Thursday, July 27, 2006

15 May 1955

Dear Folks

Sorry again for my usual delay, but I just don’t seem to have the ambition to do anything.

Last night I went to see an ice review called "Ice Vogues of 1955"--the same company that we used to see in Rockford every year. It was pretty good, & I recognized several of the people in it—Chet Nelson is back after three years. They had one act that was done on a trampoline & had absolutely nothing to do with skating—I wonder why they did that? Also, one of the acts they billed as being "for the first time in America" featured a guy named Ron Priestly, who had been wandering around before the show selling programs. Even then I was certain I’d seen him before. Does he sound familiar to you, dad?

The show was held in the new Million-dollar Municipal Auditorium, & whoever set up the seating arrangements really goofed. The front of the ice rink, instead of facing the majority of the people, was put toward a side wall, where there were no more than two hundred people, if that. A poor arrangement, you must admit. Pensacola is almost as bad as Rockford as far as applause goes. They had the usual production numbers, but no top act, like the guy on stilts they used to have.

Now for a little bad news—I took the car down yesterday morning to have it looked at; I went to a small but reasonable garage, as you suggested. They took the rear end apart to look at it, & told me that the fluid from the hydromatic leaks down from the front & into the rear end. The fluid, when mixed with the grease in the rear end, forms a sort of acid that eats the gears. There was a good half-inch wobble between the two main gears, which should be perfectly meshed. So, to make a long story short, they said it would cost around $135.00 to have it fixed. After I picked myself up off the floor, I asked if they could just adjust the gears to mesh better. They said yes, & it might stop some of the noise—but then again, it might not; at least the gears wouldn’t tear themselves apart. So they adjusted them, & we took it out on a road test, to see if it had helped the noise. When we stepped on the gas, cars started pulling over to the side of the road—it sounds like an air raid siren! Any suggestions, poppa?

I am nearly broke. Yesterday I also paid out $16.95 for a new pair of trop pants. It was worth it, to keep my set of trops from wearing out. In the summer, we don’t have to wear blouses, & to just wear the pants time after time, & having them cleaned without cleaning the blouse would wear them out in no time, or at least change the color.

Oh, yes—I forgot to mention about the car—I told you that a hydraulic line broke so that I couldn’t close the windows—well, I had it fixes—for $12.67.

And that’s the way my money goes----

Just think—this Thursday I’ll be leaving for California! I’m kind of anxious about it. As I’ve said, I’ll never begrudge being in the Navy as far as traveling goes. I hope I get to see Lief—but if he’s out on a cruise or something….I sent him a special delivery letter telling him we are leaving Thursday & landing at Los Alamitos, which is just outside Long Beach, Calif. That is all I know—I don’t know what time we’re leaving, what time we’ll get there, or what we’ll do when we get there. I told him I’d send a telegram as soon as I found out for sure--& that if I missed him somehow, I’ll try & stay at the Long Beach YMCA (since I don’t know any hotels there, & everyone can find the Y.).

I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to call home—I’d like to call from California, just for kicks, but it would be rather expensive, I imagine.

Thursday afternoon I spent fifteen minutes on my back under a 1950 two-tone green Chevrolet, talking to a kitten who had climbed up into the undercarriage. It had wandered from somewhere into one of the hangers—a sailor caught it climbing a flight of stairs, & carried it outside. He took it across the wide cement mats that separate the hanger from the Administration building & set it carefully down on the Ad building’s lawn. The poor little guy was scared stiff & obviously lost—it took a few steps in one direction & then a few in another. Then it bolted back across the mat & hid under a parked car. I had been on my way to see if I could get a ride home this weekend (I couldn’t). With cars coming & going all the time, the kitten wouldn’t last long, so down I went & tried to coax it out. It was evidently wild, & not used to seeing people, so it crawled as far away as it could get, up behind the wheels, in among a bunch of greasy crossbars & springs. The poor thing was shaking as if it would fall apart. At long last, after talking & petting failed, I got a hold on it & pried it loose (getting myself covered with axle grease & dirt). A chief petty officer came over & said he’d seen its mother by the Ad building behind some bushes. I carried the kitten over, across the Navy’s well-kept lawn, & saw its mother, watching us through a low bush. When I approached, she scurried away, & evidently dived through a window under the building (none of the buildings here have basements—they’re just set up off the ground like the cottage, with a space underneath). I put the kitten on the window sill & stepped back. It hesitated a minute, looking around, & then jumped in & disappeared in the darkness.

I’m going out this afternoon to see about renting a cottage on Pensacola Beach for you—if it’s too high, of course, I’ll look elsewhere. But there’s no harm in looking.

Hurry up & take your vacation—it’s been six months, almost!


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