How I met Lloyd Glick
My name is Walt Goodridge. I'm an author on the island of Saipan. I first met Mr. Lloyd Glick through an email. He and his wife, Judy, emailed me about organizing tours of Guam and Saipan as they were going to be docking on both islands as part of a cruise.
90-year old veteran, Lloyd Glick, experienced the personalized WWII Pilgrimage of a lifetime on Saipan!
WWII Veteran Lloyd Glick and wife, Judy, experiencing Saipan at their own pace upon Lloyd's return by cruise ship to the island 70 years after participating in the naval bombing of the island during the Battle of Saipan. Photo: Jim Davies
Lloyd and I communicated by email for several months prior to his arrival. He sent me detailed recollections, facts, figures, war-related and cultural triva of that time
in American life, and even photos of his early life and his time on the battleship, USS North Carolina. Using all of that fascinating info--and unbeknownst to Lloyd while I was doing it--I compiled his 1945 war experience, and chronicled his hero's return in 2014 and, once he landed on Guam, I presented
him with a personalized surprise: a paperback book I rush printed entitled From Bugle Boy to Battleship!
(Now, I can't promise you that I'll write a book about your life when you come to Saipan, but we can discuss it when I see you!)
A Special Tour for one of the "Guam Liberators!"
Residents of Guam refer to the US troops who recaptured Guam from Japanese control during WWII as the "Guam Liberators." I had the opportunity to give a tour to one such individual--who had been on the USS North Carolina.
Founder's blog. Guamdate: Feb 2014.
Return of the Liberator: the short, happy tale of 90-year-old veteran Lloyd Glick's long-awaited, much anticipated return, hero's welcome, and whirlwind tour of Guam...as orchestrated by Walt F.J. Goodridge
You could not have imagined, wished for, nor created a more perfect day for a returning war hero! I flew from Saipan to Guam on the 4:15am flight (which I almost missed, but that's another story for another day!) to meet Lloyd's cruise ship, the Crystal Serenity arrive on Guam.
By about 7:30am on Guam, after a typical, tropical "morning blessing" sun shower, the sky opened up and revealed a crisp blue sky and dry weather for the ship's arrival!
Rainy morning on Guam; not to worry, the forecast predicted great weather!
The Crystal Serenity backs in to Guam dock F4 at 8am on schedule!...
Once through customs onboard the ship, the passengers are treated to a stunning reception that includes media, government officials, dancers, performers and beauty queens...
Lloyd Glick and other beauties! (l.to r: Lirene Veksler, Aliyes Scott, Katarina Martinez)
Dancers on the dock!
Lloyd Glick on Guam
We head out towards the War in the Pacific National Historical Park and start to see Guam,
Judy and Lloyd at the War in the Pacific National Historic Park Asan Beach park "unit"
Once we get to the Visitors Center, after a few introductions and a bit of milling about, we start a mini presentation for the visitors in attendance. Park Ranger Ben Hayes welcomes Lloyd to the center and bestows a medallion.
Judy, Lloyd receiving a Veteran's Commemorative medal from the Park Service's Ben Hayes and James Oelke (not shown, sorry James!)
I then shared the story of how Lloyd and I met online, and how we cultivated a unique relationship for two months while he was still in California, and I on Saipan!
Telling the story of how Lloyd and I met
I then turned it over to Guam's Senator Benjamin Cruz who bestowed Lloyd with a Guam Legislature Resolution honoring and recognizing his contribution to the liberation of Guam. (The senator's gracious appearance was a total surprise!)
Lloyd, The Resolution, Senator Cruz
Afterwards, I shared the surprise I've been excited to reveal for quite a while. Lloyd had only a faint idea that something was brewing behind all the detailed questions I'd been asking him during our email conversations. I revealed, finally today, the reason for it all: I'd secretly compiled, prepared and created an "as told to" autobiography of Lloyd Glick the bugle boy scout, the enlistee, the Musician Second Class, the battleship sailor and now returning war vet, entitled Bugle Boy to Battleship: A Battle of Saipan Veteran's Memoirs...as told to Walt Goodridge!
Lloyd has approved it and given the "green light," so...read more, see the alternate covers I had considered, and even order a copy
Download a preview
Lloyd and his autobiography..hope he likes it!
Next, we head out onto the island with Ranger Ben Hayes, who gives a spectacular, detailed, and at times quite moving tour of sites at several of the National Park's "units."
Ben gives history lessons and lessons how to really give a tour, replete with diagrams, maps, photos and quotes from veterans, eyewitnesses, historians and authors
Joining us for the day was also Cameron Miculka, whose father was the first ranger on Guam, and who got an exclusive all-day interview with Lloyd!
Blue skies over Miculka
Bugle boy and Ben at the Bunker
Since Ben has the keys to it, we got a rare, exclusive treat and got to visit inside the communications bunker at Fonte Plateau. Very few folks get to go inside!
Inside the communications bunker
Next, we stopped at Simply Food (my favorite health food store and restaurant on Guam, operated by the Seventh Day Adventist Church) to grab something to eat, and were treated to lunch on the house by the director and manager of the restaurant.
Manager, Sharon Schmidt, greets the Glicks
The tour continues with Ben showing more of Guam past and present...
While at the Visitor Center, local author, great spirit, and marketing maven, Dianne Strong (author of Witness to War
), who had been there promoting her book, made a quick call to local (Pacific News Center) television station anchor, Kevin Kerrigan, who then contacted me to arrange a special interview with Lloyd.
Lloyd meets Kevin Kerrigan
Walt, Lloyd and Kevin doing the interview to be aired Monday night on Guam
After a full day with many more shows of appreciation and respect, we make our way back to the visitor center by 4:40 (after closing time) to drop Ben back and take our leave! We couldn't have gotten a better tour guide. We say our goodbyes and take a final photo....
The gracious wife, the Jamaican, and the star of the show!
But, wait! There's more! As the couple make their way back to the ship at 5:15pm, there's yet another set of surprises in store...
Port police officer, Frances, confers a special pin as a show of fellow police officer camaradery to Lloyd
Then, Pilar Laguana, of the Guam Visitors Bureau, bestows upon them a few more gifts plus a spectacular Chamorro culture book...
Pilar Laguana, of the Guam Visitors Bureau,
bestows a spectacular Chamorro culture book...
Felix Reyes, me, Frances, Lloyd and Judy...almost final farewell!
Finally, as rush hour traffic starts to put the squeeze on Marine Corps Drive traffic, I meet Jasmine Stole, the reporter behind this great Variety story on Lloyd
, and pick up a few copies of the paper for Lloyd, head to the airport...
and return to Saipan on the 8:30pm flight to await Lloyd's arrival on Saipan....so we can do it all over again! See you on Saipan! | What happened on Saipan???
p.s. Thanks to all who made the day an unforgettable experience. Lloyd shared with me that the respect, recognition and warm reception he received on the island of Guam was totally unexpected, and overwhelming--in a quite moving way!
PART 2! LLOYD GLICK ON SAIPAN:
It is the morning of Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at about 7:15am. The Crystal Serenity can be seen making its approach to Saipan.
The Serenity makes
its way to the Saipan port
As on Guam the previous morning, rain clouds hang overhead and a morning shower blesses the land. The Port Authority has readied a welcome for our visitors!
Welcome to Saipan!
Meanwhile, our small team is about a mile away finalizing our game plan and "play it by ear" itinerary for the arriving guests.
Filipina Carmen, American Jim, Chinese Selina, Jamaican Walt, get ready...get set...
Dockside, final preparations are being made while the passengers go through the necessary customs check onboard the ship.
Vicente Camacho and Gordon Marciano handle logistics and discuss special plans and recognition for a few of the arrivals
Dancers greet the arriving visitors on tarmac still wet from the rain
As the passengers finally alight, we meet and greet our charges for the day!
Shirley (in red) wanted a Cantonese-speaking guide to help personalize her mom's and dad's Saipan experience!
Dad, Mom and Shirley...Wish granted! Done!
Susan and Dave wanted to do Saipan at their own pace, away from the big buses and maddening crowds. She said:
We would prefer a private tour to a ship tour. More insight and fun. We would like the focus to be on history, WWII, culture...things like that... he [her husband, Dave] loves tours, hearing stories, getting a feel for Saipan.
Dave and Susan! Wish granted! "Gangplank to tour van" pickup and drop off, no extra charge! But you can tip the driver/photographer!
Lloyd and Judy make their way through the gate
And, drum roll please...the man (and his lady) of the hour, Ll and Judy Glick, wanted a private tour of this significant island; significant not only in Lloyd's personal life story, but as the site of a major battle pivotal to the outcome of World War II. We can do that, too....along with a few surprises!
We head first to the American Memorial Park!
Chief Ranger, Jason Beatty greets Lloyd and Judy at Memorial Park Visitors Center.
After the showing of the "Island called Saipan" mini-documentary, the auditorium full of visitors is treated to a special recognition ceremony!
A plaque and flag from Memorial Park to Lloyd
Vicente Camacho confers a certificate, commemorative medal and calendar from the 60th Anniversary Committee.
Then, I share the story of how Lloyd and I met, how we corresponded, and the autobiography that "we" created out of that online relationship.
Lloyd, the proud new author of Bugleboy to Battleship, view more at http://www.bestofsaipan.com/bugleboy
After the ceremony, representatives of the press, get the opportunity to quiz and question the returning veteran.
The Saipan Press Corps interview Lloyd and Judy
The Saipan Press Corps interview Lloyd and Judy
Finally, when the media frenzy is over, I get to take Lloyd on the pilgrimage of a lifetime....
Judy, Walt, Lloyd, Dave and Jim at the Old Japanese Jail...Did Amelia Earhart spend her final days here on Saipan during the war, check out http://www.discoversaipan.com/amelia, then ask yourself that question again
a shining medal captures the sun! Posing with Saipan residents who've already heard of Lloyd's presence on island
Learning about Saipan's history at Sugar King Park
Receiving a special gift from Robert Hunter at the museum; holding copies of We Drank Our Tears.
Imagining the Beauty and the Banzaii. The contrast that is Saipan.
Seeing the Last Command Post
It's a long, enjoyable day with great conversation and comradery.
Lloyd, me and Judy!
At the end of the day, the two groups meet up at the Tuesday Farmer's Market in Garapan to say our final goodbyes!
Big smiles=good sign! A fun time was had by all! Thanks, Selina!
And we make a brief stop at I Luv Saipan for souvenirs, and head back to the ship!
Thanks for joining me on this latest DiscoverSaipan adventure! These past two days I've spent with Lloyd and Judy and everyone else on both Guam and Saipan have been amazing! These private tours are more than just a service transaction for me. My guests and I spend quality time together... really... and we really get to know each other! We create the beginnings of real friendships that we can build upon in the future if we choose. At the end of the day, we often leave each other reluctantly, with real hugs and sometimes tears in our eyes.
Oftentimes, I learn as much, and often more than I actually impart, and I get to experience people at their best:
Months ago, when I informed Susan and Dave (today's 2nd group) that, having already committed myself to Lloyd and Judy's Pilgrimage Tour, that I therefore would not be able to be their private guide for the day (which at the time was still months away), Susan graciously conceded and added:
"if you can not meet up with us, for sure we will be back and catch you the next time we are in town. My priority is that Lloyd and his wife are pleased with their day. This day is really all about them."
... and, she later added:
"I am happy for you that you are able to be in on his going back in time especially with your background and interest. Just a handful of these guys left, a real American treasure. What memories and stories he must have and you are there to capture it for all time. Hope the day exceeds his expectations!"--Susan
Well, Susan. We were both right, the universe IS perfect, things worked out, and we were both able to spend the day with Lloyd after all!
The special guests wave goodbye!
Now, as I say goodbye to Lloyd and Judy, I'm not sure if or when our paths will cross again for a face-to-face greeting, but I'm glad I was here to share this moment with them and help them "Discover Saipan!"
See you next time!
p.s. to go back in time to 1944 and join Lloyd aboard the USS North Carolina and share his memories of life aboard that battleship during WWII, check out Bugle Boy to Battleship: A Battle of Saipan Veteran's Memoirs by Lloyd Glick, as told to Walt Goodridge, available on Amazon.com.
Lloyd and Judy return to Guam in 2019!
Invited back for the island's 75th commemoration of the liberation of Guam, Lloyd
and Judy are honored guests of the Guam Visitor's Bureau.
Reunited in 2019!
Lloyd and other honoree veterans
on Guam, 2019
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