Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
Trumbull, Conn. Jan. 2, 1944
To my scattered flock:
There are several matters of import to record in this my first letter of the new year. First, about Grandma (Peabody). Burton (Peabody, her son) phoned me at the office early in the week to say that his mother was very weak and the doctor had told them she had not many more days before starting out on the great adventure. Might be a week, possibly two weeks, but to be safe and in accordance with Grandma’s wishes, all the children were summoned to her bedside. Thursday, Ced, Jean and I, together with Elizabeth, her two kids (Butch and Marty), Flora (Bushey) and Red (Sirene) all went down on the train together. We phoned to Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, her daughter) from Elsie’s (Duryee, Grandpa’s sister) shop and learned that Grandma would like to see us that afternoon, so, Red and Flora, having planned to attend some movie, Jean and Ced and I went to Grandma’s while Elizabeth stayed at Anne’s apartment some blocks away with her two children, then Ced and Jean left to meet Red while I went back to Anne’s to amuse the kids while Elizabeth went over to see Grandma. Grandma looks very bad, but is alert and interested in all that goes on. She was interested in reading Marian’s ((Irwin) Guion, Lad’s new wife) letter and also one from Dan, doing so propped up in bed without the aid of her glasses, too. Physically she is extremely weak, there apparently being a combination of intestinal and liver trouble. Helen ((Peabody) Human, her daughter) was there with Anne. Dorothy (Peabody, her Youngest daughter) had gone to work. Kemper (Peabody), Marion and Larry (Peabody, her son and his wife) had come on but Larry and Marian, with Alan (now 7 years old) had gone to see old friends in New Rochelle and Kemper had gone to Mount Vernon. Before we left Anne’s apartment to come home, Larry phoned from the Grand Central and he and Marian came down and we all had supper together. I neglected to say that Dave had gone down to see Grandma the day before and to my place at the office Thursday, as otherwise I would have had to close up shop.
Daniel Beck Guion
Two airmail letters from Dan, one in the first part of the week and the other the last day of the old year, sort of ended up 1943 in good style. His first letter mentioned having had a very pleasant Thanksgiving Day with Mr. and Mrs. Heath, of whom he says he has never encountered any people more sincerely generous than the Heath’s. He mentions receiving three invitations to Christmas celebrations, but “the old fox is waiting to see which invitation will be most worthwhile”. His second letter describes a short furlough which he spent in a visit to Cornwall in a little town called St. Ives (of Mother Goose fame) and a short distance from Penzance, immortalized by Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates. He was guest of a very hospitable elderly retired couple named Burnett who were introduced to him by mail through the kindness of one of the Red Cross workers.
Lt. P. R. Martin, the Censor who usually goes over your letters, felt it his duty to remove the Heath’s address, but he very courteously wrote the following note: “Send the articles to T-5 Guion. Sorry I must cut the address out; however it is of little importance.” Accordingly, I had D. M. Read Company make up a package of bath salts, powder and soap and will get it off to you early in 1944. Are you getting some good movies or Kodachrome pictures or won’t they allow the use of a camera in England? Send me another list of things you want sent, now that we know they arrive, even though somewhat delayed. I think hereafter, that with every package I send you, I shall include some item of cosmetic or toilet article as gifts to those who are so good to you, BUT, please, in every letter make a definite request which I can show the post office as otherwise packages will not be accepted for mailing overseas. We all enjoy your letters very much and it’s so good to know you are well and content.
Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion of this letter, with notes to Lad and Marian. The week ends with two more letters from Marian.