Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
9 Aug 45
The suspense is terrible. Every day I wait for each mail delivery and expect, with such confidence, that that will be the one in which I finally hear how your birthday turned out. And today came the long awaited letter of the 27th of July. But do you think you solved the problem for me? No, no and again no. In fact your very first words told me that when you said "I'm writing this a little earlier this morning." Now comes the wait for the letter of the 28th which must surely tell all.
However, your birthday seems to have begun early with the party given for you by Mrs Reed. I'm glad everyone likes my Aunty Clara (can't see any reason why they shouldn't) and everyone does. If you were one of the go-getters among women, you probably would be high in the social and political life of the community. You know, I've got that same feeling you have about having a lot of semi-stranger acquaintances over in the house. It is better not to have them. Close friends and relatives, however, it is okay to have by the droves because with them you have the feeling "my house is your house" and they accept it as such. Acquaintances are as you say kind of nosey and catty. Anyway, that must have been quite an occasion with all those people at Mrs Reed's and especially with Myrtle taking off work so she could be there too.
The big news of the day, and that was Russia declaring war on Japan, did not create much of a stir during the first hour when it went around the camp by word of mouth. That rumor had come up so often that we discounted it immediately. Months and months ago we would flock to the radios to find out if the rumor would be true and every time we were disappointed. Today the rumor was persistent enough for us to gather round the radio once again and this time the outcome was different.
After the sensational news of the atomic bomb and its exhilarating effect on everyone, the entry of Russia into the war comes as an anti-climax. That Russia would come in towards the closing stage of the war was almost a certainty as she was sure to want to sit in on the peace conference of the Far East. Yet the reason she gave was that she wanted to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction by bringing the war to a quicker end. Then too, it is to Russia's interest and in line with the United Nations plan for peace to enter into the conflict for the cause of humanity. If even for a particle of that reason being true, it is one of the best things that happened for it is evidence of good faith on the part of a big power in wishing to preserve the peace of the world.
Another thing which caused a bit of comment in the office was the fact that Russia, on the 8th, declared war effective the 9th of August. Not only was it an old-fashioned sort of declaration but also a bit army-ish. We claimed that it was to give a break to the Company Clerks in the Russian Army that they set the effective date of change from peace to war up one day so they could all get in on the reports the same day.
Today was moving day as we packed up from our temporary quarters and installed ourselves in the cement floored job. At first it seemed hopeless when we piled our property in their respective corners during the noon lunch hour. Then immediately after work we set to the job of fixing it up into livable quarters. And it is that now, better than it ever was before. I've fixed myself up a honky dory mosquito bar frame, have a canvas flap to keep out the rain where it used to come in, have a better shoe rack and even the footlocker and shelves are in a little better order. The center of the tent under this new arrangement is to be kept free unless we wish to build ourselves a table similar to the one we had in New Caledonia. There are certain restrictions and one of them is uniformity. Although for the time being they say it is alright to keep what you have built but anything new being built must conform with the specifications for the model tent arrangement. The only corner which is not fixed up is Jack Molyneaux's, he moved his cot and equipment in and let go at that. Eventually I believe I will have to get rid of my nice shelves but until I'm ordered to remove the piece of furniture, it will serve me well.
The weather today was extremely hot and humid. I sweated just sitting at my desk. And I did not like it. Luzon is not at all as good as Guadalcanal was for perfect weather. For uniformity of climate, temperature and humidity you couldn't ask for a better place than the Canal. That is for the Pacific. Camp White or Medford, Oregon is still the ideal spot in the states.
I was undecided this morning whether to go for breakfast or not. I did and was glad of it for they had delicious dehydrated eggs with bacon cooked right in with it. And as an added attraction, large, juicy, stateside apples. I saved mine, as most everyone did, for a mid-morning snack. That did not prevent me from also downing the ration of three cookies in the morning. I also finished the evening three while typing the first page of this letter. Even at that close doling, the stockpile is going down. O well, any day now I'll be on my way home for some hot off the pan.
Bill Kirwan and I were talking together quite a bit during the course of the day and it turns out that he was employed as a student engineer at one of the Illinois Bell Telephone plants and that it was and is a bang up place to work for. He started off at about twenty-five dollars a week and through steady, pre-determined wage increases he was to end up with sixty-eight dollars a week at the completion of his seven year term as a student engineer. Prior to coming into the army, he had gotten into the thirty-five dollar class and since his army service does not affect the increases, he could go back today at about fifty dollars per. After the seven year term, the next step is a monthly pay with $300 being the minimum. After his return, they will send him to a brush up school which they have established for returning service men. There he will be paid to go to school. Also in their many benefits is a plan for six months work and six months school (paid while at school). That indeed is a place to work for, right? I wonder what I possibly might be able to earn at Rathborne when I go back. I suppose they will start me off at the former $29 a week. I know one thing, I'm going to work as hard as I can, learn all I can both at work and at school and if the opportunities for increases are not forthcoming, I'll begin looking around for more favorable employment. There is no use staying in one place if you can do better. And I've the confidence in myself that I lacked before I came into the army. I know now that there isn't a job in an office that I wouldn't be able to handle after learning the ropes.
The Chase and Sanborn program (I mean, I don't know what program it is, because we don't hear the commercials) had Spike Jones and his City Slickers on the air tonight and those boys sure can take a tune for a ride. I like to listen to their version of modern day tunes.
I understand that Jack Molyneaux was told to put on his GI shoes by Captain Cook during my absence in the office last week. So far I have not come under his vigilant eye although for the last month or two I've been getting away with murder by continuous wearing of my moccasins. Any day I expect to be told to do the same thing Jack was told to do, but until then I'll continue the wear the moccasins. They are too comfortable and in this climate wearing those GI brogans just makes the athlete's foot so much the worse, makes the feet smell up quicker and so forth. Those moccasins sure did receive full wear and tear and are still going strong even though the heels are once more worn down. Will it pay to repair them again, I don't think, but I can still remove the heels and wear them for an indefinite time. I wonder if I'll be able to get away with wearing moccasins back home. Probably, depending on the circumstances. At Rathborne yes, for there they go without suits (working in shirtsleeves), they wear sport clothes and are most informal.
The messhall has been having tea quite regularly now although they are serving it sweetened up in advance. We have also been having quite a bit of sweet potatoes, dehydrated, but they still taste good. Not so good, however, as the real McCoy.
The time is getting on and I'm not sure that I'm going to have time to write any additional letters to anyone this evening. Mainly on account of the fixing up the tent and getting a late start am I now running out of time. The thing is that I owe letters for such a long spell that just a short note will not suffice and a long letter takes a long time to write.
O say, I've finished the actual checking of the morning reports and sick books. At last. Now I'll work up the report for the Colonel and be finished with a messy business. I suppose now some big job will come up and take up my day with time that I could otherwise be using to once again straighten out accumulated work and accumulated problems.
The Company Clerks may finally get their best break in a promotion to Tec 4. Lt Suiter (changing a lot from the early days when he said an office clerk was worth no more that a pfc) has kept at the company commanders and now has the four signed recommendations for promotion and if the Colonel is convinced they should have it tomorrow or the next day. That will certainly make our headquarters a rated outfit. Only Cpls Lynd, Ebner and Pfc Smarrito will remain below the sergeant class.
Those Chicago Cubs are really going at a terrific clip. And it seems that double-headers are their meat as they sweep one twin bill after another. People are actually seriously thinking of them as contenders for the World's Championship this fall. I hope so for the winners are coming to the Pacific and Manila would be a most logical place to bring them to.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman