Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
2 July 1944
It is 9:30 P.M. but I doubt if I'll really start this letter until 9:45 for the program "Suspense" has just come on the air. Well, that is over and it was good this evening. Do you have that program at home?
By the way, this is the first letter of the day although I've had opportunities time and time again to write prior to this.
This is what I did and did not do today. I did not get up for breakfast. I did not go out into the woods looking for souvenirs such as old rusty Japanese rifles and the like. I did not write any letters. I did read some newspapers and magazines. I did take a nap in the afternoon and, finally, I did go to the show this evening.
Now to elaborate and take up two full pages of V-mail doing it. That is the wonderful thing about knowing more than the 500 words of basic English, the elaboration can go on forever.
A fellow who used to work with Lewis in the 2nd Battalion of the 353rd and who has just come over to this Island, woke Lewis up this morning and wanted him to go out into the jungle to a place that there were three Jap rifles "for sure". Lewis was urging me to get out of bed so that he would and then we would all go on the expedition. It was a "sure fire" proposition for this fellow was waving around a map with the diagram of the ravine down which the foxhole was located in which a fellow had hid three firearms just a week ago. Personally the idea did not intrigue me as a fellow is only borrowing trouble by going off into that jungle. At first I thought it would be a lark to investigate it but I'm staying clear of it now. In the first place, the jungles are dank and dark and likely places for the malarial mosquito to be hiding out. That is reason number one for not going into the thing. Secondly, there are amazing diseases out here in the tropics which we never even heard of back home and they are all weird and terrifying. That is not an old wive's tale for I've not only read official bulletins on the subject but corroborating statements in popular magazines such as Life, Reader's Digest, etcetera. It is bad enough living in the more civilized and controlled sections of these lands of mystery where it is still possible to contact the wrong germs let alone to go out into the breeding grounds of the diseases. Third, it is dangerous in two physical ways. One is that the hills are steep, jagged with coral (which causes an infection) and because this island was once held by the Japs, there may be a couple deathtraps waiting for the unwary. The other that it is a jungle and too easy to get permanently lost in when one is not familiar with the jungle-plan.
Other than those objections, I had several others such as why go thru all that on a Sunday morning when a person has a chance to lay around and do nothing, why go out on an empty stomach, most important of all, who in the world wants an old rusty Jap rifle? Of course, we know there are fellows who would give their right arms for souvenirs like that --- one of them is Ray Bernett, the curio collector --- but I'm definitely not one of those addicts. About the one thing I would use it for is to make some money like selling it for $25 or $50 dollars but the risk isn't worth that price.
The whole thing is that Sackett got up by that time and went off with Lewis and this other fellow, got all dirty and sweated, were out until three o'clock and didn't come back with anything.
And I spent my time reading those Daily Newses I received in yesterday's mail and in reading some new magazines. That took a good part of the morning I had left after my late awakening and then about an hour or so in the afternoon before taking that nap.
The show they had in our theater was a good musical which I hadn't seen with the Andrew Sisters and Harriet Hilliard called "Swingtime Johnny". However, at the last minute I heard the Navy was showing "Kings Row", and seeing as how I just read through that book here on island, I thought it would be interesting to see the picturization of it. So I took a GI cab (the first truck along the main highway that stopped to pick me up) and got there in two shakes of a lamb's tail. That picture, incidentally, was massacred and the book is three times as intense and dramatic. As it was the picture was long enough yet they skipped through a lot of background material which could have helped a lot. Then they took terrible liberties in combining two characters into one, changing the facts around to pass the Will Hays office, and finally, changing the ending of the story itself. In those respects, I was disappointed but, on the whole, the picture was well acted and I could see the reason why certain substitutions had been made. One thing that was for sure was that Randy, played by Ann Sheridan, was about the best role Ann Sheridan has ever played in. She acted out the part extra well.
Coming back from the show was a snap for a 1393rd truck pulled up on the side of the area and drove us right back in front of the office.
This letter has received a longer interruption than the first section and it is now midnight. Leishman, Sackett and I were having a swell time talking about office shop talk and then about our post-war planning. The office talk concerned a recent transfer of two men in our company. They are both crack men at their jobs with one of them being in line for a rating and the other man just received a rating the other day yet an order came out transferring them to some other unit in the Group. That was typical army and we get a great kick out of that and then talking about similar things which have happened in our experiences. After that we were discussing those days when we will either be discharged from Frisco or the separation camps nearer home.
The more I think about it the surer I become that the only way to make any kind of decent money is to own a business of some sort or another. Working as a clerk in an office isn't going to make it add up very fast. After all we will want than one house, cars, vacations and all so a salary won't be quite enough. The possibilities which I think I would be most interested in are a roller rink, an ice arena, a bowling alley, a book store and a grocery. Maybe in time it would be possible to own them all so that all the eggs wouldn't be in one basket. Then there is always that dream I had of one great recreation center at some central point in the city which would be a sure fire money maker.
The Navy show had their first breakdown in the movie today since I've been going there. And you should have heard the fellows moan. They just don't seem to appreciate the fact that their movies have been so good. That is one of my pet peeves to find these fellows with such little patience. Another is that during the picture some dope will shine a flashlight right on to the screen. That is a childish thing to do and I just can't understand why they do that. Another is to have a fellow sit next to you who turns around to study your face during the movies. Another is when the fellows laugh during a dramatic part of the picture and then the practically whispered words are drowned out. That, however, I can understand for sometimes that drama gets a bit corny. Still another pet peeve is having fellows leave the show area when they think the picture is ending thus blocking your view or making quite a lot of noise so you don't hear. In two pictures lately, "Salute to the Marines" the fellows anticipated the end about ten minutes ahead of time and were fooled after practically leaving the area. A person would think that they had someplace to go the way they went to rush out. Most people are that way --- in a hurry. Uncle Jack taught me to take it easy --- too well I think for I have almost made it a life job to take it easy.
It is too late to dash off a letter to him as I planned. O, by the way, there was no mail at all today.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman