Monday, April 11, 2011

Diary Entry 62: Saigon, Monday Night, 20 September 1965

                                                                                                    Monday Night, 20 September 1965

Things are quiet here, and sometimes I think the war is settling down to something reasonable.  Colonel [Jack] Tooley, the commander of the [MACV] Traffic Management Agency, is moving ahead fast, and it looks like we will be transferring some of our functions over to him rather early.  Be glad to get rid of all my problems.  But knowing myself, I’ll probably miss those problems when they are gone.  They keep me busy and working, and realistically speaking, I’ve always liked to keep busy.  If they put me too far out of business, I’ll just have to shop around and find a TC battalion to command.

I have only a single room, but it is very spacious, air conditioned, and has a private bath, private porch facing out on Ham Nghi Street, picture window all across the front and is bright and cheerful.  I like it much better than the other BOQ.  The floor plan looks like this:

Clark drew in his diary this diagram of the floor plan of his room, Room 406, Vinh Loi BOQ, 129-131 Ham Nghi Boulevard, Saigon, South Vietnam, 20 September 1965 (Image courtesy Richard P. Clark, Jr. collection).

The draperies across the windows are a blue shantung silk with Asian scenes woven in.  The furniture is blonde.  The walls are a pale green (I don’t like that color on the wall) the bath is pink tile and blue paint, and the floor of the bedroom is blue and white tile.  My room overlooks one of the busiest streets in Saigon, and I like to sit out on the porch at night and watch the traffic go by.  It’s kinda funny to be able to sit on the porch with a comfortable room at my back and hear artillery firing just a few miles away, watch flares being dropped on the outskirts of the city, and see the tracers fire at Nha Be.  It’s a strange war.

Will sure be glad when my tour is over and I can come back home, although am still put out about the proposed assignment to DCSLOG in Washington.  Have not yet made up my mind as to how I’m going to get them to change their minds, but I’ll figure out a way if there is one!

Another conference is being held in Hawaii at the end of this month, and I was again hoping to go but was not among the few chosen from J-4.  Lieutenant colonels have to make way for the full colonels on conferences like these!  The conference probably isn’t a good deal, as there is much work to be done.  But I’d kinda hoped to get away from here for a few days to a place where you can relax without wondering if someone is going to set off a bomb next to you.

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