Trumbull – Grandpa Writes to His New Daughter-in-Law – July, 1945


Trumbull, Conn., July 18, 1945

Mrs. Daniel B. Guion,

Calais, France.

Dear Madam:

This will serve to formally welcome you into the Guion ménage and to say that while our ancestors spoke French, this ability has banished among most of the family during the course of the centuries (Louis Guion sailed from La Rochelle, France, about 1680). It will therefore be necessary for you to perfect yourself in sign language if you are to be on speaking terms with the family, unless that son of mine has spent the time he could spare from love-making in helping you to learn to speak English. We hope you will like the Trumbull Hotel, where reservations have already been made for you, well enough to make a long visit. Our rates are very reasonable, particularly to attractive young ladies. Husbands are sometimes a nuisance but we can endure them if we have to. With my great respect, dear madam, and hoping you will like your first view of the Statue of Liberty, which also came from France, I am,

Cordially yours,

Alfred D Guion


Trumbull, Conn., July 20th, 1945

Dear Paulette:

Now that we are a little better acquainted, I can write a little more informally. So, you captured a Yankee soldier, all by yourself without the aid of bayonet, hand grenade or machine gun! Brave girl! It appears you have also conquered his family. I hope you will be merciful in your triumph and not be too insistent on “unconditional surrender”. Of course you will pick one of my favorite sons (I have only five, you know). His recent photo shows he has been losing his hair (in spite of the bottles of hair tonic I have been sending to him), caused, undoubtedly, by worry over the uncertainty over whether you would say “yes”. Now that doubt has passed I expect he will blossom out with curls to his shoulder by the time he reaches home. American girls are partial to curly headed soldiers, so you had better brush up on your English in order to be able to understand and compete with your American rivals (?). As far as his father is concerned, he has already succumbed to your charms even though he has seen only your photograph. It will be a glad day when the original arrives in person. Until that happy time, think of me as your doting father-in-law,

Pere Guion


Trumbull, Conn., July 22nd, 1945.

My dear daughter:

Well you’ve been married almost a week now. It’s a great day for a father when he can, besides retaining a son, also acquire a lovely new daughter, and you have made me very happy in honoring us all by joining the Guion family. I have an idea you and I are going to be great pals. I liked that letter you wrote me and I can hardly wait for the day when you arrive and we can really get acquainted. Of course as soon as you get your hat and coat off there will be lots of things for you to do. First, we will have to sample one of those delicious French meals your countrymen are so famous for preparing. Sorry, we won’t be able to supply any snails. Then there will be all of Dan’s civilian clothes, or what is left of them since he put them away, forgetting to put a sign “No admittance” to moths on the trunks and boxes. And then, but why go into all this now – – the list is too long. A little bird told me you are quite a tease. Careful now, how you play any pranks on the old man. And no fair making remarks in French to Dan that we can’t understand. If you do, first thing you know you’ll find rice in your bed or your new silk stockings tied in knots or some other fiendish revenge. So, beware! And tell that son of mine to treat you right or he’ll get into trouble quick with your new father. As yet we have had no details of the wedding, so if you can persuade your new hubby to take time out long enough to write us a full account, with your help, as the girls would want to know a lot of details about dresses, etc., that he would never think to mention, it would be just ducky. You might also give us some idea of your likes and dislikes, so we can make your homecoming as pleasant as possible. For instance, if you are found of the color pink, we might have the house painted over in that color. The main thing is to get here promptly, so come home as soon as you can and thereby mightily please,

Your new



Trumbull, Conn., July 24, 1945

Hello kid:

Well, here you’ve been married a week, and after all this correspondence back and forth (?) It seems as though we had known each other for years. It’s too bad the mail service is so poor as, up to the present time, not a single answer to any of the letters I have been writing to you for the past – – let us say, since you have been married – – has been received here. That’s a nice way to treat your new father! Let me tell you right here and now, young lady, if that’s the way you are going to start in I’ll have to write to your mother and find out the most effective way of making you toe the mark. And you needn’t think I’m afraid of your big strong hubby either. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve taken him over my knee and giving him a good spanking. However, what did you bring this up for? Here we are getting along famously and this had to come up to spoil it. The only way out now is for you to make a personal appearance and undoubtedly all will be forgiven. You can do that by taking an early boat from France, or better yet, the Pan American Airways. Wire date of your arrival, with or without husband, and we will have the Trumbull Brass Band at the railroad station to welcome you. I’ll wear a white flower in my buttonhole so you can distinguish me from the Porter. Then after a ride through a portion of our estate known as Beardsley Park, you will arrive at the Guion Château where all is being made ready for your comfort and convenience. Meanwhile, you might see General Eisenhower, smiled sweetly in French, and tell him you would like your husband sent home right away and then see what happens. I guess that’s enough this time from

Your loving


Tomorrow and Sunday, two days of Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure, as he meets members of his Mother’s family, the Peabodys.

Judy Guion


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