Dreaming of You

Our FDC bunker at Buell 3 had wood ammo box lumber walls and we covered them with pictures from Playboy Magazine. Pictures from Playboy were a fantasy break in our all male isolation. I pictured celebrating romantic nights in San Francisco with one of them as my welcome home from Vietnam. No such luck. These 1968 pictures are very tame compared with current Playboy centerfolds.

My late friend Thelma Clark sent a paperback book “The Underground Gourmets Guide to San Francisco” four months before my return to the US and I memorized it. After being discharged from active duty with the Army, in Oakland, I ate my way through San Francisco during five days with the book as my guide. The reward for my gluttony was outgrowing six custom tailored suits, tailored in Hong Kong using measurements taken of the Vietnam-sized me. It took two weeks in the states for my weight to expand from 145 to 165 and the suits no longer fit. Custom made clothing salesmen in Tay Ninh base camp would construct shirts, shoes, pants, jackets, suits, anything  you wanted at minimal cost when compared with off the rack prices at home. Each suit cost from $20 to $36 in Army script. The bills looked like “Monopoly” money but everyone in Vietnam accepted it.

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