Everly Memory no. : 5

Lucky Fan                : Frank Olenski

Year                          : 1968

The Story (in his own words)
Funny thing about being in the USMC unit I was in and going through what we did in Viet Nam is, we all came away believing we could conquer anything life threw at us from that point on. Our team from 41 years ago still meet once a year as part of the 1st Marine Division’s annual reunion, held at various locations.
 I’ve had a very very successful body of work in computer technology for over 40 years.  At times, we faced problems which we thought were impossible to solve, some times being awake and working for 3 days straight without sleep.  But, after what we went through in the Marine Corps, it didn’t affect me and we always solved some pretty hairy problems.  Enough said on that.  Let me give you this to put in your newsletter – below – if you want.

Growing up in Chicago , on the Southside, I was exposed to many types of great music.  R&B, Jazz, Country (I grew up 2 blocks from the Union Stock Yards so country music was played by all the farmers and truckers who brought their livestock into “the Yards”), Hill music, Polish, Irish, Mexican music, you name it.  

Back in 1968, after I enlisted in the Marine Corps, I served with my 10 man recon team, code named “Dublin City”, 1st Recon Battalion, in Viet Nam .  Our job was 5 straight days/nights out patrolling in the mountainous mist-shrouded rain forests and then 4 days back at the area combat base to recover, retrain and exercise.  One of our guys, Dave Shafer, from Erie , PA. , had his sister and his girlfriend send us 8 track tapes from the local radio station.  Those DJ’s kept us up to date on the musical trends back home.  Sure, we had radio station AFVN in Viet Nam which was great but that Erie radio station recorded music from TV programs, new releases and even boot leg stuff.   

Coming out of the jungle where we would be doing “boop and snoops”, climbing mountains and fording rivers for 4 days in total silence we could easily lose 10 pounds each patrol.  We’d be dirty and sweaty, and we’d immediately jump in to the ice cold showers to clean up then usually have to take care of leech, mosquito and huge horse-fly bites. 

 After that it was two cold beers, read letters from home and listening to the next new tape from that Erie radio station.  Dave had a dynamite reel-to-reel system back in our 10 man hooch (a 10’ by 20’ plywood hut with a metal roof and walls made of netting to keep the mosquitos out.  He ran speakers to the 4 corners so everyone on the team could fall asleep listening to that tape playing softly all night long.  

Besides Johnny Rivers, Sam & Dave, Archie Bell and the Drells, Spencer Davis, the Stones, Buck Owens, the Fifth Dimension and Simon and Garfunkle (hey, I said all types of music so don’t beat me up because we did listen to some of the S&G songs),  the DJ would include a few songs by the Everlys.  We specifically asked for them because they were U.S. Marines.  I vividly recall even today when Don and Phil appeared in their Dress Blue uniforms on Ed Sullivan’s TV show immediately after they got out of Marine Corps boot camp. 

 Nothing better than listening to the Everlys and reading a letter from your girl back home.  It really helped us to get through those very very trying times.. 

 40 years later, even my children love the Everlys’ music because they made the very best music in history.  It just hits you at so many different levels and, best of all, you can understand every single word they say.  

Thanks guys, best regards and Semper Fi from the guys in the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division, from 1968, stationed at Phu Bai/Hue City, RVN. 

 

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