Mad Man # 11

Bob Gale was apprehensive being called into Moyers’s office. It wasn’t Moyers’s way to have a tete-a-tete. Moyers was edgy standing behind his desk, and while only about 27 at the time, he appeared “fatherly,” thought Bob.

There had been talk, Bill told Gale. Talk of ‘after-hour’ antics on the California advance trip. Moyers told Gale that as the head of Recruitment it was his responsibility to behave himself, and to see that others did at well. They (the recruiters) had no right to ‘party on a business trip at government expense.’ He told Gale that his ‘antics’ could bring shame to the Peace Corps. “He was being very‘Baptist’ with me,” Gale recalled. Moyers had also been “thoroughly informed” as to all of their doings in California and had exaggerated them in his mind, or his informer had exaggerated them to the Deputy Director of the Peace Corps. Moyers told Gale that it was dangerous to cavort into the night in cities where the press was very alert and sophisticated.

Gale cut him off. “Look, Bill, these people were working fourteen to sixteen hours a day out there, seven days a week, two weeks in a row. They have to stay in seedy places. Their per- diem doesn’t cover their expenses. Sixteen dollars a day doesn’t cover a fifth of what it costs. But they brought into the agency more applications than ever before in the history of the Peace Corps. And that is what Sarge wants. What recruiters do after hours is not my business, and I don’t think what I do after hours, here or there, is your business!”

Gale told Moyers that if he ever brought up the subject again, he’d quit. And then Gale started out the out the door, but he stopped again, and turning around, added, “Don’t get me wrong, Bill. I’m not kidding and I’m not bluffing. I am absolutely totally prepared to quit on the spot if you ever bring up the after-hours subject again.”

And Moyers never did.

[End of # 11]

6 Comments

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  • Great story! Gale was absolutely right.

    A few years later I was a “suitcase” recruiter out of San Francisco. We traveled six or seven weeks and then returned to San Francisco for a week to re-group, do reports, replenish per diem, etc. A “crash pad” in Haight-Ashbury accommodated those in town and kept us out of cheap hotels in the Tenderloin… I think we were the only people around Haight-Ashbury with short hair and adorned with coat and tie…

    I don’t think I’ve ever worked so hard in my life, except as a Country Director.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode…
    Ken

  • “Behave himself,” or “yourself ” an early mantra present in the early Peace Corps rulemaking went higher than the “Baptist” Deputy Director, and we all know Bill loved a party like everyone else.

    At the White House departure reception for Colombia I, the President asked Sarge to remind the testosterone ” all male group” rules of behaviour with the local ( woman.) Sarge choked for words turned the task over to his Deputy , Jack Vaughn, an ex Marine and Golden Gloves Champ, who blurted out , “what the President and Sarge mean is “Behave yourself!”

    In the early years, early terminations ( male and female) for “behavior” occured.

  • I’ll bet if Moyers sees this story, he’d just lean back and laugh at himself. He’s grown a lot too over the years.

  • I remember one such typical occasion of a wild party at Jay”s house in Georgetown. We were throwing each other, fully dressed, into the pool. Suddenly, I heard Bill hollering for me. One of our members had gotten a bit too tipsy and needed to be gotten home, and Bill thought I was just the right nice young man to do it. Well, much to his disappointment, when I appeared at his command, I slipped and fell and couldn’t get up. So, he went hollering for someone else. The point I’m making, though, is that Bill had as much fun as the rest of us, he just didn’t get drunk — and he kept a “fatherly” eye on things.

  • I guess the parties stopped early on. When I recruited with Bob we usually retired early – especially on Saturdays because Bob would wake us all up early to attend church services

  • I have a question. When the recruiting teams began to include RPCVs, was there any discussion during the recruiting events about the real problems of the Third World? I know that my experience was with the most vulnerable of the vulnerable: pregnant women, sick infants and mothers with sick infants and children. Not all Volunteers had this kind of experience. But, still, what kinds of stories were the RPCVS relating during the recruiting jaunts?

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