Friday, April 26, 2013

Laundry Day

Everyone could afford a maid at the Plaza Hotel. $10 a month got your room cleaned and clothes washed and ironed. That's my housekeeper. Three of us in my room (#434) provided $30 a month. I assume she did other rooms too, which would have provided her an above average income. Saigon, 1969. Fredericksen

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Watching the War

The war, at a safe distance. Flares bring light to night on the outskirts of Saigon. From tall buildings, it was nightly entertainment to "watch the war." Did the flares indicate suspicious movement, enemy activity, a misfire, or something else? Photo was snapped from the roof of the Plaza Hotel BEQ, on Tran Hung Dao, 1969. Fredericksen

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Zoo

In North Vietnam, the "zoo" was a prisoner of war camp for American POWs. In South Vietnam, the zoo was...a zoo. The safe haven, in the middle of a Capital City at war, was enjoyed by Vietnamese in search of a family outing. The lion, bear and elephant exhibits were secondary. Saigon, 1969. Fredericksen

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Historicart: 1969 Saigon

UNINTENDED PHOTOGRAPH  I never realized, in 1969, that this first roll of film in my new Pentax camera would record a historic intersection of transportation in old Saigon. The  44-year old black and white exposure shows an iconic Renault taxi cab, in the same traffic flow with two other relics: a cyclo and a bicycle. All three have disappeared in contemporary Ho Chi Minh City, replaced by motor scooters and automobiles. I call it "historicart," art that is history. Fredericksen

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Newsroom and the Radio News Booth

The newsroom of the American Forces Vietnam Network, Saigon, 1969. To the right of the photo is the doorway into the radio news booth. Hugh Morgan (left), is standing where the on-air newscaster would assemble and edit his next newscast. The cabinet of file drawers in the foreground is the slide files, where anchors would select slides to illustrate their stories for television newscasts. Behind Hugh are equipment racks where radio newscasts from the major networks would be recorded, and stories or actualities extracted for use on AFVN radio newscasts. This is the room where the censorship issue evolved in the late 60s, and exploded in 1970, when Bob Lawrence prepared his final newscast--the most audacious on-air protest in broadcast history. Memories, from the men who were there, will be shared in Vietnam Magazine, later in 2013.
The radio news booth at AFVN Saigon. Newscaster/blogger Rick Fredericksen.

Friday, April 5, 2013

From Viet Vet to Vietnam Magazine Contributor

I have become a contributing writer for Vietnam Magazine, a publication of the Weider History Group in Virginia, which publishes prestigious historical magazines, including Aviation History, America's Civil War, World War II, and Wild West. Vietnam Magazine covers my war, and is for veterans, or anyone else, who has an interest in this critical period of American history. My own experience in country started about the time this picture was snapped, in 1969.