Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
8 December 1944

Dear Aunty Clara,

The day has passed fairly well --- not quite as interesting, exciting or happy as yesterday but nevertheless it was alright. One of the bad features about it was that there was no mail. I drew no satisfaction from the fact that no one else received any mail either. For the first day in many days my work was caught up to a point where I could sit back, breathe easily and survey the situation around me. What I did do to fill in the time rather than twiddle my thumbs was to go through all my records of the officers and all the miscellaneous papers in my custody and get them in order. A person has to do that every once in a while or things get into a terrible mess and no one can find anything. Besides doing that I did quite a bit of miscellaneous typing for Sackett. You see, Sackett used to do most of that himself but Lt Suiter told him to give it to Jack and I to do --- so I get it. I've gotten over the idea that it isn't my work and all that --- if I work steady for the eight hours without worrying too much about who is doing it and who should be doing it etcetera, the day will end a lot happier and will have gone by a lot faster. That is the way it seems --- if a person complains too much, he feels each minute of time but if he just stomachs the bad spots and forgets them as quickly as possible, the time begins to glide by. There is one bit of outstanding work which I should have taken care of but which I do not quite feel up to. Cooley wanted a letter typed up to the Red Cross girls who attended our party last week to thank them for doing so. At the time, I told Jack M and he said that no one sends letters thanking a person for coming to a party but that they should send us a letter of thanks for the nice time they had. I agreed with that and meant to tell Cooley but didn't remember it until he asked me what I was doing about it. I told him the story and, you know the Army, Aunty Clara, whether it is right or wrong it still has to be done. Anyhow, that is sure to occupy a good portion of my time tomorrow since I've become so poor at letter writing that I can't write to anyone but you any longer and it is going to be ten times as bad composing that letter of thanks. Where my Orderly Room got into the bad habit (bad for me) of having me compose their hard letters comes from the days when as company clerk, Hanton used to say or Driscoll used to say that I should type something up and use my judgment. Well, I would do it instead of asking them for something more concrete than just a vague idea. You remember all those letters of recommendation and everything? So I guess I'll just have to accept it as an additional burden.

But, speaking of burdens, the heaviest load was taken off my mind today when John Ebner, Esq. was put into full charge of the Projection Booth and he will be the sole operator and thereby relieve one man to become an ex-projectionist once again, meaning me, most naturally. I was told about it yesterday but I didn't realize it at the time until today when I went down to rewind it (the film) Ebner was already doing it and he explained how it happened. Lt Suiter must have thought I heard his conversation with Ebner which was being shouted across the room for during it he asked me if I still did not want to run the machine and I answered that I would rather not to which he said to Ebner and to Captain Cook who was also in on it that that is the way it will be then. Had I heard the first part of the conversation, I would have found out that Ebner said he did not want to work up there with three men having their hand in the works and it was either that be relieved or put into complete charge. He was given his wish.

The movie down there this evening is a combination of the band and the picture "The Hairy Ape" with William Bendix and Susan Hayward. I'm trying to stay away from all but the exceptionally good pictures and this one tonight isn't one of them. Getting away from going to the show adds a good two to three hours on to a person's day and multiply that by four movies a week and you have twelve hours or a half a day of time which can be spent doing something useful like writing this letter before a person gets too sleepy or reading a book like I was doing before coming up here.

The book I'm reading now is a weird thing which one of the fellows in S-3 got for Christmas. It is a first novel by Lillian Smith entitled "Strange Fruit". I'm only a short ways into the book but it is about the way people live in a typical small town down south. The racial differences between the whites and the blacks are brought out very clearly by having a white fellow in love with a negro girl. What is most unusual about the book is the way it skips around and until a person gets on to just how this Lillian Smith is doing it, it is hard to follow the thread of the story. She starts off with the facts --- gives a partial picture of what the story is going to be about and then she goes back into the past of the history of the people in the town (blacks first and then whites). Then she takes each character and as she is telling what is happening to that person through that person's thoughts, she has that person think back into the past either today, yesterday or back to childhood. Never before have I seen a full book handled that way and in a way it is true to life for a person's mind is continually skipping back and forth over past memories with unconnected thoughts.

Jack and I still ignore each other completely both at work and when not at work. The situation will not change because I do not think his friendship is worth my trying to make up the break and I know that he will never try to and so it goes. I think that with Jack a person has to be his friend or not have anything to do with him. You just can't be halfway about him and as far as the two of us are concerned, it is probably better that it is this way. Believe it or not, I have a better peace of mind now than before. When Sackett used to give me work to do when I had my own, I would resent it for Jack would be reading a book, writing a V-mail or whatnot and it would give me a slow burn thinking that here he was doing nothing while it was all being piled on me. Now, I wouldn't care how much work I got even if it went late over-time because as far as our attitudes go, he does not even exist. Any anger I may have felt towards him the other day has long since been forgotten because a person just can't go around holding sore points but I've rationalized it down to a point where I accept the new status as being the most desirable under the circumstances. Yet it seems rather queer for two people to ignore each other like that --- makes me think of the Aunty Stella and Aunty Lillie feud. In the future, unless stated otherwise, you will know that nothing has changed and there will be no need for me to refer to this again.

I knew there was something in that book which I wanted to tell you about so I had to go down to the barracks to read it before I could think of what it was. The grandmother of the fellow in the story was a wife of a minister and she was not too religious --- got a great kick out of life and all that. Well, anyway, she died when she was old and was laughing heartily at something and there she was dead, with a smile on her face. That is a story of course and not true to life like with Carol's grandmother.

The beer and soft drink ration is around again and this time I was not able to do anything about it because the finances were so terrifically low. But in order to keep up the connections for more prosperous times when I'll be able to buy my full rations, I traded my first half of the beer ration to Pop Vogt in the kitchen for his Pepsi-Cola, then bought my own Pepsi-Cola and finally got Saki's cokes for the last half of my beer ration. Then, after I had consummated all those trades, I had to dispose of the things and Norona was hoarding so they went to him. For giving him all those bottles of cokes, he gave me a can of Toddy he had saved up. I'll drink it Sunday.

So-long,   /s/ Roman   Roman