Thursday, August 03, 2006

27 June 1955

Dear Folks

Yes, it’s me again & no, I’m not ill. It’s just that I’ve grown momentarily tired of watching the many-legged little beasties running up & down the walls near the sink. Glancing by my left foot, I notice a recently deceased member of the clan. Speaking of the sink, the faucet drips (the hot water tap), making a rust-colored spot on the otherwise white porcelain. The fan is doing a thankless & futile job of trying to cool the room, but Pensacola’s summers are no match for anything less than full air conditioning

Whereas yesterday it rained & made itself generally disagreeable, today it did not—the sun glared down until early afternoon, when dirty grey clouds started to form. The sun might as well have spared its efforts this morning, on me at least, since I was in the nice air-conditioned ground school building answering such questions as

PNS M490 50 0 8 172/79/70 (left arrow) 8/992 RW-E25
in the above sequence report

the ceiling was measured at 4900 above ground

fog will not be present unless the wind shifts

rain showers ended at 25 minutes past the hour

In case you hadn’t guessed, c) is the correct answer. There were much harder questions. I’m getting so that I can read off sequence reports, area forecasts, terminal forecasts, & other similar jargon with comparative ease & accuracy.

Sunday while washing the car, I was viciously attacked on the fourth toe of my left foot by an ant (quite a small ant at that). Today I have a good-sized welt there.

And, speaking of ants, one is scurrying across the top of my stationery box at this moment. I see it has wings—well, what can you expect on an air base?

From ants, we shall now move on to the subject of flies. I assure you, my room alone is a veritable biologist’s (or zoologist’s) paradise. Anyway, I was sitting in one of the padded but otherwise fairly uncomfortable chairs in our room, reading Robert Graves’ "I, Claudius" when all of a sudden, a fly came strolling across the page. Now I’ve seen flies before, but never one like this. He was of medium stature, for a fly, and had, as far as I could tell, the usual number of appendages & other paraphernalia usually associated with flies. But here the resemblance ended. He was green, for one thing—not a drab old-shade green, but a glossy, iridescent green.
His eyes were his saving feature, though—they were concentric circles of red & green, both very vivid. For some reason, he seemed to take a liking to me, for he meandered across the book & wandered up my let index finger, across my hand, and on up my sleeve to a short distance below my elbow.

I must state right here that he did not strike me as being a very intelligent fly, for he just stood there looking wherever a fly’s eyes look, & working his forelegs & mandibles (or whatever they are) like mad. The effect was like someone rubbing their hands in anguish, or greed.

Being the soft hearted slob that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to hit him with the book—besides, he might squish unpleasantly & I can’t stand the sight of blood.

So I nudged him with one finger, which can in part vouch for my opinion of his mental rating. He just stood there with those huge red & green eyes of his. I showed him to my roommates, who did not seem to share my enthusiasm (peasants, the lot of them—no spirit of adventure).

Finally, he condescended to fly two feet to the edge of my chair. I soon went back to my book & probably, in the course of my shifting positions, sat on him. Which only goes to prove, you can’t trust anybody these days.

Well, enough trivia for this time. Until next time I am


P.S. What about the car title? Thank you for the letters—they did a lot to cheer me up (though this morning I knew I was going to crash today). Flew two solo hops & they both went very well. Should everything go well, & I do not get any more downs, I could be out of Saufley Field before mother comes down—then I’d be at Barin, which is 20 miles from here, but still near enough Pensacola

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