Tom Bock

2011 by Author

Tom, please CONTACT US.

I was stationed in Trabzon from March of 1966 through June, 1967, and went back in '72 as a civilian visitor. I then studied (further) Russian and Turkish in college. I plan to visit Turkey again. The interesting thing is that some of the skills, particularly languages, have come in handy more in the past 5 years then in the preceding 25. Such is the nature of life. While at Trabzon, I tried to make the most of my stay. While most GIs went into town once or twice, and said things like, "This place sucks! - The Turks suck! No chicks!, etc.," I tried to learn the language and a little bit about the country. It certainly enhanced my stay and made interesting what could have been dreadful. I certainly look back fondly at my days with Tuslog!!

Added 5/9/2007:

Many 'Trabzonites' will recall that the Sancta Maria Church, in downtown Trabzon, was a welcoming oasis for GI's, Peace Corps Volunteers, CARE workers, and various other vagabonds and wayward travellers from the early 1960's through 1970, when the base closed.

The church was run for many years by Terenzio (Tarcisio) Succi, who subsequently left the priesthood, got married, had a son, and settled in Novallara, Italy, not far from Milan.

When I recently found out that he is alive and well - in his mid-70's - I decided I just had to visit, which I recently did. We had a great time, talking about old times and drinking wine and eating pasta, which is what we mostly did back then! Feel free to post as many of the photos as you can/wish too. (The story of the Russian bell is that it was used on the Base during the early days - late 50's-early 60's - and was (ahem) retrieved when the Base closed.. Note the Russian inscription!)

Click photos to enlarge
Brother Benigno and Terenzio (Tarcisio) Succi

Brother Benigno and Terenzio Succi, 2007

  Marcello and Terenzio (Tom Bock in background)

Marcello and Terenzio with Tom Bock in background.

The Russian Bell from the Trabzon Base

Russian Bell from Trabzon Base.

  Terenzio in his hometown in Italy

Terenzio on the street of
his current hometown in Italy.

An Update:  September 9, 2007:

Perhaps of interest to readers, I thought this is an interesting historical footnote:

While visiting Terenzio Succi, our local priest in Trabzon back in the 1960s, this past spring, we took a trip to Terenzio's (and Luciano Pavarotti's) ancestral home - Modena, Italy. As we strolled through this ancient town, we happened upon Monsignor Rocci, an old friend of Terenzio's and the current bishop of the Modena region. As I write this, it is September 8th, and today was the funeral for Maestro Pavarotti, in Modena. Tens of thousands crowded into the area around the Duomo in Modena. The service was led by none othe@comcast.netgnor Rocci.

Tom, please CONTACT US

Return to Website Home Page