Dec. 12, 1943
It was nice to hear about Thanksgiving day home, though Christmas should be even better if Ham et al. can make it. There’s no possibility of my getting home so far as I know. Christmas here will be just like any other day unless one is lucky enough to get it on one’s day off, though I suppose the Captain could proclaim it everyone’s day off. The Gibbses have invited me to pass the holiday with them, and it’s at least something to get the invitation. With them it would be as close to home as Florida could make it, but my guess is I’ll be indulging in a little dive bombing instead, which doesn’t make one feel unhappy when one thinks of all the boys at sea, in the Solomons, in Italy or 30,000 feet above Germany. Though there’s nothing one would rather do than go home for Christmas, in my case at any rate, it won’t be difficult to imagine one self there especially with the help of several packages (four so far!). The only one I’ve sent as yet is a selection of shells from my collection to Nance, who has asked to be sent some. Oh, yes, some will arrive broken no doubt, but they’re of no value, even to me, being “dupes.”
Other “exports” should be forthcoming, though as always at this time of year I’m at a loss—except for money, which with a tight-fisted, penny-pinching, nickle-nursing old New Englander (courtesy of B. Wells), still a batchelor, seems to accumulate faster than it is needed—except by Uncle Sam through war bonds.
You shouldn’t have gone to so much trouble about the victrola, Ma. I was afraid they’d be unobtainable even up there, and anyway it’s something I should try and get myself—a costly item, which, however, I could easily afford.
I agree that “Random Harvest” makes a swell movie, but that it isn’t quite as good as the book because of the pretty much necessary alteration of the plot. Nothing, however, could be better than Greer Garson—yum, yum!
It always amuses me the way each of you apologizes for what each thinks the other may have said in his or her letter to me. Well, of course there is sometimes a little repetition, but the different presentations of news are always interesting to me. If I weren’t so darned lazy, I’d write to each of you separately, at least once in a while.
Your mention of Bobby Lincoln reminds me of something I forgot to mention in the last letter. William Keller’s brother, Russell, recently reported here after more than two years off and on the “Ranger.” Almost my age, he graduated from Williams in ’39 and from N.A.S. Jax in ’41. He seems a particularly pleasant sort.
It’s Archie who is communications officer at Jax. I just happened to run into him in the lobby of the “Old” building there when up on a ferry hop (ending at Jax, worse luck) the other day, but had no more than a few words with him because of the approach of a formidable inspecting party. I managed to have a few more words with Dick Baker before heading back here.
Grippe and quarantine and tonsils and things must be a rather grim reminder of the days the original four were about the same age as the present three. Jack will probably get healthier as he gets older if he takes after his brothers, but it would be nice if he could be brought to Florida by his parents
Well, my new squadron still hasn’t convened, so things have continued to be pretty easy. It was fine while the cold lasted, but gets dull now. The boys, however, will soon be upon us. Last week-end I got my two days off and went all the way to Sanibel Id., which is south of Aunt Edith’s Boca Grande. Even with the help of the Coast Guard I got only a night and half a day there, train schedules being such as they are (bus service to Deland, which is on the NE-SW line, doesn’t help much), but I made some good additions to my shell collection. You should see some of the experts’ collections, though.
L. to A.