Tuesday, December 14, 1999

Ghosts of Christmas Past - 96

[A role playing episode] Harm went in his annual pilgrimage to the Vietnam Memorial wall for his father and met Jenny Lake, a former USO singer, (played by Mac, with her voice altered). Lake told of her experience with Hs father aboard the Ticonderoga back when he was shot down. Mikey played ensign Kyle Everett, PR officer; Rick (from Magnum PI) played Harvey Bambini, their road manager; Big Bud was Jerry Colonna; Teddy was Les brown; Harriet was Phyllis Diller; congresswoman Latham - Dianna Ross; H - Rabb Senior; B - "hoot" Rabb's RIO; SECNAV - Mort Reese, reporter; Brum - CAG (voice dubbed); Gunny - Joe Garcia, intruder pilot; Palmer - "Tong", Badman 2 in Rabb's squad; C - a "slow" southern sailor who gave directions to Jenny Lake; Osborn - an old grateful sailor who said thanks to Lake at the wall; Singer - "JoJo" who put down Tong while he was chatting her up; and, Tiner - Archie, a sailor who chatted up other troop members by lying to them.

Rabb returned from a mission with his plane damaged and had to eject near the ship. The USO troop with Jenny Lake, who recently lost her fiancé to the war, watched as Rabb was rescued. Jenny was despondent, and initially had tension with Rabb; but, he could clearly see that she was hurting so tried to befriend her. He told Lake that being a POW was worse than dying because the family needed closure. And he spoke of "little Harm" back home and his wife. She told him that she really "wanted to have babies with David (her fiance)." Les chastized Lake for "not cheering up the troops" and Tong took a run at Rabb for "taking a run at the singer." They needed reconnaissance in order to fly a later mission so Rabb went as second seat to Garcia to show him where the enemy missile site was located. Returning Garcia was blinded by Reese's flashbulb during the landing and got a wave off. Both "Mikey" and "Harriet" sang at a talent show in the evening.

Lake went to the fantail, despondent over all the things on the ship which reminded her of her dead fiancé. She was just climbing over the rail when Rabb found her and prevented her from jumping. He comforted her and became close rapidly. Rabb was assigned to an "Iron Hand" mission during the USO show the next day. Iron Hand meant to let the enemy SAMs lock onto you so your missles can follow the radar beams back to them- of course trying to avoid being hit by their missles while you're doing it. Lake had given him a scarf in gratitude and "for luck." He, in turn, gave her his wings. Real footage of Bob Hopes Christmas show on the Ticonderoga was interspersed with cut outs of current actors. There was a long closing segment of Lake singing "I'll be home for Christmas" while Rabb flew his mission, was hit and punched out in slow motion. At the wall Lake gave H the wings his father had given her. He took the gift but left them at the wall for his dad.