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April 18, 1942

Dear Pa,

It must have been a pleasant change to get down to Great Neck, but why not after a while come down here for a bit. It might be expensive and all that, but a lot of parents are doing it and who knows what’s going to happen to money after this war any way. If there were a boom, travel prices would go up. If there were a crash, no one would have any money, so why not spend a little now and enjoy oneself in these otherwise unhappy times. As for not having enough time, that’s ridiculous too for a retired man. There won’t be any air raids in Groton for a while, and alumni notes can slide along all right. Ma would love to come, and I’m sure she must need a rest, and of course she needs company too!

I envy Mr. Addison’s plans for the summer and am heartily glad he’s so much better. At this point it seems that nothing would be better than to retire and spend the rest of one’s days at Squam.

No, I haven’t seen the new Great Neck house yet. Sweetgum’s name is Liquidambar styraciflua or something like that.

Last night I saw the “Jungle Book” movie—good entertainment at least and with some remarkable shots. This afternoon or what’s left of it by the time we get back to N.A.S. and through dinner (around 2:30) a fellow forester and I are going to “explore” as much of not very distant Okeefenokee swamp (mostly in Georgia) as we can. There’s a big road through it now, and though I’ve been on it, it was at night coming down from Atlanta. We hope to see many interesting things such as perhaps some really big sweet gums and cypress such as are quite absent around here and some good birds too. Timber around here is pretty sad—pitch-pine-like groves of slash and longleaf pine, hammocks on drier spots of oaks, etc., and swamps of cypress, tupelo and red gum. The pines have been and are all the time being badly burned and blazed for naval stores. The hardwoods have apparently been cut, but maybe the soil is so poor that there never were any big trees (really big—2สน to 10′ d. G. L.) as there are in some places.

Before to-day I had three days off from flying because of the red tape involved in going in for “Squadron (extra) time,” but now with a nice new instructor I hope I’m all set to get those damn stunts. We had quite a session just now, but it only made me a little “wuzzy.”

Celestial navigation, which consisted mostly of looking things up in tables then finally plotting lines, went very badly as it did with quite a few of the boys until the final exam, which I think I hit pretty well.



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