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Sept. 23, '44

Dear Folks,

This will be rather long I suspect, for the obvious reasons that it answers more letters than usual and covers a long period during which much has happened. The question is where to begin.

It must have been most satisfactory to have the occasion at Gardiner go off so well. I must acquaint myself better with Gamidy’s fables. I’m so glad you were able to get to Gusie’s wedding and naturally wish I could also have been there. Too bad Thomas couldn’t quite make it. Cousin Holly’s funeral must have been very sad — in that he appeared to be not far from the prime of life comparatively recently. I don’t suppose all if any of the boys were there.

I feel guilty having missed out on the Sept. group of birthdays, that is having contributed nothing, but better late than never say I hopefully. Speaking of birthdays, is Uncle Bob really 100? —almost unbelievable. That makes Skipper 96, doesn’t it?

Just as well the hurricane slipped out to sea where it did. The papers here featured it mostly when it was previously at sea. The Great Neckers must have experienced it thoroughly. Much windfall and stuff around Groton?

So the Reas are going at last. I suppose they’ll turn into typical Britishers, and I often wonder just how much I like such. The British superiority complex fortunately isn’t much like that of Adolph’s fanatical “supermen,” but am I unreasonable in fearing that the British will have “won the war” and that they will try their damnedest to get some of the Micronesian islands or others? Now that I’m on the subject, I’ll add that I’m rather unimpressed by England’s contribution to both major offensives, but especially that of their navy in the Pacific and their operations in India and Burma — here of course politically as well; all of which isn’t exactly fair to the little Reas, who very probably will always look back upon us with affection and gratitude, and very likely it isn’t fair to the British themselves, even if they may appear often to fight valiantly to the last yank, frenchie, or even Canadian. How about your views on the subject? Mine have perhaps been influenced most by the general lack of news concerning British action worthy of Patton, Patch, MacArthur, Nimitz, Halsey, etc., etc., since El Alamein. The two main arguments against my feelings (nothing I feel positive about or try and spread about, mind you) are of course England’s small population, etc., and the natural tendency of our papers to reflect all possible credit upon ourselves.

I hope, as you do, the puppy will prove a good sport, etc. Certainly an English setter at or near its best is hard to beat.

Dewey was out here just recently, but I just couldn’t get up enough enthusiasm or curiosity to go all the way across the Bay to hear him. I should read some of his speeches, I suppose, but I am tempted not to bother to vote or to vote the Prohibition ticket or something (the fact is I’m sick of seeing people do nothing, but drink for entertainment.).

It occurs to me that I may be seeming bitter, which could be influenced by things in general like a slight feeling of going stale from flying quite a bit (not too much from fatigue point of view) and apparently not getting anywhere (nearer departure – actually in all probability now more like a matter of weeks than one of months if more than one of the latter). My total flight time should nearly or just about pass 1500 hours. before we go, something not to pass on to just anyone I’d say.

How about scribbling down the words to “Waters Gliding” or whatever the name of that song that is my favorite of those you used to sing us, Pa?

I’m now laughing at myself for getting so wound up in the sentence that was intended to be longer still. I meant to add that any impression of bitterness or such as this and is nothing serious.

I meant to tell all about my leave in this letter, but will have to put it off. By a rather curious: coincidence I’ve seen both Shasta and Tahoe (thanks for address, that could just possibly still be used, the lake being an overnight trip from here) since, the former from nearly or quite 150 miles, the latter from directly above. It was on a long-range practice attack, the first time I’ve flown over the Sierras, which almost made me want to bail out for.

I’ll wind up with a typical subject, weather. The first clouds of the season aside from fog appeared' not too long ago and contributed to a gorgeous sunset. We’ve still had no real rain, but the rainy season may begin before we leave, though that shouldn’t be anything terrific.

While there’s still space, I’ll mention events of a recent evening over at the “Club”. Having made a date with the Wave and then getting a message from the friend whose wedding I ushered at nearly 2 years ago at Jax I wound up in a foursome for dinner, which was very pleasant until later at the bar, when the other couple had left. I wanted to leave, and a certain Wave didn’t — chapter x abruptly ended!

Love Toots

P.S. Details of leave soon, perhaps with photos.

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