Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
30 October 1943
Because of a careful check of the film before running it thru the machine this evening, we managed to repair all broken sprocket holes and therefore there were no breaks in the film during the show. We did have trouble with the sound, however, and at one time it was reduced to an inaudible whisper. During these periods the audience is apt to give forth with a noisy demonstration yelling for more sound. That is very foolish because the operator has ears and knows very well when the vitaphone is low. Moreover we want to hear the picture just as well as the next fellow and they should realize we are doing all in our power to raise the volume. Nevertheless, they are not reasoning creatures and they persist in this yelling which, coming at a time when the sound is so soft, makes it impossible for anybody to hear it at all.
In our pre-show program of music this evening I presented a selection of Stephen Foster's songs which appeared on the four sides of two twelve inch disks. After that I played the entire two sides of the recording, "The Sorcerer's Apprentice ". Then, after having given them that type of program for a half an hour, we ran out of the popular classic and semi-classic records and were forced to put on the old standby a Pepsi-Cola recording of hit bands. While it is true that some of the soldiers like to hear these fancier programs you will always find a few expressing their resentment of that type of entertainment in a quite vociferous manner. I have learned to ignore such comments and it does not get on my nerves as it did when I first operated the projector. Even I agree, though, that it would be much better if we had about a hundred or so hot jazz numbers by the top flight bands. When that type of record is played, you can hear them beating out the rhythm with their feet or humming along with the song itself. You will never get that type of response to these more sedate recordings.
The fruit cake is all gone because along about the middle of the afternoon I became extremely hungry and finished off the remaining bites of it.
Flash: Just as I was writing the above sentence Thomas Campbell walked in to break the bad news to me. Yes, it concerned the puppy. It seems that the company F cook did not like the idea of the dogs having fleas so he took a spray can full of insect exterminator and sprayed the dogs and the doghouse with it, but thoroughly. One by one the little pups died off. Mine died an hour ago and Simanoff's also died but a short time ago. Campbell helped to bury them and then came over to tell me about it. The whole Company F is ready to jump on the cook because they had become quite fond of the pups. So that is the tragic end to that story.
Oh well, I should have known better than to think that I could have continued writing a letter after Tom came in. It has been two hours since he first stepped into the office and he and I have successfully managed to keep a conversation going full blast. It reminded me of the day when George Prokopec and I got to talking and didn't know when to quit. In this case, however, I wish that these things didn t last so long because I thought I might have had time to write some other letters tonight. As it is I will be in bed late without having done anything than finish this letter.
He walked out of the office for a minute after I tried a new technique. So long as I listened to what he had to say and made a good conversationalist, he was willing to continue the discussion. Perhaps, thought I, if I take the conversation away from him and dominate it with my own chatter about non-essential and trivial things, he will get tired and go away. It may be working. I hate to do a thing like that but I just can't be rude about it and say, "See here, Tom, I want to write a letter and you are keeping me from it".