Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/p SF Cal
13 April 1945
This is the day we received word that President Roosevelt died. Along about the middle of the morning somebody called Captain Cook to confirm the "rumor" and it was discarded as being utterly fantastic. As the Guadalcanal Radio Station goes off the air from eight o'clock until eleven o'clock, the only kind of broadcasts that could be picked up were shortwave and nothing was buzzing on them (Lt. Suiter brought a radio into the office). Finally Group HQ called up and said to send over the color guard to lower the flag to half mast as the radio station had been called and they said that although it wasn't official yet, they had picked up that news earlier in the day. It wasn't until twelve o'clock when the news came in from San Francisco, that we learned the complete details.
It is strange how he died without any warning illness, isn't it? I never expected anything quite like that from him. Remember how you said that he would never live out that third term, well you were almost right because he never did get much into this fourth term of his, did he? Being the president of a large country like ours is a pretty tough job and he bit off a little more than he could handle. I wonder if his family is sorry now that he didn't just retire when he should have instead of driving himself on and on to higher and greater achievements?
And another thing, as much as I disapproved of most of the things he did as a Democratic President, it would have been rather interesting to see what sort of peace he would have been able to get for us. Since he was a good politician, he should have been able to do well for the United States in any peace conference. Will President Truman do as well? Of will he be just a mediocre president who has had the misfortune of taking over while the country is still in the midst of a great national turmoil? I suppose that by this time all these questions of mine are old and rehashed stuff, but as I write them down tonight, they are the questions going on in my mind.
Although it is too bad that a man's life had to be sacrificed, I think that in some ways the nation will benefit by having a new leader. In over twelve years that man had formed a strong hold on the population of the country with his personality alone and no such continuous sway is beneficial. Do you think there are many who are sorry now that they didn't think twice of the vice-presidential nominee in this last November's election before voting?
We certainly have lived in a climactic age in American History. Just about everything that could have happened has happened (and just think of the seven vice-presidents in history to have assumed the Presidency, you have lived to witness three of them yourself).
Only time will tell how the death of the "Indispensable Man" will affect the future of the nation. It is something like God coming in and taking a hand by saying, "Come now my little people, you have made one man assume too important of a position in your lives. He has done a job of vast complications but surely he is not the only one who is capable of it" and then snuff out of the picture God whisks him away.
Sackett went out to the grenade range today and I was the Sgt Major for a half a day. Things went along alright too for the little bit and I won't mind it if they continue to have me fill in whenever Sackett isn't there for someday maybe Sacky will be rotated or something and the dream of my army career can become true. After all there is the goal and it is good to know that you are the chosen one comes an eventuality.
By the way, what is this Staff Sergeant business anyway? Is someone floating rumors around back home? First Myrtle asks me if I wasn't a Staff Sergeant, then you congratulate me on being able to fill the Staff Sergeant job (what you meant was Pers Sgt Major) and then Eleanor writes me a letter which I received today which says plain as day S/Sgt Roman Klick and embarrassing me no end. You see, with taking over these times when Sackett was gone and then having a letter come in addressed with a higher rank, Lewis, Bill Grauel and others started ribbing me about cutting Sackett's throat for his job. I know their kidding because I had a serious talk with them the other week when I was doing the job and they realized that I couldn't go around saying that I didn't want the job etcetera because it would look like undermining a friend and said they expected me to take the army as it came and if I had to do another guys job, I would do it to the best of my ability. The reason we had that little talk is because I know George Myers really thinks I'd stop at nothing to have the job (as I told you he so unkindly said to me when his tongue had been loosened with liquor one day quite some time ago) and I didn't want to lose a couple of good army buddies over some propaganda like that. So, therefore, today when El's letter came in, I could kid back at them and pretend to take a knife out of my pocket and pass the imaginary blade across Sackett's Adam's apple.
El wrote primarily to thank me for the candy and also to slip me a little inside dope. The wife of Mr. Miles, the president, said that the women didn't have to come to the plant manager's party this year because "business and pleasure don't mix." El says she could have hit her one for it deprived her of a free meal (joking of course). Also Bob Kimball was killed in the Philippines and they have another gold star on the office roster. He was in direct line for the top spot in the Dearborn Paper Products Company and Mr. Christopfel is pretty put out about it.
Also Jerry Barta wrote me a letter and he writes from 18th St. and 60th Ct. Could it be that you have failed to tell me of his moving away from a few doors away? He asks about Pat and says he never sees her anymore. He also says that Junior has been in Calcutta, India all this while.
Also this evening we saw a show "The Mark of a Whistler" with Richard Dix and it isn't such a bad pic in all although not the best. It was mysterious right to the very finish which is what made it enjoyable.
In addition to the above, we had a cleaning party in the office this morning because (I mean this evening) because Colonel T promised to come around and inspect the Battalion tomorrow. And so, so-long,