After I put in for my retirement, and with our workload during the peace talk in Paris, France trying to get out of Vietnam, I would have to work up to my last day at the Pentagon. I was working the swing shift with the master sergeant who would replace me.
After hours at the Pentagon, no civilian repairman would come in to repair our copiers or printing equipment. When they found this old hillbilly could repair most of the equipment, I was elected.
About a month before I retired, the large Government Printing Plant in the basement called on me to again to check out a 2066 offset press. I had worked on this press for years, and saw what was wrong with it.
About this time the civilian who was in charge of the plant came in to see how his printers were doing. I had never met him as he always worked days. He came up to me and asked me what I was doing there. He did not know I had been coming there for almost a year. He asked me to leave, said that he would have a repairman from town come in and repair the press the next morning. I left, knowing I would not come back again.
Less than a week later, the guard at my department came to me and told me a civilian was in the hallway wanting to see me. As no one came into our department, I went out to talk to the man in charge of the printing plant.
He apologized to me for our meeting in his plant. He told me the repairman could not fix the press, and asked me to come back and see if I could get it running for them.
I almost did not go back with him, the way he talked to me in his plant. I took my tool kit, and went with him. I had the press running in half an hour.
A week later, I left the Pentagon for the last time.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in California.)s