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April 2, 1942

Dear Folks,

It could hardly be considered uncomplimentary that I always write to both of you in the same letter, but after all you are two different people, and perhaps when we get through ground school in another six weeks or so, I'll sometimes make the most of opportunities to write to each of you separately, an answer to a letter being perhaps just a little more than just a letter.

It must have been a very nice wedding. Wish I had been there! Wasn’t the bride almost as tall if not a little taller than the groom? How many of '34 are now married, Pa? I frankly don’t know about several of them. So good old Ad is going to finally get someone. H is health and happiness! As a matter of fact I saw it in the Sunday Herald, which a neighbor conveniently gets.

In a way I’m glad to hear that the atmosphere in Washington is grim since it means that authorities at any rate are not blindly overconfident as the public appears to be. Though I am not particularly an admirer of or believer in Eddie Rickenbacker’s views, I do think he may not have been far from the truth when he said: “The public is trying to win this war in its spare moments. This is a life and death struggle, and it will take from five to ten years.” I for one blame both the newspapers and certain cocky “typical Americans” as well as everyone in general for not doing a better job of sifting out significant facts and trends from the jumble of information that floats around. Newsweek, I must admit, does a pretty fair job. Both this and “Life” would be very worthwhile to file away, but I suppose the bulk that would accumulate would make it impracticable.

To describe one, P. Field, more thoroughly, his musical talents are frankly rather superficial. He plays some difficult piano pieces reasonably well, but entirely from memory and hence seldom through to the end. His knowledge of music in general is really pathetic. I am constantly identifying music or at least composers of the same that comes over the radio, all of which in the symphonic lines is prety much the same to him. He can paint very nicely, as several water colors of local scenes well prove. Of course he talks French almost as well as he talks English. Athletically he’s an odd mixture. I suspect he throws a baseball like a girl, but he can ski well enough to have made the H. ski team and plays much better golf, usually, than I do. As an actor (any kind) he’d be superb.

If I do get my wings, and frankly I’m not confident that I shall, merely hopeful, it very likely will not be until late in August, though it seems likely that we shall finish up here and not move to another base. There is, however, no final word on that yet. The idea is to have this particular station an advanced training post for officer pilots and that, eventually if not sooner there will be no more cadets here. New classes seem to be still coming in, and they’re speeding up the program. Don Watson, for instance, is now only two weeks behind us, because they began cutting down ground school with the class after us and are pushing the flying.

I imagine we’ll all get at least 15 days of leave, as they are still getting now. Maybe, since it might be the last chance for a while, I should try to work in a honeymoon! As a matter of fact I finally officially (as opposed to just cutting in and introducing myself at a dance once) met a nice girl here as the result of taking my first Wednesday night off and going on a “double date” with a friend, whose sister was visiting her. She went to Vassar, is interested in botany and doesn’t look it, if you see what I mean!

Concerning my would-be career things haven’t been too bright lately. I flunked that two week navigation course, but it was some consolation to get a 3.9 out of 4.0 on the make-up. I just can’t seem to make myself work fast enough to finish problems, but so far what I have finished has had only a few mistakes—the only consolation here. I have been slow learning to fly too. After the alotted number of hours before the first check after the solo check, called the 20 hour check, I got two straight ‘downs’ and had to be given extra time. Then the check pilot of the first check following the extra instruction (3 hrs. and 1 hr. solo) gave me an “up” as a gift. The check pilot this morning was tactful enough to not say that at any rate. I’ve had trouble slipping, which is not easy especially when converting a slip or sideways motion into a straight landing. Slipping enables one, incidentally, to descend much more steeply and no faster than gliding straight down. Well tomorrow I start stunting and will probably get sick.

More bad news is that I shall probably have to go to night radio next week because I think I flunked the weekly code test, though it was the blinker that stumped me. Another thing is that we have a holiday on Easter, and I have a Mate of the Deck watch beginning at noon—of all the luck. Such seems toi be life.

Love to All,


P.S. Thanks for books, Pa and Gamidy. Haven’t had a chance to shop for bag for several weeks, but will maybe Sat. next.

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