8 September 1967

Dear Mom & Dad and Granny,

Well, we finally pulled out of dry dock. It was at least a week behind schedule. Now we donít leave Longbeach until the 18th. But I think weíll still leave for West Pac the 5th of October.

Itís quite a novelty hearing from you individually. I think I even enjoy it more that way. Dad, thanks a lot for the new speaker and antenna. Itís funny that it would have needed a new speaker so soon 1 had just replaced it when the lifters went out in February.

Has Ralph improved or worsened his conditioní? And, by the way, howís Marge? Does she get along all right without the boys?

Mom, I hope you can keep sending me those clippings from Readerís Digest on vocabulary improvement. All of a sudden l have a craving for knowledge. I guess itís due to the habit of being in school about now Iíve begun to read a lot of books. Not all of them novels either. I just read one today entitled "How to Study". I think it will be very helpful too. It was much more interesting than I thought it would be.

I also signed up for a college algebra course. Probably the same one I failed at Junior College, Itís offered by the San Diego State College, and will be taught during the cruise. It only costs $15 a semester. Not bad for a college course!

Are you sure that I didnít put my address on my letter to the Whites? Iím almost sure I did. Did Cheri look on the letter or the envelope I always put it on the letter, seldom if ever on the envelope. Did you give her my address? Iím really going to gain some weight this week. Aunt Rose sent me some cookies, and Aunt LaNell sent me some divinity. Why donít you ever send me any goodies?

I read where Ed Hughs got married. I doubt if you remember him. You only saw him during that party Christmas, and then only briefly. Heís the brother of Ron Hughs Ronís a Marine over in Vietnam.

Did you know that Bob Farr had joined the Army? I think I told you, didnít I?

Things are pretty much the same here. Prater, my leading petty officer end a second class, still behaves like a little kid. I think heís getting worse than he used to be. Maybe because weíre getting close to time to leave the states. Heís always turning off our radio during our lunch break. Itís the only recreation we have on board during the day. If he does that when we go to sea, it will be pretty hard to put up with Itís difficult to explain how he is, itís the little things he does that invokes contempt among us. We all have been able to restrain ourselves, so far.