Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
July 16, 1943
Dear Aunty Clara,
Gosh, we are really getting some high class entertainment lately. The band is working on all sorts of numbers and last night they even played something by Richard Wagner. Those twin bills with the band and the show are alright. Last night the show was ""You Were Never Lovelier" as I mentioned to Aunty Florence in the letter I wrote to her. They also showed a short before the picture and it concerned reels of celluloid film. It seems that no matter how science has tried they have not been able to perfect anything better than celluloid for taking pictures, nor have they been able to keep that celluloid from deteriorating in 20 years time. As a result of this weakness of celluloid, it is necessary to accumulate huge libraries of films and periodically for the next twenty year periods they will have to be refilmed onto new celluloid and then they will be good for another twenty years. It just doesn't seem true that such priceless records could be lost so easily. They showed little runs of films made away back in the beginning of the industry. One was of New York City and its brand new elevated trains, another was of William Jennings Bryan, then one of Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and even one of Queen Victoria.
You know, too, that I received your letter of the fifth along with Aunty Florence's. You mention your little Saturday night party and the drinking of my special kind of cocktail. Well, sorry as I am to say it, I haven't had my special cocktail since leaving the United States. Even though it will take a longer time for the watch to reach me, I think it is a good idea that you had it regulated first because if it came all the way out to me and then something went wrong with its timing it would be just too bad.
Speaking of birthdays it so happened that three of us fellows in the tent all have birthdays in July. John Edie's birthday was the 15th, the other Roman's is the 20th and of course mine is the 24th. By the way, what did you get for your birthday? Did you have a party or anything at night? It seems funny asking you how you enjoyed your birthday when it isn't going to be for over a week from the time I am writing this.
Have you ever had familiar atmospheres, surroundings or smells recall some part of your past lie? It seems that every day I run across something which suddenly transplants my mind from here to there and back across the years. For instance, there is a certain feeling I have when I am down on Michigan Avenue looking into one of the store windows in the Autumn part of the year. Yesterday brought just such a feeling to me and it is uncanny how strong it is. I am afraid I am not making myself very clear but it is something like this. From time to time I have written and reminisced about certain things back home. I so happens that during that day I had probably been recalled to those days in my mind and it seems that during those moments I am actually back in Cicero or Chicago as the case may be. Perhaps that is the result of those perpetual day dreams which Mrs Reed said would do me more harm than good. Personally, I think I should be thankful to what may be called a sensitive memory compartment because of this transplantation of my mind, even momentarily, keeps me from thinking myself far from home. Have you a faint idea of what I am talking about or is this experience peculiar to myself alone? (Note: I just asked Jack Molyneaux if he ever had something remind him of back home and if his mind wandered back there with such reality. His answer was "Every day!".) So I guess it isn't so unusual after all.
Gosh, Aunty Clara, after rereading this letter I have been tempted to tear the thing up because it is so poorly written. However, you always said you didn't care how the letter written so long as you received it. So here it is.