On November 20, 2019, I did my talk and book signing at Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, Montana. KGVM 95.9 radio recorded the event. Please click on link below:
In the summer of 2017, as a City Council Member I conducted the Idaho Falls Symphony as part of a fundraising activity. The regular conductor was gracious to tolerate my bungling along in the performance. Personally I thoroughly enjoyed doing this, even though I am far from having any proficiency in this profession. Still music matters to me, mostly because it calms the inner soul, maybe making me appreciate humanity more.
During the Vietnam War, I served in combat in the dark jungles of that land where the killing fields existed. That experience unlike music did not calm the soul. I recall reading Lincoln's First Inaugural Speech in 1861 as he faced Southern Succession and the coming conflict of the Civil War. In it he tried to reconcile the horror of the war, its killings, by looking forward to the time we could be a united nation once again by referring to "...the better angels of our natures".
Sadly in wars "...the better angels..." do not readily appear as soldiers slug it out, killing each other .
Such was the Vietnam War. That war, the basis for my thriller mystery novel, Legacy of War, serves to explain, trying to find the "better angels" within our selves.
In 2017 as an Idaho Falls City Council Member I had the honor to conduct the orchestra as part of a fundraising activity. Fortunately the real conductor didn't have a heart attack as I blundered my way through the performance. I enjoyed the challenge though, allowing me to appreciate the musical talents of those in the orchestra. This event added to me, almost metaphysically. I state this because music has helped me to stay in touch with an inner calming spirit, the essence of being humane.
The Vietnam War on the other hand brought out the dark side of humanity--for all of us who served in combat in the dark jungle and its killing fields. It is the primary reason I wrote my novel about that war, The Phung Hoang Legacy. Using a thriller mystery to tell the story, I attempted to help define the mental and physical cost of that war to both sides.
In the meantime music has helped me to be a better person as you can see.