28 December 1955
As we proceed deeper into invoices, reports, & card catalogues, the temperament of our little group gets progressively worse. Coutre & Nick will be at each other’s throats in a matter of minutes, while I sit—if not aloof then at least aside—& enjoy everything. I’m in one of my prolonged good moods where nothing bothers me too much.
You know, I’ll have a little outline all set up in my mind of what I want to put down, & then some irrelevant little thought will come scooting across my head & completely short-circuit the whole thing.
Coutre, hunting for an elusive $59.31, has just slammed out the door on his way to parts unknown, & Nick’s opinion is that "I don’t much give a damn." They’ve both been working until two every morning, so I guess you really can’t blame them.
Got four new mess cooks in today, which came as a very pleasant surprise. That brings our complement back up to 132, a figure we have not seen for some time now. We’re supposed to have 139 or thereabouts. Tomorrow we’re getting in a new batch, & the 6th of Jan we’re replacing 35 or 40, which always makes for an interesting day.
It seems the object of Coutre’s search was a certain invoice—I like to think of it as our Holy Grail
--- (Signifying passage of time.) And it seems as though there may be a happy ending for our little brood; the $59.31 has been found! Let there be singing & dancing in the streets. The Holy Grail has not been found, but we’re busy making a new one, & all is forgiven between Nick & Cou. Through all this drama, I have played the part of a Christmas tree on the 4th of July, & been as useful.
Our two weeks’ extension has been confirmed. That means (more statistics) we will have been away from home seven & one half months—longer, incidentally, than any carrier has spent over here at any one stretch since the war.
I still keep glancing at my wrist to see what time it is. Oh, well. I have a watch in mind that I’ll get when I get home, but won’t be able to afford till then.
I’m afraid I’m getting a "below-decks" pallor—the two minutes I spent in the sun today almost wilted me, so I hurried back to the soft neon lights in the ships interior.
Well, back to the Paris adventures….
Postcard postmarked "U.S.S. Ticonderoga, CVA 14, Dec.29, l955, 9 a.m. Subject: The Eiffel Tower
Well, here I am. The stores are all set up for Xmas, and the weather is to match. Having a good time so far, but so cloudy I didn’t take any pictures (not many, anyway). Tomorrow we go to Versailles. Already spent over 1,000 francs ($5.00).
Note the postmark—I couldn’t find any French stamps to mail it from there.