Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
16 December 1944
Hi there, Aunty Clara. I was very surprised to get a second Christmas card from you today and, whereas the other one with Santa was humorous, this one has a much better verse to it. Thanks a lot for the double cards. Also, I received a very nice card from Mr. Gonzalez and with it a second Christmas present from him --- this time a two dollar bill. Although I and we tell him each year that this two present business is too much, he keeps doing it. I'm going to try to send a letter write I mean right off to him tonight.
This day has been a swell one with exactly two hours of work in it. You see, because I had been out on the range Wednesday afternoon, I was able to take this morning off after I had completed the Morning Reports and other urgent business at hand. That was about nine o'clock --- just about the time I got off last week. Ebner and I spent the morning killing ourselves underneath the hot sun on the basketball court. He is an old high school basketball player from way back and gave me a few pointers on the game of which I was entirely ignorant the other evening when we were in that game. Next time I'll be able to put in a slightly better showing for I'll know at least what to do and what not to do even though I am unable to execute the maneuvers correctly. And by killing ourselves I really mean it and as interesting as the game may be, it is not for me. Either I'm not used to it or have a weak system for I fold up soon. Yet, Ebner was the one who called the quit to the session so I must have a least an equal stamina to someone around here.
The rest of the morning was spent in sleeping (after a long shower) and then in eating lunch. After lunch came an hour's orientation lecture by Lt Lesher --- a new officer in the company. He gives the best lecture since either Lt Nix or Captain Knowlton. Lt North, who was attached to our company for training purposes for a short while, merely memorized the War Week booklet and then repeated it to us. Lt Lesher, on the other hand, thoroughly studies the subject on hand using not only the official orientation materials but also other sources so that during the presentation he treats the subject in an original manner coupled with his own observations. It is about the first orientation class in a month or more that I've been able to pay close attention to without having my mind fall asleep on me.
The afternoon was spent reading DeMaupassant short, short stories and sleeping. That (both of them) are exceedingly interesting pastimes especially the latter. The DeMaupassant book is another which I am no longer going to keep nor am I going to send it home. He writes the same type of stories time after time in which life has ironically done an injustice to a human being. You've read one and you've read them all and none of them are the kind you would care to read over again or refer to.
One thing which is getting to be rather bulky is the candy box which I keep all your V-mails in. It is one of those boxes which has a top that is just as deep as the bottom. It was sometime last Christmas that the box filled up and since then the top has been raising higher and higher until now it is sort of balancing itself on the pile of letters. What I think I ought to do is send home all the ordinary every day letters and just save the important ones. There is no use for me to save all of them here with me and run the chance of losing them while it will be easy to send them home and have you save them along with the drawer full of other letters. What a record of these war years we are going to have when this is all over. The quality of the writing isn't the best but it certainly presents a factual picture of the events and emotions of that time.
This letter has been progressing very slowly for two reasons. One is that Bill Grauel went down to the basketball court and I've been taking his place on CQ for answering the phone and running around of which there seems to be a lot of this evening because of the second reason why this letter is progressing slowly and that is the electricity is dying out every five minutes. There is something going wrong and the electricians are having a tough time trying to find out what is the matter.
Now come the nine o'clock in the evening Morning Reports which the clerks didn't do this afternoon and will have to do now. That is a job trying to get anyone to come back to the office at nine o'clock in the evening but it just has to be.
The Company Fund is being used to a good advantage lately. They buy candy bars and small boxes of cookies from the PX and then pass it out along with the mail. Today I had a box of Vanilla Wafers, a Seven-in-One candy bar and a Ping candy bar.
This evening is becoming a humorous endurance contest to see who lasts out first, the interruptions of my letter writing or me. There are three shotguns in the possession of our Special Services in the battalion now and everyday the fellows go into the backwoods to shoot wild boar or pigs. The problem that came up this evening was trying to find one of the permits for tomorrow's party. It was all signed this afternoon but couldn't be found this evening until I had to go over and ask Sackett where it was. Sackett, Louis, Myers and now Owens of the Medics continue the Saturday night splurges of beer in Myer's supply tent.
Well, two of the clerks haven't shown up with the Morning Reports, Leishman and Hipp, so that means I'll have to get up tomorrow morning too in order that they will get out in time to be taken down with the mail jeep. The getting up on Sunday morning isn't so very bad because you get to sleep until seven o'clock anyway which is an hour and a half more than on a weekday.
It is almost impossible that this letter will reach you before Christmas but just in case it receives especially fast service I wish you a merry Christmas once again. I'm determined to get in a last minute wish. Of course, if this letter arrives the day after Christmas, I hope that the big weekend has been a good one with plenty of good times both at home and at the Klick's house.
That Christmas is so near to us seems unreal. I'm wondering whether or not this Christmas will be as good as the one we had last year in New Caledonia. All the fellows had the real old Christmas spirit last year which was much different than the first Christmas in Camp White when everyone was rather lackadaisical about the whole thing. One thing that is certain is that there will be another excellent meal in store for us.
Good grief! Taps are ready to be blown and I'm not finished yet. Holy Smokes! Just between sentences I'm losing hours. I don't know what is going on around here but first two fellows from the company came up here to bother us, then Edie came in and stayed almost an hour --- he is still here --- and finally Fryk and Leishman --- feeling high --- are in here. This place looks like a legion convention or something and I'm getting very very tired. This letter takes the cake for long distance. At least five if not six hours have been spent trying to get it finished. Oh, hum, I don't think I'm going to be too keen on this getting up tomorrow morning after all.
They are feeling a little bit better now which means I want to get out of here but soon. If this is a sample of what is going to happen around Christmas time, we are going to have a more eventful day than last year.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman
Editor's note (December 2004): The letters referred to as being saved in paragraph five were destroyed some twenty-five years later when a rainstorm caused a backup in the sewer system and flooded the basement in which they had been stored.