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Response to DFW (Original post)

Fri Jul 20, 2018, 12:28 AM

35. Thanks for the kind words, all. About the REAL Adrian:

As a few found out/pointed out already, Adrian was NOTHING like the Robin Williams portrayal of him in "Good Morning Vietnam." The reason he dragged out his program introduction was that his equipment was so primitive, he had to start talking while adjusting all the settings manually at the same time. What he stretched out was "Good," so he'd say "Goooooooooooooood MORning Vietnam."

Unlike his movie persona, while it's true he got into fights with the traditionalists at the radio station, he liked to say that if he had done half the things the film said he did, he would have spent the rest of his life behind bars in Leavenworth.

It's also true that Adrian was a Republican, but not a frothing-at-the-mouth contemporary Republican. He was a soft-spoken intellectual. Over our last lunch together near the Pentagon, we must have covered thirty different topics from legal systems around the world to Asian cuisine to the dynasties of ancient Egypt. On a whim, he entered law school at age 50 (!!) in Pennsylvania. His last "posting," if you can call it that, was with a special office whose mission it was to work with the current governments of Vietnam and Cambodia to locate and recover the remains of US soldiers in those countries to try to give closure, even 40 years later, to the families of MIAs who were never accounted for.

He retired to a far corner of Virginia, not too far from Roanoke, but not too near, either. His mailing address was Troutville. Idiot that I was, I never stole the time to accept his standing invitation to visit him there. He had lost his wife fairly recently, and that was a crushing blow.

One funny note I'll edit in--one summer, when my younger daughter was in Law School, she was interning with the Düsseldorf office of a U.S. law firm. Not only did she get to live at home, she was a LOT safer than her summer before, when she worked for the U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in Sierra Leone. One of her classmates stopped by, and asked if I knew anyone in the military, as one of his summer projects involved something related. I said I only knew Adrian Cronauer, but I'd be happy to get him on the phone if the kid wanted. My daughter's classmate thought I was bullshitting him, so I grabbed the phone and called Adrian in Troutville, explained what was going on, and he said sure, put him on, and so I handed him the phone and said "here's Adrian." The kid was completely intimidated and excited at the same time, never expecting to be talking to a living legend a minute after doubting he ever would. Adrian, of course, was never impressed with his status as a legend, only grudgingly accepted it in the first place, and was happy to help out.

To answer a question asked above, no, I did not meet Adrian in Vietnam. I was 13-14 during his time there. He would have been 80 in September, so he was almost 14 years older than I was. We met at the Renaissance Weekend gatherings that take place every New Year's in Charleston, South Carolina. While there, I introduced him to a friend of mine from Paris. Another intellectual type, she was writing a book on the subject of luck, and Adrian consented to be interviewed by her for a chapter.

Here is a picture of Adrian and Sabine (our friend from Paris) close to ten years ago:


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DFW Jul 2018 OP
underpants Jul 2018 #1
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DFW Jul 2018 #6
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DFW Jul 2018 #41
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DFW Jul 2018 #34
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CaliforniaPeggy Jul 2018 #33
LineReply Thanks for the kind words, all. About the REAL Adrian:
DFW Jul 2018 #35
Rhiannon12866 Jul 2018 #36
Chin music Dec 2020 #65
DFW Jul 2018 #37
essme Jul 2018 #38
DFW Jul 2018 #40
LexVegas Jul 2018 #42
niyad Jul 2018 #43
DFW Jul 2018 #44
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NewJeffCT Jul 2018 #47
DFW Jul 2018 #48
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DFW Jul 2018 #59
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DFW Jul 2018 #58
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