This is the forth installment of a long report on Christmas activities at the Trumbull House and news from family and friends.
A winter view of the Summer Porch.
And now back to the last part of my Christmas Report, concerning messages from relatives and friends, which of course you distant ones are expected to share along with us at home. Aside from those who are my friends and not known to you, we have Christmas greeting cards from Don Whitney (Italy) (a Trumbull friend of the boys); Aunt Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister); Astrid, Axel and Florence (Larsen, the caretaker family who stayed in the Little House for many years in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, Axel did all the stonework around the house, including the steps and pillars); Uncle Burton (Peabody, one of Grandma Arla’s brothers); Eleanor Kintop (Dave’s girlfriend); Dudley, Peggy and Sandra Sanford (Dudley was a cousin of Grandpa’s and a childhood friend); (Trumbull friends:) the Mullins family ; the Laufer’s; the Burr Davises; Mrs. Ives; Mrs. Beebe; Audrey Switzgable; Harold La Tour; the Bagshaw’s (Rusty Huerlin’s sister and her husband); (more Trumbull friends:) the Kascak’s; Ray Beckwith; the Pages; the Charlie Kurtz’s; the Wardens; Helen Plumb; the Kircher’s; the Mortensen’s; and the announcement of the wedding on
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Christmas afternoon of Corporal Donald Fairchild Sirine (a good friend of the older boys mentioned quite often in these letters) to Miss Geraldine Ruby Fisher.
In addition we also have the following messages along with Christmas greeting cards; From the Burnham’s: (neighbors at the Larchmont Gardens house in Mount Vernon, New York and lifelong friends)
Greetings from the Burnham Crew
Though those at home are all too few,
Yet over all the Yule Star shines
And bids us send to you these lines.
Rufus and Louise – 17 E. 84th St., NYC, Helen, under the Cedars of Lebanon, Eleanor, on a Michigan back-to-school project, Brad, marooned on Guam for his declining years, Dave, preparing in Conn. for a brave new world.
From Marian, Larry (Peabody, another of Grandma Arla’s brothers) and (son) Alan: two Al and ALL the Guionites. We have to write a hello and add our good wishes to your already festive season. As you may know by now, Ced dropped in to see us last Wed. night which surprised and thrilled us no end. We met him at the Norwalk airport just before dark and he took Alan for a spin which of course will be the most exciting present Alan gets this Christmas. Ced spent the night with us and was off early the next A.M. Up to here he had had bad flying weather. Hope it is better from here on. Hoped I would get a card from him along the way but haven’t so far. His visit brought us up to date on the Guion news and what good news it was! Can just imagine what a glorious Thanksgiving you must have had and what a pleasant Christmas is coming up. We’re so happy Lad and Dick are out and home with the girls and you. It is good to hear that Dan is out too and his homecoming with Paulette is certainly something to look forward to. Hope David’s turn will come up soon now. This is surely a happy time for you all and we add our good wishes for a happy Christmas season. Much love to each of you from us all.”
From Cousin Ruth Noer: we are hoping that your family may be reunited for the holidays this year. The announcement last summer (of Dan’s marriage to Paulette Van Laere in France) was most interesting to us of course and we shall be interested to know where the young couple decide to establish their home. Rudolph returned to the states three weeks ago and plans to take his family back to Detroit immediately after Christmas, since he plans to get back to teaching when the new quarter begins early in January. He seems quite himself except that he has aged about 10 years and is very thin. Perhaps when he gains some weight he won’t look so old. Mother stays well and carries full responsibility for the housekeeping. We should be most happy to have any of the Guion’s who may come in this direction stop off for a visit (Morgantown, W. Va.)
Grandma Arla’s Peabody sisters: Helen Human, Anne Stanley and Dorothy Peabody
From Ted and Helen (Peabody), Grandma Arla’s oldest sister) Human): We were in Nassau until November 27th and then came over to Spanish Wells (Bahamas), a small island of 700 people. Ted and his party are working over on Charles Island– uninhabited. I go along too and find it lots more fun than staying home. We carry our lunch since it takes time going back and forth. If the tide is high the trip is 10 to 15 minutes; if low, about half an hour because we have to go so far out. I imagine we will go to Eleuthera (where the real job is) sometime in January, but that is not certain yet. I had hoped to get up to see you before I left but I was too rushed. A very happy Christmas to all of you from both of us.
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From Sylvia Ward-Campbell , c/o Bank of Montréal, 9 Waterloo Pl., London, S.W. 1, England. To all the Guion’s, where ever they may be. I feel a pretty big apology is needed for the way I left Canada last year without even writing to say goodbye, but Douglas was sent back almost as soon as our son Iain was born and I got my passage far sooner than I expected so it was all rather a rush, and since we got home, domesticity (and several moves) have engulfed me pretty thoroughly, to the detriment of all my correspondence. However, this Christmas I’m really coming up for air and trying to reestablish communication with everyone again. So do forgive me, cousin Alfred, and write back and tell me all the family news. I suppose the boys will be gradually disentangling themselves from the services. If Dan should still be in these parts, though, I hope for your sake, he’s got back before now, do send me his present address and I’ll try to get hold of him. Douglas is just out of the RAF and goes to his job with INTAVA (International Aviation), subsidiary of Standard Oil group in 10 days time. We shall probably be living in London for a year or so (when we find somewhere to live, if ever) which will be nice in a way, though we’ve had such a satisfactory year in the country here in Wiltshire that I’m loath to change for a city, even being an old Londoner myself. Douglas has been seriously troubled by asthma this past year and London suits him better, so maybe it’s just as well. I suppose Elizabeth’s two boys are practically driving their own cars by now. Iain is getting quite a young tough. He rushes about and talks a blue streak though most of it is pretty unintelligible. Bless you all, and our love.
Tomorrow, the final installment of this rather complete Christmas Report from Trumbull, Connecticut, in 1945. I hope you are enjoying this look into the Christmas holiday of an ordinary family celebrating this special holiday near the end of World War II.
I can only imagine how special that Christmas ’45 must have been, having so many of the serving personnel returning home.
Very touching to read of Rudolph who “seems quite himself except that he has aged about 10 years and is very thin. Perhaps when he gains some weight he won’t look so old.”
Valerie – Thank you for taking the time to comment. That Christmas in 1945 was the beginning. A few days after Christmas Day in 1946, Dan, Paulette and baby Arla arrived from France to their home in Trumbull. This was the culmination of very long wait, beginning in the fall of 1938 when Dan went to Venezuela with Uncle Ted, quickly followed by Lad’s departure for Venezuela on December 26th, 1938. The exodus continued when Dan and Ced went to Alaska in June of 1940 and then came Pearl Harbor and four more years. Grandpa had the faith and patience of Job, exemplified by his weekly letters to family members far and wide. I am truly blessed with this treasure of letters, photos and memorabilia I call “A Slice of Life”.