That wouldn’t be his last tongue-in-cheek quip;
“Unfortunately,” he said, when asked if he worked on his father’s Viking, Minn., farm; “we had cattle, chickens, cows, sheep, grain; we commercially cut hay, bailed and sold it …”
He recalled when he graduated high school; North Dakota sponsored a program for graduates similar to the military’s World War II, “90 day wonder” Officers Candidate School;
“At Mayville State Teachers College, in 90-days, they turned you from a country bumpkin into a school teacher,” he said. “I taught that first year in Woodruff, a little one-room school where you taught grades one through eight. Second year, I taught at Ardoch, and in ’51, the draft board told dad that he had two sons, and one was going in the service … by then, I’d realized I wasn’t a country school teacher, so I said, ‘I’ll go’.”
Quickly, he realized, “they’re shooting people in Korea, I didn’t want the Army, so I told the Air Force recruiter I wanted to be a pilot; he said, ‘no problem son,’ even though I wore glasses that thick,” he continued, fingers a quarter-inch apart.
For more on this story, see the September 1 issue of the Navarre Press or subscribe online.