Friday, August 25, 2006

6 November 1955

Noon on our first Sunday out. Unless the ship sinks from under us, it looks like this day will be as uneventful as the rest. Samuel Pepys had the London fire; Boswell had Johnson; but all I have is the U.S.S. Ticonderoga. Now you’d think that with 3,000 men aboard, something would happen, but it doesn’t. Reminds me of an ant colony I saw once in a movie in High school—thousands of ants, running around like mad, going nowhere.

Turkey for dinner, evidently a preview of Thanksgiving; well, if Thanksgiving dinner is no better than this one, it looks like a lean winter. The only thing outstanding was the whipped cream, which was whipped for a change.

Been working on my novel (I‘ve decided to expand the Harrisonville story) & rewritten the first half page four times. If anyone ever says writing is not work, don’t believe them

We lost the first of six or so hours last night; probably will lose one a day from now on.

The day is cloudy, with patches of sunlight on the horizon. The ship is still going through her rocking motion—it’s most noticeable on the flight deck, where the horizon disappears & comes back Walked way up forward, to the edge of the flight deck. The catwalks aren’t steel way out there—the first ten feet are only heavy wire mesh. You can stand there & look straight down at the water. Under the leading edge of the flight deck runs a very small catwalk—from there you can look right down at the bow of the ship. The water is very blue, but you can make out the shape of the hull & prow under the water—a very unusual effect. The forward gun tubs are not, as I said yesterday, loaded with engines—I don’t know where they’ve got them. On the hanger deck by the island, the bulkheads are hung with wing-tip tanks, looking like ornaments in a knit shopping bag.

Eight o’clock the same night. Well, the day hasn’t been a complete loss—the library opened.. It’s been closed for remodeling ever since I came aboard; the Captain opened it officially at 1500, amid many posed pictures of happy sailors studiously reading. Not quite the Library of Congress, but it will do. The furnishings are comfortable & modern, & the room painted in bright colors, which is quite a relieving change from the grey of the rest of the ship. Now I’ll have something to do nights beside count my toes….


Ken Beemer said...

You wrote a novel back then? While you were oiut to sea? I guess it was never published since you have
said that the Hardesty series was your first, but I surelywouldlove to read that old manuscript! Still
got it? What was it about? What did
you call it? Any gay content?

Dorien/Roger said...

The book I started on the Ti, "Miriam" was a coming out story with lots of twists. And would you believe I am still working on it 51 years later? Maybe by 2056 I'll have it pretty much wrapped up. But I doubt it.

Thanks for asking.


Eric said...

and I thought I was a slow writer!

JD said...

Hey Dorien -- Terrific blogging. And valuable, too. Gives a real sense of things as they were not all that long ago. I've just started a blog. Your efforts inspired me.