Feb 4, 2023

Hands Up !!! - Don't Shoot !!!!

Hands Up !!! - Don't Shoot !!!!

My wife Beth, our former colleague David Ferguson, and I were in Hong Kong in 1993. The three of us had led a Sister Cities trip to Taiwan, flown to Hong Kong, and were decompressing.  We took a bus out to the far side of Hong Kong Island and enjoyed a nice dinner overlooking the ocean.

When it was time to go back I thought it would be fun to take sail back on a sampan instead of the bus. So I waved a passing sampan down and negotiated a ride back to Kowloon.  The sampan Captain spoke no
English and my Chinese consisted of xiè xie, (shey shey, thanks) but I thought he figured out what we wanted and we did the deal. I hoped he understood that we wanted to go back to Kowloon. This was not a tourist boat, just a regular sampan who happened to sail past.

Beth wanted no part of this risky deal and said she would take the bus back. "You don't want to miss this", I said, and Dave and I each grabbed an elbow and shanghaied her onto the boat as she protested.  We had a lovely boat ride as the sun slowly set and the day turned into night. It was beautiful and I was pleased that I had shanghaied Beth.  But the trip took longer than I thought and it became quite dark.

Then a big patrol boat came out of the night with their searchlight blinding us, with M-16 rifles aimed at us. The sampan Captain raised his hands and we followed suit.  The Captain ducked into the sampan and we wondered what he was doing.  I hoped he was not coming out with an AK-47. But he just brought out his papers and they let us go on our way.

I think they were trying to stop smuggling or infiltration but am not sure.  It seemed to me they were acting a bit serious for just smuggling. This happened a total of three times.  Each time the patrol boat came up with searchlights and M-16's aimed directly at us.  

Beth was not overly happy with the rifles and still berates me.  The ingrate - after I took her on a lovely, impromptu, interesting cruise! You just can't please everyone. I figure any time someone aims a rifle at you and you don't get shot it is a good thing. And three times! It made for a memorable story.

I took the photos of sampans from a previous diplomatic trip to Vietnam in 1970. It was another diplomatic effort to win the hearts and minds of the people. The sampans looked a lot like our Hong Kong sampan.

Feb 3, 2023

EMPHI Mini Reunion Feb 3, 2023 Lakewood Ranch, Florida

From left to right  Husband Ken Jordan and Judy Halligan Willingham 66, Craig Hullinger 66, Sue Wiggins 66, Carl Pearse (65), Pam Smith 66, Ken Sandberg (68), Laura Schoen Seamans 66 and husband Jack

Jan 14, 2023

Mini Reunion Florida Feb 3, 2022


Lakewood Ranch, Florida

Friday Feb 3, 2023

2:30 pm until - ?

Ed’s Tavern

10719 Rodeo Dr, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202

Ed's Tavern is a sports bar restaurant with an outdoor patio on the lake, located on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch.  We will be outdoors unless the weather is bad. You can leave at 4:00 to get home before rush hour, or stay and catch the free concert on Main Street that starts at 6:00. Best to bring a lawn chair. There are nearby motels if you want to make an evening of it.

Music on Main  Friday, February 3rd 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Join us on Lakewood Ranch Main Street from 6 – 9 pm for Music on Main, a free concert series and block party for the public! The street is lined with food vendors, beer trucks, and sponsor booths, as well as rides and activities for the kids. Proceeds from the event will benefit a local non-pr…



Directions  Ed’s Tavern is on the Main Street of Lakewood Ranch just north of Sarasota. Take I-75 to University Park Way, east to Lakewood Ranch Blvd, north to Main Street, drive one block north and then east to the Lake and Ed’s tavern. Google Map Directions - put your address in: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Fort+Myers,+Florida/Ed's+Tavern,+10719+Rodeo+Dr,+Lakewood+Ranch,+FL+34202/@27.0160312,-82.3860292,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x88db420189a85429:0xc62908530aba258a!2m2!1d-81.8723084!2d26.640628!1m5!1m1!1s0x88c33901b4accc07:0xba8dad9639c1a926!2m2!1d-82.4343687!2d27.3955178!3e0

Three motels nearby

Home2 Suites by Hilton Lakewood Ranch, 6015 Exchange Way, Bradenton, FL 34202

(941) 355-0200


Hyatt Place Sarasota Lakewood Ranch 6021 Exchange Way, Bradenton, FL 34202 US ReservationCounter.com: 844-203-2111

Even Hotel Sarasota - Lakewood Ranch, an IHG Hotel  6231 Lake Osprey Dr Sarasota FLUS34240 See Map ReservationDesk.com:833-343-1117

Main Street Photos

Dec 23, 2022 https://photos.app.goo.gl/2MnzfXsPnPMt6QqN6

Dec 25, 2022

Happy Holidays

 2 Hours of The Best Classic Christmas Songs (with fireplace and beautiful background) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7M4oU2HdFE&ab_channel=%D0%9C%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B3%D0%B0%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%82%D0%B0%D0%A1 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Canon



O Come All Ye Faithful - Epic Flash Mob Carol, The Five Strings



Trans-Siberian Orchestra final finale! 11/17/2019



Trans-Siberian Orchestra Complete show Multi-cam Boston MA



Carol of the bells Trans Siberian Orchestra live



Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Concert at Universal Studios 2017



The Piano Guys Christmas Together


Vietnam XMAS Eve 1969

Twas the Night Before Christmas,
When all through the House
The Creatures were stirring
and shooting up the place

On Christmas Eve 1969 I arrived in Vietnam. It was gently raining. A very large hill loomed inland over the Danang airport swathed in bright perimeter lights like a halo in the mist. It was impressive and beautiful and frightening. There was a great deal of firing and flares from the hill and some of the new guys thought we were under attack. 

We ran into a large building, one Marine shouted, "They're really getting hit up there. Take cover!"

I moved to the Hill - Hill 327 to MASS-3 a month later and found out that there had been no attack. It was simply a "lighting it up" impromptu firex to celebrate Christmas. Of course no one would openly admit that. You could fire at noises or sounds, so the troops were firing on Christmas eve at numerous noises and sounds.

Nice and impressive fireworks.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Photos source: 1970 Vietnam

More photos and scoop at  


Semper Fi

Craig Hullinger

Happy Holidays, Merry XMAS and Happy Hanukkah

Semper Fi

Our Chistmas Letter


I made this sign and hung it in the Radio Repair shack at Chu Lai in 1966-67. It kind of encapsulates the sense of the times. 

Semper Fi

Thanks to Albert Linsenmeyer 
MPHS Jan 66 for submitting these.

Dec 11, 2022

Mysterious Travel by Taffy Cannon


Our classmate author Taffy Cannon MPHS 66 has made her books available as ebooks for the first time. Great novels. I especially recommend "Class Reunions are Murder", with characters who strongly remind me of our classmates.


From Her Website


Mysterious Travels
Guns and Roses
Murder Will Travel
Murder Pans Out
Fall Into Death
Keys to Death

California Crime
Open Season on Lawyers
Paradise Lost
Blood Matters

Nan Robinson Mysteries
A Pocketful of Karma
Tangled Roots
Class Reunions are Murder

Other Fiction
Tumbleweed Murders
Mississippi Treasure Hunt (Young Adult)
Beat Slay Love
Stop the World


Special People

Two Thirds of a Lifetime

Remembering Bill Cannon


The Mystery Class of 1993

Personal Experiences

When I Was on Jeopardy!

Button, Button, Who’s Got My Button?

A Trunk in the Attic

Left Luggage

Preparing to Flee

Forget Me Not

Office Supplies Anonymous

Decoration Day


The St. Patrick’s Party, an Accidental Tradition

The Golden Age of Mystery Bookstores

The Down Home, Coronavirus, Victory Garden Blues

The Pandemic Trickster


A Quilt Stitched with Teardrops

Take Me to the Fair

Getting on the Bus One More Time

The Broken Bus, Dead of Night, Gone to Prison Blues

TSA, the Kubotan, and Me

Remembrance of Foliage Past

The Alaska Taxidermy Shop


Cliff’s Notes version:

Photo: Adventures by the Book

Taffy Cannon is the author of fourteen mysteries, a Academy-Award-nominated short film, Convictions: A Novel of the Sixties, and two Caregiving manuals. She lives and gardens in Southern California with her husband, and was named Carlsbad Citizen of the Year for service to her local library.


Taffy Cannon grew up in Chicago, graduated from Duke University in North Carolina, then passed through Texas on her way to Southern California, where she has felt entirely at home for a good long while.

Much of her career has been spent writing crime fiction in which a great many people die. Her mysteries include both series and standalones. She also wrote an Academy Award-nominated short film and Convictions: A Novel of the Sixties. Her books have been finalists for Best Novel in the Agatha, Macavity, and Left Coast Crime Western Regional Awards. Blood Matters was the San Diego Book Awards Best Mystery/Thriller.

Taffy’s Mysterious Travels series begins on a tour of the History and Gardens of Virginia, Guns and Roses. Additional travel mysteries visit Sonoma Wine Country in Murder Will Travel, California Gold Rush country in Murder Pans Out, New England Autumn in Fall Into Death, and the Florida Keys in Keys to Death.

As a Southern California transplant, she has set some of her favorite stand-alone crime fiction along the SoCal coast.

In Open Season on Lawyers, somebody is killing the sleazy lawyers of Los Angeles. (In the beginning, hardly anybody even noticed.) Robbery-Homicide Detective Joanna Davis digs into her own past as the killer focuses on his own adversary, as well as ethically-challenged lawyers.

Paradise Lost examines extreme intelligence and lives of extreme LA privilege. An actress and the college student daughter of Hollywood entertainment attorneys are snatched from a Santa Barbara health spa, with echoes of Leopold and Loeb.

Blood Matters moves inside the world of adoption, with a murder set in Rancho Santa Fe. The eccentric collector and driving force behind San Diego’s Adoption Central is found bludgeoned to death by a statuette of Michael Jackson. Detective Roxanne Prescott from Guns and Roses is on the job.

Taffy’s Nan Robinson series features an attorney/investigator for the California State Bar. In A Pocketful of Karma, Nan’s former secretary goes missing, a trail leading to the Past Lives Institute in Malibu.

Nan’s sister Julie is at the heart of Tangled Roots, set in the flower-growing industry of the SoCal beach town of Floritas. And it turns out that Class Reunions are Murder, when Nan goes back to her Midwestern 20th high school reunion and the class bad girl doesn’t make it through the party.

Taffy also completed The Tumbleweed Murders, a Claire Sharples Botanical Mystery begun by her friend and colleague, Rebecca Rothenberg, who died in 1998. She was one of the five authors of Beat, Slay, Love, a deadly sendup of TV cooking competitions, and co-edited Stop the World, a flash collection from the first months of the pandemic.

She moved into nonfiction after learning distance caregiving on the fly during her younger brother’s final illness, culminating in SibCare: the Trip You Never Planned to Take. Caregiving 101 expands upon the theme in a practical handbook touching on all aspects of this challenging and often unexpected occupation.

Taffy has worked a multitude of odd jobs from carnival barker to professional feminist, with intermediate stops at substitute teacher, roving welfare worker, and office temp everything. She does, however, intend her epitaph to read: “She Never Waitressed.”  She once correctly wagered everything on a Women Writers Daily Double as a Jeopardy! contestant.

Taffy lives in a frost-free part of coastal Southern California and is a passionate if somewhat haphazard gardener. She planted a full-on vegetable garden from seed in the first spring of the pandemic, losing everything but the zucchini to various creatures. (She prefers growing flowers anyway.)

Libraries have been an integral part of her life since before she started kindergarten, when her church library kept children’s books in glass cabinets and overdue fines were a penny a week.

As an adult, she has spent decades as a leader of Library Friends groups, primarily at the Carlsbad City Library, where the biggest perk of volunteering has been managing the Friends Bookstore since the 20th Century. For this and other community service, she was named Carlsbad Citizen of the Year. A while back, she received the President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Award for over 4000 hours of community service. Thousands more have followed, nearly all pleasurable.

If she had it to do again, Taffy would move to California sooner, but otherwise it’s been a splendid life so far.