The Beginning – Early Memories of Trumbull (2)

We have come to the end of the written autobiography of Alfred Duryee Guion but I had started adding memories of the children as they fit in to Grandpa’s story. I have decided to continue with their memories as I recorded them over a period of years. I’ve attempted to group them by approximate date and topic, but there may be a few our of place. I apologize for any confusion.

Lad Guion, Model T


LAD – By the time I was 12, I was able to drive a car by myself. I talked my mother into letting me drive to Kurtz’s store. We had a 1925 Packard, and at that time, the road was so narrow that when I got to the junction of White Plains Road and Daniels Farm Road, there wasn’t much room to maneuver a car, so I went on down to Reservoir Avenue to turn around. On the way back, I saw a car coming towards me. It was Sheriff Stanley Boughton. He looked at me, turned around and accosted me in the store. He asked me if I had license to drive, and I guess I said “No”. He then asked me if my mother knew I was driving. When I said, “Yes”, he told me to take the car home and leave it there… But I didn’t. I never got into trouble after that until much later. After I got my license I was driving up in the Newtown area and apparently I was driving too fast. I got stopped for speeding. Nothing ever came of it because my Dad was the Justice of the Peace and, at that time, First Selectman of Trumbull.

DICK – One time Lad took the Packard touring car, he was quite impressed with its power and high gear. He started it rolling and slipped the clutch to get it started and went for a drive to Kurtz’s store. Johnny Austin was the town cop. He went to see Dad. “You’d better talk to your boy…. I couldn’t catch him and it’s a good thing I didn’t.”

LAD – At Christmas time, when I was in sixth grade, the teachers selected Bill Hennigan and I to go out and get a Christmas tree. I was a Boy Scout so I had a little hatchet available. Bill and I went out and found the tree we thought would be satisfactory and cut it down. I don’t know how it happened, but maybe we were trimming limbs or something at the bottom, but the ax slipped and hit my knee. I had quite a bad cut on my knee. I don’t remember the details now but they must have bandaged it up and took me home or send me home or something. It cleared up all right. Then the next year, Bill and I were selected to go out and get the tree again. They told me to be careful, and I was, but I cut my knee again. For the third year, we didn’t go get the tree.

The Island

The Island

I remember our family went up to the Island a few times, and I remember Rusty went with us the first time. We were supposed to meet his sister, Anna, and then she was going to lead us to the island. Apparently, she began to worry about the fact that we hadn’t got there yet. It was getting late in the afternoon, so she and her brother-in-law, Ingrid’s husband, decided to go looking for us. There was only one road so we had to be on it. They passed a car coming the other way where someone had his feet out the window and she said, “That’s my brother.” So they turned around and everything from there went fine. We had a nice time at the Island and Dad really enjoyed it. I think maybe the next year or so, we did the same thing again, although we knew where we were going this time. We didn’t have to meet Anna, Ingrid or Britta and Rusty may or may not have been with us.

When I was 12, Rusty (Heurlin) took Dan, Ced and I, I don’t remember if Biss was along or not, to the Island, which they owned Back then, there was no States Landing Road. We went to Lee’s Mill and rowed from there. It was late in the evening when we got there and Rusty wasn’t sure he was going to the right place, but we got there. Among other things, Rusty told us of his boyhood experiences at the Lake. This particular summer that we went, there was a lot of logging going on and one particular day a tug boat was going down from Lee’s Mill to the Broads, pulling a long line of barges, maybe half a mile long. Rusty told us to get into the rowboat and he rowed towards the barges. Just before we reached them, he rowed awfully hard and fast and our rowboat went up over the logs and into the water on the other side. That’s what I remember about it. After all the barges went by, we went back to the Island. I don’t recall how long we stayed, maybe a week or two.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1945. Dan is in France and planning a wedding to a lovely French girl, Paulette, who he hopes to bring to Trumbull quickly. The rest of the family is getting involved in the preparations.

Judy Guion


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