Early Memories of Trumbull (10)

Here are some early memories of Trumbull from Ced. He was the third boy and close to his older brothers Lad and Dan. Biss separated the older boys from the younger ones and Grandpa did a lot with the older ones.

Cedric Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

A bunch of us would walk over to Pinewood Lake, you know, it was all forested with pine trees. We’d play in the tops of those trees. We’d go from one tree to the next.

We used to play the piano. We had a player piano, we got it from Aunt Anne, she had it in New Rochelle and they didn’t use it anymore so we got it.

The Young People’s Group in the church was led by Doug and Emily Chandler. Long after Chandler left, we kept on with the Chandler Chorus. The only two people who ever

directed the Chandler Chorus were Doug Chandler and Laura Brewster. He was good, very good with young people. There must have been 17 or 18 kids. He played the piano beautifully and we’d have these meetings once a week. He played really jazzy music for us, too. He was very fond of music, and started the Chandler Chorus. We had everywhere from 10-year-olds to 60-year-olds, maybe higher. Maybe not 10-year-olds, but we had young people. We sang quite frequently. We went all over the place, up to Shelton. We were good. In fact that’s where Fannie and I met.

Anyway there was this young group, as I said, our house was the center of activity all over town. It drew practically everyone in the town of Trumbull. Mother said every Tuesday night we could have an Open House for all the young people. We played the piano, and we’d sing. We just had a ball, and then we’d have cookies and cocoa or something. That was so much fun.

Dad took us down to Baltimore  in one of the cars – must’ve been one of the Packard’s – to the Fair of the Iron Horse, this was the heyday of railroading. They put on a beautiful show. Dad drove us down and I know we had two flat tires, one going down and one on the way back. It was a wonderful show. They had all the old steam engines, the Sturbridge, and the Tom-Tom, they were the originals. We sat in covered bleachers, and there was a huge stage, with water beyond the stage. The old locomotives came in and people got out of the coaches, boats came in and out – it was wonderful. The people wore period costumes. We probably went in the early 20s. Dan, Lad and I – Dad always did things with us. Dick and Dave weren’t in the group, they were born later. I had the big privilege of seeing a very similar show at the Chicago World’s Fair.

I’m one of those who brag about the fact that I’ve been driving cars since I was 10 years old. I got my license – my mother died on the 29th of June and on June 1st of that same year I turned 16. I think I got my license on June 2nd. At that time I had driven quite a few miles with a driver next to me – quite a few miles without, and much more off road then on.

I used to drive on that road along the cemetery. When they put the cemetery in, there was about a 4 foot drop to the road. At the very end of it the drop-off was less and you could turn a car around and we could come back about halfway on the ledge to the gate. We had a 1927 Packard Touring car. I guess this was when Lad was working at Well’s Garage and he was making a little money there. He saw a 1929 Packard Touring car – it was a beauty – and he asked my Dad if he could trade in the old Packard and my Dad told him “OK”. We didn’t like that because then it was Lad’s car. Well anyway, I had the car.

This one day I drove up the road, I guess I didn’t have my license yet, I’m not sure. I was trying to turn around up there and I didn’t have enough room. I got the front wheel over the bank. When it went over the bank, it lifted the back end of the car on the right side. “Oh, no”, I thought. It was about a foot lower than the other end. “Oh, brother, so this is it.”

I don’t remember how I got it off the bank; maybe I used a jack and pried it over. I couldn’t go back and I knew I had to get the rest of the way over. I finally got it over the hill and onto the road.

Lad worked at the Well’s Garage, the Wells Bus Line. He was their maintenance man for years. Later he ran two different gas stations in town. The first was the Mobil gas station, next to Kurtz’s store. The second was the Atlantic gas station after it opened.

Playing Dress-up

Playing Dress-up



We had an old Waverley electric car in the barn. Dick, poor Dick, got all excited about the war effort. He thought, “Well gee, here’s this old junk and it’s pretty well

shot.” The Fire Department was looking for scrap metal. Dick was very patriotic and he thought he’d give them the Waverley, and at the same time, help the war effort.

Tomorrow, We’ll read a letter written to Ced that he didn’t get for almost a month during his Coming of Age Adventure.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1940. At that point in time, Grandpa’s weekly  letter writing campaign had only been going on for about a year and a half. Little did he know that he would continue the practice for another six years !

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Fugitives From A Trumbull Farm – May, 1944

Trumbull, Conn., May 14, 1944

Dear Fugitives from a Trumbull Farm:

Aunt Betty

Aunt Betty

This is Mother’s Day, which fact was delightfully brought home to our consciences by Aunt Betty’s receipt yesterday of a lovely box of flowers from Lad and Marian. After a moment of embarrassment on her part trying to explain the “mother” angle, she at last broke down and confessed all, although how Lad and Marian got wind of the affair way out in California made me realize that Lad should be in the Intelligence Department, instead of the Ordinance. All joking aside, it certainly made a very deep and heartwarming impression and I and asked here and now to say how grateful she is and how chagrined she felt at never having yet acknowledged the Easter remembrance. She has difficulty in writing as you know but is saving it all up for personal thank you when you arrive.

It is interesting to look back and see what the state of things was a year ago today. Grandma had recently arrived at Trumbull. Dorothy and Anne were visiting us to partake of one of Grandma’s toothsome pot roasts. Dan had been expected home and had telegraphed his regrets at his inability to obtain leave from Lancaster (PA). Lad had just recently arrived at Santa Anita and had not even mentioned the existence of anyone named Marian. Dick and Jean were at Miami, Ced reported he had missed out by several days on his guess as to the date of the break in the ice jam, Art Woodley was visiting Washington to see about getting the new plane and Rusty was on tour in northern Alaska with the Governor. Dave was still in the “bosom of his family”.

And right here it might be well for the latter to speak for himself:

“Boy, have you got a surprise coming! I woke up yesterday morning with a slight sore throat. By last night it was getting kind of swollen so I went over to the infirmary to see what could be DPG - with Zeke holding Butchdone. The diagnosis was MUMPS and I’m in the post hospital. I spent last night in the ward but this morning they gave me a room. It’s just a little place but I feel quite exclusive. Between this room and the next when there is a bathroom, tub and all, which I share with the guy next door. I wasn’t doing so well in radio school. There were seven of us that they were going to drop Saturday if we didn’t improve. Now I won’t have the chance. Maybe I can get into clerk school – – that would be perfect. And I know code now which is a pretty good thing to know. The thing that really hurts, though, is the fact that I had planned to get home by the end of June for graduation, but now as I see it, it will be impossible. All the news in this letter is not too good, but nevertheless, my morale is high in spite of it all. To say you are in a hospital always sounds bad but in the Army you can’t stay in your barracks, especially if you have something catching like MUMPS. I don’t feel bad and the life we leave here is swell – – movies today, for instance. (Next Day) my private room life is finished. I’ve been transferred to a windowed-in porch which I share with two other “mumpees”. I feel even better today than I did yesterday. I hope I keep improving – – at any rate, don’t any of you worry.”

Earlier in the week Mrs. Guion received a package from Brazil and she has been walking around on air ever since. A pair of alligator shoes, several pairs of fine silk stockings, and the biggest hit of all, a beautiful genuine alligator skin handbag that is the envy of all the girls at Harvey Hubble. Boy, but that made a big hit and puts Dick right up in the top class as husbands go.

Now for a report on what local happenings may be of interest.

Arnold has decided to give up work here and go to Hawaii. He is just recovering from an attack of jaundice which has delayed his plans somewhat but he talks of going sometime later this month. I don’t know whether he is going to take the trailer or not.

Art Mantle came over to see me last evening as I was sitting out on the back lawn looking over the evening paper and pitting my wits against the crossword puzzle man. He looks more mature, as might be expected. Altogether he has been away six years. He was wounded with some shrapnel in the arm and leg but has entirely recovered now. It was while he was on a cruiser fight with some warships in a night battle at fairly close range. They sunk the Japs. He asked about each of you individually and asked me when I wrote to give you his best.

Zeke has been laid up all week with a cold or something, celebrating his birthday in bed. Elizabeth has been repainting her dining room and has fixed up the yard. We are all invited over there next Thursday.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Lilacs are out in full now. I have been a rising an hour or so earlier these fine spring mornings and trying to do the Dan-est in fixing the yard, flowerbeds, etc. This morning I alternated between getting dinner and taking down storm windows and putting up screens. As a one-man act it’s kind of slow work but I managed to get through without any serious consequences in trying to balance a storm window on a rickety ladder. This afternoon I had to go to Bridgeport in my disguise as Justice of the Peace and hitched two middle-aged people who aspired to the matrimonial state.

Paul was home for the weekend but left an hour or so ago to go back to Sampson.

No further word from Lad and Marian. Jean says there was another rumor, Dick reports as to the possibility of a 21 days furlough for the Brazil”nuts”, permitting him to get home for a visit before being transferred elsewhere. He will ask to be transferred to Alaska if given the opportunity to choose. I’m a bit concerned about not having heard from Ced for so long. I try not to let the war tension get on my nerves but I wish you youngsters would not put my fortitude to the test too far. You see I have a fivefold Sword of Damocles hanging over my head and too long an interval in hearing from any one of you puts a bad strain on my optimism. So have a little pity, please.

And that about closes up the bulletin for this time. Cheerio.


Tomorrow I’ll be posting some more Early Memories of Trumbull and on Sunday, the “lost” letter to Ced from Grandpa, written on July 30th, held at the Chicago YMCA for two weeks, sent back to Grandpa and then forwarded on to Ced in Star Prairie, Wisc. It took close to a month for Ced to receive that letter ! 

Next week, we’ll jump back to 1940 when Lad was the only son away from home and everyone else still lived at home, except for Biss, her husband and her babies.

If you’re enjoying these stories and memories from the 1940′s, why not share them with as friend?

Judy Guion

The Abyss

Originally posted on Running on Empty:

In November of 2007, the words “they found a tumor” altered the course of my husband’s life, my life, and my children’s lives.  Those words started a two year journey to find a diagnosis, followed by several years of treatment attempts, horrible illness,  multiple hospitalizations, incredible stress and strain on our family, more questions than answers, and ultimately, the realization that this wasn’t ever going away.  In fact, it would only continue to get worse…his disease is progressive and incurable.  The roller coaster of emotions never stops, but I have learned a lot about myself, the people in my life, and life with a chronically ill family member.

For myself, this isn’t an easy journey.  People tell me all the time that I am an incredibly strong person.  I am strong because I have no choice but to be strong.  What would my alternative be?   I can choose to give…

View original 770 more words

Trumbull – Guion Clipping Service (3) – May, 1944

pp pic 1

And now for the comments.

It’s six o’clock your time again, Lad, and I just sat down again after having a snack and doing my nightly chores such as filling Catherine’s oil bottle (I’m doing that for her while Paul is a way), our own oil bottle for the kitchen stove, and now I can settle down to telling you how the whole week has been brightened and the spring weather seems even pleasanter since getting your note. I replied at once without waiting for this weekly confirmation and hope you will be all set by the time this reaches you. I felt so ambitious today that after coming in the house because it started to rain and interrupted my work on taking down the storm windows and putting up the screens, that I made a good start on cleaning up the cellar so everything would be nice and neat when you bring home your blushing bride to the old manse (Man’s). Thank goodness, Ced cleaned up the attic, so we’ll fool Marian into thinking you were a fairly neat family. Of course I’ll be anxious to know all details as you learn them, how you will come, when you’ll start and arrive, what you will have awaiting you when you return, etc. Incidentally, I had seen nothing in the papers about the closing of CAMA. Last I knew was when you were in Texas you were training a group with which you expected to be shipped overseas when the work was accomplished. I am glad you both were so kind as to say what you did about my letters. Such words of encouragement help more than you know. Gosh, but it will be good to have you both here, sort of a preview of days to come, when other members of the clan all do the same.

Dan, your conscience reminds me of Mark Twain’s reference to the weather, much talk but no one ever does anything about it. Now I suggest you let up on the wear and tear on your conscience and anticipate its murmuring by literary action. Here I am wondering about you, finally deciding that because of the nearing invasion and following the restrictions recently imposed by the British, you were being forbidden to write home anymore. Nerves are getting a bit frayed along the edges here. In fact it would seem as though you were getting more fun out of it than we are, so much further away. So, have a heart for the next few weeks.

All you have said, Dick, is duly noted, but for obvious reasons I will attempt no answer here.

Your good letter, Dave, old son, certainly earned 100% forgiveness. I have appreciated very much your faithfulness in writing. It’s good to get her a letter like this one. I wish the other boys would open up and “spress theirselves”. It helps often, to know what is inside that makes it tick.



Nome, Alaska

April 4, 1944

Dear Ced,

Got a letter today from St. Rau in Anchorage saying bag was never sent from there, so he shipped it on the 25th. He was staying with me here while I was writing you about it – said he would check on it when he got down to Anchorage and so he did. On getting letter I immediately got a pass and started out for the base. A truck driver picked me up – asked where I was going and he was going to the same place. In back of his truck was my bag. He had been trying all over town to locate me. Some coincidence.

Told Rau to look you up while in town. Swell fellow and you will like him. He has three scouts with him – two Eskimos and white soldier Arnold Olsen, “Art” Npicksoun and Jacob Stroker from Wainwright and P.T. Hope are the names of the Eskimos. Hope you meet them all as you should. You will get an earful if you do, of something that will interest you.

Well, thanks for trying to locate bag Ced.

Working tonight so must quit now.

Best of luck,


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday, some more Early Memories of Trumbull from the young ones.

On Sunday, the letter that Grandpa wrote to Ced in care of the Chicago YMCA which arrived after Ced had left, was held for two weeks, sent back to Grandpa and then he sent it on to Ced. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The Guion Clipping Service (2) – May, 1944

DPG - with Zeke holding ButchAnd Dave was in a left-handed mood when he wrote on April 30th: time is going by faster than ever here. This is the last day of April. Everything here is green. I’ve seen blossoms on the fruit trees here. This is excellent farm country except for the stones. Camp Crowder is filled with apple and peach orchards that the farmers took care of until they were bought out by the government to make the camp. I think this camp is supposed to cover 90 sq. miles. The orchards have been let go since the camp was built – – the government would rather spend thousands of dollars buying fruit from the farmers (and making it so the civilians can’t get decent fruit) then spend a few hundred dollars for spray and equipment to keep up the trees which are already planted and bearing fruit. They’ve got the manpower to pick the apples and keep the trees in good condition. The idea of growing our own fruit, with everything we need for doing it right here, is far too practical for the government or the Army. So, instead, you civilians get no fruit and we get battered and bruised apples, some of which aren’t fit to eat, that had been shipped halfway across the country, taking up valuable shipping space and using up valuable gasoline. This is the Army. The end.

I am in a rut at radio school. They call it a plateau of learning. When you first go to school you start with Z speeds – – Z1 to Z6. These are all to teach the alphabet. In other words when you get through with Z6 you know the complete alphabet and a number of different signs such as a long break (between messages), repeat back, end of transmission, etc. After you pass all of the Z speeds you go to the 5W (5 words per minute), 7W, 10 W, 12 W, 15 W, 18 W. To pass the course you must be able to receive 18 W (18 words per minute) and send 13 words a minute. The course is five weeks long, four of which we have completed already. I’m on 10W and as I said before, I can’t seem to get by it. I have been for two weeks now on that one speed. I haven’t been able to pass any sending tests yet. I have only one week to get 18 W receiving and 13 W sending. This sounds bad but it’s almost average – – but then, too, there are a lot of boys being transferred to other schools. Just keep your fingers crossed – – I’ll work – – you hope and pray for me, and maybe I can make it – – O.K.?

I only received one letter all week long. I’ll bet you couldn’t guess in the thousand years who it was from. Dad? No. Eleanor? No. Jean? No. Aunt Betty? No. One of my brothers? Yes, you’re right. I got a letter from Dick! Am I proud! He wrote me that he saw Nick Halsack (Peggy VanKovics future husband) in S.A. He said Nick is a radio operator in a B-24 and was on his way to Scotland.

Now an explanation as to why I don’t get any other letters, including yours, and any that Eleanor might have sent. The mail clerk up at A-36 (my old outfit) is the sort of guy who would pull a Mortimer Snerd. If you asked him his name he’d say “Duh – duh – uh – lemme tink.” So, naturally you couldn’t expect him to get our mail transferred from A-36 to D-26 for two or three months, therefore, no mail. I don’t know why he sent Dick’s letter through – – he probably didn’t mean to. By the way, the mail clerk I’m raking over the coal is, of course, a Sgt. If a guy is a born soldier and always on the ball, he remains a Pvt. – It’s only these Snerds that can get ahead. Boy, I guess I sound like my old self today, don’t I?

All kidding aside though, they’re retaining all the men not physically fit for overseas duty. These are the men who get the ratings and stay on in the camps as cadre and instructors. It’s logical enough, but it hurts me. (I don’t know how the other boys feel. When I was younger I was pretty puny. I never had any diseases but I was never very robust either. I never did the things other boys did, swim, hike, ride a bike. In general, I didn’t really live until I was 13 or 14. Now I’m healthy – – full of spunk (at least I feel that way) and in general I feel like living. I came into the Army with high hopes – – Air Corps, Cadre, O.C.S. but truly (I don’t want to get cynical again) the jobs I would like best seen either to be taken or are being taken by man who, in peace time, wouldn’t be allowed even to join the Army. It hurts my ego (or sumpin). At any rate I’m Class A (overseas combat) material, and if I don’t flunk out of radio or get transferred to another part of camp (which isn’t likely) I’ll be home sometime in June or July, and then it will be “Over the Waves”. And then I’ll get my rating by doing something really worthwhile. – “A dreamer.”

Two pages – both sides. There is quantity, even if it isn’t quality. Please, will it pass for the negligence on the part of your youngest son last week? I’m to be on guard tonight so I’m in camp this weekend.

Tomorrow, I’ll finish up this letter and add a quick note from Rusty to Ced about his missing bag.  I’ll finish the week with another letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The Guion Clipping Service (1) – May, 1944

Trumbull, Conn. May 7, 1944

Dear Subscribers to the Guion Clipping Service:

For purposes of record let me here state right at the beginning that if Anchorage had come through last week, we would have marked up a score of 100%. Yes sir, even Dick contributed. Top honors however, go to California. Lad writes:

Lad Guion

April 30. It is six o’clock here but in Conn. it is 9 PM so I imagine you have finished your weekly chore of writing to your widely separated families, by now. I have been in bed all day trying to get rid of a cold and Marian seems to have been quite successful as a nurse. I feel a great deal better than I did last night at this time. Sometime after the middle of May and possibly before the 20th, I can take a 15 day furlough with six or seven days traveling time. Or I can wait until about June 10th. However, if the battalion moves from Pomona before I take it, it might mean a cancellation of furloughs. Therefore I think it better to take it as soon as possible. We are both looking forward eagerly to seeing you-all. We’ve not had a chance to get our pictures taken, due to odd working hours but we still have hopes. If things go as we are hoping, you will see us in person before we could send you a picture anyway. Possibly you have seen something in the papers regarding the closing of the CAMA (Calif.-Ariz. Maneuver Area) of which Pomona is the general headquarters. Therefore, Pomona Ordnance Base activities have been cut to a minimum, as well as personnel. There are to be only a few men left here, and as yet we don’t know which companies they will be. Of course, we’re hoping that the 3019 will be one of those remaining, but if not, we shall be moving out in a few weeks. So far, we have not had a chance to really use our trailer and I’d just as soon not have to use it yet. (Signed) Lad

And Marian adds this: Isn’t it exciting about our “Furloughmaybe”? I refuse to believe it however until we actually arrive, but I find myself giving

Marian (Irwin) Guion

an extra hop, skip and a jump every once in a while just thinking about it. (Not that Jeep influence again, I hope.)

Dan-uniform (2)Dan is ripe for sulfur and molasses or some other spring tonic, I believe. He writes: Spring has come early this year and found me unprepared to resist its cozening wiles — so, if nearly a month has elapsed since you heard from me it is not because of any startling developments, nor is it lack of time. Call it willing indolence, tempered by intervals (such as this moment) of a rather battered conscience. And try to be content with the hope that the weather will turn “beastly”, thus breaking the spell that has bound one with a thousand subtle meshes. Life has become too pleasant to be compatible with the war that has brought it about. “Ah, to be in England, now that April is here – – and now I abandon myself again to its sweet seduction.”

The proprietor of Brazilian Stables, Inc., says his intention was to write a long letter but “I don’t feel exactly radiant radiant this evening. I am in

This letter is a 3-pager, with a long letter from Dave, at Camp Crowder, Missouri, for Basic Training, in the middle. I decided to break it up in 3 parts so that none of the posts were exorbitantly long. Tomorrow, we’ll hear from Dave and then Grandpa will add his two-cents worth on Thursday. Friday will be a letter from Rusty to Ced regarding his lost bag.

Army Life – Lad, Marian And The Furloughmaybe – May, 1944

In January, 1944, Dave, Grandpa’s youngest son, left high school after turning 18 and enlisted in the Army. All five sons are serving Uncle Sam in various capacities. Lad and his new wife, Marian, are in California where Lad is training mechanics. Dan is in London, and since he is a surveyor, I wonder if he has something to do with the preparation of D-Day. Ced is in Alaska, repairing planes and retrieving downed airplanes in the Bush. Dick is in Brazil working in the office that is coordinating with the Brazilian government, and Dave is in Missouri, taking his Basic Training.

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

April 30, 1944

Dear Dad:-

It is 6 o’clock here, but in Conn. it is 9 PM. So I imagine you have finished your weekly chore of writing to your widely separated families by now. I’ve been in bed all day trying to get rid of a cold and Marian seems to have been quite successful as a nurse. I feel a great deal better than I did last night at this time. We got your last week’s letter last night at the P.O on our way home. Your letters are really ever so welcome even though we don’t keep such a regular schedule as you.

As you may have suspected, there is something behind this letter, and here it is this, and I want an honest answer from you. Sometime after the middle of May, and possibly before the 20th, I can take a 15 day furlough with six or seven days traveling time. Or, I can wait until about June 10th. However, if the Bn. moves from Pomona before I take it, it might mean a cancellation of furloughs. Therefore, I think it is better to take it as soon as possible. However – “the catch”. In June we can possibly finance the entire trip alone, but before June 1, to make it, I shall need about $150. We have estimated that we can make the trip on $300, which gives us a leeway of about $35 for spending, exclusive of traveling expenses. Now what I would like to know is will it be possible for you to advance me the money, to be paid back at the rate of $30-$50 per month? If you can’t do it just say so, please, reasons not necessary, and I’ll try somewhere else or wait hopefully until June. We are both looking forward eagerly to seeing you all.

The weather here has been unusual for California, (it says here in small print), and we have had three days of wet, rainy weather, but it was nice yesterday afternoon and the same this afternoon. With the exception of the cold I’m just getting rid of, Marian and I have been very well. We’ve not had a chance to get our pictures taken due to odd working hours, but we still have hopes. But, if things go as we are hoping, we will see you in person before we could send you a picture anyway.

Possibly you have seen something in the papers regarding the closing of the California – Arizona Maneuver Area (CAMA) of which Pomona is the general headquarters. Therefore, Pomona Ord. Base activities have been cut to a minimum as well as personnel. There are to be only a few men left here, and as yet we don’t know which companies they will be. Of course we’re hoping that the 3019 will be one of those remaining, but if not, we shall be moving out in a few weeks. So far, we’ve not had a chance to really use our trailer, and I would just as soon not have to use it yet. Incidentally, that is one of the reasons I need help to come to Trumbull.

Marian wants to write a little note so I’ll say so long for a couple or three weeks, we hope. My love to all –


P.S. As you can see I received the stationary and it is very nice. Thank you very, very much. And also thanks for the sewing kit. It may come in handy, but I hope I won’t need it. L


Hello, Dad, and fellow Trumbullites

How is everyone? Seems to me it has been a long time since I’ve written, but no matter how we slip up, Dad, we can always count on your entertaining letters arriving every week, come h___ or high water! And we do enjoy them so much.

Isn’t it exciting about our “Furloughmaybe”? I refuse to believe it, however, until we actually arrive, but I find myself giving an extra “hop, skip and a jump” every once in a while just thinking about it. (Not that Jeep influence again, I hope!)

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to seeing every one of you, and hope it won’t be too long a time before it happens.

Till then, with love –


During the rest of the week, I’ll be posting letters from Grandpa, Rusty and Lad and Marian.

Judy Guion