13 November 1955
Sunday, though you’d never know it; the major blessing of the day was that I got to sleep until nine o’clock. At that time, Gibraltar was only 167 miles away. We dock tomorrow morning. I hope to be able to get some photographs as we approach, if it is light enough.
The main social events of the day were the official opening of radio station WTIC (original, isn’t it?) & the evening’s Smoker. The radio station will operate from & for the ship all the time we’re in the Mediterranean area, playing Armed Forces Radio Service recordings of programs heard back home. I saw them in the library the other day—stacks of them all over & around the piano—everything from Judy Canova to interlude music.
While on the flight deck this afternoon, taking advantage of the clear but cool weather to take some pictures, someone had a little portable radio tuned in to some Spanish station—the music would not go over in the U.S., I’m afraid.
Let’s hope our mail has reached Gibraltar before us—they announced today that all mail being sent from the ship had to be in by 2400 this evening—I saw guys going up to the box with fistfuls of letters—there have been more letters written aboard this ship in the last ten days than in the last ten weeks!
Not being as expert at connected & logical step-by-step thought as I should be, I negleced to mention the Smoker. We used to have them once a month in Pensacola—we were told we would attend them , & we would enjoy ourselves—or else! It consists of several boxing & wrestling matches, which I’ve always classed in enjoyment on the same scale as flower arrangement, & the nocturnal habits of the double-breasted Bluejay.
So tomorrow I’ll be twenty-two years old. It is most likely that I won’t have time to write an "entry", but I’ll catch up the next day, when we leave Gibraltar for Cannes.
Spent the evening playing Parchese & blackjack, with a little double solitaire thown in.
Fred Kobel, another X-NavCad in my Pre-Flight class & now aboard the good old Big Ti has relatives in Switzerland whom he was planning to visit. We found out yesterday, however, that no one is permitted to wear a uniform in Switzerland (or Spain, or Sweden—who’d want to go to Sweden anyhow?). Let’s hope they make an exception in Spain, since we’re going to Barcelona, & it would be nice to get off the ship.
The Smoker has just let out, & the participants are coming down for steaks, which reminds me—I’m hungry.
Tomorrow Columbus arrives in Europe….
Still 13 November 1955
Second "letter"—the mail is leaving the ship as soon as we hit port tomorrow. God, they must have at least two freight cars full of it by now. Sure will seem good to get a letter—the only one I get mail from is me.
You’ll probably be getting all six of these letters (or four or five or however many there are) on the same day—that is why I’ve numbered them on the upper left hand corner of the enverlopes. I was going to number them on the upper right hand corner, but I didn’t figure you’d care to look under the stamps for them.
One of the main reasons why I wrote the first letter was to ask dad how much I should sell my other camera for? I’ll hate to lose it, but I need the money. Four guys want it.
So tomorrow is the big day, in more ways than one—my 22nd birthday (second year away
from home) & the first glimpse of Europe. Well, anything else that comes up, or has come up, can be found in my "journal".—Till I see you (Don’t forget about New York!) I am
P.S. Mom, I need stamps—tons of them—only 3 cent & 1 cent, & even some heavier ones if nessecssary—no, anything larger I mail, I’ll have to mail ashore.