Early Years – Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion (7) – 1924 – 1945

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.

Blog - The Island

The Island

When we first went to the Island, probably about 1924 or 1925, there was nothing on it at all.  We’d take a tent.  My Dad would load up the big old touring car.  To begin with, we used a canoe and a rowboat to get out to the Island.  Later, Lad and his buddies built the barge that was hand-built in Trumbull.  It was 15 or 16 feet long, it had a square bow and a flat bottom.  It was always nice to have when you are moving your stuff out to the Island.  Then the guys started getting motorboats, outboards, a lot handier to go here and there.

Spring Island - Transportation @ 1960s - Utility Barge, rowboat (Lad)

The Barge

The barge was used to move the Cook Cabin.  Lad and some of his friends went to the mainland and bought a garage.  They sawed it in half, put it on the barge and brought it to the Island.  They made it into the kitchen shack.

The Island belonged to the Heurlin’s and they let us use it.  We used it long before we bought it.  Through Rusty, we met his family.  His mother and father came over from Sweden, his father spoke with a strong accent.  He was a Custom’s Agent in Boston.  They were a nice couple, they lived in Wakefield, Massachusetts, in a nice house.

Rusty Heurlin gave my mother a painting – it was a rather famous one – he was very fond of her.  He was younger then my Mother and Father by a little.  We did a lot with him – we’d go hiking with him.  He made quite a name for himself.  All his life he lived by sponging.  He was so charismatic that he could get away with it.  He walked out of school, he took Art lessons, he was a hobo for a while.  The only thing that really interested him was painting.  He spent all his life painting beautiful pictures.  He was a good artist but he didn’t make any money at it.  He knew all the artists in Westport – Red Heurlin – they knew Red Heurlin and they loved him.  He loved dogs, oh, he loved dogs with a passion.  There are a lot of his paintings around Fairbanks, Alaska, at the University of Alaska, in banks and in hospitals.  They’re mostly outdoor scenes, some have to do with the early settlers, the Russians.  Colcord Heurlin – he always signed C. Heurlin.

One painting did more to make him famous than anything else he did.  Rusty made friends, he lived with me for a time in Anchorage.  He made pictures.  He made a mural, he filled the whole wall with it, for one of the bars in town, a whole Hawaiian scene.  He used to drink quite heavily at times.  I’d come home at three or four o’clock in the morning and he’d be painting.  We lived with an old Norwegian guy named George, he slept in the upstairs room, you had to climb up a ladder. I worked for the airline there, mostly Bush piloting – scheduled passenger service came later – but most of the time I was there, it was all Bush pilot’s.  Rusty and I would go down to George’s living room, George was a bachelor.  Rusty would paint in that living room until three or four in the morning.  During the day he’d go out partying up and down the street.  They called it the longest bar in Alaska – that was Main St. in Anchorage.

Tomorrow, more of the Early Years with the last portion of the Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion. Next weekend, I will begin the Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel.

Judy Guion

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