Postscript: Who Stole Marjorie's Postcard? Part 10

In 1965 Bob Gale, then running the Peace Corps Recruitment Office, traveled out to Ibadan, Nigeria, for a COS Conference. Gale had been a vice president at Carlton College and had developed the famous Peace Corps recruitment blitz [the most famous of all was the first in early October 1963 when teams of recruiters hit college campuses; these were mostly non-RPCVs as the first PCVs were just arriving back in the States. These all-out assaults on college campuses were very successful at recruiting Trainees. These early blitz teams were replaced by ’67 with teams of RPCVs working out of regional offices, and HQ non-PCV staff rarely traveled outside of Washington to recruit Volunteers.]

Back in Nigeria, Gale arrived late in Ibadan from Washington and met up with a Nigeria APCD and headed for a local bar where he was the only white man having a drink. Then in walked another huge white American kid and a smaller African. Gale recognized the American. He had recently been the co captain of the Carlton College football team when Gale was there, and was a PCV in Ghana. He was hitchhiking through Nigeria and had been picked up by this smaller Nigerian who, when learning his rider was a Peace Corps Volunteer, immediately told him that he was the person who had discovered the famous postcard of October 1961, four years earlier.

The Nigerian explained that he was then working at the post office in Ibadan and had been told by a group of left-wing students at the University to look for any postcards from PCVs that might discredit the Peace Corps.

In her book, Come As You Are Coates Redmon asked an RPCV from Nigeria about the claim and the RPCV replied that “We’ve heard stories and stories. I think that no one knows the whole truth. But one thing is certain. Peace Corps Volunteers in Nigeria never send postcards. They are haunted.”

[Part 10]

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