Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
2 December 1943
My morning was shot when Mersing came in to pick me up on his way into town to return the payroll. Just think, yesterday was payday and we went in to return the payroll today. That is just about the fastest we have ever gotten it back there. As a general rule, Company A is the very last one to return it sometimes a week to two weeks late. As it turned out, it was a good thing that I had the time yesterday afternoon to take the payroll and extend the finance figures onto my quadruplicate copy. That would have slowed up our departure if I had had to do it this morning.
While I was in Finance returning the unpaid money and settling the accounts, Mersing wandered off to buy some picture souvenirs of the Island. When I got out of the office, I headed straight for the Juicy Fruit and for a minute it looked as if they were closed since the sidewalk shades were drawn, there were no customers about and I didn't see the only clerk is there at the time behind the cashier's desk. I bought eight of them and although Mersing and I ate one apiece on the way back, I have the remaining six in the tin boxes sent by Aunt-Aunt and Virginia. The only drawback is that if I keep them in the tin boxes too long, they will get a nutty taste. I think, though, that these doughnuts were left overs from yesterday.
We found quite a few souvenir places this morning. There is one place in the particular which sells maps of the Island and of the whole world besides hundreds of different pictures of life on the Island both as lived by the soldiers and the natives. In addition to those things they have that book that was written by that fellow who spoke to us. Some time before we go home, I will have to buy the book and some pictures. They also sell some native products like bracelets and handkerchiefs.
All the stores were open this morning and the people were thronging the streets going shopping and the small children were on their way to school. We went into another store where they had some penny Christmas postal cards for the American soldiers. They looked good so I bought two of them (I was going to buy a bunch but I was astounded to learn that they weren't a penny but fifteen cents each). Ah well, we tourists always do get the price upped a little bit.
Before going out of town we passed the building Blumenfeld works in and noticed an ice cream stand directly across the street. So we fell once again for a fifteen cent ice cream cone when we could have gone over to the waterfront and bought real ice cream for five cents.
All the way back to camp we had a good time between the two of us recalling old time melodies and singing some of them so out of tune that we couldn't finish them for laughing so hard. When we passed the guard post at the beginning of our campsite, the guard saluted us since they are required to salute all command cars. It was one of our men on guard so we saluted him back and he pretty near threw the rifle at us (in fun) when he recognized who we were. Impersonating commissioned offers we were, by saluting the guard.
It is so near to noon now that it isn't much use starting any work since most of the jobs are either all day or half day affairs. Today is also the day when the Company Clerk becomes a finance officer as the fellows buy bonds, send money home or put money in the Soldier's Deposit Account. Odd amounts have been handed me ever since this morning so I guess I'll wait until later in the afternoon before turning it in so that everyone who wants to put some money away will have the chance to do so.
A fellow in Jack's Company handed him almost five hundred dollars this morning which represented his savings since being in the Army. He had hid it in a half empty tooth powder box.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman