Editor's note December 2004: Letter of 5 August 1944


Dear Aunty Clara,

Since all the small print typewriters are being used this noon hour by the clerks working on their payrolls, I have decided that I will write a slightly longer letter or at least make up for the larger type by using ordinary stationery which has no set limit as does the V-mail form.

The most important thing is, of course, I went to the dentist this morning and came through the ordeal once again with flying colors. He had only time to fill one filling for although I was scheduled to go in at 0730, I probably sat down in the chair some time after 0800 which was a half an hour behind time right then and there. I told Captain Stieler that I didn't mind just getting one or two at a time filled for I had the Duration plus to get them all attended to and he said at the rate we are going, it will take all of that time to get around to completing the job. My next appointment is for 0930 on the 28th of August --- more than three weeks off.

He looked around for what he figured was the worst one according to the card he made of my mouth and then went to work on it. It was one of them on the upper left-hand part of my jaw. He did do quite a lot of drilling and a very considerable amount of scraping (I believe he was scraping away an old filling or something for it doesn't seem possible that the tooth could have been crumbling away that easily. Nevertheless, there was very little pain although at the very end of the drilling, he must have been getting rather near the nerve for there was an indication that the sharp, uncontrollable pains were just around the corner. Fortunately, they never came.

It was a large filling and he told me to be exceptionally careful in not biting on it and to take it easy at noon. That I did for we had a meal which was rather bountiful and I was able to make a good meal out of a selection of soft foods such as the potatoes, the peas, the apple pie and the iced cocoa.

What gets me is that civilian dentists have to beat up that silver in those little mixing machines yet in the Army they go thru none of that process but the assistant does some hand mixing similar to the way porcelain fillings are prepared. This Doctor Stieler is an exceptionally good dentist and I know that should ever Doctor Kolar leave the business for some reason or another, I'm going up to Minneapolis, Minnesota to have my teeth fixed; for that is where Stieler hails from and, no doubt, where he will return to in order to set up his private practice.

So much for the fillings and such. I had very good intentions for writing a terrific number of letters this evening but I believe that I might as well toss them all into the ash can for our barracks as well as practically every other barracks in the company, was restricted and the restriction will not be lifted until the floors are scrubbed, the shelves clean and the helmets washed. Then an officer must inspect the barracks before we are allowed to go anyplace. No doubt, we could clean that barracks up with all the men working on it within an hour but the trouble is in getting an officer to inspect it right after the cleaning job is done.

The letters I planned on writing were as follows: one to Pat, one to Eleanor, one to Mrs Boyer, one to Mrs Reed (birthday card), one to Aunt-Aunt and a birthday card to Aunt-Aunt, a birthday card to my Dad, a letter to Beaumont, to Blumenfeld, To Uncle Jack, to the Bernetts, to Tommy Mashos and to Aunty Florence. That was quite an ambitious undertaking and I'm hoping that before the night is finished, that I will be able to complete at least part of that program despite the restriction. Of course, should we be tied up in the barracks for several hours, I'm going to get into the spirit of just laying there on my bunk reading papers or magazines and I'm not so sure that I'll get up after the inspection is over just to write letters.

Did you ever hear about that song "GI Jive"? Well, when we first arrived here on Guadalcanal, that song was the theme song for one of the radio programs and we thought it was something composed right here on this island because we had never heard it before. Now, however, that is one of the most repeated songs heard on the radio. First of all, the local station continues to use it as the theme song for that one program and then these rebroadcasts from the States are replete with the GI Jive in their repertoire.

I'm having a terrible time with my pay vouchers since the clerks are all working on their payrolls and during the times of the morning when I wasn't sitting around twiddling my thumbs waiting for a payroll, I was working on other things besides the OPVs.

O say, the War Department Circular authorizing the overseas service bar came out today or at least we received our copy of it today and it says that they can be purchased in stores by this time so see what you can do about getting me about three or four double sets in some store downtown. They are the ones to be worn on khaki shirts and are golden yellow with khaki background. Since we have already completed our year overseas we are authorized to wear two of them. The reason Jack and I would like to get them to wear is because we can show them to fellows with less service and jokingly say that we have but another half year or so to go before rotation. See what you can do about that, okay?

So-long for now,
/s/ Roman