Friends – Dear Ced – Arnold and Alta Gibson Write to Ced – March 16, 1944

Blog - Arnold and Alta Gibson's wedding, 1939 (2) cropped

P.O. Box 175

Trumbull, Conn.

March 16, 1944

Dear Ced;

Don’t faint, it really is a letter from us. This morning I saw your father and he said last he’d heard from you, you were in Kitch Kan. (sp). So you must be back to Anchorage by now. He told how you met Lad. Luck was on your side, wasn’t it? How we envy you that trip.

You know what? We miss you, believe it or not. No Cedric to take us walking on Sunday and no Cedric to tell us stories. Yes, we really miss you.

The weekend before last we went up to New Hampshire. We’ve been meaning to go up for several winters, but we kept putting it off. Thursday we had a telegram from our friend in Boston saying he was going up that weekend. So Friday noon found us on the train. 5:15 found us in our friend’s car heading for the mountains. We were at the Pinkham Notch A.M.C. Lodge by 11:00. The moonlight on the snow-capped mountains, the fresh crisp air, made it seem like another world, then to wake up in the morning and find that the snow was real – 5 to 6 feet of it. The sun shining brightly. The temperature at 10 above. We had a grand time hiking on our snowshoes. Sunday evening came all too soon. That’s such a grand country that we don’t know why we don’t move up there and stay there. I miss it because we’re so nosy we want to see some more of the world. Well, perhaps it won’t be long before we are able to.

This is really just a note to let you know where thinking of you. Of course we hope you’ll answer but we hardly expect you to.

Your friends,

Alta and Arnold

P.S. Lillian says hello too. You know, I think you made quite an impression.

Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll be posting the story about the box of cigars, Grandpa and Aunt Betty, according to Dan and created by Lad and Marian. I think you’ll enjoy it.

On Friday, a letter from Rusty Huerlin to Ced in Alaska to finish the week.

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes – Basking in the California Sunshine – March, 1942

 

Marion at Pomona - smiling - in color- 1943

Friday

Dear Dad –

While I’m basking in the California sunshine, (not the liquid variety !) and trying to dry my hair, I thought I’d better catch up on my letter writing to the members of the family on the East Coast. I received a notice from the post office at Hooks saying that there was a package there for me, so I hurriedly dispatched the few stamps needed to have it sent out here to California. It should arrive any day now, and my curiosity is aroused as to what it might contain.

I can very readily sympathize with you, Dad, when you try to buy any sort of a gift for these “G.I. Caballeros”. It is awfully hard, I know, ‘cause there is so very little that they can use, and what they can use they can usually get right on the Post. With Lad’s birthday coming up, I am in a dither. Of course, I might hold out on the sweater that I’ve knit? Knitted? Nuts! – finished for him, but as it was sort of promised to him when I reached Texarkana – and then as a Valentine gift – I guess I’d better hand it over pronto, or he’ll begin to doubt my word! If I’m right here with him and don’t know what to get him, I can just imagine what you must be trying to think of when you can’t even see him. But I assure you it wouldn’t do any good so far as gifts are concerned. He has no ideas on the subject, so is none too helpful on that score.

As a passing thought, you asked when my birthday was. It is November 11th – almost the same as our anniversary – so what a wonderful present I received last year – and being three days late made absolutely no difference. US Mails (and males) are unpredictable these days, anyway!

Did I tell you that we received a perfectly delightful letter from Dan, dated February 9th – in which he reveals a certain family dispute over one box of cigars which we neglected to label at Christmas time. I know both you and Aunt Betty will appreciate the letter so I’m enclosing it with this letter. Wish we could see your expression when you read it! (More on this subject in Grandpa’s letter I’ll be posting on Wednesday.)

Lad had an unexpected holiday yesterday so we went into Pasadena, took care of a couple of business matters – stopped by the Hospitality Center in South Pasadena to say “Hello” and then went in to LA for dinner. These spur of the moment holidays are one of the many reasons why I’m glad I’m not working at a steady job, ‘cause I can go right along with him at a moment’s notice – and it’s always fun.

I am working two or three days a week at a department store, and altho’ I’ve never done this type of work before, I find it lots of fun and just enough work to keep me out of mischief.

My love to all –

Marian

Hi folks,

Just a note to let you know that I’m still able to keep going. In your “Universal” letter of February 27th you gave Dan’s serial number wrong. It should have been 31 – etc. instead of 13 – as you wrote. Got a letter from Dave yesterday and he really seems to be enjoying the Army. I’m glad. Well – toodle-oooooo, and love to all. Laddie

Tomorrow, a letter from Alta Gibson (Mrs. Arnold – Gibby – Lad’s best friend from Trumbull) to Ced. On Wednesday and Thursday, a letter from Grandpa to his sons, and daughter-in-law Marian, and on Friday a letter from Rusty Huerlin to Ced.

Judy Guion

Guest Post – When Making A Car Was Illegal – GPCox

 

This is the latest Guest Post from gpcox all about the vehicles in service during World War II and a little about what the American Family had to sacrifice back home.

When Making a Car Was Illegal

After Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered all car manufacturers to cease the production of private automobiles and convert the factories to produce military

Utility Truck

Utility Truck

vehicles, weaponry, airplane engines, parts, etc.  But, this would not put an end to man’s love affair with the automobile.  A car manual became priceless to a private owner and a truck manual was an absolute necessity for a farmer or businessman.  With the rationing of gasoline in the U.S., the “National Victory Speed” was 35 mph and driving clubs were encouraged. (Our modern day car-pools).

Automobiles were produced in massive quantities before the Great Depression and this brought the price down considerably.  Then, the stock market crashed and many people were unable to afford the fuel for the cars they already owned.  There were some that removed the engines from their vehicles and had a horse pull them.  These were nicknamed “Bennett Buggies” in some areas.

FDR gave a long-winded speech on 28 April 1942 called the “Call for Sacrifice,” where he stated, “…Not all of us have the privilege of fighting our enemies in distant parts of the world.  Not all of us can have the privilege of working in a munitions factory or a shipyard, or on the farms or in oil fields or mines…  There is one front where everyone is in action and that is right here at home and that is the privilege of denial.”  (Can any of us even imagine what would eventuate from a statement like that today?)  It was not until June that civilian truck production ceased, except some tightly government controlled heavy trucks produced during 1944 by GMC.

A quote from the Random Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion – “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. I think that’s the Packard with the hidden compartment that Lad found while cleaning it out. We figured it must have belonged to some rum-runners”

Packard

Packard

Packard was known as a “company of premier luxury cars.”  In 1937, they introduced their first 6-cylinder engine since 1928 – right in time for the ’29 Depression, so they designed the “110” model in 1940-41 to serve as taxi cabs.  With the onset of war, air plane engines, such as the Merlin that powered the P-51 Mustang fighter were produced.  Many American and British PT boats were equipped with the Packard 1350-, 1400-, and 1500 horsepower V-12 marine engines.  During this era, the company also produced ambulances and other military vehicles.  All in all, 60,000 combined engines were built by Packard.

GMC had produced nearly 584,000 multi-drive vehicles for use in WWII, the first of which was the amphibious 6×6 “Ducks.”  These were sent to the Army for island landings

1943 "Duck"

1943 “Duck”

and river crossings.  Over 21,000 of these unique vehicles were produced.  GMC also built the first 2 ½ ton 6×6 trucks powered by a 270 cid engine which became the famous “workhorse” of the Army.

The Ford Corporation during 1942-45 built approximately 8,600 of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers.  They also produced aircraft engines, M-4 tanks, spare parts

WWII Jeep Ambulance

WWII Jeep Ambulance

and the ever-famous Jeep.  In England, the Dagenham plant built the Ford military trucks, Bren-gun carriers and more than 30,000 super-charged V-12 engines for the Mosquito and Lancaster bombers.

The transportation department of the U.S. Army performed monumental feats during WWII.  They moved tons of food, weapons, equipment and men despite gasoline, oil and lubricants being in short supply.  If one delves deeper into this research, we find that Congress was not always willing to loosen the government’s purse strings.  As I have mentioned previously on my site, http://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com, Europe received the majority of the supplies since their slogan at the time was, “Europe First.” (But, even the ETO had shortages.)  I have two specific reports stating that my father’s unit, the 11th Airborne Division while fighting in the Pacific, could not reach the city of Manila before the Sixth Army due to the lack of trucks.  (We once again see why the Technical Forces were so important to the Ground Forces.)( See Guest Post – gpcox –   Technical and Ground Force Coordination, published here Feb. 12, 2013)

Since the first automobile sputtered down the street and caught up to a horse, men have defined themselves by their vehicles, showing their cars off with pride and affection.  They wash them, wax them and individualize them.  It becomes an extension of himself – whereas a woman does the same routine for her home.

The ever-reliable car manual during the WWII era was a lifeline keeping farmers connected to markets, businessmen to their offices and factory workers to their jobs.  What you had, you were forced to maintain or learn to do without.  Just try to picture it – a world without rent-a-cars or gas stations at every intersection, no leasing contracts for new cars, no power windows or GPS or Blue Tooth… What do you see?

Judy and I enjoy these guest posts and want to hear how this situation affected your family or give us suggestions for future articles.

Research & Photo Resources:

Military History Online

Internet History Sourcebooks

Ford Corp./history

History of Packard

From the Great Depression to WWII

Wikipedia

Classic Car History

Fine Art America

Lopez Transport 1941

Surrey Vintage Vehicle Society

GMC Trucks

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of these Guest Posts. Tomorrow, I’ll begin a week of letters from 1944. All five sons are in the service of Uncle Sam. Grandpa is holdong down the fort with Jean, Dick’s wife, and Aunt Betty, his mother’s sister.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 327 – Trumbull House – Then And Now – Beams in 1756 Portion of the House -1756 – 2018

 

When I use the title Then and Now, I am very literal for this post. These are pictures of the original beams in the portion of the house that was built in 1756. For much of that time, they were covered with a ceiling but are again exposed. Notice how they are put together – no nails were used and they are still solid. You can also see the marks left by the old hand tools used to shape them. 

 

Beams going into the kitchen area.

 

Beams in the Dining Room.

 

Beams going to front of the house and front door.

 

Tomorrow I’ll be posting another Guest Post from GPCox, pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com all about vehicle manufacturing during WWII.

Next week, it will be letters written in 1944 when all five boys were working for Uncle Sam, in vehicle maintenance, surveying, airplane maintenance, working with the locals in a foreign country or communication skills.

Judy Guion

 

Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come And Gone – November 3, 1942

 

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Nov. 3, 1942

Dear Dad: –

The news has come, and gone, – – – just like that. Here is the way it happened. We were asked to form for “chow” earlier yesterday in order to hear some announcements. They were in connection with the California shipment, of course. I was supposed to leave last night for California, with a very short stop in Trumbull. Then, before we were dismissed, a fellow came running from the Co. C headquarters with an order which stated that the order for Shipment of A. P. Guion was hereby revoked, and it also stated that new orders were to be issued sometime soon. I expect that they might come out before the week is out, but I hope not. It seems that the Army has decided to improve upon my knowledge in general or particular and is sending me to some school. My impression is that it will be either the G. M. Diesel School in Flint, Mich., or the Ford School in Dearborn. But there is nothing official in any of my ideas, so it is really up in the air at present. I was told however, that at the termination of my studies on November 21st or 22nd, I would go directly from the school to California. The departure date is again up in the air.

This new arrangement rather changed some of my plans, and now I don’t know just what to do about the car. The fellows who were to go with me had to find other means of going, and although I felt rather guilty about promising that I would take them and then having to refuse, I really could not do anything about it at all. It was something completely out of hand. Again, I meet up with something within me which says, “Never make a promise”.  (1) There are always so many unpredictable things which can occur during the time that the promise is made and the actual time of carrying it out. I think that if I get a chance to come home this weekend, I shall bring the car along, and then leave it there until something definite comes along and I can really see just what I can do. This uncertainty is sort of getting a little under my skin. I may be easy-going and all that, but I still like to know, in my own mind, just what I am going to do if I get the chance.

If there was more to this letter, I don’t have it. There isn’t even a signature, so it makes me wonder. Your guess is as good as mine.

(1) My Father took this lesson very seriously. I don’t believe he ever made a promise after that. When he was teaching me to drive, I’d ask him before dinner if we could go driving afterward, and he say, “We’ll see.” As we were finishing dinner, I’d ask again, “Can we go driving now?” He  would say, “We’ll wait and see.” He would sit down and read the paper and then he’d ask, “Judy, do you want to go driving now?” I probably replied rather sarcastically, “Of course. I’ve been asking you all evening!” Now I understand something that drove me crazy as a teen.

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now. On Sunday, another Guest Post by GPCox about making a car.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Flesh and Blood (2) – Local News And A Threat – November 1, 1942

 

The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

Page 2    11/1/1942

Things I wish for:

1  –  That each of you boys will write me at ONCE what you would like to have for  Christmas. Time is short, goods are running low and mental effort trying to think of something that you will like is exhausting.

2  –  That Dan, who expects to be unable to get home for at least five weeks, will religiously write home once a week.

3  –  That Ced, whose last letter (to Dave) is a good example of how interesting he can write, will receive his old resolve to write more frequently than once every two months. There is yet unfinished the account of the aeroplane rescue trip. I have never yet received a definite report on why he has not yet been drafted. Has Art been able to get deferments from time to time or is there some other reason? What is the present status? How is Rusty? Did he win that award from Washington? Is it definitely out or still pending?

Friday, the upstairs of the barn was transformed into quite an attractive setting for a Young People’s Halloween party. Some of the ideas used were reminiscent of Ced’s activities for a similar occasion for the Chandler Choral party. Cider from Burroughs, donuts, apple dunking, and some comic movie reels were some of the high spots.

Yesterday afternoon, Dick sawed some wood, Dave cleaned up after the party and Aunt Betty washed storm w I sweetie I’ll wait a minute windows that I put up. As for news, Jean Hughes (that was) is going down south again soon to join her soldier husband who has been assigned to M.P. Duty; Flora Bushey didn’t like nursing, has quit and is now working at Sikorsky’s; Mr. Evers of Trumbull is running for representative on the Democratic ticket; Mr. Kurtz is back in circulation again; Vernon Pert, who with a partner, took over Kurtz’s gas station, is now in the service; Dave, in spite of the fact he is working every afternoon after school at the office, expects to get second honors; and I, as Justice of the Peace, have launched to couples during October into the sea of matrimony.

The weather here has been mild enough so far that we have not been forced to light the furnace, although mornings, the house is a bit chilly. It won’t be for long now. (When I get talking about the weather you may rightly assume topics for orrespondence are running low).

Now that the ice has been broken in the chain of weekly letters and a precedent established, I may adopt the example set by Ced and Dan of writing every other month or so. This is sort of an advanced warning. It may be I place and altogether false value on the eagerness to which you look forward to letters from home, in which event this may not constitute much of a threat. We shall see. He jests at scars that never felt a wound. You never miss the water till the well runs dry, and much of the same ilk, may be urged in support of this stand.

The day draws to a close and so does this letter. Both should end in a blaze of glory, but this, alas, is destined to follow the familiar formula – love from Aunt Betty and

DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now.

On Sunday, another Guest Post from GPCox concerning the making of a car.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Flesh and Blood (1) – An Apology And A Job Well Done – November 1, 1942

 

AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 1, 1942

Dear Flesh and Blood:

One of the first objects of this letter indicted on the first day of November is to offer atonement for having slipped up on what has been an unbroken two-year chain of weekly letters. Last Sunday my typewriter was silent. In the so-called Morning Service of the Episcopal Church, which was so large a part of my youth, there is what is called a General Confession which reads as follows: “We have erred and strayed from the ways like lost sheep; we have done those things which we ought not to have done and have left undone those things which we ought to have done and there is no health in us.” “So let it be with Caesar.”

The reason for this lapse, which the charitably inclined might label “extenuating circumstances”, lies in the fact that Sunday marked the culmination of a week of unceasing effort to turn out with a sadly crippled force of workers, sufficient multi-graph letters to help elect a Republican governor for the great little Commonwealth of Connecticut. Saturday, far into the night, witnessed Dave and his father busily working, Sunday morning Dave and Dick went to the office to add their bit while I stayed home to get a birthday dinner in celebration of my son Daniel’s natal anniversary, after which I immediately left for the office to continue again into the night the work which was to see the final touch in the production of the letter campaign. In the true Guion tradition, we finished the job and next Tuesday will, I hope, witness a favorable result to our efforts. As Lad and Dan were both home on that occasion, they probably did not greatly miss the non-receipt of the weekly letter, so perhaps this apology should point more in the direction of Alaska then southward.

Lad was again home this weekend but Dan, I learned through a letter received by Barbara, that Dan and a surveying crew have been transferred for the next few weeks to temporary headquarters at Spring Grove, Pa., where they have a job to be done. Pretty name, isn’t it? Reminds me of the song-story of the prit-ty little rabbit and the hunter and the three trees, there and there and there.

There is still no definite word as to when Lad leaves for the west, but that he is to leave is pretty well assured in his own mind. He has sought and secured permission to drive his car to the coast, being allowed mileage, and intends to take along with him at least two and possibly more fellow travelers from Aberdeen. To that end he has just bought from Arnold four new tires so that he should have no difficulty on that score in duplicating the adventure of the Willys.

I wish there were some secret potion or amulet or magic word that could induce Ced to make more frequent visits to the typewriter, sort of a letter cathartic. Reminds me of the story of Goldstein who joined the Marines but turned out to be pretty much of a dud as a soldier. Finally he was shipped to the Solomons. Perhaps the name helped some but it wasn’t long before stirring details reached home of his bravery, decorations he had received, etc. They finally asked his captain what caused the transformation. Said the captain, “I gave him a Tommy gun, a couple of revolvers, six hand grenades, a cutlass, a knife, strapped a torpedo on his back, sent him out to the front line and said, “Now Goldstein, you’re in business for yourself”.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter. On Friday, another letter from Lad concerning his plans for California.

 

Judy Guion