Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
30 July 1944
Not more than five minutes ago I finished reading the book "Song of Bernadette." I can say that I enjoyed the book very much and got out of it everything and more than I hoped for when, after seeing the picture, I swore to myself that I would read that book. One of the questions I had in mind was to know more about the truth of the life of Bernadette Souribous and whether it all really did happen. Then too, I did want to know if she was sainted but that came after I found out that it was a true story and had gone half way thru the book. Just think, her sainting came in our own time (8 December 1933) which brings the entire story into more modern day reality than it was even happening in the last century as it did.
Another most peculiar fact which one must accept as true was the preserving of Bernadette's body so that after almost forty years it had as yet not decomposed but was still as one just deceased. Evidently, if there are such things as saints, she was one of them. In a way, I imagine that I appreciated the book much more than you did when you read it for I had my figures and scenes already in mind whereas you had to create them for yourself as you went along.
Then too, I noticed places in the book where, in my opinion, Franz Werfel had weakened the story although he can't be blamed for that since he claims everything was true so he had no choice in the matter. The movies, as usual, capitalize on consolidating the critical facts and glossing over the humdrum and the routine.
Reading the book as I was I did not have time for anything but eating and reading my mail when it came in this morning. That was a problem there: the controversy between answering my mail or continuing to read the book. The way I figured it in the end was that knowing I still had letters to write before the day was thru would spur me on so that I would finish the book in ample time whereas had I begun writing letters, I would not have any definite stopping off point and at this time the book would as yet be incompletely read.
And my mail was most interesting today. I received a letter from Eleanor (and I have been wishing to hear from her for the past week) and two letters from you both dated the 21st of July. I read Eleanor's letter first and she put me in such a good humor that I was laughing and smiling to myself as I read it. She is complaining about the office and the people in it so much that I was wondering whether my complaining about the Army is so bad after all. It seems she is just as bad off as I am about being bitter over the entire affair. She also startles me by her amazing frankness in respect to her dislikes. I felt like answering her letter straight off but there again the book had the last decision --- in other words, "the lady was too much for the letters."
Then your letters were also very good and my spirits continued along at a high level and after finishing them I felt one of those rare occasions when more letters practically bring home to me. I got that feeling there wasn't any space or time separating us at all. It is a rather inexplicable feeling yet I'm wondering if at any time you felt that way --- say, for instance, that a letter of mine practically made it seem as if I was spiritually if not physically present? That is the way I felt after reading those three very good letters.
I'm glad that you liked the V-mail birthday card and I had the same feelings about it as you did and had hoped you would too. Kind of mixed up but the thing is that our minds still coincide on the same thoughts and patterns.
Marion Kuehnle is a harmless one and although it sounds disrespectful or not nice to say it, I think she hasn't a properly adjusted thinking apparatus when it comes to her relations with her fellow man. Dolores, Eleanor and I were in agreement upon the point for a long time; so, you see, anything a person might say to her is like something told to a brick wall.
Then, further on in the same letter, you puzzle me very much in saying that you are sending me a questionnaire concerning Tommy Mashos and that it looks as if Tommy is going to do something at last. For one thing, the delivery of the airmail is no longer speedier than V-mail so the micro-filmed items are coming in earlier and now I will have to wait to find out what this is all about. I can't imagine what I could do to help him along in the Army for he is an officer in the Air Corps and I'm just an enlisted man in the Engineers.
Another thing I was very glad to hear was your unorthodox behavior in buying something for your birthday money right away so that on your birthday you already had the money turned into something tangible. However, rayon, jersey and paisley didn't mean much to me so I started to look up paisley in the dictionary and it said "woolen" and since I couldn't imagine a "woolen" color, I gave it up as a bad job and just pictured two dresses of indeterminate material and color.
Since you mention the idea of taking snaps when Aunt-Aunt comes to Cicero, I take it that we still have films. I hope it was two rolls you had instead of just one. And if you had just one roll, I hope that the camera does tricks and takes pictures in spite of the operators so that you will be able to send me some pictures. The other roll, of course, I hope you had so that Dolores was able to stock up her camera and take pictures of Donna.
So much for the letters and the day's main activity. I had the rare and distinctive pleasure this morning of waking up by myself and not to the sound of a bugle or someone waking me. Very seldom does that happen in this Army when a fellow just tires of sleeping in the morning, wakes up, stretches out the cobwebs and is ready to jump out of bed and begin the day. Those are one of the things which civilian life holds in store.
The breakfast was good and I was at the office about shortly afterwards --- some forty minutes before I was due to be there. The office was strangely empty throughout the entire day until just within the last fifteen minutes as the show let out and they all came up here.
One thing I did accomplish very early in the day and that was making a little envelope to hold that booklet on New Caledonia which I have been meaning to send for such a long time but which I never did get around to sending. Another thing is that I took Blumenfeld wrapping off of the bracelet package and then built around the corrugated cardboard a sort of envelope package out of a manila folder. It looks a lot neater and I believe it will hold up well under the journey home. It is such a small package though that sometimes I think it will get lost. Patterson suggested that I send it Airmail but slow mail is good enough for me since there is no hurry in getting that to Pat after all this time away from New Cal. I should write her a letter of explanation for sending her a bracelet from New Cal while I'm on Guadalcanal. I don't think I ought to tell her that I sent down to Robin for it but something like having it all the time but never getting around to sending it. What do you think?
All day long fellows who saw me were saying "Sure, sure, sure". Sounds funny, eh? Well, it really has a hidden meaning for the Suspense program tonight about "The Brain", which is the second and last installment to last week's drama was characterized by this one fellow repeating those words, "Sure, sure, sure." Right now we are within fifteen minutes of hearing that program once again.
There are a few other inconsequential things like the PX selling small cans of ice cold pineapple juice for ten cents per can which is the first time that has ever happened and most naturally, I took advantage of it by buying some. Then this evening, one of the officers bought a can for everyone in the office.
By the way, there are certain places in that book I read which I intend to comment on further but will most likely do it in another letter tomorrow. I had a tough time with the last part since it had so many religious words which I didn't know and had to keep looking up.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman