Sunday, August 13, 2006

Monday, 5 September 1955

Dear Folks

Well, it may be Labor Day for you, but it’s just another day here on the ship.

Yesterday I was talking about food—it, like the weather (cloudy) is always good for a conversation opener. Navy shipboard food is adequate, almost plentiful, & certainly ingenious.

They have one recipe for dough &, with minor alterations, produce bread, rolls, cake, pie crusts, & other "pastries." We always have fresh cold milk for breakfast & supper, but how that will be affected by our going to sea, I don’t know. For lunch, we usually have the Navy’s version of Kool-Ade. This is another example of Navy efficiency—they mix up huge batches of Jell-O before lunch, serve it to us still liquid as Kool-Ade, & solid for supper. Occasionally, though, they goof. Last night we were evidently supposed to have fruit Jell-O, but they started putting the fruit in before lunch. As a result, we were surprised to see chunks of "things" floating around beneath the surface, or settling slowly to the bottom. I wasn’t very thirsty.

Occasionally they treat us to Pumpkin pie or strawberry shortcake with whipcream.
Unfortunately, they never take the trouble to whip it—they just ladle it out. Oh, well, it isn’t the gift that counts, it’s the thought behind it.

The ice cream tastes as though it were packed in mothballs & stored in a dentist’s office. And the only way to tell if we’re eating bread or toast is by the color (& sometimes even that doesn’t help). Otherwise the food is pretty good.

Our compartment is directly beneath the room housing the machinery for one of the plane elevators on the side. Whenever it is in operation, the effect is like being on the inside of a tolling bell.

Be sure you go to the show frequently this coming week—they are sure to have newsreels of the National Air Show, & maybe some of the Ti. I got to see some of it yesterday afternoon, & it was certainly something to see. The Air Force had practically every plane it owns fly over—the giant, lumbering bombers, the swift & sleek jet bombers, & the darting jet fighters, skimming through the sky like a flat rock skips over the water.

The Navy did it’s part by sending the Ti, which just sits here for civilians & enemy agents to swarm over, & occasionally catapults planes from her deck. But we also have the Blue Angels, the acrobatic jet team that has anything & everything the Air Force has beat.

This afternoon, there are going to be speed races, which ought to be something—last year some guy did 800 miles an hour! Of course, ten yeas from now, that will be like somebody in 1903 saying: "One of them autobuggies did 25 miles an hour!! Don’t you dare laugh, Esmirelda, I tell you I saw it with my own eyes!"

I’ll be mailing this from downtown tonight, so you’ll probably get it the same day, if not before the one I wrote yesterday. Funny thing about Liberty—even though you have no place special to go, you do, just to get away for awhile.

A guy on the catwalks (I called them causeways yesterday) was talking to a lady on the flight deck when I went up a while ago. She asked him where he was from, & in a drawl so thick it could catch flies, he said Louisiana. She said she & her husband had just been there for a vacation. "Tell me, ma’m," he drawled, "when you was down there, you ever eat any Louisiana ice cream?" She looked puzzled. "You know, ma’m—Louisiana ice cream—namely, grits."

Your Confederate son

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