Letter undated, early 1955,written apparently to college friend Effie Fowler, though why it is addressed to Miss Wilde I cannot say.
Dear Miss Wilde
Sorry I don’t have more impressive stationary; I had some with gold Navy wings on the top, but I’ve used it all. I was just getting into bed, curling up with a good book ("SNJ Engineering—Primary Phase") & suddenly for some reason I thought of you & decided to drop you a little line.
My handwriting has, if anything, deteriorated since high school, as has my spelling. I’m really ashamed of myself, but I’ll try to remedy it when I get back to college.
Local natives were thrown into a mild panic today when an odd white substance began to fall from the skies. Of course, it disappeared almost immediately upon hitting the ground, but it gladdened many a Northern heart. Naturally, it made me violently homesick for a minute or two. Fortunately, I am very seldom troubled with homesickness; never have time, I suppose.
Florida is supposed to be a sort of an earthly preview of heaven, but if it is, it gets mighty cold there. Jan. 17 I was lucky enough to go to Miami with the NavCad band. We got out of the plane in our tropical uniforms & almost froze to death. We where "honored" to play for the Shah of Iran when he arrived in town. The Iranian population of Miami & vicinity was out in force, and the moment he and his wife pulled up in their Cadillac we were nearly crushed in the stampede. I only got a fleeting glimpse as he swept into the hotel. Incidentally, they repainted his 14-room suite to match his Rolls Royce, which arrived ahead of him. It must be nice to have money….
Well, I have been at Corry Field now for five weeks. I’m not sure, but somewhere along the line I got the weird impression that I was a Naval Aviation Cadet, but since I have only been up once in those four weeks (or five weeks), I’m beginning to have my doubts. Oh, I get near them all right. Just this afternoon I spent three hours on the Gas Truck, running up & down the line of planes filling them up with gas. The truck I was on holds 3,000 gallons & had to be refilled twice. So now you can see where some of your income tax money goes.
Oh, Eff—I meant to tell you that while in Miami I happened to see a little movie called "Aida". I can honestly say it was one of the most beautiful movies I’ve ever seen . The scenery was out of this world; the color was Italian Ferriniacolor, & even more vivid than Technicolor. The music & singing was remarkable, & the actors and actresses were wonderful. As you may have gathered by now, I liked it.
Even if you hated music, it would still be beautiful. There was no speaking & it was all sung in Italian, naturally (it is just as Verdi wrote it). An announcer comes on in English just before each scene & explains what will happen. Doll, you’ve got to see it! Tell Ted about it, too.
Finals coming up this week—yes, we have them, too. Only instead of being in English 362, ours are on Engines & Navigation. So, if I want to pass (as usual, I’m just on the borderline), I had best get with it.
Please write very soon & I’ll do the same. Until I hear from you, then, I will send