Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
20 December 1944
My spirits received an awful jolting in the morning but I managed to survive this worst crisis and am as buoyant as ever. The crisis came when (1) I was reprimanded for making a mistake which was not my error (2) I was told that I had been instructed previously so that such a mistake wouldn't have happened and I never recalled such instruction (3) On another job I followed instructions of yesterday and today a new set of instructions changed it so that the job had to be done over again (4) Once again I was told I was in error when I wasn't (5) Work that was hanging fire continued to hang as these emergency jobs popped up (6) I was almost late for my early "CQ" chow (7) I had to come right back to the office in less than ten minutes for lunch because of the work. Please do not think I restate these facts with an embittered heart for I do not. The momentary break at chow time helped me put things into their normal positions once again although for a while I thought I was going to become peevish. Since surviving that crucial test, I believe the worst could happen now and I'd weather it and emerge with shining spirits. Frankly, I still can't understand myself but why try.
Did you know that Laird Cregar died? Of course, I assume you know who Laird Cregar was --- that large man who could play dramatic roles well and was recently featured in "The Lodger" which you may recall. According to the reports, he died trying to reduce by a rigorous diet. And a second fact is that I forgot to tell you that I talked to old 1st Sgt Driscoll again yesterday afternoon. He still thought I was Captain Hanton's company clerk and wanted to borrow me for a few days while I straightened his (Driscoll's) company clerk out on how to make payrolls up.
And, I should have mentioned this first, I received five letters today! One was another Curley Cominita Capital Roundup from Blumenfeld in New Caledonia, a second was a V-mail greeting from the Reeds and the last three were from you dated the 11th, the 12th and the 13th. Good grief, I'd like to know just what happened to those missing packages. Every day that goes by makes the possibility of their ever arriving seem more and more remote. Gosh, now I want to get those packages more than ever too since you mentioned fruit cake cookies being in an extra package. I'd like to know, though, what fruit cake cookies look like?
It seems incredible that Lynne Bradley is old enough to talk to Santa Claus. But (as I can recall you saying with friends so many times before) you can really tell how time flies when the children grow up so soon.
A last minute arrangement has enabled us to have a hypnotist appear on the stage this evening prior to the movie. I may go to see it although I don't know.
My tour of CQ duty should have been up some ten minutes ago but my relief, Cpl Osis, has not as yet shown up so I'll just have to hang on until he does come.
This letter was rudely interrupted as I had to type up something (business). It took until five bells to do it and I never did get the opportunity to get at the letter writing again until this time (eleven ten). But in the intervening period a lot of things have occurred and I believe there is sufficient news to talk about now to fill up the next page rather swiftly. The speed is necessary now for every minute I stay up is a minute away from my sleeping hours. Now then, being a man of my word, I simply wasted twenty minutes sorting out my old letters and discarding the envelopes to most of them so that I'll have more space in the candy boxes to keep your V-mails. They just wouldn't fit in the one box anymore so room had to be made in the others as full as they themselves were.
After supper I chewed the fat a bit and then went down to the show to see the hypnotist. Well, it was really good and of all people to end up as the main victim or subject of the performer was Ebner himself. At first it was obvious that the hypnotic spell was not working upon Ebner but later on one began to think that it had. There were eight men to begin with and each was eliminated as he failed to come under the control of the artist or when the Lt lost control of the man. Because Eb seemed so obvious at first, we thought he was going to get the bounce but surprisingly enough he stayed on and on until he was the only one remaining on the stage of the eight fellows.
He stated after the show that at no time at all did the hypnotist make him do anything which he did not have complete power to do with his conscious mind. He said that he made every endeavor to allow the man to use his magic on him but it just didn't take and rather than spoil the show, Eb cooperated whole-heartedly with whatever the man said. The hypnotist must have thought that he had Ebner under his spell or he was smart enough to see that here was a man who was willingly to go on with the show for the good of the cause.
Some of the crazy things which went on were to get the men to sleep, to have them hold the arms suspended in air, to have them think they couldn't get up off the chair they were sitting on, to have them hold a finger to their nose and then tell them they couldn't take it away and they seemingly couldn't until the final act where he had Ebner come out of his trance and yell like a rooster in a post hypnotic act which he did. One thing went wrong and that was when he said he did not have complete control over one of the fellows and made the mistake of trying the experiment where he hits the man's wrist to show that there is no pain present. The man just jerked his arm away, gave the guy a dirty look and walked off the stage. As a result, the fellow will have a bruised hand for a few days since a blow like that, if received while a person is conscious, will have an effect whereas if the person is oblivious to the impact thru a deadening of the pain, there can exist no reaction. He tried it on Ebner and Eb had to instinctively jerk his hand too but did a little better.
No doubt the fellow was not an expert but he put on a good show, particularly with the antics of Ebner who had the crowd in an uproar.
Since I was down in the theater, I thought I would remain for the movie whatever it was but if "Riding High" with Dorothy Lamour and Dick Powell was stinkeroo, this was, in the common vernacular of the GI, double stinkeroo and I walked out on the end of the first reel.
But walking out of the show did me no good as far as letter writing or anything like that went for I came up to the office only to run into a conversation with the boys in the office and a semi-heated dispute as to the correct procedure to employ when typing in signatures on official papers and letters. Such a simple argument like that took us over an hour with all of us quoting different rules and regulations and each and everyone of us trying to say that the other fellow was wrong.
Shortly after ten bells I went down to get a nibble to eat and ran into a box of vanilla wafers which the mess hall was passing out so I ate them to satiate my ravenous stomach --- eating pains.
Saturday and Sunday they have two pictures which I think are necessary to go and see and since it will be part of the holidays, I should go anyway. They are "Devotion" and "Mrs Skeffington."
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman