After any given meal we would have 45 mins. of free time before we'd form up again to drill for 1 hr. then off to classes. Before we finish the day off and go to the dorms , let me jump to the week ends and its "fun". Parents were ALLOWED to take their kids 1 week-end a month to spend at home. (in retrospect , I think MOST parents preferred it that way,)
After the standard crap of the mess halls , we were allowed to go outside in the yards to do what ever. many of us played marbles , and some of us were really good at it . (THAT'S ME! lol), I had one game that was a sure winner for the golden drops of glass. I would sit down with my legs extended and put my 'CHAP STICK" standing on end at my crotch turned upside down with a marble in the cup, and the kids would shoot at it from the imaginary line drawn at the bottom of my feet, in the hopes of hitting off the marble and not knocking over the chapstick. If they did so they would get 5 to 1.It was a great scam! The other kids thought it was so good that they started it on there own. (I was losing suckers!), so I did something no one thought of ,(I put the odds in my favor!), I put a "pee-wee" in the cup !.(it was IMPOSSIBLE to knock off the marble without knocking over the chapstick! I WAS RICH!!!!!! And at 'POTS" I was the undisputed KING!, (of course I cheated! I used an "AGGIE", If you 've never played marbles then to explain it to you would be casting "pearls before swine")
Anyway , as in any world of high finance you would have your parasites who would come around and demand their cut of the action. (the BIG kids, LYSTER , THOMPSON and PHELPS) , They were in Band company. (so was I but, I'll get to that later.) Anyway they were big and bullies and they beat up on us and took anything they wanted! ANYTHING!
I was tired of being terrorized and decided to put an end to it! (Did I say that I like to read? LAU TZUE WAS A GREAT TACTICIAN! lol ) , reading that and coupled with Fathers sense of honor gave me the courage to do what I did next. For days, weeks I studied their habits and schedules. I picked my own battlefield and weapon! I waited until LYSTER (the biggest one),was alone and walking to the lockers and as he turned the corner I brought the baseball bat in a 'MICKEY MANTLE' swing and broke his knee! as he was on the ground crying with no one around to hear , I calmly walked over to stand above him , (inside I was jell-o!) and said ,"If you or the others ever steal from me or my friends again or beat us up in retribution , (I had to explain the word to him.), or snitch on me. I will find you and break the other knee! " DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!",crying and clutching his knee all he could do was nod.
Somehow later some cadets came around and took him to the infirmary and there to the hospital. when he returned with a cast. He and his two goons never harassed us again!( remember that thies guys were 15 and 16 and hitting the growth spurt and BIG!)
Another instance was CADET CAMPBELL! He was our dorm leader, a Sargent by rank.(15 years old!)