<VV> My letter from Vietnam 1969

Sethracer at aol.com Sethracer at aol.com
Tue Aug 6 17:36:23 EDT 2013

As part of my retirement efforts, I had to compile all the  documents of my 
married life, my working life and a few pre-working life  documents. Among 
them was my DD214, that is the military separation form, used  to document 
your military service, with dates and other pertinent details. In  the throes 
of going through my files to find a copy, I unearthed some letters I  had 
written home to my parents in 1969 from Vietnam, probably a dozen in all.  
Since one of them concerned Corvairs, I thought I would post this one letter I 
 wrote to my father in late May, 1969. I had previously owned a 1965 Corsa  
Convertible that I sold to my brother when I was drafted in 1968. There is 
one  paragraph about my brother that I have removed, but the rest is there, 
warts and  all.  Enjoy! (Feel free to laugh at  my 21-year-old self if you 
wish, I did!) 
Dear Dad 
It was nice to hear from you and I got the lemonade all right. It  is very 
good. I am glad to hear you passed your Real Estate exam. I guess you  will 
have to get a 1 or 2 year old Buick or Oldsmobile to drive customers around  
in. (What a horrible thought.) I guess you heard that they stopped building 
 Corvairs. That is too bad, but my experience with them leads me to admire 
them,  rather than to scorn them. I may even regress when I return and buy a 
1966 Corsa  hardtop. The price is right and I will be able to personalize 
the car without  investing a fortune. Also, the styling is still contemporary 
and the handling  and gas mileage couldn’t be much better. On the debit 
side, there aren’t too  many around and I will have to bide my time until we 
can find one that will suit  me at a good price. Also, I won’t be able to 
count on too high a resale value.  To fight the first one, all I have is that I 
am mobile and I will be able to get  around to look at many cars. The second 
one poses a problem. I think the only  way to overcome this problem (resale 
value) is to keep the car a long enough  time to spread the loss over 
enough time so it won’t hurt as much. Since the car  is to be used for high 
performance road use only, (Rallies, trips, any racing I  do will be done in a 
racing car), I can use it without misusing it. As long as I  keep it in good 
shape, it should do me as a car. It is a small sporty economical  good 
looking 4-passenger car. With a few minor modifications, to the tune of  about 
$600, I can make it “My” car. (With at least 3 burglar alarms) Another  
Corvair credit they are not too prone to be stolen. I heard about Tony’s tape. I  
don’t blame him for not getting another. But for the time I spend in my car, 
 which, I agree will be less than before, I still want a player in it, even 
if I  have to build it into the dash and weld it in.  
Back to the present. I hope you had a nice trip. Oklahoma is a  fairly nice 
climate at this time each year (for about 3 weeks). You asked me  about the 
mountain. As of now I am going up there June 7 for a month. It is  called 
Nui Ba den. It means Black Virgin Mountain. It is East of Tay Ninh, about  3 
miles from the Cambodian border. It rises some 3000 feet from the valley 
floor  out of nothing. On top there is a special forces camp and about 15 radio 
 stations. This is what I will be doing up there. I will be in charge of 
one of  the stations for the Artillery in this area. It is fairly primitive up 
there, no  showers or electricity. 
Well, I have to go now. I am going to Long Binh and Saigon today. I  will 
try to see Frank if I can. I will write again soon.   
-        Love,  Seth 
I  hope you have enjoyed my blast from the past. I did spend that month on 
top  of the Nui Ba Den. They did have showers, but no alcohol was allowed on 
the  mountain. (bummer). And the VC joined us at least one time, the only 
time I have  fired a rifle in anger. When I got home in 1970, I did buy a 
Corvair again,  about 5 months later. I have owned at least one ever since.  – 
Seth  Emerson

More information about the VirtualVairs mailing list