Connie, the secretary of the Air Force Secretary, called me to see if I could come to their office — now. She had a paper jam in both Xerox copy machines.
President Nixon’s runner was there waiting for a report she needed to make copies of. I told her I would be right there.
A few days ago I had told a couple of my people that I was going to turn in my retirement papers. The owner of the company I worked for in California had been calling, wanting to know when I would be back to my old job I had worked at part time while I was at Travis Air Force Base.
The word got around fast in the Pentagon. Everyone wanted to know why I was leaving such a fine job. My boss was very upset. I had told him first that I would take my retirement and take the job in California soon.
I didn’t know that many people even knew me at that time. I had only been at the Pentagon for a little over a year.
My boss had told me word had got back to him of the copy machines I had unjammed for a lot of people during the short time I was there.
At my retirement, President Nixon was the last person to speak with me. He told me his secretary had told him about all of the people who had given me a hard time about my retirement.
I had said my good-byes to my people the night before. I had to get away from that place, but I really missed my people. We were very close.
(Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.)