9 March 1955
At the moment, I am seated on a marble doorstoop inside the base barber shop waiting, along with fifteen other guys, for a haricut. Tomorrow is the Admiral’s annual inspection, & of course we all must look out best. So here I sit, waiting for a haircut I don’t need.
Now, about the car—I don’t know how long it will be till I get to Saufley, but the week before I go, I’m definitely buying a car! As I’ve tried to impress upon you, Saufley is 25 miles from anywhere, & I most certainly have no intention of walking back & forth every time I go somewhere. Also, how do you think I’m supposed to move out to Saufley? The Navy doesn’t care how you get there—they aren’t going to take you. So please talk to Clarence about having my insurance taken care of & the policy sent down here so I can show it to them. Besides, poppa, I’m not planning on buying a cadillac—just something that will get me where I want to go.
Pensacola, without a doubt, has the lousiest bus service of any city in the South , which is noted for its casual transportation system. They have one bus serving a ten-mile stretch, & it goes & comes whenever it pleases. No matter what time you try to catch it, you’ve just missed it.
Weather down here has been clear, fluxuating from winter cold to summer heat. No clouds to speak of, but lots of smoke from burning forests & swamps. This morning at one of the outlying fields we were shooting landings, & could hardly see the runways.
Finally saw the film I’ve had down here. I won’t send it home till I can get it spliced—even if you saw it you couldn’t know what everything was without a running commentary from me. They turned out pretty good, considering. I do jerk too much, though. One half-roll I had a kid take for me of the Friday parade at Mainside & the band. They came out very well except that he held the camera sideways so you’ll have to lay the projector on its side to see them. Most of the footage I took of the wrecked plane was ruined by sunlight. The ones of me in the plane came out very well, but for about five feet there, you can only see half the picture—the other half is the guy who took its’ finger.
While watching the first roll I took down here, all of a sudden the picture became very dark, but you could make out a woman in a white dress bending over doing something—I thought "My God, they’ve switched film on me during developing." Then there was a large woman in a blue & white apron & three small kids. I recognized the apron right away—it was Aunt Thyra—then there was a shot (all dark, of course) of Cork carrying Mom. Then came one of you (both) & me. Real nostalgic—it was nice to see you again, though.
If all goes well (which it probably won’t) I can solo Friday. That will be a day for great celebration & joy. Of course, I’ll probably get a "down" on it, but if I do I won’t worry too much—I’d rather take a couple extra hops rather than solo & get myself killed.
Well, enough for now. I’ll write again soon.
Till then, I am