Richard Traeger

Richards family had a Draft Resister stay at their home for a short time, but fearing that the Police could raid Richard moved him to a cabin on land at Blackwood where he stayed for several months. Richard registered for the draft but his birthdate was drawn out.

Richard’s story

We, my parents and siblings, did have one Draft Resister stay with us at our family home, his name was John. I seem to remember initially meeting him at our next door neighbours Julie and Earl Ingleby’s place.  I remember them playing the Stepenwolf song ‘Monster’, about Draft Resisters in the US.

John lived with us for a while, not really sure how long, we were really scared about the security because we had marijuana and thought that the Police might have raided us because of that.

At that time I had a place in Blackwood called the Cabin, it was built on land that I had a Miners License for. I had obtained the land through the mining register. You registered for a Mining Licence and were given a notice which had to be nailed to a tree for 14 days. If no-one objected then the land was yours and a structure could be could be built.

John stayed there for months. There were lots of us moving through so no-one took any notice of him, no -one in Blackwood asked who he was, there were so many of us. The building wasn’t set up for the purpose of accommodation but it worked and it was safe.

John happened to be a Fire Commissar, he knew how to build a fire. The Forestry Commission wanted us out.

After December 1972 he came back and lived in Newport and I think that he died about 25 years ago. We kept in touch for a while. It didn’t cross my mind that we would be in strife.

I registered for the draft and took it seriously but I wouldn’t have if my birthdate had occurred a year later. By then I was more aware of the issues.

I didn’t know any of the other Draft Resisters and I didn’t know anyone who went to University. I was a Sharpie and we didn’t mix.