Friday, October 13, 2006


Wallace A. Johnson MBA
Apollo Project Test Pilot
CDR. Spaceship DEWAJ
Senior Navigator Test Pilot

Although I acquired my social conscious early on, it was by selling newspapers that I was really able to fathom just what was really going on in the world. The thirties were filled with daily happenings from all around the world. The depression was in full stride in the states and Stalin, Hitler, and Mussolini, were being given credit for "Running the trains on time." which was an ominous statement when you really think about it. Wars and rumors of wars were rampant, and any time anything of any consequence occurred, the newspapers would come out with a special edition called an "Extra." I remember on more than one occasion being up early in the morning and going to the "Houston Chronicle" and picking up 15 or 20 newspapers, jumping on my bicycle and yelling at the top of my voice "Extra, Extra" and whatever was the heading in bold letters on the front page, which was the reason for the extra publication in the first place. Just by reading those headlines and a little of the byline, I pretty well got the jist of the cataclysmic events that were daily occurences, not only in the U.S. but particularly in Europe. As I said before, I was really being educated rapidly and at an early age about things which we can reflect back on and be proud of, while at the same time getting a sick feeling in the pit of one's stomach at the sheer stupidity and blunders perpetrated on us by so-called leaders of the world.Besides hawking my "Extras" of course I had a paper route. So every day I would go to the pickup point and load the bags which were hung on each side of the rear wheel of my bicycle. There were three major newspapers in Houston at the time, The Houston Chronicle, which had the largest circulation, followed by the Post, and then the Press. On Sundays, I would pick up my alloted number from the Chronicle and the Post and hawk them on Saturday nights as an early Sunday morning edition. I have nostalgic memories of going into a ratskeller near the "Uptown" Theater reeking with the aroma of cigarettes, cigar smoke, and beer, and at the same time hearing the melodious voice of Bing Crosby coming out of the Wurlitzer Juke Box singing that beautiful song "Sweet Leilani." To this day, it's "De Ja Vue" all over again, a saying made famous and attributed to Jogi Bera, the catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, if I remember right.Who can remember Neville Chamberlain with his famous umbrella, returning from his visit with Hitler and uttering those famous words which would haunt him to his dying day, "Peace In Our Time." What were you doing on Sept 3rd. 1939 at 3:00 A.M. in the morning? You can't remember can you, well I can, because I was smart enough to know that WWII was just about to start, and I was at the dock of the Houston Chronicle waiting for the "Extra" to start rolling off of the presses with the announcement that England had declared war on Germany. And sure enough by 6:00 A.M. that morning I can proudly say I sold papers like they were going out of style, yelling at the top of my voice "Extra-Extra England Declares War." Not in downtown Houston, but in the suburb where I lived. From my shrieking that headline, I bet I awoke more than one person from a sound sleep thinking that the world had ended or something as calamitous had happened, and of course it had.


At 13 October, 2006, Blogger BrendaK said...

This is absolutely fascinating. I hope you will continue writing your story.

- BrendaK

At 13 October, 2006, Blogger ednurs said...

Keep going, keep going....I'll keep checking back for more.

At 13 October, 2006, Blogger Rabbit said...

Thank you, Sir, for sharing you life history!
I am spreading the word about this blog.

At 14 October, 2006, Blogger ednurs said...

I just realized there were more posts before these two. You write so well. I can feel the hurt of the young boy when his Dad died. I'm 60 and my Dad just died. He was a Navy Pilot for 20 years and then taught HS math for 20 years. Played golf until 3 weeks before his death and loved his computer. I miss him and know you can understand that. Keep up the story; it's fascinating.

At 15 November, 2006, Blogger Wallace Johnson MBA Senior Navigator said...

I want to thank those of you that hve made comments to my blog entries. They are very encouraging to me and lets me know someone is reading them. There will be more entries in the near future as my schedule permits. Bear with me.


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