I thought I’d share with you, the venue of a market I attended recently. Marangai Garden Fair was a fabulous day set in a stunning private garden. There were approximately 400 people through on a blustery overcast day, and although a couple of times I did have to hang onto my banner, the rain held off, something we were all grateful for. The fair was a fundraiser for the Cancer Society.
Teresa’s garden looked stunning as usual, which reflected on all the long hours and hard work that goes into keeping such beautiful grounds, and it inspired me to come home and wander around mine and think about how I could develop certain areas. Watch this space! My stall was right next to a plant stall too, tempting fate with all the beautiful perennials and roses. Teresa also had hop plants flowering and I have added them to my ‘would like to find a place to grow these’ list.
During the day I had some great conversations around my story-telling and Vietnam and am grateful to those who bought a copy of The Nam Legacy. I even had a couple of visitors tell me they had bought A tide too high from me at the last garden fair two years ago, totally loved it, and were buying my latest effort! Good on them I say.
Anyway, here are a few photos Of Teresa’s beautiful garden.
A date with Chris
During the many hours of research I’ve done on Vietnam and the War, I’ve discovered some interesting stories. Some have been incredible, involving strength, love and humanity. Some have been sheer luck stories, or simply tragic. Others have retold familiar themes. One of these stories I recently stumbled across, was about a pretty young American woman by the name of Chris Noel.
As an American actress, she was probably little known here in New Zealand, however, she had a blossoming acting career having appeared in a wide range of movies and television programmes during the 50’s and 60’s.
On a visit to a hospital she was taken to a gangrene ward and was shocked at the number of young men filling beds who had sustained injuries in Vietnam. All of the young men had at least one limb missing, but most had two or three limbs missing. That visit changed her life. She decided from then on she wanted to do something to help with the moral of soldiers in Vietnam.
Chris gave up her acting and took a job as a radio DJ, and went on to host her own show on the American Forces Radio called ‘A date with Chris’. The show was a great hit with many soldiers writing in to request songs and eventually she was asked to tour in Vietnam. Over approximately five years, she found herself making many trips to meet the soldiers and perform concerts for them. She saw it as her duty to help keep moral up, and the soldiers loved her. (Personally, I’m not sure about her singing ability, but her intentions to help were nothing short of admirable.)
While she was there, the Viet Cong placed a $10,000 bounty on her head, but she said she always felt safe, despite being in a helicopter that was shot down.
While she was in Vietnam, she fell in love with a green beret and they married before going back to America. However, he suffered from PTSD and approximately eight months after their marriage, he took his own life.
Chris also struggled with stress and depression and found she could no longer hold down a role in film or television. Vietnam had ended her career.
Today Chris Noel still does her bit to help. She runs a shelter for homeless veterans in Florida, America. I’ve included a couple of interesting YouTube links if you want to see more.
Who is Chris Noel? https://youtu.be/53805jMumMA
Well, that’s all from me for now,
Until next time,