Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan, Dick, Dave – Dave’s Plans – Signal Corps – February, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.   Feb. 6th, 1944

Dear Lad,

Marian,

Dan,

Dick,

Dave,

To one and all, GREETINGS:

Aunt Betty Duryee

There is little if anything to report on the home front this week. Aunt Betty has decided to adopt a hearing aid and has ordered and Accustican which will enable her to be “in” on conversations that are tossed around the supper table with such careless abandon, hear the phone bell when it rings, listen to Smoky’s impartial greeting to friend and foe alike and detect those sly remarks that sotto voce slip by occasionally. Delivery is expected sometime this week. Cost $150.

Dave is again home this weekend. He is still in Camp Devens on detail interviewing newcomers and filling out Form 20. How much longer he will be permitted to stay on this job is problematical, probably not more than two weeks longer at the most.His present intention is to ask to be put into the Signal Corps and if so, may be transferred to Camp Monmouth, N.J., from which point he will not have great difficulty getting home fairly frequently. If he doesn’t like his assignment in this range he will ask to be transferred to the air cadet training work.

Ced is away this weekend, having been invited by Helen Burnham to visit her at college in Mass., where they are having winter sports. He left yesterday fully loaded with skates, skis, etc. Tomorrow his draft board meets in Anchorage and soon thereafter he expects to be informed just how he stands. He has been busy all week cleaning out the attic and burning up the accumulation in the incinerator using the Sgt. Guion blower adaptation for this purpose.

I have been granted permission to buy two new Grade 1 synthetic rubber tires for my Buick which ought to hold me for a while if they are any good. At least they are 5 ply tires so they ought to give pretty good service at the moderate speed with which I operate the car.

We all went over to Elizabeth’s Thursday night for supper and Tuesday I blew the household to the movies —“The Desert Song” in Technicolor at the Merritt Theatre. Tonight at eight o’clock I have to go to my office in Bridgeport in the capacity of Justice of the Peace and unite in wedlock to trusting souls for better or for worse. Returning home, if I feel courageous, I shall then go at my income tax return and see if I can pit my intelligence against that of those Washington wizards who so delight to put mental pitfalls in the way of the unwary taxpayer. If I can’t guess the right answers, who knows but what upon returning victorious from the war you may be visiting your fond father the federal penitentiary.

Barbara (Plumb) is in North Africa somewhere, and according to a letter Kit just received is apparently enjoying herself being stationed in a hotel occupying a room with a balcony overlooking water.

Another welcome letter from Marian just before starting on her Texan adventure and a short e-mail from Dan. Yes, boy, you’re shaving cream, etc. was started on its way last week. I wish you other boys, particularly Dick, would let me know from time to time what your small needs are so that you have some evidence from time to time that your dad is thinking of you. I have an idea for the Texans but from them to, suggestions now and then would be welcome

And that’s about all I can draw out of the hat today. Goodbye and good luck, from

DAD

Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa to Dick to finish out the week.

Saturday and Sunday I’ll post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Hello! Everyone at Home – Birthday Gifts For Lad – February, 1944

Tuesday

Hello! Everyone at Home –

Here we are “deep in the heart of Texas”, and altho’ it isn’t a place that we would choose to build our own home, at least it isn’t too bad. I know that it is quite disconcerting to Lad, but I’ve taught school for three years in a place in California that is exactly like this, so I know what to expect. And as long as it is possible, I intend to stay with Lad, no matter where he is sent.

For the time being we are staying at a fairly nice Auto Court – The Blue Streak! (Room and bath, if you please!) And have our application in at the Federal Housing Tract which is near. We could move in right away, if we had furniture, or wanted to buy it, but we don’t want to get anything right now, so we have to wait until they can furnish some more of the houses.

We are about 5 miles from Camp, and except when he has a night hike or C.2. (?) scheduled, Lad can get home practically every night. Just so that I will have something to do during the day, I am going to try to get some kind of a job. Exactly what, I don’t know, but am going to see about it in a few days.

Lad’s training is really strenuous, and what with the wet, rainy weather we have been having, is none too pleasant. He doesn’t complain however and I’m so glad to be here that the water could be a foot deep outside and I wouldn’t even notice. It rains in California, too – the Chamber of Commerce, notwithstanding!

We don’t know what our mailing address will be, so for the time being continue to send those very interesting letters of yours to Lad’s address at Camp.

I forgot to warn you, Dad, that I was sending some of Lad’s things home – they are things that can just be stored until he gets there to sort them out.

We think your suggestion about a picture is an excellent one – in fact, we had it in mind to do as soon as we were settled – so we will send one to you as soon as we can.

 

Needless to say, I’m extremely glad Marian is here. It makes Texas quite a bit nicer, and she apparently likes it better than I had dared hope. Now you all may get a little more attention from me again. Since Marion wrote, we have acquired a mailing address. It is Box 154, Hooks, Texas.

Our basic training should end this Saturday and on Monday we will begin our 11 weeks of technical training. I am to help out with the instruction, along with 8 or 10 others. I’m supposed to sort of cram automotive electricity into the already cluttered brains of the trainees. It seems that this post is slightly understaffed for a Bn. as large as this. But everyone is glad Basic is nearly finished. We have our inspection tomorrow, and to be on the ball I’ve got to get some sleep so —– Laddie

 

Dad – I have a Valentine for you, but until we can get suitable packing material I shall have to wait to mail it to you. But it is coming –

With all our love,

Marian

 

Saturday

P.S. – Fellow conspirator –

I received your letter in the mail tonight and I honestly don’t know what to tell you to get Lad for his birthday. Everything in the way of clothes that he needs is issued to him – and the Army has specific ideas about the type they should be. He does need some plain white (no initial) handkerchiefs – the kind that don’t have much of a border on them. And he wants a small sewing kit – and I do mean small. No bigger than the size of a spool of thread – with needles and pins and tiny spools of black, white or khaki colored thread. I have been unable to find one here. He can always use cigarettes (Luckies) if you are able to get a carton of them – And some plain white stationary – (rather lightweight paper)

Practically the only things he uses outside of things issued by the government are his electric razor (still in good condition) and his fountain pen – (he has two of those)

You see what I mean? I realize that I’m not much help, Dad, but this is absolutely all I can offer. Perhaps you have a few ideas on the subject that would be most acceptable. I think you do remarkably well as it is.

Love –

Marian

Trumbull – Dear Gang – A Walk to the Witherwar – January, 1944

 

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn. January 30, 1944

Dear Gang:

Picture the scene as I sit in the alcove this Sunday afternoon having just finished smoking one of the cigars Lad sent as a Christmas gift (I’ll have one of Dick’s Brazilian cigars later.) I am seated at the new typewriter desk (Elizabeth’s gift) facing the French window. With the leaves off the trees I can see the sun glinting on the brook, and peeking over the cement terrace railing are the long slender shoots of the rose bushes also glistening in the sun and waving long tentacled fingers which are pointed in my direction, bobbing up and down and backwards and forwards in the breeze. The lawn just beyond, now brown and sere, is littered with pieces of broken furniture which Ced, in the act of cleaning the attic, has thrown from the window, giving the same appearance as the other side of the house looked after the fire in Lad’s room in the attic. A friend of Jean’s, (Audrey), having joined us at dinner, and Dave having arrived home last night on the weekend furlough, decided to take a walk up to the reservoir or  Pine Brook or someplace, the party consisting of Ced, Jean Mrs. Dick Guion), Audrey, Paul and Arnold (Gibson). Dave, I think went up to see Elizabeth at the Zabel’s and may have joined them later. Aunt Betty is seated here beside me enjoying the cheerful blaze in the fireplace, and there you have the background for today’s epistle to the Gentiles.

As to the human side of the news, there is little to report. Ced is still without word of any sort from Anchorage as to his induction status. Dave is uncertain whether he is to remain another week at Devens, and therefore cannot say whether he will be home again next week. If plans went through as intended, Marian, by the middle of the week, we’ll have joined her hubby in Texas (which is the reason, Marian, I am not mailing my customary copy to you at Stratford Avenue). Jean says Dick has jointly purchased a horse with another fellow at camp, probably with the idea in mind of being ready for any emergency so that if the Alaska plan does not go through he can readily become a South American gaucho. No word this week from Dan or Lad or Marian, the two latter being undoubtedly busy as bees getting the new hive ready for their respective honies.

We celebrated Marty’s (Bissie’s second son) birthday Thursday by moving en masse to Cornwall Street in Stratford for supper and the usual present unwrapping ceremony to the accompaniment of birthday candlelight, etc. Outside of Butch (Bissie’s oldest) sticking his finger in the ice cream several times and each time finding it good enough to lick off, everything went according to schedule.

Among points of minor importance, most of us are scratching our heads trying to figure out the income tax, wondering whether we can get any more coal to replenish the fast dwindling supply (my theme song: “Darling, I am growing colder”) and of course, wondering when we’ll hear from you all again. To add emphasis to the latter, here is one of the new American one cent piece, which might be interpreted as meaning “a penny for your thoughts”, and otherwise may serve as a curiosity in case you have not yet seen them. They are frequently mistaken for dimes and there is a rumor that they will be recalled.

Butch, Marty and their parents (Biss and Zeke) have just come in so I guess that means the end of this letter, even if I had any more to tell. Marty informs me he went for a walk to the “witherwar”, which, being interpreted by his mother, means ”reservoir”.

Love and kisses from

Your Valentine

Tomorrow, another letter from Marian (and Lad), then two more letters from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad and Assembled Members of the Guion Family – Moving Without a Car – January, 1944

 

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1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Dear Dad and assembled members of the Guion family,

I’m afraid that I’ve neglected you this past week – not in my thoughts, however – tho’ very definitely in regards to letter writing.

This business of packing sort of has me stumped. Here to fore,  Mother has always been on hand to forward anything I happened to forget, or take care of the many things I didn’t know what to do with. This time, however, I have to figure it out by myself – and not being able to move in a car is another handicap. Now I have to wrap everything or put it in a box or suitcase instead of just throwing it in the back of the car! It’s been so long since I’ve tried to move without a car that I don’t know how to act.

We were so sorry to hear about Ced. It must be very nice to have him home for a longer time than you expected, but I wish it were under more favorable circumstances. I sincerely hope that everything will work out just the way he wishes.

What a very interesting person Lad’s Grandmother must have been. I wish that I could have met her. Your lives have been just that much richer, haven’t they, by having her with you for as long as she was here.

I also received a very interesting letter from Aunt Elsie last week. She spoke of having been to California some years ago and having liked it very much. I’m looking forward to meeting her, and I hope it will be very soon.

Thank you Aunt Betty for your letter – I am glad the sweater meets with your approval, and Lad is the one who deserves the credit for the right size.

I’m surprised that I can get anything done this week. I’m so excited about finally being able to join Lad that I’m practically in a daze! Did I tell you that he has found a place for us to stay? Not too fancy, but that makes absolutely no difference.

With love to everyone,

Marian

P.S. You see, I took your suggestion about the green ink, Dad. I like it very much.

M

I believe this writing paper was a Christmas gift from Lad to Marian, but Grandpa actually printed it from Lad’s design suggestion.

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Grandpa to the Gang, then another letter from Marian (and Lad), and I’ll finish off the week with two letters from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 312 – Daniel Beck Guion and Alfred Peabody Guion – circa 1919

This is a 24 x 17  framed photograph that my parents, Lad and Marian Guion, had in their apartment. It is one of my favorites. I love the small smile on my Dad’s face. I didn’t really see his sense of humor very often. Then I saw pictures of Mom and Dad wearing costumes that Mom had made after they moved to California. They had joined an RV group and went on the weekend trips about once a month. I’ll find those pictures and post them soon.

 

Special Picture # 311 – Alfred Duryee Guion – Random Thoughts on our Future Camp – October 7, 1945

These pages represent Grandpa’s random thoughts on the future camp in New Hampshire. As usual, he was very thorough but also asked for comments and suggestions from each of his children. Since I have posted so many pictures of the Island, I thought you might like to see the original thoughts.

 

 

 

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1944.Lad and Marian have been transferred to Texas, Dave makes it home on furlough and Ced is still in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

 

 

Trumbull – Dear Sons – It Gives Me Great Pleasure – August, 1942

 

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

Aunt Elsie, Grandpa’s sister

Trumbull, Conn., August 23, 1942

Dear Sons:

It gives me great pleasure to lead off this evening with a broadcast from our guest artist, Miss Elsie M. Guion who had, this day, had the honor of entertaining in connection with a joint (cut out those remarks about “some joint”, etc.) celebration of birthdays.

Miss Guion:

Thank you, Mr. Guion, and how do you do, Sons o’ Guns. We, the celebrants, have had a great day, and speaking for myself, I am enjoying a rare Sunday both from the standpoint of a workless Sunday and also a Sunday at Trumbull. I’ll not dwell on the birthday, because, oh well, I’ve had too many of them, although they’ve always been swell. Today’s brought an odd assortment of gifts, but I asked for it. Some luscious big ripe tomatoes such as we don’t get in the big city, a loaf of unmatchable Soderholme’s Swedish rye bread. The rest I didn’t order: A bottle of delectable domestic Port Wine, a box of all American licorice candy and some coconut cupcakes. Aunt Betty’s gift was a birthday card with an appropriate message and a dollar bill tucked almost out of sight – but I found right soon. I’m quick that way.

Dan, I’m responsible for the Cookie Wookies. I hope it didn’t taste as wacky as it sounds but I didn’t have a chance to sample it. It’s a poor substitute for letters and my resolutions to write even a postal that never materialized. I’m slow that way.

ADG - Elsie's Shop Christmas Flyer - cover, 1941

 

Christmas Brochure for the Shop

 

The Shop (inside Grand Central Station) goes on – for better for worse. The Station seems to be filled most of the time now that automobiles are not used so much. Constantly, uniforms, singly and in bunches, pass through. Yesterday seemed busier than usual. But you should see the Station and also any part of New Your City in a Blackout. Any city street, utterly black, is a most interesting “site”. The Waiting Room in the station has to go completely black because it has windows high up that evidently can’t be blacked out.

Now I’m done except to send an affectionate hello to Ced, and to wish that, like the rest of us here, that we could grasp his hand and say “It’s great to see you again.” So long.

Thank you, Miss Guion. You refer to a “rare” Sunday. Now, that’s too bad. I did so try to have it “well done”. But then, as in most meals, one gets his just desserts. Dick, shy, modest and retiring as usual, “can’t think of anything to say”, so he is passing up this golden opportunity to hurl a few verbal bombshells at his absent brothers.

We had eleven round the festive board. Starting at my right and making the circle were: Lad, Elsie, Aunt Betty, Elizabeth, the two grandsons (spasmodically), Dave, Zeke, Dick, Jean and yours truly. The vegetables were fresh from Mr. Laufer’s garden and consisted of lima beans, raw tomatoes and sweetcorn. The two chickens were also native Trumbull products. Katherine made the cake from Guion ingredients and it was right good. Naturally, as on all similar occasions, we missed Alaska and North Carolina. A hard shower sprang up before the meal was over which gave the lie to the sunshine with which the day had started. Lad is out calling but will be back before long and he and Aunt Elsie will entrain together for New York later this evening.

Page 2  8/23/42

I am sorry to have to report to you that Mr. Ives has for some time been suffering from a malady called Hodgkin’s disease, which as far as I have been able to learn, is a somewhat rare disease which seems to be sort of a cancer of the lymphatic glands. The treatment is by x-ray, but apparently is rather severe. In fact, Mr. Ives told me the treatment was worse than the disease and leaves him prostrate for weeks after. It apparently is incurable and is said to cause death within two or three years. Tomorrow he and Mrs. Ives start for the Mayo Clinic to see if this famous Institute can do anything for him.

Lad is now a Corporal (acting corporal until it is officially confirmed). He is now to be addressed as Corp. Co. “C”, 2nd Bn., O.R.T.C., Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md. He still continues as an instructor of diesel engines, looks fine and seems to be happy in his work.

Another letter from Dan this week gladdens our hearts but we are hoping the persistent rumors that the outfit will be removed further north will soon materialize so that he can gratify his oft expressed wish (and ours, likewise) of getting home more frequently.

Dick Scanlon asks to be remembered to you, Dan. He called up on the phone the other day to give us an order for some Addressograph work and mentioned that he went to school with you and Lad, and recalled he had been up to Trumbull one time years ago and took part in a ballgame of some sort out near the house. He is married and has two children but nevertheless feels that he may soon be in the Army himself.

My old Ceddy boy is still giving me the runaround. In spite of large and earnest wishes twice each day as I approach P.O. Box 7, no red, white and blue-bordered envelope has peeped out at me and, gritting my teeth, I hope that there will be something different next time, as I’m still in that frame of mind, for, as the poet tells us, “hope springs eternal in the human breast”.

One day last week as we sat at supper, the sky gradually darkened and finally became black as it does in heralding a severe windstorm. The air was still. It became darker and then the wind started and drove the rain in gusts against the windows. At the height of the storm a crack was heard – – not alarmingly loud, but enough to exercise curiosity and investigation, and what do you think? The old apple tree, that for as long as we all can remember, dropped little green apples in season on the lawn and driveway just outside the apartment and annoyed innumerable bees as they approached their hive up near the chimney, finally succumbed and lay in ruins completely blocking the driveway. Paul and Dave got out with axes and cleared a path for the cars. The one compensation is that we will have a new source of firewood for the coming winter. From all we hear, the houses with fireplaces will be called upon to do a Yeomans service this winter with the transportation bottlenecks making fuel supply very uncertain.

And that about winds up the list for this evening, except to say that Lad is now learning to drive tanks. (No reference to the humankind, now that he is a corporal). With this poor attempt to amuse you I sign off as usual

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more special Pictures.

Next week, letters from 1944.

Judy Guion