Small World

An excerpt from my work in progress memoir, Morgantown to San Francisco

After the Peace Corps, when I was just getting started at WVU as Foreign Student Advisor, I learned that John Maxwell was teaching history. We had met as freshmen at WVU in 1954. I went to see him. We talked all night and finished off a fifth of bourbon.

While I was telling John about Africa, he suddenly said, “About the time you were in Africa, I had a buddy who went to Africa. When he got discharged from our Army Intelligence unit in Germany, I took him down to Gibraltar and saw him off on a hitchhiking trip. His goal was to hitchhike around the perimeter of Africa.”

When I was in the Peace Corps in Nigeria, my wife and I went to the Cameroon. While there, we met an American hitchhiker. He had been discharged from an Army intelligence unit in Germany and a friend drove him to Gibraltar where he began hitchhiking around the perimeter of Africa.

[1] The only country named for shrimp.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to Amazon.com to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (wvhighlands.org), and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation (ksff.org). I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at martinjul@aol.com or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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