Charles Heberle, Class of '63, Oral History Interview
October 4, 2013
Interviewed by Jennifer Payne
JENNIFER PAYNE: And with that voice, hands down.
CHARLES HEBERLE: Thank you.
JP: This is Jennifer Payne with the Norwich Voices Oral History project andtoday is October 4, 2013 and I am here with Charles Heberle.
CH: You are.
JP: Thank you. Thank you for being here.
CH: Oh, my pleasure.
JP: Where are you from?
CH: Gloucester, Mass.
JP: And, when were you born?
JP: And what is your nickname?
CH: It was "Charlie" here. But my dad's name is Charlie so at home, I'm "Chaz."I'm Charles III. So, my dad's name -- nickname was "Charlie," so I couldn't have "Charlie" growing up, so I had "Chaz." But when I got here, they called me "Charlie" and it just kept on going. So, around here tonight you will hear them all call me "Charlie," they don't know "Chaz." (Laughs)
JP: I know "Chaz."
CH: It's very interesting. I've had numbers of different nicknames for differentparts of my life. And it's great, because when somebody calls me, I know instantly which part of my life they're from (laughs) by the nickname they call me. (Laughs)
JP: That's great!
CH: Yes, Charles has numerous nicknames, so that's an advantage. (Laughs)
JP: Are you a "Chuck?"
CH: I never was a "Chuck" because again, I had a kid growing up with me whosenickname was "Chuck." So, that was -- I couldn't have that one. (Laughs) My son is Chuck.
JP: Your son is Chuck.
JP: Charles IV.
CH: Charles IV.
JP: Oh my. How did you decide Norwich?
CH: Skiing. Actually, Norwich was my "safety valve." But I did something whichare -- the kids like, but the principal didn't like in high school. A very, what I consider a creative prank but he considered it malicious and so he wrote to all my schools, which were Bowden and Amherst and Dartmouth. And said I wasn't ready for college. And, obviously wrote Norwich too. But, of course, I can -- once I got here, I knew exactly what had happened. Gen. Harmon took that letter and threw it in the round file and said, "Sounds like our kind of guy." (Laughs) "And besides, we need guys with 1300s on their college boards." (Laughs)
JP: What was the prank? If you don't mind.
CH: Oh, I blew off a bomb in a way to just back up the water in the -- in thingsso that anybody sitting on the john would get a -- (Laughs)
JP: (Laughs) Oh, dear! So, Norwich was a fallback school after that and who wasyour first roommate?
CH: Steve Hanna.
JP: Steve Hanna.
CH: Yes. He was my roommate twice. And, funny, it was Steve and I -- is how Ijoined the Masons.
JP: Oh, really?
CH: It was a big deal in those days. I don't know if it still is, but ErnieHarmon was a thirty-third degree Mason. And, you were encouraged to go down to the lodge here and join up. But, I don't know, I hadn't gotten that far or something, because I found out just a few months ago -- yes, I didn't join until senior year. I don't know how that happened, but anyway, the reason it happened was that it was a gentleman named George Duke. And, George Duke had been the janitor of Alumni Hall for his whole life. That was his job. And he had a little office in the basement of Alumni Hall with all his brooms and mops and stuff like that. And, apparently, senior year, Steve and I were just walking down the hall together and it was funny because Steve was from a Masonic family as was I, but neither one of us had thought about it. And George says, "Have you guys got a couple minutes?" He said, "I'd like to talk to you." And so, we went downstairs to his little janitor closet. And he had two seats down there. And he sat us down. And he was a little, wonderful guy. And he said, he said, "You guys don't know me anymore than what you've seen me." He says, "But I'm a Mason," he says. And he says, "I look for, for kids." We were kids then. "Who treat me as a person and not as a janitor. And I invite them to join the Masons 'cuz (sic) that's the essence of the fraternity." And, "And so you two are the two that have done that consistently while you've been here." So, that's -- I said to myself immediately, well if that's the kind of organization, that's what the organization's all about, I'd be proud to be a member. And I've been proud to be a member ever since. (Laughs) Yes, but that was kind of one of the fascinating little stories of Norwich University. (Laughs)
JP: I've never heard of him. That's a good one.
CH: Oh, he was a beautiful man. George Duke. Just a wonderful guy. And what morecan you do in life in the end, but be a wonderful person.
JP: That's all that matters.
CH: Yes. In the end, that's all that matters.
JP: What was life as a rook like for you?
CH: Oh, Lord, it was awful. It was just terrible. It was the usual, -- I'm sureyou've heard all the stories. The name tags on upside down. Raincoats on backwards. Midnight -- oh yeah, they'd call us out at midnight. They'd call us out at 2:00 in the morning. Raincoats on backwards. Name tags upside down. Run us through the shower. Oh, yeah, oh just all sorts of stuff, bracing all the time and the square meals at the mess hall and stuff. Oh, no --
JP: What are square meals at the mess hall?
CH: Like this. You had to eat like this.
JP: Oh, you're gesturing with a 90-degree angle.
CH: Everything's got to be done at a 90-degree angle. It's a West Point thing. Ithink we later ditched it because it is a West Point thing. (Laughs)
JP: Sounds difficult, though.
CH: Not really. Once you get it though it's pretty easy. What was hard wasgetting from the mess hall back to the dormitory without getting harassed. That took some doing.
JP: What would they do?
CH: Anything. Just anything. Harassing was the name of the game. So, you found arook and harassed them. You developed techniques to-- just like, if the cops pull somebody over, you wait until -- and then you slip by them, and -- (Laughs).
JP: (Laughs) While they're distracted.
CH: Those kind of things. We developed those little tactics to get back to thebarracks and into our room before the corporals caught us. (Laughs)
JP: Where did you live?
CH: Yeah. Alumni, senior year and freshman year. We had the first, and I'm notsure it was the first, because it seems to be a cycle. I guess they're back to it now. I don't know. Where you have a rook battalion and so they're separated from the upper classmen. And then another generation, oh, that doesn't work so we're going to reintegrate the rooks back in. And another generation, they go back the other way. So, it's -- (Laughs).
JP: What did you do when you were -- I know you were on the -- not the debateclub, but that other --
CH: The College Bowl.
JP: The College Bowl.
CH: Yeah, that was a big deal in those days. And, so, in fact, this probablyneeds to be told, so let me tell it. Because we lost. It was --we had followed Drexel University who had just won five straight times. And after you've won five straight times you had to retire. And, they threw in a pick-up school. And the pick-up school that we ended up in -- let me back off a little bit, because --and we'll probably talk about him a little bit more and everybody else who ever knew him will talk about him too. A professor named Eber Spencer. Was an incredible man. And as brilliant a man as probably any of us ever met or will ever meet. Very, very erudite, unbelievable professor. And he was the head of the government department. And, I always remember the first time I saw him was at the survey course for the -- all the liberal arts business guys. So, we had to take the course in the auditorium. Government 201, 202. And he came right out and he said, "I suppose you're wondering,", he always talked like this. He says, "I suppose you're wondering why the head of the department would come out and teach this survey course." He said, "Well, it's very simple." He says, "For most of you this will be the first and last course in government you take. I want it to be the best."
JP: Oh. That's perfect.
CH: Yeah. That's the kind of guy he was. And, so, he was my advisor for myentire time here and really taught us how to think. And he became the staff, professor of the College Bowl team. And he knew we were going to go onto College Bowl, so he had started watching it two years before. And cataloging every single question and all this kind of stuff. I forgot to turn off my cell phone, but I will right now.
JP: That's okay.
CH: And, so, then he got the electrical engineering department to build us aboard, where the buzzers would really work and stuff like that. And so, we started practicing in September and I don't think we went on until February or March. And, so, we were good. We were pre-pared (sic). But one glitch happened. Spencer got a special something to Columbia. Some sort of thing for that second semester and he spent it at Columbia. So, he wasn't there with us when we went to the program. Somebody else was, Loring Hart, I think, or somebody. And, so, anyway, in the College Bowl, as is probably in every quiz show, that's not your first time, when you go on television. You've practiced four or five times before you actually go on the air. Well, these poor people that were up against us, because they were a pick-up, they were just a sudden --, they had not been prepared like we were. And, so, we killed them in the practice sessions. We killed them. The last practice session, we won 500 to 10. We just creamed them. So, what happened was, and this was a lesson. And Spencer later came and said, "I wish I'd been there, because I would have told you guys to go easy on them." Because the -- any quiz show is biased for a close game. Their interest is having a close game and it became obvious during the afternoon that this was not going to be a close game, and we were going to kill these kids. And, so what they did was, they threw all these trick questions at us. There were no ordinary questions of any kind in the entire half hour. None. Zero. Like, they played the only saxophone concerto in the inventory and that was one of the questions. And, there is a saxophone concerto believe it or not, there's one.
JP: I've never heard of such a thing.
CH: And, of course it sounds kind of like a clarinet, kind of like an oboe. AndI never picked up saxophone, again because I knew music and I'd never heard of a saxophone concerto, so it never crossed my mind, or we would have won. We lost by this much.
Anyway, but my "for instance," they gave us tickets to anything we wanted to goto in New York. I went to the AAU track meet. The night before. And, so, there's a question for every individual based on the interviews they have with you, the question that only you will know and only you will answer, family and friends can feel free. So, mine was, "With what high endeavor are these men associated?" And they gave us the names of four pole vaulters. And of course, they knew I had been there last night. I knew all of these guys. (Laughs)
JP: I hope we have that recording somewhere.
CH: Oh, I'm sure you do. I'm sure you do. But, it's really almost too bad, and Idon't know if they ever -- they have out-takes or something, but it would be good for our reputation (laughs) if they had that one of the final -- the final tune-up, where we beat those guys 500 to 10. (Laughs) Because they were asking straight questions. What year in the Civil War did the battle of Chancellorsville -- straight, good, basic, normal quiz show questions that you would ask in a college quiz show. (Laughs) That never happened when we went on the air.
JP: Oh my gosh. What was your major?
CH: Yes. I never left Eber Spencer once I found him. I'd always had a theorywhich I followed, that I would go with the best professor and I didn't care what the class was. And, so, I followed that all through Norwich and it worked out really well.
JP: What other activities did you do?
CH: Well, I was on the drill team. Gloucester High School had a compulsory ROTC,the oldest in the nation. And, so, there were a lot -- there were 22 guys here from Norwich, from Gloucester when I was here. And that had been on, and I think still a tradition, and still goes. I asked Rich one time and he said, "yes". He thinks that Gloucester has more people from Gloucester had come to Norwich than any other town over the years.
And that's because we had this compulsory ROTC, and we had 800 M1 rifles in thehigh school gym. And they were fully militarized except for the firing pins which were kept in the ROTC safe. And we could sign them out, take them home, do whatever we want with them. Had a full functional rifle range below the gym and had the top rifle team -- high school rifle team in the nation. So, Gloucester was a big deal. We had the state championship band and all this kind of stuff. And our entire social -- fit around the military, the junior ROTC. So, when I came to Norwich, the military was easy. There was nothing to it. I knew how to shine my shoes, I knew how to stand at -- I knew all that stuff. And I knew the Manual of Arms better than some of the corporals and could do it better. (Laughs)
So, I was in on a tank platoon, was on the drill team. Most of my extra-circularstuff centered around the military, because I was very good at the military all four years. Of course, some of the other stuff I wasn't quite so good at. (Laughs) Like academics. I kind of blew them off. And -- because I was going in the military and if I wasn't going in the military I was going into my family's business, so what did I care. As long as I get the piece of paper. (Chuckles) So, that's how it was.
So, partying in there -- although I was in the Pegasus Players and the glee cluband was a good friend of George Turner's. Another great guy. Super guy. (Chuckles)
JP: So, you were in the Pegasus Players. What plays were you in?
CH: Gosh, I forget. Way back then, I forget.
JP: Nate will probably have pictures. I'm sure he will.
CH: Probably. Gee, I never thought about that. Nate has been incredible --
JP: Yes, he is.
JP: I know.
CH: I mean -- we felt really bad when Fred started again, sick as Fred has beenthe best class agent you could ever hope for. And then we pick up Nate who is just unbelievable. Truly amazing. (Laughs)
JP: The bike -- the bike race he just --
CH: Yes, he just finished biking across the country. Not bad.
JP: By himself.
JP: 2,400 miles or so.
JP: Or something like that.
JP: Just because.
CH: (Chuckling) Just because.
JP: (Laughs) Oh my gosh. So, you're at Norwich and your -- you want to go intothe military and --
CH: Well, I don't want to go in the military, I've got to go in the military.
JP: You've got to go in the military.
JP: Was your dad in the military?
CH: Oh, sure. World War II. He was a pilot in World War II. But that wasn't thereason, the reason was compulsory military service. We all had to go in the military. That's was the main calling point of coming to Norwich. One of the main ones. I would have been in ROTC in whatever school I went to. No way I was going in as a private, when I could skate through four years and go as an officer. That's a deal. (Laughs)
JP: Smart. So, --
CH: Oh, excuse me.
JP: No, no. Go ahead.
CH: Oh, I just remembered it was funny because my last job was Chief of Staff ofthe Fourth ROTC Region, at Ft. Lewis. And, we had 66 ROTC units, from Minnesota to Guam. And one of them was UC Berkley. Which, of course, was the headquarters of all the anti-war riots and all that kind of stuff. And so, the anti-war stuff was really big there. And, this officer that we put in there as the PMS, solved the problem. He took down all the recent pictures and he put up all of the old pictures from the 1880s on up, and showed the history of ROTC at UC Berkley. Well, they had a cadet corps that was four times the size of this university.
JP: Oh my gosh.
CH: In their heyday, because again, if you -- if you were a young guy going tocollege in the 50s, you don't want to be an infantryman, so you signed up for ROTC. So, ROTC was huge all over the nation.
JP: Can you hold on half a second? My thing is beeping at me and -- back withCharles Heberle. Here we go.
JP: So, you were talking about -- were talking about the panty raid.
JP: So, do you mind recapping that a little bit?
CH: Oh, no. We had just been talking. It was a fully planned military operationand the girls were in on it too. I was all set up. I mean, we did months of planning on that. We were the instigators, yes, we're the bad guys, Class of '63, the Billy bad guys. And we organized the thing and if I remembered, I wouldn't tell you who the main organizers were. They'll have to tell you themselves. (Laughs) But, anyway, there were many, many meetings that went on down in the mess hall, I mean, in the coffee shop, in the PX where we organized the juniors, we organized the sophomores, we organized the freshmen. And all this was absolutely pre-planned. And, so, it was a military operation absolutely. So, like you said, the girls went out and bought out the stores of panties. (Laughs)
JP: I've heard that.
CH: And the reason for the fire trucks was, I mean, we had a full militaryoperation. It was probably 500 or 600 cadets up there from all four classes. Over half the university I would gather, suspect. At least 400. And, the poor cops -- is probably 5 or 6 cops in the whole city of Montpelier. And, so they got up there and looked around and called the fire trucks and see if we can hose these kids down. (Laughs)
JP: Oh my gosh.
CH: And then of course, the news media got ahold of it and everything. But itwas well done and well organized and well executed and it was a good military operation. (Laughs)
JP: (Laughs) So, you went through Norwich. And what did you do after?
CH: Oh, I went in the army and flew helicopters in Vietnam.
JP: Did you?
CH: And, went to the Harvard Business School and hated business. So -- actuallyI hated Harvard. I quit. And -- because they were trying to teach me things that my dad, who was in family business had said never do. Like, they were teaching "screw the employees, screw this, maximize the profit," all this kind of stuff. That was the Harvard way. And, we didn't do that in Gloucester. The building center was part of the community. And your first responsibility and my dad's hammering me for years, thinking I was going to be the president of it someday, because I was the only son. Your first responsibility is to the 53 families of those employees. And to make sure they get fed and are cared for. And yet at Harvard, it was "screw the little guy." So, I quit and didn't go back. And, never have felt bad about that. It was my little protest thing. (Chuckles) So, I'm one of the famous flunk-outs of the Harvard Business School. Like, Bill Gates and a couple of others. (Chuckles)
JP: What was your father's family business?
CH: It was just a building supply firm there in Gloucester that was started bymy grandfather. And, it was a family business and all the employees were right from there. And you did what you had to do. And, we had oil, for instance, as part of our many things we sold and so, we gave away a ton of oil, because if somebody couldn't pay, we weren't going to let them freeze. You didn't do that in the 50s. We had universal healthcare in the 50s. We had all the safety nets you needed in the 50s and we didn't have a dime of federal help. Because everybody did it at a local level and they did it on a volunteer basis, so it didn't cost anything. And, that's the problem with this whole modern era of the federal government doing anything, it costs too much. Forget all the employees -- the Republican, Democrat, the whether you're a good guy or evil, blah, blah, blah. It costs too much! It ain't going to work. (Laughs) There's too damn many people who'll scam the system. Because, that's the other problem when you do it from the federal level, scammers are all over it. You can't catch the scammers. Whereas, at a local level, if somebody came into that non-profit hospital and claimed they weren't employed, yes, hello, you're John Schmuck and we know darn well you're employed, so don't give us that number. (Laughs) So, there was no scamming the system. All the doctors expected, and I got this first hand, expected to do 30% of their work pro bono. Because, fishermen are out of work six months out of the year. And, that's just the way of life in Gloucester. And, so, when their kids get sick or something, they couldn't pay and that's the way it was and the doctor went and took care of them or they went to the hospital and got care, and there was no charge. And whenever there was an epidemic or something really bad happened, the town fathers would get together and do fundraisers and whatever it took to put the system back in balance again. And it didn't take much to do that because it was an all-volunteer system, outside of the nurses and the doctors, and of course the equipment and all that kind of stuff.
So, in the 50s we had all the stuff that the liberals want us to have and we hadit for nothing and with no federal help. None. Zip. (Laughs)
JP: What is --
CH: Maybe that's what they're missing, but they missed the key ingredient whichwas themselves. Put your own self into it. Volunteer. Yes, then it can be done. Help your fellow human beings. Don't pay somebody else to hire a bureaucrat to go down and help them. No. That's not going to work. Just mathematically, it's not going to make it. It's not going to happen.
All my liberal friends think I'm an evil guy, but it's nothing to do with evil,or that I don't like my fellow human beings. No, not at all. It's just that this isn't going to work. Its dollars and cents, plus one, plus two doesn't make three or five. It doesn't make five. It only makes four. (Laughs)
JP: You mentioned Vietnam, flying a helicopter in Vietnam.
JP: When were you in Vietnam?
CH: '66, '67 and then I got out of Harvard. I went back in the army again andwent back in '71, '72.
JP: So, you did two tours?
CH: Yes. I just came from a helicopter pilot's convention. We had a fun time.
JP: Did you?
JP: What kind of -- were you carrying medivac?
CH: We did everything. We were just a normal, ordinary helicopter company thatflew -- we had gunships, we had slicks, and we did whatever they told us to every day.
JP: Is there such a thing as just a normal, everyday?
CH: No, but as a helicopter -- it was normal, everyday helicopter stuff. No.There was nothing normal about being a helicopter pilot or crew chief or anything else in that war. Because the whole war revolved around the helicopter. The helicopter was the war. And it wouldn't have happened without the helicopter. And nothing went without the helicopter happening. Except the poor guys who drove the trucks, who I would be, boy, I tell you, no way I would drive one of those trucks. Everybody talks about us having a dangerous occupation, and we did, we had the highest casualty rate in the war, but you wouldn't have caught me driving one of those damn trucks for love nor money. I mean, they get ambushed every time practically and they were sitting ducks. Oh, no. At least we had some stuff to shoot back and had a little joie de verve and slept on clean sheets every night. (Laughs) So that was the deal.
But a fun deal is how I got into that. Which was junior year at Norwich, we hadthis air force guy, Col. King, and he taught geography. And he was there and I can't quite -- was an air force thing and why he was there at the army. I don't know. But, anyway, he was there and he ran a thing called the flight program. And I didn't even know about it. And then they came to me junior year, and a bunch of others, and Charlie Evans and Bill Adams and I were the three that I remember. And, said, "How would you like to get out of afternoon classes on Thursdays and we're going to give you a car and you're going to go up to the airport and get 50 free flight hours and a private pilot's license." (Chuckles) "And all you've got to do is an extra year in the army, when the time comes." It was 196 -- of course. We'd heard of Vietnam. Absolutely. And when we get in the army, get to fly little bird dogs around and have fun. Well, yes, sign me up.
So, then they gave us these things called the "flight wagon." We called it the"flight wagon." It was a Ford Fairlane. And it was this free car that they gave us to drive to the airport. And Adams and -- I don't know why, maybe we were Thursday and there were other guys on Wednesdays and Tuesdays. I guess that's probably how it happened. But, we were the Thursday crowd.
And, so, Charlie was the same guy I remember that collected 1930 Buicks.
CH: So, he was a car buff. So, one-day Charlie decides, going over the hills toBerlin to the airport, we'd go the back way over the dirt roads and some of those go "vroom" and there's that big roller coaster kind of effect. Well, Charlie was going pretty fast one day and all four wheels left the ground! (Laughs)
Well, we got to the airport and Bill jokingly says, "I can do better than that."Well --
JP: Oh. (Laughs)
CH: That started a thing. So, we'd get to that point in the drive. We'd start alittle early after that. We'd get to that point in the drive, and two of us would get out and we had a mark where the last guy landed. (Chuckles)
JP: (Laughs) (inaudible) [0:30:21].
CH: And each one of us would back up and try and beat the mark. (Chuckles) Andso, that poor vehicle took a beating (laughs) like you can't believe over the second semester of our junior year. (Laughs)
JP: What was the record?
CH: It was a hundred and something feet.
JP: (Whispers) No--
CH: Oh, yea, yea, it was a hundred and something feet.
JP: Oh! (Laughs)
CH: Yea, from where the front wheels left the ground to where the front wheelscame down.
JP: That's quite a distance.
CH: And Bill set the record. I never was able to set the record. (Laughs)
JP: I'm surprised it held together.
CH: Fords are strong cars is all I can say. (Laughs) Oh, that was a hoot. Theflight wagon. If you get Evans in here, ask him about it. Bill's dead, God bless him. Yea, Bill was fun.
Bill brought me poncho liners in Vietnam. He was -- he became a Caribou pilot.And so, he'd come up there to Pleiku and he'd bring me good stuff that we couldn't get in Pleiku, so that was great. A lot of fun.
JP: What is a Caribou pilot?
CH: A Caribou was a big, old two engine transport that the army had before theair force played some sort of trade and made the army all helicopter and took over all the fixed wing. Which they quickly dissed (sic) the Caribou so they wouldn't have to do army missions. (Laughs) But, that's the air force for you. Never gained much respect for the air force in my 28 years.
JP: What did you do after Vietnam?
CH: Oh, after Vietnam, they kicked me out. So, then I went to New Mexico andlived in a spiritual community and got a master's degree.
CH: In psychology.
CH: Which helped me with this whole thing that I do now. It's -- I'm tellingyou, my life has been led by a Higher Power of some sort. We will not call him or her God or whatever, but there is a higher calling in this and we are underlings. You know, Shakespeare was right. (Chuckles)
JP: He was a pretty smart guy.
CH: (Chuckles) Yes.
JP: So, you got --
CH: The fault is not in our stars dear Brutus, but in ourselves, that we areunderlings. (Laughs)
JP: So, you were in Arizona and you got a Master's in Psychology --
CH: New Mexico.
JP: New Mexico, sorry.
CH: I got a master's degree at the base there. I was at a place called HolomanAir Force Base. And we got a -- there was a degree program on the base and as a veteran I was -- and as a reservist, I was still in the -- that's what it was, I was still in the reserves. And so, because I stayed in the reserves deliberately. And sure enough, two or three years later, the army realized that they had run out of guys. You know, that they had kicked all us pilots out. And so, they decided -- they wrote us all a letter and said, "You want to come back?" And so, I came back. So, I came back and that's how I ended up retiring.
JP: What is it --
CH: Meanwhile, I went down there to New Mexico and had great fun and got amaster's degree and ran the radio station there. I was the operations manager for the local radio station for three years.
JP: Oh, my gosh.
CH: And so, that was great fun, but boy, when the army called, that was easymoney because I was working 14, 15 hours a day and making $10,000 a year with two kids and a wife. (Laughs) At 36 years old it's -- now, I'm going back in the army. Because that was during that whole time of the great gas crisis, the oil crisis, the first one.
CH: And so, everybody was out of work. It was just like now.
JP: Yes, it was a recession.
JP: In the 70s.
CH: Big time.
JP: What did you -- when you talk about how it prepared you for what you do now,what do you do now?
CH: When I got out of the army, I got back into -- I decided I was a radioannouncer and stuff, so I will just be a professional public speaker. So, I will go out and give a talk. So, I decided to give a talk on citizenship and I was going to go out. Well, I did and show them the rest of the world and what the rest of the world was like and show them that the United States with all its warts, was still the same city on the hill and that it can't function properly without you. You, the citizen, are the key to the democracy and so you must participate.
And, so then that led to a whole series of bunches of people coming up andasking me how and I designed a training program that that's where my Master's in Psychology, because I majored in group dynamics and I invented this little group program that's on amazon.com. Anybody can buy it but nobody does. And it you put it on any home street USA, it'll work just like a charm. It's a little how-to book. The library has the copies of it. In fact, I brought an electronic copy for them this time. Because they don't have that one.
And it would be great if everybody would use, because it mandates civility andit mandates rational thinking. And it comes right out of Eber Spencer as far as its purpose. Like, Spencer always taught us, "Remember the purpose. When you are doing something, remember the purpose. And, when you are coming into a new organization, research the purpose and find out how far they've gotten from it and try and return them to their purpose. Because an organization that strays from their purpose will soon cease to exist."
CH: And a good example of that is this university which has never strayed fromits purpose, despite the Vietnam War, despite all the baloney, despite allowing in girls and all the stuff. You know, that was fine but we don't change the purpose. We modify whatever the social thing is, but this is the purpose and they will mold to it. We're not going to mold to the general rule of thumb of whatever the popular will is out there.
JP: You're on the board of trustees?
CH: Oh, no, I'm not on the board of trustees. Hell, I've been traveling all overthe world, I can't be on the board of trustees.
JP: Oh, I'm sorry,
CH: Plus, I have no money.
CH: I have a lot of friends on the board of trustees. I knew five or six of thempersonally at one time. Pier Mapes and Carl Garhary (names sp?) [0:36:15] and all those guys, they were friends of mine. Sully. Yes, I just know them from Norwich. You know, Carl was my roommate, I knew Carl. (Chuckles)
JP: You seem to have a grasp of leadership and what a citizen soldier is about.What advice would you give to a rook today on how to thrive and survive, survive and thrive?
CH: I don't know if it would work at Norwich, and perhaps that's why my daddidn't give it to me until I left for the army. But, the one piece of advice my dad gave me before I left for the army, which is the only piece of advice he ever gave me, was volunteer for everything.
JP: Volunteer for everything.
CH: Volunteer for everything. He says, "You'll get the worst jobs you ever hadand you'll get the greatest opportunities you ever had." And I did that all my life and I'm still doing it and it works like a charm. I mean, that's how I ended up in Russia. That's how I ended up with this huge project to revive the United States and keep it from failing, and all that stuff that I'm doing.
JP: Tell me about Russia and tell me about this project.
CH: Well, the project, as I told you, is just a little group project. The goalis to quit -- you cannot have a democracy without the people. And the people have to dialog, not demonize. Otherwise the democracy starts to become an oligarchy and falls apart. Every single one of them prior to ours did. We are the only democracy so far that has not failed. In history. All of human history. (Chuckles)
And the Founders, which was one of the watershed moments of my life was when Iwent to Philadelphia and read the original writings of the Founders. Which Eber would have been proud of me. And what he said was true, because once I read the original writings of the Founders, and they're all there in Philadelphia, you can go read them, no problem. And, all the myths on one side and the other side, both of them were totally wrong. These were absolutely human, ordinary people who were in the right place at the right time and who, if they had any real heroism, it was their victory over self. It was that for 20 years they stuffed their own human natures and worked for the common good.
If there's any greatness in the Founders, that's their greatness. And it isgreatness the more you know humanity. For that large group of people to stuff their egos for 20 years and work for the common good. And of course, the key to that and why he became the father of our country, even though he was the least educated of the whole bunch is George Washington. Washington was the least educated of all those men in the room in Philadelphia, yet he was the leader. Because like Ernie Harmon he knew how to lead. And he had the character (chuckles). That's the key to all leadership, and is the key to being a human and we need to get back to that.
We used to judge on character, for instance, in banking. You didn't do it onsome sort of computer thing and whether the guy had paid on time, every time or crap like that. You did it with -- you knew that this guy was good for his money and that his character was such that he would pay his loan even if he went broke. He would end up somehow paying his loan back. And that's how loans were given. Variable, with no standards and you've seen the results. (Laughs) And we're still seeing them.
I was asking my banker four or five years ago about -- are we out of this thingyet? He said, "Yes, we're out of it, or on the way." He said, "But the problem is they never fix the basic thing. They never put Glass-Steagall back in effect." He said, "And until they do that, the threat of another one of the things is forever on us." He says, "What you did, that thing during the Clinton administration, was put the fox in the hen house."
And, it was funny, because during that time, I remember a lot of my old WorldWar II associates and friends, if you will, call them friends, saying, "Uh oh! That's what they did in the 20s and that's what caused the Great Depression." Every one of them said that. Did anybody listen to them? No.
CH: (Laughs) I've become convinced that you go through life and you become oldand reasonably smart, and then the young guys come along and grab your job so they can then make the same mistakes you made. (Laughs)
JP: It's unfair.
CH: (Laughs) But, that's America. (Laughs) Oh, well. Who knows. We shall somedayovercome, but it won't be any time soon.
JP: Is there anything you would like to add? Or anything else you'd like to say?
CH: Oh, it's kind of too bad you couldn't bring this to our --
JP: Your reu -- Oh my.
CH: -- reunion banquet tonight and tomorrow night. You'd hear some stories thatwill curl your hair but they are so bleeping (sic) funny. You would just roll on the floor.
JP: I can imagine.
CH: I mean, like one last night where one of the guys (laughs) apparently -- Ididn't know -- this was the fun I hadn't heard before. We were down at the manor, of course, all having a great time and he felt like he was getting tired or drunk or something so he gives the keys to his car to one of his buddies and says, "You're driving home." And the guy left without him! (Laughs)
CH: All of a sudden, Bruce's looking for his ride and he's gone! (Laughs) But, Imean, that'll be multiplied times 200 tonight. Or at least 150.
JP: It's a very special class.
CH: It's a special class, because I started with the '62 class, and I love thoseguys. They're wonderful guys. But the minute I came back from Alaska and joined the Class of '63, I said, "This is my class. These are my kind of guys." (Laughs)
So, with all due respect to the '62 guys, who are still very close friends.
This is my class. This is my bunch. We're wild and crazy and I love it! Youloved our -- isn't that a perfect slogan for this class. (Laughs)
JP: Believe me.
CH: I mean, we had to have a sarcastic slogan. We had to.
JP: Believe me I tried.
CH: Yes. (Laughs hardily) When I saw that slogan this morning I just aboutrolled over. I said, "Perfect."
JP: Perfect. It is perfect.
CH: Only our class would do something like that. (Laughs) And I'm just kind ofwondering what's going to happen tomorrow morning. It's going to be interesting. Whether we cut up again like we did at the 40th and shame poor old Joe Milano (sp?) [0:44:39] or -- (laughs) or whether we finally give Norwich its due and play the game. (Laughs)
JP: We will talk again.
JP: When I go to see Joe, we will talk again.
CH: Alright, great. Or I'll come up here. Doesn't matter.
JP: Alright, that's sounds good.
JP: That sounds good. Thank you.
[Break in audio]
CH: Here I am.
JP: Thank you. This is Jennifer Payne with the Norwich Voices Oral HistoryProject and today's date is December 4th and I am here with Charles T. Heberle III, Class of '63.
How are you this afternoon Mr. Heberle?
CH: I am fine, thank you.
JP: So good of you to be here.
CH: Oh, my pleasure.
JP: So, you were just talking about somebody breaking out somebody in Bethel?
CH: Oh, that was fun. I don't know if I should talk about it, but I guess thestatute of limitations has passed. (Laughs) And I don't remember who did it anyway, but it was -- we were all at Harry's on a Saturday afternoon -- actually, it was early Saturday afternoon, I guess. Or we had been there since early Saturday afternoon! (Laughs)
JP: That same Saturday.
CH: Yes, that same Saturday. (Laughs) Which was a continuation of Friday nightand we had survived Saturday morning inspection. (Laughs) And Saturday morning classes, which -- I don't know --
JP: Saturday morning classes?
CH: Oh, yes. We had Saturday morning classes. Oh, yes.
CH: It was a waste of time. I mean you'd gone out Friday night. You'd gonethrough Saturday morning inspection, so Saturday class were "pluuut" [0:46:18]. You know, yes.
So, anyway, we were down there at the -- at Harry's and a bunch of the guys weregoing to the mountain, you know, Green Mountain College which is down in Poultney --
CH: There was (sic) two girls' schools that were the "girl school du jour" whichwas Vermont College and Green Mountain College. And, the Green Mountain guys just had to drive a little further, that was all. But, they had the added advantage of being five miles from New York state, where the drinking age was 18. (Laughs)
JP: (Laughs) Three-year difference.
CH: So, down there we were all legal, see. So that was not a bad deal. And so, Iguess a bunch of guys had gone to the Mountain and the town of Bethel had one policeman. And one squad car. And one judge. And that was it.
JP: Was it all the same person?
CH: No. Luckily it was two different people there, it wasn't like Bosco and --no, no actually in Bosco they had two different people too. Bosco, New Hampshire was a favorite. That was where Route 3 and Route 4 split in New Hampshire, before 89 was built.
CH: So, both the Dartmouth guys and the Norwich guys had to go through Bosco ontheir way home for whatever vacation. And the Bosco cops stayed up all night that night and just one after the other. So, the goal was to get to Bosco and slow down and look around and see if he'd already pulled somebody over. And if he'd already had someone pulled over, pshuuu, [0:47:49] we were gone! (Laughs)
CH: You were good to go! (Laughs)
JP: I've have not heard of Bosco yet.
CH: Oh, "Boscoing" that was -- yes -- you didn't -- yes, you wanted to make surehe already had somebody on the hook before you -- cause (sic) he'd catch you. It didn't matter what speed you were going --
JP: He'd pull you over.
CH: By the time you got to the judge, you were doing about 80 and -- oh, yea.And the judge said, "Well, you could stay here locked up for a week or fork over --." (Laughs)
CH: It was the speed trap par excellence. And they caught a whole lot of Norwichand Dartmouth guys. (Laughs)
JP: I'll bet their city did quite well on --
CH: It was their main source of revenue. I mean there wasn't much else to do inBosco in New Hampshire. (Laughs)
JP: That's terrible.
CH: So, anyway, all of a sudden, we get this call at Harry's and in those days,Harry owned Harry's, it wasn't The Pioneer, it was Harry's. And, so, Harry gets this call and all of a sudden, Harry kind of puts up an emergency signal for everybody to shut up. And, he goes, he says, "Guys, it's so-in-so and so-in-so (and I can't remember who it was) -- and this was their one call from the Bethel Jail. (Laughs hardily). I guess they'd been doing the Bosco thing going through Bethel at a high rate of speed, and the Bethel cop, of course, had the afternoon Norwich guys going to the Mountain, oh yea, (laughs). And so, he -- apparently, he wanted to make more money. So, rather than turn him right over to the judge who was a 24/7 kind of guy, and waste a bunch of time -- because this was the right time for Norwich guys to go through at a high rate of speed. He just locked them up in the jug (?) [0:49:38] and went out to get more guys. And, after he got 10 or 20 in the lockup, then he'd probably corral them all together and send them down to the judge.
JP: That many?
CH: Well, however many he could catch. I don't know. I've no idea.
CH: And, that's why a lot of us used to go over the Warren Gap and go down 100and we'd avoid Bethel. (Laughs)
JP: The mountain pass.
CH: But, anyway (still laughing) the guys were calling from the jail and theywere, "Help! Help!" Well, we were kind of, at that point, in "help mode." (Laughs)
CH: So -- and again, I don't remember -- a couple of the guys decided to suit upand they took two cars. And one of them went through Bethel at a high rate of speed and boom, here comes the cop after them, and they outran the cop. But the second guys pulled up to the jail, went in. There were the keys right on the cop's desk who's also the jailer and everything. Let their guys out and off they go! (Laughs)
JP: What happened?
CH: They all got away.
JP: Oh, that's terrific.
CH: Yes, the guys who broke out of jail, they came back, they drove them back toHarry's where they were greeted with -- as heroes. (Laughs) But it was a perfectly executed military operation. It was very well done. (Laughs)
JP: Like a panty raid.
CH: Oh, yes. This one was probably even a little bit more daring. Because ifthose two guys who were in the lead hadn't gotten away from the cop, they'd would have been -- the fine for them would have been big time. But I guess -- and they may have just gone down to one guy in the chase car. So that at the end, instead of having five guys in jail there would only be one guy in jail. And we would reward him in every way possible when he got back I guess! (Laughs) -- when he got out of jail.
JP: A hero with a fast car!
CH: Yes, he had the fastest car. But I don't remember who it was. It wasn't likeAl Winkle (sp?) [0:51:49]. He was the best. He was the guy who, when we were freshmen, guaranteed New York in four hours.
JP: From Northfield to the --
CH: From Northfield, Vermont to New York City border in four hours or you gotyour money back.
JP: That's pretty fast.
CH: Yes, and he charged quite a bit of money, but the guys from New Jersey andaround New York City swore by -- I mean, he got them there in four hours. He a '48, I think it was, Packard, with a 400 or 500 horse something engine. One of those huge, huge muscle cars of the '40s and early '50s. And, you paid Al cash on the barrel head and you stopped down at the bottom of the hill here, where the package store was, and you bought Al a case of beer. And during the four hours when he went to New York, he would finish the case of beer.
JP: Oh, no.
CH: His case. Just the one all for him. And then if you guys wanted some in theback, well that was fine too. And, so, he would -- they said going down through gap with this guy was -- (laughs) -- and then he'd get on the New York State Throughway, and if there were two cars in front of him that were going along about 55, he would just pull out into the median and pass them. (Laughs)
JP: Where did he learn to drive like that?
CH: I have no idea, but he did it every weekend. Apparently, he was illegallymarried and his wife lived in New York City so he went to New York every weekend and made money doing it. (Laughs)
JP: Because you weren't supposed to be married.
CH: No, nooooo. No, no, no, no, no. There were a bunch of guys that were butthey had to keep it secret and they hid the wives away and they'd go home on weekends.
JP: Did they get married during Norwich?
JP: Oh, wow.
CH: Yea, oh yea. Well, I would sup -- and I don't know this, but I would supposeyou couldn't have gotten married before Norwich, because Norwich would find that out.
JP: Right, right.
CH: And say, I'm sorry, no married cadets.
JP: Right. Wow, that's amazing. That's a good story.
CH: Oh, I knew three or four guys that were married.
CH: Yea, oh yea.
JP: Hard to keep secret. I mean, hard to --
CH: Oh, no. We were very good, those of us in the corps, you know, we were notletting the commandants in on anything. (Laughs hardily)
JP: No. That's a silly reason to --
CH: We felt, you know, hey -- the kid got married. What are you going to do? Youknow? Hey, he's willing to put up with this baloney and go home every weekend and -- it was like when I was in the army. And we had lots of gays in the army. I served with a whole bunch of gays during my service. And everybody knew who they were. And "don't ask don't tell" has worked since the Revolutionary War. I mean, it's never a problem. Now you've got a problem because now they can flaunt it and now there's open warfare and all that kind of stuff going on.
JP: What do you mean "open warfare?"
CH: Oh, within the services. It's a huge problem. Nobody wants to talk about it.
JP: What do you mean?
CH: With the gay guys and gals. They form a clique and I understand from somethe -- my young friends, because I live right next to Ft. Lewis, that they do things like they take over the personnel shop and then, well you can get the assignment you want if you'll give certain personal favors and stuff like that.
JP: Oh, dear.
CH: Because now they're legal. So, you can't -- you did that in the past, wellpuuuw, they'd been out of there like a shot.
JP: But, it's still -- wrong. I mean --
CH: Well, yea. It's a problem area in the society and I admit that this --hopefully going to be some solution for it. But, by doing what we did, in the military, we're forcing the issue. Instead of letting society come to us, we're trying to force the issue. Which worked to a certain extent during the, in the integration business, and -- tell you a funny story about that. But that was something that was a little bit different. That was totally artificial, it wasn't religious and it wasn't ingrained in -- this whole homophobe thing goes back four or five thousand years. It's out of the Bible. So, you're not -- this is not going to be an easy thing. I totally agree with the concept, they're here, they're with us, they're going to be with us and we need to learn to live with it. But, the cultural challenges to that are significant, shall we say. And to force them like we did -- I think that's a bridge too far. And, we're doing a lot of bridge too fars. Which is probably why we're going to go back -- and reactionary to conservative. (Chuckles) And then we'll go back to a bridge too far that way. That's how that --
JP: It's that pendulum.
CH: That's how history goes. (Laughs)
JP: That is so true. That is so true. Do you want me to continue with thequestions? Or do you --
CH: Oh, sure. Go right ahead. Since you've got them fresh in your mind.
JP: Okay. You told me when the battery shorted out last time we talked, you weretelling me about a Harmon story, where somebody -- was it you who told me about Harmon walking? --
CH: Oh, yea. Oh, you understand Harmon, the leader? (Laughs)
JP: Yes. You don't happen to do an imitation of him, do you? Some people do.
CH: Yes, I can. I can get low and gravely -- (inaudible) [0:58:06].
JP: Did he smoke?
CH: I don't remember. Although, it was uncommon for World War II guys not tosmoke. Both my parents smoked. It was just normal in those days. So, no I don't know whether Ernie smoked or not, but, I'd be surprised if he didn't.
CH: And, Curtis LeMay, chomping the cigar and all that. (Laughs) So, I don'tknow. But, anyway, one of the guys got inspired about 2:00 one morning coming back from wherever. And he'd just passed a farmer's field where there was a honey wagon. And, so, I don't know, I guess he had a couple of wire cutters, so he chopped a hole in the barbed wire fence, backed into the farmer's field, had a rope and tied the honey wagon up to his car. (Chuckles) And towed it back to Norwich. (Laughs) Where he then came up from the mess hall and when he got up to the parade ground, he threw the switch and laid a pile of cow manure around Dewey Hall! (Laughs hardily)
JP: I wish there were pictures.
CH: Oh my God. And then, in a stroke of brilliance, I thought, he took the honeymachine back and went back and put it back in the farmer's field and came back and went to sleep. (Laughs hardily)
CH: And then, so -- by of course, in the morning, we're all marching to chow andthe guys who were coming up from Cabot and Hawkins couldn't see it because they took that right. But those of us coming from Alumni and Ransom were coming across the parade ground and we saw it.
JP: And smelled it.
CH: Whoa, boy! And (unintelligible) [1:00:04]. We're trying to keep ourselvestogether. And, the morning was never a big military march, the march to breakfast. You didn't -- as long as a modicum of silence was observed and you were mostly in step, that was good enough. So, I think pretty much everybody got the idea because they heard us snickering and smirking (laughs) and so we all went down and just wolfed down breakfast to get back and see what was going to happen (laughs) --
JP: What time of year was this?
JP: Spring. Oh, okay. Yep.
CH: Oh yea, spring. It was nice. It smelled really good. (Laughs)
CH: And, so sure enough the staff shows up and they don't have parking places upthere on the upper parade, so they're walking up. So, they see this and they're all out there milling around in the parade ground. Well, Ernie has a parking space, by God, right next to Dewey Hall (Laughs). And he had a white Cadillac with big fins, you know like a '58 Caddie, I forget, with the big fins and his major general red plate right in the front. And here comes Ernie, coming up -- because in those days, remember that road used to go down by what was called Harmon Hall and go right to Route 12.
CH: That was the main entrance to the university. It was right there where thegate is still now, but it's all blocked off. But, in those days, that was the main entrance to the university. And, so here come Harmon -- roooom, you know, and turns left at Ainsworth and up to the upper parade and as soon as he gets to the top of the hill he sees the staff all out there. And you could see the look on his face. He's going, "Alright. What the hell's going on here?" And then he looks and he spots the cow manure (laughs) and he kind of smiles. (Laughs) (Imitating Harmon) "Another prank by my guys." (Laughs hardily)
JP: He took a certain pride in that.
CH: Oh, he did. And, so -- looks at the staff, drives right into his parkingplace with the manure going everywhere. Gets out and tromps right through the manure all the way up to the steps of Dewey Hall. Gets up. Stomps the crap off his boots and then looks at the staff without a word, as if to say, "I'm in. You better be in." (Laughs hardily)
CH: And, walked in. And, the whole corps is sitting there just watching. They'rejust watching this. And it was just an absolutely first-class lesson in leadership. It was -- no penalties were handed out. No great hurrahs. None of that stuff. Move on. Cut the crap and let's get on with life. It's a prank. Hello. (Laughs) And they caught the kid and he put him on CMC and stuff. And he paid his penalty. But the staff wasn't penalized or anything but -- no, you don't stand out there. You go to work.
JP: Right. You wipe your shoes off.
CH: Yes. You stomp your shoes like I did, come on in and go the work. Don't leta little crap like this get in your way. Literally! (Laughs) You know, when you've been through what I've been through leading four armored divisions in World War II, yea.
JP: Right. Exactly.
CH: Yes. I told you about the Middlebury story about the football game.
JP: Not on the recording, so if you would.
CH: Oh gosh. That was -- that's a famous story. I'm sure you'll hear that frompractically anybody. I was in the Class of '62 originally. And I skipped off and went to Alaska for a year and played around. And, so that's how I ended up in '63. But, in '62 we were still going on trains to the -- whichever was the away game, UVM or Middlebury. Ernie would hire a train and the entire corps would get on the train and march on the field there like they do at the Army-Navy game.
CH: In our coats with the yellow scarves. We looked good. And we had done thatat Middlebury. And the Middlebury train station turns out to be kind of across town from the college and the football stadium. And, so we had marched through town, regimental band and all. And, it was quite a sight. And, at the very end of the game, Middlebury was heavily favored. And -- as were most teams in those days. (Laughs) No aspersions on my buddy, Brandon. (Laughs) Or Dick Durgens (sp?) [1:04:54] who was the starting right tackle, who was another famous Norwich guy.
JP: Or Fred Patchol (sp?) [1:05:00]
CH: Oh, no. Fred was next year.
JP: Next year.
CH: Fred wasn't there yet. And Fred, I don't think Fred played football. Fredwas a debate team guy. No, Fred was not a football guy. Anyway, here we are at Middlebury, heavily favored and we're ahead 6-0 and they are driving. And they are down at the one-yard line and it's with less than one minute left and we stop them three downs and now it's fourth down still and one. And we stop them again. And the ref gives them another down. And they scored and beat us 7-6. Well, the corps went wacko. And, so to say we were undisciplined on the way back to train was an understatement. And apparently, we caused about -- Ernie told us, about $5,000 worth of damage in the town of Middlebury. Which, that was a lot of money in those days. So, we did -- and so, Monday morning, time for chow. Get in. The waiters aren't serving. The cadet colonel is not getting up and saying the prayer. We're waiting.
CH: (Laughs) And we all know what that means. And, sure enough, in he comes. Andhe kind of leaned forward, (laughs) was a little bulldog of a guy. And, we're all rolling our eyes, going "Oh crap. We're dead." (Laughs) (Imitating Harmon) "Boys, you caused quite a bit of damage over there in Middlebury." He said, "I had to raise about five grand to pay them off. But, let me tell you," he said, "Those refs were wrong!" He said, "I'm proud of you guys!" He says, "I fixed it. Don't worry about it." (Laughs) He said, "Right's right." (Laughs)
CH: And, of course, talk about carrying the coach off on your shoulders, we'dhave carried that man to hell and back. And you could tell why his troops went to hell and back for him during the war.
CH: Yes. He was a -- I wish they could put that book out again or we could evendo a private printing of it. You know the Combat Commander book.
CH: Great book. I lost my copy and I would love to buy another one. But ofcourse, it's out of print.
JP: I don't know. We might have -- I don't know if we have copies here or not.But, you --
CH: I don't know. The printer, of course, if it's out of print, you'd have toprivate print it somehow, which you can do these days, I guess, if you got permission from the author and whatever and --
CH: I don't know.
JP: I will investigate that for you.
CH: Alright. Okay.
JP: So, his leadership was because he was so willing to do for you guys and heappreciated who you were.
CH: Yes. He treated us as people and he treated the situation as the situation.And, he was -- it was the World War II way. You were humanistic about it. You didn't wait until a guy got caught and then just hang him high like they do now. Punishment was handed out as appropriate. But it was as appropriate. If there was a good reason that the person did what they did, well, the punishment was just (?) [1:08:55]. And that's the way the World War II generation handled things. It was a very humanistic way of doing things and it's so funny because the current generation prides themselves on being so humanistic. They're not even close to the World War II generation. They'll be so nice to people until they screw up and then they just hang them by the yardarm. For nothing. For zippo.
JP: We're harsh.
CH: Yes. Very harsh and going on hearsay as well. Like this poor little youngfreshman quarterback, he won't be poor long, at Florida State, who went in and had sex with that coed and six weeks later she claims rape and it's all going to the Florida Attorney General and all. Now, wait a minute. Where's common sense here?
It's like one time I was walking through Harvard Square and this was only about10 years ago, and there was this sign-up Patricia Schroeder is speaking at Radcliff. And Pat Schroeder was the congresswoman from Colorado. Who passed all these laws about women's lib and stuff like that. She was the one that started the whole thing, the whole sexual harassment law, she was the author. And, so, I said, "Well, it's in 10 minutes. Let me go." So, I'm in Harvard Square -- Radcliff in five minutes and I go in and the place is packed. So, I'm kind of off to the side and one of the few guys there --
CH: And all of a sudden, Pat Schroeder strides out on stage and just lights intothese women who were there expecting to just idolize her. And she said, "If I had known how far you girls were going to take this law, and how inhuman you've become with it, and how selfish, I would have never passed the law."
JP: I wonder if they heard? I mean, I wonder if they got it?
CH: No, because they were making money off her little law.
JP: Making money -- oh.
JP: In the sense that --
CH: In the sense they can get over and it's on hearsay. And they can just getover on the guys anytime they want. The guys, still to this day, are running scared. They're in every corner of the United States because any woman can throw them in jail at any moment, just by screaming sexual harassment. They would ruin their careers. They can -- and there's nothing they can do about it. Or the fighting back would be, is so difficult and so damning and yet the name hangs on you forever in this modern society. You never get away from it.
It was like in the days when I was growing up, we had pedophiles. We knew wherethe pedophiles were. My mother told me. And told me to stay away from them. Hello! But did we put a collar on them, on their ankle --
JP: Force them to live under a bridge.
CH: No. No, we didn't do that. As long as they kept themselves together and thekids knew enough to not tempt them, that's fine. Now, if you're out there in public or something, or actively enticing kids in, that's a whole different ballgame. Now we're going to lock you up.
But, it's, again, the punishment fit the crime in those days. It isn't -- thecrime -- the punishment is the same no matter what the crime kind of thing. If you will. Which seems to be what goes on these days.
JP: Seems like we're lacking the kind of -- where do you -- how do you think wecan teach the leadership? How do we create the citizen soldiers?
CH: Boy, that's a good question. As you said, I'm right on the heels of AldenPartridge here with what I'm trying to do, because I'm trying to get citizens to stand up and be citizens. And serve their country in a political way because they are the boss. The highest political office in the land is citizen. It's not president. It's like Harry Truman said when they came up to him when he walked to Union Station in bought a ticket to Kansas City after his inauguration. Did you know that?
JP: I didn't.
CH: Harry Truman took two suitcases with him to the Eisenhower inauguration in'52 and he hid them behind one of the pillars on the capitol steps and when it was over, he took Bess on his arm and they each took a suitcase and they walked to Union Station and they bought a ticket to Kansas City out of their pocket, and went home.
CH: And on the way, the press accosted him and said, "Mr. President! Mr.President! How does it feel to be giving up the most powerful office in the land?" And Truman said, "I'm not giving up the most powerful office in the land, I'm entering the most powerful office in the land. Citizen."
CH: That's was one of the impetuses for what I do. When I get that -- I got thatstory from a docent at the Harry Truman Museum in Key West, Florida where I was interviewing Robert Nathan. And I went to the Truman Museum on one of the off days and this docent had just a personal, a lot of personal knowledge of Truman because he had won the best Truman or, what was his daughter, Margaret Truman's piano competition and had actually played for Truman in the White House as an eight-year old boy. And so, this guy was an absolute Truman devotee and so he had stories that never made the history books. And that was one of them.
JP: That's wonderful.
CH: And, about two days after I heard that story, there was big headlines in thenewspaper about Clinton taking five Air Force One loads of stuff to go home to Arkansas. (Laughs)
JP: Five air loads?
CH: Yes. (Laughs) And Truman walked to Union Station and bought a ticket toKansas City. (Laughs) And went home.
JP: I like that.
CH: Yes, we (sic) got to get back to that. The nation is based on that. You'vegot to have a citizenry that's willing to be citizens.
JP: The title of your book, of this book is, Student Citizenship Training Program.
CH: The actual title of the program is called, "You the People." And I got thatfrom Aristotle because Aristotle said, "Don't use 'we'." He says, "'We' becomes is wonderful while things are going well. But, when things aren't going well, it's not 'we' man." (Laughs)
CH: And, really that's kind of what's going on. It's 'We the People' only nowwe're in trouble so it's 'you on that side are the problem', we're not looking at it as 'our problem' where it is, and in a republic, it's OUR problem. There is no 'their problem' in a republic. There is no such thing. It's OUR problem because it's OUR country. It's not the Democrat's country or the Republican's country or the conservative's country or the liberal's country, it's OUR country. So, we have to get back to OUR and that's what 'You the People' is trying to do. It's just a little program that can go on home street U.S.A., anybody can take it. It's on Amazon. You can buy it and you just go out and recruit some of your fellow citizens from around the local neighborhood and meet maybe once a quarter. You don't have to meet a lot. And talk.
JP: That's -- (laughs)
CH: You know? And of course, what's going to come on a natural basis is thelocal problems. Well, they're not about abortion. They're not about home -- what do you call it, sexual harassment or any of that stuff. No. They're about which street do we fix first. Well, hell. You can talk about that without demonizing each other. Yes, you might get upset. But the thing is, and I found out I had to put these in, I put seven mandatory character skills which are nothing more than civility skills. And I tied them to the Preamble of the Constitution so nobody can grouse that they are religious.
JP: Very good!
CH: And, as long as you follow those, and you are required to follow them andyou actually have to rate yourselves after the group meeting as to how well you followed them. So, they become a group norm. And if you do those then the group will be civil. And as long as you're civil, you'll come to agreement. You'll come to -- or at least agree not to agree. Without demonizing and that's what we've got to get back to in this country.
JP: What gave you the -- two questions. What are the seven traits?
CH: They're cooperation, because it's 'We the People' not 'we the persons', inorder to form a more perfect union. So, the second one is patience. Fairness is the law school version of fairness, where you have to balance the common good against individual rights. So, fairness is the third one. Respect. You've got to have respect for each other or the republic doesn't work. Strength. You've got to learn to stand up when you're right and sit down when you're wrong. (Laughs) Self-improvement. And the last one is a little bit of a stretch, but in order to preserve this for posterity, for ourselves and our posterity, the last line of the Preamble.
You have to have balance. Balance is the key in any discussion, in any republic,and of course, balance is the key to Norwich University.
The thing this university teaches more than anything else is balance. Becauseyou have to balance the civilian against the military. You have to balance the academics against the military. You have to balance, well, every school has to do that balance going out and partying against getting a good grade. Okay. But that's any university. But we take it a couple of notches higher. And you have to learn -- we actually make life decisions as cadets here.
Life changing, real decisions that have impact on other cadets and other people.And that's really something. They don't do that at other universities. (Laughs)
JP: You mean through the honor code?
CH: No, just through the corps of cadets. The cadet officers here have real power.
CH: They don't at West Point. They don't at Annapolis. They don't at VMI. No.They do here. (Laughs) Yes, the assistant commandant is there and yes you can call a cadet whatever on the carpet a little bit if they have overstepped their bounds but, they overstep the bounds first. And then get called on the carpet. That's how you learn.
CH: It's like my student citizenship training program. Turns out to be much morethan the student citizenship training program. The kids, once they learn to dialog and get along together and learn to split up the homework, because I give a group grade as well as an individual grade. And you deliberately split up the kids so that you'll have a handicapped kid in the group, and an 'A' student in the group and one of the cheerleaders and one of the nerds and you deliberately change the group and make a diverse group but not diverse in terms of color or sex, but diverse in terms of thought. Because that's the key to a good discussion. That's the key to a good group solution is to have diversity of thought in the group.
So, you put the astronaut together with the banker and etc., etc., etc. And youget these in every walk of life. And I learned that at the Command and General Staff College because they use the group method to teach with. We did our whole second semester in groups. And they deliberately formed the groups with a personnel officer, a transportation officer, a quartermaster officer, an armor officer, an infantry officer, etc., etc., etc., etc. and one reservist and one guardsman. And there were standard groups, which is five to 13. There were 13 in each one group is 52 members in a class at Leavenworth. Deliberately. And so, they can be broken up into four groups of 13. And, anyway, me, the armor officer, because (deep voice) you had to be armor at Norwich. If you didn't put armor, armor and armor on your preference statement, you got a free trip to Ernest N. Harmon to explain why. (Laughs)
CH: And I know a couple guys who did it. (Laughs)
JP: Just to see?
CH: No, no. They were DMGs so they were legal to -- they were going to get whatthey put in for. So, they were strong enough characters to say "No. I want medical service corp." One of the guys in the C Tack alumni club is one of those guys and he was 10 years junior to me, but he actually went up and, it was Hamlet then. And said, "No. I'm a DMG. I can take -- I'm going to get what I asked for and I what to be in the medical service corps. And Hamlet let him go. He explained it and that's the way -- but if you were just one of us chickens and weren't a DMG and you'd put down quartermaster, oh, oh, oh, geez. (Laughs)
JP: What would he say?
CH: I don't know because I never went up to see him! (Laughs) But I knew ErnestHarmon and I can just I imagine! (Laughs)
JP: He was persuasive.
CH: Oh, very persuasive. Again, there would be no punishment -- this is -- hewould give you a lesson in leadership. He would scare the pants off you and if you stood up to him, he'd let you go. Because, he'd want you to stand up to him. And he wants you to be your own man. But if you didn't, you were going out there with your tail between your legs and were signing up armor, armor and armor. (Laughs) And actually, most of us wanted to anyway! We wanted to be like Ernie! (Laughs)
So, anyway, I was the armor officer and of course, we're hard charging, let's goget them! Rah, team, rah! And, so we were in a problem thing they'd given us, a military problem and we're supposed to design a war plan. A battle plan. So, they gave it to us, the infantry and the artillery and the armor officer do design the battle plan. So, we did. We did an all-nighter and we designed this (makes sound) that enemy didn't have a chance, man. We had 'em! (Laughs) And, so we show it to the rest of the group the next morning. And after they read it, the transportation officer was the first guy to speak up and he said, "Do you know what that's going to make me do to make this plan work?" And I said, "Well, no." And he said, "Well, I'm going to have to pre-position gas here, here, here and here ahead of the current forward edge of the battle area, or you're not going to get there." (Laughs) And he said, "And then, I'm going to have to take -- call on the assets of the rest of the division to support this one battalion going forward. Do you really think the division commander is going to allow that?" (Laughs)
CH: Even if this, in other words, even if this bold plan is successful, and I'msuccessful, it can't be sustained.
JP: But you learned.
CH: Oh, yes. But, I mean, I learned how diversity of thought is so important andI also learned how much better group solutions are than individual solutions.
CH: The group solution process is absolutely superior. I've watched it in thekids' groups again and again and again and again. And it always, always, always -- I always remember this group of kids in South Carolina and when I go in for a training program, I've never been to the school before so I just get off the airplane and read the headlines in the newspaper. And I figure that everybody in that classroom is going to know something about that because it's in the newspapers, on television, blah, blah, blah. Whatever. It doesn't matter. All you want is a discussion. And, so, in that day, the headline was "China to pass the United States in 2022 in gross national product." And so, I go in and, these kids are all in the library and it was this little school in South Carolina so the whole damn school was sitting in the library, all hundred kids of them. (Laughs) And I said, "Okay, kids. Here's the problem. Now, you've got all day and I want you to --" Here I give the talk about the Founding Fathers and how you're the citizens and get them all, "Rah, team, rah," and get them all riled up. And about 10:00 in the morning after two hours of this, I turn them loose and I put them in their groups and we pick the groups by a set of color coded cards and so we get a -- it's a little personality test and we break them up by personality type, so that I have diverse groups. And, so, I've done that. Except this one group, I'll tell you about that later, but anyway, they're in their groups and we're charging along and then we get to the end of the day and I start by asking each group.
Well, one group the jocks had snuck off and being the jocks, they had refused toplay the game and the other kids weren't going to pick on them, I mean, weren't going to tell on them, so of course, their answer was "Nuke 'em!" (Laughs)
JP: Just nuke 'em.
CH: Just nuke 'em! (Laughs) So, we got beyond that and -- but then, some of theother solutions are interesting. And then they all elect a representative and the representatives come to the front of the room and have a representative session. Which is always fun because at least one representative absolutely lied to his group and goes ahead and verses -- plumps for his own opinion against the wishes of the group. And the group is not allowed to talk. The groups, the rest of the groups that are not part of the session, the rep session, are not allowed to talk because they voted. It's too bad. It's a representative form of government. You're stuck until the next selection guy. But, you're here watching. And so, when your representative goes against you -- you can just see the kids' faces go bright red in the back of the room. You can tell who's in his group. (Laughs) Or her group, in many cases. This bullcrap about the girls being better than the boys is a bunch of baloney. And, selfishness comes in all colors and all sexes. (Laughs) Oh my gosh.
So, anyway, the solution was, we're not going to pass them. We're not going tolet them pass us and here's how we're going to better our economy and better our country so that they won't pass us and we're going to improve ourselves so that they can't pass us.
JP: Very good.
CH: This, from a group of high school seniors.
CH: Pretty good, huh? And, that's a symptom. That's not an outlier at all.That's normal. Whenever I do one of these groups, and we do it right, we spend the whole day and we boil it down and we have the rep session. Some sort of magic solution that the U.S. Congress had never thought of, or wouldn't even come close to thinking of. And so, I've been trying for years to get somebody, to get some foundation to give me a bunch of money and I would give it to the Army ROTC, the junior ROTC, and have them discuss this all around the country. And elect two kids from every state from the Army Junior ROTC programs and we would bring them to Washington and we would have a day session on this one issue, which we did and then put the solution on national television. Because I assure you, the solution would just embarrass the hell out of the powers that be, whatever powers of the issue that we chose that year.
CH: Yes. It would cost about 300 grand a year, but that's chicken feed to someof these guys. I mean, how many 300 grand grants go out a year. (Pwwwttt)
CH: Yes. And this would just --
CH: And, I admit, it would be very proprietary, which would show what a greatprogram this is and it would advertise it. And, so I'm not sitting here being (laughs) sanguine about this. I know what's going on. But it would also do what the program's designed to do which is to bring the country back to dialog and back to common sense.
JP: And being run by the citizens.
CH: And being run by the citizens. Yes.
JP: How long have you been doing this program?
CH: 20 years. I invented it in '93.
JP: You invented it in '93?
CH: Yes. And I invented it because the Phoenix Police Department whom, while Iwas giving a speech to the Phoenix Rotary Club, this is Arizona. The police chief put his card up on my dais and said, "Come see me. I'll clear my calendar." And he said, "What have you got to make this happen?" Because I just basically said what I told you. But then I didn't have this program and he said, "What have you got to make this happen?" And he said, "Civility is the key to law enforcement." He said, "Anything that would bring more civility to my city, we'll buy it."
And so, I said, "Good. Okay, I'll go out." And I did. But then my father diedand all sorts of things happened and I didn't get it finished for a couple of years. By that time the police chief was gone. And then it became really popular in Phoenix and everybody wanted to be the lead. The social service guys, the police department, the fire department and everybody wanted to be the lead guy because they're going to have direct contact with the citizens. And --
CH: Yes. So, they get to -- because it becomes a two-way street with yourcitizenry not just on election day but all the time and you have this little office in the mayor's office, which is in charge of taking the information in from these groups and which again has been vetted very carefully because these groups are carefully chosen and they have representative sessions. And by the time they boil it down, there's no crackpot solutions coming up and more importantly there's no activists one issue solutions. That doesn't happen in these groups. The activists, because they try and shout down the group, will get ostracized very quickly and ridden out of the group. Or they'll conform. And conform to the seven skills and be one of the crowd.
Because, most activists -- I always get turned on to the local activists'whatever community I try and put this in. And for some reason, almost half of them are named Barbara or Larry.
CH: There's something about those two names. I don't know what it is. But that'swho they --oh, you've got to meet Barbara or you've got to meet Larry. Oh, he's the activi -- oh, yea! How did you know? (Laughs) And of course I meet Barbara and Larry and they're wonderful people and they're single issue, focused, dumb, maligned and all they care about citizen involvement is getting their issue passed. They don't really care about citizen involvement.
And what happens to these people all over the country I find, is when they getpowerful enough and get a large enough group behind them, the powers that be come in and coopt them and run them for election and get them elected. And then they've got the power and they've got a little money now and everything's cool. And the movement dies.
CH: That's common. Happens all over the country. I've seen it again and againand again. It was just like when I finally got Phoenix all squared away because my main squeeze in the city council got elected mayor. And he was a young guy. He was in his early 40s and now he's the mayor of the fifth largest city in the United States but he says, "Hey, come down as soon as I'm inaugurated. I'll give you 500 grand and we'll put this thing, we'll make this thing happen."
And, so I go down and when I walk into his office in January, there's not a soulthat was there in November. Not a single one of his local supporters. Not a single one of the people that worked on his campaign. These are all operatives. Slick, young, 20-year old operatives out of Washington who've all been working for congressmen and are looking to make their way up the political ladder. And, the last thing they want to do is -- because they've been taught by the powers that be, and in this case the Democratic Party but I'm not letting the Republicans off the hook, I'm sure they would have done the same thing. And nothing substantive. No. No, this will actually give citizens power, no we're not going to do this.
They replaced it. They talked it to death and then they replaced it with a thingin the newspaper where you can have a free park bench. We will give anybody that asks us a park bench to put out in front of their home so the neighbors can start talking more together.
JP: That's not the same. I mean, --
CH: Yes. (Laughs)
JP: Bought 'em off with a park bench!
CH: No ground rules. Oh, yea, but it's show and tell. It sounded great! You know?
JP: Park bench.
JP: No. So, you do this program for adults and students?
CH: Right. Adults and students.
JP: How young are the stud -- what are the youngest students?
CH: They're all high school. They're all in the Army Junior ROTC program.
CH: The army brought the program and has spread it nationwide. It's in all 50states and all the territories and in a number of foreign countries.
JP: Wow. What, um, were you working with Russia on this?
CH: Oh, no. Russia was a totally separate thing. Russia was in 2000. I was justsitting drinking coffee in my home in Tacoma and I got this email from Sergi Stoviev (sp?) [1:36:12]. And I said, "Oh, some guy from Texas selling insurance," and I was about to dump it and trash it. And then I saw it came off the website. It came from firstname.lastname@example.org. And I said, "Oh. It came from the website. I ought to open that." And it said, "Hello. I represent the non-governmental organizations of Northwest Russia. We are unhappy with what your government calls democracy. Our analysis after 10 years shows that it will just trade one elite for another."
CH: "We want to be a government of, by and for the people. Can you help us?"
JP: What a challenge.
CH: I -- to me, that was God calling. I literally prayed and said, "God, give mestrength to pull this off. You've not just given me -- you know, this is not Guatemala. This is the most geopolitically important country in the world. And you want me to go save it?" (Chuckles) "You want me to turn it into a democracy? Okay, babe. I'm up." (Laughs) "Send me in coach." (Laughs)
So, I negotiated with these guys and six months later I'm in a restricted areaat the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, locked in, going to St. Petersburg. And all of a sudden, I go -- I'm thinking, "I'm the only guy here that speaks English." And that was the first time I was really kind of worried, because I thought to myself, "You know, these guys could just throw me in the Neva River and rob me and nobody would be any the wiser. Nobody knows I'm going here except my friends and family. There would be nobody to get me back. It would be just kind of a body of unknown tourist shows up robbed. Oh well. Too bad."
CH: But, no, when I got there, the Russians had my picture blown up from mywebsite and blew it up and put it on a stick. And there they were, waiting for me. And was all downhill from there. And I've been there ever since. I still go there. And it's still working. We've trained over 100,000 people and I think 4,000 or 5,000 teachers by now. And it just keeps going because it's a school program in Russia. It's an active school program in this one little province the Russians gave me, after they vetted me for a year and made sure they knew what I was doing and that it was right for them. And it was.
It turns out that this was a Putin initiative. You get a lot of flak aboutPutin. Now, Putin is a dictator on purpose, to try and make Russia a democracy because that's what the Russians require. They require a leader to tell them what to do. That's their mindset.
The program in Russia is deliberately designed to break that mindset in theyounger generation and make them individualistic instead of a collective.
CH: Yes. It's deliberately designed to do that. And it isn't because I didanything really deliberate. It's because I'm teaching them how to be Americans and the key to being Americans, which is, we're forgetting, is to be an individual. Not a Republican or a Democrat or a conservative or -- no. To be an individual and stand on your own two feet and judge everybody else as an individual, not as part of a group.
CH: And as Aristotle said, "That's the essence of democracy", or in his case,republic. Aristotle, just like the Founding Fathers, hated the word 'democracy.' Democracy was a dirty word.
CH: Oh, yes. Read Aristotle's, Google Aristotle's six types of government. Hepans democracy. (Laughs) He calls what we have, and the founders called it that way too, because they were big Aristotelians. Constitutional government. And the antithesis of constitutional government is democracy. The bad side. Just like the good side of the philosopher King is dictatorship. The bad side is dictatorship. And the good side of an aristocracy is oligarchy. It's the bad side. And then there's constitutional government and then the bad side is democracy. Because democracy is anarchic.
CH: The Russian word for chaos is "xaos." (sp?) [1:40:37]
CH: Xaos. Like chaos. It's spell -- it's like chaos and almost pronounced likeit. I think chaos may be even a Russian word.
CH: And that's the one thing they fear most. Russians fear chaos more thananything else. And, so they made sure that mine was an orderly constitutional rule of law form of democracy before they allowed it to be taught in their country.
JP: That's fantastic.
CH: Yes. Putin did put together this little group of intelligentsias there atthe University of St. Petersburg which is where he's from. And he told them to, "Find me somebody who can teach us democracy. The West clearly doesn't have a clue." And, a telling sort of point and then once you start to know the Russian penchant for academics and learning and doing their homework, like early on they told me they researched every websi -- I asked them how they found my website. And they said, "Oh, we researched every website in the world that purports to teach democracy." And I said to myself, "Yea, right." And after I got to know the Russians a little bit better, yes, that's exactly what they did. And they worked all night and all day if that had to, to do it. And they did not stop until it was done and it was checked and double checked and made sure it was done. (Laughs)
CH: That's how thorough these people are. These are a fantastic people, let metell you. And we are being absolutely stupid treating them like the Cold War because these are and of course were even in the Cold War, a fabulous, fabulous people with a totally western orientation. They'll be on our side if we'll just let them. And they are an incredibly important asset as the most geopolitically important country in the world to have on your side. You want them on your side.
If the current trends continue, and it's the Arabs and the Chinese that are --and maybe even more Muslims, that's about 2 billion people. Thinking that South America and Africa are out of the game, it's about an even game. And actually, maybe they have more people than we do. And so, the only answer in my view, from a strategic standpoint is to make a strategic alliance between us and Russia and India, because Europe is about to fall. They're going downhill fast and within 30 years, France will be majority Muslim with their hands on a real nuclear arsenal and so, you can't count on Europe.
You can count on Eastern Europe. They're still in our camp. But you can't counton Western Europe, except the Brits and Germany and the Brits were clever enough to let in as many Hindus as they let in Muslims. So, (laughs) so they've got a check and balance going on.
CH: And the Germans, I just feel the Germans will somehow make it. Because theyhave a U.S. form of government. We gave it to them. They're still learning how to use it. They're still learning how to get it together. But, they probably will. Simply because the Germans are very pragmatic and they won't let themselves die, I don't think.
But the French, no, God bless them. They're willy nilly heading for the scrapheap. And bless the Scandinavians with the exceptions of the Finns and the Norwegians. The Danes and the -- the Danes are a little bit better. They had the Nazis in there. They're a little bit more realistic. But the Swedes are just, God bless them, they're just allowing their own destruction. The Finns, forget it, no. (Laughing) They wouldn't put up with that at all. The Finns, again they were occupied by the Russians for centuries and the Swedes for centuries, so they're not going to get occupied by anybody else. (Laughs) It's Finland for the Finns, by God. And, yea, we'll let in a few token immigrants but that's it baby. You go to work. You Finns. If it's a dirty job, too bad.
JP: What will destroy them?
CH: Oh, it will become a majority Muslim country and they'll just votethemselves in. Simple. Easy. (Laughs) It's a democratic country. (Laughs) Yea, it's easy.
JP: Kind of an eye opener.
CH: Yes, there's a kind of extremist book, but like a lot of extremistliterature, there's some grains of truth in it called America Alone. It's written by an Australian who lives in New Hampshire. And if you get a chance, just skim it, you don't need to read the whole thing, you don't need to read the diatribe. But, just read the numbers. He just goes through the demographics of what's going on in Europe. And it's pretty telling.
And even -- I have this wonderful briefing that's an official U.S. Navy briefingthat is a briefing about the demographics of the Middle East and it's called The Arc of Instability.
JP: The Arc of Instability.
CH: This is an official U.S. Navy briefing given to me at NATO by a rear admiralof the U.S. Navy. (Laughs) And, let me tell you, after you get that briefing (laughs). Because I was a commission chairman at NATO so I'm still kind of an emeritus. I can still go to the meetings even though I'm not active. And, so I do periodically. And it was fantastic. And I was one of the speakers. I talked about my Russia program. And this admiral came and talked about The Arc of Instability. Ooohhh. It's a PowerPoint briefing. Ooohhh, it'll just curl your hair. (Laughs)
CH: If there's not a war there, I mean, the fact is, after you see this briefingthere's going to be war in the Middle East. And I don't care what religion's there. It doesn't matter what religion is there, the demographics scream war. You've got a country whose average age is something like 19. And there's 166 males for every hundred females. And, that's an extreme. I think that's the Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan. But, as you go across west Africa and as you go east toward India and beyond, it's pretty common.
Now, it's the religion of course that caused it. But at this point, the religionain't gonna (sic) stop it. It's just too instable. Unstable I guess is the correct term.
JP: Point taken, though.
CH: Yes. We've just got to get ready and the last thing you want to do, and I'mspeaking as an army guy, the last thing you want to do is weaken the U.S. Navy. Because what's standing between us and our -- and what's going to happen, is the U.S. Navy. (Chuckles) And as long as they're strong, we're going to make it. As long as we don't kill ourselves internally, they'll be no problem militarily.
Of course, sometimes God runs the world by the souls He allows in, and -- that'sa theory of mine. And, I mean where are the Douglas MacArthur's and the John Foster Dulles's and George C. Marshall's of this age. They're not there. They're not here. (Laughs)
JP: They are. They're very quiet.
CH: Yes, well, at some generation they'll be coming in again or some soul likethem. Depending if you believe in reincarnation or not. And, then things will get righted, because it's all about learning, in my view. My little home philosophy of life which is that we're here by mistake. We were created as souls, if you read the Bible really carefully, we were created as souls and then later we stumbled into being human beings. We got put here. We got in the earth as human beings and put on the animal skins. Remember putting on the animal skins in Genesis? Well, that's after the first creation. There's another creation in Genesis. It's before the human one. It's before we get into the animal skins and get into the earth. Yes, read it.
JP: Oh, yea. I, hmm --
CH: Read it again.
CH: That's where Amelias (sp?) [1:49:44] and Lilith and all that stuff comes from.
CH: That was when we were pure spirits and we weren't animalistic and we weren'tanimals at all. But then we got, apparently, messing around with the animals and got so involved with the animals and actually built ourselves a body. The one we're sitting in that we couldn't get out.
CH: Yes. The tree of wisdom. We got too wise. We got too smart for our ownbritches. So, if that's really true, then the goal is not to build a perfect world here. The goal is to want to get out of this world. So, that's why we keep having these religions that promote unlimited births and creating these huge demographic messes that end up being war and being huge, humungous. I mean this one's going to be so bad I can't even conceive of it, just because of the number of people around.
Nothing worse or better about the war, but just the number of people killed willbe ten times as many because there's ten times as many people. It's kind of simple. (Laughs)
JP: How did you get from -- so I know you got a master's after you got out ofVietnam the second time. How did you get from there to there? To the program?
CH: Oh well, I just got this, always had this very strong patriotic impulse. Andthe idea may be honed at Norwich, maybe I just naturally came here, because it was kind of an odd school for me to pick as my safety school. But I did. I mean, I could have picked one close to home like Salem State or, I don't know, UNH, UMass, who knows. But I didn't. I chose Norwich. And that was even after coming up here and visiting the place and there was so much snow here the day I came that all you could see were the guys' hats on the other side of the parade ground. You couldn't even see the heads. All you could see were the hats bobbing on the other side of the parade ground, there was so much snow. (Laughs)
JP: And still.
CH: I still came. (Laughs)
JP: Well, you're also a good rifleman. You were a good marksman.
CH: No, I actually wasn't.
JP: You were on the drill team, though. That's what it was.
CH: I was on the drill team. Anybody from Gloucester had no trouble with rookweek. We had no trouble at all because we had a compulsory ROTC that was the centerpiece of the high school. And so, all of us were completely proficient with the Manual of Arms. We were better than some of our corporals. Especially those of us who had been in the competition during the high school days. And, so we had no trouble. We might have had the physical problem of the pushups and all that, but no, the military problem, no. Absolutely no problem whatsoever. We were ready. We wore uniforms two days a week to high school. And we had 600 M-1 rifles in the gym, with a padlock on them.
JP: And you learned how to use them.
CH: That's it. And you could sign it out and take it home if you wanted, if youwanted to practice. Can you imagine that in this day and age?
CH: No. And they were completely militarized rifles. The only thing that wasdemilitarized about them was the firing pins were in the safe.
JP: Right. And nobody got hurt.
CH: But, I mean, an M-1 firing pin is one of the easiest things in the world tomanufacture. Any idiot could have -- but you just didn't do that in those days.
JP: Why do you think that is?
CH: We were brought up to be good kids. And we were brought up in a wholesomesociety that was good. The society was good. You didn't want to tear it down.
The World War II generation was racist. And the baby boom generation was rightto go after that. But, to throw out the baby with the bathwater, with all the humanism and all of the rule of law, and all of the honor that the World War II generation had, which they threw out along with the racism, was a huge mistake. And they're paying for it now. They're going to have to, in their old age, put it back in place if we're going to survive.
And it's interesting because I've just had, just last night, two nights ago, Imet with this guy. He's ten years younger than me, so he's a baby boomer and he's absolutely fed up and he's just absolutely in love with my program. And he says, "We're going to make this go." He says, "I'm going to read your book and we're going to make this go." And, so who knows.
Here come the baby boomers. They're just about ready for retirement. They're theones causing all the problems and maybe they're going to fix them. (Laughs)
JP: That would be good.
CH: Wouldn't that be good?
JP: That would be good.
CH: That would be good. (Laughs)
JP: Geez. There's so many things. I was going to say, what was the mostimportant thing Norwich taught you? But, I'm --
CH: Again, it was an imperceptible teaching, the balance and seeing both sidesof the question. And not being extreme in any way.
JP: What was your favorite part of Norwich?
CH: Oh, the military. I was a military guy. I was on the honor tank platoon andthe drill team and I didn't give a damn. All I wanted to do was graduate. (Laughs)
Yes, I was -- I kind of went sort of extreme. But, again, you could never goextreme extreme because you had to pass, you had to get a 2.0 to get out. (Laughs)
JP: Forced balance.
CH: Yes. It was a forced balance.
JP: So, what did "I Will Try" mean to you as a student?
CH: Nothing. A weird slogan. Where the hell -- some guy going up a hill in theMexican War? Wow, we must be nuts. And I was, during that time we changed to essayons, you know, and we had the new patch put on and everything. We all thought that was pretty good because we thought "I Will Try" was kind of stupid. (Laughs) And you can see on our hat what -- (laughs)
JP: Believe me, I tried.
CH: When I saw that hat at the 50th reunion, I just about cracked up. (Laughs)
JP: It's (inaudible) [1:56:21] to me.
CH: Our class has always been a renegade class and that was sort of one lastgoodie. (Laughs)
JP: There's something about your class, I must say.
CH: Oh, there is. There absolutely is. There absolutely is. I remember poor oldJoe Milano.
JP: I haven't talked to him yet, but he's on my list.
CH: Oh, okay, well tell him I said, "Hi" and tell him I've gotten to be a bettercitizen now.
CH: Because at our 40th reunion, we were pretty well out of control when we cameon the parade field. We had kind of started early and we were in great shape. The whole class and we were just cutting up like crazy. (Laughs) And -- (laughs) and so we finally get filing into the stands and we're close enough to the '66 class that Joe comes over to me because I was his platoon leader and he says, "Charlie," he says, "dammit, you guys should set more of an example. You should, you know, you really shouldn't do that in front of the corps." He said, "When are you guys ever going to grow up?" (Laughs hardily) And Joe's a trustee.
JP: Right. (Laughs)
CH: And I'm going, "I'm sorry, Joe." No, I didn't. We weren't sorry aboutanything. (Laughs) But tell him we were much better at the 50th. He'll like that. (Laughs)
JP: Okay. I will.
CH: If he wasn't here and I didn't see him.
JP: I don't think he was.
CH: He might have been here, but I didn't see him.
JP: I didn't --
CH: Because I normally, if I see him, I say, "Hi" obviously. Because that onetime I think I knew all but one or two of the members of the board of trustees personally, because they had all come from my era. Pierre Mapes, ____________ was my roommate [1:58:14] --
JP: Who was your roommate?
CH: Carl Guararey. (sp?) [1:58:17]
JP: Carl Guararey.
CH: Yes. A great guy. Fabulous guy. In fact, he's one of the imputes for thisthing. Because while I was going around, and I was just kind of following my lead, whatever, where I was led, because when I started this thing, there was nobody to tell me what to do. So, I just had to dig Eber Spencer out of the back of my mind, who was our greatest professor. And who taught us to break things down and zero base them and start from scratch. And so, I took a page out of Eber's book and I just built this thing from scratch. And I used my experiences along the way to kind of help me out. Like that one at Command and General Staff College.
Well, one of them was after I kind of got started and I needed a couple ofbucks, I was going around trying to raise money, I went to see Carl. And, Carl didn't give me any money but that's okay. Nobody else did either. And, but he gave me a key. He said that during his time there at EWA, he was living in Fairfax County, Virginia and his kids were going to school there and he was unhappy with what they were teaching there in Fairfax County. And, so he formed this group of 27 guys and they went around to all of the party caucuses and they chose the Democratic Party because it happened to be the party in power. Doesn't matter. And so, they just took over the reins of the power of the Democratic Party of Fairfax County, with 27 guys over the course of a year. Being disciplined and going to all the right meetings and outvoting everybody. Because there's very few people at these meetings.
Everybody says, "Oh, as a citizen I have -- I can't do anything." Oh, yes you can.
JP: Show up.
CH: Oh, yea, show up. There's so few activists, that if you, the citizens getwith it, they'll be no stopping you. It's easy. Carl Guararey with 27 people took over the reins of power of the Democratic Party of Fairfax County, put up his own slate of candidates for the school board and completely changed the school board.
And I said, "Carl, you just -- I'll mortgage my house, screw it, I'm keeping ongoing (sic)." (Laughs)
JP: Good for you.
CH: Brilliant guy. Really fun, wonderful guy. And, he had Timmy Donovan workingfor him. We had a great time. We had a --
JP: Oh, Tim.
CH: We had a fun time. (Laughs)
JP: Tim is wonderful.
CH: We didn't get much done, but we had a great day together. (Laughs)
JP: I can imagine. I can just imagine. Tim is a hoot. He's a hoot.
CH: Oh, yes. Great guy. Did you see his latest Facebook thing?
CH: It's him out fishing in a canoe somewhere. I don't know where the heck heis, but it's cool. I "liked" it this morning. It was great. (Laughs)
JP: Oh, good! I'll check it out. He is, he is great. He'll be at Colby. Are yougoing to be at Colby?
CH: What's Colby?
JP: That's the Military Writers --
CH: Oh, the Military Writers, no I'm headed for Tacoma and Guam on Monday.
CH: Yes, that's where my kids live. Yes, my daughter lives in Tacoma and my sonlives on Guam, with my grandkids. So, --
JP: Gotta see 'em. (sic)
CH: Gotta go (sic) and you're going to Guam, you're not coming back next week.You know, you're going to go and stay a while. (Laughs)
JP: He's in the military also.
CH: It's about a 17-hour plane ride.
JP: Is it really?
CH: Yes. It's 14 hours to Tokyo and then 3 hours to Guam. And that's actuallyfrom Detroit. So, it's 20 hours. Because you've got to come from Detroit to Boston.
JP: That's a long flight.
CH: Yes, it's a long flight.
JP: He's military also?
CH: No, he's in the reserves, but he's a pilot for United Airlines.
JP: Oh, wow.
CH: So, he's a captain for United Airlines and he flies out of Guam. And heloves it.
JP: Oh, I'll bet.
CH: Yes, he doesn't -- I guess he took after his old man, he doesn't want hiskids growing up with the gangs and the drugs and everything and you don't have that on Guam. You only have about 200,000 people on the island, so everybody knows where everybody is and where the problems are and so you don't have those problems like you do in his other two -- his other two possible domiciles which are Newark and Houston. (Laughs) That's an easy one! (Laughs)
JP: Very much.
CH: I suggest, stay on Guam. I agree. I'll suck it up. (Laughs)
JP: 20 hours.
CH: Yes. What the hell else am I doing? It's not like I'm not used to flying inan airplane.
JP: That's right.
CH: It used to be 20 hours to Russia. Every mnth. I used to go every month to Russia.
JP: Every month?
CH: Yes. When I had the $1 million grant, I went every month and I spent abouteight months of the year there.
JP: And what province was that in Russia?
CH: Which, interestingly enough is the sister province of the state of Vermont.
JP: Yes! I recognize the name!
CH: Yes. I know Judge Dooley real well.
JP: Oh my gosh!
CH: They had a -- there's a Vermont Supreme Court and I just came from theVermont Law School and saw my buddy Carl Yirka whom I had never met before in the United States. I've met Carl a number of times in Petrozavodsk [2:03:35] (Laughs) Because he was Judge Dooley's kind of staff guy in Petrozavodsk. So, Carl and I used to go talk English together. (Laughs)
Yes, so that was the first time I'd ever seen him in the United States today. Itwas fun.
CH: Yes. Good man. Vermont had been very supportive. Unfortunately, Carl saidthat lately, they haven't been and they really haven't been there in a few years. And that's too bad.
JP: With the new administration maybe?
CH: Oh, way back. I guess probably, he said four or five years. Maybe the fouror five years ago administration.
JP: That's a whole 'nother, that's like another alley. How do you think yourprofessional life would have been different if you'd not been a Norwich grad?
CH: Oh, boy. In my case, that's a good question. Either I would have finallyknuckled down and taken over my father's business, which was tailor made for me and I could have taken it over. And it's still running. It's 110 years old.
JP: It is still running?
CH: And still doing just fine there in Gloucester, Mass. Or I'd have kind ofbeen a vagabond soldier of fortune and I started out, when I skipped out of Norwich my sophomore year and went to Alaska, I stayed there and was a radio announcer for a year. And was highly successful. I'd have probably stayed somewhere in the news business. I'd have probably ended up as a newscaster or a broadcaster or newsman of some sort. World correspondent. That's what I probably would have been.
And instead, the army did the same thing for me. (Laughs) Being a diplomat atNATO and being in the Pentagon and doing a study of the Department of Defense that went right to the Congress. I interviewed the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and the Deputy Chief, the Secretary of Defense and all this kind of stuff. (Laughs)
JP: That's the bucket you're pointing to that you brought with you which is --
CH: Well, that's one of -- that's a different bucket. I just brought one and Ibrought the wrong one but I'll bring the right one. No, the bucket is all the -- this was just because I was, I was at a conference and it was my wife's conference and I was not into it. So, I was out in the hall. And it was at a hotel and this other guy was out in the hall, kind of an older, kind of a really nice-looking gentleman and I engaged him in conversation. Turned out he was a professor at Princeton and he was there for his daughter-in-law's, niece's maybe, wedding. Wasn't a direct family, so he could skate out into the hall. And, the wedding was, this was the reception and they were ongoing in there and he was just not into it.
But it turned out that he had been a member. He found out I was in the militaryand he said, "Oh, I was part of the World War II Victory program." And I said, "Oh!" (Laughs) "Tell me more!" And he said, "I was on the war economics board." And I said, "What's that?" And he said, "Oh, you don't know?" And I said, "No. I thought there was a war production board." And he said, "No. There was a war economics board, a war manpower board, a war intelligence board." And there were a couple of others, commerce board, I can't remember exactly what he said, it's on the tape. And, then there was a board of boards. The head of which was Jimmy Byrnes, Roosevelt's righthand man. And they tied all the whole victory program together and made it happen. And if anybody was giving anybody any guff, they got a call from the Prez (sic), and put it straight. And that's how Washington worked during World War II and that's how we became The Arsenal of Democracy.
And that story is fascinating. I told you the one anecdote. There's a hundred.The one where the navy would not buy this deal to build the landing craft for the Normandy Invasion because they knew from the numbers that they weren't going to have enough navy guys, so army guys were going to have to drive the boats and they weren't going to have any army guys driving their boats. And it took the direct written order from President Roosevelt to get the navy to buy the steel to build the boats for the Normandy Invasion, which had to be done three years in advance. This is pre-Pearl Harbor. This is all going on pre-Pearl Harbor. All this stuff in there is going on from '38 on. '38 is when these guys started to go to work. '38 is when the victory program started.
It's interesting because it's the same as when the military program started.That's when the guys, Marshall and Eisenhower and Patton, went to the National Defense University and created Plan Orange. Which became the master plan for the U.S. military in World War II.
They created it in 1938 in their school days at the National Defense University.
JP: Wow. This is fascinating.
CH: Yes. Oh, I've been involved in some fascinating stuff and I just keepstumbling into it. It's wonderful! (Laughs)
JP: So, you did these oral histories of these people who you had access to and --
CH: Because I met this gentleman and then he gave me access of course to all theothers. He knew their names and phone numbers. And, so then I went and actually visited them. I went to Los Angeles and interviewed the president of the Rand Corporation. (Laughs) Who had been the secretary of the war production board in World War II. Yes, that's how he got his start. David Novick. What an interesting -- that was fascinating and unfortunately, and this is the most unfortunate thing about the study, the tapes of David Novick were done on little teeny things and somehow, I have no idea how it happened but I'd just signed into Ft. Lewis and I'd left the tapes on a little table and they disappeared. The tapes of Novick disappeared and I don't know if the maid swept them by accident into the wastebasket or -- I have no idea how those tapes got missing. But they were there in the morning and after I got through signing in, when I came back they weren't there. I don't know where they went. And that's a shame.
Now, I've recreated the interview out of -- off the top of my head. And Ibrought the book that David -- because the beauty of David's materials going, was David had been at the National Defense University four or five times. And I was in the mobilization community so I would always come over to the Pentagon -- from the Pentagon to hear him. And he would tell us the stories of the war production board. And that's how I knew about the war production board and how important it was. But I hadn't heard the story about the Manhattan Project which you -- that is absolutely fascinating.
CH: Absolutely fascinating. Novick's boss -- and of course, Novick's a25-year-old kid. He's just a young guy. But he's the secretary of the board. And they had, kind of, the chief of staff, if you will. And, Don -- Scandinavian name -- is the head of the war production board. And, finally in '44, he'd had it with this damn Manhattan Project. And he went to Jimmy Byrnes through Nathan who did the six-hour interview with him, the guy who is the secretary of the board of boards and went to Jimmy Byrnes and said, "I can't tell you what about, but I need to talk directly to the president about this Manhattan Project." And so, Byrnes got him an interview -- a hearing with Roosevelt, like the next day.
CH: Yes. That's how important these boards were and that's how important theheads of these boards were. The Arsenal of Democracy was the key to the war. I mean, we out-built everybody. We out-produced. Was the key to our victory, our logistics. And so, Novick went in with Don, oh God, I should know his name, to Roosevelt and that was it. The three of them. Jimmy Byrnes excused himself and Don said, "Mr. President, I don't want to know any of the details and I understand this thing is top secret, but I want you to know what this Manhattan Project is doing to our other production goals." And he outlined a couple of the problems that were going on. And they were having to scale back in these areas because of what he was being told was the Manhattan Project. And he said, "All I want from you, Mr. President, is to tell me is it that important? Don't tell me anything about it, just tell me is it that important." And Roosevelt told him what it was. And where it was and what was going on.
So, the idea of Truman being a lone wolf and dropping the atomic bomb and nobodyelse knew and all that. And, no Roosevelt -- his inner circle knew. So that meant when Truman came in, they told him. So, this idea that Truman was a lone wolf and dropped the bomb by himself -- no. No, this was a World War II decision that had been in the making for a long time and if Roosevelt had been alive, he'd have dropped it. It's just that simple. Yes.
They didn't make the bomb to scare people. They made the bomb to drop it.(Laughs) They made the bomb before the Germans made their bomb. Yes. And they'd have dropped one on Germany if they hadn't surrendered by then.
CH: Yes. They'd have dropped it right on the facility where the Germans werebuilding their bomb, I would bet. And that's a story that I did get out of this because I wasn't part of that. And, I guess it's pretty well known. But how we got all those German scientists out after the war. Because Peenemunde, where the V2s were made, was well into East Germany, was well into the Soviet part of Germany. And the Soviets put the clamps on that part of Germany instantly. Right in 1945.
And so how in the hell we got in there and got all that stuff out of there, Iwonder if we did it by sea. I've got to -- there is a book, I guess, about it and I've got to read it someday. But, I was -- I lived in Alamogordo, New Mexico for a while. That's where I got my master's degree. I got it at Holloman Air Force Base. And that's a very, very erudite town where all of the high tone scientists from the White Sands Missile Range live in that town.
JP: Oh my gosh!
CH: Alamogordo High School is, but head and shoulders, the leading academic highschool in the state of New Mexico. (Laughs) Because the citizens demand it. (Laughs) And anyway, they told me the stories of back in '47 and how all these German scientists showed up and all the failures with the V2 rockets and then of course, ending up building the Saturn. In the end, with all of the stuff that we did in the 40s and the 50s, ended up in the 60s as the Saturn V Rocket, which to this day has not been exceeded. We do not have a rocket as powerful as the Saturn V which went to the moon. We've never had a rocket that capable since.
CH: Isn't that amazing?
JP: I did not know that.
CH: Yes. One of the things I've learned in life, if I should have learned itfrom the study of history but now that I'm old enough, I've watched it, is civilization goes down as well as up.
I remember visiting Egypt and finding out that the further I went back inEgypt's history, the higher the civilization got. Hmm. That's interesting. (Laughs) These guys could do more technologically 1,000 years before these guys. Okay. How is that? And it's all politics and it's all human nature.
JP: We're working on it. We have the tools.
CH: We have the tools. We have the mentality. When we get ahold of ourselfishness and our stupidity, then we'll have something.
JP: What advice would you give a rook today about how to survive and thrive theway you did?
CH: Volunteer for everything.
JP: Volunteer for everything.
CH: The one lesson my dad -- the one piece of advice my dad gave me. When I wasgoing out to the car to drive to Ft. Knox, Kentucky for my initial army entry, he came out the door. And I rolled down the window, thinking he's just going to shake my hand and say goodbye. And he says, "Son, I'm going to give you the only piece of advice I'm ever going to give you." And he said, "Volunteer for everything." He says, "You'll get some of the shittiest assignments and you'll get the best opportunities of your life."
JP: That's wonderful.
CH: I've followed that all my life. I mean, going to Russia when I didn't knowanybody, and -- no, that's my way of doing things. When this guy told me about the World War II victory program, I signed on. I was the one, I was the impetus. I told them to give me the names. I called the guys up. I visited Princeton. I went and drove to Los Angeles, on my own money. Nobody paid me for this. And it was just something I -- was given to me to do. So, I did it. And that's what you do in life if you want to make a difference.
Like they say, one of the very first things you learn when you go to thePentagon is you can do wonderful things in this building if you don't mind who gets the credit. (Laughs)
JP: And you're at the Pentagon doing the --
CH: I was doing mobilization and planning but again, I volunteered. I was one ofthe few '54s. The Office of the Secretary of Defense is mostly about personnel and logistics and stuff like that. And there were very few of us there that were Ops guys and I happened to be one of them. By mistake, whatever, I was there. Colin Powell was the MA to Weinberger and he wanted to have a tank like the tank the JCS has, but a mini tank for OSD so that the civilian side of the house could go in and get the straight skinny and stuff like that.
So, he started it, a whole cloth and we met in the SECDEF dining room during allthe exercises of which there are a number. Two of which are like about four weeks long and take up, really take up your whole day for a month. So, even though I was working at something else, they would lose me for two months while I would go to these exercises.
And I was a planner, so that wasn't a real big deal. And that's really where Imade my difference in the Pentagon, because we started out in the SECDEF's dining room and the thing was a huge success and so then Colin wanted to build a full-scale facility, they called it. And I had done a number of things and I -- over the three or four years I'd been doing this I'd become the watch chief, even though I was only a major. But I was the guy that knew how to get things done in there and I was also -- I had invented this thing that does along with my group process where I had taken the board (inaudible) [2:20:42] and done this thing with the boards. Actually, I hadn't but I guess I just knew it before I even found out about the boards because, no that was before I found out about the boards.
I said, "Well, to do everything -- I mean, we've got this one guy from state,this one guy from commerce, this one guy from trans, this one guy from this part of DOD, this other guy from that part of DOD, a DLA guy, but they all work on logistics. Let's put the all together at the same table. And whenever a log problem comes in, boom, I know where to take it. I'll take it to that table. And we'll have an intel table. And we'll have a per table. And we'll have all the different tables set up." And I broke everybody into functional groups. And I had this done and I actually had -- Wang was designing a computer system for us, so I had Wang design the computer system that way, so that it fed into that system.
And so, actually I, I actually designed the facility that is there to this day.That is the SECDEFs watch facility.
JP: Wow! (Laughs)
CH: Yes. It's a cool place because you go in one door, I think this is the onlyplace in the Pentagon -- no, I guess you can do this -- no, because the tank, the top-secret part of the tank is inside the JCS, so you still have to have a top secret -- just to go to JCS. And then to get into the tank, you have to have a further clearance. But at OSD, we had a lot of guys that aren't cleared. They're (inaudible) [2:22:12] clearance. And so, we have one door that's totally unclassified. Anybody can come in that door.
Then we have another door that leads direct to the tank at JCS, on the backside. And it's got a couple of doors in between. And, so you have one door where unclassified guys can come in and one door only, I mean top secret special intelligence, not just top-secret guys can come in. And it was cool. I had a fun time designing that. (Laughs) So, Colin likes me! (Laughs)
JP: That's good!
CH: And I like him. I always remember a couple of times in real job as aplanner, I would run up against one of these political things that came down from USD policy. The Undersecretary of Defense for Policy is something I still don't really understand and what's it's doing there. It's a mini State Department in the Pentagon. I guess I understand a little bit of why it's there because our State Department is so bad, that somebody at Defense formed a little mini State Department to try and get some good advice.
And, but the -- you'll -- the guys who were at USD policy was Paul Wolfowitz,and Richard Perle and Dick Cheney. And guys you heard about later. This is in the '80s. This is before Bush I. This is before he's the Secretary of Defense. This is before Wolfowitz is the Undersecretary of Defense. This is before Bush II when Wolfowitz is the SECDEF and, I mean what's his name is SECDEF with Wolfowitz as his right-hand man, and Rumsfeld and Powell is the Secretary of State.
And, they would come down with some of the most cockamamy things that maybe madesense politically, but I'm in charge of providing the logistics and the manpower. I was in the manpower thing. And I'm supposed to provide the manpower for these things, and I'm saying, "Horseshit! This is craziness!" Just because some cockamamy province chief in some stupid little country, I'm supposed to turn the U.S. Army inside out and do this. No, I'm not going to do that. So, I write up and luckily my boss was not a civilian, he was a three star. And so, I'd write this scathing letter to my boss, saying, "This is horse crap! We need to oppose this," and good old General Tyson would say, "You're right Charlie. Let's go oppose it."
And so, off we'd go to see Colin Powell. Because that's where you opposed it.And so, here's -- I'm sitting there and I'm a major for God's sake. And here's Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle and all those guys, and luckily I didn't know who the hell they were and I'm just saying, "Well, you guys are full of crap!" (Laughs) Look at what this is -- I did exactly what the transportation officer did to me at Ft. Leavenworth.
Do you actually (?) [2:25:14] what this is going to make me do? Do you know howun-American this is? This is craziness! This is against the basic principles of the United States and besides, it's going to turn the U.S. Army inside out! You know, craziness!
CH: And so, every single time I won. I think I went up against them three timesand three times Powell comes down after, of course, hearing both sides of the argument and said, "Well, Charlie, you win." And off he goes into Weinberger's office with my -- there's two packets of paper. One -- you know, they're about that thick by the time they go to the SECDEF and one promotes this concept and one promotes this concept. One says, "Yes, we do this," one says, "No, we don't."
And so, my little piece that says, "No, we don't" went in there to the SECDEFand of course it's possession is 9/10ths of the law. If the "no" goes in first, it's a rare SECDEF that's going to overturn the "no". Yes, he can overturn the "no" and say, "What's the other side of the coin?" which actually gets put down, but no papers on top. (Laughs)
So, I knew when led -- when Bush got reelected, George W. Bush, that eitherRumsfeld or Powell was going. Because these guys had been mortal enemies for 30 years! Yes! And Powell is a common-sense guy and Rumsfeld is and those guys are earie, fairy (???) [2:26:41] academics. And when Powell left, I said, "Oh, crap. It's going to be a bad four years." And it was.
Because, then I had a personal experience in Russia that was a direct result ofthat. And just about screwed up my program there. And that was when the 50th anniversary of World War II happened and "W" went to Moscow and sat in Red Square with Putin while the Red Army marched by. The first U.S. President to ever sit in Red Square. On the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. Which was May 9th of 196 -- 19 -- of 2005.
CH: But --
JP: I sort of remember that.
CH: -- some turkey, and I know it was from either State, which Powell hadalready left, which Powell would have never done, because he would have seen the reality of it, but some turkey there at State or in this mini State Department in the Pentagon somewhere, had gotten Bush to go to Latvia the day before and Georgia the day after. Two archenemies of Russia.
JP: Former enemies of Russia.
CH: Oh, no. Still.
CH: Oh, absolutely to this day. Oh yea. No use for Russia whatsoever. Fightingthem at every turn. And so, by doing that, not only, of course Putin would have been upset but that was okay. But this was on Russian television and this turned the people against the Americans. Before that day, I could go out on any Russian street and announce that I was an American and I'd be welcomed. After that day, not so.
CH: It turned the nation around. And it was a stupid move. All he had to do wasstay there an extra night and drink some vodka with the Russians and go home. And we would have better relations with Russia to this day.
JP: Yea, they're not great.
CH: No. And they're stupid. They're stupid. We have a blog calledRussiathepointsofview.com where we're trying to counter the American press. A bunch of us who worked there and actually lived there. And not in Moscow. Which is not Russia, any more than Washington, D.C. is the United States. You know. It's not even close and -- anyway.
JP: Wow! Do you have any relatives at Norwich?
CH: No. Because I don't have any -- I sent my son up here but apparently thesnow is about as high as when I first came here and he hates it. He hates snow. He's a warm weather guy.
JP: It squalled.
CH: So, he went to the University of Southern California instead. (Laughs)
JP: (Laughs) Quite different!
CH: Yes, I've actually been to a big-time football game.
CH: I tell you, that's an experience.
CH: To go to a Big 10 or Big 12 or Pac 12 football game. Wow!
JP: Oh my gosh!
CH: It ain't (sic) Norwich.
JP: No, no, no.
JP: People in the stadium outnumber the entire --
CH: Oh yea. And alumni practically! (Laughs)
JP: Yea. And their family!
CH: Yea, right! Oh my God!
JP: Oh my gosh!
CH: Yes, the alumni don't go to the Colosseum. They gather on campus.
CH: Because there's a tunnel between the USC campus and the Los Angeles Colosseum.
CH: And about 20 minutes before game time or a half an hour before game time,the USC Trojan band falls out of the gym and marches one complete round of the campus and then comes dead down the center and all 20,000 or 30,000 alumni fall in behind them and go through the tunnel and enter the colosseum at once.
CH: Is that --
JP: That's epic!
CH: That was pretty special! (Laughs)
JP: That's spectacular.
CH: Yes, the whole student body and the alumni enter the colosseum togetherbehind the Trojan band. (Laughs)
JP: That's good for a team.
CH: Oh, it really is. I mean most bands only lead in the football team and thisband's leading in 40,000 people! (Laughs)
JP: Charged up! Go!
CH: (Laughs) And you wonder why USC wins a lot of football games.
JP: I know now! Now I know!
CH: (Laughs) Oh, you talk about the alumni behind them. Holy crap!
JP: Literally behind them.
CH: USC has the second largest endowment after Harvard.
CH: It's not Dartmouth. It's not Yale. It's USC.
CH: They've got billions of dollars.
JP: They can do a lot with that.
JP: What is "I Will Try" mean to you now?
CH: Oh, it's symbolic of Norwich. Doesn't mean any more now than it did, exceptit's our university and I think all of us agreed on this, and I certainly do, of how proud we are of our university and how much better it's become, even without Ernie Harmon! (Laughs) I mean, it's gone through evolutions and stuff, but it's maintained its standards.
I thought about that, about how I would be ashamed to be a Bowdoin graduate now,but I'm very proud to be a Norwich graduate, because our university has not given up. It has not changed its standards. Yes, we've gone with the flow. But, by God, the standards are still the standards. We're still about service. We're still about serving. We're still about being tough. We're still about doing it right. And regardless of what the other social things are around us, we're still going to do it right. We'll let those things come in and be a part of us, but they're not going to take over the standards. They're not going to run the place. Does that make sense?
JP: Yes! Yes, it does.
JP: Is there anything else you'd like to say?
CH: Well, I think that last thing I said was really something that should besaid and I'm saying it for my, pretty much my entire class. I think I can tell you that we're very proud of our university and what's happened to it. And are very positive about its future and we'll support it in any way we can.
JP: You guys have given me such a window into the kind of quality people whohave come out of here. I am just so impressed by your class.
JP: Truly. And this is on the records.
JP: But, it really is, truly, you guys are amazing. Just amazing. Every last oneof you. Every last one.
CH: I don't know how many of the other guys went through this, but by, again,because I volunteered, I was part of an oral history of our little helicopter unit in the Vietnam War.
CH: I don't know if --
JP: Where's that?
CH: It's on a DVD. I can send it to you.
JP: Oh! We'd love to put that in and let people -- people, the students arehungry for the history.
CH: It's not just me. It's a whole bunch of the pilots from not just my era, butfrom all of the years in Vietnam.
JP: Oh wow. I think they'd be fascinated. They are fascinated with Vietnam andwe don't have enough information.
CH: Oh, I'll send you the, one of the DVDs. (Laughs)
JP: Thank you. That's very nice.
CH: Maybe I'll buy another one from Henry and -- because I don't want to losemine. (Laughs)
JP: Give me the name of it and the museum will get a copy.
CH: Alright. Great.
JP: Yes. Well thank you so much for your time.
CH: My pleasure.
JP: You're a great subject.
CH: My pleasure. This is great.
JP: This is going to be a hell of an interview!
CH: (Laughs) Well, if you want, this is kind of a funny anecdote.
CH: Yes, this is a funny anecdote. I was chief of staff for the western ROTCregion. So, I was going around inspecting -- it was the easiest job I ever had in the army. It was fabulous. And I was still doing the Pentagon stuff and the NATO stuff, so because it was a really easy -- I think that's why the army gave it to me, because it easily allowed me to be out of pocket for two months of the year and nobody missed me. (Laughs)
CH: I went like Major de Coverley of Catch 22 and appeared in Washington, D.C.and Brussels and with all these medals on my chest and everybody lionized me for a month and then I went home and did my __________ [2:35:35] little job again. (Laughs) It was a hoot! Anyway, I'm at Fresno State and this PMS says, "Hey, I'm about to recruit a new student. Would you like to see the recruiting process first hand?" "Yes, thanks." So, I go in and I sit in the corner of the room and this young little freshman college kid comes in and the PMS gives him the pitch about how our ROTC is going to be really great for him and good for his character, good for his (inaudible) [2:36:05]. At the end of it the kid's sold. "Yea, yea, yea," he says. "But wait a minute," he says. And he whips out his time management book. A freshman in college has a time management book! (Laughs) "Where am I going to fit this in?" he says. I just went like this, with my head in my hands, I said, "Can you imagine?"
You know, at Norwich University, sometime in April, we all went to see ProfessorSpencer, and he told us what we were going to take next year. (Laughs) And, maybe we had an elective. Maybe. (Laughs) But since government was a 42-hour major, we aren't getting any electives.
CH: And so, it just floored me that this kid (laughs) had a time management bookand really thought that you could plan life. This younger generation actually thinks that life is going to go according to plan. How weird. What a strange idea we've given these kids, with all this self-esteem stuff and everything. That everything's your great and everything's going to be wonderful. And, boy, we haven't prepared them for the world at all. Because the world's not like that. No. Even the United States, which is head and shoulders above the rest of the world, is not like that. And the rest of the world, oh, let me tell you -- (makes noises) [2:37:34]. As most Norwich grads know because they've been outside this country. (Whistles)
JP: No, we're doing well.
CH: We're head and shoulders. Even with our current screwed up system. The onlything is, we're headed for dictatorship. We're doing exactly the things that Rome and every other republic did before they died. We're letting faction become the issue and we're getting into factions instead of being us.
CH: And, inclusiveness is the key to any democracy and if you don't have it, thedemocracy dies. And, whenever I say democracy, I mean Aristotle's constitutional government which we call a republic. So please, you who are hearing me, don't pillory me.
It's just that I can't use the word republic, believe it or not, in our current,in our country and have anybody understand what the hell I mean.
JP: You're talking about Plato's republic?
CH: No, I'm talking about the United States as a republic and not a democracy.Nobody knows it. I remember hosting a high school honor kid's convention and I happened to be talking to my buddy about what I do, and this gal overheard me and -- this senior in high school, and she says, "Sir, excuse me." She says, "I'm a senior at so and so high school taking AP Civics. What's a republic?"
JP: Oh, she didn't know what a republic was.
CH: She's taking AP Civics in an American high school and she did not know themeaning of the word "republic." And two-thirds of the American people don't either. They use democracy simultaneous with republic. And it's okay. They mean American democracy as we know it. But, I've just stopped using the word "republic" as a result because when I say it, nobody has a clue what I'm talking about in the younger generation.
JP: People don't think that you're talking about Republicans, they just don'tknow what Republicans --
CH: They just don't know what republic means, no. They have no concept of thedifference between a democracy and a republic. Under the age of about 50. Maybe you're that age or maybe your one of the thankful few who do.
JP: I thought I did, but maybe I didn't hear your --
CH: If you didn't go to a liberal arts college and take some liberal arts, evenover 50 you don't know.
JP: I'm thinking --
CH: High school graduates absolutely do not know.
JP: I'm thinking of Lincoln's description of a republic. I'm thinking of theconstitution. I'm thinking of the republic. It's a group of people who each is responsible for the whole. I mean, --
CH: It's a representative form of government rather than a direct form ofgovernment like a New England town meeting. That's the difference between democracy and a republic. It's a scientific thing. It's not a philosophic thing.
JP: Oh, okay.
CH: It's a natural definition. It's where you elect representatives to conductyour business for you. That's a republic.
CH: Versus a democracy where you did it yourself.
CH: Yes, direct.
CH: And the Founders said that within the republic we should have democracy atthe local level. In other words, at the local level they wanted democracy but at the higher levels they wanted republic. They were trying to design a -- what would you call it, a hybrid system.
CH: That'd combine the best of Greece with the best of Rome. And, they did. Andlike John Adams wrote into the Constitution of Massachusetts that you cannot use 'R' or 'D' or in those days 'Federalist' or 'Republican' behind your name. You can't use a party affiliation behind your name in a local election. It's not allowed. They're not on the ballot. If you see a local election in Massachusetts there will be no 'D's or 'R's on the ballot.
CH: Yes. Now there are Democratic primaries and Republican primaries but thereare no -- on the local side, for the local offices there's no 'D' or 'R' on the ballot. You don't know. When it comes to the general election particularly, whether that person is a Democrat or Republican if you haven't done your homework.
CH: And the goal is because the Founders did not want party politics at thelocal level.
CH: They wanted direct democracy. They wanted the people to actually be involvedso that they could find out the good representatives because they would watch them and then they would elect good people to the state house who then, of course, be good people in Washington.
JP: That's smart.
CH: Not too shabby.
JP: Not too shabby.
CH: Yes. Reading the writus (?) [2:42:26] of the foundings (sic) [2:42:27] therein Philadelphia was one of my eye-opening experiences. And even Professor Spencer had not readied me for that, for how human these guys were. That they weren't mythologic. And that their greatest achievement was stuffing their own human natures and their own selfishness for 20 years and hanging together to create an ideal, despite their own feelings in a whole lot of cases. They overcame their own human natures is their real, real amazing achievement.
JP: That is.
JP: That is.
CH: And then the post-Civil War generation wrote out the philosophic part of thedream and so now we forget that we're a philosophic as well as an economic dream. And that's one of the problems I'm facing in getting the citizens involved because they just don't realize that that's part of the dream. It's no longer part of the dream. The dream is going out and making a mil (sic) and beating that other guy. Not being part of the process and actually being in charge of your own destiny.
CH: Yes. No, that's been --
JP: The disconnect.
CH: -- disconnect. Yes. And it's so far disconnected it's out of thesubconscious as well as the conscience mind. There's this great book out called The Righteous Mind which just came out and it explains to me a lot of what I'm fighting against. Because, what he's basically, actually stated and done studies on, he's a psychologist, is that 90% of us are coming from our subconscious rather than our conscience mind when we make political decisions. And that accounts for all these knee-jerk and going with the faction and not thinking things through and not being rational.
JP: No. A lot of emotional --
CH: Because, for instance, Obamacare's a great idea, if you do it at the locallevel. If you do it at the national level, it's going to run out of money. All you've got to do is do the math. It's not hard at all. (Laughs) You had the bureaucracy up exponentially, expand it, over time because it's going to and then add up the money that's going to cost. And then the state bureaucracy and then the local bureaucracy and then throw in a factor for corruption. It ain't (sic) going to work!
CH: Because you can't stop corruption from the national level.
CH: You can only stop it from the local level. I can fill out a piece of paperthat lies like a rug and that guy in Washington, the reason is never going to have the better -- I'll make it look great and he'll have no idea that I'm lying through my teeth.
JP: But your neighbor --
CH: But my neighbor knows. (Laughs)
In Gloucester we had a functional, universal healthcare system when I wasgrowing up. We had a non-profit hospital. The founding fathers if you will, the town fathers, whenever there was an epidemic or something, chipped in and put it back right, put it back on an even keel, doctors all gave 30% of their time, pro bono. Lawyers never sued anybody for malpractice unless it was totally gross. And, of course, nobody got over because the nurse knew when Joe came in who Joe was and when Joe started poor-mouthing, she said, "Joe, oh Joe. I'm your neighbor." (Laughs) "Didn't you just buy that new car last year?" (Laughs) "Pay up, Joe." (Laughs)
We had universal healthcare and it worked and it didn't cost a dime andeverybody was happy and nobody went without healthcare.
CH: Simple. It can all be done at the local level, all these liberal ideals.Everything the liberals want. But you've got to do it locally. And you've got to chip in.
JP: Oh yea.
CH: Not take it out of my taxes and pay some guy in Washington to do it. But,no! No, no, no, you chip in. Yes. That's how it works. We all chip in and then it really is free.
JP: Yep. Yep.
CH: Yes. We've all got to give part of ourselves to our community to making thisplace run if we are going to be self-running. (Laughs) Hello! (Laughs) Or, as I like to say in my "You the People" program, you can't have a government by and for the people without the people! (Laughs)
JP: It takes participation.
CH: (Laughs) What I'm doing I feel embarrassed to teach. It's so simple. It's sobasic. It's so common sense. But because it's been written out of the American subconscious, it's not there anymore. You've got to drill it into them. It is so weird that I'm going around having a hard time selling this thing when it works every time I try it. Every time. Works great. Everybody loves it and then they don't do it.
JP: There will -- it sounds like there will have to be a need. Like, there is aneed, but people have to recognize the need.
CH: They have to recognize the need. They have to have something. And thisObamacare's doing a great job. I hope it keeps on going. I knew it would because I had all this trouble when I was in the Pentagon getting things done in Washington, D.C. and I was very frustrated by this and so I went down to the Army Library and immersed myself back in the books that I had read here at Norwich but didn't pay much attention to, I guess, or had forgotten and then it came right to me. "Oh, the Founders meant for this place not to work." It's designed not to work. It's deliberately designed not to work. It's right there in the Federalist Papers. And, oh, okay. I was happy after that. (Laughs) And so then I knew when Obamacare came up, I said, "Don't worry." (Laughs) It isn't going to work because nothing the federal government does can work. It's impossible. It's just the way of the federal government.
JP: They did okay with the post office for a while.
CH: I could do okay -- well, you've got to understand that the post office inits heyday was a, just a patronage, just a corruption nightmare.
JP: Was it?
CH: Yes. We were feeding money into the post office left and right, out of thegeneral fund. It lost tons of money every year. And wasn't doing anything anywhere near what it's doing now. And, even now though, if we were to just go back and say, "No, we're not going to give you whatevers preferential treatment on the bulk mailings --
CH: No. Go to Fed Ex. Go to UPS." Form your own non-profit that delivers thisstuff. Whatever you want to do. What'd I use the post office for? And then all of a sudden, the post office would be in the black. It's so simple. It's so basic. It's just like putting Medicare in the black. You ditch the trial lawyers and say no more malpractice suits. It's simple. It's easy. (Laughs) In one fell swoop, you've solved the problem.
JP: It's pretty amazing.
CH: But you're not going to solve any problem because Washington is an internal,internecine system. And it's got nothing to do with Republican or Democrat when it comes to Washington vs. the outsiders. Oh, no. They band together then baby. And it's us against them. No. We know more than those outside the Beltway.
JP: Outside the Beltway.
CH: Absolutely. It's a good book called, This Town, by admittedly an archconservative. And again, just like the America Alone, get away from the diatribe, and just read his stories because he is a White House correspondent of what happens at White House Correspondents Dinners. And what happens at those White House press meetings before the president shows up and, oh, my God. And he'll tell you himself, because he disses the Republicans right along with the Democrats.
CH: Those in power will use it to keep it.
CH: Eber A. Spencer, Jr. (Laughs) He started his class, he would get out infront of the government 201 class and he would explain the first thing. The first thing he would explain is, "Some of you may wonder why I, as the head of the department around here, am out here teaching the survey course. That's very simple. Most of you will never see a government class." He said, "I want it to be your best."
And he said, "Now I will give you a statement on which I am going to base allthe rest of my teachings. Those who have power will use it to keep it. Everything I teach you from here on in will stem from that statement."
JP: Wow. (Inaudible) [2:51:55]
CH: Yes. He was as powerful academically as Harmon was militarily. Yes. Anacademic absolute powerhouse of a man. Nobody, including Gordon L. Sullivan, who will tell you chapter and verse has anything but total respect for Eber A. Spencer. And learned a lot from that man. You could not be around him and not learn a lot.
CH: And he would have us government majors up to his house on Sundays for teaand cookies and stuff and just hold forth. Just a brilliant, fantastic man. Really, really an honor to have had that man as my major professor. I dedicated the book to him.
CH: Yes, yes.
JP: Where did he live in Northfield?
CH: Right here. Just across -- you know the triangle?
CH: He lived right up on the triangle right next to what was Lambda Chi Alpha.You could walk to his house. We did. (Laughs)
JP: That's great.
CH: And he was all shot up. He used to have to disappear for a couple of weeksevery year, go down to White River Junction VA and get put back together again. He'd had a lot of, we understood, a lot of shrapnel and stuff during the war.
CH: Yes. But it never affected him. No sirree, Bob. No. He was there to teachand be the best he could be.
JP: That's great.
CH: Yes. It sure was. And Harmon attracted guys like that, because he was --,"Would you like to work for a man who's a real leader?" Yes, yes you would.
We had a few professors who wore red socks, but not a lot.
JP: Red socks, oh.
JP: And they weren't baseball fans.
CH: No. No, it was a (chuckles), it was a rebellion. (Laughs) But they didn'twear them into Dewey Hall I bet. (Laughs)
JP: No! I bet they didn't.
CH: I bet they left their classroom and went to right to their cars and wenthome. (Laughs)
JP: Home, yes.
JP: Gosh, I know I'm -- is it alright if I contact you if I have any questions?
CH: Oh, sure, absolutely.
JP: I know I've missed some of the Vietnam stuff. I know I've missed --
CH: Yes, well that was a --
JP: And your citations? I'm sorry. Go ahead.
CH: Oh, I think those are all in my bio. (?) [2:54:24] I'll send them to you.
JP: Yes, I'd like to have that list.
JP: Yes. But Vietnam was a total what?
CH: Oh, a total 'nother (sic) tape.
JP: I know! I know!
CH: (Laughs) Being a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, I mean, talk aboutvolunteering for everything. We all volunteered for everything, just by volunteering to be a helicopter pilot.
CH: Because the helicopters were the war. I mean, we were everything. If ithappened, we were there.
CH: And so, we got everything done from putting out the trash to going into themost horrendous battles you ever saw. And, everything in between. (Laughs)
JP: I'll bet.
CH: I was telling my girlfriend last night about the pigs, dinks and chickens run.
JP: The what?
CH: The pigs, dinks and chickens run, which every helicopter pilot probably hasthis story. And just one day you go to the ready room and you're assigned to the MAC -- to the MACV and they're the advisors to the province chiefs and stuff and for some reason, some luminary down there in the vil (?) [2:55:29] has to get moved. So, down you fly to the vil. And they put out a tee or something and you land and here comes the whoever, the village luminary with his family and his pigs and his chickens. And they all get on the helicopter.
CH: Because we're going to move them some place.
JP: The pigs?
CH: Apparently the VC have got their number and they're going to come kill themor something, so we're moving this whole family someplace else. Well, if you've ever tried to fly a helicopter with a 500-pound pig loose in the back, a helicopter is very sensitive in weight and balance. Extremely sensitive, especially side to side.
Well, the pig knows where the doors are and he's going from side to side.500-pound pig, bump, bump, bump, bump. And then about that time the chicken gets up and he goes, "wraaaa!" (sp?) [2:56:17] right in your face, (laughs) flapping his wings, going braak, braak, braak, braak! (Laughs)
JP: It's free! (?) [2:56:22].
CH: And the other guy has to fly the helicopter while you'd get the chicken outof your ear, out of your field of vision. (Laughs) And meanwhile, the pig is going -- (laughs) and you're trying to not laugh so hard that you lose control of the helicopter. (Laughs hardily) Because this is just, I mean, right out of the movies. (Laughs) If you had a movie of this you'd just laugh until you cried! (Laughs)
JP: Very MASH-like.
CH: Oh, yes! Oh, that was a hoot! (Laughs)
JP: Oh, my God.
CH: Oh, the pigs, dinks and chickens run, everybody knows that one. (Laughs hardily)
JP: 500-pound pig.
CH: Back and forth. Oh my God, and they're fast. Pigs are fast!
CH: They can flip around like that. Why they didn't injure somebody in the backI don't know. But the Vietnamese are small, they probably pulled up their legs underneath them like they do.
JP: How many people?
CH: Oh, there might be five or six usually in a family.
JP: In a Huey?
CH: In a Huey, with my four guys, my gunner and my crew chief who luckily wereimmune to the pig because they were in the back well. So, at least they're not going to get -- they're not going to be part of the pig thing. (Laughs)
JP: But that thing smelled when it was done.
CH: Ooooh, yes, yes. The crew chief was not happy with the pigs, dinks andchickens run. Noooooo, no, no, no, no, no. (Laughs)
JP: Oh my gosh.
CH: Oh, yes, when we -- the good news about that though was you got back prettyearly. It wasn't like CAS where you go and deliver the troops and then resupply all day and come back at the end of the night. No, by the time you get through with the pigs, dinks and chickens, probably get back by noon. So, he had a least a couple hours to clean out the helicopter, maybe even get some sleep that night, which most crew chiefs didn't. Because they had to fly all day and then work on the helicopter all night. Those guys are real heroes let me tell you. Your crew chief was "big pat on the back" guy. He was a special guy. Yes, he was a very special guy.
CH: Yes, that's the neat thing about these little mini reunions that I go to iswe invite the crew chiefs and the gunners to come too. Because they were just as much a part of the crew as we were. And VHPA is this kind of -- it's just the pilots and it's got 40 or, I don't know, I don't know how many thousands of members but you get over 1,000 guys to the reunion, all paying $1,000 and then we do things like we rent the carrier Midway (laughs) --
JP: Do you really?
CH: Yes, yes that's what we did when we went to San Diego, yes. Well, where arewe going? We're going to be at the Marriott and then our regular stuff's going to be on the carrier Midway. Yes, we just rented it for the week. (Laughs)
JP: For the heck of it.
CH: It only costs 20 or 30 grand, no big deal. (Laughs)
JP: 20 or 30 guys.
CH: Yes, 20 or 30 guys. It's pluuttt (sp?) [2:59:24]. Yes, we landed at theFranklin Museum when we were in Philadelphia. I don't know what we're going to do in Louisville. Maybe we're going to rent Churchill Downs. (Laughs hardily)
JP: That's great. Geez.
CH: Yes, it's a fun thing to go to and no politics are allowed.
JP: No politics.
CH: Only war stories. Yes.
JP: War stories.
JP: To be a fly on that wall . . .
CH: Oh, I'm telling you. It was an experience to be a Vietnam helicopter pilotand to be in the middle of 1,000 of them.
I'll tell you what. The very first time you go, I got very emotional. I didn'trealize how much that war had affected me until I went to that very first reunion. And, wow. It was tough to take. I had to just break off and go to my room sometimes and just chill out and then get back and do it again. Because it was tough, bringing back all those -- even the fun, because war stories can be either huge fun or they're usually hair raising. (Laughs) There's very little in between.
JP: So, it's both.
CH: Yes, sometimes they turn out to be both. Yes. (Laughs) Usually the aftermathof the hair raising turns out to be really funny. (Laughs)
JP: You guys were very --
CH: The worst thing you could have done to you as a Vietnam helicopter pilot wasget sent to the rear.
JP: Sent to the rear? What does that mean?
CH: Sent to safety. Where you didn't have to face combat. That was the kiss ofdeath. You never, ever talked to the guys who ever did that. And if they show up at the VHPA, they don't advertise it. (Chuckles) They'll advertise their combat unit. They won't advertise the fact that they ended up flying for the deans (?) [3:01:21] which was an ash and trash VIP unit out of Saigon or flying for II Corps or I Corps or just doing ash and trash missions.
JP: Ash and trash?
CH: Oh, flying the VIPs around and pleewtt (makes noise).
JP: Cigarette ash and trash.
CH: Yes, yes, yes, yes. No, for those of us who spent two tours in combat, noyou better not announce that you're one of those guys because that means you chickened out. Nobody got assigned there. You got sent there when you chickened out.
CH: Yes. You went to the commander and said, "I can't take any more of this" andyou got reassigned to one of those safety units.
CH: And everybody knows that and so, no. It's like the World War II guys, no,you -- (laughs)
JP: Ernie wouldn't do that.
CH: No. Ernie wouldn't do that. No.
JP: But, I've got to imagine that maybe for some people there just came a pointor where --
CH: I'm sure there was but if you don't, and I'm speaking just from my ownpersonal experience, if you don't maybe not encourage but don't discourage that thinking then everybody's going to do it. Everybody's going to start faking it.
Then the ones that are on the fence, "Well, screw it. I'm going to the rear.I've had enough of this shit. I'm tired." No. No. No.
JP: Everyone's tired.
CH: No. Everyone's tired. Yes. No. So, you have this ethos where if you doreally get tired you're going to get ostracized and that then keeps only those who really have to go --
CH: -- from going.
CH: The other guys who are on the fence who'd go in a minute if all you had tobe was tired, won't go when they know they're going to be ostracized for the rest of their life.
CH: Yes. It's a thing that I think the army needs to continue to, maybe notencourage but don't discourage. Don't let the psychologists get in there and do what the damn lawyers have done to the army, where the commander can't do anything without consulting his legal team. Horseshit.
When I was in the army, the commander was the commander and --
JP: That's why they call him a commander.
CH: -- and if you screwed up, you replaced him. Fired him. Now, you pass theblame around. Nobody gets fired. Nobody does anything without the legal teams' imprimaturs (sp?) [3:04:01] so that they don't get fired. Oh, it's -- I hesitate for our next war because it's going to be a barn burner and you're going to start to see combat again which we've not seen since Vietnam. This crap about seeing combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, don't give me that crap. That's a bunch of boloney. God love these women who want to be in combat because we were in combat. Yes, you kicked in a door in Iraq. That's not the same as going up Hamburger Hill in Korea for three straight days and having 20 of your buddies shot out from under you and having two wounds in you and keeping on going. No. That's combat, lady. No kicking in a door in Iraq.
JP: With eight people around you.
CH: Yes. Even if you took an IED. That's not combat. That's taking an IED. Wetook IEDs in Vietnam. We got artillery shells lobbed at us. That's an accident of war. That's not combat. Combat is physical hand-to-hand fighting with an enemy who's all male.
JP: Trying to kill you.
CH: Who's trying to kill you and who's very strong. And the bottom line is theaverage man is stronger than the average woman.
CH: And if you put women in combat we're going to have to start taking more than10% women. The fact is the 10% women we've got probably could. They probably did just as good as the men. Just like the gals here at Norwich. They're just as good as the men because we only take the best. But when you start taking the full gamut, now demographics comes in and the bottom line is the average man is stronger than the average woman. I'm sorry, the upper body strength, and that's what combat is about. It's about upper body strength and a person with big, strong legs. Up a hill. Against a determined enemy who's fighting you hand-to-hand.
JP: On territory they know.
CH: Yes, well, it doesn't matter whether they know it or not, they're fightingdownhill and you're fighting uphill. That's not good. (Laughs) Hasn't been good since Hannibal and it isn't good now. (Laughs)
CH: Just, we just need, with all the wonderful modern, everything going on, tonot forget common sense. Holy crap! There are certain basic laws and they will be obeyed, because their nature is law. (Laughs) And until we invent something to overcome that law, and do it regularly, and it can't break down, you'd better pay attention to that law. (Laughs)
JP: That's kind of hard to --
CH: Yes. (Laughs) Maybe we were all put here for a purpose. Maybe we ought tojust go do what our purpose is instead of trying to change it just because don't like it.
JP: That's a lot of energy to change something.
JP: Barbara's and Larry's.
CH: Oh boy. They work hard. Gotta (sic) hand it to them. They work hard.
CH: Yes. Well, what time is it?
JP: It is 4:20 --
CH: Oh, good. We've got plenty of time. Because the special collections goesuntil 6:00.
JP: Yes, they do.
CH: But I was wondering, maybe we ought to just kind of go through this a littlebit and --
JP: Okay. Yes.
CH: I can give you some idea what's in it and then I'll come back after I comeback from Guam maybe and you can gather a couple of experts and we can really figure out what to do with this stuff.
CH: And hopefully, maybe even do what NDU (?) [3:07:53] was going to do, whichis get it transcribed and do the right academic thing with it and put it in academic form where people can read it.
JP: Wouldn't that be something.
JP: Yes. Alright, I'm going to hit stop.
(end of audio)