Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
30 June 1944
This is the first letter of the day and I am writing it around nine-thirty in the evening. I really should have written sooner for I have several letters to write this evening since today I received not only your letter of the 23rd but also an undated letter from Uncle Jack. There is a funny story about the letter from Uncle Jack. Last night on our way from the showers, I bet Bill Grauel a bottle of Pepsi-Cola that I'd get a letter from Uncle Jack today. He took me up on it thinking that such a guess was impossible. I made a mistake however in sorting out the mail today and finding the letter myself. Now they don't really believe that I called my shot but rather that I had the letter from yesterday and just pretended to get it today. My anxiety to find out if it would come today didn't let me think that those were the conclusions they would jump to.
Last night I finished my letter to you and took a shower as I have already mentioned. I was hungrier than a bear at that time and went down to the mess hall to get some Grape Nuts for myself and a cheese sandwich for Bill. Instead of getting the cereal right off the bat, they fed me a half a can of pears to which I offered no objection but then to get the cereal, one of the cooks called me into the back room and who should be sitting there but Danny Driscoll. Unfortunately, my warmth of good-fellowship on seeing him faded when I discovered that I was seeing him drunk for the first time. He said that many were the times he has been to our camp but purposely did not look me up because of his inebriated condition.
He lives in an outfit camped right along with us on these hills and in barracks constructed by the 1177th Engrs! The best part about it is that he has been living within a mile of us (if you follow the roads, four blocks if you go by way of the black crow) for over a month and a half. He is a very engaging fellow when under the weather for he lets his hair down and probably says things which he never intended to but which he insists on you hearing. I heard several things from him concerning the old Company A which I wondered about for a long time. He uses ten dollar words by the dozen but strung together in a conglomeration, as last night, they don't say anything. I finally got rid of him --- an hour later --- when he went off to the Supply Room to get Mersing out of bed. I talked to Mersing today and found out that he was able to get rid of the boy by giving him a few beers.
I've never told you about that side of Driscoll because there was no occasion to do so as he kept himself well under control both at Camp White and New Caledonia but now that the Sgt is free lancing it, he doesn't seem to care much anymore. Prior to my coming to the 353rd at Camp White with the other fillers, it was noised about that Driscoll had gone into Medford on several occasions and almost lost his stripes as a result and after that he held himself in check.
The time is going by rather swiftly and it begins to look as if I'm going to be up late once again. Ever since we learned that the eleven o'clock restriction wasn't ironclad, we have taken advantage of it by staying up past that time. Saturday night is alright but week days are followed by working days and that isn't so good.
Mathis and I went to the show in this area tonight while Lewis and Bill went to the Navy show. It was a toss up for we saw the main picture here but could enjoy the stage show while at the Navy they had a Frank Buck picture. I'm glad we stayed, for the music of our band was alright and they had a substitute drummer who works as the PX Steward during the daytime. He is not and has not been a member of the band yet he went to those drums as if he was still at the job every day instead of being away from it since leaving civilian life back in Nov 1942. He was a professional drummer for eighteen years and he is the brother-in-law to Milton Berle.
In addition to the band, we had a Sgt Carroll from A Company come out with a short set of magic. He doesn't come close to Dock Haley's performance for Haley was making his living out of being a professional magician, but as an amateur this Carroll was alright.
By the way, today was payday and shortly after supper, we stood in line and received our new, enlarged pay. $27.00 smackeroos represents the most money I have ever received in this army at one time. Jack Molyneaux has a list a mile long of people he owes cash to since his last two months of bad luck. However, with what he drew today, he could never pay all of them nor even with this month's and next month's salary could he do it, so he is paying off some of the men 50% of his debts and has gone to risk the rest of it on the gamble that he will either be free of debts or else still with all of it to pay. Perhaps your prediction of him losing but good someday is going to come true for I know very well that if he begins losing, he will borrow again and go so much deeper into the hole. So far this year he is ahead about a hundred and fifty dollars but that isn't so much considering that at one time he had the game beat by some four hundred.
Our Retreat Formation was held this afternoon after a farcical Orientation Lecture. This time they were really strict and Lt Nix checked everyone's rifle and general appearance with Captain Hanton coming around and doing the same thing plus looking at the bayonets. I passed it by the skin of my teeth and I was never so thankful for passing an inspection for they were taking down names for a gig list and I have a hunch they aren't going to get off lightly. Sackett was the Sgt in charge of writing the names down and he was almost so sure as I was that my name was going down on the list for the Lt found some dirt or something right at the tip of my rifle barrel. He asked me how it got there and where I had kept my rifle --- I couldn't answer that one at all for I had just finished cleaning it and that chunk of dirt or grease just wasn't there ten minutes before the inspection. What probably happened is that either my hand and clothes picked up the dirt and it stuck to the rifle accidentally. The Lt realized that it was an accident and passed it up. Whew!
I read a small article in the Saturday Evening Post about roller rinks and how they are good money makers. I also noticed that the minimum price they quote for a rink is $5,000 and that does seem rather steep and it is going to take a lot of money before I can think of starting one up such as I have pipe dreamed on occasion. The maximum price thus far recorded for a rink is $300,000 but that must be a veritable palace. They also go on to tell about all the rules that are made for the participants etcetera of which most was familiar to me from personal experience.
Another thing the magazine mentioned was this business of only two terms to the presidency by amendment to the Constitution with Roosevelt not falling under the law since he is the present incumbent and you just don't make laws that way. It is a good idea for it looks like that Fourth Term will be a cinch now in spite of all that hogwash about no fourth term during the campaign for the third one. It just isn't right for one man to remain in that position for such a long time as no man is so indispensable that he can't be changed. However, in spite of all that, I wouldn't mind seeing Roosevelt re-elected again anyway since this war was all under his guidance that I am very much interested in seeing how he is going to handle the finish of it. No-changing-horse-in-the-middle-of-the-stream bothers me but it is merely curiosity to find out what his plans are etcetera.
By the way, today we heard for the first time over the radio about radio-controlled robot planes.
Congratulations to Aunty Florence for finally winding up at Western's. However, I doubt whether the job would last for more than the duration of the war. Yet, who can tell, it might. I didn't realize that Aunty Florence's eyes were that bad. And it is difficult for me to imagine you not being able to read the little print of the papers without glasses. It seems that by wearing glasses, the eyes become weaker than not wearing them. Uncle Jack, the man with only one good eye, is going to do better than all of us for he is the only one of us without glasses. Of course, I've got them but never use them.