Wednesday, December 27, 2006

11 May 1956

Dear Folks

Six thirty (p.m.) & a mail call with no mail—from you, that is; one from Effie saved the day. As I said, I know how you feel when you don’t get any. Of course you have the advantage of being at home & of not being in the Navy, a privilege I hope to share in the near future.

Sitting there at dinner today, it suddenly dawned on me where I am—this happens occasionally, & fills me with a rare childish awe. My mind works in many, if not wondrous, ways. I have yet to empty a trash can & not think (if something in there belonged to or was handled by me) of it lying on the bottom of the sea, all alone. Sometimes, when the wind is right, the papers whip into the air & fly along behind the ship, as if they didn’t want to fall & sink; for the sea is clear & blue on the surface, but cold & black on the bottom.

It never ceases to fascinate me how the blue water can be whipped into a white frothy foam, like the finest lace.

Latest "when-we’re-getting-back-home" scoop: it has been definitely (HAH) confirmed that we arrive home June 28—we will be relieved two hundred miles west of Gibraltar. Oh, well.

What gets me is that every single one of these rumors is Grade A-1 First Class Straight 100% Scoop. It is usually told in whispers, in huddled groups of two or more. Now, the guy who tells it is in R Division; he got it from a buddy in V-2 who heard a chief in X Division say he knew a yeoman in the Captain’s Office who had seen a dispatch on the Captain’s desk. The rumor?--We’re to be extended until Christmas because of possible Jewish-Arab riots. The dispatch?--"Vice Admiral Arleigh Strunk, Commander One Hundred Forty Fifth Naval District Wishes All Fleet Commanders a Belated Merry Christmas."

And so it goes….

Movie tonite was "The Stars are Singing"—an old one I’d seen before, but I enjoyed it as much if not more the second time. It had Rosemary Clooney, Lauretz Melchior, Anna Maria Albergehetti. Sitting beside me was James Bixby—don’t recall if I’ve ever mentioned him before. He’s an odd looking kid, thin red hair like dyed straw, millions of freckles & pale blue eyes (the girl he writes to signs her letters "Yours Truly" so he’s madly in love with her).

Anyway, the movie had quite a bit of opera, during which time I sat absorbed. Bixby, having nothing better to do, (opera being as far over his head as his feet are below) sat & stared at me, amid chuckles that anybody could be so stupid as to go for that opera junk.

Now about three minutes to ten & I have accomplished almost nothing constructive, except to tuck another day into my suitcase.

I find there is so much for me to enjoy in the world, I have time for little else.

Tomorrow begins another weekend, thank God.

Just went in the galley for a meat loaf sandwich. Mordeno was playing games this afternoon & brought me a sandwich—which I should have known was odd in itself—which he had covered with Cayenne pepper. He watched me expectantly as I ate it (I tasted the pepper but didn’t show any signs of it), & finally said "Doesn’t it taste a little hot?" I said "Not very." That took all the fun out of it, & he left. As soon as he was gone, I made a beeline for the nearest water fountain.

Well, it being after taps, & I still being hell on getting up in the morning, I’ll close now.

Write soon.




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