Sunday, May 8, 2011

Vietnam Era -- Country Joe And The Fish

We had a quite diversified lot of personnel working for USAICS. One SP4 had a PhD, there were NCOICs that actually thought a lot like me and there were the lifers, too.
One of the enlisted was a guy by the name of Joseph Pickard. Joe was an Architect graduate from the University of Arizona who convinced me that my aspirations on becoming an Architect when he told me after he finished school there were no jobs for him in Architecture so he became a bartender.
So, at this point, you're wondering what does this have to do with Country Joe and the Fish?
Well there was a Colonel who decided that the USAICS should have a place where the soldiers could go without any punishment and say what was on their minds without fear of reprimand.
Since I and Joe were into architecture and design, both Joe and I were given the job of creating such a place.
We were given a long supply building and full control over the interior design. So, we put tie dies on the windows, painted the walls and floors black, painted the cieling International Orange, used the top parts of foot lockers to create large ash trays and built a stage with the same tops.  We used black lights in the same room and added a large parachute to the decor. And we rounded the corners. Both Joe and I agree on one thing, we both hate sharp interior corners.
Of course the fire marshal came in and nixed that. One SFC put together a peace flag which looked really cool with te black lights on.  But the Command Sergeant Major came in and told him to take it down.  So the SFC truned in his resignation.
The scond large room had bean bags and a bar like area where refreshments could be servered and the two back offices were used as reading rooms. The back of the wall was used for autographs.
Country Joe and the Fish made headline news and the group, Country Joe And The Fish sent us a fish plaque that we displayed as you entered the main room.
Also, keeping to his promise, once open for business, the Colonel decided to have a one on one with the troops. There was a rather heated discussion about wearing the uniform and one PFC said what was on his mind about wearing it.
This caused one Captain to loose his cool and he stomped out. The Colonel paused a few moments and said, "I don't know who that was but he'll either have a letter of apology on my or a letter of resignation on my desk in the morning."
The meeting continued.
Secretary of the Army Stanley Resor visited Country Joe And The Fish, signed his name on the wall of the middle room.  A few days laer, he resigned. Not lclear if we had anything to do with that.  Is just the facts.

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