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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - June 6, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta 58 THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD 6, 1973 An American draft dodger River stands between his freedom or arrest By RICHARD E MEYER WINDSOR, Ont. (AP) Down on the riverbank, alone, Len Grannemann eats his lunch sometimes and thinks: "I'm a damn good swimmer. I could swim it if I had to." It makes him uneasy. The Detroit River separates Canada from the United States. To Len Grannemann, it repre- sents safety. It stands between him and arrest. A "deserter" to his president, a prodigal to his family, an em- barrassment to many of the folks back home in Washington, Mo., Grannemann, 27, is an ex- ib. He ducked the draft. Yet, of all such exiles, Gran- nemann is among those closest to home. He lives less than a mile from the river. The tug, sometimes, is almost irresistible. like to be given a couple day's pass, you he says, fixing his blue eyes on the ceil- ing of his apartment near the Ambassador Bridge in north- west Windsor, Ont. LOSES TOUCH Not that he wants to go back to the U.S. to But maybe, hf thinks, he could explain. Maybe he could explain to his brother Virgil, and that would be awfully important. Virgil has refused to telephone, write, ac- knowledge his younger brother's existence for 4% years. It was January, 1959, when Len Grannemann, his young and baby daughter left Missouri. The departure, with- out notice, was the climax of a deep personal change in Ins life. He remembers standing every morning in school for the pledge of allegiance and bsing told that America was greatest country in the world. And he remembers the day Vir- gi! came home from Korea. "He came to school and we came running together down the school yard He was the person I was closest At Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield, Len Grannemann joined sigma Tau Gamma. A front-page picture in the newspaper showed him standing on the porch of the fraternity house with a banner overhead: "We Back the Boys in He planned to en- rol in advanced ROTC and graduate in 1968 with a commis- sion as a second lieutenant. "I started taking courses from professors who said: "That's one point of view. There's another. Take a look at this side and that side He began reading Thoreau and GandM and an ar- ticle in The Atlantic Monthly by Gen. David Shoup, retired U.S. Marine Corps commandant, impressed upon him that the Vietnam war had no clearly defined objectives, that the United States was mistaken about what it thought it could do in Vietnam. At the same time, Len periencsd an "emotional cath- arsis." He discovered that his heritage included a lot of hate. "I hated Jews. I hated Nig- gers. I hated Communists. I hated, hated, hated, hated, hated." "Why should I hate what- ever? All of a sudden I couldn't do that anymore. Politically, emotionally, morally, this was a time of great upset in my life." He quit the fraternity. "I couldn't agree with their values about the war." B3 refused to continue ROTC. "My friends changed, the people I was hang- ing around with changed." He became what he calls midwest revolutionary. "That's not a New York revo- lutionary, not even a Washing- ton, D.C., revolutionary. If I went to New York and told them that all I did was lead a Martin Luther King demonstra- tion after he was shot and marched in a circle when Rob- ert Kennedy was assassinated and carried a placard and made a few anti-war speeches on campus. But at Southwest Missouri State, that was revolutionary. MARRIAGE BREAKS The effect on his marriage was disastrous. "I was married in 1966, right during the time of my upheaval and I changed so much I became two different people My wife and I kept on for another couple of years or so, but eventually didn't make it.'' were divorced not long after they arrived in Canada. He remembers receiving his bachelor's degree in sociology and losing his student defer- ment; disagreeing with the principal at the high school where he took a teaching job and not receiving his teacher's deferment, and getting his no- tice for induction into the U.S. Army at Union, Mo., where buses waited to take draftees to Fort Leonard Wood. The war was wrong, he felt, morally and ethically. Not that he could claim any religious honestly wasn't that religious. And in those days, without any claim to religious pacifism, he felt he had little chance of becoming a conscientious objec- tor He was a "relative pacif- would fight if the United States were attacked. He would have fought in the Second World War. But in Vietnam? "I came up with the con- clusion that I couldn't." LEFT FOR CANADA Passing off tha trailer he loaded and hitched behind his Volkswagen as preparation for departure to Fort Leonard Wood, he struck cut, instead, with his wife and daughter for Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. With a chuckle, he remem- bers hoiv frightened he was at the border, how clean-shaven and trimmed of how he even wore white socks to look as conservative as pos- sible. He told the border guard, nonetheless, as he rolled down his window: ''I'm a draft dodger." "Damn ridiculous war, isn't the Canadian replied. He rsmembers meeting the qualifications for landed immi- grant degree, worth so many points; savings, worth some more the physical exam, and the friendly announcement: "Welcome to Canada, Len. Congratulations. Hope things work out well for you." They did. He got jobs as a se- curity guard, as an estates and wills manager for a trust com- Segregation losing ground Segregation In South Africa loses another round with this scene in Pretoria during the first inter-racial South African Games. A couple of black boxers are shewn taking a swim in a hotel pool ordinarily for whites only. The gomes were the first in which whites and non- whites competed irv such sports as boxing, soccer, swim- ming and fencing. pony, and finally as a social worker in Toronto. Before long he was super- vising a group of social work- ers, had been a school teacher he knew back in took leave to earn a masters degree at the University of Windsor. Now he finds himself sur- prisingly Canadian. "I like Canada. It's been very good to me. There's a much more relaxed pace here. And it's a less violent country- People tend to adjust and ac- cept individual differences. ,i Next January he completes his fifth year in Canada. He could become a citizen. "Step forward and swear alle- giance to the Queen? I don't know. I'm thinking I probably will. I think I probably will." Grannemann catches himself defending the U.S. "Someone'll say: 'You don't have any sensitivity to your black people down there. You've castrated them, you've herded them into ghettos, you've done all kinds of crazy :hings to them.' And I'll say: 'Well, let's not forget about the anadian Indians.' Red Deer youngster legs it out Duane Smethurst of Red Deer has a disease called Osgood-Schiatters which requires him to wear a cast on his leg, but it doesn't prevsnt him from playing baseball. The spunky 14-year-old plays first base for the North Red Deer bantam team. He is given a pinch-runner when he hits safely because, after all, a fellow can't be expected to do everything. He's also an excellent swimmer and a fir.e all-round athlete, cast or no cast. SIMPSONS bears teteshop, 328-6611 Save on 40 Beauclaire' combines wool-soft luxury with kid-proof strength. I "S W OVI- 1 a-37 R 14910. Don't put off owning beautiful broadloom because of the kids. Get 'Beauclaire' today. This luxury carpet has 20% nylon in the blend for extra hard-wearing strength. It's made to stand up to family rough-housing and still maintain its stately beauty. We've heat-set the handsome twist texture to make sure it stays that way and gives years of additional wear. All this makes 'Beauclaire' a natural for such hard-wear areas as stairs and hallways. It's mothproof, non-allergenic. Most spots and spills wipe away, so little accidents are nothing to worry about. Yet tough as it is, 'Beauclaire' can still lay claim to luxury. Acrilan makes up 80% of this blend. We chose it because it comes the closest to the fabulous look and feel of wool. Takes colours richly, clearly, brilliantly. And it's toe-tempting richness makes this carpet the perfect background for entertaining. Choose your beautiful broadloom from 13 plain and tweed colours. 12' width. Save on 9'x12' size. Reg. ea. 'Coverage for average living room dining room and hall. STORE HOURS: Open daily from a.m. to p.m. Thuri. and Fri. a.m. to p.m. Centre Village Mall. Telephone 328-9231 Reg. sq. yd. Floor ;