20 April 1956
Thought I’d break my long-standing rule about typing a letter and try it for a change.
Typewritten letters are so impersonal (except Mother’s, of course), but certainly more legible.
Sorry I haven’t written in three days; which also is not something in the rules, but I’ve been kept slightly busy. Up at four a.m. this morning (brilliant—that’s like saying "that-there" or "ain’t go no") for replenishment at sea, which went off quite well with only a few minor mishaps like a guy falling over the side of a destroyer. They picked him up all right. We certainly look impressive, if nothing else—two carriers, eight or ten destroyers, several tankers, oilers, AF’s (food cargo ships) and AK’s (material), and even a heavy cruiser or two. And we are all going to pull into Suda Bay, Crete, tomorrow morning. That ought to be loads of fun. From what I hear of Suda Bay, a good time will be had by all; the Shore Patrol has to take over its own drinking water, the town isn’t even a wide spot in a cow path—it was completely wiped out during World War II and never bothered to rebuild. Oh, well, we’ll only be there two days,. Forgot to mention that liberty is up at 5 in the afternoon. Monday we pull out to God knows where; you may take your choice—1) since the Arab-Israeli peace treaty has been signed (and everyone knows that automatically means the solution to all problems), we will skit right back and pick up our schedule where we left off, in Barcelona. 2) We are going back to the Western Med, but first stopping at Athens, Greece, and Ismir, Turkey. 3) No one has the vaguest idea where we’re going, and all the big wheels in the 6th Fleet are having a get-together tomorrow night to figure things out.
I would rather fancy the second one, if I had my choice. Well, we’ll see.
Today has been a very long day, now stretching into its eighteenth hour.
I also got a little note from the government, about which I may have said something previously, saying I owe them $7.46—first time I’ve ever paid any income tax. Made a money order out this morning. From the sounds of the typewriter, I’m almost out of paper. And, being sleepy, I will ask your permission to close. Yep, I was right.