|Camp Eagle Christmas Show|
by Byron Edgington
Bob Hope and his troupe came to Camp Eagle/Hue’ Phu-Bai at Christmastime in 1970. (I forget the exact date but it was pretty close to Christmas Day).
The Gold Diggers, a Hollywood manufactured gathering of singers, Lola Falana, Ursula Andress, Les Brown and his Band of Renown, of course, and a 22 year-old ballplayer my colleagues may remember, the 1970 National League MVP, a fellow by the name of Johnny Bench.
|Johnny Bench with Bob Hope|
Bench: “I’m surprised you asked me to come with you on the tour, Bob.”
Hope: “Why are you surprised, Johnny?”
Bench: “’Cause I’m not a girl.”Hope continued bantering with Bench for awhile, and then he introduced Lola Falana, a sexy, movie star and Las Vegas performer who had also done a Playboy spread.
The Gold Diggers sang and danced next as I recall, and then Hope did more of his schtick. As I remember, the show lasted about an hour.
|Lola Falana and Bob Hope|
Being 12,000 miles from home at Christmas and hearing that familiar tune wash over me, sent me back over all those miles and made the war go away, if only for a few minutes.
The balm of its message was the opposite of what we all experienced day after day in Vietnam.
The Hope show gave me another war story, a kind of closure, that some may call coincidence, but I’m not sure it was.
A few years later, I was back home in Ohio and flying a Huey for the Ohio National Guard out of Columbus.
|The Gold Diggers|
They called themselves The Gold Diggers ...
Happy Holidays to my fellow vets, and to CJ for putting this blog together. Thank you.
History/Archival Sites for Vietnam Vets
Vietnam: Arriving at the Truth
Do Guns Equal Safety?
Laotian Rescue Mission
Ho Chi Minh
Terror and Hilarity
A Return to Vietnam
The War That Will Not Let Us Rest
War: A Waste of Youth
The Right Seat is the Wrong Seat
Jim, Frank, and The Snake
Smokey, The Alcoholic Pup
“I am only one, but I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do, and by the grace of God, I will.” ~Everett Hale
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