June 20, 1919
Dear Mother and Father,
Arrived here today about 6 p.m. after being at sea since Wednesday.
First day we had calm weather, but yesterday it got pretty rough, but got calm again this morning. Can't go ashore until tomorrow night, and then only from 4 in the afternoon until 10 at night.
As we moved alongside the #2 I looked over on the McCook, and there was a gunner's mate on deck who looked mighty familiar to me. I took a long glass and looked him over. It was Dewey Wright.
Naturally I went right over to his ship, and at first he didn't even recognize me -- he said that Gibraltar was the last place he would expect to meet me. We had quite a talk, and he is coming over tomorrow while I'm on watch to stay a while. He said he saw Weldon Younce and Barton Philpot in Boston when he was there.
We are having fine weather and the fellows are taking some good pictures. I'll get all I can when we stay in one place long enough to have them developed. The yeoman does that kind of work, but they have too much business to handle.
I haven't gotten a letter, for we have been beating it right along, but after we stay in Spalato, Austria-Hungary for about a month, we ought to get a bunch at once. you should have gotten my letter from Ponta Delgada by the 1st of July, for the big transport was leaving right away.
Will try and get some souvenirs as I go along, but can't get many or I won't have any room for them. The boys are beginning to drift back with all kinds of souvenirs. I am going to price a silk kimono tomorrow night, and if they don't cost to much I am going to get one.
The boatswain's mate is just going to turn the lights out, so will have to stop. Will finish on my watch.
12:15 a.m. Am now on watch so can finish writing.
We are just across a narrow harbor from the main part of the city, which is built right at the foot of the rock. The rock is nothing more than just a great big hill, steep as can be, with a funny looking little city at its base. A funny thing about these towns over here is that they are composed entirely of buildings with very few, if any, wooden houses. This is certainly a pretty place -- all green in the background, which makes the light-colored cement buildings stand out, and makes it look clean.
We came right by Tangiers, Morocco as we came through the Straights, and Africa is still in plain sight. Am going to run out and go across the Spanish line so I can say I've at least been in Spain.
The ships lying in here are nearly all English, and a bunch are still in their war paint.
If I were a millionaire now, or had plenty of backing, I would buy up a lot of stuff and take it back to the U.S., for we don't have to pay duty on anything we take back. This would be a big profit.
The uniform of the day is still whites, although at sea we are allowed to wear anything and everything we want to.
We lay in here in port til Monday morning at least, and perhaps longer. Go from here to Malta, and from there go on up in the direction of Spalato.
The seamen have to go over the side to paint tomorrow, so there will be no captain's inspection. Of course inspection isn't much, but when it happens everything has to be spic and span, and we have to wear clean clothes, and have our faces and shoes shined.
The Arizona pulled up anchor and stood out to sea tonight -- rumor says she will meet the president of the Azores. She came over for the trans-Atlantic flight.
I have less time than ever to write -- I did drop Aunt Maude a card, but will try and get them a letter off before we leave here.
Suppose it must be as hot as the dickens at home now, while we are having warm weather, but not that hot.
We don't work overly much, but when you figure that we hardly ever get a night in bed, you can she why it seems like work. I haven't slept all night since long before we got to Philadelphia. have either the 8 - 12 and 12 - 4, or else get up at 4 and stand watch til 8 in the morning.
It seems like I am not going to get to see either Bishop or Price, as I doubt very much whether or not we will go by France when we start back home. I would like to though -- just make one liberty there and then leave.
Give my regards to the people in Bowie when you go down. Will surely be glad when I start getting letters again.
Much love to all of you, from your loving son,