Washington D. C.
I’m assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency’s photo lab in Washington D.C. after graduating second in my class from the Naval School of Photography. Wife Diane and I take an apartment in Alexandra, Virginia. I’m hoping to ride out the Vietnam War at DIA. Washington D. C. is a vibrant city that seems to be at the center of the World. It’s a sweet job, but mostly boring work at the giant black & white intelligence photo laboratory. Redbrick and factory-like, the ugly Cafritz Building hides military secrets behind guarded and vaulted doors. I need a Top Secret clearance to develop miles of look-alike aerial photographs a day in the unmarked, structure that sits about a half mile south of the Pentagon. Most of the civilian and military people at the agency’s photography division are young married couples and we are having the time of our lives. Frank Scott, Bobby McGee, Jim Ingram, Joann Adams, Suggar Bugger (who is her own long story), Jeannie and Bart Clapsaddle, Ray and Elinor Burkett, Steve Humlicker, and Morris Perry are people I never forget. Elmer Blair, Major Newsome, Coronal Brown, lead a secretive and strange band of Air force photographic geniuses. They work in special parts of the lab and talk in whispered tones of their U-2 days with Gary Powers. There are rooms in the Cafritz building where I may not go--my clearance isn't high enough to enter. The spooks come and go from these vaults with code locks over the doors. One sergeant has a photographic memory, and is an expert on a top-secret machine that scans photographic negatives onto rolls of light sensitive paper. Who would want to leave D.C.?Read More
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