Thursday, June 29, 2006

Friday, November 6, 1954

Dear Folks

And so another Friday sinks slowly behind the horizon, leaving your humble son two weeks behind, but not much the wiser. Took my Nav. Test again today—missed passing by one point. So I went before the Academic Director again (he’s getting to be a familiar face in my routine); was given the chance for an immediate re-exam, which I took. The final returns aren’t all in yet, but it looks like I’ll be spending another week in Navigation. And next time, I’m afraid I’ve "had the course" as we say. It seems that the Powers-That-Be are being urged by the Powers-Above-Them to put the screws on anyone with a low average. It is one of those perennial crusades wherein many heads will roll to appease the angry gods. They dislike losing as many planes as they have been lately, they claim, to low academic averages in Pre-Flight. Pilots they don’t mind losing, but planes are expensive.

(The above paragraph is what might be called the softening up process before the final blow falls. If you see me coming home in a blue bell-bottomed sailor suit and a white hat, you won’t be too surprised.)

Called tonite to make reservations for Rockford. God, I could practically walk home in the time it’s going to take me to fly—a four hour layover in Atlanta & two hours in Chicago. I’ll get into Rockford about 8:20 Saturday morning, Dec. 18. You will meet me at the airport, won’t you; or should I take a cab home?

Happy news hour—a guy in our class (Charlie company) got his neck broken today in wrestling! The cold wind of misfortune seems to be blowing strongly around here, getting uncomfortably close to yours truly. As you may have guessed in the twenty-odd years of our acquaintance, I am one of those unfortunate people who is classified as "accident prone" (scientifically proven that some individuals are actually more likely to have accidents than others). Also unfortunately, many of the accidents are of a "permanent " nature. You’ve heard of the old trick question of what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? I’ll be something of a living example of this should something happen—what happens when something that wants to kill someone meets someone who refuses to die? Sorry—I seem to be ranging on the rim of morbidity lately. Well, it isn’t morbidity—it’s realism.

Enclosed is a cut-out of the base paper showing some of our beloved sergeants. I have had every one of them except the one in picture 5. These photographs are really quite remarkable—I’ve always been under the impression that ghouls, werewolves, vampires, & sergeants do not photograph. Picture 1 shows my two buddies, sergeants Calahan & Jones enjoying their favorite pastime—chewing some poor devil to shreds. Picture 2 was taken in the Batt Watch Office where I wrote that letter at 3 a.m. or so. The sergeant at the left is the one I dumped a water fire-extinguisher on.

Well, I’d better close now—tomorrow is a full working day, & I’ve got to get to work, & bed.
I’ll write more later.

Till Then, I am

P..S. I don’t have access to a projector to view my films. I use the old "unravel & squint" technique.


Ken Beemer said...

I wish I had your way with words.
It must be an inborn talent that showed up early in your life

Dorien/Roger said...

Many thanks. Maybe I was blessed with whatever ability I have to use words as a tradeoff for all those areas in which I consider myself totally inept.


Eric said...

"I’ve always been under the impression that ghouls, werewolves, vampires, & sergeants do not photograph."

Laugh out loud laugh - thanks!

Dorien/Roger said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Eric. I got a million o' 'em.