Trumbull – Lizzie of the Klondike (2) – Aug., 1944

Dan-uniform (2)

Page 2       8/6/44

Did I ever tell you the story of the three divinity students at Yale, a Protestant, a Catholic and a Jew were comparing how far each might eventually get in their chosen professions. The Protestant said he could start as a curate, become rector of a large parish, advance to Archdeacon and eventually become Bishop. The Catholic snorted and said in his church after becoming a priest, Monsignor. and a Cardinal in tern he might eventually become pope, which is right next to God himself, and what could be higher than that! The Jew shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, one of our boys made it”.

And so I am pleased to report to you today that “one of our boys made it”. Dan is in France, as evidence of a v-mail letter written from “an orchard in Normandy”. “I am sitting at home in front of my tent while around me a Normandy farmer and his entire family from little Josette (who carries their cider and black bread) to le grande mere (who wields the rate) toiled to gather the hay for the winter fodder. It is a far cry from London, which city we were quite ready to leave, as you must realize. Only distant rumbling of guns keeps us from forgetting the war which seems so out of place here in the peaceful countryside. The channel crossing, although significant, was effected without incident. Our experience with the local folks thus far has been gratifying. We have been able to buy fresh eggs and cherries, which was virtually impossible in London. The people have treated us with the utmost cordiality. My French studies are bearing a bumper crop of fruit now. Please send me as soon as possible a small pocket dictionary (French – English). Also please send some soap. It is scarcer here even then it was in England”.

COMMENT: Once, long years ago, I took your mother, before we were married, to a performance of a light opera called “The Chimes of Normandy”. Little did either of us realize at that time that one day our son would be where he could hear those same chimes, perhaps peeling out the Angeles at close of day. Dan’s words recall Longfellow’s Evangeline:

          Sea fogs pitched their tents and mists from the mighty Atlantic

Looked on the happy Valley, but ne’er from this station descended

There, in the midst of its farms, reposed the Acadian village.

Strongly built were the houses, with frames of oak and Chestnut

Such as the peasants of Normandy built in the reign of the Henry’s

Thatched were the roofs, with dormer windows; and gables projecting

Over the basement below protected and shaded the doorway

There in the tranquil evenings of summer, when brightly the sun set

Lighted the village street, and gilded the vanes on the chimneys,

Matrons and maidens sat in snow white caps and in kirtles

Scarlet and blue and green, with distaff’s spinning the golden

Flax for the gossiping looms, whose noisy shuffles within doors

Mingled their sound with the whir of the wheels and the songs of the maidens

Solemnly down the street came the parish priest, and the children

Paused in their play to kiss the hand he extended to bless them.

Then came the laborers home from the field, and serenely the sun sets

Down to his rest and twilight prevailed. Anon from the belfry,

Softly the Angelus sounded, and over the roofs of the village

Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascending

Rose from a hundred hearths, the homes of peace and contentment.

But to return to the practical, a box containing your French – English dictionary, which has been reposing in the bookcase here patiently awaiting your summons, together with five takes of ivory soap and a tube of lather less shaving cream which I have found be very good for a quick, shape, all packed in a box is already on its way to your new APO number.

Dan, next time you write have your secretary jot down somewhere in fine print whether or not you ever received the box of soap, toilet articles and smoking materials I sent you so long ago. I read somewhere the mosquitoes in Normandy were pretty bad. How about flies? Would you like a flyswatter for your tent? In case you run short of soap, I should think some of your lathering shaving cream would do as a substitute. Anyway, I hope the package reaches you promptly. It was mailed about August 4.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the next installment of this long letter. We’ll hear from California and Grandpa’s additional comments.

On Thursday we will have the final section of the letter.

On Friday we have another letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Lizzie of the Klondike (1) – Aug., 1944

Aunt Betty

Aunt Betty

COMMUNICATION CENTER 42928

DFR TR C/O POB-7

6 August 1944

GREETINGS…..

From the ex-mayor of Trumbull:

Copy of communication

Addressed to “Lizzie of the Klondike, Igloo?”

From C.D. Guion, Alaska.

“I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you for not packing up and running on up here. Why, the weather is so nice here that it is only on the rarest of occasions that I am prevented from basking in the sun all day long. The temperature stays at a comfortable 15° above zero all summer long, and only slightly cooler than that in winter, which is only nine months long anyway. I do hope you will reconsider immediately, and if you feel you don’t want to cook or drive taxis, I’m sure you would enjoy mining or fishing, and the pay for either is excellent. You could work at fishing for just the short three months season and live on your earnings for the balance of the year. If you chose to mine you could probably get a job “mucking” (digging out the ore) on the graveyard shift and have the whole day to run around the country and hunt bear or go sightseeing to your hearts content. You could probably grab a couple of cat naps on the job when the boss was away and so not get too tired. As an added inducement you might always remember that a gal up here has every opportunity to go out with nice fellows to dances, nightclubs, etc., and  then you might even find the man of your dreams! Who knows? There was a woman up here (Rusty Dow) whom I have mentioned as a friend of mine in a previous letter, who just recently drove a 10 wheel truck over the new Alaskan military Highway with a full load. (Query by editor –  the girl or the truck?) She reports the road as good, and if you can disguise yourself as a service men you might be able to get onto the road which is close to civilians. Perhaps Dad would let you take the Chevy which seems to be idle since Lad and Marian and Dave are again away from home. I am sure you could get gas enough by buying at black market stations, although you would have to pay a little extra. I’d advise bringing along a few spare tires as you might have to make repairs along the way. Extra supplies of gas would also probably be necessary. A good sleeping bag and some grub, a rifle and axe will complete your dear, and I’ll buy you a barrel of rum when you get here. Another advantage to this country is that women are more likely to smoke pipes and cigars here than back in the East, and your between the acts cigars would entail less embarrassment than back there. Another thought just occurred to me. You are there near the Sikorsky airplane plant. Why don’t you see Mr. Sikorsky and get the Alaskan franchise distribution ship for the helicopter and then fly one up here yourself. That might be more exciting then the Chevy. Of course all this is just a suggestion, and you could do what ever you like, even trying a rocket were jet propulsion. There is good future in trapping, as in almost any other occupation you desire to try. The sky’s the limit, but if you just want to stay in that dreadful old stuffy East where they have those horrid toilets inside the house and messy faucets and sinks that can’t be put outside when not in use – space well, then I’m sorry for you, and don’t ever say you didn’t have the opportunity. “There is a tide in the affair of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune”. And don’t turn your deft here at me! How is be acoustic on working. What a pleasant low we feeling it gave me to open up my little box number822 just before my birthday a month or so ago the find of good old “Aunt Betty” card and the famous old portrait of a Pres. Should have acknowledged your thoughtfulness long ago, but I am as much a dreadful correspondent, as you well know.

Did I ever tell you the story of the three divinity students at Yale, a Protestant, Catholic and a Jew, were comparing how far each might eventually get in their chosen professions. The Protestant said he could start as a curate, become rector of the large parish, advanced to Archdeacon and eventually become Bishop. The Catholic snorted and said in his church after being a priest, a Msgr. and a cardinal, and in turn he might eventually become pope, which is right next to God himself, and what could be higher than that! The Jews shrugged his shoulders and said, “well, one of our boys made it”.

This is only the first quarter of this five-page letter from grandpa to his boys in Alaska. This particular portion is a letter from Ced to Aunt Betty giving her numerous possibilities for jobs if she were to move to Alaska.

On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I’ll post the other three parts of this letter.

On Friday, will have a letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 72 – Chicago World’s Fair – 1934

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard - The Enchanted Island

This is a postcard from the 1934 Chicago Worlds Fair. It shows the Enchanted Island. Ced spent four days at the Fair on his hitchhiking trip from Trumbull to North Dakota and Wisconsin to meet the Peabody relatives in the place where his Mother grew up. You can read about his Coming of Age Adventure by clicking on that category.

Trumbull – Grandma Moves Out – (2) – Aug., 1941

Aunt Helen Human, Aunt Anne Stanley, Aunt Dorothy Peabody,

Aunt Helen Human, Aunt Anne Stanley, Aunt Dorothy Peabody,

Page 2 of 8/31/41

 

Dave left last night with a school friend, Don Carmichael, to spend until Monday night at a camp at Lake Zoar. He goes back to school Wednesday and is really looking forward with pleasure to it.

I have just finished reading a new book called “Another Morning” relating the adventures of colonists who started the Matanuska experiment  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matanuska_Valley_Colony ) . The description of an Alaskan winter, references to local places such as Palmer, Turnagin, Knick, Eklutna, Anchorage, etc. made it interesting by proxy. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iovahl76fuI ) Of course, one never knows how close to facts the novelist sticks in writing an account of this sort. As a story I would rate it only fair. Maybe you have read it.

My hay fever has at last caught up with me again and as usual I am feeling rather low between bouts of itchy throat and ears, runny nose, inflamed eyes, to say nothing of sneezing spasms, so if this letter doesn’t sparkle and scintillate with bright sayings and witty comments you will guess the reason.

This week I invested $.25 on three chances for a Chrysler to be given away sometime in September, in your name, Ced, so don’t be surprised any day now to get a cable notifying you that you have a new car in the family.

Having run out of thoughts I have turned back to your former letters to see if anything would suggest itself, but alas I only come smack up against such things as this: Dan’s last letter to me was dated June 15th, Dick’s June 19th, while Old Faithful Ced,  during that time, has written six times. Maybe, like securities, you plan dividends every quarter and September will see another remittance.

While I have not seen Anne (Peabody Stanley) or the kids (Don and Gwen) I understand that they have gone back to Virginia, that Larry and Marion (Peabody) have bought a new house which they are very enthusiastic about, that Marion is visiting her mother in Vermont and Kemper (Peabody) and his family are still in Vermont. Burton (Peabody) is still awaiting word from the Army as to his new job area when he goes back it will be with the rank of major.

I have about sneezed every original thought out of my mind so there would seem no alternative but to close this unepical letter in the usual manner by signing off,

DAD

I’ll be posting Special Pictures on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday, I’ll start posting letters written in 1944 when all five boys are scattered around the world and two are married. Lad and Marian are waiting to the Army to decide when and where Lad is going overseas. At that point, Marian will move to Trumbull to live with her father-in-law, Grandpa, where Dick’s wife Jean is already living.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Grandma Moves Out – Aug., 1941

This is the first half of a letter sent to Grandpa to his three sons who are all living and working in Alaska. They are all worried about the draft as much as their oldest brother, Lad, on the east coast, is worrying.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion
(Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn.,

August 31, 1941

Dear sons:

If one puts no restraint on one’s thoughts but just naturally expresses on paper the first thing that occurs to one’s mind, what would you guess would be the uppermost thought, even though it be not so pleasant a one with which to start a letter and one already worn almost threadbare? You guessed it. If you, Dan, and you, Dick, for weeks on end, for a period of two months at least, day after day had called on the postmaster for a letter and your old dad had failed to write you, how would you feel about it all? Are you both so much busier than Ced? In a few days now it will be my birthday. One of the nicest remembrances I could receive would be a real long friendly letter from each of you. I’m hoping.

In that connection, and following my usual custom of celebrating the occasion by evidencing the fact I am glad to be alive, I have mailed you collectively my copy of “Wild Geese Calling” which I hope you will enjoy reading. You don’t need to bother about returning it. Maybe Rusty or some other of your friends may like to read it also.

Zeke went fishing this morning so I invited Bissie and her brood over to Sunday dinner. They have just left.

Burton and Helen were up over the weekend. Aunt Dorothy is much improved, has been gaining weight steadily and is now practically back to normal. They have taken an apartment in New Rochelle and plan to move into it on Wednesday of this week. Helen has gone down with Burton today and Burton expects to drive up Wednesday to pick up Grandma and Dorothy. About the middle of the month Helen expects to leave for Brownsville, Texas, to join Ted for an indefinite stay.

Lad has heard nothing more from the draft, although I think I told you there was an article in the paper some weeks ago under a Shelton (draft board headquarters for this district) date line that mentioned Lad’s name among others that would be called into service the latter part of August. It is my understanding that Footherap is taking up the matter of temporary deferment with the board in Lad’s behalf. He likes the job he has with the Producto Co., and is being paid $.50 an hour with prospects of advancement.

My Buick’s speedometer shows a mileage of 20,000, concurrently with which one of my white sidewall tires has blown, another has had to be vulcanized and still a third has a patch on it. So the only thing seemed to be to get two new tires. Through Wells, Lad has been able to get a discount on two new black wall General tires, net cost of which is around $30. (white side walls would have cost an additional $19 for the two tires). Due to the shortage Lad had some trouble in locating my size but finally succeeded in getting two general tires. I think I shall have the two good tires still left retreaded which will fix me up fairly well for the winter. I have also, at lad’s recommendation, bought an entire new set of spark plugs.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter. On Saturday and Sunday,

I’ll be posting Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1944 when all five boys are working for Uncle Sam, all around the world.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Friends – Aug., 1941

8/27/41

My dear Lad,

Since early in August I wanted to write you and say thanks for that beautiful piece of artwork by the gold worker – and I thank you for remembering me – it’s a beautiful gift. But have been holding off until I could see what we could line up here – the results you already know – anyway I have another angle and today I sent Helen a letter from Hebard which she will let you read – you of course will not tell Hebard that you know I’m employed by Uncle Sam. You see how discrete he is – you too think I work for P.A.A. (Pan American Airlines) if the subject ever comes up – The Hebard outfits is a good one with worldwide connections. He has the power to pass you on to good things – if they come up –

So best of luck and best of wishes

Sincerely,

Ted

Let me know just what happened in the interview – if any, etc.

 

****************************************

June 30, 1941

Dear Dan, Ced,

Sometime ago I gave your dad a bill for lubrication, oil filter etc. contracted by Dick before his departure to the wilds with no results.

When I asked him about it he could not remember whether you wanted him to pay it or if you intended to but had forgotten.

Let me know whether I am to collect from him.

Have they no stationary up there or you are you making so much money you can’t write? Hope to hear from you soon.

With best regards to all.

Carl

******************************************

August 21, 1941

Dear Dan & Ced: Dick too !

Since the gasoline situation is fast becoming acute, as you probably have already heard, Ethel and I are seriously considering going to California or Alaska shortly. That is within the next couple of months if possibilities there are good.

Please write as soon as you possibly can as to types of jobs open, wages, living conditions, cost of transportation by car or anything else that we might need to know on the subject.

Let me know if it is difficult to get work there and what the possibilities are.

With our best regards,

Carl

P.S. Just heard tonight that a cut of 70% in gas over what I bought last month has been just ordered by Socony for their dealers.

Tomorrow I’ll post the first half of a letter from Grandpa to his three sons in Alaska.

I’ll have Special Pictures on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday I’ll be posting letters that were written in 1944. Lad is waiting not-so-patiently for final plans for overseas duty. I think by this time, they just want the Army to make some plans – any plans.

Judy Guion