Early Years – Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion (3) – 1922 – 1940

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Cedric Duryee Guion, Grandma and Grandpa’s third child and third son.

SOL - Young Ced on Porch

Cedric Duryee Guion

We smoked corn silk and cigarettes here and there.  Art Christie was the oldest, your father was next, then Dan and me, the four of us.  I like to presume, and it’s probably true, that Art Christie got the idea.  I guess my mother wasn’t home.  I don’t know how we did it or how we got to it, but anyway, we got money out of Mother’s pocketbook.  We went to Kurtz’s – Mother smoked– most of her sisters smoked – of course in those days you didn’t think anything about it.  Anyway, we went to Kurtz’s and said we were buying some cigarettes for our mother.  We bought a pack of cigarettes, I don’t remember the brand.

Right about where the cemetery gate was, there was a carriage road.  There was a fence at the end, and a field beyond, which was probably Harold Beech’s field. But right at the gate there had been, at one time, a mill.  They had dammed up the Pequonnock River, they had a dam there, probably four feet high and four feet wide.  They had a big stone wall that pretty much went all the way to the cemetery.  Near that wall, there was a big, square hole, I guess that’s where they had the mill wheel, but that space was a perfect place to go smoke cigarettes.  We sat at the front of that square and we started smoking.  We had a whole pack of cigarettes and we wanted to enjoyed them.  Well, we were merrily smoking away and Dan said, “I think I’ll go home.”  He got right up and left.  We suspected that he was getting sick, which he was.  Art and Lad and I hoped he wasn’t going to make a fuss.  I guess we talked about it and decided it was time to stop smoking, so we did.  We thought maybe we ought to go down to the Brook, pick up some poles and pretend to be fishing in case Mother came looking for us.  So we did.  We went down to the brook and we were playing along the side of the Brook, pretending we were fishing.  I don’t know if we could have made that stick, but anyway, sure enough, about ten, fifteen or twenty minutes later, here comes Mother and gulp, gulp, gulp.  She came up to us and said, “What are you doing?”  “Uh, we’re fishing” we answered.  “Well,” she replied, “Dan tells me you were smoking.”  What could we do?  “You know your father and I both smoke”, she said.  “I don’t like it that you boys smoke, but why don’t you just come home and smoke if you want to.”  Not one of us wanted to smoke again until we were eighteen or twenty.  Not one of us.  Now, if that is in psychology, good psychology … Without even being punished.

Tomorrow, more Early Years with the Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion.

Judy Guion

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