April 2024
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Greetings from Harrison Shaffer

I was in Saigon from 1960 through 1964. I went to ACHS for 8th and 11th grade, and I attended Lycee Jean-Jacques Rousseau for the French equivalent of 9th and 10th grade. My father was a fanatical francophile and felt that a French education was superior to our own. In any case, it was quite an experience. The school was quite close to the Cercle Sportif, as I recall. In my last year there i was somehow involved in a play called The Solid Gold Cadillac, thought I don’t recall the details. I believe I was somewhat of an “outcast” in those years, my closest friends having been Dave Sheppard in 8th grade and Mike McNierney and Bill Walker, plus David Yang and Johnny Bang among the “locals.” What a trip to recall all of this!

Harrison Shaffer

12 comments to Greetings from Harrison Shaffer

  • Admin

    Hello Harrison and WELCOME to the Blogosphere! 🙂

    Good to see you here. Feel free to Post and leave Comments to others Posts. But, most of all have fun and enjoy socializing with all the old gang from Saigon.

    Have a fantastic day!


  • Ralph Johnston

    I was also in “The Solid Gold Cadillac”, my memories have somwhat faded, but I do remember the great after rehersals and after play parties. Great times. R E

  • Maile Doyle

    Alice Ahlgren Blackburn and I were reminiscing about the “Solid Gold Cadillac” as well on the phone the other day. I think I still have the play book somewhere in my treasures. Go figure! Did you know it was touted as being the first amateur dramatic prodution of its kind in southeast Asia? (It says so on page 114 of the 1963 Gecko yearbook, so it must be true.)

    Have a Happy Mother’s Day all you gals out there! My daughter and her husband and six kiddos are here at my house for dinner. Contentment –

  • Admin

    Score another FIRST for Saigon Kids … 🙂


  • Harrison,
    I played saxophone in the ACS band under the patient leadership of your mother, circa 1963-64. I also played one gig with the hippest teenage combo in South Vietnam, “The Esquires,” when Larry Doggett couldn’t make it. One of the tunes we played was “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.” I think the other tune was “Tequila” but I’m not sure. That two-tune gig was the first in what would be thousands of gigs I have played since then. It was for a Vietnamese-American ladies social event. We were smoking…
    Do you still play?
    Les Arbuckle

  • Kathy Connor Dobronyi

    I played flute with Lynn Algren with the ACS band from 1963 to 1964. Your mother was a wonderful woman who had a great deal of patience with all of us. (Thank God!)

    As a 7th grade geek, there wasn’t much hope for me, but I eventually outgrew the condition.

  • Kathy Connor Dobronyi

    Thanks Harrison! Because of the information you supplied, I was able to contact your mother. We had a wonderful chat and plan to keep in touch.

    We came to the conclusion that Lynn Arlgren and I were the only female members in the tiny ACS band. I also think I was the youngest member of the band.

  • Bruce Berger

    I was in Troop 1 also. The camping trips to Dalat and Nha Trang were both quite memorable. Dalat was one of the few places where we could actually go hiking without fear.

    Nha Trang was memorable because of the “attack.” I remember we were all forced to go into a bunker. When it became quite apparent we would not all fit, we sprinted to the mess hall and got under the tables.

    This was on a Special Forces base, and the soldiers were all scrambling around in semi-chaos. A LTC came into the mess hall to reassure us there was nothing to worry about. To make his point, he said his M-14 (or whatever they used) wasn’t even loaded. That failed to reassure me. I wanted a guy with a loaded gun guarding me.

    I was also one of the geeky kids in band, playing clarinet. Those really were the good old days.

  • I was the Scoutmaster of Troop 1 in 1969. I have a small website with a few pictures of our activities that might be of interest. Check it out and let me know if you know anybody in the pics.




  • Admin


    Welcome to our Blog! 🙂

    Thank you for visiting our blog and leaving your comments about Troop 1. Much appreciated. I’m sure those Saigon Kids that were Boy Scouts appreciate you visiting also.

    If you don’t mind, I’m going to put a link on our Menu to your site.

    Please feel free to join our Blog, Newsletter and Photo Gallery; and, contribute anything thing about Saigon or Vietnam you feel might be of interest to the group.

    Again, thanks for stopping by and sharing with us.


  • Jim Lauer

    I was Assistant Scoutmaster in 1961 while attached to MAAG. I was on that trip to Dalat. Yes, the boys could go out camping, but I remember one time for sure maybe two that one of the boys brought back into camp and un-exploded shell. We had to call the Army to come in and take it away. I remember we had to leave Dalat early, as we received intelligence that the Viet-Cog were in the area. The Embassy sent a DC-3 to pick us up. We were able to fly out of President Diem’s airfield.
    I have a lot of photos of the preparation and the camp.

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