|(Training pics are full size; some more recent pictures -- with a bluish outline -- can be clicked to enlarge)
Clear Lake, WA
1967 Training Biography
click photo to enlarge
|Here I am in my office at the Housing Authority
A while ago I was talking to a friend here, who I found out had been in Peace Corps Africa. I asked if he had been specifically trained for a program or if he had just been in a regular program. “Regular program,” he answered, without hesitation.
was a company town of COMIBOL, Companía Minera
Boliviana, the nationalized mining company. In Telamayu
I taught some English classes to adults and a few to
the very unruly children’s
classes; coached some basketball; tried to interest people
in starting a credit union (no one showed up to the meeting);
played chess with friends (badly); drank beer.
Chicharias were ubiquitous in the Chapare on weekends.
After we terminated, Jeff Fletcher and I traveled through South America (I was detained twice on the way north, once with Jeff and once all by myself) to Panama, where I found out I was I-A. I flew home to face the draft board and managed to postpone my induction until I became 26 and got a first lottery number of something like 320.
I traveled in Europe for 3 months then ended up in the Bay area working for a Community Action Agency, till the Black Panthers took over and this honkey was out of work. I hung around Berkeley for about 5 years, drank espresso while reading "War and Peace," before Starbucks existed, painted houses, proof-read a couple of books; repaired a boat; did landscaping and worked as a white-water river guide for 3 years in California till the 1973-75 drought put us out of business.
I moved back to the NW in 1977 and settled in the Skagit Valley with my partner, wife of 33 years, where I have been the Director of the Housing Authority of Skagit County for more than 25 years. Cheryl and I have two sons, 27 and 23 who both graduated from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. I plan to retire from the Housing Authority June 30, 2007. I have to find a replacement before I can leave, however.
I play tennis, ride a road bicycle and stay as active as possible. Cheryl is a potter, photographer, water colorist and also works at the Skagit Valley Food Co-op as the mercantile buyer and head of the department. We live in a very beautiful area and are planning to stay here, but also travel a bit to Europe (which we love, especially Italy) and Central America: Nicaragua and Costa Rica, where our younger son has spent time working and studying and will be returning soon.
I have been politically engaged here in the Skagit and have worked to defeat a planned nuclear plant in the 1970s; have been a Town Councilman in the very small town of Hamilton and have been an active Democrat - on the very left end.
I have been appalled by the actions of G.W. Bush in nearly everything he has done. I am very concerned that our civil liberties are being eroded; that our image in the world has been severely tarnished and that we no longer have a tax structure and national budget that supports anything but military contractors and the war machine.
We have traveled in Europe, Mexico and Central America, but have not been back to Bolivia yet.
PC In Your Life
The Peace Corps experience has been a huge factor in my life. The Spanish language facility has been a great asset. My job selection would likely have been very different had I not had the experience in Bolivia. The Peace Corps has apparently changed its focus toward specific projects and that is probably a good thing; but the experience I had trying to figure out what to do was good for me personally, as I look back on it. I haven't been much of a "joiner," but I will be joining the Friends of Bolivia and Peru.
My younger son has been involved with Witness for Peace, which does a lot of good work in Nicaragua (and elsewhere in Latin America) bringing US citizens to the country to see what really is happening and explaining how our foreign and trade policies affect the people.
Best/Worst PC Experience
The best things were the special friendships I made with some of our group members, some of which continued afterward. I count Jeff Fletcher and Martin Zone (who I met in California again after he had served in Guatemala) as special friends.
The worst part of the experience was having the specter of Viet Nam hanging over me and also missing a lot of the political and social changes happening in the States.
In the Future
Favorites to Share
film, but all good ones.