Saturday, August 28, 1954
Today we moved into our new "home"—Bat. II, a large, yellow building with all the general appearances, both inside & out, of blowing away the first time a strong wind comes along. In one of our orientation books at Indoctrination, there was a short history of the city of Pensacola I thought was quite interesting, if I can remember it….Pensacola was the first city in America—even before St. Augustine, founded about seven years before by 2000 French (or Spanish) settlers. After two years & a hurricane which blew away the settlement, discord among the people forced them to abandon the place: thus St. Augustine gets all the honors. Well, after a few years it was resettled by the French, who were bombed out by the Spanish fleet, which took over until they were driven out by the French, who lost it to the English, etc. etc. Add to this five or six periodic hurricanes which neatly wiped everything away, & you have the very colorful, if somewhat checkered, history of Pensacola. I’ve been sitting here ever since we first arrived at Indoctrination wishing for a hurricane. I should imagine it would really liven things up.
We won’t even be allowed to go to the movie tonight or tomorrow because we haven’t gotten our tropical uniforms back from the tailors’ yet. When I come home, if I’m still a NavCad, I hope to wear our blues, which are really sharp. We were issued three sets of uniforms—khaki, tropicals, & blues. The khakis are exactly like the army & marines, the only difference being that we wear anchors on our shirt collars & on our hats instead of a world-&-anchor like the marines; also we wear black ties—the marines wear khaki-colored ties.
Florida has the weirdest looking trees I have ever seen—the leaves resemble those found on rubber plants. I’ll try to enclose one, if it will fit, to show you what I mean. One thing I’ve noticed about trees down here—they are all comparatively short---they aren’t big & bushy like the trees at home. Of course that’s just the trees on the base here. Also. they are the greenest trees I’ve ever seen
Yesterday (Friday) we were issued books & a leather book bag. I’m afraid I’m going to have a devil of a time with navigation—everyone says that is the toughest subject here. And if I live through Physical Training I’ll be surprised. One day last week the sergeant got mad at me, as usual, & had me do fifty push-ups on the quarterdeck. I did about twenty & then couldn’t even get myself off the floor—I just laid there till he told me I could get up. (There were other guys besides myself doing them, so it wasn’t just a personal grudge against me.) For two days after that I could hardly lift my arms & when I did I couldn’t control my hands too well.
Next Tuesday, in P.T., we must take what is called, technically, the "Step Test" (it is called other things by those who have taken it). It consists, as far as I can tell, of stepping up & down (floor to chair or something), in time, for five minutes. Then you must do 47 pushups & a few chin-ups. You have to do this or else! So if I come home for Christmas in a blue sailor suit, don’t be surprised.
We won’t get another leave between this Christmas & next, either. Well, enough for now.
See you in four months & eighteen days