Trumbull – Letters to Each Son (1) – Dear Lad, Dick and Ced – March 26, 1942

We are now moving forward to 1944 when the United States is fully engaged in the war effort. So is the Guion family. All five sons are serving Uncle Sam in one way or another. Four are in the Army and Ced is in Alaska, repairing airplanes for the military in Anchorage. His boss continues to request deferments for him and so far, has been successful. Grandpa writes a weekly letter and sends carbon copies to all his sons (and one daughter-in-law). This is the first half of a three page typed letter. The second half will be posted tomorrow.

Lad  - 1943

       Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion 

Trumbull, Conn. March 26, 1944

Dear Lad:

You will receive this letter within a few days, either way, of your birthday – – your first birthday as a married man. (Incidentally, tomorrow is the anniversary of the day your Mother and I were married 31 years ago) there is so much that one would like to put into a goodwill greeting on such occasions that must remain unsaid because, outside of a few gifted persons, we ordinary folks are unable to put our thoughts on paper – – to say all that is in our hearts and minds.

Today Elizabeth (Grandpa and Grandma’s only daughter and her family) and Zeke, with Butch and Marty, took dinner with us. As I watched the children with their cute little ways and words, the days of my own children’s childhood came back and I lived over again those all too short happy years when all of you were youngsters and your Mother and I watched the unfolding of your young ideas and lives. Even as I write here in the alcove, there burns in the fireplace part of the seat of the little, old wooden high chair that all of you children successively used. It went the way of all things that have outlived their usefulness, being part of the rubbish Ced cleaned out of the attic recently. It gave me a bit of a pang I admit, as it went up in flames, to contribute a bit of warmth in it’s last service to the family.

One of the lessons that the years have taught me is the futility of impatience with things as they are. Perhaps you of all the children have this quality in larger measure. If there is one time we all need patience it is now. The cruel war drags on. Each of you undoubtedly feels he is contributing so little toward hastening the day of victory with all that it means to you individually, that at times it is most discouraging, far from home and loved ones, to keep up a good heart; but know that each day that passes inevitably brings one day nearer the day of peace and all that goes with it. When blue and inclined to feel bitterly tired of it all, I have found it a good tonic to deliberately set about reviewing in my mind all the good things on the credit side of the ledger that we can count as ours. Try it sometime and you’ll find the good far outnumbers the evil. To you and Marian goes a father’s loving thoughts on this reaching of another milestone on life’s journey.

Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion

Dear Dick:

After getting dinner started this morning, I took the wheelbarrow and shovel to try to repair the damage to the driveway caused by a recent hard rain which had guttered the driveway opposite Laufer’s in a most distressing manner. As I busily shoveled some of the stone from under the big flat stone at the bottom of the concrete steps leading to the front door, to serve as fill, a car came by and stopped. A face adorned with a sailor hat leaned out of the window and greeted me. It was Cy Linsley. He asked about all the boys and is quite happy in his job concerned with radar and radio tube technical work. Pete, (who marries Barbara Plumb, and becomes a member of the tight group of friends Marian and Lad have in Trumbull after the war) he says, is also in the Navy.

Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Richard, who is living in the Trumbull House with Grandpa and Aunt Betty) tells me you have a new job which keeps you quite busy with clerical details. Haven’t much time to devote to Whirlaway (the facetious name for the horse which Dick is part owner of in Brazil) these days, I take it. Mr. Covell came into the office the other day to try to sell me some life insurance (He didn’t.) and asked about you, making me promise to give you his regards when I wrote. Smoky is outside the window and when I asked if he remembered you, he vigorously wagged his tail, which of course in dog language means “Yes”.

We had the worst snowstorm of the entire winter the other day, so deep that I did not try to take the car to Bridgeport, fearing I would not be able to make the drive at night, and when I stepped out of the back door on the way to the bus, a Robin in one of the apple trees over in Ives old orchard (behind the back yard) was singing lustily. I guess he knew that in spite of the snow Spring is here.

Cedric Duryee (Ced) Guion

Dear Ced:

Your interesting letter written on the typewriter, much to Aunt Betty’s delight, arrived safely in spite of the fact the envelope was addressed to me, “address unknown”. (This is a game Ced and Grandpa play quite often, trying to see who can come up with the most outrageous addresses for their letters to each other) I am tempted to address this letter to you, followed by the letters T&DES, meaning of course “Tax & Draft Evasion Specialist”, but I thought maybe the local board might take exception to such a liberty. By the way, I am still using your ration book. Enclosed is a sample of the one point tokens they are using now for change.

I called up the Buick place the other day and they said they had the rubber mat for the car now but no exhaust pipe. I asked them to hold the mat and let me know as soon as another pipe came in. From Mrs. McClinch I learned they would take the pipe uncrated for Alaskan shipment. By the way, you speak of being rather short of funds. If I can help out let me know and I will get a check off to you by return mail. Did Art (Woodley, owner of Woodley Airlines and Ced’s boss) come across with the promised bonus? Please let me have Rusty’s (Rusty Heurlin, dear friend to both Grandma and Grandpa, who moved to Alaska and became quite famous as an artist of Alaskan Life) address if you think of it when you write; also of course, I am anxious to see some of those self-portraits you speak up. By the way, your letter came without being reviewed by the sensor, as in the past.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter, with a special request for each of the boys. 

Judy Guion


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