Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (22) – Special Photo – April, 1935

Peabody - Putnam Burton Peabodys note to Ced re photo - 1935

PEABODY - Kemper Foster Peabody, - 1886

2011 Park Ave., Topeka, Kansas, March 18/35

Dear Cedric:-

I am gathering up, and sending out to my various kindred, a number of trinkets that might interest them. My years must be growing steadily shorter, – and I wish to place my treasures with those that will appreciate and value them.

To YOU, therefore, I am sending an unusually good photo – portrait of your grandfather (Kemper Foster Peabody, Arla Peabody’s father), taken when he was young. It looks exactly as HE did, those days.

I have never been more busy, in all the 79 years of my life, than I am, just now. Several hours at the typewriter, daily, and I am compelled to make EVERYTHING BRIEF.

But I send love to you all: with my very best wishes,

Faithfully yours,

PB Peabody

(Putnam Burton Peabody, oldest brother of Kemper Foster Peabody, Arla Peabody Guion’s Father.)

And so we come to the end of Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure in September, 1934. Ced’s next adventure begins in 1941 when he and his older brother Dan, back from Venezuela for a year, leave Trumbull to travel to Anchorage, Alaska, where they hope to find jobs. 

This coming week I’ll post the stories of Dan and Paulette’s wedding in 1945, told from various viewpoints.

Judy Guion



Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (21) – Some Quick Notes – October, 1934

PEABODY - Helen Gillespie s note to Ced - 1934

Dear Cedric,

You don’t know how disappointed we were at not seeing you when you were in this part of the country this summer. I received your card and had planned on going down to Uncle Frank’s to see you when, according to our local physician’s diagnosis, Dale was overcome by the heat and the doctor refused to give his consent to Dale’s leaving. When we did get away you had left for the farm again and we couldn’t take time to go up there. We were terribly sorry not to have seen you and hope you, and the others of the family, will come this way again soon. (Dale’s trouble turned out to be atropine poisoning so wasn’t as serious as it might have been.)


Helen (Gillespie)

October eight

This note was mailed in Little Falls, Minnesota. I’m not sure how Helen Gillespie is related to Franklin Peabody and when I get some extra time I will try to figure that out. She may have been his younger sister, Helen Sophia, but I need to do some more digging to confirm that.



Trumbull – News About Uncle Sam’s Boys – May, 1943

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

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.


Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Young uns – Advice From Grandpa – May, 1943

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Little Driveway view - 1928

The Trumbull House

Trumbull, Conn.

May 2, 1943

Dear young uns,

You are in an airplane. You are on a mission and your course has been set. The country below slides by. It is interesting and you study it, for part of that landscape may fit into another assignment one day. But you keep on your course. You are on a mission!

In the busy round of duties the Army has set as your daily routine, don’t become so absorbed in the present that you neglect once in a while to get off by yourself and try to fit this into the larger scheme of things that will constitute your regular living after this war interlude is over. You too, have a mission – – to enlarge your knowledge and experience and make it serve as a “landscape”, because someday it may be a useful postwar brick in your life work structure. The simile is a bit mixed but I assume you have intelligence enough to get the thought I am trying to get over.

This afternoon a telegram came from Jean, as follows: “Have changed plans (She expected to be home tomorrow). Decided to stay. Letter to follow explaining. Please call my mother( I did and she said she was glad Jean was having such a nice vacation). Please forward any allotment check (Sorry, Jean, but none has arrived). We are both fine. Love. Jean”

Lad has written and the big news in his letter, at least so far as I am concerned, is that he is now a Sergeant. How de do, Sarge. Congratulations from your old man. He is been given the same type of job he had in Aberdeen, Chief of Section, which calls for a staff rating. He therefore expects in two or three months he will have an opportunity to take the staff exam. And the rest of you will have to watch your reputation as bowlers, as he now bowls 180 and expects to top 200.

Barbara was just in and has about decided to apply for a job open to her doing drafting work for the Signal Corps, involving a six-month training course on the N. J. coast. I learned that George Laufer is now at Fort Bragg, N. C.

Grandma wants me to write you all that she is SO happy to be here. Aunt Betty wants me to thank Lad for his lovely letter to her, and I, well I’m just glad I have such a bunch of nice boys. If I were “that way” I might even be a little bit proud.

Ced, I’m having trouble getting your Buick parts shipped. Both the post office and express company refused to send it. I am taking the matter up with Washington. Did you get the package of books?


It seems that now that the hustle and bustle of Dick and Jean’s wedding on Valentine’s Day, Dick going into the Army, Jean following him and Grandma Peabody arriving, things are finally starting to settle down a little at the old homestead. I wonder what comes next, don’t you?  

On Saturday and Sunday, the last two posts for Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Camp Santa Anita – April, 1943

This letter gives you a pretty clear picture of Lad’s life right now. He’s out socializing, probably with my Mom, and teaching during the day.


Camp Santa Anita

April 28, 1943

Dear Dad –

Again, weeks have passed. I just have too good a time to sit down and spend some of it writing, and I really should. However, you can rest assured that if anything of importance happens, you shall know of it. No news will be good. I have definitely decided to keep the car, but not as you suggested. I am sending you a check for $525 and will try to send you $100 more within the month.

Tonight I’m again on company duty, but instead of C.Q., I’m Corporal of the Guard. The few times I’ve been on company duty are so infrequent that I really have nothing to complain about. For instance, tonight is the first night I have stayed in camp since I got here January 9, with the exception of that first night, due to quarantine.

It seems that the course in Diesel Engine Principles has finally gotten through to the right authorities by fair or foul means, and pressure has been applied to the effect that the course is to have its first sanctioned appearance on May 3, if it can be put into workable shape by then. Art Lind and I have been working on it and it looks possible. We are hoping.

Our new showers have been opened in the camp with plenty of hot water. There are 197 of them, so we no longer have to the go to the Y in Pasadena to get a hot shower, and speaking of cleaning up – my razor finally begin to show signs of excessive wear, so I turned it in for a new Schick Colonel – eight dollars. The new one operates very nicely. If you remember, you sent me a clipping concerning the need for men with the knowledge of other languages? I had taken you on it, but nothing as yet has been heard from it.

Don’t worry about my operator’s license. I have already written to Hartford asking them to send them to me, but if they come to Trumbull, please forward them. As regards grandmother you, I believe, did the right thing. Personally, I certainly would never have even hesitated, as you probably know. My love to all, and to all a good night –


Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll post letters from Grandpa to all the boys away from home.

On Saturday and Sunday, final words from Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Easter Bunnies (2) – April, 1943

This continues a letter started yesterday and it is filled with interesting tidbits concerning various family members and friends.

Ice pool tickets are in and all you folks are in line for one date or another. Keep your fingers crossed. He says Rusty, with the change in heart of America towards Russia, is getting a bit out of hand. I hope you won’t get in too bad with the governor and spoil his future prospects. Whatever else happens, Ced “earnestly desires one real change in international policies, and that is that each individual in the world, regardless of race, has a fair and unbegrudged chance to live a decent, self-respecting life. This will entail sacrifices from all of us perhaps, but in the long run, will save lives as well as money, and eventually evolve into a world brotherhood of goodwill and honorable relations among all peoples and nations. And it isn’t impossible at all. If the powers that be arrange the peace in the proper way, it is likely to meet with enough general public support to work out as it should.”

Alfred Duryee Guion

A nice long letter from Jean revealed that she is having a real vacation, is getting a real Florida tan, sees Dick every evening and doesn’t know when she will be home.

Paul has sought and received permission from Mrs. Ives to use the back part of their lot for a Victory garden. He has gotten Mr. Reynolds to plow it. Victory Gardens around here are quite the rage. Howland’s has rented a separate store to sell garden supplies of all kinds. The lumber companies are making a specialty of prefabricated chicken Coop’s and tool houses. (I know for I am handling the advertising of some of them.)

Red goes Thursday for induction and then has about a week before he actually gets into the swim. Dave is bemoaning the fact that all the young fellows here are in the service and he is champing at the bit and would away. “Joseph, being 17 years old was feeding the flock with his brethren. Now Israel loved Joseph because he was the son of his old age; and he made him a coat of many colors”.

Oh, well, good night.


Grandpa has brought everyone up to date on what everyone else is doing. He held the family together during a very trying time for each of them, for various reasons. I wonder if the boys realized how much these weekly letters meant to them and if they ever told their father.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Easter Bunnies (1) – Fond Memories – April, 1943

It’s Easter and Grandpa is remembering the happy times when all his children and his wife were at the Trumbull house with him. He sounds quite nostalgic, doesn’t he?

Trumbull, Conn. Easter Sunday   April 25, 1943

To my dear little Easter bunnies:

With all my brood away, except one, and no jellybeans, it hasn’t seemed a bit like Easter today. However, in another sense you all almost rang the gong this week because the mail brought letters from Dan and Ced and even Dick. I hoped up till yesterday afternoon that one would arrive from Lad to complete the lineup but was doomed to disappointment on that score.

Needless to say I missed all you boys (this especially so on holidays or special occasions). I recalled past Easter’s when you were little tykes and the family all got together and the children hunted for Easter eggs, jelly beans, etc.; I recalled the sunrise service in Stratford that Ced used to get such a kick out of attending; the colored eggs, new clothes, bright sunshine and all the rest that makes up a composite Easter memory and wondering how you all spent the day under Uncle Sam’s wing. I got quite a thrill driving home the other day in the car up North Main Street, approaching the bus terminal up near the Log Cabin. In the distance coming toward me, walking, was a great tall lanky long-legged rascal that looked and walked for all the world just like Ced. The resemblance was so strong that I almost lost control of the car for a second, but for just one instant it was a great thrill. Of course, on nearer inspection, it was not anyone nearly so nice as Ced, but then, you’ll say, and I’d have to admit, I’m prejudiced.

Dick, bless his heart, is getting along splendidly. He writes that Uncle Sam seems well enough pleased with what he has been doing to award him two noncom stripes and a T.

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

I may be wrong but it seems that Dick got this recognition in shorter order in either of my other corporals. Dick has charge of the morning reports and the sick book which, along with the calisthenics, has enabled him to maintain a sound body and mind? (the “?”  is his). When they get properly organized he expects to be clerk in the investigations branch of their outfit which will give him a good background for enrollment in the intelligence. O. C. S. Oh well, I’m sure he passed because he was always intelligent. As the washerwoman said of her son, who took the civil service examination, he was sure to pass because he was never rude to anybody. Dick says soon they expect to be transferred to a staging area (whatever that is) to which he is looking forward with relish. No news as to when Jean returns.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dan tersely describes the training period of three days duration as consisting primarily of picking up cigarette butts between rain showers in preparation for the arrival of the colonel. He hopes to be able to get home again for a visit sometime next month. Somehow spring (and the bushes are now really putting out little green leaves, and we had daffodils on the table from our own yard today), spring, I say, really hasn’t officially arrived until Dan’s handiwork is visible in garden and grounds that you all know so well and that has taken on, I suppose, a certain mantel of extra attractiveness on account of its being so far away from most of you right now.

Ced has let his imagination have a free rein and publishes for us, this time, a newspaper of which he is a reporter and editor. His first item concerns Rusty

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

who is all excited over arrangements which have just been completed for him to accompany Gov. Gruening of Alaska on a far North journey into the territory covering a period of three weeks in which he expects to accumulate material to serve as a basis for paintings. He speaks of the possibility of an upcoming ski trip. Incidentally, the season must be quite advanced up there because, while the envelope was postmarked April 16, Ced’s letter is dated May 15.


Now that Grandpa has brought us up to date on his three sons in Alaska, he will continue with more news of family and friends tomorrow.

Judy Guion