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My last year in the Army I had a somewhat cushy job in XVIII Airborne Corps G-2. Still, I was an operations sergeant (E-5) and was in the field a decent amount of time with Warsaw Pact stuff. T-54 Tanks. BTR 60. A BMP. I later learned we were in violation of the Geneva Conventions but that's another story.
I was a short timer on my first enlistment. Had no desire to reup since they wouldn't assign me to the 504th Abn Regiment in Italy for six years... You're probably wondering what in the hell this has to do with Pinehurst and a Lilly P madras blazer. I'm getting there.
I was sent on a recon for location of a training area with all that Warsaw Pact stuff. Two of us are tearing around fire breaks in a jeep around Camp McCall... not paying particular attention to the map when we got lost. Anyone who spent time with me in the Army is not surprised to hear that.
I had the great idea to get off post and to go into Southern Pines and get directions at a gas station. I had a one over fifty thousand map and knew the locals could help. We wound up pulling into the driveway of the Pinehurst Country Club. I told "the" driver to wait and sauntered into the main entrance with my map case. A very nice man at the front desk helped me with my map and re-oriented me. I turned to walk out and saw "the" driver standing in front of the club's Pro Shop scratching his head with one hand while holding his Ranger cap in the other.
The driver points to a Madras Blazer proudly displayed in the shop window and turns to me. "What in the fuck is that, Sergeant T? " "That's a madras sport jacket, Mayne." Mayne was around 6' 3" and towered over me. He was a hunter and fisherman from the Midwest and had I listened to him we would never have gotten lost. "Two questions," Mayne asked, "One, who in the hell would ever wear that? Two, why in the fuck do you know what it is?"
Friends, family, co-workers, an ex-wife, a current girlfriend...they all want to know, "Why in the fuck do you know that?"