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#107225 - 08/10/05 11:10 PM Re: Travelling shoes
bridgman Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/25/04
Posts: 5278
Loc: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada
OK, so the technology needs just a bit more work. Get them home safely, accomplish the mission, and wipe any memory of how to play poker. The black planes seem to be pretty good at the first two; how hard can the third one be ?

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#107226 - 08/10/05 11:15 PM Re: Travelling shoes
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
For some reason they sent me over there with only 10 months left in my hitch. I arrived January '70, and went home on an "early out" due to troop reduction in November '70.

I was stationed in Saigon, but I was a soundman on a motion picture crew, and traveled all over the country. Never made it to Phu Bai or Hue. The farthest North we got, was Da Nang. Between there and Saigon, we managed to see the sights in Pleiku, Quy Nhon, Nha Trang, Cam Ranh Bay, and countless villages whose names I can't remember if I ever knew them. Spent a lot of time with the 1st Cav over by Tay Ninh and the Parrot's Beak. Now THAT was an interesting area. The photo was taken over there somewhere.

Aside from getting shot at by rifles, 51 caliber machine guns, mortars and rockets, the worst moment I had in Nam was getting lost at Tan Sa Nhut air base in Saigon. I turned into a compound that was shielded by a very high solid fence to turn around, and inside the compound, piled as high as the top of the fence, and as far as the eye could see were thousands and thousands of, as yet, unused coffins. I wept.

Second worst moment was sitting on the airplane, waiting for it to take off to take me home. My anxiety level was through the roof. I had the overwhelming feeling that somebody was going to come walking down the aisle, tap me on the shoulder, and say "Sorry soldier. There's been a mistake with your orders. You aren't going anywhere." No Lie. I was petrified that was going to happen. I wasn't the only one cheering at the top of my lungs as the plane lifted off the ground.

Thanks to you and F107 for your service and sacrifice. I'm glad you made it back to the world.

Apologies to Amie for hijacking her thread with old war stories. Rome has seen it's battles, too.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#107227 - 08/11/05 08:54 AM Re: Travelling shoes
pizoni Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/22/04
Posts: 90
Loc: Whitby,Ontario,Canada
Hi!
Thank you for your nice words. I'm glad to hear that you've enjoyed your time in Italy!I do not think that 14 days is "a long time", considering the "amount"(!?) of art to be seen!I'm very well prepared for this amazing trip, I've booked everything(flights,places to stay,Venice Card-access everywhere,transportation,even toilets!,trains,rental car for a 2 day drive around Tuscany,museums)and I've studyied the culture and language for almost 35 years...
...and I still hope I will meet Amie in Rome!

Regards,
Octavian


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#107228 - 08/11/05 10:45 AM Re: Travelling shoes
Amie Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 1620
Wow - thanks everyone for the advice! Octavian, I'll pm you as soon as I have my schedule worked out (I'm a little slow at these things!). Jack, my travelling companion is not an older man (else I would have taken Ian! {giggles}) but rather my aunt, who hasn't been to Rome since 1964! But Alan was recently there and says not much has changed since the 60s, really.

I had been thinking of NOT going to the Vatican (living in the north makes you a little crowd-shy) but having had about 15 recommendations now, guess I had better! I keep hearing 'hire a tour guide' and a close friend has a name for me so that sounds like a must-do.

**

Looking at Jack's picture just makes me wonder how surreal that whole experience must have been. Did it always feel like a (bad) dream?
_________________________
Amie Colquhoun
Axiom Audio

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#107229 - 08/11/05 01:27 PM Re: Travelling shoes
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
In reply to:

Looking at Jack's picture just makes me wonder how surreal that whole experience must have been. Did it always feel like a (bad) dream?


Interesting! "Surreal," and "dream" are two terms that I would say applied. Though I got into a few scrapes, and at times the dream was "bad," I, basically, had it pretty soft. The ones who deserve the credit, and our admiration, are the ones (perhaps F107 or cgolf is one of them) who were ground pounders and lived like that photo 24/7)

Keep in mind that the photo was taken the morning after my worst night in Nam. Six hours after that photo was taken, I was sound asleep in my bed in my air conditioned hotel room (with refrigerator, and bath) in Saigon, which I shared with two other guys. Most of the time I looked like this:



I was on an Army Department of Defense Motion Picture News Team. We were required to shoot 5 stories per month, and send the raw footage to the DOD, who would edit it into a short new story, and release it to the networks, and other news operations (made the CBS evening news with Walter Cronkite once).

What we would do is spend 3 weeks lolling in air conditioned comfort in Saigon, then hit the boonies shooting all 5 of our stories in one week. When in Saigon, with rare exceptions, it was pretty normal. One of those exceptions was standing on the balcony outside my hotel room (The Plaza Hotel) watching rockets coming in and hit the hotel a half block away. Now that I think about it, that same hotel once had a motorcycle bomb blow off the front of the building. I'm glad I lived in the Plaza, thank you.

When we were in the boonies, it could be quite a different story. When we went into Cambodia, the convoy that went in a half hour before mine was attacked, and the one that came a half hour after was attacked. Whew! One of the fellows on the other Army DOD Mopic team was killed when a 51 caliber machine gun round went through the floor of the helicopter in which his team was riding.

Yes I think "surreal," is a good description.

_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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#107230 - 08/11/05 04:03 PM Re: Travelling shoes
spiffnme Offline
axiomite

Registered: 04/01/03
Posts: 5214
Loc: Los Angeles
It's likely been said before but BEWARE of the cars. I've never seen worse driving than in Rome. It goes beyond bad. Street lights, stop signs, and that silly yellow or white paint on the pavement mean absolutely NOTHING to them.

Beyond that, there's a lot of neat stuff to see.




_________________________
"A nation cannot prosper long, when it favors only the prosperous." -President Barack Obama

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#107231 - 08/11/05 05:39 PM Re: Travelling shoes
AshBoomstick Offline
aficionado

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 540
Loc: Richmond, VA
Amen in regards to the cars. From my experience in Naples: absolutely, postively do not drive while you're in the cities. Their methods of driving compared to ours, is like comparing my arms and legs to Bruce Lee's. Sure, we have the same number of hands and feet, but i can't fly through the air and put an artistic ass-whuppin' on anyone.They're are completely different beasts. The drive insanely over there, it is far safer to take a taxi and hang on for dear life. Think of it as a rollercoaster ride with a higher chance of personal injury!
_________________________
Who's the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?

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#107232 - 08/11/05 08:28 PM Re: Travelling shoes
Ajax Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/30/03
Posts: 6246
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
Spiff, have you ever driven in Mexico City? OY!

Nice to have you back, by the way. Missed you.
_________________________
Jack

"People generally quarrel because they cannot argue." - G. K. Chesterton

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