While on leave in Jenkins from my new assignment to Sampson Air Base, N.Y., during the Korean War, Police Officer Charlie Cline, whom I had known most of my life, asked me what happened at Lackland Field, Tex., in 1948 for the FBI to come to Jenkins and Burdine asking questions about me.
He said the police department and the judge wanted to know.
His son, George Hayes, was my best friend. We went to school and played sports together.
George Hayes, Donn Croley and I had once been picked up by the Jenkins police for being naked in the Jenkins Lake after football practice. We were held in the courthouse for a few hours, so we were well known by the police department.
The FBI was talking to people who knew me — my teachers, the police department, store owners, my classmates, and my parents. They wanted to know if I was a loyal citizen and if I had been in any trouble before I was approved handling top secret material from the military over most of the world.
Charlie Cline told me the FBI agents laughed their heads off when going naked in the lake was the worst thing I had done.
Sadly, my two best friends, George Hayes and Donn, were later killed in Korea. Donn had worked for me for a couple of days at Sampson Air Base. I had asked him to let me get him a nice, safe job in the states, but he wanted to stay with his flight.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.