Archive - July 20, 2009

1
Panic at Idlewild As Michelmore Arrives, Part 4
2
Review of Joe Monninger (Upper Volta [now Burkina Faso] 1975-77) ) Hippie Chick
3
Meanwhile, Back In Washington PC/HQ Waits for Marjorie Michelmore, Part 3

Panic at Idlewild As Michelmore Arrives, Part 4

Tim Adams arrived at Idlewild Airport to a terminal overwhelmed with press people carrying tape recorders, cameras and microphones. Michelmore and Ware were about to touch down on a BOAC flight and Adams saddled up to a group of reporters and asked innocently, “Who’s coming in?” Adams thought it might be Grace Kelly, then due back in the States. “It’s that Peace Corps girl,” someone said and Tim’s heart dropped. Slipping away from the reporters, Adams pulled out his official government Peace Corps ID and got past the customs officials and when the BOAC flight landed pulled Marjorie and Dick Ware into an empty room. The reporters, however, could see them on the other side of Customs, see Tim frantically telephoning Shriver at the Peace Corps Headquarters. Tim asked what he should do. Shriver told him, “Tim, I don’t want the press talking to Michelmore.” Adams told Shriver that there . . .

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Review of Joe Monninger (Upper Volta [now Burkina Faso] 1975-77) ) Hippie Chick

Hippie Chick by Joseph Monninger ((Upper Volta [now Burkina Faso] 1975-77) and published by FRONT STREET Press in Asheville, North Carolina is reviewed by W Tucker Clark PCV (Nepal 1967-70) When John Coyne said I have a former PCV’s book called Hippie Chick to review, I had visions of having an insight into my 1960’s former life. When it came–as a nice short 156 pages novel–I immediately started reading this tale of Lolly, a 15 year old ‘hippie daughter of a hippie woman,” who loves to sail her Boston Whaler solo in the Florida Keys. On one of these full moon later afternoons, Lolly hits an underwater obstacle and her boat is impaled and the mast breaks. She is knocked unconscious, and like the spat of movies about being shipwrecked, she is alone in the ocean, desperate and afraid of circling sharks. Hippie Chick reads like a true-life survival account, except Lolly has typical . . .

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Meanwhile, Back In Washington PC/HQ Waits for Marjorie Michelmore, Part 3

One of the early staff  of the Peace Corps that I spoke to about the post card incident was Warren Wiggins, then the Associate Director for the Office of Program Development and Operations, and later to be the Deputy Director. Wiggins told me that the staff in 1961 were waiting for something to happen overseas with the Volunteers. Too many young people were overseas, he said, and there “had to be” an incident of some kind. On the afternoon of October 15, 1961, they got their incident when word reached Washington about Marjorie Michelmore and her postcard. Gathering at HQ on that October Sunday afternoon, the senior staff was initially worried about Marjorie’s life, as well as the lives of the other Volunteers. Wiggins also realized that “The Peace Corps could be thrown out at any moment. It could be the domino theory–first we’re kicked out of Nigeria, then out of Ghana, . . .

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