26 December 1955
Off to an early start today—it’s only two in the afternoon. I rate liberty tonite but won’t take it: Naples has little to offer & is too eager to take. Today is Holiday routine, as Christmas fell on a Sunday. I was rather surprised at how little it mattered. It will go as unmentioned as it went unnoticed. The dinner, though plentiful, was spoiled by the fact that it was served on trays & eaten on benches on a metal floor, with steam pipes & intakes humming overhead.
Aside from the fact that there was nothing to write about yesterday, I also spent the evening at the movies. For a change (maybe because of Christmas) they had a double feature, both of which I’d seen before: "Three Ring Circus" with Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, was one of their less-funny pictures; "Mr. Roberts" mom & I had seen when she came to Pensacola, & I enjoyed it as much the second time as I had the first.
One saving feature—much as I dislike Norfolk, I will always have something to do when we get back—go to the movies. There is an eight-month lull in my movie going habits, which I fully intend to make up for.
Latest scuttlebutt is that our Mediterranean vacation has been lengthened until mid-June, leaving Gibraltar on the 7th, & limping home somewhere around the twentieth. It is going to be very hard not to request leave the minute the ship pulls in, but I will try to resist the temptation.
By the time I do get home, I will not have seen mother in over a year, dad in ten months, Aunt Thyra in one year & eight months, & will have spent all but 16 days in two years away from home! Which is a long time.
All I think about is getting out; going back to college. Occasionally I think about money—& how little of it I have. As they say, "I have a champagne taste on a water income."
Mail closes out at 1700 tonite, & it being 1625 (4:25 p.m.) I’d best get busy. Dad seems to draw a distinction between letters & the journal. Besides not having a "Dear Folks" at the top, & a "Love, Roge" at the bottom, everything included here is a letter. That’s my main objective—to write a letter to & for everyone who’d care to read it. But, I’ve discovered, in order for someone to be remembered on this spatial pea, they must leave something worthy of remembering.
There are no doubt countless attics with dusty trunks crammed with letters & memos of somebody long gone, & there they lie—unread & unnoticed. I’ve got to be different; so I figure that maybe, by addressing myself to everyone, I’ll make myself known to them. It would be nice if I could know everyone, but time is rather limited & there are so many people.
Well, I see by the oooold clock on the wall (bulkhead) that time’s up for now—also space….
Postcard postmarked U.S.S. Ticonderoga, 9 A.M. December 26 1955. Subject: Naples Panorama
This is sort of a kinescope postcard. Every card I’ve ever seen of Vesuvius shows smoke coming out of it, but it’s just been sitting there since 1944. Hope you got the manila envelope with my "journal."
My pen, which I used on the address, has something wrong with it—maybe the point, maybe the ink. I’ll have to start saving for a new watch—got one in mind I like.
Regards to all the relatives. I’ve got to send this off now or it’ll never go---we’re going to sea tomorrow.
Love to all,