People from the past

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Long Binh 1967-1968

 People from the past

Newport 1967-68

Convoys 1967-1968

Tanks 1967 - 1968

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Barge site south of Long Binh

Just a few thoughts

All my Army 1867-68 Vietnam Photos

Map of TC Hill


People from the past (1968)
There were so many people I met in Vietnam in 1967 - 1969. I wish I had gotten names, addresses and ID numbers. Mr Thuy, from Ho Chi Minh City Child Welfare Foundation said that with a name and address you can find almost anyone from then.
This is a very long shot but if you should happen to know any of these people I would really like to write to them.

Nguyen Thi Hue
Hue was our house girl in Long Binh. She was such a sweet person. A woman named Lang worked with her however I do not have a picture of her.
Hue at the door of our hutch. It was a steel building on a concrete slab.
After working for us for a while Hue went to work as a barber. This is outside the shop.
Hue's Husband
I remember being invited over to her house one day to meet her husband. We drank beer over ice and ate dried octapus. Her husband and I went over to Long Binh to get some of that cheap PX beer and cigarettes.
Nguyen Thi Huong
Huong lived in a pink house behind the Saigon Port Building on Hung Dieu street. She had me over for dinner once or twice. She was so sweet and gentle and even though I love her I came home and tried to live up to the expectations of all those who had no expectations for me.

Lessons learned.

I am not positive about Huong's first name. There are several that sound similar and I never saw it written. It could have been Han or Hung.
Lang worked out by area 208 near the ammo dump. One day I was delivering an APC from Newport to Long Binh. As I pulled out of the gate at Newport I saw her waiting for a bus. I asked her if she wanted a ride. She said yes and I helped her up on top. I drove her to her door in Bien Hoa. Being chauffeured home in an APC caused a lot of excitement with her friends. It was a fun day.
House Girls
These are two house girls that we had after Hue left. I forget their names but I am sure one is Lang, but not the Lang from area 208 and not the Lang that worked with Hue.
Mother and son
Our house girl with her son.
Tan Cang Bar
I wish I could remember her name. In 1968 she worked at the Tan Cang bar in Saigon. The bar was across the street from K docks at 58 Trinh Minh Street
Wrecker Crew
We knew them only as Papa San and Baby San. Papa drove the Philco Ford Wrecker and Baby was his assistant. They were fun people. We would often see them when we were at K Docks.

I did not write this till a few years ago. I have thought of the incident and of her often during the 32 years since it happened.

I never even knew her name

It was the fall of 1969 and I was back in Vietnam, a civilian. On my own with no one to answer to and no where I could not go. I had an apartment in the Saigon Port Building, on Hoang Dieu street, two blocks from "K" docks. "K" docks was a place where I had spent a lot of time a year earlier when I was in the army. I had also spent a lot of time in the bars across the street from the docks. The Saigon Port Building was a relatively nice place. In the building were several army officers, a few families and a number of ladies of the evening. One of the young ladies befriended me and I used to go up and use her shower, as mine had a very poor water flow. She invited me up to have dinner with her once in a while. Sometimes I would just go up and we would talk or watch TV, which was all in Vietnamese and she would explain the stories to me. She was a delightful person and I enjoyed her company a lot. It was interesting that since the bathroom had no door there was no privacy at shower time. It was even more interesting that there was never a need for privacy and there was no awkwardness in those times.

One evening I was down in my room reading a book. There was a knock at the door. The Girl from upstairs and another girl came in. The girl from upstairs explained that her friend was visiting when a customer had arrived. It was after curfew and her friend could not go home, could she stay with me for the night. I said that would be fine. She and her friend both thanked me and she left. Her friend came in and sat on the bed. We spoke little as I was near the end of a chapter and it was getting dark. As I continued reading she undressed and got in bed. I finished the chapter, put the book down, and closed the shutters. I put my feet up, slouched down in the chair, and said good night. She asked "do you not wish to sleep here"? I said that's all right you may have the bed. I am fine here. She said "no, I do not want you to have to sleep in the chair, come here." I said "I don't have pajamas". She giggled and said "that is all right". I went over and undressed and lifted the covers. She was so pretty and had an exquisite figure. Her hair was long, black and shiny. Her eyes were so bright and so dark that I felt as though she could see right through me. Getting into bed I held her and ran my hand over her side and back. Holding her close we hugged and fell asleep in one another's arms. In the morning I was awakened by the feel of the bed moving. I turned and looked, she was sitting on the end of the bed just getting her socks and shoes on. She was all smiles and so pretty. She got up and said thank you. I said you are quite welcome. With a good bye that was lyrical she was out the door and gone. I lay in bed just thinking about her. Yesterday morning I did not know she existed. She was so pretty, so soft and warm. She came into my life, there was a moment of such closeness and beauty and she was gone.

I got up and went out. I spent most of the day around town. Coming back I was on Doung Nguyen street, having just crossed the bridge over the Ben Nghe Canal. As I passed a restaurant, that I had passed twice a day since I arrived in Saigon, I was aware of a commotion. I looked in and it was she. She was talking a mile a minute, pointing at me and gathering the other waitresses, cooks and customers. Soon everyone was listening and looking at me. They came at me like a mob and pulled me in. Seating me at a table. Everyone in the place was now part of the conversation, except me, who did not speak the language. They were all pointing and smiling and touching. Then the food arrived. They wanted me to try everything. There were a few who were not initially smiling but the others would talk to them and explain and they too would smile. I can only guess that the conversation was about the night before and what had happened and what had not happen. They would not let me go and since I had no where to go anyway I had a most enjoyable afternoon. I did not wish to get up, leave and offend anyone. Eventually I was able to excuse myself and be on my way.

In the days and weeks after that, whenever I passed the restaurant I would look in, but I was never to see her again. At times people on the street would come by and touch me, and start talking, to me or to the person they were with. It is like Walt Whitman said. "When you pull on the smallest blade of grass you will find it's connected to everything else in the universe."

It was one of the wonderful things that happened to me in that beautiful country filled with beautiful people. As time passed I realized that I was in love with her, and I never even knew her name.

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I think of her now

I think of her now
on this summer day
with her eyes so dark
and her soft gentle way

The time that we had
a moment we shared
in a place filled with chaos
where few even cared

A time filled with love
while outside the door
a world filled with anger
in the midst of a war

A night of shelter
a safe place to rest
and then in the morning
she smiled
and she left

I think of her now
on this summer day
that was so long ago
and so far away

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