Army Life – Lad Writes To Grandpa From Somewhere In France (2) – March, 1945

This is the rest of the letter I started posting yesterday from Lad to his father while he is “Somewhere in France”. He is commenting and responding to the letters he has received from Grandpa so far that year.

MIG - Marian and Jean bringing in Christmas Tree - 1944

I’m glad Marian and Jean are able to so adequately replace Crawford Laundry Service. It must be quite difficult for laundries to operate now with no help available, and expensive.

Speaking financially, Dad, I don’t know whether you were including me in your “money sense” remarks or not, but it is very hard to allot money to a number of different sources. In my particular case, Marian receives monthly $100 and I receive about $27 each month. From this I’ve sent her $50 and have now in my possession, about $55 or $60, which I’m holding in case I get a chance to visit Dan. I don’t need more than $10 or $12 for personal needs, each month. That which Marian receives she is banking in the North End Bank. If you think I should do something else, I’d like to have your ideas, but I also want to have some cash readily available in case.

21-1-45 – In this you start off with a remark about how eagerly your weekly “blurbs” are awaited. To the still single boys, I imagine, from previous experience, they are one of the brighter spots in the week(s). To me, and probably Dick, they have become secondary in importance, but nonetheless, just as eagerly expected and sought for as previously. The letters from our wives (respectively, not bigamy) are more personal and don’t cover the Trumbull news and your personal views in the old A.D.G. manner to which we have, through circumstances beyond our control, become accustomed. I, personally, find myself wondering what happened when I don’t receive one during the week. The only suggestion I have to better the service, at least to the E.T.O.’s, is to send the letter Air-Mail. In another letter you discuss the advisability of V-mail, but since we are on that subject now, let me have my say, now. V-Mail always comes by air and now and then it is a day faster than Air-Mail, but in general, Air-Mail also comes via plane. Once in a while, due to lack of cargo space, it is placed aboard the fastest ship coming across, and that is because, if cargo space is full one day, the mail on the morrow will more than likely require all space that will again be available, and a backlog will gradually be built up. Upon occasion there may be a light cargo which would allow this backlog to go across, but since it is not known ahead of time and such a circumstance may not occur for weeks at a time, faster service is assured by using a fast steamer. Once or twice, apparently on one of these light cargo days, even regular mail has been placed aboard a plane, because I’ve received reg-Mail letters in 10 or 12 days, which is reg. Air-Mail time. V-Mail, although always ensured of air transportation, is very limited as to contents and for that reason is not as satisfactory.

I knew about the kitchen chairs before Christmas, even, but I didn’t know that The Spinning Wheel had moved. Its present location should be far more favorable, particularly under present restrictions on gas.

How old is Anne?  I’ll be Damned if I know.

2-18-45 – Dave certainly doesn’t let you down, does he? That should be a very interesting trip he is going to have. I’d like to be with him. His job, as he explained it to me, sounds interesting and closely related to inactivity as far as infantry men are concerned, and far enough back so that he isn’t continually dodging artillery shells. Very similar to mine in that respect, and I might as well include Dan, Ced and Dick in the same category. Thanks to you, your son’s interests are too varied and practical for the Army to use as infantry soldiers.

Ced still seems to be on the hop, as it were, concerning rooms. Hope he comes out of his present set-up still a man. From what we over here can glean from the papers, Anchorage, with its plenty, sounds quite intriguing.

Comments on Dan are withheld until a later date, pending ——-.

25-2-45 – This one I see I have already answered, but a few more comments. Upon second glance, I see I’ve not answered it, so here goes.

Among other things of worthy note you mentioned, in the first paragraph, the various “Fronts”. Your wishes seem to have become a reality and even yet it is not Spring, so Uncles Sam and Joe and the other two equally important men are really “mixing it” with the enemy. Developments have been very surprising and rapid on all theater fronts, and particularly the Rhine crossing. That news was so important that it was even announced in the movies in the middle of a picture. But it was heralded with no unusual display of rising good cheer. Just now the news broadcast on the radio, on the desk here, says that the entire West Bank of the disputed sector of the Rhine, just a short time ago, fell to the Allies. And gains are apparent on all Allied Fronts. It sounds almost too good.

I have managed to ward off any cold bugs of any size, since the worst I’ve had so far this winter was a cough of a couple of days duration with no ill effects, and a very slight sore throat once in a great while, for which I do nothing, because it is gone before I’ve had breakfast. They seem to come, usually, the morning following a shower and don’t reappear again.

That marriage you speak of, concerning the handicapped groom (I assume), must be the oddest you have yet performed. That is just another of the scenes that will be forever hidden within the walls of the house. What a host of things have gone on within it. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could uncover the episodes, year by year, which it has witnessed.

Dave, you say, has run into a Robert Guion. If what Dave says is true, he should hang on to him. “Good eggs” are hard to get in the Army. I’d like one or two now and then myself. But that is quite a coincidence, and I imagine you are following Dave’s suggestion about checking histories. And that reminds me. The sailing point of our ancestors, La Rochelle, is still in German Hands, and I sure as Hell don’t intend to visit there while that condition exists. I’m glad Dave doesn’t get seasick. I surely do, but not too seriously.

If I keep on, Dad, I won’t get this by for less than $.18, so I’d better stop now. I’ll right again. Love to all at home and my regards to the rest.


Tomorrow and Sun day, I’ll be posting the next segments of the Beginning of the life of Alfred Duryee Guion, my Grandpa, as he recorded then in his REMINISCENCES, written in 1960 while on a four-month sailing trip around the world

On Monday, we’ll go back in time to 1941, when Lad is expected home from Venezuela and Dick is planning to deliver a car to his older brothers, Dan and Ced, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Judy Guion



2 thoughts on “Army Life – Lad Writes To Grandpa From Somewhere In France (2) – March, 1945

  1. Mrs. P says:

    Love hearing the other side of the conversation…and apparently the wall really do talk? 😉

    • jaggh53163 says:

      Mrs. P. – Because of Grandpa’s letters, the letters from his sons and friends and the childhood memories of his sons that I recorded, we certainly are hearing (or reading, to be more accurate) all about many things that happened in the house, so in effect, the walls are talking !!!!

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