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Jay Reimer – Phoenix Study Group – Joins Blog

Jay comes to us, as a Saigon Kid, from the Phoenix Study Group, which was the schooling following the American Community School most of us attended. Jay’s group existed during the early 1970’s up until 1975. In fact, they where in the process of renaming the Phoenix Study Group – the American Community School – when Saigon fell in 1975, so it never happened. As I understand it, there are about 100 people in the Phoenix Study Group alumni. I was not even aware, until recently, of the existence of the Phoenix Study Group. So, this opens up a new branch of our Saigon Kids family tree. And, expands our Saigon Kids time frame from the mid 1950’s to 1975 … about 20 years total. Awesome … in my opinion! It seems the more we communicate, the more Saigon Kids we encounter along the way.

Jay and other members of the Phoenix Study Group alumni are in the initial stages of developing a web site, blog and newsletter for their group. Once they are launched we’ll be linking to each other’s sites.

I’m excited about the Phoenix Study Group joining us, as it has always been in the back of mind, as I’m sure it has been yours … what went on in Saigon after I left? And, all I’ve ever known is the American Community School closed in 1965 … when dependants where evacuated, etc. But, now we learn dependants where allowed back in Saigon and another school was set up. I bet it will be interesting learning what it was like living in Saigon during the last few years of the war.

Jay please feel free to subscribe to our Newsletter. The subscription link is on the Menu to the right —–>

Hopefully, more of the folks from the Phoenix Study Group will be registering on our Saigon Kids Blog in the near future … this is getting really fun now!

Everyone give Jay a BIG WELCOME! 🙂

Bob

10 comments to Jay Reimer – Phoenix Study Group – Joins Blog

  • susan

    My name is Susan Kell and I attended PSG from 1969-71, 3rd-5th grades. I have some photos is anyone is interested.

  • Admin

    Hello Susan! 🙂

    Welcome to the Blog! Great to have you here. If you have not already done so, please Register on the Blog. The Register link is on the Menu over there —->

    Feel free to make Post and leave your Comments. I’m sure everyone is interested to hear your Saigon experiences, and share theirs with you … 🙂

    Again welcome to the group!

    Bob

  • Susan;

    Sorry to get back to you so slowly. I have been off teaching for June and July and am just getting back into things – including starting the website for Phoenix Study Group Saigon. I hope to have it posted in the next couple months.

    One thing I of course am very interested in is getting photos from Phoenix Study Group alumni of any and all years. If you do not mind, could you send me a few photos by email to my address at: and I’ll put you on my (so far) short list of people, then as soon as the website is functioning I’ll solicit more information and photos from you.

    Thanks so much for replying to Bob’s post. I looke forward to being in touch with you.

    Jay Reimer

  • merickson

    Susan, Jay, and the SaigonKids:

    I operate an e-mail group for alumni of the Phoenix Study Group (or “PSG”), which I created around 2002. Originally numbering 3 alumni (including myself), the group has grown to around 100 members. It’s been a bear finding these people, but also rewarding to reconnect them. I wish I could devote more time to the group, but I am not retired so my time to find alumni and maintain group contacts has been limited.

    I found out about SaigonKids fairly early in my search for PSG alumni. I am envious of how organized and dedicated your group is. We have not had any reunions. We don’t even have a website. We are like a band of pirates, and you are like the modern Navy. I truly appreciate the assistance that Bob, Roy, and other SaigonKids have extended to me over the years in answering my requests for information, and your kindness and generosity in allowing us access to your website and blog. I have informed my group about your group and I will steer any ACS alumni to you and inform you of any information I might find about your school. We may have gone to different schools, but we are connected. We shared similar experiences in Saigon.

    Bob’s description of my school, ACS’s successor, is generally accurate, though the school was created around 1966, and not in the early 1970s as Bob indicated. Jay and I were students at that school in 1974-75, its last year of operation. At the time we left, the school occupied four sites and had over 300 students. Irnically, the biggest influx of Americann dependents (post 1965) was in 1974. Apparently our government thought Vietnam was stable enough for our return. How wrong they were.

    The closing of ACS and the evacuation of the American dependents did not eliminate the need for a school for American children. For example, there were children of corporate employees and missionaries who did not leave in 1965. Many of those involved in PSG’s creation were oil company executives and their spouses. I am hoping in a future blog comment to share the comments of one of those executives regarding the school’s creation.

    Finally, I wanted to take this opportunity to invite Susan Kell to my group. I would rather not post my e-mail in a blog but if you have log-in access to the website, I believe you will have access to my e-mail. Alternatively, Bob and Roy have my e-mail. I tried to contact you through the group site I asked Classmates to create several years ago, but I wasn’t successful. I hope to hear from you.

    Happy New Year.

    -Mike Erickson

  • Burt Parker

    Good grief! I had no idea that there were still ‘Saigon Kids’ after the evacuation. Wow! What were the conditions then? How did the communists treat you and your families? This is totally amazing! Where did you have classes? What sort of teachers did you have? If one or more of you PSG kids could give a report on what school was like ‘after the fall’, I’m sure all of us SGs would be very interested…

    Regards,

    Burt

  • Mike Erickson

    Burt-

    From 1974-75, the school was located on three different sites (not four sites, as I incorrectly mentioned in my previous posting. The sites were located at: 209 Hien Vuong (5th-12th grades); 192/194 Cong Ly (1st to 4th grades); and 66 Doan Thi Diem (Kindergarten). There were 18 teachers, one librarian, a principal, and a school board. All of this information comes from one of our school newsletters.

    When you mention “evacuation” that may mean different things to you and me. Are you referring to the 1965 evacuation or the 1975 evacuation? There were certainly American dependents in Saigon after the 1965 evacuation, though they may have left Saigon briefly. All American dependents (to my knowledge) left Saigon (and Vietnam) before Saigon fell in 1975, though some cut it pretty close. They were not in Saigon when the Communists actually entered the city, and the school closed permanently before the Communists set foot in Saigon. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear from my last posting.

    Each PSG student in Saigon in April of 1975 has a different story of how he or she left Saigon. I broke my leg and was flown out on a Medevac flight to Clark AFB hospital. My brother left on a commercial airlines. My dad’s Vietnamese girlfiend (he was divorced) was flown to a camp in Guam. My dad went out on a chopper to an aircraft carrier. I wasn’t reunited with my family until months later.

    I was a high school student so I can’t tell you what it was like in the lower grades. Jay would know. The high school students had two teachers who were really more like proctors than teachers. They just supervised us. Our real teachers were at the University of Nebraska (we took correspondence courses). We showed up Monday to Friday to do our work in two classrooms. There were only 30 high school students.

  • Mark Humphries

    I attended PSG from 1968 to 1973. I was there for first, third and fourth grades at the Cong Ly location. I was a missionary kid so I was back in the States in 1971 for second grade during my parents one year furlough. I am writing this from Saigon, as me and my mom together with about 20 other former missionaries are having a reunion celebration. The city has really changed, with many new hotels, restaurants and businesses. I am having a great time being back in the city of my childhood. I will try to locate the old Cong Ly building tomorrow and take some pictures.

    Mark Humphries

  • Virginia Wilson

    I attended PSG in 1973 and 1974. I was in Mrs. Brundages 3rd grade class. We lived on Cong Ly. Does anyone remember Megan and Maurie Donahoe? If anyone has any contact information for them I would love to get in touch with them. My dad ran the hospital for the National Rehabilitation Institute just down the street from the PSG and my mom worked Dick Hughes – the Shoeshine Boys Foundation. I was there for 2nd and 3rd grade. Live in VA now and would love to reconnect with anyone from those days.

  • Cindy Nguyen

    My older sister Patricia and I went to the Phoenix Study Group in 1965? to finish out the academic year when ACS abruptly closed down. We were both born in DC and had American passports, but we were Vietnamese, so stayed in Saigon until 1966, when my father (Nguyen Dinh-Hoa–he wrote English-Vietnamese and Vietnamese-English dictionaries) became cultural attache to the embassy in DC, which made it possible for my mother and two younger siblings (born in Saigon) to come to the States with us. I was in 3rd grade, I think. All I remember is that the PSG was in some sort of residence with an awesome swing set.

  • John Gustafson

    I moved to Saigon in 1966 and attended the PSG. I remember the classroom I was in was the size of a large room with corregated tin for a roof and one light bulb hanging from the ceiling. They were still in transition then. We came back to the states in 1971. What you all knew as our school I believe was the third field hospital after your evacuation.

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