The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson


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A week later, a new trauma!

5 March 1968


Well, the IRS has done it again. The enclosed are more or less self-explanatory. With 10,000 miles between us, they’re lucky, because if they’d pulled this with me there I’d have blown 450 Golden Gate’s roof off as soon as I could get over there. As it is, I think my letters may convey some dissatisfaction with these events—and who knows? may even get some results!

What really tees me off is that I struggled to get that paid off before I left just so it wouldn’t be hanging over my head—and here it is right back on me again. Further, I have obligations to the bank (the loan) which will of course be more than fully covered as soon as my first paycheck comes through, which should be in a few days.

The typed copy is a copy of the hand[written]-job I actually sent, typed tonight on a Remington I borrowed from the hotel—but it has a VN keyboard that’s really weird, hence all the goofs! As they say here, “Sin Loi” (essentially, sorry about that!).

If I never earn another taxable cent in the U. S., it will be too G– D—– soon!!!


Here are the enclosures:

IRS Page 1

IRS Page 2

Can you tell I was pissed-off?

Even after 41 years, I feel obliged to redact these: I don’t trust the IRS not to come after me once again! But the supreme irony here is that, moments after I mailed the letters irretrievably, I remembered who Mr. S. E. XXXX was: he was handicapped, with a withered hand. My remark about his “left hand not knowing what his right hand was doing” must have struck him as intentional, although in fact it was not. Whatever: the matter lay buried in his in-basket as long as he could safely leave it there before my money was refunded.

The fact is, I was royally pissed by this event! But, other than write letters, I could do nothing. It turned out the very last payment I gave the IRS just before leaving for VN was posted to someone else’s account, so my account turned up unpaid. This was proved by the various numbers on the cancelled check, and eventually I got my money.

Note my reference to getting my first paycheck: we were paid in arrears, that is, after each month’s “work” had been completed. There was an additional couple of weeks while time-sheets were recorded and so forth, then the checks were sent to our designated banks and a memo came to us in VN. Our per-diem came in the form of MPCs and some Dong. Oddly enough, we could—and did—write checks on our accounts states-side and use them in country (to pay rent, for example). But we could not cash them for US Green.

I’ll be back with more about these fascinating times in a few days.



Written by Bruce

December 14th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

Posted in Saigon 1968,VietNam

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