Archive - April 3, 2013

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A Writer Writes: Apocalypse Then (Part III)
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How Blair Butterworth (HQ/1961 & Ghana 1962-64) Integrated Atlanta, Georgia
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A Writer Writes: Apocalypse Then (Part II)

A Writer Writes: Apocalypse Then (Part III)

Apocalypse Then by Bob Criso (Nigeria & Somalia 1966–68) • Part III Postscript AFTER LEAVING NIGERIA I buried the story of my final days along with all the associated feelings of loss, fear and anger. I remember saying to a friend on the evacuation boat, “How could we ever explain what happened to someone who wasn’t there?” After returning to the states in ’68, I contacted Ruth Olsen, the former Director in the East, and spent a weekend at her home in Washington, DC. Ruth, a former WAC, could be a tough administrator, but after hours she would kick her shoes off, pour a scotch and put her feet up, always gracious and lively in my experience. We talked long into the night about Biafra and what she referred to as “that incredible experience you had.” She knew all the details from Laura, Jeff and June. I started seeing a . . .

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How Blair Butterworth (HQ/1961 & Ghana 1962-64) Integrated Atlanta, Georgia

There were three PCVs who began their Peace Corps experience as employees of the agency in Washington, D.C., in early 1961 working at the original HQ the Maiatico Building across the street from Lafayette Square Park, and within sight of the White House. Two of them were Alan and Judith Guskin (Thailand 1961-64) who had on the night of October 14, 1960, created the ground surge for the Peace Corps on college campuses, first in Michigan, and then across the Mid West and the rest of America. Later they would go to Thailand as PCVs. The other person was Blair Butterworth. I am not sure how Blair arrived at the Peace Corps, or why, but he did arrive, a recent graduate of Princeton, and moved into Georgetown with another buddy, and started working as staff for the Peace Corps before going to Ghana as a PCV. Last year, at the . . .

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A Writer Writes: Apocalypse Then (Part II)

Apocalypse Then by Bob Criso (Nigeria & Somalia 1966–68) • Part II Leaving Nigeria “BOB, THEY’RE GOING TO KILL US! They’re going to burn the house down.” Laura was shaking. “So this is how I’m going to die.” I visualized the headlines of my hometown newspaper: Peace Corps Volunteer Killed in Nigeria. I grabbed Laura by the shoulders. “Put your sneakers on. We may have to make a run for it.” Jeff was silent and frozen. Outside, an elderly local man stepped up onto a flat tree stump and addressed the crowd. He told them that he knew me, I was a good man and the two visitors were my friends. “Come to your senses!” he shouted like a scolding parent. It started to rain and the crowd quieted and thinned. That evening, Ugwu, Ekuma and Otu, fellow teachers, came to the house. They were somber-faced, apologetic and ashamed.  “We . . .

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