It was a great summer in Colorado but was marred when I received notification that my six-year naval reserve enlistment was over, and my draft classification was changed to 1A – and further that I was being called up for immediate induction into the Army. My request for a deferment until after graduation from law school was denied, but the draft board was considerate and let me finish summer school with the stipulation that my induction physical be scheduled for early September. In a whirlwind, after returning home from Colorado, we cancelled Donna’s teaching contract, my fall enrollment at Drake, and our rented apartment.
In September, I reported to the Army Induction Center in Des Moines only to be turned down due to poor eyesight. We scrambled to undue our earlier cancellations and Dean Tollefson permitted me to re-enroll even though I had missed three weeks of the fall semester. He said, “Vell, Mr. Culbertson, I know you can catch up vith the rest of the class,”
and I did.
Unfortunately, Donna’s vacated teaching position at Martensdale High School had already been filled, but luckily enough, a position unexpectedly came open at Woodside High School, and by mid October she was back to teaching. And as luck would have it, we found new living quarters in a Drake-owned house just two blocks from the law school.
The last twelve months of law school in 1953 and 1954 slipped by rather easily, leaving me with free time to engage in other activities. One was frequent visits to all the municipal, state, and federal courts where actual trial cases could be observed first hand. My relaxed schedule even allowed me to work part-time at the Des Moines Post Office, Des Moines Auto Inspection Garage, and in Des Moines schools as a substitute teacher.
On August 27, 1954, I was graduated from Drake with a Juris Doctor degree, and on October 8, six weeks later, after passing the bar exam, was admitted to the practice of law in Iowa.
Over the next three months, until Christmas, my wife and I remained in Des Moines, where I taught full time at Roosevelt High School substituting for the regular teacher who was recovering from surgery, and Donna finished out the first semester of her teaching contract at Woodside.
After spending the holidays with our folks, we purchased a new stripped down 1955 Ford, stuffed it full with all our belongings, and said “goodbye” to Iowa as we headed for a new life in California.