Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
16 August 1944
The time: almost ten-thirty. The letter: the first of the day. The reason: I dunno. O well, it's like this: read the rest of the letter and find out. Joke of the night as cracked by the MC of the USO show this evening: Ah yes, Guadalcanal: Great island, Guadalcanal. --- Now getting away from it.
We most certainly enjoyed a full evening of entertainment with the USO show and the movie, "Top Man". Top Man featured Donald O'Conner, Peggy Ryan, Richard Dix and Lillian Gish, Count Basie and the Harmonica Rascals. It was a humorous picture in which the pair of kids were never better. The USO unit consisted of the MC, a girl singer-dancer and a comedy team of a fellow and a girl. The girl was very tiny, giving the appearance of a school girl rather than the married women with children that she is. She presented a unique program in that, out of the clear sky, she suddenly began calling out the names of several fellows in the battalion whom she wanted to have come up on the stage. Jerry Angert was the first one. Two fellows didn't want to come so she came down and got them. She then had them do all sorts of crazy dances with her and at the end they were going around in a circle looking very foolish playing follow the leader. Another stunt was to start singing, "You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby" and going into the audience to put paper bonnets on baldheaded officers and enlisted men.
The MC was the fellow that really stole the show for the majority of his gags were brand new and he put his chatter over in a convincing manner.
The afternoon writing hour was wasted by driving Jack from the B Company Orderly Room to the B Company Motor Pool. While there, in the B Company area, Jack walked into the kitchen and brought me out a large slice of cake with frosting. Also during the lunch hour, I spent some time reading a Gag magazine and finally, listening to the radio for the latest developments on the warring fronts.
In the four to five interim, I went down to the barracks to change into fatigues and then plunked myself on the cot to read a short story in a pocket sized book but fell asleep before I had gone more than a few pages. Some time later, Lewis came in and asked me to give him his moccasins. In my daze I didn't know what he was talking about but then I remembered that I had promised to give him my old pair and I sleepily turned over and fished them from my barracks bag and fell asleep once more. I think that I am going to make it a habit to get an hour's worth of sleep between four and five every day. That is something which I sorely need in this Army --- a few little catnaps. One thing was that down in New Cal, we used to leave the office anywheres from eleven to eleven-thirty and sleep until lunch and then doze off after lunch until one o'clock or quarter after one. We can't do that for two reasons nowadays. One is that six men tents were easier to disappear into than a barracks where a man attracts too much attention during the daytime. The more important reason is that with the headquarters section operating in one building and under a more business like setup, we can't just walk out of our own choosing as we could there when Personnel was in a tent all by itself. Yantis and Mike never minding our leaving the office so long as our work was up and they didn't need us for anything. Once in a while down there a fellow would be out of the office and Yantis would want him and then lay down a law saying that there was to be no more walking off during working hours. That would last for about a half a day to a day because he himself didn't hang around Personnel any too much himself and from what I here tell from the fellows in the 353, the Personnel Section over there still operated on that principle until they too moved into a unit barracks for an office.
I've given no thought to writing any other letters even to Pat because if I did think about writing and didn't, my conscience would bother me. This way I have no intentions of writing and I have a serene peace of mind.
The time grows later. It is now well past eleven and I still sit here pecking away at the machine. Such things as idle chatter with my fellow colleagues has kept me from finishing both letters before Taps as I had planned to do.
Your two V-mail letters of August 8 and August 9 arrived in this morning's mail. I can still use the egg beater so long as my present supply of chocolate malt holds out for I have enough canned milk secreted away to use until the malt is all gone. We have a large box with shelves in the office that has been empty since we moved in and we have been able to stack up all this canned goods in it, but we are not replenishing our supplies and once we have opened up the cans and eaten the contents, that will be the end of our extra stores. The mess hall food has been excellent lately, especially since the new mess sergeant took over, and he serves enough food to keep a person well filled at all times.
But, in case you are thinking of what you might send me on occasions, I think that small boxes of candy could be disposed of in short order like the licorices which went in no time flat and those mallow delights disappear fast enough without a person trying to do so. I can't see what I need anymore unless after this pair of moccasins wear out (let's hope the war is over first) another pair might come in handy. Yet, if the rotation plan work out as it should, you and I can shop for them next July. O yes, there is something which I do need. You could begin looking around for Christmas cards for me again. Last year everything was timed to the last minute and even though it turned out swell with the people getting their cards just a few days ahead of time, it was too close for comfort. When and if you do buy enough Christmas cards to send to me, take the price of them out of the ten dollars which you put in the sock every month. You can use this letter as authority for sending them although by September 15th I believe that the ban is lifted for a period of one month, right? Feel free to make suggestions on the cards such as you did last year concerning the one I sent to Aunt-Aunt. Keep in mind too that there should be an extra good one for my special correspondent, Miss Patricia, --- even if I don't answer her letters.
I'm in hearty agreement with you about people taking things easy and not working themselves to a frazzle on jobs of their own making. Look at the difference just between you and Mrs Reed. You took your sweet time about house cleaning this year yet the job was done and it didn't wear you out too much, but the way Mrs Reed wants everything just so and all at once isn't reasonable. Quite a few people are that way (the army included) in hurrying up doing something so they can do nothing after that. Better to spread out the work and then do nothing periods in the same day instead of doing all the work in one period and then all the resting in another.
Time still continues to march by and I just finished taking a few fellows down to the Motor Pool in a truck and am now back writing once again. I was going to take a shower this evening but it is so late now that I'm afraid I'll have to postpone it until the morning.
The map keeping up is becoming more and more engrossing as we have three Allied fronts and one Russian front to watch as well as the activity in the Pacific.
Say, that's another thing I wanted to mention. Perhaps it is because there have been a notable lack of communities in places that we have been too, but being overseas isn't very impressing at all. For instance, I used to marvel about how the old war veterans had traveled to France but now the American soldiers and sailors over five million strong have seen the entire world and are very blase about it. In pre-war years it was a topic for discussion to talk about a tour abroad. After this war, a person will casually ask where you served during the War and just as easily will roll off the names of places in four corners of the world with an answer from the interrogator being a sensational "Oh". Another funny thing is being on this island which is about the most famous one in the war since it began things going our way. We who are here two years after invasion find it a highly civilized place with very few traces of the battles. The romanticist clings to the name of the place although the deeds are in the past.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman