While listening to the first segments of my in-production audiobook of A World Ago: A Navy Man’s Letter’s Home, 1954-1956 I once again grew nostalgic for the long-ago me. I’m still much the same in many ways; my sense of humor is exactly the same now as it was then. But what I no longer am is young. I remember the young me, and I miss him.
(Should you have any interest whatever in reading A World Ago, a compilation of letters written my parents while I was in the service, you can find it on Amazon or Untreed Reads.)
Here’s one entry from my early days as a Naval Aviation Cadet:
Wednesday, October13, 1954
Today we saw a movie in P.T. on “How to Survive in the Tundra” (semi-arctic regions). It was one of those “how to survive on a broken compass and old fish heads” things. I thought it was terrifically funny (though it wasn’t supposed to be). Of course there were, among the six marooned men, several familiar characters. There was a George Washington Carver who could whip up a tasty dish out of a bunch of rock lichen; a Daniel Boone type, who could (and did) trap everything from a lemming (a glorified field mouse―they are delicious) to a caribou which, unfortunately, they missed―they had set up an ingenious device with two twigs and a 90-lb piece of sod, but the caribou outsmarted them (not a difficult task, I assure you); and, of course, there was the General-All-Around-Genius who could make more things out of one lousy parachute than are dreamed of in your philosophy, Horatio. This latter genius also, in his spare time, made a dandy kite (out of the parachute, of course) for attracting airplanes―I expected at any moment to see him attach a key to it and discover electricity, but he never got around to it.
Now, to answer dad’s questions―I want just my one suitcase, so that when I come home at Xmas I’ll have something larger than my duffle bag to pack my things in. Send them (or rather it) any time you want, just so it’s fairly soon. Yes, the band instruments are furnished, and I hope to stay on after moving to Corry or Whiting (which I’ll do on or about Nov. 26).
I surely am glad I joined the band! I told you, I think, all about what we may get to do. November 20 we are going to the Duke-South Carolina game (the Duke-Georgia Tech game would be too soon for us to be ready). We will all be flown to Durham, North Carolina for it. Last Saturday night we played for the Admiral at a football game, and he liked us so well he’s planned a “surprise” for us (which, it is rumored, may be a trip to the Army-Navy game!). Miami is still pending. Nov. 11 we’re to lead a parade in Pensacola. Four days before Xmas vacation, if all goes well, we will be flown to New York City to appear on “Toast of the Town”; then we’ll fly home from there if we want. God, I’d give my life’s blood to get to New York for four days!!
Haven’t been doing much of anything lately except study―haven’t even gone to a show in two weeks! Saturday morning we have band practice, but Saturday afternoon I hope to get downtown to pick up my picture. I hope you like it―it will have to be hung as it is too large to put atop the record cabinet.
Did the movies come? Have you looked at them yet? The large blank space at the beginning is where I had written “Welcome to Florida” in the white sand, but it was evidently too bright.
Well, I’d better close for now. I would appreciate your sending some money for new film. (Note―this is the first time I’ve ever written home for money! I’ve gotten $15 from you all the time I’ve been her, & that’s pretty inexpensive if you ask me).
I’ll try to write more this weekend. Till then I am
Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday and Thursday. Please take a moment to visit his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1), which is also available as an audiobook (http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?asin=B00DJAJYCS&qid=1372629062&sr=1-1).