Sunday, May 29, 2011

Diary Entry 97: Saigon, Friday Night, 3 December 1965

                                                            Friday Night, 3 December 1965

Eating supper as this is written. Tonight am having peanut butter, crackers, potted meat, and canned pork and beans. The mess halls just don’t stay open long enough for those of us who really work over here. Glad we have a commissary where you can buy up a store just to take care of contingencies like this.

Am busy with a new project. Mr. Paul Niederman from Washington (a government lawyer) is over here to negotiate a contract for coastal shipping and certain other services. I’ve been designated as the project officer for MACV to oversee this negotiation. Inasmuch as we (MACV and Mr. Niederman) must make daily reports to Mr. McNamara on progress on the contract, there is a good bit of pressure placed on me. And this is my first experience with contracting (and the amount of cost of the contract
staggers the imagination)!

If this thing comes off like General Crowley wants, I’ll be reassigned to other duties as Special Assistant to the J-4. Being inexperienced in these matters, I don’t know whether I am competent enough to see it through to a successful conclusion. All I can do is try, and since 1 p.m. until 11 p.m. have been busy trying to explain just what our situation is to the Washington lawyer who has spent a lifetime in contracting work. Pretty tough competition.

Why do I work and push myself so hard? Once upon a time I read a book titled "What Makes Sammy Run" and it was about a movie producer who pushed himself until he wore himself down. Kind of feel like I’m Sammy tonight. Still no news from Grady. He isn’t back from Hawaii yet, and I wonder if he is ever going to come back.

This weekend I’m going to set up my Christmas tree and decorate it. Want to get into the spirit of things.

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