Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
6 December 1944
Two V-mails arrived in this morning's delivery. The one was from you dated the 26th of November and the other one was from Bob Hesser who figured that I hadn't answered his letter on account of being on the move --- in my Christmas card to him, however, I believe I mentioned the fact that I've been sitting here on the Canal but just haven't been writing letters for quite some time now. Bob says he is might busy lately making toys for his youngster. The toys that are available in the stores says he aren't any good because they are broken before a person gets them home, so he decided to make strong and sturdy stuff. He also is trying to build a chess board but hasn't gotten very far on it.
Still speaking of kittens, I remembered one I called Peggy or Patsy and you were insistent as usual that I get rid of it. But every time I tried to get rid of it, it came right back home again as if it knew where it could get a free handout. Finally, I got into my wagon, put the kitten in a box and carried her out someplace near Berwyn. Lewis's Pussyfoot is getting to be quite grown up these last few days and the kittens down in the mess hall are now young cats. Yet, the cycle continues for today someone brought around the smallest kitten yet. In fact, it looked almost too small to be away from its mother since it literally sprawled instead of walked. In New Caledonia puppies and goats were the things to have; on Guadalcanal the pets are kittens and parrots. With the exception, of course, of Nuisance --- Goldy's dog.
The bunch of us fellows went down to Island Command this morning to take this test and it turned out to be a tough IQ test. All the fellows in the group that went down to take it have above average Army scores as it is, i.e., when they came into the Army from two to three to even four years ago. One thing it will show is how badly a soldier degenerates after so many years in the Army and more so still, how much worse he gets after living in the tropics for over a year and a half. All I could answer was 57 out of 73 questions and some of them were such humdingers that I wasn't sure of the answers. O well, it doesn't mean a thing to me, except that I hope they don't have to go down on our records because it will pull down the former high mark I made back in November 1942.
That was over sooner than we expected it would be and were all back at work in the Battalion by ten bells. About all I managed to get out were the Morning Reports and some news for the Bulldozer.
Then, in the afternoon, it was range time once again and we toted our shooting irons out to a spot where we tried our darnest to hit a little round black circle but without any luck. Finally, says I to myself, as we are firing the last ten shots, I will pretend that little black outline is not just a little black outline but an enemy soldier who may be shooting back at me and keeping me from going home. And my pretending brought results for four of them nailed the guy cold and the others were spattered all close around him and would have made him look for shelter. All in all, though, I did pretty lousy and can see now why a refresher course is given from time to time so that should we accidentally find ourselves face to face with the real thing someday, we will still know a little about what we are doing.
The time now is just about eleven o'clock and I am one tired individual for after coming back to the area just in time to eat supper, I spent the evening doing two things. (1) was cleaning the rifle and (2) was fixing up my moccasins. I took out all the old nails and then painstakingly sewed the rim of leather around the top part of the shoe. It had come loose and it was a very tedious job pushing a needle thru three holes one way, then moving over a fraction of an inch and threading it through once again and so on all around the shoe and then half way back again. I also shined them up so they will present a little better appearance underneath my bed so long as they are to remain there as a decoration until the heels arrive.
Those little jobs took me until ten bells at which time I went down to the mess hall for a bit to eat for I was literally starving. Lately I haven't eaten breakfast because the menu was toast and coffee and I'd rather not have either of them.
That I did not go to the show should be an established fact since I told you how I spent the evening. As far as I am concerned, the movies aren't going to exist anymore --- unless it is on the nights that I have to be down there to run it by orders of. Unless, of course, a real good one comes around --- something that I would go to see even if I was back home, then I will attend it.
The feeling between Jack and I is mutual. I don't talk to him and make no attempts to and he does likewise. I report this just as a matter of news for I don't give a rap anymore one way or the other. Sometimes I feel that Jack's influence upon me has not been for the better and that by not associating with him I may be a little better fellow. For one thing, I can restore a normal point of view towards the world for --- being the hot tempered little Irishman that he is --- he cut a lot of people short and expected his friends to do the same thing.
That seems to be about all the news left in today except that I ate salmon down in the kitchen this evening and liked it for about the first time. You see, they did a neat job at camouflaging it by mixing it with relish and something else. That relish is a cure all for it takes the routine taste out of a lot of Army dishes such as salmon and Spam which otherwise become unappetizing.
Old Saki is up here in the office working like a madman on his Army Institute course of Military Correspondence which Lt Suiter wants completed by tomorrow. The notice came about last week sometime but since then, I haven't had a moment to spare and I don't feel like stopping work to do lessons because then I would only be bawled out for not having the work completed and I would rather be bawled out for not having lessons in than for not having my work up to date. Working overtime, cleaning rifles, running movies all take up time and a fellow can't be expected to give up writing home --- and it has been squeezing in that I've been doing on these letters too. Therefore mine aren't going to be ready at 0700 tomorrow.
Whoops --- there go the droopy eyes again. Of course, I could stay up all night doing them but there wouldn't be much point in that for I wouldn't be able to stay awake tomorrow during the day time.
Well, I can't take it any longer, I'm signing off right now.