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July 30, 1943

Dear Folks,

I dare say you got what little news there was from this quarter last week from my letter to Nance, which, as a matter of fact probably said more about Texas than Florida. I’m not sure I envy her down there, especially at this time of year, but Autumn should be rather pleasant. So far the summer here has been less hot than last at Jax, but almost every day the temperature climbs to at least the high eighties, and I don’t believe it ever goes below the seventies at night. It’s muggy too if not raining from a local thunderstorm, as happens very often. Winds vary, but are usually present, and from now on through the Fall there’s the possibility of a hurricane.

It must have been swell at Squam especially with Nance, who has been up there so little in recent years. She must have reveled in it. Now that she is gone, it must be really quiet around the house with the kids still away. I hope Jack continues to like Merryweather and that the Reas are getting along at their “funny” place. I suppose Hermione might take them back pretty soon, but at the same time it wouldn’t surprise me to find all three of them here long after the war is over.

By the way, why don’t Skipper and Aunt Posy go out to Merryweather for a while? Perhaps it would be too complicated.

I’m so glad you got to see “Gunder the Wonder” run, Pa, and was hoping you would. You saw the fourth and, I believe, the seventh fastest miles ever run. Dodd’s performance was really the more surprising—the fastest mile ever run by an American except for Cunningham’s unofficial, indoor, paced performance. Haegg’s 1500 meters equaled Lovelock’s Olympic record, and Dodd’s was only seven tenths of a second slower (six tenths slower than the American record). When Anderson ran 4:02.6, he might easily have also bettered Haegg’s 3:45.8 and probably did! Too bad he didn’t come over. Thanks for the program and clippings.

Well our squadron or training group supposedly has less than two weeks to go, but we’re a little behind schedule because of the weather. There are quite a few Annapolis men down here learning all they can about naval aviation in a few weeks, this being only one of their stopping points. They get all the back seat rides we can give them, but with so little flying experience I’m not sure just how well they enjoy dive bombing, for instance.

On my last day off I didn’t go very far afield because of a farewell party for the Captain scheduled for the evening, and took a train, accompanied as usual by my bicycle, south about 15 miles to New Smyrna, which is near the mouth of Ponce de Leon inlet (the mouth of our Halifax River), bicycled around there for a few hours and then back to the N.A.S. In so doing I found out that the gray kingbird, which I had never seen before, was actually common. The inlet is a good place for shells, as I had discovered some time ago on the Daytona side, so I collected some more.

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The previous day off was spent at the I-n-n-let at Ponte Vedra, which Mrs. Reid now runs. It involved about 27 miles each way, made on separate days, however.