Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
27 June 1943
Dear Aunty Clara,
I believe that I have written one letter per day for quite some time so it should be rather easy to follow the run of letters in chronological order. That is one reason why I have not referred to the previous letter dated June 26, 1943 I said I received a letter Sunday morning the 26th. Well, I wrote that letter just a few minutes before this one but dated it back to keep up the sequence.
I still haven't written Bob Hesser and answer to his chess move but have found a new chess player in the regiment. His name is Pennington and bunks in Robbin's tent in H&S Company. He claims to have just learned the game but plays rather well for a beginner. Since playing with Bob Hesser, I have learned to be rather cautious in my playing until I find out the weaknesses and the strength of my opponents. Then the play can assume a pace in accord with his ability. The poorer he is the faster the game. Pennington, however, disliked that type of play very much --- whether the fact that he was soundly trounced had anything to do with it or not is something I could not figure out. But I do know that chess players become irritable after losing. We began a second game but he made several very foolish moves which I allowed him to take back and he finally quit when he continued to mess up one move after another.
This Pennington lad is as old as Blumenfeld and graduated in his same class at Crane. They recognized each other at the railroad station on their way to Camp Grant from Chicago when they were inducted.
O, I was in town during the daytime yesterday (Saturday) with Lt. Yantis. We had some business to be taken care of with the various departments and had to get several forms for the office. After that was taken care of, we had about 45 minutes to spend in shopping and such. I don't know whether my French is bad or what but we went into a store that sold a considerable amount of knickknacks and I asked her if she sold candles. (The she in the store spoke no English) It ended up that my pronunciation of candle was different than hers so I said it in English and she knew what I wanted right off the bat. She didn't have them. In another store I tried her pronunciation of the French for candle and the second lady didn't know what I was talking about either. As a result, I reverted back to English and she understood what I wanted. Maybe what I learned in school was a different kind of French dialect that they speak around these parts.
In that first store the lady had coconuts for sale and I asked her how much they were. She replied in half English and half French. The English was the price which she said was a dime. That was too much for such puny looking coconuts as were on display so I did not buy any. Later on back in camp I was talking to Johnson the mail clerk and found that they were three for a dime. That is what she said in French and I first realized it hours later. Because of these fiascos in my ventures into French I definitely want you to send me my French grammar and books up to five pounds. For that purpose I will send you a V-mail request for the same as I did with the watch and the flashlight.