Monday, July 27, 2009

Nha Trang City 1969-Celina Lake Festival 2009

The Celina {Grand} Lake Festival has come and gone for another year....and I confess, I never made it uptown or to the lake for the Car Show, which had been moved from the Celina Group parking lot. So I really don't have much to report, by all accounts the weather and festivities, including the Grand Parade on Saturday evening, and the fireworks Friday night went off without a hitch. But no personal reporting from me is to be had.

Baseball Friday and Saturday night at Minster, and when I did have time Saturday morning it was I begged out of Lake Festival 2009. Then yesterday we had a small family get together at my sister Marty's place, since all 3 of Mom's great granddaughters were in town from Michigan and Columbus. Then I took 5 hours off to paint, getting the front porch taken care of...will get back at that this afternoon{maybe}.

I am now sitting at 103 games completed during this baseball season, which began with scrimmages back on March 15th...helping out with the Celina Little League Tournament this weekend, now this level, 12 and under, I have not done in about 10 years...doing the little guys is going to take a bit more leg strength{from the crouching down low} and patience, but what the heck? I'll give it a go. This will give me about 110 games, the most I've done in a single season by far.

Nha Trang City 1969_____
By this time in July 1969, I had been in-country for almost 4 weeks. I had settled into a routine, with Tuesday being my usual day off, I finally headed to Downtown Nha Trang City. Nha Trang was a rather large city nestled in the hillside next to the South China Sea. The one thing I remember well, was the stench of the country as a whole and the cities in particular...not good, and something I really never got totally used to.

Garbage was tossed out into the streets at will, feral dogs ran free in town, and men and children relieved themselves where and when they wanted to. Mildly shocked at first, it became a nuisance that I learned to ignore{but not embrace} in both Nha Trang and after I transferred to Saigon.

On my first trip downtown, me and Johnny Claflin hit the massage parlor, you can use your imagination for that, ate at a nice steak house overlooking the city, and visited the Statue of Buddha...a huge one, that today sits as a tourist attraction. During the next 6 months I would visit downtown frequently, and became quite familiar with the bars and other seedy hangouts in the City. Although I never became as familiar with this town on the South China Sea, as I would when I moved to Tan Son Nhut and the Capital of South Vietnam, Saigon. In Saigon it was about the city, at Nha Trang, the off base was really about the Beach. As the months went by though I became more at ease in Nha Trang City, and towards the end I was bartering beer and soda pop with the best of them.

Yes, 40 years ago this week, I was pretty well settled in at Nha would be another fast moving 5 months, and I would be headed south to Tan Son Nhut, but I planned on enjoying my time at this base, war or no war, there were good times coming my way.

More later this week on Nha Trang, for now it's back to the painting project and the Summer of 09.
Photos-{top} Nha Trang Beach as it looks today with Hon Tre Island in the background sitting in the South China is the same spot taken by me as it looked in 1969. A Market Place in 1969 Nha Trang/and a view of Nha Trang City from the porch of the Steak House that several of us frequented.


Chi' Le said...

i hope to see you again in nha trang.

Chi' Le said...

wonderful beach...