27 December 1955
Since you’re saving my letters & my journal (I hope) this will have to serve as both for today. It is now two days past Christmas—or should I say "past the 25th," & we are at sea off the southern coast of Italy. It is inventory time in the office, when all quarterly returns & bookwork must be brought up to date. Fortunately, I have little to do with this, except for some typing.
I’m sitting at my desk with the little light over it on (the big ceiling lights are out to discourage visitors), staring at a three-gallon stainless steel thermos jug of coffee. The top of it is missing, & the heat is kept in by a manila folder over the opening, with an inkwell on top to hold it tight.
Got a letter today—probably won’t get another till we get back to Naples—in which mom says she’s waiting for my call. I’m sorry it had to be such a short one, but I’m low on money. This is not a hint, & I don’t want you to send me the money. Unless, of course, you have 8,000 Lire handy. Seriously, though, don’t send anything. It was a small enough Christmas present.
Yes, I still want the photo, & as soon as possible. I’ve asked you before, but what did you think of "The Confederacy?" My favorite of all of them is "Furl the Banner"—that is really beautiful, & it epitomizes all lost causes. I used to sing it to myself while I was on solos at Pensacola. Turn on the hi-fi, & listen to the drums in "The Bonnie Blue Flag." I’m crazy about that beat. Tin pan alley has massacred it into "The Bonnie Blue Gal," & it thereby loses most of its charm, at least in the vocal. Read carefully the book part in front. Incidentally, you did get it in 45rpm didn’t you?
Did I tell you the company insuring my car went bankrupt? And they owe me $40!!! Not only did they go bankrupt, but are $1,500,000 in the red. I hope they don’t try to take it out on me.
Are you getting Life every week? Please do & save them for me, since I never get a chance to see them over here. Time & Newsweek have European editions in English, so I buy them whenever I can.
I look forward to our pending tour to the United States with much more enthusiasm than I did our jaunt to Europe.
Have you gotten my journal in the big envelope yet? You should have, it had a two day head start, at least. I’m still working on the Paris trip—still haven’t gotten past the first day!!! I’m telling you everything I did, except for occasional trips to the rest room & regular inhaling & exhaling.
I hope to have enough money scraped together to go to Rome next time we hit Naples (sometime in February—not counting from the 29th of this month till the 2nd of Jan.)
Bunch of NATO VIPs on board; Turkish, Greek, Italians, etc. They all look loaded down with brass & medals.
Twenty-five minutes to taps & I’ve got to take a shower. So, till next time, I send