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Jim Calio
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

Making Kids Safe Is Just Ducky

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 11:55 AM

How do you know that the toys and other products you buy for your kids are safe? You probably don't since good information is hard to come by, but Joshua Kasteler and Safe Ducky can help you find out with one simple test.

Kasteler, 40, spent several years in Asia...

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Secretariat's Hair

(23) Comments | Posted May 8, 2015 | 9:27 AM

"Here, hold the horse," said the aging groom. "I'll be right back." And with that, he handed me the lead rope attached to the halter of Secretariat, perhaps the greatest racehorse of all time, winner of the Triple Crown in 1973. Who can forget his 31-length victory in the Belmont...

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An Old Soldier Says No

(6) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 10:28 AM

It was a rainy day in Hanoi, and I was visiting Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum, a kind of smaller version of Mao Tse Tung's in Beijing. The tour buses were pulling up and disgorging pilgrims to the site, never mind the bad weather. There was some partial shelter along one...

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The Far Side of Paradise

(0) Comments | Posted January 17, 2015 | 11:06 AM

One of the things I like best about Hana is that there is nothing to do. This is intentional on my part. It's a small town on the far eastern end of Maui, with one general store and not much else. But for us city folk who are wedded to...

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Before the Fall of the Wall

(0) Comments | Posted October 22, 2014 | 2:07 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 | 10:04 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 | 3:59 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 | 12:27 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 | 9:12 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 | 2:20 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 | 4:18 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 | 2:47 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 | 11:40 AM

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 | 7:00 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 | 7:00 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 | 7:00 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 | 8:00 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 | 7:00 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 | 3:15 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 | 9:30 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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