Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 75
c/p SF Cal
23 Aug 45
No mail again today. Gosh, if this isn't disgusting to watch everyone else get mail day after day without you yourself getting any at all. Fellows are receiving letters telling how the announcement of Japan's willingness to surrender affected the home folks yet here I remain hearing nothing from you since the first week in August. I can't see that it is the fault of the V-mail service in the states because nothing could have happened to affect it at that end, but methinks that all is not well right here in Manila. Either their machines are broken down (which doesn't seem likely) or else they just aren't operating for some reason or another.
Incidentally, today I purchased a can of Squibb Tooth Powder. After two and a half years of having people (meaning you) send me the Listerine Tooth Powder, I've decided to see if I can't save you that trouble and expense by getting along on the PX variety. I've let my supply of Listerine dwindle down to a point where I only have enough for a few more brushings and then it is fini. It is odd that outside of Chicago it was a hard to get dentifrice.
Today I had everyone worked up about going to the concert and then didn't go myself. You see an interruption came into the plans as the time for one of our routine medical shots came around and after chow we all had to line up in front of the Medics. By the time I got back Hipp was ready to go and here I hadn't even taken the evening shower. Thinking I would not be like he was and actually go along anyway, I signed out, clambered aboard the truck and then --- and then changed my mind. I got to thinking how late it would be before getting back and how I would not only be dirty all the while but have to go to sleep without the shower plus writing the letters on into the midnight hour. So at the last moment I got out of the truck and bid Hipp goodbye and had to laugh that two times it was he who didn't go and now I backed out. In this case my conscience did not bother me after what he had done before at more important occasions.
Eventually I hope to go to the concert which extends through Friday of next week and tentatively Burkholder, McBurney and myself have set a new date for Monday of next week.
The more I think it over, the more appealing appears to be the job of telephone operator in the army. No kidding, those fellows just sit there without answering but a few calls every so often during the day and hardly none at all during the evening hours. They can read books, write letters and even work on Institute courses while on the job. That way when they have free time outside of work it is all theirs with nothing to do but what they absolutely wish to do. In fact the evening shift is such a snap that from twelve to six you merely sleep next to the switchboard. Those jokes about having a job sleeping have come true in their case. Also once they are off their shift there is no further responsibility connected with it. The disadvantage, of course, comes in that the highest rank at a job like that is Pfc. No responsibilities, no worries, no rank, no pay.
Say, did I mention to you the fact that we are at last authorized to wear the Philippine Liberation Ribbon? They also have them in the Supply Room so that within a few days we will actually have them. This ribbon is red with a blue stripe and a white stripe in the center. Since we are only issued one of them and there isn't much chance of getting any more than that, I'll hang on to it to wear when I get off the boat at Frisco. The Philippine Government awards that ribbon and the United States Army says it's okay to wear along with the rest of them on the uniform. That makes three "automatic" ribbons I've got so far.
This coming up early to write letters isn't so good because too many fellows are around and the conversations begin. I've cut two of them short so far by very rudely beginning to type my letter again until they get the hint.
Well, I took time out just now to listen to the eight o'clock news broadcast and to the baseball scores --- only they didn't give the baseball scores tonight. I'm getting worried about the Cubs, only 5 ½ games in the lead now and the Cardinals breathing hot and heavy on their necks. It is like the old days when the Cards used to be out in front and the Cubs would come along and knock them off their pedestal in the last month of play. Five and a half games isn't much of a lead when there is about six weeks left to play in the season and a couple of series coming up with the second place team.
I will make more money by the Cubs losing the pennant than if they win it. The Reason: I win four pesos on the Cubs finishing in the first three but then have to bet on the Cubs against Detroit (if that is the World Series combination) at a peso a game and could lose all four pesos back again. And since I don't think the Cubs can win a Series on basis of their past performances, I stand to end up with less than the four pesos I'll have at season's end.
Today was another lackadaisical day with the Morning Reports causing a minimum of trouble and the other work being insignificant. I spent quite a bit of time talking to Leo Belasco, a Filipino, about the corrupt politics existing in democratic governments and how both in the US and the Philippines, the party in power goes to almost any extreme trying to stay there. Yet, we both agreed that it is better to put up with corruption which sooner or later is caught up with, than to live under a one man rule as in a dictatorship.
Now Marsh came up and chewed the rag. He brought up the subject of Morning Reports and in the course of the conversation I mentioned to him that I can't stand (myself) making a report with as many errors and line outs initialed as he does. That is a pretty rough thing to say to a fellow but he brought the subject up himself. But, he gets mad and says he can't help himself and in a slight way it is true that the boys are rushed getting their reports out but the number of errors in the reports in inexcusable. The guys know that line outs of errors when initialed are okayed by the regulations so they become careless in making the reports up knowing that it is a simple matter to correct. But the finished product looks like a rough draft at times.
I was talking to a former regular army man today who I had previously become acquainted with on Guadalcanal and I asked him, today, how he intended to plan his future now that re-enlistments in the regular army are open again. He is over 38 and will return to the States, take his ninety day furlough and then re-enlist. He will also request overseas service rather than the stateside variety. He has no wife, no children and only a married sister for a relation so he is pretty much on his own. If those were my conditions I would probably do likewise especially for the overseas service part. I'm a little different from most individuals in that most of the fellows have had their fill of these strange lands and want no part of them in the future while I could just as well settle in one of these tropical localities as not. Years ago in Junior College I told Miss Todd, my Rhetoric teacher, that I felt I could live anyplace in the world and make myself at home. She thought that very odd at the time and questioned me more closely on the subject and I told her that although I had nothing to base that belief on, I just felt it to be so. And now, after 27 months away form the States I have found myself highly adaptable to whatever conditions come my way.
Incidentally, Cooley has left the outfit and is now on his way home for discharge on points. He will re-enlist, although with him it is strange that he should because he has a wife and a child to go back to. With a home to return to, I can't see how a man could choose the army as a career.
A pet peeve of mine lately has been the disappearance of erasers from desk. I'll put a brand new eraser out and before the day is half over either Jack, Sack, or Arnalfo will have borrowed it and failed to return it. No matter how many times I put out a new eraser it eventually disappears and I've often wondered where the stockpile of old erasers is accumulating. I try to find one on someone else's desk and there just aren't any to be seen.
So-long, /s/ Roman Roman