I attended Aviation Technician classes at the Naval Air Technical Training Center near Memphis in 1948. At the time the United States military services were becoming fully integrated while the south including Memphis remained segregated as defined by Jim Crow laws. This resulted in conflicting practices in how people of different races interacted depending if they were located inside the Naval Technical Training Center or outside of it.
I had grown up in rural South Dakota and never had contact with non-white people of any kind before entering the navy. I can remember seeing only one black person in the town near our farm before I left in my late teens. When confronted with southern segregation I hadn’t developed any strong opinions on the subject. However, I did not feel comfortable with the practice. On its face it seemed immoral and conflicted with many of the basic principles on which our country had been founded. My memories of that 1948 experience are the basis for the Memphis 1948 story.
The Isaiah and his wife Sarah were Negro sharecroppers who lived in the Mississippi Delta and farmed twenty-four acres of cotton on land owned by Ed Sharpton. They had one son named Tyler.
Isaiah was a descendent of three generations of the Williams family which had lived in the Mississippi Delta as slaves, field hands, land owners and finally share croppers. Isaiah’s father had been a decedent of a slave mother and father and worked as a field hand and accumulated enough money and good enough credit to buy eighty acres of rich delta land. Isaiah had inherited the eighty acres with an outstanding mortgage in 1910, a time when Negroes were facing increasing political pressure and finding it difficult to obtain credit. In 1920 Isaiah lost the farm and became a sharecropper.
During the same time Ed Sharpton was buying up land being lost by bankrupt Negroes, using credit unavailable to Negroes. At one time in the late 1800’s, Negroes owned two-thirds of the rich delta land. By the 1920’s they had lost most of it.
In order for Ed Sharpton to utilize the land he had accumulated he broke it into small plots for sharecroppers to farm. Ed furnished the land, a mule, plows, other tools to work the land, seed and fertilizer and a shack without electricity or running water for the family to live in. For this he would receive half of whatever was produced by the sharecropper on the land. Ed wouldn’t let any of the sharecroppers to use any of the land for such things as gardens. All the land had to go into cotton. In addition, all the sharecropper’s shacks were bunched together in a hamlet with no room for yards or gardens. The shacks were part of a hamlet that included mule barns, sheds filled with plows and other field tools, and a warehouse for fertilizers and seeds. Also, in the hamlet was a store owned by Ed Sharpton where sharecroppers bought necessities.
Each year the crop yield would depend on many variables such as if there was the right amount of rain, if the boll weevil would be problem, if plant diseases effected the crop, or if Ed provided enough fertilizer. At the end of the year, when the crop was harvested, Ed Sharpton would buy the Willian’s family share of the crop at a price determined by the Ed. What the William’s received at that time would be their only source of income until the next harvest.
If the money ran out before the next harvest the family had only one place to get credit to buy the necessities the family needed. That was the store Ed Sharpton ran. As a result, most or all of the William’s family share of the crop might be needed to pay for the necessities they bought on credit at the store during the previous year.
In the spring of 1940 Isaiah was nearing his mid-fifties. He was all bone and muscle, slightly stooped over. He had turned grey prematurely, had lost most of his teeth and his face had wrinkled from spending many years working the fields in the heat of summer. Sarah was only a few years younger than Isaiah but didn’t display the signs of aging in the way Isaiah had. Her face skin was smooth and her hair a mass of black ringlets. Not that Sarah didn’t work hard. During the summer and fall she hoed and picked cotton beside Isaiah and did the family cooking and washed the cloths in a wash tub. Sarah was just one of those people that didn’t seem to age. Tyler appeared to be a typical eleven-year-old boy, a string bean who couldn’t get enough to eat. However, if one knew him well, he wasn’t a typical eleven-year-old boy. He had the bright shining eyes of youth but they often seemed to be looking beyond where there was anything to see and his mind also seemed to be in that far off place.
As an eleven-year-old, Tyler also worked in the fields. Tyler’s father Isaiah had gone to school for four years and had a rudimentary ability to read and do figures while Sarah had never attended school. Despite this meager experience with education the two of them made certain that Tyler went to the one room, one teacher school for Negroes where grades one through six were thought. Children of other sharecroppers often sent their children to the school when they didn’t have anything better to do. Tyler’s parents sent him because they wanted him to learn. It worked out well because Tyler liked school and also wanted to learn.
Sarah had wanted her boy to go to school as most mothers would. Isaiah had a more personal reason why he wanted Tyler to go to school. Isaiah believed he had lost his farm in part because he had an inadequate education. He signed contracts he couldn’t read and knew nothing about the laws that allowed his farm to be taken away from him. He didn’t want that to happen to his son,
The school was a shack similar to those the sharecroppers lived in. Miss Brown, the teacher was a big black woman with an attitude. She had a limited wardrobe but managed to dress neatly every day in a clean dress. Miss Brown had been teaching single room multiple class schools for fifteen years before taking over the share cropper school. She maintained order and discipline doing whatever the situation required and the students who didn’t understand this soon became educated. For this she had the use of one of sharecropper shacks, was paid ten dollars cash every month and had credit to buy twenty dollars’ worth of supplies and food from Ed’s store every month.
Despite her rough exterior Miss Brown loved every child she ever thought and, Tyler was no exception. However, Tyler was exceptional, the best student she ever had. It was apparent soon after he had started the first grade. He wanted to know everything about everything and had the capacity to absorb all the knowledge Miss Brown could provide. Miss Brown’s concern was that what she could provide was limited by her abilities and the school’s resources. The books the school had were twenty-year-old work books designed for children learning to read and do basic arithmetic. They were not knowledge books that Tyler needed. Miss Brown had been around long enough to know talking to the county superintendent would be like talking to the sky and a waste of time. As an alternative Miss Brown decided to talk to Ed Sharpton.
Ed Sharpton spent a lot of his time in the store and Miss Brown approached him one day about the school’s needs.
“Mr. Ed” Miss Brown said, “I know your interested in educaten sharecropper children. Always said you were. I’d like da thank you for that. Now I have this problem that you kin help on. I need more books. Some of da high grades need books bout history, geography, grammar, things like that.
Ed laughed, “Niggers don’t have a need for anythen but lernen how to read a little an some rithmatic. You don’t wanna get fancy ideas in their heads.” With those words Ed left the store to tend to something.
Miss Sally Bates, the white woman who tended the store six days a week spoke up after Ed had left. Miss Bates, and Miss Brown had become casual friends. Miss Brown came into the store often to pick up groceries and other items, and if things were slow at the store as they often were, they enjoyed visiting for a while.
“Miss Brown,” Miss Bates said, “Maybe I can help you. I use the library in Clarksdale, I can borrow up to three books at a time for three weeks. I don’t have that much time to read so can help you with two books ever three weeks.”
Miss Bates,” Miss Brown replied, “That’d be so kind and be so helpful.”
The two women huddled, decided what kind of books to borrow. This unlikely partnership continued for the last three years that Tyler attended the share cropper school. In addition, the older students that were interested had their education enhanced by the borrowed books.
In the spring of 1940 Tyler was eleven and finishing the sixth grade when Isaiah decided they should leave the delta. Isaiah’s brother Howard, had moved to Chicago the year before and had gotten work in the factory making auto parts. Howard wrote, “Theys plenty work for them wants to work and the pay is good.”
The William’s family had been living in the delta for generations and Isaiah and Sarah knew nothing else. When they owned the farm, it had been a satisfying life. Share cropping had been a setback with no future while the oppression of the Negro race in Mississippi continued to increase. The information from the Howard, if half true, would be an improvement over their present situation. Isaiah didn’t have a hard time convincing Sarah that they should break their bonds with the delta and leave the unsatisfying known in hopes of finding a better life in the unknown.
Late one night that spring they packed everything they would take with them into a relative’s car that took them to Clarksdale where they caught the train to Chicago, leaving behind the life they knew and the unpaid credit from Ed Sharpton’s store.
While Isaiah looked for work and the family was becoming acquainted with the Chicago. They had moved in with Howards family and in the evening over dinner Howard would fill the Williams family in on things he had learned about the neighborhood. “Theys good, theys bad, but better than the delta for sure. Theys still segregathen, not Jim Crow, but still segregathen,” he said. “Yu can’t live just anyplace, only places where Negroes live. Da schools, where Negro’s live, da not much better than da Negro delta schools. Po teachers, po everythin.”
Isaiah was disappointed to hear most Chicago schools in Negro neighborhoods were no better than in the delta. They were not officially segregated, but in practice they were. Isaiah didn’t know all the reasons why, but Howard said they were and he believed his brother.
Isaiah decided to find out what he could about what to expect from Chicago schools. Isaiah knew Tyler was a smart boy, Miss Brown had told him Tyler was the smartest student she ever had. Isaiah wanted to get Tyler in a school where he could make use of that smarts and learn as much as he could. Isaiah started talking to people who knew things about education.
He talked to the preacher of Howard’s church. The preacher didn’t have a high opinion of schools in the community where his flock lived. “They’s bad schools and they’s worse ones. Da children spend the day there but don’t see them learnen anything.
He visited a neighborhood school. It was summer so the principle had time to talk. The principle, a white man, didn’t talk up his school, didn’t talk up the Chicago school district. He talked about problems. It didn’t seem like the principle was talking to Isaiah. Isaiah happened to be an object the principle could use to unload his frustrations. He talked about the huge influx of Negroes from where Isaiah had come from and other places in the south. They have to live somewhere. When the Negroes moved into a neighborhood the white folks would move out, often to the suburbs. The Negroes don’t have the wealth the whites moving out had. The Negroes moving in had many educational needs while the district’s finances were deteriorating.
Isaiah wasn’t understanding everything the principle was saying but he understood that the Chicago school district had big problems and wouldn’t be a good place for a Negro or for Tyler to go to school.
A friend visiting Howard planted an idea in Isaiah’s mind. The friend lived in Juliet, a community on the southwest edge of Chicago. The friend told Isaiah that there was a Negro community in the middle of the city, compact and segregated just like Negro communities in Chicago and were the only place’s Negroes could rent or buy a house. Also, the elementary school in the Negro community had mostly Negro students and it struggled with staffing and lack of support. However, there were only two middle schools and one high school in the district and they were integrated because there was no other option.
Juliet wasn’t far from where Howard lived so Isaiah took a bus to visit the city and check out job opportunities. Good paying jobs weren’t plentiful, but there was work. The result was that the William’s moved into the Negro community in Juliet, Isaiah found work as a janitor and Tyler entered middle school that coming fall.
Tyler spent the next six years in Juliet schools and graduated from high school with almost perfect grades despite some teacher’s reluctance to give him the grades he deserved. However, the school could not allow Tyler to be named Valedictorian, that would be stretching tolerance beyond reasonable limits.
Graduating from high school had been a goal for Tyler’s parents. The goal had been met; now what? Neither Isaiah, Sarah or Tyler had given that much thought. Despite being at the top of his class the opportunities for a Negro were limited. Few jobs were open to Negroes that provided more than lowest level pay for unskilled work. Negroes were the cleanup people in service businesses, in manufacturing they worked assembly lines and work other people didn’t want to do. Negroes provided un-skilled labor in the construction business.
College for Tyler was really beyond Isaiah and Sarah’s level of comprehension. Tyler had a broader understanding of the education hierarchy but he also understood that neither he nor his family had the means to consider the college option. He considered what his real options were and the most likely would be to get a manufacturing job. It didn’t take long for him to find work in Juliet working on an assembly line. He continued to live at home and contributed to paying family expenses.
Tyler knew that working on an assembly line for the rest of his life was not something he aspired to do. He also had recently become interested in young women and that further complicated thoughts about how to proceed with his life.
Tyler had been worrying these problems for almost two years when a fellow assembly line worker named Clayton informed him that he would be leaving soon to go into the navy. Tyler was surprised by Clayton’s announcement. He had thought the navy didn’t accept Negroes. “Going into the navy,” Tyler questioned. “The navy don’t take Negroes.”
“Well, theys taking me” Clayton replied. “Not a steward polishin officers’ shoes, but a real sailor. Something bout an executive order Truman usin says the navy has ta take any citizen meets the requirements. Skin colors not one of em. Be going up Great Lakes Boot Camp, nex week.”
Tyler didn’t question Clayton’s veracity, but being curious by nature checked out what was going on with discrimination in the navy. After a few hours at the library Tyler had found the source of the change occurring in the Navy. President Truman was interpreting Executive Order 8802 signed by President Roosevelt in 1941 as the basis to begin ending discrimination in the armed forces in 1947. Then this year, 1948, Truman issued executive order 9981 which that made it clear that there would be no more discrimination in the United States armed forces. Apparently, this executive order was working for Clayton.
That the navy was accepting Negroes as recruits opened up a possibility that Tyler hadn’t considered. He hadn’t seen much of the world other than the Mississippi Delta and Juliet Illinois. His future seemed be low level jobs in whatever field he worked in.
He talked to his parents. Isaiah and Sarah who had long ago decided that they could give Tyler support and love but he was more capable than they were in just about any subject they could think of. “You decide that,” Isaiah said, “You know most about it than most folks do.”
Tyler thoughts had never considered joining the armed services as an option previously. He heard that, with few exceptions, Negroes in WWII were used in all- Negro units and mostly in non-combatant roles. The thought of a segregated, separate but equal, type of military organization turned him off. The idea of Negroes serving in the military having their own toilet facilities, own mess halls, separate barracks, and maybe colored only fox holes seemed ridicules to him. If as Clayton said, Negroes were being enlisted to serve in an integrated navy, that could be a be a different story.
There was a navy recruitment office in Juliet and Tyler stopped in. A lone man in a uniform sat a desk drinking coffee and reading a newspaper. A half-eaten donut sat on a napkin beside the coffee cup. The man didn’t project the image that one sees in recruiting posters. He slouched over the desk, was a little flabby and his uniform could have used good pressing. The man glanced up and then resumed reading the newspaper. Tyler stood waiting to be recognized but after a few minutes realized that he was being ignored.
“Sir,” Tyler said, “I would like to ask a few questions.”
“About what?” the man asked.
“Well I heard that Negroes can enlist in the regular navy now.”
“What do you mean, regular navy” the man in the recruiting office asked. “Negroes have always been able to enlist as stewards. You want to be a steward.?”
Tyler was becoming irritated. He knew he was getting the run around. This man didn’t want him in his office, and didn’t want Tyler to be in the navy. It caused Tyler to react in kind and he wasn’t going to be intimidated. “No,” Tyler said. “I don’t want to be a steward, I want to be in the regular navy, as a deck hand or whatever regular sailors do.
“What makes you think you can enlist in the regular navy?” The recruiting officer asked.
Tyler, who was struggling to remain calm answered “A friend of mine has enlisted in the regular navy and will be going to the Great Lakes Boot Camp next week.”
The man in the uniform had a scowl on his on his face but his mind was working on a different problem. He was a recruiting officer whose job was to encourage men to join the Navy. The goal for the number of men he was to recruit that month was far from filled. As a recruiting officer he had been informed he could recruit Negroes. He didn’t like to see Negroes serving in the Navy but there wasn’t much he could do about that. What he could do is sign this Negro up and it would add to the number of recruits for the month no matter what color the man was. He reached into a drawer, pulled out some papers, asked Tyler if he could read or write.
Tyler didn’t respond to the question.
“In any case,” the recruiting officer said, “You can take these papers home, get some help if need be, bring them back with a certified birth certificate.
Tyler asked the recruiting officer if he had something to write with. “I’ll fill out the papers now.” Tyler hadn’t intended to enlist that day, or if ever, but he was so ticked off he decided to do it right there in front of the recruiting officer so he could see Tyler reading and writing.
Tyler did fill out the forms quickly and handed them to the surprised recruiting officer who noted how quickly and neatly the forms had been filled out. “Well, very good,” The recruiting officer said, then reminded Tyler to bring in a birth certificate and handed him a card with the date and place he was to go for the physical.
From that point things moved along quickly, Tyler passed the physical and was told to report to the Chicago City Center recruiting office in two weeks when a group of navy recruits would assemble to be transported to the Great Lakes Navy Training Center boot camp. Two weeks later twelve nervous, anxious young men were herded into a conference room. A navy officer had the men stand up and face him. He said something about swearing in and had the men raise their right hands and to repeat after him the enlisted men’s oath. They all did that and the officer declared the men were now United Navel Recruits and good luck.
When the recruits arrived at the boot camp they were outfitted with uniforms and assigned to a fifty-man company. The company was integrated with Tyler and five other Negroes as part of otherwise all white unit.
The first weeks training proceeded with a heavy emphasis on the importance of discipline which included close order drill as an example. The navy chief petty officers responsible the recruit companies training used whatever means needed to shape up the company to march in step and react to verbal commands without stumbling over each other. The half dozen Negroes were not singled out from the rest of the company. From Tyler’s perspective, it appeared that discipline was applied where needed and color wasn’t a factor.
There were a number of southern white boys in the company that Tyler would label as red necks in their natural environment. Some of them didn’t hide their distain of the Negroes in the company. This became apparent soon after the company had formed and moved into a dormitory.
There were two picknick type tables set in the middle of the company dormitory where recruits could write letters shine their shoes, hang out. A Negro recruit sat down at one of the tables to write a letter and two southern boys were shining their shoes at the other table. One of the southern boys remarked that he didn’t know niggers could write. The Negro recruit reacted instantly, picked up the uncapped ink bottle he was using and flung it at the two southern recruits. The ink bottle hit one of southern recruits and spilled ink over both red necks and on the table. The southern recruits jumped up and tipped over the table the Negro letter writer was sitting at and came after the ink thrower. Other recruits in the company pulled the combatants apart, stopped the confrontation and then attempted to clean up the mess. However, there was no way that all signs of the melee could be erased and the company recruit in charge would have to report what happened.
The next morning the company assembled in front of the barracks and stood at attention while a navy officer lectured them on the Presidential Executive Order 9981 that ended segregation in the United States Armed Services. The officer ended his lecture warning that, “It is the law, if you break the law you will be prosecuted, and if guilty punished and will at a minimum be given a dishonorable discharge. When the Commander in Chief, the President issues and order, you better damn while obey it if you want to serve in the United States Navy.
After that incident there were no racially motivated disturbances during the remainder of boot camp.
During boot camp the recruits were tested physically and mentally. They were required to meet certain strength and flexibility levels and be a third-class swimmer. Anyone falling short of meeting the physical requirements would get individual training in order to meet the requirements before leaving boot camp. Tests to determine math, reading and general knowledge levels were administered. At the end of boot camp each recruit was interviewed and was told what options were available to that recruit based his back ground, test scores and other related capabilities.
The interviewer, Josh Brisson, watched Tyler as he approached his desk. Josh didn’t spend a lot of time with each recruit and sometimes hadn’t looked at the recruits file until the time of the interview. Josh was surprised to see Tyler was a negro. He hadn’t interviewed any Negroes before this one, although he knew Negroes were now allowed to serve in any one of the navies many different rates and skills. Josh had grown up in rural Wisconsin and never had known or had contact with any Negroes. He came into the Navy off the farm and it was an all-white organization until now. The Negro walking toward him made good physical impression; trim, good posture, pleasant looking. The deep tan skin tone enhanced an impression of a handsome young man.
Tyler stood in front of the desk and Josh motioned for him to sit down. “Excuse me,” Josh said to Tyler. “Give me a minute to look through the file.” What Josh saw in the file was the evidence of probably the sharpest recruit Josh had ever interviewed. This contradicted what Josh had heard about Negroes and he struggled to get his head around what he saw. The interviewers had guidelines they were to follow in placing recruits into slots where they would best fill the Navy’s needs. The navy is a technology-oriented fighting force and needed skilled personal to operate and maintain complex facilities, ships, submarines and aircraft. One of the interviewer’s responsibilities was to select candidates to be trained in the skills needed for the navy to function effectively. The evidence Josh had in front of him told him this recruit should be guided into one of the demanding skills most needed by the navy.
Josh looked up from the file. “Very impressive, you are qualified to go into any rating you would be interested in. What are you thinking about, what would you like to do in the navy?”
Tyler studied the interviewer, “I get to pick what I want to do?”
“In your case, that is true,” Josh replied. “Are you interested in shipboard duty, aircraft, submarines? Those are categories, then what do you want to do in a category.”
World War Two had only recently ended and Tyler had become fascinated with the aircraft and their use during war. The Tuskegee pilots were his heroes. “I’d like to have something to do with aircraft.” Tyler replied.
“There is a full set of navy ratings related to aircraft maintenance and operation,” Josh explained. “The rating I would like you to consider is Aviation Electronics Technician. You will get almost a year of training and if you do well, you’d come out as a 3rd or 2nd class petty officer. Some enlisted sailors take years or never make 2nd class petty officer.
Tyler took the recommendation and found himself at the Memphis Tennessee Naval Air Station, attending the Aviation Electricians Technician school. He was in a class of twenty and the only Negro in the class. Not unexpected since very few Negroes had been accepted into the navy at that point in time.
Tyler encountered bigotry at the Memphis Naval Air Station, the kind that any Negro would consider normal. Otherwise the Memphis Naval Air Station was fully integrated. The State of Tennessee and Memphis were a different matter. To Tyler, Jim Crow seemed more prevalent in Memphis that it had been in the Delta.
Tyler found the training interesting and not difficult and graduated, as had become normal, at the head of the class. He had the petty officer 2nd class rating sewed onto his uniforms and decided to celebrate by going into Memphis to spend some time on Beale Street. He would go alone. There were few Negroes on the base and none that Tyler found shared common interests. None of his white classmate would want to go with him and Tyler didn’t fault them for that. Mixed race sailors together on a Memphis street could draw a crowd.
Tyler wore his dress blue uniform with the new 2nd class rating on the sleeve. He caught a navy bus that circulated through the base and then made a run to Memphis. The bus was nearly empty and Tyler took a seat behind the bus driver. When the bus got to the main gate a marine guard stepped on board and checked the service men’s liberty passes. When the marine had finished checking the passes the driver stood up and said, “All you colored folks now have to move to the back of the bus.” Tyler was the only Negro on the bus. “This needs to change,” he thought.” He stood up and moved to the back of the bus, then finished his thought, “some day it will.”
After Tyler completing his training, he was assigned to unit at the Miramar Navy Air Station near San Diego testing high definition radar being developed to detect snorkeling submarines. Navy technicians worked with civilian engineers to get the kinks out of the new radar before being deployed for fleet use.
Tyler found the work interesting and challenging. The radar guys were more interested in the technology than in skin color so there hadn’t been any obvious bigotry in the group. One of the sharpest technicians in the group was a first generation Mexican American. In addition to that Tyler got to do some flying when testing the equipment. Something he liked and it also made him eligible for flight pay.
Tyler had finished his second year in a three-year enlistment when the Korean War broke out.
The navy had become interested in testing their new radar for an airborne command and control application and Korea offered a chance test it under realistic conditions. As a result, a contingent from the Miramar radar group, including Tyler, was sent to Japan to test the radar command and control capabilities while flying over Korea and adjacent waters. It was during this deployment that Tyler became aware that the GI Bill that assisted World War Two veterans in the cost to attend college was being extended to Korean veterans. As a result, Tyler knew what he would be doing after completing his navy enlistment, an enlistment that was extended for a year because of the Korean war. That was to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana, a school that admitted Negroes, to major in Electrical Engineering,
While at the University of Illinois Tyler changed his major to Physics, a change endorsed by his advisor. This had been driven by Tyler’s interest in a physical world beyond electricity and its various forms. He graduated with honors from the University of Illinois and went on to earn a Master and Doctor degrees in Physics at MIT and then became a research scientist at Stanford.
It was during the 1960’s that Tyler became involved in the civil rights movement under way in the United States. He joined the march on Washington in in August of 1963 with a half a million other civil rights supporters and heard Martin Luther Kings “I had a dream speech.”.
On March 17 1964 President Lynden Johnson addressed a joint session of congress on the subject of civil rights and the President, who had deep southern roots, browbeat and shamed the congress into passing the historic Civil Rights Act in July of 1964.
Tyler was thrilled by the passing of the Civil Rights Act but had no illusions that the act would immediately eliminate prejudice and bigotry in America. Tyler’s concerns were soon confirmed when the Civil Rights Act was met with resistance throughout the south. This resistance was highlighted by the march from Selby to Montgomery Alabama in March of 1965, which Tyler participated in, protesting Alabama’s flaunting of the Civil Rights Act. The march highlighted the nations determination to enforce the Civil Rights Act with federal troops if necessary and by rulings of the courts. However, regardless of the of the enforcement the Civil Rights Act, it would not eliminate prejudice and bigotry from the hearts of many Americans. Yet Tyler was optimistic that the Civil Rights Act had set the nation in a direction and with goals that would improve relations between all of the ethnic and cultural variations of its citizens, However, Tyler also realized that for those improvements and the direction to be maintained depended of future generations supporting those same goals. That was something only time would reveal.
Copyright © 2018 by Alfred Wellnitz
All rights reserved. No part of this story may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.
This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, names, incidents, organizations, and dialogue in this short story are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author.
Also by Alfred Wellnitz
Finding the Way;
From Prussia to a Prairie Homestead
Deficit Triggers Hyperinflation, Terrorism
For the Cause;
The Cold War Turns Hot in Korea
And Why Young Men Went To War
About the Author
Alfred Wellnitz grew up in rural South Dakota, served in the United States Navy, and worked in technology as an electrical engineer. After retiring from engineering, he worked as a real estate agent before deciding to become an author at age seventy-three. He has since published three novels and numerous short stories. Alfred’s first novel, Finding the Way, was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 13th Writer’s Digest International Self-Published Book Awards, and PushBack was a finalist in the ForeWord Review’s Book of the Year Awards. Alfred now lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.