Yale University seal
Yale University Seal


Yale University
Picture of my dormitory
at Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut

After completing basic training I took a 30 day leave and left Texas traveling across country by train to Miami Beach, Florida where I met up with my mom and dad. My dad was a Teamsters Union Rep and was attending a Teamsters Convention. Shortly after arriving we went to the Fountaineblue Hotel where the convention was being held. I was still in my uniform because at that time you had to travel in uniform to be able to get discount rates on tickets.

We went directly to the bar. (Isn't that what they do at conventions?) Anyway, my dad introduces me to this gentleman who says "Really happy to meet you son, I'll buy a drink for a serviceman any time." That was when JIMMY HOFFA bought me a drink. May have been the last time he was seen alive...I don't know.

HANK MAIFELD in ChineseHank Maifeld in ChinesePronounced ma huining

After spending an enjoyable vacation it was on to YALE UNIVERSITY where I was assigned to the INSTITUTE of FAR EASTERN LANGUAGES to study CHINESE for the Air Force. The course was grueling, studying nothing but Chinese for eight hours a day, five days a week for nine months. The administrator of IFEL was Robert N. Tharp , an American and also one of the instructors. He was known affectionately as "Rapid Fire Robert" because he spoke Chinese faster than the Chinese Instructors.

Yale University
Yale University

My time at Yale was very enjoyable. Learning the language was really challenging. What little free time remained in the evenings was spent reviewing the days lessons. I was at a disadvantage because my roommate was learning Korean and I couldn't practice with him. BUT...On weekends it was party time. Some weekends are pretty blurry but one particularly stands out. It was the weekend that my roommate set me up on a blind date.

That weekend turned out to be the greatest of my life. The blind date ended up being my future wife and we've been happily married now for over 36 years.

On numerous occasions we would drive to the New York border cities because the drinking age in New York was only 18 where in Connecticut it was 21. Rye and the other small city New York police forces got sick and tired of seeing us. Of course I was the one that never got caught. Besides that I turned 21 while I was there and really didn't have to worry about going to New York.

I had my first auto accident while driving the streets of New Haven during a snow storm. Total accumulation was twelve inches of snow and a bunch of the guys piled into the car loaded with snow balls. I had several piled next to me while I was driving and one great shot knocked a guys hat off. I was laughing so hard I wasn't watching where I was going and hit a telephone pole. Seems that guy had the last laugh.

In West Haven, down the highway a couple of miles, I had my first McDonalds hamburger (actually a cheeseburger). In those days you could get a cheeseburger, french fries and a coca-cola and get change for your buck. It's possible that it was two cheeseburgers but I don't want to stretch the truth too much.

Immediately following the graduation ceremony it was time for a double celebration. Promotion to my second stripe and then a new assignment to GOODFELLOW Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas where it was time to adapt my new skill to Air Force use.

YALE 2000

To Goodfellow AFB

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