Trumbull, Conn., February 18, 1945
Well, we have some interesting quotes this week.
On Jan. 31st Dave writes: “I don’t have much time but I’ll try to scribble this off. It will probably be my last for a while. Enclosed you will find money order (received o.k. and thanks, Dave. ED.) I think I’ll be able to send about $50 a month home, but I’ll have to see where I’m going first. They’ll hold this letter until I go, so when you get this I’ll be on the cool, calm Pacific. So long – – I’ll be back before you know it. P.S. Morale – Excellent !”
And old map-making Dan writes under the date of “26 Janvier”: “You find me, as I write, in one of those “golden periods” of existence in which life is more than “just a bowl of cherries”. It is a heaping bowl with cream – – and no stones on which to gnash my teeth! It’s all due perhaps, to a rare combination of circumstances, rare in ordinary times and virtually nonexistent in time of war. First, I am in exceptionally good health. Far from the sophisticated madness of city life, I am getting more sleep and more exercise than my checkered career has afforded me for many a long year. Often, I walk 6 miles to camp from —— and during the days when the weather prohibits regular work, I assist in gathering, sawing and chopping wood to help keep our drafty room free from the prowling winds which infest this part of France in winter. Another pleasing factor is the comparative absence of strict garrison regulations and inspections to which I have never taken kindly. A third reason is “Uncle Joe’s” gift to the world – – the Red Army which, at this date, is chewing Adolph’s eastern exposure to bits. But the most likely reason of all is due to my friends in—– at whose home I spend all my spare evenings. As I implied in my previous letter I am falling in love! Don’t be at all surprised if I should turn up in Trumbull one day soon with a brand-new French wife! Of course it is too early to predict accurately what will happen between now and then, but it is all rather more than a straw in the wind. I don’t yet know a hell of a lot about her except that she is very pretty and good-natured. She is only 20 years old (21 in May) and her last five years have been spent under troubled conditions. During the siege of —— she acted between the lines as a Red Cross courier. She is working now as a clerk at the railroad office and says that when I am moved from here she wants to become an ambulance driver. From what I have been able to piece together in my still in adequate French, her family was fairly well-off before the war. Her (step) father owns a pharmacy in ——. She has two older sisters and two younger (half) brothers. The two sisters are married and live in France. The boys were evacuated to Algeria four years ago and are still there. With justifiable pride I have told her about my family and I have promised to show her photographs of you all. Please send us all the most recent photos of everybody. One of the boys in Algeria is a stamp collector. Please send me a mass of used U.S. stamps. Duplicates are o.k. because he uses extra stamps in exchange for others.”
Tomorrow, you can read quotes and comments from Ced, Dick and Lad. On Wednesday, Grandpa’s responses to all these letters. Thursday, another letter to Grandpa and on Friday, a letter from Lad.
This 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.