The year after I finished high school, I took the classes and passed the test and earned a real estate license in Florida. I started out in the office, of a friend of the family. I shared a large office with a view of the water with John. John was old enough to be my grandfather. Over a few weeks I got to know him. He was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, his parents were German Jews who had immigrated between World War I and World War II. He grew up speaking German at home, and English at school and in the community.
He was in the Army Air-Corp in World War II. When the war ended and he was getting close to discharge, he was asked to have dinner one evening. Dinner was with a table full of Generals. They wanted to know if he would take on a special assignment, leveraging his fluency in German. For the next decade he lived in Germany and traded in the underground economy, the black market, with Uncle Sam's money.
After the war his employer shifted, and in the early 1960's he found himself working out of CIA headquarters in Langley. His specialty was advance work for Presidential security. His first visits to the Cape Canaveral and Cocoa Beach, were advance surveillance for President Kennedys' visits. No one, not even his wife and kids knew who his employer was. One day in the mid-70s, he arrived at the office, scanned his building access card and the gate didn't open. He walked over to security and had the guard scan the card. The guard said, "Congratulations John, the President accepted your retirement last night." His response was, what! To which the guard said, "someone will be out with a box with your personal effects, your pension started today."
Finally he could tell his wife who he had worked for. He never knew what he did or didn't do, to be suddenly "retired." When I shared an office with him, he still had not told his kids what he had done for a living.
Later that year, John's wife had a health problem, and they decided to move back to northern Virginia, where he thought the medical care was better.
He is not the only CIA officer I have met over the years, but he was the first. I bet they have a file on me.
Do they have a file on you?
lard only knows what secrets they have.ReplyDelete
my ex-husband's BFF worked there (langley); never knew what he did either.
Rest assured their computer is reading your blog.Delete
and I don't give five fat flying fucks.Delete
Wow. So cool that he could share his story with you. We met some Secret Service types when we lived in DC during some of the Reagan years. Husbands of a few different women we worked with. The wives invited us to dinner for some odd reason; the husbands clearly didn’t want anything to do with us, the gay guys, and never said much of anything. Don’t know if they were CIA, though. Only know from their wives that what they did was secret and never spoken of.ReplyDelete
The most reliable estimate is that 10% of the people in DC, can't tell you what they really do. In our prior office building there was a floor that nearly no one had access to, and no one talked about what they did.Delete
A file on me? HA! Only if someone had waaaaay too much time on their hands or a fetish for boredom. I am away! The trailer awaits.ReplyDelete
You are a person of mysteryDelete