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Jan. 15, 1944

Dear Folk,

I’m sorry about the absence of letters from this quarter so far this year, but you’ll understand that it was something of an effort to polish off the surprisingly many post Xmas notes when feeling second-rate yet trying to keep them a decent length.

Sick Bay had me for almost four full days, but has left me in pretty fair shape, though slightly weak. It was about the fourth and worst peak, worse luck, of an almost continuous six weeks cold, so I almost welcomed going to Sick Bay (dispensary). Naturally I’ve kept flying to a minimum all this time, but the weather cooperated (with me) by being bad, and another thing that helped was that for a while the squadron I was with was in the familiarization stage, when instructors don’t have to fly much, and then I was swapped over to another, newer outfit that had the same thing to go through —all a series of coincidences except for the transfer, which was because an experienced assistant instructor happened to be needed in the second squadron.

Just the same your letters have been most welcome, as usual. All about Christmas was delightful to hear about. Ham’s letter just arrived, told more, though mostly of a repetitious nature. Like most of my presents (all that were sent north) the modest money order for Devon Rd. arrived late, apparently after everyone had left for Groton — typical T.R. boner!

Before I forget it, I’ll tell about Mrs. Farmer, whom I’ve never met, who sent me a pair of beautiful gold cuff-links! Well, here’s the story. When down at Melbourne, Fla., on one of my days off, I guess it was in early November, I was trying to look as if I wanted a ride west, wishing to hire a boat where the highway leading in this direction crosses the St. John’s River. Not having my bike along for a change yet realizing that I couldn’t hitch hike too obviously, for it is supposed to be unbecoming an officer; when along came a Navy truck and stopped to pick me up. After the usual greeting, etc., the driver, a sailor, asked me if I had a pair of wings, he having just found a pair for which he had no use. By an apparent coincidence I thought I had just lost mine (actually I had forgotten to pin them on my coat), and so they became mine — until I noticed there was a name on the back, C.D. Farmer. Well, eventually I got to dropping C.D. Farmer a postcard, addressed to N.A.S. Melbourne, which it had been inconvenient for me to stop at when in the vicinity, and I had not trusted the sailor to do anything about trying to return the wings. The card eventually reached his mother. Mrs. H. Tudor (!) Farmer, in Maplewood, N.J., who immediately wrote asking me if I wouldn’t send the wings as they were the pair his parents had given him (“Bo”!) when he was “designated”. True I had noticed a date on the back, which made me wonder if “C.D.” hadn’t probably left the country, as it turned out he had, but it was apparent they (the wings) were of real as well as sentimental value — solid 10K. Of course they were promptly dispatched, and after they arrived, Mrs. F. wrote back thanking me, saying also that she liked her husband’s oldest sons and my mutual name adding that she was going to send me a present, and that’s the whole story, except for the arrival of same and a letter in return thanking her!

Remember me telling about going to a cocktail party to meet some probably rather young ladies? One of them was fourteen! Actually she seemed almost as old as the others, who might have been seventeen, and she’s going to be a queen! it was pleasantly refreshing you might say. A sixth individual, a male civilian, possibly even older than Russ Keller and myself, made up a sort of “junior group” and played ping-pong and even a little billiards. Russ and I were even invited to stay for dinner, and of course we accepted. One of the older (!) girls later invited us to New Years Eve dinner, and a friend of hers (a freshman at Mt. Holyoke) was also present. Yes, we laughed before and afterwards, but it really was nice to meet some of the nice Daytona people.

Well tomorrow will be a long day, the first such (three hops) in weeks, so I’ll knock off. Day off Mon.

Love T.R. (file no. 124,595)

P.S. Cheers for Gussie


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