22 January 1956
Sealed at 9:13 p.m.
Had a mail call today, which is somewhat surprising in itself, & got letters from you (1), Lirf, Harry, & Effie (the enclosure). I was happy to hear from everyone, especially Effie. I was also very surprised to hear that she had quit school—her sister has only a few months to live. She ‘s getting married June 16, the day before we get back to the States.
We’ve anchored a good distance off Sicily—Augusta is just a cluster of Communist-filled homes. I think we’re out this far so we could make a fast getaway if necessary; also to discourage ardent Communists from swimming out to us with a load of explosives & sending us to the bottom of Augusta Bay. I wouldn’t put it past them. I haven’t gone ashore & have no intentions of it until the tour Wed. Everyone who’s been over say it isn’t worth the boat ride to get there. Only a few paved streets; millions of little children & so dirty we can almost smell it clear our here.
Mt. Etna is sulking & won’t even put on one little eruption for is—there are quite a few mountains around & I haven’t been able to figure out yet just which one is Mt. Etna.
I’m almost completely out of stamps, & some brownies would sure taste powerful good (Subtle Hint Department—Method 4371).
Slowly but surely I’m developing a case of writer’s cramp, this being the fourth letter I’ve written tonite.
A mere 203 days, & the Navy will be losing one of her most loyal children. She’ll also be losing me.
With your kind permission, I will now end this fascinating epistle. Someone in the theater once said "always leave them wanting more." I must learn to do that some day.