Friday, November 12, 2021



Chic Silber said...

A good friend mentioned this to me

So last night I enjoyed my free dinner

Roger Smith said...

In 1968, I got my notice to appear for my pre-induction physical. We in Ventura County were to muster at the American Legion Hall for bussing to the AFEES Center, down in L.A. We were met at the Hall by 4 Volkswagen vans of hippies, with the hair and the beards and the beads. They approaced some 200 of us, offering wine, women, and weed, if we'd simply refuse the draft and blend with them into their communes. "Burn your SS card, your drivers license, and your draft card, and drop out. They haven't found us, and they'll never find you." Not one of us went with the hippies. As we boarded, the Legionnaires all shook our hands.

3,000 of us were being processed, walking around in our shorts and paper slippers. At the time, I had a lion act and a tiger act at Jungleland. I was a veteran of 8 years of circus and wild animal work, and in top form. Suddenly, an old Army Doctor demanded, "What the hell are you doing here?" I turned to say I had a letter ordering me to be here. "What the hell is that on your back?" He was looking at scars from boyhood spinal surgery. He stamped REJECTED on my form and all but threw me out the 3rd story window. Downstairs, a quieter Sergeant explained no one with such surgery could be allowed into any military service, no matter what their current career involved. This may have been a hard rule, but to this day, I regret not serving when I know I could have. My respects to every veteran.