Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
17 December 1944
Hello and how are you, my Aunty Clara? I continue to ride on the crest of a wave of good spirits. Why I'm feeling so good lately I have no idea. In fact, I've got everything in the world to feel bad about seeing as how the war shows no signs of letting up and a lot of other things are wrong to boot, but none of that seems very important. The most important thing lately seems to be to take life by the teeth and live it out come what may. But then again, a Sunday always has been a pleasant day here on Guadalcanal. There never was any other place where our Sundays have been so completely free as they have been here. O yes, I could gripe about the way I came in here to write letters thinking I was going to have a pleasant time (meaning by that, quiet) but no sooner did I walk in when Moreno, the bugler, and Mr Nixon, the warrant officer, stopped their letter writing to begin talking. Each one of them on a side of me carrying a cross fire of conversation and questions. But those are one of the small inconveniences one gets used to in time. As you know, all privacy disappeared on this island with our barracks and this ever popular office. A fellow never gets to like it but he doesn't have to let it bother him as much. I pull your trick of just continuing my work and ignoring them except when they want a comment I hand out an occasional grunt which they can interrupt as meaning whatever they want it to mean. At other times, however, when my determination is not so strong and the letter writing or the work on hand is lagging a bit, I'll take up the conversation with them and just waste time for hours.
Last night was a case in point. I eventually got to bed at two o'clock or little after. John Edie stepped in for no apparent reason and began talking about gear shifts, automobile maintenance and a lot of other stuff I was no more interested in than the man in the moon. Come to think of it, I can't recall yet just how we did get rid of him for he seemed set to stay up and talk all night long. One thing I'm glad to see happen in myself and that is a growing impatience with long drawn out useless conversations --- those time killers of which I have so often complained to you about since being in the army --- which take away precious sleeping hours when they occur late at night and valuable working time when at work. Of course that has no bearing on any conversations such as we keep running from five o'clock or five-thirty in the evening until twelve or after in the night. In those cases our conversations are the most important thing, they are one of the things a person dreams coming home to, but these Army talks lack a certain something or other to make them satisfying in themselves.
Bright and early at seven o'clock this morning I was in the mess hall eating my breakfast and shortly thereafter I was busying myself up in the office getting the Morning Reports ready to go. Hipp forgot all about them as well as did the Medics and I had to call them up to get them out. After that job was taken care of and Lynd gone off with them and also to get the mail, I went back down to the barracks where I slept and read selections from my Pocket Mystery Reader, another of the books which are going into the Battalion Library.
At eleven bells I woke up with a start thinking I had missed lunch since everyone had disappeared from the barracks and the mess hall was packed. It was merely the early chow. I came up here to the office and picked up two letters --- yours dated the 9th and 10th and which I will answer on the next sheet. After reading them, I went back down to the company area and worked up a sweat by punching the punching bag for about fifteen minutes. There is a trick to it and it takes a little practice trying to get the knack of it. After lunch my mind becomes slightly hazy as to exactly what I did do. I think I went back to bed for I do not remember anything until I had gotten up from my cot and noticed Bill Grauel and Nichols --- a T Sgt from the Engr Sec --- passing by the barracks with a basketball. It was three-thirty and I immediately donned a set of fatigues and joined them. We played until five even though the rain came down in bucketfuls for a while and made both the basketball court and the ball very slippery.
We just came up in time to hit the tail end of the chow line. And speaking of that evening supper, I was fooled good and plenty. They had a dish which looked like pieces of diced apples made into a sort of apple sauce still leaving the apples in the diced form. I had my tray heaping with them and you should have seen how fast I spit them out of my mouth when I found out that they were parsnips!
Once again we received a box of vanilla wafers as we went thru the line. And there were about four boxes of Seven-Up candy bars down in the dayroom so I helped myself to a good amount so that the fellows in the office could eat them as they stopped in today. But, seeing as how the last batch of these bars were not so particularly good, they didn't want them and I have discovered that two of them in a row makes a person slightly sick of candy. They are very rich yet tasty.
The old baseball diamond between the basketball courts and the show area has been deserted for today the new diamond was opened up for use. It is down the hill right in back of our barracks and is a great level expanse. At least it is level now although three weeks ago it had a few hills and gullies in it. Trower's and Shubat's heavy equipment earthmoving machines took care of that feature. It is larger and better in size than a good many big league ball parks with a base of coral and an infield of fine gravel laid over the coral. It is supposed to be one of the finest on the island. That is another thing I can never get tired of saying and that is the fellows may kid about the Engineers but there isn't another part of this army that has the materials and the machines to do all these things which we do.
That was too bad Jennie had to spoil her surprise party by beating you to the punch on the surprises. Aren't gas heated houses dangerous? Remember that one that blew up in Chicago a few years ago. Nothing but the foundation of the house was left after the explosion. Or did they prove conclusively that the tampering was at fault. Naturally, the gas company would try to pay to have something like that covered up if they were to blame. But it sure is a good idea. Either gas heat or an electric arc furnace. You can get special rates for an all electric house too. How in the world did Carol get hit? Was it her fault or that of the driver's? Moreno thought that she was battered up when I mentioned the accident to him and thought it a pity that a gal with a good shape had to be hit by a car like that. He will get quite a kick out of the pin up picture she is sending him, no doubt about it. Gosh, in spite of how good it would be to be home again, I sure hope it isn't cold and snowy the way it is right now in Chicago. The other fellows say they would want to be home to enjoy that winter weather but I can never forget those cold, chilled-to-the-bone mornings, and those long evenings when one side of you nearest the stove was warm and the rest of you was cold. And the way a fellow would freeze his nose and face walking to and from the elevated stations.
The one discouraging feature in my life today is that I have not sent out thank you notes to Aunt-Aunt, to Mary, to the Bradley's, to Mr. Gonzalez and to one other person, I believe it is Anita. It seems that this no-letter-writing has formed into a terrible habit.
Well, I hope you enjoyed all that Christmas turkey, cranberries, prune whip, ginger ale, cake, sweet potatoes etcetera.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman