Army Life – Easter, 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. I

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

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.

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.”

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.

DAD

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

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7 thoughts on “Army Life – Easter, 1943

  1. Mustang.Koji says:

    Your grandfather had such a lovely way with words…and to think he handwrote this endearing letter. It is a shame so many of us are losing the art of “pen and paper” which adds so much to a letter.

    • To be perfectly honest, my grandfather typed all of his letters, making copies with carbon paper so he could be sure everyone got one. But you are so right about the “Art of Letter Writing”. One of my goals is to share the “Art of Communication”, which just can’t happen in abbreviated text messages or “sound bites”. The letters he receives are mostly hand-written and it’s quite amazing how much of a person’s personality comes through by reading how they express themselves. I find it fascinating and am glad that you enjoy them too.

  2. Mrs. P says:

    Ced is really quit a benevolent man. I liked reading his thoughts.

    My grandfather and grandmother also had a Victory Garden, yes they were the rage.

    • Ced was a conscientious objector who worked for the military on an airbase taken over during the war, but missed being drafted by only ONE DAY !!! I’ll be posting that whole story at a later time.

  3. Thank you. Even though some of us have made what others would call “mistakes” or “poor choices”, the love and encouragement continues to hold our large family together,

  4. gpcox says:

    Your family is unbelievable; the kind of wholesome people everyone wishes they had.

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