Trumbull – Dear Sons Of A H.F. Father (1) – Chiggers And Ticks – August 20, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.. August 29th, 1944

Dear Sons of a H.F. father:

As you may have guessed, the H.F. stands for hey–feverish, and the date stands for the opening of the sneeze season. I wonder if they grow ragweed in Alaska, Normandie, Southern California or Brazil. I suspect they do in Missouri, along with the chiggers, etc., that Dave so feelingly  mentions in his letters.

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

Elsie May Duryee, Grandpa’s sister

Today has been Elsie’s birthday week. Visits to three different beaches, two movies, a picnic, and auto ride and a couple of restaurant meals marked the occasion. The high spot for our honored guest seems to have been sleeping out on the screened porch, lulled to sleep each night with the cricket chorus, punctuated now it again by Smoky’s challenge to neighbor dog’s nocturnal visits. But it is all over now as we boosted her on the train, bag and baggage, at the New Haven station this afternoon, accompanied by several hundred service men.

The mail review department reports a letter from Don Sirene which says his outfit has everything packed, ready to start on a three weeks bivouac “so we can develop calluses on the right places”, and with Jean (nee) Hughes and Jane (nee) Mantle in mind, he comments: “Won’t be long before the wailing of new taxpayers echoes all over the town as their mothers try to get more ’flags’ on the clothesline than the girl next door. The town will look like the Jap Navy flying all its distress signals.”

Dorothy (Peabody) writes: “Helen (nee Peabody) and Ted (Human) are still staying with me, Anne (Peabody Stanley)  and Gwyneth are back at 10 Perry St., after a sojourn in Vermont during which Gwyneth graduated from high school, and I am still with the same newspaper outfit. Gwyneth has started her first job and seems very happy about it. She is working with the Russian division of the Badger Co. here in New York City.

David Peabody Guion

Dave, after a fiery first paragraph calling me down for calling him down for letting two weeks go by without a letter, and pointing out the example set by his brothers, who don’t write for months at a time, or “at least one of them – with all apologies to Jean”, finally admits that it does at least show that I miss his letters. He further adds: By the time you get this letter I probably will have helped two or three chiggers or ticks (or both) to go on living. I understand that they like good virgin northern blood (I don’t know where he gets that virgin business) – blood that hasn’t yet felt the bite of other chiggers. But I’ve got them fooled because I’m already in the league. The other night we went on a hike and I supplied about five chiggers with their livelihood for a couple of more days. We leave for CPX early tomorrow morning and stay in the field for three weeks. We’ll live in tents or out in the open with a mattress of Missouri rocks. Then we’ll hike the 13 miles into camp and immediately go through the infiltration course. This is where you crawl on your stomach for 100 yards (which is a long way, if you don’t think so, try it sometime) loaded down with nothing but a full field pack, gas mask and a carbine. Of course you could get the full benefit of all this if you didn’t have live machine gun fire going over your head and land mines going off beside you every few seconds. It’s really loads of fun. My new address is   Co. B, 33rd Sig Trg. Bn.

The second half of this letter will be posted tomorrow.

Judy Guion

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