Mel and David Downing
Mel Downing was born in Newton, Massachusetts, just outside Boston, in August 1926. By his own admission, Mel didn't do well in high school. At the end of his ninth grade year he entered the New York Military Academy. He enlisted in the US Navy at 17 with his father's consent, and was assigned sea duty on the USS Gosper. He served two years in combat zones in the war's Pacific theater, and by age 19 Mel was a seasoned war veteran. He recently spoke with his son David about his war experience and how the impact of the war stays with him today.
It wasn't too long ago when the idea of modern home schooling was considered to be the province of hippies and fringe groups — and perhaps a few small religious groups. Not any more. It is most definitely mainstream. Legalized in Florida in 1985, the number of students whose home room might very well be their living room has increased by up to 2,000 a year. At last count, nearly 56,000 students were being home schooled in Florida. So why home school a child? Does it give students an academic edge? Do they lose out on the social experience of the traditional classroom setting? We’ll meet some of those parents and students who are among this growing trend on this week’s Florida Matters.
Robert J. Ramer
Robert J. Ramer was a college student at Purdue University on December 7th, 1941. An early interest in flight led to his enlistment in the Army Air Corps, the precursor to today’s Air Force. Robert Ramer talks with his son Robert Bruce Ramer, first about his induction into the Air Corps and his early cadet training.