Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
Co "A", 353rd Engr Regt
A.P.O. #502, c/o Postmaster
San Francisco, California
20 February 1944

Dear Aunty Clara,
Sunday Nite in New Caledonia

Your letter of February 10th arrived today. I was surprised to read how you expected that coming blizzard which finally did hit. You have been mentioning the snow-laden skies for quite a few days now and today's letter says that the snow has started to come down and that maybe from now on it will continue to be a real winter. Usually the weather is a surprise and strikes unexpectedly. Talking about snow reminds me of that woman's column on the society page of the Daily News entitled Out of My Mind. She was talking about the month of January and said that it was the month in which you woke up to the scrape-scrape-scrape-chip and pick noises on the sidewalks as people shoveled out the snow of the night before. It recalled all the former winters in which I have heard those noises and also brought me to mind that perhaps you were hearing them outside the house while I was reading the article.

You never do know when something is going to happen to a person. Not just in the joking way that Mrs. Reed inveigled you to come over to her house but in any ordinary lives. While a person is well, healthy and alive one thinks nothing of taking them for granted yet a few hours later that person may be gone and the living one repents a hasty action although there really isn't any need for apology. Just supposing an accident happened to Mrs. Reed and you hadn't gone to see her, you would feel terrible about it yet there wouldn't be any need to feel fretful about such an incident because a person just can't go running about everywhere.

By the way, I was quite fortunate in receiving mail today because it was one of the two letters delivered to our whole tent. I gave up counting the mail I received this month after one or two bad days but I sure did recover in time to make this month a rival to December for the quantity of mail received.

The show this evening (which I went to) was a very good one. It was "I Dood It" with Red Skelton and Eleanor Powell. Over the radio this Red Skelton guy never did appeal to me just like I did not like Bob Hope over the radio, but seeing these fellows on the screen is a lot different and I enjoy their comedy. My personal opinion is that Red Skelton has a good screen voice and sounds something like John Wayne while his build and mannerisms remind me of Bob Hope. Eleanor Powell reminds me of Sarah Carey. Besides those two we had Lena Horne and Hazel Scott in the picture and they did a good number together with a group of Negro performers.

The reason I went to the show was because a wild rumor was going around that Betty Hutton was to make a personal appearance in a USO show this evening. Naturally, I would go because I think that Betty Hutton is crazy enough to be good entertainment. Either I'm blasé about movie stars or too lazy to go out of my way to see them because the outfit down the road a bit had Ray Milland and two movie starlets the other night.

I've heard the story about drink drowning your sorrows but here is a new angle. My teeth were hurting all day long today and at night I drank a bottle of beer and the pain went away. Maybe it is a dope or sedative and I ought to take the drink to lose the pain. I'm only kidding. So I've had three bottles of beer this week alone which is really terrible for me but the experience has been well worth it. Remember how I said the only way I could drink beer was to swallow it all at once? And that after the thirst was quenched, I couldn't stand it anymore? Today I learned that if you sort of hold the beer in the front of your mouth and then swallow it quick without letting the taste buds on the side and towards the back of your tongue know it is there, you can drink it slowly swallow at a time and never even know it. That little trick may come in handy some day when I'll have to drink a few glasses at one sitting to be "sociable."

I sure do miss my watch and have been making a pest out of myself by asking other people the time. Tuesday is the day I'm supposed to turn it in to the RSO for repair at the Ordnance. I've a hunch that they are going to give me some sort of alibi why they can't take it again and if they do, the watch is going to be sent home again with all the other things I have to send out. This time it will be for keeps and I never want it sent back again. If I want a watch bad enough, I'll save up some money and buy it over here if they ever have any again for sale at the PX. Watches and me just don't seem to get along. This last one fooled me though after keeping perfect time for six months it went and stopped just like that.

The going to the show this evening was mainly because of thinking there was to be a stage show but I had contemplated going anyhow up until I heard it was Red Skelton playing (I didn't like him before tonight as I have mentioned). You see, I accomplished quite a bit today and I felt that if I knocked off for the evening, it wouldn't have any serious affect upon my program.

The second lesson is in the mails and I have already started working on the third lesson. This third lesson is a humdinger and in the thirty pages which I have already covered I've already learned about credit letters, letters of recommendation, internal letters, acceptions of invitations, inquiries, complaints and acknowledgements. There may be quite a lot of things I will forget about this course in the passage of time but quite a few of the fundamentals will stick and I've had more than two dollars worth of value out of the course already.

Mersing and I joking so much about wanting the war to last until we can have finished six or seven of these Army Institute programs that Edie is getting peeved at us. M and I say that we meant to save as much money as possible while we are in the Army and can get these courses for a song and that we would yell bloody murder if the war would end before we had finished our studies. (O yeah!)

In addition to making such a comfortable dig into the lesson no. 3, I managed to get in a few pages of John Galsworthy between the hours of four to five. But, as usual, one's fellow soldiers have no respect for a person's privacy etcetera and there were so many interruptions that I doubt if I read more than ten pages.

Because today was a day of work, the Roman Catholic masses were moved up until four-thirty in the afternoon. It was strange to hear church call blow at that time. Fellows like Edie and Burkard make it a habit to go to church even while they are in the army, are fellows who will make those upstanding, church going men in their communities after the war. Others who do not go to church now will most likely go after the war when they again come under the influence of their women folks.

Molyneaux had trouble with getting a crew of men to work under him today. He started out with fifteen (so they tell me) and before long he had exactly one man in his detail which was policing up the area on the job. They also tell me that he solved that problem by telling the men to take a ten minute break every ten minutes but that seems more like a joke than anything else. If I know Jack, he had a picnic today especially since it was raining and he more than likely kept himself dry.

By the way, some of the surveying slang which I picked up yesterday consisted of "gun" meaning the transit and "shoot" meaning to take readings thru the transit.

The time now is nearing eleven bells and chances are that this will be all the letters for tonight. It is my intention to write to my correspondents Monday evening and answer as many letters as I can irrespective of their standings on my priority list.

The second box of mallow delights is still being held in reserve. I'm afraid that it will be gone within the twenty-four hours of opening it. That is nothing like the long time I strung out the ones Senor G sent me at Christmas time. In fact, I've not put it in the tin box but just wrapped it well.

So-long,   /s/ Roman   Roman