Interview With Dave Backman

From the interview with Dave Backman of Port Townsend conducted at the Fort Worden History Center on March 29, 2007 by Patience Rogge. Mr. Backman grew up in Port Townsend, and after retiring moved back to his hometown. He served as treasurer of the Friends of Fort Worden for several years. In this segment of the interview, he tells of visiting a friend whose parents worked at the Juvenile Diagnostic and Treatment Center at the fort.

“…My friend’s name was Dave Edwards. His parents came here in 1958 to work as cottage parents. His family lived in one of the homes on NCO Row…We were typical teenagers, and I’m not going to say we were angels because we found our way to get into mischief once in a while. One of the things we loved to do, partly because of where it was and partly because there was a little bit of risk involved–we’d get a large group of friends together to come out to Fort Worden to visit Dave. We’d all head for Artillery Hill, which was off limits, and have the most hellacious hide and go seek games you could possibly imagine. The hill was patrolled by the military. We would hear them coming and we would scatter to the winds.

…when I was playing sports in high school, we used to engage in competitions with some of the kids who were incarcerated. They had a football team, a baseball team and a basketball team. When I was a sophomore on the high school junior varsity team, we played football on the parade ground against the kids who were here in the Diagnostic and Treatment Center.”

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