Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM SF Cal
23 December 1944
Several times before, I came into this office to begin writing the daily letter but each time I was sidetracked by something or another --- things which are stories in themselves. So now at eleven-thirty in the evening I am beginning to write and, believe it or not, this office is still in a hubbub with Moreno feeling pretty good, Norona writing letters and a Corporal of the Guard whom I know and will probably end up talking to for a good portion of the night.
The day was a most unusual one. We woke up at five-thirty, dressed in our khakis (had no Reveille), went to chow and immediately thereafter we fell out into formation for the parade. That was at six o'clock or a few minutes after six that we got ready for the parade and we didn't come back again until a little after nine bells. I didn't mind it although by eight o'clock the sun was boiling down upon us and what they call a "dry run" in which we parade in front of the Colonel just for practice for the next "real thing," turned out to be a pretty wet one for everyone was sweating profusely. The loudspeaker system was all set up and the top man never gave a speech which is rather unusual, for the Colonel eats those speeches up. Incidentally, not an hour passed after the parade was over and a memorandum came out from Group Headquarters adjudging our H&S Company as having the best line of the entire Group which is something. And also quite a surprise to Captain Hanton who had to bawl two squads of men for talking in ranks.
When we came back to the area, we were given an hour break before the classes of training were to begin. However, I never did get that hour for Sackett came to the barracks and called me down to make up the morning reports for all the companies. That job extended on into the class time before I was finished with it. In fact, just as I was going to go to the class, it was dismissed for the morning and we all ate chow, had an hour's sleep and then went back for an hour's worth of training in the afternoon. Altogether it was a very satisfactory arrangement.
When two o'clock rolled around, I decided what I needed was a good suntan and exercise down in the basketball court. And for the next hour or so I was shooting baskets and in general having a good time --- by myself too --- it was better that way because whenever I became heated or began sweating too profusely, I merely sat down for four or five minutes. From there I was ready for the showers but just as I was walking towards them, Lewis and his cronies needed another man to round out the double partners needed for a game. This is where I really worked up a sweat and had a lot of fun. It is a funny, crazy game in which you hit that little shuttle cock just as hard as you would smack a tennis ball on a tennis court, yet, it is so constructed that it slows down very quickly and doesn't travel a great distance. From that game I went straight to the shower, dressed up in khakis and ate supper.
It was directly after supper that I wanted to write the letter but Jack M was sitting at my desk and I had already had to talk to him too much this morning on business so I merely took a book from the field desk and went down to the theater area an hour ahead of schedule. We sat down there drinking cokes, chewing gum, eating cookies and talking things over until the movie began. The picture was "Devotion" with Olivia DeHavilland, Ida Lupino, Nancy Coleman, Paul Henried, Sidney Greenstreet and Montagu Love. The picture is the story of the lives of the Bronte sisters.
The picture is not such a howling success as it is advertised to be but it is good. Ida Lupino is Emily Bronte who wrote "Wuthering Heights" and Olivia DeHavilland is Charlotte Bronte who wrote "Jane Eyre." Sidney Greenstreet plays the part of William Makepiece Thackeray who wrote Vanity Fair and he provides one rather amusing incident where he and Charlotte Bronte are leaving the publishing house when a man says "Hello, Thackery." WMT says, "Hello, Dickens." Charlotte says, "Was that Mr. Dickens?" Says WMT, "O yes, of course." CBronte says, "And you let him walk right by us without introducing him to me?" Comes Thackeray's humorous retort, "No, my dear, I don't want you associating with such riff-raff as Charles Dickens." Ida Lupino turns in another swell acting performance. A curious side light to the picture is that Olivia DeHavilland in the picture plays the part of the author of Jane Eyre while in the movie made from that book, the title role is filled by her sister, Joan Fontaine.
After the show was over, I had all the clerks come up to the office and type their morning reports for the next two days so that they didn't have to bother coming up either on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to do them. It was a pretty big job and took over an hour, well over an hour before they were completed. Of course, they complained a bit, but it is just one of those things which had to be done even if it was after nine o'clock at night. For myself, I didn't mind at all for I was in the working mood and it was only the blowing of Taps that woke me up to the fact that I had better be getting at the letter writing or otherwise I would have gone off typing up some work for next week. I guess I'm a little tetched from the sun all day today.
Further notes on the progress of my sun tan. This is a bad report. The tropical sun tan I have is not what a person would call a good tan back in the States. For one thing, I must have received most of the sun during the high noon hours for my shoulders are a very, very dark brown while my back from shoulder to shoulder is practically black it is so sunned. The rest of my back is a fairly dark brown as well as my chest although by the time the tan gets down to the waist it loses some of its color. The unfortunate feature of the tropical tan is something I noticed in others but didn't think of it happening to me. Either the sun is too hot or something but heat spots appear on the skin and are lighter than the tan so that where the tan is the darkest it is the least solid but rather is flecked by lighter spots. That is funny how the sun acts differently at different spots on this globe, just like things rusting within hours here that would take weeks to rust back home. The climate had a reaction on the human body and we have sun spots, fungus growths, insect bites etcetera.
O yes, I received a letter today from you dated the 16th of December. Gosh, you people are sure having the snow before Christmas this year, aren't you? Remember the times when it seemed as if the weather never did get snowy before Christmas but waited until the very end of the year or maybe held off until the middle of January. And I can well imagine how our walks look with all the snow lumped and humped around it. That is where the advantages of living on the corner of a block disappear --- in the winter time. There is much more sidewalk area to clear of snow (or rather to be cleared since it so seldom is taken away) and it also get the full brunt of the cold winter winds in its exposed position. I hope that you do not get any crazy ideas and try to clean off any of the snow other than say in the yard, the front steps and that is all. It wouldn't pay to get yourself all tired out and possibly injured by shoveling the entire area.
Tomorrow I have the good intentions of writing a few letters. I almost began a letter to Eleanor when I realized what time it was. As it is I'm sending her a home edition of the Bulldozer because I think it is exceptionally interesting this time and that might smooth things over a little bit for when I do write to her.
Say, I forgot to mention the headline event. Above our water tower is a gigantic white cross out of electric lights and it is so high up that they had to use a crane as a ladder so a fellow could fix the lights.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman