Youth: The Poor American

Though he was the son of a successful Los Angeles realtor, David Gitelson, 26, lived in Viet Nam like the lowliest peasant. His home was a palm-frond shack in Ba The, a tiny Mekong Delta village 25 miles from the nearest U.S. settlement. Carrying all his worldly possessions in a wheat sack, Gitelson traveled the back canals of the Delta in sandals and faded Levi's, entertaining peasants with his concertina and instructing them in the modern farming methods he had picked up as an honor student at the University of California at Davis. The peasants called him My Ngheo—the...

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