Army Life – Marian’s Influence – July, 1943

(Please look at yesterday’s post,,  for some additional information on the Rev. Elijah Guion, the Episcopal Priest at St. Paul’s, in New Orleans, during the Civil War.)

Lad finally finds time between teaching classes and socializing to write home a little more than a quick telegram.

South Pasadena Hospitality Center

July 27, 1943

Dear Dad:

This pen is no good – time out while I look for another. Time in. Not much better, but at least it doesn’t force as many holes in the paper. Another, and this seems to be the best here.

This letter you can lay to Marian’s influence. It has been hot (to everyone else “terrifically hot“) and we were just dancing. We stopped because of the uncomfortable temperature down here and she made me promise to write. The rules in effect here state that the hostesses may not leave the premises in the company of any man in the

Marian Irwin and Lad Guion - 1943

Marian Irwin and Lad Guion – 1943

services, so she has gone out to sit on the lawn and cool off – and here am I, doing something I should have done three weeks ago.

As I cabled, I have been and am fine, and apparently California agrees with me. Quite frequently it reminds me of South America.

The bathing suit arrived okay, thanks, but it was addressed to company “A”, instead of “D”, which caused a few days delay, but I’ve had no chance to use it yet. But if tomorrow is as hot as today, I expect to try to find a spot in the pool here in South Pasadena.

Sunday, with Marian as company, I finally got to Santa Anita Army Air Base, where Larry Sieck, one of the fellows I met in South America, is stationed. He arrived five or six weeks ago and I’ve tried each weekend to get there. It is only 35 miles away – he is well and we spent a quiet Sunday afternoon discussing the Army and South America.

That was quite a trip you made, but I can imagine just how disappointed you must’ve been upon finding that Dan had departed. But I’m very glad you took the bull by the horns, and continued in the eventually successful hunt. I’m sorry to hear that both Dan and Dick have shipped or will shortly. I would have liked to talk to both of them before departure. Things here still look fairly hopeful, but you can never tell at what moment something may happen. I hope that no one tries any treachery until after my furlough, if they intend to try at all.

I never told you, I guess, that my camera and all equipment (about $600) and my portable radio were stolen. I sort of miss both things. My car, however, is O.K., except that a couple of weeks ago I had to put in a new front-end since it was beyond adjustment ($23) and as soon as I can get $38 more, I’ll put in a new clutch.

Art Lind is home in Washington state, on a furlough at present, and Vic has been sent to Oregon State College for a years study in Electrical Engineering. Junior is going to Maryland in three or four weeks on his furlough, and I shall, I hope, be along right after him.

We have had nothing but sunshine out here, now, since sometime in February, and since Friday, it has been quite warm, close to the 100° mark.

Monday, yesterday, I was assigned to a course called “Engine Tuneup” which I don’t like to well, but I’m still hoping to get that Diesel Principles course going. When that happens, I’ll be satisfied for a short while, anyway.

Well Dad, good luck and my love to everyone.


The following was mailed to Lad at Camp Santa Anita. It is from The University of Southern California, Engineering, Science, and Management War Training Program, certifying that Alfred Peabody Guion has satisfactorily completed the war training course in INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE TESTING, dated July 19, 1943.  

Tomorrow I’ll continue the story of the early married life of Archie and Mary Wilson.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. Dan and Paulette are finally married but they don’t get to see much of each other.

Judy Guion


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