I've shown people this picture in the past and they always ask if I went to Vietnam.
The answer is "No".
This photo was taken at the entrance to Hope Village, near Weimar, California, in the early 1970's.
It was a camp set up to house Vietnamese refugees who had fled their country after the War came to an end.
My photographer (the late, great Howie Shepherd) and I had gone there because John Wayne had offered some land of his in Arizona to house some of the refugees. We had heard that the former premier of South Vietnam, Nguyen Cao Ky, was at this camp and that he had been talking with Wayne. So we flew over to Sacramento (on a milk run that stopped in San Diego and Los Angeles before getting there), rented a car and drove to Weimar.
We arrived in the early evening, checked into our hotel, and then with nothing to do until the next day, looked at a map and promptly drove to South Lake Tahoe, about 100 miles away.
Well? Isn't that what the network boys would have done?
Next day, after little sleep, we interviewed the former premier.
His wife was very pretty but he didn't seem thrilled to meet me.
Next we flew home to Phoenix, did our reporting and a few days later another photographer (Tim Terrific)* and I flew again to California where we interviewed John Wayne. Now THAT was a thrill.
The Duke was dressed in seersucker slacks and a camel hair blazer and was incredibly gracious with the two young guys from Arizona.
He offered us coffee and a great view on the bayside patio of his home in Newport Beach.
In spite of this photo where he seems to be about to say "isn't it about time for you guys to get outta here?" he was curious about Tim's camera and even invited us to go view his operation where he was trying to turn old discarded tires into oil. (There was a shortage going on then.)
We didn't scare him or Premier Ky off but the refugees never did settle on Wayne's land in Arizona and Ky ended up running a liquor store in southern California.
But it was a great week for some visiting newsmen from Arizona.
* - Tim is now a vice-president of a different television station, apparently still trying to rise to this level of grandeur.