The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

MIniseries #4:
Christmas in Vietnam

#1

An effigy of Saint Nick, and a festive greeting rendered in shaving cream, ornament an armored vehicle some 40 miles West of Saigon (1969)

#2

With a dash of Yuletide cheer, members of the 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry help to create a convoy road to Bu Dop Special Forces Camp, located three miles east of the Cambodian border (1970)

#3

Francis Cardinal Spellman does a guest shot at the Ordinance Depot outside of Long Binh; celebrating Christmas mass before 5,000 troops (1966)

#4

Two USAF Lieutenants prepare Christmas dinner for their comrades at a P.O.W. Camp located somewhere in the North of Vietnam (1968)

#5

A group of Montagnards in Pleiku brandish toys distributed to them by US Armed Forces (1966)

#6

In Cu Chi, troops of the 25th Infantry Division's mechanized unit conduct services during the Christmas cease-fire (1969)

#7

Surrounded by seasonal decor, U.S. Soldiers at the Special Forces base in Quan Loi catch up on their mail (1969)

#8

The hustle and bustle of pre-Tet commerce grips downtown Saigon (1970)

#9

It Is As It Was: Phyllis Diller and a club-wielding Bob Hope entertain a multitude of servicemen on the Carrier USS Ticonderoga (1965)

#10

A soldier from Australia buys remnants of Christmas cheer from an outdoor market in Saigon (1966)

#11

A small Christmas tree adorns this bunker on Hill 875 in Dak To (1967)

#12

In Bear Cat, a US Infantry Machine-gunner takes time out to read a Chrismas
card, sent to him all the way from home (1967)

5 comments :

Vanwall said...

Lovely, Tom, absolutely the best Christmas collection this year. Thanks, and Happy Holidays to all.

Tom Sutpen said...

Thank you, Rob. It's a tad paltry in comparison to last year's Christmas/New Year's extravagazas, but I couldn't think of anything else. I'm very glad you liked this, however.

And . . . a Merry Xmas and 'appy 'olidays to you and yours as well!

Richard Gibson said...

Excellent collection, I like it. Merry Christmas Tom.

swac said...

If anyone wants to listen to Sgt. Barry Sadler's I Won't Be Home This Christmas while they look at these, I can always post it online somewhere...

Cinebeats said...

Great collection of images Tom!