Alfred Duryee Guion – The Beginning (4) – About My Father

This is a continuation of a series I have composed including my Grandfather’s Reminiscences and the memories of his children.


My father liked sea trips, one summer took me to Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy with its tremendously high tides. On the voyage I saw my first whale. Later he also took me to Newport News and Richmond, Virginia on the Old Dominion Line.

Papa was quite active in Masonic affairs being eminently successful in this as in most other projects that interested him, was generally very popular, a good entertainer and storyteller, prominent in the local Episcopal Church of the Ascension where he was a vestryman.

He worked for a brokerage firm on Wall Street and was quite conscientious, so much so that in years of panic (today we would call it depression), losses of his clients, as well, I suspect, as of his own, worried him to the extent of bringing on heart trouble. He died in his 40s from angina pectoris, leaving a heavily mortgaged home and comparatively little life insurance. A Masonic friend of my father’s kindly stepped in and negotiated sale of the Lincoln Avenue house for a smaller house on Dell Avenue, with a small cash surplus. It entailed a considerably lower standard of living. My mother, who had a sunny, even-tempered disposition, made the best of things. After my grandfather died, my aunts Mary, Lillian and Lizzie (who preferred to be called Aunt Betty) came to live with us and helped share in living expenses. Some years later, their wealthy “Aunt Mary Powers” died and left us some of her household possessions. My aunts Mary and Lily later died of a stroke and Aunt Betty got a job in a candy store in New York City, strangely enough, just a few doors for where my grandfather had lived in his heyday. Her boss liked her so much that she eventually became manager of the store, the cashier and finally manager of Mandel’s Restaurant, the leading one in Grand Central Station. He afterwards assisted her in setting up a little novelty shop of her own in Grand Central station which is still running under another name. After many years she sold out when she became too old to run it. My sister went in to help her run it in later years but they finally decided to sell it and retired to California. But I’m getting ahead of my story.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting letters written in 1941. Family and friends are looking forward to Lad’s return from Venezuela. Dick is going to Alaska to deliver a car to Dan and Ced.

I am devoting weekends to telling Grandpa’s Story from the beginning. I have started with his Reminiscences written during a four-month freighter cruise around the world. After he is married, I’ll begin to add his children’s childhood memories as they fit chronologically.Check out the Category: Alfred D. Guion – Early Years.

Judy Guion

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