Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
25 June 1944
It is not quite nine o'clock yet although this is the first letter of the day. That is nine o'clock in the evening and not in the morning. The sensation of having all my letters caught up with only one to worry about --- the one to Pat --- is something unusual in my life and for a change I've been taking things rather easy ever since four o'clock yesterday afternoon. As I told you, I read all the Daily Newses on hand last night and then was set to go to the midnight show. Tired as I was I did go after refreshing myself with a shower and eating two dishes --- one was a dish of grapefruit and the other a dish of pears. That revived me from my stupor and put something inside of me to hold me over until about three o'clock when we came back and went to bed. The show was swell "One Night in Lisbon" with Fred MacMurry and Madeleine Carroll. It was very humorous and at times we laughed ourselves sick. Needless to say, we enjoyed it very much.
It was just before going to the show that I discovered that my being CQ and having been up in the office saved me quite a bit of trouble. It seems that they went thru the barracks last night looking for fellows with nothing to do and put them to work down at the Motor Pool laying cement. I guess the fellows worked all night. From the stories I heard tell, most of the fellows they took were in fatigues and as the word spread about the company area as to what was afoot, the fellows all changed to khakis and took off for other parts of the island.
We had eggs for breakfast this morning and I got up to eat them but rather than go back to bed (and I needed the sleep) and only get caught on a work detail and really tire myself out after no sleep, I rode down to the Post Office with Lynd and it was close to eleven o'clock when we got back and I then hit the hay until noon. In the afternoon I went to watch the ball game but it was rained about in the second inning and back I went once more to the barracks to sleep until supper time. It wasn't that I was hungry for, for some reason or another I wasn't and just ate a slice of bread and the dessert.
The big surprise of the day was when I walked into the office after supper and saw Mike Nyalka sitting at my desk. Just as I was going to tell him that I had received a letter from Harvey Beaumont that very afternoon I noticed another fellow sitting at Grauel's desk and it was Harvey himself. It was great to see him and until just now after the show, we have been talking over the old times and the new setups. I like Harvey, he is a pretty decent fellow, and talks in a more serious vein than most people. Yet he does have a humorous side. It seems funny that just the other week I was wondering if I was ever going to see those fellows again and here he pops in.
It was a semi-official visit. You see, every once in a while the old outfit has to send some things over to group and instead of sending it by mail they dispatch a man with them and that way take turns at visiting us over here. That was pretty good answering his letter in person. He was wearing his Technical Sergeants stripes having made the grade just thirty days after having been appointed Staff Sergeant from Tec 4. He expected to find that Lewis was making his Master stripes but I guess it won't be this month.
Harvey will come around tomorrow morning again, he says, since he doesn't have to leave until the afternoon. He was sorry to miss seeing Jack and wants to come back to heckle him about Norristown. The setup they have on the other island almost beats this. They have a different type of tropical barracks, their PX has a cooler in it too but they are also getting an ice cream mixer. Ray Gradler has quit his bugling job and his other job as switchboard operator and now is an assistant to Johnson the 353 mail clerk. Then there is a lot of little information which he told me which I doubt I have ever written home about but which furnished quite a bit of conversation for me. They were all issued these tropical helmets and are not even allowed to wear the campaign hats we got in New Caledonia.
They left the old location in New Cal complete just as if we were going to come back again and even left food in the kitchens so that another outfit could move right in. However, the guards didn't take good care of the place and by the time the Island Command was ready to inspect the area, it was pretty well dirtied up again. Nevertheless, some outfit sure did walk into some nice homes just as they will after we vacate this place and the 353 moves from their location. That is one thing you will never see Engineers doing and that is moving into a place which is already built up. They are still continuing on work such as we did down in new Cal while our own is somewhat similar. After the war I can tell you all about such things but as you have already had somewhat of an introduction into the type of work Construction Battalions do, you know that it is all more or less on the same lines.
We walked back to Group where Mike dropped off into a card game and then Harvey and I went down to the Theater area and sat with Lewis, Sackett and Grauel. The show for this evening was a silly thing with the Ritz brothers in it --- need I say more?
O yes, we did go to see Mersing and Edie for a minute and guess what. Of course you won't be able to guess what but the thing is that we have an artist in the company and thru some kind of politics Mersing is having his picture painted for free. It is a huge affair about two feet by one and a half feet and looks just like Mersing. After the fellow does this one, he is going to charge Fifty Dollars for a portrait! There it goes once again. We thought that the French in New Caledonia were war profiteers but they are pikers when it comes to American soldiers. Just as the fellow selling those shell necklaces for fifteen dollars tripled New Caledonian prices so this fellow is charging $30 more than the Twenty Dollars charged by the Frenchman in Noumea for his portraits of people.
You know what again? Ever since that tooth has been pulled, those two remaining teeth on that upper side of my mouth seem out of place and my tongue can't get used to feeling them isolated like that. It is as if it is stuck up there out of the way.
By golly, I think that in order for me to write Pat a letter I'm going to have to type it this time. If she doesn't like it, that is just too bad about her. Everyone else gets them typed.