12 February, 1956
A short day—beginning at about 11:15 this morning, a movie this afternoon, reading & monkeying around this evening, & here we are. Ah, if they all go this fast.
Submitted my request to go to Rome on the 21st. But I have a slight problem. I may have mentioned Peter Paul Kreiger before; he is a stocky blond, rather reminiscent of an ox. He isn’t stupid, but he is almost unbelievably naïve. Several weeks ago he came to me & said "Let’s go to Rome, Roger." I said I didn’t know if I could, though even then I’d planned on it. So, every two or three days he’d ask me again. I kept putting him off & putting him off.
I don’t want to sound like a snob or anything like that, but I like to feel that whatever I want to do, I can. But Peter Paul is the kind who won’t let you move without being right there. To top it all off, we have absolutely nothing in common.. I am also very naïve at times, but not to the obvious extent Peter Paul is. He’s a good kid, & will do anything for you, but he is the proverbial small town boy in the big city.
So tonite I came into the office & here was Peter Paul, making out a tour chit for Rome on the 21st.
"Are you going to Rome, Roger?"
"Yes," I said.
"On the 21st?" I nodded.
"Swell—we’ll have to sort of stick together there, you know, won’t we?"
What can I say? I can’t hurt the poor kid’s feelings, even if I have a miserable time myself. Oh, but I do sound like a snob. I can see us now—I’ll want to spend as much time in the ruins as possible. While standing in the Forum, pondering the glory that was Rome & seeing the great buildings & beautifully-dressed people in my mind’s eye, Peter Paul will say:
"Gee, this is old, isn’t it?"
And nights, when I want to just walk up & down the streets looking in the windows, Peter Paul will be there. Oh, well….
The captain made a little speech over the intercom this evening, saying that the USS Ticonderoga is the worst ship in the Mediterranean Area (by 8 to 1) as far as getting into trouble ashore. What a ship!
The storm of the past few days has completely passed—we are anchored once again off Sardinia, which seems to be our home port. Damage done by the waves was considerable. One sponson deck on the port (left) side, from which our gangway is let down, was twisted up two feet, so that the ladder cannot be lowered. One compartment forward is completely flooded, several more have buckled. I enjoyed the whole thing.
Replenishment yesterday—delayed report—went off with typical Naval efficiency. We ordered 20 cases of skimmed milk & received 207; asked for 400,000 lbs of potatoes & got 21,000.
And so to bed.