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Jim Calio
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Jim Calio is the former Life Magazine West Coast Bureau Chief. Before that he was a writer at Newsweek and People magazines in New York. In 1988 he produced a television movie based on a story he wrote for People about the 1985 TWA hijacking in the Middle East, during which a U.S. Navy diver was killed. The film was called "The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story," and it received five Emmy nominations. He lives in Los Angeles where he writes about politics and travel.

Entries by Jim Calio

Before the Fall of the Wall

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 3:07 PM

The Berlin Wall fell on November 9, 1989.

In 1964--25 years before the fall of the Wall--I was a 19-year-old college student making his first trip to Europe. I'd never been out of the United States. In fact, until I went away to college, I'd never been outside of Hartford,...

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Copenhagen by Bike Is Best

(4) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 11:04 AM

I saw Copenhagen by bicycle. It was easy, it was safe and it's the best way to get around the city.

Copenhagen is going green, and an estimated half of the city's 570,000 people now get to where they want to go by bicycle. You can see the city by...

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An Unknown American Heroine

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 4:59 PM

70 years ago the Allies were preparing to invade France on D-Day.

And 70 years ago, an American heroine was being born on the streets of Paris.

Her name was Virginia d'Albert-Lake. She was a schoolteacher from Florida who had always wanted to visit France. When she finally...

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Hollywood on the Hudson

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 1:27 PM

I suppose you could say that I slept with Jane Russell, but that wouldn't be entirely accurate. I did sleep in the Jane Russell Suite at the Warwick hotel in midtown Manhattan, but that's as close as I got to the real thing. Still, it was quite an experience as...

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A French Chateau Rises Again

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 10:12 AM

The French countryside is littered with historic castles, palaces and chateaux, the most famous of which is Versailles. But there is another chateau, Vaux Le Vicomte, that is not as well-known but figures prominently -- and tragically -- in the history of Versailles.

Vaux-le-Vicomte was the dream of Nicholas Fouquet....

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Lee Harvey Oswald's Other Guns

(45) Comments | Posted November 5, 2013 | 3:20 PM

"Wait right there," said Robert Oswald. "I've got something I want to show you." And with that, Oswald, the older brother by five years of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, disappeared into the pantry behind his kitchen in Wichita Falls, Texas.

A few minutes...

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How One Father Got His Son Out of a Gang

(28) Comments | Posted July 24, 2013 | 5:18 PM

This is a true story. Only the names have been changed.

When I met him in the early mid-1990s Jerry Wheeler was a refrigerator repair man in South Central Los Angeles (now called South L.A.). He was divorced from his wife and she had custody of their two children, Charlene...

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Nelson Mandela, A Long Way From Home

(0) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 3:47 PM

I am standing on the rock that Nelson Mandela says he slid down as a boy when he was tending his father's cattle in this small rural part of eastern South Africa. Mandela played stick wars with the other young boys of Qunu, and when they got bored they sat...

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One Mother's 'Dirty War'

(7) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 12:40 PM

The recent controversy about Pope Francis's actions during Argentina's so-called "dirty war" reminded me of an unusual woman I met many years ago in New York City.

Her name was Maria. It was sometime in the early 1980s. She was there to raise money and awareness for the "Mothers of...

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Memories Of Travel To Chile, Two Years After The Coup

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2012 | 8:00 AM

It was a long time ago, but...

Back in 1975, when I was traveling through South America, I decided to go to Santiago, Chile. I had been told that the country was beautiful, especially the area around the Pacific resort of Vina del Mar. I also knew that there had...

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Surf's Up, But Not For Me

(13) Comments | Posted October 19, 2012 | 8:00 AM

"Okay," said the voice on the phone. "Today is your lucky day. I'm going to get you out of Honolulu."

I knew the voice. It was my friend Harris. We had met by chance the day before at our hotel, the Kahala Mandarin Oriental. We were both there on business...

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Past Is Prelude In Japan

(1) Comments | Posted September 21, 2012 | 8:00 AM

In Tokyo, you can barely walk down the street in one of the outlying neighborhoods without seeing a temple or a shrine or some other evidence of the country's long and rich history.

This is also true of the new buildings going up. The Palace Hotel Tokyo was built on...

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Hearst's Hideaway In Manhattan

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2012 | 9:00 AM

The Warwick Hotel in midtown Manhattan has a rather risqué past, thanks to the likes of William Randolph Hearst and his longtime girlfriend, Marion Davies.

It was originally built in 1926 as a private residence (a.k.a. "love nest") for Davies, a sometime Ziegfeld girl who figured in Hearst's later...

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The Volga: A Russian Restaurant In Tokyo

(3) Comments | Posted August 24, 2012 | 8:00 AM

It happened when I was a young naval officer in 1969. I was stationed on an aircraft carrier out of San Diego. Overseas, one of our "home ports" was Yokosuka, a huge U.S. navy base 43 miles south of Tokyo. It was our last night in Japan before leaving for...

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Travel Pioneer Geoffrey Kent Speaks Out

(0) Comments | Posted July 31, 2012 | 4:15 PM

This year, the celebrated luxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) will celebrate its 50th anniversary. In April, A&K's peripatetic Founder and CEO, Geoffrey Kent, was inducted into the prestigious British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame.

Kent, who is 69 years old, maintains a hectic travel schedule, personally checking...

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Diamonds Are A Queen's Best Friend

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2012 | 10:30 AM

A flotilla of 1,000 boats will sail down the Thames River on June 3 to kick off the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, a three-day celebration to mark Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne. Only Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years, 216 days was longer. Crowds estimated in the millions...

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Leela Leads India's Luxury Hotel Boom

(6) Comments | Posted May 26, 2012 | 9:30 AM

In 1986 a Mumbai-based businessman named Capt. C. P. Krishnan Nair decided to start a hotel company. He named it Leela, after his wife. Nair, then 64 and at the age when most men think of retirement, had been a very successful exporter of Madras fabric during the 1950 and...

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Germany's Fairy Tale Railroad (PHOTOS)

(6) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 8:00 AM

I like to think of it as "The Little Engine That Does," an old black steam engine that hauls passenger cars up a steep mountain, only to return and do it again, time after time, year after year.

The place is northern Germany, and the train in question is called...

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Swimming At The Great Barrier Reef, At Last

(0) Comments | Posted April 28, 2012 | 9:00 AM

Lying facedown in the water, my mask slightly foggy and the snorkel bobbing above my head, I am looking for fish. I'm somewhere out on the Great Barrier Reef, having flown out there from Hayman Island, a private resort in the Whitsunday islands. The trip took about 45 minutes on...

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Soweto By Bike (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted March 21, 2012 | 8:00 AM

The answer to the first question is, yes, Soweto is where they had all those riots. But the answer to your second question is no, Soweto is far less dangerous than you think, especially now that tourism has begun to flourish.

In the last few years, Soweto, like many...

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