March 2023 The Sarasota Breeze


Dear Member,

Please find the March 2023 issue of the chapter newsletter-- The Sarasota Breeze -  and the reservation form for the March 17th Luncheon at  Michaels on East.  The March Luncheon will program will provide you with the opportunity to celebrate St Paddy’s Day with a traditional Irish meal of Corned Beef, a sing-along of Irish songs, Irish trivia contest, and a cash bar.  Wearin’ of the GREEN is encouraged.

We have scheduled a Meet and Greet for March 8th at Gecko’s on Hillview and we hope you can join us.  

The YAHOO (Young At Heart Officers Organization) is BACK! With three events scheduled during the month of March - Inshore Fishing out of Bradenton, Miniature Golf in Sarasota, and Sunset on Siesta Key Beach….. 

Looking forward to seeing you at the March luncheon and the YAHOO events.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this issue of The Breeze - and as always, please let me know if you have a suggestion on how we can improve it.

By The Way — If you haven’t paid your 2023 dues as yet please do so as soon as possible — if you aren’t sure of your status please call me at 941-927-0996.

Thank you & Stay Safe

Len Friedlander

March 2023 Sarasota Breeze

March 2023 Luncheon Reservation Form

Hands Up !!! - Don't Shoot !!!!

Hands Up !!! - Don't Shoot !!!!

My wife Beth, our former colleague David Ferguson, and I were in Hong Kong in 1993. The three of us had led a Sister Cities trip to Taiwan, flown to Hong Kong, and were decompressing.  We took a bus out to the far side of Hong Kong Island and enjoyed a nice dinner overlooking the ocean.

When it was time to go back I thought be fun to take a sampan back instead of the bus. So I waved a passing sampan down and negotiated a ride back to Kowloon.  The sampan Captain spoke no
English and my Chinese consisted of xiè xie, (shey shey, thanks) but I thought he figured out what we wanted and we did the deal. I hoped he understood that we wanted to go back to Kowloon. This was not a tourist boat, just a regular sampan who happened to sail past.

Beth wanted no part of this risky deal and said she would take the bus back. "You don't want to miss this", I said, and Dave and I each grabbed an elbow and shanghaied her onto the boat as she protested.  We had a lovely boat ride as the sun slowly set and the day turned into night. It was beautiful and I was pleased that I had shanghaied Beth.  But the trip took longer than I thought and it became quite dark.

Then a big patrol boat came out of the night with their searchlight blinding us, with M-16 rifles aimed at us. The sampan Captain raised his hands and we followed suit.  The Captain ducked into the sampan and we wondered what he was up.  I hoped he was not coming out with an AK-47. But he just brought out his papers and they let us go on our way.

I think they were trying to stop smuggling or infiltration but am not sure.  It seemed to me they were acting a bit serious for just smuggling. This happened a total of three times.  Each time the patrol boat came up with searchlights and M-16's aimed directly at us.  

Beth was not overly happy with the rifles and still berates me.  The ingrate - after I took her on a lovely, impromptu, interesting cruise! You just can't please everyone. I figure any time someone aims a rifle at you and you don't get shot it is a good thing. And three times! It made for a memorable story.

I took the photos of sampans from a previous diplomatic trip to Vietnam in 1970. It was another diplomatic effort to win the hearts and minds of the people. The sampans looked a lot like our Hong Kong sampan.