Last June I read about a Challenge, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, and I was intrigued. I decided to take up the challenge. Some Ancestors may take more than one week, but I still intend to write about 52 Ancestors. I hope you enjoy reading about My Ancestors as much as I am looking forward to researching and writing about them.
(1) Alfred Peabody Guion; (2) Judith Anne Guion.
From Life history of Alfred P. Guion:
Dec. 1945 – present (April, 1946) Trumbull, Conn. – Reconditioning property, working with Guion Adv.
When my father returned to the United States in August of 1945, he spent about two and a half months stationed in Aberdeen and Fort Meade, Maryland. He was close enough to come home most weekends to be with Marian, his wife of two years. After he was discharged in December, he used his handyman skills to make repairs and improvements to the Trumbull property and also helped Grandpa in his business, Guion Advertising Company, with office space in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
At Christmas, in 1945, Lad and Marian announced to Grandpa and the family that they were expecting their first child in July 1946. They had no idea until the delivery date of June 28th that Marian was actually carrying twins. She gave birth to a son, Douglas, and a daughter, Judith. The way I heard the story was that Mom was on her way out of the delivery room when she realized that something was going on. The doctor took her back into the delivery room and everyone, including the doctor, was surprised when I appeared.
Fourteen months later another son, Gregory, arrived and a second daughter, Marian Lynn, arrived sixteen months after that. Lad and Marian now had four children under the age of two and a half. Since I had twins when my oldest was three, I can begin to imagine what life must have been like for them.
In 1950, when I was about four years old, some alterations were made to the Big House, dividing it into three separate living quarters. Grandpa had a small apartment with the kitchen and living room downstairs and a bedroom upstairs.
Lad and Marian moved from the Little House to the Big House. They had a kitchen big enough to include a dining room table, a living room, an enclosed porch and two bedrooms upstairs, one large enough for all four children in bunk beds.
Dave and his new wife Eleanor moved into the oldest portion of the Big House. They had a kitchen, dining room and living room on the first floor and two bedrooms upstairs.
Dan and Paulette, who had only two children at this time, moved into the Little House. This house had a kitchen, dining room, living room and bedroom on the first floor and two bedrooms upstairs.
I have some memories of the house before the alterations and I have one picture in my mind when the work was being done.
Judy, Greg and Doug on the Island
Lynn on the Island
When Doug and I were probably about four or five, we went up to the Island with Grandpa. I think it may have been the first time my family went up there, and that was because my little sister was out of diapers. My Mom and Dad decided to stay on the Island for a while. My father got a job (doing what, I don’t know) somewhere on the mainland. In the late afternoon, Grandpa would get Doug, Greg and myself into the rowboat and row us to the mainland beach. We would walk down the winding dirt road until we saw Dad’s car approaching. We would all climb in and Dad would drive us back to the beach. Then he would row us back to the Island. I think we stayed until sometime in October but came back to Trumbull because we didn’t have any warm clothes.
I have not found anything written about my father’s work at this time. I do remember that for several years he managed (owned?) the local Atlantic service station. I remember that my Dad would come home and have supper with us. Then he would sit down and read the newspaper before going back to the station to complete repairs on various automobiles. He was an excellent mechanic and was kept quite busy.
Dave told me an interesting story about this time when I was recording his childhood memories.
One more thought when your father, Al, had a gas station in Trumbull. I don’t have witnesses but I think Ced told the story. Somebody came in one day, knowing what a great diagnostician your father was, came in and said, “You hear it? Something is wrong with my car. Can you hear that noise?” Your father, without saying a word, turned around and walked away. “Well, what is this? Here I am, asking a question, and the guy ignores me and just walks away”. He was about ready to take off when your father comes back and he says, “I think the problem is …”, But he never told the guy he was going off to think about what to say.
Marian, like most women at this time, was a stay-at-home mom. She was active in our church, singing in the choir and teaching Sunday school. She was also a brownie and Girl Scout leader for me and a Cub Scout leader for my brothers. My Dad also sang in the choir.
The next job I remember my father having was working for the Frouge Construction Company in Bridgeport. He maintained their fleet of trucks and other construction vehicles. I don’t know exactly when he started but I know he worked for them throughout my high school years and even for a while after they moved to California.
When Doug and I were old enough for Kindergarten, my mother found out that Trumbull did not have kindergarten classes. I’m sure this surprised her because she had gone to kindergarten in California many years before. She and her good friend, Jeanne (Hughes) Hayden, got together and decided that they would start a Kindergarten using our church education center. They started the following year with one class, which included my brother Greg and Jeanne’s daughter, Debbie, with both women teaching. By the time Trumbull started kindergarten classes in all their schools and the kindergarten at our church was closed, I believe they had four classes and eight teachers, but it could have been three classed and six teachers.
Next Sunday I will continue the story of lad, Marian and their children.
Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1944.