Done. And coming it at 77 hours, Mason's UH-1D is now the high-water mark in terms of time-spent. Most of these profiles take about 40 hours.
And for a few minutes, I just about embarked on another 77 hours writing this post! There's something about the Vietnam War that makes people want to wax philosophic... but just a few minutes ago, I (wisely) decided that my ignorance on the subject would be too much for readers to bear and deleted my budding tome before it grew any bigger.
However, I would like to share with you an interesting anecdote about Bob.
If you've read Chickenhawk, it's a book that fairly demands being made into a movie. It'd be a major production - war movies are by their nature notoriously expensive. See, explosions just don't happen without big bankrolls. Nine-figure bank rolls. Not counting the pennies.
Over the years, Chickenhawk has attracted its share of attention from Hollywood. And it still is.
Anyway, Bob described one particular big-name offer and why, in the end, he walked away from it. "It was a lousy script! (I knew) I'd have to sit in a theater with my friends!" he laughed. "And (the movie) would suck!"
And so there you have it. The reason why one of the most successful Vietnam-era books has not been made into a movie yet - Robert Mason doesn't want to catch hell from his buddies.
But earlier in our conversation, we talked about how wars start, how wars are fought and how wars are measured... and you know, the war business is really not that different than the movie business. Producers, directors, actors, budgets, scripts... with an audience to please and critics to duck.
Too bad though that someone call "Suck!" on the whole Vietnam thing around 1961.
Thank you for the inspiration, Bob. This has been a great experience for me.
Photo: courtesy Robert Mason