Philip Josť Farmer, who joins our Writer's brigade with that comedy of errors, "O'Brien and Obrenov", on page 38, introduces himself thuswise-
Born in 1918. Graduated from Peoria Central High (I've lived in Peoria, Illinois for 20 years) and went a year to University of Missouri, where I met a bunch of charaters. Quit for financial reasons and slaved several years as a groundsman or "grunt" for a line crew. Some more characters came my way.
In 1940 I went to Bradley Polytechnic for a year, met more characters, got a letter in track and a crippled foot in football. Also, because of my Cherokee blood, I was sent by the students to New York to present a chief's head-dress to Fred Waring, who had writen a theme song for Bradley. I still remember the terrible stagefright I got on his program. However, remembering I was supposed to be an Indian, I let out a warwoop which brought down the house and broke the tension.
To clear any misapprenhension about aboriginal corpuscles, I will state I am 1/4 English, 1/4 German, 1/4 Scotch-Irish, 1/8 Dutch, 1/8 Cherokee, and 1/16 brew. The brew comes from working nights while I was a student in one of the liquor-making establishments with which Peoria abounds. I didn't like the work. It's far easier to lift a stein than a barrel.
I went back to Old Mizzou. The war cut short my graduation hopes. Pearl Harbor found me an army aviation cadet at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas. It was there I became aquainted with the exasperating redtape of army life. I flew all right in primary but washed out at Randolph Field. Among a thousand other faults, so said the wash out board, I was inconsistent, i.e., all right one day, lousy the next. The lousy days outnumbered the others. As I recall it, life then was a series of fallings-in-and-out, Saturday saturnalias, Sunday hangovers, and one screaming face after another attached to various instructors. Again, I met a lot of characters. And I still retain my enthusiasm for flying. Whenever a plane goes overhead, I always look up. Provided I happen to be facing that way.
Armed with an honorable discharge I went home to await a draft call which never came. To while away the time I worked at a steel mill and laid the foundations of two children. As a boy and a girl constitute all the variety desirable in infants, I have ceased producing and turned my hand to rearing these two characters. All the above, you understand, with the superb cooperation of my wife, my favorite character, whom I met while we studented at Bradley.
I write in my spare time and hope in the near future to devote all my time and some energy to authoring.