Before there was email spam, there was pork, with ham, salt, water, modified potato starch, sugar, and sodium nitrite -- AKA, SPAM. In 1970-72 it provided sustenance to a trio of hungry Seattle art students. One of them was Joe Tschida -- who, upon seeing a SPAM commercial during the Super Bowl, was inspired to look up a couple of his old buddies on the Internet. One of them was Grady Myers.
"I went to art school with Grady in the early 70s, when we'd make fried SPAM sandwiches every Monday night together," Joe said in an email, explaining what led him to this website about Grady's war memoir. "So sorry to hear of his passing. Just ordered Boocoo Dinky Dow on Amazon."
This definitely tops the list of stories I've heard about how people found the book that Grady and I co-wrote.
Joe knew Grady about eight years before I did, and heard Grady's war stories when they were truly fresh. Immediately after Grady recovered from the wounds he suffered in Vietnam, he used his veteran's benefits to enroll in the Burnley School of Professional Art (now the Art Institute of Seattle).
"Mostly I remember a big, jolly, sarcastic and talented friend and not really bitter about his war experiences, and his willingness to share them. I can also remember him driving around Seattle in his cool Morgan with his old army jacket, long hair, big mustache, and one of those Scottish-looking hats that snap in the front."
Joe is a graphic designer who was interested to know about Grady's art career. I couldn't give him a single website that features Grady's art, much of which was done for newspapers. But I did share with him the Route of the Hiawatha interpretive signs, which Grady created for the U.S. Forest Service and considered a major achievement. And there are his Vietnam artworks included in the book, which are in the National Veterans Art Museum. Some of them are shown on the museum website.
Grady -- who never lost his affection for SPAM -- would've been beside himself with delight to hear from Joe.
Julie Titone is co-author of the Grady Myers memoir "Boocoo Dinky Dow: My short, crazy Vietnam War." Grady was an M-60 machine gunner in The U.S. Army's Company C’s 2nd Platoon, 1st Battalion, 8th Regiment, 4th Infantry Division in late 1968 and early 1969. His Charlie Company comrades knew him as Hoss. Thoughts, comments? Send Julie an email.