Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
18 December 1944
The time right now is very close to ten bells and this is the first time this evening that I've set down to a typewriter to begin writing. Here is a brief resume of what has prevented me from an early consummation of this daily journal. From four to five I was busy cleaning my rifle for an inspection. From five to six I was in the mess hall both eating and talking with one Technician Fourth Grade Delf Armistice Norona, the Headquarters Section Stenographer and understudy to Lewis. From six to nine I was in the barracks reading among other things (1) the latest Time magazine and (2) the latest Pic magazine. From nine to ten has been spent up here in the office reading the latest Life magazine. O yes, and the latest Yank weekly. There is a lot of reading material in those books and if a fellow was to sit down and read every single work/word, it would take more time than the night has in it; therefore, I'm beginning to select certain articles and subjects on which I spend most of the time reading while skimming thru the rest. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth all the time it takes to "keep up with the world." The Daily Newses have been way behind schedule with the exception of one or two editions which somehow slipped thru the faulty mail run leaving a gap of about twenty to thirty days behind them. Anyhow, when they do begin coming thru once again, there is going to be another man sized job on hand reading them. I recall that it was just about this time last year that I had a whole mess of unread Newses and I had to spend a whole day tackling them.
Another piece of reading material on my agenda is a long lost friend which I discarded early this year when the free Mondays and the no work Sunday's were called off just before we left the 353d and New Caledonia. That refers to none other than "The Life and Letters of John Galsworthy." I had become so ingrained in the habit of reading a chapter or two of that book only on my Mondays off that when the Mondays no longer were there, I put the book aside and have never found the few hours of leisure time I needed to begin again. However, I did get them this last Saturday and had parked myself in back of the Dayroom in the cool shade and had begun to pick up the loose threads. But the basketball practice with Ebner called that session off in a hurry but I have kept the book down in my footlocker instead of up here in the office. The psychology of it is that here I'm at a bit of a tension with never the feeling of having ample time while down in the barracks I feel that my time is my own and I may get to the notion to read a few pages after every evening meal as I lay down on my cot.
There was no V-mail today but I did, very surprisingly, receive an air mail letter from Mrs Boyer. It is written on Muriel's 1st Nat'l Bank stationery. She says that Bob is still in the states and that is what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving Day. She wonders why I haven't written. She says that her recollection of Mr Pavlicek was good since he allowed the people in the back of the drugstore building to stay there during the depression without paying the rent as long as they weren't in good financial standing. She also enclosed five post cards of the Chicago subway and they are very interesting. Seems funny to think that there is now a pretty important part of the downtown scene that I have never seen.
The working day was not very exciting. In the morning reports it was the usual story --- get out the morning reports although an additional task this morning was getting the clerks to hand in their news for the Christmas Home Edition of the Bulldozer. We've turned in quite a few charades made up of pictures and words to depict certain popular radio programs heard over Guadalcanal Radio and Dock Haley may use them week to week. I hope he puts in the one about the Atabrine Cocktail Hour this week. They are silly but draw a laugh from anyone who sees them and knows about the program in question.
The afternoon was made up of practically no work at all since I had to go down to Island Command to copy an officer's qualification card. By the time I got back there wasn't much left to the afternoon and from four o'clock on, you know the story.
My spirits are still good. Probably it is the idea that by asking for furlough in May I may get it and be home sometime next summer and since time passes so swiftly in these parts, I'm practically home now in the sub-conscious mind. With the Germans counter attacking successfully, the Japs carving up China and our war planning falling a little short of the mark, you would think a fellow would be a bit more down in the dumps but not I. As each day passes, the more resigned I become to the two prophecies which have been pasted in my desk for nineteen months. The ones which say the wars will not be over until late 1945 and middle 1948. Of course, I got the 1945 prediction from Senor G and I'm wondering if he remembers him telling me when I was home on furlough last year that the Germans, in his opinion, would hold out until that time? By the by, speaking of furloughs and last year, in a little less than two weeks and in only a few days after you receive this letter, that statement will no longer hold true. I'll have to say "my furlough back in 1943." Why, it almost begins to sound like ancient history.
Does it seem that long ago to you? Of course, I know we've gone thru this once before and time naturally does seem longer to you where you are so much more aware of its passing by the seasonal changes in the year while to us it is merely a steady flow with no familiar markings to set the parts of the year off from each other.
From the reading I did this evening concerning the new Secretary of State who took the place of Cordell Hull, he doesn't seem to be a man of greatness such as we need in momentous times such as these be. I'm wondering if he will be able to handle the US interests around the peace table satisfactorily. Then again, we are not in the old days when a government official often had to make grave decisions by himself because the means for communicating with the President would never be fast enough to have bearing on that matter on hand. Nowadays the President of the United States is probably standing right at his side.
There has been a brief pause at this point while I listened to Norona giving Ebner the rib and Ebner falling for it hook line and sinker. Norona dreamed up a lulu of a question so I'll tell it to you but prepare yourself for a shock. He asked Eb which he would rather do climb a mountain of maggots or dive into a river of snot. Can you imagine anything like that? Well, he has so exasperated Ebner with it that the poor chap is going to go batty. Now they are talking about how to produce those conditions. This seems to be ready to go on far into the evening.
Now Ebner is quoting his freshly written poetry while Norona is babbling like an idiot. What a pair those guys make.
There was a swell radio program on the other night of soft selections of music which would have gone well in the Marshal Field tea room. They played "Sweet and Lovely", "Tea for Two", and quite a few others. There were no announcements but it just went right along and a fellow just felt like laying there on the cot and listening to it. Clarence often used to tell me about his listening to the music program at night as he was falling asleep and somehow I was reminded of that.
The time is after eleven now and I still go on and on.
Since this letter will undoubtedly arrive sometime after Christmas and sometime before New Year's (providing that it doesn't get lost) I might as well begin wishing you a Happy New Year. Those Christmas and New Year combinations in conjunction with a Sunday or a Saturday sure do make a nice stretch of holidays, don't they? Although back at Ackermann's a person didn't welcome those holidays any too well.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman