A Captain in our Midst
His military career and rank gave Bob Morris his commonly used title of Captain Bob, but his beliefs shaped his adult life. After a childhood in the East and seven years as a Marine, he came to Jackson to support candidates who opposed the Vietnam War.
Let’s dig into his history a bit—Captain Bob’s early years were spent primarily at his family home near Central Park in New York City where his father was an attorney. Like lots of people, his favorite time of the year was summer. He spent the first half of each summer at his grandparents’ home in Massachusetts and the second half by the ocean in Southampton on Long Island.
When he was twelve years old, he entered Groton School in Massachusetts. Later he attended and graduated from Yale where he majored in history, focusing on American and European history.
He entered the Marines as an officer candidate. After some time at Quantico Base in Virginia, he was sent to Okinawa and Japan (during the last battles of WWII), before returning to the U.S. where he was stationed first at Yorktown Naval Base and then at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. A Marine Commandant under whom he served was passionately outspoken against the war in Vietnam.
Following seven years in the Marines, he was discharged and went back to Connecticut and a happy life there. However, after two years, thinking of the thousands of young Americans getting killed in Vietnam, he became a political activist. He flew to Jackson to support a political candidate who was against our participation in the war.
Finding he liked Jackson, he bought a condo here and made this his home.
Many people remember that he founded and broadcast from the first radio station here after procuring a license from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) and the necessary equipment. Ask anyone who has lived in Jackson for a while, they will start to quote Captain Bob’s commercials. “It only takes one minute of living in Teton County to register to vote!” His ads ran so frequently (like favorite commercial jingles) that everyone clearly remembers them. Whether he was running for office, promoting a candidate, fighting for a proposition or raising awareness of local and national issues, Bob could be counted on to get his voice heard. His commercials ran every single day for 12 years.
People here also remember he lived simply. He lived in Teton Village and instead of owning a car and driving, he either hitchhiked or rode a bike into Jackson.
When hitchhiking he usually gifted the person who gave him a ride with a $2 bill. The $2 bill became a signature for Captain Bob. He frequently depleted the bank’s stash of $2 bills. He didn’t use them only to pay people for rides, he bought everything he could with them. “It’s cheaper. It costs less to print a $2 bill than it does to print two $1 bills. It’s better for our economy. The more 2-dollar bills in circulation, the more money we save. It’s better for our country.”
To paraphrase the old Frank Sinatra song, Captain Bob took some blows, but he did it his way. He faced it all, stood tall, and he did it his way.
“I’ve lived a life that’s full, I’ve traveled each and every highway, and more, much more than this, I did it my way.” – Frank Sinatra
Today, he continues to stand tall and do it his way.
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