Old Man in A Baseball Cap
A Memoir of World War IIBook - 1999
I went to the University of Arizona and I majored in civil engineering because that's what my two brothers had done.
I thought it was the right thing to do.
When I got there, I found that I couldn't pass anything. I couldn't pass a damn thing. I was flunking out and that would be a big scandal in my family. I was getting desperate.
I didn't know what to do.
That December, the Japanese government saw fit to bomb Pearl harbor.
So, next month, January, two weeks before finals, I got very patriotic and I went down and enlisted in the Army Air Corps.
Old Man in a Baseball Cap is a wonderful, hilarious, and haunting memoir. Written when Rochlin was seventy, after he took a storytelling workshop with Spalding Gray, it was originally performed as a monologue and was described by the New York Times as being "about an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances, [it] has elements of an epic: love and death, honor and betrayal, vengefulness and martyrdom, and ultimately, the fortuitousness of survival."
In 1942 Fred Rochlin joined the Army Air Corps. After eight months of training, he was stationed in Italy, serving as the navigator on a B-24 bomber and flying missions over Germany. Fifty such missions were required for a successful tour of duty. This was the first time that Fred Rochlin had been away from home. He was nineteen years old.
Old Man in a Baseball Cap is an astonishingly fresh, candid look at "the last good war." At once naive and wise, Fred Rochlin's voice is unforgettable.