Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
August 3, 1941
Sometimes I get a strong urge to see you all again. Perhaps this feeling is nurtured and strengthened when, as today in cleaning up old papers, I came across old snapshots, or letters written in your childish handwriting, and recall incidences of your childhood, and wonder how they could ever be when one recalls the stalwart sons they are at present.
I have just been reading a book by Stewart Edward White — “Wild Geese Calling” — ( http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Geese-Calling-Stewart-White/dp/9997553861 ) probably being attracted to it as most of its action is laid in Alaska. Have any of you read it? He is an author I like. In the story he suggests a reasonable explanation of that urge in you boys to go to foreign places. In the forward he says: “fundamentally it (the Pioneer movement) is receptivity to a racial urge. The man who is attuned to that impulse must go. (Dan, take note) Whether he is energetic or lazy, integrated or dissolute; able or inept has little to do with it. Those qualities will determine his career, but not the direction of it.” And when you think back to the history of the Guion side of the family it does seem as though they were inherent in the blood some hormone urging one up and away to new scenes. My grandfather as a chaplain in the U.S. Army surely wandered all over the US. My father had the urge as a young man when he left home in California at an early age and came East. And it is not very many generations back on your mother’s side when her family left their Swedish fatherland to seek a home in the pioneer days of the new West. Apropos of looking through old papers, I just came across a copy of “The Specialist” by Chic Sale which I have given Aunt Betty to read, without comment. I am waiting to get her reaction.
And speaking of Aunt Betty, Dick, she has asked me to send along, together with her very best wishes and love, the enclosed dollar bill for your birthday.
And while on the subject of your birthday, I came across a memo today under the date August 19, 1920, at Mount Vernon Hospital, “a little son, born at 2:30 a.m., weight 8 lbs. 12 oz.” Evidentially we had not decided at that time just what your handle was to be.
There is little news to report at this time. Cecilia Mullins, whom Lad has been spending much time with (nothing serious in mind) lately, has this morning left for a week’s trip to Canada so that Lad now has a Ford car he can travel around with to his heart’s content instead of borrowing mine. Today is one of those ideal perfect June days. Dave has gone to Fairfield beach with Don Whitney for a picnic (I don’t know who else is in the party), Lad has gone off with Paul Warden in Cecilia’s car somewhere. Aunt Betty is reading “The Specialist” on the cement Terrace and so far for me, I’ll leave you to guess the answer on that one.
Last week Monday the town voted on the two measures mentioned on the attached ballot (printed by A.D.G. & Co.) with the result that by about 10 to 1 both acts of legislature were ratified.
Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second half of this letter. For the rest of the week, another letter from Grandpa and numerous friends sending birthday wishes to Dick.