Cpl Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
20 May 44
Here I am again after an interruption of about an hour. In the hour while Hipp was using his typewriter which I tried to borrow for the evening without success, I listened to the Hit Parade which I haven't heard in a long, long time. Tonight they had as the Number One song, "Love, Love, Love". Personally neither Lewis or myself cared for the number at all and wondered how it ever managed to reach the top. That Marzy Doats song is still up there strong and now that I know the tune, I rather like the song. It is one of the crazy things just like Hut Sut Ralston, Rose O'Day, and the Music Goes Down and Around.
Anyway, the main event of the day since signing off at noon was our moving into our new positions in the barracks. As I already have told you in this noon's letter, Harold Flynn moved my equipment for me but this evening Lewis and the other boys from Headquarters began moving their stuff in. This is one though, none of us headquarters boys has a lamp and all the light in the barracks is down at the other end where the cooks sleep. Before the change, we had about six lamps in our barracks spread out rather well throughout the place. That reminds me that I have $1.39 in the lamp of Nick Histov and think now that he isn't in the tent, I ought to follow the age old custom of getting my money back. That is such a foolish set up they run under. Each fellow contributes to buying a lamp and then when they break up, one fellow buys the lamp from each contributor. It doesn't make much sense for the fellow might as well have bought the whole thing for himself I the first place. One thing though is that when each fellow owns a part of the lamp they take turns in seeing to it that it is filled up with gas and also there is the added insurance that in case it breaks while being owned by six men, the risk is cut down to one dollar instead of $6.25 which is the purchase price of one of those lamps.
The boys, including myself, were just now talking it up rather loudly and the Major sent Frazin around with the message that we tone it down to a mild roar. I guess twelve fellows all talking at once in the same building is apt to create some sort of disturbance.
Not to get off the beaten track of the letter but just because it has come to my mind at this time I would like to mention something about these fellows trying for OCS. I may have mentioned it before but I can not recollect for sure whether I have or haven't. Just as they did back in the Dumbea Valley, the fellows are trying to get right back to the United States via OCS and other methods. That wears off in time until they think of some other way like the Air Corps but that way is now closed since no more transfers are accepted from either the either the Army Ground or Services Forces into the Air Forces. Makes me glad that I'm not the Company Clerk anymore because those things are really first class headaches. Don't I know after handling three at once back in New Caledonia when Cooley, Snook and Holliday all tried to make it at the same time. Of course, none of them did although each one is as good a man and has just as much knowledge as most of the officers in the Army today. The reason they didn't make it is because there probably were still better men then taking the tests and the acceptances for OCS was no longer on how good a man you were but according to how you compared with the other men taking the test at the same time. And so I continue on still another page in what is becoming quite a long epistle. I still haven't gotten around to answering your letters of today either.
You no doubt have read by this time the description which Dock Haley printed in the Bulldozer of what is to be sometime in the future, the best theater area on this island to be constructed by the 1393rd and associated battalions. Well, it is now in process as I may also have told you in telling you how Lt Yantis was turning into an Engineer. No kidding, those fellows are really putting a great deal of work into that project and trucks and trucks loaded first with sand and then with slag first provided a drainage base for the theater area and then a surface (that's also slag). Prior to that Yantis had the entire area perfectly sloped so that they (the people who attend the show) will be able to have a perfect seat and perfect vision at any point. The next thing is the construction of the seats out of cocoa nut logs. I don't think I'll ever tire of telling you how our Colonel can do things when he sets his mind to it. He has to have the best and will not take no for an answer. Before coming into the 1393rd I had no idea of how other regiments or outfits acted but we have heard the other battalion's band and have heard them speak of their outfits and Colonels and it is then that one can appreciate Colonel Trower and his pet project, the Band. And also Colonel Trower's liking for the movies which has enabled us time and time again to get the best theater areas and the best movies when available.
Here are a couple incidentals which a fellow brought in to me today to be printed in the Bulldozer but which have originally been printed in the newspaper put out by the Armored Forces of the United States Army. "This I declare I am standing pat on: Headquarters is where Hindquarters are sat on." No further comment is needed than the words "How true, how true".
Now to get at that letter answering. That was swell to hear that you hold the record on our street for getting the most mail. Who is the boyfriend? Oh, you mean just my letters beat out the total of those five star houses on the block? The other fellows can't be writing very much at all, can they? Do you think the postman knows that all the V-mails are coming from the same person?
Your answer on my little smoking escapade has reached me in your letters today and I can assure you that it has been over for a long time and it was merely a temporary flight and even this latest beer drinking (healthful as Uncle Jack says it might be) is going to end soon for two reasons. First of all they only sell beer for a few days every two weeks and then my finances are getting down to the point where I couldn't last much longer anyway.
So Mrs Reed and Myrtle finally bought that house, eh? It must be right off Grove Avenue if it is a half a block west of Oak Park Avenue. $8,600 is rather cheap for a bungalow and lot, isn't it? I have been led to believe that the better places run up above ten thousand. It is also strange that she should have even told you the price she had to pay for it since, as a general rule, she is rather secretive about such financial affairs. $60.00 a month is a lot of dough although I imagine it is one of those plans in which that also takes care of the insurance and the taxes during the time the payments are being made.
Say, Aunty Clara, aren't you getting tired of reading this drivel? The funny part about it is that I haven't as yet tired myself out from writing it and I might as well keep going until I wear myself out. After all this is Saturday night and there is no work tomorrow on Sunday. And for the first Sunday since coming up to these hills, I feel perfectly free to take the day off completely as all the immediate work is caught up and the work I have on my hands now is nothing more than routine straightening up of the records.
By the way, I think I'll ask Mrs Reed or Myrtle to send me a picture of their new place. I would like to see what it does look like. By the way, just how far is it from Ogden Avenue. Pardon my density. I looked at my map which you sent me and find that Ogden crosses Oak Park Avenue at 36th St so that makes it quite a good distance away from the Reed home. And another thing I notice is that I've been sort of talking out of turn in saying that they live near Grove Avenue for I see that between the RR track and 31st St Ave Grove Avenue ceases to exist and that they probably live near Kenilworth, the next street over from Oak Park Avenue in their section. How is the bus service and street car service between 5646 and their home? You know, their house is only about two or three blocks away from 31st and East where Uncle Jack and I used to go to see Morton's Baseball team play their games. That is the Morton High School and Morton Junior College athletic field. And they are not far from Wenonah Park which as I recall isn't much more than any of the Cicero playground districts but there are quiet walks and benches there to sit and talk during a summer's evening.
The Executive Officer was looking for a drink of water and couldn't find anything to get water out of the five gallon can so I offered him my cup which is something I can't understand because that is highly against my principles and the only people I have ever shared my canteen cup with were Mersing and Molyneaux. But to top that off, he left the cup out and I forgot to put it away and another fellow comes up and drinks out of it making it two people. I definitely do not approve of such tactics for not only may more serious diseases be communicated by that means but also such obnoxious things as trench mouth which is not uncommon in the army.
By the way, just in case I haven't sent in enough requests in letter form to take care of things I ordered in previous letters I will herewith make a request which you can give to the postman as required. It will be just the things I ordered formerly. Please send me, if you don't have to use up ration points, olives, pickles, shredded wheat, malted milk tablets and other such things which we could eat in the Canteen. This is better than waiting for me to send out an Air-mail request, isn't it?
By the way, even if some people still want to send me something besides those things I have suggested, I can always use a larger world Atlas than you sent to me. Or are they too expensive? I have no idea of what they cost. And I don't want to ask Uncle Jack outright but in case he has any intention of sending anything, I wouldn't mind receiving a Daily News Almanac. There is a storehouse of information which would settle quite a few disputes we have over statistics and events that happened years ago.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman