Monday, April 21, 2014

March 1969, Chu Chi, Vietnam

While digging through some old photos, I stumbled across a rare gem of a photo of my uncle while he was serving in Vietnam during the war. He rarely talks about it, rarely shares photos of it, and is all-around a fairly private person. While I respect that, I thought it was fitting to share the photo and a well written account of the events that lead to the picture being so interesting.

First, the story behind the photo. While the story's author isn't in the photo and may not even be familiar with my uncle, I feel it still gives a great idea of what happened. I'd recommend looking at the picture, reading the article, then look at the picture again.

Second, the photo. I've included scans of both the front and back. I've researched "CV Mills" but I don't know who it is. The CH-47A was an early version of the Chinook helicopter that began seeing action in Vietnam. I have no idea if my uncle flew them or not but I do know he was a helicopter pilot during the war so it's likely he was a Chinook pilot.

Photos:




Transcription:
The back reads:

Myself & CV Mills at Chu Chi RVN
March 1969 - remains of CH-47A

References:
- Randle, Kevin D. "Tet 1969 at Cu Chi." History Net Where History Comes Alive. Vietnam Magazine, Feb. 2003. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. <http://www.historynet.com/tet-1969-at-cu-chi.htm>.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Joy in the Journey - Thursday, May 8, 1997

Transcription:
Thursday, May 8, 1997

Dear Father,

I pray this morning - right now, (6:30a.m.) for Sylvester, Donald, Travis, Willie and Alfred - all teens who need Your Love and guidance. May they listen to You. Thank-You, Jesus.

Lord, I have some little lumps under my skin on my forehead. Please take them away or guide me to know if and when I should go to Dr. Rosen.

Thank You for Serella's visit. Please give her a relaxing, pleasant day here at home while I volunteer at the hospital. Be with Judy, my Bible Study Fellowship leader.

Amen

Interpretation:
We found it quite interesting that she prayed not only for the lumps to go away but also to get guidance on when to see the doctor.

References:
- Hollingsworth, D. B. (1997). Joy in the Journey. Private Collection.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Black Composition Book - #1

Transcription:
A large explosion rocked Neil out of his deep sleep. A second and larger explosion  rocked Neil out of his bed. Within seconds he was pulling his clothes on and wondering what the hell was happening.

Neil was staying with his mother and stepfather in a rural town in north-western Pennsylvania. The community was very quiet and very closenit [sic].

As Neil was thinking of all the dreadful possibilities, shoots [sic] rang out in the backyard. A split second later, glass shattered and his mother screamed. Two shots rang out right before he heard a thud.

Before he could open his window to jump out and escape, Neil's door burst open. Three men, he assumed they were male, dressed in black entered with their guns all aimed at Neil, except for the fourth man he could barely see. This one was watching the backs of his companions.

The first man into the room looked at Neil and said, "Good, you're dressed. That's less work for us."

he then pulled an odd looking gun from a holster on his hip and shot Neil before he could think of a reply.

Luckily for Neil it wasn't a bullet that entered his body, it was a tranquilizer dart. When he realized this, Neil took two steps forward. He raised his fist in an attempt to hit the attacker that just shot him. Suddenly Neil lost control of his muscles as his entire body went rigid. Blackness started to enshroud Neil. The last thing he remember before losing conciousness [sic], is the first attacker pushing him over with his pinky, then laughing with the second attacker at their creul [sic] joke...

Interpretation:
Nothing like yet another story with a bad plot, bad grammar, and bad spelling. What can I say, I was young. I'm not sure where I was going with this story but I vaguely recall them taking me to a space ship. Or at least that's where I was thinking of going with my story. Thankfully I didn't get that far along in the plot.

References:
- Richard, Neil. (1994). Untitled. Private Collection.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Black Composition Book - #0

Transcription:
PROLOGUE

February 20, 1994 8:06 PM

Neil was laying in bed listening to his Nirvana CD. It was then that he finally realized what his destiny was, but unfortunately it would take several days of careful planning for it to be completed.

His first item to be completed was his ultimate destination. Since Neil could not decide upon this, he decided to find a temporary residence instead. It wasn't until a few days later did he decide to go to the islands in the Caribbean. now he just needed to disappear from the face of the earth.

BOOK ONE

CHAPTER ONE

In order to vanish Neil needed to work out some minor details about how soon he could.

First he had to withdraw his $2,987.51 from his savings account at NSWC Federal Credit Union. But that could wait until he had gotten [to] Fredericksburg. Then he needed to wait until the BMW had a full tank of gas because the Suburban didn't get that good of gas mileage. Of course he had to have clothes to wear. He decided to take a wide range of clothes, everything from a blue suit to cut off blue jean shorts. He also packed survival supplies that included a pump .22 rifle, several knifes [sic], two compasses, several maps, a survival booklet, a whistle, and camouflage. He took a .380 caliber automatic pistol made by Llama. It had a seven-round clip full of hollow points. But this was to be used for self-defense only. Neil packed an internal frame backpack with a tent, rope, water bottles, straps, and two carabiners. he also took an axe and a shovel handle. And that was all of the big items he took.

CHAPTER TWO

Neil had finally decided upon a date of action, March 18. He had nearly a month of planning so the trip would have to be a success. The only things he had to do before departing were to withdraw his money, pack his stuff, say good-bye to his friends, fill the gas tank, and to renew his passport. He had one week left before he started his class of Vanishing, 101.

CHAPTER THREE

It was now Friday, March 18. Neil had less than 12 hours before he left home forever. In the past week he had withdrawn all $2,987.51 from his account, he had gotten his passport, and the BMW was full of gas.

In school Neil turned in all his books. He said good-bye to some of his close friends like "the Duke" [John Gilmore] , "Beckskew" [Becky Boyd] , "M2" [that's M squared] [Mandy Minichiello] , "Harley" [Amanda Clift] , "Not So Tiny Tim" [Tim Goerlitz] , "Always Ready Freddie" [Freddy Sweet] , and "Wrong Way Soto" [Richard Soto]. he only said good-bye to one teacher, Mr. "P," [John Picariello] before he went home.

When Neil got home, the only thing he had to do was put his stuff in the BMW. Since he had already told his dad he was going out tonight, all he did was leave a note that he was leaving a little early to do some shopping.

It was 3:33 PM, Friday, March 18, 1994. It was time to depart.

CHAPTER FOUR

Neil woke with a start. For a few seconds he thought he was back home in his bed. Then he realied that he wasn't at home. In fact he was nowhere near home. Neil was in his motel room in Perth, Ontario.

He had driven through the night hoping to make [it] to at least Canada.

Interpretation:
Well this was painful to transcribe. Not only because I could feel the emotions I had at the time I wrote it but also because of the insane lack of spelling, grammar, and writing skills. Makes me want to gag at how poorly written this was. But, it was written. Thus it must live on in infamy as a point in history for all others to learn by.

References:
- Richard, Neil. (1994). Untitled. Private Collection.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Joy in the Journey - Wednesday, May 7, 1997

Transcription:
Wednesday, May 7, 1997

Dear Father,

Thank-You for sending your son, Jesus Christ. What an unbelievable awesome gift. Serella wants desperately to help me to be able to send "E-Mail" on my computer. She sent one message to Gould - it worked - and now nothing works - that is, the "code" doesn't isn't accepted. Please help me to know where to seek further assistance. Thank-You.

We went to Monterey to the Aquarium. Linda (Sereno) and Amy came to visit. Thank-You, Lord, for all friends, family and loving experiences. Amen

Interpretation:
For those of you who have not visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we highly recommend it. While we did find some video of the Aquarium in 1997, we highly doubt that Dorothy or Serella were visible in them. We did attempt to locate Linda Sereno but had no luck.

Most interesting to us was the mention of email. Seeing as this is early 1997, email was still young. We wish we were there just to see what kind of trouble they were having with getting the "code" to work.

References:
- Hollingsworth, D. B. (1997). Joy in the Journey. Private Collection.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Joy in the Journey - Tuesday, May 6, 1997

Transcription:
Tuesday, May 6, 1997

Dear Lord,

Again I neglected writing. My glasses are better, after spending time at the mall while Lenscrafters put in a lens not so heavy. I took Serella to San Juan Bautista for lunch + to "shop." She found a shirt we liked. Thank-You for another beautiful day! Amen.

Interpretation:

We are still curious who Serella is and how she knew Dorothy.

References:
- Hollingsworth, D. B. (1997). Joy in the Journey. Private Collection.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Joy in the Journey - Monday, May 5, 1997

Transcription:
Monday, May 5, 1997

Dear Father God,

I neglected writing to You, I was able to drive to the Monterey Airport, meet Serella and bring her home. We have been friends so long! Dear friends are such a gift! Thank-You!     Amen

Oh yes. We went to Watsonville and had a lunch at a Mexican Restaurant in Watson-ville Square where I checked on my new pants. Thank-You for giving me courage and con-fidence to drive these places. Amen


Interpretation:
We found it interesting that she was happy to have the "courage and confidence" to drive around Watsonville, California. Some of us wish we knew what she had for lunch with her friend.

References:
- Hollingsworth, D. B. (1997). Joy in the Journey. Private Collection.
- Numerous facts were gathered from the private Richard Family Estate collection. These facts span numerous sources of information and contain genealogical data, photos, and newspaper articles.