This evening while reading a novel the name Bergland popped into my mind. I hadn’t seen this guy since the summer of 1957.

A native of Southern California, he and I had served together in Mississippi, went to electronic school. He was a rangy, rawboned young man who was a master at telling ghost stories when he was drinking scotch.

Once, while strolling along the Biloxi waterfront four of us came upon a spaghetti house that served scotch on the side.  

In spite of the fact that Biloxi was in a dry county and none of us were yet twenty-one we could buy all the booze we could afford, even in this spaghetti house.

Bergland had saved his money and he proceeded to tie one on. After he had a snoot-full we helped him back to the base and into bed. Sometime during the night he felt sick to his stomach, he said, and headed for the latrine. I should have followed him and seen that he got back to bed, but I was too tired to care.

The following morning I found him sitting on the toilet where he’d spent the entire night.