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The Quest for Saigon Kids – Just Go Do It!

To all you Saigon Kids….if you are taking the time to read this then take the time TODAY (ok maybe tomorrow too) to scan a picture, post a comment, send an e-mail, google the name of one of the SKs – you have no idea how much that could mean to them!! I have been very fortunate to make contact again with people I have dearly missed and their e-mails have touched me deeply. SO GO DO SOMETHING PROACTIVE.

To Charles or Frank or “whoever you are today” Stoddard – thank you for the CDs and the link to the Wall.

To Ken – thanks for your travelogues – I used to live in Fussen so I love reading them.

To Mary Anne Purvis – thank you for posting your memories of the coup (5th grade right? Mrs. Zubcoff)

To the guys of the Klan, Coop and Robbie and The Wag, thanks for the e-mails – especially to you Tailwind.

And to you Wizard Bob – who for whatever reason is so culturally isolated that he doesn’t know who Harry Potter is…..and who has only seen one movie in his entire life!!!…and it happened to be Field of Dreams where the message is BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME – thanks for building this site.

And to all of you POST YOUR PICTURES. I cannot be the only one who has 29 pictures of the Saigon days. These guys made the photo gallery easy to access – and since I am digital photography knowledge impaired I KNOW. If you need advice on scanning or whatever – ask Bob – he is very helpful and most encouraging – unless of course you send him a photo of yourself in your very demure Cercle Sportif swim attire…in which case he becomes hopelessly communicative (your poor mother, Bob!) and not in a very instructive way.

And to Maile Miller, most of all, thanks for the phone call. Your kind words went a very long way.

7 comments to The Quest for Saigon Kids – Just Go Do It!

  • Ken

    Fussen, what a wonderful little town. I overnighted there when I was driving from Hamburg to Genoa to catch a ferry to Tunis. Didn’t see much but I know you had a view of the famous Neuschwanstein castle. I saw it in the distance but didn’t stop – had a ferry to catch. My wife and I have been in the area a number of times but have never done the tour as it is always crowded with tourists and I hate crowds. When were you thee and why? I have to say, despite my lack of speaking a decent amount of German, I really do like living here. I hope you enjoyed your time in Germany as well. Hugs – Ken

  • Alice Ahlgren Blackburn

    Hey Ken,

    Would have been in Fussen in the summer and early fall of 1962. We had just been tossed out of Burma, persona non grata, along with all the other westerners after Ne Win’s big coup. We had no home to go back to, partly because it had been rented out for two years, and dad had no job. So we parked ourselves in Fussen, renting some rooms from a local family whose son played ice hockey. Boy, did I learn some German at those games!!!! Anyway, never visited Neuschwanstein until YEARS later when I was on my way to the Hannover Faire. You should go….it’s very cool…they can lower the dining room table down into the kitchen on the floor below and then crank it back up. Beats walkin’ up and down stairs.

  • Ken

    I HAVE AN IDEA (OUCH….THAT HURTS)

    Since we are on a quest to try and located unfound Saigon Kids, what say we address the problem in a somewhat systematic way?

    Several years ago, I was trying to find my old girl friend from Dalat after many years of no contact. One day I was reading an article and it mentioned the school where I knew she attended in Wilkes Barre, Pa., so I wrote the alumni association a letter.. I knew that they wouldn’t give me any of her personal information so I asked them to contact her, if they had any current information. After mailing the letter, I promptly forgot about it. Several weeks l got a telephone call from her and we’ve been in occasional contact ever since

    As I was a junior in the 1961-62 class so I would undertake to try and find my missing classmates. My idea is to read (again) the write-ups for each person, get an idea of where they MAY have gone to university or college (very often in the state that they claim as home – resident tuition and all that) and contact the schools in that state and see what happens. It’s certainly worth a try and I have the time to do it. What we need is a volunteer (a current active Saigon Kid) from each of the other classes. If we only find one person it will be worth it, in my opinion.

    Any thoughts? Any volunteers? All you need is time and the inclination. Most of the information is easily available on the internet. Here is a site that has links to universities in the US,

    http://www.utexas.edu/world/univ/state/

    In addition to my class, and because of the ribbing I get from Bob , I’ll attempt to find Suzie Hunt, the Texas heart-throb. Wish me luck.

    Hugs to all – Ken

  • Admin

    Ken Great Idea!!

    Also, there may be many SKs who recall where some of their SKs friends went off to college, that could be used as a starting point for a locate search, etc.

    I have a friend who makes his living locating people. He has told me several times, in todays world, with a computer and the Internet he can locate most anyone within 24 to 72 hours. Of course, he has a lot of expensive software programs which he uses. But, there are a lot of FREE locator sites on the Internet, as well as, alumni associations, reunion associations/groups, telephone directories, genelogy, ancestory, family tree, etc. sites. The list of places to search for people on the Internet is endless, really.

    As an example, like you Ken, several years ago I wanted to get in touch with an old girl friend. We had lost touch with each other over 30 years prior. The last I knew was that she was in Hawaii or Marina Del Rey, CA. I was going to be in Hawaii on business so wanted to look her up. I did an Internet search for her in the Hawaii telephone directories. A listing came up of the same last name but a first initial of what could be her little sister. I called the number. It was her little sister who was living in Honolulu. She gave me the phone number of her big sister (I was looking for) on Maui. I phoned her (surprised the heck out of her, I might add) and we reconnected. This all took about 15 minutes time. She had married, and of course had a different last name then when we knew each other 30 years prior. Moral of story, when seaching for someone, don’t forget about brothers and sisters. Particularly, brothers … they keep their family name when they marry … 🙂

    Also, don’t forget about parents … Frank got in contact with me through my parents back in 1997.

    Public records sites are another good place to search. Anyone who has owned real estate in the USA or who has had utility accounts will be listed in public records search engines.

    Then there are the Military Locator serices. Each branch of the military services have a locator service. Almost all state and federal government agencies have a locator service.

    Also, Vital Stats … birth, marriage, death records of each state are all public records which can be searched. As are Motor Vehicle records.

    Finding and locationing people is really just a ‘Gap Narrowing’ operation. You know they were at point “A” (ACS Saigon) in year 1962 … then there is a GAP of time between then and NOW … sometimes while searching you get lucky and can jump from ‘back then’ in time to ‘now’ in time. But, usually, it has been my experience, it goes in steps of slowly ‘narrowing’ the ‘gap’ … i.e. they left Saigon in 1963 and returned to their home state to finish high school … gap just got narrowed to ’65 when they graduated (and the high school records will tell if and where they went to college)… so off to that college to check records … gap gets narrowed again … etc etc .. .

    I vote we elect Ken as the “Search and Find Committee Chairman” … How many agree???? … VOTE VOTE VOTE people VOTE … 🙂

    Ken, have ya ever had the feeling you are being ‘railroaded’ into something … LOL … ((GRIN))

    Bob

  • Alice Ahlgren Blackburn

    Hi Ken,
    So who exactly would you be looking for? In teenage years you would have been Class of ’63 – right? Suzy Hunt would have been Class of ’65 – I’m seeing a little pattern here involving the fairer sex. For the record, Suzy left Saigon in August of 1963 headed for Ft. Holbird, Maryland

  • Ken

    @ Alice – Yes, I was in the class of ’63 and the folks that haven’t “joined” the blog so far are Radin Haznam, Karen Ann walther, and Mary Ann Schmitt. I sent emails to David Henry, Bill Wagner, Cheryl Smith and Freeling Clower to try and get them blogging, but no response. I did get a bounce message re Freeling but I was in contact with him earlier…I’ll try again.
    As to Susie Hunt, I undertook to find her simply because she was one of my “Lost Ladies” or something like that, according to the every humorous Bob. I appreciate the hint…will hit the alumni associations in the the MD area and see if she attended college in the area. I’ve tried about 20 Texas schools with no luck to date.
    Tried Googling Mary Ann Schmitt and Karen Walther but nothing so far. Any idea where they come from, state, city???
    I’ve spoke to Cheryl and Larry Smith several months ago, but they don’t seem to be too interested in rejoining the group and I think that probably applies to lots of our non-blogging SKs. Everyone has their own priorities. Still, I shall keep plugging away and try to make some headway. Any info on the above missing folks would be appreciated.
    Hugs to all – Ken

  • Admin

    Ken… if my memory serves me correctly (which is questionable … lol ) … Karen Walther’s father was Frank Walther. Frank and his wife retired in Hawaii, living in the Gold Coast area of Waikiki. I believe they have both passed away tho. If not they would be well up in the years… 90’s. I’ve not had contact with them in at least 20 years. Frank was in the State Dept. The State Dept. locator service, might be able to assist with info on Frank.

    Ken, another place that might be able to assist is the University of Southern California, Berekley. As the high school correspondence courses we all studied were from there. They should have records of all students who took the courses through ACS Saigon. All students would have had their course transcripts transferred to schools they attended after departure from Saigon, and probably to colleges they attended after completing high school, etc. Also, USC might even have information on ‘who maintained the ACS school/student records’ … which could be of great assistance, possibly. Just some thoughts.

    Keep plugging away, you’ll find everyone eventually.. 🙂

    Bob

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