Trumbull (2) – “a world calamity to arouse and unleash the imagination…” – Jan., 1943

ADG - Grandpa, when I know him, early 1960's

Page 2     1/10/43

To Lad: I know darn well you didn’t get the Christmas box I sent to Flint because it was returned to Trumbull the other day and is now on its way again to Arcadia. The amount of postage to and from and to again bids fair to equal the value of the contents of said box. I hope it reaches you this trip. I suppose you are now installed at the Santa Anita racecourse, will refrain from any horseplay and with the Flint experience in mind, now know your oats better than ever. Incidentally, the only report on Flint from you had to do with female activities, leaving chapter 2 to come on the business accomplishments. Then there is the account of your Christmas activities, the report of the trip west and all about your present set up. Yes, indeed, a long letter (or series) is indicated. I am enclosing a little celluloid card I had printed up for one of my local customers in the hope it might be useful. The report of “An actual oil shortage” gives rise to the thought that it is about time some of those wells you and S-V (Socony-Vacuum Oil Company) drilled in Venezuela might very well be made to come in and the refined product from Aruba be sent by a considerably shorter haul to north Africa instead of denuding the eastern states of the Texas and Oklahoma accumulation we need here for heating and cars and production. Maybe the stock you hold in your friend’s company will amount to something. The other clipping you might send to Ced, as I think he too, will be interested in it.

To Ced: With undaunted spirit I have undertaken the job of getting the portable radio batteries. I have visited one after another of the retail radio stores, even trying a wholesaler. Reports: “Haven’t a one and won’t get anymore.” “They’re not making them anymore for civilians.” “Out for the duration”. “Burgess is best in any country but I doubt if you get any make in Bridgeport”. Finally in desperation I went back to Sears Roebuck who had two “A” And two “B” batteries which they thought would fit only their own sets, which was the only reason they had these few sets on hand, and thinking that even batteries that didn’t fit inside your case would be better than none at all and at least could be made to work even if you could not take advantage of the portable feature by reason of having to hook them up outside the case, I bought them and am sending them to you as my Christmas gift. I am also going to see if I cannot secure the indoor serial gadget I saw in one of the stores, which the fellow said were unobtainable anymore when his present stock was exhausted. Aunt Betty’s little portable radio she keeps in the kitchen has not been working right, so I got one of these for her with the money you sent on for Christmas gifts, and it seems to be much better. Incidentally, she wants me to thank you for her. You gave Dave a pair of shoes he wanted very much and Elizabeth a kitchen apron. I am waiting as far as Dick is concerned to see if he gets into the service and will be guided as to the character of his gift from you accordingly. I have not heard from Dan and Lad yet as to what they would like. Of course I am eagerly awaiting news as to what the Juneau Board decided in your case and where you finally get located in living quarters. Along with the radio batteries I am including in the box a few items to help in your housekeeping activities – – not much, but enough to remind you to write me what else along the same line you would like that you cannot obtain already in Anchorage. I hope the first Christmas box has now reached you and that some of the bicycle gadgets are not too superfluous.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll post letters written during the time Biss spent her Junior year of high school in St. Petersburg, Florida, living with her Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley and her two children.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull (1) – “…A world calamity to arouse and unleash the imagination…” – Jan., 1943

It seems that my grandfather could think into the future and see the world his sons would return to after the war. In this letter, he expands upon his thoughts. I’m surprised at how much of what he envisioned actually came to pass.

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winterTrumbull, Conn., January 10, 1943

Dear Leaders of Tomorrow:

You perhaps recall my story of Pat and Mike, the former, reading an article on the laws of compensation, remarked: “Be gory, this book sez that win a mon loses one of his sinses the others become more developed”, to which his friend replied, “Sure, and I’ve noticed that myself. When one of a mon’s legs is shorter than the other, be gory, the other’s longer.”

There seems to be compensation even in so awful a thing as global war. It seems to take a world calamity to arouse and unleash the imagination of men so that science, invention and industry are speeded up to unprecedented extents so that within the compass of a few years under the lash of war necessities, progress is made and at once created that ordinarily would not normally develop short of generation. You boys are the inheritors of opportunities the end of this war will open up. From the Bible: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and old men shall dream dreams, and young men shall see visions”.

Just a few of these dreams or visions that come to me this Sunday afternoon as I sit in front of the well remembered alcove fireplace: There is the mighty territory of Alaska that is receiving such a buildup of publicity, the mineral riches, the virgin forests that will give rise to monster lumber industries as people flock up to this new land over the recently completed highway, the fast coming airways and over the projected railway, the new industries that will spring up and flourish under the impetus of a fast-growing population.

Then there is the great continent to our south as contacts with the U. S. Have been so speeded up. They will be called upon to do much to rehabilitate war stricken Europe and much of the machinery and industrial skill will be sought here. The small Central American republics, with the opening of the new highway will also need Spanish speaking Americans to act as a liaison.

If your inclination leads you to the Orient, think of the tremendous awakening war has brought to mighty China and what boundless opportunity for American engineers and industrial enterprise is opened up, particularly if the young man should apply himself to learning the Chinese language.

These are just a few of the highlights that are obvious. You will think of many others. Russia, North Africa, Australia, the East Indies, India, the war desolated Balkan countries, etc. How I wish I were young enough to begin to build with you boys for the big tasks ahead. Well, I guess that’s enough for a Sunday afternoon sermon.

Sylvia is to be married next Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and I am trying to arrange affairs at the office so that I can attend. It will probably mean having Dave leave school a bit early so the office doors need not be closed. Incidentally, at the same time Dick has to go to Shelton for his physical exam, according to a notice he received a few days ago. He has given Producto two weeks notice, whether or not, as he is about fed up on the gas rationing and all the other restrictions we civilians are daily having added to our normal routine of life.

A word to Dan. I had sort of a hunch you might be home this weekend and while I really did not expect you, we had our mental fingers crossed and just hoped. That hope will grow stronger next weekend and still stronger the week following, etc., unless a missive arrives from you too – these expectations

Tomorrow I’ll post the other half of this letter addressed to Lad and Ced. On Saturday and Sunday, more of the happenings in St. Petersburg, Florida with Biss, her cousins Don and Gwen and her Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley. 

I believe that what my grandfather envisioned played a part in developing what we now call “The Greatest Generation”. What do you think?

If you’re enjoying these stories or know someone who might also enjoy them, pass the word and click FOLLOW and you’ll be sent an email whenever I post a new story.

Judy Guion

Trumbull (1) – … a world calamity to arouse and unleash the imagination… – Jan., 1943

It seems that my grandfather could think into the future and see the world his sons would return to after the war. In this letter, he expands upon his thoughts. I’m surprised at how much of what he envisioned actually came to pass.

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winterTrumbull, Conn., January 10, 1943

Dear Leaders of Tomorrow:

You perhaps recall my story of Pat and Mike, the former, reading an article on the laws of compensation, remarked: “Be gory, this book sez that win a mon loses one of his sinses the others become more developed”, to which his friend replied, “Sure, and I’ve noticed that myself. When one of a mon’s legs is shorter than the other, be gory, the other’s longer.”

There seems to be compensation even in so awful a thing as global war. It seems to take a world calamity to arouse and unleash the imagination of men so that science, invention and industry are speeded up to unprecedented extents so that within the compass of a few years under the lash of war necessities, progress is made and at once created that ordinarily would not normally develop short of generation. You boys are the inheritors of opportunities the end of this war will open up. From the Bible: “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and old men shall dream dreams, and young men shall see visions”.

Just a few of these dreams or visions that come to me this Sunday afternoon as I sit in front of the well remembered alcove fireplace: There is the mighty territory of Alaska that is receiving such a buildup of publicity, the mineral riches, the virgin forests that will give rise to monster lumber industries as people flock up to this new land over the recently completed highway, the fast coming airways and over the projected railway, the new industries that will spring up and flourish under the impetus of a fast-growing population.

Then there is the great continent to our south as contacts with the U. S. Have been so speeded up. They will be called upon to do much to rehabilitate war stricken Europe and much of the machinery and industrial skill will be sought here. The small Central American republics, with the opening of the new highway will also need Spanish speaking Americans to act as a liaison.

If your inclination leads you to the Orient, think of the tremendous awakening war has brought to mighty China and what boundless opportunity for American engineers and industrial enterprise is opened up, particularly if the young man should apply himself to learning the Chinese language.

These are just a few of the highlights that are obvious. You will think of many others. Russia, North Africa, Australia, the East Indies, India, the war desolated Balkan countries, etc. How I wish I were young enough to begin to build with you boys for the big tasks ahead. Well, I guess that’s enough for a Sunday afternoon sermon.

Sylvia is to be married next Tuesday at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, and I am trying to arrange affairs at the office so that I can attend. It will probably mean having Dave leave school a bit early so the office doors need not be closed. Incidentally, at the same time Dick has to go to Shelton for his physical exam, according to a notice he received a few days ago. He has given Producto two weeks notice, whether or not, as he is about fed up on the gas rationing and all the other restrictions we civilians are daily having added to our normal routine of life.

A word to Dan. I had sort of a hunch you might be home this weekend and while I really did not expect you, we had our mental fingers crossed and just hoped. That hope will grow stronger next weekend and still stronger the week following, etc., unless a missive arrives from you too – these expectations

Tomorrow I’ll post the other half of this letter addressed to Lad and Ced. On Saturday and Sunday, more of the happenings in St. Petersburg, Florida with Biss, her cousins Don and Gwen and her Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley. 

I believe that what my grandfather envisioned played a part in developing what we now call “The Greatest Generation”. What do you think?

If you’re enjoying these stories or know someone who might also enjoy them, pass the word and click FOLLOW and you’ll be sent an email whenever I post a new story.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced (3) – Sept. 1843

Ced @ 1945

Page 3    1/3/43

Dear Ced:

It seems so in adequate to try to write thank you for the generous money order you sent. I shall try to follow out the spirit of your wish in being your proxy Santa Clause. It is funny you should have mentioned a blanket for this is something I did want very much. I had an idea, also, that this would be an ideal gift for Aunt Betty. I had seen them advertised, and as George Lipovaky’s married sister had worked at G.E. and had been able to get items they manufactured at a lower price than the regular retail figure, I arranged with her to get them for me. I inquired about it from time to time, following the time in October when I gave her the check, but was told stocks were low but they thought they would be able to do something about it, but when the present stock was gone there would be no more for the duration. About three days before Christmas I was informed that there was not a blanket in the place and I therefore had to hastily arrange with Elsie to bring up a blanket from the shop – – not an electric one but the good old-fashioned kind. I’ll try it again later and see if anything happens.

If I remember correctly I took you three older boys one time to call on a friend of mine who taught in Girard College in Phila. and at whose house stayed. I first tasted Philadelphia scrapple there. The name was Gerard. They had a couple of youngsters about your age. He has since died but I got a Christmas card from his wife Elsie. She says: “Betty works for an insurance company and seems happy in her work. Bob graduated from U of P last June with honors – Phi Beta Kappa, although he worked part-time at his college course. He majored in English expecting to teach. The Army got him in Aug and for 15 weeks he was studying in technical school and is now at Patterson Field, Ohio. For the first time since he entered the Army he is happy in his work, doing technical research work for the repair men. He is not at all mechanically inclined and felt his training was such a waste if he had to do actual repair work.” You were pretty small but you may remember them.

A few minutes ago the first siren blue and then the apparatus clanged past the house up Daniels farm road and then the ambulance at full speed. This was too much for Paul, so he and Dick and Jean piled out to see what was cookin. When they returned it was with the news that some one with A, B and C stickers on his car ran into a tree outside of Mrs. Boyce’s house, setting the car on fire, but doing the driver no physical damage, perhaps because he was to acted to know what it was all about. He left company to buy chief Beckwith after the fire had been extinguished and I imagine he will have to do some tall explaining if he wants to retain his B and C books.

I am still trying to find these portable radio batteries. Carl was unable to locate                                                                                                                                                    any, in fact he was bemoaning the fact he could not get any car batteries. Pretty soon will all realize there is a war going on. Dick says he is fast coming to the conclusion that the boys in the Army are the lucky ones and civilians the ones to be pitied. Here’s hoping 1943 brings you all you want most.

DAD

Tomorrow and on Sunday, I’ll  be posting another letter from Grandpa to Ced in Alaska, Dan in Pennslylania, and Lad on route to California.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll continue the story of Biss and her adventure in StPtetersbirg,

Judy Guion

Trumbull (2) – Dear Dan – Jan, 1943

Daniel Beck Guion - (Dan)

Page 2,     1/3/43

Dear Dan:

I am enjoying reading Don Quixote. I had always planned to do so but for some reason or other never got around to it. To have so nice an addition as a Christmas gift from my literary son is appreciated more than you may imagine.

And speaking of Christmas gifts, I have just received a letter from Ced, enclosing a $50 money order. He says: “It is almost impossible to get anything up here of a native variety, and so I have decided, as have many others, that money was best. For yourself you are to buy a G. E. Electric blanket – – the balance of the money to be used at your discretion, being sure to take care of all the immediate family, Aunt Betty and Elsie and Grandma. I am still out of the Army and still “in the air as to developments”. We have moved, Rusty moving in with a friend, Dick and I taking a lousy apartment which we hope to leave as soon as possible! So, won’t you and Lad both let me know what I can buy here and send you as coming from Ced in the way of a post-Christmas gift.

A letter from Don Whitney asks about each of you boys individually and asks that you write him at 1904 Franklin St., Olympia, Wash., where he is living with his wife. He tells how on July 6 his vacation was interrupted by orders to go to Armored Force Officer Candidate School, Fort Knox, Ky, from which on Oct. 3rd, he was assigned as 2nd Lt. to the  743d Tank Bn., Fort Lewis, Wash., where, as an assistant personnel officer, “the red tape flows freely around me”. He says: “This is my first experience with this section of the country and I am enjoying it very much, in spite of the fact that we are in the midst of the rainy season during which it is a rare day when the heavens do not pour forth moisture in abundance, not to say superfluity. We are practically on the shores of Puget Sound which means that it snows, but seldom, and never stays on the ground. 1907 was the last year there was any natural ice for skating here. Yet you can travel 50 miles inland (if you have a C card) and find a climate approximately that of northern Maine. When the weather is clear, as it is once in a while, we can see Mount Rainier. It appears to be about 5 miles away but is really 80.”

I thought of you yesterday, Dan, old scout, and the energy with which you tackled job after job around the house here when you were home, and spurred on by your example, I thoroughly cleaned the kitchen linoleum. It looked so good after finishing it that I applied a coat of varnish to keep it clean and shiny and then, when they had all gone to bed last night, I gave it a second coat, for good measure. In between times I cleaned the cellar so that it looked as if some fairly respectable people were in residence, so to that extent at least, I started the new year right. Dave took down the Christmas tree (what Butch left of it) so we are now restored to what Pres. Wilson would have termed a state of normalcy.

We are now looking forward to a visit home soon again from you, Lad having up and left for sunnier climes. I hope you spend New Year’s feeling better physically than the week before and that next visit home will find you better able to enjoy yourself.

DAD

Tomorrow, page 3 of this letter which Grandpa addressed to Ced. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull (1) – Dear Lad – Jan., 1943

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TRUMBULL, Conn., Jan. 3, 1943.

Dear Boys:

Notice the date? No erasures, which means that I hit it right the first time this year I have written the date, indicating mental acuteness in spite of advancing years, war weariness, income tax woes, offspring uncertainties or what have you. Just to start the new year right, I shall write each of you a letter, trying not to duplicate on material so that you may each have the doubtful, clandestine satisfaction of snooping into the other fellow’s letter when he’s not around to see what you are doing.

Dear Lad:

Well, that’s a nice way to end the old year! And how hard-hearted of you. Here I have been saving pennies all the year, even robbing baby David’s piggy bank in order to have enough funds to purchase bourbon, Scotch, Irish and gin to go on a little binge all by myself to properly usher in the new year when you have to spoil it all by wiring me on Dec. 31, as follows: “No news was good news. Radiator trouble. Send $30 care Western Union, Tulsa, Okla.” As you did not specify whether the radiator in trouble was the cars or yours, my imagination is left full play. What became (stern voice) of all the alcohol you once had in the radiator? I only hope you will not be reduced to eating sterno with a spoon. However, as you may now have learned (I hope), I duly dispatched to the 30 simoleons with what was intended to be a cheery New Year’s greeting, hoping your head would have cleared sufficiently by that time to be able to read the message without seeing it double. By the way, as an extra precaution to aid in proper identification, I requested they ask your army number, and in less you see some reason why this is not a good idea, I think I shall follow this procedure in the future with any of you boys who ask for funds by wire. A bi-product of your message was the news that you were on your way, and quite possibly you have already arrived at your destination as these words are being written. If you don’t have another attack of girl trouble in as virulent a form as the epidemic that hit you at Flint, perhaps we may hear a bit more of the growth and progress of Corp. Guion. At present, I am sorry to say I cannot reply to any of your unanswered letters. Since Christmas, when Dan staged a bout with old man Barleycorn and used the alcove divan as a first aid dressing station, he has been back in the clutches of the Army, and speaking of clutches, he and Barbara, so the latter informed me, have decided to become dis-engaged, arriving at the decision by mutual agreement. I had a nice letter from Ethel in which she expresses regret that she sort of moved out on us without warning, due primarily to the tremendous task of getting the whole outfit moved so far and so quickly. She says: “We like it so much here and everyone is well and happy. You know how six people eat and there is no domestic help here. We just can’t wait for things to be so you can all come and visit us.” A letter from Roger Batchelder says he is out of the Army and in the Reserve. He says he made the slightest mistake of remarking to the adjutant (a 1st Lieut. who went to the Academy), “Pardon, sir, but when I was carrying a rifle around, you were in diapers”. He told the general about it, resulting in three weeks leave with pay and transferred to the Reserves. I imagine he had a few under his belt when that happened. Some people never learn. He said the only notification of Austin’s death came to him when a hotel clerk showed him the obit in a newspaper.

Dad.

Tomorrow, a letter addressed to Dan and on Wednesday, a letter addressed to Ced. Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to all his boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Life in St. Petersburg, Florida (4) – Thanksgiving Was Awful ! (2) – December, 1934

The next day we started for St. Pete at about 10 AM and we got back around 11. I drove about halfway. Then we changed into our bathing suits and went to St. Pete Beach. I stayed on the beach for about an hour then went up to the car and took a nap. We came home about six o’clock. I think we went into town for dinner.

The next day Mr. Bailey and the Farmers came and stayed overnight and we went to the beach the next day. I stayed for about three hours then got in the car and took a nap. In other words every weekend we go to the beach and I get into the car. That last one was a mistake. I got into the car and stayed for a half hour just thinking, when they came up after me and told me to come fishing with them. We fished for about two hours and caught eight fish.

Then we came back and ate on the beach. Mr. Bailey had brought some steaks. We didn’t cook the fish there because it was late and would take too much time to cook.

Is the furnace fixed? I gather that Alfred is the caretaker for the furnace?

I should think you would have saved some money by buying your overcoat now instead of dyeing your spring coat – seeing as you have to buy one anyway. That was like saving $.50 and spending a dollar. Aunt Anne does realize what you are up against because she’s up against the exact same thing.

She suggested $10 and I just added more and didn’t have room to explain the whole thing. That ten was for all my extra expenses including dental work. I have all the books I need at present. Later on I have to get another book for English and one for French.

I will see about the Chamber of Commerce – you know we have no phone, otherwise, I would have given you the number long ago.

Tonsillitis is catching so I don’t think it wise for David to play with her or else you’ll have another doctor bill on hand. It rained a few drops last evening. Cloudy half the day today.

School closes the 21st and opens the 7th. Don and Gwen like anything that Dick or Dave would – Anne – you know. I don’t know what I want although I would like a Hawaiian guitar, fairly good – if possible.

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow I’ll start letters written in 1943. Lad is starting a new adventure in California with three of his buddies from Aberdeen, Maryland.

Judy Guion