The following memories are quotes from “Reminiscences of Alfred D. Guion, written in 1960 while he was on a four-months “around the world” freighter trip.
At this point I will begin adding the memories of the children as they were growing up.
Lad and Dan
A.D. – We had chosen our lot in Larchmont primarily to be “out in the country”, but the place was growing rapidly and became a thickly settled community. It was getting difficult to find sleeping accommodations for frequent guests, five children and their parents. Then, too, the boys were active little tykes, and like children the world over, frequently got into trouble, like rooting up vegetables in the neighbor’s garden, running around his house carrying a raw carrot leaving a yellow streak on his new paint. If my neighbor had boiled over and said some harsh things I would have felt better, but he took it to good-naturedly so that I felt doubly worse. We had, from time to time, offers from those interested in buying the house for considerably more than it had cost us, and all these were contributory causes for looking for a larger place further out in the country.
LAD – I think he had a garden in the backyard with green beans growing. Dan and I each took 2 or 3 green beans and walked around and around his house, with the beans rubbing on the house, wearing them down until they got short. Then we would throw them away and get some more beans. So Roger (Bachelder) was kind of upset about that.
When we moved in, there were two houses on Lansdowne Drive, ours and another one at the top of the hill. When we left in 1922, there were probably eight or ten houses.
I don’t know why but my father started calling me Lad and gradually it got to be my nickname.
A.D. – Before anything definite materialized along these lines, however, an epidemic of chickenpox turned the Guion ménage into an amateur hospital, and to make it even harder for head nurse Arla, Dad also got the bug. While it seems a laughing matter to relate, don’t let anyone tell you it is any fun for an adult to have chickenpox.
LAD – When I started school in Larchmont, either kindergarten or first grade, I went to school in a horse-drawn sleigh in the winter. I just remember being awfully cold. In the warmer months, mother drove me to school. Dan may have started school there; he was only a year and half behind me.
Once in a while, we had to walk home from school. I went across the street from the school and there was a fire hydrant on the corner. Just for the fun of it, I jumped over the hydrant. Well, for some reason or other, there was a short in the power somewhere and I got an awful shock. I’ve never forgotten it and I’m always cautious when I come to a hydrant.
CED – I don’t remember much about the Larchmont house on Lansdowne Drive. I do remember the milk was delivered by milkman with a horse and buggy. Lansdowne Drive was on a hill and at the bottom was a creek. One day the horse and wagon went down the hill faster than usual – they went bouncing down the hill. I don’t remember if the horse went in the brook or not. I was pretty young at the time, about four, maybe.
BISS – The only memory I have of Larchmont is a vague picture of the living room. It had a fireplace and it seems to me a piano or something, but I’m not sure. My impression is of hardwood floors but I can’t remember what the furniture looked like. I was four when we left there.
Tomorrow I’ll continue this with the story of how the Guion family ended up in Trumbull, Connecticut.
I will finish out the week with more stories of their early years in Trumbull.