A Close Shave

Monday, May 6, 1968

We had an unusual night with probes at the north and south ends of the hill.  There was sporadic small arms fire, and I could hear the unique sound of AK-47’s.  It is amazing how a few NVA/Viet Cong could prevent everyone from getting any sleep.  The pop of illumination rounds went on all night.

Today was our first wedding anniversary.  I remembered cutting myself shaving that morning and later getting a haircut in Glendale.  The barber somehow covered up the small cut, and it went unnoticed at our afternoon ceremony.

Papa-San * came into the mess hall after breakfast for hot Ca Phe.  I asked him if I could get a trim in the afternoon when I returned from Da Nang.  He said yes, and it was arranged for a pre-R&R haircut.

Doc Clark changed my dressing after another soaking in the bleach-smelling solution.  He said it would be another week before my hand could go “undressed,” and even then it would need to be protected from drying out (new skin is sensitive).

In the afternoon Papa-San trimmed my hair, and I showed him a photo of Jenny.  I explained R&R and he said, “You need shave.”  He lathered my face with his shaving brush and stropped his razor.  Holding my head secure with his stump hand, he expertly shaved me in small increments with his left hand.  It was an intimate shave, and there were no nicks.  He finished by shaping my eyebrows.  Holding a long-handled comb in his teeth, he combed the brows down and trimmed the tips with his razor.  He proudly held the hand mirror, waiting for my approval.

* See previous blog “Papa-San” (January 20, 1968)

Next Edition:  Letter from Jenny

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s