'Keep moving on'
I grew up in Puyallup. During World War II I watched the big army trucks roll down the street, taking Japanese citizens to the internment camp at the fairgrounds. I was about six years old, but I can still tell you the corner I stood on as the trucks went by. We had to black out our windows with felt paper so any enemy aircraft could not see the city. My dad was the city engineer, and he'd go out and check to make sure the city was dark. We had ration stamps for a limited amount of food and gas. The day the war ended I was in 4th grade. The high school kids all got in somebody's convertible and headed down the street, blowing their horns and shouting, "The war is over!"
P.E. was something I never really got to do as a child. I had P.E. once, in 9th grade. I enjoyed the teacher and I have enjoyed sports all my life. I played baseball in high school and then I walked on at Whitworth and started as a freshman on the baseball team.
I turned out for centerfield, and we did well. Art Smith was the coach at that time, and he expected the best of us. I wish I would have listened to him a little bit more, especially when he talked about hitting! Paul Merkel '44 was the coach for 1957 and '58. It was a good four years of playing ball. I had a fantastic friend, Al Bare '58, who played second base. We hung out all the time and had a few classes together our freshman year.
The summer after my freshman year, I was sitting on the davenport at home, reading the Bible, and I thought, "What do I really want to do?" It was like God told me to be a teacher, and that's what I did.
My first job was teaching 6th grade in Stevenson, Wash., a little logging community on the Columbia River right behind the Bonneville Dam. I taught all the subjects as well as physical education. The next two years I was the 8th grade teacher and I taught P.E. to grades four through eight. The year after that I became assistant principal.
After I was the assistant principal, I went back to the classroom for one year in Stevenson as a 6th grade teacher. And then my wife, Janice, and I heard about the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program. We applied in 1963 and a year later we received a letter from Washington, D.C., saying we had been accepted.