In April of 1971 I refused induction into the Armed Forces of the United States and took up residency in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. I was nineteen years old. I had been involved to some extent in the anti-war movement in my hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia, however I was not even a "member" muchless a "leader" of any anti-war group or organization. I had attended a number of anti-war rallies and protests in Norfolk, Williamsburg, Richmond and Washington D.C. and it was at these gatherings that I met a cast of characters that were to influence my future involvement in the anti-war movement. An eclectic elite of the counter-culture bounced around from one protest to another in those days, and I, being a musician who occasionally performed at some of these gatherings as well as being a draft card-carrying, anti-war protester, somehow came into contact with a good number of these characters. Most notably, Alan Ginsburg, Rennie Davis, Pete Seeger, Jerry Rubin, Arlo Guthrie, Bill Kuntsler and Dave Dillinger. In August of 1970, with a Selective Service Lottery Number of number 1, I wrote a letter to The Editor of The Virginian Pilot Newspaper in reference to an article the paper had run about a young woman who had been charged with desecrating the American Flag by wearing one on the seat of her pants. In my letter I made it perfectly clear that I supported the young woman's right to free expression, and that a flag, any flag, was nothing more than a piece of material, certainly nothing to die for. I also took the opportunity to make my stance on the war in Vietnam equally as clear, and then made light of the fact that inevitably, with a lottery number of number 1, my day to take a stand on the matter and "put up or shut up" was close at hand. The paper published my letter and then In typcal media fashion they sent a reporter to my home for that follow-up "human interest" story. I balked at the idea at first, (an omen unheeded) however I felt the opportunity to air my opinions in the public forum outweighed the possible negative consequences of the article, especially in a military entrenched area such as Tidewater Virginia. (By the way, the reporter who did the story, Lawrence Maddry, would also be assigned to do a story on me when I returned to Virginia Beach after four and a half years in "exile" in Canada as a war resister.) As it turned out, Lawrence Maddry was a fair man... as reporters go. Looking back on his article all these years later and comparing it to the countless other articles and interviews which I would do as a result of my years with The Council/ARS, I had no idea just how fair he was at the time. I can't count the times in later interviews or articles that I would be misquoted or misrepresented by the twisting around of my own words. Eventually I just quit doing interviews all together. I just got sick and tired of damn near every word that I spoke in the course of one becoming subject to being contorted and taken completely out of context. Anyway, I was drafted in March of 1971 after holding off the inevitable for several months through a series of basically bullshit appeals to my draft board. Ordered for induction on April 20, 1971, I arrived in Montreal on April 21st. Naturally I got involved with the "movement" there. In the fall of 1971 I was given a position as a refugee counselor with The Council. I counseled hundreds of others who had followed the very same path I had taken just six month before. At times it was the most rewarding experience I had ever been a part of. To see that look of relief in their eyes when you told one of them that they could legally stay in Canada, that we would help them, that everything was going to work out for them. Remember, the majority of these individuals were still teenagers or no more than 20 or 21 on the outside. Many were away from their home, family and friends for the very first time "and" for an indefinite length of time... if not forever. At other times though it was a job that could break your heart when you had to tell one of them that there was no way that they could stay in Canada "legally", basically because Canada had it's share of absurd laws as well. "No, you can't stay here because you were young and stupid once and got caught smoking a joint.." (It always baffled me why a country such as Canada who had such liberal laws itself regarding drugs, felt compelled to inflict upon others the consequences of lesser nations absurd laws regarding drug possession.) Anyway, in the winter of 1971 The Council became The ARS. (It would remain The ARS to the outside world from that day on however to those of us who were a part of it, it never ceased to be, The Montreal Council.) A short time later, The Director of The Council, Richard Gooding, decided to leave his post because of personal reasons. He asked me to assume his position as Director. It was an undertaking which I had never even entertained the thought of yet one which I did not hesitate to accept. It would be a life altering decision. Up until that time I had been just one of the counselors, one of about three or four regular staff who alternated on different days of the week. We were paid a salary, given a desk and we clocked in basically just like Joe Blow at the factory. Our lives outside of that world were ours. In becoming The Director however my world was to become one of constant involvement in The Council and it's day to day dealings with the world and all of the beasts that hold court in it. I became the "spokesperson" with regard to the public and the media. I did interviews with hundreds of newspapers and magazines. The New York Times, The London Times, Le Monde, The Miami Herald, Time Magazine, Newsweek etc. I did countless television news shows on just about every network in the world, ABC, NBC, CBS, The CBC, The BBC, Networks in France, Japan, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Australia and I truly don't remember how many others. I was the one who dealt almost daily with our legal represenatives both in Canada and the ACLU in the states. And I was the one who had to fight for and fight to keep our funding from the National and the World Council Of Churches. I still counseled those in need, however the degree of need had changed considerably. While working as a staff counselor, I and the others counseled only draft resisters and deserters who needed our help in staying in Canada to resist prosecution in the US. For The Director of The Council however, as I was to discover in a somewhat secretive meeting with Richard one evening at his house, there were many others who were "directed" to us for our help in escaping prosecution. These people were only dealt with by the director for obvious reasons. Their "crimes" extended far beyond selective service law violations. They had used more extreme means and measures to vent their anger with the American government. Bernadette Dorhn had smuggled guns to the IRA. The Armstrong Brothers had killed someone with their bombing in Madison, Wisconsin. Mark Rudd, as the leader of the Weather Underground was a radical of serious extent. There were Air Force pilots who had discovered drug smuggling rings within their command and fled in fear for their lives. There were several Priests who had committed "sins" of a most humane nature. I literally had late night meetings with men in trench coats and lunches with individuals who had hundreds of thousands of dollars of reward money being offered for their capture. My days of being "just" a draft resister and being someone "just" trying to help out others in the same boat ended when I took the position of being The Director of The Montreal Council To Aid War Resisters and The American Refugee Service. The Council was officially disbanded in July of 1975... basically because I decided that while the other aid groups in Canada were struggling to maintain their pretty much null and void existence, primarily because the leaders of those groups had absolutely no life outside of their respective group, The Montreal Council To Aid War Resisters had done it's job. It's day was over and it deserved a dignified death. I chose the day, it was my birthday.