During the Viet Nam War we were open 24/7. I had 10 men on the day shift, and five on the mid-shift.
It was New Year’s Eve and I was asked to wear my dress blues by my commander.
We were to have a small get-together in the print shop at the end of the day shift. A few military people and secretaries from our headquarters would be there, along with our commander, a 2-Star General.
I called my friend, the base mess sergeant, and asked him to attend and bring a few goodies to eat. He brought a large pot of punch, sandwiches, and a very large cake.
When my swing shift arrived, counting me, there were 16 printers.
We had no drinking water in our shop and I was very thirsty from the long day. I began working on the punch. I did not know that someone had spiked the punch, and I don’t drink, but that punch tasted so good.
There was singing and dancing, and they say I was right in the middle of everything.
Three of my printers took me to my quarters on base. They stood me in front of my door, rang the bell and made a run for it, knowing my wife would tear into them.
When Estelle opened the door I fell forward into our hallway. My kids wanted to know what was wrong with their dad. My wife told them I was sick, and to help her get me in the bed.
As she was taking my uniform off of me, I asked her to stop, saying that my wife was going to kill me.
The next morning after I had my coffee, I went outside to get my car. It was not there. Estelle said that I had wrecked the car last night. The guy next door drove me to work and my car was sitting in my parking spot.
To this day when my kids and I get together one of them will ask, “Do you recall the time Dad got sick?”
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.