In her Grandpa's footsteps
CSUMB freshman discovers ties to the campus’s military past
[On August 26, 2017 @notabasicflower tweeted: "The fact that my Grandpa was stationed at Fort Ord years ago and now I'm going to the college it was turned into is breathtaking."]
Most current CSUMB students were not even born when Fort Ord was an active military base. But some still encounter the pull of its history.
“I really wanted to come to Cal State Monterey Bay, because of the biology (courses),” said Rose McGill, a freshman from Nevada City. “I heard about the history, Fort Ord and all. And I told my Grandma about it, and Fort Ord, and she knew immediately what that was and said my Grandpa Jack (Hays) was stationed there.”
Back in the early 1950s, Jack Hays was one of the thousands of recruits who went through basic training at Fort Ord. McGill said he was later stationed in Germany, and returned home to work as a science teacher in Le Grande, Calif. He passed away when Rose was just three years old.
“It’s almost like I was supposed to be here, because of my Grandpa. My mom was saying that I am like him, my personality is a lot the same, so that is very cool.”
In getting to know her new home, she has had moments that made her feel close to her grandfather.
“When I walk around and see the abandoned buildings, I can’t help thinking, which ones did my Grandpa live in, where did he play a part in this, who were his friends. It’s really interesting,” McGill said.
Her grandmother, Evelyn Hays, is interested as well.
“I was talking on the phone to my Grandma, and she was talking about the dunes and the firing ranges. The day before, I had been down there, and she was describing it perfectly,” McGill said.
“And she said he (Jack Hays) talked about how important it was to keep your socks dry, because if they were wet, and you had to march through the sand, that could be the worst thing ever.”
Some advice, it seems, stands the test of time.