Monday, January 22, 2007

24 - 25 June 1956

Dear Folks

Oh, what a night I had! I got up at least three times for various reasons, & felt I was going to be sick—which I successfully fought off. Every waking-time would be preceded by a dream that everybody wanted their liberty cards and I couldn’t get them for them.

I’m sure it wasn’t the negligible quantity of alcohol that brought it all on—I haven’t been feeling too well in the stomach department for about two days.

When I was not surrounded by clamors for liberty cards, I was directing shipping for the entire port of Genoa. All in all it was a strenuous night.

Oh, yes, at about five thirty, JL (he has no name, just initials) woke the compartment strumming on a guitar & singing: "It’s reveille, you all."

Just got back from a quick breath of fresh air. We are now underway from Genoa as of ten minutes ago, so we haven’t gone very far. I thought I’d go up & take on last look at it. It isn’t a very nice day—not raining or anything, but the whole sky & sea (& Genoa, which hasn’t gotten out of bed yet) are a stodgy grey, & the wind imported from a Scottish castle.

Somehow I was tricked into getting out of bed at 0600, but didn’t know it until I got down to the office and began wondering where everybody was. Once I’m asleep, there is nothing I like better than to stay asleep. Today we start 72 straight hours of Fleet Exercises, which means GQ at any & all hours of the day & night. Oh, such fun.

With a pleasant surprise, I noticed that today my calendar says there are only 48 days between now & 12 August. Isn’t that nice?

{LATER (MUCH)} Do you know what the name of the movie for tonite is? No, not "Birth of a Nation," but you’re close—it’s "Naughty Marietta" with Nelson Eddy & Jeanette McDonald! I think the Navy should have a new motto to replace "Join the Navy & See the World;" we’ll call it "Join the Navy & See All the Movies You’re Far Too Young to Remember." Actually, I guess I wasn’t "far too young"—I may have been a devil-may-care rogue of six months when I sat through it the first time.

I’ve been reading some more of Robert Benchley. I think he’s influenced me—that is, I hope he’s influenced me. Just think, he was funny day after day, & always found something humorous—even if it was only a blackbird doing a pratfall (which doesn’t strike me as being particularly amusing—but then I don’t have a daily column in the "World.").

Mail call today bought forth two letters from you, in which Father mentioned the fact that Father’s Day had come & gone with no word from yours truly. Again I say I’m sorry, but you are not forgotten, & I’ll make up for it next Father’s day.

{STILL LATER} Now why should I criticize the Navy’s choice of movies? Every now & then they come up with one like "Camille" or "Rasputin & the Empress" or "Naughty Marietta" which are excellent or, at least, very enjoyable. It’s amazing how well movies got on before the advent of Technicolor, Wide Screen & Stereophonic sound.

Perhaps the shortest, & by far the most fascinating conversation of the day took place this evening between Andy & myself:

"Did you know," asked Andy, "that I can crack a walnut with my big toe?"

"No, I did not," I said, expectantly.

"Well, I can."

And so to bed.



No comments: