Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Sunday 26 (?) June 1955

Dear Folks

By all rights, I should be studying Civil Air Regulations right now, but I can’t force myself to concentrate on it for any length of time. Anyway, I’ve been neglecting you too much lately. I guess it’s just one of those nights.

It’s raining out—quite a little storm was brewing, with thunder & angry clashes of lightning, but I guess it changed its mind. The wind came whistling in the window, putting the fan to shame. Across the hall a guy was playing the storm scene from the William Tell Overture—all very fitting.

I’m writing this while standing in my skivvies & shower shoes, using the upper bunk & a course rules manual as a desk. When I sit down I get too restless & start thinking of how hungry I am. If it weren’t raining, I’d run over to the ACRAC & get something—a ham & cheese sandwich, most likely. Not that I’m particularly wild about ham & cheese, but that’s the only kind of sandwich they have.

I’m very proud of myself—out of my last check ($48) I’ve managed to save $20. That is exceptionally good, for me. I hope I can keep it up. Believe me, I’ll need every cent I can get for the rear end. Only one more payment on the insurance--$37.28. That will have to come out of my next check.

Why can’t I learn to polish shoes? Everyone else can; all they do is go "whisk-whisk-whisk" with a rag & some polish & you need sun glasses to look at them. Not me. I can spend ten hours on each shoe & have them look worse than when I started. I remember even in Pre-Flight, during room inspections, the captain would invariably make me stand beside one of my roommates just to point up the difference in our shines. I told you, didn’t I, that the last personnel inspection we had here, with over 1,000 cadets, officers, & swabbies lined up on one of the runways, the captain of the base made a special point to stop & talk to me—insignificant little me. And what did he say? "Those shoes could stand a little better shine." Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Well, tell me all about Lirf—how did he look, what did he have to say, etc. Do you think he’s changed any? I know I’ve just seen him a couple of weeks ago, but a lot can happen in three weeks.

I still can’t figure out why we’re such good friends, or how we happened to get that way. We’re as different as night & day, & fight like cats & dogs. I resent the idea of him sitting in my house, petting my dog, watching my TV set, & me way down here in Florida. You can tell him I’ll do my utmost to return the favor.

Went over to Mainside this afternoon to see a show (it only costs 10 cents—God, I’m cheap), & saw one of the guys in the band who was just dropped from the program. He’s waiting now to be shipped to Norfolk.

Now, let me run over the "instructions" for mom, in case I’m still here on the 15th. Should I get the boot, I’ll call home at once & let you know so that you can cancel reservations (which can be done at any time). Check your bags at the airport when you arrive (Rockford airport, that is).

That is all you have to worry about them—they’ll be automatically shifted from plane to plane.

You’re allowed 40 pounds, which is more than enough. When you arrive in Chicago & Atlanta, go to the reservation desk for whatever airline you’re taking & confirm your reservation. Be sure to do this, or if there is a big crowd, they might give your seat to someone else—I almost lost mine coming home for Christmas. When you get here, I’ll no doubt be waiting for you. If something should come up where I’m unable to get away, wait half an hour for me. As soon as they unload the baggage, take your claim tag & get it. If I don’t show up within the half hour, take a cab to the San Carlos Hotel (maybe to the Town House—I’ll let you know. The Town House is very nice, but I haven’t found out about meals yet). See—all very simple.

Well, I’d best get back to my civil air regulations. Tomorrow I fly my first solo hop, if the weather’s good. Personally, I wish we wouldn’t fly for two weeks!

Until I see you both, I am

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