Biss Writes to Ced – Question About Ced’s Deferment – March 31, 1944

Elizabeth, known as Biss to family and friends,  Grandpa’s only daughter, is married and living in Stratford, CT, a few miles from Trumbull. She and Zeke Zabel have two boys, Grandpa’s first two grandchildren.

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

            Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Friday afternoon

2:07 P.M.

3/31/44

Dear Ced: —

I am going to do a mean thing to you and write a very short note, as it is well into the PM already and I have touched nothing at all in the house. Besides I have just finished writing five other letters and am beginning to get tired. I wrote Alfred, Aunt Dorothy, Uncle Burton, Peg and Viv. Viv was disappointed because she didn’t get to see you while you were home. I am writing mainly to find out how you made out with your deferment and whether or not this new law, of all under 26, will spoil your deferment for you – I hope you will be able to hold off until June and maybe you will be able to keep out altogether.

I got a letter from Aunt Dorothy this morning and she is up and around again – that is what started me on this writing spree. I had been meaning to write her ever since I found out she was laid up. I am beginning to feel like my old self again, thank goodness. Butch is supposed to be in bed with a cold but I think he is out more than in – I have told him to get back to bed so far about 100 times at least. Marty just came in from outside with wet feet and pants so he has to go to bed as soon as he is through  in the bathroom. They’re going to have their pictures taken tomorrow night in their sailor suits. I wish it would get nice and warm out – we have had a couple of warm days so far and it just makes one inpatient for more of them. Marty is calling so I guess I had better close here.

Love,

Biss

P.S. – My arm is so tired it is stiff and sore – that is my real reason for stopping.

Tomorrow, a quick note from Lad to Grandpa, Thursday, another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another letter to Ced from Peg, a friend in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dan Writes to Grandpa – American Red Cross in London – March, 1944

 

This is the article that prompted Dave to write a letter to Grandpa dedicated to the U.S.O, which I posted on Saturday. The following article appeared in The Bridgeport Post, Bridgeport, Conn., on Monday, March 27, 1944.

Daniel Beck Guion

 

Red Cross on Call for All Servicemen in London, Corp. Guion Tells Family

The American Red Cross in London is “a composite Travelers’ aid, shopping guide, nursemaid, companion, entertainer,  tour conductor, encyclopedia, Dorothy Dix and hostess, all at the beck and call of any G. I. in uniform”, according to Corp. Daniel B.  Guion, of Trumbull, now stationed in London.

“Because it occupies such a prominent place in my mind today, I am dedicating this letter to the ARC (American Red Cross)”, Corp. Guion recently wrote to his father, Alfred D. Guion, of Trumbull.

The clubs in London have been a Godsend to every American serviceman who has come to London,  wanting to get the most out of his visit, the Trumbull soldier continues. “Maps, accommodations, education, information, entertainment, all are the daily diet of the ARC.”

Rooms and meals, he says, are available at minimum cost. “But nicest of all, a new ARC club has just opened quite near the place rather different from the downtown London clubs, more like a USO in that there are no overnight facilities to attract the Grand Central Terminal crowd, that prevails in the regular clubs, coming and going at all hours of the day and night, unkempt from travel, gas masks and musette bags drooping from weary shoulders as they lineup for lodgings.”

This club, designed for men stationed in the area rather than for transient servicemen, appeals strongly to Corp. Guion’s sense of the historic and dramatic.

On Site of Old Palace

“This local ARC is housed in a building built by Christopher Wren for Queen Anne, in the early 18th century,” he explains.  “It is built on the site of an old palace,  which, causes it to fairly reek of atmosphere and tradition, despite the modern comforts that have been added for its present function.”

 

Great figures of Britain’s past, who have stopped there, or played their parts in the immediate vicinity, include 21 Kings, four queens, Chaucer, Woolsey, Sir Walter Raleigh, Francis Bacon, Spencer (“he read the Faery Queen to Queen Bess”) and Dean Swift.

Open Fireplace

“There is an open fireplace in virtually every room. Library, music room, dining room, information desk, all contribute notably to our comfort indoors, while spacious lawns, secluded bowers, gardens and aged walls lend an aura of romantic antiquity to the grounds around it. Glimpses of barges and boats can be caught through the trees that line the further edge of the lawn past which a river flows.

“By fortunate coincidence I am able to take advantage of this club during the daylight hours all this week, because I have begun working on a shift job which changes hours periodically.”

Corp. Guion is not new to world travel. As a U.S. government engineer, he traveled through a good bit of South America, spending some time working in Venezuela, and before entering service, was given an assignment in Alaska. He had his early education in Trumbull schools, attending Central High School, and was graduated from the University of Connecticut. He has been overseas with the U.S. Army for several months.

Mr. Guion, Sr.,  is an enthusiastic volunteer worker for the Trumbull branch, Bridgeport chapter, American Red Cross, which he serves as director of public information.

“We all know the Red Cross is doing a grand job, here and abroad.” he says. “But it gives an added boost to your morale to hear directly from your own boy how extremely well the organization is serving our men overseas.”

 

Tomorrow,, a letter from Elizabeth (Biss) to Ced, one of her older brothers, then a letter from Grandpa, on Thursday a quick note form Lad and on Friday, another letter to Ced from Peg, a friend in Trumbull..

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (20) – In An Exceptionally Good Mood – April 17, 1944

 

COMPANY A, 36TH SIGNAL TRAINING BATTALION

CENTRAL SIGNAL CORPS REPLACEMENT TRAINING CENTER

CAMP CROWDER, MISSOURI

April 17, 1944

To the Manager and “guests” of the Guion Lady’s Home —

If, for some reason or other, my introduction (or what have you) is offensive to one or more of you – please pardon.  For some reason or other (a lot of “or other” tonight), I’m in an exceptionally good mood – maybe it’s because I just answered a letter El (Elinor Kintop, his girlfriend back home) sent me last week.  It really was some morale builder – follow me?

I don’t know if I told you or not, but Lt. Bach couldn’t pull enough strings. (Lt. Bach was trying to pull some strings to get Dave into a Cadre slot – which would have made him a Cpl. right way.)

There is really not anything to say this week – but I don’t want to spoil my record (Proud of it).

I like radio better now –  but seven hours a day of dits and daws isn’t easy – tiresome as (pardon me) Hell!

I got a letter from Bissie this week (as you know of course) and she asked me for one of my pictures.  How about giving me an inventory of pictures on hand and also what I owe you.

Also, Dad, I’d like to know what, if you have any, your ideas are as to how long the war will last both with Japan and Germany.  When the second front will start, what the peace terms will be, and all such things connected with this blasted war.  I know no one can tell for sure – but I’d just like to know what your up-to-date ideas are on the subject.

You’d be surprised how little we know of this war after we get into the Army.

Sorry I can’t write a more interesting letter – but there just isn’t anything to write.

Love,

Dave

What do you think of the stationary (G.I. – Free)

Tomorrow, I will be posting letters written about this same time, in March of 1944, I will share a letter from Grandpa, a letter to Ced from Rusty Huerlin in Nome, Alaska, and another letter from Grandpa with notes to each of his boys.

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (19) – Dear Dad – Dedicated to the U.S.O. – April 9, 1944

David Peabdy Guion left High School in the middle of his Senior year – after his 18th birthday – to enlist in the Army, following in the steps of three of his older brothers. He spent most of his first two months at Fort Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, for Basic Training. He has been transferred to Camp Crowder, near Carthage, Missouri, to continue his training in Radio School. He is fairly consistent at this point, writing home to his father, Grandpa, and  sister-in-law Jean, married to his closest brother, who is in Brazil,acting as a liaison officer with the local workers.

NOTE: The darker shading on this letter is from the previous letter. All of these letters have been in a pile for probably about fifty-five years and have aged and dried out considerably.

 

 

David Peabody Guion

Sunday, April 9, 1944

Dear Dad: —

Dan’s letter on the Red Cross is prompting this one which I will dedicate to the U.S.O. If the U.S.O. in Carthage is typical of all or most of them — then we in the service owe much to the people who started, are running and supporting them.

Dan’s letter – which Dave refers to – is scheduled to be posted tomorrow, when we again visit 1944. It is based on a letter Dan wrote to Grandpa, who contacted the local paper, The Bridgeport Post, shared the letter and was interviewed for the story which was published on Monday, March 24, 1944.

The Carthage U.S.O. is the only one I really know — so I will tell you about it.

Let’s take a rookie from far away — the life he leads is new — the people he meets are new — the land he sees is new — everything is so different from what he’s been used to.

On his first weekend — he leaves camp and goes out into a new town — he’s on his own.  Leaving camp and the regimented life makes him feel very strange — in a strange place.

Where does he go (if he doesn’t drink)? — Straight to the U.S.O. where he knows he can see kind faces and friendly people.

He’s met at the door by a lady that could easily be his own mother.  Immediately she senses his plight — and informs him of the things that are available at the U.S.O.  She tells him of the points of interest in the town.  She tells him he may have a snack at the canteen — or maybe he just wants a piece of cake or an apple that sit on a table for the taking.  He may sit and read, write letters, or maybe he’d like to listen to the radio or phonograph — they’re all at his disposal.  Maybe when he feels a little more at home — he will go upstairs and dance with some of the local girls.  About now he will begin to feel at ease in the “Home away from home” — which is what the U.S.O. calls itself — and rightly, too.

Maybe now he has the courage to venture out into the town to see the sights — but he feels he’d like to fix himself up a little bit.  Well — again — it’s the U.S.O. to the rescue.  Shave? – Yes.  Shine? – Yes.  Towel and soap? – Yes.  Sewing equipment? – Yes.  Shower? – Yes.  Pants pressing? – Yes. — All this is for nothing.  You may even get a bed – and breakfast in the morning for 50 cents.  Besides all this there are facilities for games — ping-pong, shuffleboard, and the like, all sorts of information is at your disposal – points of interest, bus schedules, church services, in fact almost anything you could think of.  There are so many things that are provided — you just can’t sit down and name them all — just think of any service that might be provided — the U.S.O. will provide it.

But best of all is not the material things — it’s the kind faces – and kind spirit that goes with those faces – of the people who give up their spare time to the boys in the service — even on this Easter Sunday.  God Bless the people who run and help run the U.S.O.

Happy Easter,

Dave

Tomorrow, the next letter from Dave to the folks back home in Trumbull, from a new recruit of Uncle Sam. 

Judy Guion

Friends – Hello, Laddie Dear (2) – A letter From Trumbull Friends – March 23, 1939

This is the second half of a  letter written by Laura Mae Stanley (Larry), who is married to Russell Stanley.  I believe both grew up in Trumbull and knew my father, Lad, through school.

Lad at one of the Camps in Venezuela

 

March 30th, 1939

Laddie dear-

Am ashamed to think that I have not had time to finish this letter to you long before this but things have been happening so fast and furious that I haven’t had even time to think.

We have had to change our place of staying with the baby and that meant a lot of extra work for me the last of last week.  So when I reported to work Monday morning at the new place, the baby would not let me out of his sight, so I have had to be a shadow to the child.

This will not reach you in time to wish you Happy Birthday on the day but we still mean it just as much as if it had arrived on time.

We are taking the baby to Boston this weekend to leave him with his aunt there at least for the summer, so after this weekend I am decidedly through, thank God.

I will be so terribly glad to get home that I don’t know what to do.  The only thing missing is that Laddie is not here to drop in on us, but we are hoping that the time will soon come when we will see you again.

Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) and Kitty came up last evening and told us all about things, but not anything very exciting.

(over)

We had not seen Babe in quite some time and were nicely surprised that Kitty with her, however, from things that were said I understand that they travel around together a great deal.

Excuse the errors in this typing but I haven’t touched a machine in so long that I have almost forgotten all I ever knew.  I want very much to make the boat tomorrow with this so I am hurrying to get it in the mail.

Not much more to tell you now so I will close, with all our best love and wishes for your continued happiness in the future, and may we see or hear from you soon.  We very much enjoy your letters for they are extremely interesting and we’re looking forward to receiving another soon.  I will not take so long to answer you next time, I promise, and I can’t break a promise cannot?

As ever your loyal friends,

Larry and Russ

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting two more letters from Dave and his World War II Army adventure.

Do you know of someone who might be interested in reading about the adventures of a young Army recruit, telling about his adventures from Basic Training to the end of the war?  Why not share my blog with them.  They may really appreciate it.

Judy Guion

Friends – Hello, Laddie Dear (1) – A letter From Trumbull Friends – March 23, 1939

This letter was written by Laura Mae Stanley (Larry), who is married to Russell Stanley.  I believe both grew up in Trumbull and knew my father, Lad, through school.

 

                       Lad in Venezuela

March 23,  1939

Hello, Laddie dear;

The letter and pictures were very welcome, and we enjoyed hearing from you.  Am very sorry to state that your first letter by regular post has never been received or seen.  Males must be extremely uncertain in your vicinity.

First of all we send our sincerest and best wishes to you on your birthday.  Having looked up rates for packages, and not knowing on what items you would be required to pay duty, we are saving your more material getting until you return to native soil.  We certainly hope your birthday will be pleasant and the year following be full to overflowing with success and happiness.

Has your stomach finally accustomed itself to the food and climate of your present abode?  Hope you feel better than you did.

We saw Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend from Trumbull) for the first time in about a month, last Sunday.  She and Catherine popped in for supper, so that explains my having your new address.  Where is this, and what are you doing?  Does “Carora Estada” mean some kind of a state?

Hope you do not think we had forgotten you.  The long distance between letters is due to my still working and having run into some serious complications with this case recently.as you perhaps remember I do not stay at Beebe’s over the weekends.  Well, one weekend recently Mrs. Bebee, the baby’s mother, girl about twenty-eight years old, tried to commit suicide.  She took an extremely large dose of sleeping tablets (22 tablets to be exact).  As a result she was in a coma for 96 hours and had developed a very critical case of bronchial pneumonia.  She consumed the tablets on Saturday night and was in very bad shape when I arrived on deck Monday morning.  That morning we sent her to the hospital and I have been going around like a pinwheel trying to keep things at the house running smoothly and keep her husband from going completely haywire.  I don’t stop hardly for time to breathe.

Enough of my worries, you undoubtedly have your own and do not care to hear about more of them.

Russell and I are actually going away for our anniversary.  We are going to stay in the same room at the Bond in Hartford, that we had when we were honeymooning.  We are probably incurably sentimental, but we enjoy it and thought it would be fun.  Having been married three years and never celebrated very much on our anniversary, due to Rusty’s work, we decided it was about time we did.  Don’t you agree?

We are very much interested in hearing more about the country, what you are doing and all about the people, their customs and so forth.  Most of all we like to hear about you.

Have you had any trouble as yet with those pesky tics you told us about?  Every once in a while we think of them and wonder if you have managed to escape them.  Ever since you went down there people have been nice enough to tell us all about the deadly insects and fevers that are rampant in those countries – needless to say we are extremely anxious about you and hope and pray you are safe.

Would you care for any of the snow we have here?  If you’re very warm down there, just remember us, we still have snow and our weather stays around the disagreeable figure of 24″ to 28″the majority of the time.  Hope some warm weather shows up soon.  How about your heat down there, is it quite warm or not?

By your pictures I would say you were getting very, very brown, and you look good, shave or no shave, who cares anyway.

We still miss you like the perfect deuce and will welcome you wholeheartedly on your return whenever that may be.

Will declare a recess while I get Tyler up, bathed and dressed.

Tomorrow, the conclusion to this letter. 

Judy Guion

Venezuelan Adventure – Dear Dad – Lad Writes to Grandpa – March 23, 1939

Lad in Caracas, 1939

Caracas

Mar. 23, 1939

Dear Dad: –

I am still in Caracas since the money from the Gov’t.  has not come through yet and also one of the big reasons to get to camp in a hurry was to see Dick Wiberly, the chief draftsman of the camp.  Well, Tuesday evening, about 6:00, he walked into the hotel and has told Bill that if he does the changes on the accepted plans here it will save two or three days.  The work could be done in camp faster, but the traveling time from here and back would not offset, by a couple of more days, the extra few hours used in doing the work here.  Therefore, it may be next Mon. or so before I leave.  The longer I stay here the better satisfied I shall be. T.H.  is again back to about the same condition he was last Sat. morning so it seems that he shall continue to improve again.  His liver is terribly swollen and the doctor said today that he must become a vegetarian and can only eat a very slight amount of fish or chicken once or twice a week, but once in the States, to cut it out completely.

He received your letter last Tues. , I believe, and is going to hold onto the poem.  He enjoyed that immensely and also asked me to tell you that it is his physical, and not mental, condition that is restraining him from writing to you.  Nevertheless, “Best Wishes and Thanks” says he.  He will write soon but until then this is the reason he is alive.  When he got to Hell, the devil said, “get the hell out of here – there is no use corrupting the morals of those already here.”  But he is not peeved at him because he thinks that the devil has heard about the Co., and thinks anyone connected with it should not be allowed to enter his domain.

Daniel has expressed a desire to return to the states this fall and finish his schooling so T.H. is not worried about him in the least since he knows he will collect all that is due and also have no trouble in getting another job through the E.S.E.S.  As to Lad – he knows so little about engineering of the sort that it would not be advisable at the present and anyway, the introductions –  I have met the complete Venezuelan factors of the Venezuelan Petroleum Co.  A company nearly as large as the Sacony Vacuum Oil Co., I have, as I may have mentioned earlier, had dinner at the general managers home with the president of the Co. and I have done some work on their cars that has pleased the whole bunch very much.  Another thing – T.H. knows the whole gang in New York very well, and when he returns, will work on them, if necessary.  Those here, however, have more than once expressed the desire of having me on their payroll in place of the present man who is very much disliked and not a thorough worker.  It is now – T.H. says – only a question of time, and then I shall be set for life, if I desire it.  Mr. O’Connor has just returned from the Llanos in one of the cars I fixed and swears it has not run so well in quite a few years.  He drove out and back with absolutely no trouble except getting stuck in the sand and dust twice, and try as he might, he could not find any way to blame it on me.  The whole bunch, from the president down, apparently likes me quite well.

Another temporary possibility to hold me until they accept me is in a brand-new textile mill being built now in Barquisimeto.  They are putting in a large Diesel, Fairbanks-Morse, and Mr. O’Connor introduced me to the F-M representative here who is supposed to supply an operator.  The operator will probably be in charge of all the mill equipment also.  This is to be a “Model” installation so, of course, everything will be of the best and it must be kept clean and in good repair.  The salary here will be, if I get the job, at least B.’s 1,000 per month although I have been told to start at 1,500.  That is from$300 to $500 per month, approx., higher than the starting salary of Venez. Pet.  of $200 per month.   However, I should prefer to work for the Ven. Pet.  and in time the income should exceed that of the Barq.  Proposition.  However, for the present, I am still with Int. Inc. (Inter-America, Inc.)

T.H. says that later he is going to give you a suggestion as to the course of action he would like to have you follow that should give “damn good results”, but for the present, to fortify the castle and stave off the collectors for a short time longer.

I am fine, have gained a few pounds, and am now learning a little more Spanish each day.  It is beginning to come a little more easily now, and in a month more, I think that I should be able to readily understand the simpler people and also converse with them.  The more intelligent ones, unless restrained, use larger words, but they understand me better.

Well Dad, so much for the present and lots of luck to all —

Laddie

Tomorrow and Friday, a letter to Laddie from friends in Trumbull.  

Judy Guion