April 2024
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Saigon Kids™ Stories: “Frankie, button your shirt”

by Frank Stoddard (ACS)

English class is the one I struggled with through school and ever after.

I disliked all my English teachers … well, wait there was Mrs. Jones.

By the way, Mrs. Jones was real!!

I was 16 years old.

I used to wear my shirt unbuttoned and my shirt collar up. She would walk by (you all know the checker outside sidewalk that went down the right side of the school … I was waiting for the girls to arrive so that I and my friends could walk behind them and admire the beauty … Oh, where was I?) and say “Frankie, button your shirt”.

I would slur back with dreamy eyes, “Yes, Mrs. Jones”.

I hear that she later became the principal.

4 comments to Saigon Kids™ Stories: “Frankie, button your shirt”

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    I was not a cool kid. Wanted to be but just didn’t have the right stuff. Oh well.

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Rodrigue…can’t remember what she taught (or tried to teach). Didn’t she drive a little green sports car of some sort? Lovely lady.

  • Does anyone remember the name of Mrs. Jones’ husband?

    Mr. Jones!

    Well, actually he was named Lynn Jones, something I had to verify by rereading the first of the many letters my mother wrote to my father after he was flown to Clark Air Base to the hospital when he was injured by the hand grenade that was thrown into our yard at him as he came home to lunch. Lynn Jones headed up the Civil Aviation Advisory Group for USOM, and both my father and Mike Parker’s father worked for him.

    Check out Mrs. Jones’ picture in the 1961 Gecko. Stunning! She was my English teacher at ACS, too. If she’d told ME to button up my shirt, I sure would have! I might not have done it for Madame Quinquet, or Mrs. Sheppard, or even Mrs. Novick. But for Mrs. Jones: anything!

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    I always liked the the “Mrs. Jones” song. Another favorite was “Walk on By”…don’t recall the artist, but the words are revealing as are those in Mrs. Jones. HUMMMM.

  • frank

    Bruce, I remember one teacher’s name from my sixth grade. I remember one teacher’s name from my eight grade…in fact when I arrived at the Saigon Airport, she was there…Mrs McDaniel’s (from Iran). She was not there to welcome me, thank God, but was there by consequence, to meet some other folks. Her picture in the ’61 Gecko’ is how I remember her. I remember the name of one teacher from my 10th grade year (although I remember several others by their face or nick names…one monk had been a boxer and when the school bell rang, we always laughed, because he would start to shadow box…We called him Ding Ding!)) and none from my senior year, but the Principle. On the other hand, I remember everyone you mentioned from our Saigon Days.
    I went to four different high schools in three different countries. There was both good and bad about that!! I said goodbye to many girls when I left and got in so many fights when I arrived….that I can not remember them all…the fights that is…I remember all the gals.

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