Near Miss

Hong Kong Food Market

I just found out from Lena that Mr. Han saw the woman he thinks is Miss Lien in the parking lot of an Asian market in Gretna, Louisiana.  She got in her car and drove off before he was able to stop her!  So I emailed the market and have asked them to place an ad on their bulletin board.  Maybe we’ll catch up with her yet!

Fresh Wind?

Mr. Han's note.

In my last blog (“Houston to Biloxi” 7-28-13) I talked about Lena’s husband, Mr. Han, who thought he knew Candy when she worked in a bar in Venice, Louisiana called Gio Khoi.   The bar, located about 60 miles south of New Orleans, was destroyed by Katrina. The owner and everyone who worked there were never seen in the region again. Mr. Han said the owner was Amanda Hanh. She was supposed to have gone to the Los Angeles area, probably Westminster, the Little Saigon of Southern California. Here is the note Mr. Han wrote with the information. (more…)

Houston to Biloxi

Han and Lena, Port Sulphur LA.

In this kind of investigation, looking for Lien, everything is important!  One clue leads to another and back again. I had placed an ad (see Looking for Lien) in a Vietnamese magazine.  I received a message from an Amerasian woman born in Vietnam in 1971 named Lena Nguyen.  She was looking for her father, who was unable to take her and her mother back to the US when the war ended.  Today she lives with her fisherman husband Han and three dogs in Port Sulphur LA. So, I was visiting Christine Luongand her mom in Houston (more about that later!) and wanted to drive to Biloxi Mississippi to search for Candy, so I stopped off to visit Lena and Han.  Port Sulphur is about 30 miles south of New Orleans on the Mississippi River.  When Katrina hit, the town was under 43 feet of water.  Everyone lost everything!  A town of 20,000. Well, it turns out, Han knew Candy.  He says she lived in his trailer with a few other women until Katrina. After that, she disappeared.  She worked in a bar owned by a lady who is now in California.  So, I’ve got a number of new leads to follow. (more…)


Christine Luong with son

Next week, I’m heading off to Texas to meet up with Miss Quyen’s Aunt 6, who could have been friends with Candy. Miss Quyen answered an ad in Saigon when we were there last year, and said she knew Candy when Quyen was a little girl. Her aunt has a daughter Christine, whose father is an American.  Christine’s story is important because she represents the experience of the tens of thousands of Amerasian children abandoned in Vietnam during the war. (more…)

Looking for Lien

Candy, 1972.

Okay I’ve placed an ad in the Little Saigon News (Saigon Nho) a magazine for Vietnamese Americans.  It’s in the issues that are distributed in Southern California and Mississippi.   The ad will run for a month.  At that time, if there are no positive responses, I’ll place it in another state. (more…)

The Shelf II

Deaf-mute prostitutes, Tu do Street, Saigon, 1972.  Photo by Barbara Gluck.

Yikes!  My cup runneth over!  Perry Deane Young, the writer who had written an article about the characters who inhabited the Continental Palace Hotel Terrace bar (“the shelf”…see previous blog), has led me to another fantastic resource.  The amazing Barbara Gluck, staff photographer for the New York Times for four years (’68-’69 and ’72-’73) covering aspects of the war that correspondants rarely covered. She was the only woman who had ever gone on a B-52 bombing mission and she spent 24 hours with the Vietcong.  Among other achievements. (more…)

The Shelf

The Shelf at the Continental Hotel (Tu Do side), Ho Chi Minh City, 2012.

What I love probably the most about doing research for a documentary film is this: sometimes you just ask one simple question, and it opens a door to a whole new wealth of great stuff you never new existed.    I met Candy in the terrace cafe of the Continental Hotel, a grand relic of the French colonial period on the corner of Le Loi and Tu Do across from the Opera House. (more…)

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