Cimmaronsong has another nice post. In this one, she covers “a flower in the parking lot of The Pentagon,” by William Stafford. It reminded me of Mr. Stafford’s first book, “Down in My Heart,” which recounts his experiences in the work camps in California where he was sent for alternative service due to his conscientious objection to war. (This link is to the announcement of a new edition with a forward by Mr. Stafford’s son.) I want to re-read that book.
I’m also reminded of the scene in 1969 when I was interviewed by my draft board because of my application for I-O status. I was called into a room where a group of men asked me questions while a woman serving as secretary took notes. After the questioning, I was sent out of the room to await the board’s decision. While I was waiting, the woman came out of the room and opened on of several large books next to where I was sitting. She found what she was looking for and, as she closed the book, she said to me, “The place where you are working will count as your alternative service.” A few minutes later I was invited back into the room and was told that my application was accepted.