It is now January of 1945. Both Lad and Dan are in France, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick is in Brazil and Dave is in Okinawa. Grandpa misses all of his sons but continues to run his printing and advertising business in Bridgeport and hold down the fort with his two daughters-in-law working and helping around the house.
Trumbull, Conn., Jan. 21, 1945
To the senders of three letters and a promise:
I am told now and again that my efforts to regularly keep you boys informed of what is going on around these diggins is not only welcome but even looked forward to. If such is the case, you can, with a little imagination, evaluate the satisfaction and elation with which news from you absent ones are received here. To all of you in retrospect, home and familiar things you have left behind are known quantities, the daily routine is something with which you are familiar, there is comparative changelessness and a fair degree of safety and security which forms the backdrop of letters from home, but to us here, unable to learn by reason of censorship restrictions where you are, what you are doing and what overnight changes may develop in your circumstances so many miles away, your letters bring renewed assurance, at least at the time you write, that all is well. So this Sunday, as I write, I am armored in a triple sense of assurances of well-being from Dan, Ced and Dave, and by proxy, from Lad and Dick. Dan’s letter, which I shall quote anon, is particularly illustrative of this point. Jean, in a letter just received from Dick, gives assurance a letter will soon be on its way from him to me. Perhaps he has an inkling of my satisfaction in the news he has just written that he has now been upped to the rank of Staff Sgt. Of course, I am well aware that if the rest of you got what you deserved and the General in command of your division knew you as well as I do, you would all be top ranking officers, but of course, there the prejudiced father must be excused his natural weaknesses. And thinking along these lines brings Ced to mind, who, at last, reports has been deferred until February, which is almost upon us. If the current manpower shortage of which the papers have been so full of lately, results in his at long last being inducted, I predict that, like all his brothers, he won’t remain long as a private or even a pfc. It is quite possible however, that under the circumstances of his job, there may be another deferment in his case. I shall of course, be an interested listener as to what he has to say on this score when the matter comes up. Incidentally, Ced has posed another problem for the local post mistress in his last letter addressed to: The proud possessor of two lovely daughter-in-laws, Box 7, Trumbull Conn., % Smokey Guion. Incidentally, the post office quit its long-time home in Kurtz’s store and takes up new quarters next to the Drug Store as of Feb. 1st.
I don’t think I mentioned in any of my previous letters, but one of the surprises I had when I came down stairs Christmas morning, was the bright red seat and back cushions which Marian had prepared as a surprise for the kitchen chairs. That is one of the changes under the heading of “Improvements” you will notice when you return to the old stamping grounds.
Marian Guion (Mrs. Lad) and Jean Guion (Mrs. Dick)
Night of the girls, including our two own, gave Catherine Warden a farewell party last night by blowing her to a dinner at the Spinning Wheel, which is now located where the Tide Mill Tavern used to be, off the Post Road at Southport. Today, after dinner, Marian and Jean and a few of the other girls went skating at Nell’s. I spent most of the morning shoveling off wheel paths in the big driveway so that we could get our cars in the barn instead of parking either in front of Laufer’s or down at the bottom of the drive. We have had a long stretch of real winter weather with snow on the ground for about three weeks now. This afternoon, Zeke and Biss, with Butch and Marty, stopped in for an hour or so and caught up on the mail from you boys.
Page 2 1/21/1945
Now for the letters dept.
Dan Guion surveying in France
From Dan, dated January 2nd, “Physical condition – excellent – no danger. Packages received – 4 (all in good condition) chocolate flavored a bit by soap’s perfume. Items requested – family photos, half and half tobacco, dental floss. Portrait photo promised – pending return to Paris. Thanksgiving – forgotten until passed – no celebration. Christmas – guarded (with two others) billets while rest of detachment attended abortive party in Paris. New Year’s Eve – routine visit with friends in Calais. Morale – generally good. French studies – progressing admirably. Mail received – 3 to 5 weeks en route – irregular. Heard from Don Whitney on the high seas. Christmas card from “Jean and Dick” – ½ (?) by proxy. Prospect for furlough – no dice (since last March) my last furlough was 13 months ago. New promise of qualification after 24 months overseas duty. As usual, I am planning to write a regular letter soon. Dan”.
Of course, Dan, old boy, we’ll be eagerly awaiting that “regular letter”. Meantime, you are doing very well, and I am very appreciative of the frequency and subject matter of your missives. Our morale here is also generally good as long as you continue the good work. I do wish I could know a little more of what you are doing but this, I suppose, is verboten and it is just natural interest or at the worst, idle curiosity, but I hope you are keeping some sort of diary so you can make up for all the present lack of detail when that furlough finally reaches the 24 months point. And by the way, does that mean you can come home or just a rest abroad before getting back to the detail again?
I’ll finish this letter tomorrow, post a special Christmas Message on Wednesday and complete the week with another letter from Grandpa to all five of his sons.