The night of the first lottery, when I was a freshman at Duke University, I was in the "Pep Band" at a Duke basketball game in Greensboro, NC. The bus ride to the game (about an hour away) was interminable and deadly quiet, and we were all nervous wrecks during the game, having a hard time trying to concentrate on the contest while listening in on transistor radios as the draft progressed.
Every few minutes I’d hear a groan, or an "aw shit!!" come from somewhere in the band; then there would be a timeout called, we’d pick up our instruments and play our Duke fight songs, and quickly return to our radios. Once it got past No. 200 I started to relax and pay attention to the game, and by the time my number 246 came up I was positively euphoric, just enjoying and appreciating life.
It wasn’t until late that night that we returned to the Duke Campus, and I quickly called my parents back in Massachusetts, who had been watching the proceedings on TV and were even more excited than I was. We knew I wasn’t going to Viet Nam.