I and other retired military members were asked if we wanted to tour the base printing department. I had not been there since October 1968.
Unknown to the workers there, I set up this base printing department in 1955 during the Korean War when my headquarters at Hickam Field, Hawaii moved to Travis Air Base in California.
My headquarters took over command of the base then. All printing equipment I came with and all equipment on base was put in one large building, and I was the supervisor for the next 11 years.
The sergeant in charge was a non-printer, and knew very little about printing. I asked the young airman talking to his boss what his job was. He said he operated the press in front of him, and that each printer had his own equipment.
In all the printing departments I had run, I made sure all my people knew how to operate all equipment in our shop. A couple of the printers told me that the printing test was very hard. I didn’t not tell them that the test was made up by me in 1956, when asked to by the base. I’m told the test is still in use today.
The one young man I had been talking to asked, “Sir, you sure know a lot about printing. What do you do now?”
I told him I was retired, and I left. I have not been back.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)