Like the recognition due to Vietnam veterans, it was a long time coming. But the audiobook version of "Boocoo Dinky Dow: My short, crazy Vietnam War" was worth waiting for.
Grady Myers was a consummate storyteller, with a voice full of inflection, sound effects and damned-if-it-isn't-true panache. The audiobook narrator does Grady justice. He is Jeffrey S. Fellin, who is both an actor and a military veteran. He spent decades as a U.S. Army and National Guard helicopter pilot and instructor.
Though Jeff was too young for Vietnam, he served with many pilots who flew in that war. He heard their stories and "Boocoo Dinky Dow" rings true to him.
And he enjoys Grady's sense of humor. While he was recording the book, he emailed me to say: "Today I had to go back and edit out my laughing at Grady's writing about the animal names in his Basic Training battalion."
Jeff got a double dose of basic -- first, in the Air Force in 1976. Then, after he finished college, he did Army basic in 1986. Another thing he shared with Grady was suffering in the line of duty. Jeff suffered a severe back injury while serving in the Germany. Plus, like Grady, he towers over most of us. Jeff is 6-foot-4, just an inch shy of Grady.
"Reading this memoir I feel strangely connected to Grady, and lament that I will not be able to meet him in this life," he told me. "We share many parallels, like both being Medevaced half way round the world in a C-141, both recuperating at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Denver."
He added: "My goal is to do PFC Grady proud by telling his story."
He's done just that.
The audiobook is available through Amazon, Audible and iTunes.
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.