MY LIFE’S PROGRESSION – Part Two (click the pix to read more)

After failing to find satisfactory employment at home, I joined the U.S. Army. This provided an avenue for me to “see the world” and have opportunity for the “G I Bill” (education) since my dad couldn’t afford to provide higher education.

Following my training at Fort Benning, GA, “Home of the Rangers”, and at my choice, I went to Germany. This turned out to be one of the “major” (pardon the pun) good choices in my life. As a peacetime Army, our duties were less rigid and I was in the middle of Europe – a mecca for traveling!

I visited (East & West) Berlin two years before the “wall” went up, spent weekends in Austria (a most beautiful place, similar to the  above Alps photo) and Italy, primarily visiting the island city of Venice.

Venice was a most unusual place with no streets or cars, just canals and boat – thousands of boats! At the Doge’s (Duke’s) Palace courtyard, every afternoon at 2:00 sharp (the bell in the clock tower announces their arrival on the last “gong”), pages bring out buckets of corn and other feed and scatter it, and literally tens of thousands of pigeons swoop into the area. There is a mad thrashing as they eat up every grain and then quickly fly away – to come back on the morrow. But, watch where you step!


I spent much time exploring and photographing castles and other historic places. I went to an Army electronics school south of Munich in a little town (Lenggries) that was at the foot of the Alps (which touches 7 countries!) ! Every afternoon after class I went up the ski-lift and was swept away up the side of the +10,000 foot mountain. The scenery was gorgeous, just like that of the opening scenes of the film “The Sound of Music”.

Strangely, ALL the 1000’s of slides I made while in Europe mysteriously disappeared in my move to Florida. I hope they are stored in a box somewhere. And, I left my lederhosen in Bavaria.


I established several life-long friendships while in the Army. At least one of them was “in touch” regularly until he passed away a few years ago. You can read about Wesley in my bio; he was the dulcimer maker.


After the three years in the Army, I was “honorably” discharged with the permanent rank of Private! I went back home. I never did use the “G I Bill”  for education – you’ll understand why in the next section.

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