Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
September 9, 1943
It is now 9:00 in the evening and this is the first chance I have had today to sit down and write you a letter. And believe you me, I am worn out. The working day was busy enough but I crowded every spare moment of mine with work on my foot locker. It is finished now and the tent is in order once again. Not thirty minutes ago I gave the cabinet the boot. It is a masterpiece of my earlier days as a craftsman. This foot locker is really the thing and is probably the best bit of handiwork I have ever turned out. By the standards of experienced workers in that line, I suppose it is a horrible mess; but as far as I'm concerned, it is ok.
The locker is about thirty-three inches long, fourteen inches high and nineteen inches wide. I've made a tray about four inches deep which fits in the top part of the container. The tray is a snug fit and took quite a bit of rip-sawing to get the wood to the exact dimensions. Such miscellaneous materials as my utility kit, flashlight, watch case, fresh underwear and socks will go into this top tray. I arrived at the depth of the tray by placing the utility kit on a board and brought it down just low enough for the cover to close
One of the little items I take satisfaction in is the canvas type handles I made for the tray. As I told you, the tray is a close fit and it is impossible to lift it from the locker without some sort of grip. I solved that problem by taking two pieces of scrap canvas and folding them into two long, narrow strips which I nailed on to the two ends of the tray. They lie flat and do not prevent the top from closing and are also strong enough to take some rough handling if necessary.
Three items are still to come but I am undecided as to just how I shall accomplish each. For one thing, I must make some sort of handles for the outside of the foot locker so that I will be able to carry it around without much trouble. You see, because the box is so huge, it is rather cumbersome to handle without some such addition. The second item is a division of the top tray into two parts by nailing in a strip of wood which will not only serve the purpose of dividing the tray into two compartments but will also strengthen the bottom of the tray. The third one is the puzzler and will be by far the toughest nut to crack. What's to do for a hinge? Hinges are as common around here as snowballs in July. That is for private use. There are many ways to do the trick using, canvas, rope, tin, or not doing anything but let the cover sit on like any ordinary lid.
With all the sawing and nailing and sweat which was involved in its construction the tent began to look like a mess. It took me almost thirty minutes to straighten out the tent and sweep the place out before the place looked livable again. The boys won't recognize the place when they come in from the show later on in the night.
So far I have, just through laziness, thrown most of the things into the locker in a haphazard fashion. Sometime tomorrow, during the daytime, I will have to rearrange everything around so that I will be able to utilize all the available room and perhaps even dispose of the last bit of equipment in my barracks bag. I would like to fold up some of my khakis or fatigues and put them in the locker. In anticipation that I will be able to do that, Censky has already asked me for my spare clothes hangers. I happened to have the foresight before leaving the States, to bring along a dozen wire hangers. They just "ain't" out here.
That's my story, A.C., and I'm going to stick to it. I figure that I put at least five working hours into that project so at overtime rates, the value in my labor alone is worth from five to six dollars.
I promise I'll change the subject in the next letter.