Army Life – An Explosion And Fire At The Remington Plant – March, 1942

Ced @ 1945

Trumbull, Conn.,   March 29, 1942

Dear et als:

A gloomy, raw March day — it would be just the day after I let the furnace go out instead of a continuation of the nice springy weather we have been enjoying lately. I thought it would be safe to fall back on the oil stoves instead of purchasing another ton of coal, and maybe next week will prove I’m right — we shall see.

The big news of the week is the explosion and fire at 2 P.M. yesterday afternoon at the Remington plant — six dead, 80 hurt. Paul Warden, who works at Remington, was on vacation all week, ending tonight, so he just escaped possible injury. He says work will be crippled until they can replace the unit which they are starting to rebuild before the ashes are cold.

Flora Bushey dropped in yesterday afternoon after visiting with Mrs. Warden. She says her father and mother have sold their Lake Candlewood cottage and are now in Miami, Florida, where they may stay indefinitely. Her father takes walks every day but I would not be surprised to hear any time of his heart giving out. Flora is training at the Bridgeport Hospital and is staying with Carl and Ethel.

Dick has just had his engine and other parts repaired to the tune of $40, so, barring tires, the car ought to be in pretty good shape, although it will have to be driven slowly for a while, which may not be such a bad thing from other angles.

We were all set for a possible visit from Dan over the weekend but Barbara got a wire from him saying he was unable to obtain a pass and that in consequence, he was feeling like a “crushed gardenia”. However, that may mean he will be able to get off next week, which being Easter Sunday and perhaps better weather (it is now snowing!) may turn out for the best after all. Also, being so near to Lad’s birthday will probably mean we will celebrate on that day also.

At long last a letter has come from Ced. He gives the first installment of his Alaskan glacier adventure and promises more later. The important thing is that he is well and has not yet been needed by the U. S. Army enough for them to end his civilian activities. A short note from Rusty enclosed with Ced’s letter mentions Ced’s growth of a beard as resembling a bramble patch, reminding Rusty “of an old painting of our Lord, Jesus H. Christ”. With Ced’s note is also enclosed a good-sized money order, half the proceeds going to Lad, I suppose, in payment for the old Packard which has long since been turned out to pasture, and the balance to his Dad, which as usual, arrives at a very opportune moment to meet taxes due in April.

About the only local items that are worthy of comment are the fact that they are building an addition to the Trumbull Town Hall in the shape of a garage to house the new Cadillac ambulance, and an entirely strange and different outlook up Ives way in that their old barn has been completely torn down.

In Bridgeport, Meigs is now in their fine new building, the old one now being occupied by a Woolworth store, without any fixing up or modernization, and it is certainly a crumby looking job.


I’ll finish out the week with one more letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll post some more Special Pictures.

Om Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1944 when Grandpa’s five sons are scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Rusty’s Fantastic News – March, 1942

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Trumbull, Conn.,  March 22, 1942

To my reading public –

Dear Sirs:

I’m sort of in a “I don’t know nuthin” mood today. I learned through Aunt Betty that Barbara mentioned something about going down to Ft. Belvoir this weekend to visit Dan, but I don’t know whether she went or not. If I had seen her yesterday I should have given her some mail that has accumulated here for Dan — nothing of great importance, to be sure, but an accumulation that I forgot to give Dan last week in the excitement of his homecoming. Oh yes, there was, among the bunch, a letter from Ced that arrived a day or so after Dan left for camp. (Remind me, Dan, next time you come home if I should not think of it myself).

Another thing I don’t know nuthin about is how Ced is getting along but I did get a letter from Rusty mentioning the fact that Art Woodley remarked he would be glad when the repair crew all got in again. Evidently, he flies over where they are working and drops down their food to them. Rusty pictures Ced as a baby Robin looking up with his mouth open as an extra big supply is dropped for Ced’s capacious maw. One short paragraph in Rusty’s letter contains the best news I have had in a long time even though it is some years overdue. He says: “These are busy times for me. Never had work going so well up here. Have 13 pictures to paint after I complete three murals for $1000.” It is not so much the financial end, although that is nothing to sneeze at, so much as it is the evidence of recognition of the merit of Rusty’s work. That is only the beginning I hope. There is happy portend in the fact that Rusty is working in Sidney Lawrence’s old studio. Let’s hope it means he is taking up where Lawrence left off and is going on to bigger and better achievements as Alaska’s own artist. I wish I were on hand right now to share your satisfaction, Rusty, old scout, but no matter how many miles stand between, it’s going to give me a heap of satisfaction to hear of what I believe now that it has started, a steady forward march. So, don’t hold back any good news because you fear it will be taken for immodesty on your part. I want to share it with you because as you know, I have always felt, and so did Arla, that sooner or later you would come into your own. The hard sledding up to the present time makes the arrival all the more enjoyable. I feel like throwing my hat way up high, and to hell whether I ever get it back or not. (Oh, you think it’s my old one hey, well, I’d feel the same even if it were brand-new).

Rusty Heurlin – Image Results

Lad has learned they are looking for men with diesel knowledge in Navy bases and is looking further into the matter. The fact that he has to wear glasses seems to be the only deterrent. A call came in over the phone this afternoon for Dave and the Boy Scouts to organize a searching party to find a couple of little boys lost in the woods over Blackhouse Road way. They were found. Last night I did my bit as an air raid watcher, being stationed at the Town Hall glued to the phone from 6 to 10 P.M., relieving Dave who went on duty at three P.M. The job is to receive and instantly transmit any air raid warnings from headquarters. We didn’t get even a test call. This first day of spring has been a typical April day, a burst of sunshine, a shower, a snow squall, a few howling gusts of wind. Five minutes ago the sun was bright; now it is raining. We have enough coal to last for a couple of more days and then I think I’ll let the furnace go out and use oil stoves “for the duration” (of winter).

Don’t forget to say your prayers and keep your nose clean.


For the rest of the week, I’ll be continuing with letters from Grandpa to his reading public. It sounds as though Rusty may be receiving letters also.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll begin a series of letters written in 1944, when all of Grandpa’s sons are scattered all over the world helping Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dan’s Homecoming – March, 1942

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

 Trumbull, Conn.,  March 15th, 1942


Referring to the date above, if I had a red ribbon on this here machine the date line above would have been typed in red, signifying a “red letter day”, not because it is the income tax deadline, but because it marks the first visit home of acting Corp. Daniel B. Guion, U.S. Engineers of Ft. Belvoir, Va. Outside of a mere rumor the first real news of the Daniel invasion reached me while I was engaged in the age-old Saturday night custom of a bath. Aunt Betty’s gentle knock on my bathroom door informed me that Dan was at the Bridgeport station, and would I go down for him. Would I? I mentally gave him at that instant my unadorned greeting and hastily removing a few drops of moisture, I donned my nearest apparel and all a-twitter headed the Buick south. There he was, neat and trim in his new uniform, fully as tanned as when he came back from Venezuela. We corralled Barbara on the way home and set down for a quiz fest. As the evening wore on, one by one, Lad and Dick and Dave drifted in adding their own questions to the crossfire of inquiries as to details of Army life until somewhere around 1:30 or 2:00, most of us sought our couches and left Barbara to get in a few questions of her own. I invited Barbara to dinner, after which we talked for a while, then Dan changed into his uniform and started back to see Biss on his way to the train en route back to Camp.

I hope I can check up another red letter day next week in celebration of a letter from snow-bound Ced who has been giving his index finger a three months rest. No news is good news they say but I would rather have something more positive on this score.

Enclosed for each of you is a newspaper clipping giving a list of the Trumbull folks who now have a place on Uncle Sam’s payroll, in which I thought you might be interested. There is a rumor that Irwin Laufer is now en route to Australia. I am also enclosing a clipping regarding the job the Army engineers are tackling in building a road to Alaska.

There is not much to report locally. The Tire Rationing Board turned down my request for new tires. Dave was in another radio broadcast over W.I.C.C. Friday and Saturday, showed films of Alaska and Venezuela at the North End branch of the Bridgeport Public Library — about a 45 minute showing. The weather is showing signs of coming spring although we are aware that there have been years when blizzards have visited the locality even later in the month than this.

Dick plans to take his new car down tomorrow to have it thoroughly gone over mechanically and put in first class running shape. Dan told Dick to sell his old car.

War talk- “Latrino-gram – a rumor. Mechanized dandruff – cooties.


I’ll be posting three more letters from Grandpa to Dan and Ced, the only two away from home at this point.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Next Monday, I’ll be starting a week of letters written in 1944 when all five sons are helping the War effort.

Judy Guion

Trumbull (2) – Automobiles and Investments – Dec., 1940

Lad - Map of Venezuelan camp area - Dec, 1940

Page 2 of B-106


AUTOMOBILES:    My bashed in right fender, according to Banthin Body’s estimator will cost $21 to put back into condition again. Lad has not said much about his Ford of late so I suppose it is running along in good shape. Being jefe of his garage I suppose he can see that it is kept in good repair, although he did mention that on return from his trip to Cubagua he had trouble with his gas line getting clogged. As to the Alaskan car, Dan has already over $150 to his credit which ought to be enough to take care of the first payment on any $400 car. My plan is to wait until after the holiday season has passed, with any artificially high market it might create among dealers who might hold out with the idea of getting a premium on cars intended for Christmas gifts, and also the fact that after the first of the year an old model becomes a year older automatically without any actual change in the mechanical condition of the car itself, but still carries a lower evaluation on dealer’s books. Then I will contact the three or four dealers Ced has mentioned, have a talk with Arnold and see what he has in mind and in general keep my feelers out for something good. Dick spoke of writing Dan or Ced (probably he has not yet done so) telling them he needs a closed car to get back and forth from work. He now gets up before daylight and meets a man down the road who takes him to Bridgeport and has some other arrangement for getting home nights. The Packard is too cold and costs too much to run, so he has been trying to sell me on the idea of buying your car as soon as possible so he can run it long enough before his transcontinental journey to discover any weaknesses or peculiarities it might have and be sure of its performance before he starts on the long trek. I told him I would rather have you boys pass on that point rather than look to me for a decision.

INVESTMENTS:    Lad’s Fairbanks Morse stock, due to war orders, seems to be advancing in price. They have just paid an extra dividend, making the last quarterly payment $10 to his credit. Dan’s Commonwealth Edison has also just paid a dividend which is deposited to his credit. As for the effect possible inflation will have on people’s savings, it seems to be the impression that the purchase of common stocks now is the best hedge one can have in that event, because inflation means that the dollar is worth relatively less, and a dollar in the savings bank now will only by say fifty cents worth of goods during an inflationary period, while stocks or real estate, like food or clothing or anything which has a quick market will immediately rise in price as the value of the dollar falls and will thus compensate itself maintaining the same real value. As soon as prices start to rise, which is another way of saying the value of the dollar falls, you will see a rush to buy stocks before they go up, and this in turn will tend to increase the price of stocks, so rather than the value of your stocks declining the probabilities would be just the opposite. I wish I had a sizable sum of money I could invest in stocks right now and I’d feel I was gambling on a pretty sure thing.

ADJOINING TOWNS:    Lad, I am enclosing a tracing from my Venezuelan map and hope you will show on it, so that I can in turn copy on my map, those towns, roads, etc., which are not shown but which you frequently mention. Ced’s letter refers to Eklunta. Dan also mentioned it some time ago as an electric generating plant location. Have they storage space in the camp? Is it an Indian trading post?

CLIPPINGS:    A few enclosed for each of you which might have some interest.

Well, God rest ye, merry gentlemen, and may your Christmas in your far-off land be as merry as you have ever had in the old home.


Tomorrow and on Sunday, more Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll start a week of letters written in 1942. L ad has returned from Venezuela, Dan has been drafted and Ced  is still living and working in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The Children’s Hour – Dec., 1940

pp pic 1

B-106   dated at Trumbull, Conn.,       December 15, 1940

Dear Children:

Between the dark and the daylight,

When the night is beginning to lower,

Comes a pause in the days occupations,

That is known as the Children’s Hour.

Thus the time to write to my boys.

The day is done, and the darkness

Falls from the wings of Night

As a feather is wafted downward

From an eagle in his flight.

And now the time to begin. So here goes:

I have sent to each of you boys several packages, the contents of which are faintly indicative of the love and goodwill and affection which exists in the heart of one father back in the old home of Trumbull, Conn. To you, Lad, there is nothing of much intrinsic value, but the four or five separate packages of trinkets, plus a stocking to put them in will perhaps arrive separately and I hope in time for Christmas. I have also taken a chance on having Read’s send you a package which I hope will get by the customs authorities without trouble. To you, Dan and Ced, shipments are being made from Sears Roebuck and Read’s, and I have also sent you each stockings with the usual Christmas knickknacks and a package also of some items which were too late to include in the stockings but which you are to insert yourselves in case they arrive in time. And if childhood customs still persist you will refrain from opening any such packages until Christmas, the same as we are doing back here, thinking of you the while and wishing you were here with us.

The home we first new on this beautiful earth

The friends of our childhood, the place of our birth

In the hearts inner chamber sung always will be

As the shell ever sings of its home in the sea.

I seem to be running a bit to poetry tonight, as you may observe.

LESSONS:   It is gratifying to know that all three of you are still thirsting for knowledge and are going about acquiring it. I was quite surprised to learn from your letter, Ced, that you are far enough along in your flying experience to take off and land alone. I was still more surprised to know you had more difficulty in taking off than in landing. I had imagined it would be just the reverse. Dan, I note, has finished his mining course and is looking forward to the opening of night school. I shall be much interested in hearing more in detail of the courses offered and those you elect. Lad has made occasional reference to the Spanish classes he is attending but his last letter explained that Mrs. Williams, wife of one of the head man, is holding classes at her home in the Camp, and is a very good teacher.

CONSCRIPTION:   All my worry about you boys and the draft is for naught. Lad says down there absolutely nothing has happened regarding it although the Pan-American Air Lines revealed that the U. S. government expected anyone in foreign service upon return to the states was to report to the nearest registration office within five days of landing. Registration day in Anchorage is rumored to be sometime late in January.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the conclusion of this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1942.Dan has already been drafted and Lad is expecting to be called any day. Ced continues to work at Woodley’s Air Lines in Anchorage, Alaska. Dick, Dave and Grandpa are holding down the fort in Trumbull.

Judy Guion