A Real Bunk

Saturday, August 10, 1968

Sumo and I had flexible hours when working together.  I didn’t mind doing a split shift while Reb was gone; either way, we would both be putting in a few extra hours each day.  My morning was free after breakfast, and I started making a built-in framework for my new mattress.  It was completed by noon . . . a real bunk which was slightly lower than the cot (about 15 inches off the cement deck) and wider.  The mattress was more comfortable, and my wool blanket served as a bottom sheet.  The lighter poncho liner was used as a bedspread.

I continued the night baker duties although in an abbreviated way.  The sweet dough needed time to rise, and I would try to sleep during this period.  The next step was to “punch” and knead the dough, before giving it more time to rest.

Both Sumo and I were concerned about Reb.  He would be in flight by now, headed to Australia.  The “Dear John” letter * had shaken us all, and we worried he might have difficulties adjusting.  Sergeant Leggins had gone on R&R to Sydney in July, and he had a great time in the night clubs.  This was not Reb’s style though, and we hoped things would work out for him.

My version of Reb’s “Big Foot” pastry was amateurish-looking so I crafted Bear Claws instead.  I enjoyed working alone at night, and the fragrance of the yeast mixed with cinnamon filled my head with memories of Steward School in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  I really hated that place, but it was far better duty than South Vietnam.

*  See previous blog, “DeeDee Writes Dear John”  July 25, 1968

Next Edition:  Fire In The Hole

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