Alfred Duryee Guion – Random Thoughts

While sorting through boxes of material that I brought back from California I came across two items of Grandpa’s that I want to share with you. The first is a short poem entitled “The Children’s Appeal” written by Mamie Gene Cole. I believe that this poem is a more accurate reflection on my Grandfather’s thoughts about the subject then the darker Father To His Son poem I posted a few days ago.

The Children’s Appeal

“I am the Child, all the world waits for my coming.

All the world watches with interest to

see what I shall become.

Civilization hangs in the balance,

For what I am, the world of tomorrow will be.

I am the Child.

I have come into your world, about which

I know nothing.

Why I came I know not;

How I came I know not.

I am curious; I am interested.

I am the Child.

You hold in your hand my destiny.

You determine, largely, whether I shall

succeed or fail.

Give me, I pray you, those things that

make for happiness.

Train me, I beg you, that I may be a

blessing to the world.”

Mamie Gene Cole

The second piece has no title or date. I believe my Grandfather wrote it during the war. I also believe it’s another example of the deep thinker my grandfather was. It begins with a question.

Did man consciously follow Natures example in working out his military strategy?

That is the question that occurred to me the other day after watching a TV documentary, demonstrating how, all over our world, U.S. military forces are stationed to maintain law and order to the most remote outpost, reporting back to, and being supplied by, the high command in Washington.

How similar this man-build organization of ours follows the operational system within the human body! No one of thinking age can escape the conclusion that within each of our bodies are mechanisms continually at work to maintain conditions of health, ready day and night, to adjust to changing conditions, counteracting germs, healing minor hurts, etc., in each small outpost of our being.

Most of these minor troubles are taken care of at the source by the small local garrison before they have a chance to develop, but when enemy attacks are in force or there is infiltration behind the lines, it becomes necessary to ask for reinforcements from headquarters. Should unusual conditions arise we may consult a specialist (a physician in the case of disease) or other outside help, but in any case the general staff is always on the job to repair and heal, the help of the surgeon or physician being important, but secondary.

If the trouble develops and spreads to such proportions that a major war threatens, than the Commander-in-Chief is called on to safeguard the whole country’s well-being and all bodily resources rally to the cause.

Pervading all, of course, is the Supreme Power that governs all conditions in the universe, who makes the final decision, in spite of all little man can do in his finite way.

There is no moral to be drawn. Perhaps this analogy between military organization and human body functioning is not a new idea. With all the books written these days on every conceivable phase of life it would be strange if someone had not developed the idea more interestingly than I have stated it above, but as far as I am concerned, it is an original concept, for whatever value it may have. Anyway, it does give point to the phrase in the 139th Psalm about our ‘having fearfully and wonderfully made’. The question in the opening paragraph still remains unanswered.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting another Tribute To Arla, in the form of a letter written from a friend of my grandfather’s, himself a father, on his thoughts about fatherhood and advice to a new father.

On Sunday, we’ll pick up where we left off in Alaska in 1940, where Dan and Ced have been for the past four months. Lad remains in Venezuela and Grandpa and the three younger children are in Trumbull.

If you think these posts are interesting or know of someone who might enjoy them also, pass them along. I believe that her own life stories bridge the gap between generations and provide the glue that holds families together. Why don’t you share a story or two with members of your family?

Judy Guion


10 thoughts on “Alfred Duryee Guion – Random Thoughts

  1. Mrs. P says:

    I like his mental ponderings and the way he used the human body as an analogy to the structure of the military. I have on quite a few occasions been in awe at the complexities and wonders of the human body. So many systems. It’s hard not to think of things like that when you are mechanically inclined.

    Much better poem, too.

    • Judy Guion says:

      Mrs. P. – I, too, am amazed by the complexity, resilience and yet the fragility of the human body. It can withstand so much and yet it is mostly water !!! One very awesome creation.

      I like the poem very much. I think it expresses the seriousness and the responsibility we parents – and other adults – have to all the children we come in contact with. They are our legacy and we must do what we can to give them a strong foundation to stand on.

  2. dan randol says:

    Love love love the poem! I am still following your posts cousin…

    Dan Randol

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Judy Guion says:

      Good to hear from you, Dan. I have so many questions for you that I’d like to connect with you off-line. If you could send an email to this address ( I’ll send you my phone number so we can talk.

  3. Judy Guion says:

    Koji – There is so much about World War II that we’ll never know, because that generation didn’t talk about their hardships and pain. They held it all inside. That’s just the way they were brought up.

  4. gpcox says:

    Gives a person a lot to ponder over.

  5. Gallivanta says:

    Lovely poem and it does seem to sit well with the way your grandfather cares for his family.

  6. Mustang.Koji says:

    Infiltration by the enemy would have been harrowing… My belief is that there would be a higher likelihood of close-in combat or hand to hand. Frightening. Old Man Jack never did hand to hand but that’s just a guess.

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