Chapter 3-H.264 800Kbps
RR: You did tell me at one point that at that umm it was some of those skills you're art skills that emphasis on precision and so on that was very very helpful for you in umm... RE: In the service.... RR: In the service! can you talk a little bit about that? RE: When I was... when I went, I was drafted when I became 20 years old in 1952, December. I was then..."congratulations now you're drafted" so I went in on Friday February the 13th, 1953 look on the calendar youll see that was it... and I went on that day and the recruit, you know that come in to the army and at that time the Korean war was raging and so when I went in they assigned me to become infantry 16 weeks basic training... RR: mmhmm RE: Infantry, so I got in that and um... but I was playing bass then you know I had played bass in high school and I met a guy there whos name was Bob Kranshaw... RR: Oh, was?... RE: and he was a few months older than myself so he was on his way to Korea and I was just coming... RE: from basic training, so we um, met "Hey man, whas.. how you doin?...blah blah blah" "ah, you play Bass?" - "Yeah.." Well, he's from Evanston, - I'm from Chicago, sorta right next door. RR: mm hmm. RE:I Says, "Well who's your favorite bassist?" - " He says "Ray Brown!" - I said " My man! " Ray Brown, I said " Do you know that thing he put out called song of the rowboatman?" - He said "Yeah! -Bidopebopebeeboaaam!" It was a three minute record he put out it was a bass solo. I said " You notice there were two basses there!" - I said " Then let's play it!" - So we did the "dee doom doom doom (singing) doom doom ding, ding doom beep-boom!" and we knew every note, and we both RR: right RE: played a duet on it, so we became friends for life at that particular thing. But he shipped on out to ah, He shipped on out to Korea, and I started my Basic Training ruffly around March 1st, of 53. March -April, I was gonna go through, but Stalin of Russia conveniently died sometime in April, sometime in the spring,- the war was Halted. So therefore we had to change stuff, so my being an infantry guy, you know they, looked at my record and everything. They wanted me to become an officer, but I asked them what I had to do, They told me you have to reinlist. Because I was US it's they draft you, RR: umm hmm RE: Uh enlist, "You mean I have to do more?" and I says no no I won't do that. So they sent me to headquarters and asked me you know " Well what else do you wanna do now that the war has been called down? You know -now not going over to fight?" I said " - and they looked at my IQ thing, and it was pretty high, well I said, I'm a musician. I wanna play Bass" they said well you can't march with that Bass? Well I said to him... I thought I said, but this guy just said.. to come in and was playing piano, he shure as heck can't march with that piano." But okay cool, so I said what to do then? - I went back to head quarters. I said " Well I'm an artist I do that." They said "Well okay we'll give you an MOS -Military Occupation Specialist." 2296. Illustrator. So I went to a school, in which you had to do 8 weeks training, how you draw, you know like posters and stuff. You know you'd a do posters, and how to do the correct lettering and stuff like that. I hate to bring in the negative stuff, but this liutenant that was running this stuff when I , when I cam in for my interview with him, and ... "Richard Evans here?" - " yeah well," he says "Okay you're the second Negro to come here, the first one didn't last but 3 weeks," "I think that's a nice howdy doody coming in?" RR: yeah mm hmm RE: So I said okay sir "I'll do my best" So I went on, they didn't teach me diddly. They taught me nothing, and I just went through you know, and I just take the garbage out every sunday. They gave me nothing. And then finally I went back to headquarters and I said " Look I'm not learning anything and they're not teaching me anything there," and I said ah " my wife she told me well if you have to complete the whole 8 weeks, you can't just leave its.. at the end of eight months you come back and if you don't make it you know we're gonna have to figure something else. So I said okay, so I went back. But, - So I went back, but strangely enough. This was the second liutenant. The first Liutenant was the one that told me that other stuff. The second liutenant his name was Lorenzen, and I remember the names of the good guys. RR: hamamamm RE:And he says "Evans, I tell you what." - "Something was gonna happen, - So there was as guy he was a soldier in the ...doin the thing. He was from San Fransisco, and he came and said "Look, in .. when your work here, you're here all day.'"Wait till everybody leaves, they leave at 5 oclock." When they leave here, you and I'll get together and I wanna show you stuff." RR: okay RE:"But you have to promise me this. Don't let anybody know I'm teaching you." I said okay" Then he would show up and show me the lettering, and you know you'd do this (mimics drawing)' you know "Thick lettering here and the blah and the boom, and the posters and the..blah.. and all this stuff I was supposed to know, he showed me, and then, The first Liutenant who told me about being the second negro there, they sent him to Germany. I thought maybe it was my luck but it could have been that they were trying to integrate the army then. RR: mm hmm RE: And anybody who was you know up on it, they sent him on to Germany. Then the second Liutenant ah Lorenzen took over, and says "Evans you know we really know what you been goin through here, but you're gonna come outta here with an E excellent." And so I came out with that and then I wound up having my own building with a couple people under me, and RR: oh cool RE:and I was doing the illustrative drawings. If you wanted a BAR aiming or something drawn up, blown up I can look in the manual had a drafting machine; I had to teach myself drafting right quick. and I could blow it up any size you want RR: mmm hmm RE:And I could be in the Manual, bring up that aiming sight or whatever, I went to a school where we were teaching non-coms RR: mm hmm RE:uh non commisioned officers, aI had to do the illustrations that the teachers needed, so that's what I wound up doin. So in other words the art is savin my buns. I didn't have the will to fight. I uh.. Crenshaw went, he had it cause he was at the end of his training, and he got over there he said that "The guy was shooting officers, and the RR: hahahaha RE:and the officers there that they put him ..being a .. he wasn't a seargent.. he was like a corporal or something... they put him in leadership of the ...the group he was with, and he had to tell em "Hey man I'm not an officer so don't be ... you know.. " He said he was determined not to die the last month of the war. RR: right RE:So he said that there was a password that you had to use if you don't I'm gonna lob a grenade at ya. RR: uh huh RE:So they started calling him Grenade.. ah you know a nickname with Grenade in there. You know cause he didn't have the password he'd .. jboom! RR: haha RE: he'd throw a grenade boom and they'd be ..."Hey man!" so oh well " I told you to say the password! RR: password. But,, .. So you got out in 1955? RE: Ninteen Fifty Five! - RR: and moved back to Chicago? RE: Yeah I came back to Chicago I was working at...before I left as a stockroom boy.