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Saigon Kids™ *Last Hurrah* Reunion 2015 (Update 10/30/14)

Submitted by Frank Stoddard and Roy McDonald (ACS)

Reunion Time SignRoy McDonald and Frank Stoddard are planning and preparing for a Reunion to take place Thursday the 30th of July to Sunday the 2nd of August 2015. The event will be at the Wigwam Resort, in Litchfield Park just outside of Phoenix Arizona.

The first Saigon Kids Reunion took place here in the summer of 2000 on the night of a “Full Moon”. This one, like all the reunions have taken place when the moon is full and this will also be the second one that will also happen during a “Blue Moon”.

We hope many of you are enthused as we are. This is the deal, however, we need your support. It will not be long before we have to sign a contract with the Resort. Of course once this happens; we have to obligate ourselves to time and money. We are more than glad to do this if you really want this thing to happen.

We often talk about how Saigon was such a wonderful place for our teenage years. When we write, talk or see our old friends from those days we see them as they appeared 50 years ago. This memory of the friendship is still just as strong today. We also realize that many of us are getting up there in life, and thus the years ahead are limited, thus this will be the last attempt to get so many of us all together once again. It does not matter if you lived in Saigon in 1958 or 1964. It does not matter if you went to ACS or a French School. It does not matter if you went to ACS or you worked there later when it was a hospital. We would like to open the reunion to everyone … friends and family alike. We all have something very much in common.

We are inviting anyone from the Saigon Days,

  • American Community School alumni,
  • Brent School alumni,
  • French Kids,
  • Dalat School alumni,
  • Phoenix Study Group alumni,
  • America School Vientiane Laos alumni,
  • International School Bangkok alumni,
  • 3rd Field Hospital personnel and former patients,
  • Missionary Kids,
  • former Military personnel,
  • Operation Baby Lift Kids and their new families who welcomed them,
  • Father Crawford’s Kids and those who assisted them, and their adoptive families,
  • all other members of the International Community in Saigon during the years from 1955 to 1975.

Bring your sons and daughters, grand kids, relatives and friends to meet us there.

Now that Wigwam is pretty “neat”. There is plenty of vegetation, water and shade on the outside areas that make it very pleasant in the Arizona heat of July (It is not like downtown Scottsdale). It has a couple of different pools, the main one being a vocal point for food, drink and laughter (and plenty of umbrellas, misters and towels). Do you remember “Le Cercle Sportif Saigonnais”? There are also restaurants and bars indoors.

The Wigwam is located about 25 minutes west from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The Wigwam has a shuttle bus, and if we knew when folks arrived, we could try and coordinate “pickups” in order to cut down on the fee. Phoenix is a very spread out city, and it is automobile dependent in order for people to get around. If you wish to see other sites, Rent-a-Cars are also readily available. The Wigwam has free parking.

Roy did up a spreadsheet that will give you a ruff idea of costs. But just remember this reunion is priceless.

Reunion 2015 Roster

What do we plan on doing at the reunion? We are open for any and all suggestions. What about a reception the first day with a pay as you go bar? A dinner … or better yet, maybe a dinner-dance during the weekend is your choice? What do you say about having a brunch, a lunch or just Pho? There is now a Vietnamese restaurant near the Resort and we could figure out a way for everyone to get there. Litchfield Park has really built up over that last few years.

What about everyone bring a door prize that represents something from where you come from? Of Course we’ll take music requests. Roy and Frank are the music gurus.
We plan on renting one extra room where folks can come 24/7 and sit and enjoy each other’s company. It will be called the “Party Room”.

“Listen”, Again here is the deal. We would love for everyone to come. Please let us know:

  • if it is a “For Sure” (of course baring any evil)
  • a “Strong Maybe”
  • “Maybe”
  • “I want too, but!”,
  • and “give me one more month to think about it before I tell you yes”.

Let Roy at rmcdonal [@] sesi.com and/or Frank at stoddardfrank [@] hotmail.com know as soon as possible.

CLICK HERE to visit The Wigwam Resort website.

The Phoenix is a mythical bird. A new Phoenix springs from it’s ashes as a symbol of immortality and resurrection. It is said that the bird’s cry is that of a beautiful song.

15 comments to Saigon Kids™ *Last Hurrah* Reunion 2015 (Update 10/30/14)

  • Larry Weddington

    I was in Viet Nam with the 173rd Airborne in 1970/71. Visited Saigon couple time and fell inlove with Saigon and Viet Nam.I have been back to the country 4 times since 2007. I was wondering if the invitation to your reunion was open to me?

  • Michael Dunn

    Roy and Frank, I’ve been out of the loop for several years, but am interested in the reunion. As you may recall, I was on the Teenagers softball team. Father Crawford presided at my wedding to Vu Thi Bach Yen, on January 1st, 1970, in Saigon, at the Regina Pacis chapel, in Saigon. She is the sister of “Jacques”, the Vietnamese teenager with the red lambretta which Johnny Christophal borrowed and did not return for about a week or two. Jacques (Vu Tam Nguyen) came to the US in 1984, with family, and lives in Houston, TX. We currently live in Biloxi, MS, about a block from the beach. We moved here in 2009, from San Antonio, TX, after I retired from teaching Special Education for 15 years, following my military retirement, which was in 1992. I have not pitched a softball game (fast pitch), probably since Saigon, but I did pitch slow pitch a few times. I still bowl in a seniors league every Thursday, and am currently playing racquetball several times a week. I have not played any golf and gave my clubs to Goodwill when I could not find the time for it. Yen does lots of gardening, and we are novice bird watchers. We’ve got about 120 bananas on our banana tree, which we just planted in the 2014 spring. I did substitute teaching here in Mississippi for about 3 years, but this year I came down with cellulitis in my left ankle, and am on the mend from that, so I’ve only been in the classroom twice this year. I’m mending well enough for bowling and racquetball, but Yen wants me to retire, and I’m OK with it for now. Once in a while, some handball players come in to Biloxi, and we play, but it’s been several months since they stopped by. When I taught Special Ed, it was a self-contained classroom for severe ED students, so we had them for the entire day. For PE, we did softball, kickball, croquet, golf, tennis, track, horseshoes, basketball, rope-skipping, and touch football. Administrators often cringed when they saw our kids with mallets and baseball bats in their hands, but the kids cooperated. Thanks for doing the planning for this reunion. I hope to make it, but don’t know anything for sure yet.
    Best Wishes,
    Mike Dunn, former Gecko, Teenager, and Saigon Kid

  • carol cini

    Great idea as we are getting older and older. I am writing a book “My Life as a CIA Brat” ( title may change) but the largest chapter will be on my experiences in Saigon, Vietnam from 1962-1964.
    Carol Cini (most of you knew me as Carl as I didn’t use my actual first name until I graduated from college). Anyway, look forward to meeting all of you in 2015.
    Carl

  • frank

    Caro/Carl, Does this mean you will be coming to the Reunion? If so, please contact Roy and I with details. Thanks, Frank

  • Maile Doyle

    My husband, Bill and I are planning to attend. Let me know what you need from us. I am so pleased to be getting together with my Saigon Kids fellows!

  • David L. Cutler

    This sounds great, and a good opportunity to attend what may be the last reunion we have. I’ll be thinking hard about it.

    • Kenneth R. Yeager

      David, you still live in the Titusville / Mims area? Just curious. I hope to be back in the US in a year or so…will really have to get with you and Roy since you are both so close. My sister live in Mims as well.

      Ken

  • David L. Cutler

    Yes, still in Mims. What a coincidence that your sister lives here in this small town – small world!

    • Kenneth R. Yeager

      When my dad’s contract with USOM expired, he left Saigon, collected my mom and sister from Bangkok and they returned to the US, setting down temporarily in a dink called Daleville, AL. They stayed there for a month or so until my dad got a job working for Boeing at the Cape. They bought a house in Titusville and my sister lived in that house until she got married (except for a short while due to a minor tiff). She and her husband built a house in Mims and moved up there and been there ever since. My parents house is now owned my one of my nieces. My sister Debbie works at the one of the elementary schools in Mims (more towards Scotsmoor) near the library. Dad worked at the Cape until after the first moon shot (I was with TPD at the time) and then he was laid off and got a position as Bailiff with BCSD and did that for several years. Both folks gone now.

  • REnee King

    I want to attend

  • Deborah Oakley-Melvin

    Aloha all — just had dinner with Sarah (Bush Rogers) on Kaua’i and made a commitment last night to come to the reunion, which I thought would be a challenge time/work wise. So I will work it out! Looking forward to it, and hoping to bring either/and my brother George/Skip, who was in school in Virginia and was not with us, except for summer vacation. He would, I think, love it!
    If he cannot come, or if he can, I am hoping to get Manon Leoppard Brown, my best friend in Saigon, to join everyone. She is a delightful, irrepressible spirit and I was able to spend some time with her in Washington state last year. I’ll keep you posted, and count me in!
    Mahalo to all for making this happen –
    Deborah

  • All Saigon Kids and other reunion attendeesm I am so sorry but I will not be able to come after all. Please take plenty of pictures, Roy. With warm regards,Renee

  • Al Misker

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend, after all!
    Hope everyone who does has a memorable time with old friends!

  • Debby Twombly Samuelson

    I just stumbled on this site and am very excited that it exists. For years I’ve wondered how to reconnect with the people I met while in middle school (1963-1965) in Saigon. I will be checking my calendar to see if I can make the reunion, it is just around the corner.

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