I was part of what was called the Eisenhower Draft. And that was something that is a little subset of culture. It was a drafting that took place in the ’50s. I think it was ’55 through ’58. It was supposed to be something that mocked up a — it was a message to Castro’s Cuba that part of America was still drafting men who came out of the university or busted out of the university or whatever. And I was part of that. So, I found myself in the army. And it was, for me, quite a cultural surprise. And I ended up serving in Tennessee, Kentucky. And I went after the money, because the first surprise was that I was suddenly broke all the time; that I literally was without any kind of discretionary money.

 

And because I was without any discretionary money, I was thrown onto all the facilities of a military base. I had to go to the library, and I had to find like-minded people of my own kind of persuasion, and so on and so forth. And I had not matured enough to recognize that I was part of a — I felt I was part of a cultural minority in America, that I was just feeling culture shock everywhere.1 And a lot of it was because I suddenly had no money whatsoever.

 

So, I ended up going into business on my own. It was in Kentucky and Tennessee. And I got into some homemade bourbon, and would sell it to soldiers targeting the third week in the month, which was one week before payday when everyone was broke. And I would give them free bourbon, White Lightning, and then pick up the money on payday from them. So, I was able to charge them like $20 for a $10 whisky basically.

  1. American Political Life
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