Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
August 24, 1943
Dear Aunty Clara,
Well, the evening's performance is over. Lanny Ross came out here with two Lts. One a singer and the other a pianist. Lanny Ross does have a good voice and has a stage personality. Highlights of the evening in interest were Lanny Ross calling our photographer up on the stage and telling him to snap the picture anyway he wanted to so that hw wouldn't have to be troubled walking around during the singing. It was then that Lanny Ross recognized the photographer as having snapped him in civilian life. The soldier said that the last time he had taken a snap of Lanny Ross was in the Northwestern Station in Chicago. That went over big with an all Chicago crowd. Even 1st Lt Ross said that he wished he could meet him again soon in the Northwestern Station in Chicago, Illinois. Another highlight was when he asked someone to come up and sing a duet with him. None other than Louis Cava stepped up on the platform to accept that offer. Somehow the duet didn't work out so Cava sang a solo number and did it very well. For a third bit Charles Murray of A Company did sing in a quartet with the star of the show. I guess he is the first really famous entertainer our regiment has ever seen in the entire year of its existence. Maybe someday we will get around to having some movie actors and actresses come out. They all kid me good naturedly that Lana Turner is coming out this way and I kid them right back again.
One not so nice incident was during the piano playing of the lieutenant after Lanny Ross had finished his opening songs. It was right in the middle of the number when actually hundreds lifted themselves up and waked off. It wasn't very polite and didn't look nice at all. But still and all you can't keep them from doing it because it is that very freedom in likes and dislikes for which we are fighting this war.
The show itself went off rather badly from the very beginning to the very end. Even during the first pre-show playing of records something went wrong as we had to take off a record which scratched something awful. Then I went and banged the needle down on the record which made a screeching sound when amplified. The next bad part was when I had to read off a three page news bulletin. My lips sure did get dry in a hurry and I think I word stumbled throughout the entire three pages. Comes the criticism after the show that I sounded like a scared kid I had to tell them that is what I felt like. To top that very bad beginning off, we had to make three announcements at various stages during the picture. One time the reel ran out on me quite unexpectedly and a white flash showed on the screen in a very unprofessional manner. Another time I started the machine only to find that the sprocket holes weren't matching properly and I had to stop the machine to fix it. All these small and accumulating bad spots were beginning to have their effect so when I started the machine the next time, I did not have the lens focused properly. During the last and seemingly the best reel came a breakdown in the projecting lamp. This was a lulu and I had to announce that it would take about five minutes to fix. During those five minutes Larry and I worked like mad trying to untighten the cap holding the lamp in place. We eventually succeeded in placing a good lamp in the machine and started her going once again for the last three or four minutes remaining to the show.
Let's hope that that is the one lemon performance which has to happen to every operator once in a while and not the start of a bad habit.
Back to the singers once again. Our star is a tall young fellow and handsome. He livened things up a bit when he sang "Deep in the Heart of Texas" having one section of soldiers hoot like coyotes, another whistle like rabbits, a third yip like cowboys and a fourth moo like a doggie. It had a very humorous effect.