Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
9 July 1944
What a day. I enjoyed every minute of it and it was one of the most unarmylike days I've spent since being in the army. To begin at the beginning --- it was Sunday and that meant no Reveille. At seven o'clock, Jerry Angert woke me up and wanted to know if I wanted to go down to the mess hall and some egg omelet but I told him no and went right back to sleep again. Finally, at eight o'clock or thereabouts, Milligan came in and wanted to know what time I was going to get up to go on the outing for the day. I told him that Mathis wanted to go to Mass first and that it would be about nine-thirty before we would get started out. By that time, I was awake so I went up to the office and talked to Mathis who was ready to go to Church. I came back again after straightening out my bed, blankets, etcetera and talking to Mersing in the Supply Room and by that time we were all set to go. However, here again we couldn't take off right away. We had to get some water for the boys and I had also promised George Myers I would fill up his water cans this morning also so we had to stop in at his tent to pick them up before going to the water point. After we came back to the office, we were prepared to go down to the river to wash the car. We took along a broom, rags, brushes, sticks and boots to do the job with. The river we wash the jeep in is a good distance away so we had a pleasant ride down there and quite a lot of fun at the place. There were four of us altogether --- Mathis, Angert, Milligan and myself. We washed that car inside and out rolling the car right into the center of the river, getting out and getting to work on it. Don't be surprised but that is the way GI cars are washed. It is so much simpler than the civilian way of doing it. Back home, you waste time, effort and money bringing the water to the car but here you just bring the car right into the very water. After the car was washed as it could be (couldn't be perfect since the water itself is dirty and, when it evaporates, a trace of dirt is left) we drove around in a couple of circles in the water to thoroughly clean the bottom parts we couldn't reach otherwise. Don't worry, though, the river is well charted for the trucks and the water just reaches the hub caps at that point.
It was about ten-thirty at that time and by accident, we took the road out to the Service Club when we knew it was closed for today according to an announcement which was made over the radio just before we took off. Anyhow, it was a fortunate mistake for we met Cpl Quint trying to thumb his way in. Little did he ever expect to be picked up by us. From there I drove back to camp were we had our respective meals and agreed to re-assemble at twelve-thirty for the afternoon's pleasure ride.
Well, Aunty Clara, we drove and we drove and we drove all afternoon yet we came in about forty-five minutes before the time limit set by Captain Cook. Yet, Captain Cook never did show up for his jeep this evening even though he suggested that he may have wanted to use it after five o'clock when he was to be relieved as the Officer of the Day or Staff Duty Officer. Honestly, our backsides were getting a bit tired for I did enough driving today in that jeep to take us almost the whole way to Milwaukee.
We tried to see some places of interest but most of them were barred to sight-seers otherwise, I imagine there would be just too many of them nosing around where they didn't belong. There are some beautiful spots on this island, though, which we had never seen before. One spot looked just the way you see a tropical island mentioned or filmed in pictures with the palm trees bending in the wind, with the deep blue, white-capped waves washing up onto the sandy beech with construction similar to native huts in the background nestled in with more cocoanut trees. That is one of the things I can tell, the other interesting things which we saw will remain military secrets.
Riding along the highway was just like being back home with the exception of not seeing an occasional gas station or roadside eatery. But we do have our Kanakas selling souvenirs of the island. Milligan had two civilian sweaters he picked up some place or another which he intended to trade with the natives for some of their wares but at which he met with no success. However, when some likely looking natives were walking down the road, we pulled up ahead of them and found out what they had for sale. As it was, with me really not going out of my way for the thing, I found myself buying a grass skirt. That is about the only kind of souvenir that a person can buy and the natives just make them to sell them to soldiers. I'm not sending it home for it is of no earthly good and it really isn't interesting enough to have around the house. Yet, judging from the way the other girlfriends and wives of the soldiers liked these grass skirts and seeing as how I never sent any souvenir to Pat down in New Cal, I decided to mail it to her just for the fun of it and to see whether she would like a souvenir like that or not. I've already put it into the mails along with the letters of this date so it should be in Cicero sometime in August. I packed it up real good in a long round box (cardboard) which seemed almost made for grass skirts to be mailed home in.
In addition to that I bought some twenty peculiar shaped shells of which I hope to make a necklace or bracelet. That is maybe I might make something like that. It all depends if I have the necessary skill, patience and energy. That too will go to Pat if it turns out good for the skirt is just sort of a "look-at-this" present and not the kind of thing you would save for a long time. What I'm worried about is whether twenty shells are going to be enough. Instead of being a long necklace it will be one of those kind that fit pretty close around the neck.
We came back in at quarter to four and then went down to eat supper which was fairly good.
After the supper, there was the show and we had an all Hawaiian band here with us tonight and they were good. Better than our own orchestra it seemed. Their specialties were the Hawaiian songs which they sang and the hula one fellow did. They were good and especially so on the native songs for you usually hear American bands play them and very seldom fellows from Hawaii itself.
The show followed that and it was a pretty punk picture entitled "Gangway for Tomorrow" with John Caradine and Margo as being the two outstanding persons in the cast. It was merely a series of five unconnected stories of incidents in five different people's lives.
From the show, we came back up to the office, where I was stopped rather suddenly on my plans to write a letter quick like and then go to bed. For one thing, I usually have my milk just before I go down to the barracks, but Bill Grauel suggested that we have it at that time and from him it spread to about four other fellows wanting it and I prepared all the batches with my equipment.
Then I ran across a recent edition of the Time magazine and just had to read it from cover to cover.
I received two letters today. One from Larry Isaacson who doesn't have anything new to say about the 353rd which I hadn't already heard about from Harvey Beaumont. The other letter was from you dated the 2nd of July. That seemed so funny saying you had to go Jewish picnic. Where in the world and who in the world do you know that is Jewish and would ask you to go out on a picnic with? I thought all our friends were Spanish and all our relatives Polish? Could it be Gonzalez-stein? Infiesta-bergs? Or Wojiechieski-mann? By the way, I believe I mentioned that fact that the other teeth which have to be pulled, are not, in my belief, any more of the front or near front teeth.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman