It’s been many, many, many moons since we last had a little chat about the making of F Troop and how wonderful and experience it all was for a little 15-year-old gal from Downey, California. I’d like to digress this time around, however, to talk about some very special moments I shared with three good friends and a great number of soldiers during my 1967 Christmas tour of Vietnam.
But first, I’d just like to say how fabulous it is that Wildest Westerns had the chance to meet with Glenn Ford and get an interview with the wonderful actor. Incidentally, my girlfriend who doubled on The Patty Duke Show once dated his son, Peter ford. My dear friend and F Troop co-worker Larry Storch and I were doing a radio interview about 10 years ago, and it was then and there that I, the disc jockey and the audience learned from Larry that it was Glenn Ford’s Comedy-Western Advance to the Rear that inspired Seaman Jacobs to create the F Troop series for television. Peter has recently echoed this. I myself am a huge fan of Glenn Ford. He is the actor’s actor and the world’s star above all stars in my eyes. I particularly love his film noirs. (Of course his Westerns are quite good, too!) No one was ever better than Ford, especially in the film noir department, and besides Orson Welles, there’s nobody I’ve ever respected more as an actor than Glenn Ford.
Glenn Ford is one of the many heroes who served this great country of ours. Now I’d like to talk about my experiences when surrounded by American heroes…this column is dedicated to the fellas I met, and didn’t get a chance to meet, on my two handshake tours of Vietnam, in 1967 and 1968.
First of all, I’d like to thank everyone I met in Vietnam who took such great care of our little group. I had the privilege to tour with Mr. Johnny Grant — the Mayor of Hollywood — and two beautiful gals, on both tours. The first tour I went on was with the delightful Diane McBain, famous as the beauty on Warner Bros.’ Bourbon Street Beat, and who also gave a stunning performance in the Warner Bros. motion picture, Parish with Connie Stevens and Troy Donohue. I called her “Mother McBain” because it was her second tour and she was at least like my big sister; she knew the ins and out of what we were going to be doing, and also how scary life over there would be for us at certain times,. Wow, was she ever right! The other girl in our group was Sabrina Scharf. She was an actress a a professional photographer. She took fabulous pictures over there. I, on the other hand, bought a brand new Super Eight movie camera at the PX in Saigon with and automatic zoom. Unfortunately I didn’t know that I shouldn’t pan and zoom in and out at the same time. When I got home and excitedly showed the movies of my trip to my friends and family, everyone felt like they we getting seasick. Jut the other day, my husband found the snapshots that were taken of the ’67 Christmas tour. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed seeing them again……………….