World War II Army Adventure (57) – Dear Dad – A Birthday Letter – September 11, 1944


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 –


– 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.

Judy Guion


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