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Definitely the worst of times

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Date Posted:12/01/17
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Definitely the worst of times

Wet season was trying to hang on. As the end of November 1968 approached, the skies darkened, the daily temperature dropped and the country seemed to be much more hospitable. The first night in December brought a steady rain. It beat down on the tops of the tents in a drone of drum taps. Ruts in the oiled streets of the base camp turned into puddles that shimmered and danced in paisley and rainbow patterns as they reflected the lights of the jeeps and three quarter ton trucks that splashed and churned around the complex.

I came back to the office after dinner, retrieved my swivel chair from Sgt Jay Smith's desk, and spent some time catching up on letters home and trying to get a handle on the General's Christmas letter to his staff. Major Chick, whose office was in the adjacent tent, had asked me to put something together and I was stuck in a groove. The only idea I could come up with that caused ideas to flow was to use the Dicken's line, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." I twisted it around in a dozen different ways and each time Chick would call me over to his tent and tell me it wasn't working. I thought I had a pretty fair idea of what he wanted but I was wrong. He was becoming exasperated, I was becoming frustrated and the project was nearing deadline.

Definitely the worst of times.

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