National Veterans Art Museum to Host Reading of ‘Short, Crazy Vietnam War’ Memoir

Reading Accompanied by Display of Never-Before-Shown Artist/Author’s Drawings

Chicago, Ill.–(ENEWSPF)–March 2013 – On April 20, 2013 at 2 p.m., the National Veterans Art Museum will host a reading of an artist’s unusual illustrated memoir, Boocoo Dinky Dow: My Short, Crazy Vietnam War.
Julie Titone will read from the book, which she co-authored with the late Grady Myers, at the museum at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The free event will include the display of Myers’s drawings from the museum’s permanent collection. Guest reader Bill Crist, also a Vietnam veteran, will join Titone in reading excerpts from the book.

The book takes its title from soldiers’ slang pronunciation of “beaucoup dien cai dau,” meaning “very crazy.” A reviewer for the Vietnam Veterans of America called the memoir “Lucid … well-told … beautifully illustrated … infused with humor.”  Washington State Magazine praised it as “Part ‘M*A*S*H’ and part ‘Full Metal Jacket.’”

Myers was an aimless Idaho teenager, when, desperate for troops, the U.S. Army overlooked his extreme nearsightedness and transformed him into Hoss, an M-60 machine gunner. In “Boocoo Dinky Dow”, he recounts his military initiation at Fort Lewis, Wash. He describes the intensity of Vietnam, where an old man carrying a bundle of sticks posed a moral dilemma and where his explosives-happy comrades in Charlie Company sometimes posed the greatest danger.

Myers returned from three months in Vietnam with a Purple Heart and spent the rest of his Army career recovering from his war wounds. He went on to a professional art career in Idaho and Washington State. He died in Boise in 2011.  Myers’ work has been in the NVAM’s permanent collection since 1997 and includes such pieces as “Mascot,” “Still Life with CIB” and “The Toymaker.”

Myers and Titone were newspaper colleagues when they produced the first manuscript of his memoir in the late 1970s. They eventually married, had a son, divorced yet remained friends. When he became bedridden several years ago, they revived the manuscript to give him a project to work on.   

Titone is a career journalist and university communicator who lives in Pullman, Washington. Her writing and photography has appeared in regional, national and international publications; her essays have been published in three college textbooks and two literary collections. Her novel, Deadline Affairs, was recorded by Books in Motion.

Examples of the Boocoo Dinky Dow drawings, and a book excerpt, are online at shortcrazyvietnam.com. Myers’ work in the NVAM’s collection are available through www.nvam.org/collection-online.

About the National Veterans Art Museum
The National Veterans Art Museum is dedicated to the collection, preservation, and exhibition of art inspired by combat and created by veterans. No other gallery in the world focuses on the subject of war from an artistic perspective, making this collection truly unique. The National Veterans Art Museum addresses both historical and contemporary issues related to military service in order to give patrons of all backgrounds insight into the effects of war and to provide veterans an artistic outlet to work through their military and combat experiences.

The National Veterans Art Museum is located at 4041 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. The National Veterans Art Museum will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is free. For group admission reservations, call the Museum at 312/326-0270 or visit www.nvam.org.

Patrons of the museum can access art from the permanent collection and biographical information on the artists through the NVAM Collection Online, a recently launched online and high-resolution archive of every piece of art in the museum’s permanent collection. The NVAM Collection Online can be found at www.nvam.org/collection-online.