Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
18 July 1944
This is the first letter of the day and it must be very, very close to ten o'clock in the evening. Red Skelton is on the air and his voice is dinning right in my ear as the radio once more right on the next desk to mine. There was quite a lot to do today and nothing done, so to speak. That remark will require further explanation which I will detail at a later paragraph in this letter. For the time being I'll give you the vital statistics. For one thing, I received absolutely no mail today yet I had the "honor" of sorting out quite a large delivery of V-mail. Jack called me in to sort it out since he had to go someplace and he knows that V-mail is about all I get and usually when the battalion gets some, I get at least one if not more.
The second most important event of the day is that I have tried smoking a pipe! It does not leave the bad taste in the mouth that a cigarette leaves or the terrific amount of smoke of which a cigar has but, oh my, it doesn't make a person feel any too good. I'm very surprised at that --- it affects me like dope and after this one day try at it, I believe I'm definitely off one more possible vice. That makes it complete. At various times in my life now, I've tried smoking of all sorts, cigarettes, cigars and now pipe (no opium as yet), yet in none of them have I found any satisfaction or enjoyment. It is still a mystery to me why the other fellows actually like the stuff. I suppose that if I found that I could enjoy smoking, I would be doing so today. Perhaps my system knows that smoking wouldn't do my lungs any good and also that on me is doesn't look good. That is a fact, Aunty Clara, for I've looked in a mirror to see how I look with the different weeds and stem in my mouth and it just doesn't fit in with my face. For instance, I discovered something about this pipe business that I didn't before and that is because my teeth do not join together evenly like other people's teeth do naturally, it is impossible for the pipe to merely rest in my mouth but sets my whole face askew attempting to keep the pipe there. When people offer me cigarettes nowadays, I say to them, "I gave up smoking" and they reply, "How can you manage to do it?" looking at me with wondrous eyes. Then I say, "I just don't care for it". To which they answer, "I sure wish I could find it that easy to do". That makes the conversation much more interesting than if I would merely refuse by saying, "No, thank you, I don't smoke". All they say to that is "Oh" with a shrug of their shoulders.
Perhaps I should explain just what prompted my adventure into the realm of pipes. It was the same thing that got Aunty Florence interested in cigars --- the smell. Lewis has a canister of Rum & Maple tobacco and that smell is delicious and I wanted to find out if the smoking of it was anywhere near as good. I did find out that you do get a taste of something sweetish in your mouth which is more than you can say for any cigar no matter how good it smells but that doesn't compensate for the other disadvantages connected with the pipe .
Speaking of Lewis, he just came up from the mess hall where he got his evening cup of coffee and brought with him part of the cake he was eating. He wanted to have someone share its good taste for it was freshly baked and was better than any cake they have had recently. By that you must have guessed that I ate that bit of cake. Now he gave me half a cup of black coffee he had left and it was good for a change. Those two things are against my sanitary principles eating good food that other people have touched and drinking from cups other people have been drinking from yet, I feel that from what I know of Lewis and the chances of catching any communicable diseases from him by that means, the chance is very slim. It isn't safe to make a habit of that indiscriminate habit but occasionally it doesn't do any harm. Sometimes I think I might be passing off TB germs to someone instead of them giving me anything. For the rest of the army it is a very common practice to drink and eat anything which has been used by another. A common example of that is the drinking cup in the office which is sitting next to our water can. It belongs to one of the boys in the office yet everyone from the Major himself on down to the Private bugler boy uses that one and same cup.
O yes, I was CQ today and will have to stay here to eleven bells whether I finish this letter before then or not. In the morning we spent an hour policing up and repairing different things around the area. This is in accordance with some sort of Army Regulation which someone ran across the other day which states that office personnel in the army should (suggested) spend at least one to two hours a week on the outside --- preferably engaged in some sport activity such as baseball, swimming, tennis, etcetera or when there is lack of facilities for those things, they should do constructive work or calisthenics. Right now we are doing some jobs which no one else had ever bothered about doing but in a short while they will completed those things and it may be possible to get in an hour of baseball down on the baseball diamond. That would probably do the most good for everyone would take an avid interest in that and it is just as important to have the mind being in agreement with the body on such a thing rather than against it. By that I mean should they suggest those crazy jumping up and down exercises it would do more psychological harm than good --- at least so say the biological books and psychology books which we read in Morton Junior College. But only time will tell what will come of that, personally I don't give a hoot anymore for anything which occupies the time is one more second or minute closer to home and the end of all of it once and for all.
In the afternoon we were called out again at the Colonel's request to police up about a half a mile of road and hill which was littered with cans, bottles and papers. Then we had to go down some miles to dump the stuff and then back to the area where we discovered the time was just about three o'clock. Seeing as how I was CQ this evening, I decided that I had better get my shower in right then and there --- for I was filthy --- and also get my laundry ready to be sent out and change my clothes. It took me until about three-thirty to get back to the office but I've been here ever since with the exception of the five minutes it took to eat my supper of one slice of pineapple and two buns.
For no good reason, I felt like doing nothing this evening so I just sat around talking and listening to the radio until it was time to pound out these two letters for the day. I received no letters so I answered none. (That's a bad philosophy but that's the way I felt). Yet, during the course of the evening, Walter Parsons came around the office and that was a lucky break for me for he had one of those silver chains to hold his dog tags with and that was just what I was looking for to make a necklace for Pat out of the shells I bought the other Sunday while on the road where we got hold of the grass skirts. All he would take for it was that plastic dog tag holder which you sent to me for he attached no value to it beside the fact that it was something to hold his dog tags. I never wore that plastic holder for I had the new type of dog tags in my pocket tied with a piece of white ribbon expressly issued for that purpose --- that way the plastic holder was brand new. Leishman (married man) helped me on what he thought was the correct arrangement of shells on a necklace and also gave me a couple of ideas I hadn't thought of before since he made one for his wife about a month back. I haven't worked on it yet for I need some cotton packing and some wax to seal the shell to the chain, but I have the arrangement all perfected. If and when I complete it, I believe it will be something she will feel is worth wearing (I hope) and will be a much better souvenir than that skirt could ever be. I know you will think and agree that I'm right in this for you said it would be a good idea to have sent one of those New Caledonia bracelets to Pat. I'll attempt to describe just what it looks like at a future time when it is completed.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman