Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
August 30, 1943
I just about wasted the entire evening playing chess. We played four games in all and I was disgusted with every one of them. My playing is absolutely shot. The parts of the game in which I go ahead usually are times when I capitalize on the other fellows mistakes and not because of any exceptional ability on my part. If Bob Hesser were to take me on today, he would no longer have that high regard for me as a chess partner. There is no doubt about it but both Klaas Land and Jimmy Snelsire are good chess players yet under normal conditions I shouldn't have any difficulty in breezing through the games. As it is my confidence is gone and every time I get to a point where I think I have their hands tied, I come up with a horrible boner or they have actually tricked me into something. I can recall the day when I would have something to talk about if I had been tricked into a trap but now it seems to be a common occurrence. You understand that it is not that I am boasting or that I think myself too good but from past experience I have been led to expect better things from myself in the chess line. Perhaps it is the tension I play under. I do not have that completely relaxed feeling that here I am sitting down to an evening of chess with nothing also on my mind. As it is I keep thinking about the different things I should be doing and about the letters I will still have to write. Consciously or unconsciously that probably has a detrimental effect on my play. Land beat me twice while I beat him once. I took the single game I played with Snelsire.
Before coming over to the office Snelsire showed us some birthday cards he had received. One of them was one of the cleverest things I have seen. It was a talking moving picture card. As the card was opened a picture (on the order of the things we had taken at the World's Fair) could be seen of a soldier waving his arm and saying "Oh Boy," "Oh Boy," and at the same time it spoke the words thru the use of some sort of wire contraption. Another card showed a picture of a cow and the title of it was "An Udder Birthday". Neither Snelsire nor Larry could get the drift and it took a Cicero boy who has lived in the city for twenty-two years of his life to tell them what an udder of a cow was. They had never heard of it before.
That financial situation which I mentioned as having gone still lower in the first letter today, has now hit just about the lowest it could with me still with enough money to make one more purchase at the PX before payday. To go along with the chess playing I bought three more packages of those candy wafers and that left me with only one five cent piece to my name.
I started translating Gil Blas but with all the interruptions one has it is difficult to keep to the subject and hunt up the necessary verb forms etcetera.
This evening at supper I was talking to Mersing about his daughter's name. It so happened that it was his wife who thought up the name but it was he who decided the spelling. I spelled it wrong and he kiddingly told me to issue an order rescinding the spelling I gave you and tell you the right way. It is not Cherryl (as the English have it --- particularly John Galsworthy) but it is Sheryl (as the Medina, Ohio Mersings have it). If it had been a boy, they would have named it Denis. I must say they had two good names chosen.
By the way, in Sunday's letter I said that I resisted to the temptation of buying a can of peanuts. Well, I must have thought it sounded good on paper but what I had meant to say was that I fell to the temptation.
The opportunity to wipe out the backlog of unanswered letters is now within my grasp as a mere seven letters remain in the file. They are: Myrtle, Anita, Aunt-Aunt, Hesser, Michalaks, Block so-and-so, and Tommy Mashos. I bet that if I were to answer all of them this evening, I would receive ten separate letters tomorrow afternoon. I'll fix 'em --- I won't answer any.