The year was 1967. I was stationed at a small air base called Phu Cat located in the north-central highlands of South Vietnam. That particular day the scuttlebutt around the base was that Bob Hope was going to put on a show that afternoon.
We were backlogged at work so I decided I would hold down the fort and let my people go and see the show. However, a group of my friends prevailed on me to let the work stay piled up and go with them to see the show. I never regretted doing that.
When we arrived at the outdoor theater it was packed with all different branches of service personnel. The front row was reserved for the wounded as were all Bob Hope shows. We saw this huge motorized flatbed vehicle and we all scrambled aboard. In fact we were very near the left side of the stage.
We no sooner got seated than out walked Bob Hope and he immediately began poking fun at the high brass.
Right away, Hope made a remark concerning the vehicle we were sitting on and he came toward us with his cameraman closely following. Friends of my family told my wife they saw me when they viewed the show at home on television.
As I watched the show a flood of memories came back to me. I recalled many road movies I saw in the 1940s.
I remembered “Road to Rio,” “Road to Singapore,” “Road to Morocco” and other Bob Hope movies at the local theater in Forrest Hills, Long Island, N.Y. It was called the Saturday 10 o’clock show and it consisted of one movie, four or five cartoons, and one chapter of a serial, generally Batman, Captain Marvel, or the Green Hornet — and of course a bag of popcorn.
And yes, we boys would whoop and holler at Dorothy Lamour’s sexy sarong.
By today’s standards, these movies would be corny, bland, or just plain boring, but they were good, clean movies and we all had much fun.
All Americans, and especially all retired military personnel, want to collectively say loud and clear: Thanks for the memories.
Ruben A. Pro
Postal plan could result in less service
Editor’s note: Pat Merritt, president of American Postal Workers Union, Clovis Local, said her letter represents the opinions of the majority of area APWU members.
The President’s Commission on the U.S. Postal Service, appointed in December, is considering a major overhaul of the nation’s mail system. In a report due to President Bush by Thursday, the commission could recommend drastic changes in mail service — changes that would result in increased postage costs and curtailed services for individuals and small businesses.
The American Postal Workers Union is concerned that such changes would have a devastating effect on the mission of the Postal Service: To bind our nation together by providing service and access to all — the residents of rural areas and inner cities, the elderly, communities both rich and poor and the businesses that serve them.
As postal employees, we are worried about any changes that would weaken the Postal Service, which plays such an important role in American life. I urge you to evaluate the effect any proposal would have on postal service to the nation.
Changes contemplated by the commission could have a negative effect on service for New Mexico and West Texas residents. These could include closing “unprofitable” post offices in rural areas and in inner-city communities, discontinuing six-day delivery, and ending universal service at uniform rates.
The changes being considered by the commission could jeopardize the future of the institution that has served our country for 227 years. They could endanger the vast network that unites our nation and serves individuals and commerce without regard to their economic status or location.
We urge you to keep track of the commission’s progress and to write to your legislators and ask them to also consider your concerns when Congress debates postal reform legislation.
APWU Clovis Local