The Requisitioned Sweetheart
Back in the fifties, the Old Army maintained an R&R center in Garmisch, Germany. An intelligence school was nearby in the gorgeous alpine village of Oberammergau. To be sent there for a few weeks for any course at all was the hope of every trooper in the fighting army up north.
I’d been sent there for two years, yes, two years, to study Russian. Life was idyllic. On the garrison staff at O’gau was a Lieutenant Colonel whose daughter was there with her family. Her name was Suzy and she was my girl.
O’gau was such a vacation spot that even the commanding general of U. S. Army Europe chose it for his own family’s break. Our somnolent little post revved up for a major bash at the “O” club. Dress blues went to the cleaners. The club crew polished the brass. I phoned Suzy to tell her when I’d pick her up.
“I can’t go with you,” she answered glumly.
“What do you mean you can’t go with me?” I asked.
“I’ve been requisitioned,” she answered.
“That’s crazy. The Army doesn’t requisition people. Furniture gets requisitioned, or skis or something.”
“Well, I’ve been requisitioned. The General’s bringing along his son and his Adjutant had to find a dinner partner for the son at the head table. And now I’m it!”
Nuts to that! At the R&R center in Garmisch the Army ran an ice capades type show. One of the stars was a skater named Irene Hood. Half of the soldiers in Europe must remember her from their R&R. I’d dated Irene before, so I called again to ask her to come to O’gau for the General’s dinner. She said she would.
Fast forward to the big night. Suzy perched at the head table beside the General’s son. I sat as usual with the bachelor Lieutenants who propped up the back wall. But this time Irene Hood was with us and that turned some heads. The General’s aide walked over to me.
“Are you the escort for Miss Hood?”
“The General would like to speak with her. Would you escort her up to the head table?”
“No” was not an option. Up we went. The General stood up. Introductions around were made. The General chatted with Irene about show biz and the ice capades. I winked at Suzy to cheer her up.
On Monday, I went back to studying Russian. I felt sorry for the blameless Irene who had no knowing part in that social intrigue. But I consoled myself with the satisfaction she must have had from talking to the most senior fan she would ever have.
As for Suzy, she got in her own shot. The General’s son, who actually was a considerate person, had said, “You probably have a regular guy on this post. Who might that be?”
“My regular guy is the Lieutenant your father just introduced to me,” said my girl Suzy, “At the head table. He’s it.”