Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (5-a) – The 1934 Chicago World’s Fair

A dear friend,  I met through this blog, known to bloggers as “Mrs. P.”, found a fantastic clip of The Chicago World’s Fair. My original intent was to include Ced’s comments on things that are mentioned in the video but I have found so much information and memorabilia regarding these locations that I’m going to present them in chunks. I have no idea what he saw on what day but I think he was there for three days and probably saw them in random order, depending on what caught his eye.It will take a few weeks to get through the material but I think it might be an interesting contrast to more recent World Fairs. I went to the World’s Fair in New York when I was a teenager and the architecture alone is unique, Enjoy.

Here is the World’s Fair clip:


This is the cover of a packet of 20 postcards Ced mailed to the family. The introduction states that it is the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair but the Fair actually ran for two years, 1933-34. Changes were made but I have no idea what they were.

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard booklet Cover

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard - The 1933 World's Fair

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard - The Federal Building and Hall of States

“Saw this – no Conn.”

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard - The Hall of Religion

“Went in here but did not stay long.”

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard - The Chrysler Motors Building“I saw this and rode aroun track in a Chrysler air-flow 8 – also in a Dodge 6 – saw them use death pit and 45 degree ramp. ________ car turned over on purpose here going 50, driver unhurt.”

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard - The Great Court of the Hall of Science

“Saw this.”

CDG - 1934 Chicago Fair Postcard - The Ukrainian Pavillion

no comment

Tomorrow I’ll continue with more of the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear “future hopes” – Some Thoughts About World Travel – July, 1945



Trumbull, Conn., July 8, 1945

Dear “future hopes”:

          In a recent letter Dave mentioned that he was looking forward to the day when he could see me off on a round-the-world cruise. This gives me an excuse to let down my hair and do a little day-dreaming out loud. I suppose everyone indulges in daydreams from time to time. I can recall many occasions when you kiddies were all snuggled safe in your beds and your mother and I sat comfortably before the gleaming fire with the days cares forgotten and she would mention, when we hoped we could afford to send all of you youngsters to college, how she looked forward to the time when you would come back to the old home during holiday time and vacations, perhaps bringing some of your young friends with you. As I may have mentioned, one of my hopes was someday, when the Pan American highway was completed, to adventure with some or all of you down to Mexico and Central America in our own cars, camping along the way in true pioneer style. In later years I have often thought how nice it would be to be able to pack up when the spirit moves me and say to myself I am off to visit Marian and Lad, or Dick and Jean, or (more likely) Dan and Paulette, are drop in on Ced, wherever he might be, and stay with them as long as I could be helpful there,   always leaving before they wanted me to go. (I have a horror of being a nuisance to my children, and while sometimes their hearts would say “stay”, at the same time, circumstances beyond their control might make it inconvenient or interfere with some previously laid plans. I would never want to feel dependent but always have the background thought that my visit would be beneficial to them and welcomed, not through any sense of filial loyalty or family affection, but because of the real help or comfort or convenience I could bring in person at the present. That would be a great satisfaction and if the future careers of my children should take them far afield, that I could combine my travel urge, which Dave has spotlighted, and my visiting complex in a happy double-header. So much for the thought your suggestion, Dave, has set in motion.

However, there is another side to the question. Disregarding for the moment the financial aspect of the matter, let us consider some of the other faces. Leaving home for an extended trip presents some thought-provoking problems. For instance, with the apartment rented, there is the responsibility of the landlord to be considered. Someone has to see that the water heater is functioning properly and oil supplied and that the furnace stoker is properly cared for in winter. Phone, electricity and water service has to be maintained. That brings up the matter of occupancy of the main portion of the house. If, after the war (and plans of course are predicated on post-war developments), you come back to take over the letter shop, Dave, there will be a period of six months or a year while you are learning to stand on your own feet in the running of the business, with the old man standing by to lend a helping hand until you can stand entirely alone. During this period, where will the others be? Will Ced be in Alaska or South America or Trumbull? Will the married ones be living in Trumbull or in some other part of the U.S. where a job may be offered, or perhaps in some foreign country? In the latter event who would be “keeping house”? If none of the others except Dave are home and I am away visiting my kith and kin, it certainly would not be possible to leave Aunt Betty alone in the big house and with you out nights, she would be alone nights as well – – an impossible situation, to say nothing of the care of the house. What to do under such circumstances? That brings up another question. Do you children desire to keep the house even though most of you may be maintaining your own homes elsewhere? Would you want to sell the house or rent it? In either of these events, other living accommodations would have to be found for those remaining in this vicinity. These and other related questions do not, of course, have to be answered now and many of them may be solved quite naturally in the course of time, but it does no harm to think about the problem a bit and have some settled convictions when and if the question does call definitely for settlement. As the orator would put it: “I will leave these thoughts with you.”

Dan writes (June 11th): I have mailed you two dilatory likenesses of an old acquaintance. Perhaps you will still recognize me after all these (two) years. Nothing new on either the peace or matrimonial fronts. It seems that chronic status quo has set in. I’m still’s deepest in un-love for Holland and yearning for the day when this job is over. I have poked a tentative iron in the fire in connection with a French course in Paris. My camera has finally been repaired. I shall try to make up for any opportunities that might knock twice. I received another package but it was not in very good condition, containing a bottle of Krem1 hair tonic. Have you been able to find a stereo-tach for my camera? Will you try to send me my tripod and pan head (it might be too big for regulations). I am starting to study German, just in case. I suppose Ike would frown long and darkly if he knew. Most military phrase books (English-German) were removed from circulation last year to prevent fraternization temptations. The only trouble is that there are certain temptations more potent than phrase books which are still in circulation – – at $65 per, if you’re caught! That’s all for now. I have to dash over to Battice, Belgium, tonight to (occupy) a church steeple – – no kidding.”

We have all been wondering Dan what you wanted that $100 for. Any connection with the $65 item above-mentioned? As to the stereo-tach, Seniors sent it back to the factory and they replied that because of the construction, it would be impossible to repair it but they had a more modern model costing about $15 which they would send, allowing 50% on the old, netting you $7.50. I told Senior to go ahead and order it. Perhaps in a couple of weeks it will be delivered here and sent on to you. Well, Dan, old bachelor, this is the month. We’ll be waiting for news.

No other quotes this week and no news of any amount to record. Weather has improved and is now about normal for this season. Jean is busily preparing for her South American adventure. Marian is still helicoptering. Carl is home for the weekend and says the course is pretty stiff. Mrs. Ives has lost two more of her dogs by disappearance. Smoky is fast getting to be public enemy #1. July 4th slipped by with hardly a ripple, although I did hear distinctly about three firecrackers. Some different from my boyhood days. And that about winds us up for this evening. Will be visiting you again by letter next week. Meantime keep up the old spirit.


On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll post more from Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.

Next week, we’ll have letters from 1941. There are rumblings around the world, Lad has returned from Venezuela and has finally found a job. Ced, Dan and Dick are all still in Alaska, wondering about their status in the draft. At this point, this is a major concern for four out of five of Grandpa’s sons. Dave is still in school but if we get into the war and it lasts for years, Dave will come of age also.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Old Timers (4) – Grandpa’s Comments – July, 1945




Dan-uniform (2)

Dan Guion

Page 4    7/1/45

Dan, still in Maastricht, writes: (A) I go on my first two-day pass since more than a year ago – to Brussels – day after tomorrow. (B) Company commander informs me that my marriage papers are finally all set. Inasmuch as these news items have not yet reached fruition, I bring this letter to a close with request that you sent me immediately $100 Don’t be alarmed – – it’s a deal that seems pretty good, and I can always send the money back if it’s too late. I’m still sweating out the final “critical score” on points – – maybe I’ll make it yet. (With Dan’s letter was enclosed an official VE day report from the Major in charge giving an historical account of the formation of the Battalion and its progress to that date.) An excerpt from this report says: “Through all the days of battle on this continent our work went on. Through victories and reverses, from the beach landings to the breakthrough, our sweep through France to the battle of the Bulge and at last to the ultimate surrender of the German armies, Navy and Air Force, we continued to send maps to the front. We can now look back along the course and know that wherever American soldiers have fought on the continent, some of the maps they used have been produced by this Battalion. From the beaches to the hedgerows, from the plains of northern France to the hills of Belgium, from the forts of the Siegfried line to the heart of Germany, our maps have helped guide the tanks and infantry, have aided the artillery to pour fire on unseen targets. Each of us knows that we have arrived at a waystation on our path but not at our final goal. There is much to be done. 4 million soldiers of the U.S. Army in this theater must be sent to their posts, whether those posts lie in occupied Germany, in the far east, or at home. Germany must be occupied for a long time to come. And, most important of all, in the far east our savage and brutal enemy, Japan, remains unsubdued. The full might of our Armed Forces must be brought to bear against Japan to subdue her as soon as possible and to keep our losses in that war as low as possible. Whatever our next assignment may be, and where ever our post of duty may lie, I know that you will continue to produce in the same superior manner that you have in the past.”

Lad, old son, it’s quite natural you should feel a bit low, considering all of the circumstances, but you know it is frequently darkest before dawn. If you are sent to the far east, it will be at least an interesting experience, and it does begin to look as though cleaning up Japan won’t take too long. Meantime, I know your patient nature will overcome the natural disappointment we share with you at your not even having a 30-day furlough in the U.S. It’s always the waiting that is hardest and once you’re on the move it will be better.

Dave, I’ll write to Bill Stevens. Your suggestion about a round the world trip for me deserves a much lengthier discussion than can be accorded here. I’ll discuss it in a later letter. I’m asking Jean to cover Dick’s staff matter with you in detail as she knows more about it than I. Dan, your $100 will be on its way tomorrow. You say “money order” which means airmail. I shall try to find whether this is the quickest way. If rumors are true that they will lower point deadline, you certainly ought to qualify.


Aunt Betty

          Just one other item of interest. Aunt Betty had her hair cut short and then had a permanent which is not only much more comfortable this weather but is much easier to care for. Of course it changes her appearance and it is a bit hard to get used to it but it makes her look more modern and we all agree quite an improvement. Last week Stacy Kircher stopped in the office with Bob who is studying to be an Army medic and seems to be doing O.K. In fact, the whole family seems to be quite delighted with the fact that he will be given about $11,000 worth of education free. Adios until next week.


Trumbull – Dear Old Timers (3) – Dave Continues His Comments – July, 1945


Page 3    7/1/45

At the end of your letter you reminded Dick and myself that we have birthdays coming around in a few months and you ask what we might want. As you’ve said before, it’s hard to get something for boys in the service. You’re right, but what you don’t know is that it’s just as hard, or harder, to think of something we need when you’re in the service yourself. There’s always something to crab about but when you get right down to it, Uncle Sammy treats his boys pretty well and there isn’t much we need. I’m in an especially bad predicament because I don’t know where I’ll be when my birthday rolls around. I may be here and then again I may not be. If I asked you for something I could use here, the chances are I would be someplace where I couldn’t use that item when it got to me. One thing I can always use is food, any kind. Of course what I want most of all is a one-way trip back to the good old U.S.A., and I wouldn’t be too surprised if I didn’t get it by then – – or at least the war might be over and the prospect of getting home soon would be a little more tangible.

May 27th. I use a hell of a lot of “hell’s” in my letters, don’t I?

Alfred Duryee Guion

Jean (Mortenson) and Dick Guion

June 4th. Big news! Sure hope Jean goes to Brazil. The only sad spot, reading between the lines, is that Dick must not be figuring on getting home very soon. Is it true that he was made a staff? What’s the story? Dan’s account of VE Day in Belgium was very interesting. Here VE Day was very quiet except that the pounding of Naha was still going on and we could hear the rumble and everyone seemed a little happier and brighter, and of course that was the main subject for a few days following. Hope the news about Erwin is true. Is there anything wrong with him or have they just decided that he’s done enough and deserves a discharge? Thanks for the info on the folks in the apartment. I want to meet them. I got a kick out of your mentioning Dan’s and Lad’s points. Why, you should see the big number I rolled up! the! At tops, the most I can figure on is 29 – – kinda stinky, isn’t it? That’s all I can say on this letter and it’s the last I’ve got. It’s surprising how matter-of-fact everything is in a war zone. I’ve already mentioned how quiet it all was here on VE Day, and another thing that didn’t cause much of a stir was the death of Gen. Buckner. It was big news for a day but then they buried him, replaced him temporarily and forgot about him. I don’t know as they’ve forgotten about him at headquarters but you don’t hear about him here anymore. Three weeks ago last Sunday in Church, I stood just a few feet away from him. He looked pretty old but rugged. I still don’t know if he was generally liked or not. I’ve talked to some who worked with him who liked him and others that didn’t. Of the ones I’ve talked to, the ones that didn’t like him outweighed the ones that did. But then you don’t find many enlisted men that fully appreciate high ranking brass. I guess it’s only the things that directly concern the boys that makes things buzz. The most publicity any subject has got so far is the ending of the war. One day one of the boys who had been in Yonton  Airfield came back with the story that the pilots up there are betting that the war would be over by July 15th. There was a lot of speculation on that subject and still is and probably will be until July 15th comes and goes. While I think it quite possible it is not probable enough to suit me.

Tomorrow the conclusion of this letter with comments from Grandpa. On Friday, another of Grandpa’s letters.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Old Timers (2) – Local News and Comments From Dave – July, 1945

mig-jean-mortenson-guion-and-marian-irwin-guion-june-1945Page 2     7/1/45

Among local items of interest, Carl (Wayne) is now at school in New London, Charlie Hall is still in the Pacific somewhere, Erwin (Laufer) has not been well lately, due, his sister thinks, to the aftermath of his sojourn in the tropics; Monsanto has temporarily lost the use of one of his arms, Rod Sperling is somewhere in ice land, Nellie (Nelson Sperling) has sailed for the Pacific area and Harold (Sperling, perhaps?) is somewhere in the Philippines.

Jean has been up in the clouds since formal order arrived early this week with authorization for her to join Dick in Brazil. She will be literally up in the clouds sometime during the first part of August. It is all shrouded in official secrecy as far as details are concerned, so you will have to use your imagination.

The editor of the Quotes Dept. reports three letters this week: Lad, again in Southern France, reports a marked improvement in the attitude of the people and the condition of the city of Marseilles. It is being cleaned and rebuilt slowly. New storefronts appear frequently on almost every street. The rubble is almost gone and even the bombed out buildings here and there are being torn down or where slightly damaged, rebuilt. He has found a place where he can get near-American beer. He is getting tired sitting around with nothing to do, just waiting for orders, filling in time visiting movies, cafés, etc.

Dave reports on the various letters from home he has received as follows: April 29th – nice two-page letter with the caboose from Aunt Elsie attached to the rear end. No comments. May 13th. The one in which Lad tells of his getting a ride in a bomber. At first I was jealous of the boys in Europe but now I can truthfully say I think I am having more fun than either of them had. This last statement brings to mind the fact that I may be sent home as a psycho case. I’ve been telling everyone what a good time I’m having over here and what a nice place this island is. They think I’m nuts. I think everyone here will agree that this place isn’t bad but I’m afraid the officers, in reading over my letters, will think that I must be suffering from something to be having such a good time. An answer to Lad’s question, “Pop, old boy, how are you honestly feeling?”, You’ve given me some information which I too have been wondering about. Only I wasn’t thoughtful enough to inquire about your health, even though I also wanted to know if you were doing O.K. in connection with the subject – – vaguely connected – – I’ve been wondering if would be financially possible to pack you off to the four corners of the earth after I take over “ye olde advertising firme”. I know you’ve always wanted to travel and it would do you a world of good. You ought to start planning on it, because if it’s the last thing I do, I’m going to get you on the boat bound for distant lands. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to get rid of you, but from what little of this old world I’ve seen, I’d say it’s really something worth seeing. I see Aunt Elsie has found the same “sunshine” in Jean and Marian that the rest of us have found. Why do I say “found?”. You don’t have to look for it – – it’s right there.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with more comments from Dave’s letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Old Timers (1) – A Recap of One Year Ago, July, 1945

Alfred Duryee Guion - summer, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., July 1, 1945

Dear Old Timers:

Just for the hell of it let’s turn back the pages in the book of time and find out the status of things one year ago.

On July 1st, 1944, Lad wrote about receiving a letter from the Williams in Venezuela “Things have changed a lot there but the oil business is still going strong. Most all of the fellows have gotten married so I’m not the only one. Some of them have children though, so they are ahead of me in that respect. D-day for me is getting closer. Sometime this month the 142d is being transferred to some camp in the East. It looks as though I will have to go by train so Marian may drive east in the Buick. Right now the 3019 is doing some work in Camp Haan. We have been having a rather hot spell here in that, the day before yesterday, it was 105° in the shade.”

On July 3rd, Dan, who was spending his last week at Kew in London and experiencing the mental strain of the buzz bomb raids, quite likely not knowing that before the month was out he would be landing on the beaches of France and entirely unaware that there was a little Belgian-French girl waiting to meet him, writes: “We are now engulfed in a realism which focuses war in sharp, unmistakable images – – exciting, significant, decisive.”

On June 29th Ced reported in lengthy detail reminiscent of a medical report, that the poor old Buick was completely shot and had had to be laid up for repairs. He acknowledged receipt of the birthday gifts from home, reported his burns were now completely healed, that he had completed his CAA test with a score of 86, and related with delectable humor his letter to Literary Digest people about his renewal subscription, enclosed with another boost for “Union Now”.

Dick had not written since the previous April so the record for Brazil was rather blank.

A letter from Dave dated July 1st related how, on his return to Crowder from his trip home, he had gone to sleep and had gone past the station where he should have gotten out, but, nevertheless succeeded in getting back before the deadline.

My letter to you boys on the same day lamented Dave’s departure for Camp, noting the fact he had forgotten to take with him puttees and necktie. Lad was informed I had mailed his camera light gauge and a box of films, and a message from Dan was quoted in which mention was made that Peggy (Beebe) had donated blood in his behalf.

And Lad’s comment about the weather a year ago reminds me that the last few days here have been extremely hot, well up in the 90s, and only a few minutes ago a shower has made it a bit cooler. It really has not been the high temperature so much as the humidity which has made it seem hotter.

Tomorrow I’ll continue with the second page of this quite long letter.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (4) – Arriving in Chicago – July, 1934

Blog - CDG - Letter to his Dad - Arriving in Chicago - (4)Thursday, July 26

6 PM

Dear Dad,

I am staying here for four days at $.50 per day (I get a room about 4′ x 8′ with a good clean comfortable bed and although an inside room there is an open court and I get pretty good air on the third floor. I also have the use of the public shower and wash. I stayed with Draz’s over until Wednesday afternoon and got a ride into Toledo, from there I walked about a mile and was picked up and carried about 6 miles. I walked another mile and was carried about 12 miles; as I stepped out of this last car I signaled a 1927 Cadillac it actually stopped and picked me up. The driver was alone and proceeded to tell me all about his past, present and future (and could he’s swear!). He left me at Annapolis, Ohio, and then I walked about a block and a car stopped without the use of my right thumb. He was in the 1934 Buick and what a smooth ride! I stepped out of that car and as I did another car stopped without being asked and took me about a mile. I then walked a mile and got another ride for about 2 miles. That I walked about a mile and signaled an Auburn going about 55 and he stopped and picked me up. He told me he had been told not to pick anyone up as he had once gotten “bumped on the noodle” by a hitchhiker. He told me he was going to Chicago and we went along all right for a while and then he said he was tired and so he let me drive about 180 miles while he slept. At one time we stopped and he bought me a hamburger sandwich and a glass of milk, and did it taste good in the nice restaurant he went to! We arrived at his hotel about 2:30 AM and I went directly to the “Y” and got a room on the 18th floor for $.75, an outside room. I slept until 12:30 today and then walked along on the outside of the Fairgrounds but I did not go in as I would not have had a full day there. Tomorrow I will start bright and early (?) And put in a full day at the fair. After looking around a bit I came back to the ”Y” and enjoying my present room, the location of which I have shown approximately on the enclosed card.

There is a large recreation room and writing room etc. and I think living here will be very pleasant and worthwhile. The Draz’s all asked about you and wanted to be remembered to you. Mr. Draz offered to assist me if I got into trouble and they were very nice to me all the time I was there. They have a Nash and a new Ford V-8 and do they like the Ford! They also have a nice old house about hundred and four years old. Well goodbye until the next.

Lots of love,


Chicago YMCA with Ced's room marked

Chicago YMCA with Ced’s room marked

Chicago YMCA Postcard (message on the back)

Chicago YMCA Postcard
(message on the back)

The message reads:

Dear Elizabeth, Dick and Dave,

This place is only four blocks from the fair grounds and the city of Chicago is practically as large as New York. To tell you the truth, I wouldn’t mind having you all here, what fun we could have at the fair,

The fair itself takes up about 14 or 15 city blocks and I get tired just walking the length of it. Lots of love, Ced

P.S. I am sending your watch ticket Elizabeth and you better see Mr. Johnson soon.

For the next several weeks, we’ll be exploring the Chicago World’s Fair just as Ced did. He kept scads of memorabilia and I want to share it with you. Most of it also includes his notes and his reactions.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. Lad and Dan are both in France and Dan’s wedding to Paulette is fast approaching. Ced remains in Alaska, Dick is in Brazil and Dave is on Okinawa. Grandpa continues to carry on in Trumbull with Marian, Lad’s wife (and my Mom) and Jean, Dick’s wife and his Aunt Betty, who helps care for the house.

Judy Guion