Alfred Duryee Guion’s Autobiography – Introduction

Alfred Duryee Guion         1884 - 1964

Alfred Duryee Guion
1884 – 1964

It seems logical at the beginning to answer the question why. First while I have never felt any particular desire to write an autobiography believing that such are usually motivated by either a sense of smugness or an egotism based on the premise that one has played a part in some notable achievement important enough to record, there is an offsetting reason attributable to the fact that family records of births, marriages and deaths make a dull reading unless enlivened by a revealing glimpse of an individual’s span, hoping to clarify for the reader the background against which his days are spent. If our ancestors had written their memoirs and handed them down to posterity, how much more interesting our heritage would seem! I have always experienced quite a thrill in reading the Guion family records of past events, and in my small way want to do my share to aid in this continuity.

Second, I do have a strong feeling of family unity. I am gratified that all of my six children are married, have their own families, and our credit to the nation, to the community, and to themselves. I have high hopes for my grandchildren. As a parent I have had some influence in their molding. It all seems worth recording.

Third, from a plateau of 75 years one can look back with a prospective not possible at a younger age, and see more clearly the important high spots.

Fourth, and perhaps the compelling reason for getting started, at least, is to supply an answer to the at least, is to supply an answer to the oft repeated request for Grandpa “to tell them a story of when he was a boy”.

The following was written in the spring of 1960 while on it for months quote around the world” freighter trip.

The time consumed plying between ports affords plenty of leisure to reminisce and record events, some of which have not been recalled to mind for many years. At such times also, one’s thoughts hark back to the loved ones at home, particularly the grandchildren and their interest to learn about grandpa’s childhood. In this way the idea was born for these bits of personal history, and as I’m used more and more on the subject I realized that happenings of 50 years ago now said to the young folks in history books, might take on an added interest if recorded by one who had actually been a part of them.

Someday I hope one of my children will want to set down on paper for his children’s entertainment, and perhaps for posterity’s sake, recollections of their own childhood, much as I myself have tried to do here for the benefit of my children and grandchildren, being induced to do so partly by realization of the lack I felt of more details of my own father’s youth, he having died when I was too young to really appreciate and evaluate the things he might have told me of his early days, and of his mother, my grandmother, who from all accounts was a truly remarkable woman.

And before I leave this introduction, may I hope that one of my children or grandchildren will feel interest enough in the entire Guion family history to gather what material of this sort is now available and from it compile an orderly record of past and present annals to be preserved for future Guions.

Further, there is the possibility and hope that from it all may eventually grow a GUION FAMILY ASSOCIATION, perhaps meeting annually to further the historical project as the years roll by. We have a good starting base with the six of our own group.

Each Saturday, I’ll be posting stories and early memories of Grandpa. I think you’ll bfind that his life was quite varied and interesting. I hope you enjoy it.

Judy Guion

10 thoughts on “Alfred Duryee Guion’s Autobiography – Introduction

  1. Mrs. P says:

    Did I get that correctly? He went on a four month “around the world” tour by freighter? There was a woman I used to talk to who was in her nineties and she too mentioned touring by freighter. I hope he tells more about this.

    Well, you’ve done an awesome job putting together the letter…now about that orderly part…Though you don’t have it chronological, I think it passes for orderly, especially since you put them in their own categories. :)

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mrs. P. – When I first started thinking about writing a blog, my Analytical personality wanted to start at the beginning and do it chronologically. My Expressive personality thought that it would be of interest to more readers if I covered the war years. So began the several different story lines. I have posted them in bigger chunks to make it easier to follow and added the Guion Timeline to help the reader visually see where everyone is at a particular time. I just keep learning and, I hope, improving.

      • Mrs. P says:

        I love the way you have introduced it but have wondered would it be as interesting if is was done chronologically? Come to think of it, it’s presented like many novels where the author writes about various characters and they are intermixed with eachother…except it’s not chronological….just musing.

        • jaggh53163 says:

          My thought was that it would only be interesting chronologically after the reader got to know the characters – especially Grandpa. He was the glue that held the family together and his letters keep my blog together.
          A second thought is that there isn’t really a story line with the childhood memories of the children, although, chronologically, they would come near the beginning. I think they mean more after you have an idea of who this person is.

  2. Gallivanta says:

    Such wonderful foresight.

  3. Your Grandfather was so well-spoken. I’m glad to see you’re carrying on the family history–to which he alluded.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      warturoadam77p – I was very excited and gratified when I actually started posting less than a year ago. I’d known since I first read this introduction, that that is what I wanted to do. I think he would approve.

  4. gpcox says:

    Wonderful ancestry intro, one that many of us are interested in.

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