|Issue 52||April 2000||Volume 5 - Number 5|
Welcome to the CANDOER News. Suggestions as to what you would like to see in the CANDOER are welcome. Letters to the editor, articles consisting of general information, feature articles, G-rated jokes, or poems, written/submitted by retirees or OC/IM employees, past or present, will be published, unedited. Material may be submitted on a 3.5" floppy disk (disk will be returned) using WordPerfect Version 6.1 or earlier (if it contains graphics), on a plain sheet of paper (if it has no graphics) or via e-mail. The deadline for submitting material is no later than the 25th of each month. Material received after that date will be published in the next issue of the CANDOER, space allowing. Please, restrict articles/submissions to two single spaced, typed pages. No hand written submissions, please.
The snail-mail address for submissions or letters to the editor is:
Robert J. Catlin, Sr.
Publisher/Editor CANDOER News
2670 Dakota Street
Bryans Road, MD 20616-3062
I would like to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have submitted stories in response to my plea for more authors.
For those of you who have not visited the CANDOER web site lately, (http://www.candoer.org) there have been a few changes in the past month, or so.
Recently I added a page, "In Memory Of." This page is dedicated to those CANDOERs who have passed way since the start of the CANDOER Luncheon Group.
As always, the current and past two issues of the News are available to read and/or download in two formats: Word Perfect and Envoy.
The following e-mail message was received from CANDOER Co-founder Babe Martin on February 28, 2000:
I know this is too late for the March issue, but I finally won a tournament. We played in our last tournament in Gallup last weekend and took first place. Our girls came in second. The HS girls basketball team won the State title two weeks ago in Phoenix, so that was something to celebrate, Also, one of our Sisters is the spiritual leader of the Air Force Thunderbirds based at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. They had a contest at the school to name one of the Thunderbird jets. A fourth grader won with the name "Thunder Warrior". One of the Thunderbird staff came to the school last week to present her and the other three finalists with awards and gifts and he was given some gifts from the school. We all recceived a nice folder depicting all the Thunderbird pilots and crew members.
I am starting softball next Monday --- No break for the weary. I have 25 girls signed up so that is a lot for one team. Patti and I are doing really well. The weather has been great --- just like spring. We did have some snow yesterday evening but its in the sixties this afternoon.
Take care and say Hi to all for me,
The following was received from Bev Wiley, in response to a notice that was published in the CANDOER News upon the death of her husband, Jim Wiley
Dear Mr. Catlin
Thank you for publishing the notice of my spouses's death in the February Issue of the CANDOER News. I have had cards from many people who may not have gotten the news otherwise. Jim loved being a Communicator in the F.S., but he also loved his five years of retirement. It just wasn't long enough though.
The shades were drawn on another window of our past with the Silent Key of Richard P. (Scotty) Scott on March 14, 2000.
Scotty was born in San Francisco, CA, on July 18, 1919. His father was an Army officer and, as a result, Scotty grew up on Army posts from Hawaii to New Jersey. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas in 1941, and holds a Masters in International Affairs from George Washington University. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
During world War II, he served in the Army, starting as a Private and ending as a Captain in the Signal Corps. He was with the O.S.S., in the China-Burma-India Theatre and in Southeast Asia.
In 1946, he met Marilyn Wunder of Portland, OR in Shangha, China. They were married in Washington, D.C. in 1947 and had three children, two daughters and a son. The older daughter, Linda was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1949. Stacy, the second duaghter was born in Washington, D.C. in 1953. The son, Stephen, was born in Yokouska, Japan in 1956.
In 1933, Scotty received his first amateur radio license, and that hobby became his profession. Following his return from China after the war, he became a civilian Communications Specialist with the then fledgling C.I.A. Assignments followed in Washington, Europe, and the Far East. Upon graduation from the National War College in 1965 he was assigned to head the State Department's Communications Program, including the Diplomatic Courier Service. He served two years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Communications. With over 30 years of service, Scotty retired as Director of Communications, C.I.A., in 1973.
Marilyn died in 1976.
Betty Jeanne Humphries and he were married on Longboat Key, FL in 1980. Betty Jeanne died in 1996.
On January 2, 1997, he and Diane Griswold Reeder, high school sweethearts in San Francisco in 1937, were married in Leavenworth, Kansas.
He was a division staff officer for communications in the U.S.C.G. Auxiliary and is a past commander of Flotilla 82, Longboat Key. Scotty was also active in the Sarasota Power Sqwuadron and the Bird Key Yacht Club. He was the first President of the Southwest Florida chapter of the C.I.A.'s Retiree's Association. His decorations include the C.I.A.'s Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the State Department's Superior Honor Award, Department of Transportation's Golds Medal and the Army's Bronze Star.
Editor's Note: Thanks to Charles Christian for furnishing Scotty's obituary. A card has been sent to Diane in the name of the CANDOERs.
It is with regret and deep sadness that I inform you of the passing of Vernon M. Robinson, suddenly, on Saturday, Mardh 11, 2000. Vern worked the Midnight Shift in OC/T for several years. When the Beltsville Information Management Center opened, Vern transferred to that site. Services were held on March 16, 2000, at the Lee Funeral Home in Clinton, MD.
Editor's Note: Thanks to George Smiley for furnishing the above obituary. A card has been sent to his brother, C . D. Hughes, in the name of the CANDOER
It is with deep regreat, I inform you of the passing of Sam P. Harrison, Jr., father of William G. Harrison, on March 15, 2000.
Mr. Harrison was buried on March 20, 2000, in the family plot at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 1101 Lebanon Road, Nashville, TN 37210.
At the majority of posts where I served, diplomatic courier service to constituent consular or nearby posts was rarely an issue and handled easily on an irregular basis. All you needed was a diplomatic passport and a top secret clearance to perform the duty. Arrangements for courier service always was the responsibility of the communications officer.
But, in the Belgian Congo and the Soviet Union, things were a bit different. In the Belgin Congo (now the Republic of Congo) the Embassy in Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) was responsible for the consulates in Stanleyville (now Kisangani), Elizabethville (now Lubumbashi), Bukavu, Kigali and Usumbura (now Bujumbura). The early 1960's saw this part of Africa in violent turmoil (somethings never change). There was a war going on, with the United Nations and the U.S. supporting the effort to get the new Congolese government successfully started. The ambassador determined couriered classified communications with the consulates was essential, at least on a bi-weekly basis. Most posts had only one-time pad to handle urgent messages.
It was my chore to get couriers from the Embassy staff to do the job. Because of the great distances between the posts and poor local scheduled air service, setting up any sort of schedule was a nightmare, if not almost impossible. Invariably, my best bet was to get the courier to ride on a U.S. Air Force, U.N., or Royal Australian Air Force airplane going to one or more of the posts. The U.S. Army and Air Force attaches even had their own planes and helped. But military attache personnel at the time did not have diplomatic passports and unbelievably did not always have a top secret clearance!
Flying thousand-mile distances across the Belgian Congo in propeller planes was always an exciting experience, and sometimes downright dangerous. Commercial jet aircraft had not been developed then. Couriers would come back to Leopoldville two, three, or four days later, and tell Vic Maffei or myself, "Don't ever schedule me for a courier trip again! I will not go!" Pierre Shostal, a young, eager, political officer on his first post volunteered to do it, once. He got bounced around pretty badly and got a bad case of air sickness.
Finally, one day, I had to set and example and schedule myself to be a courier, if I ever hoped to sign up more "volunteers". My three-day trip went along quite nicely riding a Royal Australian Air Force C-54 cargo plane.
But, on the last segment of the trip flying from Elizabethville back to Leopoldville in the mid-afternoon, the Aussie pilot encountered a long string of massive thunder head clouds towering upwards to 50,000 feet and stretching from horizon tro horizon. He said, "We've passed the point of no return and cannot fly over or around them. We will have to dorp to about 5,000 feet, fly under then slowly through eavy rain and lightning. Everyone buckle up tight and secure those pouches!"
Down and under the clouds we went where I weathered the roughest plan ride of my life. If we weren't struck by lightning it lit up the interior of the plane often. But I can verify with absolute certainty athat a C-54 can make a 360 degree roll in the air successfully and keep its wings on. The lap and shoulder straps in the bucket seat held nicley during my temporary inversion. Landing safely, I now had first hand appreciation. I also understood why personnel avoided me whenever they saw me looking for potential couriers.
Ten years later, in 1972, I was then posted to Moscow. A the time, we didn't have a consulate, but the Embassy ran a vital, scheduled weekly courier service to Helsinki to deliver and pick up APO mail which had to be done by train both ways because of the enormous volume. Roger Provencher, the Administrative Counselor, made me the responsible person to keep the roster of couriers (always paired for reeasons of security) for the "Helsinki Run."
The situation there was quite different, though. Finland was a very desirable place to go, and finding "volunteers" wasn't always that difficult. People usually didn't avoid me when I approached them for a one week TDY to Finland. They loved to go there to get some "fresh air" and shop for themselves, as then there as nothing obtainable on the Russian economy.
When a scheduled courier had to cancel, a communicator and their spouse would be the first allowed to fill in. This was a great boon to morale in the communications center and, for me, a task much easier to accomplish than in the Congo
On Febrary 28, an e-mail was received from Cal Calisti informing me that I had failed to add his e-mail address to the e-mail directory. My apology, to Cal.
On March 2, George Smiley, requested information about the CANDOERs. George indicated that John Hubler was also interested in receiving information.
On March 4, George Smiley sent me a completed application.
On March 5, Bryan Hallman informed me that he would be in Doha for the next two months. He asks that anyone wishing to contact him do so at a new e-mail address he has established and is shown in the Directory.
On March 11, Ken Lutes informed me that he and Rosdemary have a new ISp and a new e-mail address.
On March 13, Ferrell Cooper sent me an e-mail application.
On March 14, Mel Maples furnished a new e-mail address.
On March 16, Carlus and Patricia Stout furnished a new e-mail address.
On March 18, Earl Newton, in an e-mail message, informed me that they are doing great. They are living in Virginia full time now and have sold their place in Florida.
On March 19, an application was received from Edward and Gladys Watson. Ed indicated he would be retiring on June 2.
On March 21, in a long telephone conversation with Virginia Bates I leared that she is doing fine and asked me to say hello to her many friends and colleagues.
The following 14 people were in attendance at the March luncheon: Cal Calisti, Bob Campopiano, Bob Catlin, Paul Del Giudice, Charlie Ditmeyer, Tom Forbes, Pete Gregario, Charlie Hoffman, Joel Kleiman, Mel Maples, Nate Reynolds, Val Taylor, Tom Warren, and Bob White.
In addition, we had two members attend for their first time: Bill Ford and Gerry Gendron. A big CANDOER WELCOME to both. May you find time in your busy schedules to attend many, many more luncheons.
Below are several messages that passed before me in the 80's that are somewhat humorous and worth a laugh or two. All of them are unclassified:
From: SecState WashDC
To: AID WorldWide
Subject: Population: Condom Packing
1. For a number of years AID/W has provided both colored and non-colored condoms for mission bilateral and grantee requirements, with colored condoms in predominant use. We would now liked to review program preferences regarding continued use of both types of condoms.
2. The use of clear foil on the back of condom packaging has also been quetioned by some missions that have expressed interest in a package that does not display the condom.
3. Your comments are requested NLT August 31, 1982 to allow AID/W assessment prior to initiation of the FY 1983 condom procurement cycle. Shultz
From: AmEmassy Bucharest
To: AmEmbassy Bonn, SecState WashDC
Subject: Break-through in Romanian Telephones
1. This is an information telegram only, that depicts Romania at its best.
2. Local Romanian Newspaper "Libria" of January 31, 1985 reported a technological break-through in the field of telephones. Romanian engineer, "Victor Popescu" discovered the first Romanian push button telephone. During a question and answer session, Mr. Poplescu replied when asked what is next, "We will eventuall have a push button wall phone. A side note, what makes this even more unbelievable is that the phone will be made in various colors. Hopefully, they will e able to duplicate the one phone they made and get it out on the economy. If this ever happens we will forward one of your use.
3. This is too much for one day, and a perfect example of what Romania is all about. Regards. Funderburk
The following is the end para of a long and boring cable sent to ALL State Posts regarding current personnel status mattters:
8. Finally, while I may have had my occasional doubts, now comes conclusive evidence that we are indeed well understood and appreciate out there beyond the beltway. The following is the actual transcript of a background check on an applicant for employment with the Department (please note that this is not April 1):
The supervisor at the Chicken George Restaurant verified applicant's having worked there. Applicant was employed as a cashier and food prepared at $3.35 per hour. Supervisor said that applicant was often late for work and sometimes didn't even show up. In fact, applicant was late to work on the day she quit.
9. Supervisor did not consdier applicant to be emotionally stable and based the assessment on immaturity. Applicant is not eligible for rehire. Supervisor could not give an opinion on applicant's character or trustworthiness because applicant was not employed long enough. However, supervisor did say that she would recommend applicant for employment with the U.S. Department of State because she felt such would be easier and less complex that the variety of tasks she had had to perform at the Chicken George Restaurant.
10. Happy New Year to you all.
The following is from a newspaper notice placed in all newspapers in the Sultanate of Oman, 1982. The county had just emerged from the middle ages and was receiving a multitude of modern facilities, i.e., roads, hospitals, schools, radios, TV, and telephones!
It has been observed that bank notes are inserted instead of coins inside telephone coin boxes. The attention of all is drawn to the "users instructions" which are fixed inside the cabin. Before dialing, please read these instructions carefully and ensure that only coins are inserted in the right slot; bank notes should not be used.
Following is a cable that could be rated XXX:
From: AmConsul Osaka
To: SecState WashDC
Info: AmEmbassy Tokyo
Subject: Advisory Opinion 212 (a) (13)
Miss Michiyo Kimoto aka Mari Kimoto, DPOB May 8, 1959, Osaka, Japan, applied for a B-2 NIV on August 30, 1983 for the propose of attending the second annual International Swinging as a Lifestyle and Social Recreations Convention and Erotic Masquerade Ball sponsored by the North American Swing Clug Association (NASCA), at the Sheraton Plaza la Reinas Hotel in Los Angeles, Ca, from September 2-4, 1983. The schedule for the convention provides for among other things an evening of caressive intimacy for couples; nude massage workshops; home stay with host couples; and programs on creative seduction, swinging in Japan, the art of multiple orgasm, dominant/submissive relationships and fashion fetishism. Miss Kimoto is a part-time employee of "Swinger" magazine, a Japanese adults only contact magazine which features photo stories on group orgies, plus personal contact advertisements. She is going as part of the "Japanese couples swing tour of California" group jointly organized by Swinger magazine and NASCA. She will accompany the magazine editor and presdient, Mr. Hiroshi Tanaka.
In the personal interview with consular officer Miss Kimoto stated that the primary purpose of the trip was to attend the convention and report on it for "Swinger" magazine. She is also being accompanied by a still photographer for the magazine. She stated that only incidentally whould she participate in swinging, group orgies, and other sexual acts which occur during the tour.
It is the consular officer's opinion that the primary purpose of Miss Kimoto's trip is not to engage in immoral sexual acts, but rather to observe and report on them. Second, it is the consular officer's opinion that by prevaling community standards, no voluntary sexual act between consenting adults is immoral in Los Angeles, California. Therefore the consular officer does not believe that Miss Kimoto is ineligible for visa under section 212 (a) (13) of the INA.
The Department's advisory opinion is requested. Carter.
End Result: Washington phoned! They wanted to inquire if the consular officer though this was funny! He said it was the truth! Miss Kimoto did not repeat not participate in the adult Olympics in L.A.
I want to tell you about teaching a 3-day-old calf to drink milk from a bucket.
When a beef cow gave birth, we left mother and calf together until they wilfully had nothing more to do with one another, usually when the calf was about 3 months old. The cow had enough milk for the calf, but no more. She had milk for just about that same 3 months.
With the dairy cow it was different; she had several times more milk than the calf could possibly use. She needed to be milked on schedule, twice a day, not nursing her calf. So after 3 days, cow and calf were separated, the calf penned up and the cow free to go to pasture or whatever. This generated a lot of bawling by both mother and calf, but they got over it. I watched Dad take care of this when I was young, but soon it became my turn.
The separation nearly always took place after the evening milking, so next morning this hungry calf had to be fed and it had to be fed milk. I watched Dad take care of this when I was young, but soon it became my turn.
The calf knows from nothing about drinking, but it knows how to suck. So you put some warm fresh milk in a bucket, straddle the calf's neck and hold the bucket under his nose. Dip a couple of fingers in the milk and offer the fingers for the calf to suck. The calf has smelled the milk and you have 75 or so pounds of calf who is gung ho, jumping and bucking, without the slightest idea of what is going on, except that he wants that milk.
After the calf sucks the milk off your fingers a few times comes the next step. While he is excitedly gumming your fingers you slowly push his head down into the bucket until his nose and mouth are submerged in milk. This usually results in the calf giving a big snort, milk flies everywhere, but you continue. Maybe after three or four snorting episodes, he catches on and actually begins to drink; and then again maybe not. But by the next feeding time this is one hungry baby and without fail will be drinking on his own. I never remember one going hungry through two feedings.
As soon as the calf has learned to drink, vitamins and other supplements were added to the milk and continued until the calf was weaned from milk in, what else, about 3 months.
I'm not sure when I got the wild idea to ride this bicycle adventure, but I know I had always wanted to ride a distane ride and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The only problem was finding the time to take three weeks off for the ride. I got in touchwith the organizer of the ride about three years ago, advising that I was interested in doing the ride and to keep me on the mailing list for any information they had available. At long last, I finally was able to begin making definite plans to participate in the 1998 Bicycle Adventure. It was actually 1997 when I made the decision and I began training immediately one year in advance. Training for me consisted of riding, riding, riding. I rode on my own as well as riding in organized bike tours. At the same time, I was saving up for the cost of the tour, airline tickets, shipment of my bike and miscellaneous expense for a total of about $2,500. Could this bike trip be worth this much money? I would soon find out.
On September 21st, my training was abruptly halted as a result of an auto/bicycle accident. Unfortunately, I was the one on the bicycle. While riding on an organized bike ride with a local bike club, a Chevy Blazer made a left hand turn into my path and of course, I ran smack into it, breaking the windshield (thank goodness for helmets), the right hand mirror and what I thought at the time, every bone in my body. I was taken to the hospital by the rescue squad and was found to be only badly bruised. I was unable to ride for weeks afterward until my muscles were back in order again. At this point, I began having serious doubts whether or not I could do a ride of this magnitude. The longest distance I had done previously was 105 miles in one day and only ridden 6 days in one stretch. I began to train again, however, and soon was riding 100 miles a week. I eventually got it up to 200 miles a week with one of the days ride being 100 miles. I slowly got my confidence to a point where I knew that I would be prepared for this distance ride.
As time went on, I started thinking that this ride should have some purpose other than just the pleasure I would get from doing it. I had done some short benefit rides for Multiple Sclerosis, as well as the Heart and Lung Associations. We have some very dear friends whose grandchild was diagnosed with leukemia, so my wife suggested why not ride for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. My first contact was with the local office of St. Judes. They were very helpful in providing me with literature and worked with me on how to go about obtaining money for the charity. I had raffles, yard sales, sold cross-stitched sweatshirts, and solicited all my friends and relatives. I was overwhelmed at the generous donations that were sent in by my many friends and relatives. At the conclusion of my drive I had collected $5,127 for St. Jude and another $500 for the local Junior Chamber of Commerce who are responsible for the lovely playground that all my grandchildren get such pleasure from. There was no way that I could not ride now and it gave me just the incentive I needed to keep me going throughout the many miles of peddling and those times when I thought I just could not go any further.
Tickets purchased, bike sent, registration and cost of trip sent, confidence checked once again. I think I am ready.
7/24 - I am up bright and early for my flight to Minneapolis. Upon arrival, I was met by two of the staff from the Pro Tour International who transported me to the Augsburg College where I would stay until our departure on the 26th. I was the first one to arrive, as I had decided I wanted to see a bit of Minneapolis and rest up prior to the long ride. After settling in, I picked up my bike which was put together and checked over by the local bike shop. Because I noticed that I was not far from the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, I decided that I would check it out. I walked to it and found that there would be a baseball game between the Twins and Texas Rangers. I purchased tickets and attended the game that evening.
7/25 - This day would be mine to do as I wished. I decided to explore downtown a bit to see what I could within walking distance. Minneapolis has done a wonderful job in transforming a portion of their river front into what they call the Mississippi Mile. There are parks, walking paths, bikeways, gourmet restaurants, nightclubs, shops, hotels and more. The historic Pillsbury "A" Mill was known to be the largest flour mill in its day. Downtown Minneapolis is unique in that there are some 50 blocks that are connected by a climate controlled skyway system, protecting shoppers from the elements as they stroll through shops such as Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, and others. No, I did not get to see the Mall of America, noted as the countries largest enclosed retail and entertainment center. After touring downtown, I decided it would be a good idea to test my bike and do a little riding since I hadn't been on my bike for several days by this time. I followed a bike path south which eventually linked me to the Minnehaha trail. This was a trail that followed the western side of the river and took me to the historic Fort Snelling established in the year 1819. This was an active Army post until 1946 and stands on a bluff overlooking the point where the Minnesota River meets with the Mississippi. It is now a state park and National Historic Landmark. My riding today consisted of approximately 25 miles, just enough to limber up my muscles in anticipation of the many days of riding yet to come. Our orientation meeting took place at 3 p.m. This gave us an opportunity to meet the other riders as well as the staff that would be accompanying us on the tour. There were 28 riders on the first leg ranging in age from 10 to 70. Yes, we had 3 riders aged 70 years who were scheduled to ride the full distance of 1600 miles. The 10 year old was riding a tandem with her father accompanied by her 13 year old sister and her mother, both riding singly. There was a staff of six, consisting of the tour leader and owner of the Pro Tours International, Tom Sullivan, a medical technician to take care of our aches, scratches and any other medical problems that might arise, and there were many minor ones. There was a masseuse, a driver responsible for transporting the food we would have at the many rest stops along the way as well as carrying our luggage from location to location. And the all important bike mechanic. Fortunately I did not have to use him often. And a couple other drivers that would assist where they could but were primarily responsible for riding back and forth along the route to insure that all was well with the riders. It was made known at this time that the staff was at our disposal at all times. Little did we know at the time how serious Tom was with this instruction. Once the briefing and all questions were answered, we left as a group for our first of many meals together. We would eat our meals as a group each day of the ride. The evening meal allowed us to become better acquainted with many of those that we would be spending the next three weeks with. Excitement was in the air in anticipation of the start of the ride the following day and it wasn't long before people were wandering off to their quarters to get one last "good nights" sleep.
7/26- DAY 1. 70.1 miles. Vertical Climb 1,360 feet. The long anticipated day of the ride is here. We were all up early, packed and ready to head off on our first day. Our route took us through downtown Minneapolis (no traffic on Sunday) to the Waterfront Park where we had breakfast. After breakfast and group photos, our ride was officially on its way riding through an archway of balloons as we headed off toward St. Paul. As we rode along a bluff overlooking the river, there were terrific views of the city skyline which I hadn't seen before. Soon we were out of the metropolis but still had a commanding view of the river below. As we continued, we rode past many stately homes overlooking the river, a Ford Manufacturing Plant, a 3M Plant, and before long we were in downtown St. Paul. We crossed the Mississippi River in St. Paul for the first of five crossings today. We rode through several typical towns until we came to the Cannon Valley Trail, one of the many rails to trails bike paths that Minnesota promotes. The trail was about 10 miles long and ended at the doorstep of the Super 8 Motel, our accommodations for the night. After showering and resting for a bit, we were off to dinner at a local bowling alley where we would have a great buffet with anything you could want. One of the reasons we all ate together was that our meals were all paid by the tour director and he would take a head count at each location. This was all included in the fee we had paid for the tour. A long first day had ended but after aches and pains were discussed, everyone appeared to be enthusiastic about the next days ride and once again, early to bed.
7/27 - DAY 2. 97.5 miles. Vertical climb 810 feet. We are up at 5:15, ate breakfast, and on our way at crack of dawn. Everyone happy to see a relatively flat ride coming up today, since we will be riding quite a distance. We traveled along the river a good portion of the beginning of the day. It certainly is a beautiful river. We entered Wisconsin about noon today to ride the last 30 miles of the days trip. Roads are much worse, with less shoulder to ride on. Fortunately, after about 10 miles into Wisconsin we entered the Great River Trail where we rode for about 20 miles to end at the Onalaska Inn located in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Once again we ate at an all you can eat buffet. If we eat like this for the whole trip, I doubt I will lose weight. Lodging Ok, but lots of noise during the night with dogs barking, train whistles, and auto traffic. Have now ridden a total of 167.6 miles and still feeling good.
In the early sixties Will Naeher and I, along with a few other communicators, were engaged in a "cabinet level" study to determine if a Federal Telecommunications System (FTS) was feasible. Most of the participants had both military and civil agency experience. Immediately prior to being detailed to GSA, I had been involved with many agencies concerning "Relocation" communications and security.
As with most studies, we collected information, analyzed it, and tried to sort out needs in the voice and record areas. State and Defense were largely ignored because of their international requirements and DOD's insistence on an "override" requirement. After identifying agency needs, we began speculating how to satisfy them in the best way for the US Government. Obviously we looked at ATT/Bell Labs, Western Union, local and independent phone companies, etc. The most advanced hardware appeared to be the Bell System Electronic Switching System (ESS) designed to replace the electro-mechanical (step and repeat) switches.
While we dreamed of a government operated system, Congress brought us back to reality by reminding us that the government was not to be in competition with private enterprise. We then assumed that the voice needs would be handled by the Bell System (which already had an interface with the independents) and record service would be handled by Western Union. GSA, sans the study group, proceeded to contract for communications services, i.e., FTS.
In this time frame many changes were taking place, for example:
Teletype was progressing through Models 15, 19, and 28 with increasing speed and capability. Other Teletype terminal equipment manufacturers were disappearing.
Long Lines: The trans-Atlantic cables were relatively slow and code sensitive (Baudot).
Machine functions: As Baudot code (5 level) had limitations, it was inevitable that ASCII would dominate the record communications field.
Security: Federal Standard 222 was issued in this time frame. It simply said that if equipment manufacturers wanted to sell their equipment that would be used to process classified information to the US Government, it must meets the specified criteria. It did not tell manufacturers how to meet the criteria. Obviously, there were many innovative attempts. In the situation of "clean" equipment vs. enclosures, the enclosure approach won.
Technology: Remember COMSAT? The US was at the threshold of satellite communications --- international and US Government (NASA, DOD). Other than nominal voice and record communications, the door was ajar for telemetry, higher speed data, and digital processing. US Government satellite terminals were being considered for overseas installation, which also surfaced the problems associated with reciprocity.
The information explosion was underway and the definitions between communications and data processing (archival aspect) were blurred. The computer manufacturers were mostly hardware and software oriented, with an eye toward commerce and industry. The Department tried electrical distribution to selected offices and data lines were available to the Data Processing Center. (Other innovative ideas have been described in Will Naeher's ATS history, i.e., OCR, internal routing, etc.)
After reading numerous articles in the CANDOER from communicators who served in the field, I felt a few words on change (1960's and early 1970's) would be appropriate. Our communicators worked with the tools they had at the time and did the best job possible. While they were in the field, changes over which they had little input, were taking place.
For example, during Jack Coffey's reign, the ATS was conceived. Requirements identified, interfaces determined with speed, code, format, etc, RFQ, evaluation and procurement. Volume of traffic and storage and retrieval factors was considered in sizing the system.
Another example, during Dick Scott's reign: the BAX project made many European "traffic counts" to justify putting a computer controlled switch in Bonn. I believed the counts were marginal and that the basic reasons for the BAX were speed, reliability, accuracy, and on-line full-time circuits to serve the Secretary and others.
Another idea surfaced which was to let ATS do all of the BAX switching, which ATS could have handled. Additional circuits and capacity would be required. However, review of that idea indicated that multiple full period trans-Abantic point-to-point circuits were beyond the Department's budget.