On the Horizon


That fall, Joe DiMaggio hit .350 with the New York Yankees and won the American League batting title. At the same time, Germany, Italy and Japan signed a “Tripartite Pact” that officially linked the three Axis powers in a worldwide military alliance. “In order to realize and establish a new order in the world,” is how they proclaimed it.

On campus, we paid little heed to the news. But gathering storm clouds appeared on the horizon.


I was always in desperate need of money. During college, I took every part-time job I could get.

Dan Borich and I worked as “house boys” one term at Oregon’s Delta Delta Delta Sorority house. We would rush from class, don white jackets, set the tables in the dining room, serve luncheons to some forty Tri-Delt coeds, and clear the dishes afterwards.

Back in the kitchen, we would then heap a pile of food on our plates, wolf down a late lunch with fat Betty, the Negro cook, and head out.

It wasn’t a bad job. It provided us with extra money and good lunches. The end came when the beady-eyed house manager decided to expand “house boy” duties.

She wanted, us to vacuum and dust the front den and living room twice a week, with a token increase in pay. We rebelled and refused the deal. The Tri-Delts fired us.


Down in Silicon Valley, Bill Joy of Sun Microsystems is considered a quiet genius and probably the finest computer scientist of his generation. Far different from the Bill Joy I knew in college, who was a simple, uncomplicated crab fisherman’s son from Coos Bay.

For several months that year, Bill Joy and I worked two nights a week at The Eugene Daily News, the floundering number two newspaper in town. I majored in journalism and I’d been scrambling for any kind of job I could get in the newsroom. It was not to be. They put me to work as a “jogger” in the basement press room.

“Take it or leave it.”

I took it.

When the papers came off the press, they slid pell-mell down a metal chute like a little kid on a playground slide. But the thick, weekend sections of the paper never lined up squarely. My job was to lift armfuls of papers from the bottom of the chute and “jog” them up and down sharply on a workbench until the edges were straight and the papers could be tied neatly into bundles.

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