‘Lesson Learned in Boot Camp’ at Unitarian service Jan. 22

Published 6:12 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will hold its service on Jan. 22 at 10:30 a.m. at the Tryon Youth Center on Rt. 176 N.
The speaker will be Lackey Rowe. His topic will be, “An Important Life Lesson Learned While in Marine Corps Boot Camp at Parris Island.”
“The setting is Parris Island, June 1, 1956, the date I arrived at boot camp at the tender age of 16 years,” said Lackey. “The recruits in my platoon were comprised of Marine Corps Reserves, about 50 percent from Rome, Ga. and the other 50 percent from New Jersey; a reenactment of the Civil War was created between the Rebs and the Yanks.
“The focus is on of one of the boys from up north – Delmond. Delmond was a loud mouth from the Bronx. He was a bragger, he was uncoordinated, he was slow and he couldn’t keep up with the physical pace the Marine Corps demanded. Because of these factors, he slowed the progress of the entire platoon.
“Toward the end of boot camp everybody hated Delmond, especially the Rebs, and so when we finally had our first liberty in Beaufort, S.C. we all decided to have a tattoo of the company’s mascot, ‘Flower,’ the Walt Disney skunk, tattooed on our left shoulder with U.S.M.C. under it and our serial number for identification.
“Then we (the Rebs) decided that when Desmond’s time came to face to face the needle, instead of ‘Flower’ we would forcibly, if necessary, hold Delmond down and demand the tattoo artist tattoo the Confederate Flag on his right shoulder blade.”
Lackey graduated from the University of Mississippi and immediately joined the Peace Corps, where he served two years as a teacher in the Philippines. He was with one of the first groups in the Peace Corps and went directly from the Peace Corps into the University of Mississippi in 1963.
Upon graduation from law school he went to work as a civil rights lawyer in Jackson, Miss. for three years, then was hired by the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights  to be executive director of the Urban Areas Project in Memphis, Tenn.
He then went into real estate for eight years and followed that by being a director of human resources for Marriot Hotels for 12 years.
He is now retired and living in Brevard, N.C. with his wife, Jean Rowe, a retired Unitarian Universalist minister.
Participants are invited to come early for refreshments and fellowship. For information call 828-894-5776 or visit www.uutryonnc.org.