15 Feb. 1956
Something is not as it should be—either the mail is fouled up or you aren’t writing every day. How did I reach this conclusion? We were at sea for seven days without a mail call, & when we finally had one, last night & this morning, I got three letters. See what I mean?
Got paid today, as well as a Cholera shot they gave out with each pay chit—sneaky of them. It felt so good to have real honest-to-goodness money for a change. I ran out (or rather "down") to the ship’s store & bought four rolls of film—at $3.65 (up 40 cents from last time) a roll, which should last me through Rome.
Vesuvius was beautiful today—when it could be seen at all—pure white & towering over the city larger than it ever did before. Snow almost all day—thick, heavy flakes. Some guys built a snow-woman on the Number 2 elevator, while others threw snowballs into the water.
Because a strong wind was driving the ship into the sea wall to which we’re moored, all the hangar bay doors were opened to allow the wind to pass through. Needless to say, it was a wee bit chilly.
According the chart you sent, I owe the government $7.46, which I will not pay until they ask me for it.
Nick, Cou & Andy went out early this afternoon for the express purpose of getting smashed drunk. Last time Andy & Cou went out, they came back with a bar stool. They had another chair picked up from a sidewalk café, but the owner caught them at fleet landing & they had to give it back.
Nick, I’ve found out, is very bitter toward the Navy (who isn’t?) because when he finished boot camp he asked to be sent to communications school & someone told him he couldn’t go because he is a security risk (his father was born in Russia).
We only have five more ports to hit—excluding the NATO cruise—before heading home—Rhodes, Beirut, San Remo, Valencia, & Barcelona.
I asked Andy to steal me something this time. He was highly indignant. Last time he woke everyone in the cook’s compartment one by one & ceremoniously presented each of them a peanut. Coutre will be hell in the morning, & I don’t expect to see Nick much before noon.
Till next time