Everybody Deserves a Little Christmas
Although there was one Women’s Army Corps unit at Fort Sill during my two years there, the U.S. Army in the late 1950s was pretty much a man’s outfit. The lower ranks, which included me, were overwhelmingly populated by young, single males.
Because no one was available to verify or cast doubt on tales of sexual exploits “back home,” a lot of lies were told about conquests of young ladies. More than one teenage private, in his own mind, evolved from novice to great lover. Others hatched more or less elaborate plots to gain real-life experience with the fair sex.
Often, nothing came of plans for new romantic experiences. That was especially true for my little buddy circle. For more than a year, I and two pals discussed in great detail how we were going to drive through Texas and cross the Mexican border. There we would woo numerous beautiful senoritas, taking time out only to guzzle as much tequila as we could hold. We selected the route. We picked “the best” border town. We even saved a little money. We never made the trip.
Just before Christmas 1959, an opportunity popped up much closer to our barracks. A veteran soldier in our building said he had found a bar that doubled as a bordello near a small town about 90 miles away. He claimed a half-dozen lovely young ladies were available, prices were low, and the beer was good. He was one of the few married men we knew fairly well, and therefore we believed he possessed special knowledge in such matters.
When we offered him free bed and booze at the sporting house, the soldier agreed to guide us to the place. We arrived about 8 in the evening. After a round of beer, our host asked the bartender where the girls were.
“Oh, they’ve all gone home for the holidays. We always shut down the upstairs action for Christmas vacations.”
We never went back. To my knowledge, the three of us left the Army without gaining any additional experience in dealing with damsels.