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May 23, 1944

Dear Folks,

There hasn’t been a whole lot of news. My baggage and cruise box (from Florida) have finally arrived, so now I have books to help identify strange birds and enough clothes so I can send some laundry. Finding only dirty clothes in the cruise box was a blow and meant washing some more, but for the last time I hope. What would have happened if I had been sent right out to Pearl Harbor, as some are? I hate to think.

Here things go on much the same. In the air right now we’re concentrating on dive bombing, which is pretty tough work in the 2C. Doubtless because of the greater speeds, it takes even more out of one than did the SBD, though I’ve never made out whether it’s the pull-outs or just the changes in air pressure or both that leave one pretty well fatigued at the end of a day, especially one with two dive bombing hops.

The temptation is still to go out in the evening fairly frequently, though my attempts at being gay have mostly been rather half-hearted. The Grays invited me to dinner the other night, and who should be there but Mr. Parker, who was very pleasant as well as interesting. Also present were Horace’s wife and Bobby Lincoln’s sister, who is married to one of the boys. The only trouble was that I arrived half an hour late (bad miscalculation) and via the kitchen (elevator out of order). Mrs. Gray is a charmer and Dr. very pleasant.

On my last day off I took a bus to the first town with a beach north of San Francisco, but the road was so hilly and winding, that getting there and back was miserable for one who is apparently still a poor sailor. It’s all right even in the roughest air in a plane — at least a small one — and in most any kind of a manoever, but am I going to get as sick as I used to aboard ship?

Anyway Stinson Beach was pleasant once I got there, and I divided the time between walking on the beach and climbing up to the nearest Douglas Firs on the hills behind. Another day off comes tomorrow. An idea of visiting Monterey was immediately discouraged by the hopelessness of the train schedule (what’s my writing going to be like in a few more years?).

Well I think I’ll poke my big nose in Peterson’s A Field Guide to Western Birds (just like his other only for here — admirable).

Love Toots

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