Sumo Returns

Sunday, June 9, 1968

We were now serving around 300 Marines per meal because Kilo battery was split and India Company had a smaller presence on Hill 65.  Cutting New York steaks was a chore, and I was managing it alone as Reb was getting his beauty sleep.  Top Culverhouse delivered our beer/soda ration and helped me trim the last 100 steaks.  I appreciated his help.

Hill 65 had no barber after the death of Papa-San, and Culverhouse managed to acquire electric clippers with attachments.  He was offering haircuts (buzz cut only) for free.  Many young Marines were style conscious with their hair and didn’t want any part of this activity.  I was first in line, and the haircut was a no-nonsense affair.  After the quick buzz I showered, and while scrubbing my head I heard Sumo’s voice, “Where is everyone?”  I dressed and joined the homecoming in our hooch.

The timing was amazing; Sumo got a “close” haircut in Iwakuni, and we were both styling very short stubble on our heads.  Reb was horrified and would have no part in this new hairstyle fad.  He liked some hair over his forehead in a “Frat style.”  We teased him about his artist tendencies.

Sumo had a relaxing week and was able to spend some time with his wife.  They made plans to meet in Tokyo during his R&R later in the year.  Sumo presented Reb and me with beautiful white Japanese wedding fans.  It was a “thank you” for allowing him to visit his wife in Japan.  The fans were traditional wedding favors, and these were the actual ones distributed at their ceremony.

The smoke-filled BBQ was well attended, and we sported our new hairstyles.  From a practical standpoint, bald was better in Vietnam!

wedding fan
Sumos Wedding Fan

Next Edition:  Napalm

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