Lad – Army Life – Dear Dad – News of Dick’s Wedding – March, 1943

Alfred Duryee Guion

Camp Santa Anita

March 21, 1943

Dear Dad: –

Well, seems that again, a couple of weeks have gone by before I’ve gotten around to writing. I’m just not conscientious enough I guess, and the conditions here are far from conducive to writing. It is pretty hard to write in the camp itself because of lack of facilities, and once away from camp, who wants to sit down in someone’s home or where you are expected to be enjoying yourself and write? I know I don’t, and as you have seen, I haven’t.

But, nevertheless, I’m perfectly well and really enjoying myself as well as could be expected under the circumstances

I should have done something about this before, but I had practically forgotten it. Tell Mrs. Lee to carry on with the insurance. By the time you receive this, she should have received $10 by telegram, which should take care of it for a short period, anyway, and I’ll write to her for an account. Thank you for your gentle reminder.

And Dick is now married. Well, well, well. By the time I got your letter saying that he was to be called into service, but would be married first, he had already gone. The time required for mail from back east is getting longer and longer. In fact, some of your letters have taken almost 2 weeks to reach me. It is normally, 6 to 9 days. Once in a while 5 or 6.

Well, now to get back to the previous paragraph. So Dick is now married. Well, well, well. That move sort of leaves me writeless. But I’ll try to continue, nevertheless. In the first place, I have absolutely no available cash that I can use for a wedding present, so I think I’ll write Jean and ask her to “take a rain check” on it. As is very often the case – I knew pretty much about the affair, long before it happened. In fact, sometime around October, Dick asked me about it, and I told him what I thought about getting married before or during this war, and I can see he took my advice – and threw it out the window, or some such place but anyhow, I believe he really has a wonderful wife. I like her very much. I just hope that knowing that she is there waiting for him will sort of change some of his lackadaisical ways. (Maybe I had better get married.) I can think of lots more to say, but they are better said to Jean or Dick directly, so that’s that.

As customary, I’ve been having a Hell of a good time. About two weeks ago I went on what is commonly called “the wagon”. Vince, Vic, Art and I (Junior doesn’t drink) were all doing some pretty heavy drinking. Quite often we would drink one and a half or 2 quarts of whiskey in an evening and I believe that for about a month never one night went by that we didn’t “kill” a quart. So, as I said, I’m on the wagon, and it seems to have had a slight effect on the others. At any rate, we, or rather, they, have had very little to drink. I wanted to find out for myself if I needed to drink or if it was just because of the association, and I find that it was the latter. The boys made me promise that on Wednesday, March 31, I would take a drink. We are all going to see “The Drunkard”, and part of the show consists of drinking beer and eating so I’ve consented. That will be the first drop of anything alcoholic in my system since March 7th. Last Saturday – Vic, Art and Al – went to L. A. To see “Hi Rookie”. It is a “scream”, and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole production. It is put on by the boys from Fort MacArthur, just south of L. A. proper and they seem to enjoy doing it as well as the audience enjoys seeing it. It has been running since the latter part of 1942 and the house is still crowded at each performance. It really is good. “The Drunkard” must be good, too, since this is its 10th year.

Now, a little business. Selling the car here will be an easy matter, but I would not be able to get another since prices are just about double those in the East. But I have finally located a person who has more money than he knows what to do with, and it looks as though you will have enough to straighten out with the bank in a short while. One of the factors which make it more difficult to sell it, is that there are five of us together. So it will be a decided inconvenience to not only me, but the rest, were I to sell it. (As you can see, I wrote so fast and furious that my pen couldn’t keep up with me, and I’ve got to put it away until I can get something more to eat.) So, if the bank says anything, ask for 30 days more, and you shall have it.

Well, there goes the bell for starting work, so give my love or regards to all, and keep well.


I’ll continue the week with two more letters from Grandpa and another one from Lad.

Judy Guion


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