Wednesday, 27 Mar 1985

Dear Mom & Dad,

We got a letter from you Monday. It was nice to hear from you. We are looking forward to your coming.

I talked to David Stills Monday night. He and a friend are coming next Thursday and leaving Sunday morning. I am off Thursday morning and will probably take them to the National Museum then. I work till 2 on Friday. Jeannie may take them to Sorrento on that day. I will probably take them to Pompeii and Vesuvius on Saturday. I have to be in the ER on Saturday night after 5. He is supposed to call back next week to let me know exactly what time he will arrive in Naples. I am not sure what he wants to see or what we will do with them for three days with me working half the hours they are here.

David said they have to be in Brindisi by 1 PM Sunday to catch the ferry to Athens. That is the week of the lectureship. I wonder if they are going.

Tell Raymond and Ann that he sounded just fine. He sounded like he knew how to get around. He seemed excited about coming.

Angelique - Mar 1985 The weather here has finally gotten pretty. We have had the house open during the day for the past few days. It rained for a week and a half. I am glad that you were not here during all the rain. It did snow one night, but was all melted off by the time we took Angelique to school. (We only heard about the snow.) Actually, it may have just all blown away. The wind was something else. We couldn't figure out where it was blowing from or to for so many days. We were all getting depressed from all the ugly weather. The sunshine has been a welcome site.

I preached on "The Sovereignty of God" this past Sunday. We are now in the second chapter of Genesis in Sunday school. I am getting tired of teaching class. It is always hard on the Sundays I preach.

On Friday, 15 March, Jeannie and I went downtown to Umberto's for supper. It is supposed to be the best (and most expensive) restaurant in Naples. It was a mess getting there through all the traffic. We found it closed when we got there. So then we had to go through all the traffic again to find another place to eat. We were starving when we finally got to eat. We went to a restaurant overlooking the bay, not far from the hospital.

Last Saturday night we went with some of the officers from the hospital and their wives to a very good restaurant. Its name means Mexican, but it doesn't serve any Mexican food. We got there about 8:30 and the place was empty. But before we left, it was packed with people and with that many more waiting outside for a table. Lots of people know that it is a good restaurant. They just all eat LATE.

I am not thinking very well while I am writing this. I worked in the emergency room last night and only got about 4 1/2 hours sleep. I can't get my fingers to hit the right keys.

I am off today. Jeannie has gone to town with Ann and probably won't be back till about supper time. Steven is watching T.V. and Angelique is in school.

Steven and Angelique at health fair -- 23 Mar 1985
This is the way to clean your teeth
Dr. Chris Erbland of the Naval Hospital Dental Clinic entertains three-year-old Steven Cole and five-year-old Angelique Cole with his slide presentation at the Pinetamare Clinic Health Fair last Saturday. (This photo and caption appeared on page 19 of the base newspaper Panorama on 29 March 1985.)

Last Saturday the clinic had our 2nd annual open house. What a waste of time! I am sure we will keep having them, though. I brought the idea up last year, but the nurses turned it into more of a carnival.

I am on call the next four weekends in a row. Jeannie is furious.

We are leaving on our trip in about a month. We plan to go to Venice, perhaps Salzburg, Switzerland, Paris, and Turin. Other places we are not decided on yet.

I requested this leave time about 5 months ago. I wanted 20 days, but they said I could only have 15. This morning I was asked if I would come back 2 days early. They say they need me to work since my leave time will overlap someone else's. When I said I might not want to come back 2 days early, they said they might just have to cancel my leave all together then. What a threat! That is just nonsense! I am sure it will be worked out.

I think I told you about our ER doctor having to go to Scotland for two months. Well, he is back now. He said he got to tour England every weekend. When I asked who covered for him during that time -- he said, "The other FOUR doctors"! That is the stupidest thing over here yet. We all thought he was to be the only doctor there. It is just a small clinic. The captain in London who runs the Naval Medical Command in Europe must be an idiot.

Why would anyone go to the "emergency" room with a bladder infection and hemmorhoids?? That is no emergency! Doctors don't want to see such nonsense in the ER. It is a waste of time and money.

I sure have changed Becky's address in my address book a lot.

The new diabetic medicine has to be taken only once a day. However, if I have a patient well controlled on something, I rarely will change them to something new. Some doctors want to test everything new as soon as they can.

All my patients wait in the office for 15 to 20 minutes after getting a shot before they get to go home. Doctors who don't do that get sued.

Why do women want their hair short?

Your ideal body weight is calculated based on your height. It is approximately 100 lbs. for the first 5 feet and 5 lbs. for each inch over that. I didn't know you had gotten so overweight. It helps to exercise, too.

Did Richie and Becky watch the film on Cuma?

We will let you know what hotels we stay in at Venice, etc.

If I ever write another genealogy book, I can use many of the descriptions found in Frontier!.

Daddy would very much enjoy the book. The story and the pictures have little to do with each other. It is a book of pictures AND a book of stories. The two are sort of just mixed together. I like the book very much. I was impressed with the way Louis L'Amour writes. If you let Daddy read it before coming over here, he may decide that he would rather go west.

Steven is running around here today dressed like Superman, red cape and all. He will look real cute when I go get Angelique.

We get a lot of programs on our American station. The news is live. The news specials are usually delayed a few hours. There was a John Wayne movie ("War Wagon") on the other night. We get Phil Donahue every morning. There are soap operas on in the afternoon (General Hospital, for one). In the evening we get top shows from prime time, like Dallas, Hart to Hart, Knight Rider, Fall Guy, etc. I like "The Mississippi" the best of them. Is that still on? We get shows from all three networks, but I think they are mostly a year old or so. The Johnny Carson show is shown only a day or two later than in the States. There are cartoons on Saturday mornings, but they are not very good ones. Our kids watch the video cartoons still. Sesame Street comes on while the kids are taking a nap. We are not able to tape the programs off SEB TV. I do not understand why I can't tune them in on our VCR.

The Italians can't watch it because it is an American signal. Some Americans can't get it because it is broadcast somewhere just above channel 13. Our TV can pick up anything.

Ann Cummings is doing much better now. She is still sore though.

The $195 to fly from Naples to Frankfort is a very good price. I can get a ticket for no less price. Few airlines offer better rates for servicemen. When we flew to the States in October the military discounted rate was actually higher than the rate we ended up with. I hope you are flying the German airlines from here and not the Italian one. Either one will get you there, but flying on Alitalia is more like taking a bus.

We will gladly take you to Rome for a day or two while you are here. However, there will only be time to see the Apian Way and the catacombs. I do not know which catacombs are the best. Do you have a preference? You could spend a lifetime in Rome and never see all the museums.

The charter flights are from Naples to London, not from Naples to Frankfurt.

How much does the Chamber of Commerce building in Harrison look like the old train depot?

What is the latest on the church in Eureka Springs?

I will put in the papers for leave from 1 to 10 Oct.

Well, I had better go play with Steven awhile. It is getting close to time to pick Angelique up from school. Then I have to figure out what to feed them for lunch.

We love you. Take care of yourselves. We look forward to your coming.


Michael, Jeannie,
Angelique, & Steven

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