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Feb. 7, 1944

Dear Folks,

Today came Ma’s delightful telegram, which, however, followed a letter from Nance telling of a twelve day leave beginning Feb. 21 — altogether rather confusing, especially when the latter admitted a possibility of our Wac going home via Florida! Any amount of time here for a member of the family would be worthwhile as far as I am concerned, but it would be rushing and squeezing things considerably for Ma to try and get down here and get back to Groton by the 21st. It seems probable that you didn’t get definite word from Nance before wiring. March would almost undoubtedly be warmer than now, when days over 70°F are still scattering, and a good long stay would be just what Ma needs, but a short stay before Nance’s leave could be very nice if it turned out the most practicable. Here’s what may sound like a wild, out-of-the-question suggestion, especially to Pa, but why don’t both of you come down, even bringing Jack, parking the other kids with a cooperative neighbor, and get Nance to spend her leave here? It does sound pretty selfish as far as I’m concerned, but it wouldn’t do any of you three any harm, The big hitch would be in preventing Nance from getting home. Well, anyway, I’ll begin inquiring about hotels, etc., but if Nance’s leave causes a change in plans, I can bear up. Though I do rather expect to go to sea in the near future, within at most several months, I should be able to get home beforehand with any luck, but naturally such couldn’t be counted upon.

In respect to my future here’s the latest. I’ve been asked to be part of the nucleus of what is hoped to become an active squadron, and since I was asked by the prospective squadron commander, it was quite an honor. The idea, and excellent one, is to form the squadron here and to do so by having the prospective squadron commander and one assistant (T.R.) train half of the “rank and file,” the prospective executive officers and another assistant the other half, all going to the fleet together, officially organizing, however, at a place like Norfolk or San Diego as usual around a couple of months from now. Since the four experienced, or in the case of the juniors at least somewhat experienced, ones are expecting a call to sea duty soon anyway, the whole scheme is sound, but it does have to be approved by the Bureau and may not go through. It would be swell if it could. The two veterans are fine men.

Too bad about the continued or at least recurring colds, flu, etc., but all the more reason to come for a goodly stay.

I’m glad the various citrus fruits were appreciated. The “sour” jobs are or were tangelos, crosses between grapefruit and tangerines, the big tangerines really crosses with regular oranges. I forget what they’re called. The regular oranges are the variety known as pineapples. Yes, I remember the tangerines at Saint Estello.

On my last day off I went on the first goodly bicycle trip in months, down to the inlet and back, almost if not quite thirty miles, so you see that already I’m beginning to get in shape again. It was also the first time in ages for a chance to pick up shells, and I found one particularly desirable specimen, a helmet tun shell, which is usually found in pieces.

Today, another day off, I biked up to Ormond to meet Prof. Oakes Ames, whose wife promptly invited me to dinner next Friday. I shall probably borrow Russ Keller’s car, which he just drove down from Mass., but which he’s practically offered to share - a rare offer by a prince of a guy.

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