Graduated High School 1965
Navy 1965 to 1969
University Of Wisconsin 1970 - 1979

Aircrew Radar Operator
CVA-31 Bon Homme Richard
1968-1969

The Summer of 1965 I was in Naval boot camp, Great Lakes Illinois. Everybody has to past a swimming test. My friend Michael an African-American from New Jersey failed. During our free time I would take him down to the pool for swimming lessons. Nobody else tried to help. Sometimes he would say "Hay Whitie" laughing "Sorry John, all you white folk look alike."

I picked up this document hitchhiking through Mississippi.

First you need to know a little background.

I was stationed at the Naval Training Center in Millington Tennessee north of Memphis from 1965 to 1967. The first six months I was TAD to the Chaplains' office and the rest of the time I was in Aviation Radar School. While in school weekends' were boring so I started taking Greyhound Bus trips to different places of interest. Back then it was safe to hitchhike. I found it faster to get around. Most of the time I would stay overnight at a bus station. The benches were not very comfortable but when you're young you can take it.

Side Note: I forgot, back then few people had cars and traveled long distances by bus or train.

I remember hitchhiking to Birmingham Alabama several times because it was in the news. The weekends I picked were quite. One time on the way back I got a ride from a man that said that he was the Grand Wizard of Mississippi. He knew that I was a Yankee. He never used the N-word or the J-word, and talked about saving our Country. Shows how naive I was back then. I thought he was talking about the communist along the lines of the John Birch Society. When he dropped me off, he asked if I would like to join and gave me this application. I never did or would.

Reply-Email: bil-g335*** Have you ever make a similar mistaken assumption when you were younger?
Answer: Thinking back I remember reading the book "Animal Farm" by George Orwell when I was about seven. I couldn't decide if he was talking about union's or religion.

 

Return