In the first six months of 1942, Grandpa sent two sons off to an uncertain war. To give you a quick overview, Dan, son # 2, was the first to answer the call of Uncle Sam. Lad, the oldest and my Dad, reported for duty in June of the same year.
Dick, son # 4, received his notice on Feb. 11, 1943, was married to Jean Mortensen on the 14th by his father, a Justice of the Peace, and reported on the 21st. In May of that year, Dick is in Miami Beach, Florida and Jean has followed him south. Dick is receiving further training but can be with his wife every night. They know that this situation is temporary. Dick will be sent somewhere else and Jean will return to Trumbull.
Dan was a surveyor in Venezuela and in Fairbanks, Alaska but came home before reporting for duty. He is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania for further training.
Lad is at Camp Santa Anita, near Pasadena, California, training other vehicle mechanics for Uncle Sam and enjoying his social life very much, especially the company of a young woman named Marian.
Ced, son # 3, is in Alaska working as an airplane mechanic and bush pilot for an airfield that has been taken over by the military.
Telegram from Lad to Grandpa, May 9, 1943
Trumbull Connecticut, May 9, 1943
Dear Generals Guion, Civilian Ced and Daughter Jean:
Alfred Duryee Guion
D is for Disappointment
B is for Bravery in the way we meet out disappointment
G is for Group of Guests gloomy with grief gamely grappling with grim grace the
fact that Garrulous Guion could not be with us on Mother’s Day.
(DBG – Daniel Beck Guion)
But we did get a telegram reading: “Disconsolate tidings of best wishes from Lancaster. Victim of circumstances. Dan”
Dorothy (Peabody) and Anne (Peabody Stanley) came up Saturday afternoon. It was a beautiful “June” day, and with a nice piece of beef I was lucky to locate we had one of Mother’s famous pot roasts with gravy, sweet potatoes, fresh beans and ice cream at a small birthday cake with candles.
After Mother Peabody got through opening her presents I proudly displayed a card I received from Miami Beach, with an appropriate message to “Dad on Mother’s Day”. It was signed Dick and Jean. We all decided it must have been Dick’s idea.
Two newsy letters from Jean this week keep us posted as to the doings of the Richard Guions but no inkling of when or where Dick goes from Miami Beach nor when Jean returns to the fold. Maybe they know no more about it than we do. (To Jean: here are the two papers you asked me to send. Winters tales is a book of 11 stories written by a woman and smuggled out of Nazi Denmark. Combined Operations is the official story of the British Commando Operations).
Another letter from Lad tells of his progress in the diesel course, mentions the installation of 197 showers and expresses approval, as does Dan, of Grandmother is coming to live with us.
Today I spent on my annual spring job – – patching up the driveway, partially cleaning out the barn and taking down some of the storm windows. I had time to put up only the front and back screen doors. Who says I don’t miss you boys?
Dave has fixed up Lad’s old room in the attic and Grandma has dolled up Ced’s old room with the marine wallpaper on it and seems to be quite happy with everything. She and Aunt Betty seem to get along well together and it certainly is a relief to me not to have to get supper every night when I get home.
I can’t think of any more news, and anyway the young people are banging the old pianola to a fare-thee-well, Aunt Betty feels the need of something to eat, and I am rather weary after my unaccustomed physical exertion, so I’ll terminate by wishing that you will all be good mothers.
At this point, I’m sure Grandpa is pleased that his sons are still in the States. There have been rumors about Dan’s unit shipping out but he knows nothing definite yet. Dick knows that he’ll be going to another base for further training but Lad feels like he’ll be in California for a while. Dave is a Junior in high school so he’s safe, at least for a while yet.
Tomorrow and Sunday, the final posts for Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure. Next week I’ll be posting various accounts of Dan’s wedding to Paulette in Calais, France.