ITS NOT A DREAM, I'M REALLY HERE

 

 

 

Cu-Chi, Saturday, March 15, 6:00 pm:

 

Chao Ba!Iowe youalong letter after all that's happened so here goes.

First, I was so happy to talk to you today even though whatI said must not have made much sense at all.It was a miracle that I was able to talk to you at all.Lastnight, beforethe movie, I went over to the MARS station (Military Assistance Radio Service) to see whatit wasallabout. They hadasign posted that there was no contact with the States at that time but maybe at 10:00 pm thatnight(last night).So after the movie I went back over to see if they were busy or not.I wanted to tell you not to worryabout mebecauseIwas the Generals barber and wasn't suffering too much except that Idon'tgetanymail.Well,there were4-5 guys waiting so I went back to my hootch and wrote to you.Today I started my new job and by noonIhadcut aboutl0headsand made$6.50 in tips, so I felt pretty good.At lunch, I went over to thePXand bought mea thermosto keep ice water in.On the way back from the PX I was going down the side road back to thebarbershopto avoidsomegookthatasked me to get cigarettes for him, when I passed right by the MARS station, so I stopped in to seeif they had made contact.The guy walked out and asked me what number I wanted, showed me to a booth and thereyou were.Ihadso much I wanted to tell you but when I heard your voice my mind wentblank.Youdothatto meyou know!You must cast a spell on me.

Anyway,Itold some of the officers as I cut they're hair and they said that they have been waitingformonths tocall but have never been able to catch them.The good Lord is still taking care of #1.

Tomorrow I'll go tochurchandcountmy blessings: first,thatIcame here to HQ because of my scores on the Army tests; secondly, that I cancut hair which keptme from going to a combat unit; and thirdly, that my tip money will help us getoutofdebtbeforeIcome home;and fourthly,thatI'm withaunitthat might be moving to Hawaii this summer.I guess that willcoveroneSunday's worth.The Lordmustneed me for something important, he sure looks out for us both.ButmeespeciallybecauseI found you and married you.

Now for the interesting part.The PX sells:

Chinaware:†††††††††††† Fukagawa,Noritake,Seyei,Soma (About $23-26 for service for 8 and customs free)

Lacquer ware:††††††† All kinds

Korean Brassware

Silk Paintings

Pearls:††††††† Cultured by Maruwa, Furuya, and Mikimoto

 

And lots of other things but I couldn't getacatalog tosend you,sorry.Youcango and look at the one you want and tell meordo you wantmetojust pickout something?Imade over $10 in tips today alone so it won't be any financial burden ifIsend youaserviceevery week.Servicesfor12are also available but about twice the price.I searched and searched for a gift for youthe otherdaybutnothing wasgoodenough for you except a diamond ringIsawfor$700orso.Maybelater.But meantime I'll think of something.

So mypreciousdon't worry about your fast shrinking husband.He's got it prettyeasy.Theshowerisright outsidemydoorandthemess hall right across from the barbershop.I'll take some picturesandsend younext week.

Meanwhile,writeto me.Ireally miss all those "I love You's" that you always send.

Oh yes, if you get a chance call 83l-7060 and tellthe Honor Guardthat I'm the General's barber in the 25th Div. They ought to get a good laugh out of that.

That's about all fornow.Staylooseandsay your prayers.Your husband thinks of you constantly.

p.s.†††††††† Hi Jonette and Nikki

p.s.s.I need a Photostat of Nikki's birth certificate.

p.s.s.s.Here'ssomefunny money (script)They won't let us have any greenbacks.

 

Me and Lan Ngan, my hootch maid.She washed my uniforms

And shined my shoes besides sweeping out the shop and all

For only $1.00 a day and an occasional box of Tide.

 

 

Cu-Chi, Sunday, March 16, 7:30 pm:

 

My first Sunday in Vietnam.Tomorrow marks the end of myfirst weekhere and it seems like itís been an eternity already.I guess I'll be here for awhile since my haircuts aren'ttoo bad but I'm not as fast as the other barber so I don't cut as many people as he did.It'snotbad though. Imade $l6 in tips in a day and a half.I ought to be able to send you more each month if this keeps up.Thisisthe first hobbythat paid off.The old barber went to Saigon to buy some barber equipment but couldn't find anyso he's leaving his.Ishould takeover the barber hootch next week sometime.Please send me a big pictureof youthree girlsto hang on my wall near the barber stool to remind me of why I don't wantto goto thefield.Ithinkthis barberjobisgoing to be awful hard on me, mentally, and on my feet physically.Butforloveand moneyI'lldo anything.

It'sraining hereright now.Thefirst in several months and wow does it come down.Thisplaceturnedfrom dust bowlto mud pie.I could have gone outside and taken a bar of soap and showered it was coming down so hard.

I wenttochurchthisafternoon(the barbergets Sundayafternoon of f)and mettherestof the members around here.There were about 35-40 guys there so we had a goodmeeting.Ihavetogoseeabout becoming a home teaching district leader tonight.It was niceto beable togotochurch and take the sacrament here in the middle of all this conflict.I felt like giving a talktodaybut didn't for the sake of harmony.

My watchstoppedtonight at6:55 pm for no reason. I'll have to go get it fixed tomorrow.

Oh yes, any package sent regular mail up to 5 lbsgoes airmailto Vietnam anyway and from 5-30 lbs packages go space available.So keepthem smalland many.Idon't really need much right now but lots of love and prayers."

 

Cu-Chi, Monday, March 17, 9:00 pm:

 

Hithereyou all!Lonely Jake the barber here.Well I've been here a week now butitseemslikea year.At leastthedaygoesfast while I'm cutting hair.I don't get any breaks except for lunch butIstillonly work8 hoursaday.That'salittle better that the 24 hours a day in the field.I made $ll.40 in tips today so it wasn't atotalloss.IfIkeep this up we might be able to get out of debtsomeday.Istill haven'tspentanyofmy combat payyet.Ijust don't buy anything but stationary and soda.

Ahh - a coolbreezejustcameblowing throughthe door.Ijusttookashower and am laying here on my bed writing while lounging in myshorts.TheonlyreasonI wearshortsisbecause of modesty.There aren't too many people here that really care anyway.

Off in the distance some bigartilleryisgoing off andaroundthe perimeter flares are floating down here and there, but since Igot hereeverything hasquieted way down.Theonly wayI could get hurt is if the VC overrun Cu-Chi, which isn't very likely with the big airbasesso near,orifa mortar round lands right on top of me while I'm asleep.Otherwise I'm safer thanonthefreeway but not close enough to come home nights.

You would enjoy it here right now.It's just cooling off after a very hot, humid day.The gentlebreezeisso refreshingandthestarsarebrightoverhead and the crickets are chirping here and thereamong the hootches.It'sthattimeofthe evening when you just lay down and look up at the stars and thinkof home,glad toforget about the toils of the day.

Well,I'vejust been talking to a LRRP (pronounced Lurp - for Long Range Recon Patrol)and he'stelling me aboutsomeofhis missions.It sounds like a dangerously exciting thing but not for me at the present time.

p.s.Send me some hair clipper oil (2 cans) when you geta chance.

(Editorsnote:The shower room had showerheads around the outside walls fed by a pipe from a large water tank onthe roof.Eachnighta big water truck would come from the water purification plant and fillup thetank.Thetank waspainted blacksothe sun would heat the water in the tank to warm by the end of the day.If yougottheretoo lateinthe evening and the water was all gone, you had to wait until about midnight for a cold shower or takeaspit bath.Thethoughtofgoingto bedcovered with other peopleís hair forced me into many spitbaths.Ikepta5-gallon watercanin my shop and could shower on my front porch with those 5 gallons in a pinch.)

 

Homepage†††† Continue