September 2023
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Saigon Kids™ Today: *Da Fonz* Hits The BIG 70

by Frank Stoddard, Contributing Editor (ACS)

Kazi and his Grandpa with Kazi's first car. Circa 2014. Frank Stoddard Collection.

Kazi and his Grandpa with Kazi’s first car. Circa 2014. Frank Stoddard Collection.

I just had my 70th birthday.

I did not expect it to be so overwhelming. It all started on the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo (Thursday, March 6th) and went through Sunday.

On the 6th of March my wife and son, after our morning lattes, gave me many birthday presents of shirts, pants and a sheet-rock measuring tool– and a bottle of single malt scotch. Our son’s wife Riji flew in late Thursday night from N.Y. City and surprised my wife. My number one child, Tanya and her boy friend Tim, drove from Phoenix on Friday with a surprise. Our daughter Jodie (JoJo) and our 11-month-old grandson, Kazi, had secretly flown in from Honolulu to surprise us. I put more than enough steaks on the grill and we just sat down to eat, when I get a call form my cousin Linda saying she is five minutes from our house. She and her husband John drove all the way from Rigby Idaho to be at my birthday party. (My daughter Tanya had been the instigator and had gone out on “Facebook”, etc. inviting people.)

On Saturday we all met at the Bisbee, AZ Brewery.

All my kids were there. The only ones we were missing was our oldest grand-daughter, Paije who is in grad-Nursing school in San Diego and JoJo’s husband, Mark, who is presently in Australia working (sound and video) at the World Surfing competitions.

Many of my old fellow “teachers” showed up, plus just friends. I was sang to and toasted and just mainly felt special! I received many shirts and pants, candy & cookies from Hawaii and Europe, a Black Forest Cake, chocolate, a wonderful DVD about the music of the Civil Rights Movement, a bottle of champagne, and five bottles of very, fine single malt scotch! Some are so beautiful, I hate to open them!

After the Brewery, many of us went over to Santiago’s for Mexican food. Wow, was it good!

I found it to be, maybe the best I have ever had.

A side note — after nearly 7 years out of how American teenagers are supposed to act (being overseas basically from ten to seventeen), my cousin Linda taught me some basics about how to act. For instance, when you drop a girl off after a date, you walk her to the door and just not yell out “see you later” and then drive away. Oh, and when you pick them up, you open the car door, but most of the time you guide them over to the driver’s side and have them enter under the searing wheel — Remember the bench seats and of course nobody had seat belts? But the girl sat close to the driver — so cool!

I must rest now; the celebration was way beyond my expectations. Three and a half days of celebration.

Frank — This one’s for you on your 70th! If you remember the 60’s you weren’t really there … 🙂

Rock On…


8 comments to Saigon Kids™ Today: *Da Fonz* Hits The BIG 70

  • Kenneth R. Yeager

    Frank, My wife and I wish you all the very best on your birthday and hope that you have many more. Take care of yourself and REALLY enjoy having your family around…..nothing beats family. Best regards – Ken

    • Kenneth R. Yeager

      I just noted the date on your post…where in the hell was I???? Nonetheless, a belated Happy Birthday.

      • We don’t know, Ken … do you know where you were/are … ??? Is time slipping away? Does it seem like Monday was just yesterday, but it is actually Friday today?? Are you wondering what happened to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday?? Hmmm … 🙂 LOL

  • Kevin L. Wells


    The allure of a sheet-rock measuring tool eludes me, but all the rest would be at about the limits of my endurance!

    Imagine, scoring five or six single malts and champagne plus a crowd coming to town for the event. If it gets any better than that for your next landmark birthday, you may need a two week recovery!



  • H. Clark


    Heard you got something you didn’t want for your birthday >> OLD <<

    Belated cheers,


  • Frank

    Cuz, You made me laugh! Thanks

  • Frank

    By the way Robert…I do not have “Flash Backs”, I just never left the 60’S!

  • Suellen Oliver Campbell

    Happy, though belated, Birthday, Frank, and many more! Sounds like they “did it up right” for you. Much deserved for a man who has rocked through 7 decades and is still standing tall. My best to you!

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