WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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to produce eyewitness stories and film footage that they frantically rush to their respective editors stateside. And against the odds, an ex-Marine named Matt Moran returns to Saigon in an attempt to locate and rescue his Vietnamese wife's extended family. Wellesley resident Dick Pirozzolo and his co-author Michael Morris are Vietnam veterans and career journalists. They based their fictional characters on real reporters who covered the war and described events inspired by their own experiences. Scenes unfold involving the real American ambassador and his staff, President Gerald Ford, and gener- als involved at that time. When Pirozzolo and I met to discuss their new book, he confirmed he and Morris adhered closely to historical records. Woven throughout are excerpts from archival material drawn from major news media accounts and government documents. They interviewed former mili- tary personnel, CIA agents, even the proprietor of a Saigon bar, for technical fact checking and first-person accounts of pressure-cooker situations. Former U.S. Air Force pilot Major Steven Dorian (Ret.), who lives in Wellesley, imparted his knowledge of fighter jet and air trans- port operations. As they recapture the frantic pace of a city and nation torn apart, the novel rings true. But this is not a war story in the traditional mode. "We wanted to write about human relationships and how people behave or respond to extraordinary circumstances, rising or not rising to the experience," said Pirozzolo. He described Sam as the archetypical, hard-hitting, ambivalent reporter out to get the story for his newspaper. Lisette, the bi-lingual daughter of a Vietnamese father and an American mother, covers the war for TV news. She is equally ambitious and tal- ented, determined to make it big by landing a job working for Cronkite. As Pirozzolo pointed out, women were gaining prominence in the media at that time. The characters Sam and Lisette are stubborn professionals and almost inseparable friends. Both rely heavily on South Vietnamese locals with whom they have worked for years. But in the final days, it becomes less clear whether some of those locals can be trusted. And K A L M A N Z A B A R S K Y C O U R T E S Y O F D I C K P I R O Z Z O L O top: Dick Pirozzolo, bottom: Dick Pirozzolo, Air Force captain and press officer during his Vietnam tour at an event on the Saigon River, "in civvies" in the early '70s 176 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 7 books "a war story in the traditional mode"

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