Academic journal article et Cetera

Correspondence

Academic journal article et Cetera

Correspondence

Article excerpt

Memories of Russell Joyner

The recent death of former ISGS Executive Director and ETC Editor Russell Joyner evoked several memories for me.

Both of us had served in World War II, but our experiences differed significantly. Russell, a Marine rifleman for 17 years, had more fierce combat firefights in one week than I had in three years. However, I noticed I was creating a hero's role for myself out of my war experiences. I had become a legend unto myself. My exploits, embellished with each telling, had me believing I was the ultimate war hero, waiting for the White House call to come to Washington to accept my Medal of Honor.

My kids, hearing me start another war story would roll their eyes and say, "Jeez, the old man's off again. I think this trip may be the one in which he accepts the battle sword of Emperor Hirohito surrendering the Japanese Empire aboard the battleship Missouri." And on and on and on ... and on. Well, bouncing the stories off patient Russell, I eventually noticed Joyner was responding less and less and looking for some escape route when we might be together in a Powell Street bar and I looked like a war story was about to emerge. So Russ and I became a bit estranged and I saw less and less of Russ for a year or two. Then one evening after his stint at the Powell Street office we did go down the hill for a drink. And after a few belts and my war story about to bubble up, Russell stood up, put his arm left around me and said, "Stanley - my friend - that bloody war bullshit is history. It's gotta go. You're two wars behind. Move it, man." With Russell's reality check blast, I suddenly found myself a bit more tolerable among those in my environment.

I would occasionally present Russell an essay that I had written and thought might be acceptable for ETC. …

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