No stranger to writing, acting and singing, in 2006, Bob was chosen to play Charles Ryan in the Kent Brown Summer Love series “ARE WE THERE YET?” A summer theatre production by The Falls Run Players of Fredericksburg, Virginia. This was Bob’s first acting role and his performance earned him the best actor’s award for 2006.
A hidden talent also become apparent when Bob was selected to sing John Travolta’s Summer Nights from the smash hit “Grease”. He is also a member of The First Baptist Church of Bonita Springs, FL where he has been actively involved in the choir for the past 6 years - and his tenor voice has allowed him to produce over a half dozen Christian songs by Randy Travis
Following an impressive career with U.S. Airways, Bob retired in 2000 and has devoted much of his time to producing ORPHANS OF THE MOURNING, his first novel about a soldier in Vietnam who eventually becomes the first Vietnam veteran President of The United States. This book is currently available in the e-book format from Barnes & Noble.
Bob was thrust into the nationwide scene in 1983 with his nationally acclaimed Vietnam poster poem The Wall, a statement about the emotional pain and anger of Vietnam - frrlings and sentiments he was not permitted to express while in uniform, but once discharged, a trip to The Wall evoked his deep personal feelings.
The Wall was displayed in The White House in 1983 and as a result received instant success when President Ronald Reagan personally honored Bob for his contribution to all Vietnam Veterans. To date, tens of thousands of copies have been sold.
Bob has also recently finished his second novel, MURDER IN OGUNQUIT a mystery which takes place in the small New England coastal town of Ogunquit, Maine known as “A Beautiful Place By The Sea”.
In addition to his full length novels, Bob is offering a series of his “folksy” down to earth short stories at no charge for your enjoyment here on Smashwords, and it is the author’s desire that you will consider purchasing his novels after a brief sampling.
Prior to his assignment in Vietnam in 1967, Bob served 16 months in Frankfurt Germany as a civilian with the U.S. Army’s prestigious unit; The 513th Military Intelligence Group as a Top Secret Cryptographer
In Vietnam he was assigned to the First Cavalry Division (Airmobile), 13th Signal Battalion and was awarded The Purple Heart for wounds received in action in addition to The Bronze Star Medal and other awards.
Bob and his wife Maureen reside in Fredericksburg, VA in the summer months and winter in Bonita Bay, Bonita Springs, FL.
Poems About Vietnam
A collection poems by award winning author Robert A. Chapin. The Wall - Three Fighting Men - and The Vietnam Unknown.
The Wall released in (1982), gained national attention and presidential acclaim.
Three Fighting Men by sculptor Frederick Hart represents the statue at the entrance to The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, The Vietnam Unknown (identified in 1998)is from Arlington National Cemetery.
Nurse Linda Villani and Her Love For Preston Cunningham
An excerpt from the novel by Robert A. Chapin "Orphans Of The Mourning". The main character is Preston Cunningham assigned to Vietnam as a top secret cryptographer, but is nothing more than a "scrounge".
In this episode he has just been rescued. Beaten and bruised he is recovering from his ordeal at a POW hospital in South Vietnam. The exploits continue.
He falls in love with his nurse.
Sister Albert Marchetti - "An Angel Of God"
Mid 1950's and mother wanted us to receive a Catholic education. Our diocese was thriving with the best schools in our state dedicated teaching nuns.
Sister Gabriel was one who used the fear of God coupled with the rubber tipped pointer across your knuckles to keep you in line.
Sister Gabriel was very demeaning until Sister Albert Marchetti was assigned the new Mother Superior! True Story.
Ziggy Zenn And The Rescue Of Roy Rogers
In 1954, my dad was an out of work alcoholic seldom home. Mother worked two jobs but wanted her three kids to have the benefit of the newest invention - the TV.
In town was a Jewish couple who 13 years earlier were liberated from Auschwitz. They owned a convenience store and as with the gift of the Magi provided this Catholic family with a Christmas we would otherwise not have benefit of.
A Song For David
Sergeant Preston Cunningham is reassigned from a civilian status position while serving with the Army in Frankfurt, Germany into the heat of battle in Southeast Asia. In Vietnam he finds himself carrying out the duties of a company scrounge - someone who has been given the company commander’s blessings to do whatever necessary to make the war machine tick.
Dorothea Harfield's Banjer, The Ding Dong Clocks, & Her Love of God
Dorothea's family from the hills of North Carolina were loggers and followed work to New England.
She was not the prettiest of girls but had an inner quality which touched my heart. She was a true Christian and lived her life because of her "Love of God"
Without reading a note of music and with her old banjo, broke into "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" by Earl Scruggs. Read on...
Lee Iacocca The Baby Boomer And My Mustang '64
In 1964 I attended The New York World's Fair where The Ford Motor Company just released the newest sensation - The Mustang.
As a baby boomer I was smitten with "my dream car". My dad died suddenly and I worked for the benefit of my mother and sisters - and when the veterans benefits kicked in, mother co-signed for my first new car - a new original issue 1964 Mustang. Payments were $69.00/mo.
The Radio Announcer And The Horse Dovers (Hors D'oeuvres)
I was excited about radio announcing and received my degree in radio broadcasting and journalism.
On my first assignment I was working at a country western station in Springfield, Mass and was given the task of reading live copy on air.
The salesman changed my copy while I was on air and with no time to proof read it - I blundered and it came out "Horse Dovers" instead of Hors D'oeuvres.
The Cat And The Mad Lobster
We planned a New England clambake and placed the lobster in cool water in the sink. The cat jumped up onto the counter and began to tease the lobster. Soon, kitty was fighting with the crustacean. One of the rubber bands came off one of the claws.
When I finally placed it (not the cat!) into a pot of tepid water the heat increased and the lobster kicked the cover onto the floor. Cat bolted!
Where Were You The Day Camelot Died?
It was November 22, 1963 and I was in driver education class in high school. We were all stunned to learn of the assassination of our beloved President Kennedy.
That was also the topic of our 45th class reunion last year in October 2010. What follows is a humorous story of the difference from 1965 to 2010. How we have transgressed from six pack abs to an overhanding belly - no hair & beer.
Twinkies And The 8th Grade Prom
In the spring of 1960, barely 14 years old I did not have courage to ask Beverly Jones to the prom. A member of the "geeks", I was preoccupied with the prank of running a pair of my dad's underwear up the flagpole.
Then Beverly asked ME to the prom and plans changed. Afterall, she was going to be the mother of my children.
We attended prom and years later we met by chance and she is now an MD.
The Tenor In The Rear View Mirror
This is a true story about wanting to be a singer. Mother sang in her church choir and it is a desire I have had for years.
First, in the shower, then at a red light, and finally after mother passed in my own church.
In the audition I was numb to the idea of performing in front of other people but, I finally performed in front of 300 people.
NEVER give up on your dream. Now I have a CD.
The U-Haul Trailer & Doolie Weencer's Hearse
Doolie Weencer was a greedy banker who would reposses a widows home on Christmas Eve. In the early 1920's his father purchased a bank building from an immigrant farmer but did not have sufficient funds to purchase the land under it.
Because the farmer did not open an account with the new bank Weencer denied the loan only to realize that his land rental jumped from $890/yr to $25,000/yr.
President Ronald Reagan & The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial - one of the most visited monuments in America. Each year millions of people the world over make the trip to this hallowed ground.
Included in this short story is America's Premier Poster Poem by the author Robert. A. Chapin who was originally invited to meet with The President - and present his framed poem.
Plans cancelled marine barracks bombed in Beirut.
Basic Training And The Accidental Pink Underwear
March 1966, reported to Fort Dix for basic training. On weekend pass I wore a red bandanna with civvies.
It was my turn to wash white undergarments of three men I included red bandanna.
Underwear pink and me left handed I made mistakes drill sgt picked me out and motioned ordered me to approach podium. As a left hander demanded I drop my drawers - AND... I was wearing pink underwear.
The Sergeant & The Chevrons
A young 20 year old recruit cannot escape the grueling 10-12 hour day of peeling potatoes in Vietnam while awaiting assignment in a processing center.
Following two days of back breaking potato peeling he decides to fake sick call and as a result purchases metal sergeant pins for his collar.
Noticed by the duty sergeant he is called forward only to learn they are on upside down. No penalty!
Granddad's 1954 Nash Rambler Cross Country Station Wagon & The 1955 Doubled Die Penny
The year was 1955, granddad was 62 years old and I only 9. He was a coin and antique dealer in Western Massachusetts and in this year - 1955 he packed me and a lunch into his 1954 Nash Rambler Cross Country station wagon and travel the back roads of New England in search of the elusive 1955 doubled die penny.
One bank stop produced 100 of the error coins worth $40,000 EACH - today.
The Day I Burned The Outhouse Down
It was 1968 and I was in Vietnam. Constantly tempted to smoke marijuana, I finally gave in to the demands of a fellow soldier - I will not call him a friend!
The best place to smoke the Asian Jane was in the outhouse. We met inside a stall, I had my pants down around my ankles and as I lit the joint - the hot match dropped down onto my hairy legs into the fuel and what an explosion!
Bristol's Rexall Pharmacy
In 1961, we had a Rexall Pharmacy in our town. The aroma of the elixers and marble counter with four swivel chairs where teens congregated.
The book rack where boys and girls flipped through the magazines of the early 1960's.
The soda fountain where Mrs. B. added more fizzy water than Coke syrup - the result - when I attempted to impress Marilyn Snell - was to have it propel through my nose!
My Little Poopoofnick
1964, Lyndon, The Beetles, gas at $.35 per gallon, bread $.54, a new house $20,000, a new car $200. I was 17 years old and my first job was for Mr. D. at a mom and pop Red & White grocery store.
My first car: a 1957 Ford Fairlane hardtop convertible. The aroma of the fruits and soap powders forever burned in my brain.
Vietnam, college and now I am 65 years old, and still a poopoofnick...
A Gift From Malla
Malla was my mother who died of cancer in 1991 at the age of 71. She never remembered my birthday and was an avid follower of Elvis.
On the morning of her funeral I was angered - asking why she never remembered me on that special day.
As I began to shave, that's when I noticed it: I had Malla's nose! What a special gift - and then I realized it is not always about money! I love you Malla!
A Trophy For Arvie
They were the best of friends in 1959. Entered into a marathon consisting of three revolutions around the town common.
Preston and Arvie agreed to end on the same foot - Preston stumbled to the ground and Arvie the victor returned to assist his friend.
His demonstration of unselfishness was that of a true human being.
Arvie died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam in 1969.
Murder In Ogunquit
Ogunquit, Maine; "A Beautiful Place By The Sea" explodes from 1200 to 64,000 residents as the largest casino in the world!
Richmond Rand an identical twin - former Marine sniper and two accomplices target highly paid CEO's, switches identity with his brother who has no idea of the plot.
Richmond wins 17 million. When the accomplices are found dead in their motel room all signs point to Richmond.
Orphans Of The Mourning
In Vietnam Preston Cunningham was a thief with powers greater than those of his commanding officers. To beg, borrow and steal was child’s play. Regardless of his low rank, he made the war machine tick. His power could make Generals of lesser grade officers. Years later he is assigned to The White House - finds and kills Osama Bin Laden, and is elected the first Vietnam veteran President.
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