Hill 102

How a patch of ground forged a man’s future, stole a part of his soul, and gave it back to him 30 years later

Although I never met him, I have been connected to Oliver Noonan since the day he died in a helicopter crash on a green mountainside in Vietnam. I was not far away, just 1,600 feet or so, in fact, when I heard the ripping crack of the rocket-propelled grenade as it slammed into the helicopter—and the subsequent duller explosion as the chopper fell to earth.

 
 
Read more »

Texas Testament

A LIFETIME AGO A QUIET STRANGER passed through the author’s hometown and came away with a record of both personal and national importance

FOR HALF A CENTURY THE PICTURES HAD BEEN POPPING UP occasionally in books or magazines—razor-sharp blackand-white images of life in our little East Texas farm town in the thirties. The photos were usually captionless, the subjects identified merely by occupation—farmer, merchant, teacher, banker—but in San Augustine (population 3,026), where everyone always knew everybody else, recognition was immediate. Read more »

The Day Kennedy Was Shot

A routine chore for JFK’s official photographer became the most important assignment of his career. Much of his moving pictorial record appears here for the first time.

It was a typical motorcade. Cecil W. Stoughton had been in many like it. A forty-three-year-old veteran of the Signal Corps, Captain Stoughton had so impressed John F. Kennedy with pictures of his inauguration that the new President, through his military aide, appointed him his official photographer. In the course of thirty-four months, Stoughton had made more than eight thousand photographs of Kennedy and his family.Read more »