One of the usual comments we hear about Single Harness goes a little something like this, “The book was fantastic, but it left me wanting more!” In fact virtually every person has a sentiment much like this when they read the book. So to briefly satisfy our curiosities and appetites for more, I (Gary) recently put some questions to our author, Millard Gregory, about the book from his very own unique perspective.
Me: At its core, what is this book about?
Millard: From the comments I’ve had from many who’ve read the book I may be the worst person to answer that question. To me it’s just a collection of things that happened over the years…combined with a few unique situations that only seem unique looking back. They seemed normal at the time.
Me: In your own mind, why did you write this book?
Millard: I didn’t think of it as a book at all, but there were 2 reasons I wrote it: First. and I included this in the book: one night late last year I went to bed just after 3am and my wife put her arm over me and this cat who’s life she saved 2 or 3 years before climbed up on my side and laid down on me…purring. The contrast of that moment at 68 years old and the 24 years from 1966 to 1990 was inescapable and I sat up and wrote what had happened on the back of a Speedway gas receipt I still have; and Second: looking at that receipt the next day I thought of my old Colonel…now in his 80s and retired for years…and for some reason thought that although he knew the details of our missions out of the country I might be able to surprise him with a few things we did back here. The surprise was that he wasn’t too surprised at all.It only became a book after a few close friends read the manuscript and they all said I had to publish it.
Me: If you got to choose what people took away from the book, what would it be?
Millard: Everyone seems to focus on a different story or sentence and the great honor is hearing what that part meant to them and why. Although it wasn’t planned, if it helps people re-remember the interesting things they’ve done that are easy to forget as our lives move on…that would be the best.
Me: “Single Harness”, the title of the book, is not a phrase often seen. What was your rationale behind this title?
Millard: It was one of those things you hear at a particular moment and never forget. In my case it was at the end of my recruiting meeting with the Top Sergeant and the Captain who said they “Didn’t think I’d pull good in double harness” and that they had a different path for me to consider. That did change everything, and looking back made “Single Harness” seem like a good title.
Me: Over your lifetime you have had astounding, almost unbelievable success in so many of your endeavors. What is your secret?
Millard: There is no secret, and it’s the same for most everyone when they think about it: from my parents, to the short time I got to spend with my Grandfather, to my Grandmother who worked in her garden etc up to 96, to the family friend who filled out an employment form listing my age as 2 years older than I was at the time which got me an adult summer job while still in high school and the money to go to college, to the Top Sergeant who asked me to come back, to the true gentleman who hired me to travel a territory, to the acquaintance who invited me to the join the club in Palm Beach, to the friend with all the manufacturing experience who’d already joined my company when I decided to start a factory…and on and on. It’s the people we meet, and get to know, and learn from that make it all happen.
Stay tuned for part 2 of the interview next week!