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Unbroken: An Inspiring Story of Survival
the elements she needed to tell
the story were a bit out of her
comfort zone – B24 crashes,
qualify for the Oscars
recreating the Olympics ceremoapproaches this week,
ny and games, and torture
Unbroken, the highly anticipated
scenes - so she surrounded hergripping survival drama directed
self with some of Hollywood’s
by Academy Award winner
best craftspeople including cineAngelina Jolie, will be released
matographer Roger Deakins and
nationwide on Christmas day.
The film is an adapDesplat. At the screentation of the 2010
ing, Miyavi, a successful
bestselling book of
the same name by
making his film debut,
Laura Hilldenbrand
made sure his family
based on the life of
gave their blessings for
Louis Zamperini, an
playing a character repOlympian athlete
resenting Japan’s dark
and World War II
It follows
Louis’ early days as
how they stayed apart
a troubled youth
from each other when
who shows promise
they weren’t shooting
as a long distance
the scenes in which
As he
Zamperini is brutalized
becomes one of the
by the prison warden
fastest runners in
the U.S., he makes Angelina Jolie with producers Clayton Townsend, known as “The Bird”
the Olympic team. Matthew Baer and star Jack O'Connell (as "Louis (played by Miyavi).
The film has already
With no medals to Zamperini")
received honors as one
take home, he vows
to compete again in 1940; but Unbroken team had been on the of the Top Ten Films of the Year
when war breaks out, he enlists awards circuit prior to the pre- by the American Film Institute
to fight for his country. miere which Jolie could not and National Board of Review.
Zamperini’s plane is shot down attend when she came down O’Connell has won the New
in the Pacific, stranding him and with the chicken pox. At a spe- Hollywood Award from the
2 others on a raft for 47 days cial screening for members of the Hollywood Film Awards, and the
with no food or water. When a Producers Guild of America (see film goes into the Critics’ Movie
Japanese warship captures photo), Jolie talked about her Choice Awards with four nods,
Zamperini and 1 other, they are search for her next project, not including director, adapted
sent to a POW camp where they realizing it was literally outside screenplay and for the film.
Zamperini died earlier this
endure forced labor and cruel her window. She and Zamperini
punishment including brutal were neighbors in Hollywood year, but not before Jolie was
beatings. Zamperini’s faith in Hills where he coincidentally able to show “Louie” a cut of the
God gets him through this horri- pondered who would direct his film on her laptop. She became
ble ordeal until he is rescued life story. With detailed story- emotional when reflecting on
after Japan surrenders. British boards, Jolie had to pitch her their friendship, but knows he
actor Jack O’Connell plays vision to the studio which terri- left this world happy about the
fied her. She stated she “didn’t end result.
The project had been in devel- prepare to direct anything,”
years. adding that she “just fell in love
Universal acquired Zamperini’s with material.” Jolie felt many of
bring crosshair to bottom of shaded box
life rights in the late 1950s and
bought the book rights in 2011.
The film went through several
script drafts with various writers
and a director until Jolie came
on board to helm and the Coen
Brothers submitted the screenplay ultimately used for shooting. Jolie and many from the
“Fools are my theme, let satire be my song.”
George Gordon, Lord Byron
of No’field appeared at Grumpy Old Men’s
Breakfast the other day and commenced to
harangue the members with a wild (but possibly
true) story about giving a dog a ride to the airport.
As with anything Wasabi says, suspension of disbelief (willing or otherwise) is a prerequisite, but,
again as always, after the wheat is separated from
the chaff, the tale often turns out to be amusing,
even if improbable, implausible, questionable and
If Wasabi was to be believed (always a doubtful
proposition), a relative of his (but NOT the longsuffering Missus Wasabi, as he made clear) asked
that a dog long resident at his palatial estate be
conveyed to the airport so it could board a flight to
Honolulu to rejoin its master. This the Wild Man
was only too happy to do, as his relationship with
the dog was problematic (or so Wasabi alleged; no
one troubled to interview the dog), so, quicker
than boiled asparagus, he set off for the Western
East Roxbury Bottle Redemption Center, Lying-In
Hospitalitorium, School of Bagpiping and
Aerodrome to get said canine onto a plane.
Trotting out onto the gravel runway with the dog
in tow, Wasabi aimed himself at the morning commuter (a 1909 Bleriot XI), intending to throw the
hound into the passenger seat and thereby acquit
himself of his responsibility for the animal.
Unfortunately for Wasabi, he was spotted by the
eagle-eyed Elfreida Alice MacCardunkin, co-proprietor with her husband Vegan of the complex,
who thereupon raced toward the Bleriot on her
Vespa scooter (which her ever-so clever spouse
had rigged up with a plow to keep the runway
clear of snow). Her progress was slow, but so was
Wasabi, who couldn’t figure out how to get the
dog, his cage, and six large boxes of food, water,
toys and pee-pee pads into a space designed to
hold a person no taller than the Pet Casket King of
Northfield (who, fortunately, was NOT on hand to
give advice, all of which would have been both bad
AND liable to bring down on his head the wrath of
the lady proprietor, who had NO patience with the
formerly licensed pilot).
Waving a cudgel over her head and screeching
like a Valkyrie, the ineluctable Elfreida Alice
reached the monoplane just as Wasabi, over the
strenuous objections of the pilot, an excitable little Frenchman, had succeeded in forcing the cage
and boxes into the cramped space and was about
to add the dog to the pile. Leaping off the Vespa
the enraged proprietress laid into the Wild Man
with her cudgel, landing several sharp blows on
his rump ere he was able to dance out of the way,
yipping and yupping like the Sesame Street
Martians. Round and round the Bleriot they went,
and each time they passed by the pilot’s seat the
little Frenchman reached out and smacked Wasabi
on the top of the head with a rolled-up copy of
L’Humanite (the pilot being an unrepentant
Trotskyite), which, thanks to his bird’s-nest hairdo, did no harm to the panting, perspiring dog
chauffeur. After several minutes of this, both the
pursuer and the pursued being exhausted, a truce
was called and the pair shouted at each other from
opposite sides of the plane. Wasabi stated that he
merely wished to send the dog to Honolulu, while
Elfreida Alice replied that the plane’s fuel tank
only held 47 gallons of fuel, and that at that rate,
120 stops would be required. Furthermore, she
continued, the airline had a strict no-pets rule.
Wasabi countered that the dog was NOT his pet,
that it was cargo, and as such was entitled to fly
in the Bleriot. At this the Frenchman stuck in his
oar and exclaimed in heavily accented English
that he would be blankety-blanked if he was going
to fly with any blankety-blank-blank chien in his
nice clean plane. The proprietress suggested that
Wasabi drive the dog to Newark, where dogs were
welcome, but Wasabi rejoined that he had no
intention of driving all that distance when there
was a perfectly good airplane right in front of him.
Things were at a stalemate when Elfreida Alice
played her trump card and threatened to have
Vegan come down and play the bagpipes until
Wasabi left. The Wild Man needed no further urgings, and promptly loaded everything back into his
truck and roared away from the Aerodrome.
No one was happy, not Elfreida Alice, who was
seriously inconvenienced by the interruption of
her morning mahjongg game, not the French pilot,
who was unable to have his tisane in peace prior
to taking off for the Mountpeculiar Semi-Galactic
Aeroterminal, and not Wasabi, who now had several welts on his gluteus maximus to show for his
efforts, AND who was now forced to drive the
Hound of the Wasabis to a Real Airport many hundreds of miles away. However, realizing the comic
potentialities of this escapade, which practice and
embellishments would only improve over time,
Wasabi and the dog set their faces to the south
and made for Newark, where, he later reported,
the dog was successfully embarked.
Norwich University alumni
Vietnam letters to Archives
Tallgrass was one of twenty bands that entered the contest last year.
Beat the Band Contest Is Announced
Starting January 1, bands
throughout New England will
have the opportunity to enter
Chandler’s second annual Beat
the Band contest. In celebration
of the diversity and originality of
music being produced across the
region, Chandler is inviting both
amateur and professional bands
from all genres to compete for
the opportunity to perform original music at Chandler on April
Bands can enter the contest on
the Facebook page created especially for this event starting
January 1. Videos can be submitted through midnight on
March 4. Voting begins March 9
and ends March 24. The five
bands receiving the most electronic votes on the Facebook
page will be invited to bring their
best stuff to Chandler. At the
end of the night, audience members can vote for their favorite,
and the first- and second-place
bands win the opportunity to
play their own concert at
Chandler next year, with the
runner-up opening for the winner. The two bands will share a
portion of the proceeds from this
event next season.
Chandler held their first Beat
the Band contest last spring.
About 20 Vermont and New
Hampshire bands submitted
videos, and an enthusiastic
audience came out to vote at the
finals in April.
The idea for this contest came
about in early 2013 as a way to
offer performance opportunities
for the community, and was
supported in large part by volunteers. Chandler hopes to continue offering ways for people to get
involved both onstage and
behind the scenes.
All forms of video are welcome,
whether it’s shot with a cell
phone or a high-end video camera. The most important aspect
is the sound quality. After you’ve
created the video, it should be
uploaded to your own YouTube
channel and the link provided in
the Facebook form.
The minimum age to enter is
sixteen and entries may not
exceed five minutes in length.
More information about the
submission process and contest
rules can be found at facebook.com/beattheband. Beat
the Band is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered
Army Band to Perform at State Capitol
The Vermont National Guard
and the Office of the Adjutant
General will present “Vermont’s
Own” 40th Army Band Concert
Band performing a free concert
on Wednesday, January 14,
2015 at 7:30 PM in the House
Chamber at the Vermont State
House in Montpelier, Vermont.
The program, “Vermont in the
Civil War; connecting to the legacy of Vermont’s Military” will feature
American tunes, as well as contemporary musical selections
from Clare Grundman, Mark
Chief Warrant Officer David A.
Myers, bandmaster, will be conducting the band. Chief Myers
has been a member of the band
for over thirty years, serving as
stage band director and staff
composer before assuming command of the group in 1996. He is
well known throughout Vermont
and nationally as a composer
and conductor of band music.
Members of the 40th Army
Band serve one weekend a
month and two weeks of Annual
Training each year in the
Vermont Army National Guard.
As civilians the rest of the year,
they are engaged in such diverse
occupations as education, law,
security, technology, medical,
and sales.
This concert is free, open to the
public, and the opener for the
annual “Farmer’s Night” series
of concerts and entertainment at
the State House during the legislative session.
For further information about
the 40th Army Band, call the
unit's office in Colchester, weekdays, at
(802) 338-3480, or you can
find them on Facebook and
Twitter at 40th Army Band.
Some research shows that humans carry genes that help protect the brain
from prion diseases, or diseases contracted through eating human flesh, leading
medical experts to believe that ancient humans may have eaten other humans.
When American soldiers serving in Vietnam wrote letters
home, they often included—on
the backs of the Airmail
envelopes—the number of days
until homecoming. Now, the
Vietnam letters of two members
of the Class of 1966 are available
in the Norwich University
Archives, and thanks to these
generous donations, researchers
can see firsthand these details
and others.
On Veterans Day, the family of
the late Lt. Col. Howard C. Lewis
’66 donated two sets of letters
that he, as a young captain,
wrote home from in-country,
1969. It became the first collection of its kind at Norwich
includes letters Lewis penned to
his twin brother Harold (who had
also attended Norwich) and parents Daniel and Dorothy Lewis.
The collection also includes several photographs of Howard and
the Lewis family, 1964-1966,
and a file of information pertaining to the dedication of the Lt.
Col. Howard C. Lewis Memorial
Chapel at the Camp Ethan Allen
Firing Range in Jericho, VT, in
During his Vietnam service,
Lewis was cited seven times for
bravery and was awarded the
Soldier’s Medal, five Bronze
Stars, the Meritorious Service
Medal, the Air Medal, two Army
Commendation medals and,
later, the Vermont Medal of
Merit. Following his return from
Vietnam, he joined the Vermont
National Guard, rising to the
rank of Lt. Colonel. He lived in
Barre with his family until his
death from cancer in 1987, the
result, his family believes, of his
exposure to Agent Orange. More
than 500 people attended his
memorial; the Barre-Montpelier
Times Argus called the service
“one of the largest funerals ever
held in the Granite City.” At the
time of his death, he was survived by wife Sandra Roscoe
Lewis, and two children.
The Lewis donation evolved
from a collaboration between
Lewis’s youngest brother, Donald
Lewis ’72, and the Norwich
Record—Norwich University’s
alumni magazine. Don Lewis
originally presented the letters
for publication in the winter
2015 issue, dedicated to Norwich
alumni who served in Vietnam.
Shortly thereafter, another
member of the class of 1966,
William F. Bonk, donated his collection of Vietnam letters. Bonk
had also provided a collection of
letters to the Record for publication, and afterwards, graciously
offered them to the Archive for
public access.
The collection consists of letters written by Bonk to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Bonk of
Connecticut, during his service
as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam,
February through October 1968.
The collection also includes color
slides documenting his time in
Vietnam as well as a single slide
probably taken during his NU
commencement in 1966.
These gifts constitute the first
two substantial manuscript collections from the Vietnam era to
be available in the University
Archives. They will serve as the
foundation to helping students,
faculty, staff, alumni, and
researchers better understand
the Norwich experience in
To access these collections,
please contact the Norwich
University Archives, Kreitzberg
[email protected]
News from
the Hill
ORTHFIELD NEWS readers may have
attended Norwich's Veteran's Day Todd
Lecture presented by General Colin Powell
last month, but did they know that our director of
nursing considers him her mentor, or are they curious to hear him discuss his feelings about serving
in Vietnam? Maybe readers are interested in following up with our solar house, the Delta T-90, or
reading all about Norwich's conference on grand
strategy, which sought to brainstorm the best ways
for the U.S. to help solve global issues.
Those stories, articles, interviews, photos and
videos can all be found online in various publications.
In the past two weeks alone, newsletters have
been published by the College of Liberal Arts
Happenings<http://libarts.norwich.edu/newsletter/>); the College of Professional Schools (Norwich
University Connections<http://profschools.norwich.edu/newsletter/>) and the College of
Graduate and Continuing Studies (What's New @
NU Online<http://online.norwich.edu/newsletter/8961/what%27s-new-%40-nu-online>) as well
as the winter issue of our quarterly alumni magazine,
These publications often tell the stories behind
the stories, as well as offer insight into the student
or faculty experience. Nearly 200 years ago,
Norwich was founded on the idea of experiential
learning and since then has been in the business of
preparing its graduates to build and defend the
nation. These stories demonstrate how Norwich is
living its guiding values and staying true to its mission.
Each publication contains stories of learning by
doing (see: "Architecture Students Continue Design
Partnership with Frank Lloyd Wright's Westcott
House"); news of how students are applying their
education after graduation (see: "Diplomacy
Alumnus Named White House Fellow"), and previews of great programs to come ("Coming next
April: the Annual CSI Symposium"). Readers can
also find practical information about the value of
higher education, or learn more about Norwich faculty and the details of their ground-breaking
research projects.
These publications are designed to engage the
hearts and minds of individuals,businesses, and
everyone in between, including prospective students and our 20,000+ living alumni.
So get online and dig into the fascinating stories
and photos that define Norwich University today!