Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
22 December 1944
The day was terrific in being both good and bad at the same time. And since these both good and bad days seem to be becoming a habit, I'm glad that my spirits allow me to select only the good parts and discard the unpleasantness. For instance, in the morning mail I received a V-mail letter from Uncle Jack and two V-mail letters from you dated the 14th and the 15th. Then, along in the afternoon mail I received the first solid batch of Christmas cards by getting one from Eleanor, another from Carol, a third from Dotned and finally a card-wallet from the Fialas. The card from Eleanor is by far the best and I really like it better than any card I've received so far. It has a Santa Claus with very white whiskers and a red material to make up his cap and glove (his glove in which he holds a candle stick and holder). The inside merely says Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as if it is written in snow or in smoke. Then on the back of the card she wrote --- "Just a few lines to wish you a very Merry Christmas and when you get a chance write and let us know how you are --- There are people still interested you know." Dorothy's card is humorous while Carol's card is a nice one with the following note, "Is Misltoe over your head. Smack!Smack! I gotcha!" And in the Christmas Service Wallet from the Fialas there is a note printed right below the place where two dollars were inserted about money can be of use to buy what you choose. That was unexpected to say the least.
Those were some of the good things that happened today. Others were the Bulldozer (Home Edition - Christmas Special) coming out and it is really good. I am sending you my copy tonight and I hope it gets home quick. Also, enclosed with the Bulldozer, is the menu of our Christmas dinner to be and also the list of activities for the day plus a short greeting from the Major. Jack M is responsible for that menu as I have said in another letter.
The show this evening is still another in the list of good things. The picture "Step Lively" wasn't anything to brag about but it was a fairly decent musical and since it was taken from the play "Room Service" which ran for a good spell in Chicago, it moved right along. However, that was not the attraction, nor was Frank Sinatra the attraction --- it was little Gloria DeHaven who has sort of captured the interest of a good number of the GIs since she appeared in that picture "Two Girls and a Sailor." Nine out of every ten fellows said, or would have said had you asked them, that she was what they came down to see the picture for. I wonder if she is enjoying the same popularity in the States. If she is, she is practically a star. Sinatra did much better in this second picture than in the first one which was stinko.
About the only not so nice thing (personally) that happened today was having a foot-locker and barracks inspection this evening at six o'clock, yet it didn't bother me at all except for the fact that I had to spend about an hour down there cleaning things a bit. I scrubbed the floor and entire corner in which my cot is in until it practically glistened. There wasn't much risk of being gigged on that account and my foot locker has been in a swell shape right along now since I got it that way once. Two or three weeks ago it would have bothered me no end but today I just did it and forgot about it.
Another unpleasantness had a touch of humor in it. And it was only by chance that I didn't find myself one of the victims. I'll tell you about it. It all began along about ten o'clock in the morning when the Colonel --- Wendell P Trower himself --- visited our battalion in a sneak inspection --- unannounced and alone. He grunted his way around as usual and grunted the loudest when he hit the H&S Company barracks where he discovered fellows storing a case of beer or more underneath their bunks. (An example was Norona with over a hundred bottles of coke). The colonel found this situation intolerable and said that he wanted no man to have more than two bottles of beer and two bottles of coke at one time. Of course, we of the old three five three recall the incident which the colonel must still have visions of and which is directly responsible for the man's prejudice against anyone having more than two bottles of beer at one setting. That was when Tony and Stage climbed up the hill and barged in on him Christmas Day --- you will recall how I was on duty all the next day typing up their Courts-Martial papers and how bitter even I was about having to work all day just because two fellows got to feeling a bit too high on the ale. As a lonely Corporal Company Clerk I couldn't do much about it but complain but the Colonel as the commanding officer immediately issued an order that henceforth all men under his command would be issued beer at a rate of never more than two bottles per day. Therefore, today, when he realized how his order was being circumvented, he added the above mentioned clauses just about three days short of a year since it first came out.
You may not think that is so bad but the bad and also funny part comes in when the company was called together and told that by tomorrow morning they will comply with the new regulation and they would have to drink all their stored up coke and beer. You can imagine what a case of beer can do to a fellow and that is what happened --- the parties which were originally being planned for Christmas and Christmas Eve were merely pushed up a couple of days until today. Luckily I stopped drinking the Milwaukee brew away back in the summer time or thereabouts after I had taught myself to be able to drink it so as to use that talent as a social asset some time in the future where it might be better to toss down one or two rather than to refuse. Then too, being red lined for a few months and being just about broke this month has taught me to be a bit more parsimonious and I refrained from purchasing the cokes and had none on hand as of today.
That just about covers everything but my actual working day which started off with a bang as ten different things were required of me at once and no one problem could be solved immediately. There again a few weeks ago my spirits being at low ebb would have caused me to revolt and become rather disconcerted --- today I just laughed at how the old saying "It never rains but it pours" continue to hold true and proceeded to tackle one problem at a time while setting them all up on sort of a priority system.
That resolution of yours to begin drinking coffee black and, without sugar as always, is a capital idea. Since I told you about stopping the GI coffee I haven't touched any of it but it was with that coffee that I proved to myself that by drinking it black was the only way a person could tell if it was good or not. When you disguise the coffee with cream or sugar, the taste of the actual coffee is lost. It takes a while to get used to it but I'm sure that you will never be able to go back to any other way after that while.
That trunk selling job seems to be okay for Aunt-Aunt and I'd bet that inside of a short time she will be back up there once again just as you say. Boy, that sure must take a lot of guts, though, to sell things at such inflated prices and then to charge a stiff luxury tax on top of that. Where is the place? Downtown Milwaukee? One thing is that in a place like that she can concentrate more on the selling of the goods rather than worrying about the stock in the back room or if the nuts are burning. Another thing is that she will not meet as many people in one day but she won't have the number of repeat customers as she had in a peanut shop.
The time has certainly gone by fast this evening and it is now past Taps so I better begin thinking about getting to bed.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman