[ Admin Note: Sarah (Black) Fry left these Comments to a Post made on our Blog back in April 2008 – which is now deep in the Archives where it is doubtful many will ever see it. So, I’ve moved it here to the front page for higher visibility. ]
Alice and All! This blog is a dream come true!! (I was sitting here composing the eulogy for my mother’s memorial this Saturday, and wanted to include a section about our time in Vietnam. I went online to remind myself of the date of the Kinh Do bombing — and found Alice’s blog! My apologies in advance for what may be a LONG entry.) My three brothers (Tom, Peter and David) and I attended ACS Sep 1963-Feb 1965. Tom was initially VP of the 1964 Senior Class, then became Class President when Karen Lundquist resigned the post. Our dad headed up a USOM (United States Overseas Missions) surgical team that served in Pleiku, Dalat, Danang, and finally put roots down in Nha Trang by the time Mom and the four kids joined him from Colorado. He got down to Saigon once a month or so. Mom was the Clinic Supervisor at the HOPE-PROJECT’s rehab center in Saigon. We lived at 5 Pham Dinh Toai, right next door to Cathy Richardson and her family. The afternoon of 16 Feb 1964, our parents dropped the four of us kids off at the Kinh Do to see the matinee showing of “List of Adrian Messenger”. After the movie, Mom and Dad treated us to a BBQ steak dinner at the Brinks (rooftop of BOQ above USIS Library downtown). We talked non-stop about how great the movie had been, and begged Mom and Dad to go see it after dinner. But as we stepped off the elevator on the ground floor, two U.S. servicemen in civilian clothes were talking loudly about what had just happened at the Kinh Do. One had blood all over the back of his shirt, and our doctor Dad spoke with him to be sure he was all right and listened to his tale of what had happened. Side Note: Some say that Major Koelper was the first U.S. Marine killed in Vietnam. Need to check that out. Ironies: I joined the Marine Corps in 1976 and am a retired LtCol, working now in Hawaii for Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. Previous (2000-2007) job was at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where, totally by chance, I worked with a retired Navy officer who was dating Major Koelper’s widow; she still lives there in Kailua. My three brothers and I are gathering in Reno this week to prepare our parents’ home for sale and coordinate Mom’s memorial (she passed this month; Dad in May 07). Alice, both you and Lynn were active in Rainbow Girls; I was the sitting Worthy Advisor when most of the American dependents were evacuated in Feb 1965. Mom and I and my two younger brothers went to Bangkok, instead of coming back to the U.S. (Tom had returned to Michigan via Europe after graduating in 1964, then attended Dad’s alma mater, Albion College, and Dad had just extended his two-year tour to June 1964, to allow us time to finish school before returning to the U.S. — so he stayed in country.) I think the family has at least three copies of the 1964 ACS yearbook, all in good shape. Looking through mine, I am transported right back to Saigon. Bottom line: Finding Alice’s blog is GREAT news. Let’s keep it going and use it to find even more of our friends from Saigon. Our common experiences, albeit individual and unique, bond us together in a special relationship. Though we are not brothers and sisters per se, we share a bond no one else has and few outsiders can imagine.
Semper fi and aloha to all,
Sarah WELCOME to our Blog!!!! … and ALOHAAAAA 🙂
We are glad you found us! Thank you for sharing your comments above with us. I’m sure all will enjoy reading them and are looking forward to ‘re-connecting’ with you.
Everyone give Sarah a BIG WELCOME!
Sarah, the next time you visit the Blog, please Register on the Blog and Photo Gallery … and Subscribe to our Newsletter “The Saigon Gecko”. The links are on the Menu over there on the right site of the page.
Once you’ve registered, please feel free to leave Posts and Comments to other people’s Posts as we all share our Saigon experiences and memories.
We are sorry to learn of your parent’s passing. Please accept our condolences on behalf of all Saigon Kids.
Again – Welcome HOME Sarah!!! 🙂