Letter to the editor: Envisioning a town of tomorrow, with little help | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Envisioning a town of tomorrow, with little help

Boot Gordon

After the Korean War, we WWII pilots were dispersed throughout the supporting Air Guard squadrons to make room for “young blood.” I became executive officer of the maintenance squadron.

Soon, I thought, “We aren’t going to win the Cold War with these guys. Why not send them overseas to help developing countries?”

“Great idea, Boot, but no one in Washington will listen to you,” my fellow officers said.

“Humphrey (our senator) will listen to me,” I said. So I wrote him to promote my idea of what I called a “Peace Corps.”

I take no credit for any of my ideas. I started meditating in 1950, and I am probably a better listener than the average bear.

By mistake, I sent him my trail corps idea. So you can imagine my disappointment when Humphrey wrote back saying, “Thanks, but send your idea to a senator from South Dakota who wants to activate the (Civilian Conservation Corps.)”

So I sent him “my” Peace Corps idea. Another senator took credit for giving the idea to Humphrey, who gave it to President John F. Kennedy.

Then truth raised its ugly head: It’s a lousy idea that won’t be greatly appreciated (it wasn’t). What did those in the developing nations really want? To live like us: They had read our magazines and seen our movies. One wag said it wasn’t Ronald Reagan’s armament program that broke the Soviet Union, it was the TV show Dallas.

“Great idea!” I thought. We’ll export the American way to the world. Again, truth intervened: The American Way doesn’t even work in America. See our public health, education, economic division, incarceration rate, upward economic mobility, etc.

Since 1954, I have been researching, experimenting and envisioning a town of tomorrow (with little help).

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