A decision over meatloaf on how we responded to “ but ask what you can do your country?”…

The last blog piece described a real benefit to auto train travel, i.e. the chance to have to have a meal with strangers and chat about whatever you feel like talking about-this is one of the auto-train benefits for all to consider.

In the blog I mentioned that I brought up when conversing with Joe and Terry that my national service had been as a volunteer in the Peace Corps (1963-65). Like a lot of young people’s decisions following college graduation of what to do next, mine had received little thought. Receiving an education degree it seemed to me that beginning a teaching career was logically the next thing ahead for me-Probably in Quincy where I had completed my student teaching and perhaps had a good chance at being hired.

As it happened,  the  “serious” decision of my future plans was made over lunch with my best friend Chris when we both reached the “let’s do it” moment eating the Larry’s Lunch (Bridgewater, Ma.) luncheon special of meatloaf, etc. ( Larry’s Diner was a favorite of students and locals and we all loved their luncheon specials especially the meatloaf.

On the way into Larry’s, Chris tore off from the holder an ad for the joining the Peace Corps. “What about this new Kennedy idea? Join the Peace Corps” “Let’s look into it!” Chris said. And I might have said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country?”  I could have said this because this important thought of John Kennedy had spread throughout the land.In the day that followed one of us wrote off requesting information of procedures for joining up. And soon the application procedures arrived at both of houses.

The details of what happened next are unclear but soon I did send in  the application and learned that the FBI was investigating me and my background. Whatever the FBI discovered was not enough to stop a letter arriving at my  home inviting me to fly to Hilo,Hawaii and begin Peace Corps training with about 150 other invitees to become volunteers in the Philippines.WOW!

Chris similarly followed our decision made over meatloaf and soon got his acceptance letter and he went to Washington, D.C. for his training to be a volunteer in Turkey.

There is probably ten more blogs to be written describing my life as a PCV- all wonderful experiences. But of course, meeting the other applicants and making friends as we went through training was a major highlight.

More to follow. Meatloaf decisions can turn out great!

Thanks for reading.

Bill from Dunedin

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