I have always been lucky, lived an “Every Day is Friday Night” kind of life. A four leaf clover guards my shoulder. For example, the FBI, under the leadership of Director J. Edgar Hoover, hired 1000 new agents beginning June, 1969, the month that I graduated from the University of Alabama School of Law. I had already been accepted into the Bureau and took my seat in New Agents Class #17, June 23, for 4 months of training in Washington and at Quantico, Virginia.
After training, my first field assignment was Denver, another stroke of good fortune. I had never been to Denver or even Colorado and was eager to get there. I drove to Denver with relish, joining experienced agents and several dozen other bushy tailed first office agents to begin my career in earnest. My wife and two sons joined me for the year I would be in Denver.
A Denver FBI tradition was to have rookie agents serve as guides for public groups touring the office. My turn came and I reported to the reception room to give a short speech to a bright eyed group of about 20 adults before the tour began. I had mostly avoided giving speeches during college or law school, and was nervous. However, I was an FBI agent feeling my oats and fearlessly plunged ahead. “The Director of the FBI is HERBERT HOOVER,” I said with gusto, thereby bringing back to life the 31st President of the United States.
Oblivious and clueless, I charged the next hill in my speech. “FBI HQ is the central SUPPOSITORY for all fingerprint records in the U.S,” I beamed. Thus ending the very first and the very last public speech of my career in the Denver FBI.