About once every hour since yesterday afternoon, the following has hijacked my inner monologue:
“Goooooooooood morning Vietnaaaam! Hey, this is not a test, this is rock and roll! Time to rock it from the Delta to the DMZ. Is it me or does that sound like an Elvis Presley movie? Viva Danang…Ohhh, vee-vahhh Danang…Danang me, Danang me, you’re gonna have to get a rope and haaang me! Hey it’s a little too early for bein’ that loud. Hey, too late. It’s oh-six-hundred hours. What’s the oh stand for? Oh-my-god it’s early. Speaking of early …”
That’s as much as I can recite on my own, some twenty-six years after I first heard them: Airman Adrian Cronauer’s introductory remarks on Radio Saigon. If the transcript above is not a verbatim match to the original, I’m sure it’s damn close. My certainty is not a comment on the prowess of my memory but on the power of the performer who indelibly marked it. If the ability to give others something that makes them smile is what it means to have greatness, then Airman Cronauer — like his cousins Euphegenia Doubtfire, Red Sox fanatic Sean Maguire, and the part time Denver Broncos cheerleader pictured below — had it from here to Hanoi to Moscow on the Hudson.