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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 8, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Auguil 8, 197J THI IE7HBRIDGI HERALO 5 Dcudc.y Death on the highway to Quang Tri AJEAR QUANG Tilt, South Vietnam Almost inad- vertently Operation lam the code name lor the South Viclnamc.su drive into Qllang Tri province lias revealed yet another story "I the brutali- ties which litter the history of Book Review Indochina conflict. Travelling behind Saigon's airborne troops along Highway 1, 'he coastal read which links Hue with Quant Tri town, F came upon n two-mile stretch of road still lillercd willi Ihe dead anil the debris of a huge convoy of (lee- Unexpected yisitor "Operation L'llllli'Hsli" by JJavtil K. Mmmur M'.vraliilil 1'iibllcatlons, paperback, 222 35 the Hahamas, you pages, expect sunshine, you anti- cipate golrtcn-skinncd girls who "lav supine on brilliant o.-ange lounges." what Will I 1 Single slnrt front AND MOREI Onn nocoM fxln that noolhor car cnnolforyou at any price. A r.lnno of mliy vn.inrini lhal io unmatched in Canad-i. f toad lest Ihe: raiiy champ 3 your Diifoun dealer's now. DATSUN K all you really need There arc more than 1200 Datsun dealers across Canada anci tho United States. ni'rn soldiers, lliclr faces veiled handkerchief masks, arc at work removing Uic dead, biiry- inii those who are beyond rec- rjjijiilion in the gleaming sands and wrapping up Ihe rest in canvas hags and taking them elf. There is the sweet, hoi smell of decomposition that perversely reminds one of a lol- fcc factory. The mind is un- able to associate what is left behind as once-identifiable hu- man beings and thus one press- es on almost heartlessly. Strangely, it is the pos- sessions lying scattered around one's feet which really sear the memory. There is a little Kid's pink open-to'jd sandal, just 0112, right in Ihc middle ol tiie roatl. and you wonder what happened lo the other. There are countless tiny willow-pat- lorn dishes set down as if gin- gerly at various intervals on the roadside. They arc delicate little thing-; wirlely used as family crockery by the Viet- namese, and many of them are still unbroken. There arc carpets, rolls of cloth, br.skets everything the refugees could lay their hands on before they began their fi- nal journey south and ev- books: military man- uals, children's school primers, penny tl r e a d fuls, paperback love slories, even one serious tome dealing with 19th-century French poetry. There is an identity card with a picture of 0 smiling, black-haired woman of 25. The card is undamaged though dog-cared. what of the woman in the picture? When the bodies are re- moved, South Vietnam army bulldozers sweep the centre of the road free of vehicles to m a k c a path for their tanks. Everything, sandals and dish- es, books and identity card, are .shovelled down the banks into the ditches. The army has a Job lo rto, and no lime to dwell upon the events of an inglo- rious retreat. The village of Ilai Lam, like all the other hamle'.s on High- way 1 in this region, has been bombed to death, Corrugated siieeling on the roof of the school, once a pretty pink white concrete block, rattles and bangs like something in a Western ghost town as South Vietnamese guns dug into a hole in what had been the main street send shells a few feet overhead. Like other neighbor- hoods, llai Lam has suffered from both sides. So far an esti- mated refugees have been b r o u g h t south by the Saigon forces. The first thing that strikes you is the total absence 01 young or middle-aged men. All'belwcen Ihe age of 1C and have been taken away by the North Vietnamese for en- forced military service or for laboring w o r k. Those left behind were women, children and old men. Many of these people are suf- fering from dysentery because they have been forced by Am- erican bombing to live for the last weeks in bunkers. They are tired and dirty and bewildered North Vietnamese had (old them half the SottUi had been taken, yet they find the South Vietnamese still in con- Irol. Some of Ihe babies are badly undernourished and sev- eral of the old people present a tragic sight. An old woman who is blind and lame holds her husband by the shoulder as he leads her through the throng to where nuns are disiiing out basic rations bags of rico and Kellogg's cornflakes with chicken gravy. But tlte refugees do not speak unkindly of Ihe North Vietnamese. They say the mili- tary were kind and told them fo .stay in their bunkers out of the way of the B-52 raids. Tho Vietcong they say were more firm, bul nol brutal. The Viet- fonjr anil the military paid for (he ricn they got, though wilh No; I h V i e t n a m c s c money which of course is now wortll- Icss. In Ihe latler ever, they wore lo provide enough rice per family to keep three guerrillas. A refugee from Hai Vinh vil- lnpc tells how GO of his village were killed in B-52 raids, IhouRli there were very few Norlh Vietnamese there. Anoth- er says 200 were killed in a hombi'nf! raid on his small town. Many talk of having lost at least one son or daughter. They say they have corns south to avoid the war, from whichever side the bombs ccine. And n( Ihe moment Ihe South is winning. At one initial refugee liini centre a young militia sol- dier n man from near Quang Tri about hi.-, dim sol- dier's) family. When he is (old they arc tleail Ihe young man roll.'- in Ihc mud wailing. Other refugees gather around him, curious hul unmoved. They have all scon loo much suffer- ing to grieve over one more tragedy. (WriUen for The Herald The Observer, London) fashioned words The Wall Street Journal Yf' OT1EN slinging first baseman Orlando Ccpcda was traded the Oakland A's recently by the Atlanta Braves, he refused In criticize his former employers or tans. "Tilings just didn't work out in he explained simply. "I don't -want to bo like tomcj other players who knock Ins club when they leave. They were good to rna. They took care of me last year when my knee had to be operated on." Then there is the case of Tucker Fred- crickson. New York Giant running hack who recently announced his retirement at age 29. The injury-prone Mr. Frederickson, long troubled by bed knees, said that he was retiring because he can't play the way he would like. "I leave with fantastic mem- ories and the friendship of a lot of great people, including the Maras (who own the football GianLsj who are he said. "Many fine things happened to me as the result of my association with the Giants and I'm thankful, believe me." Jn recent years a trade or retirement was usually the signal for another hook explaining how athletes arc little more than exploited chattels. And the more seamy charges and revelations about one's form- er teammates or owners, the greater chance o! the book's success, frequently opening the door to new careers as TV commentators, social critics, even political pundits. In an age when athletes and ex-politi- cians are falling all over themselves to de- tail everything that ever went on behind the scenes, and when every scullery maid who ever peeled a potato in whila House is bursting to give us the InsWs story of Ihe Presidency, it sounds strangs to be reminded of loyalty. It also sounds strange to hear star athletes blame their fortunes not on unenlightened management and a corrupt system, but on their own luck and circumstance. But, strange as it sounds, It also sounds pleasant to the car just as it sounds pleasant lo the ear to hear again such old fashioned words as and "friendship." JIM FISHBOURNE The name of the game is bucks A'OW that a controversy has been work- ed up over the coming hockey scries between Canada and the U.S.S.R., there are bound to be people who normally can't tell a hockey club from a golf bat v.ho will he wondering vhsl this NHL vs V7JIA busi- ness is all about. 1 can tell them: it's about money. Let me illustrate. Those of you who are aware that sport existed before TV, probably will recall that not too long ago professional football meant ihe National Football League. This was a 12-team affair that played to packed stands every Sunday tturoughout ttie fall and early winter in the U.S., made a lot of money, and was run like a private club by its owners. Franchises were valuable. Now and then one would, come on the market, usually because an owner had died, and the price would run into the millions with no lack of buyers. Not wishing to take any chances wilh a good tiling, the owners made sure no one else got a chance to join tho club. Then a bright and well-heeled bunch of sports-minded entrepencurs derided it was time the pie was cut a few more ways, and being unable to buy their way the es- tablished league, they started one of their own. They called it Ihe American Football League, awarded a dozen or so franchises and to compete for players, space on Urn nation's sports pages and that very valuable TV time. At first the new league was laughed at by some, pitied by others. Led by all-wisa sporlswriters across the the pub- lic scorned Uie newcomers as sand-lot. But lime, a fair pile of dollars and finally a Super Bowl win by Joe Namath's New York Jets convinced everyone including the crusty old club-owners that the new league was real. Now the leagues are am- algamated, and the new franchises worth as much as the old. How much is that? Well, It varies from city to cily, but a couple of weeks ago one changed hands for nineteen million dollars. So the timo and dollars put into the once-despised AFL franchises turned out a pretty fair invest mer.l. Then H was basketball's turn. Those o( you who believe that growing tall is letlc will know that something very similar to what happened in football is now going on in pro basketball. At Ihe moment, the American and National Basketball Confer- ences arc still in the hassling stage; as a recent example, this spring players from the older league were threatened with fines, suspensions and other dire conse- quences if they took part in a benefit game with players from the new outfit. But that will pass, and in a few years there'll be a union similar lo that which joined the rival football leagues. And franchises in the new league will be worth millions, too. Now, precisely Ihe same thing is hap- pening to professional hockey. Although the National Hockey League (the "big" league) has expanded quite rapidly from six to fourteen teams in the past few years, evidently it hasn't been fast enough. Or perhaps the million price-tag on new franchises has been loo high. Vfhatever the reason, someone aware of the football and basketball stories has decided a new professional hockey league just has to ba a good investment. Well, It could be so. New franctiise hold- ers pay millions to Join the NHL and ac- quire teams of has-beens and never-was'i without a hope of winning anything for years. Franchises In Ihe new World Hockey Association can be picked up for a fraction of the costs, and the teams can't be that much worse than some of tlis NHL ex- pansion outfits. Not that the quality of the hockey mat- ters; it's the bucks that count. First-class citizens 'TWERE is nothing like applying for a passport, lo make one stingingly aware of one's tnic status in society. The application requires the signature of a guarantor, somebody who vouches for knowing Ihe applicant personally lor at least two years. What is (he choice of occu- pations of this person who has the power of life and dealh over one's bid to bung off lo foreign parts? I quote: "Only (he following are eligible lo serve as guarantor Mayor, Police Magistrate, Police Officer, Postmaster, Collector of Customs, Minister of Religion, Barristcr- at-law, Solicitor, Notary Public. Physician, Surgeon, Dentist, School Principal (in- cluding Acting School Manager of a Hank or Trust Company, Professional Accountant and Professional Engineer." There it is. The list of The Elect. The Passport Peerage. These callings or.ly are considered tmstworthy by the department of external affairs, acting on periodical security checks by SI. Peter. If you find yourself included in the roll call of the reliable, go ahead, preen. Me, I feel sick. J have gone over (he list sev- eral times without finding or even let alone "writer." Mitchell Sharp has no faith in me. Be- cause I make my living by Ihe pen, he sees mo as a sleazy character, ready to vouch for anvlxjdy at the drop of a fiver. No one would ivani lo know me (or two according to external affairs. Well, let's just take another gosh-darn look at that list of holy guarantors. Take that firsl one: Mayor. Now, what kind of de- pendable profession is lhal? Being mayor isn't a vocation, it's a preventable acci- dent. As for the policeman, bank manager, accountant when was the last time you heard of a journalist taking a bribe, or wallzing off to Rio with of ttie company wampum? Maybe Mr. Sharp Is concerned about my accepting that carton of Girl Guide cookies, a few years ago, from the fund drive ladies who wanted to show their apprecia- tion for my mentioning Ihe cookies in this column. Maybe he thinks that the only reason we of the press don't embezzle large sums is that the nature of our em- ployment prevents us from getting our hooks into the real sugar douglinuls. Pnlf. You are living in the past, Milch baby, when you have the winter defer lo the school principal. If the school principal is all that dependable, why does the acting principal need to cover up for him? Do you have any record of an acting news- paper columnist? Nosiree, bub. The stuff has to be delivered to meet the deadline, regardless of attending a seminar on sex education. As for the surgeon, his profession is a jolinny-comc-latoly compared to the an- cient and honorable metier of scribe. My professional ancestor was chiseling if thai Is the word I want messages in stone long before the engineer found a vay of raising them over the Gen's and I-adies. After descending from the great height of the guarantor who signed my passport application form, I am keenly aware of travelling as a second-class citizen. Which way lo steerage on Ihe jumbo? Don't trust me' wilh silvern-arc, stewardess I'll belly up to the trough. (Vancouver Province ;