Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
Sept. 11, 1944
Dear Dad —
You usually write each of us a special letter each time our individual birthdays roll around. So I said to myself – “Why not follow in your good Father’s footsteps – and do the same for him? So here I am.
I thought of this day many times during the last month and a half. But never once in that time – I’m ashamed to admit it – did I think of sending something home to you. I had thought of telephoning you – or sending a telegram – but never once did I think of sending a box of cigars – or something else as a reminder to you of how proud I am to be able to have you for my Father. In view of the fact that I’ve already written to you that I may be home – I decided that to phone you would be a bad policy – because your first thought – upon hearing my voice – would probably be that I am at the Bridgeport RR station. This thought would probably come to you before I could explain that I am still at Crowder. And that – pardon my conceit – would only be a disappointment rather than a glad tiding. I may send you a telegram yet – I don’t know. At any rate – I’ll send this letter.
Since coming back from C. P. X. – I thought time and time again that I may be able to bounce in on you on Sept. 11th – but Saturday I finally abandoned all hope – because I would’ve had to leave Saturday night to make it.
I hope this birthday is a happy one – but I know next year’s will be a happy one. By that time – at least part of your scattered family will be home under the shaded roof of our old house – business will be much improved – with the Bridgeport war plants once again turning – or turned – back to fluorescent lamps – brass fixtures – rivets for peace-time use – and organizations and clubs once again throwing their anniversary parties and the like – without being hampered by gas or food shortages. They’ll all turn back to the Guion Advertising Company for their ads – business letters – and announcements. They’ll be the old customers and they’ll be new ones in a bigger and better Bridgeport. Right now it may seem like a dream – but by Sept. 11, 1945 – it will be far more than a dream.
Maybe by that time – I won’t have to be telling my buddies about the business I’m going back to – about all my brothers scattered all over the world – about my Father who pulled his small business through the hard times – and who – in spite of losing his wife – brought all of us up so that he could be proud of us. Maybe I won’t have to lie on my army cot and wish I were home with my Father who brought me up just the way a kid would like to be brought – always advising – seldom laying down the law – letting me think things out for myself – hardening me to the world – being a brother rather than a Lord over me. Maybe I can be back appreciating it – rather than just remembering what used to be.
I started this letter – and it was going to be a “happy birthday” letter – but it has turned out to be a letter of hope and thankfulness. I am thankful, Dad, and I always will be – and maybe that will make you happier – knowing it’s true – than just having me say in a lot of words –
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD !
– I hope so – anyway.
Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in the Spring of 1939.. Lad has taken a job with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company working to maintain their vehicles and oil pumps and Dan is looking to get paid by Inter-America Inc. before heading home.