Faculty Mentioned in Radio Free Moscow Pictures scanned from The Recall yearbooks
One of my most memorable moments with Col. Persing came during my Junior year. He called me into his office to discreetly debrief me about Capt. Kaufman, a Latin teacher I had the year before. Col. Persing had received reports that Captain Kaufman was having problems maintaining order in his classes. I was honored by the trust Col. Persing placed in me.
Col. Persing arranged a special summer project for me so I could take four years of foreign language and math.
Col. Persing had a twitch in his jaw. Urban legend claimed this was the result of an automobile accident, but Col. Persing said it resulted from occupational injury when treads ran over his shoulder. Shortly before the end of the school year, we gathered at the Senior Circle to receive advice on how to face the real world after graduation. During his speech, he referred to himself as "Ol' Twitch".
Colonel Charles H. Moore, U.S.A.R. Retired, served in WWII. He graduated from WMA in 1921, served many years in active duty, including a stint as Professor of Military Science and Tactics (PMST) at WMA. Charlie became Commandant in 1946. Note the aircraft clock and an impressive gun collection, only part of which is seen in this photo. His military bearing gave him a stature far beyond his modest height. When the Radio Free Moscow episodes were written, we respected him as stern but fair and dependable, a bedrock of stability in a fluid world. There was no disrespect in the nickname "Charlie". Some think Charlie knew much more than he let on to and would "cut some slack" when needed.
Col. Moore's residence was the southeast corner of C barracks, not far from the Fungus Room. Once Charlie called me into his office to complain that interference from WMAS was causing "daggers" to fly across his TV screen. I broke up laughing.
Another time I nearly gave Charlie a heart attack when I was working on an electric outlet under his desk. I dropped a screwdriver across some live wires, creating a loud zapping sound. Being used to that sort of thing, I didn't react to the sparks and noise. I merely continued working without comment until he frantically called out: "Forsberg! Forsberg! Are you all right?"
Last night I was the 'disc jockey' for the informal dance, to which the cadets went in blue coats. I wore the civie suit, and the results were quite interesting. Col. Moore came up after the dance, shook my hand, and asked if I weren't Forsberg. He concluded the witticism with saying that he hadn't seen me much (in civies). Lt. Webber gave me a quizzical look and said, "Hello, Charles". -Letter to my Father, Dec 11 1960
Gordon Lange taught physics and chemistry at WMA. The basement of E Barracks housed his Physics and Chemistry department. One storeroom was well stocked with interesting chemicals. Another had many interesting toys including the electrostatic generators mentioned in RFM. Once upon a time a Kipp gas generator leaked hydrogen sulfide overnight and the walls were grossly discolored the next day. I still don't understand why nothing burned down, blew up, or killed somebody given the various activities and unauthorized experiments that took place. Once, Gordon shared some of his college chemistry notes with me. Gordon died in a house fire after Western closed. His dental work (or lack of) gave him the nickname of "Beaver".
Poof, talcum powder. Jim Hilgert taught algebra at Western. Jim liked to have fun with math. His classroom had several hundred digits of the number "pi" written around the walls at the ceiling. He told us of a "mat-e-ma-tician" (he liked to pronounce the word without the "th" sound) who calculated "pi" to some seven hundred digits, most of which were wrong because of an arithmetic mistake early in his calculations.
Once Hilgert led our class working a textbook exercise
to calculate the energy released in a twitch.
Few doubted this was a reference to our headmaster.
Bob Webber graduated from Western in 1957. He was a member of the Commandant's staff. When I was at Western, his nickname was "Spider", a benign word play on his name. As far as I remember, "Spider" was the only faculty nickname that could be used without offending anyone.
Sgt. Peacher was a member of the Army R.O.T.C. staff at WMA. He also worked on Col. Moore's Commandant's Office staff. His nickname of "Beak" reportedly evoked a strong reaction whenever he heard it. By the time Beak was mentioned on RFM, the Sarge had taken his next Army post and was well beyond WMAS's 1 uV/m contour. Sgt. Peacher's attractive heldenhfrau worked in the front office, where she was a welcome addition to a target poor environment.
Mr. Kaufman taught Latin at Western.
He had no street smarts about cadet life,
but these were not formal prerequisites for teaching Latin.
Stumping him with obscure naughty words from a
fat Latin/English dictionary was as rowdy as my class ever got.
Once he was visiting the Fungus Room and mentioned that he needed to
make a phone call. I allowed him to use the WMAS telephone,
a secret extension to Major Bresson's phone line
that was normally stowed out of sight.
He was the only faculty member ever allowed to know of or
use the WMAS telephone.
I figured (correctly, it seems) it would not occur to him that this was an
illicit extension that should be reported to Col. Moore.
In my sophomore year Queeg named Bishop, Cohen and me "Shadrack, Misak, and Abendigo". I was Abendigo. Louie said we weren't changing our writing styles to meet his requirements. These were Heroes of the Old Testament Bible. Was Queeg's reference a subtle admiration, or just irony? Louie's Notes on English Composition