16 April, 1956Dear Folks
Let there be singing & dancing in the streets—I finally got a letter; it was good to hear from you after such a long silence. Also very happy to hear things are going along so nicely at home.
Now for the bad news—the rumor is not a rumor. The Captain announced this morning that we are going "to the Eastern Mediterranean for an indefinite period in support of United States policy. We will go first to Suda Bay, Crete, where we will anchor for three days. Our schedule after that is unknown. There is a possibility that we may not be relieved at Gibraltar, but somewhere in the Eastern Med. If such is the case, there may be a delay of ten days in our arrival home. The ship will be operating out of Crete, & Greek & Turkish ports."
So off we go, into the wild blue yonder, to aim an unloaded pistol at a bunch of people who want to get rid of unwanted guests. As I may have said yesterday, I hope we hit Beirut again.
I wrote to the Andersons this evening—which I should have done a long time ago.
Remember what I told you in yesterday’s letter about the cottage. I mean it.
Oh, yes, I become officially rated on the 16th (Monday). From then on, I’ll be getting twenty dollars a month more. And you can believe me—it will come in very handy.
The yellow paper-blue ink combination isn’t too good, or easy on the eyes. Better luck next time.
Tomorrow is the day Lloyd wants to go to the bullfights. I don’t know how we’ll manage it for several reasons—1) we only have $5 between us, 2) liberty is up at 8:00 at night, so that we can pull out at 12.
You’ve probably heard by now whatever has happened to us—we never hear anything. The only time we get any news at all is while we’re at sea.
Well, now if you will excuse me, I must get back to my mythology. I never get tired of reading that stuff.