Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
28 August 1943
O me o my and boy is my chess terrible. The movie projector never did get here this evening so the show was called off. I was waylaid when I went up to Larry's tent to get him to come to the office and write letters. Klass Land and James Snelsire, two chess fans, who have talked to me about playing a game for quite some time, brought out the board so there was nothing for me to do but play. I tore right into Snelsire in the first part of the first game and decimated his strength very quickly and ending the first half in almost complete debacle as I took his Queen. But in the last half, his recent practice and my layoff from the game began to tell and I foolishly gave my Queen away and it was a struggle to hold the lead. I won the game but was not satisfied with the result at all. The second game started off in seesaw fashion but evidently it was my not staying at the game or maybe it was the coin shaped cardboard pieces which threw me off my game, but I lost my Queen in short order. I conceded that game then and there. The great unbeatable they used to call me in the old days but not so any longer. I am going to make it a point to play those fellows a few more games in the near future. After a few break up games I do not think I should lose again because their playing, although rather good, has not the eclectic style to which the RH&R chess masters accustomed themselves.
The first of a series of company dances is now being held in D Company. Our turn is next week and who knows but maybe I will become a Fred Astaire for one night.
As you know, I have never had the habit of drinking coffee and the army hasn't changed me in that respect. That means that at every meal at which coffee is the drink, I go thirsty but for the water I may fill my cup up with. It so happened that the Mess Sergeant Nugent and I got to talking about different kinds of drinks and I mentioned that I liked the prune juice that is served on occasions as a morning drink. Now strange as it may seem, the fellows in the army think that prune juice is going to make the people who drink it go to the toilet more often then people who don't; therefore, as a general rule, they pass up the stuff and is hard to get rid of. The result is that this evening Larry and I had a bottle of prune juice with our meal.
You know, the day just isn't long enough for all the things I would like to do in it. The work alone these last few days has made me wish I could make the eight hours turn into twice that much so I could finish it once and for all. Then there is the time I would like to write letters, the time I could use practicing or experimenting with the piano, the time I would like to spend studying French, reading books, catching up on the news, running the projector, seeing the countryside and last of all, a longer time to sleep. And then there is that one thing which I didn't mention but it is there nevertheless in a negative fashion and that is time to waste idly.
It isn't so very practical to send you a complete excerpt of the letters I receive from other people so from now on I am going to give them to you in Reader's Digest style. Since they are almost all V-mail, it will be easy for me to save them and bring them back home with me. For instance my Dad says, "Thank you for remembering my birthday with a card and letter. Did you receive the card we sent with the money order and the postscript from Rosana who has pasted your letter among her treasured cards? The heat has been oppressive and I have played golf but once. Mr. Taussig and Mr. Diamond and I played at York. My drives were good and the rest of my game was poor. One drive I was particularly proud of was the dog leg to the right between a path of trees and bordering on the creek. The ball traveled at least 270 yards and up the dog leg. You know Stack is dead and Uncle Jack has lost weight thru the years. You ought to wait a while before buying souvenirs, you may find some better ones later on."
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman