“Sixth Time The Charm”

Sixth Time is a charm*:

walking point, making movie,

just for Flavio.


  • (Flavio Bissignano(sp?), a Los Angeles filmaker handed me a super-8 backup camera and he shot with an AriFlex pro job walking in and around the rice paddies with Alpha CUPP Team Seven (A/1/7 1stMarDiv) near Landing Zone Baldy in southern Quang Nam Province some 30 miles South And West of Danang, South Vietnam.  I went along some rice paddies in front of the patrolling Marines and South Vietnamese regional and popular forces combat troops – National Guard and less, local guys too young and too old for the ARVN regular army – scared fecal-less until we caught some contact.  Never did get a chance to check back with the mad Italian if any of my shots worked.  But he was in hog heaven, running up and down the line of Americans and Vietnamese firing their rifles and machine guns into the white-smoke enshrouded treeline.  We didn’t even sweep through the paddies to the opposing treeline.  “Scrimmage called on account of cold beer coming,” yelled the Lance Corporal squad leader who as he walked by my position swatted me on the back of the head and said: You dumb ass fuck!  Don’t you go getting yourself killed with my team…too much paperwork!  And keep your civilian tag-alongs in check willya?” Smitty, Fred, L/Cpl, one each, was killed by a rocket propelled grenade dead center in his open flack jacket just below his heart three or four months later. More than anyone, he helped teach me enough to survive – and stay in front of point.)

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