Trumbull – Clearwater Beach – Oct., 1940

Grandpa wrote individual letters to each of his four sons this week. I’ll be posting two today and two tomorrow, but as usual, each son got a copy of all four letters. Grandpa really kept everyone connected and aware of what the others were doing.

October 20, 1940

Trumbull, Conn.

Dear Lad:

The score is 100% this week — letters from all four absent ones. Quadrapedes, I’d call it. Yours, acknowledging receipt of the album, written

Alfred (Lad) Peabody Guion

Alfred (Lad) Peabody Guion

October 6th, arrived on the 12th, and that’s pretty prompt carriage. I am glad it pleased your fancy. In fact, you appeared to be so much delighted with receiving a package by mail that I have sent another wee package of three little items I picked up in the 5 and 10 cents store. You have not said anything lately about the club and how it is going. Are you still on the board? What sort of games do you play? Can I send little trinkets or favors from time to time that would help?

With Chris’s time nearly up and Mr. Breeding out of circulation, it looks more than ever as though they need your ability and experience.

An interesting letter from Dick says they have rented a cottage at Clearwater Beach, Florida, with the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, shower room, screened porch in front with a hammock and a daybed; also a refrigerator, hot and cold running water and access to the beach at any time, all for $15 a week (which they succeeded in getting reduced to $13). The water, Dick says, is the clearest he has ever seen with the possible exception of Silver Springs. The sand is very fine and smooth and packs well. Evidently they are having a good time.


Dear Dick:

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

I was very glad, of course, to receive your letter written from 454 ½ Mandalay Blvd., Clearwater Beach. You can sing your own song about the road to Mandalay now. It was interesting also to know that you located Aunt Anne. While you did not say so, I assume you stayed the night at her house. Incidentally, I have, since receiving your letter, re-mailed the one that was returned, to her again. Sorry you could not have stopped in Washington and looked up your cousin who wrote me that she was expecting you, had a daughter about your age who was very anxious to meet you, etc.

Donald Whitney stopped in the other night and asked me if I would give him a character reference letter to use in applying for enlistment in the Marine Reserve Corps. Incidentally I served on the local conscription enrollment board which met at Center School. During the day we handled the enrollment of 99 men. There were a total of 330 from Trumbull. Many other Trumbull men of course enrolled in Bridgeport. I am waiting with interest to hear from Dan and Ced on their experiences in Alaska and also whether Lad filled out any application sent to him by his company in New York.

Carl and Ethel are thinking of getting married about February 1st  and were hoping to get the apartment about the first of the year so Ethel could furnish it. This may yet be possible if the Times-Star man backs out. I told Karl I would be willing to bet that one of Ced’s great regrets about being in Alaska was the fact that he could not be present at Carl’s wedding to “do his bit”, but that probably Bill Slawson would not need any help at that.

Incidentally, I also heard that it was a strong possibility that Benny Slawson, after enlistment, would be sent to Alaska. Wouldn’t it be something if he was stationed near Anchorage?

How long do you expect to stay at Clearwater Beach? Be sure you let me know what your plans are far enough in advance so there will be time for your letter to reach me and me to get a reply back to you, next mailing stop, before you reach it. Two weeks would be a safe margin, I should say.

Dan is anxious to be kept posted on your doings, and in his last letter says,” Dick, you rat, if you head for Florida let me in on the trip as it progresses. You want to keep a day by day record of it for posterity. It is more fun to read over such a journal in later days than it is to live it. Take it from an old peregrine.”

Ced promises to send me, as soon as he can get it from the photographer, an airview of Anchorage. He also writes he got a bonus with his last paycheck, which may turn out to be a raise. He is a bit modest, but if his boss knows him as well as I do, there would be no doubt about it being a raise. He also mentions finding out in the course of a conversation with the only girl member of the flying club, that she comes from New Milford — usual remark about the world being a small place, etc.

Not much local news that I can think of except that Mr. Davis evidently is a poor loser and claims he is going to make trouble for the new Republican administration. It started by Davis claiming the new First Selectman, Bailey, ought pay him the equivalent of one week of his salary for helping him to get started, based on the premise that that was what he (Davis) did in my case, which is about as cold a lie as anyone could tell.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the other two letters. Then on Saturday, we’ll have another Tribute To Arla and on Sunday, the next installment of Mary E. Wilson’s Autobiography. Next week, we’ll look in on 1943 and see what’s going on with Lad’s engagement as well as what the other boys are up to.

Judy Guion


14 thoughts on “Trumbull – Clearwater Beach – Oct., 1940

  1. Mrs. P says:

    Ah, the 5 and 10 stores…a word that really dates people. I recall having to explain what a 5 and 10 was to a seven year old when I was teaching.

  2. I like what Dick said about the water: ..” is the clearest he has ever seen with the possible exception of Silver Springs.” I remember Clearwater Beach was a nice beach but,Silver Springs may be clearer… or, at least the last time I visited which has been a long time.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mary Gilmartin – I agree with you. I have seen both in the early 2000’s and I still think Solver Springs is the winner.
      I don’t know how you found my blog, but I’m glad you are enjoying bthe stories of my family. Since I’m reading most of these letters for the first time, I find out new things every week.
      For example – In a Bridgeport Telegram newspaper there was a short piece about a card party that Arla was hosting at her home,”Babbling Brook”. I had never heard of the house referred to by that name. And then, last night, as I was transcribing the letters for the coming week, I came across this quote, “CHRISTMAS BOXES: How much moral fortitude have the boys in the service? Can the Trumbull contingent resist temptation? Have the Guion draftees willpower strong enough so that they can delay opening their Christmas boxes, being sent sometime during the coming week, until December 25th, no matter how much before that date said box arrives? These are the questions that the inmates of BABBLING BROOK are asking themselves, instead of the outmoded question: “Is there a Santa Claus?” I had NO IDEA. It may have been used while Arla was alive but never used again because of the memories it invoked. I’ll never know for sure.

  3. Clearwater Beach for $15 week. Sigh… Doubt you could do it up right now for much less than $1500 week!

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Linda Arthur Tejera – Just imagine, hot AND cold running water as one of the amenities. Leads me to believe that there were lots of places that didn’t have both !!! I also wonder how they got it down to $13. My thought is the timing – summer is over and winter hasn’t begun – but Grandpa taught his children well. He tried and was successful. I, on the other hand, would accept whatever they told me the rate was, and either decide I wanted it enough to pay that or I didn’t, but I wouldn’t try to get the rate reduced. Then again, Dick is an Expressive personality,, very charming and likable; I’m an Amiable, and detest confrontation. I avoid it like the plague…

  4. gpcox says:

    Wish Dick had sent pictures of Clearwater, FL from 1940 – it would have been interesting to see them.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      gpcox – I agree. I haven’t gone through all the pictures I have, and couldn’t identify many of the ones I have seen, but as I learn more of their doings, I may be able to identify them.

      It was only a few weeks ago that I discovered a picture that I thought was Aunt Betty, had it confirmed by Dan’s wife, and then could go back and identify her in other pictures. I’m sure this process will continue,

      • Mrs. P says:

        Yes, do use all living relatives to identify these while you can. Most of my trips to my aunt involve documenting who is who in pictures. My grandmother was very helpful in naming many of the family pictures that go back into the 1880s before she passed.

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