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Sept. 30, 1942

Dear Folks,

October approaches, and it feels like October. Last Sunday the Jacksonville official thermometer reached 90°F, but the next two days saw a real northeaster and no flying. The temperature dropped to the sixties, and this morning at 7:30 my thermometer read 58°F—lowest in months. Until this cold spell, which, incidentally, really felt chilly and left me with a heavy cold, the temperature hadn’t been below the seventies since about May. The number of non-flying days not counting Sundays has been practically negligible all summer, but there are rumors that we’ll have to fly the next two Sundays to make up for Monday and Tuesday. To-day we got our hops in, the overcast and drizzle having abated, but the wind remains—25± kts and fun to take off into.

Last Sunday was like those before the canoe trip. Four of us stayed with some very nice Paines and ate at Mrs. Reid’s, where there weren’t enough beds for us. It saved us some dough as the Paines don’t run a boarding house. Mrs. Reid, I gather, was left holding the bag by her husband, a drunkard. The Sunday ornithological trip wasn’t too successful, because of high tide and consequently too flooded marshes, but on Tuesday afternoon, which we were given off because of heavy overcast, I went for a walk and saw lots of birds, the rain having stopped. The woods were full of migrating warblers, mostly redstarts, but there were also a good many black-throated blues, prairies, etc., and several others. Out in the river were two kinds of terns, blown in by the storm. One of the best things was my first sight of a chuck-wills-widow—and oversized whip-poor-will.

Compulsory exercise started to-day for all operational training student officers, about the only annoying thing about it being the fact that it is compulsory and run by men, many of them ensigns, who got their commissions the easy way after a few weeks training. It also cuts down on time ashore since one has to be back by 11:00, but this is unimportant to many of us. Then too nighly liberty is theoretically not granted to us.

We don’t get any furlough by the way, but rather leave. It remains to be seen how much and when. Though we are ploughing along, the night flying schedule is getting behind, our orders haven’t come in yet (and apparently we don’t get leave until they do), and there may be more and more bad weather. Certainly we won’t get through until the full eight weeks are up—unless things get caught up.

Up until now we have been having a little of everything, much as before, but with some variation in the procedure, but in a couple of days or so we will have long hops combining about everything we’ve had.

By the way a likely thing seems to be immediate assignment to a new cruiser after leave, but very likely one just or not yet commissioned hence not ready for sea for a few months. I’d much prefer shore duty, though the experience wouldn’t be the same.

Yes, I found Nance’s pictures—none to complimentary. She may outrank me in a few months. The Navy is slower about promotions, but nevertheless is speeding up.

Badly weeviled trees often never develop a single leader and become squat cabbage pines. Competition from hardwoods is often desirable (alders?).

Love to All


P.S. Send best regards or love or whatever to people like Aunts, Peabodies, W L_t__s, Sabines, etc.

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