Palabras Ajenas [The Words of Others], of León Ferrari

redcat-los-angeles

(Redcat is located on the third parking floor of the Disney Center in Los Angeles)

Dear friends: I have been invited to participate in the collective reading of Palabras Ajenas [The Words of Others], of León Ferrari, at REDCAT at the Disney Center in Los Angeles after they interviewed me. They sought activists in the LA area in a letter sent to Vietnam Vets Against War (VVAW) that I have been a member of since 1968 and volunteer to respond to letters to them asking for interviews with members. I will read the words taken down in history of LBJ collected by these remarkable people. The group of readers will comprise, apart from some VVAW members, art professors, journalists, artists, students, and activists from Los Angeles community as well.

        redcat-disney-center-la               

(Another view of the Disney Center)

They thanked me for sending my bio that revealed my civil rights background as a lawyer for 34 years after leaving the Navy. Human and civil rights were also at the center of Ferrari's career, a position that got accentuated when the military government murdered his son during the dictatorship in Argentina.

 

 redcat-leon-ferrari-image-of-christ-on-jet-bomber

(Christ on a jet bomber artistic rendition [Westerns and Christian Civilization (1065) by Leon Ferrari)

 

Published in 1967, Palabras Ajenas [The Words of Others] was a direct response to news and images of the Vietnam War and the violent expansion of Western culture during the years of the Cold War. It was composed from quotations of the Bible, speeches from the President Lyndon Johnson, Pope Paul VI, and Nazi leaders, as well as reports from the Vietnam War taken from various newspapers and news outlets.

redcat-leon-ferrai-photo

       (Author of  Palabras Ajenas (Words of Others) 1967)

This project is curated and directed by Ruth Estévez, Miguel López and Agustín Díez Fischer, and Carmen Amengual as Associate researcher. The script of this reading has been translated into English by Antena (Jen Hofer with Tupac Cruz and Román Luján) after two years of work, looking into the original sources, and it has been adapted for the reading by Jose Antonio Sánchez, a Spanish scholar that has been writing extensively about political theater and Juan Ernesto Díaz, from Mapa Teatro (Mexico).

  PALABRAS AJENAS/THE WORDS OF OTHERS Performance/Public Reading Author: León Ferrari  Directors and curators: Agustín Diez Fischer, Ruth Estévez and Miguel López Script adaptation: José Antonio Sánchez Sound design: Juan Ernesto Díaz Research Associate: Carmen Amengual Staging: Juan Ernesto Díaz, José Antonio Sánchez and Ruth Estévez. Translation: Antena, published in 1967, is a literary collage composed by the Argentine artist León Ferrari as an extensive dialogue between real and fictional characters. President Lyndon Johnson, Hitler, Pope Paul VI, and God, among others, enter into conversation through quotations selected by the artist from history books, literature, the Bible, newspapers and magazines. redcat-leon-ferrari-artistic-work

By means of a cut-and-paste exercise, the artist correlates the atrocities of the Vietnam War, the horrors of Nazism, and the representations of redemption and punishment in Christian doctrine. The piece was composed during the Vietnam War, at a moment when the Cold War was used as a justification for the intervention in foreign countries by the American military, and the establishment of the cruelest dictatorships in Latin America, with the support of the CIA. The news from Vietnam, and specially the photographic documentation of torture on the field, mobilized the artist who began collecting and combining a huge amount of clippings. The result is an enormous oratorium conceived to be read in public. Through it, Ferrari raises his voice against the war using the words of others. 

 

(Artistic rendition by Leon Ferrari)

  redcat-cal-arts-campus                

(Many Cal Arts Students participate in The World of Others) 

The Words of Others is not a theater piece written to be represented, but a conceptual art piece, consisting of words to be transformed into voices, but not into characters. Even if it might resemble documentary theater or certain political theater from the sixties, it doesn’t require a theatrical treatment, but only the consideration of a political art. Consequently, the participants are invited to read focusing on the rhythms and the words editing rather than on the identity of the characters, even when some of them are very well known: Hitler, Johnson, Goebbels, Christ, Paul VI or God. The intention is not to construct a character, nor even to propose a fixed identity. Therefore, different speakers will read the same characters along the performance. The group of speakers/readers will consist, approximately, of thirty people. Distributed in successive shifts of eight to sixteen speakers at a time, they will give voice, along approximately eight hours, to the words of almost two hundred characters, both real or figured. In order to make the task of the speakers as easy as possible, we are preparing a very detailed script that will allow minimizing the time of rehearsal: in some cases, just one session previous to the performance will be enough. The goal of the rehearsal will be to explain the rhythm, tone and position codes used in the script, to make clear the identity of the voices, and to clarify some contents and intentions of the author, when necessary. The reading will be supported by a soundtrack, which will create some atmospheres. Providing tones or rhythmic keys, the soundtrack will reinforce the critical intention of the text, bringing the historical words to the present and helping to identify the voices. In some cases, a historical recording will be used instead of the live voice: for instance, Pope's Paul VI speech at the UN assembly in 1965. Since that speech was pronounced in French, we will project English subtitles. The same will happen in other specific moments in which the text will be read in original Spanish. The speakers will sit around ten tables (two to four speakers per table), distributed all over the space: one/two table(s) for the Press (max. 4 voices), two for the Historian, the historical Press and the Bible (including God, Christ and St. John), one for L. Johnson and A. Hitler, one for the Pope, Paul VI, one for the Nazis (Goebbels, Göring, Himmler, etc.), one for the US Administration (State Secretaries, advisors, senators, generals, etc.), one for the Priest and the Missal, and one extra table for other different voices. Some voices will be identified through small plastic elements (tiny figures, books, models….);

 

 

redcat-palabras-ajenas-words-of-others

 

 

some others will be identified through projections on the lateral walls (it will be the case of US, Germany and Vietnam Administration members, Generals and Priests). The audience will receive a map of the space, with a brief description of the reading device. They may sit at the tables very close to the speakers, circulate around them or sit down on different chairs distributed all over the room. Eventually, a spectator could read some lines. On the tables we will dispose plenty of documentary material: copies of the original newspapers, magazines or books pages where the words were found, contextual documents, documents of León Ferrari work as well as some other documents that bring the performance to the present: current conflicts, economic neocolonialism, criminalization of migrants, practice and acceptance of torture. Spectators are not expected to stay in the reading for a long time, although they may. In any case, they don’t need to keep their attention on the reading as if they were attending a theater performance; they will instead inhabit the space as long as they consider. Even if the text was conceived by Ferrari as a continuum it is possible to recognize in it different rhythms and intensities.

 

redcat-words-of-others-artwork-of-leon-ferrari

(Artistic rendition in Spanish by Leon Ferrari) 

The last section is without a doubt the most lively: more voices intervene and more speakers will be needed. In order to make easier the preparation and rehearsals, we have divided the script in 8 acts and 43 scenes. Each act lasts around one hour. Scenes will allow a more effective distribution of the rehearsals and will make easier to organize the shifts. This division will not affect the final reading which will be continuous as Ferrari conceived it. This public reading of Palabras Ajenas constitutes a big challenge: it will be the first time that the piece will be read from the beginning to the end, without cutting it. Previous readings, realized by Maler in London and Asquini in Buenos Aires, used shortened versions. Our current political situation offers unfortunate parallelisms with Ferrari’s context during the preparation of Palabras Ajenas. For that reason, we consider that the realization of this piece and the participation in the reading should work not only as a way of recalling the artistic and political work of León Ferrari, paying homage to him as an artist, a citizen and a person, but also as a gesture in defense of culture, democracy and civil rights. Public Reading: September 16th, 2017. 

redcat-leon-ferrari-image

(Artistic rendition by Leon Ferrari)

From 12 to 8 pm. Rehearsal: September 11th. From 10 to 2 pm (TBD) LOCATION: REDCAT THEATER Contact: Ruth Estévez: restevezgomez@calarts.edu Carmen Amengual: carmenamengual@alum.calarts.edu Collections of clippings from the 1960´s containing quotes that León Ferrari used in Palabras Ajenas/ The Words of the Others. Courtesy Pablo Ferrari. PALABRAS AJENAS (1967)

redcat-disney-auditorium-los-angeles          

(Disney Center from a different view)

Daniel C. Lavery djasb@aol.com

www.danielclavery.com

https://www.facebook.com/danielclavery (Facebook) https://www.linkedin.com/in/daniel-c-lavery-00551a11 . (Linkedin prime) https://twitter.com/Danielclavery  

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Book Review of All the Difference from Author USNA Class of ’71

Book Review of All the Difference from Author USNA Class of ’71

4/8/14

Hello Dan,

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book.  I jotted down a few things that resonated for me.

My dad was a Beta at University of Cincinnati.

Reef Points!  How can we ever forget them!

Naval Academy indoctrination of plebes in etiquette

Rifle range.  Who can forget those Marines!Scientist CliffsTarget for BB gun

Heinz Lenz was still there for me, too.  (I think he died only in the last couple of years?)

Joe Duff.  He still coached baseball, but he and I never crossed paths.  I made the plebe and varsity sailing teams while I was there (1967-1971), but was not the athlete you were.  But those T-tables plebe year were a Godsend!  And for the sailing team, it was for BOTH fall and spring sets.

Joe Bellino.  I loved watching those games.  And Roger Staubach, how lucky you were to be there during his era, too.  Roger came and talked at our pep rally in 1967 before the Army/Navy game.  (He was trying to make it with the Cowboys at that time.)  We won that year and received "carry on" like you did.

Bancroft Hall Mishipman in Whites parading to meal

Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed being on the "plebe detail" second class year.  As luck would have it, the very next summer the Academy decided to put first class in charge of the detail, so I got to do it again!

Bancroft Hall USNA 1960

Pensacola.  Great times!  I certainly wasn't the "ace of the base," but finished high enough (4 of 30 that week) to choose any pipeline I wanted (helos, jets, or props)---and they were all open that week.

Vigilante Clamshell Cockpits opened

My A-7 primary instructor  in T-34's nearly shot me for picking helos, but guys from '68 and '69 were telling us how much fun they were having flying them (while we were still back at the Academy).  Plus, I found that whenever I climbed above 5000 feet, I lost the real sensation of flying.  I also found that to be true as a second class midshipman flying in the back of an F-4 at Oceana (the "Diamondbacks").  In helos I knew I would spend most of my flying career at 500 feet and below.  (In Desert Storm we frequently flew at 10 feet and as fast as that Blackhawk would go!)  I never regretted my decision.

Army helo pilot Hugh Thompson.  What courage!  (I used his example in my first book, Inspiring Leadership: Character and Ethics Matter, now used in the Leadership/Ethics curricula at Villanova and Regent Universities.)

Vietnam Hugh Thomspon forgotten hero

Olongapo!  Amazing place.  If you closed your eyes, you actually thought the Rolling Stones were playing---or any other big name group for that matter.  And those kids diving for pesos!  The helo hangout was the Roofadora Club, as I recall.

CHAPTER 27-Y RA5C landing on aircraft carrier 1965

Our helo squadron aboard the USS Constellation in 1974 made three daily trips ("liberty runs") to Bagio, Manila, and Clark AFB while we were in port at Cubi Point/Subic.  We charged a dollar per person (which went to the rec fund).  Needless to say, we were the most popular squadron on the ship, especially among the Filipino stewards!  LOL.

Cesar Chavez and dogs Huelga and Boycott

And last but certainly far from least, your amazing work as a lawyer for the UFW.  What a legacy for you!  You can be justifiably proud of those years!

 HKW19750308E_005

Anyway, Dan, thought you should know how much I enjoyed your book.  One of these days we'll have to meet for lunch.

All the best,

Stew Fisher (USNA '71)

book cover all the difference
 

Related Images:

Book Review of All the Difference from Author USNA Class of ’71

4/8/14

Hello Dan,

 

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book.  I jotted down a few things that resonated for me.

 

My dad was a Beta at University of Cincinnati.

 

Reef Points!  How can we ever forget them!

Naval Academy indoctrination of plebes in etiquette

Rifle range.  Who can forget those Marines!Scientist CliffsTarget for BB gun

 

Heinz Lenz was still there for me, too.  (I think he died only in the last couple of years?)

 

Joe Duff.  He still coached baseball, but he and I never crossed paths.  I made the plebe and varsity sailing teams while I was there (1967-1971), but was not the athlete you were.  But those T-tables plebe year were a Godsend!  And for the sailing team, it was for BOTH fall and spring sets.

 

Joe Bellino.  I loved watching those games.  And Roger Staubach, how lucky you were to be there during his era, too.  Roger came and talked at our pep rally in 1967 before the Army/Navy game.  (He was trying to make it with the Cowboys at that time.)  We won that year and received "carry on" like you did.

Bancroft Hall Mishipman in Whites parading to meal

Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed being on the "plebe detail" second class year.  As luck would have it, the very next summer the Academy decided to put first class in charge of the detail, so I got to do it again!

Bancroft Hall USNA 1960  

Pensacola.  Great times!  I certainly wasn't the "ace of the base," but finished high enough (4 of 30 that week) to choose any pipeline I wanted (helos, jets, or props)---and they were all open that week.

Vigilante Clamshell Cockpits opened

My A-7 primary instructor  in T-34's nearly shot me for picking helos, but guys from '68 and '69 were telling us how much fun they were having flying them (while we were still back at the Academy).  Plus, I found that whenever I climbed above 5000 feet, I lost the real sensation of flying.  I also found that to be true as a second class midshipman flying in the back of an F-4 at Oceana (the "Diamondbacks").  In helos I knew I would spend most of my flying career at 500 feet and below.  (In Desert Storm we frequently flew at 10 feet and as fast as that Blackhawk would go!)  I never regretted my decision.

 

Army helo pilot Hugh Thompson.  What courage!  (I used his example in my first book, Inspiring Leadership: Character and Ethics Matter, now used in the Leadership/Ethics curricula at Villanova and Regent Universities.)

Vietnam Hugh Thomspon forgotten hero

Olongapo!  Amazing place.  If you closed your eyes, you actually thought the Rolling Stones were playing---or any other big name group for that matter.  And those kids diving for pesos!  The helo hangout was the Roofadora Club, as I recall.

CHAPTER 27-Y RA5C landing on aircraft carrier 1965

Our helo squadron aboard the USS Constellation in 1974 made three daily trips ("liberty runs") to Bagio, Manila, and Clark AFB while we were in port at Cubi Point/Subic.  We charged a dollar per person (which went to the rec fund).  Needless to say, we were the most popular squadron on the ship, especially among the Filipino stewards!  LOL.

Cesar Chavez and dogs Huelga and Boycott

And last but certainly far from least, your amazing work as a lawyer for the UFW.  What a legacy for you!  You can be justifiably proud of those years!

 HKW19750308E_005

Anyway, Dan, thought you should know how much I enjoyed your book.  One of these days we'll have to meet for lunch.

 

All the best,

Stew Fisher (USNA '71)

book cover all the difference                 [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]

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Book Reviews of All the Difference by Daniel C. Lavery

Dan Encino Law Office

Review of Dr. Peter Stine, PhD, U.C. Berkeley, Professor of English at South Carolina State U., Wayne State U., U. of Michigan;

I finished All the Difference, and what a fine memoir it is! I found it totally engrossing. The opening swept me in. I can imagine the pain your mother felt, you felt, and then the contrasting personality of your father, that swimming lesson he gave you, wow. It is so rich in episode, and in particular the chapter describing your shooting the crabs and beautiful bird, your remorse, and Ruthie’s gentle instruction in the holiness of all creatures, even the Golden Garden Spider, struck me. Or your discovery of the sanctity of nature’ beauty on your travels, or of baseball. The writing is lucid and concrete and engaging, you are on your way. Your story that begins in a military family split by divorce and ends with you emerging as a brilliant ACLU lawyer in California is quite remarkable and riveted me for days.

The section on Yokohama I loved, and Eddie is a great glimpse of raw American energy. Your portraits of scrappy uneducated types are consistently strong. Your account of cultural awakening is very well done, a great chapter, especially your discovery that the Japanese were individual beings physically and mentally, that our racist stereotype of them was nothing more. Strong descriptions of nature in your trips with Alex. Your sexual initiation in Yokosuka is cool. I liked the sports here, and Tom’s converting you to fundamentalist Christianity. Good on your religious inquires and the skepticism offered by Jerry’s dad, since the memoir is a long tale of deconversion, overthrowing indoctrination. Your brush with death in the train tunnel was excruciatingly real.

The Civil Rights history delivered by the professor on the Sunset Limited is a bit undigested in the narrative, but probably necessary to educate the reader to the world you will be entering. I admired your gutsy, principled withdrawal from NROTC at Duke, again a dramatic self-definition. Good on learning the brutality of the Old Testament God; it brought to mind Stephen Pinker’s Better Angels of our Nature. A great account of your religious bible classes and new agnosticism. That freshman Dean of Students calling you a low IQ case is amazing. Your evolving shift from Duke to the Naval Academy is traced in subtle detail, and your account of that Plebe year fascinated and shocked me. Standing up to the two bullying upperclassmen over Civil Rights and then the great portrait of Joe Duff are superb. Dan, you are at your best when, against the odds, you courageously stand up to arrogant and abusive authority figures, whether Duff, the Folsom prison molester, or the landlord threatening his tenant – these moments sparkle, the portrait of malice is stark, your own moral principles manifest.

It is harrowing to read of your experience as an aviator on an AR5C, and I remember your telling me about the lethal risks involved in the late 1960s. It was fun to read about your time at Berkeley then, Jerry, your well-described acid trip, Delaware Street, etc. The conclusion of the memoir about your amazing legal work for the UFW, ACLU, your alliance with Jerry, life with Joan, all of it was interesting, totally engrossing. Finally, I noticed throughout the last third of the memoir you labeled the Vietnam War as genocidal, which is exactly right. Thanks for the opportunity to read your terrific book.

(Peter Stine is also the founder and editor of literary journal Witness,1987-2007, awarded eight grants from National Endowment For The Arts, and four volumes were reissued as books by university press; his  fiction, poetry, literary essays and journalism are widely published: The Iowa Review, Boulevard, The Threepenny Review, Contemporary Literature, The Cambridge Quarterly, The New York Times, Sport Literate, and Harold Bloom's Modern Critical Reviews. His latest book, The Art of Survival, contains essays on Isaac Babel, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, and Joseph Conrad, ISBN 978-0-9823319-3-4, by Rocky Shore Books, Marquette Mi, 2011)

All the Difference may be purchased from Amazon.com:

Paperback

http://www.amazon.com/All-Difference-Daniel-C-Lavery/dp/1482676532/

Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/All-the-Difference-ebook/dp/B00BNXHV9Q

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BOADR8C

Amazon’s Dan Lavery author bio Page

Amazon author page

https://www.amazon.com/author/danielclavery

   5.0 out of 5 stars Mike's Book Review, July 14, 2013

By 

Leander M. Pemberton (Bakersfield CA) - USNA Class of 1964

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

A most engrossing book that captures the life and times of a remarkable, multi-talented individual who underwent a dramatic transformation from a conservative, military oriented, "pawn" to a crusading progressive activist. If you grew up in the 40's, 50's, or 60's, this will be your vehicle for a nostalgic reprise of that part of your life. Written with great attention to detail and in a manner that pulls you into the pages to vicariously experience Dan's life experiences. The writing is beautifully descriptive, allowing the reader to create detailed images of the settings involved. Leaves you hoping there will be a sequel which takes Dan up to the present day. Warning - once you start the book, you can't put it down!

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Lavery has made a difference, July 31, 2013

By 

Dan Walker -Jordan High School Class of 1958

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

A very well written and interesting trip thru a life that many can relate to. The youth, schooling, life lessons and his transformation as a activist makes for a story that we can all learn from.

5.0 out of 5 stars All the Difference by Daniel C. Lavery, August 2, 2013

By 

robert webster -Yokohama High Class of 1957

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

After reading the Kindle Version I ordered the Paperback Form so I could better enjoy the photos and reread for detail. I was a classmate of Dan's for one year (55-56) at Yokohama American High School in Japan. His keen memory of sports activities, interaction with teammates, coaches, and teachers were spot on and realistically transported me back to my High school days overseas. Most interesting was his transformation over the years from an aspiring baseball addict/sports star, history and literature student, military officer, into a UFW/ACLU Lawyer in Los Angeles. His vivid descriptions of his surroundings and adventures around the world held my interest through out the entire book. How did Dan survive his next challenge/adventure and change in life's direction? These are the question he thoroughly and colorfully answers. Dan does not hold back as he reveals a very personal insight and perception into all his relationships, both family and with others. A great read from many aspects, especially since I knew many of the high school characters mentioned and also grew up in Southern California where Dan was part of Progressive Ideology and Civil rights history. I am looking forward to his next publication.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Long Search, August 5, 2013

By 

Dave Timm -USNA Class of 1961

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This review is from: All the Difference (Kindle Edition)

"A young man's Odyssey from the heartbreak of a WWII-broken home into lifelong competitive sports - on to a stint the Duke Theology School - through a career as a Naval Flight Officer - into disillusion in 60's and on to success as a Civil Rights Champion in the 70's and on until this day. Though in many ways he was fortunate in life, Dan's is not an "easy read", for it evokes memories of dilemmas, demons and problems faced and the mixed bag of decisions made by the majority of America's youth as we came of age face-to-face with the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Not to give the story away, but: I was on the edge of my seat while reading of the the dramatic life and philosophical changes made by the author during his ultimately successful legal fights on behalf of Cesar Chavez, the UFW and others. My copy of All the Difference is a permanent addition to my library.

5.0 out of 5 stars What an awesome book., August 4, 2013

By 

Colleen -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

It was well written and really flowed throughout the book. It really kept my attention and was very informative and interesting. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, August 18, 2013

By 

Howard K. Watkins - Hastings College of Law 1972

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What a great read!! Dan Lavery has a very engaging writing style making the reader feel she or he is present at the recounted events. He brings alive many of the issues my fellow baby boomers experienced or knew of others who had. This is living history, as the author is transformed from a conservative military background to become a leading civil rights attorney in California. The book is a worthy selection for private book clubs everywhere. Plenty of topics to discuss. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, August 11, 2013

By 

Sue -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

This book is a must read that I couldn't put down. The writing was well written, interesting and easy to read. Well worth it.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

5.o out of 5 stars DAN LAVERY DID MAKE A DIFFERENCE

By Harriet G Harper on November 25, 2013

Format: Paperback Amazon Verified Purchase

I knew Dan and his brother Chip when we were teenagers in Japan. Chips wife Pat was there with us too. Its a great book. Funny in spots and serious in others. There were so many things about his childhood and home life I never knew. Never knew his choice for his career. But I am glad for his ultimate choice.

 

 

Review of All the Difference by David Starr Long Beach Jordan High School President of the senior Class 1958 and Captain of the Varsity Football Team)

Dan 

After reading, “All the Difference” I feel compelled to write to you. First, congratulations on writing a very interesting book. I am proud to know someone like you with your life experiences and who has the ability to express himself so well in writing. Your book or should I say your life was especially interesting to me for two central reasons:

 

First, it was interesting how your life evolved from the 17 year old kid I knew at Jordan High School in North Long Beach.  The year that I knew you in high school you seemed to me to be a serious student mostly interested in sports and religion.  I tried without success to get you interested in more high school social activities.  After graduation from Jordan, most of the kids in North Long Beach didn’t go on to be very successful* compared to the success you have achieved in your life. I feel your ambition, your hard work, your family, and your earlier background before you came to North Long Beach aided you to be more successful* in life.

 Secondly, I enjoyed comparing your life activities to my own.  We both went to high profile colleges, Duke and Stanford.  We both played varsity sports in college.  I earned six varsity letters at Stanford.  We both went on to graduate schools, but you by far, out-performed me in this category: one year at Stanford Graduate School of Business verses law school and other educational activities for you. Some other comparisons follow:

 Marriage:  both were fortunate to find great wives.

Children:  both were fortunate to have wonderful children.

 Security:  both worked hard to develop financial independence.

 Religion:  You changed dramatically in this category and me somewhat.  You were the serious religious guy in high school.  I have become more religious through the years.  After retiring I have volunteered for three years at three quarter’s time to do religious work at our church (Presbyterian).

 Physical Appearance:  two handsome guys.

 Politics: We differ a lot here.  You became very liberal and spent a good part of your life helping to improve society. I have become more conservative and am very concerned about the direction our country is going.

 Health:  You look like you are still in good shape.  I exercise over an hour each day and play tennis three times each week. I am very healthy except for a heart murmur which could become serious.

  Dan, we both have worked hard in our lives.  We have been successful* and will leave this earth in better shape than how we found it. From your book, I know all about you. (You were so truthful)  I thought you would like to know a little bit more about another North Long Beach teenager who wanted to rise above the circumstances from which we came.

Good luck to you in the rest of your life!  Thank you for your book.

 Hal Steuber, (President of Jordan Student Body Senior Year 1958 & Captain of Varsity Football Team)

 


All the Difference By Al Wellman (reviewer) All the Difference Daniel C. Lavery (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013)  
The best history books are written by those who lived through the events described. "All the Difference" by Daniel C. Lavery is a well-written description of the United States' turbulent 1960s. The stage is set by a child's perceptions of life in the United States during the cold war. As the son of a career naval officer, Lavery lived in widely separated locations offering various perspectives from Florida to California. His description of cultural interactions during the post-war military occupation of Japan provides insight into an era changing both nations. Lavery describes an adolescence defined by scholastic team sports. His athletic prowess sustained a successful self-image through uncertainty about career objectives. The comfortable diversion of team sports disappeared with graduation from the United States Naval Academy just in time for the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Chapters 24 through 33 recount a typical junior officer service obligation beginning with acquisition of the traditional new Corvette. Flight training with the RA5C Vigilante contrasts the reality of high-tech weapons systems against their advertised capabilities. Self-destructive drinking and driving reflect doubts about a military aviation career. After successful completion of flight training, Lavery requests reassignment to surface ships. Subsequent service aboard USS Oak Hill (LSD-7) brought combat zone experience in Camranh Bay and Danang followed by time in western Pacific ports including Taipei, Hong Kong, Yokosuka, Subic Bay and the unforgetable city of Olongapo. Upon release from active duty, Lavery found in law school the means to effectively apply the energy and enthusiasm which had brought him athletic success before Vietnam. His description of California's energizing activism of the 1960s will bring back memories to every Vietnam veteran and offer a window for younger readers to understand the origins of VVAW.

After shipboard training with Naval Academy midshipmen during the summers of 1965 and 1967, Al Wellman accepted a Naval ROTC commission in 1969 and patrolled the PIRAZ station off North Vietnam aboard USS Chicago from 1970 to 1972.


 

 

 

 

 

 

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Winter Survival, Escape, Resisitance, and Evasion School for Naval Aviators 1965

Chapter 26-W RA5C on ground Sanford, Fla. 1965

(RA5C Vigilante on the ground at Sanford Florida where Dan trained in 1965)

Winter survival school in 1965 for naval aviators in my class flying the RA5C at Sanford Florida occurred in October in Brunswick, Maine. The first day we attended an orientation session in a classroom with reading materials and lectures on survival, evasion, resistance, and escape (SERE). The camp trainers issued us a winter jacket, green fatigues, canteen, hunting knife, cap, and gloves. They divided us into teams. A military truck dropped us deep in a forest. They provided a contour map to assist our goal to go to checkpoints that led to a simulated concentration camp. The military personnel assigned to the SERE training placed “Russian” enemy soldiers in the forest who wandered through the area to capture us.

To reduce personal injuries, if they sighted us and said, “You're caught,” we had to surrender without physical conflict. Four teams made up our survival class, which included about one hundred men. The information taught us what to eat in the wild and what to avoid; it warned that after they captured us they would subject us to interrogation and physical abuse. They warned that if we struck any trainer we would fail the course. Such a foolish move in a real camp would end in death or serious injury. They chose an extremely cold day to begin. Snow covered the ground. A strong wind blew through the trees knocking snow and ice around. Once I entered the forest with my assigned team, we gathered briefly to discuss how we would try to reach our goals. We walked for miles before we encountered the enemy dressed in Russian uniforms. I hid and watched as an enemy soldier caught a team member. He took the canteen from our man, opened the top, and poured half the water on his head. It ran down his neck and wet his body.

The enemy soldier laughed, got our man’s name, and shouted, “You’re captured. I won’t take you to the concentration camp for interrogation on the first day. Tell your companions they must let us capture them, or the same thing will happen to them. Tomorrow if you’re caught we’ll take you to the concentration camp.”

Winter Survival School Maine

I stayed out of sight in the brush. After that enemy soldier left, we moved through the forest. As I slowly passed a pine tree, I saw an enemy waiting behind another pine a few feet away. He wore a black Russian uniform, dark overcoat, large boots, and black furry hat with ear flaps buttoned. He grabbed me by my overcoat, “You’re captured. Give me your canteen.” I reluctantly gave him my canteen and prepared for the worst.

Winter Survival Maine Map

“Splush” went the water as it drizzled down my neck and under my overcoat drenching my army green fatigue shirt, my trousers, and underclothes. I began shivering from a blast of cold wind. I wanted to tear him apart for his unprovoked sadism. He had captured me. Why do this to your own military in the name of training? He seemed to enjoy gratuitous sadism. He left me and went harassing and capturing others with the same treatment. Determined not to allow any of these bullies catch me again, I moved silently and slowly from tree to tree. Since I was a fast runner, I decided if another enemy appeared I would use my speed to avoid him.

Winter Survival Water from canteen on soldier

A few times some of us ran to get through an open portion of the forest so we could hide in trees, foliage, and shrubbery. Soon it got dark. Our group completed a few miles of progress toward a checkpoint each had to achieve by the next day. The cold started to increase as the night progressed. Feeling worn out from expending so much energy, I sweated profusely from running, dodging, and hiding from the enemy.

Winter survival fallen tree

We met in small groups to form a circle around some tall pine trees. Each of us picked a tree to sleep under as the training course suggested. A large tree with lots of loose leaves around it seemed to provide protection from the elements and a primitive bed. I climbed in my sleeping bag, using my overcoat as a cover, and slept on my poncho. Shivering, I glanced up and saw over-hanging branches with snow on the ends. The closer I moved to the trunk, the more protection and warmth I found. After drinking from my canteen, having an energy bar, and chewing on some nuts, I fell asleep.

Winter Survival aty night under tree

In the middle of the night, something awakened me causing me to pick up my sleeping bag and look around. I saw a pair of tiny eyes looking at me. A field mouse had crawled into my sleeping area. He chose a spot near my feet just outside my sleeping bag, under my overcoat. I felt he had as much right to the warmth as I did and allowed him to join me as I chuckled to myself. Who would ever believe I spent the night with a field mouse under a tree in a snowy Maine forest?

Winter Survival Field Mouse Winter Survival sleeping in sleeping bag

The next day we moved further along to our goal. As we progressed, the enemy loudly announced a capture when they caught another trainee. After awhile one of the Russians loudly proclaimed, “We are taking you Yankee pigs to a concentration camp as prisoners of war where you will rot.”

I remained silent hidden in the underbrush sweating, tired, and scratched from racing by trees with hanging branches and sharp twigs. Time seemed to slow down under such pressure. Hours later, I realized that eventually these brutal enemy soldiers would herd us like cattle into the camp. A loud siren wailed and a voice from a loud speaker informed us if they hadn’t captured us, to turn ourselves over to the guards at the concentration camp. Hungry, tired, and angry, I decided the camp provided an opportunity to show them I had what it took to survive and help my team.

Winter survival face painted student

I joined the other team members outside the concentration camp where the SERE instructors lectured us about the way anyone caught by an enemy should act to have a chance to survive in a war. The written materials contained a list of things to do and to avoid; such as acting violent—they would kill anyone who did, and it would cause harm to others. The enemy had weapons. As a prisoner of war (POW), each of us needed to use our knowledge to escape if we could, but while in captivity to keep together, protect each other, and stay healthy.

Winter survival concentraion camp

The school graded us on our leadership ability to resist providing any useful information to the enemy and always pursue a way to escape. We were to encourage our men to build unity no matter what treatment we received. We needed to maintain high spirits and energize the exhausted captives. If caught, we knew to give only name, rank, date of birth, and serial number. by the enemy guards, screamed at, and separated into various places. They had a black box they threatened to put anyone in who failed to follow instructions.

Once I entered the concentration camp, I saw trainees assaulted. When they started to abuse one of our men by knocking him to the ground, I ran to him and picked him up. “I’ll write a report on your abuse when American forces rescue us,” I informed the guard. “You have violated the Geneva Convention on abuse of prisoners.”

“So you think the US will investigate me and rescue you?” he said grabbing me by the over coat. “You’re a capitalist fool and will pay for your disrespect of the Russian Army.”

“Come here. We’ll teach this one to talk back to us,” he said to his compatriots. “Let's put him in the Black Box.” Two large enemy guards ran up to me, yanked me around, and dragged me to a black box about eight feet by three feet. Two of them threw me into it bruising my arms, knees, and shoulders.

winter survival black box

“You’ll never see daylight again, Yankee,” one said starting to close the lid.

“We’re free men in America! Our friends will rescue us,” I yelled before they closed the box.

They slammed the lid down. A clicking sound of a chained padlock meant they locked me in. In complete darkness, cramped into a narrow space, I could not turn around. The hard boards underneath me caused my back to ache after a few minutes. I smelled an odor of sweat from the many trainees who had experienced the box. I heard a lot of commotion outside as they yelled at other trainees and tried to justify their Communist beliefs as Russian guards. “Your form of government allows the rich to exploit the weak, and the minorities. You’re greedy capitalists. We’ll crush you.”

As time wore on, the box became hot. I found it hard to breathe, and felt like a caged animal. My body ached from the way my arms, legs, and shoulders squeezed against each other. Extremely thirsty, sweating profusely, I realized what a horrible torture awaited any prisoner who remained in the black box for any significant time. My sense of time dulled. Eventually, I heard some noise on the doors that sounded like someone unlocked the box. Someone opened the prison where I had languished for only about an hour. As I crawled out with help from trainees, I saw the guards taking other members of our survival team for interrogation.

They made us do calisthenics, push-ups, sit-ups, and run in place yelling, “Get those knees up, Pigs.”

“Come with me, Yankee, for questioning,” one of them said as he came up to me. The hulking specimen of a guard resembled a wrestler. He took me to an intelligence officer at a desk who wore a uniform with ribbons, medals, and decorations. “How many men are in your group?” said the high ranking officer in a simulated Russian accent.

Winter Survival Prisoner guard

I gave him my name, rank, birth and serial number. “You’re a stupid American whose country mighty Russia will destroy,” he bellowed in frustration. “Take him back to interrogation,” he said to the guard. Two helmeted brutish Russian guards led me to another building. They walked me to a hallway where I could see a series of rooms with a thick plastic window about my height in each doorway. They pushed open a door to a cell with canvas padding on all walls and the floor.

Winter Survival School Russian Soldiers

A giant of a muscular man with a blond crew cut stood in front of me. He looked like a linebacker on a pro football team. “Yankee pig officer, enter my room of pain,” he spouted in a phony Russian accent.  I entered walking up to him. “Tell me what group you’re from or I’ll hurt you,” he commanded.

“My name is Daniel Crim Lavery.” I continued with birth, rank, and serial number. He grabbed me by the overcoat, and threw me as hard as he could against the padded wall behind him. I hit the wall flat so as not to hurt myself and laughed at him.

“You think it’s funny? Wait till you see what I do next, Capitalist Pig.”

He threw me around the room about ten times, but I always bounced back facing him with a stance showing I had prepared for this drill.

“You think you’re tough pig, but I’ll crush you and your kind,” he said smirking and walked up to me, made an awful growling noise, and hacking as if he had something he was trying to get out of his throat. He spit a wad of slimy white saliva in my face. I started to wipe it off and he hocked another big wad onto my left eye. Again, I started to wipe that slime off when he spit all over my forehead and nose. By this time he had really pissed me off. Knowing I could hurt him, but would not try, I took a fighting stance.

“You’re a coward,” I shouted glaring angrily at him.

He looked for just a moment surprised, “Are you going to hit me?” he asked. I stared at him with anger written all over me and held my stance as if to challenge him to abuse me again, but said nothing. Walking arrogantly up to me, he spit four more times rapidly in my face. Wiping it off I remained prepared for any physical assault.

“Take the worthless Yankee bastard out of my sight,” he told the guards who took me to the main yard. At the end of three days, I endured much. It made me reflect on our precious freedoms as no other exercise had ever done before.

***Dan entering RA5C 1965

(Dan entering the back seat of the RA5C for training at the Sanford Naval Air Station in Florida 1965)

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