“I’ve been a fortunate guy,” he said from his home near Yosemite. “I was in the Merchant Marines with German submarines trying to get me. I was in the Navy for almost 10 years with the Japs and Soviets trying to get me. I’ve been shot at and they missed. I’ve been shot at and they hit. I’ve been cut with knives. A guy hit me across the back of the head with a two-by-four, and I had to have a neck operation.