I don’t recall my lottery number but I do remember that I was very concerned and very anti-war. In the summer of 1963 I met and fell in love with a lovely woman from Madison. We dated for eight months and decided to marry, and scheduled the wedding day for a Saturday in early September I think. Sometime in August I picked up the marriage license. I was working on the road for my father’s company, selling plumbing supplies wholesale to contractors. As I was driving, a special announcement from President Lyndon Johnson came on the radio: effective at midnight that night, all draft deferments for married men of draft age would end (but the new rule would not be retroactive).
I stopped at the nearest telephone and called my fiancee. I was almost 300 miles north of Madison. I said–hello Mrs. S. and she said–well not yet but very soon, and I replied–sooner than you think–we are getting married before midnight tonight. I asked her to meet me in Wisconsin Rapids, my home town, at 10 pm where my parents still lived. She agreed after I explained. I called my father and asked him to try to have a local judge preside at a wedding at our home that same night. All was arranged, and at shortly after 10 pm that evening we were married, just two hours before the new "deadline".
Had we not already had the license before the day of LBJ’s order, it would not have been possible to beat the deadline, and a subsequent low lottery number could have forced me to decide between fleeing to Canada and serving–a choice that would have been difficult for me and would have changed my life.