Our Fathers' Stories
“The older we get, the better we were.”
Send me your memories and short anecdotes about your life as a cadet, but
please don’t include anything that would be embarrassing to our Alma Mater.
And don’t worry about not knowing HTML, the markup language used for
web pages. I will be happy to reformat anything you send for inclusion
on this web site.
Tosh Man- George McIntosh- "O" Company leads the Class of '70 Alumni into the stadium during the class' 45th Reunion.
Pierre Simler remembers Harry Axson:
I distinctly remember the first time I was in the presence of Harry Axson. All of the Class of 1970 "T" Company KNOBS were crammed into the
Company Commander's Alcove room on the Second gallery. I did not know him then, but Harry was pushed up against me on the alcove's floor. The CO
was standing on his desk at the far end of the room and went into a crazed rant about what scum bags we were and inappropriate references to our mothers and sisters.
He then said "look to the person on your left, now look to the right? Those.......(sensored) won't be here when your class graduates in four years!"
Under his breath I hear Harry mumble "that's mathematically impossible!" Right then and there I knew that I wouldn't be the only one graduating in four years! So would
Harry, because he wasn't buying into the CO's bullshit!
Marsh Helena remembers Harry Axson:
At one point about 1984 all three brigades of the 82nd Airborne had Citadel S- 3 officers: 1st Bde- Harry Axson (70), 2nd Bde- Bruce Bach (71), and 3rd Bde- Marsh Helena (70).
Harry was a very close friend at The Citadel and the friendship continued through the Army.
Frank Johnson remembers Bubba Martin:
After our time at Air Force summer camp at Tyndall AFB, Bubba, Skip Evans, and I
began our return trip home. Our first stop was a liquor store where we bought
a half gallon of Rebel Yell, threw the cork out of the window, and headed home.
We made it home....
Lucien "Lucky" Lane remembers:
We went to Woo Poo (or is it "West Puke") in the fall of our 2nd class year. Took the train both ways.
If my aging, failing memory is serving me correctly, we stayed at the Grant Hotel in NYC. While at Woo Poo,
I looked up a high school classmate of mine there (I had previously gone to a military high school).
We decided to commemorate the event by exchanging our cadet cuff links, and promised each other that we would wear the other school's
cuff links until we graduated. West Point's cuff links are much nicer than ours, but they are oval, not round.
I'm still amazed that I went through who knows how many SMI's afterward, bringing my weapon to "inspection arms"
each time (thereby clearly exposing my errant cuff links to the inspecting Tac officer, who would be just inches away)-
and NOBODY EVER NOTICED. (Makes you wonder if the Tacs didn't also go out partying the night before like we did!!)
I still have those West Point oval cuff links. Damned nice cuff links.
Lowry Manson- "R" Company reflects
Although I was a pretty average cadet, spending 4 years wondering why I was at The Citadel,
and couldn't wait to get out--- it never ceases to amaze me the long term, positive impact our school
had on me. There are so many things we all learned that you can't put in a glossy catalog that really makes a difference.
I am impressed that after 40 years there is a bond that is strong and getting stronger every day.
Demolition of the Padgett-Thomas Barracks Tower:
Click here to view pictures of
the demolition of the Padgett-Thomas barracks tower on August 8, 2001.
Woody Woodside remembers:
Larry Vondra was my roommate my knob year. He fell asleep one night in those
green leather chairs in the library during study period, and nobody noticed
him there when closing the library. During all-in, I reported him not there.
His button (on the door locator card) reflected him to be at the library.
About midnight the library was opened, and he was safely escorted back to the
room. From that time on he became known as "Rip Van Vondra".
Lanny Oakes remembers:
In response to Ronnie Beasley’s question, “What was the Second
Battalion midnight run in our sophomore year all about?”, Lanny
replies: The midnight run was all about the Regimental Door Slam. We were
upset because the Seniors had not gotten around to granting us upper class
status, including the right to walk on the parade ground, so our class agreed
to slam our doors after Taps. Hence the “Regimental Door Slam.”
The Tac Officer then had the OD order us to form up on the Quad in
bathrobes/flipflops and ordered us to take a lap around the parade
ground, which we did with lots of complaining. So the Tac Officer directed
us to take a second lap. We were quiet on the second lap no longer
quite as funny. Then we got to go to bed.
Terry Kneen remembers:
I enjoyed reading the remembrances of events that occurred while we were
cadets. Brought back a long lost memory of the time in 1968 when we were
3rd classmen. One Saturday morning in March we were excused from SMI to
go study. Five of us from F company went to Bond Hall to “study.”
Well, someone (not me!!!) pulled out a deck of cards and next thing you know we
were all heavily involved in a rousing game of Hearts and having a ball when
in walks Colonel Adden (I think he was the head of the Business Admin
department). He took our names, wrote us up and read us the riot act. He
had us all convinced we would be walking the Quad for the rest of the year.
I still have the Report of Delinquencies published March 13, 1968, that shows
John Childress (future 2BS Executive Officer), Joe Ellis (future F Company
Commander), Jim Katter, Bobby Marsh, and myself written up for “SMI PLAYING
CARDS IN OFF LIMITS” for which we all got 3 demerits and 5 confinements.
Guess we got away with it. It wasn’t very funny then but hilarious now
that I look back on it!!
John I. Moore, Jr. remembers:
I remember the Baccalaureate service at the end of our junior year. Now,
the service was mostly for seniors, and I probably wouldn’t have
attended except for the fact that I was part of the Color Guard. There
were five of us bearing swords as I recall, and we had all either been
members of the 1970 Junior Sword Drill or had at least tried out for it.
Plus it was the end of the year, so we pretty much knew what we
were doing with respect to the whole Color Guard thing.
We started off fine, but when we went to draw swords, John Barron got
his sword caught in his sash and couldn’t seem to get it out. Everyone
else had finished by several seconds before John managed to unsheathe his
sword. John Childress (there were a lot of us Johns) and I could hardly
contain the laughter as we stood there facing each other. Then we went
to present arms and John Childress the Commander of the 1970 Junior
Sword Drill, my roommate during our senior year, and an all around great
guy got the tip of his sword caught underneath the bill of his cap,
and flipped it three rows back into the choir. At that point my laughter
was visible to everyone in the Chapel. The members of the choir tried to help.
They passed John’s cap forward to one of the guys in the first row,
and he reached over the choir rail to try to place John’s cap back on
his head. Needless to say, it wasn’t exactly straight. I stood there
looking at John with this hat sitting sideways on his head, and on what
was supposed to be a solemn occasion, I completely lost all control, right
there in front of all the Seniors, their families, their girlfriends, the
Chaplain, the President of the College, and God. Somehow we made it back
to our seats, and I sat there chuckling throughout the service. Several of
my senior friends said something to me about it after the service, and of
course I apologized profusely. But I’ll certainly never forget that
Ronnie Beasley remembers:
I “rode the pine” on our freshman football team. But by
accident Coach Murray put me in at quarterback and I called a pass play.
I rolled out right everybody else went left except Wally Dill, who
also went right. Wally caught the pass in the flat for a 1st
down. Coach Murray then got smart and put me back on the bench.
John (Norris) Brown remembers:
My biggest mistake ever was as a high school senior weekend visitor
to the Citadel the year prior to our plebe year. During this
“indoctrination” weekend my plebe sponsor somehow persuaded
me to dress up in a cadet robe and hat one dark evening and then go out
and double time around the plebe’s two allowed gallery squares.
When and if confronted by any upperclassmen, I had been told to
memorize “sir, cadet private Norris, JP request permission to drive
by, sir” but what I didn’t know is that by this time in the
school year (February 1966), I was definitely supposed to know all the
upperclassmen’s names in the company. So when I didn’t say
this 2nd classman’s name, I was immediately ordered to do the
required 15 (???) pushups which I refused to continue after (???).
Well when this upperclassmen suddenly discovered I was a wise guy
HS kid, he was absolutely livid with anger but he had no other
recourse but to say “you better never come back here as a plebe
because I will find you no matter where you are.”
Well low and behold some 6 months later I did return and as
Murphy’s Law would have it, I was assigned right back to the
same company that had sponsored my HS weekend visit. Although I
had completely forgotten the HS incident as a good-natured prank, the
entire company had not. The only good news was the upperclassman
who had confronted me on the gallery had gotten married during the
interim summer and therefore had to resign (thank goodness), but
he had told his roommate and others to be on the lookout for me just
in case I did attend the Citadel. The bad news was that the plebe
who had put me up to this prank was now a real bad high ranking 3rd
classman in the company who had no interest in defending me or
admitting to anyone (as far as I know) that my high school weekend
caper had been all his idea to begin with.
All I can say to this very day is somehow I survived those next
few months really “enjoying” the 4th class system to its fullest
with the full help, enthusiastic, and very energetic participation
from my high school sponsor. At the time I thought “what a guy”
but in hindsight he turned out to be a real class act who went on
to be an excellent and prominent lawyer to this very day.
(I won’t even tell any lawyer jokes here).
John I. Moore, Jr. remembers:
I remember my first day at The Citadel. My parents and I pulled in
front of barracks number 3 with instructions to move the car after we had
unloaded my belongings. When Dad and I had finished unloading everything
from the car, I suggested that they go park in the designated lot while
I stepped inside to register. As they left to park the car, I entered
the sally port (who in the world ever came up with that name?), and I
was immediately swallowed up into the fourth class system. My parents
returned and waited for over an hour outside the barracks until they
came to the realization that I wasn’t coming back. It would be
weeks before I would see them again. I’ll always remember not
kissing my mother good-bye when I “left” for college.
Pep McPhillips remembers:
One night, some time late in our Senior year, I was on Guard Duty. Commander Cousins (later Captain) offered me the opportunity
to excell by accomping him on an inspection tour. About an hour into our visits, we went into an Alpha Company’s Senior room.
I’m standing right next to an open drawer as Commander Cousin is talking to the two seniors. I look down into the drawer and see
a very exposed shotgun shell. Very slowly, I eased the drawer closed with my elbow. Just after we left the room as we were going to the next room,
Commander Cousin said, "I saw that." Not another word was said about it. He was truly one of the good guys.
John I. Moore, Jr. remembers:
I have about a million Gary Dunlap stories. Here is one that involves the Boo.
As freshmen Gary Dunlap, Lenny Graves, Lee Sayler, and I lived (survived)
in the first floor alcove of M Company. I don’t think that there was
ever a more conscientious, more dedicated knob than Gary, but he wasn’t
exactly the luckiest guy in the world. On this particular day, it was
Gary’s birthday, and he had received a package in the mail from his
sister. Now most of us would have ripped the paper off the package right
there in the post office, but Gary saved the package all day, savoring
the anticipation and waiting for just the optimal moment to unveil the
surprise. As evening study period started and the hectic life of knobs
turned to something resembling sanity, Gary decided to open his present.
We were all in suspense. The paper from the package had scarcely touched
the floor when in walked the Boo.
He went immediately over to Gary’s desk and asked, “What is
this paper doing on the floor, Bubba?”
Gary started to explain, “Well, sir, today is my birthday and I had
received this present in the mail from my sister. I was just ...”
Boo stopped him in mid sentence. “Happy birthday, Bubba. I got
another present for you.” And he awarded Gary five demerits for
having trash on the floor.