When Dan passed away, I realized that memories of the Guion children growing up in Trumbull would disappear if I didn’t try to save them in a permanent record. I was able to have one or two recording sessions with the remaining five children and recorded their voices telling stories so descendants would know what life was like growing up in a small town with a loving and close-knit family. Here are some of the stories Biss told me.
Elizabeth (Biss) and Mack
Mother died when I was 14, and I hated school. I’d hide in the closet every morning while Dad would make the rounds to make sure everybody was up and had gone to school. I’d hide in the closet and then after he had passed through I’d come out. I had the whole day to myself. I think I missed more school that I made. Now Dad made a mistake because I needed a permission slip to go back to school. He was supposed to tell why I stayed home. He said it was none of their business. “You write it and I’ll sign it”. So I’d write “I stayed home with my father’s permission.” And then he would sign his name. So I just copied his name over and over until I got it down pat. Then I would just right it and sign his name. I went to school only when I felt like going to school. How I got through school, I’ll never know.
I went to Central High School in Bridgeport my freshman year. That was great. I loved that school because they treated you like an adult, you were a grown up, and you felt like you were really something. Then, the following year, they transferred us to Bassick High School because they were going to make that into a senior high and it was a junior high at the time. I hated that school intensely, because they still had Monitors in the hall, you had to walk in a line and you couldn’t talk. I mean, after being an adult in high school, I got this?
In my sophomore year, we were transferred to Bassick high school and I didn’t want to go because it was a new school and I didn’t like school anyway. I liked Central and I wanted to go back there. So, the first day of school, Dad wanted to know of I was going to school and I said “No, I don’t have to go to school today because we’re starting a new school”. He said “You’re going to school” so he took me. He took Ced and I, he took us to school. I told him my clothes weren’t ready and any other kind of excuse, but he was adamant that we were going to school. So he let us off in front of Central, maybe I told him I had to go to Central to get transferred, anyway, he let us out in front of Central and we walked through the hall and out the other side, and walked home.
We were walking up the railroad tracks and we met some friends on Reservoir Avenue and they told us that Ruth had just died. She was a pretty girl and she had a pimple on her chin. She put something on it to cover it up, she got blood poisoning and it killed her: so much for vanity. So anyway, we were walking up the tracks and the train came along. The engineer stopped and said “Would you like a ride?” We said “Sure”. We climbed up into the cab and he let us off at Churchill Road. Boy. That was exciting for me. I told everybody about it.
Tomorrow, I’ll have some more early memories of Biss and her High School days.
On Monday, a week of letters written in 1942, when both Lad and Dan are in the Army, learning their lifetime skills.
Who do you know who might enjoy stories of the 1940’s? Why not share this blog with them? They might really appreciate it.