Smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em…

Times have changed, attitudes have evolved, and modern medicine has made us aware of what cigarettes can do, but back in the 50’s you could smoke just about anywhere but church!

December 15, 1954

…on Monday afternoon your wonderful, wonderful parcel from home arrived in Phnom Penh! Now, Dad, I don’t know whether or not you intended me to wait until the 25th to open it, but I’ll tell you what happened. Two or three of the fellows here did not receive anything at all. So that night, Hap [Gordon Happy] and I had a little council meeting and decided then and there to open our parcels right away and throw a little party for those fellows who did not receive parcels.We pushed our beds into the corner, borrowed some chairs from adjoining rooms, put a big table smack in the middle of the room then covered it with dishes of toffee, candy, cookies, peanuts, peanuts, marshmallow, etc., etc. Oh, I forgot to mention, we got some of the other fellows who did receive parcels to go in with us. We scattered some packages of those wonderful Canadian cigarettes you sent all over the table too. (Thanks a million for the Sweet Caps! I’d almost forgotten what a good old Canadian cigarette tasted like!) Then we called everyone in and had quite a party! I must admit it was a bit of a premature Christmas party but I think that if you could have seen how blue those fellows were who didn’t receive anything – well, I’m sure you would have done the same thing. 

Also, on Monday, we received a shipment of office, medical and Christmas good supplies from Canada, to say nothing of 30,000 cigarettes! With all that wonderful Canadian food we certainly shall not suffer very much Christmas Day. I was allotted 1,200 cigarettes from the shipment and I also have 2,000 more coming in from Hong Kong any day now! So for goodness sake, please don’t send me any more cigarettes for a little while anyway. I scarcely have room for the ones I have already! I’ll let you know when my supply starts to get low…

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