After landing in San Francisco, I was sooo happy for a number of things. Happy to be back on American soil, feeling so safe and sound. Happy I and my family had survived so much in Japan – being robbed, earthquakes, severe car wreck, a flood, to mention a few things. Happy to talk to my Mom and Dad. And looking forward to a new assignment in Reno, Nevada.
After a few days sightseeing and shopping in San Francisco, we drove to Reno. Moved onto Stead AFB about 20 miles outside Reno. I loved the two years we spent there. Still, my husband had many tours of temporary duty.
I had learned just enough about the philosophy of Freedom and the role of political governments to whet my appetite to know more. After enrolling the children in school, I began my discovery of the horrors of the tax-supported public school system. I made a decision to seek teachers who understood much more than I did, about the nature of Freedom and Politics.
I heard about Harry Hoile’s chain of Freedom newspapers. The Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph being one of them, so I subscribed to it. And soon discovered the editor, Robert Leferve, wrote extensively about Freedom on his editorial page. What a treasure that newspaper was when he was editor. Still have a number of those editorial pages.
Freedom was defined as self-responsibility and self-control. The one thing that impressed me was that his editorial writings on any subject were always so consistent with this basic philosophy of freedom.
A number of years later, living in Georgia, and no longer a part of the military, I visited the Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph and the new editor, Cecil Grove, gave me a tour of the facility. He too followed in the footsteps of Lefevre in his writings. When I asked him how he could maintain such consistency in his editorials, he replied, “Quite simply, all I have to do is determine whether or not the subject matter involves stealing.”
But I’m getting ahead of my story. While in Reno, I met a number of locals very involved in the study of freedom. This was in the early sixties, a time of a lot of unrest and upheaval in colleges, the civil rights battle, unrest in unions and a number of factions rebelling.
The John Birch Society was very much in the forefront of trying to educate Americans about just what the real battle was all about. When I mentioned John Birch to friends in the military, it was like trying to hand them a red-hot torch, and informed military personnel were prohibited from joining that terrible group. So I never joined, but met with many involved in the Society and began collecting their material and the books they published.
I attended some of their meetings, and met Robert Welch, the founder. This group of people who gathered to learn about Freedom and what was happening politically in the government were professional well-educated people. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen and women, college professors, members of the DAR (daughters of the American Revolution), housewives and etc.
Through that organization I purchased many books, and started my library. Books by authors like Ludwig Von Mises, Harry Browne, Murray Rothbard, Hayek and many others like John T. Flynn who wrote “While you Slept.” Books like “What Government Has Done to Our Money,” “Human Action,” “Road to Selfdom” and too many to mention. I became a voracious reader, with amazement at my own ignorance. After Atlas Shrugged and Ugly American, a whole new world of thought opened up, and I had to learn more.
Through these people I met, I learned of others involved in this battle to sustain Freedom in this country. As I heard of others, I traveled to meet them to learn from them. One such teacher was Dr. George Boardman, who had boycotted the system of thievery perpetrated upon the citizenry, and moved to a remote area in the desert in Chloride, Arizona. He had been a highly-respected cinematographer in Los Angeles at one time. Left the big city and moved to the desert, where he wrote and taught and built a little motel, named My Motel.
I visited him several times, and he and I would walk the desert as he taught me about the Philosophy of Freedom. He built a water tank on his property, which had a huge dollar sign painted on it, a symbol of Atlas Shrugged. He had given up a life of plenty in the big city and lived quite meagerly with his wife, Dawn, in the desert town.
After leaving Reno, I kept in touch with him via letter writing, as he continued to teach me. He developed a course in philosophic research and I became his first student via correspondence, after moving to Tennessee.
Despite the fact I grew up in the country on a farm in northeast Georgia and had very hard-working, freedom loving, self sustaining parents, I, like most everyone I know, must be taught to learn the true meaning of Freedom and about the role of political governments throughout history seeking power, contrary to individual Freedom and private property Rights.
While living in Reno, I became so disturbed by the material being taught my children in the schools, I removed them and enrolled them in private school in Reno, driving 20 miles in every day and back to pick up.
The material in the text books including much relating to the basic tenets of Communism, I decided to form a textbook committee to review and make book reports to present to textbook committee in Carson City. I have written this story in other articles, but briefly here’s what happened. The local paper had gotten news of this, and apparently all those on my committee who had helped with the reviews were threatened, and the day before we were to meet with the powerful textbook commission in Carson, all called and backed out, and begged me not to go. I said I must go.
The next morning I got dressed and carrying my stack of textbook reviews and objections, I drove alone to Carson City. As I approached the entrance to the textbook commission building, I was met by a number of hostile reporters who hurled such questions as, “Are you a member of the John Birch Society?” I kept walking and entered the building. Once inside, I presented my reports and everyone was quite courteous.
But as anyone might suspect if they are familiar with what’s going on in the schools today, our report, received cordially, meant nothing and changed nothing. However, I learned several valuable lessons, which served me well when I left Reno and encountered problems in other schools.
The two-year tour in Nevada was a period of learning and enlightment for me. The next assignment was at Smyrna AFB near Nashville, Tennessee, which continued my learning about Freedom, and political government and government schools in particular. A time and place where I encountered some terrifying experiences, as I studied and continued learning, but began actively resisting the onslaught of political power, and faced threatened jail by the school board there. But I never wavered and fought back.
That story in Part Three
Let Freedom Ring
JUST ME AC