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THE ORDINARY LIFE OF AMERICANS IN SAIGON – September 27, 1964

Submitted by Bruce Thomas (ACS)

I just encountered an interesting late-1964 New York Times article about Americans in Saigon that begins with remarks about our school — The ‘Ordinary Life’ of Americans in Saigon.

7 comments to THE ORDINARY LIFE OF AMERICANS IN SAIGON – September 27, 1964

  • Gene (Joe) Weinbeck

    Thanks for sharing this fun article!

  • Laurie Methven

    It was a cool article! Thanks.

  • Marilyn Harrison

    Hi,
    What a response I got in 24 hours. I don’t feel so alone now. I was a Binh Vinh Co Duc hospital
    outside Saigon off the Bein Hua hwy. I was the only RN and vol. my time there. I cared for Civilian Viet-amese who were injured in attacks by the VC, and other attacks, coups plus Cholera epidemic. Well just about everything with minimal supplies,meds to work with.
    The night of the Theater boming I was to go with some friends but I had an emergency surgery and long delayed. Remember now we had no phones to call and explain our delay, My friends were used to it so they decided to wait till the next night. What a blessing they didn’t go. We heard about it on the radio and they were in bad need of A Neg.blood for one of our Marines who was shot in the neck by the VC. I have A Neg., so I called a cab,got to the hospital only to find I was too late. It was very hard for me to take.
    The ball field bombing again I was at the hospital at the time and was not called upon to help. I think at that time I was delivering a baby. Marilyn Harrison

    • Marilyn – Thanks for sharing. CLICK HERE for information about the Capital Ken Do theater bombing. Also, if you look on the left side Menu area under Categories and scroll down to *Capital Ken Do* and click the link it will take you to a lot of the stories on the site about the bombing.

  • Marilyn Harrison

    Intersting when I said I must have been delivering a baby at he time. I only worked days. One day 2 years ago (I am now a film maker) we were filming on a residential street when a woman walked by with her Beagle. I love Beagles so I had to go over and pet her. The woman asked what we were doing and told I was mentoring a film student From San Diego State Uni. on her Master’s film project. We stated talking and told her this was my second profession. Curious she asked what my first was. I told her my history in Nam, Thailand and Malaysia. She wanted to know which hospital I was at in Saigon. I told Binh Vinh Co Duc. She screamed and said she was born there in 1962. I told her if it was during the day, I most likely delivered her. She was born during the day. Small world. Made me happy to see a vibrant healthy woman. Marilyn “Mickey” Harrison

  • Deborah Spohr Martins memories of the Ken Do theater bombing

    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 Westmorland.” My Dad Henry Spohr then got on his little lambretta and went to the theater to see the devistation 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 suprise to him. Perhaps his service as a comander 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 US and Geneva Switzerland. We lived a very short distance from Mac V head quarters and not far from the Westmorlands. Infact I remember going over to the Westmorlands 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 that 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 Natrang on the ocean. What a beautiful place that was with beautiful beache 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!

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