Thursday, December 21, 2006

26 April 1956

Dear Folks

Last night I got all of two lines of a letter written, & then gave it up—there just wasn’t anything to write about. This is the second draft of this letter. The handwriting in the first was so atrocious even I couldn’t read it. I can see this is not going to be too much of an improvement. My handwriting is definitely going down hill.

Been munching cookies, of which I took a handful from the galley to stave off my hunger. Besides, we had liver for supper, & you know how I love liver!

You’d be amazed how clear the water is around here. Lloyd & I were up on the foc’sle after dinner today, & we could see the entire bow of the ship (which goes down quite a way). It was so clear we could see streaks of rust on the hull.

The sun came out for awhile today, but it wasn’t very strong—sort of diluted. The Intrepid is still with us, about two miles ahead & two miles off to port, with a little destroyer toddling along after her like a puppy. Two prop planes were doing acrobatics & made me wish I were up there with them.

This is only our fourth day at sea, but it’s the tenth—no, the 12th, since I’ve been ashore; the longest single stretch I’ve ever done on this thing. We pull into Athens on Monday, which is also May Day. In America, we used to make May baskets & fill them with candy—in Europe, May Day is the day when all the Communists come out in full force, spreading their own special brand of pleasantries in the form of riots, stonings, & burnings. We’ll probably have to stay on board until everything cools down.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…Nick has been sulking around for three days now, saying next to nothing, & on the rare occasions he does speak, it’s an unintelligible mumble. Can’t figure out what’s wrong with him, but he’s certainly doing his best to make everyone miserable.

Just finished reading some more out of the mythology book I got two weeks ago from the library—this time it was the Trojan War. This particular legend never ceases to fascinate me, though I’ve read it a dozen different times in different books, from "The Iliad" on down. I’ve found that the characters in mythology are all inter-related & linked, even though they do tend to blend & fade together at times. Mythology is far more enjoyable, & at times more believable, than history. And now why do I say that? Mythology is a history—a sort of "pre-history" that lived more by word of mouth than by printed page.

Well, now, I’ve got to go take a shower. I see my handwriting has degenerated into illegibility.
More tomorrow.



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