Trumbull,Conn., June 14, 1942
The lowering clouds hanging heavy over Trumbull, literally and figuratively; the former, in that it is overcast interspersed with showers – – a gloomy and humid day, not at all a poet’s June day. The mental murkiness has its origin in the fact that, whereas this was to be a double barreled homecoming of an important section of Uncle Sam’s Army, first, one wrote that due to a weekend bivouac he would not be able to come home this weekend, and then tother fellow wired we might as well put out the candles in the window as the higher ups decided Connecticut was too far away from the base to warrant a leave of absence, which means that Dan will not be home until July 1 when he starts his ten-day furlough. As for the weekend of the 21st, we may postpone the doubleheader until June days are over. In other words, the crest on Lad’s Ordnance Training Center letterhead is very appropriate, the flaming bomb indicating the blasting of our hopes while the lamp, with its tiny flame, is a symbol of the light of hope for better things to come. By the way, what does “addere flammam” mean?
From Lad’s letter he is getting a pretty stiff dose of hardening medicine in the course of tough training he is undergoing. I appreciate all the more the effort it must have taken to write his usual weekly letter during the course of which he went to sleep, yet he finished the letter and even remembered to put the return address on the envelope. That shows the indomitable spirit that pushes on in spite of handicaps. Good work, boy.
In a letter received the week before last, Dan says he is now Technician 5th Grade, “which carries with it the pay and stripes of a corporal but not quite the rank of a corporal, particularly apparent when I must serve K.P. or guard duty.” According to the new scale of pay retroactive to June 1, I assume this means about $66 a month.
Dick has been transferred to day work and now works from 9 to 5 except Saturdays, when his hours are 8 to 3. He does not yet know whether his wage rate will be any higher than before.
Lad, will you please let me know as soon as you can about accepting the offer for your car. I have delayed renewing the note at the bank, pending hearing from you, on the assumption that the whole business would be paid off as soon as the deal went through, but that was when I expected to hear from you this week. Besides, the longer we wait, the more chance the prospective buyer has to change his mind or make some other arrangement.
Dan, I don’t know how you feel about my coming down to Camp just before your furlough and coming home with you. Sometimes, with new friends, social engagements and regular routine planned ahead, it is disconcerting for one of the family to arrive with the obligation of showing him around at the expense of other things you might rather do if a sense of duty were nonexistent. I can quite understand such feelings, so write me frankly how you feel about the possibility of a visit, should I find it possible to make such arrangements at the office which would permit my leaving. In the latter event, what would be the best route to take with stop off at Aberdeen either alone coming down or with you on the way home. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), I sense, is feeling a bit lonesome and neglected these days and would appreciate a little more attention in the shape of letters.
The only local news: I saw Axel Larsson the other day who told me Astrid heard I was engaged to be married to Helen Plumb (Barbara Plumb’s sister and Town Clerk). She certainly picks up some rare bits of gossip.
Tomorrow, a letter from Lad from the American Red Cross Hospital at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland.
Next weekend, and every weekend following, I’ll begin at the beginning. Many of you were not following my Blog over three years ago when I began publishing the Guion Family Saga, or as I call it, A Slice of Life. My grandfather, Alfred Duryee Guion, wrote his Reminiscences while traveling “around the world” on a freighter. He had quite a bit of time to remember bits and pieces of his life and decided to write them down for posterity, and his grandchildren. After he is married and starts a family, I will include the childhood memories of his children which I recorded.
I believe this will give you a chance to get to know the man I called “Grandpa” and the author of many of the letters you have been reading. I hope you enjoy the beginning of the Guion Family Saga.