Thursday, September 26, 1968

We finished the scrub down of the mess hall after breakfast and were starting preparations for lunch.  Sumo and I discussed how slow things were so we chose to give each other a break.  He would cover the noon meal, and this gave me the morning off.

I decided to try my spotting scope from the roof of the Exec Pit and laid in a prone position to view Charlie Ridge.  India Company Marines were sweeping south, and the hills were crawling with patrols.  It was slow going and methodical; I was thankful not to be a Grunt.

Reb spent most of his spare time sketching.  His favorite subjects were people.  He composed a drawing of Hua taking a nap on a pile of sandbags . . . it told a story of the labors of war.

As I was putting the scope away in the hooch, Reb inquired if I had any photos of Vietnamese children.  After showing him my scrapbook, he asked to borrow a photo I had labeled “Buddies.”  It was of two young boys, one was smiling and the other had a more serious expression.  Reb wanted to use his new “Washi” paper, and he began sketching, using the slate from his portfolio. *  Black and white was Reb’s medium, and he added shades of gray with either thin lines or by rubbing.

I took a nap and relieved Sumo after lunch.  He had set me up to make beef stew, and rather than add potatoes, we served the beefy mixture over a choice of rice or noodles.

After dinner Reb relieved me,  and I asked him about the “Buddies.”  He said the sketch was coming along and that the background would be faded toward the edges.  “Better to leave some details out . . . less is more.”

* See previous blog, “Art Supplies” August 19, 1968

My Scrapbook

Next Edition:  The Dental Clinic

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