st Lt. at Gettysburg College ROTC. Everyone was preoccupied with getting separated from the service I remember one of our EM went to great lengths to write his Congressman, then sent letters through channels for early separation due to hardship and being needed at home for critical work --  he was an egg candler. Can you imagine? I never knew what an egg candler was.

Helen and I were preoccupied with her pregnancy and the up coming birth. We made arrangements at the Clarksville General Hospital (not the Army - why I don’t know) Dr. John Ross was the physician. He charged $45 and the hospital 9 day stay was $73.50. On 23 February 1946 Helen had pains in the wee hours and I called the Doctor. We got Helen to the Hospital and she was there all day and into the afternoon. Ritchie (notice the spelling) arrived at 1600 hours. the nurses were very good and helpful. Helen started out nursing Ritchie, but felt he wasn’t getting enough milk after several days so he went on formula.

I used one of the Detachment cameras to take those early pictures. I had bought an iron Jeep model a couple of months earlier - didn’t think that it might not be a boy. Having a healthy son made me very proud. In those days childbirth was a big deal. Mother was in the hospital 9 days and in bed nearly two weeks. I took her back to Sneeds man ambulance. It took quite sometime for Helen to regain her strength and start walking again. I recall getting involved with the bassinette and the formula . Quite a task for a couple of neophytes like us. We struggled along. Early in March we secured one of the wards in the Station Hospital (24C) which was empty - as quarters, so we moved out of Sneeds. Some fundamental furniture was provided by the Army such as beds and dressers, chairs, etc. so we set up housekeeping. We used the forward end of the ward wing - not the main ward room. Thus we had the large kitchen and 3 or 4 large rooms which we adjusted to. Helen had quite a time getting used to all the space. We had only one neighbor as I recall --  a CWO and his wife and children below us. Helen did-. no t care for them nor did I. They were typical regular Army enlisted. At least we were able to use the commissary and PX and other Post facilities.

On 24 March 1945 I was detailed on TDY to Chicago with the 5th Division advanced party for a big parade and display for President Truman in that city in early April. Perhaps it was Armed Forces Day - I’m not sure. I was billeted at the Officer Quarters across from the Navy Pier (Great Lakes Naval Training Center). My mission was to work with CID, MP, and FBI to secure the parade route for the President. I ended up working specifically at the Blackstone Hotel where the President would address the public. Helen had a miserable time at Camp Campbell - I don’t recall if anyone was with her (I think there was) I know she tried to get Aunt Lil to come down. While in Chicago I visited with Gail and Joe Hoffman - he was an account executive with an advertising firm. I took in the theater, radio shows, concerts, and bought Helen a lizard skin handbag and shoes to match. It was the middle of April by the time I returned to Camp Campbell, Ritchie was growing and Helen and I enjoyed taking him out in his carriage as the weather warmed up. Once again we were all busy trying to get out of the service and back into the civilian world. Like a contagious disease. On 28 May 1946 I received orders to proceed to Camp Atterbury, Indiana on 1 June 1946 for separation. Meanwhile Helen and I had been going through all kinds of plans for the future. I had concluded that we should go to Los Angeles and there I would enter the Drama School of UCLA. I had looked into the Pasadena Playhouse, but that would not produce a college degree, so even though the Pasadena Playhouse would accept me I turned it down in favor of UCLA. I had sent the application and transcripts from the University of Maryland and been admitted for the Fall Term. I had correspondence with the TEKES there and the VA Office on campus. No problem being admitted - the big problem was housing.

These were the days when housing was scarce and particularly for a young family. Nonetheless, we continued to plan on this move. Of course, neither Helen’s nor my family liked the idea. But Helen wanted to do what I wanted and we agreed to make a clean start for ourselves. Once we had orders for separation, I started making serious plans. We packed every= thing up and the Army shipped everything to Venice, California where I had reserved a room at the Venice Hotel. We arrived in Indianapolis on 1 June 1946. and proceeded to find a room with a lovely Catholic family named Dugan. He was a policeman and Mrs. Dugan was a big help with Helen and Ritchie. I reported in to the Separation Center at Atterbury and after about one week of processing, I was all but out. Meanwhile, I made a reservation for a flight to LA on Transcontinental Airways (forerunner of TWA) on a Constellation aircraft. This was the newest aircraft at the time. My orders provided for Terminal leave which would end 6 July 1946. Also during these last days in the active Army I bought two suits at a factory warehouse in Indianapolis — one a gray worsted and the other a navy blue pin-striped. These two items were to be my wardrobe for the next two years. I kept no diary at this time — I was so occupied with getting into UCLA , getting my family there, finding a place to live, and taking care of Helen and Ritchie that I didn’t have time to record anything. So the “best” years of my life ended 15 June 1946 as I left Camp Atterbury and donned muffty.



 

College after the war


The idea of going into the Christian ministry left me somewhere after Helen and I were married. Probably in OCS  -- I’m not sure. I still found great satisfaction in religious activities, but vocationally I had my doubts. At any rate, while in my CIC activities at Camp Campbell, I made the decision to pursue drama/acting as a career. I recall thinking in terms of perhaps teaching speech and acting. This was the background of Lyle Mayer whom I admired at Maryland University. Helen was interested in acting and the theater so we sort of gravitated toward the notion of “heading for Hollywood”. In my high school days I had investigated the Pasadena Playhouse as a source of my training, but I really wanted a college degree and the best place to get such a degree in drama was UCLA.

Having met with some success by being accepted at UCLA, I took this as an indication that I was doing the right thing. So we left Indianapolis on the Constellation aircraft on 16 June 1946. A civilian with wife and child and a pocket full of money. I had all my separation money in my wallet in my hip pocket. The first leg of the flight was to Kansas City, Kansas. That part was all right, but then, being the lowest priority we got “bumped” from our flight to LA. Which meant we had to hang around Kansas City until seats were available. I suppose everyone has some horrendous event in his life to recall, well this trip to the coast was mine. We had just enough prepared formula for Ritchie to get us to LA without delays. We sat in Kansas City for a full 24 hours - slept on the benches. I made up the formula in the men’s room using hot water from the spigot. We finally made a connecting flight to Albuquerque, NM --  what a desolate place. This leg was on a DC 3 (the workhorse at the time). It was a horribly rough flight, through thunder and lightning. Helen was very upset, but Ritchie slept through the whole mess. We sat in Albuquerque for another 8 hours before we caught a flight to LA. Finally landed in LA (Berkley) around 1500 hrs. Got all our things together and wended our way via public transportation to Venice. Mind you, we didn’t know where we were or where we were going. It took several hours to get to the Venice Hotel. Then I discovered I had no wallet! I quickly called the airport --  no luck, the plane we had been on had left for San Francisco. I was just about out of my mind. I a stranger in a strange place with a wife and child and no money or identification. We checked into the Hotel (used advisedly). It was almost as bad as the “famous” Clarksville Hotel. A real dump of a place, At that time, Venice was a run down amusement park on the ocean next to Santa Monica. The LA sewer also emptied into the Pacific at Venice. A real gem of a place. Helen and I were both in a daze --  we had been traveling for 4 days with little or no sleep. In the evening I received a phone call from the airline --  they had recovered my wallet and were holding it in Berkley. So the next morning I traveled all the way back to the airport, picked up my wallet, and returned to Venice. I took all day. Again, Ritchie at 4 months was oblivious to the whole disaster. I recall Helen and me eating at several restaurants along the seashore. Ritchie was on formula. We kept scouring the papers for rooms or apartments. Went to Travelers Aid , Red Cross, the Lutheran Church, the VA, UCLA - all to no avail. The prospects looked pretty gloomy. After a week of this, Helen and I decided we had better return to the East Coast. So , decision made, we made reservations on the pullman train out of LA - the earliest departure was two weeks away, but we took it . I wasn’t going through another airplane flight. Incidentally, some months later we got almost half our flight fare refunded because of being “bumped”. Thus my first civilian attempt at attending UCLA failed. I reasoned that Helen might be better off in her familiar territory. I’m sure she detested me at the time.

If I recall correctly, it was the end of June when we made the train trip to Philadelphia. The Pullman accommodations were good - we had a roomette. In Chicago we disembarked for a stretch. The advice was that we would be switching engines and would leave in several hours. Once again we had no idea what all this meant. Helen and I left Ritchie (he was asleep) under the eye of the porter, a pleasant colored man who liked children. We went and had lunch and called Gail and Joe Hoffman and then returned to get aboard our sleeper. Horror of horrors - no sleeper! We were frantic. We learned that our car was somewhere out "in the yards” while the engine was being changed. After a couple of agonizing hours, the sleeper showed up. There was Ritchie, wide awake and happy as could be with the porter.

I don’t recall the remainder of the train trip. I do know that once I was in Philadelphia I proceeded to look for a job. About the middle of July I got a job as “route salesman” for the Quaker Oats Company. It was an experience and that’s all I can say. The only good thing about the job was that I got a company car to use on and of f the job. It was a 2 door Chevy. After a week of going around with my supervisor (his first question of me “With a name of Seltzer, you must be one of two things”) In Philly most Seltzers are Jewish. My job consisted of servicing food stores , large and small with Quaker Oats products, keeping stock clean and orderly, trying to introduce new lines of Quaker products, and taking orders. I serviced super markets and neighborhood stores -some good , some bad, and some horrible. I learned some practical things, e.g., how to tell the date a product was packaged, how to cheat on expense accounts, etc. You~ re right I didn’t like it. But it was a job and I did have an income.

I had a base salary and then commission on sales. The branch VP was a kindly Quaker named Hamilton. I respected him as he did me. I was only interested in the short term, however, I reapplied to the University of Maryland for September. When I had that settled in August, I resigned from Quaker Oats. At least for one month we had the use of a car. WE went all over too. We were living with Aunt Lil at this time on Conrad St. -less than ideal, but she was very kind to have us. Once I had heard from the University of Maryland, we made plans to move to Silver Spring and stay at 1234 Pinecrest Circle. I rented a truck and put our things together and arrived the end of August. Living in someone else’s home, whether related or not, is always a little tedious, but we made out.

The Fall of 1946 found me on the Maryland campus and registered in the College of Business and Public Administration. I guess I thought I wanted to go into business - after all I sold Quaker Oats for a month. My courses were: Gov’t & Politics, Economics (1) Prins, Economic Geog (4), Economics (31), Mathematics (5) (College Math) and English. In 1946 about 90% of the students were veterans. The VA had a whole building for the administration of veteran affairs. There were veteran organizations all over the place and the ROTC unit was the “largest in the Nation”. The campus was covered with numerous surplus government buildings. There was quite an extensive veterans housing area which offered apartments at reasonable rates, but naturally far too few units to meet the need. Consequently there was a long waiting list. We got on the list anyway and hoped for the best. A married vet, with children received a stipend of $90/mon for the length of his enrollment based on the number of months of service. I was eligible for GI Bill all the way through my doctorate --  except for the dissertation. This meant all tuition and fees were paid by the VA. This was probably the greatest piece of farsighted legislation the Congress ever created. Here were a potential 11 million citizens who could prepare themselves for their highest vocational aspirations, if they so chose. There was a sense of commitment among the vet students. Gone was the horsing around, the frivolity and the hazing of my Freshman year. Oh, the vets had fun, but in a more mature way. Practically everyone I worked with wanted to learn as much as possible in as short a time as possible -no time to waste. The staff were of a similar nature. I found all my courses to be ably taught and interesting, except math. The instructor was an ex-Navy man but was incapable of working with students like myself who had difficulty comprehending the subject. I was completely submerged and drew an “F” - the only such grade I ever received.

I commuted from Silver Spring - James was a Freshman in Agriculture - he wanted to study Poultry Husbandry. We enjoyed our daily trek back and forth, but James was itching to go into the Army - to be on his own.

TKE had a chapter on campus now, but I didn’t have time for fraternity foolishness. With family responsibilities, I didn’t have time for the college dances either. Other things omitted were clubs, the band, OLD LINE. I did continue with the Footlight Club(drama). Being a vet I had no ROTC or Physical Education obligation so I could concentrate on academics. “Zal’s” was the hang out (beer joint) for most of the vets and others for that matter. It was also a restaurant. A converted Quonset Hut of the largest proportions -- located in the heart of College Park right on Route #1. Clark Shaughnessy was back as football coach with his “T” formation. As I recall, we went to most of the home games. I remember General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff — Sec. of State - attending the VMI game. Tommy Mont was the star quarter back. WE also attended basketball and boxing since I had student tickets. Maryland had one of the best boxing programs in the country.

Community-wise, I became the Scout Master for the Boy Scout Troop at St. Lukes. Paul was one of the Tenderfoot Scouts. I struggled with this for about one year. I led all kinds of projects to get money together for Summer Camp. I also took the troop on at least two overnight hikes into Sligo Creek -- I learned a lot about teaching boys.

Helen was always looking for a better living situation. One such came up when we learned that the Kerr log cabin around the Circle was available. Before the war it had been winterized with radiators. Now, however, the radiators were gone (war time scrap drive no doubt). But the idea of having a cabin of our own was very appealing. We arranged to rent it in November 1947, some time before Thanksgiving. We had to buy a coal burning space heater from Sears in Bladensburg (Dad helped $) I had to have a tinsmith make a proper stove pipe and chimney for the cabin too. We had Ritchie in the iron crib we boys had been raised in. It was really quite cozy at times. The cold air would always be about knee high no matter how much coal I put into the heater - there was no insulation under the floor and the cabin was elevated about 2 feet so all the cold air blew around underneath. The living room was attractive. A beautiful white flint stone fireplace which we used all the time, kept us warm. Helen put up cute cottage curtains and we were quite cozy for a while. Ritchie was probably as healthy then as he ever was. He would play in his pen on the porch and even slept during the day in his carriage. Helen was also working day to day as a secretary in Washington, DC — she was at the Society of the Cincinnati on Massachusetts Avenue among other places. She would take the trolley or bus to work and back and Ritchie would stay with Mother. This situation continued until after January 1, 1947, when Helen and I had a fight and she took Rich back to Philadelphia and they were there until June. I went back to Dad’s place and tried to keep going at Maryland. I suppose Helen had lots of pressure on her and the change in environment became too much.

The Spring semester I decided Business Administration was not my cup of tea. I had a long session with my dean and as I recall, we decided that the quickest way to graduate and use all the credits I had earned from Gettysburg and ASTP was to become a Social Studies Teacher with a History major and a double minor in English and German. Thus I could get a full year’s credit for my ASTP and if I went to Summer School, could graduate in January 1948. Not graduate really - I could finish my degree requirements. Maryland held graduation only in June. That didn’t bother me.

So with Helen and Rich in Philadelphia, I launched into my new program: Government and Politics (Local and State), German, Psychology, Education, History of the Civil War, and Teaching in the Secondary School (Ed.) I must have done the correct thing because I received three “A’s and three “C’s” - my best College semester yet. I took part-time work as a janitor at St. Lukes - it took a couple of days a week to clean and dust. They had a tight budget and needed part-time help. Rev. Robt. E. Lee was the minister. I believe I made $40. per week. After the semester was over or about May the Church decided they needed full time help. Meanwhile I kept pushing for family housing on campus. Finally, this came through and we were able to get VF2F for the summer term. I went to Philadelphia and packed up everything in a truck again. This time we had added a sofa bed to our inventory. We also bought a second had refrigerator ($50), we had Ritchie’s crib and there was a 2 burner hot plate in the apartment. We bought paint and curtains and had the place looking great in short order. Ritchie was now 16 mons old. He had learned to walk when he was one year old while we were looking at apartments in Roxborough (near Andorra) on one of my visits while we were still confused about where to live. Our Vet Apartment cost $22.50/mon everything included. It turned out that an old classmate from Blair was managing the vet housing. (Hank E.

Helen adjusted to the environment very nicely, made many friends among Vet wives, played a lot of bridge and also did secretarial work in Washington. We even had time to play a little tennis in the nearby courts. While there, she had her friend Claire visit for a weekend --  talk about crazy ideas. We had no extra sleeping facilities, so all three of us were in the same sofa-bed (it was already small). Mildred also visited twice - the second time was with Walter Rowland who she married - they were on their honeymoon as I recall.

My Summer Session, academically, was great: US in the 20th Cent. “A”; Lit. of the Vic. Pd. “B”; Educ. Measurement “B”; Audio Visual Ed. “B”. I got to know Dr. Clarence Newell and To add to all this I began my student teaching at MacFarland Junior High school (near Roosevelt High) in the N.W. section of Washington, DC. I had no transportation so I had to hitch hike. I would dress up in my pin stripe suit and go out on the highway and hitch down New Hampshire Avenue. I would get out several blocks from MacFarland so the kids wouldn’t see me hitching. Going home I’d do the same thing in reverse.

My schedule at MacFarland was a challenge. Being a man, I ended up with a lot of discipline problems from other classes. I had one good 7th Grade class in Ancient History - they were fun and gave me the encouragement I needed to continue in teaching. I recall all the extra work involved in arranging a field trip to the Franciscan Monastery in the N.E. (near Catholic University). As I recall this teaching lasted only six weeks. The principal called on me several times to substitute in the roughest class on unteachables who had broken their teacher’s arm in a door. How about that~ I received pay for these substitute days. I could have had a teaching job there, but I was listening to Helen and trying for Philadelphia or one of the suburbs. Philadelphia had too many test requirements, e.g., Nat’l Teachers Examination, German - and offered no encouragement. I had an interview with the Superintendent in Lower Merion and in Upper Darby. The latter proved the best opportunity. While I was doing all this, I was also trying to sell Electrolux vacuum cleaners — I wasn’t successful at this.

Some time during November my friend the manager of the Vet Units sent the Baltimore Sun to photograph us for a picture story of veteran family living. They did a beautiful job. The picture story appeared in the Sun January 18, 1948 “metro gravure” section. We were actually moved out by the time the paper came out.

Our social activities included the football games, bridge evenings (I was learning), and an occasional movie. Mostly we made our own fun. I don’t recall any idle moments.

Looking for a teaching job was a new experience. My interview with Supt. John Tyson in the Upper Darby High School was quite an experience for me. I had written in November for an application and had sent it in as soon as I could. I heard from Mr. Tyson early in December the interview was around December 5 I believe. It was a bright clear day. The position he was seeking to fill was in Social Studies and English at the Junior High School on Garrett Road. Helen had told me that Upper Darby was a good School District, so on my interview day (I forgot how I got to Philadelphia- perhaps we all went up on the train) I saw Mr. Tyson first. He was a fatherly type (I always joked about him being “Uncle John” we had a good conversation as he intermittently looked at my application. He seemed more interested in the sports I could coach. I had noted some experience with football (never played the regular game in my life --  I watched a lot), track (I had tried out at Gettysburg College but was never on a team -- I watched a lot) and tennis. The latter was more of an honest response than the other two. At any rate, I felt in good physical condition and I liked being physically fit. I actually thought I could coach. “Uncle John” liked me well enough to send me to see Wallace Savage, Principal of the Junior High School. The building was an impressive Georgian Colonial style. After the schools I had attended, Upper Darby was Palatial. A full cinder track, football field with permanent stands, a beautiful auditorium, gymnasium, cafeteria (2500 students). Savage was nice enough — we got on well. Once again he seemed more interested in my coaching than my teaching. I was a little disappointed - How I had studied all this history and English and thought I was going to really influence the world. I was really excited by the prospect of teaching there. The situation was that one of the regular teachers ( a young fellow with only a year or two of experience) had resigned to sell insurance. At this time, there was a student teacher from the University of Pennsylvania covering the class on a day to day basis, but Tyson and Savage wanted a full time teacher by January 20, 1948. The date was great with me. I found out later that the other fellow was not hired because he was Jewish -no Jews in Upper Darby then. There was a problem with the number of credits I had in Student Teaching. For Pennsylvania Certification I needed 6 semester hours and I had only 4 semester hours from the University of Maryland. Tyson and Savage said they would work on an arrangement with Temple University. The upshot of it was , I was hired under a conditional contract at $2400/year, until I had my 6 Semester Hours of Student Teaching. I had to enroll at Temple for 2 sem. hrs. of Student Teaching and I would be supervised by that institution. I also signed up for 2 credits in the Core Curriculum with Dr. Butterweck and 2 credits in English with Dr. Earnest Earnest (no, that is not a typo). At any rate, I had a job! I was also going to assist with Junior High Track and Weight Football. This was in the days when one coached without remuneration. My salary of $2400 was based upon $2100 plus $300 extra for a wife and child. I was sill eligible for VA benefits under the GI Bill so if I carried six credits per semester I received about $1000/yr subsistence (cash) allowance in addition to having my tuition and fees plus books, paid for. It was a great deal. In 1948 $3400 wasn’t bad income at all.

So in January 1948, I embarked upon my teaching career at Upper Darby Junior High School. Miss Elizabeth Goodall was my Department Head — a very pleasant woman who was very helpful. A fellow named Harry taught next door, Charlie Burke was football coach and biology teacher --  a vet like me, he had started in September. He later became Principal after I left in 1951 and then I heard that he left teaching to go into religious work. Ed Proctor taught Commercial Mathematics (he had been teaching at Gettysburg College during my Freshman year there and had been at UD for a couple of years during the war when things were pretty lean at Gettysburg. He was a good companion, quiet but pleasant - we got on very well. He also coached the track and weight football so I worked very closely with him. (As of this writing 1986, he is blind and living in UD with his wife). Esther Kumjan was a pleasant and somewhat attractive Social Studies teacher (about my age) - she was single but quite anxious to get married. One September, I recall she came in sporting an engagement ring and was thrilled with wedding prospects, but it had disappeared by Christmas. I understand she never married. Too bad. Then there was Dot Brackin, a feisty, diminutive red-head who taught across the hall from me. (My room was 208) She also sponsored the newspaper. She was a good friend. Miss Fromm was the Girls’ Dean and Mr. Davis was the Boys’ Dean. David Haupt was in his 30’s or 40’s and taught instrumental music (orchestra too). I helped him with the orchestra a couple of times. Then there was Dick Richards who was the drama coach -- f1amboyant with white hair, he was married to an opera singer. I worked with him on a couple of plays. There was a Miss Cunningham who taught Home Economics and liked me --  Helen and I were invited to her home for a student faculty tea one time. Elmer Jones --  Mr. 5 x 5 --  coached wrestling. The most incongruous site you ever saw. After forty years I have trouble recalling teachers’ names. My recollection of my three and one half years at Upper Darby is generally positive. I usually had one or two classes which were a real pleasure to teach - able students who were interested in learning. Then there were two or more classes in the middle ability range in which students had limited ability and interest. Then there were the “clinkers”. Each year I was assigned more of the low ability boys because I was young and with my Army background, I could “handle them”.

This was the part of teaching I disliked. Helen had never told me that Upper Darby had this kind of young person --  but then how was she to know. Some of these kids were real monkeys. Usually they were in the ninth grade --  most were repeating the grade. They came from poor homes, were often 15 and 16 years of age — simply marking time until they could drop out of school. A number of them had been in trouble with the law --  auto theft, robbery, firearms violations, assault --  in those days we never heard about drug abuse. Alcohol, yes, but no drugs. All of these kids were truants and most were coming out of reform school. Principal Savage’s philosophy (unwritten) was that the individual teacher should handle the discipline within the classroom. There was plenty of corporal punishment, but it was all unofficial. Only as a last resort would a pupil be sent to the office. I don’t recall ever doing so. I rather took pride in dealing with behavior problems in the classroom. I must have been good at it because by the time I left Upper Darby in June 1951, I had six poor classes and one good class.

On several occasions, I recall having to disarm a student. These crazy kids would bring a .22 caliber pistol to school. I recall another instance when the class was simply unruly and I was losing my patience --  I rolled up my sleeves standing by the door (closed) I said, “The next one of you to open his mouth is going to get my fist right in the face!” I meant it too --  the class apparently sensed my meaning and we got through the period without my having to follow through with my threat. One of my cardinal principles was “never make a threat which you cannot carry out.” I also believed in “be firm but fair”. Most students understood this about me and we got on well. It was very common in the school at that time to use a yardstick as a paddle on behavior problems. It was expected that the teacher would have a paddle visible and ready to use. As I said, corporal punishment was the rule of the day. One unpleasant duty which I particularly disliked was the Common Detention Hall. Each teacher would be assigned to run or assist in this activity for a week or two during the school year. Here is where all the behavior problems would gather after school - supposedly to study but more often they specialized in making life miserable for the teacher. We had some bruisers there — on several occasions I had to manhandle a smart-aleck out of the room and the building. I recall two brothers whom I physically threw out of detention hail later ran away and ended up with the Barnum and Bailey Circus as roustabouts. The circus played one year in Upper Darby (Marshall Road) and I ran into them there and again they showed up in East Falls with the circus on Fox Street. There was recognition and a shrug of the shoulder but no conversation.

I had a great deal of fun coaching track. As I mentioned I never coached before — never even ran on a team. My only qualification was that I had watched numerous meets at the Naval Academy, Gettysburg and the University of Maryland. so I felt I knew something about the sport. I was good in the physical conditioning - other than that I bought a book on How to Coach Track. By 1950 the Upper Darby Junior High School team was the top in the region --  we always went to the Penn Relays in the Spring and usually won something.

Weight football was again, fun to coach --  most of the kids really appreciated all the coaching. By 1951 I was the tennis coach in the Spring and someone else did the track. I knew how to play tennis, but I knew absolutely nothing about team matches. I bought a book, you guessed it - I learned fast. That first year in tennis we didn’t win much - I remember coaching the team at the Penn Charter School match.

True, the coaches weren’t paid in those days, but we each took pride in our teams and did very well for the students. Each gave freely of his time for the satisfaction of having taught children something of value
- this seems to be absent today.

At the same time I was coaching, I was taking graduate courses, first at Temple University then at the University of Pennsylvania. This usually took two evenings a week plus Saturdays. I took my Masters in Education majoring in Social Science at the University of Pennsylvania in February 1951.

In addition , I was in the active Army Reserve which meant one night a week (usually Monday) and two weeks or more in the summer. Around the Christmas season I would also work at the Post Office. One year I had a job with Reuben H. Donnelly working on telephone directories --- I was there from 4 PM to 8 PM then I worked at the Post Office at 30th Street from 8 PM to 6 AM --  I grabbed two hours of sleep and went to my teaching post. After three or four days of this, one day I feel asleep while teaching, standing up. Can you imagine that!

While at Upper Darby I also played my violin with the Swarthmore College/Community Orchestra — Dr. Swann was the conductor. I also was busy at the Old Academy Players in East Falls. I was in “Rebecca”, “See How they Run”, “The Man Who Came to Dinner”, “Philadelphia Story”, and others. Bob Prosky, now famous in “Hill St. Blues” (TV) was vying for the same roles --  we were in “Rebecca” together. I played opposite Lizanne Kelly (Grace’s sister) in “Phila. Story”. For a while, I also sold sterling silver. Even explored selling life insurance, but gave that up before I started. While at the Old Academy and taking courses at Penn I got involved with WCAU-TV, back when you did it for free -- I had parts in the BLACK ROBE (court), ethnic dancing groups (Lith), I narrated this program. Also had several roles in other non-paying TV shows.

An interesting activity which I enjoyed at Upper Darby was the weekly assembly. Each homeroom was assigned a Wednesday date during the school year at which time the homeroom would put on a program for the remainder of the school It was a great way to develop student talent and provide a means of sharing with others. My homeroom classes would work hard and long for their programs. I enjoyed directing them too. One time we did a variety show, another time a one act play, another time a choral program. The school had a big auditorium with excellent stage lighting. With over 2000 students we had lots of variety. Another nice thing they did at Upper Darby was to photograph each of the athletic teams so I have a photo record of every group I ever coached.

I was a great one for taking field trips. I always enjoyed them myself as a student and felt that the learning benefits were extensive. Since I was teaching 8th Grade American History, I always made a trip to Colonial Philadelphia — Elfreth’s Alley, Independence Hall, Valley Forge. I always encouraged students to enter contests: essays, quizzes, whatever — one class did so well I ended up with a beautiful pictorial history of the US by photographer Butterworth. I believe it was the result of a contest in the INQUIRER. This beautiful book was kept on my desk so my classes could use it. Wouldn’t you guess, one night someone stole it.

The faculty at Upper Darby were a curious lot. Ab Cardin, Industrial Arts, was an alcoholic - kept a bottle in his desk - even offered me a nip one evening at a school function; the Spanish teacher (I can’t remember his name) was fat and up in years — he had a favorite chair in the men’s faculty lounge, no one else dared sit there (territorial prerogative), the print shop teacher was a former soldier in the French Foreign Legion - what stories he had to tell; one of the math teachers also taught Electrical Engineering at Drexel Institute at night; another math teacher had his doctorate and coached tennis (before me) - I learned to appreciate good tennis from him (Bancroft Racket). Men and women faculty were kept separate - each had their own lounge. The men in addition had a Dart Room. This was actually an area in the boiler room. Old easy chairs and sofas furnished the area and then there was the high quality dart board - looked professional to me. It was lit, and the shooting area was we 11 marked. All of the men gathered here before school, at lunch, and after school. There was always a continuing dart throwing competition going on. Ab Cardin ended up marrying one of the old maid teachers on the staff - he was a real character.

I lived in East Falls (3509 Sunnyside Avenue) from May 1948 until July 1951 when we moved to Silver Spring, Maryland. From East Falls, I would catch the “E” bus on Midvale Avenue. It traveled over City Line Avenue and ended up at the 69th Street Terminal. I would then walk out Garrett Road to the school, arriving about 0830. I followed this schedule until the Fall of 1950 (my last year at Upper Darby) when we bought our first car, a 1950 Studebaker. I believe Rich still has the model toy car.

During my time at Upper Darby, I was busy working on my Master’s Degree which I received in February 1951. That Spring semester I started on doctorate level courses at Penn, but I didn’t care for the program they offered so I began thinking about returning to the University of Maryland. Dr. Clarence Newell (I knew him slightly in 1946) was in charge of an Administrative Internship Program which interested me. I thought I wanted to go into Administration, and become at least a school principal, perhaps even a Superintendent of Schools. I was also by the bleak future at Upper Darby  -- at least that is the way I perceived it. Each year kept getting worse with the poor classes, behavior problems. Some days I hated to go to the school. As was always my method of operation, when I had difficulty coping, I moved to a different environment --  sometimes it worked. Usually, after a “honeymoon” the situations all became similar. So it was in 1950-51. I was a little irritated at my schedule, plus, someone else took my track coaching job and I was asked to coach tennis, I felt frustrated at Penn, I needed to increase my income (Maryland was paying better than Pennsylvania at the time) --  so I applied to Dr. Broome in Rockville, Montgomery County ,Maryland. I had an interview for a social studies/Eng job at my old Montgomery Hills Junior High School. The Maryland schools didn’t have all the coaching jobs that Pennsylvania had plus I would go from $3000 to $3600. I took the job.

In January 1950 I had taken a part-time job teaching driving at the ABC School on North Broad just below Hunting Park. They used the Kaiser/Fraser car of post war fame - dual controls. I worked two or three nights a week plus Saturday and Sunday. I enjoyed this and the extra money helped. When I left in July, they wanted to put me in charge of the office. Of course it was a money making operation and we were told to encourage students to take more lessons. Sometimes it became ridiculous. I recall one short Jewish man who had to be propped up on pillows (he could barely see over the hood) who had paid for over 400 hours of instruction. He could never pass the driving test, but he kept on taking lessons. He was one of my last students (everyone else had given up on him) and I had him for an entire Sunday. We started out the Boulevard at 0800 and at the Pennypack Circle some other car smashed into the rear of the Driver Training Car. No other cars on the road. The offending car was loaded with Jews on their way to New York --  they were jabbering away and simply did not see our car. You should have heard the screams “Whiplash!” You would have thought they were all dying. After we had moved to Maryland (November) I was subpoenaed to appear in Philadelphia court for the student driver. They paid for me to come to Philadelphia. I stayed at the old Essex Hotel --  I don’t recall the outcome.

I taught nuns, seductive females, teenagers, housewives and when the boss found out I could speak German, I was the exclusive teacher for all the post—war German immigrants. These were old and young, Haus Frau and business men. I got out my phrase book which included a driving section and learned the whole routine. Curiously, most capable men taught themselves - the men I taught were pretty difficult to teach. I even taught a young Marynoll Priest how to drive before he went to Africa as a missionary. Several times I would have a male student for a whole day who needed a crash course.
It usually worked out pretty well.

I recall traveling to Silver Spring to arrange for living there, but I don’t recall having a home to move into until October. I think we moved in with Mother and Dad for a few weeks while our purchase of the cute little bungalow in Rockville(Viers Mill Rd.) was being finalized. I recall borrowing some money from Dad for the down payment and I believe we also borrowed from Paul. The sale was arranged with a VA Loan $12,500. At the same time I began teaching at Montgomery Hills Junior High School, I started course work at the University of Maryland toward the doctorate in educational administration. I recall a conversation with dear Dr. Broome (he had been Superintendent when I was a child) where he urged me to take the program in Human Development in conjunction with Administration --  I did so, this was my minor.

My teaching schedule at Montgomery Hills was much like Upper Darby. Social Studies and English. Montgomery County was considered quite progressive at the time so we didn’t give grades, e.g., A -B - C, we did lots of projects and we produced lots of goals and objectives through “pupil teacher planning” . Mostly this was BS or eye wash - most teachers taught in the same way they were taught. We did some of the earliest “team teaching” — which meant a great deal of time was spent planning together and then moving groups of students around. We were 30 years ahead of the times. I detested this waste of time. I disliked listening to some windy female going into raptures about the “new” method. Montgomery Hills was overcrowded in 1951, a new wing had just been completed and yet another was under way. Consequently, I was a “floating teacher”. Homeroom was in the Home Economics room, each period I taught in a different room which meant I had to carry everything around with me. I also taught in a basement classroom and tried to teach Social Studies in half of the Home Economics room the period just before lunch while home ec. students were cooking. You can imagine how attention waned in my class. Fern Schneider was our County Supervisor.

Montgomery Hills had no auditorium or stadium or running track as did Upper Darby. The only improvement was in the pay. I coached the Drama Club in its infancy. We never produced a play because I wouldn’t put up with the student misbehavior. I also sponsored a cartooning club - drawing on my earlier interest. During my second year at the school I was the 9th Grade Advisor. Basically, the students were pretty good. There were fewer of the undesirables than were at Upper Darby. I always disliked the behavior confrontations - I never could understand how a student --  no matter how deprived -- could reject the opportunity to learn. I recall only one confrontation in my first year at Montgomery Hills Junior High. the classes were heterogeneously grouped, which meant the low ability students were mixed with the high ability students. Psychologically, this sounds great --  the assumption being that the better students would help and encourage the less able. What always happened was, the able students went zooming ahead and the slow were left with whatever the teacher could dream up to keep them occupied and out of trouble. These were the days of LIFE magazine - I used them extensively for creative writing. They would publish one picture in each issue without a caption which was great for the imagination. I would have students write a composition based on their reaction to the uncaptioned picture. I would save the magazines from week to week and cut out this one picture for future use so I had quite a varied collection. The project generally worked well because each student was free to compose to the extent of his ability - he was competing with himself. In this way I could teach vocabulary, sentence structure, spelling, handwriting and composition form.

On one occasion, one of the toughs (over-age in grade) refused to work and proceeded to disturb others in the class. The confrontation soon developed and I ordered the boy (he was as big as I) out of the room. He refused to go so I proceeded to grab him and force him out of the room. We got into a tussle and fists flew. I finally got him to the office and I was none the worse for wear, just mussed up --  my pride was more hurt than anything else. Why had I let myself sink to that boy’s level? I never handled another student after that.

The faculty at this school was young in the majority. A number of single, eligible women and several eligible males. One Frank Edwards, a very nice fellow, had a withered right arm from polio. You should have seen him play golf --  with one arm! Well, he courted one of the single women and they were married at the end of the year. Montgomery County had a rule that married couples may not teach together in the same school so they had to teach separately the second year. I believe the wife was the one that moved. The faculty was young and social. a party was underway practically every weekend. I recall we had a big party for the whole faculty in our Rockville home - I had fixed up the basement into a recreation room by this time. I also played golf and tennis with several of the men teachers and then of course we had several stag affairs --  usually at the end of the year.

While all of this was going on I was taking course work on my doctorate in School Administration and Human Development. Ritchie was in the first grade and then the second --  I didn’t get to see him much of the time. Helen was a secretary for 19 Supervisors at the Board of Education in Rockville ( she had received her Driver’s License in 1950 in Penna.). I was meeting on a weekly basis with the US Army Reserve in Ft. Myer, VA (300th CAMG Group and then the 450th CAMG Company) --  I’ll comment on this separately. Initially, we attended the Rockville Presbyterian Church and then later the beginning Crusader Lutheran Church. I was receiving a stipend under the GI Bill each month for carrying six semester hours of credit and then to make ends meet, I worked variously as a cemetery lot salesman (short duration) and a Yellow Cab driver in Silver Spring  --  this lasted about a year. What an experience! One of my late night fares turned out to be a dropout student of mine who had become a “lady of the night” - I never did find out whether or not she recognized me.

Our first Christmas in Rockville, I cut down a huge pine tree for firewood and also cut our own Christmas Tree --  I believe Ritchie was with me at the time. Shortly thereafter the houses started going up all over.

Christmas of 1954 I won an award from the Silver Rock Citizens Association for “Best House Decoration” --  I painted a scene on the inside of our picture window. I did this every year wherever I was. As a family, we always had lots of fun decorating for Christmas.

Basically, I enjoyed my two years at Montgomery Hills --  I felt that I was helping students to learn and that they appreciated my efforts. In Montgomery County the politics of success meant you had to work for the right principal and then become a guidance counselor before being considered for vice principal or principal. Since the county was growing, new schools were opening each year and there were plenty of opportunities to move up the ladder. At this time Joseph Tarallo was principal of Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville and also President of the Teachers Association. I became active in the “professional association”(this was before teacher Unions) and took great pride in being part of the profession. It seemed prudent to me to get transferred to Richard Montgomery. In the Fall of 1953 I was assigned to Richard Montgomery High . This satisfied my urge to teach at the High School level even though it was a Junior Senior High School. I had 7th, 8th, and 9th and some 10th Grade classes in Social Studies and English. Rockville was somewhat rural at this time and a number of the students lived on farms.

What I liked most about Richard Montgomery was the faculty. They were a close knit group who were always helping each other. Joe Tarallo, “Pappy” Jewell (Vice Prin), Bill Porter, biology; Guy Smith, science; my former Spanish teacher from Blair (unmarried name was Santini) --  I don’t remember her married name; Mae Nicewarner, secretary. There were always weekend parties, men’s poker sessions, golf outings, sporting events. Richard Montgomery had football and all the men faculty helped out one way or the other - taking tickets, holding markers, keeping score. I was deep into the Montgomery County Teachers Association and working closely with Joe Tarallo and Eric Rhodes. I headed various committees and was in charge of the NEA Life Memberships - this was a big deal. I made lots of friends and found the position satisfying. My first year at Richard Montgomery was a full teaching schedule. The second year I worked out a ½ time schedule of teaching and ½ time in administration where I worked through the University of Maryland as an Administrative Intern - no extra money but I had the practical administration experience I needed for my doctoral project (dissertation). This Administrative Internship was supervised by Dr. Clarence A. Newell, my University of Maryland advisor. I did all my anecdotal reporting based upon this experience. This is available elsewhere so I won’t repeat it here. Helen was still working at the Board of Education, Ritchie went through 2nd and 3rd Grades alternating at Lone Oak and Rockville Elementary Schools - the latter was next door to Helen’s office; I was still involved in USAR, and studying at night. We even rented out the basement of our home --  we had a shower and a toilet put in. One crazy experience was with a young couple from West Virginia -   it only lasted a month or so around November. The young fellow was a typical hunter—fisherman. He asked if I wanted to hunt squirrel with him so I borrowed Dad’s Marlin -- 22 and bought a box of shells. It seems it was a cloudy Saturday that we stalked the squirrel in the woods just outside of Rockville proper. Squirrels are quite clever --  they always move to the other side of the tree so that you can’t get a good shot. Well, finally one squirrel became too inquisitive and the two of us commenced to fire away. I must have used up 20 or more shells -the squirrel had been wounded and scurried up the tree to his nest in the top. The West Virginia fellow, being a good hunter said we couldn’t leave a wounded squirrel, so he shinnied up that big tree to a height of 50 feet and chased the squirrel out of the nest -- we shot the poor thing when it hit the ground. I was really disgusted with myself --  a big thing like me and I couldn’t catch a poor little squirrel - I never hunted squirrel again. The couple had a baby while with us and moved to larger quarters shortly thereafter.

While at Richard Montgomery, I became involved with the local American Legion Post - I headed the education committee and we were quite active for awhile. We had a very talented music teacher at the school named John Preston - he had the band among other things and was quite a talented composer. He started a Madrigal Singers group and asked me to sing with them - this was a great deal of fun. We did all the madrigals and motets including some of Mozart’s more risque pieces. We sang at several public affairs as part of a local cultural group. We followed the madrigal format of singing in homes, in a group and unaccompanied. The other music teacher there was Mrs. Mary de Vermond -- she had the chorus and was music director at the Presbyterian Church. She was married to a merchant marine ship Captain who was never home. I never met him. I recall too she liked to play the bass violin. Several years later when I was Dean at Plymouth ~SC she applied for a teaching job.

While in Rockville, Helen talked us into having a dog --  a Dalmatian --  for Ritchie. A friend of hers had a bitch which had borne pedigree pups. We picked a cute male pup and named him ‘‘Pebbles" --  he was really quite a nice puppy. I always liked dogs, but had never had any luck with them. They either ran away, had distemper and became violent and had to be eliminated. We agreed that Pebbles was going to get all the veterinarian care he needed. I recall the first time we brought Pebbles home - he was six weeks old and a pretty good size for a pup. I was sitting on an easy chair and he jumped up into my lap and licked my face. Ritchie seemed to get along well with him too. Helen was great at petting him, but couldn’t train him to do a thing! I worked on commands and control with Pebbles and was reasonably successful. Of course with a dog we had to build a chain link fence around the back yard. No sooner had we put up the 3½ foot fence than Pebbles jumped over it. We had him tied to a chain inside the fence after that. We had Pebbles for 5 years - he learned to ride in the front seat of the car with his nose out the little window. I took him everywhere - he was a regal looking animal and I enjoyed showing him off. I even built him a knock-down dog house. Design courtesy POPULAR MECHANICS. We took Pebbles to the Beach several times. He loved the water and would play with stick and ball. He also barked incessantly when we were trying to swim and he was tied up at shore. We finally left him at the kennel in Rockville when we took a trip. All in all he was an expensive pet. Not only boarding fees but regular worming and shots. He also developed a bone disease in which his hip joint began to deteriorate
- he was in pain frequently and no longer was fun to have about. By the time we got to Baltimore he was more of a problem than anything else. He did the babysitting with Ritchie and was a good watch dog --  perhaps too good. He would attack strangers and finally did so in Baltimore to the extent that I left him with the vet. We almost got sued.

While in Rockville, Helen was very active with the Junior Women’s Club. Dot Haltiwanger, Marianne Leland, Marjorie Stucki, et al. She ran antique shows, New Years’ Eve dances, card parties and all kinds of fund raisers. I enjoyed most of the social events. We had a baby sitting arrangement among a number of families in our Broadwood Manor and Twinbrook sections of town. I forget who kept track of things, but it worked so that if you sat for one family they owed you a similar amount of time at a future date. It worked pretty well.

Ritchie was also into Cub Scouts during our Rockville stint -this meant Helen and I were busy helping him earn his “badges”. The Mothers ran the packs and the Fathers provided the labor. I recall helping with Little League Baseball - the parents were a real pain. Each one competing to have his son be the pitcher. I caught for a softball game once and ripped the seat out of my pants. Ritchie was a lot of fun to raise -he was so bright and alert - interested in everything and a hard worker on projects which interested him. I recall his having appendicitis and our concern for him. He was quite tenacious even then. In the course of time he broke his shoulder playing with the Matish boy --  that was a real nuisance.

Professionally, I was working hard to qualify for the vice principal position. My course work at Maryland University was pretty difficult. I had a Dr. Van Zwoll in Finance, School Buildings, and Administration; Dr. Clarence Newell taught Personnel and Administration. Most of the Human Development work I did was in Biological Development (Dr. Wilton Marion Krogman came to Maryland University one summer --  I was fascinated with his brilliant mind). By the summer of 1955 I was ready for a Vice Principalship. Helen was politicking for me at the Board of Education (Dr. Prince from Oklahoma was in charge of Personnel) and (William Pyle). I was at summer USAR camp at Fort Meade as I recall, the last two weeks of August. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t hear from Dr. Prince. I was being considered for a position at the one-year-old Wheaton Junior-Senior High School. After much indecision and frustration, I received an off-hand phone call from Dr. Prince telling me I had the job under Principal Mason. I was rather insulted at the process of selection, but being anxious to move up I was glad to take the job. Wheaton was a big school - 2500 students grades 7-12. There were three Vice Principals. I got the discipline cases for all grades with Williams. Miss Baker had the more pleasant duties. Looking at the Organization Book my responsibilities were: Absence Bulletins, Athletic Awards and Contests, Attendance all grades, Counseling 11th and 12th, Cafeteria Supervision and Teacher Duties, Fire Drills - Civil Defense, Intramurals, Material and Equipment Inventories, Locks and Lockers Assignments, Maintenance and Capital Improvements needs with Williams, Parent Conferences 11th and 12th, Pupil Records 11th and 12th, Pupil Problems and Special Programs 11th and 12th, State and County Reports, and Tickets for Games.

I didn’t mind any of the duties except for Cafeteria Supervision. I felt like a prison guard in a movie with unruly prisoners. It seemed that the cafeteria brought out the worst behavior in students - I hated to go there. This was the “baptism of fire” in school administration. Before becoming a principal or superintendent one had to sweat out a tour as a “Vice Principal” with the discipline responsibility. I probably would have stuck to it longer, but I couldn’t tolerate the Principal Mason. He was a real phoney! A lot of talk without brains; crude, conniving, dishonest, etc. In later years, he had to leave the county system for misuse of school funds. He was also having an extra marital affair with one of the guidance counselors who later had a nervous breakdown. (Griffith).

During this year 1955—56, I had my first article published in the Secondary School Principal Bulletin (May 1956). It had to do with my Internship in Administration. I was excited by this. My aspirations were riding high - I was ready to climb the mountain of success. Helen and I began looking for a better and more roomy house close by in Rockville — we even put down a deposit. I had been very active in the Maryland State Teachers Association for three years, and sometime early in June while I was having trouble closing out the Attendance Registers, Milson Raver, Executive Secretary of MSTA offered me the position of Field Director with the association. The title was exciting and I was flattered by the offer. I was offered $7000., as I recall, for the 12 months. Up to that time I had been working for 9 or ten months, so I was tempted by the first full time 12 month contract. Helen was skeptical when she found out that Raver had inquired into my salary at the Board of Education. Undaunted, I accepted the offer. I really didn’t like the thought of another year as Vice Principal. The new job would include recruiting members for the Association, speaking to teacher groups throughout the State and heading the college arm of the National Education Association in Maryland. We were still a professional Association in 1956. The only drawback was locating in Baltimore - I rather liked the idea myself. Helen didn’t want to leave her ties in Rockville. I never thought of commuting to Baltimore (it really wasn’t that far) until years later. At any rate, we put the Rockville house up for sale — sold it ourselves to the Postmaster. As I recall we paid $12,500 in 1950 (VA Mortgage), and sold it for $13,000. in 1956. IN those days that was pretty good. Meanwhile we bought a two story colonial home at 7000 Rockridge Road, in the Villanova Section of Baltimore County. It was a suburban location just off of Liberty Road in the neighborhood of the Pimlico Race track. We paid $20,500. for this house - Helen liked the General Electric all—electric kitchen. There was plenty of room compared to Rockville, it was much larger. The result was that we had many empty rooms. (Note: In April 1985 we returned to the old neighborhood and noted the house was gone as was the neighbor Bilheimer. Helen’s inquiry disclosed that a hurricane several years earlier had flooded both houses up to the living room and later were moved to Essex Road --  occupied by Negroes in 1985). It seemed that we moved toward the end of October - the leaves were brilliant in ‘their color that Fall. Ritchie transferred to Campfield School in the 5th Grade. Helen got interested in the local Junior Women’s Club. I was going full blast with MSTA at 5 E. Read Street, and continuing work on my Doctorate as well as continuing my weekly obligations in USAR back at Ft. Myer, VA.

I enjoyed the speaking activities and getting involved with the politics of a professional association. I didn’t care for the three hour drives to make a fifteen minute talk. My activities included campus seminars and organizational meetings on State College campuses, e.g., Frostburg, Coppin, Salisbury, Towson. I wrote articles for the Maryland Teacher and became an organization person. I admit to missing the contact with students too. What I was doing didn’t seem that important or critical. For days I would be tied down in the office doing busy work and making idle chit chat with Raver or Robert Dubell (Asst Exec Sec). I really didn’t like either one of them. I had the feeling that they were always using other people. For the sake of something to do, I would take long walks around Baltimore - the Market on Charles Street, the Pratt Library and Washington Monument. Of course, I was still working on my Doctorate - this really irked Dubell. Sid Dorros was the editor of the Maryland Teacher when I joined MSTA but then left for a better position with the National Education Association. We almost bought his house. Election eve 1956, Milson Raver had us to his home to watch the election results. It ended up being a very unpleasant evening. First of all, Helen with her intuition didn’t like the man; second, he was a Democrat as were his guests except Helen and me; third, his idea of a party was drinking cider, eating doughnuts, eating apples and watching slides of some trip or other. The slide show went on for hours and of course Republican candidate Eisenhower won so only Helen and I wanted to hear the election results. Needless to say we never visited again.

We did have a cocktail party at our home in Baltimore sometime around November - we had only been in the house a short while but we invited my USAR friends, Rockville friends, Wheaton and MSTA friends.

In October 1956 the MSTA held the huge State Educators Convention in the 5th Regiment Armory. I was involved in getting it set up and running around to the various meetings. I also had the interesting experience of getting Gen. Carlos P. Romulo (landed with Gen. MacArthur) Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations, back to Washington. Baltimore Mayor McKeldin lent us his car and chauffeur for the trip. We had an interesting time with the General. Visited in his home near the Cathedral in DC, then the chauffeur drove me to Rockville where I picked up Helen and we all returned to Baltimore for an evening social function. We hadn’t moved at this time.

I had an interesting experience with the University of Maryland Eastern Shore --  this was the Negro campus (we didn’t use the word ‘black’ in those days). The only white person on the campus was the AFROTC Major. Dr. Singletary was the Dean of Education (Negro) a very nice gentleman with whom I worked on Student NEA.

Milson Raver had done a little college teaching at Western Maryland College, but Robert Dubell hadn’t taught anything anywhere (Note: Dubell went on to get his doctorate and became Superintendent of Schools in the large Baltimore County system in the 1970’s as a result of his handling labor negotiations and a teacher strike). Obviously some people liked him. I was working on my project or dissertation during 1956-57 with plans to receive the ED.D. in June 1957. This took a lot of time and effort. I was also still active in the USAR. I had a number of meetings with Dr. Newell in College Park and also at the Baltimore Campus of the University of Maryland (Lombard and Greene) in the vicinity of the Medical School. Dr. Brechbill also met with me in Baltimore. My Doctoral Committee was hard to get together and this delayed my putting the whole thing together. Dr. Richard Byrne was on the committee -- his specialty was Guidance Counseling. Dr. John Kurtz was doing a great deal of consulting work in California and rarely made my committee meetings --  his specialty was Human  Development. What I had to do was write a chapter or two and then carry it around to each committee member for reading and comment. This took an unusual amount of time. I was using all the notes I had taken at Richard Montgomery in 1953-54 and here it was two years later, I was still trying to get the committee together. After studying members’ comments I would re—write and re—type and carry the package around again. I finally got approval in the Spring of 1957 in time for Commencement in early June. My oral examination had taken place earlier -perhaps January or February. That was the last time I had the committee together. We spent about 4 hours discussing my work —apparently I responded adequately - I was informed of my success immediately after the examination - I was elated.

My study was a series of anecdotal reports on real life administrative situations. I called them Case Studies and then developed the format for using them in training school administrators. Dr. Newell in 1963 had 1000 copies made up on mimeograph for use in his courses at the University. I had some inquiries about publishing, but nothing ever materialized. The library copies were available through University Microfilms, Ann Arbor , Michigan. Subsequently, the case study method became very popular as a training vehicle in business, the social sciences, law and management.

Well, June 1957 finally arrived. One of the major accomplishments of my life was earning my doctorate. The Commencement was held on Saturday, June 8 in the Cole Student Activities Building (Field House). George K. Funston of the New York Stock Exchange was the speaker. Coincidentally, Paul’s wife Leoma received her Bachelor Degree in Home Economics at the same ceremony. I received my hood and sheepskin from the University with great pride --  the doctoral hood was placed over my shoulders by Dean Ronald Bamford of the Graduate School. (Milson Raver was in the audience). Anderson was Dean of Education at the time. Following the exercises we went to Woodside Park and had a nice reception for Leoma and me with all of the relatives present.

My Secretary at MSTA, Mrs. O’Donnell, and the other girls there had made a little styrofoam statue for me all dressed in academic regalia --  they were very nice. They even had a cake and ice cream to celebrate. That summer was rather hectic. was dissatisfied with my job and Raver and Dubell, and I was looking elsewhere. I started writing to the Placement Office at the University of Maryland and also several Teachers Agencies. I had the notion, now that I had my Ed.D. that I wanted to try college teaching. A compromise offer surfaced in June.

Dean Ehrensburger of the College of Special and Continuation Studies needed an Assistant Director for the Baltimore Campus located at Lombard and Greene in the old Medical School building. I was asked to take the job. It sounded great at the time. This College handled all the off-campus extension courses of the University. They organized and administered the offerings at the military installations throughout the Baltimore area and also set up courses for teachers. I was to be the assistant to Ed Cooper. What a character! He had a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Arts . What a raconteur! I’ll never forget him-he smoked a mangy pipe and loved to tell everybody and anybody about his exploits in World War II - it seems he flew a B-24 in Italy and North Africa. His stories were endless, but he required an attentive audience. He would talk to me then the secretary and then the girls at lunch from the hospital across the street. After a little bit of this, he began to repeat himself. He and his wife liked to play Mah Jong. The major problem was that his job as Director wasn’t really much and mine as Assistant was even less. Most of the year I was struggling to find something to do. Ed treated me just fine — I had a nice office with brand new furniture and plenty of bookshelves and filing cabinets. I stored my Army correspondence course work on the bookshelves and kept my lunch in the filing cabinet.

I started in July 1957. Ed was putting together a catalog of extension courses and lining up instructors to do the teaching at places like Edgewood Arsenal, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Fort Holabird, Towson Teachers College, Eastern Shore locations, Fort Meade, Fort Detrick Chemical Center. There was just enough to keep one person busy. I got in on the distribution of the catalogs and then assisting with registration for Fall and Spring Terms. Any clerk could do the job. It was a great exercise in making an empire out of nothing for self-aggrandizement. Periodically we would travel to College Park for a meeting and go visit the instruction sites. But this was all busy work. I very quickly got into a routine of doing my Army Correspondence Courses on the job. In fact, I completed the whole Company Grade Officer Course in the nine months - I was a Captain at this time. The other activity was to build my file of anecdotes. I still have the two or three thousand stories I clipped from Reader’s Digest and other publications. Everything is still completely cataloged.

Helen took advantage of my position and took US History at the Lombard and Greene locations. I would drive her downtown twice a week while I was on duty in the office. It worked out well for her. Parking was at a premium - I paid $5 per week to park in some little ally spot that was filthy beyond all belief. A very bad neighborhood!

At this same time we became members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church which I stumbled on in temporary quarters in the Forest Park area. They were meeting in a recreation hall. The first Sunday there I met Jack and Janet Bauer. I had Ritchie with me. We got on very well and Helen started attending the next week. The Bauers became fast friends and still are. In fact, through them and St. Paul’s, we had more friends than in almost any other locality. St. Paul’s was building a new sanctuary on Liberty Road just past Lochearn and Villa Nova. I began taking an active part in the church as did Helen and Ritchie. I taught the Adult Bible Class and Helen and I sang in the choir. We were also active in the dedication and opening of the new church in the Spring of 1958. Ritchie was in the 6th Grade and normally would be starting Catechism for Confirmation. We played bridge with the Bauers’ , took social dancing lessons in their basement recreation room and had many parties back and forth. Helen and Janet were active in the Women’s Club. Jack had me as his guest at the Exchange Club in Baltimore and we played golf together at the Forest Park public course.

The neighbors in Villa Nova were also very nice. The Henses (they built our house) socialized with us and the folks next door (Winnie was an elementary principal and he an engineer). The Klines up the street were nice to Ritchie - their daughter was his age and they took him to see the Orioles baseball team play on several occasions. Helen, Ritchie and I also liked the Orioles. We also belonged to a social dance club called “The Pleasure Club” which had Saturday night dance parties several times a month in Randallstown. We were quite busy and active, I’m afraid many names escape me at this point. Zeeney and Madeleine Hooper were another couple who were very friendly. Their daughter, Carol, was the same age as Ritchie and in the same grade at Campfield School. They were a lot of fun. They had a summer place on the Severn River which they inherited from his parents. It reminded me of Colonial Beach and the Cottage. Zeeney was an insurance salesman of the old variety (debit) for Metropolitan and had many funny stories to tell. Their son became a physician (Univ. of Penn) and Carol married and raised a family in the Baltimore area. We last saw her in 1983 on a visit with Zeeney and Madeleine.

The two years in Baltimore were very frustrating for me. Both jobs turned out to be far less important than I thought.

In my groping I even joined the musician’s union based on my violin. I paid my dues and auditioned for several different orchestras. I played a Bar Mitsva and several other dates before I concluded that I didn’t want that either.

My job was strictly busy work. So I soon did another job search. I applied for secondary principalships and even college teaching in education. I recall interviews at Conestoga High School in Paoli (here I met Anton Hess), Sparta, NJ, and even Wagner College on Staten Island. There was always something wrong so nothing materialized. But I kept looking. By March 31 I heard from Dr. Harold E. Hyde, President of Plymouth Teachers College, in New Hampshire. This contact came through the Great American Teachers Agency in Allentown - the position was Dean of Instruction. I was invited to come there for an interview. So we packed up one weekend (April 12-13) and drove 10 hours to Plymouth, NH. None of us had been further North than New York. What a strange feeling wandering through Massachusetts and New Hampshire. You have the feeling of being in another world. Ritchie in his own style, played a host of original games while traveling. He would count to some astronomical number, he would count cars, then count license plates, cows, horses, trucks. He was never at a loss to keep amused.

Sparsely populated, little traffic, woodland, mountains with snow, lakes with ice. This was the College’s Spring holiday so no students were on campus. We arrived on a Saturday afternoon in time to eat supper as I recall. Mother and Ritchie had become really silly from the long trip and the strange sites of New England. Christmas decorations were still on some houses, and there were many tarpaper shacks and houses with frozen laundry on the line. No restaurants north of Concord - in fact little of anything as we passed Newfound Lake. The majestic mountains were awesome in their beauty. The air was fresh and crisp, if not cold.

I recall that I met with Dr. Hyde for several hours in the late afternoon. A very good interview - we had many ideas in common. It seems he had worked with Dr. Richard Byrne when they were both with the New Hampshire Department of Education in Concord. The position was Dean of Instruction and Director of Graduate Studies. Responsibilities included: supervision of the curriculum and instruction process, supervision of the faculty including assisting the President in hiring and firing,  preparing undergraduate and graduate catalogs ( a Master’s Degree was offered), the new person would also be Director of Graduate Studies and Director of Off-Campus(Extension) courses. They had a number of offerings for Teacher certification which were taught around the State. The other Teachers College was Keene in the Southwest corner of the state. Then there was the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. In 1958 Plymouth Teachers College had 450 students and about 20 on the faculty - not long before, there were plans to close the College because of low enrollment but Alumni, et al, had fought this. Plymouth was not wealthy - anything but - struggling as most state institutions to keep alive. I liked Harold Hyde and he liked me also. I was 34 years of age at the time of the interview - pretty young to be considered for the Dean’s job. I don’t recall whether or not I met any of the faculty at this time. Those were the days when the President assumed the authority to act and everything wasn’t done by committee. The salary for nine months was to be $7290, plus $1400 for the Summer Session which came to $8690. Hyde also noted that I could make a little extra by teaching an extension course each semester. So I was looking at about $9500. possibly.

We spent the night at Mary Lyon Hall in the Guest Room. Very plain but comfortable and with plenty of steam heat. Food was good too. I can’t recall whether we ate in the dining hall or in town. Plymouth was a quaint little town of about 3000 souls. Of course New Hampshire “towns” are areas on a map. Plymouth Town extended from Holderness to Newfound Lake.

I remember waking to a bright sunny Sunday morning. We took a little time to look over Plymouth and then headed back to Baltimore in our 1953 Pontiac. I would hear from Hyde later, probably late April. I was excited at the prospect and possibilities of such a move. But I really didn’t think I had a chance. Helen and Ritchie were excited too although somewhat disbelieving. Ritchie was just 12 years old and would go into the 7th Grade. There was an elementary school connected with the college, serving as a laboratory school and located on the campus. There was also a town high school. We had learned that the Hyde’s had a daughter the same age as Ritchie. We were home Sunday night all with mixed emotions. I wouldn’t dare hope for such a position as a College Dean at 35 years of age. I guess I was pretty confident in those days --  I knew what I wanted and, given the opportunity, I would achieve my objectives. I wanted to be a positive influence and be in a position of authority where I could make a contribution to the education of young people.

And so on Monday I was back at Lombard and Greene, hoping against hope that I would be selected as Dean of Instruction at Plymouth. I recall Hyde asking me how I would deal with authoritative teachers on the faculty, or a former school superintendent (Osgood), old maiden ladies and young whipper-snappers.
I mulled the interview over in my mind many times, even arguing against myself. I went through the motions during the next six weeks or so. On May 19 I received the depressing news that Plymouth had selected an old man from Iowa. Well, that was it! Kaput! Frustrated, I kept after other leads. With no immediate change in the offing, we planned to take an inexpensive two weeks vacation at Colonial Beach the early part of July. Everything else was lackluster.

I believe we were at Colonial Beach over the July 4th, when I received a telegram on the 7th from Hyde at Plymouth. A telegram at Colonial Beach is an event! The ‘gram indicated the successful candidate had reversed his decision and Hyde and the faculty wanted me if I was interested. 1 went down front to the telephone office and called Hyde immediately and confirmed my desire to accept the call. It was great! I still had some vacation time so I arranged to go up to Plymouth on July 19 with Helen and Ritch for several days to look things over and make arrangements for moving. I paid the Great American Teachers Agency $364.50 for services rendered. I really thought I was on my way professionally. As I recall we stayed at the rustic College Lodge on Loon Lake. It was on this visit that we met the Hyde family - Rita and Marianne. They were very hospitable - had us for several meals. I also met some of the faculty - summer session was under way. Of course the student body was made up of teachers from around the State. My office was to be on the second floor of the “White House” where Hyde was on the first. This building housed the Business Office and the Registrar’s Office. Allen Grew was the Business Manager — an older, short, white—haired man from Manchester. Geneva Smith, mathematics, was a pleasant older maiden lady who was very professional in all her dealings and dedicated to helping students. Regis Horace, another maiden lady, taught secretarial subjects and headed the Alumni Association ( I discovered that Judkins and his wife who lived in Rockville and taught at Montgomery Hills Junior High, had both graduated from Plymouth). I won’t comment on each faculty member, but I will say it was an experience I’ll never forget. Some very able, others questionable. The old timers were highly dedicated. I should mention Norton Bagley who was extremely well liked by all. He was Dean of Student Personnel. He had a speech defect which kept him from rising on the administrative ladder, but he was a wonderful friend and colleague. I must mention my Secretary, Gertrude Elsner, “Trudi”. A lovely lady dedicated and hardworking she looked like an Ivy League New England type. Always pleasant and helpful and 100% loyal. She was a real plus.

I was full of excitement in anticipating my role at Plymouth. Helen was less enthusiastic --  she has always thought of the social implications of an address. I have always sought a situation which is personally fulfilling - the address never was important to me. Being appreciated by those I was trying to help was paramount.

I can honestly say that my tenure at Plymouth was one of the most significant periods of my life. We made the move to Plymouth in mid-August 1958 having put money down on a house on Broadway. We had spent a couple of days looking over available real estate with Sue Lavoiseaux --  the local real estate person. Helen liked her. We had looked at everything including the former Dean’s home at 4 Russell Street. He had gone to Central Connecticut College (Teachers) as Director of Graduate Studies. The house was occupied by a Capt. Monier - new on the faculty. Charles Durgin, who owned the Broadway property, was a typical New Hampshirite. He had the clipped speech and accent and all of the mannerisms. When we looked at the house, he was painting the wood trim. As soon as we put money down —he stopped work. Typical in Plymouth.

We had many things to do before leaving Baltimore. Number one was to sell the house. 1958 was a poor year for selling real estate anywhere. We left it in the hands of realtors. We arranged to pay rent in Plymouth until Baltimore was sold. We also paid only interest on the mortgage in Baltimore. I had to think about transferring in the USAR. There was a possibility of commanding the local unit on campus, but that did not materialize. In fact the unit folded. I was a Captain serving as Executive Officer of the 450th CAMG Company which called for -- a Major. I decided I could find a unit to earn my retirement points. It turned out that I had to travel to Manchester for this. At any rate, we packed up and got to Plymouth. The house on Broadway backed onto a dairy farm and in August it gets warm even in NH - the flies and smell really bothered Helen not to mention Ritchie and their allergies. I was busily getting ready for the opening of college in September - only a couple of weeks away. I met more faculty as they wandered curious onto the campus. Sam Abbott (ed. Psych.) rather jerky, Mary Bilheimer (biology -her father had been Athletic Director at Gettysburg when I was there), Robert Ernst (bus. ed.) insecure and sickly although a large man, he was the locally elected municipal judge; John Foley (PE and coach of basketball and baseball, I liked him seemed like a nice fellow - had graduated from a Catholic College and taught only at Plymouth since World War II), Jim Hogan (history) intense, insecure, capable teacher who needed my support; Ken Marrer (ed. and 7th Grade) nervous young fellow - busy trying to find himself - obsequious; Robert Mattison (elem. curr.) hairlip, well intentioned, hardworking but very insecure; Hazen Turner (library) he had worked at the Univ. of Maryland Library when Paul was there; Robert Monier(geography) a retired Air Force (non-flying) officer who belatedly received a Master’s Degree from Syracuse University - a real BS artist, glad-hander, every body’s buddy, tricky, deceitful and loud, a real phoney who wanted to be called “Captain”; Jon Osgood (ed. methods, psych., philos., and admin.) had been Superintendent of Schools a short while in a small NH district. I got on well with him - a simple person and basically honest; George Salmons (physics and science) looked like a professor complete with beard and cigarette drooping from his mouth continually, opinionated, loquacious also Air Force Reserve Lt. Col., very insecure, divorced several times - he had a brilliant son at the local high school; Richard Sanderson (Eng.) a handsome looking fellow, my age, but insecure and introverted - married to Mary Sanderson who taught 7th Grade Social Studies - a beautiful campus queen type (they were both students at Muskingham College) insecure and introverted all the young guys were trying to make time with her; Madie Barrett (For. Lang) about Helen’s age, from Alabama, good teacher and cooperative, I could count on her to try new ideas - her husband, Bill Barrett later joined the faculty in History, but he was a little sick in the head --  had ego problems --  he later left his wife for a student (there was a  lot of that going on).

Karl Drerup (art) a fascinating old world type, extremely professional, he was trained in Germany, married a Jewess and escaped to Florence, they finally escaped to New York. For years he worked in a ceramic factory making toilet bowls. He had psychiatric problems and couldn’t tolerate city life. Came to Plymouth in 1948 and lived in the hills near Lincoln, NH. He was a famous ceramicist as well as painter. Appeared in HOLIDAY Magazine in 1956-57 --  his wife knew the Lits of Philadelphia. He was a rigid disciplinarian in a non-military way. Orderly and frugal --  he saved paint and could improvise materials. A wonderful person to know — son Oliver was a draft resistor and went to Canada during Vietnam.



Corrections from Oliver, Karl Drerup's son:

From: <odrerup@cmhc-schl.gc.ca>
To: <seltzer@seltzerbooks.com>
Subject: Your portrayal of Karl Drerup
Date: Friday, November 08, 2002 3:21 PM

Dear Mr. Seltzer;

From time to time I make a point of researching my Father's name on the internet. As a well known artist Karl Drerup has attracted a wide following and as a result references to the man and his work appear and disappear with regularity. I am very impressed with the prodigious effort you have invested in your life's story, posted on the web, and equally amazed at your ability to remember detail after so many years and experiences.

You write the following concerning my Father: [repeats the text that appears above]

Your memory is remarkable. Please permit me to draw your attention to two corrections.

Karl Drerup did, indeed, work in a toilet bowl factory in Perth Amboy N.J. along with his collaborator von Tury. His reason for doing so was to create various objects d'art not toilet bowls. Many beautiful objects were produced there, particularly lamp bases which were sold through Saks and Georg Jenson. At one time several of these graced the end tables in Mayor Lagardia's office in New York City and some of this work can be seen today in the Brooklyn Museum's permanent collection.

Karl Drerup did not suffer from any psychiatric problems at any time during his 96 years of life. He was confined to a sanatorium (not a sanitarium) as a result of Tuberculosis contracted in his early twenties. Prior to taking his first degree in fine arts from the Berlin Academy he was given a clean bill of health as his long life attests. It is absolutely true, however, that he detested city life which, I think you will agree, is not a symptom of mental illness.

I would be very grateful if you would be so kind as to make these corrections to your narrative. It would serve your memory and the memory of my Father much better.  In all other aspects your write up concerning my family history are  outstandingly accurate.

Thank you in advance for making these changes.

Yours Sincerely,

Oliver Drerup


Walter Smith(music) just arrived prior to opening in September --  I had tried to get John Preston from Rockville - Walt was an intense and capable teacher, I got on well with him and his wife, he was trying to find a satisfying position as was I; Gertrude Stearns(Dean of Women) about at the end of her career, had come from Keene also taught reading in which she was somewhat of an authority. Mark Sylvestre (math) intense young man who tried very hard and was well liked by all; Geneva Smith (math and ed.) I mentioned earlier; Phil Tapply (sec. ed.) a fellow my age had graduated from Plymouth, supervised student teaching, had a daughter Ritchie’s age, we got on well. There were others who taught in the Laboratory School with whom I had some dealings. Malcolm Bownes was the elementary principal - a good fellow.

Another interesting character at Plymouth was Roi White. Roi had graduated from Temple University in theater and he directed all the theater work and taught speech. He was somewhat heavy and wore a hair piece --  I couldn’t tell how old he was. He was reclusive and didn’t socialize probably because he was a homosexual. All that aside he knew how to direct and produce a play or musical. He was well known for his great productions. Liking the theater we got on very well. In fact, I had a part in one of his summer productions in 1962.

In 1958-59 he put on THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, MARY STUART, OF THEE I SING (nephew Wayne was in this one), THE SILVER CORD.

Blair Hall, new men’s dormitory, was started in the fall of 1958 and completed in time for September 1959. It was interesting to observe construction during the New England winter of zero degree weather. They put anti-freeze in the water they mixed with the cement. The shell was completely covered with a clear plastic tarpaulin. A new dining hall and student lounge and snack bar were included.

Rounds Hall (clock tower building) was the oldest building and the main classroom building. There was a new field house which had been built in 1956. Most of the other improvements were renovations of old buildings. Mary Lyon Hall was the women’s dormitory with a bowling alley and book store in the basement. Read Hall was the other female dorm which also housed the dining hail and library. Other buildings were converted houses, e.g., Russell House for senior girls and Strafford House for Home Economics.

I recall organizing the registration for courses in Rounds Hall. It was not my complete plan so I don’t think it worked too well. In subsequent years I organized the activity in the field house in the manner we followed at the University of Maryland. As I mentioned, the first year 1958-59 included 450 students and 20 faculty. By the middle of September I had the extension courses lined up — I did not teach until the second semester. I conducted the faculty meetings that had to do with curriculum and instruction. Initially we met in Rounds Hall classroom. In later years we used the lounge of Silver Hall (field house).

Meanwhile Ritchie was enrolled in 7th Grade and proceeded to lead his class. He produced his own newspaper among other things. He also took on a newspaper route - The Manchester Union Leader. Owned by a man named William Loeb. It was his conservative vehicle of expression --  there was no other paper in New Hampshire. Some folks read the Boston papers or NY Times. We were attending the Congregational Church on the village square -- quaint. Helen and I sang in the choir from the outset. Dean Hodges was the minister. I should have noted that Ritchie was confirmed at St. Paul’s in Baltimore by Dr. Schroeder who did a special favor since there was no Lutheran Church in Plymouth. Ritchie became active in Sunday School and young peoples group. Becky Hodges and Ritchie became friends and when Helen and I had to return to Philadelphia for Aunt Lil’s funeral, the Hodges took him in.

I enjoyed walking to my college office in the crisp morning air. I could see the snow covered mountains of the Presidential Range in the distance. A real thrill. Shortly after the term began, Dr. Stearns became ill and had an operation which put her out of action for the whole first semester. Hyde and I juggled schedules around and I took over teaching Principles of Education — I really enjoyed this because now I had direct contact with students and at last I was teaching at the college level.



 

The People


Carlton Adams owned the local supermarket and was on the State Board of Education. He had money -- lived in a lovely home on Ward Hill. He was a pleasant person and on the Board at Holderness School (an Episcopal school across the Intervale) and gave Helen the information about getting Ritch into Holderness. We very quickly decided that Plymouth High School was a bust as far as Ritch was concerned.. He knew more than the teachers. Then too, Plymouth didn’t offer the classics (Latin, Greek) which he liked so much. So almost immediately Helen got busy on getting Ritch into Holderness. (Hagerman, Headmaster). Holderness took only a few locals and the program covered 9-12. They called the years “forms”. Ritch passed all the entrance exams (SSAT) in great shape during the 8th Grade (tests were held at St. Paul’s in Concord).

The Rands owned most of the business section and ran the hardware store which was a plumbing business and appliance store. The older brother was called Watt and the younger Bob. Bob and wife Julie and Watt and his wife Erma were good friends in those days. We still correspond. We had numerous social functions with the Rands. The mother was also big in the local DAR when Helen got involved.

I should say more about Harold and Rita Hyde because without them Plymouth would have been nothing. They took us under their wing socially and invited us to the inner circle activities so that we met everyone who was of consequence in the area. We had many enjoyable social functions together — parties usually included dinner, bridge, and dancing. Remember there weren’t many places to go for entertainment, particularly in the winter. Plymouth is in the heart of the vacation land so things perked up in the summer with the influx of “Lake People” -- Squam Lake was four miles away. Well, Harold saw to it that I went to the r educational meetings and met the right people including the Commissioner, Charles Ritch and the Governor Powell, Senator Cotton and several Congressmen. Harold liked me and vice versa so we got along very well. We would go on NCATE conferences to Boston, Chicago, and Atlantic City. Rita invited Helen to everything social which helped a great deal. There was no social life in Plymouth for us except the College.

We early met Dr. Olmstead and his wife. The Dr. treated Ritch when he broke his collar bone playing football and later treated Helen when we had two or three cysts in the breasts removed. He was considerate, and older man, graduated from McGill University and had a bit of a drinking problem, but so did half of the New Hampshire population. Liquor was cheap.

Back to Harold Hyde a minute, he got me into Rotary International. I became an avid Rotarian working on the many projects we had going in Plymouth. We had an annual “Penny Sale” which was the major fund raiser. It took place in the High school gymnasium and business people would donate various bits of merchandize which then were auctioned off at so many pennies the bid. Sounds like small potatoes, but we raised several thousands of dollars each year this way. In my last year at Plymouth I was Ways and Means Chairman and took charge of the running of all the Fund Raisers and the annual Concert. The Rotary Concert was an annual memorial event held in the College Auditorium (gym). For several years we had ensembles from the Boston Symphony (each year a different group, e.g., brass, woodwind, string) during my year, I signed Eugene Liszt the pianist. I had heard him during World War II at Camp Lee. So I arranged for the concert - I remember it well. In mid-winter, snow on the ground and more falling. I got a call from Liszt in New York in the AM asking how to get to the College. When it came to concert time 8 PM - no Eugene Liszt! I stalled for 15 minutes and lo and behold who pulls up at the side door - Liszt! He had rented a car in New York and driven the whole way in a snow storm. Without being flustered he quickly changed into his tux and calmly walked onto the stage - 1500 tickets had been sold -the place was packed. Well, he sat on the edge of the stage and chatted with the audience and then commenced to play familiar tunes “Clair de Lune”, “Liebestraum”, etc. — all music which the people in NH could appreciate. I had rented a concert grand Steinway from Hanover, NH for the concert. It was a great success except some long hairs didn’t think he played serious enough music. Helen and I entertained him back at our house. He told stories and drank “boiler makers” -- a shot of whiskey in a glass of beer.

In any event, Rotary was a great source of social contact -not only in Plymouth but throughout the world. I was a member from 1959 to 1980 - not all in Plymouth of course. Dr. B.H. Shanker, the local optometrist, was a Rotarian and a violinist. We got together a number of times to play string quartet “Eine Kleine Nacht Musik”.

Mrs. Sceva Speare was probably better known as “Mrs. Plymouth”. She was a dear woman in her 80’s, articulate, capable, and agile. She was a writer and raconteur of some local note. Her husband had been an important person in Plymouth. The Sceva Speare Memorial Hospital was named for him. Mrs. Speare was DAR and she and Helen got on famously. Her husband had been connected with the College and she had a lasting interest in the education process. She lived to be 97 . Winter snow and ice never slowed her down. Right up to the end she would put on her creepers’’ and take her spiked cane and walk all over the town doing her independent chores.

Irwin Richelson was unique in Plymouth because he was Jewish. There weren’t many Jews in Plymouth, NH for that matter. But Irwin, his wife, children and his parents were admirable people. They owned and operated the local department store. Curiously, Irwin and his wife attended the Episcopal Church. We had lots of fun with them. They it was fun to get together and go to a movie - we did too. Also. we used to go to the Weirs Beach area on Lake Winnepesaukee to hear the Big Bands during the summer. They introduced us to the only Chinese Restaurant in Laconia too. No liquor license --  you had to bring your own wine. We were with them one 4th of July in Laconia and as we were entering the restaurant a kid threw a firecracker from a moving car and it went off right at my feet. I couldn’t hear all evening. The blast blew a hole the size of a half dollar in my pants leg.

Dr. Don Kerr and Suki --  he was the local Chiropractor. A nice fellow who loved to ski. Suki was skinny and sexy. She was perhaps one of the “wild ones” in Plymouth, but Don and she were in the social group we knew. He later broke his ankle skiing and his personality changed completely. They were divorced after we left Plymouth.

Leon Huntress was a curious enigma in Plymouth. Apparently quite bright, he did not have much formal education, but he read a lot and was a spell-binding speaker. He would often preach the lay sermon in the Congregational Church. Then we found out that he had served several years in the State Penitentiary in Concord for embezzlement of NH Electric Power funds. He was picturesque with his white hair and moustache and quite independent. He told of sunbathing in the nude in the middle of Winter in Waterville Valley. A year or so after we left he was killed when his car crushed him while he tried to stop it rolling down the hill as the brake gave way.

One of the major industries in Plymouth was the Miller Shoe Tree Company. Yes, they made shoe trees and of course other shoe accessories. The principle element in the shoe tree was the hard birch wood which was available locally. The waste wood was in the form of spindles about 12” long and 2” in diameter Being hard wood, these spindles were great for fireplaces. They burned like coal. The manager was Richard Godfrey who was also in Rotary. He was an interesting fellow - very capable. His wife was from Maine and seemed very homey. Their daughter, Charmin, was in Ritch’s class --  they went to parties together. The father, Dick Godfrey, got me interested in building a boat for use on Squam Lake, but that’s another story.

To live in the Lakes Region one did not belong unless one had a boat on the Lake. The summers of 1959 and 60 we were guests on other boats, but by September 1960, I started building my own cabin cruiser. The barn at 4 Russell Street was perfect for building a boat. Walter Rowland (Mil’s husband) did me a big favor by jacking up the floor of the barn and putting cement blocks under the main beam. He knew all about these things. ordered the boat, which was somewhat precut, in August and it arrived by freight in September. Well, I had plenty of boat building advice. Bill Chase, Dick Godfrey and Walter. I read the plans and proceeded. I learned very quickly that English as noted on blueprints is not the English we all know. The main framing members and ribs were precut and assembled. My job was to set them up, upside down so I would be working on the boat bottom first. I assembled the tools I needed - electric drill, Stanley rasp, saw, screw drivers and attachments for the drill. Work progressed slowly until Winter set in. I then got some surplus tube lights through Bill Chase and Dick Godfrey showed me how to set up a sheet-metal stove, with stovepipe and a 20” fan behind it. I also collected a couple of loads of spindles.
The boat was made primarily from marine mahogany plywood. It proved to be a great material to work with. It could be shaped and cut easily and yet it would last in the water. I should mention the boat was classified as a 19’ Cabin Cruiser with outboard on a stern extension. By Christmas I had all of the frame together - glued and screwed. As the winter weather set in I would get my fire going until the stove was red hot then turn on the fan to circulate the warm air. I could get it up to 65-70 degrees while 10 degrees outside. I needed to warm up the barn to get the bottom planks in place. They had to bend in two directions which meant I had to soak them for hours with hot water rags so they became flexible. Once in that condition I would glue and screw from stem to stern. It took several weeks of tedious work on my part to get this accomplished. In the middle of winter (it must have been January) Walter came up and helped with the epoxy bottom treatment. Epoxy sets quickly and you can’t correct any mistakes. Plus you need 70 degree temperature. Walt would lay out the spun glass cloth and we would get the heat up then mix the epoxy and brush it quickly. It really made a hard and impenetrable surface. Walt really knew what he was doing. The stuff hardened almost immediately - any globs had to be sanded off. Once the epoxy bottom was on we could turn the hull over and shore it up to work on the top deck and interior. The cruiser was quite nice when finished - I was amazed - the only thing I ever built was a wooden bookend set in 7th Grade. Curiously, I don’t remember Ritchie ever helping with the building. I could be mistaken. I built the cabin, installed the deck and outrigger. Painting came in the Spring - Walt supplied me with marine paint and hardware from his business. He also provided the steering mechanism, electric starting, chrome cleats and running lights.

He also got me a very nice chrome spotlight. I think I only paid cost. It was a real challenge installing the plexiglas windshield and flying bridge. I also bought a 35 hp Evinrude motor through Walt ($395). Well, by May 30, 1961 we were ready for launch. Godfrey brought his trailer around. It never occurred to me to measure the barn door to make sure we could get the boat out. A miracle - it fit. We rolled it out with some neighborhood help and got it on the trailer - it looked quite nice. We got it over to the marina at Holderness between Big and Little Squam where I had rented a slip. Godfrey let it into the water -wonder of wonders, it didn’t sink and floated evenly in the water with the water line painted on correctly. Helen couldn’t understand why I didn’t want a launching party - I didn’t know if it would float.

I was thrilled when, with Helen aboard, we edged out of the Marina and into Big Squam. The engine responded to my controls, it reved up and we cruised to that speed where the boat planed -it leveled off. That was the crowning glory. So for three summers we had great fun boating around the interesting shore line, into and out of coves, church on Church Island, swimming, on Mooney Island, nighttime cookouts. We did everything and the water was class “A” you could drink. Sundays we would go out for the day and fish. Helen and Ritch did OK but not me. Eventually, I bought a custom top which made it classy. I recall Ruth and Bill Riddiough, Aunt Sallie and Frances Dykes, and Mother and Dad among others who enjoyed boating. I didn’t mention that Helen and I had been attending USCG Power Squadron Classes at Interlakes High School (Meredith, NH) all winter -- we were qualified to go boating.

Back to the College and the locale. The one thing that impressed me so favorably about Plymouth and New Hamphsire was the quality of life. The pace of life was delightful! Gone was the hurly burly, hustle and bustle of Washington, DC and Baltimore. The typical attitude in Plymouth was “take it easy”. I simply took things easy. There were very few night meetings and those which took place were concluded by 9 PM. A slow routine was just what I needed. The College and community assumed the same behavior pattern. You have something in mind, think about it. We’ll think about it tomorrow and then we’ll plan when we do it --  perhaps next year.

Before I go on about the quality of life , I must note that Helen was dissatisfied with the house on Broadway. You know her, when she got the lay of the land she found out that was not the address she wanted. She wanted to be in 4 Russell Street - the former Dean’s house. I admit it carried a certain quality with it. The house needed a lot of work and the owner wanted to unload it. This plus we finally sold our Baltimore property. So we were able to buy 4 Russell Street -- 19 rooms, barn and garage in bad shape. The price $10,500 --  down from $12,500 --  not a bad price. Helen in her best style, worked with one of the local carpenters, Bob Dunn (wife Virginia) and over the period of a year or two redid the bathroom, finished a recreation room between kitchen and barn, put in new wiring and floor tile. I also did much of the work because you couldn’t always get someone to work for you in Plymouth. So we moved in in January 1959 -- it was a cold winter.

One night, at minus 25 degrees the oil heater shut down. The local oil man came over in the middle of the night and with a 55 gallon drum managed to pump oil into the system and kept it from freezing until the next day -- a miracle, but he had to make the decision himself. We ended up putting in a new oil tank in the basement. The old one was full of gunk underground in the front yard. Once the furnace worked, the house was comfortable --  nothing like steam heat. I loved that old place even in the deep of winter. The wind would howl and the trees would creak as the temperature went below zero.

To illustrate further the attitude toward life in Plymouth, the big frame house needed paint very badly. In the Fall of 1959 we made an appointment “to talk with the painter”. He came one evening and listened and quite calmly told me, “Well, now its just about huntin’ season and I’ve got my dogs to train. Now in the Spring I got to get ready for the tourists and then there’s fishing needs to be done - maybe next Fall we can look at the job.” In my impatience I bought 15 gals. of gray house paint and 2 gals. of white for trim and started painting in May. That old building soaked up 50 gals. before I was done by Labor Day. I also had one of the College students help me with the highest pinnacle - it required a 40’ ladder and even then you had to stretch. In addition I had to tear down the broken down garage before painting. What a difference! But I learned that you don’t tell the craftsmen in New Hampshire what or when to do anything.

In another year I was better adjusted to the slower life, I think. Ritchie and I rigged up a basketball backstop in the second floor of the barn —in the half when we weren’t storing things for Dr. Stearns. In the Fall of 1959 we took in two students -young men — because the College was crowded and short of dorm space. Ritchie slept in the middle room. The next year we took in Helen’s nephew Wayne. I managed to bend some rules and got him admitted to Plymouth. His high school record was deficient and he still needed some credits. Helen was the prime mover here. He should thank her for his education, not me.

This was the year Ritch began at Holderness. Wayne was with us two full years and then roomed with other students over on Squam Lake the other two. He graduated in June 1964 the same year Ritch finished at Holderness.

Pascoe Roberts, a Rotarian and husband of Charlotte Dole (pineapple), was a good friend and helped with rewiring some parts of the house. He was a boater as well as a tennis player. He was real friendly until we gave him a gift for helping with all the work - then we heard nothing more from him or Charlotte.

I continued my playing of violin, saxophone and piano. Frequently, I sat in with the College band and helped with concerts. I also played violin in the show OF THEE I SING in the pit orchestra. I always believed it was incumbent upon me to be as supportive of all activities as I could be. Walt Smith helped me buy a new Bundy Alto sax for $180 (list $300) and I subsequently played a number of dance jobs with the pick up band Walt would bring together. In the summer of 1959 I began playing in the Town band in the band stand on the Common. We concerts every Wednesday evening during July and August. There I met Peter Brown who played trombone, had an orchestra of his own and was doing graduate work at Plymouth. By September I was playing with Peter Brown almost every weekend - all the way from Rochester, NH, to Lebanon, NH. It was fun and the extra money didn’t hurt. Everyone seemed to have a problem in New Hampshire. Peter Brown was having marriage trouble, the trumpet player drank too much and would disappear for weeks at a time.

One summer playing in the town band we had a visiting concert in Lincoln (Mil and Walt and family were with us at the time). They had built a special lighted band stand for the event. It was a warm night so I wore a short sleeved shirt in keeping with the season. I couldn’t understand why all the locals had long sleeves with collars up and caps on their heads. We started to play and soon a whole cloud of black flies descended on the band - small biting flies on my hairy arms - as they cooled off they flew back up to the lights (we played well then) warmed up and descended again. What a night! I felt eaten alive The audience sat in their cars and instead of applauding, blew their car horns.

The other classic band story is about Columbus Day 1959. Usually the College was in session, but on this particular date it was closed so I planned to march with the Plymouth Town Band in the Center Sandwich fair parade. This was the day the Lake people traditionally closed up their homes for the season. It was a terrific celebration. Center Sandwich is nothing more than a village with a church in the center. The Band lined up -- first in line! This was great because all the locals brought their horses and prize cattle to march in the parade. We were OK though because we were first in line. We thought! Meanwhile a backing car had bent the wheel on the bass drum cart so it couldn’t go straight. We stepped off - sounded pretty good. But then the parade went around the Common a second and a third time - the horses and cattle having gone ahead of us made stepping hazardous and tricky - if not messy. The band leader was an old fellow - in his 80’s - and wore an ill-fitting uniform of sorts. He also played a baritone horn as he lead us. After the parade the band played in concert at the picnic area. There was a lot of barbequed chicken, sideshow acts, even a boxing challenge. A burly fellow would take on any comer, and if the corner stayed 3 rounds he won $5. What a bloody mess! They even had a burlesque tent for the men to visit. Like something out of the movies. Somehow Helen and I got into the company of a Mr. Foster and his wife (he was the band teacher at the Plymouth High School). We had all piled into his little foreign car for the trip to Center Sandwich. He played a baritone horn in the band, but we did not know at the time that he had a drinking problem. He was drinking wine out of a jug while driving the little car. Somehow we got home safely.

In August of each year, Plymouth was the site of the regional State Fair --  just like the musical show except much more quaint. The Fair Grounds were located across the valley in a picturesque area near the Town dump (which was always smoldering). In August 1959 I was asked by the Fair leadership to serve as judge of several activities one of which was the parade. I had no idea what would be involved, but was pleased on being asked. You must recall the National scene in 1959. This was the time of “Freedom Riders” — these were Negroes who would ride busses into Southern towns and go where Negroes never went before to bring about desegregation of the races in public places. By the summer of 1959 we were experiencing “reverse Freedom Riders” Negroes from the South who were being sponsored by “do-gooders” to go to New England by the bus load to “desegregate the North”. Such a caravan had arrived in Concord, NH. that summer so the topic was on the front page of the MANCHESTER UNION LEADER. Now, it is one thing for Negroes to travel to the warm South and quite another to go to New England. New Hampshire in August has cold nights and sometimes frost. There is no such thing as Southern States humidity which is the Negroes’ preferred climate. Now at the Fair, I was judging the floats, bands, marching, displays, etc. in the parade. One of the entrants was a group of white people made up in Black Face and riding in a little wagon -- as “Reverse Freedom Riders . There were all sorts of costumes and horses and cattle in the parade. I was seated on the platform on the track as the bands and marchers passed. I thought the “Reverse Freedom Riders” was very unique. Everyone laughed. The end result of the Negro experiment in New Hampshire - they all packed up and rode their bus South after the first snow in October. We never heard about them again.

The Choir at the Congregational Church was another experience. Ellen was the organist -- a huge, jolly woman, had married a Negro and had a nice brilliant white daughter and a Mulatto son --  she was really quite talented, but very earthy. She loved to tell dirty stories to the choir just before we entered the choir loft. The choir director was Lillian Allen, an older woman probably in her --  50’s who was married for the first time to a mechanic while we were in Plymouth.

I mentioned my administering the extension course program at the College. This was quite extensive for a small college, but we did have a mission to serve the teachers in our part of the state. In the Spring of 1959 I taught Techniques of Counseling in Hanover, and the following Fall I taught the same course at Interlakes High School (Meredith). I also taught the course on campus in the evening, then I also taught Principles of Education and the real challenge, Philosophy of Education. I worked hard on the latter because never really understood philosophy that well myself. I also was a member of the New Hampshire Speakers Bureau and gave a number of talks around the state to parents, community and teaching groups. I also got involved with the NH Education Association being first Vice President of the Higher Education group and then President. My most important committee function was working with Governor Powell during 1961-62 and 1962-63 on the feasibility of consolidating the Teachers Colleges into the University of New Hampshire structure. There was a move across the nation to expand the Teachers College function and include more Liberal Arts. There was an increasing demand for higher education beyond teacher preparation. In addition, I saw such consolidation as a way to improve the lot of the Teacher College faculty since the University was so much better off. Better salaries and benefits. So I spoke in favor of the merger, keeping the three campuses intact, but identifying Keene and Plymouth as Campuses of the University of New Hampshire. It finally came to be a year or so after I left. I felt that this was an accomplishment for me.

On numerous occasions I represented Plymouth Teachers College at convocations on other campuses, e.g., Keene, Colby, Gorham (Maine), and New England (Henniker, and the University of New Hampshire in Durham. I enjoyed this association.

I also ran the student assemblies at Plymouth, so I had numerous opportunities to address the student body. On one such occasion in 1960, when John Kennedy was running in the Presidential Primary, his Mother (Rose) came to Plymouth. I had a nice chat with her and told her I was from Washington, DC, to which she replied, "Well, you must come to see us in the White House”. She must have been in her 70’s then. She ended her talk by saying to the audience -- .. “it was nice to have visited in Plymouth, Massachusetts.” That went over like a lead balloon!

A big responsibility I had during the 1960’s was organizing the faculty for the purpose of revising the curriculum. This was a long and involved process. I did a lot of writing, talking and cajoling, among other things. We ended up with undergraduate and graduate catalogs dated 1963. I prepared these. I initiated the Art Education and Music Education majors.

While at Plymouth, I was looking ahead to being president of a college somewhere, if possible, so I frequently was under consideration. The first I recall was Gorham Teachers College in Portland, Maine - that went to a former teacher and Dean. The most serious consideration was for Director of Graduate Studies at Central Connecticut State College. The offer was made in the Spring of 1962, a time when I was preparing the faculty for self-evaluation prior to a visit and evaluation by the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools -- our accrediting group. Hyde was counting on me to lead the faculty through this visit in 1962-23 so I declined the Connecticut offer. I kicked myself ever after. One must take advantage of opportunities. Selection of a college president is a very political matter. I even looked into several positions in Pennsylvania. Visited Shippensburg -- as a candidate for Dean (Dr. Heiges).

Meanwhile, I was hiring most of the new faculty at Plymouth. These were years of very fast growth at the College. By 1963 the student body was about 1200 and the faculty had increased to take care of the students. I brought in many fine people who improved the quality of education at the College. Dr. Robert Pugh in History from University of Illinois; Dr. Patricia Plante in English (later became a Dean at Fordham U. and married an ex- priest). Most professionals with any ambition left Plymouth after a few years for better situations - pay was often the factor. We could not compete with most colleges and universities. College faculty were in great demand at this time. I brought in Van Hartman as Dean of Students when Norton Bagley went back to teaching. Van lived with us most of one year while he made arrangements for his family. He died a year or so after I left Plymouth. (his wife had married the local maintenance man a former State Trooper). Barbara Dearborn in Mathematics, a terrific teacher and attractive - married to a race car driver; Ferdinand Helm in English, he was a Classics Scholar of the old school even though he was queer. Ruth Paul in Physical Education did a great job with the women students.

Plymouth is located in the foothills of the White Mountains in the central lake region of New Hampshire. The area abounds in beautiful countryside, vistas and majestic mountains. We enjoyed our five years in NH driving around during each season of the year and soaking up the local beauty and culture Mother Nature had to offer. The drive to Franconia Notch, past the Old Man In The Mountain (Hawthorne), past Mount Washington - we never took the cog railway or drove the mountain road - did go up the cable car at Franconia.. These were places we would take visitors. The view from the top was spectacular. On around the Northern route we would go through Crawford Notch and down Route 16 to North Conway. Helen and I enjoyed the numerous antique shops and we acquired a number ourselves. Yield House (early American furniture) was in Conway and we visited the factory many times. We would continue on down over to Meredith and Laconia and come back to Plymouth the back way. The Fall beauty was unmatched particularly in the Center Sandwich area. In the Winter we would drive to Waterville arid the Inn. It was here that Ritch learned to ski. Helen and I both gave it a try. I didn’t do too well because of an old back injury, but Helen did well. She even skiied regularly with a group of women in Plymouth. This sport was a major activity in NH - when it snowed everyone was all smiles - not like in Philadelphia. In fact, in areas like Conway, the schools would close on Wednesday afternoons so that everyone could ski. Of course, Laconia was another big ski area with Penny Petou (olympic skiier in 1960).

In season, we enjoyed visiting the numerous fruit orchards. We became real fans of the MacIntosh apple which abound there. Then from May to October there were the auctions. A regular source of local entertainment- you could even get good buys. Even Ritch enjoyed these - he bought books, chairs, trunks -all in the l0~ to 50~ range. You could spend a whole day at an auction. During the summer, entertainment opened up in the Lake Winnepesaukee area. WE would hear big bands, e.g., Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey; go to drive-in movies and listen to band concerts. We also extended ourselves to journey down to Boston several times a year - it was a three hour drive then. We would shop at Jordan Marsh, see a play, a baseball game in Fenway Park, and even a Celtics basketball game. Long distance drives really meant nothing. Practically every week we would drive 16 miles to Laconia to go shopping.

Famous historical personalities in Plymouth include: Robert Frost poet laureate who got his start teaching at the old academy in Plymouth for a year when he was 20, I am told; then there was Daniel Webster who they say won his first legal case in Plymouth; Nathaniel Hawthorne visited Plymouth and stayed in the Old Pemigewasset House when he allegedly wrote his famous poem “The Great Stone Face”.

At the College, I became the faculty sponsor for the first fraternity on campus - Phi MU Kappa - it later became national as Tau Kappa Epsilon, coincidence? Actually, a group of the young men students had asked me if I would sponsor the fraternity. I helped them as much as I could. I was also active on the Board of Management for the Student Activities Center which included the fledgling snack bar - a popular spot in the lower level of Blair Hall. It made a profit too.

By November 1962 enrollment reached approximately 900 - double when I began there. Growth continued - by 1967 the Freshmen numbered 600.

Ritchie entered Holderness School in the Fall of 1960. He took to the academic environment like a duck takes to water. He took his Latin, Greek, and French. He went through Algebra I and II, Plane Geometry and Solid, Trigonometry, and Calculus. He plowed through Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. He seemed to thrive on the competition of achieving excellence. The end result - he ended up each year with the Highest academic average. He was the first student in Holderness history to achieve this record for each of his four years. He won the Harvard Book Award, French Award (he won a French Award for the State of New Hampshire) - I can’t remember all of the other awards. We were thrilled and proud as parents at each commencement. Ritchie certainly made good use of his time. I recall Dante Fiore as his French teacher, Father Judge his Latin and Greek teacher, and Donald Hagerman his Headmaster. One nice thing about the Holderness program was that everyone participated in athletics - if not a star at least a participant. He played soccer, ran distance in track, and even tried ice hockey. We enjoyed attending the various contests and watched him grow and improve in all the activities. Since Ritchie was a day student, I had to get him back and forth. The Rands also went from town so we shared the transportation chores. It was usually 10 PM before I could bring him home -study hour you know!

Somewhere during this time - when Ritchie turned 16 - I taught him to drive. He was a very apt student so teaching him was a pleasure. He learned on the 1953 Pontiac. He would drive to and from Holderness, with me present of course and then finally he took the driving test at the Plymouth National Guard Armory --  he passed with flying colors.

During our tenure at Plymouth we took several interesting trips. In the summer of 1959, June I believe, we drive to Tennessee to see all of Helen’s relatives. We had a delightful time with Aunt Sallie --  she was such a gracious hostess. Ritchie got to ride a horse and rode a wagon with Whicker and watched him prepare chickens for dinner --  he spun the head off.

Aunt Sallie had hams curing , made corn bread and muffins, and took us all over her plantation in her car. We had a big time at Reelfoot Lake with Aunt Sallie, Aunt Lidy Kate -they were cute, each one trying to outdo the other in entertaining us. Aunt Sallie had a young boy Rich’s age come along for company. Some keen competition developed and at one point the two of them waded into a pond to catch carp with their hands. Rich wasn’t to be outdone - he pulled out a number, besting the other boy.

Our route to Tennessee took us to Ohio where we visited with Phil and family (Lordstown). Rich and John were about the same age and had a chance to get acquainted. We were back in New Hampshire in time for the Summer Session.

In June 1960 we took an interesting trip to Quebec. I plotted a direct Route up Rte 3 through Colebrook arid the Connecticut Lakes on up to the St. Lawrence River. I learned a lot about road maps - they don’t always tell the condition of the roads. The country was deserted! Beautiful but unoccupied -we felt like pioneers. Our first Canadian town was having a religious festival with procession — carrying crosses and the Blessed Virgin. No one spoke English - and we couldn’t find a toilet that worked either. About the time we got to Thetford Mines, I discovered I had knocked a hole in my muffler going over the rocky roads. I waited until we got to Quebec to repair it. We chose Quebec because Helen Knew French and we wanted Rich to have the experience. We stayed at Amiyot’s Tourist Home --  very nice and saw old Quebec. It was like being in old Europe. We hit the tourist traps and soon learned to go around by ourselves. We ran across a group of university students who were doing a native play (in French) - we went in and had an enjoyable evening. Helen and Rich pretty well understood what was going on and I was busy trying to comprehend from cognates. I enjoyed the battlefield on the Plains of Abraham and the fortifications of the pre-American Revolution days. Our journey back was uneventful.

I believe the following year we had Roland from Strasbourg, France. on an exchange through Rotary. Gay Rowland (Helen’s niece) was with us for several weeks and then we took her to Boston to fly back to Philadelphia. Rich was cutting lawns and washing dishes at a restaurant as I recall. During these years we also had Joyce with us for about six weeks. Then there was the Mohammedan Indian Guhl Muhammed Kahn (they all seemed to be called that) from Lahore, Pakistan. That was an unusual visit. We had been planning on a female student from Switzerland so Helen had prepared a big ham -no go. Then she got lunch meat --  no again. We finally struggled through with something or other.

In 1962, or earlier, Rich spent a number of weeks on Bear Island in the Winnepesaukee. It was a scholarship deal sponsored by the College in outdoor education. It was a beautiful place for learning about nature, plus canoeing, swimming, water skiing. Rich only tolerated it. He showed everyone that he could do it and then he went his own way --  just like the newspaper route and cutting the grass. On the latter, he would cut all sorts of designs in the lawn, even tic-tac-doe!

The year we left Plymouth, 1963, Rich left on a summer long exchange to Paris through Dante Fiore at Holderness. This was between his Junior and Senior years. We drove him to Montreal where he left on a Holland America Line ship. He returned on the Queen Mary to New York where we met him.

The College faculty was beginning to annoy me. They all seemed to have some personality quirk or hang up. Jerry Friend, in music, whom I hired was reported to be drinking on the job. Students were complaining. When I questioned him I found that he thought nothing of swallowing Listerine during the day -- he was in fact an alcoholic. We fired him.
 



 

Significant accomplishments


I numbered my tenure as Dean at Plymouth as one of the high points in my career. The second was my experience as Superintendent of Schools in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. But before this, I had to get back to Pennsylvania. Since the college president objective wasn’t feasible and Helen was bugging me to return to Pennsylvania. I sent out notices and among the responses was the position at Bristol, Pa. I arranged an interview in March of 1963 and we stayed with Bill and Ruth Riddiough in Roslyn. Helen thought it was great to be back in Pennsylvania. I was somewhat intrigued with the idea but not particularly enthusiastic. Bristol is one of the older Pennsylvania communities going back to William Penn in the 1640’s - his country place, Pennsbury Manor, was just North on the Delaware River. I suppose the challenge in the position was that I would be the top executive. Bristol was then a small district of 1500 students, a Junior-Senior High School (relatively new), an old elementary and a new one (Warren Snyder) named for the retiring Superintendent. There was stability in the Bristol system - Snyder had been there for forty years. In 1963 Bristol was in limbo. Economically, not well off - decaying like numerous other urban areas. There was an indigenous black population which had been there for a century or more, a large and growing Catholic population( there were the Italians and the Irish) in separate churches. About half the community was Protestant. The advantages connected with Bristol were mainly, proximity to Philadelphia and access to colleges and universities. Bristol was for years a basketball powerhouse -curiously, size had little to do with it. Of course, almost every house had a basketball hoop in the driveway and then the summer program was heavily basketball. Morrisville was the traditional rival. I’m getting ahead of my story.

In March we visited Bristol and I met with the Board. Italians and Irish ostensibly on the Public School Board to keep taxes down because their own children attended the parochial schools. One Jewish (Joe Popkin, shoe merchant) member was sincerely looking out for the future of the public schools. Well, the visit was successful. A week after the visit I was offered the position at $12,000. As Dean I was at $10,500. I thought the possibilities for progress were better in Bristol. In addition, Helen was getting sick of the long severe Winters - the Winter of 1963 had been particularly rough. It seemed to snow every other day. I was shoveling snow off the porch roof so we could see out of the windows. There were three feet of snow on the ground in March. Well, as you would expect, I accepted the offer and began making plans to move in June as soon as the College term ended - this was on June 5 with Commencement. We thought perhaps Ritch would attend public school in Pennsylvania, but in the meantime he was going to France.
We arranged to rent a house in Edgely on Radcliffe Street (not in Bristol proper) from Popkin’s brother. It was a one story ranch type - it sat back from the Delaware River - the property on the River belonged to Ann Hawkes Hutton. We could see the big ships on the river en route to Fairless Steel.

Meanwhile, Helen sold 4 Russell Street and we were all packed on the 5th. So away we went. Rich was en route to France and we headed for Pennsylvania. Helen was happy. I wasn’t so sure --  I liked the pace in New Hampshire, the tranquility. I did command a certain respect which by virtue of my position, made it difficult to know who our real friends were. A number of the faculty were sincere in their good wishes. I was given a certificate for a College Chair to be ordered later (it was 1983 before I got it!). Mary Bilheimer was the prime mover in this gift - I had encouraged student groups to give chairs to the college so we would have decent seats on stage. Her father and I had become friends through his efforts to get me into the Masonic Lodge. I did acquiesce and was taken into Masonry that Spring in 1963. I never really cared for the ritual or the hockus-pockus. It was too much like a college fraternity with all the mystery. But it made Bilheimer happy.

So we settled in Bristol, or Edgely. One interesting thing about the area was the abundance of antiques and dealers. Helen and I enjoyed collecting within our financial limits. There were a number of furniture finishers in the Bucks County area and we had a number of pieces fixed up. I shouldn’t pass over the biggest event of the spring - Helen was pregnant (at 43). Dr. Crane (Plymouth) swore it was a virus even though “the frog died He told Helen to have it done again in Bristol. She did and she was. A whole new level of living was before us. I was 40. So we found an obstetrician and began gathering baby things -after all, there were 18 years between the children. We acquired a lovely white canopied baby bed and began fixing up the baby’s room. Helen was happy being back in the Philadelphia area where her sisters and some friends were. I jumped into my new job with zest. I had the month of June with Snyder still at hand to fill me in. The budget was prepared and approved and by July I was my own boss. In those days there was a shortage of teachers, particularly elementary level and Bristol didn’t have much to offer. I managed to hire enough qualified replacements by September. I quickly found out about the cliques and groups in town. I became part of the community by joining the Rotary Club. Church was another matter. We really didn’t attend in Bristol. I sensed strong factions vying with one another and felt it better to stay out of that part of the community. The Negro on the Board was Mrs. Davis who was very supportive in her quiet way.

I did not try to change things in Bristol. I was finding out ‘what the powers that be’ were. There was a high school principal who wanted to be the Superintendent, but was unqualified and there was an older female elementary principal who had her own ideas and a neurotic male elementary principal who was afraid of his shadow. Bristol was a labor town — Unions were big business. The President of the School Board was an unemployed Union Leader. Also a big Italian population. The family Mangione was big there. The solicitor was one and another taught at the high school when he wasn’t busy at his jewelry shop - they were very hospitable and invited us to their home several times. A teacher named Mary Washington was also very nice and invited us to the race track called Liberty Bell - harness racing - our first experience with a harness race. We haven’t been back since.

In my usual style, I made it my business to visit teachers in their classrooms. I would always discuss my reactions with the teacher afterward --  some appreciated this -- others who were insecure, hated my visits. A number of the teachers were good, a larger number were mediocre and a small number were failures. The high school Librarian was neurotic, psychotic and incapable of speaking clearly - she had a severe speech defect. All of these characteristics could be tolerated, but I very early had complaints that she wouldn’t open the library when students were available. She was anti-social and ate her lunch and drank her coffee in the library office attracting roaches and ants. In addition she was unpleasant to talk to. I thought it my duty to remove her from such an important post. After many attempts to get her to change her procedures and accommodate students who wanted to use the library, I proceeded to inform her that she must change or leave. Well, she went off her rocker. She came to the Board about ‘harassment’. Trumped up stories of people spying on her. She really was mentally ill and couldn’t cope with students or anyone else for that matter. I finally worked her around to resigning. What disturbed me was the lack of action on the part of the Principal to do anything about her. This happened a number of times when I was Superintendent - Principals and others in positions of responsibility would come forward and do the job - they were interested in maintaining the status quo rather than roughen the waters. In Bristol there were a number of incompetents who should have been removed, but it was such a job to get done. Those days we didn’t have unions to contend with either.

That first summer in Bristol we learned we had a French student coming to spend six weeks with us - this was supposed to be the other part of Ritchie’s exchange. What were we going to do with a French kid? Helen pregnant and me new on the job. I appealed to the Rotary Club - two or three took the student for a week or so and Anne Hawks Hutton took him for a few days. The student was from Paris and a very undesirable guest. Not like Roland in New Hampshire. This one expected to be waited upon and after being with Ann Hawks Hutton where he had his own car, he complained about my Pontiac Grand Prix. I could have hit him. Here he was getting royal entertainment and poor Rich was sleeping in lofts and bouncing from home to home. He was really ungrateful in every respect.

Rich returned on the Queen Mary and we met him at the pier. We discussed his attending Neshaminy High School, but in the final analysis he wanted to finish up at Holderness. We managed to get some more scholarship aid for him through the school so he boarded there the final year. Academically he did beautifully.

The Bristol experience was more frustrating than anything else. I was soon looking elsewhere. By Christmas and New Years we were planning on the new arrival. Then on January 7 we headed for Lower Bucks County Hospital. It turned out that the administrator was a woman - the sister of Joe Tarallo from Rockville, MD. Sallie was born on January 8, 1964. The doctor allowed me into the Delivery Room so I could see my daughter arrive. I recall as her head appeared, he said, "What’s it going to be -- a boy or a girl?” I said, “Girl!” I was right and what a beauty! Helen was only partially sedated so she welcomed Sallie too. It was quite an experience. The weather was cold and icy — it snowed a couple of days earlier and the roads were icy. Sallie was a healthy baby! Helen nursed only a day or two and then switched her to the bottle so she would get enough to eat. It finally came out that she was a RH Negative --  it became clear why the doctor was concerned, but then we knew very little about the RH factor. Never mind, Sallie was healthy. She had a ‘strawberry’ mark on the back of her neck, but that disappeared as the doctor predicted.

Soon after Sallie was born and home, we began looking for a larger home. We ended up buying a corner lot in Feasterville and had ‘Bambi’ stone colonial home built. It was scheduled for occupancy in August. Meanwhile I was a finalist for the new Atlantic County Community College Presidency. Helen never liked New Jersey for living so I withdrew from consideration. Too bad, the Board liked me and would have appointed me to that position. Once again Helen was concerned about an ‘address’. Several other bids came to my attention, but I wasn’t really interested until I heard from Lower Moreland.

George Raab was Bucks County Superintendent and later Executive of the Intermediate Unit and lived in Doylestown. He was supportive and helpful in pushing me up the ladder professionally. Anton Hess (I had met him in Paoli when he was Principal of Conestoga High School) was now Superintendent of Schools in Doylestown (Central Bucks School District), Dr. Paul Phillips was Superintendent of Morrisville - he was also friendly. Through the Intermediate Unit or County Office, I was named to the Community College Study Committee to plan for a public in Bucks County. I was also selected for an NDEA Institute (Federal money) to study innovative methods of learning. It was a 2 week affair and took me to suburban New York and Santa Monica, California. It was a stimulating affair. I’m sure many of my ideas for improving education came from this experience (Rand Corporation).

I had an interesting meeting with the Lower Moreland School Board at the Buck Hotel in Feasterville in July 1964. Bob Derby was President, Sterling Spielman, Harriet Andersen, Margaret Kean, Raymond Baker(Sec), Bob Reifsnyder are some I remember on the Board. They seemed like a fine group of upstanding Christian men and women who had similar objectives to The upshot of the visit was a contract for $l5,000./yr. (this was $2000 more than Bristol was going to pay.) Lower Moreland was an “upper socio-economic” community. In individual wealth it ranked second in the Philadelphia area to Lower Merion. There was a strong financial base and plenty of room for growth and expansion. It was a promising professional opportunity for me. My competition was very keen and I felt good upon being selected.

I met Alice Ridgway, the Elementary Principal -- a large woman unmarried, with a heart of gold and warmth for children that was her strong suit. George Robinson, Junior Senior High School Principal - a very pleasant person who had taught in Lower Moreland before the war; Bob Shafer, Assistant Principal-Industrial Arts, older and quiet but effective (his brother was Superintendent in Bensalem, Bucks County whom I knew), Mary Hall Secretary to the Supervising Principal. A wonderful lady, secretary and friend. Very loyal and hardworking -dependable.

I had a tour of the school district with the leaving Supervising Principal Chiverton, I believe. At that time the small districts were under the County Superintendent. He lived opposite the Pine Road Elementary School --  a relatively new building.

When I arrived on the job in August 1964, Lower Moreland School District numbered 1555 students with a faculty of about 50. My office was in the ‘White House’ on Red Lion Road across from the Fire House. It had formerly been the residence of an earlier Sup. Prin. Mr. Hoke. Next door was the Red Lion Road Elementary School - it was expanded from the oldest school building in the district, now it had a modern gymnasium just added. This stood next to the Schmidt Dairy Farm which covered 60 some acres — a rather decrepit run down affair. Then there was the Pine Road Elementary School, a few years old. The Junior-Senior High School was on Murray Avenue. This was a rather old (1930’s with additions) building which was the hub of the district because it housed the auditorium and gym. As I mentioned earlier, the community of Huntingdon Valley was a rather rural area in 1964. The building boom had not really hit yet. The newest homes were in the Greenridge section near the Pine Road School. Everything else was old and established. There were some new homes in the George Road and Valley Road areas. Most of the building was high quality single dwelling variety. There had been a need for long range planning in the district for some time, so one of the first things I did was to organize for this Planning. The Board recognized the potential for growth with all the open land. and wanted to be ready for it. The Board was very adept at being realistic and looking to the future. There was one fellow who was an antagonist (I can’t remember his name) and he was a constant source of trouble. He was negative about everything. it was strange because he had a son and daughter in the high school. The Board was politically Republican with an occasional Democrat to upset the harmony. At any rate, the antagonist and I got on pretty well since he was interested in painting and did very nice miniatures as a hobby. He invited me to paint with his group once a week which I did until I got too busy. A strange relationship exists between Board Members and the Superintendent. Each Board member looks upon the Superintendent as “his man” and expects the Superintendent to do what the Board member wants. Did you ever try to please eight or nine completely different personalities? it is impossible, but this is the life of the Superintendent. it includes not only educational philosophy, but religion, social and political activities, recreation, and the family relationships. Every Board wants the Superintendent to live in and be part of the community and then he becomes the target for every comment from “why are my taxes so high?” to “why don’t you bring more Negro teachers into the system?” It is a Catch 22 situation every day of the year. The Superintendent hopes that reasonable people get elected to the Board, but I found usually each person seeking such election has an ax to grind. Sometimes the 'ax’ is only genuine pride and desire for the best education system possible, but more often the candidate has a gripe, e.g., a teacher he or she wants fired, a program he wants added or eliminated, or simply to keep taxes as low as possible. Some fancy themselves as financial wizards, others only interested in the football team or the band, et cetera.

When I started at Lower Moreland we were building our new house in Feasterville --  the builder turned out to be a resident of Lower Moreland. We moved in August 1964. Helen liked Huntingdon Valley ( the address was right) and, in her style, she began her private campaign to move to Huntingdon Valley. That first year we attended all of the school functions -- football, basketball, plays, musicals, PTA Bazaars and meetings, and also started attending Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Ernst Schmidt).

Sallie had been christened in the Spring in the Feasterville Lutheran Church --  Helen didn’t care for the minister. We met many people and the community was very hospitable. One of Helen’s old East Falls friends, Fred Davis, was on the LM School Board. I ran into the Harmons from Silver Spring. Recall Mrs. Harmon had been my 4th Grade teacher. She came to hear me make my opening speech to parents. Her son George was a friend of Phil too. He married the Cullen girl and they were now living on George Road with children in the Lower Moreland Schools. We thought they would be good friends, but I hardly ever saw them after that meeting.

Helen was into Women’s Clubs, church (choir), and raising baby Sallie. By the summer of 1965, Helen had worked around to buying the only available lot in the Bethayres section of the township, on Hallowell Drive. It cost us $10,000 and we really sat on it a year before we built. Helen became friends with Mrs. Delaney who lived in the mansion house and owned the barn and accompanying land (1.1 acres). It was a lovely country setting with interesting wooded area. The barn itself was of the ‘grand’ variety. We studied it for months before deciding we couldn’t afford to restore it - it would have to come down. Dad had modified an American Home magazine plan we had been carrying around for years. So we engaged a builder, Fred Her-wig. He was known for building well made colonial houses. Originally he said he could get us $1500. for the barn materials after some delay he figured someone would take it down for nothing - his next evaluation indicated he would charge $1500. to take it down: I couldn’t accept that and decided I could take it down myself. So beginning in May 1966, on weekends and other free time, Helen, Sallie, and I would go to the barn and pull nails and boards. We wanted to use as much of the lumber as we could. It took me all Spring to take off the siding and flooring stancheons and doors. Then I had head maintenance man at School come over with his tractor and chain and he pulled down the barn. I had removed as many large mortised and pinioned beams as possible. Then I arranged with the Fire Company to burn what was left. I burned it myself - the Fire Company wet it down in the evening. Quite an undertaking. So by the end of July the builder started in. Meanwhile we sold, or rather Helen sold the Feasterville house and we moved into the Bethayres Apartments (2B). That was an experience I could have done without. Attempted murder, mayhem, and roaches. That’s how I remember the apartments.

Meanwhile Rich had graduated from Holderness in June 1964 and after being frustrated by not being accepted at Princeton decided to take a year at the Brentwood School (near London) England. This proved to be a wonderful experience for him. When he returned he was in time for the Democratic Convention in Atlantic City,  where he was for several weeks, We had moved into the apartments and he was with us briefly before he entered Yale University in the Fall of 1965. It was a big thrill for me to have a son going to Yale. I recall he worked as a caddy for a while that summer at the Philmont Country Club.

I have to mention our trip to England in April 1965. Since Rich was in school there we thought it would be nice to visit over the Spring holiday. Helen arranged to take a teenage babysitter along to watch over Sallie (Sallie was 15 months old). Helen had tried to get Joyce or Gay but her parents wouldn’t pay the passage. We paid all other expenses - the flight was $320 round trip. We left Philadelphia on Pan Am, the Shultzes took us to the airport (she was my guidance counselor at the high school). Helen’s cousin Griffith met us in London and rode with us via train to Holyhead, Wales. A wonderful commentary — but we were dead tired. Wales was beautiful, but the weather was confusing. We were there over Easter in 1965. On that day, we had bright sunshine, sleet, snow, rain, wind, fog and “you name it”. I was taking movies on that trip. Helen’s cousin Gladys was most hospitable in her little home in Holyhead. We enjoyed the local traditions pub, church, shops - while visiting Helen’s relatives. Gladys and Griff hired a cab one day and drove us all over the beautiful countryside. I had written to the local Rotary and offered to speak to them, but they weren’t meeting during our visit. Later on, while in London, I made several presentations so I could take a tax credit on the trip. I usually spoke on the American Public Education System. We spent four days in Holyhead and then caught the train back to London. Griff was an official of some sort with British Rail so our train trip to London was very comfortable. He knew the dining car steward who gave us first class service.

Rich had recommended a small hotel (inexpensive) which teachers on holiday frequented. It was near Russell Square — I don’t remember the exact address. We arrived and settled into our room. Rich had returned from his holiday on the continent (he sprained his ankle) and met us and proceeded to show us around. We went to eat in a restaurant and I recall the trouble we had finding one that would serve us with a young child. We soon made our own arrangements to feed her in our room and then we would eat out. We had breakfast in the hotel every morning. After one abortive attempt to feed Sal in the breakfast room we confined that activity to our room. The baby sitter turned out to be more of a problem than a help. She had her own problems. She did baby-sit while we went to shows in the evenings.

The weather was typically British - frequently wet and usually cold or raw. Sallie thrived on it. We went to the park -- beautifully cared for -- to swing and play. Saw the usual sights with Rich’s help. He tried in vain to find a rocking chair to rent - Sallie loved to be rocked to sleep and we never saw a rocking chair in Britain. Locals thought we were lazy for using them. An interesting excursion was to Rich’s school - Brentwood. We went on the train and even though the students were on holiday, the headmaster met us and showed us around - Rich did very well there in every respect. Beautiful roses and other flowers, even in early April. We watched a cricket match there - what a bore. I did-not understand it at all though I tried . On other days we shopped Harrod’s, Liberty (bought our Spode china), visited the zoo. Rich saw that we took in the theatre, ballet (Covent Garden) and symphony in Elizabeth Hall (brand new at that time) Gladys came to London and stayed a couple of days - sweet person and lots of fun. I believe Griff came too - I remember him at dinner with us at Elizabeth Hall. Of course we entertained them. Rich went with me on one of my speaking engagements in Bromley. An interesting experience, I even had the Ban the Bomb crowd show up to protest - swilling their beer with their black leather jackets while I was talking. The Chairman ultimately interrupted the meeting and asked them t o leave which they did eventually. We also met with the English Speaking Union - Lord and Lady Furlong (he was formerly British Ambassador to Ethiopia). Helen was along on that visit. I was supposed to go to Liverpool to speak, but didn’t have time enough on our trip. Rich went on to finish the term in June and then flew home. We met him at the Philadelphia airport. Rather than try to pack everything, he w ore several layers of clothes.

My first graduation at Lower Moreland was quite an impressive event for me. George Robinson, Principal, did a good job of making it a high class affair. I wore academic garb and spoke to the graduates. I recall one girl fainted and George carried her out. LM graduations were always nice affairs with one exception. I believe it was 1970 (during the turbulent times of student protest and drugs, Vietnam, etc). We had some real radical students. Some of the students showed up without any clothing under their robes and I knew some were on drugs when I presented the diplomas - I was afraid something terrible would happen - nothing did. This was the one outdoor graduation we held in front of the new high school.

I was very proud of the faculty which I developed at Lower Moreland. At our peak enrollment in 1973 there were 200 teachers for 3300 students K-l2. I always prided myself in selecting the best teachers available for my schools. I reviewed credentials then interviewed likely prospects. My teachers needed to be academically qualified, present a positive image (both dress and looks), speak intelligently, have
moral character as pertains to honesty and integrity, demonstrate loyalty and dedication to the job and have ambition. If I liked what I found, I would have the candidate meet the right principal and then either the department chairman at the high school and middle school or the elementary supervisor. If we all agreed, I set the salary and offered the contract. For my ten years I was able to get the Board to approve new teaching positions based on 15-1 high school and 20-1 elementary. I felt that I was fair and reasonable in my expectations of teachers. I made it a practice to visit everyone at least once a year and new personnel would be visited at least twice by me. I always gave the teacher a written report after we met to discuss my observations. I used these meetings to get feedback from each teacher about his or her attitude and reaction to teaching in Lower Moreland. To further narrow the gap I liked to visit informally in the faculty rooms of each school and frequently ate lunch in each cafeteria. I am fully aware that teachers tend to be defensive when being observed, but I always believed strongly that a really good teacher would not mind being observed by a supervisor, in fact good teachers, I found, wanted to be observed and recognized.

There were always many programs and projects going on simultaneously. Curriculum studies were done regularly. I managed to have some high school and elementary teachers working in the summer on rewriting programs. I insisted on faculty meetings in the schools only when there was something to discuss. The same way with staff meetings - only when there was something specific that needed to be done. Of course, during 1964-67 the high school faculty was busy working on programs for the new high school. The Board bought the Schmidt Farm and hired Anthony Rienzi as architect (he had been a student in architecture with Uncle Charles at the South Philadelphia High School for Boys). I enjoyed working with architect and builder on the new facility - I used everything Dad had taught me about architecture.

It took a lot of selling to get the Board and then the community to go along with the building plans. New were the natatorium (swimming pool), little theatre (I planned this after the Folger Shakespearean Theatre in Washington, DC), and planetarium. An auditorium was not included since there was one in the old high school which would be available for the district. I was particularly proud of the Planetarium - I selected John Richardson of the Science Department, who had an interest in this teaching situation. He attended seminars all over the US and attended NDEA institutes and special sessions at the Spitz Corporation as well as being a leader in writing a Planetarium curriculum for K-l2. We built the facility with NDEA funds -I thought it was the best in the Philadelphia area. The program was also very effective.

Really, all of the personnel were great, including custodians, cafeteria and office. Ed Carey was my Business Manager -a fine man of high principles and dedication - loyal to a fault. He retired in 1973, and died a few years later.

I built the new Athletic facilities on the Middle School campus which adjoined the High School land. It was a great campus concept. The weatherized track was built the year I left the district. I also worked hard to develop a good administrative team and I think that I accomplished that. Anthony Cataldo was Asst. HS Prin. and became Middle School Principal after Edward Coslett died. Ed. did a good job as the first principal of the Middle School --  he made a fine contribution in its planning and he had functioned well as elementary principal at Red Lion. However, Ed must have been sick for years, because no sooner had we opened the Middle School than he died - his abdominal arteries were completely clogged. The Middle School was one of my favorite projects because I was able to get the building I wanted to implement a functional Team Teaching mode - it worked too - I even had a complete TV Studio with a Director for the District so that we could teach via Closed Circuit. I thought it was great. Claudia Mruk did a fabulous job with our stringed music program. She started from scratch - teaching a few individuals on the violin and gradually increasing interest over a number of years until by 1973 we had a 40 piece symphony of good quality. This was sometimes enhanced by community participation. I even played in the Christmas programs.

The Art and theater programs progressed in a similar fashion -I started the Young Audiences program with PTA support. At the County level I worked hard on the Computer assisted Instruction Program which eventually contracted local district computer programs. It became a multi-million dollar operation. I was also active in getting Economics Education into the curriculum through serving on the American Council for Economic Education. Another program was that of Human Sexuality (sex ed.). I was a pioneer in working with Lankenau Hospital in developing a pilot instructional program (Dr. Steven Homel) and introducing it into the LM system (I later taught graduate level courses in the subject for them).

In 1968, I proceeded to study Physical Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Wilton Marion Krogman of the Child Development Clinic (Fitzwater St. - the old Children’s Hospital) was my advisor. I had him for a course one summer at the University of Maryland. He was probably the most profound and erudite teacher I ever studied with. He was absolutely brilliant. I thought I might work on a Ph.D. in Anthropology - it was fascinating. I initiated the study of Anthropology in LM in a longitudinal curriculum K-l2. I thought it was one of the better things I did for the school district. One should read Frazer’s GOLDEN BOUGH to get my perspective of the importance of this subject matter. I had excellent instructors at Penn in this Department. Helen had an opportunity to sit in on Krogman’ s lectures a couple of times. This was while she was working on her degree at Goddard College. I progressed through all the course work and even succeeded in passing the Ph.D. German examination. The French I had to take a couple of times. At least I proved to myself that I could get a Ph.D. if I wanted to. Linguistics was the most vague and unsatisfying part of my studies. I came to a halt when planning with Krogman on my Ph.D. dissertation. I had pretty well settled on a study of the effects of lead-poisoning (lead based paint) on children and their learning ability. Such a study could be government funded. There was considerable interest in the subject, but by 1972 I was too involved with the Superintendency in LM to take off the full year I would need to complete a study. Unfortunately this is the point where most students curtail their doctoral studies. The four years of study was good for me and gave me the additional satisfaction I needed in accomplishment in a rigorous academic environment.

The transition of the school district was very extensive over my ten year tenure. Having built the new high school, I proceeded with the building of the middle school on the old high school site. All of this was very involved. Working with John Carver, architect, we got the Middle School finished then immediately followed by building the outstanding High School Auditorium and music classrooms (seats for 1200). To accommodate the influx of elementary students in the late 1960’s, I brought in 20 portable classrooms and had them configured in various arrangements at Pine Road., Red Lion and the Middle School. This was one of the brighter ideas I had since ten years later (after I had retired) the enrollment declined markedly and the District sold off the portable rooms without having been involved in 20-30 year capital indebtedness.

Lower Moreland was made a regular school district in 1966 after an agonizing year of study with an Interim Operating Committee including Bryn Athyn. As a regular School District I was named Superintendent instead of Supervising Principal. I generally had good success with the Board members over the years. Bob Derby, Harriet Andersen, Ray Baker, Sylvia Kromroy, Andrew Roskos, Howard Forman, Sterling Spielman, were the more enlightened members. Of course, there were the less desirable, spineless, or down right repulsive members. The latter included the hypocrite Richard Harris and the coward Fred Davis. LM had the good fortune of having dedicated citizens on the Board during most of my ten years. The community changed in the late sixties and seventies with a large Jewish population influx in combat with Fundamentalists. It made a fertile field for bigotry, racism, and anti-Semitism. It became apparent that I would have to make a change in 1973. After some nasty business with a few of the Board, I took a paid leave in December 1973 to June 1974. It was during this agonizing period that I decided to go to Columbia, PA on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County. It was a difficult time for me, and I suppose for Helen too. I had had better offers as a candidate where I was second in the Upper Merion selection I also interviewed for Marple-Newtown (too much politics). I went South for a visit to Florida over Christmas and looked at several college jobs, but they weren’t the answer.



 

After Lower Moreland


The nadir of my career came in Columbia, PA as Superintendent. It was certainly an educational experience for me working and living in provincial Lancaster County. The school experience was hardly worthy of comment since I accomplished very little in six years. The original School Board was a positive group who wanted to improve the educational program in Columbia. They had good ideas for a Middle School and Ron Mable (an educator himself) was a good leader. But the progressive Board was out of touch with the reactionary, biased, prejudiced and retarded community. Columbia citizens prided themselves in being bullheaded - and they were! They took pride in never accomplishing anything, keeping taxes down, and being different from the rest of the County.

Most of the time I was in Columbia, there was controversy over the new school Only in 1980 did we manage to get a compromise elementary building built. The same logic I had used in LM to get things done did not work in Columbia. I finally got fed up with the whole thing and arranged to retire in 1980. I bought back my 12 years of service including military time and retired with 35 years of service at age 57.

The time in Columbia was a strain on Helen and Sallie. Helen tried to become part of the community, but met with nothing but opposition. Even the church environment was negative. We became Episcopalians under Rev. Ned Heeter who was also Secretary of the School Board. Even he couldn’t stand Columbia and left for Mechanicsburg as soon as he got a call. "He is not born who can please everybody.”

Columbia was the only place where I hated to go to public Board meetings. I felt inadequate in dealing with ignorant citizens. Neither logic nor reason would work with the stupid emotional crowds that would attend each meeting. Not only was the citizenry stupid, but most of the faculty was beyond hope. Because of a poor community image and low salaries, I couldn’t improve the staff in six years. Narrow minded, introverted, warped, unrealistic all.

To encourage Sallie, we bought her a horse. That began our horsey stage in Lancaster County. Neither Helen nor I knew anything about horses, so we were learning the hard way. Horsing was an expensive hobby. Board and keep kept going up. Then there were the horse shows. I should have mentioned Sallie started riding with Natalie Johnson back in Bucks County at age 7. The first horse in Lancaster, we paid $250 with saddle and bridal. We moved it around a bit, and then found that the horse couldn’t do everything Sallie wanted it to do. I sold it to an Amishman who knew his horses. He quickly diagnosed the limp and paid $250 but said the animal would probably go to the slaughter house. Helen was in touch with Natalie and arranged to buy an 8 year old named WHICKER from North Carolina. One thing I learned in the horse trading business is that no horse is ever more than 8 years old. Well, I must say WHICKER was a horse with personality. We moved him from Elizabethtown to Columbia with the Bachman’s. In the meantime, we sold the Columbia house in 1976. We ended up in Olde Hickory (duplex rental on a 9 hole golf course) Lancaster. Sallie kept her horse at a nice stable there, but the people were a little weird. Sallie entered the Manheim School District for the 8th Grade and had a miserable year. She dislocated her knee in a skiing accident with a church group which made the adjustment worse. We had made arrangements for her to attend Linden Hall in Lititz and board her horse there. Then Helen had the brilliant idea of Sallie boarding at Shipley School in Bryn Mawr. Helen always had a knack for knowing what was the best and proper situation to be involved. This was 1977. Sallie was accepted (we visited during the Easter recess) and this turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to her. Shipley was small and the staff were interested in each student. All of a sudden Sallie found herself in an academic environment and became successful in that environment. In December 1977, Helen decided she was sick of Lancaster County (and I don’t blame her) so we found an apartment in the Conwyn Arms (across Montgomery Avenue from Shipley School). I found a room in Columbia. I was just marking time now. By September 1978 the renter at 825 Hallowell Drive left so we cancelled the second year of the lease in Bryn Mawr and moved back to Huntingdon Valley. Meanwhile we had tried to sell WHICKER and found that he had an eye disease so we gave him to Linden Hall (tax credit). We sold the horse trailer and confined Sallie’s horse activities to lessons and riding someone else’s horse in shows. I bounced around in Columbia until June of 1980. Helen was at Hallowell Drive and Sallie was boarding at Shipley.

Going back away, in 1975 we took a trip to Hawaii over the Christmas break. We all had an enjoyable time visiting our old friend Dr. Florence Chinn (Loui) --  she had married a Chinese orthopedic surgeon and they lived in an expensive home on the side of Diamond Head. We had a fabulous New Year’s Eve with Florence and her family and friends. Her husband was so taken with Helen that he had a special fireworks display to welcome us.

During the last two years in Lancaster County, I thought I might work as a Deacon in the Episcopal Church so I began my studies and in two years completed everything I needed subject-matter-wise. I even served as Lector at the famous old St. James Episcopal in Lancaster. I deviated from this path because I could not honestly say that I was “called” by God to serve in the Priesthood. During the summers from 1975 to 1981, Sallie went to camp for six weeks in Maine at the Les Chalets Francais, on Little Deer Isle. These were good experiences for her. She continued her riding, learned to sail and supposedly studied French. These camp years provided us with an excuse to travel to Maine. We even got to Bar Harbor. All were wonderful experiences.



 

Retirement


With the arrival of June 1980 a new stage of my life was beginning. Retirement! The life style of retirement was taking shape during the last years at Columbia. I became active in the theatrical group there called The Actors Co. of Pennsylvania where they had space in a building in Lancaster. They used the old Fulton Opera House for their performances. Jeanne Clemson (my vintage) was the leader of a dramatic effort to keep good theater alive in Lancaster. The corporation used the Federal grants (CETA) to keep a staff and produce. - four or five plays a year at the Fulton Opera House. Jeanne was affiliated with the Lancaster Country Day School. It started with my playing the part of the Greek Doctor in THE MIRACLE WORKER. It was so successful that the following year I played the Southern father in THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING. I also served on the Actors Co. Board as a special liaison with education. We had special performances for school children. I also had a part in MY FAIR LADY. I also was getting started in modeling in Philadelphia. I had my photos made and worked through the old Philadelphia Models Guild (Ann Backer). These were the non—union days.

With Sallie still at Shipley and college coming up for her in 1981, I decided to look for another job in education. Upon leaving Columbia, I took on the job of Director of Education with the McCarrie Schools of Health and Dental Technology. This was a real experience in the field of education for profit. This was what is called a “proprietary” school - privately owned. The idea was to make money from tuition and fees paid by students (usually high school dropouts) who were willing to spend as much as $5000 to be a dental technologist (make dentures). My job was supposed to be to see that the programs were certified and accredited. What a racket! Lying, cheating, deceiving, false advertising and everything else questionable. The school was located at 12th & Cherry in a rundown section of the city. Through high pressure techniques the enrollment was up. The Walders (Jewish owners) were the sleaziest “kikes” I ever met. I was very unhappy in this situation. I couldn’t cope with the lying and deceit - these were necessary for Jewish businessmen. I was also now working as an extra in movies being made in Philadelphia. (ROCKY, STRIKING BACK, BLOWOUT --  none of consequence) and modeling occasionally. I had joined the American Federation of TV and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild.

By June 1981, Sallie was graduated from Shipley School and admitted to the January 1982 entering Freshmen Class at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. She spent a month with Annie Mae Ball in Cornwall, England, after having spent two weeks with Fred Waring’s Choral Workshop at the Pennsylvania State University. The financial burden was quite heavy at this time. I was receiving my Teacher’s pension of $20,000 and that was all. My retirement from the Army would not become effective until 1983. Therefore, to meet our obligations, I did substitute teaching in the suburban schools for a year. One summer I even sold luggage at the new Bloomingdales store in Willow Grove (this was after I left McCarrie Schools in June of 1981 - they eliminated the job more accurately). Helen did some secretarial work to help out. We had built a tennis court at Huntingdon Valley in 1979 so for a couple of summers I taught tennis to beginning adults, housewives mostly. Sallie took a quarter at the Ogontz Campus of Penn State Univ. and then worked for Sears in telephone sales for a couple of months before going to Mt. Holyoke. Typically, Helen and I worked out our financial obligations through shear determination. Helen was quite a clever manipulator and she had outstanding, if not phenomenal, ability to get people to do things for her. She never stopped at anything just because it had never been done before or because there was a rule against it - and she got the job done.

In 1972 we contracted to buy a condominium in Ocean City, NJ. This was another obligation which financial advisors would say should not be assumed. The construction company went bankrupt in the 1975-78 period, but we held on. They were offering 50 cents on the Dollar. We weren’t paying anything on the property since it was not completed. After much maneuvering Girard Bank of Philadelphia took over the financing. We took out a mortgage in May 1978, but used the condo only slightly - the expense was too much to handle so we had to rent it out seasonally at first and then by the year. Through all this difficulty we held on so that by now (1985) at this writing we can enjoy the place as a retreat most of the time and we rent it out in the summer. A great retirement community.

Retirement in Huntingdon Valley wasn’t too bad to take. I began singing with the Union League Glee Club on Monday and playing the violin in the Bryn Athyn Community Symphony Orchestra. The house and property required considerable time and energy. Always something to fix. I was busy seven days a week. I enjoyed taking daily walks through the Bryn Athyn woods. By 1982 we had decided to sell the property, however, it was a bad time to sell real estate. Real Estate brokers are a despicable lot, so Helen set about selling the place on her own. We decided to move into center city Philadelphia, for convenience and economy. We looked at condominiums, but fortunately each of these deals fell through. Helen finally found her apartment in the Rittenhouse Claridge right on the Square at 18th and Walnut Streets (201). So we signed up in January 1983 - Huntingdon Valley hadn’t been sold yet. To make ends meet we had sold all our gold and silver when the price was up at $800/oz. We moved April 1, 1983, and I enjoyed the idea except that we had to continue maintaining the property until it was sold. Once in the city, I was making daily trips back to Huntingdon Valley to cut the grass and try to sell surplus furniture which filled the house. A big house tends to become a warehouse. We held yard sales and sold special items via ads (pool table, freezer~ and certain antique items went through Sam Freedman auctioneer on Chestnut Street. Rich picked up a couple of trailer loads also.

During our last year in Huntingdon Valley I did my ‘masterpiece’ of painting. For years I had wanted to do a mural in the dining room. So I took a plan of the Philadelphia waterfront c. 1790 which was a wall paper miniature and scaled it to the dining room wall. I used acrylic paint and worked from September to May. The wall had been previously covered with artist’s canvas. It turned out to be one of my better efforts. I had the canvas on the wall incase I wanted to take the painting with me - I didn’t. It was a great feature in making the house desirable. I hope it lasts for a while. A sorry note --  I drove by the house a year after we moved and discovered that the new owners had ripped out the $25,000 tennis court.

Being retired on Rittenhouse Square has been a satisfying experience. Having given Rich my lawn mower and all my tools, I now call the maintenance man to do everything. I did keep a saw, hammer, pliers and screw driver. I have a few small tools at the condo in Ocean City. I found I needed an electric drill for a number of small jobs so I bought a new one. Being in the city has the advantage of being near lots of activity. At first, I was very active in SAR - I was the Second Vice-President in 1984-85 and would have been President the next year, but there were too many demands on my time. Now I am available for speeches and presenting medals, but I’m not planning on heading the organization (1987 is the Bicentennial of the US Constitution and a big time is planned for Philadelphia). I don’t have the patience for old men who feel that they must have their way - sometimes they are worse than women. For a while I kept my membership with educational organizations. I served on several College evaluation teams until I tired of all the rhetoric. My acting career became quite full with three stage shows in the same year ( the most notable was the role of the Sheriff in THE RAINMAKER with football star Joe Namath at the City Line Dinner Theater - Equity). I worked in a number of movies as an extra and an occasional bit player. Mostly I was doing industrial films, narration, print modeling, TV commercials and voice-overs. I enjoyed this kind of acting because it keeps me busy a few days a week, but doesn’t require a long-term commitment as does a play. Besides, I find it increasingly difficult to memorize lines.

At the present time (1987) I am in two Glee Clubs (the University and the Union League) which sing each week on Monday and Wednesday. The Union League Glee Club sings about 20 times a year at nursing homes - both groups have Fall and Spring programs. The University Glee Club sings at the pier in Ocean City in the Spring. It is a very satisfying activity for me. Now that we belong to Holy Trinity where there is a full time paid choir, the glee clubs provide and opportunity to sing. Although I’m not playing in an orchestra, I do play violin occasionally with a friend (Bill Roberts or more recently Diane Meyers — Helen’s niece). The Union League has many interesting programs which we attend together -the Library hour on Thursday, baseball on various evenings theatre four times a year. We now belong to the Philadelphia Friday afternoon concert group which is a pleasant series on six dates throughout the year. Good Seats (EE15-l7) right on the aisle and down front. Helen is busy with AAUW, Colonial Dames and DAR (she was Registrar for three years 1983-86) so we have all of those social functions to attend. I also belong to the Inglenook lunch table at the League and attend there several times a year - also a Christmas evening and a summer outing. Speaking of outings, the UL Glee Club sings each summer in the Ocean City Night in Venice parade (boats).

In 1982 I also took on the task of handling cousin Violet’s affairs. She suffered a stroke and I had to find a nursing home for her. After several moves she has been settled in to her first choice the Lebanon Valley Brethren: Home in Palmyra. I try to make weekly visits to Palmyra, PA, to see her. This takes a whole day. Helen frequently goes with me. On occasion we have had Violet visit with us. In 1985 we even got her to go to the Condo. in Ocean City. While there we took her to Atlantic City since she had fond memories of earlier visits there. Now, of course there are the casinos. Violet tried to throw her money into the one armed bandits but her conscience got the best of her and she physically couldn’t pull the handle. The frugality of her upbringing overcame her behavior.

To date, we have not done all the traveling we wish to do. For example, in January 1984 we spent a fun week in Acapulco, Mexico. Probably the first “fun” vacation we ever took. For forty years our vacations had been “money savers” going to Colonial Beach visiting relatives or friends at the shore and elsewhere. Then in the fall of 1984 we took a luxury Caravan tour which included London, Paris, Lucerne, Venice, Florence, Siena, and Rome! Three weeks. I felt we should take a well planned trip first and decide what we want to see again. Now this year, we are planning (1985) an open ended trip to Great Britain - beginning around Labor Day (Sep. 2) and returning about the middle of October. We plan to fly Space “A” on military aircraft and then hire a car for touring, staying with Helen’s relatives for 3 weeks and then Bed and Breakfast the remainder of our stay.

It is now 1987 and I can report that we had a wonderful trip. Since that trip we have been to England again in the month of June 1986 as part of the Colonial Dames visit to Sulgrave Manor (Washington’s ancestral home). We went over the first week of June and stayed with Nessie (Mrs. Hughes-Smith) Isabel’s mother-in-law. A delightful woman whom we had stayed with in the Fall. The two middle weeks of June we were with the Dames. One hundred and five in the total group - 12 men. Our touring group was limited to thirty which made traveling a lot more pleasant. We spent the first several days at the Hyde Park Hotel ($225 per night), and toured around the city visiting at the American Ambassadors residence and other fine homes. We went on to the countryside and Brighton and the Palace there. A lovely time was had at Bambury Cross and Sulgrave Manor. On June 17 we attended the opening day of Ascot - the Royal Family were all there (Fergy and Andrew were not married as yet). Helen even won on two of the three races we saw. We were all dressed up in top hat and tails & Helen in her hat. Quite elegant. On to Eton for Tea, and then days of visiting other castles and manors from Canterbury to Norwich, York Minster and the sheep country of Hertfordshire. Beautiful scenery. The weather was with us too. Only a bit of drizzle one day. We ended the tour by staying with Nessie a few days at the end of June. Isabel was quite pregnant at the time (she since has had a son Alexander who is quite healthy, but unfortunately Isabel has cancer at age 39). We drove back to Mildenhall Royal Air Force Base where we had landed a month before. We waited a couple of days for a flight out via Keflavik, Iceland. Arrived at Dover, Delaware, and took a limo, to McGuire Air Force Base in NJ where our car was parked. A really fine trip all around. Helen can’t wait to take another one.

Of course during the past 4 years, Sallie has been at Mt. Holyoke College and Rich has been living in the Boston area. Consequently we have taken frequent trips to the two areas. Boston is a historical center and very interesting to visit. At Mt. Holyoke College we mainly go to visit Sallie, but we have found some of Helen’s relatives there and visited with them. We often stay at the Westover AFB in their VOQ which makes it very convenient and relatively inexpensive. Visiting Helen’s relatives from the Estes and Carys has provided an interesting source of people to visit almost anywhere in the world. Several dropped by to visit us, not just Philadelphia, but even when we were in Huntingdon Valley. One of these relatives Nancy Fooshee (Estes Kefauver’s). Quite an enigma — 39 years old, unmarried, very attractive, but a “user”, by that I mean she uses people to her own advantage. Charming in the bargain. Helen’s Tennessee relatives are much more genuine.

Helen uncovered interesting relatives in Great Britain, Wales & Ireland. We visited many of them in September 1985.

Visiting Sallie over the four years at Mount Holyoke College has been an interesting experience. Helen and I both enjoy the environment of a college campus so we took advantage of every opportunity to see Sallie and the College. Sallie seemed to enjoy having us. One weekend we visited her in her biology class and her Russian Class. I particularly liked the small classes and the individualized help that the faculty made available. Sallie was always involved in interesting activities. She sang in the choir a year or so and we went to see her singing in the Chapel - I recall the Christmas and Easter services. Then she was in the horseback riding program -I even performed with her on Parents’ Weekend (lead line). Throughout her years at MHC she was active in the radio station WMHC. She became the Station Manager in her Senior year and did an outstanding job. She received a service award for this activity. Sallie participated in the 1985 , June graduation but still had a couple of courses to complete in the Fall semester. This was because she had changed to a Russian major in her sophomore year.

As an added activity during the 1985 year I was involved in voluntary service with the Veterans Administration at the urban VA Hospital (Broad and Cherry). I worked in the pharmacy. I was there eight hours a week on Tuesday and Thursday -- shortly after doing this service my acting and modeling began to pick up.  I began going to Baltimore and Washington as well as New York for these jobs.



 

The United States Army Reserve


My service in the US Army Reserve is important to me because it represents a large portion of my life (31 years) and influenced my life in so many ways.

It all began with my enlistment on 2 November 1942 in the Enlisted Reserve Corps #13156787 at the University of Maryland. This is the beginning date of my military service for length of service and pay purposes. I was sworn in at the University of Maryland in the hallway of the Administration Building along with 20 or 30 others. I wrote earlier how this meant that I would continue in college until called to active duty(AD). I remained in this reserve status until 2 March 1943 when I was ordered to AD and left for Camp Lee, VA. My AD covered the period 2 March 1943 to 6 July 1946. On the latter date I was transferred to the Organized Reserve Corps (ORC). Actually it was a paper transfer because I did not belong to a Reserve Unit as such. Of course, at the time everyone was leaving AD and Reserve Units had not been formed as yet. I was in a pool of Officers in the Adjutant General’s files somewhere in the Pentagon. This continued until I graduated from the University of Maryland in January 1948 (actually I received the diploma in June 1948) and we moved to Philadelphia (3509 Sunnyside Ave., East Falls). It was then that I began seeking out a unit.

Actually, I met several times with an Infantry Regiment, I think it was the 115th, at the old Schuykill Arsenal on Grays Ferry Avenue. I then heard about AD summer tours of duty which interested me and in the summer of 1948 I was ordered to Indiantown Gap Military Reservation. 5 Jul - 2 Aug as a Provost Marshall Officer (9100). Actually my classification was 9301 Counter Intelligence Officer, but apparently it was close enough. I was pleased with the assignment - it meant I would have a good job for 30 days during the summer and still have time for a little vacation. During my regular wartime AD I had been commissioned 2d Lt. Infantry, but now the Reserves had the Military Intelligence Branch, so I proceeded to be transferred to MI.

At Indiantown Gap my responsibilities were varied. I was in charge of seeing that the MP Guard was properly mounted each day. IGMR was not used for Reserve Units in 1948, however, the 79th Division National Guard was supposed to be there. While I was there certain units of the 79th did use the post. Primarily, I had to do with security. There were - civilians on duty there as well as the Governor's mansion or summer home. Governor Duff was in office that summer. I had no personal transportation, so my activities were limited and I didn’t get home that month. The change was good for all. This was one of the benefits of my Reserve career --  a change. A couple of the officers did go into Philadelphia one evening for a baseball game. I recall going into Harrisburg several times and meeting with police personnel there. We coordinated efforts to keep GI’s out of trouble. Most of this centered around prostitution which was rampant in Harrisburg.

During this summer Secretary of the Navy James Forrestal committed suicide by jumping out of the window at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.. I heard the news on the radio and assumed it was my responsibility to see that the Post Flag was put at half staff. I followed the manual and had the guard detail run the flag up to the top of the pole and then brought it down to half mast. About 0900 I was called into the Post Commander’s office and "chewed out” for assuming this responsibility! Here I thought that I was showing initiative, but the CO (Ltc. Willie Thomas) didn’t think so, reminding me to wait for orders. Thus ended my recollection of the summer of 1948.

By December of 1948 I was officially transferred to the Military Intelligence Reserve Branch. I was also assigned to the 234th OR Composite Group as of 7 Jan. 1949. This was part of the 2nd Army District which was a Reserve Area for the Northeast US. During this period there were efforts afoot to organize Reserve Military Government Units - I wrote to Col. Allen B. Michell -- a Philadelphia detective -- who was trying to get such an organization going. There were several preliminary meetings at the Arsenal. I was forever filling out new Personal History Statements. The Army Reserve had developed a system of earning points toward retirement - these were earned by membership in the Active Reserve, correspondence courses, AD Training, and instruction assignments. I started taking some correspondence work. Most of it was pretty trite. Childish, but basic --  teaching various fundamentals of the army. During 1 July 1948 and 30 June 1949 I had earned 57 points -an individual needed 50 points in a given fiscal year to have it count toward retirement.

As the summer of 1949 approached, I applied for 60 days(AD) at Fort Knox. I was selected and began my duty 1 July 1949. I was excited. I flew to Louisville and was bused to Ft. Knox. I was beginning to enjoy being an Officer. I had bought a beaked cap to look good and had a new summer uniform. There were several young officers like myself. I recall Tom Mattingly who was from Washington, DC - I had met him in CE at Keller before the war. In 1949 he was a medical student who had been commissioned and now was doing a tour as a Medical Officer. In 1949 there was considerable interest on the part of the Army to get back some of its Officers on AD by offering them permanent commissions. I was tempted — I didn’t!

I was assigned to the 3rd Armored Division Trains, which is basically the support group for the division. There was some attempt to have me serve where my experience would be beneficial. I finally ended up with Special Services and their physical fitness program. Kentucky was hot and I luckily ended up at the Officer’s swimming pool. Officially that is. I recall, judging diving competition and swimming events for West Pointers and others who were qualifying for the Olympics. It was great duty and I got to swim a lot. I worked with a South Philly Officer named Iannacone --  a very nice Italian. I also was assigned Officer of the Guard a couple of times and also, marched in at least two parades. I got into the habit of going to the gym for a physical workout each day. That turned out to be a mistake. I met another Officer who was a practicing physical therapist and we began working out together. I wanted to tone up my muscles. One day the physical therapist decided to workout with the medicine ball. I was new to that. He proceeded to have me on my back with knees drawn up to my chest - the ball was placed on my feet and he proceeded to lean his weight on the ball. I heard a crunch in my spine — I couldn’t get up! He apologized and helped me up, but I was bent double. I wasn’t in that much pain but I couldn’t straighten up. I recall hobbling back to my quarters and trying to lie down. That’s when the pain began. Army beds are bad enough when you are in good shape. I ended up on the floor. I vaguely remember going on sick call the next AM. Eventually, I straightened up, but that was the beginning of my back problems for the rest of my life. Swimming helped me a great deal in getting back to normal posture.

It was during this summer that Helen was having nerve problems which I never quite understood. She became quite neurotic. She was afraid to ride the street car and reluctant to go out on her own. Although I was supposed to be at Ft. Knox for 60 days, Helen became so upset while on the telephone on 6 August that I decided I had to get back to Philadelphia. So I caught an Army C-47 from Knox to North Philly (Iannacone later very kindly shipped my locker to me). Helen was in bad shape -- I thought a nervous breakdown --  she was clinging on to the bedpost at one point as I recall. At any rate, she was having identity problems I guess --  didn’t want to see her minister or physician. We settled on a Christian Science Reader or Counselor. Helen’s Aunt Annie Jane was a Christian Science believer and of course Heard all that talk and felt a session with them would help. I agreed. I remember the gentleman came to 3509 Sunnyside Ave. and talked like a psychologist and of course pushed his faith. The upshot of this session , as I recall, was that he recommended that Helen be given greater responsibility, a bigger part in our marriage. He suggested that she be in charge of our finances. Sounds harmless enough. Up to that time, I had taken care of all the accounts and writing checks, paying bills. Well, I agreed and from that time until now Helen has handled the money affairs. I’m not going to serve judgment, but will leave it to my heirs to decide whether or not this was a good move.

So ended the summer of 1949. I also had “to reply by endorse e t” for being AWOL (absent without leave). I did write and cancel my military duty, but that was not the proper protocol --  I resented being put in such a position where I endangered my good name and record.

In March 1949 I was officially assigned to the 304th Civil Affairs --  Military Government Group under Col. Michell. I was still a 2d Lt. and now assigned as Assistant S-2 (Intelligence). This was a pay slot which made it nice. The Reserve pay I received for some 30 years was a wonderful fringe benefit. In those days we had plenty of Officers, but not enough Enlisted Men so in order to get more, Officers were not paid if enlisted quotas fell below 60%.

Belonging to a Military Government unit was always interesting to me. We met one evening per week for 3-4 hours. S—3 (Training) was responsible for utilizing our meeting time in meaningful activities. Perhaps I was just lucky, but all my reserve assignments had good programs. They included a certain amount of drill and ceremonies, instruction in First Aid, Marksmanship, Gee-Politics, Logistics, Foreign Language, Military Courtesy and Weapons Systems both strategic and tactical.

In the early years we spent a lot of time re-living World War II and our exercises were based upon WWII scenarios. No matter~ it was interesting to me. As early as 1950 we even went through an Atomic Energy Indoctrination Course. I was still doing Correspondence work in MI and CIC through Ft. Holabird (Balt.)

A big thrill came when I was selected in May 1950 for an instructor slot at the Military Intelligence Army Area School for 60 days at Fort Meade, Maryland (27 June-26 Aug). A full summer as an officer, and an instructor at that. This was one of the nicest assignments I ever had. Note the date. The Korean Conflict (police action) broke out on 20 June 1950. I was in the G-2 Office, 2d Army when the Telex came in for all Officers not assigned to the Ready Reserve to be called up. Guess who’s name was on the list - Bob Crist. All intelligence Officers were identified and given orders. Bob came to Philadelphia in September to take his physical, but he was excused for personal hardship - it seems Christine had contracted some sort of atrophy of her leg and needed him present. At any rate, in June 1950 I felt certain my orders would simply be extended and I would head for Korea. It turned out to be Army policy not to take any Officers who were assigned to Reserve Units.

My summer at Meade was really great, I had quarters in the permanent buildings — in the same complex where the classrooms were. We had two weeks to prepare our instruction and of course in good Army fashion, there were already detailed lesson plans. I enjoyed modifying them and injecting my own ideas. I don’t recall the topics other than the fact that they were MI topics.

Over the 60 days we ran through about 4 two-week classes. I recall teaching some Photo Interpretation. In each class I taught all ranks of Officers. In one was a Colonel who was running for Governor of Virginia - I think he won. We had a good staff who got on well together. Col. C.N. Gerhardt was the Asst. Chief of Staff, G-2 - quite a character. He had been a Major General commanding the 29th Division during WW II and held the permanent rank of Colonel. He drove a little Ford. He always got my attention when in front of a group speaking — he would forever be scratching his crotch. Col. John Patton was the School CO - from Pittsburgh and connected with the Board of Education there. Major Pfalzgraf was one of the instructors - he ran the Battlefield exhibits at Brandywine. There was also another 2nd Lt. (I can’t remember his name) of German extraction with a German wife, who was a Law Student at the University of Pennsylvania - he and I played a lot of tennis at the Officer’s Club. We kept in contact for a year or so - played tennis at Penn and visited them at Christmas (they had an old world Christmas tree with live candles - in an apartment if you please!) At the end of the tour, I recall having Helen down to stay at the Officer’s Club several nights. Rich was in Silver Spring with his grand parents. By this time we had our first car, a 1950 Studebaker so we were able to get around.

I was invited back as instructor in 1951, but there was some conflict with my unit going on AD. As I recall, Col Michell required everyone to go with the unit that year so the only thing that I could do was to attend the MI School as a student for a two week tour. I ended up with 30 days of AD that year. I was promoted to 1st Lt. on 12 June 1951. That was a long time as 2d Lt. I recall we had to go through the in filtration course while in this school - part of the realistic field training (you crawl under wire and for about 100 yds with live MG fire overhead - TNT charges go off all around you). The 304th CAMG Group went to Meade via train 19 August 1951 - this was the time that all CAMG units in the 2d Army were to do their AD. Each year the training was to be as realistic as possible, so this year S-3 planned a rail movement. It created a lot of problems with many of the group and there was much griping and complaining. A number of the fellows went back to Philly to pick up their cars. I was excused from the train move since I was already on Post.

All of this was going on at the same time that we were moving from Philadelphia to Silver Spring. I had taken a teaching job at the Montgomery Hills Junior High school and had just resigned from the Upper Darby School District in July. So while at Meade I arranged to transfer to the 300 CAMG Group which met in Arlington, Virginia. - Fort Myer, actually. The two week camp was interesting. It was the first time I had gone to camp with the unit. We were billeted in the tent area which had been a POW area during WWII. We were in the peramital tents with wood floors and frames. Aside from being a little dusty and hot under the sun, they weren’t bad.

We ran map problems, trained in fatigues, held parades, spent several nights in the field and did some rifle firing. At camp we were supposed to do all the things we couldn’t do at the home station. I enjoyed it. There was competition among the units, some from Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia. Plenty of softball and volleyball for recreation. My 201 file has a roster of those at camp that year. I should add that Ft. Meade being so close to Baltimore, meant that there were nightly visits to the dens of iniquity. Usually the unit party was held in Baltimore. Ed Schuller was a friend at this time - he was married to a German girl. I thought they were nice — Helen never really cared for any of the Germans we met. They invited Helen and Me to dinner and all I remember is the wife talking about her problem with bowel movements since she had come to America. Not the most pleasant dinner conversation. Helen didn’t care for her at all so we never saw them again.

I should mention that the Reserve activity during the year included weekly meetings - either Monday or Wednesday nights as I recall. They lasted for three hours from 1900 to 2200. Everyone was involved in some stage of the training. We usually went through a short period of Close Order Drill, followed by inspections. Then we had an hour or so of instruction on anyone of a number of Army topics. Those were led by Officers who were assigned to teach and who earned additional retirement credits for doing so. I taught a number of times and enjoyed it very much.

By September 1951, we were living at 1234 Pinecrest Circle, Silver Spring, MD. We had bought a little Cape Cod home at 1306 Viers Mill Road, Rockville, MD. As I recall we didn’t get moved in until October - it was quite cool at the time. Things were a little confused for a while. My transfer to the 300th CAMG wasn’t official until February 1952. There was a foul up in the original request and the Army had me assigned to Baltimore. It took 5 months to straighten it out. In the meantime I was attending weekly meetings with the 300th at Ft. Myer.

In 1952 was again invited to instruct in the Army Area MI School. While this was pending I was transferred to the newly formed 450th CAMG Company which was a part of the 300th Group at Ft. Myer. I requested this change because there was a Captain slot open in the Company. The 450th went to Meade
3-17 Aug 52. By this summer I was enrolled in the Doctoral Program at the University of Maryland so 1 didn’t accept the offer to teach at Meade. This was the time when all the 2d Army CAMG units trained together. It was rather a fun time too. We were in what we called the “hutment” area --  semi-permanent tents. We even had a small ‘oompa-band’ that played for our Retreat Formations. I didn’t belong. The members were from Ohio. These were the “playful years” of Reserve duty.

We were young enough to be playing tricks on each other, e.g., nailed down boots, water in the boots, short-sheet beds. We also did creative skits as part of the instruction.

One of the functions of CAMG in WWII was handling refugees so we always had a skit each year depicting the humor of dealing with refugees. Of course with my German accent I always ‘ham-med it up’. We continued to have the field problems and fire on the range. There were almost daily parties of one sort or another. So it was really an outing - along with the work. I must say I put in a lot of effort to make my instruction realistic and interesting as did most of the others. We took our evaluations seriously and strove to be the best at whatever we did. A strong camaraderie developed as a result.

By October 1952 the ORC became the United States Army Reserve (USAR) and I was recommissioned in this category. During 1952 I seriously considered going back on AD on a permanent basis:
but for some reason it never happened —one of those unexplained things that slip s my mind.

In the summer of 1953 I transferred from Montgomery Hills Junior High school to Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville. Summer AD doesn’t stand out in my mind for that year. I know I was at the University of Maryland for the Summer Session until August. In September 1953 I was filling the Captain slot in Public Education. so I was busy working on the promotion. The 450th Company developed a real close relationship. Maj. Gubin was the CO (later LTC). Art Wagner was Administrative Officer - he was from Rockville and worked in the Pentagon. We pooled rides to meetings. This was when I met ‘Dusty’ Rhodes (Vincent Carroll Rhodes). He was Supply Procurement Officer. He worked for the DC Government. Dusty was seven or eight years older than I. He lived in the NE at that time and moved around 1953 into a home in the Twinbrook section of Rockville. He was married to Mae who was a lovely person -they had no children.(she died of cancer in 1985). Shortly after starting at Richard Montgomery I met Bill Porter and Guy Smith -both had been in Korea in 1950-52 and were looking for a Reserve outfit to serve out then obligation, so I got them into the 450th. For several years we had a car pool for our weekly journey to meetings - we all became good friends and had many enjoyable social times together as well as service experiences. Mae and Dusty always invited us to stay with them - over 30 years -until Mae died in 1985. Bill Porter continued into Special Education and finally retired because of a drinking problem. He was so mild mannered and considerate I couldn’t imagine him drinking to excess. Guy Smith became a Junior High Principal in the County and also retired early, but out of frustration. Mike Guidara taught at Bethesda Chevy Chase High School (math) - he had a bunch of kids too. Fred Leedy was a State Department man. Al Warren was a Major in the Legal Team slot. He was sort of fun - his wife taught, but every once in a while he would do something crazy. He couldn’t hold his liquor either
He became a mean man. Some years later he was dismissed from the Reserve and lost his commission for incompetence. I had trouble with him when I moved to New Hampshire and supposed to be promoted to Major as Executive Officer of the unit. I had filled the slot for almost a year. He dallied and I never was promoted while with the unit - I’m getting ahead of my story. While with the 450th CA Co. we did our annual training at Ft. Meade 1952-53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58. I felt quite at home there. All this duty at Ft, Meade was very convenient since it was only 40 miles from Rockville. As I indicated we usually took turns car pooling with the group from the Rockville Area. In this way AD was almost like going to the office. Of course we didn’t get home every night because of various duties, assignments, night problems, etc.

I was promoted to Captain 17 Mar 1954. I recall “Pappy’ Jewell (a former Naval Officer) VP at Richard Montgomery swore me in at the School Office. I had been a 1st Lt. for 3 years and was happy to be moving up the ladder. I recall going to the Pentagon for my physical examination. While there I met Capt. Bernardo who had been in my ASTP unit at Penn. He had received his Ph.D. in history from. Fordham University and was writing WWII history for the Army.

An additional AD assignment developed in Oct. 1954. The 29th Infantry Division (NG) was doing a 3 day exercise called Tobacco Leaf IV. I was attacked for Training as CAMG Liaison Officer. My experience up to this time had been with other CA types and not with line Infantry, so it was quite a revelation to see how the Infantry Division NG perceived the CAMG function. My job was to keep the exercise realistic from the CAMG point of view. I recall particularly the Infantry misconception about what a CA Co. and Platoon could do. For example, a Public Education Team was made up of 2 Officers and 5 Enlisted Men. The mission of such a team was to assist the indigenous education authority in a province or state to get their public education system back into operation. The Public Education Team would never operate specific schools. There were also problems which needed clarification in the handling of refugees, providing supplies to local population, etc. It was interesting work. Of course, the NG was a heavy drinking outfit. I never assumed their drinking stature. - I stuck to black coffee.

I should note that during the summer of 1954, my brother James was in the 450th as a Reserve Sergeant. It was a little financial help for him while he was finishing up at the University of Maryland in Poultry Husbandry.

During 1955 I got involved in the Army Marksmanship Program and did so well that I was selected for the 2d Army Small Arms Tournament held at Ft. Meade for 3 days in May. This was another experience which I enjoyed. There were shooters there from all over the world including civilians. The best from everywhere so it was quite an honor to be there representing the Reserve Component. We were issued special Ml’s which were adjusted for competition - that means the trigger pressure was greatly reduced. However, the pieces had never been zeroed in. This meant we had precious little time on the range to get everything adjusted. As I recall, I did well enough until we got to 600 yds and then something went haywire with my sights and I was way off. I was never able to recover my poise, so I did-not place in the competition. I did enjoy the idea of firing in big time competition.

For some reason, there was no summer camp on my record for 1955 --  the next entry on my record is for August 1956. This is a bit confusing because I recall being at Ft. Meade in Aug 1955 waiting to hear whether or not I had been selected as Vice Principal at Wheaton High School. It had to be 1955 because I was VP from 1955 through 1956.

The summer of 1956 ( 5 Aug to 19 Aug) was while I was moving to Baltimore. I was continuing with the 450th because I was now acting as Executive Officer (a Major’s slot). I was in the advance party - this was the summer of the big hurricane -we had our unit party in Baltimore and I had to drive all the way From Rockville to Baltimore with Helen through the storm flooded roads, trees down, blocked roads. A lot of excitement but I never let a little weather stop me.

During 1956-57 there was once again pressure applied to Reserve Officers to recruit new EM. I recall talking with students at Wheaton High School. I did get one fellow to join It helped my record as Exec. Off. - I was interested in being promoted to Major. Al Warren was now the CO — Gubin had moved to Group Hdqs. so he could get his eagle. During these several years we had very interesting meetings. Everyone cooperated in trying to bring interesting speakers on foreign policy and world affairs. By being in Washington and with a number of State Department and Pentagon and other Federal people in the unit we always had top speeches. I recall, several occasions where controversial meetings with former Russians, Arabs, Lebanese and Egyptians. We concluded that the so-called State Department policy was anything but a ‘policy’ - it changed from country to country. Favored nation status was a plum held out to certain countries and not to others. It was exciting being in the midst of all the activity.

This was a strange year for me. I was commuting from Baltimore to Ft. Myer --  I didn’t want to change units because I was Executive Officer and up for promotion. I was also finishing my Doctoral Program at Maryland U. and I was in a new job with the Maryland State Education Association. As the year wore on I became dissatisfied with MSTA and started looking for a new situation. I explored the possibilities of transferring to a CIC outfit in Baltimore. I even took the German Proficiency Test (Armory on Falls Pkwy). I recall being ‘Fair’ in all categories. I met with the unit a couple of times, but decided not
to change. In both 1957 and 1958 the Ad time switched to the last two wks of June - this put the training in a different fiscal year for pay purposes. I was still training with the 450th however. The big event of June 1957 (I had received my doctorate) was that I grew a moustache. I was planning on a beard but that was not allowed in the Army so I settled for a moustache (see unit photo). The only record I have of that moustache is the official unit photo. It became such a nuisance, that I shaved it off at the end of the 1957 encampment.

The tour in June of 1958 was prior to my being appointed Dean at Plymouth Teachers College. It was an unsettling time for me personally. Curiously, I encountered one of my students from Upper Darby who went on to West Point. I also met Munnell from the TKE fraternity at Gettysburg. He had been ROTC and remained in the Reserve. He married Mildred Senft who had the chapel seat next to me at Gettysburg.

During the 1957-58 year I was Assistant Director of the College of Continuation Studies in Baltimore at the University of Maryland campus, Lombard & Greene Streets. I told you earlier that it was a ‘nothing job’ I had nothing to do. I thus took advantage of the hiatus to finish my Company Grade Officer Extension Courses. I did the whole program between October 57 and April 58. It was necessary to complete this course plus the CA Advanced Extension Course before beginning the Command and General Staff College level instruction. All of this was part of the US Army educational program. I ultimately completed the CA Advanced Course by July 1961 (see record).

As I arrived in Plymouth, I sought out a Reserve affiliation The unit on campus wasn’t appropriate. It called for a Captain CO and at the time I arrived had a local 1st Lt. in charge. It was a Maintenance Small Parts Unit of Engineers. The next closest assembly point was in Manchester, NH (Pease AFB). I attended several sessions of the Army School Unit there, but this involved 150 mile round trip once a week. I finally settled upon getting my credit through correspondence (extension) courses. For summer camp I was in contact with a CA Group from Kearny, NJ. A LTC Levy was my contact and they were happy to have me on an attached basis. I went to Ft. Devens, Massachusetts (Ayer) during 1959, ‘60,’6l. I forgot to mention that the CAMG Branch was created in 1958, therefore, I was transferred from MI to CAMG in July of that year. In March of 1961 I was promoted to Major. At this time I was assigned to the XIII USAC Control Group, Ft. Devens.

I completed the Advanced CA Officers Course in 1961 and immediately went on to the Command and General Staff College Extension Course (non-resident they called it). 31 Oct 61. The four year program was a prerequisite for field grade promotion. My 201 (Personnel) File has the complete break down
of subjects to be studied during Reserve Duty Training and Active Duty Training. I was impressed by the interesting array of topics and the way the subject matter was organized. The Army had a real knack for instruction and I felt very confident that I was in the best program available. I must admit that the instruction lacked intellectual challenge. Mostly it was a matter of finding the correct answer in the study material. I frequently was frustrated with the presentation of material without really providing specific answers. Too often opinions were sought and I usually did not express the school opinion. In large unit maneuvers, e.g., Infantry Division, the author was way off base in assuming the student knew all the implied references. Several of the courses I repeated because the material was unclear to me. In most instances, however, I was successful and found the study interesting. During RDT certain courses were studied which were necessary for the following ADT. There were four years allotted to covering the program. Each ADT would be conducted by an ARSU at some established installation. My first ADT was at Ft. Dix, NJ, 5-19 Aug 1962. At that time private cars were not permitted for transportation so I made the trip via Trailways Bus. This was somewhat inconvenient. As I recall niece Gay Rowland was up in NH for an extended visit and kept Helen company. I remember taking the bus to Somers Point to visit Mil and Walt on the middle weekend. I went to the bus depot at Ft. Dix in civilian clothes and waited in line for the bus. Well, you know the only people traveling by bus were recruits and EM. I went to buy a ticket and the agent called me “Sarge” - this was the first time I remember being looked upon as a person of 39 years.

The Federal Law provided that a Reservist would not be penalized for taking time away from his job to perform Reserve AD. It seems that I always had an unpleasant experience getting my employer to accede to the law. This was true with Milson Raver of MSTA and Harold Hyde of PTC. Hyde always gave me a ‘hard time’ trying to get me to use vacation time for Reserve ADT. I recall informing him of the law on several occasions. On such issues he was quite small minded. This offended me, because I felt I gave more than 100% to my duties as Dean of the College. At any rate, I always managed vacation time in addition to Reserve ADT.

The year 1963 was a rather confusing one to say the least. Simultaneously, I was doing my C & GSC work, Teaching off-campus, looking for another job, arranging for summer ADT, playing in the Dartmouth Community Symphony orchestra, getting my boat ready for the lake. (I had a canvas top made in Laconia). This was the only year I recall the Army fouling up my ADT. Of course, this was being handled at Ft. Devens. I had requested a camp assignment back in March for Ft. Dix in August. By June I had not had confirmed orders. I left for Bristol on 5 June 1963. This with address changes and changed dates made for a hectic time. The orders actually went to Plymouth.

In the summer of 1964 the ADT was scheduled at Ft. Knox, KY. This was one of the more interesting sessions. (Mechanized Division Operations, Airborne Operations, Command and Leadership, C & G Staff, Division Activation and Training). I flew to Knox on Telegram orders. Once again, in the summer of 1964 I was changing jobs. I began my duties in Lower Moreland School District in August - plus we were moving to Feasterville. This was the summer Rich found out that he would not be going to Princeton University as he hoped and now was planning on going to Brentwood School in England. I was also looking around for a unit assignment. I found one in the 358th CA Group at Norristown, PA. I had found out about the unit while talking with LTC Wright on the plane to Ft. Knox. I was attached for training to the unit for retirement points. I began attending the Wednesday evening sessions in anticipation of an assignment with pay status.

The following summer of 1965 ADT was at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. While there I was in class with Col. Al Dann. Al was a civilian employee (high ranking) at the Defense Supply Agency on Oregon Ave. in Philadelphia. We became good friends while working on a number of military problems together. He knew the Superintendent of Schools at Council Rock (Irv Karam) who I had beaten out of the LM position. Al became quite a supporter of mine throughout my tenure with the 3 58th.

1966 was a good year. I was named Superintendent instead of Supervising Principal. I received a pay status assignment in the 358th (Public Finance Officer 6010) which called for a LTC. I completed my non-resident phase of C & GSC and would go to Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, to finish my program with two weeks residence.

I really enjoyed my two weeks at Ft. Leavenworth. Kansas is not my favorite state, but it is interesting to American History. This was one of the early frontier forts during the Indian Wars in the post Civil War era. There is also a Federal Penitentiary on the reservation as well as a major military prison there. The Command and General Staff College is quite an impressive installation. The educational facilities were, I guess, and still are, outstanding. Every conceivable teaching aid was available. We as students were organized into teams to attack problems in a seminar fashion. Responsibilities were rotated several times a day. It was a real experience in team work to solve tactical problems. The old OCS phrase "cooperate and graduate” was in evidence everywhere. Of f duty hours, I spent in long walks over, around and through the reservation. I became acquainted with the peacetime Army style of living, where church activities, recreation and educational activities were of paramount importance. At Leavenworth, the academic year ran from September to May for the regular Army Resident Program . It has always been an honor to be selected for attendance at both the Resident and Non-Resident courses. Considerable class esprit was developed while in attendance - class ties and rings, jackets, etc.

I began my duties with the 358th CA Area Headquarters in August 1964 and continued until October 1973. Colonel Eugene Muller was CO most of that time. He was wealthy in his own right. (Inherited his father’s nursery business in Norristown). He was married to a German woman and he was quite dapper in appearance. He was astute as far as Army politics was concerned and surrounded himself with people who would enhance his career. I suppose he was a frustrated ‘West Pointer’ (he never went there). In fact he didn’t have a college degree so he was fighting an uphill battle to be appointed a Brigadier General. In Pennsylvania this was possible by serving in the National Guard at one time in the career, then upon retirement at the rank of Colonel, to be made a ‘retired’ Brigadier General. This was Muller’s objective. As a consequence we were always being pressured to win Superior Commendations for summer camp and anything else we did as a unit. He was always seeking ways for the 358th to be in the forefront. For example, we hosted the national CAMG Convention in Philadelphia and had General William Westmoreland as the guest speaker - this was when he was Chief of Staff and before he went to Vietnam. We flew key members of the unit to a CAMG Convention in San Antonio, Texas, in 1967 via Military airlift. We had a winning pistol and rifle team (I was on this for a number of years). We also were hosts for a number of summer camps which took on the look of a college campus. We were at the University of Pennsylvania one year and in 1970 we were at Georgetown University. In 1969 we hosted the summer camp at Valley Forge Military - primarily because the country was in a nasty mood because of Vietnam and the uniform was not the most respected garment. Despite the obvious politicking, these were always very high quality operations and each member took pride in doing his very best. As a result, we were a proud outfit with great ‘esprit’ I was frequently an. instructor in one subject or another and took great pride in doing my best. Our topics included Geo-Politics, Area History, and Language Study. We frequently studied French, sometimes German. Our S-3 was always active in creating an interesting schedule. I was S-3 for about a year 1971-72 — this took considerable extra time.

I want to say a little more about Eugene Mueller. He bought a ‘mansion' in the Norristown area. It was really unusual. He invited the whole 358th - EM and Officers - for a Christmas party one year. When we arrived he had permanent parking areas erected for “Col. Muller”, “Mrs. Muller”, etc. Upon entering the huge house (he had the identical light fixtures at the door as I had on 825 Hallowell Drive, he had the “Coat Room” labeled, then moving around the huge living room, the “Bed Room" was labeled as such, and the den was labeled "The War Room” --  can you imagine! In The War Room he had his ‘library’ which included mostly Army Field Manuals and other military memorabilia of his Army career. Next came the vaulted ceiling room in which he had an organ (electronic). LTC Phil Perth was playing Christmas music. The kitchen, labeled as such, was huge. The whole thing was incongruous - everyone was in uniform, sitting or standing, observing military protocol. LTC Romano, I recall, was in the ‘select’ inner sanctum, but he made a mistake of placing his braided hat on Muller’s bed instead of in the coat room. Muller nearly had a heart attack and proceeded to castigate him in public. Do you know, Romano had to transfer out of the 358th in order to get promoted to Colonel as a result of that ridiculous encounter. Muller was a little nuts if not obsessed.

I was still a Major when I completed the C & GS course 5 May, 1966. extension portion. I was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) 4 May 1967 and did my Resident phase at Leavenworth in July 1967 as LTC. That was a busy year because the 358th got involved in a two week Logistics Exercise at Fort Lee, VA the last two weeks of April (LOGEx). This was the first time I had been back to Ft. Lee since my induction in March 1943. We went by bus so very few had cars and to add to the combat realism we were quartered in paramidal tents. Ordinarily, April in Virginia would be a very pleasant time, but in 1967 we had a cold spell. So there we were Field Grade Officers as well as EM in Tents trying to keep warm with oil-fired camp stoves. At night it was really cold. Consequently, a number of the fellows were sick with colds and Flu. This was one of the encampments where I worked with LTC John Eisenhower (son of the President of the US). This was one of Mullers moves to get recognition. It seems John Eisenhower had been retired from the active service at 19 years of service rather than the 20 years — consequently he couldn’t draw retirement pay and I couldn’t believe this would happen to the son of the President of the US, but this was happening quite frequently. I never learned the details of John Eisenhower’s situation. So in order to qualify for retirement, John was attached to the 358th. I was assigned to work with him and a couple of others to write an area study on Czechoslovakia - it was very interesting work and John was a pleasure to work with. He was very diligent about his work and very efficient. I thought he knew his business. We took turns giving situation briefings to visiting brass. I suppose John just did not have the personality to survive in his father’s shadow. He was in fact very quiet. At this time he had just published his book on the Battle of the Bulge. I later tried unsuccessfully to have him speak to the students at LM. He was with the 358th a year or so then moved to the 79th ARCOM at Willow Grove where he was promoted to Colonel. He was then quickly promoted to Brigadier General in the USAR and then retired. It was a curious situation. Somewhere in that time frame he had been made Ambassador to Belgium, but he stayed only one year before returning to the US to write. I believe Nixon was President at the time. He had a home in Phoenixville, PA. In the past few years I understand he was divorced from his wife, Barbara.

So when I returned home after LOGEX, I received my LTC promotion and completed plans to go to Leavenworth in July.

In the summer of 1968, we started using Indiantown Gap Military Reservation for summer training. We went by bus as I recall, however, I was authorized travel by private vehicle because I was in the Advanced Party. I don’t recall anything remarkable about this camp.

1969 was a more exciting year. We bought a new Ford Station Wagon in the Spring. This was the year Helen began her work at Goddard College in Vermont (Plainfield). The first two weeks was in August. I believe I had little Sallie with me for two weeks then. Rich graduated from Yale cum laude in early June. An interesting development was six days AD beginning 29 Sep to fire the GOCOM Marksmanship competition at Ft. Meade, MD. This turned out well - I won several trophies with the pistol and the Ml Rifle. Col. Muller made a big fuss as we brought back numerous trophies. For several years after we had an active shooting team - we used several ranges around Philadelphia including the Philadelphia Police Academy. I note that on 26 May 69 I had the highest score in the unit with the pistol.

During the year 1969-70, I was busy working with Al Dann on preparing the next summer s exercise. He liked me to be on hand because he could count on me doing the work necessary for a successful camp. We both applied for the National Security Seminar (12 days) to be held in Peoria, Illinois from 3 May. The time would overlap Mother’s Day as I recall. The events of 1970 - this was the time of Vietnam, ‘hippies’, Student protests, drug abuse, anti-war and anti-military feeling. This particular National Security Seminar was run by the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. The mission was to have selected military, civilian and community leaders meet and become acquainted with matters of national security. Few of the topics had to do with arms and ‘hot’ war. Most of the time was directed to considerations of the feeding the starving masses throughout the world, providing necessary medical care for the world’s neglected population, improving agriculture production, educating the world’s illiterate, and stemming
Communist influence. Peoria, Illinois, is typically ‘middle America’ - an industrial-agricultural area (Caterpillar Tractor, Hiram Walker distillery). It also has Butler University within its bounds. Al Dann and I traveled there together - I believe we flew to Chicago and took a bus in from there. Shortly after we arrived the Kent State University shooting incident took place. Several young people who had been protesting had been shot by National Guard ‘kids’. This heightened tensions everywhere. The NG in Peoria was called out and of course there were protests and marches and confrontations. Remember, a great many young men had joined the NG to avoid going to Vietnam, now, all of a sudden they were being called up to put down a civil disturbance. Most were green and didn’t know how to react and there were command problems. Should the NG be issued live ammunition? Well, all of this peaked while I was in Peoria. Word got around that the Army was converging on a theater in the suburbs. By the time we arrived (in uniform) there were hundreds of college kids marching and protesting and carrying posters - lining the route to the theater. The sessions got underway amidst all the hubub. The instructional team was very intelligent and bright so instead of defying the protesters they invited them in . A shrewd move. So here were the starry-eyed, do-gooders hearing first hand that the Army’s concerns were humanitarian and not bellicose. Some of the student protesters who were sincere stayed for several days and had their questions answered and I believe they learned a thing or two about America. I thought it was a masterpiece of disarming strategy and I felt good about it. Intellectually, I learned a lot and hoped to participate in future seminars. There was an Army regulation, however, which limited participation to once every 5 years.

The 358th had its summer Training in 1970 at the Georgetown University in Washington, DC, in the form of an Institute of World Politics. This is what I was working on with Al Dann. I must say it was a worthwhile production. Excellent speakers, seminars and activities. Helen and Sallie stayed with Mother and Dad and I commuted from Silver Spring. I was on the marksmanship team again in October at Ft. Meade - I did well again. Each year the competition became tougher because I fired with those who had won in the previous years.

In 1971 I was involved in writing the CA Exercise for summer camp. This camp was at IGMR the last two weeks of August. If I recall correctly, this was the summer I had a hernia operation. That was the first two weeks of August, so I was out of the hospital and gingerly drove to IGMR - needless to say, I didn’t do much physical exercise. Being at camp was probably the best thing in the world for me. I didn’t have time to think about myself and I was active - they say that heals. I was also pushing for promotion to Colonel. The only catch would be that when I made Colonel I would automatically lose my slot in the 358th. I had mixed emotions, but one did not refuse a promotion when offered. 1 fired on the Marksmanship Team again at Ft. Meade.

At the same time I was waiting for promotion, I was trying to line up an Instructor’s slot with C & GSC. This was an excellent duty and with my teaching background, I didn’t expect any problems.

So, on 3 May 1972 I was promoted to full Colonel and subsequently was selected as Staff and Faculty for C & GSC at Virginia Beach, VA., beginning 18 Jun 72. The best duty so far. We decided to make a vacation out of the tour so Sallie and Helen went with me - we stayed at the Hilton just a short distance from the NG camp where the C & GSC would be conducted.

This was one of the nicest duty assignments I had up to this time. First of all, I never realized what the EAGLE of the full Colonel could do. Finally, I was receiving proper respect so to speak. (Rank hath its privileges). I was given a whole week to prepare my instruction which amounted to nine hours on the podium. The Army knows how to carry on proper instruction. Ample support and preparation such as no school teacher or professor ever had.

We had a great time at Virginia Beach --  dinner at a different Officers Club every evening. Virginia Beach and the Norfolk area are all the same region and crowded with military installations and personnel. Ft. Story, Oceania, Little Creek, Norfolk, etc. Everything went well until I hurt my back in the surf while playing with Sallie. The last few days I was in horrible pain. We left Virginia Beach for a trip to Tennessee. We found out that we had been in the eye of Hurricane Hazel which created all kinds of havoc in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, but not at Virginia Beach. We drove to Birmingham Alabama, and visited Florence and Harvey. Then we went on to Aunt Sallie in Brownsville, TN (Ripley). We had a great visit
- Aunt Sallie and Helen’s other relatives were always wonderful to us. We continued on up to Cleveland to see Helen’s friend Margaret Ann Raub. Then back to Huntingdon Valley. I believe we did stop by to see my brother Phil and his family in Ohio.

At the time, I was traveling I had been selected for enrollment in the US Army War College Non-Resident Course at Carlisle Barracks, PA. This covered two years, 1972-74. This was the most prestigious Army School for me to attend. A real feather in my Army cap. Considered to be the best Army Graduate School in existence, the headquarters were here in Carlisle. As my promotion indicated, I also transferred to the USAR Control Group, St. Louis, MO. This was and is the main records repository for all branches. I did remain with the 358th on attached status so I could continue with my retirement points.

The last two weeks of August 1972, I obtained a Mobilization Designation tour with the Civil Affairs Office in the Pentagon. This turned out to be a very high level experience. I stayed in excellent quarters at Ft. Myer, VA, and took the shuttle to the Pentagon each day. One morning LT Gen Stillwell gave me a lift. He was Army AC of S at the time. My duties involved working with the mammoth computer which the Army had at that time in the basement of the Pentagon. I was collecting data on the availability of reservists for CA AD. I received some very complimentary evaluations from my superiors.

My activities during the inactive period were in the nature of extension course work for the Army War College. As with the C of GSC the AWC had two summer AD periods at Carlisle. I was there in June of 1973 for the first tour (midcourse). It was an excellent two weeks. Probably the best Army course I ever experienced. The class was very selective. There were mostly Regular Army, then a % of NG and Reserve Officers. One had to be at least a LTC, with a college degree and preferably an advanced degree. This was preparation for large unit command (Corps and Army) or top staff. There were also selected individuals from Navy, Marines, Air Force and State Department. We were organized into seminar groups of 15 and we each took turns leading discussions and presenting material to the group. What was fascinating was the degree of independent study and individual input. For example, each was expected to do a research study - I decided to write on Waging Peace - Not War. The library facilities were outstanding. There was a librarian available for every 10 Officers. I think that I did a pretty good paper. Billeting was at a Motor Inn a few miles outside of Carlisle.

In addition to the AWC, I taught C & GSC at IGMR 22 Jul 73-4 Aug 73. We received excellent Army support for this instruction, e.g., visual aids, sound recordings, video tape. I always enjoyed adding my own personal touch, i.e., jokes, and martial music. The instruction was based upon a detailed course outline - the facts had to be presented according to the text, but each instructor had the flexibility to add his own unique touches. For each instructor there was an assistant instructor and on occasion the assistant had to take over. Then there were always the examinations. Evaluations of the instruction were very important for each of us because this formed the basis of our proficiency rating. I managed to score in the upper range each time.

As a Colonel with C & GSC and currently in AWC I was eligible for several tours of AD each year. Since I was not in a unit I needed to get as much AD as possible. In 1974, I continued the AWC and also added two weeks at the end of May at the Naval Amphibious Base, Coronado, San Diego, California, for a Counter Insurgency Orientation Course. The Navy knows how to take care of its rank. The Officers quarters were in their own high rise hotel - very efficiently run. I had a good vacation on this tour - San Diego is a great area - zoo, symphony, baseball. I didn’t go to Mexico even though it was only a short distance away.

The final 2 weeks of AWC began 7 Jul 74 (I had left LM School District in December 1973 so I was busy getting ready to move to Columbia in June 1974). This final phase of AWC was outstanding. Excellent speakers and discussion leaders. The group I was with were very fine Officers. For the graduation I had Helen and Sallie up. They stayed at another motel the last two days. The exercises were inspiring - I was proud to complete this program. General Maxwell Taylor spoke - he was in his 80’s. Much of the subject matter required my background in educational and personnel management as well as in military expertise. Two hundred forty started the course and 140 finished. I splurged by buying anodized silver eagles for my best uniform --  they never need polishing.

Having completed AWC, I tried to get as much AD as possible in teaching at C & GSC. In 1975 I taught 15 Jun - 30 Jun at IGMR then again at Ft. Meade 13 Jul - 27 Jul. I enjoyed both tours immensely. There were many interesting individuals attending or teaching and we always had interesting times together. When not teaching or studying, I played both tennis and golf. I was running out of tours of duty, so I found the 1073 Support Group which met at the New Cumberland, PA Army Supply Depot for purposes of acquiring points for retirement. This was a great group - small in number - but all in the same boat. Most were nearing retirement and needed a good year or two. We spent one night a week on general military topics and took turns instructing. I was attached in February 1976. On a couple of occasions, I earned retirement points by serving as a judge at the Pennsylvania Science and Engineering Fair for students of Pennsylvania at Harrisburg. In April 1976 I attended the excellent Amphibious Warfare Indoctrination Course at Little Creek, VA. This was good relaxed duty. Considering all the blood sweat and tears I put in over 30 years, I suppose I was entitled to a little ‘gravy’.

This was followed by a two week tour as Staff and Faculty at IGMR 6-18 Jun 76. This was the same USAR School from Schenectady, NY, which I had taught for before. I was Director of Instruction for part of this period. I got on well with everyone, did my work and tried to be inspiring - this was a real challenge for me. I did a second 2 weeks from 8-22 Aug 76 as Staff and Faculty at IGMR in C & GSC. This was my last AD in the Army. Although I sought other tours during the year, it was a fact that I would have 5 years in grade by 3 May 1977 and would terminate my service as of that date. At least IL ended my Army Reserve service with a blaze of glory.
 



 

All the world's a stage


The first recollection I have of being in front of an audience was in my Kindergarten Class at Carberry School with Miss Sewell. As I recall, I had made a series of pictures on manila paper and pasted them together in a continuous roll. This was placed in a cardboard box, cutout to look like a movie screen. I wound the roll onto a reel and told the story to the class.

Other reflections on acting and audiences bring to mind the “rainy day” recesses we had at school1 The teacher was always looking for someway to keep the class amused when they couldn’t go outdoors and play. I remember being a real “ham” and enjoying telling stories to the class, e.g., Hansel and Gretel. I also remember telling about the THREE LITTLE PIGS and LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD. Of course in the late 1920’s and 1930’s part of the educational program included memorization of poetry, stories and speeches. We also had memory work in Sunday School. This training had a lot to do with my ability and interest in reciting ‘pieces.

It was the custom in my youth to have the various children present at family gatherings do various acts. Each would recite or sing or play a musical instrument. In this way-we received a great deal of practice in performing. Besides the family performances, the Sunday School at Keller provided numerous opportunities to act in pageants at Christmas and Easter.

I recall enjoying all of the occasions when I was in front of an audience. I have a very strong recollection of the pleasure I felt in telling “Hansel and Gretel’ in second grade with Mrs. Crossan. I enjoyed the accolades that came to me. My classmates would ‘request’ that I tell the story. Then they would laugh and applaud appropriately. It was undoubtedly satisfying to my ego to be in demand. Teachers would frequently ask me to read a particular story.

In 1932 we celebrated the George Washington Bicentennial. In Montgomery County, we never had a holiday on GW’s birthday - we always had a special school assembly. In 1932 I received the greatest thrill of all by being chosen to portray George Washington in the school assembly. I wore the costume and a white wig. I also carried the sword we had acquired from Uncle Irving Wood (a K of C ceremonial sword). There is a snapshot of me in this outfit in one of the family albums. I don’t remember the details of the performance, but I do recall wearing the costume all the rest of the day while Phil, Harry Elkins et al, continued playing George Washington over on the ‘dirt road’ (Crosby Rd.) We had built a shack from scrap that served as GW’s Headquarters at Valley Forge.

A sort of ‘dramatic routine’ seemed to be developing for me. I always had a part in every church sponsored pageant, I recited in Sunday School, I recited at Grandma Daly’s, I recited at home --  I always had a part in any school play or pageant being given and I told stories whenever the opportunity presented itself. I recall a sixth grade Spring program where I wore a horse costume in the assemble program. Costumes were a part of life in those years. Mother was an expert costume maker. She made. Elves, Angels, Wisemen, Kings, Indians, etc. She did this for all four of us brothers, not just me.

Then there were the times when we did our acting on our own. These sessions frequently followed Phil and my attending a Saturday matinee (10 cents) at the old Seco Theatre. If we saw Hoot Gibson or Tom Mix - we played cowboys and Indians. If we saw a film on the pioneers moving West - we became the pioneers or Indians. If we saw a war film (Revolution, Civil War WWI or a Napoleon, Caesar, etc. - we came home and put on the appropriate costume and ad libbed for several hours. We played TARZAN OF THE APES, we played hunters, The Pilgrims, the Crusaders, the Cowboys and Indians. We even played the African natives and Eskimos. After an airplane adventure like WEST POINT OF THE AIR we would be fighter pilots. Frequently, we were sailors or soldiers even cadets at West Point and Midshipmen at Annapolis. There was no limit to the roles we created. I remember playing Eskimo, Arab, and Foreign Legionnaires. All of these roles and ad libs required homemade costumes. Our African adventures with Tarzan, usually took place in the hot summer. Our Eskimo escapades took place when had snow. Earlier I wrote about digging trenches for our WWI roles - we had the space and the tools to do this, we became experts. All the while we would agree on the general parameters of the ‘script’, i.e., what was going to happen, who would shoot whom, who would escape and the general limits of the action.

The first real acting parts in dramatic productions did not come until the Junior High School years. In the 7th grade at Takoma Silver Spring Junior High. School. I recall so-called ‘variety shows’ which provided for individual acts to be performed by students. I must have been 12 years old at the time. I recall developing a routine of imitations: ‘Uncle Ezra and His Powerful Little 5-Watter’;(taken from a radio show), Lionel Barrymore, ‘Captain Bligh’, ‘The Shadow’, and others. I became quite popular on the school stage with this routine. Another traditional production of the era was the annual Spring Operetta. I recall playing the old man, Ezra McSpavin in SUNBONNET GIRL. I had my first singing part in this operetta. The next play I remember was in the 9th Grade at Montgomery Hills Junior High School. (In the 8th grade at TSS I was active in the Dramatics Club but I don’t recall a significant play). I believe
the title was EVERYBODY LOVES A LOVER. I played the male lead - I recall simulating smoking a pipe. We had a very small stage too. Mrs. Quinn (Miss Fenton from TSS) was the director and coach. I liked her and she was a good director. This was a big event for me.

I continued doing the church plays and pageants at Keller. Rev. Mumper was the minister. He liked directing plays and so I usually had a pretty good part. We performed on the big stage in the Sunday School Department which meant we were in a sort of theater in the Round - no curtain, no proscenium.

In the 10th and 11th Grades the major acting was my Variety Show act. I had refined the imitations, and also added 19th Century Victorian Skits to my repertoire . I also played my violin in these shows. In Grade 10 I was the only 10th Grader to win anything. I did this for 3 years and then in the 12th Grade I was MC for the Variety Show. I wrote my own material and introduced the various acts. Original Operettas were big at Blair, but I was never in them - Phil was in all of them. The only legitimate play was the Senior Play given each Spring by the Senior Class. In my final year (1941) we put on GROWING PAINS - I played the older man, Prof. McIntyre. I even printed the tickets and programs for this show. The program indicates that I was on the ‘Senior Play Committee’ with Betty Fleishell, Margaret Strahley, and Helen Bogen. Betty had been doing imitations since Junior High (Baby Snooks), Margaret, I don’t remember . Helen was the only Jew in school but she was serious about acting - she even organized a summer group with me and others in 1941 to read plays in various homes. We never put on a production. Helen played Mrs. McIntyre in our play.

I had great aspirations in acting during my high school days. I wrote to Frederic March after seeing him in ONE FOOT IN HEAVEN --  he answered too. I wrote to Madeleine Carroll and received her photo. I wrote to be in the movie which launched William Holden, GOLDEN BOY - about a boxer who played violin. It seems they were seeking candidates nation wide. I wasn’t even 18 so I didn’t receive anything but a letter. That was the year I wrote to Pasadena Playhouse for their drama school program. I was seriously thinking of a career in acting - I was also thinking of cartooning, dentistry, and the ministry. The latter won out and I went to Gettysburg College.

When I had visited Gettysburg College I was fascinated by their Drama Club (Dr. Arms was the advisor) and I even saw a couple of their ‘one acts’. It seemed only natural that I would join the drama group and be in their plays. I became frustrated! I couldn’t even get an audition. I learned that it was a closed
‘fraternity’ - only certain individuals got in. The same was true of the A Cappella Choir. I believe this repulse helped to influence me to go to Maryland University the next year.

At Gettysburg the only ‘dramatic’ thing I did was a skit in the fraternity show by the Pan Hellenic Council. This was really a revision of my imitation routine. I added Adolph Hitler, Hirohito, Mrs. Roosevelt and wrote in some questionable situations which ended up putting me before Dean Tilberg. I really had forgotten that I was preministerial -- I must have shocked a number of people.

Acting took a vacation until I got to Maryland University in October 1942. I did manage to take in a few plays at the National Theater on “E” St., NW. I saw my favorite actor Edmund Gwen in THE WOOKIE with Dad, about London being bombed. THIS IS THE ARMY by Irving Berlin also got my attention. I managed to see a version of the PASSION PLAY at Constitution Hall.

When I arrived on the College Park Campus, I found a warm welcome by the Footlight Club - just the opposite of Gettysburg. Arla Guild was a senior and President of the Club then. I recall a skit or two for an audition. I got the bartender’s part in O’Neill’s LONG VOYAGE HOME - a one act play. I used my Irish accent in this role. This activity was interrupted by my entry into the Army.

While in the Reception Center at Camp Lee, VA, I made connections with the Special Services Officer and began doing radio shows over WRVA (Richmond) from the Service Club. At different times I was the radio announcer, Hitler, Hirohito, GI Joe, Mote, One Show was called CONQUER WE MUST - I still have that script. While doing this the Special Services offered me a spot in Zero Mostel’s overseas show - primarily as a violinist. I declined this and went on with my military duties. No further acting took place in the Army.

In the Spring of 1946, I was making serious plans for an acting career. I applied to UCLA and was admitted to the School of Drama. I even had my schedule made out for the Fall of 1946. I corresponded with the TKE Fraternity brothers at UCLA and tried desperately to find living quarters there. Bull-headed as I was, we flew to LA from Indianapolis with a room reservation in a little hotel in Venice, California. We were in that spot for 2 to 3 weeks. All the time trying to find adequate living facilities. There was nothing available. We didn’t know anyone, the University couldn’t help. Nothing was being built - no apartments. We even looked in the obituary column. Helen was getting neurotic about the whole thing so we cashed in our WAR BONDS (mostly Helen’s) and took the train back to Philadelphia. This could have been a cross-roads in my career because I was ready to act. Instead I retreated to Maryland University and I tried Business Administration for a semester and then went into Education in the Spring of 1947.

My acting picked up again when I returned to Maryland in 1946. I rejoined the Footlight Club, now called the University Theater. The University now had a Speech Department which included Drama -- Ehrensburger was the head. Lyle V. Mayer was one of the better teachers and directors in the department. During most of Fall 1946 and Spring 1947, I was busy trying to study and feed the family, so I didn’t have time for acting. It wasn’t until I had taken a couple of drama courses in the summer of 1947 that I decided to get back on the stage. We were living on campus in the Vets Apartments. is September 1947 I auditioned for ‘Teddy’ Brewster in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. L.V. Mayer was the director and we put on the play in the Old Agriculture Auditorium, October 27-31 and November 1 - 5.

This was what I consider to be my first real significant role in a play. It was a great part for me - everyone liked me in the part. Mayer thought I was great, “the best Teddy I’ve ever seen!” Mayer wanted me to be in ELIZABETH THE QUEEN, but I was too involved in looking for a teaching job. He also had aspirations for me in VOLPONE (Johnson) in February. At one time I had considered staying on at Maryland University and going for a Master’s Degree in history. Dr. Merrill wanted me to. The job at Upper Darby in January ended my acting at Maryland U.

Once in Philadelphia I began meeting with the Old Academy Players in East Falls. This is one of the numerous community theater groups in the area which provided an outlet for lovers of acting on a recreational basis. There were many very able actors connected with the Old Academy. Some even went on to greater things - GRACE KELLY got her start there before I arrived; while I was there Robert Prosky began his career - we were in REBECCA together - he went on to Broadway and Hollywood, most recently he was the Sgt. in HILL STREET BLUES on TV.

My introduction to the Old Academy was a debut as a ‘pinch hitter’ in PARLOR STORY as Gov. Bright - the closing performance. The regular actor was drunk and couldn’t go on. I ended up tearing the printed script apart and placing pages at strategic spots around the stage. Fortunately, the stage was small. As I recall we got through the thing OK. This was followed by the part of Giles Lacey in REBECCA. I had my first theater photo done for this show was by Seeger Studio in Roxborough. These plays were performed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, over two weeks. The rehearsal period was usually 4 weeks. It was while at the Old Academy that I learned about makeup and how to apply my own. Muriel Montgomery taught me - she worked for a mortician preparing cadavers.

In the Spring of 1949 (March) I acted the part of ‘Uncle Willie’ in PHILADELPHIA STORY, directed by Stan Smith. This was a great part, Graces s sister, Lizanne Kelly played Tracey Lord. I was really enjoying Old Academy by now and went on to Mr. Kirby in YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU. A classic, and fun. Charles Gosnay directed this one. In the Spring of 1950 I played Sen. Kruger in TWO BLIND MICE, directed by Donald Clark (I don’t really remember him). Again, in September-October 1950, I was Corp. Winton to Bob Prosky’s ‘Intruder’ in SEE HOW THEY RUN. This play was directed by Ted Pflaumer. I don’t recall doing anymore at the Old Academy - we moved to Maryland in July 1951. The Old Academy provided a very good training ground for me. I learned from the able actors and good directors. While doing all of this at Old Academy, I was introduced to television in the Philadelphia area. These were the years when you acted for nothing. I remember acting as a witness on a couple of shows called THE BLACK ROBE - these were produced in City Hall court room and I ad libbed the dialogue. I also was a narrator on WCAU-TV for an ethnic dance group - all very primitive. It was good training. While at Upper Darby I assisted Dick Richards with the annual production. I also took my turn at directing and producing our homeroom assembly.

Back in Silver Spring, theater opportunities were somewhat limited. There was no community theater such as that in the Philadelphia area. Some communities did have an amateur theater such as at Rockville. The theater group me at the Episcopal Church and did mostly Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, because the Rector enjoyed directing them. Helen was in the chorus of PIRATES OF PENZANCE one year. I never did anything with them.

While at Montgomery Hills Junior High School I sponsored the Drama Club. I tried to direct and produce MEET CORLISS ARCHER. I couldn’t stand the juvenile behavior of the kids so I cancelled the show. I have never tried to direct anything since. Nothing further happened acting wise for four or five years. Nothing happened in Rockville or Baltimore.

My next recollection of acting is that of a summer production at Plymouth - probably 1962. I can’t remember the play, although it may have been BIG HEARTED HERBERT - as Mr. Goodrich. All that I recall is wearing a bathrobe (which I still have).

Although I continued my interest in the theater, I was strictly a patron for at least a decade until I landed in the Lancaster area in 1976. Being a Superintendent of Schools realistically did not provide time for such activity. Lancaster had a very active semiprofessional theater company called The ACTORS COMPANY OF PENNSYLVANIA. Jeanne Clemson, drama teacher at the Lancaster Country Day School, was the prime-mover. She was about my age. One evening when we were living in the Olde Hickory apartment, I recall reading about auditions at the Fulton Theater for the Greek in THE MIRACLE WORKER. It was only a small part in the first act, but a real cameo performance would set the mood for the whole play. I got the part - Bill Starr was the director. The Fulton Theater is the oldest continually active theater building in the United States. I learned a great deal while at the theater and working with the Actors Company. Many had connections in New York. I learned about the Actors Equity Association (union) and began to appreciate real theater. The Actors Company was made up of dedicated theater people who were very capable. The first play was done in March-April 1977 and then in April 1978 I did the Southern father ‘Mr. Addams’ in THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING, directed by Don Price of New York. There were Equity actors in this show. This was the first time that I acted with a Negro - Bette Howard was Equity from New York — a very good actress.

During the summer of 1977 I played the French Judge in CAN CAN which was performed at the Landis Valley Dinner Theater. It was located just behind our apartment building. This was my first Dinner Theater experience. I thought it was excellent. What a cast! In Lancaster everything was done expertly. In the Fall of 1979 I had a small part (Lord Boxington) in MY FAIR LADY. Ron Kurtz directed this show. I also doubled as one of the dignitaries at the Ball. It was a great experience with another Musical. This was my final effort in Lancaster. I moved back to Huntingdon Valley in June 1980. During this last year in Lancaster, I had begun modeling in the Philadelphia area through the Models Guild of Philadelphia (Ann Bachman). This was a whole new venture but held some promise for employment after I retired from education. The jobs were few and far between.

Once I was back in Huntingdon Valley in 1980 I took my pictures to Edie Robb (Talent Works) who called herself a Talent Manager. All that means is that she collects 15% of everything you make. She did get me a couple of minor non-union jobs. I recall, I worked one Saturday at the airport as a n extra for an ad for Ransom Airlines ($100). She also gave me a lead to NY Communication in Narberth. It was a non-union TV ad for WCAU (Don Tolefesson 1980, Sports announcer - promotional). That paid $75 and ran for months. Thereafter NY Communications called me directly for about 10 different jobs during the year. Meanwhile, Ann Bachman of Models Guild told me I should join the union - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA). At that time it cost me $350. The important Union to join was Screen Actors Guild. Requirements then were: one year in AFTRA and a ‘principal’ role, which meant at least 5 lines of dialogue. Ann Bachman got me a job as an ‘on camera’ player for Price-Waterhouse. The shot was at the Vicks Plant in Hatboro. I was ‘Doug’ the blue-collar warehouse supervisor. I had a nice part and as a result, earned my right to SAG membership. I was an extra in ROCKY II, through Edie Robb as an AFTRA member which then meant $75 per 8 hour day. Edie got 15%. From then on I heard from her only infrequently. ROCKY II was being shot at the same time they were making TAPS at the Valley Forge Military Academy - I couldn’t do both at the same time. I worked on BLOWOUT one Friday all night and into Saturday morning - as a union extra that became profitable time. I was working maybe 2 or 3 times a month. Being SAG and AFTRA, I rather timidly started to look at New York, but I never really did anything seriously for a couple of years. I had auditioned for DAMN YANKEES at the Huntingdon Valley Dinner Theater - I was given the part of the coach and sang “Heart”. By the time rehearsals were to start, Helen interfered again. She complained about being paid only $l0-l5 per show. It was strictly non-union, but she didn’t understand you have to start somewhere. I dropped out after the first rehearsal.

At this time Models Guild was in receivership and Ann Bachman was very ill. It took 3 months to get paid for print work because it was non-union. Linda Devlin worked there and liked me. She moved on to Paul Midiri Models on Chestnut Street. In February 1982 I joined Midiri. It was never a busy arrangement, but I managed to keep busy through several agents. In Philadelphia you free-lance, never sign an ‘exclusive1. I learned that the hard way.

In the Spring of 1982 we had the Huntingdon Valley house up for sale, I was substituting and doing limited modeling and acting. As a SAG extra, I had some work on a number of poor quality pictures. April 7, 1982, I worked in a cabaret scene on EDDIE AND THE CRUISERS - a very poor film - didn’t last a week in the theaters. The scene was shot in New Jersey just past Cherry Hill. The only good part was the food! The union always saw to the eats.

At this time I invested $300. in a course at Weist Barren, the foremost TV School in New York and Philadelphia. We met on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 7-9 for 5 weeks. It was a showcase format with casting agents each week from New York. We learned about auditioning (selecting the right material), getting the right head shot (picture), and resume. We had practice in performing for the agents. Both before the TV camera and without. I shared the driving with Blossom Terry who was President of the local SAG. She lived in HV. I made a couple of trips to New York to spread my head shots around. I had a list of casting agents (Ross Reports). NY really intimidated me. The casting offices and people were so impersonal.

I had an extra part in FIGHTING BACK. One scene was shot in City Hall where I was on crutches in the background. The casting agent, Sherri Lynne, had me audition for the director as the Italian Priest (Father Leone). Patty Lupone was one of the stars. I was thrilled with this ‘upgrade’. I had my own dressing trailer and costume. I had a few lines too. The scene was in an old house in the Kensington section and I was consoling the old Italian mother who had her ring finger brutally cut off. Well, as movies often go, first the lines were cut, then my scene was cut with Patty. It turned out to be a very poor film and as you might expect, my scene was cut altogether. I was, however, paid as a day player.

I worked on several films in New York that were never released. In one I was dressed in diapers and with several others my age, we were pushing a young fellow into an oven. Sort of a Hades motive. I also was working on a voice tape for auditions. I made this at Baker Studios on Ranstead Street. The first was showing my accents and a second one emphasized straight narration.

In July 1982 I got my first big opportunity in New York winning the part of ‘The Ringmaster’ in the PBS “Reading Rainbow”. It was my first experience for no pay. The idea was to get exposure. I worked 3 days almost around the clock. I was listed as a dancer --  great makeup job. We shot the whole thing in the Public Library in Milburn, NJ. Sammy Bayes, Jr., was the very capable director and choreographer.

In between, I was selling luggage at Bloomingdales in Willow Grove. I had an interesting print job in Cherry Hill, NJ (thru Midiri). A beautiful model (Bobbi Mustin) worked with me - I was to wear cut off’, an old ball cap, sneakers, smoke a big cigar and munch on a hoagy. I represented the old line of mattresses for Bambergers. Bobbi represented the new line -she was scantily clad in nightwear. The two of us were to ad lib a one hour performance for executives of the company after they had dinner. It was a challenge and we had fun. No harm done, plus $700.

Meanwhile, I had been sending my headshot to prospects in BACKSTAGE. I was willing to do legitimate stage, DT. or print work. Of course, much of what was advertised was already taken. The ads were to satisfy the union.

While at Ocean City in September 1982 I got a call for an audition at the Delaware Theater Company in Wilmington, Delaware. What a time I had! My Olds broke down in Somers Point - I had to rent a car in Atlantic City and drive to Wilmington, Del. The audition went very well. Cleveland Morris was the artistic director and had graduated from Yale in Rich’s class, 1969. I kept running back and forth to New York for all kinds of auditions: musicals, Shakespeare. Never got anything.

I heard from the Delaware Theater Company in February of 1983 -I had the part of ‘Dad’ in a play called GRANDE'S FINALE by Casey Kelly. It was performed March 2-19. The part was good for me - it required a Southern accent. This was an Equity play - Mary Cooper played ‘Mama’ (NY); Dallas Greer played ‘Ray’ (NY); Ceal Phelan played ‘Sister Ralph” - she was a member of the Delaware Company and Equity; Drucie McDaniel played ‘Shrimp’ my daughter, she wasn’t Equity as yet. At this time I was trying to earn Equity credits toward my ‘card’. Helen invited her friends and sorority members - most of whom came to see the show as did Rich and his family. I was glad to see Rich and his family, but I didn’t really appreciate her inviting all of her people.

Back to December 1982 - I auditioned for Bernie Styles from New York and I got the part of the white chauffeur in TRADING PLACES. It was shot on the steps of the old mint on Spring Garden Street. I drove a silver stretch Cadillac for the Main Line girlfriend of Dan Ackroyd. I spent two days on this and
chatted with Don Ameche and others.

The next year , 1983, was to be a busy one. In January we signed for the apartment in the Claridge (we moved in on April first). Helen was working on selling the Huntingdon Valley place by herself. I referred to the production at the Delaware Theater Company in March. While doing the show I auditioned for the Sheriff in THE RAINMAKER at the City Line Dinner Theater which had just gone Equity and was to star Joe Namath the famous football star and quarterback of the NY Jets. This was a great audition. Hopefuls were there from all over — and I got the part. Everyone else was Equity. This was the best part so far. With snow on the ground, rehearsals began in Downingtown. Leslie Ann Ray (NY) played Lizzie’; Melvin Dacus (from Ft. Worth) played the father; Ed Dennehy (NY) played Noah’; Rusty Hodgkinson played Jim (he was just out of the Army at Ft. Bragg); Hank de Luca (Phila) played File’; Joe Na-math played ‘Starbuck’; and I played the Sheriff. It was a very nice show with a good story. This was the non-musical version. The director Lee Yopp, was from Ft. Bragg where he was in charge of theatrical productions for the Army. Lee directed the show and John Kinnamon produced — the two of them selected me for the part. The City Line DT just acquired Equity status, so it was great for me. The theater area could seat 1000. It was a great cast to work with. Even the Star, Joe Namath, was a hard worker. He got $l2,000/wk, I got $l50/wk. I enjoyed every minute of the big time performance. Once again, Helen loaded the audience with friends and relatives. I hated all the fuss about getting tickets and arranging when they would come. This show ran for six weeks. During the summer I auditioned at the Walnut Theater. It was a regional audition for all the theaters in the area. Later in September I heard from Jiri Siska, director at the Wilma Theater on Sansom Street. He wanted  me for ‘Coulmier’ in MARAT SADE. I read several times and got the part. Wilma is a small (100 seats) Equity Theater so I took the part in order to get into Equity. We performed the month of November. It was well-staged Siska and his wife were Czech and did things very thoroughly. He had a peculiar way of whispering specific directions into your ear, rather than speaking out loud to the whole company. Wilma Theater itself was satisfactory, but the dressing rooms were terrible - no water no toilet (had to go up two flights) and one small space 10 x 6 for changing with a cast of 20. This condition got to me and was more than I could stand. The young actors were oblivious to nudity, crudity and drugs. I couldn’t take the foul language used - I thought I was crude, but these young people, particularly the girls, were something else again. When the show ended I swore that I wouldn’t do another play on stage. I did one other local play at Temple University (center city) in the Spring of 1984 - HIGHRISE. I have it on tape.

While MARAT SADE was running MGM was shooting GEORGE WASHINGTON in Philadelphia. I worked as an extra for nearly eight days. That was a great experience with costumes. I also read Flexner ‘s biography of GW while working in the film starring Barry Bostwick and Patty Duke. During the year, I had a good part as the Mayor in SH_H_H_H_ which was shot on the Main Line (Ardmore). It never got to the screen as the Director Bernie Cohen, died of a heart attack - he was in his 40’s.

Since then I have been busy making industrial films and videos. Many of these have been about medical insurance, retirement plans, retirement communities, and pharmaceuticals. I have made several local commercials, but nothing on the national level. During 1984 I branched out to Central Casting in Washington and Baltimore. I always enjoyed going South, because the attitude is much warmer and relaxed. In 1985 I became connected with Taylor/Royal Casting in Baltimore. Martha Royal and Betsy have been absolute dolls in helping with my work in that area. Vince Clews has been the primary producer there - he seems to like my work.

During 1986 I was very busy with SAG jobs. I did a nice film for Bell Telephone in which I played ‘the Visitor’ - I made a tape of this. Also made a local commercial for Logan Square East -= a retirement community. In March MGM returned to Philadelphia and started on GEORGE Washington; forging a Nation. This film covered the period 1787-97, a difficult period to film. I worked several days on this 4 hour TV Special. The best came with a small speaking role as the Mason - in costume, rousing the rabble at 2nd and Pine and at the Hill-Keith-Physick House. The final result was my best effort on film. Other days I was an extra in varying costumes. Once again I read Flexner each day to keep abreast of the facts. Helen and I both were extras in a poor film MANNEQUIN, part of which was filmed on Rittenhouse Square.
 

In July we were with Sallie in New York for the Statue of Liberty centennial celebration. She had moved there in February 1986. I then had an extra job in a film made on Coney Island (Brighton Beach), then the same week I worked a weekend on SECRET OF MY SUCCESS with Michael J. Fox. This was shot in a skyscraper over Saturday-Sunday - double time pay. I made over $400. as an extra for two days work. Helen and I both worked in TIN MEN in Baltimore during August. We had a chance to visit with her friends Myrtle and Andy Tyre (her sorority sister) while working on the film over a three day period. In September 1986 I got a nice part (Silent Bit) as the elevator operator in HOUSE ON SULLIVAN STREET with Kelly McGillis. This took 4 or 5 days at night and on weekends in Grand Central Station. I actually operated the old 1912 elevator by hand and treadle, stopping in between floors while actors (and doubles) tussled and fell out of the car - an interesting shoot. At one point the director (an Englishman) wanted me to fall out of the elevator car. Just before Christmas 1986, I worked for five days on a print job through Midiri Models, for Merck/Sharpe/Dohme and the Graduate Hospital portraying a patient with Parkinson’s disease.
 
 



 

Travel -- seeing the world


As far back as I can remember, I have always looked forward to and enjoyed traveling. Our first car was a 1928 ESSEX (green) used primarily to drive to Keller Church for church connected activities or visit the relatives on Maryland Avenue or 10th Street North East. Occasionally, there would be a drive to Colonial Beach, Virginia; Palmyra, Pennsylvania1 or Philadelphia, Pa. Even before the Essex, I recall a trip or trips to Grandma Daly’s Colonial Beach Cottage in her Willy’s Knight driven by Uncle Adolph. He would let us cousins hold the wheel even when we were very young. I loved every minute of it.

The automobiles of the 1920’s and ‘30’s were not very reliable. I recall frequent flat tires and a broken axel on the Essex. The other vivid memory that I have is of many trip cancellations. Dad was not very adventuresome and a rainy day would mean that “all plans are cancelled”. Nothing was more frustrating to me than changing plans because of the weather. To this day I rarely, if ever, cancel a trip because of the weather. I recall one trip to Palmyra in the 1936 LAFAYETTE (Nash Motors) for a 4th of July Holiday. I believe it was actually in 1939, because I was helping with the driving. We were going by way of Frederick, Maryland; Westminster, Taneytown, Gettysburg, Harrisburg and Hershey. There had been heavy cloud bursts and the roads were flooded. Somewhere near Frederick, the swollen streams spilled over the roadway. Dad didn’t want to go on - Mother thought we should turn back. I believe I was driving. At any rate, we drove slowly through a flooded area and the car STALLED! As we sat there, the water crept into the car and Mother started to get hysterical. Fortunately, another vehicle happened along and pushed us out of the flooded area. After drying off the spark plugs, we got the car started, but we were turned around and headed for home. We made the trip the next day without incident.

Mother always wanted to travel. She would never miss an opportunity to take a trip anywhere. She rarely had the opportunity, because Dad was reluctant to drive. He was always very nervous behind the wheel and drove in a very jerky manner. Getting my Driver’s License on my 16th Birthday in 1939 was a big thrill. From then on I drove whenever I could.

The first real traveling I did was on my trip West with Mr. Thomas which I have written about earlier. The next traveling experiences were in the Army. Although I wanted desperately to travel overseas, it never seemed to happen. Even though I studied German - I never got there. Even though I studied Chinese and Japanese to go to the Orient, - I never got there either. Throughout my professional career as Teacher, Dean and Superintendent of Schools, my travel was confined to educational conferences - but I went whenever the opportunity arose. Canada, California, Colorado, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Illinois. Later on I took USAR Active Duty as far away as I could — Kansas, Virginia, Maryland, California, Florida.

Our first real family trip abroad came in the Spring of 1965. Sallie was 15 months old. Rich was a student at Brentwood School near London. He had gone there after graduating from Holderness, because he wasn’t admitted to Princeton University as he had planned. He had been told that he “need not worry about getting in with your record at Holderness”. So he didn’t apply anywhere else. As it turned out, he needed the maturing experience of the year in England. The curriculum was academically challenging also. We planned to fly over and see him during his Spring Holiday. I believe he had three weeks or a month off around the end of March and early April. I recall we sere in Wales on Easter Sunday and that was April 18, 1965.

I remember getting our passports and tickets on PAN AM for $320. each, round trip. Because we were taking baby Sallie, Helen thought we should have a baby sitter. We planned that the baby sitter would pay for her flight but we would pay board, room and travel expenses. Helen tried to get either of her nieces, Joyce or Gay, to go - they were around 14 or 15 years of age, but Mill and Walt didn’t feel they could put up the money. We ended up with her regular baby sitter from Feasterville only 14. She turned out to be more of a problem than a help. I think her name was Catherine. She had a trick knee, got sick from the train, and had all kinds of excuses for not doing what we. wanted. She did make it possible for us to go to a show or two while in Lon don.

I recall John and Irene Schultz from Huntingdon Valley, drove us to the airport -- I have 8mm movies of the trip. We left at 6 PM and arrived about 7 AM. Cousin Griff met us at Heathrow and guided us to the bus and then to the Railroad Station where we caught the train to Holyhead. It was and 8-hour trip and we were dead tired.

Griff kept us awake calling us out into the passageway to see the sights. He had recently retired from a position of responsibility with the RR so he knew all of the engineers, conductors and waiters. When we arrived in Holyhead we went a short distance to cousin Gladys little house where she had tea for us. Wales was gray and Holyhead was foggy and wet. I remember piling into a soft bed where we slept around the clock. As I recall we were there about four days and nights over the Easter weekend. Griff took me to the local Pub and then Helen --  Gladys and Helen were at home with Harvey’s Cream Sherry. We were busy visiting Helen’s cousins et al. Gladys hired a cab for a day and took us all over Holy-head seeing the sights - Druid and Roman ruins and WW II pillboxes. On Easter Sunday we had sunshine, clouds, hail, snow, and rain - typical of Wales. The babysitter was Catholic so we made certain that she got to Mass. Helen and I went to the Church of England - it was cold and raw - no such thing as heat in those old churches. After church we went to Griff’s ‘club’ for ‘whiskey and snacks’ -- I believe we had dinner too.

On leaving Holyhead we took the train to London. Griff made sure the head waiter knew we were there and he treated us royally. Arriving in London, Rich met us at the station. He had twisted his ankle on holiday on the continent, so he was somewhat handicapped. I recall trying to find a restaurant - most wouldn’t take an infant. We finally ate and then proceeded to our room in a B & B, small hotel at Russell Square. It was the kind of a place his teachers would stay in (he had arranged for it in the first place). I remember a small room for Helen and me and Sallie - the babysitter was elsewhere, as was Rich. Sallie made a mess at breakfast in the basement level so thereafter we had to feed her in the room. We turned a drawer in the table upside down to make a table and tied her into a chair - it worked. We couldn’t find a rocking chair anywhere in London. Rich went out with his game leg looking all over for a rocker and a baby stroller that we could rent. Sallie wouldn’t go to sleep without a rocker. Rich never found a rocker, but I think he did locate a stroller. I carried Sallie most of the time. We also had her on a harness for the little walking she could do (only 15 months old). Rich was great - he took us to pubs, plays, museums, (Russell Square was near the University of London and the British Museum). We particularly admired the gardens which were well tended by interested caretakers. Even the elevator operator at the Underground seemed to be happy in her work. We spent a day at Brentwood School with the Headmaster. A fine school I thought --  much like the school in “Goodbye Mr. Chips”.

Near the end of our stay, Gladys came into London and stayed at our Hotel a few days. I recall taking her to see the show “Maggie May” and another one which used such foul language, we were embarrassed — Gladys loved it! We also saw Aristophanes “The Birds” in Greek --  we heard a translation through special earphones. All in all we had a wonderful time. One day Griff showed up and we took him and Gladys to hear the London Symphony at the new Symphony Hall. The conductor celebrated his birthday that day. I can’t remember his name just now. As I recall the tickets cost one pound each. We also ate dinner there.

Part of our trip was devoted to my making a ‘speaking tour’. Months earlier I had corresponded with the ESU and set up several speaking engagements. Actually, only one materialized. I originally was to speak at Rotary in Holyhead, however, they advised me that they weren’t meeting the week we were there -- Holy week. While in London the ESU arranged for me to go to Liverpool, but once again I had some conflict and didn’t go. One evening I did speak at a public meeting in Bromley, just outside of London. Rich knew where it was and went with me on the train. It was a dinner meeting --  I forget the exact makeup of the group. We had tea and visited with the chairman. He asked me to speak on American Education. All went well until about midway through my talk a group of beer-swigging, black jacket, anti-nuclear hippies appeared at the rear of the hall. They commenced to heckle — I was dumbfounded. The chairman took charge and ordered them out of the hall. A local ‘Bobbie’ came in and the group left without incident. I was still upset by what could have happened. The chairman apologized profusely and I managed to finish my talk after which we had a question and answer period. I enjoyed the exchange very much. It was also the only time my son ever heard me speak.

Another ESU activity was an invitation to join them at Dartmouth House to hear a presentation by Lord Furlong, former British Ambassador to Ethiopia. Lord and Lady Furlong had us in the anteroom with the host and hostess for drinks prior to the presentation. The British are forever drinking - their whiskey is 82 proof Scotch. They had several drinks each arid the old geaser was making overtures to Helen at the same time Lady Furlong was in her cups and playing up to me. They lived as so many aristocrats, they have family, name, position, but little cash. They lived in a flat in London and were anxious to come to the US for a visit. Lord Furlong gave a talk accompanied by good colored slides on Ethiopia. Lady Furlong kept interrupting his remarks - it was a riot! We never saw them again.

Our return flight took us over Greenland during daylight hours and we were able to see ice bergs and the land mass. We also came down the coast of Canada and were able to locate Squam Lake and Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire It was ten years later that we went to Hawaii in 1975 over the Christmas holiday.

We went with an Alumni group from the University of Maryland ( I was in Columbia, PA as Superintendent at the time). We had a real vacation that time. We flew DELTA Airlines from Baltimore stopping at San Francisco. A long flight, it was thrilling spotting Hawaii from the air. I always enjoyed studying maps, and air navigation charts - identifying landmarks and locating our position. We were greeted by Florence Chinn, our Chinese-American friend (MD in Pediatrics whom we hadn’t seen since 1951 in Philadelphia when she lived with us while attending Women’s Medical College in East Falls. She married a Chinese Orthopedic Surgeon in Honolulu. They lived in a beautiful house on Diamond Head. She presented us with LEIS and then proceeded to escort us around OAHU for the next week. We were there from the day after Christmas until January 1. One of the highlights of the trip was New Year’s Eve at her home. We had been to a Luau and took a cab up the road on Diamond Head. When we arrived, her husband (who had taken a liking to Helen) set off fire-crackers which had been strung over a huge ‘A’ shaped ladder at the front entrance $500 worth of firecrackers - an honor! and a big event. We had fun meeting her children - all brilliant, MIT, COLUMBIA, Princeton, etc. For fun they were playing calculator games. A beautiful table was spread with Chinese delicacies including raw fish, squid. Sallie enjoyed playing the calculator games with the kids. We met the people who owned the Hawaiian Cottage in Cherry Hill. Helen really knew how to handle her. This impressed Florence’s husband. He invited us to his office building in the Ala Moana Center where we had lunch before we returned home on January 1, 1976.

The next traveling vacation came in 1980 when we flew to Nassau for the Christmas Holidays. We really wanted to go somewhere warm. We found out that Nassau in December is not the place to go. Very little sun and plenty of clouds and cold air. Sallie was 15 at this time and an individual with her own ideas. We spent a lot of time watching over her. I believe we stayed at the Continental --  near a casino. Of course, Helen and Sallie had to see the Casino. In fact, they had instruction sessions in the afternoon with free cocktails. We were able to become familiar with roulette, black jack, craps, etc. Sallie even played some as did Helen --  not me! Such poverty in Nassau - only the tourist areas looked ‘prosperous’. A few feet off the main road, the locals lived in squalor.

A bright spot in this trip was visiting with John Templeton and his wife on Lyford Cay ( west end of the island). Helen, in writing her genealogy, had unearthed John as a relative through marriage (his first wife), so she had been in correspondence with him and he had answered her notes with some interest. In planning our trip to Nassau, Helen had written John to which he replied that he would be in Arizona until New Years Eve at his daughter’s wedding, but invited us to use his club on Lyford Cay in his absence. We went by cab to the Club one day($l5 each way) - had a delightful and expensive dinner at about $100. for the three of us. We walked around, but didn’t use any of the facilities. On December 31, John invited us to his home and lunch at the Club. A magnificent residence - looked like Jackson’s “Hermitage” in Tennessee — Southern style with pillars around the entire house. He lived on one acre, with flowers and plants which sampled all of the flora on the island. He had a gardener, a butler, a cook, a housekeeper. One of the wealthiest men in the world( he founded the Templeton Fund), he was very warm and hospitable as was his wife. A deeply religious man, he awards a large financial prize each year to the person who has done the most for Christianity - Billy Graham received $250,000. one year. He also does business in accordance with his faith -- he tithes and he prays. He spoke at the Union League in Philadelphia several times --  Helen and I heard him there in 1983.

After visiting in his home we all climbed into his vintage Rolls Royce and drove to the Club for a delightful repast. At the polite moment we excused ourselves. During the week, Sallie had met a young man who appeared to have native blood in him. He was very nice and asked Sallie to his home for New Years Eve (we were to go home the next day). Helen insisted upon meeting his mother. So we arranged to do so at a central hotel location. The mother was very nice - she was Jamaican, married to a German insurance executive. Nassau, being recently independent from Great Britain, is a mecca for financial businesses, because of tax breaks. The upshot of the meeting was that we were all invited to their home for New Years Eve. We caught a taxi that evening and got into an upper middle class neighborhood which tourists normally do not see. The home was comfortable and crowded with a UN type crowd. Asians, Europeans, Negroes, Indians, British, German, French - you name it. Needless to say, Helen was in her glory and we had a very enjoyable time. We left shortly after the midnight celebration, since we were scheduled to leave early the next morning. The young man was attending school in England and kept in touch with Sallie for several years. I believe that the family moved to the US while she was still at MHC.

It was in the Spring of 1983, I believe, when Helen became friendly with Elaine Cooper of the famous jewelry family in Bryn Athyn. We were involved with the Bryn Athyn Community Symphony and received the community newsletter. Helen noticed that Doug cooper, Elaine’s brother, was renting his villa at Montego Bay, Jamaica. She contacted him and got the particulars. For $1500. per week you rent the entire villa - 4 bedrooms, pool, full staff including cook, (you buy your own food and they prepare it.) So then Helen tried to locate three other couples. Our old friends Dick and Dottie Black (Rockville) from Charleston. SC, sounded excited. While at the Condo in Ocean City we ran across a second cousin of mine, Paul Longnecker (nephew to Dad’s cousin) and his wife who were renting one of the units on a yearly basis - they were interested and they had another couple from OC who were interested. So Helen, doing all the work of organizing, arranged for the lease and a visit to Doug Cooper’s place (penthouse of the Alden Park Manor overlooking the Wissahickon ). All went well as we had cocktails and looked at pictures of the beautiful villa. I t had been written up in Travel Magazine --  beautiful statuary around the pool, etc. Sallie was at MHC so she wasn’t involved. Helen arranged a bargain flight with a charter airline (American International Ait) which flew from Philadelphia International to Florida and then to Jamaica. Every one was in a Holiday mood as we left Philadelphia.

We arrived at the airport in Montego Bay area at about 5 PM. It turned out that the Charter Terminal is some distance from the main terminal so there was considerable confusion in getting transport to the main airport, going through Customs and obtaining local money. After some little negotiations using the local gibberish we got to the main terminal. We had reserved two cars through Hertz before leaving the US so we would be certain of having reliable transport. Hertz Jamaica was a disgrace! Both cars had something wrong with them. It wasn’t until we were on the so-called ‘road’ that we discovered everything that was wrong. The gas gauge didn’t work on mine and later I found I had only one headlight and that only worked occasionally.

We met the Blacks and proceeded over the bad roads and up the hill side over tremendous ruts toward the famous Villa. By now it was nearly 7 PM and getting dark. We finally found the Villa. Much scrambling about and muttering by the native staff. After sometime of no action, we discovered the rental agent had made a mistake and the Villa was occupied — partially. The staff were cooking for the other tenants while we sat alongside an algae filled swimming pool munching crackers and drinking soda. A phone call was put into Doug Cooper in the states — no one could find the agent. So we decided to try and find a restaurant in Moritego. At least we could eat while the residency arrangement got straightened out. It was now dark, but a big moon shone in the sky - thank goodness. This was when I discovered that I didn’t have headlights - Dick Black gave one a kick and it went on. At least one light. However, bouncing over the rutted road, down the hill, the light kept going out and then coming on again. This was my first time driving on the left side. In the other car, the women were getting hysterical! The driver couldn’t handle the car at all. It’s a wonder we weren’t killed. No Street lights either. We couldn’t find the restaurant. We kept going in circles - you couldn’t ask directions from the locals since they jabbered in some unintelligible dialect. I stopped at a Fire Station and they were just as bad. At night the natives really looked ominous and they were in various stages of drunkenness. With one head light out and not being able to find the restaurant, the other car deserted us. We eventually found the restaurant and managed to eat a respectable meal. The Blacks and we then proceeded back up the rutted road toward the Villa - mostly by moonlight.- not headlight. When we arrived the Negro lady who seemed to be in charge put Helen and Me in the Cooper bedroom and the Blacks in another room. There were words with the other tenants and then as we sat by the stagnant pool a guard with a loaded shot gun went his rounds about the Villa. None of us was happy at this point. The other carload called to say they had rooms in a motel in Montego Bay. Helen was livid!

The whole place turned out to be something other than what was represented. In the daylight, the seediness of the place really became apparent. Tropical humidity had rotted much of the wall fabric in the bedroom so that it hung in strips - the room felt clammy. In the court yard the pool was filthy. The grass was uncut plus the other tenants were still there. I was getting very irritated by this time as were Dick and Dottie Black. They said they were going to leave and go to EPCOT CENTER in Florida for their vacation. Helen and I (mostly me) decided to leave as soon as we could get a plane. I called and got two seats on AIR FLORIDA to Miami leaving in the early afternoon. I was also able to revise connections from Miami to Philadelphia. I was thoroughly fed up with Jamaica! We loaded up the beat-up HERTZ car and found a nice place where we all four had a good breakfast. Helen was really depressed at the way things had gone -after all her work and planning. It was embarrassing to have invited Dot and Dick Black and have them leave so suddenly. We parted on friendly terms - they were very understanding. They now live permanently in Ft. Lauderdale.

The Winter of 1983-84 found us very busy in Philadelphia. The weather was bad too, so sometime in January we decided to take a bargain trip to Acapulco, Mexico. The round trip fare on AIR MEXICO was a low $149. and we had a week at the Hyatt Regency in Acapulco. I prepared by getting a Spanish phrase book so I could act like a native. We packed up and left from Philadelphia on a Tuesday or Wednesday. I had charged the tickets on American Express with some travel agency we never heard of before. It was six months later that we received the bill for the trip. The flight was uneventful and direct to Mexico City. After a brief stop we went on to Acapulco. It was beautiful, really. The beautiful blue ocean shimmered in the afternoon sunlight.

Checking into the hotel, we found that they had not honored our request for a room on a lower floor. Helen must be on a lower floor so she insisted they make an adjustment. Lo and behold they gave us the Honeymoon Suite on the second floor. It was really elegant. Two double beds in a spacious marble floored room with large bath. The only unpleasantness was “Montezuma’s Revenge”. It hit me the minute I landed in Acapulco - Helen was bothered a little later. So we got out the Keopectate. After a day of that things straightened out.

We were anxious to get into the sun by the pool, so we put on swim suits and took sun tan oil, found a nice spot where the attendant gave us huge towels. We religiously put on the suntan oil because we didn't want to suffer from the tropical sun. As it turned out, we ended up just as pale at the end of our stay as we were in the beginning. The stuff was a real sun screen and kept out ALL sun rays.

We proceeded to enjoy our visit. Some time was spent on the beach, we went to the pool every day, enjoyed our meals and took a tour or two. The Sunday we were there we attended the local bull fight. I always wanted to see one. Helen went along. It was quite expensive and a real tourist trap. We bought a combined ticket which included a bus ride to and from and admission to the shady side of the arena. Cost, about $15/each - the natives attending the fight paid $2. One or two of the contests were well done, but then the bullfighters got sloppy. On several occasions they couldn’t kill the bull - the sword kept popping out. I admit it got boring after a while. We took a bus tour and saw where Johnny Weismuller made his TARZAN movies. He was buried in Acapulco having died just a short while before we arrived. There were many expensive homes around the area. Once again, great poverty among the locals. Begging everywhere and lots of squalor. The rate of exchange great for the tourist. We even took a look at a real estate deal for a condominium. A bottle of Kahlua was the enticement to listen to their spiel. We confined our buying to the government store. I recall buying Sallie a nice marble chess set. Helen bought a colorful papier-mache poll parrot for our Condo in Ocean City. We were constantly badgered by beggars and hawkers. Cheap Mexican silver - Mothers would have their bedraggled children beg for them. Once you gave or bought something, others came out of the woodwork like roaches and swarmed all over you. All in all it was a really festive vacation. One week was enough even if we had to come back to the Winter weather in Philadelphia.

As Spring progressed, Helen and I thought of a trip to the British Isles. Since she had completed her family book in 1981, there had been a great deal of correspondence with relatives, particularly the ESTES line. There was interesting correspondence with Annie Mae Ball in Cornwall and Virginia Estes Bradford Lyons (silent movie star) in London, and cousin Isabel Ward. She had been in women’s design in NY and recently set up in London. Sallie had met all of these relatives and spent six weeks with Annie Mae in Cornwall in the Summer of 1981. As we planned our trip we found a tour with CARAVAN called ‘slow and easy’ and would take 16 days. I arranged the tour through Thomas Cooke Agency which was only two blocks away on Walnut Street. We signed up for the September 14 - 29 time frame. This was an ideal time period weather wise and it would avoid the summer crowd - or so we thought. We wanted to fly from Philadelphia, but this tour required that we connect and go out of JFK in NY. So we boarded US AIR in Philadelphia at 1730 hors. on Friday, Sept. 14, 1984. The first mistake was that we were booked on a commuter flight (small plane) to JFK - Helen hated it -I had specifically asked for a big plane. The take off was delayed because of a lightening storm. Once in the air we had a rough low-level flight to NY. USAIR landed about as far away from PAN AM as you could get. We were late and on Friday eve, it was a mess trying to catch our plane.

As it was, our luggage did not get transferred and came to London a day late. A great beginning! We arrived at Heathrow 0930, Sept. 14. A CARAVAN rep met us amid all of the international types you meet there. CARAVAN coach took us to the SELFRIDGE Hotel where we met Peter Davis, our guide. I can say here, that he was outstanding. We ate at the Hotel and slept 4 hours. Called Isabel and arranged to meet at 1500 on Sunday at the Hotel for tea. Annie Mae was planning to come also. This was the day Princess Diana had a son --Harry.

Our tour group had a ‘get acquainted’ cocktail party then went to the Ivy Restaurant for dinner. This was followed by a nighttime coach tour of London. Very enjoyable. When we returned, I scurried around to Marble Arch to get some toilet articles. I made the mistake of packing these items instead of carrying them with me.

On Sunday, the 16th we were up at 0800 and had continental breakfast in the hotel. We took a morning coach tour around London with a special British guide named Wendy. The tour ended at Picadilly and we were on our own for the rest of the day. We ate at Shepherd’s Cottage and then took a cab back to the Selfridge. There was a message waiting for us from Annie Mae saying she had arrived at noon from Cornwall. We found her in the Coffee Shop - quite a pretty woman for 59 years, white hair and very trim. We had some tea with her and then returned to our room where Helen had a chance to visit until 1530. Virginia Bradford Lyons (Estes) age 84 and nieces Alice Hayley and Isabel Ward Hughes-Smith, two young ones of Alice were there too (Charlotte and Casper). We were to go to tea somewhere in Isabel’s car, but it was obviously too small so I entertained them all at Selfridge’s for tea -which became quite a production with cakes and sandwiches. The two kids were spoiled rotten — Casper and Charlotte were running all around the hotel - I was afraid that we would be thrown out. Annie Mae left at 1800 returning to Cornwall, a six hour trip. The others stayed until 1930. Helen had a great time getting up-to-date on all the relatives. After they left, Helen and I went looking for an Italian Restaurant which Peter Davis had recommended. He also mentioned TIDDI DOLLS for traditional English fare. We ended up in the latter. and enjoyed it immensely. It was a quaint place (like Dickens) we ate cornish chicken pasty. Took dessert (gingerbread) in another of the six rooms where there was entertainment of the Victorian period. Some risque songs by two or three groups singing alternately. Helen, in her style, sat right on top of the performers and got a copy of the ‘piano tuner’. The real London Town Crier came in to announce the birth of “Harry” --  exciting.

Monday was a day on our own for shopping, etc. We met Isabel at Caroline Charles’ dress shop on Beauchamp Street (pronounced Beecham). Helen bought an expensive cashmere suit. I managed a bargain sport jacket down the street that really didn’t fit. We went on to Harrod’s around the corner and bought Christmas things for Rich’s children -mailed them from the store. We ate lunch with Isabel at the Portuguese restaurant beneath her shop. Very enjoyable, with lots of wine. We then took a cab over to Virginia Bradford’s studio (cost 5 pounds). Helen enjoyed looking at paintings. Virginia promised to send Helen one of her paintings later. Helen picked one of children swimming - she does them in poster paint off the top of her head. We returned to the Hotel, had a snack and then joinedour group to see the stage musical “Singing In The Rain” at the Palladium. Excellent -it has been running for years. London has thirty or more legitimate shows going on all the time. Most are family ‘fare’

On the 18th we left London early and traveled by coach through Kent, Canterbury and down to Dover. Peter Davis had interesting remarks all along the way. We had an interesting Hovercraft ride across the channel. Somewhat like a low flying plane it took only 35 minutes. Calais was cluttered with old WW II German fortifications that are impossible to re move. We had some terrible food in Calais and boarded a coach for travel through the beautiful French countryside. Coal fields, Arras, Somme, WW I. Highway facilities were much like in the US - bad! We had a beautiful approach to Paris. Arrived at the Le Grande Hotel at 1800. We settled in and ate filet of Sole in the Hotel. I had fun with my French phrase book, but the French don’t like foreigners mutilating the language. They are equally inhospitable -glad to take your money though. We took a quick walk on the Rue de La Madeleine then to bed. The room was comfortable.

The next morning was spent in sight seeing via coach. Heavy traffic - they drive like mad. We visited Montmartre at noon and enjoyed the artists and their work. I contacted PAN AM across from the Hotel to make sure our return flight from NY to Phila. would be on a ‘big’ plane. We ate at a sidewalk cafe de la Paix then took the Metro to Les Invalides. I enjoyed watching a practice parade at the Ecole de Militaire. We were back at the Hotel in time to change for dinner at CLEVEN CHEVILLARD a basement restaurant. I thought the food was good. It is nice to be on tour so that everything is arranged, but then you have to go when and where the group goes. We took an evening riding tour of Paris and ended up on the Tour Eiffel.

Wednesday we were on our own so we walked the Rue de L’Opera to the Louvre. The Louvre is gigantic and one should spend several days here. However, we had one day. Admission was $1.30 and we proceeded to the French Collection to see the MONA LISA. I was disappointed, big crowd, picture was small and mounted under temperature controlled glass — allover were signs saying “no flash” in FRENCH. I saw all the Japanese flashing their Nikons without incident so I flashed my little Kodak at about 50 feet from the picture. A middle-aged female French guide just about had a coronary. I apologized, managed to keep my camera and film, but she took my flash. A number of copyists were at work, by permission I assume. Some were very good. One old fellow was particularly chatty with Helen. We went on to the Impressionist Museum and then took the Metro back to the Hotel. Helen had to have her hair done for $16.50. I enjoyed wandering off on my own. I came upon the Lafayette Galleries --  like Gimbels. In the evening we had a big time at the tourist trap LIDO for $75. each - average food and bottle of Champagne. The show was a mish-mash of Las Vegas without much connection. After a while even the bare breasted dancers became boring.

On Friday we were up at 0700 and were taken to GARE -- E (RR) where we rode an excellent train to Basel --  on time. We had a chance to talk with other members of our group. At Basel we changed our Francs - Helen couldn’t use the toilet until she changed her money. We were on the coach through the Swiss countryside to Zurich. Interesting to note that when building a house you stake out the dimensions a year before building so that anyone who has objections can be heard in the local government. Very democratic in Switzerland. Zurich was quite nice for a commercial city. We were in the new Hotel Zurich. Helen even had a massage by a male masseur.

Saturday took us to Lucerne --  a tourist trap. You would think no one ever saw a wristwatch before. Everyone seemed caught up in buying watches. Some bought several. Even I bought a Bucherer sport watch ($49.). We had a group lunch at the Stadtkeller with plenty of food and wine and everyone in a festive mood. I tried out my German in a toy store (German is the language here).

Our group returned to Zurich where we had a group party and dinner and then to bed. The following morning we boarded our coach for a beautiful drive through the German speaking part of Switzerland to the Gotthard Tunnel - Italian is the language on the South side of the tunnel. The Alps are magnificent! Peter Davis was kidding around with classical music tapes, announcing Joe Green (Guiseppe Verdi). We came to the quaint town of Lugano -- beautiful park. We had lunch there at ‘Movein Pick’(like HJ). I ate minestroni and cheeses from Zurich. Helen and I walked through the park which contained a miniature zoo. Since it was Sunday, no shops were open. After Lugano we were out of the Alps and into Italy. We passed Milano, Verona, castles, Padua, farms, corn in the fields, hunters with shotguns. Passed several marble cutting establishments en route. I had read the novel THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY about Michelangelo before we entered Italy. Many references to the sources of marble in the book. Every where we encountered much coffee drinking. Water became a rare commodity. Seasoned American travelers carry bottled water. We soon caught on and bought a one liter bottle each for the remainder of the coach ride to Venice. The sun disappeared as clouds rolled in and by the time we arrived in Venice it was pouring rain. The bus park was crowded with Sunday visitors. We wound our way to the canal and boarded a water-taxi - was crowded and the windows were all steamed up. The traffic on the water was like midtown Manhattan - boats everywhere. Splashing about we docked at the EUROPA REGINA -- deluxe in the old style and expensive. We ate at 1945 after which we were supposed to take a romantic Gondola ride. By 2130 it was still raining and the water was rising so the boat ride was cancelled. The locals are accustomed to rising water and they simply run out wooden catwalks over the flooded areas - including the Hotel lobby and then outside over the pavement. We didn’t venture very far in the evening.

On Monday, the sun was brilliant and the tide was in. As we walked to St. Marks Square we were aware of the rising tide. Parts of the Plaza were flooded. We had a local guide named Sergio who met us at the Hotel and told us some of the history of Venice after which we meandered through narrow footways to St. Marks. Beautiful architecture. I have read about it for so many years and now I was experiencing it in person -a great thrill. We went through the DOGE PALACE - beautiful paintings. There was a fascinating armory with samples of ancient weapons and armor. Sergio took us to a glass display (tourist trap). I found a camera shop where I bought some 110 film for my small Kodak and the man there showed me how to make Helen’s camera work(Canon). We went to a FARICIA where Helen bought what she needed. I tried to use my Italian greetings as much as possible. All stores seemed to use English. Helen found a necklace or two and a Venetian mask. We had a nice pizza and lemonade. It was a fast one day in Venice and we weren’t able to get into St. Marks because of the flooding. We caught the water taxi and then the coach to FIRENZA (Florence). It was interesting to see the international trucks on the road --  from Hungary, Soviet Union. Peter Davis kidded about tourists with a story about the Guide in a hurry at a museum “We’ve seen Manet, Monet and Toulouse Lautrec, but we’re late so please go through the next room with your eyes closed.”

He pointed out ‘male’ and ‘female’ Cyprus trees on the via Cassia ( old Roman road) to Siena - we got a look at an old Etruscan estate just before Siena called Monterriggione -- a walled town with restaurant and good wine. We stayed at a picturesque villa on the edge of Siena because of the overcrowding in FIRENZA. Turned out better, because we got to see the beautiful commercial city of Siena which many miss. The place was called the Villa Patrizia Hotel. We arrived at about 6 PM tired and hungry. If you remember the British comedy Faulty Towers you will understand the Villa Patrizia. One man, obviously the owner, scurried out to the coach and took the bags in, he also delivered the bags to the rooms in due time. He also operated the 4-passenger ‘lift’.

Who tended the bar? The same man. He also was the head waiter at dinner. The wife worked the desk and pretended not to know English. We were trying to locate Sallie’s friend Courtney Ebeling who was studying art in Florence for a year. We had written him where we would be staying, trying to arrange a meeting and perhaps dinner. Using my ‘best’ Italian, I couldn’t get the woman to understand. First of all, she wouldn’t look at me and acknowledge my presence while she jabbered on the phone for a full 10 minutes - all the lights on the switchboard were flashing, but she ignored them. As best I could determine, there was no; message from Courtney. We had to go outside and across an open courtyard to get to the dining room - it started to rain in the bargain. The food was skimpy and not particularly good. The same man served a house wine — no label. I started to sip mine and found a dead grasshopper in the glass. It obviously had been pickled there when the y bottled the local wine. Peter realized things were not as they should be so he treated at the bar and for cappucino. - a complicated process to make a simple cup of black coffee. The same man made the coffee. Thunder and lightening - the lights went out. They had only a single bulb or lamp lit in each of the common rooms. Since it was getting cool we went to bed - no heat and no hot water.

The next morning, September 25, we drove toward Florence. The coach stopped at the US Military Cemetery just South of Florence. We thought we might be stopping so we had gotten details on where Mildred’s first husband was buried. It was a beautifully landscaped memorial park. Owned by the US, it is US soil. In September there were practically no flowers on the graves. We found Jimmie Brinton’s cross — took pictures and found how we could place flowers from the Superintendent (an American).

We arrived in Florence at 1045 where our guide, Pilar -- a short blonde wearing yellow boots -- greeted us. Through her thick accent we could tell she knew her business. Florence was packed with tourists at this time. We went through the Gothic Cathedral of St. Maria del Fiore, Gallery of the Academy --
here we saw Michaelangelo’s DAVID --  magnificent! The UFFIZZI Gallery also --  difficult to hear with all of the guides shouting over their competition. We had a great Italian lunch at the CAMPODOGLIO where we expected to see Courtney Ebeling -he was living close by. Peter even went to the address and located his apartment, but reported that there was no answer (months later we learned that Court was there but sick in bed.)  S. Remeggio #2. Helen bought some leather items as gifts. We were all getting a little weary - it rained off and on. We returned to the Villa in Siena where it was quite cold and damp. The explanation was that the heat doesn’t go on until November 15 by government order. More Cappucino. We learned to like it

On the 26th we had time in the AM to visit the sites in Siena. Peter met his wife(she was a guide with another group) as she was passing through Siena. Cute. We had a guide named Donatelli for old Siena. It was the prettiest and quaintest of the Italian cities we visited and there were no big crowds - no other coaches to contend with. The center of the old city is closed to traffic. It is a market center with shops and stores on all sides. This is where they hold an annual horse race on the cobble stones( they do cover them with dirt for the race). We climbed innumerable steps. Beautiful cathedral — Romanesque and Gothic. We met at the Jolly Hotel to board our coach for the drive to Rome. It was a beautiful ride with Peter giving us a running commentary - he was very well informed and interesting in his presentation. We had lunch along the Highway much like in the US - crowded, bad food and high prices plus begging Gypsies. Our coach entered Rome at 1600 - what a thrill to pass through the ancient walls of the Eternal City. We have read and studied so much about Rome, it was hard to believe we were there. The traffic was heavy. We entered on the via Salaria (the way of salt). Romans brought valuable salt in this way. This is where the phrase ‘worth your salt’ came from. Roman soldiers were practically paid in salt, it was so valuable. Even today you buy salt in a Tobacco Store in Rome. Our group stayed in the AMBASCIATORI PALACE HOTEL across the street from the US Embassy - definitely a 4 Star hotel. We were on our own until 2130 when we were scheduled to take an evening drive around Rome. SPQR -- official Roman logo means SENATUS POPULUS QUO ROMANO -- the Senate and the People of Rome.

We found Harry’s Bar where we ate a nice Italian supper. It began with sidewalk Cappucino, because supper would not be served until 1930. Nothing really begins in Rome before that time. Helen had strip steak and I, curried chicken, Chianti (very good) and zucchini. Sounds Italian, doesn’t it?

The evening drive around Rome at night was dramatic. We had an eerie feeling looking at all the ruins at night. We were asleep by 2330. We had a nice large room and slept well. Continental breakfast served in the room. Fruit is always hard to come by so I had bought a couple of bananas from the day before. I wrote to Sal and Rich and cashed Travelers Checks. We were off to see the Vatican with our guide ‘Pina’ --  a local certified guide. I never saw such crowds. This was the middle of the week and a cloudy day at that, but coach after coach arrived and departed with passengers at the gate. Our guide gave us an orientation in the court yard and then proceeded into the Gallery - beautiful paintings, tapestries, murals. This led to the SISTINE CHAPEL. It was thrilling to see Michaelangelo’s work on the ceiling and walls. Crowds pressed to hear their guides and although the rule is no talking in the Chapel, it couldn’t be helped. Workmen were repairing portions of the Chapel. Paintings were being restored everywhere. I am glad we saw the Chapel, but once is enough. Rather the same feeling as in the LOUVRE. We saw the Basilica of St. Peter where I could take pictures and then we went out into the square surrounded by tourist traps. We were back at the hotel for lunch where Helen and I ate at the Cafe de Paris on via Veneto Victoria ($13. for two crummy sandwiches). In the afternoon we quickly toured all the notable ruins, e.g., Forum, Coliseum, Circus Maximus, the Catacombs and other tourist traps. We even bought a few souvenirs. Everyone was tired, but the next day was free to do what you wished. Helen had her hair done at 1600. There was entertainment planned for the evening - it was extra. Peter told a joke at the Vatican: Beggar to lady at the Vatican, "I haven’t eaten in 3 days!” answer, “Force yourself!” Two Cardinals in the Vatican “Did you they raised the urinals in the Vatican six inches?” “Why did the Pope do that?” Answer, "To keep the Cardinals on their toes!” Two girls listening: “What’s a urinal?” “How should I know? Do you think I’m Catholic?”

The evening was spent at an Italian club where we had dinner -there were other tourists, but at least the entertainment was Italian - enjoyable, lots of music, and in Italian.

On the 28th we were on our own and really had lots of fun, particularly, finding our way around Rome. We had thought of taking aside trip to the Villa d’Este but it would have taken the whole day. We ate a late breakfast then went to the US Embassy across the street to arrange for a floral display to be placed on James Brinton’s grave in Florence. For $10. we arranged to have a bouquet (quite nice) placed and the Embassy would take a photo and mail it to Mildred. We proceeded to walk down the famous SPANISH STEPS. As we were doing so all hell broke loose --  sirens and police cars, mounted Carabineri racing all around the square, brandishing automatic weapons. They were obviously chasing someone, but we didn’t know who. After that incident we walked down the street where all of the exclusive shops are. Helen had a ball at CERESA, GUCCI (Helen got her bag, about $100. less than in the states). We wound our way back to the square, it was about 1145, and we found a cozy and quaint sidewalk restaurant called RISTORANTE RAMPA --  there were more Italians than tourists which made it interesting. Very romantic - the waiter took pride in helping us with the menu and the wine. We were there a full 3 hours having lunch. Everything slow and easy. We keep thinking about going back there on the next trip. Eventually, we returned to the Hotel where I rested and read while Helen had her hair done (Jeunesse --  “youth”) $15. In the evening we all went to the famous ALFREDO’S for Fetuccini. It was good food, but short on atmosphere. We all had a good time as it was our farewell party.

On the 29th we began our trip home by taking a one hour ride out to the LEONARDO DE VINCI airport built in 1960.. The crowded PAN AM 747 pulled out of the Terminal on time - 1130, but then we sat for an hour on the tarmac because of some problem. The plane then returned to the Terminal where we disembarked while funny little Italian men in big boots with great hammers proceeded to fix the food elevator. We didn’t take off until 1330. We had a nine hour flight according to the pilot flying the Polar route over Genoa, France, London Scotland, Newfoundland, Maine, Boston to JFK. Because of high winds we were delayed even more so that everyone with connections at JFK had a problem. Customs at JFK was a nightmare! Hot and humid, people pushing and shoving. We made changes with connections which were not very satisfactory --  we ended up on the commuter flight under the name of RANSOME AIR. Fortunately, the flight was smooth. Helen will never have anything to do with the Thos. Cooke Travel Agency again -they really ruined a beautiful vacation. We arrived at our apartment at about midnight - dead tired!

Almost immediately we began planning an extended trip to the British Isles for the Fall of 1985. We thought it would be nice to spend six weeks there without a lot of reservations and time schedules. We weren’t quite ready to try the continent on our own, however. At this point we explored the Military Space "A” (available) program to which we were entitled as Army Retired Colonel. I obtained all the books and pamphlets and looked at British, Irish, and Scotch maps and train schedules. According to the experienced "Space A” travelers, Spring or Fall are the best times to travel when dependents are in school and there are not many PCS travelers.

Helen had been corresponding with her English relatives for sometime. Annie Mae Ball in Cornwall had planned to come to the States in June and we were all set for her visit when she called to say she couldn’t come because her daughter-in—law was pregnant and needed to be confined for the term and Annie felt that she had to remain at home and take care of the daughter-in-law. She did invite us to spend a week or two in Cornwall, however. So as we continued our planning, we decided to go around Labor Day and spend a few days in London and then proceed to Cornwall for a week. We planned to rent a car there and motor to Holyhead and spend sometime there. We also planned to cross to Ireland and see the relatives in Cork where Rich visited twenty years earlier. We also had in mind purchasing a Waterford chandelier while in Ireland. With my maps and British AA Guide, I planned the driving itinerary. We very early decided that we would stay at B & B (bed and breakfast) without reservations. The early planning routed us to Edinburgh where we planned to take Brit Rail back to Ely where I would rent a car at Mildenhall Air Base while I registered for the return flight. There we would drive to London via Cambridge and spend a week with the London relatives.

I signed up several weeks early at McGuire AFB, Phila. International and Dover AFB. So on September 2, 1985, Labor Day, having eliminated a lot of our luggage, we got down to 66 lbs. per person. There was a scheduled flight to Mildenhall from Phila. MAC at 2000 hrs. so we took a cab at 1500 to get there early (never having done this before we didn’t know what we would encounter). Being our first Space “A” attempt, we had a lot to learn. The show time was set for 1830 with departure at 2030. We caught a bite to eat at the Terminal since we didn’t have any idea what would be offered. In my inimitable style, I was planning ahead. If we didn’t get out of Philadelphia we would try McGuire. We waited at Phila.MAC until 1945 when the announcement came "no space A seats to Mildenhall”. We took the SEPTA Train back to Suburban Station and hailed a cab back to the apartment. We had supper, packed the car and went to bed f or three hours. We got up at 0100 and drove to McGuire. It was an easy drive at 0200 to 0330 -no body on the road. The show time was 0340. We went through the experience of checking in based upon when you originally signed up. The lower the number the better your chances of getting a seat. I was #219 so we got seats on the second call. It turned out that one or two did not get seats. We flew on a C141B. We went to the waiting area after checking in our luggage and paying $23.70 for two including two hot meals. We took off on time at 0600 and the flight took exactly seven hours. The flight was uneventful and pleasant. The seats were regular passenger type seats found on commercial air lines except that ours faced the tail of the ship. There was a minimal amount of cargo - I don’t know what it was. The crew were Air National Guard flying an air-refueling mission. The airborne refueling took place after one hour in the air. It was expertly done. The air crew were very efficient and made the flight enjoyable. On a cargo plane there are only one or two ports so you really can’t see anything. We landed at Mildenhall RAF/AFB at 1800 - the tail opened up to reveal a beautiful bright evening sun. The locals told us it was the first sunny day since June. Coming off the plane in a strange place, my ears plugged up and ringing. I did have some English money so we caught a taxi (Roy Clark) who drove us to ELY rather than Mildenhall because we said we wanted to catch a train the next day to London. Ely has a station, Mildenhall doesn’t. Since we had no reservations, the driver helped us locate a B & B called Nyton Guest House. Mrs. Gough - cost 20 pounds which would be about $27. The ride to Ely went through the Fens - swamps that had been drained some years ago and were under cultivation with mostly sugar beets. A young Army doctor and his wife were on the flight and ended up at the same guest house. We went with them for dinner at the Cromwell in Ely. Coq du Vin -- his name was Ted Kunstler. They had only been married a short time and had only a few days in England - he was stationed at Walter Reed. After supper we called Isabel - couldn’t get her so I called Alice to let her know we had arrived.

On September 4, we were up at 0900 - a bit late for the locals, but we slept well. It was a cloudy, cool 60 degrees day -British schools opened this day - a Wednesday. It always takes a while to get oriented time-wise. We called a cab to get us to the Railroad Station in Ely and there bought tickets to Liverpool Station at 7.60 pounds each (1143-1310). The ride was pleasantly uneventful -- I enjoyed the English countryside. We had arranged with Isabel to stay at her mother—in—law’s, Nessie (Mrs. Ronald Hughes-Smith, 7 W. Park Rd. Kew, Surrey). At Liverpool Station we took a cab to Kew. Kew was on the opposite side of London (near Heathrow Airport) - $25. It took a full hour to drive through traffic at midday. The driver had a hard time finding the address, but we eventually got there. A cute little house, in a row, but each different with a bit of a flower garden in front and a small garage on the curbside. Nessie greeted us warmly - a very cute, petite, lady of 78 yrs. Exudes class. She and Helen talked for a couple of hours and after I unloaded the luggage, I took a walk around the neighborhood. Kew is the locale of the famous Kew Gardens - really just outside London proper.

At about 5 PM (1700 hrs) Isabel showed up. She had a miscarriage for the second time and was to go to the hospital next day so she came to stay overnight with Nessie. The house was quite spacious inside: a hallway, a toilet off to the left, library to the right, a nice sized living room with grand piano (the conservatory) and a dining room and kitchen. The conservatory had a plant area which opened into a British yard full of plants, flowers, and trees. Nessie served dinner at 2100 -- all the amenities observed. Sherry before in the conservatory, wine with the meal, and coffee after. Everything elegantly done and unhurried. After pleasant conversation, we retired. I must mention at this time (Sept. 8, 1987) that lovely Isabel died of cancer, one year after giving birth to a healthy son (Alexander - we haven’t seen him yet). A sad affair - she was so full of life and interesting.

The next day, Thursday, we called Annie Mae Ball in Cornwall to tell her we would be coming down on Saturday via coach. Nessie had taken Isabel to the Hospital and returned by the time we awoke. She had a lovely English breakfast for us (she sometimes did B&B). We picked up our bus tickets for Liskeard -- fun going into London --  at Gloucester Street. We took the train from Kew and made a change to the 74 Bus right to Harrod’s. Crossing the Gloucester Road there we met Bill and Rose Firth from Philadelphia, Union League and Glee Club. I had tried to call him for a dental appointment before we left. Strange, we haven’t seen them since — I read where he resigned from the UL this year. We did our Christmas shopping in Harrod’s - had everything shipped to the states. We bought several dolls for Sallie’s collection, e.g., Beefeater, Nesbit dolls of Catherine Howard for Heather, set of British soldiers for Mikey, a magic outfit for Bobby. After an expensive snack in Harrod’s we went to Austin Reed and bought a blue suit for $160. - we picked it up on the way back in October - pants needed adjustment. British pants don’t come with a left rear pocket, I never feel right wearing them. We took the underground at Knightsbridge (Nessie had a flat here during the war) hopefully to Kew, but we missed a stop --  we got back to Nessie’s about 1800. She had prepared a delightful late dinner with Isabel at home. Conversation covered “strange relatives”, e.g., Nancy Fooshee and Nessie’ s ‘gypsy’ daughter Sheila and her Manor House (52 years old and still a hippy). Nessie’ s son, Paul (Isabel’s husband) was to arrive the next day from the South of England where he was working on a film as an assistant to the director ( he located sites and made other arrangements for the director). Nessie also had an older son who was mysteriously killed in 1954 while an Intelligence Officer in the Army (his pictures make him look like Lawrence Olivier). Nessie ‘s husband, Ronald (Ronnie) was a solicitor of some means. A barrister performs in court, a solicitor works outside court. They had a large country estate before and during the war - five different offices in London. He died about 10 years ago and Nessie moved to her present location. She was properly raised and trained for the theatre. Although she doesn’t act, she is very active in the Catholic Actors group -knows Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Lawrence Olivier. Sir Cedric Hartwick (Isabel’s sister Alice is the illegitimate daughter). Nessie has many beautiful objects d’art - brass rubbings, paintings, prints. Her son Paul is a little strange - modest, shy and reticent - just the opposite of Isabel who is outgoing. We were looking forward to meeting him.

The next day, September 6, we planned to go to the British Museum to do some genealogical research on Helen’s family. We breakfasted with Isabel and Nessie at 0830. Got off the train at about 1000. Helen had made a hair appointment at June’s on the corner up from Nessie’s. We proceeded to Sloane Square where Nessie had suggested we look at Peter Jones Department Store - very good prices. Helen bought a coat, sweater for Barbara, gloves, purse and booties. The clerks were all high-type, well-educated, and well-spoken. Ate lunch in the stores’ “Crock Pot” - interesting. Off to Bus 19 to Westaway --  supposed to be the best place to buy woolens in the British Isles - even so the Cashmere jacket I wanted was $250. We skipped that and went to the British Museum across the street. They didn’t have what we wanted so we went to St. Catherine’s House — birth records only. We then went to the College of Arms on Queen Victoria Street -fascinating facility. They spend all their time on heraldry --  all British coats-of-arms. We invested 5 pounds in a preliminary search of Helen’s family. Tired, we returned to Kew. We had called Sallie at MHC to make sure that she had arrived and then Helen called Fred Doh our jeweler in Philadelphia about her coat-of-arms rings.

Isabel had planned a party for the previous Sunday - we did-not arrive until Wednesday, so now she was planning another for October 6 (Sunday) on our way back before we left for the states. I then changed my car reservations so we could be at the party.

On Saturday the 9th, we were up at 0700. Helen had her hair done, I did some laundry at the laundromat --  chatted with a retired mail -- carrier, all men doing the laundry on Saturday.

I had a nice talk with Nessie while waiting for Helen. The sun came out and the day became beautiful — the garden shone. Nessie is very interesting, conservative, loves Margaret Thatcher, and speaks beautifully. Helen called Virginia Bradford Lyons and talked an hour. Isabel came by at 1100 in her little car and took us to the “Cave”, a converted factory, where we met Sheila. She sold her antiques in the basement. We later found out that Burberry’s on Walnut Street in Phila. had some of Sheila’s antiques in their store. We went on to a pub for lunch with Isabel - Kingshead in Chelsea. I had the Ploughman’s turkey and mineral water — cheeses for dessert. We were done by 1445. Isabel drove us to Victoria Station bus terminal. This place on Saturday was a madhouse. People swarming all over the place with piles of luggage. No place to park -Isabel let us out while double-parked and I dragged our bags to the platform. Mammoth motor coaches in a congested station. We finally got aboard and left by 1520. The bus was destined for “Penzance”. I felt like I was in Gilbert and Sullivan. I thought it was a comfortable coach - there was a hostess on board to help with snacks and other amenities. It was an interesting daylight ride through the southern English countryside. We pulled into quaint Liskeard at 1945. Annie and Stuart met us and we picked up Chinese food at a “take away” shop. The ride to Skawn Mill was quaint to say the least. I sat with Stuart so that I could get a feel for driving on the left and to learn the roads and landmarks for turns. The last couple of miles was down a narrow lane  --  only one vehicle wide - Stuart would ‘beep’ the horn as we wound around like a snake. Luckily, we didn’t meet any other vehicles. It was dark when we arrived at their house. A precarious location on a sharp, downhill bend in the road. Garage was on one side and the house on the other. Curiously, Annie put Helen in one room and me in another. We put our clothes away and then had a glass of sherry in a small sitting room. We ate in another room. Annie had a little old Yorkie called ‘Jim”, two cats, and ‘Sasha’ the chow and a practically blind old Pekinese. Sallie had told us about the animals from her previous visit. The meal was interesting (Chinese in the English countryside) and conversation which was mainly Helen talking. Stuart was pleasant and hospitable, but somewhat quiet. He and Annie were very nice to us. We were up until midnight (this was Saturday night.) We planned to go to Annie’s church in the AM (Catholic). Stuart was retired and obviously not a church goer. For the first evening, the water pump was broken so we were unable to take a bath. So to bed - a cool Fall evening.

We were up for breakfast at 0800. Annie had what you might call a ‘health’ breakfast. Several cereal types, honey, coffee tea. It tasted good to me. Annie was always up very early doing her chores - she seemed dedicated to her lot in life and seemed eager to please. I believe she's terribly lonely out in the country, but she made up for it by being busy in her garden or tending her horse (she had recently acquired a new one and rode the animal several times while we were there). Arrived at the quaint little Catholic Church in Liskeard at 0900 where we sat through an. impersonal, local Catholic service. They still used Latin so I had no idea what was going on. We met Father Martin afterwards and Annie invited him to play bridge and have supper on Monday evening. He was glad to accept. He struck me as being bored to death with his parish duties. For that matter, I couldn’t imagine what the locals did for excitement.

Stuart explained the origin of the custom of driving on the left side of the road: Roman soldiers marched or rode their horses on the left side so that the right or sword hand was free to draw if needed. Napoleon changed this pattern so on the continent, cars drive on the right side.

The weather was cool and damp, although not actually raining, there was a mist about everything. We had a snack and then Annie drove us to the National Trust estate known as LANDHYD ROCK - beautiful gardens and house. While there we joined the National Trust for 20 pounds with a 5 pound refund. We could then visit all the National Trust sites without additional charge. I think it was a good idea, and subsequently we received their publications in the states. Helen was pumping Annie for personal information and as was typical with that branch of the family, she determined that Annie married Stuart one month before her eldest son Freddie was born (it doesn’t seem to bother the British). Annie apparently told Helen she doesn’t love Stuart, but feels an obligation - they have separate rooms. Annie also detests Virginia Lyons “who is a loveless vamp, dishonest and disruptive.” Ah, relatives! Back at Skawn Mill we spent the evening by the fire in the small breakfast room looking at interesting scrapbooks of George Cannons, who was the photographer for Max Sennett in the 1930’s  --  he married Grace and brought her to England where she has been ever since. (Annie)

Stuart invited us to play MAJONG  --  we had a tasty supper of soup and cheese --  we talked some more when Annie retired at 2200 hrs. because she was planning a full day - we all turned in by 2300. I was afraid Helen’s gossiping would backfire on her - oh, well!

Monday morning brought a bright sunny day. After breakfast I walked with Stuart while he took all of the pets down the lane - chatted with neighbors on horseback and explored bee hives. Stuart has a fairly nice spread here. Not a ranch but a solid little Cornish farm. He seems content. Annie was to have a riding lesson at 1100 so Stuart drove Helen and me to Plymouth where we checked out the Swan Car Hire and then went shopping. Even these old English towns have modern shopping malls and centers. ‘Boots’ pharmacy everywhere in the commonwealth. While shopping I cashed some travelers checks - I had obtained British Checks in the states but even so some banks charged higher rates to exchange. Helen bought a woolen sweater in the men’s department (9.99 pounds). I thought it was a good buy. I was trying to find a shirt, but didn’t have any luck. Stuart drove us around the HOE (harbor), lots of ocean-going ships (we were on the English Channel). Then we drove to TAVISTOCK. An interesting little town where we had lunch. We walked around and bought a few cards and found the Post Office. Stuart then took us to the National Trust COTHELLE --  lovely medieval estate. We had afternoon tea --  we got to enjoy this on a daily basis and even carried it on in the states for sometime. A nice way to relax in the afternoon without having to drink alcoholic cocktails. Helen and Stuart had a great time joking - he seemed to enjoy our company. A relief from monotony, I guess. We left the house around 1730 and stopped in CALLINGTON for groceries. From there we went on to LISKEARD for something else and then Helen found a “fruit machine” (one—armed bandit) slot machine. It was 1830 before we got home. Father Martin was already there. Stuart walked me around their lake - quite extensive and beautifully planted. Their son, Julian, is doing his doctorate in horticulture and is quite talented. We had

a lovely dinner and then played bridge. Annie is still learning and Fr. Martin fancies himself an expert. He was retty good, but you could tell he really doesn’t like women and enjoys putting them down. Well,if you know Helen, that attitude will inevitably strike sparks or worse. Annie made a few boo-boos and Helen, talking all the while, reneged a couple of times. Each time the good Fr. Martin would make a biting remark and more sparks would fly. I thought Annie did pretty well. It seems the Father was formerly Army and then in business and later put on the ‘cloth’. The local parish is somewhat parttime. We got to bed at midnight.

On the 10th we were planning to celebrate Annie’s 60th birthday. She is quite a handsome woman with silver hair, young skin and a youthful figure. It was a sunny day in the 70’s. I walked the dogs with Stuart after breakfast and then we drove to Liskeard to the fish market - they didn’t have trout so we drove to a commercial pond where you buy fresh out of the water. The complex reminded me of Hechingers. Annie was busy making preparations for the birthday lunch. We really had a full course dinner at 1300. Trout and chicken(Helen found out the next day that the ‘chicken’ was really pheasant right from the yard). Annie had even made a cake with candles. Her friends Doug and Joan Hadley (Sallie had met them) and Ethel, Annie~ s riding friend - she was interested in genealogy also so got on well with Helen. There was lots of talking. Annie and Ethel went for an exercise ride on their horses while we talked with Doug and Stuart, and Joan. Doug had been in the RAF and then a commercial pilot retiring in 1969. A fascinating raconteur. Plenty of stories to which Helen wrote down. We all took a walk around the pond for exercise. In the evening we taught Annie and Joan Pinochle -watched the news at 2100 and talked until 2300.

The next day was nice again --  the locals considered this their summer since it had rained all of July and August. Annie went tohelp an elderly friend and Stuart drove us to Jamaica Inn — a tourist trap but fun anyway. The countryside was breathtaking. We went on to TINTAGEL (King Arthur’s Castle) nothing left but an outline and a pile of rocks - dramatic view of the sea. Went to the old Post Office and shops. We walked down to the sea. We rode the Landrover back up the hill, however. Had a quaint lunch of sausage and beans. Helen had Cornish pasties. Drove through BOSCASTLE on the beach resort of BUDE - sort of like Ocean City - everyone was in shorts and sandals enjoying the sun. We had ‘tea’ which was actually lemonade. The most interesting spot was CLOVELLY - a little village by the sea, cobbles on a steep hill to the water, quaint houses on each side, all privately owned. We stopped for refreshment at the Inn - they were glad to have us even after hours because the summer weather had been so poor. Up until recently they used donkies to carry visitors --  they still do not allow vehicles on the road. It is so steep, goods are hauled on sledges. We were back at Skawn Mill by 2100. After dinner, I found Julian’ s school violin and played for the group - Stuart put it on tape - played such tunes as Stephen Grapple and others. We then had fun listening to a Bob New-hart tape. Plenty of laughs.
 

The 12th of September was another beautiful day - at first - it didn’t last, partly cloudy by noon and drizzle by 1800. Stuart and Annie took us to LOSTWITHEL to see the castle ruins. Quite a sight -high on a hill overlooking the town and dating from 1100 AD We drove on to TRURO down by the sea - a beautiful cathedral and of course shops. For lunch, stuffed potatoe. Helen cashed some dollars and I mailed cards. We proceeded to PERRANPORTH a seaside resort of some proportion on the Irish Sea side and near Penzance. It was getting cold as we arrived about 1500 hrs. Annie~ s son Freddie and wife Glynnis, live here with son Garreth and daughter Joslyn (10 mon.) They have some acreage and animals. Glynnis was sweet — had us for ‘tea’ several of her girl friends were there too. It was an interesting group with Annie playing Granny. Helen got on well with Glynnis who is a hairdresser. She works at a medieval restaurant that looks like a castle — a tourist attraction. We learned some tricks and told some stories. We had a quiet evening back at Skawn Mill watching the news at 2100 and photo albums. We retired by 2330.

The following day we drove to FOWEY (pronounced Foy) on the English Channel. It was a quaint little town. Helen bought a ‘nigger’ doll - only place in England - and lost it in the Post Office. Of course I got blamed for losing it. For lunch we ate seafood lasagne at Restaurant Nautique - we were back in time for tea. It was Friday and Freddie arrived from his work up North at about 1830. We all had dinner together. He went on to his home and Julian came in at 2230.

On Saturday the 14th we headed for Plymouth in a drizzle to pick up the rented car at Swan Car Hire. The highways were crowded. After waiting for the ferry at TORPOINT we went to PLYMOUTH. Somewhat like crossing the Delaware River at Phila/Camden - the wait was nearly an hour. At about 1300 I picked up a blue Ford Fiesta ($236 to Holyhead, Wales) at Swan National Car Hire service. I left it parked while we went ro AN INTEResting shopping area near TORQUAY. We ate at a health food restaurant buffet style - tasty, I thought. Several hours were spent looking at the shops — Julian was doing the driving. He was a very nice young man - a little shy, but polite. The real character in the family is Stuart. Annie is quite emotional — opinions seem to be all strong, but she is gracious and hospitable. We drove back to Plymouth. Stuart rode with me in the rented car and I drove to Scawn Mill. We had tea and started to pack. At 2015 we piled into Stuart’s car with Julian driving to SAINT AUSTELL for a Chinese dinner. It was dark and I could hardly tell where we were. Near the restaurant, there were numerous palm trees growing — result of the Gulf stream. We had a very nice meal and pleasant conversation and then back to Scawn Mill for bed.

We got an early start on Sunday Morning after our ‘goodbyes’. It was a bright day as we headed for EXETER - we hoped to see the cathedral there. It didn’t take me too long to get used to driving on the left and negotiating the ‘round abouts’ -I really enjoyed it. We crossed over DARTMOOR and everything went well on the A30. We wandered about in Exeter and found the cathedral in the early afternoow4 Lunch was enjoyed in a dining room across from the cathedral. The local city band was playing and marching in the square - we guessed that it was a special occasion of some sort. The parade included RAF Jr. Cadets, scouts, citizens wearing medals. There was a classic little old lady who rode upon her bicycle and proceeded to feed the pigeons - she chased the kids away who were bothering the birds. We then walked through the cathedral -each has its own particular characteristics, architecture. There are societies of people in England who go all over visiting cathedrals and making a study of them. Helen found Bishop Carey’s tomb. We then got on the MS to Bristol - the locals drive at break neck speed on the ‘motorways’ - I was going 70 mph without knowing it. We arrived in Bristol around 1500, and walked around the city center looking for St. Nicholas Church. We found a building we thought to be the church, but it was closed so we decided to find a B&B. We drove out of the city about 5 miles and got a room at Lacy’s (25 pounds). Trying to find the right hour to eat in Britain is quite a puzzle. we ended up at the Grange Hotel where we waited until 1900 for supper. We drank sherry while we waited. It was very nice and an unhurried meal. We went to bed about 2100 so we could get an early start the next AM.

After a good sleep and sturdy English breakfast we joined the morning traffic to the center of Bristol. I found a car park near the City Hall and walked around the market area until St. Nicholas opened at 1000. The church had been changed to a museum in recent times - it was heavily damaged by German bombs during WW II. Our tour was self—conducted although Helen latched onto an elderly male attendant who took an interest in telling her about the church and showing where Lord Carey was probably buried under the Croft. We learned about brass-rubbing and bought some materials as well as a ‘brass’ of Shakespeare. She also found an interesting Zebra ($44.15). We then headed for the City Hall, there Helen found the name of Lord Mayor Cary carved in stone with all the other city fathers from long ago. The attendants were helpful and guided us across the way to the library where Helen checked out the Cary and Hobson names. She made some copies - everyone was helpful. We found an interesting Pub for lunch, called “Mr. Pope’s”, it was about 1430. We then drove out of Bristol on the A4 East of Bath. There we parked and walked to the Roman Baths near the Abbey. It was fascinating, even if a tourist trap. E’(~erywhere the huge motorcoaches discharged their cargo — people from the US, France , Germany, and lots from Japan — everywhere. It was 1700 hrs. when we were ready to leave so we decided to drive to Stratford-on-Avon through Chelterham. At Bidford on Avon (4 miles from Stratford) we found a delightful B&B for 8 pounds each. We ate at 4 ALLS Inn. After a good night’s sleep and pleasant breakfast we were off to Stratford at 0930. We tried the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, but there was nothing going on until Thursday. So we settled for an AV show on Shakespeare’s World. It was all right, but not great. We walked around the town. Parking was a problem, plus the streets and sidewalks were dirty -- dog dirt everywhere. This was the first time we had encountered dirt in England. We visited Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried; also found a brass rubbing shop that had the same Shakespeare brass we had bought in Bristol -- only cheaper! We decided to go to Warwick Castle, which was about eight miles away. There I lost my glasses climbing up the tower. It was hot, and I had taken off the jacket and carried it on my arm. I went back, but could not find them. (These were my G.I. specs). We were trying to find the Cotswolls. I didn’ know what I was looking for. We stopped in an inn in Stratford and had tea and chatted with one of the bellhops who told funny local stories. (I didn’t have the tape recorder with me). He explained how to get to the Cotswolls. We actually had been in the right area since Cheltenham. We finally wandered into Chippen Campden, a quaint village where the houses are built of similar material, sort of a yellow or cream-colored stone; all the houses were old, and had thatched roofs. We proceeded to the town of BROADWAY where a shop owner explained the Cotswolds to us. The name really is for the buildings made of stone found between Bath and Stratford. We had been in the Cotswolds the day before, but you have to get off the major roads to see the little villages. We had an excellent evening meal at the Beefeater in Broadway. We returned to the nice B & B at Bedford-on-Avon and slept soundly.

The 18th was our day to drive to Wales. We left at 0815 and had a nice drive along mostly secondary roads. On A456, near Burford, we stopped at a factory which made Teddy bears and other stuffed animals -— bought a cute lamb and a brown bear. We crossed into Wales and ate lunch at Llangolle~. The weather ~ in Wales was cloudy with drizzle. We arrived in Holyhead in U the late afternoon, and then had fun trying to find Griffith s house. Narrow, one—way streets, none of which looked familiar. Then I couldn’t understand the Welsh accent, so we were really lost. We found a girl with newspapers who set us straight.

Griff greeted us — wife Eileen seemed pleasant but she really is shy and forgetful. Griff got us settled into a B&B near the harbor and then we went over the bridge to see Gladys. She has a nice new cottage - housing for the elderly. She served us wine and we had a nice chat. Gladys is very sharp and perceptive. We all went to visit Mair and Margaret. Dinner at the Crown and ended up at Margaret’s and then bed by 2230.

The night was restless with the wind and rain beating on the window. I washed out a few things and then we had a hearty breakfast. Griff came by at 0930 and we went to the bank before picking up Gladys. From there we went to see cousin Owen - he was funny. We had a Scotch whiskey at 1100 -very hospitable. He gave Helen a can of beer which she brought all the way home. We went on to Llangof in where we met Mrs. Cleaver, and then to the “Bull” for lunch - had a Ploughman’s cheese, salad, and soup. Barbara, Griff’s daughter, arrived while we were eating. Griff thinks the world of her. We then went on to the graves and Beaumaris. There we visited Dr. Wynne Griffith and Gwynneth (we had met them years ago in Chevy Chase, MD) — had tea. Wynne was recovering from a heart attack of some months previous so we took everything very easy. Gwynneth walked with us into Beaumaris and of course Helen had to buy something. She did get a beautiful Welsh woolen outfit - it never will wear out (pounds 126). The hat was to be sent later. Back in Holyhead, Griffith took us to a pub and then to Mair and Iver for supper. Iver is quite a photographer - showed us interesting slides.

On Friday the 20th we checked out at 0900. Repacked in one bag and left the rest for our return trip. We planned to return to #3 on Wednesday. I bought more film and cashed some checks and met Griff — he served Irish coffee at 1030. Barbara came in - Eileen was having trouble remembering. Her sister was in a nursing home nearby. Completely out of it (dementia). We had to go for a visit - gloomy place and pathetic situation. We then went with Griff and Gladys and then Griff decided to take the boat too. We stopped off at Edinburgh Castle (apub) and thenon to the ‘Scimitar’ for lunch. Meanwhile Gladys had decided to go along also. By then it was 1400 so I drove everyone to the boat(23 pounds each round trip) Griff being retired Railroad goes free as does Gladys. I returned the car to Swan and walked over the bridge by myself to the boat. We got on board early and Griff who knew everyone of the crew, put us in the VIP lounge for free. Cost to others 3.5 pounds. Very nice with coffee and tea service if you wished. Griff knew theCaptain Leonard Evans, The Chef Festen Williams, and the Pursar - everyone. We waved to Iver and Mair from the breakwater. The ship, a ferry was crowded — it takes 400 cars and over 1000 passengers. There was a real press in the loading and unloading. I had reserved a Hertz car and we found it OK - we got out of the dock area by 1900. Bynow it was getting dark and raining.

Griff and Gladys got off a block away and bought some duty free “Bell’s Scotch” for the cook and Captain. They then returned to the ship for the trip back. Helen and I drove our little Opel toward Dublin. It was dark and rainy and I had no glasses. We wandered around and around until we finally stopped at the Robt. Emmet Inn, 28 Thomas Court. The bartender tried to help us find a B&B. The Pub was packed (Friday evening) and it was a football weekend too. All the Irish were very friendly and helpful. I had no Irish money and they wouldn’t take the English one pound coin which I had. The bar tender fed us and we got to talking with Frank, Paul, and Paul from the Guinness brewery around the corner. They looked like a professor and college students - turned out they were a ‘cooper’ and two assistants. They helped us locate a room at the West County Hotel. Dark and damp - it was raining all the time and very humid. The place looked like a flea bag - big enough, but dirty. The walls were alive with mosquitos. I squashed hundreds on the walls with a newspaper. As bad as it was, it was crowded. Helen and I were getting silly about 2230 - had orange ade and sandwiches and talked with locals at the bar. We didn’t really sleep very well. I was so confused that I left my pajamas hanging in the bathroom It was a cold and damp night - I couldn’t get the heat to work. The hotel was probably nice at one time.

In the AM we had a reasonably good breakfast and then set off on our way in the rain. We worked our way through Dublin, past Trinity College. I located St. Paul’s Cathedral for future reference. We stopped at Jury’s Hotel across from the US Embassy. Too expensive so we found a nice B&B at 46 Pembroke -just down the street and reserved it for Monday and Tuesday. We also made reservations for the dinner show on Tuesday at Jury’s. Dublin Streets change names every block or so which means that you can never rely on your map. Plus, the signs are in black iron posted 15 feet in the air on the corner of the building. I never could read them in the dark. We drove 1100 to 1811 - Nil, 79, 25 to Cork. We stopped at Waterford, but nothing was open since it was Saturday. We learned that they did not have a retail store at the factory anyway so we would not have been able to buy what we wanted anyway. So we went on to Cork. Had a nice midday meal en route. We checked into a B&B - not very nice, but it was getting dark so we couldn’t by choosey. Helen called her cousin BOGEN and found he lived way on the other side of Cork. I struggled with directions in the fading light and we finally got there by 1900. We had a delightful visit with Fred and Dorothy Bogen. His sister, Eva Williams, came over to join us. We made arrangements to visit the Cathedral on Sunday (Fred has been a bell ringer for 50 years and is on the Vestry). We planned to find another B&B and then go to KINSALE and find the cemetery in the Summer Cove Church. Susan Lucas was to meet us at 1500 - if I can find her.

Sunday, the 22nd started out with rain and then cleared and became quite warm. We checked out of the first B&B and took another on Western Road - alot better. We found the Catheddral of St. Fin Barre - beautiful French Gothic with twin spires Church of Ireland. Wewere early so we dozed a while in the car and got to the church by 1115. Fred Bogen rings the bells with a team - he wasn’t there on this particular Sunday because he and Dorothy were leaving for a vacation. There was a fine “Boys” Choir (several mature men in the group) - we took Communion and sat on hard chairs in the unheated church. The bathroom was very primitive and hard to get to. A Dean Carey spoke. After service we drove down to Kinsale by the sea. Really a resort town but very quaint. We arrived about 1330. We ate at the Acton Hotel where they were serving ‘brunch’ -a small rock group was banging away in the bar for all of the young people. Quite crowded really. Called themselves the Cork City Dixieland Band. We walked about the little village, looking at expensive crafts. Then we drove to Summer Cove to find Susan Lucas. Arrived at 1445, she was in her late 30’s or early 40’s. Lives in and interesting all slate house, with garden wall and gate. My photos didn’t turn out too well, I’m afraid. She is very active in St. Catherine’s (Episcopal or Church of Ireland) •Church of Rencurran a little country chapel high above Kinsale Harbor. Helen had fun looking at records and finding the LILLIE burial plot. Susan and a friend were very helpful. We wrapped up and drove back to Cork by 1800. I called Eva Williams (Fred’s sister). She and her husband planned to pick us up at 1030 for a trip to Blarney. We then went walking looking for a pub (this was Sunday evening). Pubs serve drinks only on Sunday - no food. We were guided to one smoke—filled pub up an alley, but turned around and walked out. We soon found an Italian Restaurant ‘Antonio’s1 where we ate with other tourists in town. Got to bed early.

On Monday the 23rd, I walked to thebank at 1000 and got 100 pounds Irish - paidl9 pounds in British Travellers Checks for the B&B and got four pounds Irish back in change. I’m still trying to straighten that out in my mind. Eva and Sam Wilhams met and drove us to Blarney Castle. The Woolen Mills were close by where I bought an Irish cap - big deal! We looked at the Castle and walked about the gardens taking pictures. We didn’t bother to climb the tower to kiss the Blarney Stone. While in the Woolen Mills, we found the Water-ford crystal chandelier we wanted. It would cost around $800 American and could be delivered in six months . They make each one to order. The same thing in Harrod’s (London) was $1700 and couldn’t bedelivered for a year. This was the year Cork was celebrating its 800 years. Charter 1185—1985. Eva and Sam drove us through the countryside and then back to their home. We had a delightful lunch and visit from 1400-1600. We left for Dublin and drove the inland route. It was dark when we came into Dublin — I still had no glasses — we had a devil of a time trying to find our B&B. Even went to a Fire Station - poorly marked streets and numbers. Finally found it around 2000 hrs. - one block from the US Embassy and Jury’s. Weate at the latter.

After a nice nights’ sleep (we had our own bath for a change) we had breakfast at 0830. Helen called the genealogical records office we boarded the local bus to Trinity College. Most of the streets weren’t labelled and the name changed every other block. We finally found the National Library. We were there until 1330 - we found out we should have been in the Four Courts for Records, some distance away. Imailed some letters and we had lunch in McDais’s pub - fun eating and talking with the locals. We walked through the shopping area and over O’Connell Bridge, up Bachelor Walk to Records in Four Courts. I stumbled onto some DALY material -found St. Paul’s Arrau Quay Church. There was no resident Priest to access the records. Helen was trying to read some microfilm while I poked around St. Paul’s - it is closed as a Parish, the building is being used as a community center for the aged, etc. Some months later, I received a letter from the Secretary of the Parish who had tried to locate DALY marriage records without success. The Irish Government did not begin keeping all public records until 1870 - prior records of births and marriages were always kept in the local church parish office. The next year Ipaid a SEAN MURPHY (genealogist) $60 American to research the DALY name and he did find the marriage record of THOMAS DALY AND MARY MAHAR(MARR). We returned to the B&B for a shower and a rest before the show and dinner at Jury’s. It turned out to be the best show we have ever seen! Comedian, Hal Roach, had a full two hours of jokes - all clean and mostly about Catholics and the church, but hilarious. We had a table for two right at the edge of the center stage. Helen was busy writing down all the quips and Hal Roach presented her with a complimentary record of the show with “write it down”! I bought a tape of his stories. A real fun night!

On the 25th we were up at 0600 - fast breakfast and quick drive to DUN LAOGHAIRE (done lorrey) by 0800 - turned in the Hertz car and got settled on the boat in the Pullman Lounge. The boat left exactly at 0900. Helen slept while I walked the ship. The trip started in the bright Irish sunlight, but turned to fog by noon in Holyhead.Griff met us and he and Gladys decided to go with us next day on our drive to Chester, so I got a 4-door car for that leg of the trip. We ate lunch at Gladys’. We chatted ‘til 1500 looking at pictures. Helen had her hair done in town and I checked in to the same B&B (our baggage was still there). I had to buy a pair of flannel pajamas, film and cards. We were back at Gladys’ by 1800. We drove to the Anchorage to meet Betty Jones and her husband Hugh - he looked like a typical country squire with neat moustache and tweed jacket. He runs a sheep farm (daughter Marged Esii the actress). They had eaten but we had not so the circumstances were somewhat strained. It was a good visit at that. We were back at the B&B by 2230 hrs. to repack for the next day.

We left for Chester at 0930 in the fog. After a quick stop at the Boots Drug Store, we drove along the coast as the fog lifted. It was really a beautiful ride and of course Griff could narrate as we went along. We were in the Cheshire area. Shortly after 1200 we arrived in Chester at the home of Mary and Joseph Barnbrook. A lovely little cottage (by US standards). Joe is the Maintenance Engineer for Gulf Oil in the UK. He travels throughout the UK. Mary is a riot! Joking all of the time. She served a lovely lunch on her patio. It was pleasantly warm in the sun. Later we booked into the DENE(Dean)HOTEL. After we drove Gladys and Griff to the RR Station. Joe and Mary were so nice, we decided to stay over. They were to meet us in the evening after supper and take us on a walking tour of Chester. While Helen napped, I walked around the area — watched locals bowling on the Green. Quite a nice community. We ate at the Hotel and then Joe and Mary drove us to the center of the city. It turned out to be a warm evening with a bright moon - great for a walk. Chester is one of the Roman cities - we walked the ancient wall and stopped at the Grosvenor Hotel for a libation and then to bed by 2300.

The DENE’s Hotel was comfortable. In the AM we checked out and drove to the town center again (1000) and took a walking tour with a guide. His name was ‘Harry’ - he was 88 years old and moved like a young buck. “Chester” means CAMP from the Latin. The Roman wall goes completely around the city - we walked about half of it - not the same part we walked last evening. It was a beautiful sunny day. We enjoyed the old Tudor style houses and shops - most of the streets were closed to vehicles which enhanced the leisurely tour. It lasted until 1400. Harry outdid us all - we gave him one pound each. Enroute, we bought some fruit and ate Griff’s sandwiches from the day before. Harry told us about a Quaker Guest House in Grasmere that we would enjoy. We got on M56 and A6 off after Lancaster and followed A59l through Kendal, Windemere and landed at the Quaker Guest House in Grasmere. A quaint village in the Lakes Region, reminded us of New Hampshire. At first the lady in charge told Helen there was no room, but then Helen went on about her Quaker relatives (the Strawbridges) and we ended up with a nice room for the night. Helen had caught a cold in Chester and wasn’t in good shape so she needed a place to rest. So for 14 pounds each/day ($21) included breakfast tea 8-8:30, cooked breakfast 0830-0900, Lunch ( you could have a packed lunch for hiking, etc.), afternoon tea, and supper at 1900 with evening tea available. Helen either had a cold or allergies, my guess was the latter - lots of sheep and dust from grain. So I gave her a shot and put her to bed. I took a walk through the little village (like Holderness). Then I read in the lounge - the Quakers chatted among themse1ves on quasi meaningful topics. I just listened. I admit it got a
little tiresome with all the small talk. I did have hot chocolate and then turned in at 2145. I couldn’t sleep because Helen wanted the windows closed and the heat on. I would have liked tostay on but Helen wanted to move on -too bad because it was a good bargain and nice. Helen didn’t get up for breakfast - they had sausage, baked beans, mushrooms, toast, coffee. I chatted with others as we ate family style and then everyone helped clean off the tables. I ordered the packed lunches for the trip. We took a short walk through Grasmere in the sunlight (this was a Saturday) saw the shops and we set out for Edingurgh with a suggestion to stop at Blargowrie (N of Perth). It was a pretty drive in warm sunshine until we got to Edinburgh and then we hit fog. It was still quite early so we decided to drive on. We found Blargowrie and Helen wanted to try the ALTAMOUNT HOUSE (a converted manor house - elegant). One extreme after another. This place was 60 pounds/night with meals. We had a lovely room. After getting the heat regulated, we dressed for dinner. We watched a little TV (terribly boring - billiards, darts) then to bed.

After a solid English breakfast we headed North on A93 to Braemar with our goal being Balmoral Castle. Helen had a picture at home from her aunt Agnes so we thought we’d take a look. It was a bright Sunday morning and we enjoyed the Scotch countryside. Enroute, I stopped to pick up a local whose car had broken down - an awfully desolate area - he wished a lift to Braemar. He told us the Queen was at Balmoral (Royal Family there during September for the grouse hunting season) - he also added that he had seen a crowd there waiting to see her go to church. We arrived in the area at about 1100 and the local ‘Bobbies’ showed us where to park. The crowd was modest (Balmoral far out of the way) Helen spoke to the Constable who told us we couldn’t take pictures in the church yard, but we could go into the little church and worship with the Royal Family - so we walked up the hill to CRATHIE CHURCH and stood in a short que for those who wanted to go in. At 1115 a Scotsguard Band and Guardsmen marched up from the Castle - they looked and sounded great. After they went in, the local church members went in then the qued visitors. A security person showed us where to sit. I was surprised that the Church wasn’t crowded - typically Anglican I suppose. A string quartet played prelude music and at 1130 the Royal Family entered. The Queen, Queen Mother, Prince Philip and several younger ones came in the side and sat in the front pew about 30 ft. from us — we were facing them during the Church of Scotland service. There were six hymns, the sermon “Recharging Your Batteries", offertory with chorus and string quartet. After the benediction, the Royal Family left the Church. The congregation left and lined the drive down the hill. A few minutes later the Queen and Philip drove slowly by in their Rolls-right in front of us -- 4 ft.
away , waving and making eye contact, then a newer Rolls went by with the Queen Mother also waving. The locals were so polite - theyinvited us to stand in front so we could see better. It was all very exciting. The police were very helpful and courteous. They told us how to drive to a vantage point to see the Castle. It was nestled among trees in the valley. We only caught a glimpse of it at best. We drove on to Braemar, the INVERCAULD ARMS HOTEL for lunch - this is a ski resort area. The GLENSBEE CHAIRLIFT was in operation for spectacular views of the mountains and valley.s. We continued on to Edinburgh. Arrived by 1700 over good roads. We booked in the QUEENSWAY HOTEL on Queensberry Road. At 30 pounds per day with B&B. It seemed to be run by Spanish speaking people. Helen didn’t care for her supper very much although I found it adequate. I was tired anyway.

I was finding it hard to resist the daily British breakfast. We took the local bus to the center of town and Waverly Station. I checked the trains to York and to Ely (we would go to Peterborough first). We had Britrail passes so there was no problem - the attendant was typically Scotch and stingy with his information. He informed me that we did not need reservations on the Wednesday train. We took a commercial tour of Edinburgh at 1330 - a good idea in each city. We bought tickets for 13 pounds. Walking about we looked at a couple of stores on Prince Street - this bored me. We found the Abbottsford Pub for lunch (turkey) a pretty nice place -busy and interesting. We went through Waverly Market and bought some slides of Edinburgh. Our bus tour left on time (guide ‘Willie’ Sherry). We were in Old City, St. Giles Kirk, of Scotland (Presbyterian) - beautiful windows. The Presbyterians do not call it a ‘Cathedral’. On to the Castle of Edinburgh, high above the city. It is an active military post with its own garrison. An armory with many Wilkerson Swords. Mary Queen of Scots — birthing room - James VI became James I of England. Mary was S’ll½”, red-headed and slim. Very good displays throughout - the wind was blowing constantly. The famous TATTOO ceremony was over for the season and the special seating was being taken down. We rode the bus down to HOLYROOD PALACE, the Royal residence when the Queen is in Edinburgh. Mary Stuart lived here. We drove through the old city - a number of colleges (one right next to our Hotel). The tour ended at 1730. We were tired. Walked a couple of blocks and caught the bus for lOp each. I bought slides of Balmoral and Edinburgh. For dinner we were at the Hotel - bed early.

October 1, 1985 (Tuesday) we took it slow and easy. Went to the Pringle Woolen Mills. It turned out to be a rip-off, little selection and high prices. Woolen goods were cheaper in London. We decided we didn’t need the car anymore so I turned it in. We then had lunch at the Royal Cafe across from the Records Office. We walked across the bridge to the old side shops. Here we found some real cashmere bargains, stainless tea set. Helen bought another 100% wool suit for 39.50 pounds - a good buy. It was warm so we had an ice cream cone (London had the warmest day of the year). We found the Carlton Hotel and had ‘high’ tea. Since we had reservations for the Scotch Show and dinner at the Caledonia we stayed in town. For a while we sat at the American bar and wrote cards. The Scotch Show was a tourist attraction not nearly as good as the show in Ireland. The big feature was the Scotch menu and native dance and music. We packed before going to bed.

October 2, 1985, I concluded that the British RR is not what it is cracked up to be -particularly the Royal Scot (Edinburgh to London). The personnel are just as bad as in the states. Train left late, about 1110. I found the man at the Information had given me a bum-steer about reservations -we were First Class anyway and since the train was not crowded it didn’t matter. Even so we had to handle our own baggage. We arrived in York at 1444. The scenery was interesting, but the ladies at the Tourist Desk weren’t very helpful. Helen picked the Shepherd’s Hotel(supposed to be within walking distance of the Station). I was dragging a luggage cart, it washot, I was breaking my back up and down curbs and we really didn’t know where we were going (the women don’t know how to give directions in any country for that matter). It was a mess! We finally found the hotel --  the room was on the third floor. No one to take up the bags. It was a rip off at 39 pounds (18 each). We walked around the olde city York was a Roman city also. Not nearly as nice as Chester. We decided to take a bus tour. The narration was part ly on tape and partly via a Hungarian who couldn’t speak English -- a real bust! We did enjoy the ‘Minster’ (cathedral). We ran across a play being given in the evening with a Ray Brad-bury in “Something Wicked This Way Comes”. for 2.75 pounds. We ate a mediocre dinner nearby and walked back to the Hotel in a drizzle after the show.

On the 3rd we planned to go to Ely and stay a night so after breakfast, I called the Nyton Guest House in Ely for a twin tonight and tomorrow. We took a cab to the RR Station at 0944 left for Peterborough and there changed to a local for Ely. Always enjoyed chatting with locals on these trips. There was a delay at Peterborough and there we met a 21 year old female student on her way to Norwich - just back from a stint at Geo. Washington Univ. in Washington, DC. Had some sandwiches and left for Ely at 1234. It was a slow ride due to a fallen tree. The train went through the Fens and all the sugar beet fields. I was surprised that so much of England is farm land. We arrived in Ely at 1420 hrs. and took a cab to the Nyton Guest House. Later we took the train to Cambridge where we caught a bus to the center of town — all university activities. The term had just begun. I called Hertz and confirmed the Saturday reservation at Mildenhall. We went through the Market Square and shops. I couldn’t get used to the English schedule. You can’t just pop in any place for refreshment between 1400 and 1700 or 1900 hrs. Nothing was open. We ended up in the Blue Boar Hotel and sat in the lobbyuntil 1800 when the dining room opened. The meal was good,however, We looked for a bus back to the RR Station, but none appeared so we took a cab. You can’t just hail a cab in Britain, you have to go to a taxi ‘rack’ and take your turn. The train left at 2150. At Ely, we took a cab to the N ton Guest House. I slept well, but Helen complained about no heat. The English don’t believe in wasting heat so it goes on only as a last resort. I let Helen stay in bed. and caught the 0829 into Cambridge. It is strictly a University town much like the area where Harvard is located in Boston. Bicyles are everywhere. I found the Graduate Studies building and picked up material for Sallie. I walked through town to the Information Office and waited for 1100 tour. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A very nice 50 year old woman conducted the tour through the old town. It started at the Norman/Saxon Chapel - St. Audrey and lace, hence ‘Tawdry’. Church bell ringing began here. We walked to Kings College - a great deal of restoration work taking place (the Colleges are privately owned - no connection with government or university or housing or social life). The University is an administrative entity. The Ph.D. is research so there are no scheduled classes. The student attends what he needs to further his research. It normally takes three years. The Kings College Chapel is larger than most cathedrals. The organ was be ing played in preparation for opening of the college year. It was Henry VI who started the college and Chapel and then others followed. The architecture reflects the changes I caught the bus back and the train to Ely at 1320 hrs. The sun was bright, but it was windy. Helen felt better so we walked to’Ely Cathedral - only a few blocks away. It dates to 600 AD and is being restored - I gave 2 pounds. Beautiful art work. We then walked into the town and looked through the stores. We had tea and walked somemore and had dinner in the Lambe Hotel - very nice.

Helen had a hair appointment for 0800. The cab, we arranged for earlier, picked us up at 0930 and took us to Mildenhall for 9.50 pounds - not bad. I picked up a Ford Fiesta at the ‘airport Garage’ (Hertz). At Mildenhall RAF, I found out that planes do not return to McGuire, so we signed up with the idea of going to Dover or Charleston. We went to the Officers Club for a chili lunch and then called Isabel. We checked out billeting and it looked good - no real problem after Labor Day. We tentatively planned to fly back on the 12th. The drive to London was uneventful except for trying to read road signs and maps. It took two hours to get to KEW distance in England is misleading. Nessie greeted us. We rested and reorganized then had tea. Isabel came for dinner at about 2000 hrs. She had a letter from Sallie and some material on Virginia Bradford for Helen. It was nice to hear from Sallie.

The 6th was a Sunday. Helen was still trying to shed her cold so I went to Church with Nessie. It was called the Oratory - a huge Cathedral (Catholic) near Knightsbridge - it was really not a Cathedral, however. Nessie did the responses in Latin, I listened and watched. We were back in time to pick up Helen and go to Isabel’s luncheon party. A quaint, artsey place. It had been owned by Nessie and she gave it to Paul and Isabel. At one time it had a beautiful garden in the rear - at this time it was the victim of neglect. Isabel had gone to an awful lot of work - she had all of the strange relations there. Helen had presents for Alice’s children, e.g., jelly beans. I was out of it most of the time - I couldn’t understand who was related to whom. Marged Esli (the Welsh cousin who is an actress) was there. I had a nice talk with her. I got acquainted with Casper and Charlotte (Alice’s children). Alex is something else! He is in his 60’s, had been married to Virginia at one time - he had a couple of exwives and a girl friend there. We survived at any rate, Helen had a ball! Back at Nessie’s we had soup and cheese while we made plans for the Theatre on Saturday and dinner. 1 wrote to Sallie and Rich before turning in.

Monday, we took the train to Brighton. We still had several days on our Brit Rail Passes. Typical British weather - drizzle You can imagine how Brighton (a seaside resort) was. It reminded me of Atlantic City - grey, old, needing paint. It was certainly Victorian and partly new and partly old. Helen bought a Laura Ashley dress for Sal at 40 pounds. We walked the deserted pier and had tea in the Metropole. The beach is nothing but big pebbles. Returned on the train to Kew and picked up Chinese ‘take away’ dinner. We ate at 2000 - stopped long enough to see the new version of “To The Manor Born” and one other F. Scott Fitzgerald thing - morbid. It reminded me of the crazy group of relatives.

Tuesday, we were underway at 0815 — we missed one train (rush hour) but another came along straightaway. We took the train at Victoria Station for Canterbury, changing at FAVESHAM. The sun was beautiful. We walked through the Cathedral and saw a film presentation and then took a tour. Although not the most spectacular, it was loaded with history and should be seen. We had a noon meal at the County Hotel — Sully’s Restaurant, it was excellent. We were back in Kew by 1700. Nessie got tickets for the Theatre at 12.50 pounds each. Should be goodI paid her. We planned to pick up Isabel at 1830. The curtain was for 1930. “Light Up the Sky” at the Old Vic with Robert Morse from the US. The theater had been completely redone. I drove in the rain following Nessie’s directions through the London traffic. We parked directly across from the Theatre which was a miracle. It was an enjoyable Noel Coward comedy. We returned to Isabel’s for tea and then to bed.

On the 9th we planned to shop a little. Helen wanted to return her coat to Peter Jones and then go to Caroline Charles’ with Isabel and have lunch. We ate at “Ports” beneath Caroline Charles shop (with wine 40 pounds). I drove to Virginia Bradford’s (Lyons). Unbelievable! I took pictures and recorded conversation between Helen and Virginia. Virginia is 85 years old, the house is a mess. We returned to Nessie’ s.

On the 10th we planned to go to Oxford via Pangbourne to see Barbara (Griff’s daughter). They have a nice modern apartment above the Thames. They also have a home on Grand Cayman Island where he works as a very successful CPA in an international firm. At any rate, we went out to lunch at the Copper Inn -very nice - I paid the check 30 pounds. After a nice visit we proceeded to Oxford - it was already 1530. We parked and went to admissions where I picked up somemore material for Sallie. We walked through several colleges - reminded us of Yale. Magdalene College (Pronounced Maudlin) by the river is where Nessie went, I believe. O~ford is more spread out than Cambridge - the term had just started. We took pictures and walked as far as the Botanical Gardens - roses were blooming profusely. We bought a tie for Mils’ Jim - skull and cross bones stood for the Medical School but reminded us of Halloween. A snack at Pizzaland - once again, the wrong time for the pubs. I drove back A34 and M4 to London. I was beginning to know my way around.

On the 11th I packed two boxes of clothes to send home rather than carry - it cost me23 pounds. However, it did lighten the load considerably. I took a walk through the beautiful KEW GARDENS. We really have no counterpart for British horticulture - young people take pride in learning to be gardeners. Drove to Isabel’s for lunch - Alex was there and we heard more weird stories. Isabel was off to have her hair done for an affair in the evening and we went to Virginia’s for ‘tea’ - what a mess! She really tries to maintain the amenities, but she is too old to continue - food on the floor. I simply could not drink from the dirty cup. I settled for taking pictures and went out to buy more film. She found her autobiography and was going over it with Helen. It had been written in the ‘30’s - pages missing and Helen couldn’t understand half of what Virginia said. She tried to put it on tape, but nether of us can understand the accent. At any rate, Virginia thinks Helen is great and promised to give her a painting. At 1800 we were at Isabel’s. Casper and Charlotte and Alice were there- Isabel was getting ready for a ‘Ball’ - I took pictures. Husband Paul was working on a film on the Southern Coast. We had a lovely dinner at Nessie’s where I bought some wine.

It was Saturday and we were up at 0600 and left at 0700 for Mildenhall. It was a smooth drive arriving at 0930. The first plane to McGuire left at 1030 with only cargo so we waited for the flight to Charleston, SC at 1340 -only 7 spaces. We went to the Club for a bite of lunch (the Club is about 200 yds. from the Terminal). We rested a bit - Helen was playing the 5’~ slot machines in the Club. We heard there were two spaces on another flight to Charleston, but by the time we got to the counter there was only one seat left. Probably just as well - they would arrive at 2300 and have to find a car or quarters. The call board showed ‘no flights’ on Sunday and then suddenly it showed a new flight to Dover at 1000. We planned to try that. You have to stay close to the Terminal to catch these changes. We signed up for a very nice room at the Club (#101). It was getting late so we decided to eat in a local place. We found the Smoke House Inn — 9 pounds good food. I took a shower while Helen played the slots. She hit the jackpot for $10. We use American money on the base.

Sunday morning the 13th, we were up at o700 and had coffee in the room. I turned in the car at the Terminal by filling out the form and dropping the key in the box provided. A bill came a month later. We were on time for the Dover flight via the Azores on a CS - a mam~th cargo plane. We had a four hour layover in the Azores (Lajes) where we had to check through customs (Portuguese). Nothing there, but a small Terminal building with a small eating facility. We got some expensive sandwiches and watched pro football from the States on TV. There were two other couples who wanted to get to McGuire, so we planned to catch a van from Dover. I should have mentioned, we left Mildenhall at 1330 and had a 3.5 hr flight to the Azores- the time zone changed and we arrived Lajes, Azores at 1530 hrs. We weren’t permitted to leave the base so we waited in the Terminal. We went through Customs again - this time 06 (Colonel) got first preference. The CS is the biggest of the big. The passengers seats were on the top deck with several decks of cargo below. I set my watch to Dover time. We arrived Dover at approximately 2200 and caught the van to McGuire, arriving about 0100. The car was in good shape so we drove a lonely road back to Philly and were in bed by 0300. Tons of mail. It had been a great trip. In the mail was a notice about the Colonial Dames biennial trip to England and celebration ofWashington’s Birthday at Sulgrave Manor (GW’s ancestral home). We immediately signed up and made the deposit - we were already late and were placed on the so—called ‘Rose Tour’.

In the meantime, Helen dropped by the Travel Office at the Philadelphia Naval Base and picked up a flier about,1 a Carribean Cruise in March. It sounded like just the thing we wanted -- it wasn’t expensive and on the NIEUW AMSTERDAM (a. large and new vessel), and it would visit Grand Cayman as one of the Ports of Call. We signed up and prepared for the wintery month of March. Helen wrote to her cousin in Tampa and arranged to meet him at the Tampa Airport - we had a few hours to visit with Reese Smith and then go aboard the ship for a cocktail. But I’m ahead of my story: we left our Apartment at 0730 on March 15, 1986, by taxi to the airport. We flew to Atlanta via Delta arriving at 1130. The flight to Tampa did not leave until 1230 - it was loaded with Cincinnatti baseball fans going to Florida for the Spring training season. We arrived in Tampa at 1400 in a light rain Reese Smith met us and was very pleasant. We transferred luggage to the Holland America Line and then we went to Reese Smith’s office at One Harbor Place. He is a senior partner in a law firm - has four floors of a new office building complex. He is 60 years old - he and Helen had a good visit going over genealogy. He is so interested he hired a private librarian to organize his family papers, and catalog family data. About 1600 we drove by Reese’s home in an established part of Tampa and then to the ship. At 1630 there was no crowd as we went aboard - the stateroom was terrific C218 --  Promenade Deck on the NIEUW AMSTERDAM. The staff were either Dutch or Indonesian. All were courteous and pleasant. After a visit and drink in the lounge, Reese Smith left. Helen and I took a walk around the ship — it was beautiful. In our cabin we unpacked and then met others in our group from Philadelphia. Capt. and Mrs. Davis (Harry and Paula) he is Public Works Officer at the NAVSY. I liked them, but Helen had some words right away. I was travelling as “Colonel” Seltzer. Davis told us the Naval Hospital was scheduled to close in 2 years. That was not very good news. Helen and 1 went to the ‘Crow’s Nest’ for a glass of wine. Outside it was pouring rain -some Florida. The ship was scheduled to sail at 1800 but was delayed until 1930 because of a group who had not come aboard.

We were in the second seating at dinner 2015 hrs - excellent meal. You can have anything and everything. Helen had more than she could eat. We were tired, skipped the entertainment and went to bed at 2200. I didn’t sleep well because of breathing problems. The boat sailed smoothly through the night. I was up at 0730, we were in the Gulf of Mexico making 14 knots. The ship was well stabilized. Details on the ship include: 163 ft tall, Dutch Registry, 25 ft. draft, built in St. Na-zaire, France 11-4 -81 keel laid and entered service 1983, 1250 passengers, 500 staff and crew.

Helen was up at 0830 --  we had windows rather than portholes -- it was an outside cabin. I walked the ship before Helen was out of bed. We had a quick breakfast in the Lido before 0945 boat drill --  put on lifejackets and assembled at Station 6 -- mandatory.

At 1015 we went to a lecture on thetours that would be available. We decided on Cozumel for $77.00 and an evening ashore $20.00 - night club. We’ll be up and gone by 0645. I got the tickets $194 and then took a walk around with Helen. We had coffee and then lunch was open seating in the Manhattan Dining Room. There was a Casino on board so we went and learned roulette. From there we took a nap then Bingo at 1530 with a little shopping in between. Bingo had good ‘pots’ for cash $150. each game. After that we dressed for the Captain’s champagne reception at 1930. It was a formal evening so we dressed up accordingly. There is a closed circuit TV hook up in our cabin.

There was good dancing music — Glenn Miller, etc. Helen was at ringside and there was the omnipresent photographer. An interesting mix on the ship — young singles, young couples, young children, middle-aged, retired , and ancient. Something for everyone to do. The Captain introduced his staff and then we all had champagne - the steward kept filling the glasses.

Dinner in the main dining room was excellent. I tried to eat a lot of fish - very well prepared in proper portions. ‘Eddy’ was our Indonesian table steward. ‘Topo’ was our cabin steward. They both knew our names right away. Judy Singer (our travel guide) had a $12 bottle of wine at our table. She and her family were on the cruise also. A group of young couples from Seattle were at the table next to us. We decided to go to bed after dinner since we had to be up by 0530. We set the clocks back - I slept well and the breathing cleared up.
 
 

I was up at 0500 - we were in the tropics by now and you could feel it. All those going to Cozumel and other ‘ruins’ tours were up early. We climbed aboard a 70’ Tender which took us 300 yds. to the dock. We were off the boat and on a Mexican bus at Playa del Carmen. The ship proceeded to Cozumel.

‘Pasquell’ was our tour guide on the bus to CHICHEN ITZA -180 km inland over single lane hard surface road. It took 3.5 hrs. through very poor countryside of the Yucatan Peninsula. Scrub really - Yucatan Indians living in thatched huts -kids begging at every turn. We made a rest stop after 2 hrs. Helen bought a straw hat which came in handy in the tropical sun. We arrived CHICHEN ITZA 1130 --  it was hot and humid 95. The whole place is organized to take care of the tourists. There was an admission charge which was taken care of by the tour. We walked to the main pyramid c. 300 BC-l500 AD. The civilization of the Mayas disappeared around 1200 AD. The Spanish wrecked many of the monuments after 1500 AD. Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, et al, archaeology departments restored some of it in 1923-43. The Mayas merged with the Toltecs around 980 AD. They were warlike mercenaries who believed in human sacrifice. The Toltecs rebuilt most of the pyramids and temples. Some are double buildings.
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The main pyramid is a calendar. Four sides for each of the seasons and 91 steps on each side and top platform equals 365 days. The Mayans were experts at astronomy. We visited the observatory ruins and mummery after lunch — very hot and humid. MAYALAND HOTEL was an oasis in the middle of nowhere. We ate here.

We left Mayaland at 1400 and after along boring ride through the wilds of Yucatan Peninsula we arrived at Playa del Carmen at 1830. There we boarded a Tender for a 45 minute ride to the ship moored at Cozumel. The sky was beautiful - moon, stars. This was the year and season to see Halley’s Comet, but we were told that the moon was too bright. There were daily bulletins on the ship concerning the Comet. At 1930 we were on the ship and changed quickly and ate. We then met the group scheduled for the Latin Fiesta show at a local hotel not far but we rode the bus provided by the ship. Passengers from the Vera Cruz, also docked, had to walk. Our ship was obviously First Class. The show was supposed to be a review of the Mexican Culture. We sat in front. Helen at the edge of the stage. Three young single girls and two older couples at the same long table. You get 2 drinks immediately. The show included dances, trio of musicians on guitar, violin, trumpet, Gauchos, Flamenco and a lot of noise. Helen griped about the drums, the girl smoking, etc. - the usual - yet she said she liked the show. We were back on board by 2330 and the ship sailed at midnight for Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Tuesday, we were at sea all day — I walked a couple of miles around the various decks. The ocean was quite calm so sailing was smooth. Helen slept and dressed by 1145 for a cocktail party with our tour group. She complained about my attire as usual so I went off on my own and enjoyed the deck chairs. Watching the flying fish. Helen won a bottle of champagne in a quiz game. There were also deck horse races which she played and won a few. Plenty of money around. There was a full activity schedule if you wanted it. We both played bingo at 1600. This was followed by a special invitation to have cocktails with the Captain. After dinner we played evening bingo and then took in the regular floor show with the Cruise Director David de Haviland. We tended to avoid the disco and bar scene which was open most of the night. I noted that whenever the ship is tied up, the crew is busy with painting, cleaning and repair.

Wednesday we awoke in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was hot and humid and the local police band played as passengers disembarked for tours. After my last experience in Jamaica, I wasn’t interested in going ashore. At 0930, I was watching the crew go through their lifeboat drill. They actually loaded a couple of boats and went out into the Bay for training. Helen kept egging me on to go ashore when an announcement came over the loud speaker that a representative of the Tourist Bureau would be happy to have up to 15 go with her on a free visit to Jamaica. Helen had just complained about the advertised
price of $6 for a cab to get into the center of town. I was suspicious, but it turned out that there were a variety of free rides plus conducted mini-bus tours. However, Helen latched onto ‘Millie’ from the Travel Bureau - only one other couple from the ship took advantage of the offer. Coming off the ship Millie introduced us to Mavis Edwards (grandmother), her son Sam Edwards (a dairy farmer) and Eddie Heslip a car dealer. I was still suspicious - it sounded like it was going to be a rip-off. They were all very considerate and warm in their welcome and asked us where we wanted to go. Helen said she wanted to shop as well as see Jamaica. So we went with Sam in his car to the Freeport Shopping area. Of course, Helen bought a couple of dresses and blouse. Sam then drove us up over the mountain. I recognized many spots from our previous visit. He drove us to his Mother's place first - a lovely site overlooking the Bay - she was quite well-off. Then on to a section called Montpelier on the plateau to Sam’s community of Ramble. There were several changes in climate within 25 miles. Sam had moved his 130 acre farm in 1976 after coming from Kingston. Because the land was undeveloped, it was cheaper. We met Opal, his wife at her school - she was a trained nurse (studied in England) but was teaching irls at the school. All were very high type. Sam had graduated from Agriculture School. Sam took us to his farm where he raises ‘Jamaica Hope’ a breed of Brahma, Jersey and Holstein - it can withstand the heat and produces a good quantity of milk. Since he raises for milk, he has no barns as such. The animals are out of doors all the time. He has a modern milking shed with coolers and automatic milking machines - all very clean stainless steel. He also has a repair building for his truck and tractor. The land is divided and fenced into pods which helps to keep the grass lush, moving the cows from field to field every several days. He imports grain to supplement the grazing.

Sam and Opal have a very nice home. You can see they have good taste. She collects miniature cacti and reads. He collects antique machinery. He also has a magnificent Brahma bull of his breed. I sent him a copy of Rich’s novel when I got home. Although they are black they do not consider themselves Negroes in the sense that American Blacks think of themselves. The Jamaicans are very proud and consider themselves to be equal to all races. They also respect education and take advantage of all opportunities to get ahead. Their youngest son Scott(4) came with Opal from Kindergarten. We enjoyed a Jamaican fruit punch and a local apple - it looked like a red pepper. We then drove into Montego to Evelyn’s house — a nice section tourists do not see. She is the caterer for the airport. She had drinks in abundance and a tremendous Jamaican lunch laid out. We sat around and talked in an airy room getting acquainted. The story is - these Jamaicans belong to a

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volunteer group called “Jamaica — Meet the People”. Each Wednesday a different group of volunteers gets together and entertains guests selected at random. The idea being to get to know others on a people to people basis. A wonderful idea! The food and drink were all indigenous. They were explained and then enjoyed. By the time we were ready to go I had changed my attitude and was beginning to relax. It wasn’t a ‘rip-off’ after all. Sam has a good sense of humor and is a very intelligent business man. Sam explained that Jamaicans do not consider themselves Black as US coloreds because in the US they are ‘hung up’ on Black/White relations. Jamaicans feel special, equal and are happy, confident people. They seem to love people and try hard to please. Quite a change from the chip on the shoulder that we see in the States. It was a pleasant surprise to me.

Also present at Evelyn’s was Marci — a young lady who works for American Airlines. Eddie Heslip, who Helen thinks would be a good politician. Evelyn has 8 adopted children in addition to her own - all very loving. One couple was from Toronto -he a widower married a sociologist 6 years ago, then Jan and her husband from Seattle - he a former Chief of Police and she interested in the arts. All of us took turns telling something about ourselves. At 1500 we were driven around Montego by Sam with his Mother, Mavis, in her new car. All in all, very lovely people - and it didn’t cost me a penny! Sam and Mavis even took Helen back to the store where she bought the dress and helped her exchange it.

We were back on board in time for 1600 Bingo, then there was a lot of activity on board during embarkation. Crowds lined the rails while the local uniformed band played on the dock. During the farewell there was plenty of local rum punch served with snacks. Helen hurried to get a seat for the horse race event. Took a nap and then had an informal Caribbean dinner in the main dining room. there are so many activities going on, you have to miss some.

After dinner, Helen wanted to play Bingo again after watching the Newly Wed Game using passengers - it was funny. This was followed by a masquerade party which we decided to skip. I went to see the Movie JEWEL OF THE NILE - rather inane -Helen joined me then we caught the end of the “Indonesian Crew Show” — fascinating local talent.

Thursday we arrived at Grand Cayman Island — beautiful warm weather, sparkling ocean, white beaches. We went ashore on a Tender at 0930 — Who met us? Barbara Cleaver was there as we stepped ashore. What luck! She showed us around and we went to B. James Cleaver’s Office with Arthur Young accounting firm. Morgan Stanley of NY (where Sallie was working at the time) is a client. Beautiful, clean town - I was bored with the jewelry shops even though they were nice. Barbara met us
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at 1230 and took us to the Carribbean Club for lunch. Very pleasant with sea breezes. We went to her home and met her son (he was home on holiday from college in the US) and friends at #48 then back to the dock at 1430 - Helen had a massage at 1500. She made an appointment for a massage and me for the next day. Grand Cayman is really just a large sand bar - I can’t imagine that anyone could live there full time, they must be crazy.

I rested while Helen had her massage and went to Bingo where she joined me. The Bingo ‘Snow Ball’ was up to $1,000. -next day would produce a huge pot.

We were at the Captain’s Table for dinner — cocktails at 1930, we dressed formally, there was a special menu - caviar, lobster, filet mignon. dinner was caped off with Baked Alaska followed by another good show and then to bed.

We woke up at 0430 to see Haley’s Comet - too many clouds on the Eastern horizon. The stern of the ship was facing East and there were too many lights to see the stars. Helen did see an extended bright splash on the horizon which others said was the Comet. We passed the San Antomion Light (7 miles off the West tip of Cuba). That’s where we ran into rough weather-by 0800 the Gulf of Mexico was rough. Gale winds and the ship was rolling and pitching. Lots of passengers were sea sick. W I had a massage at 0900 “Becky”, boy was that good. Totally relaxing and just the place to be when the ship was rolling. We found out we couldn’t stay in the cabin without getting queasy. so we sat in the lounge and played scrabble until lunch. I skipped it — Helen wasn’t bothered at all. The waves were running 15’ and breaking over the bow. This was a large ship too! There was a horse race on the Lido deck at 1400. Helen won a couple of them. Then we played the final Bingo game at 1545 - the ship had settled down a bit by then. Helen had her hair done and I saw Meryl Streep in the movie PLENTY. I tried to eat an apple but that was all. I was still relaxed from the massage - took a nap and had a hard time staying awake. There was a meeting about disembarking after which we packed and went to dinner. By this time the ship was more steady so I ate a little. The dining room was anything but crowded. The final floor show was fun and lasted until 2300. We had to leave our luggage outside the cabin before retiring. The ship started to pitch again, but I slept until 0400 when Helen awoke to look out the window and see Halley’s Comet as we entered the Tampa harbor area.

Everyone was up early and we ate breakfast at 0700, paid bills by plastic and then sat in the lounge for a couple of hours before getting off the ship - it was 54 degrees in Tampa! The flight home was uneventful.



 

Colonial Dames to England


By the time June 1986 came around we were all set to head for the British Isles. Helen had planned this trip for years. The “in” thing to do for a Colonial Dame. A major part of the trip was a ‘pilgrimage’ to Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington. Helen’s planning went on for six months before we actually embarked. She was in touch with the English relatives and arranged to visit for a week before the Dames trip began. Interestingly enough Virginia Bradford Lyons came to the US in May 1986 and stayed with us a week before going to the West Coast to visit her sister Grace. Helen had a grand party and reception for her early in May (she has it on videotape) and took her to the Academy of Music. Virginia had a grand time as did Helen.

We planned to leave for Great Britain June the first. I had signed up several weeks ahead of time at McGuire, Dover and Philadelphia MAC. Our first call was to McGuire - we were up at 0100, McGuire at 0300 and found no seats to Mildenhall at 0400. We decided to try Dover (this was a Sunday). We arrived at 0600 and signed up for anything going to Germany, Britain, Spain or Italy. There was a flight scheduled for 1530 on 2 Jun so we decided to try that. We checked at Billeting and were told to return at 1400. We returned to the Terminal at 0700 where we ate breakfast. Since it was so early and bright we took a short drive to the beach at ‘Kitts Hummick’ a few miles from the Air base. The shore was covered with dead horseshoe crabs. We tried to doze off on a blanket but as the sun warmed up the ground the bugs began to swarm. We went on to Howard Johnson’s and had a bagel and then visited the Base Flea Market. We had lunch at the cafeteria. It was getting hot. We secured a room (110) in Building 801 - VOQ which was right across from the main gate ($8. for two). We had supper at the cafeteria
- it was the only thing open on Sunday. Afterwards we took in the movie at the Base Theater, MONEY PIT. This was at 1900.

On 2 June we were up at o800 anticipating a flight at 1530. I sent Sallie an additional check for $50. We waited at the Terminal all afternoon. By 1530 there were 73 seats, but the trip closed without any retirees. Many Academy grads and cadets on leave. Another flight was scheduled for 1730 with 73 seats also closed with no retirees. We tried to get a billet for the night, but they were filled. We had dinner at the Officer’s Club ($8. for 2) - good food and plenty of it. We decided to drive back to Philadelphia and catch 4 hours sleep and then try McGuire in the wee hours. There was a scheduled flight to Mildenhall at 0500 Tuesday morning.

We were up at 0130 on 3 June — the car was already packed. We made good time at that hour over the old route to McGuire. Arrived at the Terminal at 0300 - show time was 0340. There were only 20 seats available, as announced on the Board. Quite a game of anticipation -- we were watching who came through the doors. Helen and I managed to be #19 and 20. The plane, a C141B with web seats along the bulkhead left on time at 0600. Flight time was 6.5 hours. there were only six retirees on board — a good number of cadets. I wrote Sal a letter in flight. We arrived in Mildenhall at 1800 - checked bags into a locker (we learned from the last trip), and went to Billeting - nothing available so we ended up at THE DELPH HOUSE (B&B), Arthur and Marion - a short drive from the Base but Arthur did not charge for the ride. He picked us up and informed us that he would return us in the morning to the Terminal. Eleven pounds each, per night. We had some supper there and met another retired couple from California. Two nice looking Academy graduates from Annapolis were also there and we had a nice talk in the living room. We called Nessie in Kew and told her we planned to drive down the next day. We then took a short walk in the countryside — took a shower and was in bed by 2100.

On Wednesday, 4 June we started off with a good English breakfast (always too much to eat). Arthur took us to the American Express Bank on Base so I could get some English money, then he dropped by the Airport Garage for Car Hire. I then drove to the Terminal where Helen changed clothes in the VIP Lounge and .1 signed up for the return trip. Soon we were on the road headed for Kew in a Red Vauxhall - 100 miles in 2.5 hours. We stopped at the pub as we entered Kew where we had lunch - went to Nessie ‘s and she had lunch for us as well. Isabel was there too. It was about 1400 hours. Isabel looked ebullient as always did. A little later her husband Paul showed up for her -he was always quite reticent. Helen took a nap at 1530 and I went for a walk through the Kew Gardens. Everything was beautiful and well tended. At the time, there was construction of a whole new tropical pavilion --  roses were particularly brilliant. I returned to Nessie’s at 1730. Since Helen was still napping, I chatted with Nessie over a glass of wine. Helen soon joined us. We had a delicious supper and then played “Scrabble” on the new set we had given to Nessie (this was the $20 version — very nice). One of Nessie ‘s grandchildren Christo (her daughter’s son) came in around 2200  nice looking -- young fellow of 23. Bed by 2300.

June 5 --  Thursday --  42nd anniversary and my 63rd birthday -- we were up at 0800 --  I returned the car to Heathrow and picked up London Explorer’s passes. This was the time of depleted tourism due to sabotage and violence throughout Europe and England by Iranians. The US had just completed a bombing raid on Libya. Air Force planes came from England bases and tankers from Mildenhall. While at Heathrow I noticed that there were very few tourists. This condition was actually very good for us because the British natives could not do enough to make us comfortable. After buying the passes, I took the train from the Airport to Kew. Picked up Helen where we planned to spend the day. We also arranged to take Nessie to TIDDYDOLLS in the evening. We headed for the British Museum - saw a pedestrian killed by a truck in Picadilly Circus. We spent two hours in the Museum, had a good pizza around the corner. I looked at a cashmere sports jacket in Westaway ( 200 pounds). We then took off for the Olympia Center for the Antiques Show - very elegant and expensive. After the train broke down at rush hour we managed to catch a taxi with 2 other women from Turnham Green to Kew. We changed clothes had a sherry with Nessie. She gave us a lovely book on the Queen and Isabel a book on country scenes for our birthday and anniversary. We took the Underground to Shepherd’s Market where TIDDYDOLLS was located. The food was good and expensive ($100 for the three of us). They did not have the Victorian music entertainment we expected because business was so slow due to so few tourists. The absence of tourists was apparent everywhere we went. We returned by train and got to bed by 2330.

Friday, June 6, we slept until 0900. I took a good bath. I had planned to go to the Military Museum, but we slept too late. We had planned to meet Isabel at the Ritz at 1300. She took us to an inexpensive cafeteria where we ate lunch (The Royal Academy of Art) Walked through the Burlington Arcade and Bond St. She took us to FENARCHES where Isabel helped Helen buy her hat for Ascot. Ladies’ hats everywhere — we never see them in the US. At 1530 we left Isabel and took Bus 22 to Sloan Square and walked a way to the National War Museum - excellent exhibit. Met two of the West Point Cadets who had been on the plane with us from McGuire. We had afternoon tea at LE CASINO on lower Sloane Street. WE took the Underground back to Kew by 1900. Nessie returned at 2000 -we had a leisurely supper and talked until 2330.

Saturday, June 7, Helen had a hair appointment at 0800. I did the laundry at the laundromat and then we left for the RAF Museum at 1030. Took the Underground to Colindal (Hendon). An outstanding exhibit. RAF Museum contained aircraft old and new, training methods, job opportunities all in the modern electronic mode, uniforms, and weapons. There was also a Bunker Command Section with USAF and RAF planes. Lancasters, B17, B25, fighters - all well laid out. There was a special display of the Battle of Britain adjacent to the hangers. This included both British and German aircraft - bomb shelters. Had lunch in the nice cafeteria and chatted with locals attending a reunion of WWII. About 1500 we decided to try MADAME TOUSSAUDS WAX MUSEUM on Baker Street. We took the Underground to Warren Street and the bus along Marleybone to the Museum. The stated admission 3.95 pounds (expensive) 4.80 pounds if Planetarium was included. We had discount coupons and retiree reduction brought it to 2.60 pounds each. Realistic wax figures - well done - frequently so realistic as to confuse the visitors. Got back to Kew by 1800. Dressed for supper at Isabel’s. Virginia was there — delicious gourmet meal, nice talk 2000-2300. We tried to show the videotape of Virginia’s party in Philadelphia, but apparently US and British TV are incompatible --  different number of lines on the video screen and aural incompatibility. Virginia told more of her weird personal stories to Helen’s delight --  she recorded some but later couldn’t comprehend them. We packed before retiring.

Sunday, June 8th, we were up at 0715 - cab came at 0800 and took us to the Post House (Heathrow) where we were to meet the Dames coming from all over. You can recognize them anywhere. Somewhat like spotting teachers. We left a lot of heavy luggage at Nessie’s for pick up later. At the appointed hour, we all boarded a motor coach for the ride to Maidenhead where we boarded a boat for a leisurely ride up the Thames as far as Henley. I was amazed at the traffic on the river. This must be a popular past time. We passed through several locks en route. There was a plentiful supply of drinks and buffet as we got acquainted with others making the trip. The Seidlers from Philadelphia were there — Helen knows Nancy - her husband Joe is a real pain. He ‘knows’ everything, if you don’t believe it just ask him. He was the butt of jokes throughout the trip.

After the boat ride on the Thames, we boarded a coach for the ride into London and the Hyde Park Hotel. We checked in and took a nap until 1825. The room was palatial. All kinds of space.   Large bath with bathrobes ($225/day). We assembled in the Lobby and then took one coach to the New Picadilly where we had cocktails and dinner at 2000. Here we got to meet all the Dames in both groups. We were back in the Hotel and bed by 2300. Everyone was exhausted.

June 9, Monday - started out with breakfast in the room --  too much pastry and jam. The first stop for the day was Parliament at 1030. Here we were met by Lady Kay Elliott --  first peeress in the House of Lords -- years old. She reviewed the British system of government for us while we had morning tea on the Terrace. An excellent tour of the Houses of Lords and Commons followed. This lasted until noon when we boarded the coach again and we proceeded to the Tate Gallery. We ate in the cafeteria which was quite nice and then we toured the Gallery. I hurried through the modern art and then spent the time available with Gainsborough, Reynolds, Hunter, the PRB (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood), Rossetti, Mallas, Hunt. The guides were excellent. Some of the older Dames could hardly walk - I don’t know how they plan to do the whole trip. Back in the Hotel by 1600 - the elevator and parking were held up by the Chinese Prime Minister who was staying in the Hotel. Helen napped while I wrote in my diary, sent postcards and visited the Pharmacy.

The evening meal was at the Carlton Club which is the reciprocal for the Union League in Philadelphia -- Gentlemen’s Club in the English tradition. Andrea Kukulich is our tour leader from Philadelphia --  Bob our driver from London. The Carlton is a quaint Club near the Court of St. James --  more like the Philadelphia Engineer’s Club rather than the Union League. We had a good veal dinner with plenty of wine - before, during, and after. The ladies got quite loud as the ‘grape juice’ flowed. There are a number of very wealthy women without husbands. Got to bed by 2330.

Wednesday we had breakfast in the room again - Helen loves this idea. I would just as soon get dressed and eat in the Dining Room. We took off for the Queens Gallery(near the Palace) and the American Embassy. Security checked under the coach for bombs - fear of terrorism. We had a nice visit at Winfield House - Ambassador Charles Price’s home. It was a gift from Hutton after WWII - a small version of the White House. We took an interesting coach tour of London with Anna our guide — clever repartee. We ate at a Pub near the Hotel -I always get the Plowman’s. We visited the Queens Gallery which was really quite inferior to other exhibits we had seen. Nothing but ‘rinky-dink’ displays of Italian drawings. We were ready for Covent Garden at 1800. Note these expressions: NUTS means ‘Gone Potty’, ‘Lights on upstairs but nobody home!’

Our evening at Covent Garden was exciting. “Eugene Onegin” by Tschaikovsky was performed in English. A real treat because we never of going to the opera at home. The music was excellent, singing was superb, and the staging was perfect. After the performance the Dames had their own catered supper in the ‘Crush Room’ until midnight. Back to the Hotel by 0100.

The following day we were on our own so we had arranged to meet cousin Marged Esli at 1030 in the Hyde Park Hotel for coffee. Isabel called about arranging to have Helen’s fireplace screen done for 200 pounds by a lady who, ironically enough, gives her money to cancer research. That screen will be worth $1,000. by the time we get it framed - we have had the material since 1965. It was raining in the AM as I went to cash some travelers checks at 1.50 - later in the day at another bank the rate was 1.59. You have to shop around for the best rate. We met Marged and had a delightful visit, at 1045 - I took pictures. She is a practicing actress and does TV. We saw her on TV as a maid in “All For Love” in August 1987. She is quite pretty -petite and shy. We walked with her over to the Knightsbridge Underground and said ‘Goodbye’ and then proceeded to Harrod’s nearby. After a quick run through Harrod’s and their high prices, we walked over to HERALDRY TODAY on Beauchamp Street. They had the 4 volume reference work we wanted ($160). Ate lunch at a nearby Pub at 1430. The sun came out and warmed us pleasantly. The Chinese Prime Minister at the Hyde Park Hotel brought out protestors “Free Tibet!” as we left for cocktails at a private home (I can’t remember who) then off to see “ME AND MY GIRL” - it was very nice musical entertainment. We followed the show with a late supper at the hotel and then to bed by 2400.

On June 12 we had our bags out by 0800 and breakfast in the room. This was the day to head for Brighton. En route we dropped by the Duke of Wellington’s House ‘Apsley’ at Hyde Park Corner. It was a beautiful summer day. this was one of the nicer homes. It was loaded with special china, paintings, no toilets. On the bus at 1100 we headed out the M4 to the M25, South past Guilford toward Chichester. The coach (a Volvo) burst an oil line and we were stuck at the Village of Hurtmore for nearly 3 hrs. Someone located a Pub (car park) called the ‘Squirrell’ -- quaint - about 50 yards off the highway. We ended up having a great time eating cheese and bread and drinking lager. I had mineral water. The other two coaches went on to Goodwood House - Duke of Richmond. One of the coaches returned and eventually got us to Goodwood. A beautiful 12,000 acres in horse country (dressage). The residence was unusual in design. To make it pay, they charge visitors 2 pounds, serve special meals, cater weddings. We had a nice meal of Scotch salmon. This was followed by a tour of the house. There were numerous dressage practice rectangles . They have their own race course here also.

Note: STEEPLE CHASE comes from old races in which the riders rode from village to village and the winner was the one who saw the ‘steeple’ first. We left at 1800 and drove Eastward along the coast towards Brighton. We were to stay in the Metropole. It was being renovated at the time and service was poor We finally got our bags at 2100 so we had a snack and tea in the room and went to sleep.

Friday, June 13 - breakfast in the room. We took one coach to FIRLE PLACE - the home of Gen. Thomas Gage. It was old and beautifully kept. Ancestors of Gage run the place. It has been in the family for 500 years located about 10 miles outside Brighton. We were back by 1300. Found a Pub in town for lunch. Even in this beach resort, the sun was not ‘hot’ Pleasant but Helen needed a coat. We walked around the resort a bit, but then started dressing for 1700 at the PAVILION. This would be the last evening in Brighton.

The GRAND PAVILION is a Palace built by George IV in the early 1800’s - after the Napoleonic Wars 1803-15. It is done in the Chinese/Indian motif — quite ornate. George IV, was a hedonist, seeking pleasure - loved Brighton. William followed and used Brighton, but then came Victoria who hated Brighton, so she moved everything out. Local citizens bought the Pavilion in 1850. It is still being refurbished -- a fire a while ago did some damage. There is a wide use of cast iron in the building We had dinner in the Banquet Hall. Helen tells the story of how she sat where the Queen had sat the evening before. Everyone was dressed up and had lots of fun - plenty of wine as usual. Even the staid old Dames were telling jokes.

On Saturday June 14, we were up at 0700 and off to Oxford-shire at 0900. Our coach driver, Ted, kept getting lost -we wandered all around the countryside - through Reading to Lord and Lady Goodheart’s home on Boars Hill. We finally arrived for lunch at 1500 - a beautiful estate overlooking a broad valley. Philip Goodheart is the Chairman of the Sulgrave Manor Board ( the Colonial Dames support this effort with cash). There was plenty of food and wine. Shortly thereafter the men who were planning to go to ASCOT got on one coach and went to Oxford for final fitting measurements at Moss Brothers in Debenham’s Department Store. Since coaches cannot go into Oxford, we unloaded at the RR Station and got into taxis. The measuring was a riot! Despite all the preliminary measurements sent months before, half the outfits did not fit. Our suits were black morning with gray topper. Pat McCoy (female) our guide asked me to lead the men through the fitting and back to our hotel. Some of the men in the group were really senile. We finally got every one fitted and got five taxis back to the RR Station where we met our coach. Oxford is full of 15,00 bicycles. David Scott (R.I.) and I took a cab to~ Upper Reaches at Abingdon on the Thames. Helen had already gone to our room and took a nap. She didn’t take off my handbag and raincoat so they were ‘lost’ overnight. I was worried because our good Canon camera was in it. At any rate we ate a sumptuous meal at the ARK. We had a fun group at the table - Polly Dunn (Miss.), Helen, Ruth Walsh(NJ) et al.

On Sunday the 15th we had an early breakfast and left for services at St. James the Less in Sulgrave. Once again, our driver wandered through the countryside. Of course these little country roads are not marked and to drive them you must know where they lead. We did get to church on time. Andrea our guide, found my bag and coat. I had gone out and bought a razor and toothbrush. It was a beautiful day once again. The quaint little church was just what you would imagine. Helen sat right down front next to the Washington Family tomb of Lawrence Washington and wife - 1539-1594. Seven generations before George. Another John Washington in 1637 emigrated to America. I took lots of pictures. Sulgrave Board, the minister, Raymond Sites from the Embassy and family sat in the Washington pew next to us. Back in the coach, we rode to the Whately Hotel in Banbury (Cross) where we had cocktails and dinner for all 105 of us. We sat with Lady Goodheart and MP Tony Baldry, the representative of Danbury who lives in Rishton. MP’s do not have to live in their constituancy. He is a young barrister. Also Sites and family sat at the same table -- everyone else was shy and sat elsewhere. Helen knows how to get ahead. We proceeded on to Sulgrave Manor for a special ceremony and celebration of GW’s 254th Birthday. There was a large tent (marquee) set up on the grounds --  the house dates to 1564. There was a reception in the tent with the Dames and Board Members. Philip Goodheart spoke as did minister Sites, et al. Air Force Officers and their wives were present from nearby bases — these were the men who had flown to bomb Libya a few weeks earlier. Mr. and Mrs. Robinson, the resident caretakers took us on a tour. I bought a few interior slides since we couldn’t use flash inside. The Pipers from Milton Keynes performed. We then had ‘tea’ - more to eat. This was followed by a Retreat Ceremony at the Manor with Air Force assistance in lowering the Flag of Britain and the United States. After this pleasant experience, we climbed into the coaches for dinner at CHICHELEY HALL in Newport Pagnail -- 1.5 hours away. Another beautiful estate of Mr. and Mrs. John Nutting --  drinks and buffet dinner. We left at 2200 and were back at the Hotel by 2300.

Monday, June 16, we left for ALTHORP-NORTHAMPTONSHIRE estate of Earl and Countess Spencer (Princess Diana’s father). We rode through Blenheim and picked up some of our group at the BEARS. We arrived Althorp at 1100. There was a reception with sherry - Earl of Althorp, Lord Spencer, welcomed us. He was in his shirtsleeves and without a tie. It was probably the best kept of the large estate houses, however, it is a real business with Lord Spencer selling his book and charging an additional one pound for his signature. The current Lady Spencer greeted us at lunch and then we toured the buildings.
An extensive library and the usual paintings: George III, Charles I and wife Charlotte. The windows were all newly double-glazed to conserve heat. Then there was a tremendous art collection. We had champagne before lunch at the foot of the huge staircase while grand piano music filled the air. We had a terrific lunch served in the style of the Royal Family - you serve yourself. Wine with the meal - port after. Helen had a 1620 hair appointment while I walked around the little town of Abingdon, looking at the old and the new. Showered and changed for dinner at a Priory converted to a Hotel. When we returned we started getting ready for the day at ASCOT.

Tuesday, June 17, 1986, was the opening day at ASCOT. It was a cloudy and hazy morning, but warm. One group went to Blenheim, the rest dressed for ASCOT. We took lots of pictures. Chauffeured limos pulled up and we rode six to a car to ASCOT. We parked and walked as a group to the track and paddock area. Quite a sight all the ladies in their hats and the men in their morning cut-aways. There was quite an elaborate procedure for getting into the Queens Enclosure. Months before we had gotten the OK of the US Embassy and after paying a pretty hefty fee, we received passes so that we could be in a special stand with 3,000 others. We proceeded to luncheon on the pavilion at noon complete with plenty of wine. After wards we stood at the paddock gate as the Queen and Royal Family came by in the Royal carriages. Fergi and Andrew (they had met here the year before and weren’t married yet) Edward, Duchess of Kent, Di,
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Charles, Philip, the Queen and the Queen Mother. Helen bet on 3 races - you can bet the whole card at once. The women’s hats were unusual to say the least. It made a fine show. Helen lost the first race but won on 2 and 3. We did not appreciate all the preparation to have to leave at the third race -not very good planning on this one. The excuse was that we were scheduled to have tea at ETON at 1600. As it turned out our driver took a wrong turn and we went by Windsor Castle -the Royal Family stays here during ASCOT. We ended up late for the bloody tea which wasn’t much anyway. We supposedly met some officials of the school, but I don’t remember them. It would have been much greater fun to remain at the races. We transferred to coaches and here the three groups separated for the remainder of the trip. We had dinner back at Upper Reaches and packed to leave in the AM.

Wednesday the 18th, we were on the road by 0845 en route to Cambridgeshire and a quaint country inn for lunch - we dozed during the ride. We were late arriving in Cambridge where we went directly to the Fitzwilliam Museum. On to Kings College at 1515 (Edward VI). Probably the best religious structure we’ve seen - beautiful. Reubens' “Coming of the Magi”, the organ. We walked back to the museum to view the excellent collection. We had to get out by 1650 then back on the coach for 1.5 hours to Ipswich and the Belstead Brook Hotel - comfortable. We decided to settle for tea in the room with crackers and cheese. For kicks we watched British TV. Paraquay World Cup Football (soccer). We walked over the grounds among the peacocks. Tomorrow to Norwich in the AM.

Thursday the 19th was a rather wasted day. We left for Norwich at 0830 - arrived at the Cathedral but there were no guides until 1030 and we had to be back on the coach by 1100 - rather nice Cathedral but certainly not spectacular. We should have stayed in Norwich overnight, instead we wandered all around the countryside to SOMERLEYTON to see the Maze. We never got to see the manor house. Back on the coach to Ipswich supposedly for lunch, but we didn’t arrive until 1430 - Pubs closed - managed to get a Plowman’s at the White Horse Hotel. We walked around the town a while and then took the local bus back to the Hotel. We rested and dressed for a big dinner which lasted until 2200.

Friday the 20th we were off to York by coach. It was along ride from Ipswich --  0800-1230. Although partly cloudy, we enjoyed seeing York again. At 1330 we took a tour of the Minster -worth while tour which ended at 1415 - we shopped until 1500 (I bought some very nice sketches of places we had been). We rode for another hour to the DEVONSHIRE ARMS in Bolton Abbey North Yorkshire - sheep country where All Creatures Great and Small was written. Beautiful landscape, but we do a great deal of driving back and forth. we had a short rest and then back on the coach through York to CASTLE HOWARD of “Brideshead Revisited” fame. Really a fabulous mansion, almost like the Queen’s Palace. Fantastic banquet - St. ERMILION red wine 1978 (French) - violin music. It was 0100 by the time we returned.

On Saturday the 21st we took a long ride to THOR PERRON Sir John and Lady Ropner. More beautiful estates. Ropner spoke with a bit of a German accent --  he had attended St. Paul’s School (NH) for a year and knew Holderness. A nice family and a beautiful arboretum. We walked for more than an hour through the arboretum with forester John Beech. We partook of a beautiful buffet lunch with the Ropners. Then back to the hotel. While Helen napped, I took an interesting walk through the North Yorkshire meadows with the sheep and cows. Went along the river and took in the Abbey ruins. After a quick change we were on the coach to another estate for a change. BRAMHAM PARK near Wetherby - horse country.

Note: Scotch eggs! Pub food - hard boiled egg wrapped in cold sausage meat.

The estate had extensive grounds - we didn’t have time to tour, the house. We were on the coach again to BIRDSALL near Malton. Here we met Lord and Lady Middleton. We toured the house and had a seven course dinner - the host and hostess ate with us. I sat next to Lady Middleton, by invitation, and tried to keep the conversation going. She was an active ‘giver’ in the exhibit “Treasure Houses of Britain’
- we had seen this exhibit the month before in Washington, DC. I was getting good at recognizing some of the historical characters, e.g., George III and his ugly wife Charlotte, and of course Charles l. We returned at midnight after a fine evening.

June 22 was Sunday. We were up at 0600 packed and ate a full English breakfast and left by 0800. It was a full day. We started at Chatsworth - another big estate open to the public as a museum with beautiful gardens, particularly rhodedendron. I took pictures of the interiors (#400 speed film/slides). Painted ceilings were fascinating. We ate lunch on the bus. It rained off and on and then we arrived at the BRIGGENS HOUSE HOTEL, near Ware, Hertfordshire --  our driver had a problem finding the objective going over all these unmarked roads known only to locals. Dinner was taken at BROCKET HALL - a real commercial operation. The Rose Group had stayed here. It was a manor house used as an expensive and plush small hotel. The rooms were spacious. The owners were out of the country when we visited. Back at the Hotel we caught the Great Britain football loss of the World Cup in Argentina --  a big deal over here.

Monday the 23rd of June was the last day of our tour. We went to WADDESDON, the French Chateau type mansion belonged to the Rothschild family. Reminded me of a Philadelphia Jewish”nouveau riche” residence -it was gross! We ate at the Bell Inn and then back to the Hotel to pack. Our group had a farewell dinner --  I confirmed a Hertz car for the next day at Heathrow. Gave our coach driver 10 pounds and 2 pounds toward a gift for Andrea.

On the 24th we picked up the Hertz car and then drove to Nessie ‘s. While eating lunch at a Pub in Kew I broke my upper front incisor tooth - it was hanging on by a thin root. What a nuisance (in September after the trip, I had to have a root canal and replacement tooth). We visited with Nessie and then took Isabel, Nessie to Virginia’s where she had all her former husbands, lovers, children, wives, whatever, for dinner. It was a really memorable event. Loads of chicken, all kinds of vegetables and plenty of wine. Even cousin Nancy Elizabeth showed up after everything was prepared and plunked herself down to eat. Helen thought it was great. It was the last time we saw Isabel and Virginia. She was most hospitable to have the affair at her age, for Helen.

On Wednesday the 25th we said 'goodbye’ to Nessie and drove to Mildenhall. As I said before, June is not a good time to travel Space”A”. There were not billets at Mildenhall, but one of the other retirees gave me the number of the Wing Commander’s Secretary at nearby LAKENHEATH. She very sweetly gave us a VOQ-VIP Suite (Norfolk Suite) for the night. We signed up for flights to the US and boarded a GI bus to Lakenheath. It was clear and warm and the quarters were excellent. We ate at the 0 Club and turned in early. Caught a bus back to Mildenhall after breakfast - we wanted to check out flights to the states.

We spent all of the 26th (Thursday) in the MAC Terminal hoping for a flight. Several came and went - without us on board - filled up. There was an 0640 flight to Dover (CS) so we decided to snooze in the VIP lounge since we wouldn’t be able to get transportation at that hour. However, that flight left without us so I made a reservation for the 06 Suite at Lakenheath. We snoozed and ate lunch at the Club. Both of us went to the gym where we could take a shower. We went back to the Terminal and watched Wimbledon Tennis. At 1700 we got ready for the shuttle bus to Lakenheath when an unscheduled C5 to Dover via
Keflavik (Iceland) showed up - There weren’t many in the Terminal at the time so everyone was checked
in for the flight. The plan was to spend overnight in Iceland. We went through customs, had seats assigned, but then the plan changed. The powers that be, decided it would be better to spend the night at Mildenhall since there would be no facilities at Keflavik. So we were given an assembly time of 0825 Saturday. The crew needed rest and besides they only wanted to stop for fuel in Iceland. The CS was transporting a helicopter to Iceland.

Saturday morning we were washed and ready to go early --  decided to try the Consolidated Mess for chow since nothing else was open at that hour. For $1.15 we had a full breakfast. Boarding time was set for 1000 and we left at 1100. Actually left at 1215 and arrived Keflavik 1445. We were there about four hours and had to confine ourselves to the Terminal. We made the best of it by shopping and eating and talking. We took off about 1800 and arrived Dover AFB at 2300. We caught a van for $30 each to McGuire and were back in the apartment in Philadelphia by 0300 --  tired.


DEBUTANTE BALL IN VIENNA

In the spring of 1987 we decided that Sallie should participate in the Debutante ball des Rosen Kavaliers at the Palais Schwarzenberg in Vienna in June. Sallie was to fly in from LA and then we took her to JFK to travel with the group on June 19. We then returned to Philadelphia. On the 20th we tried Philadelphia MAC but they were overbooked and no Category 4’s had gone out for 2 weeks. Went to Dover about 1600 --  first plane to Ramstein --  show time listed as 2035. We ate on the way and found no 2035. Instead a 1i41 was scheduled at 2150 and CS at 2230, but the Terminal was packed! Only 73 seats. We couldn’t get a billet so went back to Philly. Left for Dover again at 1500. As it turned out the 1345 to Ramstein did go with 73 seats but no Cat. 4. We packed and waited until 1930 - CS loaded - no Cat. 4. 2140 same story
 -- waited for 2240 -- C141. Decided to go back to Philadelphia and start again the next day - I didn’t think we would ever get to Vienna at all. Sal left JFK at 1800. On Monday the 22nd we were off to Dover again. A CS scheduled for 1345 (left over from day before). No seats for Cat. 4 at 1400. Waited for a C5A at 1600 --  it didn’t look good. I even called about a commercial flight for military from JFK -$130 each one way. Some Cat. 4’s did go to JFK, but we decided not to. So it was a long day with nothing out of Dover and no billeting available.

We decided to eat at the Dover Officer’s Club - stuffed pork chops for $5.45 each. Then drove back to Philadelphia. I had a modeling call from agent Greer Lange for 1500 Tuesday. I said “yes”. Helen got angry, but I was just about resigned to the fact that we weren’t going to get to Vienna. Called MAC at Philadelphia airport - nothing. Dover - nothing. We planned to try McGuire on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning we were up early because Helen was upset. Helen was busy calling everywhere to get a flight. I took care of my business and did my one hour modeling job with Kevin Carbonn for News Ad “Valley Medical Plan” - when I got home, Helen had several things going from $320 one way to $480 round trip. At 1700 we were still floundering. Helen as a last resort called McGuire and the Sgt. said “How about Spain?” She said, “Yes.” - “You have to be here in one hour and ten minutes!” We dropped everything. The bags were already in the car (meantime I had a call for a job in NY on Thursday. We jumped in the car and off we went over the Ben Franklin Bridge to New Jersey. Remember this is 5 PM - business traffic time. It always takes me one hour and twenty-five minutes to get to Fort Dix under normal conditions. I clocked us out of the garage at 1710. On the NJ Turnpike we were going 75 MPH most of the way - Exits 4 and 7 - off at 7 then Rte. 68 to McGuire. Rushed up to the gate - 19 seats. Helen began to cry and everyone took pity. The flight Sgt. promised to get her on. I had signed up 45 days earlier so I had the lowest Cat. 4 number and we were checked into the two remaining seats for retirees. Unbelievable. Interestingly enough, the several times we have flown to Europe, we have never left from Dover. We always seem to leave from McGuire. The parking is a lot more simple at McGuire too. We expected to return to Dover, however. At any rate, we calmed down and ate a quick meal in the cafeteria - boarded at 1940, became airborne at 2020 on a nice KC 10 — very comfortable - it is the AF version of the commercial DC10. I had neglected to bring my Spanish phrase book -oh, well - and Helen left her raincoat. We landed in TORREJON, SPAIN (15 miles NE of Madrid) at 0300 Edt or 0900 Spanish time. Immediately signed up for AVIANO, ITALY to leave at 1030 --  we were all set and then the passengers were cancelled because the cargo was ammunition. Being 06 we had the use of the DV Lounge --  very nice. We checked the board for flights to Germany. There was a small plane at 1950 and a C141 at 0255 (tomorrow). So we waited-it was getting hot in Spain. We were too far away to do any sightseeing in Madrid although some did. The Status of Forces Agreement prohibited our using the PX so we confined our purchases to the Snack Bar. We napped most of the day and chatted with another couple in the lounge. We took the shuttle bus to the very nice Officer’s Club and had a nice Spanish omlette for supper. Back at the Terminal we walked around a bit and talked and tried to make the 0300 flight to Rhine-Main - cut off just ahead of us! Tried to sleep in the DV Lounge and were awakened by a nice black airman for a KC10 to Ramstein2 hrs. ahead of schedule to Ramstein. Itinerary was to stop at SERAGOSA for 2 hrs. so it would be tight getting to Vienna (Wien). This was the same plane we had flown on from McGuire. We were aboard and strapped in for the take off when we were informed we would have to disembark because a little light on the door would not operate. Back to the Termina~ where we waited another hour and were suddenly transferred to a Cl41 going to Ramstein (sling seats). It took off at 1130 and arrived at 1400. We had excellent VIP treatment - only 20 passengers. As a Colonel, we were unloaded first and seated on the bus to the Terminal. The Terminal at Ramstein was a madhouse -- small and crowded with uniformed GI’s and dependents and luggage all trying for the States. We dragged our bags to the SAT(Scheduled Airline Ticket Office) to try to get tickets from Frankfurt to Wien. There was such a line we decided to catch a cab to Kaiserslautern Bahnhof and take the train to Frankfurt. I had some German money but I had a heck of a time figuring out the German telephone. Finally succeeded in securing a taxi. A young girl driver then drove us to the Bahnhof for 340 DM($l8) this was at 1525 -- bought two tickets to Frankfurt (Zweite Klasse) and the train left at 1530 - we were in a compartment with a German engine