Tuesday, June 24, 2008

In The Army

get a date with her but she had ready excuses. She remained friendly, however, so I thought she did not like riding in my Model A Ford. I learned later that she was dating Mitch who was 28.
Back at college I was blessed with a first semester record of all A’s even in Chemistry. Both Sam and I were subject to the draft for military. Sam received a 4D because he was studying for the ministry. I joined the V-12 program which was supposed to let me finish college. I was allowed to complete one semester. It came as a Christmas present. During this last semester there were several positives and a few negatives. The first positive was my election to Phi Beta Kappa. The second positive - I met Margarete Berryman at a community Sunday afternoon youth program at the Bon Air community center. Our relationship was cut short by my entry into the military,
The negative was the death of my father. Due to his mental illness he drowned himself in a local pond. He was returned to Talladega for burial. The family road the funeral train with the body. There was a write up in the local newspaper so when we arrive there were quite a few people at the train station. One of them was my baby sitter. At my age of twenty I recognized her. With tears she gave me a great big hug. There were a number of positives at the funeral. It was biracial. This impressed me but I did not know the reason until I talked to one of the Afro-American ladies. Dad ran a grocery store during the depression years. He gave many of his customers a $10 a week credit since they had no money to buy. Another positive was the stained glass memorial window of the good shepherd. He was chairman of the building committee that raised funds to build the new church. During the funeral the sun was on it the whole time. My mother felt that this was a divine act. The third positve was the music. Dad had a beautiful bass voice and sang in the choir. They sang the hymn "When They Ring Those Golden Bells For You And Me." It was not sung often but I can remember the tune even today.
At the end of the semester I was inducted into the Army at Ft. Meade, Md. We were given written tests, had our hair removed, and subjected to interviews.Your future was related to your test scores. In my interview I was given some choices. I told my interviewing officer that I wanted to be a Lab technician because of my interest in Chemistry. I was assigned to Camp Pickett, Viriginia 40 miles from Bon Air for basic training. I received week end passes to go