By Deborah Spohr Martins (ACS)
We were all sitting at the dinning room table having dinner, my Mom , Dad , brother, sister and my self,when the bomb went off and shook our house windows. My father who was the assistant manager of ESSO Oil Company,(he was a civilian and always seemed to know what was going on and used to brag that he kept the war going by supplying the military with all their oil) got up from the dinner table and calmly said, “There goes the Theater. I knew it would be the next place to go. I warned General Westmoreland.”
My Dad, Henry Spohr, then got on his little lambretta and went to the theater to see the devastation and then he went to the hospital to give blood. He had a very rare kind of blood.
These events never seemed to be a surprise to him. Perhaps his service as a commander of a submarine during WWII prepared him for all this.
My mother always wondered if he wasn’t an FBI (a spoof as she called it) agent during the Vietnam war because he always knew what was going on and had frequent meetings with the generals. He often took unexpected trips back to the USA and Geneva Switzerland.
We lived a very short distance from MACV head quarters and not far from the Westmoreland’s. In fact I remember going over to the Westmoreland’s home to watch movies! I was 12 years old at the time so I have a pretty good memory of all of this. Movies were a big deal in those days as we did not have TV in Vietnam. We listened to the radio and my mother, in the evenings, always read classical novels out loud to us.
I remember going to the American military base with my father to see movies and we went bowling!! Other than the Circle Sportif, skiing on the Saigon River and the market place was the entertainment for us.
For a short vacation I remember taking a short trip, on a military plane. I had never been on a military plane before!, I went with a friend of mine, Luana Reed and her family. We flew to Nha Trang on the ocean.
What a beautiful place that was with beautiful beaches and scuba diving!! I think we stayed in a small cabin on the edge of the ocean. I remember hearing the sound of the waves all night long!