Friends – All About Homesteading In Homer, Alaska – Feb., 1941

Homer, Alaska

Feb. 2, 1941

Dear Cedric and Dan:-

I shouldn’t put Dan’s name on here, as we have never heard from him. We have thought of you all quite a bit, and wondered if you were still in Alaska. It was a very pleasant surprise when your letter came.

Yes, Homer now is getting airmail twice a month, we will be on the map yet. (Map like Ann or Bud’s writing. My husband hit the table twice, he said he should’ve hit it three times).

I am glad you have had employment since you have been in Alaska. It seems as tho that is one thing at the present, that is easy to get.

You said you all have joined a ski club. I had my first lesson today, did better than expected, of course I fell. Ann and Buddy have been skiing quite a bit and do fine. Ann likes it better than Buddy, I believe. We had quite a bit of snow this last week. From what we heard on the radio, Anchorage did right well also.

We had a very nice trip on the luxury liner “Cordova” as you called it. The purser did himself proud, he went from one extreme to another. We had the largest cabin on the boat. The only objection I had to it was I had the Davis family in it all the time. They didn’t like Homer, and went back to California in October, I believe it wise. They didn’t like it here, as they were up on the hill, and had no way to get anywhere, but walk. I asked him if he expected bus service, where you homestead, as they were going to do. We have about 30 miles of road here which I think is very good when a place is up for homesteading. That’s the way with some people.

We had a Xmas card from Vivian, that was the first we had heard from her. I want to write to her sometime in the future.

You asked if we had much of a crop this year. Well, I felt like we had an extra large one. I had to harvest it all by myself. The first time I ever dug potatoes, and we had between 15 and 20 bags, which were hundred pound bags, and everything else according. As I said before it seemed immense to me. I have done things this last year I never expected to do. If a “city gal” wants to learn things just come to Alaska and Homestead. We arrived here July 5th and my husband left the next morning, got back  August 12th, was home long enough to put the second floor in and left again with a survey crew and didn’t get back until October. I guess I’ll live through it, I’m not sure tho. I’m not so very fond of Alaska, but it isn’t much I can do about it, I have three of us.

You said Dan is working at the airbase. My husband has been thinking about going to Anchorage this spring instead of the cannery, but heard today, starting in the spring, you have to work for a year, is this so? Would you please write and let us know if this is true. We heard all kinds of reports here, and would like to know if this one is true. I sure would hate to be here alone for a year, as there is quite a bit to be done to the house yet. I can’t think of anything more, so will sign off for this time. Write again soon as we all enjoyed your letter.

Gladys, Ann and Rowan Watson

(This is Buddy)


P.S. I forgot to say that I received a wedding announcement from Mama Helene, but that is all. I have heard from her, but of course I couldn’t expect anything else, as I have never written to her. I am tho, some day soon. In fact, I have just about 10 letters to write. I did right well today. I have written 4, besides going to Sunday school, and skiing. We have to walk about 2 miles to S.S. I went in snow to my knees this A.M. that is one reason I put Hugh’s skis on this afternoon.

Ann and Rowan said to tell you to try hard to get your (lice), I mean license and come to see us this next summer.

We had a mock wedding on the Cordova for Helene. Had all men in it. Do you remember the pug nose baldheaded fellow on the McKinley that got so tight that day at Ketchikan, you should have seen him. He had dressed up in my house coat as bridesmaid. “The Admiral” was the groom and he would make a good actor, as bad as I hate it to admit it. All in all we had a fine wedding.

Tomorrow and Friday, a draft of a letter to Fairbanks-Morse that Grandpa is suggesting Lad send them asking for a job when he returns to the United States from Venezuela.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion


News About Arnold and Advice About The Income Tax – Feb., 1941


page 2 of R-113   2/2/1941

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

      Richard (Dick)               Peabody Guion

Dick also tells me that Arnold is writing to you boys and also to Lad, the latter having talked some time ago of going to Alaska with Arnold, on the chance that after Lad gets back, they might together drive out with the trailer, sell their car in Seattle and ship the trailer to Alaska. An alternative is for Arnold to leave alone with Dick, with Alta to follow later, when he earns the money, possibly getting someone at that time to drive the trailer out, possibly Alfred. I may not have these facts just right but that is the way I understood it from Dick who was not too sure of the facts himself.

To change the subject completely, there is something I have been intending to write to all three of you boys about for several weeks, but I’ve always thought of it after my letters were mailed. It is the matter of income tax. There is a very stiff penalty for those who do not make a return, as should. This year all single persons making over $800 must file a return. That probably means each of you must get your report in before March 15, and if you want to profit by my experience, you will not wait until March 14 to start figuring it out for the calendar year of 1940. And by the way, just so a cross check will not show anybody up, I have considered in figuring my own income tax thatLlad’s $50 a month, Dan’s $12 and Ced’s $25, all as gifts because as such I do not have to pay income tax on them as income, so when it comes to these items in making your declarations, please list them in the same manner, if you have to include them at all.

No letters from Alaska last week which may mean poor mail service and not necessarily that you have not written. I am a bit concerned, however, about having all details as to Dick’s trip, etc., settled soon, as the uncertain time in getting letters from Anchorage makes it unwise to wait too long about making reservations. We could do it here of course but there again we don’t want to cross wires if you have already made reservations for Dick at your end. I hope to get some further word from you tomorrow on this point.

Elizabeth is quite thrilled with her mukluks which she received from Dan. I have not seen them as she told me about it when I visited her in the hospital Friday.

I am still running around with the Buick right front fender bashed in due to the fact that because I need a car daily for business purposes I could not spare it for the two days it will have to be laid up to make the repairs, but now that the other car is available, I have arranged to use this for two days and have the work done. I guess I told you that Dick had sold the old Packard for $40. I want him to get it out of the barn as soon as possible so that TO-71 will have a place to bed down at night.

Dick and Dave have gone to the Shelton Rink to skate while I have been spending most of the afternoon working upstairs, cleaning out my medicine cabinet which has been freshly painted inside, and also making some repairs to the holes in the floor of the North West bedroom in anticipation of its being painted. It has been re-papered in the yellow toned paper, with a  little green flower. The floor I am going to paint a dark green. The woodwork has been repainted white.

It’s now getting on toward my bedtime, so buenos notches.


Tomorrow, a letter to Dan and Ced from a friend in Homer, Alaska. On Thursday and Friday, a letter from Grandpa to Lad with some advice, a proposed letter from Lad to Fairbanks-Morse asking about a possible job when he returns to  the United States and Grandpa’s comments on the letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, some more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Your New Nephew and It’s A Buick – Feb., 1941

Dan, Ced and car

       Dan, Ced and  Buick

R-113 dated at Trumbull, this 2nd day of February, 1941

Dear Dan and Ced:

Your new nephew is to be named Martin — at least so his mother tells me. She told Zeke that she didn’t want to repeat what happened last time when it was a week or 10 days after the baby was born that they finally decided upon a name. If it was a girl it was to be called Arla Elizabeth but if a boy and Zeke hadn’t decided on a name she was going to call him Peter. So Zeke chose Martin, much to David’s disgust. Elizabeth thinks she will be able to come home from the hospital Monday and is asked if I can bring them home in my car in that event as Zeke is working nights now and she must leave the hospital before the six o’clock day ends.

Well, here’s the news you have been waiting for. It’s a Buick, and it’s black. That is the only specification you made that I have not fulfilled. I tried my best to get 1938 car for $400 but in order to do so I would’ve had to take either a cheap car or a better car in very poor condition. I have been keeping my eye on used car ads lately and don’t feel I have done so badly. I only hope you will think the same. Details are given in the attached sheet. Arnold, too, felt you were a bit optimistic expecting to get 1938 car for $400. So far, with the money you and Dan have sent home there was about $350 available, and as I had to close the deal quickly to prevent someone else from getting the car, I advanced the balance myself. The actual figures are as follows: Dan’s credits $322.16, Ced’s $25, total $347.16. Cost $400, registration $4.50, extra keys $.35, or total expense of $404.85, a difference of $57.69, plus any further expense you may authorize for insurance, new batteries, Prestone instead of Zerone (a refined alcohol, not to be confused with zerex – a new DuPont product to take the place of Prestone) or other expensive as to labor or parts which you may authorize. And while on the subject, I wondered if you wanted me to buy at wholesale from the manufacturers (Bridgeport Chain, one of my clients)  a new set of deluxe chains for Dick to take with him. I imagine they would cost a lot more in Alaska. I also noticed that a number of the cars here back east are equipped with luggage carriers that are arranged to fasten to the curved top of cars to carry baggage strapped so as to be out of the way. I don’t know what they cost but perhaps the Sears Roebuck catalog will supply the answer.

You will be interested in a letter received by Dick yesterday from Rusty, as follows: “I think you can count on me to go with you and would like to know if there is room for another. All this is confidential between the Guion’s and yours truly, please. And what will it cost per person? And how do you intend to eat? I can get transportation to Seattle, Alaska S.S. Co., but would rather take the Discoverer or Hassiloff – Burger’s boats. Have you made any inquiries yet on sailings and gotten your reservations? Well, let’s hear from you soon. Sit down now. Al will lend you a pencil and use an old piece of wrapping paper if you can’t find anything else. Best wishes to Mack and all.”

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter covering comments from Dick and news of other Trumbulites.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 202 – My First Birthday Party – June, 1947

This is a picture of my first birthday party. It is in the Dining Room in the Trumbull House.

JAGGH - !st Birthday party, family shot

Left to right – Grandpa, Aunt Betty, Marian behind Doug,

Biss (Elizabeth) behind me, Marty, Dan and Arla’s hair in the lower left.

JAGGH - 1st Birthday, Marian, Doug and Judy (cropped)

This is a close-up of Marian (expecting her 2nd child in two months),

Doug and Judy at our First Birthday party. Mom always made a cake for each of us,

and I continued the tradition for my twins.

Trumbull – Dear Correspondents (2) – News From Dorothy And A Baby Blizzard – Feb., 1945

Page 2    2/11/1945

Well, I’ll tell you Dave, if the post office is open tomorrow (Lincoln’s birthday here, you know) I’ll get a package off to you. If, when you receive it, you find some of the things are wrapped in Christmas paper, don’t think I am losing my mind. The fact is that before I knew for sure you were coming home for Christmas, I began assembling some things to send to you, just in case. And the other day I had an idea you might like to get it anyway, whereever you are when it finally catches up to you, so here it goes. And Dan, there is also another package being wafted on its way to you containing some of the things you asked for and also a couple of toilet articles dear to a girl’s heart which you may want to present to Paulette. I had previously sent your shoes.

Ced, old Bean, don’t forget to let me know how the draft business comes out. Maybe there will be a letter tomorrow or sometime this week from you on the subject. And a couple of week hence I expect I’ll have some snapshots of the girls to send just for variety. They have been suffering from an attack of cameraistis lately and old Eastman has been working overtime trying to keep up with them.

Dorothy writes from Los Angeles: The trip out here was really glorious. I’ve seen pictures of our mountainous west, but to actually be near enough to almost touch them, to see the panorama of endless Mountains – – miles and miles and miles of them – – not for just a few hours but for whole days – – it was the most majestic and awe inspiring sight I have ever seen. The desert was fascinating too and very weird. Altogether I found the trip very lovely. So far the weather has been fine although it’s supposed to be the rainy season. Imagine my surprise when I woke up the first morning I was here to find three enormous poinsettias and a Calla Lily peeping over my window ledge.

Trumbull House in winter - (cropped) - 1940

Early this week we had a baby blizzard here. Snow on the driveway drifted knee-deep and transportation was pretty much crippled – – so much so the first day that there was no school although the buses ran to and from Bridgeport and both Marian and I drove our cars, leaving them, of course, at the bottom of the driveway. However, this was followed by a couple of days of really mild weather which has done much to reduce the size of the drifts. Our new tenants have not moved in yet. They brought a few of their belongings but said their car had broken down. They could not have driven up to the house anyway, as before mentioned.

Today I had to go to Bridgeport to join in wedlock to young things, the man, in the Navy, having to go back to duty tomorrow. His “best man” said: “Didn’t you have a son that went to Connecticut State College? I thought I recognized the name. Well, I used to drive back and forth with him occasionally. Didn’t he have an old Plymouth? When you write, mention Henry Beigert to hear. I’m now in the Air Force stationed at Mitchell Field.

Tomorrow, being Lincoln’s birthday, I have to relate an anecdote. As you know he married into the rather snooty Todd family. Someone asked Lincoln whether they spelled their name with one d or two. He said one d was good enough for God but they had to have two. I’d like two letters myself.


Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll have Special Pictures for you.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters from the spring of 1941. Lad is looking forward to coming home from Venezuela in May. Dick is getting excited about his trip across the country and north to Alaska to deliver a car to Dan and Ced.

Why not share this blog with a friend or two. They might really appreciate it.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Correspondents (1) – Is I, Or Is I Ain’t Your Pappy? – Feb., 1945


Trumbull, Conn., February 11, 1945

To my correspondents:

Of course, I’m just kidding when I call you that – – some of you at least. Dave is the only one this week who has broken literary silence. To Lad and Dick I am tempted to ask; “Is I or is I aint your pappy?” It’s all very well to have a wife, but once in a blue moon you might recall you have a father who occasionally likes to hear from you too. To paraphrase Shakespeare, “Hath not a father eyes, hath not a father hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a wife?” No, it’s not just a sense of ego that feels slighted by receiving only the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table (and I’m not blaming the girls, either, you understand), but it is not pleasant to have to ask be read quotations or to be continually seeming to pry into others’ affairs to ask what the news is from France or Brazil. Just put it on the basis of your brothers. You like to have me occasionally quote their letters and what they are doing, don’t you? Well, by the same token, they like to hear about your doing, also. Remember too, a letter to Dad always conveys news to your sweetie as well, which is not the case the other way around; so all in all, it seems as though you might occasionally write home a “quotable” without disturbing domestic tranquility to any large extent. Of course, if I really felt you ceased to write the old man because you disliked to write to him, the trace of Spanish pride in my blood would rise up pronto and make it the last thing in the world I would do, to ever ask you to do such a thing. So, put your old Dad on the shelf if you must, but don’t let him become aware of the fact. The last letter I received from Lad he asked me to be kind to Marian. It sort of looks he thinks I fell down in so doing, and Dick, wasn’t it the middle of last year when I last heard from you? And if you wonder why I have gone to such lengths in his opening paragraph, maybe I’m trying one of Jean’s stunts. She says when, after patiently waiting for a letter from Dick, she gets fed up and writes a scathing call down, the very next mail is sure to have two or three letters from Dick, telling her how he enjoys her letters, how much he still loves her, etc. (I don’t know this of course from visual knowledge) which makes her feel sorry she wrote. Well, I’m not sorry for anything I’ve said above but the formula may work just the same.

Now dave – – ah, there’s a boy for you. Two letters. One on Jan. 29th and one on Jan. 30th, supposedly from somewhere on the Pacific coast. The first says: “Well, this is it. It came so fast I still don’t believe it myself, but as you can see by the address, it’s true (The address referred to is T/5 DPG, ASN 31409102, APO 18397 c/o P. M., San Francisco, Calif.) naturally I can’t say anything. A little over a year in the Army now – I’ve learned more in the past year than in any other year of my life, and now they tell me I don’t know a thing. I don’t know where I’ve been, where I am or where I’m going, but all kidding aside, I don’t feel any dumber.” The second letter: “Yesterday we went to a class where they told what we could and could not write. They spent the whole time telling us what we could not write and then we found out there was something we CAN write. This is it: “I’m somewhere on the West Coast.” It occurred to me, Dad, that now you can use V mail in your correspondence, seeing as how we’ll ALL be out of the country (can’t write V mail to Ced, Dave, and how clear do you think the fourth carbon would come out on heavy paper?) I haven’t had any mail for a week now and I guess maybe I won’t get any for some time – – but it will all catch up to me eventually.”

Tomorrow I’ll have the conclusion of this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be posting more Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters from the beginning of 1941, when Lad is still working in Venezuela but planning on being home sometime in May, and Dick is preparing to drive a car across the country and deliver it to Dan and Ced in Alaska.

Judy Guion