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Thirty Day Leave - Chris Sarno Memoir

After five days in San Francisco, the now-worldly Marine caught a flight on a TWA prop engine airplane to New York City for $120.00. At LaGuardia Airport in New York, he transferred to an AA prop C-47 named "City of Los Angeles" for the last leg of his journey to Massachusetts. "I had over 400 bucks after my Treasure Island sojourn," Sarno recalled. "I was now feeling so happy to be so near Boston. It was early September, and I was all decked out in my dress greens. I took a cab from Logan Airport to Medford." On a warm, Indian summer night around 9 p.m., the cab dropped the returning veteran off in front of 55 Sheridan Avenue in Medford. "People sat on their verandahs in the early evening," Sarno said. "They shouted at me and wished me a happy welcome home, and I cranked off a salute with a big grin. When I went inside the house, my mother was sewing and my sisters were trying on clothes. All hell broke loose. ‘Chris is home, Ma,’ my sister announced. Everyone was yelling with relief that I hadn’t been killed, I guess."

Many months had passed since Chris’ last opportunity to relax at home, surrounded by people who loved him. "It was a great 30-day leave," he said. He visited with neighbors, spent time with his brother Bud—now a civilian, and enjoyed Boston seafood like Peroni’s fried clams—which were far tastier than the clams sold on Fisherman’s Wharf in Frisco. Chris spent a couple of hours visiting his former girlfriend and her mother, but the object of his childhood puppy love said that he had changed. Now afraid of the uniformed Marine who had come to visit her, she was cold and distant toward him.


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