In the early 1970 I was on Recruiting duty in the San Jose area south of San Francisco. We had several small offices there. About once or twice a week I’d make a trip to HQ 12 the Marine Corps Dist at 100 Harrison St downtown Frisco to pick up supplies and what not, deliver case files, police checks, and what nots. The Gunny who was in charge of supplies knew I was starting to collect WWl and WWll firearms. He told me about a gun store just up a few blocks from HQ where they had a Remington 03A3 for sale (cheap). So I’m thinking, I’m here so I better take a look. Now parking was a real problem in this area so I figured I’d just walk over as it was only a couple of blocks. This area that HQ was in was also noted for being home to a bunch of panhandlers, winos, and all sorts of odd balls. If you were in uniform, you could and would get a bunch of cat calls and B.S. from this bunch. Even though you wanted to drop kick a few of 'em we were instructed to ignore they’re BS. So I go to the store, looked at the firearms and figured I was here, had money in pocket. The kids would have to live on peanut butter and jam for a week but what the hell, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do, right. So I paid for the piece and walked out the door. As I stood on the sidewalk, rifle in hand, I think how do I carry this thing back to HQ. Port arms, trail arms or right shoulder arms or what? So I take it by the forearm, butt stock over my shoulder and took off. I hadn’t gone 10 feet and I knew I’d made a bad decision about not driving. The first people walking on the street who saw me ducked in the nearest store or they crossed the street and the further I went more of 'em vanished. I passed a SFPD car with two cops sitting it, they looked at me nodded, I nodded and kept walking. I think I know how Moses felt at the Red sea. When I got to 100 Harrison St, no cat calls this time. Nobody said anything. As I was telling the gunny what I did, the Major came out of his office, looked the rifle over, handed it back and as he walked away I remember his words like it was yesterday ”Top, hope you were smart enough to put it in a gun case.”
If some idiot did this today the whole city of Frisco would be on lock down, SWAT teams on every corner and jets over head.
Just another day in the glorious Corps.