Thursday, September 14, 2006

29 November 1955

Dear Folks

As you can see by the new stationary , I finally got my package—thank you much. I enjoyed & can use everything, including the harmonica. I’m planning on giving a concert soon. The handkerchiefs will put an end to my sniffling & running madly to the head for a piece of toilet paper when I have to blow my nose.

The stationary, I fear, came out second best in the battle of the U.S. Mail. The box was unrecognizable as such, but aside from being wrinkled & somehow slightly water stained, it will do very nicely. Mom & I have many similar tastes.

Speaking of taste, you must learn how to make Bouliabaise (horrible spelling)—anyway it’s like potato soup. The French have it all the time.

Haven’t been ashore at all in Cannes—loaned out my remaining 4,000 Francs, so I couldn’t have if I’d wanted to. It’s just as well, I suppose—I was thinking of going over tonite, but I just would have spent it all.

Just went topside to see if they still were selling American magazines—several weeks old. They weren’t, but there are about forty mail sacks; probably all packages, but I hope there’s some regular mail, & some of it is for me.

Been stuffing myself all day with bread—yesterday I happened to be in the Bake Shop & saw some of the guys playing football with a batch of leftover dough. I told them that next time they had any left over, I’d like it if they just plopped it in the oven, as is, & gave it to me. So today they came over with my own personal loaf of bread, divided into four parts like a pan of Parker house rolls. So I’ve been eating. And eating. I’ve got one section to go, then will start on the apricots.

Haven’t heard yet from the insurance company about my car. If no word comes in this mail, I’ll send them another. Of course, they can ignore that, too, & there’d be nothing I could do about it.

A couple hours have gone by, during which time I’ve been busy cutting stencils for replenishment—what goods go where, etc. Also, we’ve had mail call, & I got four very welcome letters, asking me why don’t I write; that you haven’t heard a word from me & that you wondered if my letters could be mailed without stamps. Nothing quite like the rapid handling of mail by the good old U.S. Navy.

First of all, the only time you can mail letters without stamps is when we are at war & the letter sender is in a war zone. Between "when" & "we" a whole day has gone by. I was cut off in mid sentence by more work—and still more work.

Spent all day working out a new liberty schedule—completely erasing & rewriting 3 boards with 131 names—surprising I can still write tonight.

Tell me—did you read about our accident in the papers? One of the guys got a letter from home (Chicago) & said the Tribune had a big story on it. The commander who lost both his legs died in a hospital in Munich. That makes 12 guys the Ti has lost since I’ve come aboard.

Got a letter from Gary, at long last. I’ll have to write him tonite, if I have time. Just think—he’s a 2nd Lieutenant & I’m a slob. Oh, well, such is life.

Did you get Ching Chong yet? God, Christmas is going to be all fouled up this year, as far as presents go. Mr. Clower said he was at the Nice airport when our mail came in on an R5D or some big plane—you know how high those things are off the ground. He said they just opened the cargo doors & threw stuff out on the ground. They were very good about insured fragile packages—they threw them out, too, but didn’t throw anything else on top of them.

Well, I’d better close or I never will get finished. Probably the mail won’t go off until Genoa anyhow. Till I see you, then, I will send


P.S. I’m homesick.

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