Peabodys and Duryees – Dear Daniel and Cedric – Late 1940

Today, I have two letters from Grandma Peabody. The first one, written to Ced, is slightly out of order and was written on October 28, 1940. The second was written to both Dan and Ced on December 5, 1940.

Grandma Peabody

129 Mt. Joy Place

New Rochelle, N.Y.

October 28,

My Dear Cedric

Waiting so long about answering your letter must make you think I was glad to get it but oh, I was just awfully happy to hear from you and thankful to know you both got there all right.

Your letter sounds good and I hope everything is going as you wish. No, I don’t want you to buy any playing, think if you had an accident, no playing, no lessons. Much you would care for my advice — really, all I wish is that things will work out fine for all you brothers. You deserve it. You are lucky to have a nice place to live even if the shower is lacking. You will probably put on weight getting such good meets. I wouldn’t mind being with you.

Today is aunt Helen’s birthday and Dorothy went into the city to bring her a happy birthday and have dinner with her and Ted. I suppose you know he has a job now.

Please tell Daniel we all thought of him yesterday and I was wishing I could make a birthday cake or him. A little late, maybe, but many happy returns of the day, Daniel.

You realize from the address that we have moved. We have a small apartment on the second floor in a two-family house. (The owner lives on the first floor.) Living room, bedroom, bathroom with shower, and a cute little kitchen. Besides a very clean attic and a nice little room there, which is heated. Dorothy claimed that as her workroom. I wish you could see it. It’s so pretty. I have the bedroom and Dorothy sleeps on the studio bed in the living room.

Your Dad and David were here one Sunday a short time ago. It was so nice to see them. They both looked fine. But David told me he misses the gravy.

Do you have any newspaper so you know the important news, for instance, about the election! Except for Burton, who is still a Democrat, the rest of us are all for Willkie. Aunt Dorothy is voting for the first time in her life. My dear boy, again thank you for writing and please write again soon.

My love to you, and Daniel, too.



129Mount Joy Place

New Rochelle, N.Y.

December 5, 1940

Dear Daniel and Cedric,

In the first place, I want to thank Daniel for his letter (I have already thanked Cedric for his). We were so glad to hear from you and to know you are well and seeming to enjoy your life in the wilderness! I think you boys are fortunate to get away and see something besides Trumbull.

It’s snowing today, second snow so far. It’s been cold enough so that the first snow has stayed by us in patches.

What’s the matter with you people not getting things in order for the poor soldiers. It’s a shame having had all summer to get things ready, ready before winter. Red tape?

I haven’t heard anything from Trumbull so I hope everybody and everything is all right.

Aunt Dee went into N.Y. today to visit Helen. They haven’t seen each other for a long time. Do you hear from Lad? .

I hope you keep on figure skating. It must be amazing to watch. Be careful not to get hurt.

I suppose you are both getting ready for Christmas. Did you celebrate Thanksgiving according to F.R. and did you have a turkey dinner? Dorothy and I were invited to Uncle Kemper’s for Thanksgiving dinner,the last Thursday in November.

The Wendell Willkie people were terribly sorry he was defeated. But didn’t he do well, considering he was not known to most people. He is still very much alive and will be heard from the future. I hope he will be our next president.

I hear from Aunt Anne occasionally. Donald and Gwen are going to spend Christmas with their father and his new wife. I do not know what Aunt Anne’s plans are.

I do hope you will forgive me for writing a combination letter this time, but you know there was always so much to do this time of year.

Wishing you both a very happy Christmas and that the new year may bring you what you most wish for.

I am, with lots of love to Cedric and Daniel,

Your Grandmother

(Do write again soon)

We’ll finish out the week with some of Grandpa’s letters keeping his oldest boys up on all the news from Trumbull.

Judy Guion

14 thoughts on “Peabodys and Duryees – Dear Daniel and Cedric – Late 1940

  1. Gallivanta says:

    A remarkable woman, Grandma Peabody. The little upstairs apartment she has moved to, is described very lovingly.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Gallivanta – I don’t know much about her, but an going to investigate and see what I can find. Grandpa called a spade a spade (not always to their face !) but he had the utmost respect for this woman.

  2. Mrs. P says:

    Just out of curiosity, I checked out Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family tree to see if their lives might have crossed paths. Although they did not closely cross, the families were in similar areas at the same time. In fact, grandmother Peabody is very close in age to Laura Ingalls. I’ll bet she had lots of amazing stories about pioneer life. Do you know if anyone in the family has any records of these?

  3. Enjoyed reading Grandma Peabody’s letters. I find your family’s political leanings during the 1940 election interesting. If we were to believe everything learned in American History classes in public school–everybody favored FDR’s New Deal–because of the Great Depression and Hoover’s ineptitudes. Hoover went on to distinguish himself in public service. Not many people know that, either. There’s always more to every story.

    • jaggh53163 says:

      warturoadan77p – In October, 1943, Grandpa explained his position in this matter:
      The question is not Republican versus Democrat, not Roosevelt versus Wilke, or what have you, not liberals versus conservatives, not new deal versus good deal, not capital versus labor, not isolationist versus interventionist but rather federal government planning of our daily lives from cradle to grave which the present administration in Washington stands for, versus the good old American way of life based on being on one’s own and depending on individual resourcefulness and making ends meet and thus calling out the best in us to make conditions when the job seems impossible – – the spirit epitomized by the saying; ” the difficult we do at once, the impossible takes a bit longer”. The New Deal provisions for old age dependency, no job WPA leaf-raking jobs, sick benefits, while all very alluring in providing freedom from fear, is enervating, laziness breeding and is more apt to develop a nation of spineless jellyfish.
      You can read the whole letter by clicking on the category “Alfred Duryee Guion” and the post Politics and Spineless Jellyfish, published posted 11.8.2012.

  4. gpcox says:

    Very sweet letters to her grandchildren, aren’t they.?

    • jaggh53163 says:

      gpcox – Yes, Grandma Peabody was a remarkable woman. She raised Arla, her oldest daughter, and when she died, Grandpa wrote this to the boys:
      Grandma’s life span marks an era in American history which is fast becoming legendary. Born in Sweden, she came to this country as a young girl and, with her parents, settled as pioneers in what was the raw far west in those days. Battling fierce Dakota winter storms and summer’s heat and draught, life was lived under the most primitive conditions. With Grandpa frequently away from home for days at a time, with the constant fear of marauding Indians, often facing periods verging on privation and want, she raised a family of seven children, never for once lowering her ideals of honor and integrity. Not knowing what the next day would bring she still carried on.

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