13 February 1955
Somewhere in one of the photo albums around the house is a picture of yours truly taken about fifteen years ago. There are three kids in the picture---I think I’m the one on the left. I was wearing a genuine imitation Army Air Force jacket; my pride & joy. At the time, war was a vague word, but to be in some branch of the United States armed forces was comparable to a minor god, or a knight in shining armor. I hadn’t then the slightest idea of what I’d be doing at the age of 12. I doubt that I thought about all—to me (then in third grade) the very peak of mental & physical maturity was the eighth grade.
Nevertheless, here I am fifteen years older & quite a bit wiser. I’ve always thought it unfortunate that the mind lives in the past & the soul in the future, while the body must live only in the present. It’s like riding backwards in a train—you can’t see the view until it’s passed, and by then it’s too late to enjoy it.
Sorry I haven’t been writing as regularly as I should have been, but as I said on the phone, I have been busy. The band is giving a concert at Mainside early next month, & I’ve had to write the script.
Also, as I’ve said, I’ve been flying every day, & it takes up a lot of time—you must know exactly what to do & how to do it before you get into the air. Providing everything goes well, & I don’t get any "downs" (extra time given because you don’t do something right) I should be soloing a week from this Friday! Of course, this means that every day must be good flying weather. One of my classmates got a "down" the other day because he tried to raise the wheels while the plane was still on the ground (which, you may imagine, is rather hard on the plane—especially on the propeller). Fortunately, his instructor caught it before the plane belly-flopped.
I’m laying here trying to listen to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, while one of my roommates is plunking away on a ukulele—he’s currently giving a slightly off key rendition of "Baby Face." When he makes a mistake, he goes back to the beginning & starts over
At the rate I’ve been saving money, I should be able to afford a second-hand tricycle about the time I get my commission.
Code is driving me slowly nuts! I just can’t seem to get it. Oh, well.
Well, at least this is something, even though not much—I’d better sign off for now. I’ll try to keep up a little better than I have been.
Until I hear from you, I am,