John Daniel Knowles
West Point, 1965
Be Thou At Peace
Posted by Bob Bradley on October 14, 2009:
John and I were in D-2 the last two years and he was my handball partner. Just a great guy with a wonderful spirit. I never saw John down or upset. He was always in a good mood, probably because he was very smart and didn't have to sweat academics.
I only saw John once since 1965, in 1985 during our 20th anniversary at West Point. John was stationed at West Point as the Post Engineer and had a number of classmates over to his house. As always, he was very gracious. I remember that John was very proud of his Porsche 912 which he had for quite a while.
John and I featured ourselves as good handball players and challenged the New York Athletic Club to a competition while we were Firsties. They invited us down and John and I were warming up in the court when one opponent came in and said he was ready to start. We asked where his partner was and he said he couldn't make it but he'd try to play us single-handed. And I mean single-handed! He only put one glove on his left hand [his "off" hand]and played us one-handed. He was beating us 15-0 when we scored our first point; the score ended 21-1.
We found out later that our opponent was one of the Obert Brothers, who were National Champions.
After my father passed in 2007, I found out that John lived in Florida next door to my cousin, Bill Bradley, who also retired as an Army Colonel. My father was not close to his brothers so I never met my cousins.
John was a great guy with a wonderful way about him. I was sorry I didn't have a chance to spend more time with him after we graduated.
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