25 April 1955
Well, here I stand, neither with my heart in my mouth nor my hat in my hand. I still don’t know what is to become of your loving son—I am not yet anywhere near getting kicked out of the program, but there is always the possibility, in my case heightened by four "downs." To be perfectly truthful, I don’t care, really.
Oh, I will care—it would be hard to go white-hat after being a NavCad, but the mere fact that I’d only have two years to serve would act as a soothing medicine to any wounds I might have.
Were I planning to make the Navy a career, or if I were really "gung-ho" over flying, it would be different.
As I’ve said, my problem is quite simple—they want precision & I am not precise. I can fly the airplane with no difficulty, but I can’t fly it to suit them. Father’s attitude of
"other guys made it; why can’t you?" doesn’t help matters. Of course other guys make it—other guys also make atomic physicists and trench diggers—that doesn’t mean that I can make an atom bomb or dig a Panama canal. I’m satisfied that I’ve done my best—that’s all I can do.
However, & be that as it may, I’m not out yet—but if I do get the boot, you can be prepared for it. Also, a letter from me saying I’m going white-hat is considerably better than a letter from the government ("regretting to inform you…."); at least I think so!
The guy next door was on his last check ride here at Corry, before moving out to Saufley; he got a down on it, & DOR’ed today. That I’ll never do—they can kick me out if they want to, but I’m not going to leave voluntarily.
My, this all sounds depressing, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t supposed to be. I’m not in the least depressed; just sensible.
I’ve already had the grease & oil changed ($4.70)—went to see about getting the upholstery sewn up. Don’t have any idea how much that will run. I’ll also stop in & see about the rear end—it sounds like a charging rhinoceros. There is a hole in the roof—very small one, though; it hasn’t rained lately so I can’t tell if it will matter or not.
It drank $4.00 of gasoline Sunday. I don’t know how many miles per that is, but it sounds pretty expensive—it will have to spend most of its time here at Corry.
Nothing much else new—never is, it seems. I go swimming just about every day—just got back from the pool, in fact—I don’t like swimming at night—you can’t see under water. I still can’t hold my breath under water for more than ten seconds. It must be psychological, ‘cause I can hold it for over a minute above. Oh, well, such is life.
Well, I’d best close now. Just wanted to let you know the score in the ninth inning. Don’t be too shocked, Poppa, if things don’t turn out—wouldn’t you rather start supporting me again in two years than in four? I’m still planning on being on being a professional civilian.
Till later then, I am