“Life With My Father ABC-TV Journalist Frank Mariano” By Tony Mariano
Part I — Growing up in a War
America’s First Television War
When we embarked on “Escape from Saigon – a Novel,” the authors focused much of the story on the journalists who risked their lives to deliver the good, the bad and the ugly events of what was then America’s longest and certainly most controversial war. Our fictional characters Lisette Vo, NBS-TV’s first female war correspondent and the first Vietnamese- American on-air journalist portends the future of broadcasting and the emergence of cable. Sam Esposito, her colleague and friend, was with The Washington Legend. Sam is the archetypal cynical Ivy League reporter who cuts through layers of military obfuscation until he gets the story.
We also strove to give our readers, especially those who grew up taking the internet, cell phones, IM and Skype for granted, an appreciation of how hard it was to deliver the news halfway around the world only four decades ago. In those days 16mm sound-on-film cameras were the latest technology and satellite transmission was in its infancy and spotty.
While Lisette Vo and Sam Esposito are fictional, Tony Mariano’s story is real. Tony recalls the people who brought the Vietnam War into our living rooms in as close to “live” as possible. This included most especially his father ABC-TV’s Frank Mariano. His relationship with his dad, whom he joined in Saigon in 1973 as a high school age teen, gave him a ringside seat to the war.
and here is one of Tony Hirashiki’s photos: