My Favorite Mad Man: Harris Wofford, Part Three

On those hot and humid evenings in Georgetown during Training when there wasn’t an evening lecture at the Hall of Nation, we would walk down the hill to the college bars on K Street and sit around telling lies about our lives back home, or we would walk along the shady cobblestone streets of the old section of Washington, with its clapboard small houses, and stone mansions built close to the sidewalk and find a party going on.

There were always parties going on, kids working for the government, young bureaucrats. We weren’t like them. We were living on the edge, or so we fantasized that about ourselves; we weren’t finding safe jobs at home  nor settling down with careers. And on those hot summer evenings guys and gals would be standing outside their group houses with bottles of beer in hand, smoking cigarettes, catching a bit of breeze.

Walking by, we’d paused and say hello, or step through an open gate, walk boldly up the stone front steps, as if we were late arriving guests. We’d be offered a beer, say hello, and mix with the other twenty-somethings. Someone might ask where we worked, and we’d toss off, “or we’re at State.” Or “over at Commerce.” Or perhaps we’d say, “we’re with the Peace Corps, in training to go to Ethiopia” and that would get everyone’s attention and silence the Yuppies, (before they were called Yuppies.) After all, the Peace Corps was the place to be in the New Frontier. And saying we were in Peace Corps Training was enough of an ‘edge’ to impress them all and we’d be offered a second bottle of beer.

End of Part Three

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