April 2024
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Is this site dying?????

by Ken Yeager

OK, here comes another ranting from that Yeager guy, but I just can’t pass up the opportunity to try and shake something out of the Saigon Kids community.  I know some of you are still working because you are younger than me and others are busy with grandchildren, hobbies, and keeping the family moving forward, but I know all of you can spend some time informing your old friends of what is going on in your life.  Personally, I have really appreciated this site (and Roy’s too) because it has brought me into contact with so many of my former classmates and friends, people I have to admit to forgetting about during the intervening years but now are important to me.  And I think now, today, that friendships come closely behind family in importance in one’s life.  I, unfortunately, don’t have many friends due to my being a lousy correspondent, my career and being just lazy, but having reestablished contact with so many of my former SK and Dalat schoolmates, I feel so much better if for no other reason than remembering the good times in Saigon.  I thank Larry Smith for igniting my interest in motorcycles, the parties we attended as kids, the great ball games out near the school – Saigon was without a doubt a highpoint in my life and now, today, I really appreciate the memories knowing that others out there share them with me.

So what does all of this mean?  It means don’t let this site be forgotten or die.  It is our link to each other and our shared memories.  We don’t want to lose contact with each other again and I know that I am always interested in knowing what is going on in your lives (Elvera – how goes the project?).

Pop in now and again say something and of course, keep seeking the ones that are not yet on Roy’s register.  We are a band of brothers and sisters, we are unique and we played a part of history.

Enjoy the week.

35 comments to Is this site dying?????

  • Peter Brownell

    Also, feel free to check out the FaceBook Saigon Kids page 🙂

  • Sandy Hanna

    The site has gone into things like health and wellness and slid away from Saigon as its theme. I think that is why it is not as interesting to keep up with lets get back to getting people involved and memories.

  • Mike McNally

    Ken, et al, I’m not a formal member of Saigon Kids, just a newsletter recipient. (I was an 18yo “kid” when I arrived in Saigon with the Army in 1967. And I did go to the University of Maryland there, in classroom, in 1974 and 1975.) So I don’t have access to your restricted material. But I have appreciated the SK stories I have been able to read. Please don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. To strengthen the core of your site and give you some new topics for discussion, please consider this suggestion: Any SK member can join the CICV (Combined Intelligence Center Vietnam)Yahoo Group, and it’s sister group, MACV-DAO Yahoo Group. Tell the moderators, Tony and Harold respectively,that Mike McNally sent you. Both groups would love to hear about the Early Days, and it’s very easy to post any pix you might have. If you don’t want to “speak” or post any pix, that’s fine too. Just read the messages and look at the photos and read the documents. You’ll see that the topics are not restricted to the CICV and MACV-DAO buildings. A recent topic was the demolition of the Eden building. You don’t have to be a “vet” to join the groups. One of the members was a Vietnamese rock musician. Please contact me at mdrmmdrm [at] yahoo.com if you have any questions…Mike McNally

  • Bob … I marvel at your energy … how many sites did you say you manage? I have 4 and I am behind the curve all the time. You must wake up with a can of double-shot Starbucks still in your hand (as opposed to the good old days when it was beer)!

    Keep on truckin, you are doing a super job. You missed bikeweek here in Florida – some of the pictures I will NOT send you!

    Anyone interested in 2012 Saigon Reunion? Or, are you all waiting to see if the world end on December 12, 2012?


    • Roy – 348! And I’m in the process of launching an additional 100! – LOL – 🙂

      12/12/12 … LOL … sounds like a good date for a Reunion in Saigon.

      Rock Onnnnn ….. Bob

    • Maile Miller Doyle

      I am interested in a reunion, but I would like to see who can get together stateside. I would be interested in working with others to make that happen, but I am not interested in returning to Vietnam. Anyone else want to do that?I didn’t find you all (SK) until after the reunion in Tennessee, but it looked like a good time was had by all and I loved following the most recent Saigon reunion. Let me know…

  • Mike Nelson

    I just recently found this site and wish I had found it earlier. I was a student at the American Community School during my freshman year 1961-1962 and again in my senior year 1964-1965. They were great times.

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Hey Mike, remember me? Check your Gecko if you still have one. Welcome to the site and among the “historical” Saigon Kids. Lots of us still around. Ken

  • Sally Trued

    I think the site—which was a captivating idea for those of us who lived an experience in Saigon that doesn’t exist anymore anywhere—has moved away from sharing memories of that amazing time, to 1)totally unrelated issues about wellness,etc., 2)people’s personal agendas, and 3)talking about lives now (hobbies, grandchildren, etc). None of the latter 3 are particularly compelling. I can do that through high school and college alumni sites, Classmates, other social media. What separates us from the rest of our peers was an incredible and unique experience 40-50 years ago in a mysterious and magical world. I love the stories about experiences back then.

    • Kenneth R. Yeager

      Sally, you have a point and I agree up to sharing what we are doing today. I, personally, am interested in what folks are doing with their lives, sharing more recent experiences and getting so it is like talking to a neighbor over the back fence. What do you do when you get together with friends and chat? I’m sure you talk about things that are common to all of you. You chat. I agree we do get off thread in a number of the posts but we all have our ideas of what is appropriate and what isn’t. I just don’t want this site and all of Bob’s work to falter or become boring and reach the point where no one checks it out and we all drift away. So tell me, what’s for supper. LOL Ken

  • ron ryan

    I attended the American Community school from 63-65. I was 9 atthe time but my memories are vivid. The bombing of the theater, Diem’s assassination, the circle sportif. I remeber Mrs. Armstrong and Mrs Slovak. I had crushes on my sister;s friends, Kim Ruoff and michele Rydell. I can’t believe I can remember all this stuff. I use to play with the Stillwells. We were on R%R in Thaliland when we found out we were being evacusted. That was a sad day, leaving my Dad behind. We lived in Redondo Beach until he finished his tour. Talk about culture shock!

  • Jay Oyler

    I look forward to each new e-mail from SK. I haven’t yet connected with anyone from my short time in Saigon ( 1/’64 to 8/’64 ) but I’m still hoping to find someone. I was 12 y/o at the time. I would hate to see the site die as well. Keep it real and keep it going.

  • Claude Arcache


    Ken, thank you for that. I fully agree.

    I, for one, read the site all the time even if I do not contribute often.

    If any of you are near Paris, let me know…


  • Heather Strathern

    I’m new to the SKC site but I have definitely found it to be an amazing “throwback” to some memories that have significantly impacted my life.It’s important for me to hold on to them since it feels like it was life in another dimension. Memories of being across from the targeted palace during the Diem overthrow and holing up for three days under beds is not a memory that disappears.We really were a part of history.When I hold the memories I honor my father who is no longer here.

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Well, after a spurt of activity, things seemed to have gone back to sleep. Still, it did show that folks read the site occasionally.

  • Ken, never underestimate the number of lurkers like me! There are lots of us reading what you write. It’s just that, unlike you (who’ve recently gone full-retiree mode) I’ve gone back to a full-time gig of teaching in a local university (after a career in the corporate world). Between lecturing to 150 math undergraduates in 4 classes and other duties supporting the department’s administrivia, I’m too busy to get embroiled in the fun of frequently chattering on this excellent blog. But I do enjoy reading what everyone writes. Speaking of which, I need another Sunday update from Northern Germany — sonst schreiben sie noch mehr, mensch!

    • Kenneth R. Yeager

      Ahh Bruce, you are truly a gentleman. I understand that many folks are still working and don’t have that much time on their hands like I do, especially here in very often rainy Hamburg (now that we are pretty much over the cold weather).

      As to a Sunday update, things are pretty quiet right now. I am watching the political antics going on what with the Germans bowing out of anything to do with Libya and the resulting world-wide (pretty much) condemnation of the Foreign Minster Westerwelle. He ain’t too well liked in Germany either thus the trouncing of his party (FDP)in two state elections last weekend. Like Quadaffi and Assad in Syria, he doesn’t see the handwriting on the wall.

      Keep the faith and if you ride, keep your knees to the wind and the shiny side up.

    • Bruce – CLOD Undergraduate Advanced Math:

      (1+2) + (2+1) = 33


  • Hi Ken, I’m sure that many of us check in from time to time. I’m still in contact with Randy Seely, Kathie Koehl and Gini Campbell. We often bring up things we read here. Just too busy to write our thoughts and things, but appreciate yours. 🙂

    • Maile Miller Doyle

      Hi Arline – I have an ancient picture of us at the sisters monument. I think we went with my parents on a sightseeing trip. Where are you living? My husband and I are in Ohio. Where is Kathie Kohl? We were good friends, too.
      I am going to see Alice Ahlgren this summer in California. Best regards, Maile

  • Maile Miller Doyle

    So, Ken, you can see that many of us want to continue this site, but are not able to write as often as maybe we should. Thanks for stepping up to support Bob and keep us informed about what’s happening.

  • Sandy Hanna

    Just wanted to give people a heads up if they are in the New York area: Hofstra University is holding a conference Thursday, Friday & Saturday April 14 – 16th entitled “Into the Sunlight:The Impact of War on the Social Body From the Vietnam Era to the Present.” There are several of us Saigon Kids who will be part of the Saturday, April 16th 9:30-10:30 Panel entitled “Shadow and Light, Stories of American Children Who Lived in Saigon: 1955-65.” Elvera Roussel, Les Arbuckle and myself will be on the panel and there will be excerpts from Elvera Roussel’s documentary film shown. The keynote speaker is David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize winning author of “They Marched Into Sunlight” about Vietnam. He’ll be talking on Thursday April 14th from 9:30-10:50. For more information you can call 516.463.5669 or go to hofstra.edu/culture – hope to see some of you there. Sandy

  • Tess Ruoff Hallinan

    Ron Ryan message of March 25, 2011

    KIM RUOFF Vietnam 1963-1965
    Laos 1965-1968

    Kim Ruoff was my mom. I just graduated from High School – June 5, 2011 – and live in Brookline, MA with my dad. My mom died in 2003 and I just happened onto this site. Wow! I have a lot of pictures of my mom in Laos and Vietnam and love to hear stories. My aunt Lees, my mom’s older sister, lives in MA. She came to my graduation. Wish everyone well. If you have any old pic’s love to see them.

    My grandfather, Jay Ruoff, is still going strong!!!!


    • Hello Tess! Welcome to our Saigon Kids site. Great having you visit. Feel free to explore the site and join in on discussions, etc. We’d all love to see your mom’s pictures and hear the stories she told you of her days in Viet-nam and Laos.

      There are pictures and videos through out the site of Saigon and Laos.

      Congratulations on graduating from High School!

      Enjoy! 🙂


      PS: Be sure to tell you Aunt and Grandfather about the site. They’d be more then welcome to visit and share their memories.

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Well, looks like things have picked up on the site and for that, I am pleased. I guess lots of folks check out the posts and comments and then move on, posting on when someone new comes on board. Still, that’s good. Keep it up. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer…bit damp here in north Germany. We seem to have had our summer in April but weatherman says that August should be better than July (keep your fingers crossed). Anyway, keep posting or if nothing else, just drop by and say hello to all of your SK friends now and then. (Nice to see you commenting, Brooksie). Have a nice Sunday.

  • Ron Ryan, would you be willing to share some memories of Saigon? I am a Vietnam vet and was in publishing for many years afterward. But I’ve turned to writing. My second novel, Red Flags, is just out. It’s set in the highlands. However, the next one is set in 1963 in Saigon, where I spent very little time. I know the Cercle Sportif, your dances there, your school, the Majestic Hotel, etc., all from research. I would love to hear your reminiscences.
    Juris Jurjevics sohojj [@] aol.com

  • Erland Heginbotham

    I don’t know if I can use this site as a means of contacting the Jay Ruoff who was in Vietnam many years ago. I remember Jay quite well (don’t recall his wife’s name at the moment.) If anyone at this address can help me out I’d be grateful. Thanks, Erland Heginbotham

  • Bob Ritchie

    Erland: I’m one of your recruits from the 1965 personnel “roundups” in Boston. Fresh from Boston College’s Economics Department, I answered a blind ad in the Boston Globe and ultimately ended up at your desk. After my 3-year stint in Vietnam, I went on to a full career with USAID in three geographic bureaus…then retired. I do consider you my “Career Godfather”.

    You may wish to try The Vietnam Center located At Texas Tech University. Contact info follows: (806)742-0496; Email: vietnamarchives@ttu.edu Website: http//vietnam.ttu.edu

    Very best to you and yours, Bob Ritchie, FSO Ret.

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