Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 73
c/p SF Cal
1 June 1945
Holy Cow, the first day of June in 1945! That is a long long way from November 1942. Just think, at that time we realized it would be a long war but the actuality is astounding. And at this time we can dimly visualize another two or three years of war yet we hopefully try to look forward to perhaps less than two more years, but the time will come in 1948 when we will be looking at this long long away date of today. Since most of my wishes come true by virtue of not wishing for things that are impossible, I am now wishing for a furlough prior to July next year and then a return overseas for a year and a half - then demobilization in the Spring of 1948. That is taking the most practical and possible view. I don't think any of us would be of any use if we came home much later than that. Imagine missing all of our twenties?
So much for the note on passing of time. Today I received letters at last. Five V-mails - one from Bob Hesser (written on approximately the same day I wrote to him) and four from you dated the 10th, 11th, 12th and 15th of May. Gee whiz, Aunty Clara, I hope that you did not send or enclose a note in Pat's bouquet with the word "congradulations" on it. You can see what is wrong now. She would wonder how come the d got into the word. That is one of the words which you get mixed up on like I get mixed up on were and where. And when I read your words, "Oh, I meant to ask you what I should write on the card for Pat's gift . . . Congradulations?" And that is when I began saying no, no, no.
That 15th date on the latest V-mail certainly is not very encouraging is it? Maybe as time passes the service will get better. After all the Philippine Islands haven't been occupied by American troops as long as were the previous stops we had made and all the setting up process takes time.
Bob Hesser didn't have much to say except that nothing much is happening back home. What surprised me was your saying that my Dad figured that it was a good trade on the Compton's Pictured Encyclopedia for the Britannica's. Usually on something like that he does not take the best view of the situation. His approval in this case warms my heart because you will recall that Mr. Storke never told me his set of Britannica's were that antique. Yet the antiquity only applies to things of current interest while in the field of science, general studies and history prior to the publication year it is far better than Compton's could ever hope to be.
It is after four o'clock right now and I am beginning these letters. The reason for the early start today is because there is a show tonight and it has been set up (the screen) just across the road from the office and I do not see how I am going to keep from going to it. Therefore, in anticipation of spending another evening wastefully, I am getting the important things done first.
Last night it was the same old story again with Pedro coming and all of us talking together until after ten o'clock. We talked of everything under the sun. And he is another Gonzalez again in being an authority on his historical events. He outlined the Spanish occupation of the country and the way the people were forced to build the big Catholic Cathedrals around here against their will by the Spaniards - hundreds of years ago - before the people themselves had become Catholic. He also told us about the Philippine Church movement which is an attempt to break with the Pope at Rome and is their growing Protestant Religion. As for Pedro, he is Catholic but is tolerant enough to go into any church he can get into just to see what the other religions are like. Then he gave us a full account on the parallel careers of the present President Osmena and the former President Quezon in which all along they have rivaled each other for identical positions until the formation of the Philippine Senate about ten or twelve years ago when Quezon became the President of the Senate and Osmena was elected President Pro Tempore. He (Pedro) says that Osmena has a brilliant mind and during the war against Spain he carried a great burden of the administrative work. O yes, about the Philippine Church. It is a national religion which permits the pictures of great national heroes inside the church whereas, as Pedro says, the Catholic Church has statues of all the saints.
Our papayas are just about ready to eat and we are strongly thinking of cutting one open this evening and introducing ourselves to the fruit. Colonel Shubat asked to whom the papayas belonged and when we said to us, he asked if he could have some for he would like to taste them. We gave him one.
All afternoon long the fellows in the office have been trying to learn Tagalog from the little children and they are doing amazingly well. We have learned how to say hello, yes, no, will you go to the show with me and several such small bits of talk. I was busy so didn't get in on very much of it.
The local barbers around here do not have any shops but they carry a chair around with them and their equipment. When it is, I mean, when they get themselves a customer, they just sit the chair down, the customer on it and then they go to work. We are not permitted to receive a haircut from a Filipino barber.
One little Filipino boy, ten years old, named Ricardo has made this headquarters his second home and last night it was too dark for him to go on home so he slept here and then in the morning we fed him before he took off with his loads of grass on each end of that bamboo pole. Then he came back and hasn't gone away since.
Say, I kind of went off the track in answering the letters. If Charley's cold condition is any indication of how it is going to be getting back into a temperate climate, I sure will not like it. The Chicago cold was bad enough without being aggravated by the thinned out blood. And we have been nearer the equator than Charley has been for more than a year. We didn't have anything to do with the PX because as Charley says, we were getting ready to go about that time. In fact, I never did see anything but the groundwork being done on it.
I hope that all this talk about Pedro is not boring you for to us he is one of the topics of the moment. He was telling us about the educated people in this and neighboring communities and right in this section there are not many college graduates so Pedro (although he doesn't come out and say it) is at the age of twenty-four, one of the big boys in the community.
The chow line is forming now but I can't go just yet on account of because Lewis, Sackett, Norona, Bender and Osis all took off for chow and left me stranded.
These typewriters are all getting into pretty bad shape so quite a few of the typographical errors are the typewriter's errors and not my own.
The name of the show tonight is "The Corn is Green" and I believe Bette Davis plays in it, so it must be good.
It is now after chow and also after shower time. It is fortunate that we arrived at the showers a bit earlier than usual as the water was very low and all the fellows were voluntarily using as little water as was possible so that the late comers would have some. That is one thing about the majority of fellows, if they may seem a bit careless and thoughtless when there is a plenty of something, they are very careful and considerate when a scarcity exists and they will think of the next fellow.
We were going down the road to the shower when we passed the house of the people who own this land we are camped on. Bender saw one of his little interpreters sitting out in front of the house and said to him in Tagalog, will you come to the show with me? and instead of the little shaver answering, his sister (about seventeen) answered by saying, "You want to go to the show with me?" Bender gallantly replied yes and asked her to meet him at the theater area which of course will never happen.
Tonight, before sundown, I will once again attempt to answer George Prokopec's letter. Although I have a legitimate excuse at the present time for not answering my letters promptly, I still am going to make every endeavor to do so anyway so that they will never again accumulate as they did in the past.
Our payday never came around this month either. In fact the payrolls and pay vouchers haven't even been turned in. That means that for the last sixty-one days we have drawn but fifteen dollars - the worst financial condition we have been in since being in the army. They only failed to pay us that one month when we came overseas on a payday but immediately upon landing, we typed up those extra big two month payrolls and got everybody paid off on schedule.
Did I tell you the one about Edward Arnold introducing a new word into the Philippine language? Well, if you remember the picture Kismet, you will recall that after Marlene Dietrich's dance, Edward Arnold slapped his thighs and shouted out "Haba haba haba". Well, as I told you at the time, it became the password of the battalion and since we came here so soon after while it was still fresh in our memory the fellows began saying (in answer to the greeting of the Filipino's which is "Hello, Joe") - "Haba haba Joe". And now the Filipino youngsters in turn are saying back to us the same words probably thinking they are of American origin.
Well, that will be enough gabbing for today.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman