On The Jazz
On The Jazz Newsletter: Volume 2 Issue N°21

Date: July 16, 1996
Author: Nicole Pellegrini
Download: otjv02i21.zip

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The totally unofficial A-Team electronic mail newsletter
***** Now in it's second year of publication !! *****


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Administrivia: Nicole Pellegrini
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Also use that address if you wish to change your subscription status to receive the newsletters only (or go from newsletter to news + reflector).

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*Home of the On the Jazz Newsletter Archives**
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DATE:   July 16, 1996
ISSUE:  21
VOLUME: 2
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Howdy everyone,

Well, this will be a reasonably brief newsletter this week, thanks to a low volume of news and several other projects that have been eating up my time. One of them I'm proud to announce you can now check out, and that's the first version of the first ever

A-TEAM FAQ LIST!

...Which now has a home on the web at
http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~pellegri/faq.html

Please, check it out and let me know what you think, point out any glaring errors (I'm sure they are in there), errors in the html coding and links, missing questions, etc. etc. Input will be greatly appreciated!

One bit of news I have to report is that Stephen J. Cannell's first novel, "The Plan," is now available in paperback, and I've also seen the hardcover version of his second novel "Final Victim" in bookstores as well. I will post a review of "The Plan" once I finish reading it - so far it seems like a lot of fun.

For those of you who have been waiting for the A-Team "Vans" I mentioned a while back - I was able to order 12 of them. I need to check out how many people requested them from me, and then see how many requests I can fill (based on first responses getting first priority, one van per person unless I end up having extras.) I should hopefully have the vans in my possession within a week or so from now.
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STORY TIME

This is a nifty little piece I recently got permission to reprint from the author, and is nice in that it's a Hannibal-focused piece, which I don't think we've had a lot of here before. Next issue I'll have another piece from Rita for you all to enjoy as well.
-----
Somethin' Lost
by Rita Ractliffe (typos care of Sockii)
(Originally published in "Everything But the Kitchen Sink 5," Markalaine Press)

Christmas at Maggie's was always a special time. The guys felt a warm glow with her; it made up somewhat for the families they didn't have. Hannibal always seemed to perk up more this time of year when he could spend it with her.

The Christmas eve party was going full blast; after their outrageously huge dinner, the boys were toasting everything in sight with Maggie's potent eggnog brew. She'd grinned evilly when asked about its strength. "Don't worry. You're not driving *anywhere* tonight, boys, so enjoy..." giving Hannibal a particularly meaningful glance. Dinner was superb and the vibes couldn't have been more mellow and loving...yet Hannibal felt an unease gnawing away at him and had been vacant all evening.

Finally, he slipped out the back door into the crisp frosty air, rapidly zipping his down jacket as he did so. The snow lay on the ground, glistening in the full, silvery light of the rare Christmas "blue" moon. He wasn't quite sure what was nagging at him, but he knew he had to answer it. As he trudged away from the back of the old house, crunching the icy carpet beneath him and being pulled relentlessly toward the dark woods, he felt the feeling grow stronger and stronger within him.
                       *     *     *
Face was the first to notice Hannibal's absence. He looked around and then checked with everybody, to see whether his commander had said anything to anyone. He then noticed Hannibal's coat was gone. Wondering why the hell his friend would leave the cozy warmth of the house to face the bitter cold outside, he grabbed his own coat and followed suit quietly.
                       *     *     *
Hannibal leaned against a rickety fence, looking outward over the peaceful valley below him, yet seeing none of it. His mind was now many miles and many years away from this place...

He saw the small, ramshackle huts, the sturdy people bundled up in their winter rags. He adjusted the small, scraggly pine tree on his shoulder and then continued his journey down the dirty slush road into the village. He was met by many people, waving, saying hello, or shyly watching his arrival from behind their doorposts. The young lieutenant grinned at all of them. He was searching for his favorite however - young Kim, the brightest one of the lot, the with with the most potential and biggest smile. He was going to teach them how to make Christmas "wreaths" tonight. Well, as much "wreath" as you could hope for in Korea in the winter. Getting the woebegone little Christmas tree had been a real test of ingenuity, but Lt. Smith was a master of that. The homemade 'ornaments' would win no awards in metro Detroit, but they would win the hearts and smiles of a few children here.

His squad mates had thought he was mad - to pass on a perfectly good leave, replete with booze and broads, to come down here! Hannibal had shrugged off their initial solicitous inquiries and then their later racous innuendos.

Hannibal shook his head. The snow had begun to fall again, and he was surprised to see a light dusting of white on his jacket. He then noticed with surprise that Face was standing a few feet away from him, watching him intently.

"Face...how long have you been standing there?" he asked lamely.

"Probably as long as you have, Colonel. You okay, Hannibal?" The concern was evident in his eyes.

Smith looked at his younger cohort cautiously for a long moment. "Yeah, Face. Just had some rememberin' to do of...other...Christmases." His eyes grew a bit more vacant.

"Not the best ones, I would guess, judging from you expression," Peck ventured cautiously.

Hannibal smiled thinly. "No...not what you'd call outstanding memories." He looked back out at the sea of sparkling ice crystals carpeted before him, his gaze wnadering again.

"You wanna talk about it, Hannibal? Or better if I leave?"

Smith didn't say anything for a long moment, then it slowly began unspooling. "Korea, Face. 1952. Winter. Cold as hell...this is warm, believe me, compared to that. A bunch of villagers, new Christian converts who were trying to eke out what living they could in th middle of both war and bitter winter. I took whatever I could from the camp over to them...to help out."

Face smiled bittersweetly to himself. How like Hannibal...

"Well, for this trip I had managed to requisition a Christmas tree from Manila, and was taking it to them. There was one kid especially, name of Kim," Hannibal's eyes sparkled at the memory, "that I really enjoyed watching growing up. Real dynamite go-getter - you know the type." He looked at Face and smiled softly. "But when I got there, Kim wasn't around anywhere. His mom said he'd gone out earlier to watch for me. I didn't worry too much at first, but as it got later and colder, and the snow started up again, we all decided something was real wrong, and went to look for him. Mosta' the night, and we found zip. I had to go back to the base, couldn't stay any longer. They sent a runner to me the next afternoon...they found him." Hannibal's throat tightened as he bowed his head. "Poor little guy had frozen to death. They found him next to a pine scrub, with a knotted branch in his hand. I'd tried for weeks to show the kids how to weave pine twigs for a wreath. I guess he finally got the hang of it and wanted to be the first to show me."

Face said nothing; what words were there? Here was yet another small building block in Smith's makeup - another small tragedy he'd built his character off if.

"That was the hell of it. He'd known his friend was coming and couldn't wait to surprise him with his latest accomplishment. Unfortunately, he got lost in the snow and finally lay down to catch a quick nap while waitin' ...hadta be...Kim was too smart to just lay down in the snow...maybe he was hurt? We'll never know....but they found him, clutching one of those silly pine things I'd made for them. I just never quite got over it, I guess. And every so often, at Christmas, on a snowy night...I'll remember Kim, and have to come out and look for him...maybe this time I'll be in time...Silly, huh?" Hannibal raised glistening eyes to Face, the deprecating tone not able to disguise the emotion there.
No, Colonel, not silly at all.// Fighting the catch inh is voice, Face replied, "Well, then, if that's what you gotta do, Colonel, then let's do it. Maybe this time you *will* find him," he ended, thinking of the two tormented souls perhaps finally touching and making their peace.

Smith's return gaze was mixed; not entirely sure how much Face might be playing him or humoring the liquor they'd all drunk so copiously earlier. But after a moment of intense scrutiny, he decided Face was sincere. He nodded to one side and then headed off again, looking to either side of the forest, looking for that small huddled body that had waited for him so long ago.
                       *     *     *
Face saw it first. A small huddled lump, off the beaten trail by only a few feet. "Hannibal..." his voice quavered as a definite chill ran up his back. Smith stopped his striding and looked over to where the kid was pointing. He stood there, almost as if frozen in time, looking at the sight. Face got his senses back first, went bounding over to the lump. It was a small kid, looked to be about 4-5 years old; probably trying to walk home, got lost, sat down for awhile to rest, and fell asleep. Hannibal and Face got there simultaneously, although it was Smith's powerful arms that swept the child up. He began to run, with a pounding, rhythmic cadence; somehow instinctively knowing where Maggie's house was. It was all Face could do to keep up with him. They rushed through the increasingly obscure night, racing him back to Maggie for revival.

She heard them coming as they bounded onto the porch, and opened the door wide, not expecting what she saw. "Maggie, quick! Kid's been out in the snow...what do we need to do?" Hannibal's voice held a strident edge that surprised her. She took the small bundle from his arms, inwrapped the knitted scarf from around its head and exclaimed, "Why Kim James! What in the hell was he doing out in all that?!" Face did a doubletake at the name; Hannibal never noticed in his concern for the child. She took him into the surgery and lay him down on the exam table. After what seemed like an eternity to the worried Colonel, the child began to move, moaning fretfully. Maggie looked at Hannibal with liquid eyes. "He's going to be fine, Hannibal. Probably more scared than anything. You want to stay here with him while I call his parents?" she asked, sensing some bond here she didn't understand. Hannibal nodded and took the toddler's small hand in his own large one.

Face went with Maggie as she called the distraught parents. They had been beside themselves with worry, and had no idea of where to even begin looking for their small person. Maggie hung up on their feverent promise to set new land records getting to her surgery.

As she and Face went back into the exam room, Maggie voiced her puzzlement out loud. "What I don't understand is Hannibal's need to go outside then - at that particular moment. What complelled him?"

As she entered the room she was met by Hannibal's enigmatic eyes and Mona Lisa smile. "Something was lost, Maggie...and now it's found." He wouldn't say another word, returning his attention to the child. Maggie was left visibly wondering. Face ventured one comment. "Some day, maybe, he'll be able to tell you, Maggie. But not tonight. I think we just had ourselves a special Christmas delivery here...a little overdue." Face smile enigmatically, honoring Hannibal's reticence with his own respectful silence.

<The End>
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TRIVIA TIME

Last issue's question was:

>What was the name of the rock star the Team was protecting in the episode
>"There Goes the Neighborhood", and for bonus points name one of her albums.

Surprisingly a few people actually remembered this one! Chris Bender was the first one to remember that the rock star's name was Stevi Faith, and one of her albums was entitled "Ten Cent Virgin." Another one of her albums was called "Keep the Faith." Laura Michaels also got in with the correct answer on this one as well.

This issue's question is:
>What did Hannibal call his "hobo" disguise character, which he used with some
>resulting confusion in the episode "The Road to Hope"?
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'ZINE REVIEW

Finally this issue, a review of the A-Team fanzine

TALES FROM TAT 3 (63 pages)

Currently available from: Domino Press. Price: $9.00 (6 US, Can), 4.25
UK, 5(Europe/Surface), 6.50(Australia/Japan-Air).

Methods of payment accepted are US CASH, checks/postal orders in Sterling only payable to Donna Foster, address: Domino Press c/o 30 Longwick, Langdon Hills, Essex, SS16 5UG, England.

The highlight of this 'zine is the opening piece, "Bite," by Jan Harley, an author whose work I have admired in other 'zines before (including 'The Agony Column 1', reviewed here previously.) This 14-page story starts out with the hoary old horror-show premise of the Team spending the night at a strange house during a storm with some rather unusual hosts. However, the story quickly rises above the cliched premise with some outstanding and totally in-character dialogue, and then some very well-written and surprising plot-twists. Definitely not a story to be missed, it definitely had me going and reading eagerly to the very last page.

The rest of the 'zine in general does not live up to the promise of the opening story, except perhaps for the short hurt/comfort story "To Heal a Dream" by Theresa Evans (which has appeared in two other 'zines, "Suffering Heroes" and "Heroes' Plight") and "A Taxing Affair," a rather humorous piece about Face having problems with the British Tax Agency. "Last Chance," an alternative-universe A-Team story by Jan Harley is also very good but left me wanting it to be a much longer piece so I could find out what happened next. The longest entry in this issue, "Adventures in Oz," involves some shady business practices in Australia and a kidnapped nurse from the VA Hospital, and is too short on good dialogue and too long on uninspired narrative to keep the reader's interest in finding out what happens next. A bit of a dud in my book.

Overall, a bit spotty but not bad. Not a "must" by for a casual 'zine collector, but if you have the spare change it's pretty much worth the admission price for "Bite" alone.
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Guess that's all for this time. Until later, stay tuned and stay on the jazz!

nicole

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