Fleet Air Arm Detachment
May 26, 1939
Received your very interesting letter of May 6 today - first mail for weeks. You certainly ran your new car in - 3015 miles on home trip alone.
Glad to hear you met Sadie Harris - some whirlwind! I didn't know that the school in Ripley was the old original when they showed it to me. Wasn't Yellowstone Park out of your way? Some day I am going to travel all over the States. It must be great to have a holiday in a white man's country with no wogs.
I like the pictures of your new car a lot - but you have nothing on me - I have a March 1939 model single-seater fighter. Unfortunately it has landing speed like your top speed! One thing about these models is that they can't be run in at 20-25 m.p.h.
I certainly wish I could get home and see you all again. Everything out here is good and expensive. Officers always have to take the best seats in the theatres to stay clear of uniformed sailors, etc. and because the Commander etc. might see you. All the dining places in the cities etc. are set aside separately in the same way, mainly by making the shops etc. catering to officers and tourists more expensive.
The only cheap amusement is to swim or stay in camp drinking beer. If I go away for a weekend, it's hotel bills usually about $4 at least per night and meals at the same high tariff. Boy! Any place east of America certainly isn't democratic.
Whereas in Canada it is impossible in most cases to tell what education or standing a man has by his clothes and language - in Europe the education standards are not universal. The average of education amongst the enlisted personnel of England is very low compared with your drug store type of high school youth in Canada. Nearly everyone in Canada now goes to high school, but only the wealthy or well of Englishman continues his education after he is sixteen or fourteen. Nearly all officers have that pukka old school tie education.
One thing that gets me down occasionally, believe it or not, is that on being introduced, it's so-and-so, "he's a Canadian." They look at you in an interested fashion. Makes one feel like an idiot or a tagged animal at times. Not that I'm not proud that I am a Canadian - I couldn't be prouder. But it's like an Englishman in Canada - you have to lie pretty low.
I should very much like to get started on something in Canada. Sometimes I wish I was still in the R.A.F. and going home in a couple of years' time with $1,500 in my lap instead of stooging on here till I am thirty years of age - getting nowhere fast but having a good time. Still, if I leave at thirty, I will have $4,000, or if I stay till I am thirty-five I will walk away with $7,500. We take the risks all right, but we don't work. It's a holiday. Here we do three hours' work a day and the rest off except for occasional night flying. Give us some ideas on the subject! I could get real joy out of doing some hard work - OK! lad, why not get down and work for some degrees? Ah! You've got me there. A rolling stone gathers no moss - too true. I am always packing and unpacking and have cut my belongings to the minimum. I much prefer Canada to over here, but I must say they give me a living and a very good one at that. Nowhere in Canada could I have such an income unless I was selling a couple of hundred cars a year or something brilliant -I'll come home soon and smoke some more of your cigars and talk this thing over in comfort.
Glad you enjoyed every minute of your trip.
P.S. I hear your weight is down to 198. Mine is 196 and not fat either - but then I am 6'2" and do deep breathing exercises in the morning?