Saturday, September 16, 2006

2 December 1955

Nine-fifteen & another day shot (to paraphrase a quaint Navy colloquialism) in the posterior. I can’t get over the impression that every day spent in the Navy is a day lost. That isn’t fair, of course; without the Navy I wouldn’t be in Europe—which, surprisingly, has exactly the same type of air, land, water, & human beings as America. So let’s not say every day has been a total loss—just most of them

An excellent example of the importance of each day may be gotten from the fact that I dated yesterday’s entry as the 30th of November. A s a matter of fact, I even neglected to put down "November" and had to add it just now—after first writing December. Now you may see why my letters are addressed AN instead of N/C.

Replenishment today, & I got to watch none of it—instead stayed in the office & held a one-man field day. We were supposed to get aboard 218 tons—how many we actually got is a mystery.
One full sling of provisions—about four tons, dropped off the transferring lines & into the sea, still neatly secured. Also lost were a group of movies we were sending to them, which will make them very happy, I’m sure.

Somehow, after the tallies were taken, we ended up with ten cases of rutabaga—you think my spelling is bad, you should see theirs. It took us a full five minutes to decipher it. Where it came from or where it went we don’t know, because no one had ordered it & no one has seen it since.

Always, during replenishment, there is the problem of a little fun-loving graft.. Usually most of the credit goes to the ship sending it over to us. They are supposed to give us, say, 10,000 lb. of steak. We only get 9,000. Where is the other thousand pounds? You guess. So we chalk it up as being lost over the side, or some such thing. Those replenishment ships are the best-fed vessels in the Navy.

And here on board the Mighty T last replenishment, the Engineering department managed to walk off with two cases of fruitcake, one case of assorted nuts, & several crates of oranges. They were caught—that’s the only way we knew about it. Otherwise it would go on our Lost at Sea report.

Today, though, we fooled them. Someone got away with three large crates—no one knew who it was. Later, the crates were found on the hanger deck behind one of the boats; it was three crates of vegetable oil.

Mail call today-one letter from Harry Harrison, the only NavCad buddy I still keep in touch with, one from Sandy Bonne, my cousin, & only one from home.

Payday is tomorrow, & will it ever be welcome! In my pocket at this moment I have 20 Francs & sixpence—a combination hard to beat, but for all general purposes worthless.

I’ve had a book of Shakespeare’s comedies on my desk now for weeks & just haven’t gotten around to reading it—not through lack of will, but lack of time.

Think I sold my small camera today. I hate to get rid of it. I get so childishly attached to things; hate to throw anything away. I remember once, when quite a bit smaller than now, mother asking me which of two throw rugs I liked best in a store. I said I liked them both, because I didn’t want to hurt the less-pretty one’s feelings. I’ve always been that way.

I, I, I, I, I—focus your eyes just right & that’s all you can see. Well, how else does one write an autobiography without them?

Taps, Taps—only 284 more times will I have to hear that.

And so (candle in hand) to bed….

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