April 2024
« Aug    



The Journey Begins: Saigon Reunion 2009

This Post will remain here at the top of the front page of our Blog thoughout the Reunion in Saigon. Our ‘travellers’ will leave ‘update’ Comments under this Post to keep us up to date on their activities as they travel to and from Saigon for the Reunion.

Frank is enroute now. He is currently on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii. Frank and his son will depart Hawaii for Taipei Monday and arrive in Hanoi Thrusday. Then work their way south to Saigon where they’ll hook up with everyone else attending the Reunion.

So be sure to read the ‘Comments’ below for reports and pictures from our travellers as they journey to and from Saigon for Reunion 2009.

As always, feel free to leave your comments below.


197 comments to The Journey Begins: Saigon Reunion 2009

  • Admin

    Frank has sent word that Veny and Dini will be attending the Saigon Reunion 2009. This is great news as we have been unable to contact them for the past couple years.


  • Ken

    Allow me to be one of the first to wish all of you a safe and fun trip. Please pass my best regards to Viny and Dini if they still remember me, the kid their dad said to “you’re smarter than you look.” Anyway, have fun and enjoy and come home safely.


  • You guys are going to have so much fun! Cathie and I will be following your activities and will be thinking of all or you. Walking Rue Catinat , seeing the flower market and main market, the activity on the Saigon River(where I saw my first surgery of the USS Hope), truly reliving old memories will feel amazingly good since you will be sharing this. I’m sending hugs to all or you and Veni and Dini how wonderful that you are there! I would have enjoyed meeting your husband and son Veni and hope to in the future. Have an amazing week. I’ll see AZ and David to get a first hand report. Love, Lynn who was there ’58 to ’61, class of ’65

  • Susie Stann

    I am going at the last minute, too! When I heard Veny & Dini are coming, I just had to go, too. I remembered all the sleepovers at their house, all the parties and taxi rides to the Catinat to get party photos, have dresses made, and of course bargain at the market. This will be my third time seeing Veny and second seeing Dini since 1961, and my fifth trip to Vietnam. We are staying at the Continental. This should be the best!

    Susie Stann

  • Admin

    Just got an email from Susie Stann, it reads:
    “Susie Stann will be going at last minute!”


    Who else will be going at the last minute? Anyone got any guesses? ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Sarah Rogers

    Another last minute person is a woman named Deborah Oakley-Melvin. She was in grade school when I was in high school so only know her by phone and eamil. I am excited to meet her however as she lives in the great state of our Presidents birth! She is on Big Island Hawaii while I am on Kauai.
    Ruth (Matteson) Blackmore leaves this coming Friday, 2-27. I am leaving 3-2 and am so excited.
    Ruthie and I had traveled to Bali about 8 years ago to see Dini and Veny and then went to Jakarta for a stay as well. I was last in Saigon in ’91 and I am anxious to see all the changes-malls and high rises…doesn’t seem possible!

  • Ken

    Grrrrrr I so much wanted to participate in this reunion…it would be so great to see all of my former classmates and to catch up on 40 years of absence. I hope ya’ll have a really great time together and that someone will do an after event report along with lots and lots of photographs. Have a great time and not too much “33.” Ken

    • Admin

      It’s never too late, Ken … check out the ‘last minute’ discounted airfare/hotel packages … you might be pleasantly surprised. $1500 to $1700 round trip airfare and 3/4 star hotels … Click Here … ๐Ÿ™‚


  • David Henry

    Best wishes and fair winds to all who are going on the reunion. Please say hello from me to Veny and Dini. My wife, daughters and step-son will be eagerly following your progress. Have a safe and enjoyable trip there and back.

  • Six more days to go for me … but I will be going to Baguio (Brent School) first and then on to Saigon on the 10th of March. I hope to send Bob pictures on the go and will accumulate everyones videos and pictures into a montage of our experiences (would love to have one made from the front of a Motocyclo didi-mouing down Rue Catinat)to post on the website. Many Bamuoiba toasts to all of you who couldn’t make it. Your spirit will be with us.

    • Admin

      Roy … in all the excitement “don’t forget your camera equipment” … LOL ((GRIN))

      There may not be Motocyclo’s in Saigon anymore. I seem to recall reading someplace a while back that all ‘3 wheel vechicles’ had been out lawed from Saigon streets. I’d be interested to know if it is true or not, as Saigon would just not seem like Saigon without ‘ cyclos ‘ …

      Roy, if you don’t already have one … swing by Best Buy and pick up a ‘hat cam’ attachment for your camera’s … they clip onto your hat or headband … kinda like a web cam clips onto a laptop. Then you can ride or walk around filming as you go … LOL … they’re fun to play with … ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have a fantastic journey … toast a Ba Muoi Ba to me at “The Olympic Bar” … (remember the place down by the river with the ‘concrete bar’ and painted blue inside – and the only place in Saigon with ‘roasted peanuts’, instead of boiled?! Was a favorite Clod hangout just for the peanuts with our ba muoi ba … lol ).


  • Admin

    Frank and son should be in Hanoi now. Should have arrived today (Thursday). Unless Frank got lost again, as he was always known to do … LOL Well at least he has his son along to help him find his way …. ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hopefully, Frank will check in with an update … before he finds the Ba Muoi Ba … LOL


  • Mimi

    Wishing all of you a very happy trip “ร  la recherche du temps perdu” as Proust would say.

    So many happy memories! I hope your being there will help you remember more things to tell us about, and that you see new things worth showing us. I must confess I too am having second thoughts about not going, I guess I plainly chickened out. Well, I’ll have to live with it.:)
    so..enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. I am anxiously waiting for the first report.
    xxx mimi

    • Admin

      Mimi … I’m beginning to think Frank and son found the Ba Muoi Ba soon after arrival in Hanoi … LOL … and have become lost along the Ba Muoi Ba Trail from Hanoi to Saigon … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Mimi

    yep…guess you are right…lol
    unless there pc was stolen already…lol. no I hope not.
    So we’ll wait…:)

    • Admin

      LOL … Mimi … Hmmm? I’m thinking about our options … lol

      1. Wait … wait … wait … lol
      2. Jump on a plane and fly over there and track them down. Then make them share the Ba Muoi Ba with us!! LOL

      Appears to be a ‘cliff hanger’ … lol … the waiting, the anticipation, the suspense … lol ๐Ÿ™‚

      Actually, they may not be able to get a good Internet connection. I’ve heard that while the WiFi works, that many times Internet connections are a little spotty outside of Saigon. And, even some of the Internet connections at some Saigon hotels don’t always work very well … ๐Ÿ™

      My last communication with Frank (from the North Shore of Oahu) was “Bob, do you want me to send updates as we travel along our route?” My reply was “Yes!” … have not heard from him since … LOL

      A few others left for Saigon yesteday, over this weekend and some are leaving first part of next week. So, as more get there next week we’ll probably start hearing more from the gang … ๐Ÿ™‚

      I don’t know if Roy will be transmitting from PI or not. He’ll be at Brent School Reunion in PI until March 10th.

      Wait we shall …. lol … as if we have any other choice … ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Mimi

    Just dropped by to check…lol. well no news good news..lol.
    Bob, if your parents were friends with the Wilkes, you must (they..) know that friend of my mother who knew them also. Mim Johnston. I have an adress but it is already a few years old.

    Well, as far as the travelling party is concerned, we’ll keep on waiting, as the song says.
    xxx mimi

    • Admin

      LOL … Mimi … I think you hit the nail on the head, so to speak with … “travelling party” … LOL … might be why we have not heard from them … their ‘party’ is going tooooooooooo well to have time to communicate with us … LOL … either that or they are in no condition to be able to figure out how to turn on the computers … lol … dang, Ba Muoi Ba, will do it everytime … LOL

      Hmmm Mim Johnston … I vaguely remember (I think) hearing my parents mention her name … or, I might have met her along the way too … Not sure as it was sooooo long ago and my parents knew so many people all over the world … lol … Dang! I knew I should have left my parents name and address books (of their friends) out of all their stuff I put in storage after they passed away. (Yep, I took the easy why out … couldn’t figure out what to do with all of it … or what to keep or not keep … so put everything in storage, until I have the ‘time’ to go through it all … lol). But, I would imagine they all knew each other. As, it seemed if one person in a group knew someone, then everyone in the group knew them too.

      Hmm? … I’m sitting here wondering if Frank is riding an elephant to Saigon … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

      Back to waiting we go … LOL

      Hmm? … thinking if this keeps up we might have to set up a “Waiting Room” section on the blog … ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Admin

    Our First Traveller checks in from PI. I recieved this email from Roy this morning … stay tuned … ๐Ÿ™‚


    Have made it to Manila … jetlag … heard from Annie Porcher that Anne Marie Pietrie will be in Saigon for the Reunion … will try and get her involved in our activities. Pix to follow … will visist the tables tonight to either make my annual deposit or fund the reunion activities (lol).

    Will be leaving here on the 10th for Saigon

    Wish you could be there on the 10th …


    • Admin

      Roy … great hearing from you!

      I remember Annie and Anne Marie. On my 2nd day in Saigon Larry took me to Cercle Sportif to introduce me around to people. The ‘first’ girl I met in Saigon was Mimi. The 2nd and 3rd were Anne Marie and Annie who were with Mimi at the Cercle Sportif at the time. WOW! What a welcome to Saigon that was!! ๐Ÿ™‚ And, a memory that is still very VIVID to this day … funny how some things seem to stick in our minds forever and others just fade away.

      So Roy, did you “fund” the reunion activities … OR … ha ha ha …. LOL

      We’ll all be waiting for the pix to follow …

      Rock on my friend and be safe!


      • Admin


        Frank (and son) arrived in Hanoi last Thursday. They are working their way south to Saigon to join up with the rest of the folks attending the Reunion.

        March 6th is Frank’s 65th birthday.

        Where will Frank be at on his birthday (March 6th) toasting with Ba Muoi Ba to offically becoming a penioner?

        Whoever guesses where he’ll be at in Viet-nam on his birthday will win the contest.

        The Prize: While the details are still being worked out, the prize for the winner of the contest will be a ‘one of a kind’ … no other like it … something … from Viet-nam.

        The only clues we have to Frank (and son’s) location is that:
        1. They arrived in Hanoi last Thursday Feb. 26th.
        2. They will cyclo to Saigon. [Correction: They had a change of plans about this. See Frank’s 1st report from Viet-nam, below]
        3. They are scheduled to arrive in Saigon on or about March 10th (but no confirmed date is known).
        4. See Franks 1st report from Viet-nam for more clues.

        So, get out you Viet-nam maps and see if you can figure out where Frank will be on March 6th celebrating his birthday … in true Ba Muoi Ba fashion, I’m sure!

        Enter your best guess as a Comment below.


  • A special aloha to Sarah (from Kaua’i), who is already on her way! I leave Monday morning from Hilo and am so excited to see everyone! I leave from Hanoi at the end of the month and though I may not be up to the cyclo-ing all the way there (kudos to Frank and son), I’m up for any and all other adventures. Anybody have train tips?
    Deborah (’62/’63 – Debby Melvin)

    • Admin

      Deb … Train Tip #1 … stay on the train in ‘tiger country’ … lol

      Have fun and enjoy your journey and the reunion!

      Alooooohhhhhaaaaaaaa … ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Does anyone remember Manon Leoppard? She was my best friend and lived behind us and the Parker family on Ngo Dinh Khoi Blvd. We completely lost touch during the series of moves we each made. She had two older teenaged sisters, but I didn’t see them in the ACS Gecko so assume that they attended school elsewhere? Surely some teenaged memories exist about the elder Leoppard girls? Their Dad was a policeman, I believe, and he hunted tigers at the time, had one on his living room floor at the base of the stairway. Any memory at all would be appreciated!

    • Admin

      Deb … the name Leoppard rings a bell, but for the life of me I can’t remember from where or when … lol

      Tiger hunts where popular in Southeast Asia at that time tho …

      I’m sure someone in the group will remember them … the Leoppard’s (not the tigers … lol).

      Speak up SKs … Help the Hula girl from Hawaii find her long lost friend … ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Mimi

    So glad to hear from Roy. At least one of the travelers found his way to a pc..lol.

    Where will Frank and son be on the 6th?…I would say Nha Trang…although they would have to pedal fast to be in Saigon on the 10th.
    (that’s a very very weird idea to take a bicycle for such a long trip, and not very safe either…but it is hard to control these 60 yrs old teen-agers..lol!!!)

    second guess: Cap st Jacques.

    xxx mimi

    • Admin

      LOL Mimi … yeah, but Roy hit the casino in Manila last night … lol … I hope Lady Luck was with him! If not, he might have had to hock his PC to get out of the casino … ha ha ha … ๐Ÿ™‚

      Hmm … Frank and son riding bicycles to Saigon … I never thought of that. LOL When he said ‘Cyclo to Saigon’ I just assumed they where hiring a ‘motorcyclo’ to take them to Saigon. LOL

      But, now that you brought it up … bicycle … I do recall reading someplace they have Bicycle Guided Tours in Viet-nam now. So, maybe they took one of those with a large group of people. From what I recall reading about them, they are usually good sized groups with guides (tour leaders) who ride with the group taking them along safe routes, etc. ; and, all hotel, food stops, etc. are prearranged. Could be a really fun way to see the country. But, I can’t honestly even imagine Frank riding a bicyle “that far” … it is a longgggggg way from Hanoi to Saigon … lol … but, then of course, I do recall Frank doing a lot of strange things … once we fed him enough Ba Muoi Ba!!! … ha ha ha … ๐Ÿ™‚ Frank always was sort of ‘weird’ anyway … ha ha ha … so how weird is it for him to bicycle to Saigon … LOL!!!

      Of course, if it was me, I would have rode an elephant to Saigon … arriving in grand royal style parading down the streets of Saigon like An Nam Royalty … LOL … of course, with a French girl and a Viet-namese girl riding with me … as a display of true American-French-Vietnamese cultural relations … LOL … Geezzzz, who’s weirder me or Frank … Dang, that could be another contest. LOL

      Ohhhh Mimi … did you have to mention Cap St Jacques …. WOW! You just opened some really sweet sweet memories in the back pages of my mind … ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have fun everyone … as we wait to hear more from out travelers …


  • Frank

    Frank – First to check in from Viet-nam

    Iโ€™m back! Actually every thing has gone much better than expected. My son Silas and I have had such a wonderful time. I remember now why I liked my Saigon days so much. I love this country. We arrived on China Airlinesโ€ฆ..and it was one of the best airlines I have travelled on in years. We arrived in Hanoi to a rather cool day and was picked up by the husband of a former exchange student of mine. (school year 2001-2002). They put us up in a very nice 4 star hotel in old town.
    Story: Thuy Van arrived at the high school I taught at and was assigned to another teacher. When I heard there was a girl from Hanoi was in schoolโ€ฆI went to a school councillor (a lady that I always referred to as the โ€œBeautiful Mexican Ladyโ€) and she quickly put Thuy Van in my room). Thuy Van and I quickly hit it off. When Senator McCain came to our school, I grabbed Thuy Van and introduced her by sayingโ€ฆ.Sentor this is Thuy Van and exchange student from Hanoi. MaCain answered back..โ€Hi, I used to live there!โ€ Also after 9/11, Thuy Van wore her white โ€œao diaโ€ out of respect..
    In Hanoi, I realized that I had to have several beers in order to have enough nerve to cross the streets. We stayed in Hanoi for two nights. During the day we ate and drank and saw the sights. Oh, we drove by St. Paulโ€™s Hospital and I thought of MiMi. MiMi have you ever been there? At night we ate, drank, and listened to blaring music.
    We went to HaLong bay for our third night. On our junk was 12 passagers (11 were young peopleโ€ฆlol). We quickly bondedโ€ฆand started to eat, drink and talk. They were from France, Germany, Russia, Australia, Columbia and U.Sโ€ฆ Our young Vietnamese guide also very much liked to party. (not many old people in Vietnamโ€ฆwhere are the old people when you need them?…I could have used an old lady to help me across the streets!!!
    We went back to Hanoi and stayed to more nights. Our last night Thuy Vanโ€™s parents took us out to a very upscale restraint to celebrate an early birthday for me. We ate and drank so muchโ€ฆI think the time I get to Saigon Iโ€™ll need a larger Saigon Kids shirt!!
    We decided against the train and bus and flew to PhuBai/Hue (Thuy Van got our tickets and refused payment)
    The Phu Bai airport looked very familiar, but quiteโ€ฆ no helicopters and no green 2 1/2 trucks running around. The road into Hue was four lane now and paved and all kinds of people and buildingsโ€ฆthat was not the case in 1968. We arrived and are now staying in a very nice, little hotel near the river. We then went and spent several hours walking around in the old purple cityโ€ฆvery peaceful from the crowds of poor people trying to get you to buy things. I showed Silas where I went the furthers north in February of 1968 โ€ฆ just across the bridge. The bridge was broken in half back then and I got confused about the street corner because it was no longer there. AHH, I actually found an old man and wife and they confirmed for us that I knew what I was talking about. We went over to the Citadel, and I told Silas that I had the urge to climb to the top โ€ฆtake down the red flag with the yellow star, and run up the American flag. Lol But I figured that would get in the way of me being at the Saigon Reunion.
    Today, we are renting a car (and driver) to see if I can find some of my old Marine Corps haunts. I am also going to cut down on eating and maybe drinkingโ€ฆwell Iโ€™ll think about it!!!
    I had thought about going to Dong Ha, but I decided against it. I was there in the spring of 1967โ€ฆfroze my a__ off thereโ€ฆ.went 36 days without a showerโ€ฆjust remember red mud, wet, bloody crap..but not going there!! We will take a bus to DaNang/Hoi An tomorrow.
    Well, I just finished breakfast and its time for a beerโ€ฆ By the way have not found BaMuoiBaโ€ฆbut did have a La Rue (Tigar Pi__) wasnโ€™t bad! โ€ฆbut I was drunk at the time!!!
    Hi, to you allโ€ฆ.We are having such a wonderful timeโ€ฆa little tear now and thenโ€ฆbut huge laughter most the time. Damn, I love this place!!! Frank

    First Reunion Picture - Frank

  • Mimi

    well at least we know the important thing: the beer is not bad- lol.

    I don’t remember the hospital as I left Hanoi with my parents when I was 2. But I think I was born there. I’ll see if I can have my mom remember the name.

    So nice to hear that first report. Take care and send some more.
    hugs. mimi

  • Admin

    Frank … thanks for the update and picture. Keep them coming ๐Ÿ™‚

    Frank, you and Silas take care of the beer. I’ll look after the lovely ladies … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    Good to hear you are having such a wonderful time. I bet it is an awesome experince for Silas … one that few sons get to have with their father. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Rock on my friend …


  • Admin

    Note from Admin:

    I’ve set up an Album in our Photo Gallery titled “Saigon Reunion 2009”. As Saigon Kids attending the reunion send in pictures, I’ll post them in this “Comments” section, as well as, in the Photo Gallery Album. We’ll keep adding to the Album as the pictures come in from our travelers.


  • frank

    We are still in Hue…it is the evening…Today we went to Phu Bai…found one of the old places…looks so different and yet so the same. An older man had a metal detector trying to find stuff in the ground. An elderly lady went and brought back Ice tea when our driver told her about us. We drank it..it was very good…hope we don’t get sick..HA! The other place I really wanted to see, we could not get to it. There is a military post where the turn off is and they would not let us pass. So much for finding the spot where the famous “Phu Bai mating call” was invented!!!!By the way…the “call” never worked no matter how load we yelled…didn’t try it today!!!!!lol

    We then went to the Pagota where the famous monk’s car is kept…you all remember the one that burned himself in Saigon in ’63.
    More later… Frank


    Frank in Hue, Viet-nam

    • Admin

      Frank … many Saigon Kids may not know what the “Phu Bai Mating Call” is … Do you care to enlighten them??!! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

      There is a lizard in the jungles of PI which has the same “mating call”. It is only active at night. Was known to freak out ‘new’ military personnel when standing night guard duty in the jungles of PI … LOL


  • Peter Brownell

    Really sorry not to be going back for the reunion. Haven’t been back to Vietnam in over 10 years. Hope everyone has a really great time time. Be safe and have fun …

  • Mary Lou Berven

    Frank . . . I want to find out the name of that “little hotel by the river” in Hue. Jeff and I are going there after the reunion so we will have time to talk to you about that in Saigon. I haven’t been back since ’64, so reading your accounts has just reaffirmed why I am so happy that we decided to make the trip. We leave Friday and will fly to Hanoi on Sunday, staying there til Thursday and doing a two day Ha Long Bay tour as well. I sure am glad to see you in short sleeves and I wonder if you ever swam or saw the sun shine while in the north. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon. We will be at the Majestic beginning the evening of the 12th! Save a Ba Muoi Ba for me (probably the reason you haven’t found one is that the brewery changed its name–I discovered that in a Vietnamese restaurant in Sarasota last November. Can’t remember the new name, but Ba Muoi Ba was a written in small letters on the label. Get your reading glasses out!).

  • Admin

    Mary Lou … be sure to take your lap top computer and digital camera with you, so you can make posts to the Blog as you travel (like Frank and Roy are doing). You can email pictures to me as you travel. I’ll edit them and post them to the blog and in our Photo Gallery.

    We are hoping most of the folks attending the reunion will post on the blog as they travel and send pictures. Then after the reunion is over and everyone has returned home, we can compile everything into an eBook and/or CD so everyone can have a copy to remember the reunion.

    Enjoy your journey and the reunion. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Admin

    Frank (and others going to the reunion) …

    Ba Muoi Ba (2009 version)

    What we called Ba Muoi Ba beer is now sold as “33 Export” lager in South East Asia.

    It is also, exported around the world under the name of “333 Export” lager.

    It’s primary markets today are Africa and South East Asia. It is brewed locally in most countries by various breweries which are either owned by Hieneken or under contract with Hieneken to brew and distribute the beer.

    Here is a picture of the current bottle as distributed in Viet-nam – “33 Export”

    33 Export 2009

    “333 Export” is mainly distributed to other countries around the world.
    It’s bottle looks the same, except the label reads “333 Export” (instead of “33 Export”).

    So, now you know what you are looking for … go find it! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚


    PS: Send a picture of a bottle as your proof of finding it … ha ha ha

  • frank

    I had BaBaBa last night (sounds like a beer name from Montana!!lol). Mary Lu, when we see you we can give you a few good tips for your trip north. Wow! am I looking forward to seeing all you “kids”. Frank

  • Admin

    Frank: Places to visit in Saigon … 333 Cafe.

    The 333 Bar-Restaurant is at 201 De Tham Street, Ho Chi Minh City. Telephone: 8360205

    Viet-nam beers: You can get big bottles of BGI, Tiger, Heineken, San Miguel, 333 Export and Bia Saigon for 10,000 dong apiece; if you don’t mind slightly flat beer you can try bia hoi, which is the no-name draft brew that sells for 8,000 dong a liter–and that’s the tourist price. In contrast, a dinky can of beer on the upmarket Rex Hotel’s rooftop terrace will put you back 32,000 dong.


    A bitter tasting rice flavored beer made by the Saigon
    Beer Company who also make Saigon Lager and Saigon Export. 333 dates back to 1893 where it was developed in France, it was originally named 33 and changed to 333 in 1975.

    333 Export

    Hue Beer

    A 5.0% pilsner made by the Hue Brewery who is owned by Carlsburg it has a golden color with a fast disappearing head. Rice aroma and a dry watery taste. Hue Brewery also makes a Huda and Festival beer for the Vietnamese market.

    Saigon Lager

    Also made by the Saigon Beer Company this 4.7% beer has the distinctive Asian rice flavor it pours a clear gold color with a thin soapy white head.

    Saigon Export

    Bia Hoi

    The most popular beer in Viet-nam is known as Bia Hoi, this is more of a type of beer like the traditional draft beer but Bia Hoi is not sold anywhere else in the world.

    Bia Hoi means fresh beer and it is made by many of 300 odd breweries, large and small, around the country. Bia Hoi is like a micro brew there are no preservatives added and it is generally consumed on the day it was made. Bia Hoi can be found all around the country in bars cafes and even street side vendors. It is collected from the brewery in 100 liter barrels and then either used in a large bar or on sold to smaller establishments in smaller plastic containers. Customers can expect to pay around 25 US cents a glass (often served with ice). It is estimated that 3 to 4 hundred thousand liters of Bia Hoi are sold in Hanoi each day.

    Canned beer is starting to increase in popularity despite its higher price tag, most of the major Asian brewed labels are available while two of the most popular local brews would be 333 and Hue Beer.

    333 Can

  • Admin

    March 4th note from Frank and son.

    They went through Da Nang today heading south to Saigon.

    Franks has more pictures to send but is out of ‘Blackberry’ working zone for the moment. He’ll send the pictures when they get to an area where his Blackberry will work.

    He sent me a short note from a computer with a ‘funny language’ keyboard. The message came through on my end with English words, some French words with accent marks, and some Viet-namese words with accent marks … LOL … and, some English words with Viet-namese accent marks … lol. Until I read the part of his note about the strange keyboard, I seriously was wondering how much BaBaBa he had consumed! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    Evidently, some of the hotels or computer cafe’s in parts of Viet-nam have ‘multi-language’ keyboards on them. Now that could get really interesting … lol ๐Ÿ™‚ … Just imagine how some of the emails sent home, could come out saying something completely different then what the sender thought they were saying … Is this where the term “lost in the translation” comes from??!! LOL

    Don’t forget folkstomorrow is Frank’s birthday. Where will he be in Viet-nam tomorrow (March 6th)? Enter the “CONTEST” to win a “one of a kind” … “no other like it” … PRIZE … from Viet-nam. Click here to view Contest.


  • alice ahlgren

    Frank…Happy Birthday with a huge hug for you…can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your friendship…..give Vietnam my love and say hi to the ghosts of 63 and 64….Alice

  • Bobbie Sheehan Mauch

    I wish all of you a safe and wonderful time. A very Happy Birthday to Frank. This set up is really great, we can share your trip with you. I so wish I had gone now. Please give all my love to Dini & Vini. So many sweet memories!!

  • C. Drachnik

    Happy, Happy birthday!!

  • C. Drachnik

    Have a great one.

  • Ken

    @ Frank, sorry mate, but it happens to most of us…remember when we wanted to be old enough to drink (in the US I mean…no age requirement in Saigon) and then old enough to vote? I couldn’t wait until I was 50 and had a guarantee pension. Next major number is 65 and social security. I’ll get there soon enough. What’s left after that? Forget the numbers, just enjoy life. Happy Birthday. And especially enjoy your time with your family and your time in Saigon with the “old school chums.”

  • A Medicare Part A & B Happy Birthday Frank! I am right behind you on the 23rd of March. This trip will turn the clock back for all of us in many ways but age … we will cherish it!

    Bob & all,

    Since my first phase of the trip has been concentrated on the PI side, I have been taking pictures and reconnecting with expats that attended Brent in Baguio. Will post them on the http://www.brentkids.com by the 9th before I leave. In the meantime, the stay in Manila has been awsome … the people, the places, the senses,(did I mention the food?) and the country as a whole very hightened … I could live here and feel at home.

    Heading up to Baguio this morning via a van trip with other Brentonians for the Centennial events at Brent starting with a Dinner Dance this evening … I wonder if they will use the ruler to measure the distance between couples as they did in the old days?!?!

    For the “Cross-Over-Kids”, the beer of the PI being San Miguel tastes just as good downing a Lumpia off the street vendors as before … I will try and muster up some courage for the Baloot (aged rotten Duck Eggs that require a toothpick to lossen the feathers out of your teeth) on my van trip up to Bagio. If the courage is there, picture will follow!!!

    The Casino almost funded the trip until last night … as it always happens … somehow those tables know you are about to leave and turn the tables on you. So, four grand less, I will be heading for Baguio and then Saigon on the 10th. Poorer perhaps, but richer for being here again!

    More later … wish you all could be here.


    • Admin

      Roy, thanks for the update … LOL @ Casino … ๐Ÿ™‚ Just keep in mind that the family who owns the Bank of PI are old friends of mine from Shanghai … so if the tables get you too bad … you know where to go ha ha ha … ๐Ÿ™‚ Funny how the same thing happens to everyone at the Manila casino tables … years ago when I was doing consulting work in PI I noticed how everyone would keep winning … until … right before they left … then the casino took it all back … hahaha …

      Roy, when eating Baloot do not chew it … just suck it down FAST … then the feathers don’t get stuck in your teeth … hahaha … LOL … ๐Ÿ™‚

      Rulers between couples dancing at Brent!! Geezzzzzzz … sure glad my parents didn’t send me there … LOL … So, Roy, how many rulers did you ‘break’ at Brent back in the old days???!!! LOL

      Rock on my friend … and keep the updates coming … ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Mimi

    Happy Birthday Frank…
    your enthusiasm is so contagious that now I start regretting my decision not to go. Well, I’ll make it to the next reunion in VN in 10 years -lol-

    And yes, thanks to you and Arlene and Roy for keeping the fire alive under the other SK site…it is someone else who started it, I think, but I don’t remember his name.

    And,thanks to both you and Roy for keeping us up to date. It is nearly as good as being there with you guys.

    Someone mentionned a Leopard family. I found an invitation card in my mother’s papers(she kept everything!!) from Mr and Mrs Leppert. Could it be the same people? Unfortunately I don’t remember either them or their children.

    Take care. hugs. mimi

  • Susie Stann

    Happy Birthday, Frank! See you at the Continental on the 11th! Leave us a message about what time is good at the front desk. I believe Veny’s flight comes in that evening at 6:45 on Singapore Airlines.

  • Mary Lou Berven

    Happy Birthday, Frank! What a way to celebrate . . . you certainly aren’t going to forget your 65th. Have fun wherever you end up tomorrow and thank you for all that you have done to keep the music alive, so to speak, in more ways than one. Jeff and I look forward to meeting your son next week and reconnecting with you.

  • frank

    Thank You, Thank You…..You brings tears to my eyes!!

  • Admin



  • Maile Doyle

    Thank you all for keeping us up to date on the reunion. Happy Birthday, Frank. My husband, Bill, is going to be 65 tomorrow, March 7th and we have been negotiating the Medicare “stuff”, too. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Lift a beer for me and say hello to Veny and Dini and all who will walk down memory lane. The Haznam house figures largely in my memory as THE place to party. We only crossed paths for about 6 months, but I had such fun.

  • Maile Doyle

    So, I’m guessing Frank will celebrate his birthday in Vung Tau looking out at the beautiful water and raising a beer for all of us.

  • Molly Greene

    Have a great birthday, Frank, and many, many more and lots of fun in Saigon!

  • Dick Emery

    I’m right behind Roy on the 30th. We leave Michigan on the 11th, LAX on the 12th and arrive in Saigon at 10:00 a.m. on the 13th. Flying China Air, so glad to hear the good review. We are staying at the Equatorial. Looking forward to seeing everyone. Have a good one!

  • alice ahlgren

    Frank will be in Phan Thiet…and I hate beer but I’ll have one on your birthday, Frank, and be thinking about you.

  • Bob et al,

    No courage … passed up Baloot offer from a kind old (I shouldn’t say “old” anymore) lady holding a basketfull. I will send some pictures of Baguio and Brent under separate cover to you Bob for posting. The only thing that I can say in perspective is that “change happens” … many memories have been erased by it, but it is still fun walking down Nutral, visiting the dorms that have been rebuild since the earthquake in Baguio, and wondering why the Japanese and the Koreans have colonized Baguio???

    I had an update e-mail from Anne Marie Pietri. She and her husband will be arriving on the 9th of March. I told her that we will try and connect with all who are arriving on/before the 11th for pre-celebration and take in the senses of Saigon before the scheduled events. Frank, as soon as you land on the evening of the 10th, give a call to the Majestic Bar … Anne-Marie, Mary Lou, Kim and any that have arrived prior will be holding the Bar open until you get there.

    Frank, does your Verizon work in Vietnam without having to do any surgery? I have a Verizon LG and wonder if I should pick up a go-phone at the airport!?!

    Boy, I wish all of you could have made it … you WILL be with us in spirit everytime we say “Do you rememebr …”.

    Best … Roy

    Baguio Country Club West Wing
    Baguio Country Club West Wing

    Baguio Country Club Entrance
    Baguio Country Club Entrance

    Brent School Entrance
    Brent School Entrance

    Brent School Neutral Line
    Brent School Neutral Line

    Camp John Hay PX
    Camp John Hay PX

    Camp John Hay Entrance
    Camp John Hay Entrance

  • frank

    Roy, My voice works, but I have not been able to use the email since Hanoi…thus have not been able to sent photos….Maybe in Saigon…again we’ll be arriving in the evening of the 10th…see you in the Majestic bar…
    Everyone…still very much enjoying Vietnam…We slowed down and decided to stay in Hoi An. Been on the beach…shopped a little and been eating a lot. Last night for my birthday…My son Silas and I went accross the street from our hotel and had a healthy shot (triple) of scotch and a fried banana.
    Tomorrow we are renting a car and heading inland from DaNang to see if I can located one more of my Marine Corps days location. I will then try to find Hill 327 near DaNang where I was lucky enough to see the 1966 Bob Hope Show (before I was sent north). From there we’ll go over to the real China Beach where I spent all but four hour…many years ago.
    Silas told me that it is like I’m going in reverse of my life. Hanoi…. I see my exchange student from 2001-2002. Then we see a few sites from what I reported on as a C.I.A photo analyst in 1972-73. Then on to U.S.M.C Vietnam Dec.1966-Aug. 1968…..AND of cource the best part is at the end of this journey…which is to see old freinds..and to talk about old and new friends..and to do it in Saigon. Believe me, I have never had a trip like this in my live…very, very emotional…very, very exciting…I know I shall have a few disappoints like…what?…hmmmm? aaaaagh…maybe not seeing MiMi by the Cercle pool! But she and all of you that could not make it… will be in my thoughts and heart. Thanks Everyone for your wishes…Thank You Bob, Frank

  • Ruth Blackmore


    Happy belated birthday. I’m in Phnom Penh with Sarah and Kathleen and we leave tomorrow for Siem Reap. Having a great time. Spent 3 days in Saigon before joining up with Sarah. I just loved Saigon.

    See you soon. It is going to be so exciting to see everyone.



  • Admin

    As Roy mentioned in his most recent commments above, he has sent several photos of PI.

    I’m editing them and will post them to the Blog and Photo Gallery later today. (It is interesting how various things come through when transmitted from different parts of the Globe … lol) Hence, the need for editing before Posting here.

    Frank … if you’ve got a Memory Stick with you, try transferring the pix to it then to a PC some place to email them.

    A BIG THANK YOU to everyone for all the updates of your travels. MUCH APPRECIATED by everyone!! Keep them coming! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Frank … I’ll post a pix of Mimi by the Cercle pool … just so you won’t feel cheated on this trip … ha ha ha … ๐Ÿ™‚

    More later …


  • Mimi

    Hello travellers…so nice to follow you in thoughts!
    I am very glad to know that at least one of the french kids will be there. btw, when you guys see Anne-Marie, tell her to send me her new-e-mail adress.
    I think I have a pix of the 2 of us(age around 13) that I’ll send Bob to put on the blog.

    Big big hugs . m.

    [Frank – Ask an you shall receive, as the saying goes, Mimi and Anne-Marie by the Cercle Sportif pool. Is this how you remember them Frank!?! … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Bob]

    Cercle Sportif Pool – Center Mimi with Anne-Marie right. Age 11 +/-
    Mimi and Anne-Marie at CSS Pool

    Anne-Marie on left, Mimi on right (with Bob) dancing 1960/61 time frame.
    Anne-Marie, Mimi, Bob Dancing

    [Mimi – Great pictures! Thank you for sharing with us … ๐Ÿ™‚ Bob]

  • Happy Birthday Veny!! The years go by but the memories get re-cycled. We will celebrate all those birthdays spanning the trip in good fashion once in Saigon.

    Frank, I am so glad you are having a great time. This trip without you, Arlene and Sarah (the pillars of Saigonkids) may have only been a footnote.

    I wish Golf was one of my sins since both the Camp John Hay and the Baguio Country Club courses look inviting for even the non-golfer.

    Bob, if you want me to reduce the pixal sizes of future photos, let me know.

    See you all very very soon.


    [Roy – around 800 pixel would be great for faster download in email. But, not really an issue, as I have to resize them anyway for blog and photo gallery uploads … heck man, just keep them coming anyway you can get them here … lol ๐Ÿ™‚ rock on my friend. ]

  • Mimi, Anne-Marie’s e-mail is [hidden by Admin]*. We may also be able to connect with the Serrens (Dominique and Philippe) who have a business in Saigon.

    Cheers … Roy

    *Admin Note: I’ve hidden Anne-Marie’s email address from public view for privacy/security reasons. If anyone wants it, please email me requesting it.

    Roy – Mimi is in receipt of Anne-Marie’s email. Thanks.

  • Mary Lou and Jeff Berven just arrived in Saigon and will be going to Hanoi and back by Thursday.


  • Admin

    Admin Note: I’ve posted the pictures Saigon Kids have sent of their travels, so far, here on this Blog page and also in the Photo Gallery for your viewing pleasure. They are located in the Photo Gallery under “Saigon Reunion 2009” section. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Admin



  • Mimi

    I’m telling you, it is a good thing that one needs a visa to go to VN(and shots etc,) or else I would catch the next plane -lol-
    I think to get over this lost occasion, I’ll have to do a tour of the US one summer, and visit each of you.
    Thanks Roy for the e-m adress…I copied it, tell her I’ll write to her later when she gets back home.

    Anybody won the contest on where would Frank be on his birthday? The new names of cities get me confused.

    I dont’ know if Veny remembers me – I remember her! – but I wish her a happy birthday anyway.

    xxx mimi

  • Admin

    Mimi … the Contest ends when Frank arrives in Saigon … LOL

    Hey, I’ll RACE you to the plane!! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Burt Parker

    Hey Frank! Happy belated birthday! I’m only 10 months away from that ‘grand prize’… (:-} (happy bald guy)

    Ummm. Just wondering, if in your CIA photo analyst work back in ’72 ’73, if you might have come across my bro: Robert L Parker, Bob in Saigon, Rob by the ’70s? He was there somewhere during that time, I think, before he bought the Topside Inn Inn in Galesville MD and started living on his Bristol 36 sailboat there at the dock…

    Reading all the chatter, now I also wish I had gone. Say hi to all for me…

    Best Regards,


    “All men are ignorant, only on different subjects.” Mark Twain

  • Ken

    Happy Birthday Vini and may you have many, many more. You were one sweet dancer. Ken

  • Ruth Blackmore


    Happy Birthday. Can hardly wait to see you and your husband again. In Siem Reap with Sarah and Kathleen and going on tour of Angkor Wat tomorrow and probably the next day too. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Saigon. I loved it there on March 1-4 and look forward to returning.


  • Mary Lou Berven

    Jeff and I arrived in Hanoi this afternoon and I can assure everyone that I never thought I would be visiting this city when I left Saigon in ’64. It was like old home week departing from the domestic terminal at Tan Son Nhut today. It doesn’t seem to have changed except for the newly added glassed walls due to the air conditioning. Jeff says that he agrees that two beers are helpful for crossing the streets in Hanoi and Saigon . . . We will be looking for you guys at the rooftop bar of the Majestic on Thursday!

  • Dick Emery

    Looking forward to seeing you again!

  • Frank

    Yesterday Silas and I rented a car and driver and headed into the hills west of DaNang. A very weird day! We came across my old base camp…hootches were gone but the little basin in the hills was Identical to the past…we took old pictures to compare and help us locate the place… and we took new ones that I can show folks later. We then took a two hour tramp up through the Vietnamese Jungle (yes, I still had it in me!)and came to the spot where I used to be on a lot of duty….used to think a lot about girls there, especially at night..also where I threw my first gernade. The dirt was around a shallow hole…no sandbags left and the steel roofing was gone from our little bunker. From the top of the ridge line we could see the exact routes, down through the valley below, where we used to go on patrol…and again we were using old photos to locate everything. Real strange!!! It did happen! ….The earth is the same…but everything else was gone…it must have all happened a long, long time ago.

    Heading to the beach today….And On to Saigon tomorrow for a very joyous reunion.

    Silas (Frank's son) in jungle west of DaNang, Viet-nam

  • frank

    Thanks Bob…Silas and I got together with David and Arlene this evening..They flew into DaNang today and will be staying in Hoi An until Friday. Had a great visit….they are both on Jet-lag…and we kept them up talking…
    Looking forward to seeing Roy and Mary Lou (and husband)tomorrow evening…I do not know if others will be in Saigon by then…From here on out…I’m just going with the flow! Frank

  • Admin

    Frank … the way I heard it, there will be several ‘lovely ladies’ holding the bar at the Majastic open for you until you arrive tomorrow evening … ๐Ÿ™‚

    (I bet that’ll get you there in record time! LOL )

    Frank, would that be “ba ba ba flow” you will be going with .. ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚

    Let the party begin … Rock on my friend!


    PS: I just hope they’ll still let Americans into Viet-nam after the Saigon Kids leave when the reunion is over!! ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mimi

    And you know what? They will have a full moon on the Saigon river. Lots of excitement there, as you say.


  • Frank

    Yea! MiMi, when the Moon comes up…I promise, I will think of you….and be wishing everyone could be there.
    In about 7 hours we’ll be arriving in Saigon…Gosh, it’s been awhile!! I left in August ’62…the summer “American Graffiti” is about…Frank

  • Admin

    Hmm … Majestic Roof Top Bar … Ba Muoi Ba … lovely ladies … full moon over Saigon River … and Frank … LOL … This could get interesting! Good thing Silas is along to keep Frank out of trouble!!! ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚

    But ohhh Mimi … just the thought of it sounds sooooooo romantic! (If you keep talking like that, I’ll be the one whinning and kicking myself!! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    Ahhh but this does remind me of a song tho … I think I’ll put it up on here … just to set the mood for you Frank … LOL ((GRIN))

    Silas keep a close eye on the ole’ man .. after 2 Ba Muoi Ba’s he gets totally out of control … trust me I speak from experience!! LOL [pssst … Silas DO NOT allow him anywhere close to water towers!! LOL ]

    Rock on my friends …


    FULL MOON OVER SAIGON March 10, 2009
    Full Moon over Saigon


  • Bob & the gang …

    Just checked in at the Majestic … room 305. Great view of the Riveer. The hotel had a car and driver waiting for me. On the way down I asked him to stop by 165 Hi Bah Trong … the house was still there … an ugly pink color though … right in the middle of Cholon-like shops. Wierd. Didn’t take a picture … will do later and send.

    The Majestic Rooftop Bar is on the 8th floor. Opens at 4:00 PM and closes at 1:00 AM. All you early arrivals, you will find me and at least Anne-Marie there starting tonight after 6:00 PM. First round of drinks is on me!!!

    Excited! Excited! Excited.

    Miche, wish I had been a better pest and had convinced you to come … as well as many others.

    Frank, my phone says “Required Maintenance” … so, I have to pull out the manual for that, so, see you, Mary Lou and others after six. The Reunion is officially open for business!

    Bob … I’ll kick you myself for not making the trip!!!

    Cheers … Roy

    [ Roy thanks for the update. Good to hear you made it safely. You know why they painted the house ‘pink’ don’t you!?! It is symbolic of all the ‘pink elephants’ known to have been seen there … after our many many raids on your dad’s liquor cabinet … LOL
    No need for you to kick me Roy … Mimi already did at our ‘whinning and kicking myself’ party … LOL … I can now attest to the fact that a French “kick” is nothing like a French “kiss” !!! ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚ Let the FUN begin! – Bob ]

  • Have been wound up … didn’t take any R&R and took to the streets right after I put my bags down (maybe I’ll lose some weight) … not really too bad navigaing around the beaucoup motorcycles … Manila drivers were more challanging. Found some 7-day Rings to bring home to those I promissed. The shopkeepers are still very charming and as are the people as a whole. Surprised at the lack of English or French … mostly the younger kids do the translating. Made it to Ben Thanh Market … lots of US tourists with shorts, sandles and goofy looking T-Shirts licking ice cream cones. I guess I’ll join them. Candice is supposed to be here already based on her schedule, but I don’t know where she is staying. Exchange rate is 17,800 to $1.00 … just round off to 20,000 Dongs to one and it makes it easier to formulate prices. Haggling still the art …start at 50% discount and settle on 30%. Motocyclo’s are non-existant, but a few Cyclo’s are around … with good persistant English. More later …


    [Thanks for the update Roy. Ahh the 7 day rings. I remember there was a story about them. Does anyone remember what they symbolize? Lack of English and French is probably because since 1975 until just a few years ago, the government did everything possible to rid the country of any reminders of America or France. Motorcyclo’s and all 3 wheeled vehicles where made illegal a couple years ago. Ahh, yes haggling … I reallyyyyy miss that!! It is such a fun game to play with the merchants! Thanks again Roy. Keep the updates coming. Ask some of the other SKs there to do the same. The more the better! Party on my friend ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  • Ken

    Gosh, Roy’s brief narrative above really brings back some memories. What a great town Saigon was to be a teenager. Parties, movies, riding around in cyclos, the floating restaurant, Circ Sportif and the lovely young ladies. I will no doubt regret for a long time missing the reunions. Oh well. Let’s start discussing the next one soon. Ken

  • Mimi

    Well it is around 9 pm out there, no news of the first reunion, so the party must be going on…without us..snif…lol.

    Yes I hope they think of us…bcz I have been thinking of them every day since their departures. And stangely, it is them young that I think of..please do the same, think of us as we were!!!
    xxx mimi

    [ Mimi – funny you mentioned ‘think young’ … as I find myself doing the same thing whenever I think of someone, the picture in my mind is ‘as they were’ … reminds me of the song ‘Forever Young’ ๐Ÿ™‚ … Bob ]

  • Miche/Bob … we all do that … until we look in the mirror!
    Bob … sent a couple pictures your way. I can size them before sending if you tell me what the palatte should be.

    Downed a couple Scotches and toasts to all not here. Then ate too much and had to take a walk for 30 minutes to lose it. Got accosted by abbies wanting me to meet their sister. I guess somethings never change.

    Frank, Silas & I plan to meet at Broddards tomorrow at 10:00 AM and do a little more walking, gauking, and shopping before tomorrow’s 6:00 PM re-do. As always, you all are on our minds and stories we share.


    [Roy – I’m SURE when Mimi looks in the the mirror it is a MUCH BETTER view then when you and I look in the mirror!! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Got the pix. Posting them now. No need to resize proir to sending, Roy. Just keep them coming. It only takes me 2 mouse clicks to size them for the Blog and Photo Gallery insertions.
    Roy, see if you can get a pix of the tailor shop that made our baseball uniforms. It was just up the street from Broddards, about 1/2 block. Right under the 2nd floor gym that Domino trained in. – Bob ]

  • Admin


    These pictures are the first from Saigon. They were taken the evening of March 10th in Saigon (March 9th USA time/date).

    New Floating Restaurants Viewed From Majestic Hotel

    Frank, Roy and Silas Majestic Hotel Roof Top Bar

    Great pictures guys! Thanks! A full moon over the Saigon River – NICE! ๐Ÿ™‚

    As was the case in the old days of Saigon – Frank and Roy got ‘stood up’ by the lovely ladies. LOL … some things just never change! Silas, if you want to meet girls while in Saigon … stay as far away as possilbe from Frank and Roy … ha ha ha … cuz if you do, you’ll notice a BIG change in your luck!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Why is that old Ricky Nelson song: Stood Up … running to my mind!?! LOL

    Kidding aside (if that is possible) … Frank, Roy and Silas are the only SKs that showed up last night at the Majestic Bar to kick off the reunion. There are several other SKs floating around Viet-nam and Saigon who will be hooking up with the rest of the group over the next couple days. The appointed ‘hook up’ spot is the Majestic Bar at 6 pm nightly.

    Let the good times roll ….


  • Mimi

    Bob, The seven rings symbolize the seven days of the week…If I am not wrong, they are call in fench “semainier” from the word “semaine” which means “week”.

    Mirrors…must be something wrong with the ones I have, because the “thing” in there looks terrible -lol-

    Pictures, pictures..where are the pictures -lol-

    xxx mimi

    [Mimi … you ‘wrong’ … women are NEVER ‘wrong’ !!! Geez, I learned that by the time I was 8 years old … lol.
    Well, Mimi, I’m sure your mirror does not BREAK like Roy’s does when he looks in it … ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚ – Bob ]

  • Mimi

    ok…i saw them!
    Thanks .

  • Admin


    Frank and Roy March 10th Majestic Bar

    This picture just in from Frank.

    Frank and Roy at the mid night hour talking over old times as they look out over the Saigon River from the Majestic Hotel Roof Top Bar. There first night in Saigon March 10, 2009.

    Great pictures! Keep them coming guys!


  • frank

    Meeting up this morning with roy…meet at brodards.

  • frank

    10:00 am….doing this on blackberry…did know it would work
    ….at brodards..frank

  • frank

    Meeting roy at 10:00am at brodards today..11 march…on blackberry will this work?

    [Frank: Blackberry transmitting great.]

  • Happy Birthday Vena. Wish I was there. Have a great time!

  • David Henry

    Veny, have a happy birthday at the Reunion. Sounds like one great get-together, and the pictures sure do bring back some terrific memories. All the best. Dave

  • Admin


    View out Frank's hotel window looking toward Caravelle Hotel

    This just in from Frank. The view out his hotel window looking toward the Caravelle Hotel.

  • Mary Ann (Matteson) Smith

    Hi Saigon Kids,
    It is so exciting to see all of the pictures and hear what everyone is doing. Of course I am beating myself up for not going!! Happy Birthday to Frank and my nephew Billy! What a place to have a birthday. The memories are overwhelming right now.(I think I’ll cry for not being there).To think of all of the fun we had in such an amazing place! Ruth, please have Veny and Deni and Sarah have a slumber party at the hotel just like we did at the Haznam’s all the time!! Oh what times. Is anyone writing a book about all of this? Ruth please go find the seven day rings that Roy said he found. I really want a set. Somebody tell Ruth for me!!You guys have a great time-love to all.
    Mary Ann

  • Admin


    Frank and Roy in front of Bordard on Tu Do Street

    Frank and Roy in front of Brodard at 131 Tu Do Street, Saigon – March 11, 2009 around 10 a.m. (Now a Gloria Jean’s Coffee – Saigon’s version of Star Bucks.)

    Frank and Roy – do they still sell ice cream, like in the old days? Or, only Latte now?

    CAFE BRODARD – Before Gloria Jean’s Coffee

    Cafe Brodard before Gloria Jean's Coffee

    This is a picture of Cafe Brodard before Gloria Jean’s Coffee. Cafe Brodard first opened in 1945.

  • Deborah Oakley-Melvin

    Aloha all Saigon Kids! Arrived late last night and checked into the Continental Hotel for the next week, room 214 for inspiration from Graham Greene (“The Quiet American”)– it’s the same, so much the same, substitute Russian businessmen for journalists and the energy is still there in a different way.
    Ran into Sarah Bush-Rogers sister for a few minutes last night, long enough to confirm that Sarah is still traveling and will be here in a couple of days. I’m heading to the Majestic rooftop bar tonight, hoping there will be folks there again! Frank, thank you. Everyone who worked on this, thank you! What a delight to be here again.

  • Bob … no ice cream that we could tell … just another Starbucks. Frank, Silas and I are headed for the pool in Majestic … then on to the rooftop by 6:00 PM. Ran into Candice and left a note for Susie S. to meet at the 8th floor rooftop of Majestic. Mary Anne, see you there hopefully. Walked a lot, took pictures … we are pooped.

    Thee pictures coming your way Bob.


    [Dang Roy! No ice cream … well, I’m sure Alice will love it then, as she’s a Latte girl. But, I think Mimi might still be an ice cream lover … LOL … Bob]


    Frank and son inside Brodards
    Hmm? Silas seems to be distracted from looking at the camera by someone across the room … wonder who that could be … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚


    Frank and son outside Brodards


    Frank and Silas at Apocolips Now Bar

    Frank and son, Silas taking a “Saigon Tea” break after a long walk in the Saigon heat. The ‘ghost car’ in the door adds a nice touch.

    Frank, for some strange reason the song “Green Door” comes to mind … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oops … I meant Deborah … Sorry Mary Anne.


    [You always did get the girls mixed up, Roy … LOL some things never change … do they!?! ๐Ÿ™‚ … Saigon heat and a little Ba Muoi Ba and you can’t tell one from the other, can you Roy!?! LOL]

  • frank

    Ran into Sarah….she and her friend made it to Saigon…more and more folks arriving….I think it is a full moon tonight….flying over the Majestic!!!

  • Deborah Oakley-Melvin

    Hi everyone… having a jet lagged moment — after walking all over District 1, I headed to the bar too early, just re-read and saw that I should have been there at 6 PM, not 4 PM! Sorry to miss you, but I think running there after 7 PM might mean I miss you again. I’ll try again quite late for the full moon, certainly will find everyone tomorrow, and am still giddy over being in Saigon, knowing you are all here or on your way.

    [Aloha, Deb – thank you for the updates. Good to hear you arrived safely and are enjoying Saigon and the Continental. In the ‘old days’ (59/61) we spent a lot of time sitting at the side walk tables there talking, drinking, watching … in fact, that is were the Clod’s planned James Dean’s visit to Saigon and the Elvis concert at the Cercle Sportif … LOL. Deb, here’s a tip: If the bar is still open – Roy and Frank will be there … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  • Mary Lou Berven

    Can’t wait to join the party tomorrow night at the Majestic … you guys are just having so much fun! Jeff and I will be on the rooftop asap, but our flight isn’t due in to Tan Son Nhut until 5:00 P.M.. Based on Roy’s earlier comments, I must have given him the wrong date for our arrival. My sincere apologies if I did since we have been sailing around Ha Long Bay the past two days instead. We will be visiting Uncle Ho’s house tomorrow morning before heading for the airport to see ya’ll (Texas speak). In the meantime, party on (Ba Ba Ba) and keep some cold beers on ice for us. Thank you Roy, Frank, and Arlene for making this reunion a reality!

  • Admin


    Lunch Frank and Silas Saigon March 11, 2009

    This is what Frank and Silas had for lunch – looks like “Pho” to me. Looks very tasty too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Fianlly! The gang is partially here! Some mix-up with the Majestic Bar (called MBar). The Bar everyone was to assemble is on the 8th floor. There are two elevators, one that goes to the 5th floor and the other (at the end) that goes to the 8th floor. That is the one you want to take – which is on the rooftop. The girls took the 5th floor elevator and spent an hour at the 5th floor bar looking for us. Eventually we found each other. The gang that is here is planning a breakfast at Brodards (on Dong Khoi (or Rue Catinat/Tu Do)) three or four blocks up from the Majestic, at 9:00AM Thursday to plan the day and the evening events for Thursday.

    See you all then … Roy

    [ Roy – What is the name of the place you bought the 7 day rings? Do they have a web site? If so, can you post it on here, please. Or, alternatively the name, address, phone number of the store. Some SKs have said they’d like to buy them.

    Also, who has arrived so far? Can you list them in a post on here, so everyone knows who is there.

    Any contact with French Kids yet? Has Anne-Marie connected with you yet?

    Have Veny and Dini arrived yet?

    Brodard Bakery: 11 Nguyen Thiep Street – If you get a taste for excellent French breads, pastries, ice cream or chocolate would be a good place to visit. They have been in business at the same location since the mid-1940s. A wonderful place to over indulge in the finer things in life … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Bob ]

  • Bob et al,

    We will be going to that string of stores in the back of the Ben Thanh Market this morning after Brodards. The one I got most of mine is on 68 Le Loi street (name is Diem Phi Shop – surprised they allow the name Diem-lol) just before the Market and string of Jewelry shops that follow on the street just behind the market. I will see if they have a website … but doubt it. Size is an issue … their measurement of size 5 is 9, etc. and you get what they have and hope one of the 5 fingers makes the fit (mostly 5 and 6 in my estimation) lol. Prices range (after some haggling) from $80.00 to $200.00 depending on the weight (or thickness of each of the rings).

    So far, the attendees last night were:

    Roy, Frank, Silas, Sarah & friend Cathleen, Candice & husband, Susie Stan & friend, and Ruthie … a SNAFU with Anne Marie, she came to the lobby waiting for me last night when I waited for her in the lobby the night before … so, I will be connecting with her this morning (at a decent hour) to see if she will meet us at Brodards. Her note indicated that she will not be attending the 13th dinner plans (Sigh!). Expect to see Mary Lou, Veny, Deborah and Kim today. Unless a change in plans, 6:00 PM at the Majestic MBar as a launching point is still scheduled. Some wanted to go to dinner earlier … if any changes, I will let you know after Brodards and the Jewelry invasion this morning.

    Having a blast … wish you were all here!


  • Bob … did you get the 4 pix I sent you?


    [Roy – all pix received so far are posted here on he blog. If you sent any and you don’t see them on here, they did not come thru … please, resend. – Bob ]

  • Admin

    hi all you kids,

    sorry to miss you this reunion. have a great time and if you run into jean pierre give him my email and my love.

    cheers and love to you all.
    vicki greenamyer fraser

  • Admin

    Roy – pix came thru, will post after I eat supper tonight … yeah, I know its tomorrow morning breakfast there … but, today evening supper here … lol ๐Ÿ™‚

    Rock on … Saigon Kids!!


    PS: Roy, on 2nd thought – send the singer!!!! LOL – I’m tuning my guitar now – ha ha ha (Sorry, private joke folks – lol)

  • Vicki,

    Jean Pierre Guintini? He is in Paris. Please give me the last name and I will ask the Seren’s or Anne Marie where he is.


    [Roy – Vicki sent this to me: “do you know anyone who might know where jean pierre thai thach might be?” – Bob ]

  • Admin


    Raising Saigon Kids Banner at Majestic March 11, 2009

    Once again the Red White and Blue flies over Saigon with the raising of the Saigon Kids Banner at the Majestic Hotel roof top bar.


    Saigon Kids Under Banner March 11, 2009
    Back Row left to right: Frank, Roy, Candice’s husband.
    Front Row left to right: Susie, Sarah, Ruthie, Candice.
    (I think – correct me if I’m wrong – Bob)


    Band singing The Saigon Kids Anthem - March 11, 2009

    After the raising of the Red White and Blue over Saigon the band sang The Saigon Kids Anthem in honor of this mementoes occassion.

    The Saigon Kids Anthem – (Lyrics)

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Muoi Ba
    Ba Ba Ba
    (keep repeating until the Ba Ba Ba and the Ba Muoi Ba run out – or, Frank and Roy who wrote this passout at the bar … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚


    Girls and Boys find each other March 11, 2009

    On the evening of March 11, 2009 the boys went UP to the 8th floor bar, and the girls went DOWN to the 5th floor bar where the boys waited for the girls to show up and the girls waited for the boys to come down … an hour or so later somehow … they found each other and they all ended up at the roof top bar. Weird elevators at the Majestic Hotel … LOL … be careful which one you ride or you may find yourself up, instead of down or down instead of up or even upside down … geez someone just take me to the Ba Ba Ba … ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Brodard for Breakfast

    Five new SK arrivals (Viny & her husband, Kim and brother Mark, and Deborah) made it to Brodards for hugs and more hugs …

    BREAKFAST AT BRODARD – 9:00 a.m. March 12, 2009

    Deborah at Brodard March 12, 2009
    Left to right: Deborah and Veny’s husband.

    Veny and Sarah Brodard March 12, 2009
    Left to right: Sarah and Veny.

    Sarah, Veny and Ruthie Brodard March 12, 2009
    Left to right: Sarah, Veny, Ruthie, Silas in back.


    (1) Ben Thanh Market for 7-day rings, Ao Dai outfits, and Chong Coffee (after the Weasles have “polished” them).
    (2) Early Happy Hour on the Caravelle Hotel Rooftop at 2:00 PM.
    (3) Majestic Hotel 6:00PM launch site, meeting Anne Marie and husband
    (4) Dinner at Camarague at 7:00 PM 191 Hai Ba Trung
    (5) Back to Majestic for the die-hards

    Plans for tomorrow (day – not finalized):

    9:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Mini-bus or Van rental for House Hunting Expedition. Making list of everyone’s houses (as remembered) and touring with the mini-bus for before/after picture comparison.

    Will ask about jean Pierre Thai Thach – I remember asking Jaque (lives in Texas) but never got a response.

    A few glasses/bottles will be lifted as a toast to you all who could not make it.


    [ Roy – If you need an old Saigon street map with the old street names on it, don’t forget there is a 1963 Saigon Street Map on the Blog. It is located at: Menu > ACS Library > 1963 Saigon Map. It is a PDF file in Adobe Reader. You can copy it to your Laptop or a Blackberry, etc. – Bob ]

  • Mimi

    The last I heard about Jean Pierre Tai-Tach, from the french gang, is that he was living in California. Vicky, do you want me to post a note on the french forum to see if anyone knows a more precise location?

    Nice pix!!! It is great to see you all,I can tell it’s hot by the way the girls are dressed. Just to make you enjoy it even more, it is going to be -12 celsius here to night in Montrรฉal-lol-

    I am anxiously expecting other reports and pix .
    xxx Mimi

    [Mimi – go ahead and ask the French gang about Tai-Tach. If you find out anything email to me and I’ll pass it on to Vicki. She lives in California too. Wouldn’t that be cool if they live close to each other!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  • Mimi

    Done!!! I just posted a note on the french forum…we will see. I’ll keep you informed.

    Hope there will be more pix and reports from the gang in HCM when I wake up to morrow.

    xxxx mimi

    [Thank you, Mimi! ๐Ÿ™‚ – Bob ]

  • Bob et al,

    Have old map. Arlene sent me a couple and I made more copies that got passed out here. Give me your address or apporximation and we will go there and take some pictures for you tomorrow – Mini-Bus finalized … departs Majestic at 0900 (for you military folks). Thanks for the great job with the Blog. Miche, you should let the Frenchkids know about the Blog and register if you have not already done so!?!? They were Saigonkids too …

    More pictures after the Happy Hour at the Caravelle and dinner at Camarague tonight.

    Nice Lyrics Bob … conveys our state of mind and body if sung to the meoldy of the Beach Boys song … what was it called?

    Cheers … Roy

    p.s. the man next to Deborah is Viny’s husband, and it is Ruthie with Viny & Sarah.

    [Roy – my old house was located: From the Basilica go Northwest (toward airport sorta) on Quy (Duy) Tan 2 blocks to the ‘circle’ (used to have a French statue in it). If standing in the circle with your back toward the Basilica my house would be at ‘2 O’clock’ (3 or 4 story place with balcony on the front of each floor). The Marine Guard House was at ‘4 O’clock’. If I remember correctly your house was almost directly behind mine on Hai Ba Trung.]

  • Ken

    Roy and other SKs – If you have the time, cruise by the old PX and commissary on Phan Dinh Phung and take a pix for me please. Lots of military families lived in the building as well as housing the PX. tks. Ken

  • Bob & Ken,

    Thanks. Will do … I was on 165 Hai Ba Trung. We have the PX on our schedule … I remember the Smith family parties on top of it. Some more pix coming your way from the Caravelle … They have a roof where there was none when Bob M. and I played for food & booze.

    Majestic and Camrague tonight …


    [ Roy, I’ve got a couple of party pix taken at Smith’s place above the PX … funny, I can still remember – first doorway to left of PX entrance, go up the stairs and turn right, to door at end of hallway. I’ll see if I can locate the pix and post them on here – they are vintage 1960 – with a good shot of Frank’s “DA” hair style … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ Bob ]

  • Mimi

    Hi SKs in the fields,

    thanks for the pix and reports,

    Roy, I mentionned your trip and Bob’s site on the french forum as soon as the first of you guys left. But they are not prolific writers/readers and only Bob would know if they ever connected! The only french post there was lately was from Annie Porcher identifying a girl on an old picture for Bob. (in fact it was AMP’s cousin.)

    Frank you have a very handsome son. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I don’t remember the ladies apart from Veny. Not sure I ever met them. Say hello anyway..

    Roy you mention the Smith’s. Has anyone heard about Cheryl lately? I have’nt for at least 2 years.

    Ok. Take care all of you.
    xxx mimi

    [A few of the French Kids are registered on the Blog/Photo Gallery/Newsletter. They like the majority of the USA (and other) SKs visit here a lot to read, but don’t write much … This is typical of most online communities and social sites. 10 to 20 percent of the members are active in the community and the rest enjoy visiting but are not very active. For example, this blog has from 60 to 100 SKs visiting everyday, but you see how many of us actually write comments and posts.

    Mimi – Frank’s son takes after his mother’s side … LOL (sorry Frank! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Many of the SKs came to Saigon after we left and/or were much younger (in the lower grades) so we didn’t know them in Saigon … BUT, I’ve found they are really enjoyable people to get to know now over the Internet.

    I’ve not heard from the Smith’s either, other then an occassional email forward.

    Hugs to all … Bob ]

  • Admin

    Roy … received the Caravelle pix. Will post to blog this evening. Keep them coming. This is awesome!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ll be away from the computers most of the day today … then will be back on here this evening after supper (USA time) to catch up with everything on the Blog and post all pix/updates received so far …

    Have a fantastic day everyone!!

    Rock Saigon … ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hugs to all … Bob

    PS: Roy, have you been able to locate the Tailor Shop on Tu Do that made out first baseball team uniforms … I think (but not sure) it was around 145 Tu Do … same side of street as Brodard but toward Basilica about 4 or 5 stores …

  • Mimi

    What???? Bob takes the day off the blog!!!! And he eats too!!!
    Holy cry, what about poor us stranded in the snow who need warms news from the crazy bunch out there in the rice paddies??? -lol-

    In the mean time, you travelling guys can write, right? ๐Ÿ™‚
    Hugs to all.

    [Eating my garlic, MOM!!!! – LOL – ๐Ÿ™‚ Bob]

  • Dinner at Caramague was excellent! Pictures on the way. Anne Marrie and Charles showed up at the Majestic as well as Mary Lou and Jeff. Anne Marrie has not changed and is still her reserved quiet beautiful self while Charles is a charming wealth of information you could spend hours with that he didn’t have since they were leaving early in the morning. Mary Lou and Jeff arrived just in time to make it to dinner. I will get to the Tailor, the houses and the PX today. Everyone was pooped from the shopping spree yesterday and about half made it to dinner. Today is the Mini-Bus tour of the houses and sights followed by the water puppet show at the Cerc and Dinner. Susie is preparing the list of house to find and video and take pictures of. Bob, I remember that Taylor … he made those band uniforms for us that were God-awfull purple color.

    I have had a few e-mails from Cheryl just before I left. She wished she and Buzz could be with us.

    Today, only two more couples, and last, SKs will arrive in Saigon – Arlene and Dave and … gosh, I am getting old … the last will come to me when I hit submit.

    Anyway … more adventures … Thanks Bob … and Miche for keeping us going.


  • … Correction. Dinner only tonight … water puppet show and dinner tomorrow … losing track of days (means we are having fun). The Emery’s and Arlene & Dave arriving today.

    Geez … you’d think I’d get things right for a change!


  • Admin

    Roy … pix, etc all came through … stand by folks, I’ll be updating the blog and uploading the pix for the next couple hours … lol

    BTW La Camargue is one of the best, if not the best restaurant in Saigon. And, they have the best cellar in Saigon. And, yes Alice they even have California wines in the cellar ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stay tuned people …


  • Admin



    Caravelle Roof Bar March 12, 2009


    Deborahs Caravelle Special March 12, 2009


    Caravelle Band Stand March 12, 2009

    I’ll add more to these later.


  • Admin



    Chow and Anne-Marie at Majestic Hotel Bar March 12, 2009


    Mary Lou and Jeff with group March 12, 2009


    Veny and gang La Camargue March 12, 2009

    I’ll add more to this later.


  • Mimi

    Nice!!!! Thanx guys, thanx Bob.

    (Btw, the reference to garlic a few post above is a “private” joke between Bob and me -lol- some story about vampires and other stuff-lol)

    Roy, AMP’s husband first name is not Chow..but, darn I can’t remember it rignt now. Chou, in french, means “cabbage” but it is a sweet name like “Honey” or “darling” in english.

    Ok…I waited for the pix, now I can go to sleep-lol.
    Bob you are what… 2 hours later than ESTime?

    hugs to all. mimi

    [mimi – I’m in Central Daylight Time zone, so 1 hour earlier then you, if Canada is on ‘daylight savings time’. When it is 12 noon here, it is 1 pm on east coast of USA … lol … guess I could look at my ‘world clock’ on my computer, but that would be way to easy and logical! .. LOL … no vampires here … lol. Is ‘Ail’ a sweet ‘honey’ or ‘darling’ name in French??? … hahahahhaahaa … ๐Ÿ™‚ (geez, I hope that french word means what I’m thinking it means … if not, God only knows what I just asked with that questions … lol ) … hugs Bob ]

  • Bob et al,

    Took the Mini-Bus House Search adventure, but very difficult (he was a young driver and only knew the new street names) to get to everone’s house. So, we finally got him to the Cerc Sportif and walked around an hour getting to the closer houses (the PX (Smith’s house where I was first ever slapped by a girl in the balcony … without doing anything … she just didn’t like me … I must have not liked her either since I can’t remember her name)), Viny’s house and a couple of others that we just drove by. Got a picture (of what we think is your house Bob), but I am going back later to scope out yours, mine and the Taylor shop … pictures to follow … stopped for lunch (Pho) at Frank’s recommendation … superb service and lunch. everyone’s gone to rest up and meet at the Majestic by 6:00 PM. Arlene should be in by then as well as the Emerys. Dinner is at 7:30 PM.

    Miche … that is how AMP’s husbend intruduced himself. I should have taken down the spelling. I remember Chou … that is what you used to call me when you were not mad at me (Mon Petite Chou!) … sometimes.

    More later …


    [Roy – he probably said “Chao” like in Viet-namese ‘greeting’ for “Hello” or “Goodbye” … lol … It’s understandable how you might have found compreshension difficult though … given the Ba Ba Ba and Ba Muoi Ba consumption … LOL … or, was it the “Dens” of Cho Lon which caused your ‘memory’ lapse … LOL. Roy, I’m sure when Mimi called you that she was using the literal translation of “cabbage” … ha ha ha … ๐Ÿ™‚ , right Mimi!?! … hahahahaha ๐Ÿ™‚ … could this be where Cabbage Patch dolls evolved from … LOL … (Mom, I think the garlic is effecting my brain cells – LOL- ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!) … Rock on my friends! – Bob ]

  • Dick Emery

    Hi everyone!
    We are here. Checked in at Hotel Equatorial. Will anyone be at the Majestic before 6?

  • frank

    Veny’ old house is “run down” looking and is a school…frank’s old house is now a health clinic…bob’s house looks the same and we think it is a rehab center for “taxi girls”!!!lol

  • Hi Dick,

    Glad you made it ok … most are planning on meeting at the top of the Majestic (MBar 8th floor) at 6:00 PM tonight before departure for Dinner at 7:30. I’ll probably be there a little earlier …


  • frank

    We are at 5th floor bar tonigt….not 8th..frank

    [ Frank – I was wondering how long it would be before they ‘ban’ you from the Roof Tops LOL!! ]

  • Ken

    So many bars, so little time. People getting lost in a hotel. You must be having a great time. Ken

    [Ken, lost in bars and hotels was always the ‘norm’ for Frank and Roy … LOL!!! ]

  • Admin

    Roy and Frank … your pix came thru ok … will post to blog this evening after supper, along with any more you might send this way by then.


    (PS to Mimi: Mediterranean – disciplined, aren’t I, Mom -lol- ๐Ÿ™‚ !!!)

  • Ken,

    I know … its kinda sad … we never got lost in a bar way back when or a hotel … usually kicked out, never ‘lost’ …

    Had a great dinner (Pix on the way) … the Reunion list is complete. Arlene and Dave finally showed up and we connected with Dick and Kathy Emery (who had brought a hand made soap gift for each of us). Ruthie’s son made it to Saigon on the last minute and is dealing with the jetlag. But we are complete (25 … not counting Anne Marie and Chow/Choa/Chou).

    Tomorrow everyone is on their own until the Water Puppet show at the Cerc at 6:30 PM … my plans are:

    (1) Cyclo ride to the Market
    (2) House search (mine, Bob’s, Joe Christensen’s)
    (3) The Palace Tour
    (4) Cholon tatu parlors and bars
    (5) More bars
    (6) More drinks

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Moui Ba


    [Roy – Mimi’s house was across “Lycรฉe Marie-Curie” from Joe and Paul’s house.

    The earlier pix you sent “Bob’s House -Maybe” – this is it. The taller grey concrete building with all the TV antanaes on the roof … 2nd building to the left going counter-clockwise from the corner (the one with the split balconies on front of each floor). If you get a chance, can you get a better shot of it. I see the ‘French’ Statue in the circle got replaced by a pond … lol. FYI: if you go clockwise from my house, across the side street, the buildings there were the Marine Guard House where all the USMC Embassy guards lived, when we were in Saigon (if standing in the circle with back to Basilica they would be the buildings at 4 o’clock quardrant section).

    I’m sure you have “Passage Eden” on your list of places to see, etc. (think movies – James Dean – Rebel Without A Cause – CLODs ).

    A flash back for you: Remember going over the bridge to Cho Lon, parking our motorcycles, then walking to the end of the string of about 30 bars, then having a Ba Muoi Ba in each bar to see who could make it back to the bridge and our motorcycles … lol … and, the night the German Consulate’s son fired up his Harley, missed the bridge and went down the stairs going under the bridge to the canal … lol. What a muddy mess that was … particularly, after God only knows how many Ba Muoi Ba’s … LOL. I wonder if ‘bar row’ is still there … doubtful!! LOL

    The additional pix you sent came thru okay. Will post this evening.

    Has anyone been able to locate the old baseball field?? Pershing Field.

    Clarafication, if you get a chance and have time: I remember the ACS school being near the Airport. But, it was converted to the 3rd Field Hospital which then became the War Remnants Museum after 1975. When I map the Museum it seems to be much closer in (to down town Saigon) then I remember the school being. Is it just me!?! LOL

    I sure hope everyone there is ‘journalling’ there trip. Would be nice to compile everyones journals of the trip into an eBook of the Reunion 2009, etc. Just a thought. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Rock on and rock Saigon … let the place know SKs have returned … lol …

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Muoi Ba
    Ba Ba Ba

    LOL …


  • Cathie McIntyre

    Happy Belated Birthday, Veny! I wish I could be there to celebrate with all of you.

    Cathie McIntyre
    Saigon, 10/59-10/61
    sister of Lynn McIntyre Riley

  • Mimi

    No..my house was not near Marie-Curie or Joe’s. The last place I lived, bcz I lived there much longer than most of you guys, was on Hong Thap Tu, but I don’t remember the no. One of the SKs lived just by the corner in a villa.
    Before that ..I lived on Truong Minh Ky…(all in the same district near the CSS) but I have seen recent pictures and what happened of it is not worth seeing.
    xxx mimi

    [ Sorry, Mimi I must be as confused as Roy -lol- ๐Ÿ™‚ and I can’t blame it on Ba Ba Ba … I only drink tea while eating garlic … LOL!!!]

  • Mary Ann (Matteson) Smith

    Hey all of you Saigon party people it’s time for more pictures! Roy, tell Frank I want to see a picture of Veny and Sarah and Ruth with him. Someone take a picture of a pastry at Brodards since that is what I lived on! I wasn’t like Sarah who ate from the “Howard Johnson’s ” on the street corners! I’m sorry I wasn’t old enough then to enjoy the bars like I’m hearing about. We had to have fun at Haznam’s bar! Veny, I hope you are enjoying seeing everyone-what a time to remember. How come it doesn’t take much to feel sixteen again? Does everyone remember the tea dances at the Circle Sportif? I used to have so much fun dancing with Ken Yeager at those dances. You sure could dance Ken. Do you remember?
    Mary Ann

  • Bob,

    My “Passage Eden” is not for public consumption … even if most of the “public” was also frequent participants.

    What was the German Consulate son’s name? Wasn’t it Chuck something? He drooled a lot … without reason. I have several pictures of him on the website with Jacqueline and I … and I can’t remember his last name!?! Or his date. I know it wasn’t Kurts Mueller(sic) … Ruthie can’t remember either from one of the pictures.

    Mary Anne, Ken was cradled in Fred Astair’s shoes when born. His pictures on the website are a testament to that.

    Miche, I agree with you that seeing a lot of the old haunts is depressing due to changes, but it still runs a tingle up your leg (what goofy anchor man said that?) by just being there.

    Will get to the houses today to get better pictures. Reeeeeeally Reeeeally wish you all were here … better, wish it was the 60’s still!!!

    I remember being “Harless” and having to either borrow Jaque’s Lambretta or ride on the back Joe’s Guzzie to Cholon … that may be why I am making up for it now and have a Geezer-Glide today.

    Miche, if you remember AMP’s husbands name please let me know … you know how sensitive they are about printed words and I don’t want to offend any of the Frenchkids.

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Moui Ba


    [ Roy – Passage Eden was the arcade with the movie theater in it. Across Tu Do from the Continental Hotel. Remember James Dean in Rebel Without A Cause in French with Viet-namese subtitles!?! If not, see Rique’s story “James Dean in Saigon”, it is on the Blog under CLOD Magazine on the Menu – LOL – Hmmm … sounds like you never took a French girl on a date to the movies in Saigon… ha ha ha … Ba Ba Ba … Bob ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  • Mary Ann (Matteson) Smith

    OOPS! I started thinking about the dances at the circle sportif and I’m sorry it wasn’t Ken Yeager but David (?) I can’t remember his last name. Sorry Ken you were probably wondering what the heck I meant. Oh well, they were still fun.
    Mary Ann

  • Mimi

    Roy..I just checked with Annie Porcher…AMP’s husband first name is CHARLES.

    Bob, are you cooking the pictures for dinner????-lol.

    love to all. Mimi

    [Geez… Roy how the heck to you get “CHOW” out of “CHARLES”!?! … LOL ]

    [Mediterranean and “sweet vice” on weekends, MOM!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  • Admin

    REUNION PICTURES – SAIGON – March 13, 2009

    ARLENE AND DAVE – DINNER – SAIGON March 13, 2009
    Arlene and Dave Dinner March 13, 2009

    Left to right: Arlene, Dave, Tom (Candice’s husband), Candice at Reunion Dinner at An Vien Restaurant.

    DICK AND KATHY – DINNER – SAIGION March 13, 2009
    Dick and Kathy dinner March 13, 2009

    Left to right: Sarah, Dick and Kathy at Reunion Dinner at An Vien Restaurant.

    Reunion Dinner Party March 13, 2009
    Left to right going clockwise: Ramine (Veny’s husband), Frank, Susie, Jeff (Mary Lou’s husband), Mary Lou, Kathleen, Sarah, Dick and Kathy, Candice, Carol, Veny, Ruthie. All at reunion dinner party – An Vien Restaurant.

    PHO LUNCH – SAIGON March 13, 2009
    Pho Lunch March 13, 2009
    Left to right going clockwise: Ramine and Veny, Susie, Silas (standing), Jeff, Frank, Kim, Mary Lou and Mark (Kim’s brother). Eating Pho for lunch at Bun Hue Pho A3A.

    Bob's Old House March 13, 2009
    Bob’s old house – Tall grey concrete building to left side of picture (now a getto – lol)

    CERCLE SPORTIF (BACK SIDE) – March 13, 2009
    CSS back side March 13, 2009
    This the back side of the Cercle Sportif, according to Roy. Strange LOL.

    PX Building With Balcony of Smith House above March 13, 2009
    This is a picture of the old PX building viewing the balconies of Larry and Chryl’s place above the PX. On one of these balconies is where Roy says he was slapped for the first time in is life by a girl for no reason at all because he didn’t do anything. Geez, Roy! If a girl goes out on the balcony with you – she expects you to DO SOMETHING!!! Probably why she slapped you, because you didn’t do anything!! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    VENY’S OLD HOUSE – March 13, 2009
    Veny's Old House March 13, 2009
    Left to right: Frank, Susie, Veny, Ruthie at Veny’s old house. It’s now a school.

    FRANK AND THE GIRLS – March 13, 2009
    Susie, Veny and Frank March 13, 2009
    Left to right: Susie, Veny and Frank … ?someplace? in Saigon.

    FRANK BACK AT VENY’S HOUSE – March 13, 2009
    Frank at Veny's House March 13, 2009
    Frank always did keep coming back to Veny’s house for some reason. In fact, that is where we first met shortly after he arrived in Saigon – we talked about Bo Diddley music – well, he did, I was more interested in the girls LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    Frank, me and Veny at Larry's Party 1960
    This is not a Reunion 2009 picture. But, it fits in with this series of pictures. This picture was taken during a party at Larry’s place above the PX building in Saigon. Frank had just recently arrived in Saigon. I invited him to come to the party with Veny and I that night so he could get to know everyone. [If you are wondering what Frank is looking at, in this picture … he is watching Roy getting slapped out on the balcony by an unknown girl for doing ‘nothing’ !! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

    I hope everyone is enjoying these pictures. As always, you are welcome to leave your comments below.


  • Mimi

    Bob, Can I just say that with such a program for the w-e, you don’t need brains anyway -lol- so just enjoy.!!!

    As for Roy, may be beers and hearing don’t mix well-lol.
    Ok SK in Saigon, if you have the time, the courage, and the kindness…keep feeding the blog…even if Bob retires for maintenance -lol- your texts will show up.

    We don’t hear much from Frank…???? too much fun???

    xxx mimi

    [OH! “maintenance” is that French *wink* … gotcha … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  • Miche,

    There was a reason why the Brentkids named me TCR … Totally Clueless Roy! So, what do you expect? Even if it was water instead of beer, it would be the same…

    Pix on the way … going to the pool.

    Bob, your house has turned into an Internet Cafe. We lifted some Tiger Piss in your honor, in your house on the second floor. I took a Cyclo Ride back from the market.

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Moui Ba


    [ Roy – Pa Pa Cafe – Comfort – Start Your Day With The Coffee Cup … Finish your day with a TIGER upstairs! LOL – I love it!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    The upper floors must be where the Rehab Center is located, that Frank mentioned earlier .. LOL … the everything under one roof concept … I suppose ….. LOL – Bob ]

  • Ken

    Funny, I lived in the PX/Commissary building at the same time as the Smiths (Larry, Cheryl, Donna) and I don’t recall having a balcony on our flat (we were on the other end of the building from the Smiths and one floor up). Any chance of a photo from the front towards the front entrance?

    Mary Ann, I thought you had made a mistake. While I loved to dance back then, now it takes a bulldozer to get me on the floor to dance with my wife. Too old, too fat, too lazy. Was it David Henry you used to “cut a rug” with?

    The photos are great and I recall with great memories the Haznam house. I remember eating a green pepper there and almost died, while the Haznam family was popping them in like candies. Damn that was a time to remember.

    Thinking back, I do believe they were some of the best days of my life….we did have fun, didn’t we?

    Cheers – Ken Oh and keep the thoughts and pictures coming.

  • Ken,

    I will probably be making a last-chance round of picture taking in that area on Monday (I leave on Tuesday), so I’ll try and get a shot of it for you … but Cheryl’s house did have balconys … I can’t forget that slap and where it happened.

    Tonights events is the puppet show and dinner afterwards. Tomorrow is Brunch at the Continental at 10:00 and the end to our formalized part of the Reunion.


    [Ken – Roy is correct on the balconies. I remember them well from spending much time on them on ‘moon light’ Saigon nights with lovely ladies (good place to skip out of the party for a few moments of togetherness – lol) … I NEVER got slapped on them, like Roy did … probably because … well, maybe those memories are best keep in the back pages of my mind … ha ha ha ๐Ÿ™‚ Bob ]

  • Admin

    HELP REQUEST … (Don’t say it Mimi!! LOL)

    Roy, Frank or anyone of you SKs in the rice paddies: Could someone go through the reunion pix of March 13th, check the name tags to make sure I got them correct, and give me the names of those I’m not sure about. Also, what are the names of the places you are eating at????????? Much appreciated!

    PICTURE SHOW TIME TONIGHT – 8:00 pm sorta …

    More pix have come in. I’ll be posting them to the blog this evening starting around 8 pm (CDT). Just think of it as Saturday night at the picture show … LOL … bring your own popcorn ๐Ÿ™‚ (and some for me too, if you want sneak previews – LOL )

    See ya this evening!


    Retiring to “maintenance”, for the day, MOM!!! -LOL- ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Bob … will do that for you after I get back from the rooftop bar tonight … given that I can pass the baloon test on the way down!

    More pix (Cerc) on their way.


    [Thanks Roy. All pix came through – this is going to be a good “Picture Show” tonight!! … LOL – rock on my friend!! BTW: I always thought hot air balloons went UP … ha ha ha LOL – sorry just couldn’t resist … Mimi made me say it!! ๐Ÿ™‚ – Bob ]

  • RandySeely

    It’s been fun seen the pix posted on this site…not to mention the comments from the lucky folks currently in Saigon — makes me wish I was there with them, as well. As a matter of fact, I’ve watched practically every Saigon video clip I could find on YouTube and a few other links, just trying to capture that old feeling of being in that wonderful place. I agree with Ken’s comments of those days “being the best days of” our lives. I’m sure all SKs on this trip are sorry to see it winding down so soon. Be safe getting back to your homes or wherever you’re heading next. Godspeed! Randy

  • Last official day (Sigh)! We will start with Brunch at 10:00 AM at the Continental followed by a Karioki free-for-all at 2:00 PM arranged by Frank and son Silas. Most folks heading back on Monday or Tuesday and some to other countries and regions of VN to complete their tours.

    We all thank you Bob for making this medium possible … wish you had been here instead along with all the SKs who couldn’t make it. As for me, I am coming back … with family next time … nothing like sharing a snipit of your life that will always be the most important part of your time … though they may never understand it as we do. Saigon has returned to its charms of old … change or no change, it is still a beautiful city with beautiful people.

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Moui Ba



  • Admin

    REUNION PICTURES – SAIGON – March 14, 2009

    BOB’S HOUSE – DUY TAN CIRCLE – SAIGON March 14, 2009
    Bobs House Duy Tan Circle Saigon March 14, 2009
    Bob’s old house on Duy Tan Circle. Tall grey building toward the left side of picture. Frank’s back and head, blue shirt right side of picture.

    Bob's House Closer March 14, 2009
    Moving in for a closer look at what might be going on at Bob’s old house. Hmm … seeing “Pa Pa Cafe – Comfort – Start Your Day At The Coffe Cup” … getting interesting!

    ENTERING BOB’S HOUSE – SAIGON – March 14, 2009
    Frank entering Bob's House March 14, 2009
    Frank enters Bob’s house while Silas watchs his back. What will Frank find?

    INSIDE BOB’S HOUSE – SAIGON – March 14, 2009
    Inside Bob's House March 14, 2009
    Amazing, the ‘arch’ is still there.

    Looking out front window of Bob's house - March 14, 2009
    Frank looks out the 2nd floor living room front window of Bob’s house at view of the water park in the circle. What’s that!?! Empty Ba Muoi Ba bottles left there after the last party?? And, a blue “Comfort” sign behind them. Geez, look at all those electrical wires blocking the view – LOL. (Where the water park is in the circle now, used to be a beautiful French statue and flower gardens.)

    Roy, Arlene, Frank drinking
    Roy, Arlene and Frank (left to right) make them self comfortable in Bob’s livingroom while lefting a “Tiger Beer” and relaxing. Just like the good ole’ days! As they sing The Saigon Kids Anthem …

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Muoi Ba

    It seems my old place is now Pa Pa Cafe (an Internet Cafe) where you can start your day at the coffe cup … and finish your day upstairs with the “Tiger” … (some things never change – lol). Frank says the upper floors of the building are now a Rehab Center for “Taxi Girls” … all under one roof concept I suppose! LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    After leaving Bob’s place, feeling a little lighter on their feet, the gang headed around the corner and a block over to Hai Ba Trung to find Roy’s house …

    THEY FIND IT – ROY’S HOUSE – 165 HAI BA TRUNG – SAIGON – March 14, 2009
    Roy's House 165 Hai Ba Trung, Sagion - March 14, 2009
    Roy's House March 14 2009
    Roy in front of his old house. So far Roy’s house is the only house which has been kept up and maintained. Welcome home, Roy!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Next they head out in search of Joe and Paul Christensen and later Arlene’s old house …

    Christensen and Zucker house March 14, 2009
    Not the way I remember Joe and Paul’s house at all. It appears the house was removed and this building constructed on the property. ๐Ÿ™

    Next the gang headed off to the Cercle Sportif …

    CERCLE SPORTIF – SAIGON – March 14, 2009
    CSS Pool March 14 2009
    I think I’ve been here before!

    CSS Pool Steps March 14, 2009
    I know I’ve climbed these steps before …

    CSS Bob's Wall March 14, 2009
    Ahh … there is my wall, where I’d sit and watch … the view ๐Ÿ™‚

    Frank, Arlene, Dave at Roy and Michele's CSS Pool Table - March 14, 2009
    Frank, Arlene and Dave (left to right) sitting at the pool side table which Roy and Michele used to sit at – when she wasn’t mad at him! LOL

    CSS Pool Side Bar - March 14, 2009
    The Pool Side Bar – best Lemonada in Saigon. Great place to meet girls (or boys, if you were a girl) too … ๐Ÿ™‚

    Dave, Arlene, Roy CSS Pool - March 14, 2009
    Dave, Arlene and Roy (left to right) after leaving the Pool Side Bar. Notice Roy has his camera handy to capture any ‘views’ he might encounter … LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    CSS from Pool Side Bar looking toward diving board - March 14, 2009
    What Roy saw when he looked through his camera from the Pool Side Bar toward the Diving Board … a gawdy blue diving board – imagine that! LOL

    CSS Club House where Ricky and The Ventures of Viet-nam played - March 14, 2009
    View from the Pool looking across the tennis courts at the back of the Club House and Ball Room building. Many dances, balls, and Tea Dances were held and attended here. This is also where “Ricky and The Ventures of Vietnam” combo played often for the dances and other events. The band was made up of Joe (guitar and vocals aka Ricky Nelson), Roy (guitar) and Paul (drums). (We just simply will NOT talk about their PURPLE band uniforms – LOL – somethings are best FORGOTTEN!!! —- FOREVER!!!).

    I’m sure this building holds many many memories for each and every Saigon Kid … I know it does for me … some of my most cherished of Saigon and Saigon Kids …

    Night Tennis CSS - March 14, 2009
    Night Tennis at CSS … I remember being at dances in the Ball Room while people where playing tennis on the courts outside at night … touching some sweet sweet memories now, aren’t we!?!

    Saigon Kids Group after Water Puppet Show - March 14, 2009
    The gangs all here – the entire Saigon Kids Reunion 2009 gang after the Water Puppet Show – holding the Red, White and Blue – Saigon Kids Banner.

    Ba Ba Ba
    Ba Muoi Ba

    Good Night … Saigon ……….

    PS: I’ll add name to faces later.

  • Mimi

    amazing…if it were not for the gawdy colours ( my my..what taste!!!) the css is unchanged in nearly 45 yrs. Just looking at the pic, I had a whiff of chlorine _lol-

    As you say..did we climb those steps, and did we sit there on the wall!

    Bob..for some reason 2 of the pix did not come out on my pc…the one with Frank and son entering your old house, and Joe’s house, or whatever replaced it. I don’t know if it is my pc, or on your side. (Not an emergency…as I will go back and back again to see these pix.)

    You are such a sweet heart to take time on your w-e to put them on-line for us. Big hug to you, Bob.

    xx mimi

    [ Mimi – the missing pix was probably on my side. If it continues to happen try ‘refreshing’ your screen. If it still happens try logging off the site then back onto it. If it still happens let me know. If should be okay now, as I made some typos in the file names when uploading to the server which caused some things to not show up correctly, etc. … I think I’ve got them all fixed now …

    Thank you so much for your kind words Mimi. I consider it an honor to be able to do my tiny little part for our Saigon Kids community. It is the least I can do for people who are so very very special to me and touched my life in so many wonderful and beautiful ways. I would not be the person I am today if you and all the Saigon Kids were not a part of me …

    (((BIG HUGS))) to you, Mimi ๐Ÿ™‚ Bob ]

  • Mimi

    I am amazed to see how to you SK’s the years in Saigon had a strong impact, as most of you spent only 2 or 3 years there, and travelled elsewhere before and after. I’m wondering, was it the age – teen years are probably the most indelibile-? was it the place? was it the people?
    Can you guys say what and why?
    xxx mimi

    [ Mimi – I think we all have asked ourself those questions over and over, and have yet to find ‘one’ answer. I think our brief time in Saigon, for most of us, is like a “Sunset” … you can’t describe it in words … you can only experience it … and feel it … as it touches your soul … remaining there eternally …

    xox Bob ]

  • I agree Miche … those are awfull colors. They were all white before and not with the tacky plastic furniture. But … hey, we retraced our footsteps from 50 some years ago and it felt like the old days being there.

    Last night’s dinner (Name in Schedule of Events) was good, but it was outside and hot … my camera also felt it and gave up … so, this morning (!0:00 AM) Brunch at the Continental was a cool inside experience. Pictures on the way. The gang gave Sarah and I a nice gift and cards for doing what we wanted to do with sincere pleasure … we all signed the SK Banner and gave it to Frank for starting this whole thing to start with. This afternoon is the Karioki followed by dinner at the Indochine at 6:30 PM. You will NOT hear me singing (thank God). But … we are going to start with the Beach Boys and substitute Ba Ba Ba, Ba Moui Ba for the verse.


    [ Mimi – did you notice Roy and Dave wore shirts that matched the CSS ‘blue’ … lol … ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

  • Admin

    Roy Cyclo March 14, 2009

  • Ken

    The photos are great and I thank everyone on was involved with this project…just great. I experienced the same problem as Mimi with one photo, but the rest downloaded great.
    As to Mimi’s comment on the impact that Saigon had on us, I think the answer is that we were at an impressionable age when we really began to understand ourselves and the ladies we were with. Saigon was a wide open town and many of got to experiment with things that we wouldn’t have if we would have been in school in the US (at least in my opinion and given it was the 60s). Most of us were disciplined due to our parents employment which kept us under some control, but still we could look and find things that the average US teen couldn’t. I remember being taken to a “house of ill-repute” with a friend who shall remain nameless in order to lose my virginity….well, I didn’t lose anything except a little money. It was one scary experience, I will tell you. Honestly, there was a pig in the house and that did it for me. I have several little horror stories like that but don’t think badly of me….it was the times and the place. Yes, Saigon is special to me and always will be. I try to share my memories with my wife, but it doesn’t work and she understands that, as she has tried to share her memories of living in various countries with me with her friends here in the Hamburg area. After a little bit, their eyes glaze over…they cannot imagine some things that we experienced. Anyway, it was a great time with great friends and I am so pleased that folks like Roy and Bob have brought us back together with the websites, the comments, photos and, of course, the reunions. Saigon 40 plus years later…..who’d athunk!!!
    Cheers – Ken

  • Admin

    Roy – received the Brunch pix. Will upload this evening sometime. Did anyone get pix of the dinner where your camera failed??? I sure hope so!

    Roy, pouring Ba Ba Ba on a hot burnt out camera does not make it work!! – LOL

    Thank you Roy, Frank and all of you in Saigon for giving the rest of us, who couldn’t be there with you, so much JOY and HAPPINESS as you shared Reunion 2009 – Saigon with us … you’ve ‘touched’ us all in so many wonderful and beautiful ways!!


  • Amazing Photos. Wow does it take me back. I used to go to the PX every week on a shuttle bus from our house by the airport. Thanks for the PIX!

  • Last day … at least for most of us. Frank, Silas, Arlene, Dave and I are planning Cholon today. I don’t think there is a single Jewelry store in Saigon that has any more 7-day rings. We have cleaned them out … and maybe started a new fad.

    There were very few flashes going on at dinner the night before because of the outdoor heat, I think Kim took some and I will see if she can send them to you … and last night at Indochine Restaurant which I didn’t attend.

    Miche, Bob & Ken … for me … one word: FAMILY! We became one 40+ years ago … with all its neuances. The hows and whys are just as indescribable as any bond between family members.

    Our entry theme song is Ba Ba Ba, Ba Moui Ba … our exit “We are FamilY” (the song re-do of a Cage aux Foule(sic) comes to mined) … hey, Frank, that’s a song we forgot to Kerioki!!!!!

    More Pix from Cholon later today.


    [ Roy, thanks, and please do ask Kim (or anyone esle) to send me pix they might have taken. It just seems so incomplete without pix of the ‘last supper’ of the Reunion. ]

  • RandySeely

    Roy, Frank, Arlene et al: Thanks very much for sharing this experience with us; we have such terrific memories of ‘back then’ with you…and now, to be able to share this wonderful trip with you guys is absolutely incredible. Sure, we weren’t there to experience the ambience of the places you visited…or to hear the cacophony of the city…or to taste the wonderful foods…but we WERE able to share the experience of the Cerc Sportif…Brodard’s…and everything else that means so much to all of us. Thanks for that…and thank YOU, Bob…for making sure it all got posted here for us to enjoy! I’ll always be a SK…and having this site to bring it all home just makes it all that more special. I’m so happy the trip was a resounding success for everyone who jumped onboard. Thanks, everyone. And here’s to the NEXT Reunion!! Best Wishes! Randy

  • Mimi

    “Family” !!! Nicely said Roy!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    But I have to stop you on your route to martyrdom (“girls slapping me,Mimi being mad at me”) -lol- I don’t remember ever being mad at you.

    The 7 day ring could become the symbol of the sk’s, like a secret society. Too bad my hands grew old also -lol

    What on earth happened to Frank? He lost his tongue (or finger?)-lol.

    xxx mimi

  • Our pleasure Randy … just wish you could have been with us.

    Miche, Frank is in “soaking-it-all-in” mode … he is preparing for saying something more to Sue when she asks him how the trip was other than: “Ah … OK” – you know how you girls are, details, details, details … NOT “Ah … OK”. So, he may just print out the Blog and hand it to her …. NOT!!!!! It has been an emotional coaster ride for our sensitive Frank … but he is relishing it in style and searching for the substance to write once he is out of the trance of this trip and this beautiful country.


  • Admin

    Good evening everyone … Just a quick note – my brain cells are fried tonight after encountering some technical difficulties earlier … and,it is getting late here … so, I’ll not be uploading more pix, etc. tonight … SORRY! Tomorrow evening I’ll upload the ones from the brunch yesterday morning, and any others the gang in Saigon sends along by then.

    Also, over the next few weeks I’ll be adding additional information to these posts of the Reunion. I basically just threw them up here so you all could at least have something to see … Now I’ll go back and clean them up, add names to faces, additional comments, etc etc … And, upload all the pix into Albums in the Photo Gallery so you can see ‘larger’ pictures with more detail, etc.

    Again, my apology for not uploading more stuff tonight.

    I’m retiring for ‘maintenance’ as Mimi would say … lol ๐Ÿ™‚

    (((HUGS))) to all …


  • Deborah Oakley-Melvin

    HELP! Still looking for my old house (Mary Lou and I both lived at 157 le Pasteur at different points) but the house Steve Parker was rumored to find (Burt noted this in November) is eluding me despite hints from all. ANYBODY! Where is it now? 106B Ngo Dinh Khoi — what is the name now of the hotel that is there? I have a few more days and am hopeful.
    With aloha,

  • Deborah Oakley-Melvin

    My brother said it was on Cong Ly, the old name — but that’s not it, not with the current 106 number. Burt, please help! Or Steve — remember me? We were buddies in ’62 or ’63 there — I was the kid with glasses next door.
    Write me at hilodeb@yahoo.com or I’ll keep checking the blog. I’ve had three drivers and lots of tramping about so far.
    Everyone is leaving this morning to tour, GREAT times and a wonderful group.

    • Admin

      Deb – Go up to the Basilica then turn right on โ€œLe Duanโ€ stay on it until it dead ends at the Zoo/Pagoda, then turn left onto โ€œNguyen Binh Khiemโ€ go to first street cross street (Nguyen Thi Minh Khai) turn left then start looking for your old house, if you donโ€™t find it there then go up one more block to โ€œNguyen Dihn Chieuโ€ look around in that area. The Parkerโ€™s old house was in this area. Here is a link to Google Maps showing the area with new street names, etc.


      Pastuer still has the same name. It is one block toward the Basilica from the Palace front gate. It crosses Le Duan.

      Hope this helps you.


      PS: Here’s a link to a 1963 Saigon Street map. You can copy it to your laptop hard drive to have available while searching around Saigon. Get map here, maybe you can find your old street on it.

  • Mimi

    Thanx to all for sharing that unique experience. I hope to have more of your impressions when it all settles in, in the coming weeks.
    Counting on you Frank!
    Following you through the msgs and pictures has been a roller coaster for me too. I made me remember things and events I had forgotten, good and bad ones(eveything was not rosy even then, and there were lots of inner tensions in that micro-society that you guys may have not perceived at the time) but mainly good ones.

    And one enormous regret: that I,ll never be able to take my little mother back , at least once, to her homeland.

    As Ken says, it is hard to share these memories with people that haven’t been there, our life style then is simply “unbelievable” to most. Yep, we are really very lucky to have had such a golden(gilded??) youth and adolescence, to have met so many people from different origins, and each others, to have had so much fun.

    Make it home safely, all of you.
    XXX mimi

  • frank

    Just left Roy…he and I went and had one more beer together in Saigon.
    I can not tell you how I feel, because I do not know what it is. I just feel! MiMi, I wish you were here…I could use one of your hugs right now! I am sad and happy! Yes, what is a Saigon Kid…? I thought I would know after returning…but I’m more confused then ever!!! I just feel alive with love…Maybe I can write more later….Frank

  • Admin

    Admin Note:

    Sorry about the site being down for a few hours. “unscheduled” maintenance was required on the server. (Translation: Some things got messed up and had to be fixed – lol).

    My apology for the unavailability of the site while the maintenance was being performed.

    Hugs to all…


  • Well … this it. The Journey comes to an end for me. Others will fill in the blanks as they get home and download their pictures … share the trip with their families … and foremost, and without a doubt, never regret a single day of this trip. Bob, thanks for making this trip meaningful to so many that missed it … and all of you who shared our progress remotely … you became part of our Journey.


  • Admin


    Signing The Reunion 2009 Banner at Continental Hotel March 15, 2009
    The Red, White and Blue – Saigon Kids Reunion 2009 Banner being signed by the reunion gang. It was then presented to Frank to honor him for being the one who originally started the seach for Saigon Kids way back in the 1990s. If he had not started looking for us all, we’d not be the Saigon Kids community we are today. He first found Arlene who joined him in the ‘quest’ for Saigon Kids. Little by little, they located another and another and another and another … as the ‘quest’ continues to this day our Saigon Kids ‘family’ and community grows bigger and bigger … Thank you Frank! WE LOVE YOU! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hanging Banner at Continental Hotel Brunch March 15, 2009
    Continental Hotel staff hang our banner over the arch way to the Brunch Room as Saigon Kids look on … realizing this will be the last time the Red, White and Blue will fly over Saigon.

    BRUNCH THE FINAL MEAL OF REUNION 2009 – SAIGONBrunh at Continental Hotel March 15, 2009
    Saigon Kids eat their final meal together in Saigon at The Continental Hotel – where so many of our cherished memories began long ago in the far away place called … Saigon.

    After Brunch at the Continental Saigon Kids each paid their last visit to places around Saigon …

    Dave at Cholon Market March 15, 2009
    Dave visits Cho Lon Market one last time …

    While Roy strolls down Tu Do past …
    Tailor Shop on Tu Do - 1st Baseball Team Uniforms Made Here - March 15, 2009
    the tailor shop where our very first “Teenagers Baseball Team” uniforms where made in 1960 …

    Chao … our Saigon … until once again we wander your streets …

  • Admin


    The reunion has drawn to a close. Most Saigon Kids have left Saigon. Some now in route home. Others to more adventures around Viet-nam or other countries on their way back home.

    It’s been fun … emotional … and AWESOME in so many ways for each of us … as old memories were rekindled … and, new memories made.

    A special THANK YOU to Roy, Frank, Sarah and the other Saigon Kids who made this all possible. Your dedication and contribution to our Saigion Kids family and community is very much appreciated by all Saigon Kids in so many ways that meer words can’t even begin to express … but, those mysterious and magical emotions are felt by all of us.

    And, a special THANK YOU to Mimi who, of her own initiative, visited here several times a day thoughout the reuion … adding a touch of her sweet wit, humor and charm co-hosting our Blog while I was busy posting the events.

    Though this reunion many of us have found ourself, once again, searching for the answer to the age old questions … what is a Saigon Kid? What is the special bond we have? What was it about the very brief time we spent in Saigon that makes it so very special to this day? Some have said it is like family, or the place, or the experiences, or the people, or the times, or or or … endless possibilities. In reality, being a Saigon Kid is to great to describe in words. Like a sunset or God, it can only be experienced and ‘felt’ as the mysterious magical emotion we all feel within us … this is the bond we share … LOVE in it’s purest form.

    (((BIG HUGS))) to all of you … ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Admin

    FRANK ON THE LONG ROAD HOME – JAPAN – March 17, 2009

    Frank Japan March 17 2009

    Frank getting a little Zen in Japan on the long and winding road home from the Reunion.

    Frank Japan - March 17 2009

    Have a safe journey my friend ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Ken

    I am suddenly suffering from post-reunion withdrawl, not seeing any activity on the blog. Seeing what was happening in Saigon was one of my early morning activites but not its come to a sudden halt and I am in pain.

    I have to say I am somewhat disappointed that the commenting was pretty much restricted to just a handful of folks, whereas I thought this reunion with ignite lots of back and forth. Still what we had was great, I just wish more SKs would join up and comment. Just my thought for the day.

    Hugs – Ken

  • Mimi

    Same here- cold turkey -lol! May be it’s bcz we are both very far from any “teenage friends”, that this link was so important.

    As for the limited participation of some of the travellers, I assumed Roy and Frank were the only ones who had laptop and blackberry.May be the other ones will write and send their pix when they get home, and from what I read here, most are still travelling.

    Roy and Frank must be on the way home, but then there will be jet lag, and then telling your significant half everything you saw, did, ate,rembered,etc. It will take time… bcz there will be so much to say, past and present mixed and mostly incomprensible to the other one -lol- so I don’t expect any news from them for a little while.
    I am sure Bob will send us all an e-mail if/when they give some news.
    And I also hope that Frank, who is so good at putting things on cds or dvds will come up with some record of the whole adventure.

    Ah..before I forget, your story with the pig is hilarious – lol- That, and Roy’s confusion between Charles and Chow – had me laughing like mad in front of my pc -lol.

    Hugs to all. xxx mimi

  • frank

    Silas and I made it to Hawaii. I’ll be here until Monday and then home to Arizona.
    Yesterday, I rested up…and still fighting a cold…that I think Ruthie gave me lol…but it was all worth it.
    Silas took a lot of video…and maybe tomorrow we will try and figure out how to get it organized on a dvd, etc.. I got the camera just before the trip…so ???
    It feels good to have my apple laptop back on my lap..I found my blackberry a little more difficult to use. The email on the blackberry only worked in Hanoi and Saigon …and for a moment on top of Hai Van pass.

    I did so many things on this trip…some times the emotional level was extremely high….almost to a point at times that I had to walk away and try to collect my senses. It actually hurt! I think that I’ll start to revisit these events in a day or so. Susan, my wife, will want to know all about the happenings…but I am hoping my son will call her on the phone and try to give more meaning to it then what I am able to do at the moment. Eventually, or gradually, I can express my thoughts to the SK…maybe I can even put it to video.
    I reread all the comments from Germany, Canada, to Idaho…etc. etc. Thanks to all that followed the adventure. You certainly added to it and were a part of it.
    Flying home, I was thinking of my short stay in Vietnam…much shorter then most of you..but like all of you.. tremendous impact. I only lived for about 14 months in Saigon as a teenager…I turned 17 while there. I lived for a little over 20 months as a Marine in Vietnam…I turned 23 and 24 while I was there. (ah and yes..now 65) The two different experiences…very unlike each other,intertwine in my memory…and possibly cause even more emotion then what would otherwise be there. long ago, during many a long lonely night in Central Vietnam, when I starred out into blackness, I would think of the kids of Saigon days. I relived those thoughts over and over again. for some reason, every kiss and every caress became a permanent stamp in my mind. I never made it to Saigon, much less other towns…unless on business!!! But I always thought of the Saigon days…seemingly so close, but so far away!
    This past month I again got to visit many of the places and see some of the old Saigon crew who had such an impact on me. Perhaps a little reality has creped back into my mind…. For is it not so…. that you can never bring back “The Splendor in the Grass”. Ah Yes, and even knowing this…does not change my memories or my desires! …and …even with this thought…it makes it even harder to deal with it all! Frank

  • frank

    Here on the North Shore, I am listening to Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesia’s “To all the Girls I’ve Loved Before” and having a “Johnny” Black label!!!

  • Mary Lou Berven

    While Frank is enjoying his Black Label on the North Shore, Jeff and I just downed some Hue Beer. It wasn’t Ba Muoi Ba, but when in Hue we do as the “Hueans” do. We spent two days in Hoi An being asked to buy everything under the sun but became very good at dodging the local merchants as we took in the old sights and local color of the town. We also ate wonderful fish cooked in banana leaves and walked through the streets lit by colorful lanterns at night. Then it was off to Hue via Danang, the Champa Museum, and Hai Van Pass. It’s been a great two days in Hue enjoying an historical and cultural tour via cyclo and motor scooters. Now we are off to Saigon for one more fling before heading home on Sunday.
    The reunion was a blast–I just wish more of you all could have made the trip!

  • Ken

    The song is so appropriate and it’s one of my favorites. And a Johnny is not a bad idea either, but it’s a bit early for me (now 0920). My GI days in Vietnam were lucky in that I was in Long Binh and made it to Saigon a few times and had a chance to walk around and revisit old memories. Of course, it was really full of Saigon-stationed GIs and so the atmosphere was certainly different. Still it was fun to go back and I sure wish I could have made the the reunion. I hope the next one will be soon and closer for me that Saigon although a return to “the town,” no doubt, was the icing on the cake.
    Looking forward to more photos and a video if it can be done.
    Will be pleased to know when everyone makes it home safely.
    Thanks for the memories (as Bob Hope used to say).

    Hugs – Ken

  • “Goooooood Morning Vietnam”!

    I would have loved to have heard that instead of my alram clock this morning. Waking up every moring in Saigon could have gone on forever had I the ability to change time and re-order my priorities. But … now a bit depressed and a bit drained, I faced reality by throwing my alarm clock accross the room! It helped.

    This “family” reunion was not unlike any other … we each felt and reacted a bit differently … from our dear memebr Frank, who wears his heart and soul on his sleave, to others who only thought of it as a tourist event. The spouses and significant others supprised us all by blending into our memories and recollections and not brooding or withdrawing into a corner hoping our inexplicable exhiliration would end soon. They became SKs without reservation.

    Thanks to all of you who made this reunion (in body or in spirit) a shared experience. With Tony Benetts’ song “How do you Keep The Music From Playing” in the background (yeah, I know, its early in the morning and I am sure the neighbors don’t appreciate it)our “music” will never end (go to http://www.bethunebeachfl.com if you want to hear it).


  • frank

    It is 2:05 am in Hawaii…I can’t sleep. Roy, again thanks for all you did!…We sure had a great time. Is it over? Maybe Mary Lou and Jeff will have one more Saigon Beir for us…you know the one we missed! Speaking of Mary Lou…did she have a negative reaction to the song..”Are You Lonesome Tonight”? Come on Mary Lou, what’s up with that? lol
    Gosh, I normally go to bed at nine…why am I still up? Just jet-lag I suppose!
    I am listening to “Last Kiss”…the newer version by Wednesday…Night All or Good morning (depending on where you live)…Yes, the Saigon Kids are Everywhere! Frank

    [Frank: the song “Night Life” comes to mind .. . lol]

  • Admin

    Hello gang … good to see everyone is making it home safely … ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for all the great updates and activity on here … much appreciated!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve got a number of updates that have come in, to post on here. Will do it tonight sometime … stressed for time at the moment … ๐Ÿ™

    Garlic or ‘sweet vice’, which will it be MOM???!! … LOL – ๐Ÿ™‚

    Laters people … have a FANTASTIC DAY!!!!


  • Ruth Blackmore


    Still traveling in Vietnam. Three days in Hanoi and Halong Bay. Never saw the sun or sky in Hanoi. Had a private guide and saw lots of sights. Been in Hoi An for 2 days and had a blast. Trouble is the tour guides know just the stores to take you too which have one way out through the turn stile gate marked VISA! Going by car to Hue tomorrow morning and then jumping right into sight seeing. Head to Saigon on Monday and will be there until Marchh 26 when I leave for Thailand and start a 11 day tour up to the north of Thailnad. Fly to Hong Kong on April 6 and then spend a few days there and then back to Colorado. Been one long trip but having a great time. No monkeys jumping in my hair like Sarah had in Bali. The monkey probably wanted those flashy clips and flowers Sarah wears in her hair. More later if I find the computers. Only one here in Hoi An and others waiting.



  • frank

    As Bob would say…”Ruthie Rock on”..whata gal! Ruthie, did we have the only dance at the reunion? Sorry I stepped on your foot. But I am very honored to have danced with you on the top of the Majestic and on the deck of the “General Jackson” in Nashville. Keep giving us an update of your travels. Frank

  • Susie Stann

    I’m home safe and sound with jet lag, so it’s 3 AM in Colorado. I’m missing the gang already–it was as if no time had passed in so many ways. I especially miss my breakfasts at the Continental with Veny and Ar. Leaving Veny at the hotel brought back the sad memories of leaving Saigon on July 14, 1961 (Bastille Day). Seeing her house, now empty and hollow, where we had so many lively slumber parties and lazy afternoons was really emotional, too. I loved just walking down the streets and finding myself in another place and time.

    My sister and I had a nice COOL sightseeing road trip to Dalat after we parted — and one more lovely dinner at Nam Kha restaurant with Deborah. All the images and emotions of the trip are swimming aroung in my head and heart and I can’t sleep.

    It was great to see and meet everyone. What an amazing time! I’ll send a few pictures when I get them sorted out.


  • Ruth Blackmore

    Sounds like Mary Lou and Jeff were about one day ahead of me at the same towns. Loved Hoi An and had a great stay at the fantastic Life Heritage Resort at Hoi An. Needed to just stay there for about a week. Was on a three hour road trip over the mountains from Danang to Hue today. Was very weary when I got here and the tour guide dropped me at a Vietnamese restaurant for lunch by myself. They kept bringing too much food and we never could communicate. Then went to tour most the afternoon in the hot sun the Citadel and Forbidden City. What a wonderful experience. Sorry to hear part of the Forbidden City was destroyed by American bombs and rockets during the 1968 Tet Offense. They are now rebuilding it. At the Hotel Saigon Morin and it is a fantistic old French Colonial. Leave at 7:00 AM tomorrow morning the airport and back to Saigon until March 26 and then off to Thailand for a 11 day tour up north. Fly to Hong Kong on April 6 and then leave Hong Kong for the US on April 9. Trip has been great but I’m exhausted so 6 weeks is really too long for me to travel at the pace I’ve been doing.

    Take care,

  • Ruthie,

    Just reading your adventure made my Jetlag reappear! Rock on! When you do a trip, you do it right …

    Frank, Arlene … are you guys back home?


  • A belated Happy Birthday, Frank. It looks like everyone had a fantastic time and we’re sorry we missed it. Hope to see you at the next reunion, if there is one. I’ll be retiring from teaching at the end of this school year, so we should be able to make the next one. All the pictures you posted are really neat and memorable.

    Mike and Yen Dunn

  • frank

    Back home today…miss Vietnam already…frank

  • Ruth Blackmore

    Hello Everyone,

    Now in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Going on boat ride to the Hill Tribes tomorrow and will be here for 3 nights then to Chiang Mai. Went to Bangkok on March 26 and left there on the 30 to start our travels up north. Seen more buddhas than you can shake a stick at and also taken more pictures than I’ll ever be able to see. On 3rd memory chip! Will finish in Thailand on April 6 and head to Hong Kong. Been a very exciting and exhausting trip. I now need a vacation.

    Take care,


    • Admin

      Ruthie – thanks for the update. What a trip and wonderful journey you are on! We can’t wait to see all the pictures. Be safe and send us updates as you can.

      Rock on …


  • Ruth Blackmore

    My long return journey to Asia after 48 years has finally ended and it has taken me about four days to recover. Nightmare 30 hour trip from Hong Kong to Boulder, CO as I had over 10 hours of plane delays in both Hong Kong and San Francisco. Slept 15 hours first night and about 11 the next two and got back to about normal last night. Really loved the trip and being in Saigon again. I know I will return within a year or two. Thailand trip with Gate1 tours was excellent, mainly because there were only 11 of us and not the usual 30-40 tourist. Lots of temples and buddhas, but all different. Loved the elephant camp in Chiang Mai and will send pictures as soon as I get copies from others. My last photo chip with the elephant camp on it was corrupted by the time I got to Hong Kong. But, others on tour took lots of pictures and I have all their emails. Was so great to see everyone and my heartfelt thanks to Roy for putting the reunion together. I think, for the second time in my live, I have left my heart in Saigon.

    Take care,

  • Ken

    Ruthie, so pleased you are home safely and that you enjoyed your travels. I cannot tell you how much I envy you and the trip. Can’t wait to see your photos. Take care – ken

  • Henr Tsiang

    I am trying to reach Jacqueline Porcher whom I met in the 50’s in Saigon. I was very much in love with her. But after I broke my leg, I had to leave Saigon and lost Jacqueline Porcher traces. I found your site and although Iam not sure Jacqueline Porcher is the one I met over 50 years ago, I decided to try my chance. Besides the eventual event of getting in touch through your intermediary, it was a great pleasure to see all the photosyou took during your trip. In fact, I was almost at the Club Sportif everyday with friends and learned to play tennis in the courts of the Club. It was great to see all these photos. Of course, we also had great parties and although the war was outside, we used to have a very good time.

    Thank you for your help of you can forward my message to Jacqueline Porcher. I hope to have some news from her after over 50 years of eclipse.

    Henri Tsiang, henri.tsiang@gmail.com

    • Admin

      Hello Henri – Thank you for stopping to visit. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed visiting our site and the Saigon pictures.

      I’m not in direct contact with Jacqueline, but I know someone who is in contact with her. I’ll forward your message and ask that it be sent on to Jacqueline. Hopefully, you’ll be able to reconnect with each other after all these years.

      Please feel free to visit here often. You were a Saigon Kid too! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Admin

      Henri – Your message has been delivered to Jacqueline. Perhaps you shall hear from her soon. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Michael H. Cunningham

    I am a Viet Nam Veteran, serving as a rifleman with the Americal Division – 1968-1969.

    I have been back three times, loving the country and the people more each visit. Saigon Kids by Les Arbuckle was quite a read. So glad you guys are sticking together and reminiscing.
    You folks are a select, unique group and should be proud of yourself.

    Thanks for the newsletter. It is fascinating reading – informative and entertaining.

    all the best

    Mike Cunningham
    Norwood, Mass.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.