Trumbull – Dear Lad – Mary Donned Her Brand New Skates – March 31, 1940

     Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Pariaguan, Venezuela

R-60     March 31, 1940

Dear Lad:

By the calendar this is the last day of March but by the weather it seems to be the first day of summer. Mild enough to leave all the doors and windows open during the sunny part of the day and to go outside without hat or coat and feel comfortable. It’s probably hard for you to visualize the feeling, not having had the recent contrast of cold raw weather.

I am disgusted with myself. For one solid week I have been in bed trying to get rid of a cold. I got up at noontime today for the first time since last Sunday and am now up in my room trying to get up ambition enough to do my duty by you, but I still feel pretty mean — head heavy, nose stopped up and a general feeling of listlessness, in spite of the weather above referred to. I wasn’t cheered up any by receipt of a letter from you this week, and I did really expect one. Possibly your Easter trip to Trinidad kept you too busy to spare the time to write.

My brain is too deadened to think of anything interesting to say, I am afraid. Anyway there isn’t any news of interest to record. Dan has been a great help. He has not only been to the office every day to pinch-hit as far as he could for me, but before leaving he has been getting my breakfast and after arriving home at night has been getting supper and in general running the ménage.

I suppose I ought to try to get to the office tomorrow if the weather is decent. I am pretty much disgusted with myself. I thought I would be wise and stay in bed as soon as I felt the cold coming on, and after two days I could then figure on being back in the old rut again. But it must have been a grippe or flu germ that got mixed up with the cold because I felt a bit dizzy, had pains in my various joints and in general felt like ”an old Man”.

Imagine some asterisks inserted here to Mark a pause to listen to Charlie McCarthy, Vera Vague and Dr. DaFoe. By the way, if we can imagine this character “#” on my typewriter to substitute for an asterisk for a moment, I will try to remember a little verse I heard the other day, to wit:

Mary donned her brand-new skates

Around the pond to frisk

Now wasn’t this a mad bold chance

Her little #

That last effort seems to have exhausted my brain completely as for 15 minutes now I have been trying to think of something more to say, realizing all the while that I ought to be back in bed again, so uninteresting as this note is, it must serve for the present. I hope next week will not only bring a letter from you but will also produce one to you.

As always,

DAD

Apr 1 –

I’ll be thinking of you on your birthday and will send you a thoughtful message.

ADG

Tomorrow and Thursday, I will post a letter from Laura Mae (Larry) and Russ Stanley, friends of Lad’s from Trumbull. On Friday, another short note from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian) (2) – News About Family and Friends – February 20, 1944

page 2          2/20/1944

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion

Dick has delighted us with a whimsical letter giving us a sort of a psychoanalysis of his Brazilian horse, as well as a glimpse into the family life of one native family with a daughter of marriageable age. I wish space permitted my quoting it in full, as the whole thing is quite delightful and shows considerable writing skill. In fact, as in Dan’s case, it seems too bad that those possessing such ability do not practice more on the home folks. It makes me quite envious and somewhat ashamed of some of my own efforts. To you, Dave, Dick says he’s glad you like the Army. He thinks the Air Corps is one of the best branches to get into. He hopes you make the grade and will be able to go to school for 15 months as he feels sure that by that time the war will be over. Amen to that.

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

 Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

I am going to award a home decoration to Marian for faithfulness in writing. Another letter this week, in which Lad also adds a pleasant promise of future epistles to come, tells about their being temporarily established in a “fairly nice auto court, with room and a bath”, with the prospect of later obtaining furnished rooms in a new federal housing project. Lad keeps pretty busy with his intensive training job but is able to get home most nights. Marian will try to find some job to keep her busy during the day. For your information, all of you — their present mailing address is Box 154, Hooks, Texas. Be nice, and drop them a line. Marian, as a little reward for your devotion I am sending a sort of Valentine myself which I hope may prove useful in your little apartment. You don’t think your husband will mind other fellows sending you a Valentine, do you?

Dan must be pretty busy also because I haven’t heard from him now for about a month. I am wondering if the recent London air raids came anyway near where he is staying.

A letter this week from Dorothy (Peabody), written from the New Rochelle hospital, says she expects to have an operation on the 18th and hopes to be back in New York in a couple of weeks. She has been out on a 10-day visit to Larry’s place (Larry Peabody and his wife, Marian)  in Ohio and says it is even lovelier than she had anticipated.

Paul (Warden, who’s wife and children are staying in the apartment in the Trumbull House) has received word from Remington that due to the fact that supplies of ammunition are so far ahead of needs, that he and several thousands of others are to be laid off March first. He plans to enlist in the Navy, if possible, if not in the Army, leaving Kit (Katherine, Paul’s wife) and the children to occupy the apartment. Ethel (Bushey) Wayne), wife of Carl Wayne, both friends of Lad’s)  just received a letter from Carl in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is one place his trip has taken him.

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Aunt Betty is slowly getting used to her Acousticon (hearing aids) and thinks she will like it better as time goes on.

It is now 8:30 and I hear outside a chorus of “Young Peoples” who still continue to pay us Sunday night visits. Bob Jennings just came in and says Eleanor (Kintop, Dave’s future wife) heard from Dave. He has left Devens but he does not know where his new camp is located.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian) (1) – Ced’s Travel Plans – February 20, 1944

Trumbull, Conn. February 20, 1944

Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian)

Judy_0003Cedric Duryee Guion

You may perhaps recall, gentle readers, that at the close of last week’s chapter we had left our hero, Ced, out on a limb. Upon his return from New York he reported the best reservation he was able to obtain for his return journey was February 22, and quite ironically this Washington’s Birthday reservation was on the Jeffersonian, the crack Pennsylvania train to St. Louis, whence he expected to proceed to Texarkana for a stopover long enough to visit the. A.P.‘s. (A.P.’s  – Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) and his wife, Marian (Irwin) Guion)  A few days later however, having received another wire from Art Woodley advising him to start immediately, he again visited New York Friday to try for an earlier reservation only to find the Jeffersonian date could not be better but he could take his chance without reservation on one of the other regular trains. This he decided to do so yesterday (Saturday) he held a hasty and quite informal Farewell Sourdough Flapjack Party attended by we inmates, Alta Gibson, (Arnold had already left for work) Flora Bushey, Mrs. Ives and Ethel. The one o’clock express from Bridgeport to Penn Station was very late and thus the first section gathered up those on hand for both sections which not only crowded the Bridgeport station but filled the entire length of the long platform. When the train finally pulled in it was already so crowded that people were packed standing in the aisles and also on the platform, so that we were hardly able to crowd up the steps of the train. We did manage to squeeze in but whether the rest of the waiting crowd were able to wedge themselves in I don’t know. Arriving at the station which was also packed with the usual wartime weekend crowd, Ced finally managed to get his baggage checked. We then went over to the Grand Central to say goodbye to Elsie, ate an early supper and got back to Penn Station just before Jeffersonian train time. Still no last minute cancellations on any of the St. Louis trains, but on the basis of “nothing ventured, nothing won”, Ced asked me to go through the gate with his 22nd reservation while he picked up his bags and made a last try. I waited at the foot of the stairs and finally won from the reluctant brakeman the admission that Ced might board the train on the slim chance that someone who had not canceled might still fail to show up, but that if this did not happen, he would have to get off in Philadelphia and wait for some other train. The minutes clicked by, the conductor stood with watch in hand, yelled, “All aboard.” when Ced appeared at the top of the steps, rushed down with his bag in one hand and a ticket in the other and announced, “I got it”. We said a hasty goodbye and the train pulled out leaving me with the comforting feeling that he would have a comfortable ride at least as far as St. Louis where he was due at 1:35 this afternoon. From there he goes by way of the Missouri Pacific to Texarkana. There is a train which leaves shortly after the Jeffersonian arrives, which would land him at Texarkana at 2:20 AM Monday morning. The next train to my mind is better, leaving St. Louis at 5:50 PM and arriving at Texarkana at 6:05 AM.. Possibly permitting him to have Monday breakfast with Lad and Marian. I am waiting to hear just what did happen.

From there Ced continues on to Los Angeles, thence to Seattle and from there by boat to Alaska. For your information, Ced, Aunt Betty says she mailed your Seattle letter and Elsie’s card in the mailbox in the medical building at about two o’clock, a collection from which was scheduled to be made at three. Of course everyone felt they would like to have Ced stay longer, but we did have him for such a long visit that we were more reconciled to his leaving as contrasted with Lad’s flying visit in the early fall.

David Peabody Guion

Nary a word has been received this week from Dave outside of a letter received last Monday, written the Saturday previously and expressing doubt as to his future movements. I assume he has been sent to some other camp for basic training and has been so busy he hasn’t had time to write. I hope tomorrow’s mail will bring some definite word.

Tomorrow, page 2 of this letter filled with bits and pieces of news about the rest of the family and some friends.

Judy Guion.

Trumbull – Dear Dick – An Anniversary, Travel Woes and Roast Beef – February 13, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.,   February 13, 1944

Dear Dick:

Richard (Dick) Guion

     Richard  Peabody(Dick) Guion

Jean (Mortensen)(Mrs.Richard)Guion                                                                                                                           

Tomorrow for me marks the anniversary of my most highly prized and noteworthy official activity as Justice of the Peace — you won’t have to search far to guess why. (Last year, in early February, Dick received notice from the local Draft Board that he had to report for induction on February 20th, so he and Jean decided to get married before he left. A very hasty plan was put into effect and they were married on February 14th at the Trumbull House with Grandpa, a Justice of the Peace, performing the ceremony. They left for a few nights in New York City, came back to Trumbull and Dick was inducted into the Army.)  While your first year of married life has been spent under conditions as far removed from what newlyweds have a right to normally expect as they could possibly be, there are several aspects in the situation from which you might justly derive considerable satisfaction. As I see it, first, both you and Jean have been darn good sports about the whole thing — no complaining or indulgence in self-pity over your hard luck. Second, you may not realize it now but in later years you will both derive a sense of contentment in the realization that at considerable personal sacrifice, you have done your full duty and played a man’s part in a great worldwide struggle. Third, because of the self-denial you youngsters have faced so resolutely there is apt to be a corresponding compensation and an all the more lasting appreciation of a happy married life when it is all over. So, while on this occasion particularly you both may feel a bit resentful of the circumstances that keep you apart, there is always the dawn of a new tomorrow to look forward to, and one that will glow with more sunshine and comfort because of the present darkness. So be of good cheer. There are better days ahead.

Ced and car - 1940 (2)

Cedric Duryee Guion

For Ced this week has been one of quick changing circumstances. In fact fate has tossed him about in a way that reminds me of those movies you took in Alaska of the natives being tossed up and down in a blanket. Early in the week he received a notice dated February 3rd from the President of the United States, through the Anchorage draft board, ending his long period of uncertainty by ordering him to report for his physical examination on February 13th. On Friday, however, a telegram dated February 10th  arrived from A.G. Woodley, as follows: “Board has approved appeal. Suggest you return immediately to work as they cannot reclassify unless you are actively engaged in  essential work. Have a good trip. Regards from all.” So yesterday he hurried to New York to make reservations for his return journey. Up to this writing (6:30 P.M.) he has not returned so I cannot at this time give you more definite news as to his departure. Unless his present return routing by way of Texarkana is changed, it is quite possible he will be able to stop off to visit the new Texas branch of the family en route.

We have our upsets in civilian life too. By virtue of the fact that this was to be Ced’s last Sunday in the bosom of his family and Dave also expected to be home for possibly the last time before leaving for some unknown camp to undergo his basic training, I figured a reckless expenditure of ration points was warranted, so I blew in 50 Brown points on a piece of prime roast beef, done to a turn in the famous Guion manner, only to find that Ced evidently succumbed to the lure of the big city and a big snowstorm or other unknown cause has kept our little Dave for making his expected trip home. So Auntie (Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Mother’s sister), daughter Jean (Dick’s wife) and Dad spent a quiet Sunday by themselves.

Dan briefly reports by V-mail that he is happy in a new job which, although temporary, is both interesting and educational, while faithful Marian probably has a letter on the way telling of her arrival. Lad, I take it, is too busy with his new training and getting a new home fixed up for his bride to find time for letters home. (2 pkgs. by express from L.A.)

Aunt Betty has her Accousticon (hearing aid) and is having a bit of a struggle getting used to it. I am waiting for tomorrow to see if a letter from Dave explains his failure to get home.

DAD

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Marian writing about her first few days n Texas. I will finish the week with another epistle from Grandpa to the Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian).

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan, Dick, Dave – Dave’s Plans for Signal Corps – February 6, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.   Feb. 6th, 1944

Dear Lad,

Marian,

Dan,

Dick,

Dave,

To one and all, GREETINGS:

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt)

There is little if anything to report on the home front this week. Aunt Betty has decided to adopt a hearing aid and has ordered and Accustican which will enable her to be “in” on conversations that are tossed around the supper table with such careless abandon, hear the phone bell when it rings, listen to Smoky’s impartial greeting to friend and foe alike and detect those sly remarks that sotto voce slip by occasionally. Delivery is expected sometime this week. Cost $150.

David Peabody Guion

Dave is again home this weekend. He is still in Camp Devens (Ayer, Massachusetts) on detail interviewing newcomers and filling out Form 20. How much longer he will be permitted to stay on this job is problematical, probably not more than two weeks longer at the most. His present intention is to ask to be put into the Signal Corps and if so, may be transferred to Camp Monmouth, N.J., from which point he will not have great difficulty getting home fairly frequently. If he doesn’t like his assignment in this range he will ask to be transferred to the air cadet training work.

Ced is away this weekend, having been invited by Helen Burnham to visit her at college in Mass., where they are having winter sports. He left yesterday fully loaded with skates, skis, etc. Tomorrow his draft board meets in Anchorage and soon thereafter he expects to be informed just how he stands. He has been busy all week cleaning out the attic and burning up the accumulation in the incinerator using the Sgt. Guion (Lad) blower adaptation for this purpose.

I have been granted permission to buy two new Grade 1 synthetic rubber tires for my Buick which ought to hold me for a while if they are any good. At least they are 5 ply tires so they ought to give pretty good service at the moderate speed with which I operate the car.

We all went over to Elizabeth’s Thursday night for supper and Tuesday I blew the household to the movies —“The Desert Song” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Desert_Song_(1943_film) in Technicolor at the Merritt Theatre (in Bridgeport). Tonight at eight o’clock I have to go to my office in Bridgeport in the capacity of Justice of the Peace and unite in wedlock two trusting souls for better or for worse. Returning home, if I feel courageous, I shall then go at my income tax return and see if I can pit my intelligence against that of those Washington wizards who so delight to put mental pitfalls in the way of the unwary taxpayer. If I can’t guess the right answers, who knows but what upon returning victorious from the war, you may be visiting your fond father in the federal penitentiary.

Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is in North Africa somewhere, and according to a letter Kit just received is apparently enjoying herself being stationed in a hotel occupying a room with a balcony overlooking water.

  Lad and Marian (Irwin) Guion

Another welcome letter from Marian (Mrs. Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion , who will be travelling to Texarkana, Texas, to join Lad) just before starting on her Texan adventure and a short e-mail from Dan. Yes, boy, you’re shaving cream, etc. was started on its way last week. I wish you other boys, particularly Dick, would let me know from time to time what your small needs are so that you have some evidence from time to time that your dad is thinking of you. I have an idea for the Texans (Lad and Marian) but from them too, suggestions now and then would be welcome.

And that’s about all I can draw out of the hat today. Goodbye and good luck, from

DAD

Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa to Dick, on Wednesday, a letter from Marian and another from Grandpa to finish out the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (2) – Dear Ced and General Notes – June 7, 1942

Judy_0003

Cedric Duryee Guion

Page 3   6/7/1942

Dear Ced:

Your letter, dated May 26th, examined by Censor, was like a drink of water to thirsty troops on the Libyan desert. That was certainly a most interesting experience you had enroute to rescue the plane and I am anxious to get the next installment. You always manage to leave off just as the hero is about to step off the precipice in the dark. I don’t know how my nerves are able to stand up under the strain. Can’t recall such excitement since that day on the Gaspé trip when you drove the car over the road that was crumbling off into the ravine.

Dick is still on night work but thinks there is a possibility of his changing to a day shift in the near future. He has at last gotten his tires but they are not much to brag about. One of them has a cut on the side wall, but he patched it up and put it on anyway.

I received a letter from Nan Osborne (Grandpa’s Duryee cousin and childhood playmate)  the other day. She says Stan (her husband) is in the hospital for an operation in Albany. He has been having prostate gland trouble. She says: “Please give them all (Aunt Betty and the boys) my love, and be particular about sending it to Cedric for he was exceedingly kind to me when I saw all of you on our last visit.” She says they still have my hat and invite me to visit them at New Paltz (New York) this summer. I look back on that trip we took there together with a great deal of pleasure.

I note what you say about camera and radio and I will keep my eye open for a camera similar to Dan’s. It’s too bad you did not have a camera along on your rescue trip to go with the account just to make it doubly interesting. Thanks very much for the money order. In view of the fact that interest on mortgage and taxes on the house arrive simultaneously on July 1st, it is quite opportune. I have, as you know, been keeping up your insurance payments. There is another due next month so that too is welcome.

As to tennis balls, I went to three places. One was out of them entirely and did not expect to get anymore. Another had only a few, and at Read’s, I tried to order a dozen but they refused to sell me more than three. Cost: $.50 each. I therefore ordered them to send three to you. Later on I’ll try to pull the same stunt again.

I am enclosing a couple of newspaper clippings which may be of interest to you. How did you celebrate your birthday? I am glad you are so comfortably housed. Between two such good cooks as you and Rusty (Heurlin, family friend and renowned Alaskan Painter) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Colcord_Heurlin , the cuisine in your ménage must be sompin’.

General Notes:

I understand Nellie (Nelson Sperling, a friend in Trumbull) is home with his bride but I haven’t seen him. Jack Philmon (another friend in Trumbull)  came home on a hasty furlough. He has been ordered to San Francisco and has been issued cold weather clothing so the inference is he might be seeing you one of these days, Ced. Charlie Hall (good friend of Dick’s and father of my childhood friend. He and his family always joined us for two weeks at our Island in New Hampshire every summer.) was unable to make the flying core on account of his eyes. He will probably rate Ensign in the Navy however.

One thing I have been intending to take up with all three of you is a request for blanket permission to open any mail coming here addressed to you. I take it that action will be O.K., but just for forms sake, I am mentioning it here now, my intention to do just that, unless I receive specific instructions to the contrary. I can then deposit any dividend checks to your account and use my discretion about forwarding any letters to you.

Dick has moved upstairs to Lad’s room. Today Dick asked Jean (Mortensen, his girlfriend and future wife)  over to spend the weekend – – one reason why Dick vacated the spare room for the attic. Mr. Eichner sent me some broilers for today’s dinner and with homemade ice cream, we had a regular Sunday dinner.

Lately I have been doing some advertising work for Milford Rivet, who are supplying the plane manufacturers with rivets. I went through their plant and found Dwight Brinsmaid (a neighbor) working there.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida.  

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad and Dan – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (1) – June 7, 1942

 

??????????????????????????

Alfred Peabody Guion

Trumbull, Conn.,   June 7, 1942

Dear Lad:

Perhaps it is superfluous to mention it, but your note was very welcome indeed and was enjoyed by family and friends. You probably received my postal card. Here is a bit more detail. Friday Steve Kascak called me at the office and said he thought he had a purchaser for your car – – a man named Dow, who lives in Trumbull and works at Bridgeport Brass. He mentioned to Steve that he was looking for a Buick and Steve evidently succeeded in selling him on how careful you were about keeping the car in condition, etc. Steve brought him up to look at it in the barn, and of course it was locked up and they could not try it out. I told Steve you are asking $750 for it. Later Steve called me again and said he knew the man, believed him reliable and as he was willing to pay cash he thought perhaps you might be willing to lower the price a bit. Later that evening Mr. Dow called. I drove the car out of the barn (at least Dick did)  and after looking over the tires carefully he said he would paying me $650 cash the next night. I told him you had authorized me to accept not less than $700 as you had paid over $900 for it and the only thing I could do under the circumstances would be to get in touch with you and transmit his offer. He said he had no doubt as to its mechanical condition as Steve had assured him on that point. He said there was no rush when I offered to wire you, so I said I would be writing you today anyway and he said that would be O.K. Did you say anything to Steve about allowing him a commission if he made a sale? If not, do you think I ought to offer Steve anything and if so, how much? Steve is not the kind of person who would demand anything. He did say he thought if you could sell the car for a reasonable sum it would be wiser to get it now rather than hold out for a higher price sometime in the indefinite future. Perhaps we could take a chance on offering him $675, but if I made that offer I would want to stick to it and mean that or no sale. However, that is up to you and I shall do just what you say. Perhaps if you come home next week and we could let it rest until then, you could close the deal yourself. Dow says he doesn’t need the car until July.

A notification from the North End Bank arrived to the effect that the note for $615 was due June 5. I called the bank to tell them you had started working for Uncle Sam and on the salary you were being paid, it would be impossible for you to continue payments at the same rate. They told me they were on the point of getting in touch with you to tell you the government had just passed a new regulation that made it necessary for you to increase your payments in order that the loan might be paid back within the year limit that the government had set, and I told him I would stop in and talk the matter over with him. Of course, they’ve got us by the short hair because they have it fixed so that they will look to me to make good if you can’t.

And while we’re on this financial subject, there is some offsetting good news that helps but does not solve the matter. Mrs. Lee has refunded the $6.50 on your insurance and will have an additional rebate for us as soon as the car is disposed of and fire and theft insurance canceled. Also, Ced, in a letter just received, remits an additional $25 to be credited to you, and there is also a dividend check from Fairbanks Morse for $5. You received a bill from Carl for some 16 odd dollars which I have paid. Your watch hadn’t been finished when I called for it but I will get it next week and have it for you when you come home. I also have the photos finished up from Howland’s and these are also awaiting your homecoming.

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

Page 2   6/7/1942

Dear Dan:

Barbara showed us your letter in which you said you had been made a corporal, which of course is only the first step toward the rank of general – – the proper designation for a Guion. I bet I’m prouder of this acknowledgment of your ability than you are. And, by the way, Lad writes there is a possibility that he will be able to get home next weekend and will probably take the same train that you took arriving in Bridgeport somewhere about 10:30, so as his superior officer, you will probably demand the proper salute from him as you meet quite by chance on board the train enroute to Connecticut.

I have just received notice that your income tax payment, 2nd installment, is due, which of course I shall pay when the time comes. You mentioned the heat. It must have been pretty uncomfortable down your way for Lad writes: “Although it was hotter by 10° or 15° in Venezuela, I don’t think I was ever more uncomfortable, due to high humidity. Regardless of how little energy I use, even just using my brain, I perspire. It really is HOT. Yesterday, according to custom, we all here in Aberdeen had a review. We went out on the Parade Grounds in our best uniforms, cartridge belts and rifles, at 11:30 and were there until a few minutes after 1:00. It was hot out there too, and quite a number of the fellows passed out under the strain of standing at attention. However, I was not affected in the least.”

Dick says the battery in your car was shot so he bought a secondhand battery from Carl for $3, which I have paid. An interesting letter from Ced this week says he has been classified as 1-A 0, which he figures as meaning induction into the Army in the near future in non-combatant duty. He gives some other local news of people you probably know which you will probably read about when you get home next week, I hope, I hope, I hope. There will be some doubleheader of a celebration next week if both you laddies can get off together. Ced is getting to be a real sourdough. He is making his own bread. Now that is something even I have not attempted so I’ll have to resign in his favor when we can corral him in the old ranch once again.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter, written to Ced plus some general notes about friends and family.  

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Lad’s Letter And The Occasional Report of the Guion Family – May 31, 1942

 

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody Guion (My Dad)

APG - 2nd letter - Aberdeen Proving Grounds - Aberdeen Parade Ground Review - May, 1942

THE ORDNANCE TRAINING CENTER

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUNDS

MARYLAND

May 31, 1942

Dear Dad: –

Although it was hotter by 10° or 15° in Venezuela, I don’t think that I was ever more uncomfortable due to high humidity. Regardless of how little energy I use, even just using my brain, I perspire. It really is HOT.

Yesterday, according to custom, we all here in Aberdeen had a review. We went out on the Parade Grounds in our best uniforms, cartridge belts and Rifles at 11:30 and were there until a few minutes after 1:00. It was hot out there, too, and quite a number of the fellows passed out under the strain of standing at attention. However, I was not affected in the least. (I just refilled my pen.)

As luck would have it, our quarantine was called off early, and half of our Co. was allowed to leave camp. I was one of those given a pass but I had a detail, night, at that, good old K.P., and could not use it. The next time passes are issued I’ll have a preference because I turned mine over to one of the other fellows. But it will not be this coming week since Co. B. is apparently going on to guard duty, and there will be no passes issued. The weekend of the 14th, if we do not go out on a bivouac, I’ll have a chance to come home, and will arrive in Bridgeport at the same time Dan did, since it will be the same train he took, I think. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 10:30 PM. However, I cannot know definitely until 4:30 on the afternoon of the day I come home so I cannot give you any further definite information. If I call you at Trumbull you will know I made it. If I don’t, you could be sure I didn’t make the pass. That’s rather a cruel way of putting it, but it’s the best I can do. We have been asked to write home frequently by the 1st Corps Area, but then they put so many restrictions on what we can say about interesting things that I have very little I can write about.

As long as information is only general it is OK to mention it. For example – I can tell you that Camp Rodman here is rather a nice place and is nicely situated as far as terrain is concerned, but I cannot give any definite information, like the number of men here or the size of the camp or how many rounds of ammunition we use for rifle practice or the number of rounds we carry on guard duty, etc.

But anyhow, I’ll answer, to the best of my ability, any questions you care to ask.

Well, Dad, if luck holds out, I may see you on the second weekend in June. If not then – “quien sabe”.

Lad

*****************************************

ADG - Occasional Report of the Guion Family as of May 31, 1942.

Occasional Report of the Guion Family

as of May 31, 1942.

LAD: Address – Private Alfred P. Guion

Co. “B”, 1 Bat’n, O.R.T.C.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md.

Left the middle of May for Camp Ayer, Mass., thence to above address. He writes: “From things that have been said at various places and by various people who should know, Ordnance work and the Ordnance Dept of the U.S. Army rates second to none – – not even the engineering core. Apparently eight men out of 1000 get far enough to make the necessary qualifications for this Dep’t., And then, to make things even better, of those picked men, 2 out of 1000 get a chance to qualify for an instructors rating and the Officers Training Course. I am among the latter few, and that really makes me feel good. I just hope that I can live up to the honor when my chance comes. I believe that if things go for me as they have been planned at present, I will be stationed here at Aberdeen Proving Grounds for six months or even for the duration. In any event, ordnance men are not trained to fight except as a means of self-protection, and the main idea, roughly, is to supply the men on the lines with ammunition and equipment for fighting. We are the men behind the men on the front. Apparently I have been picked to act as an instructor in automotive repair and maintenance.”

DAN: – Address – Pvt. Daniel B. Guion

Co. “B”, 30th Engineers, U.S. Army,

Roanoke Rapids, So. Car.

Has just been granted a specialist Rating in surveying. Application is pending for admission to Officers Cadet School. He writes: “Aside from the inanity of Army ritual and customs, I am disgracefully happy here – – that southern hospitality stuff is truer than your northern imagination could possibly conceive – – I still don’t believe it myself, even when it happens.”

CED: – Address – Cedric D. Guion

P.O. Box 622,

Anchorage, Alaska

When last heard from (April 15th) was still a civilian employed as an airplane mechanic at Woodley Airways, Anchorage

DICK: Recently rated Class “A” by local Draft board. Subject to call at any time after passing his physical. Sleeps home days and works night at Producto Machine Co.. (100% war work), Bridgeport.

DAVE: Still enduring “Life with Father”, relieved by occasional activities at my office, high school and Trumbull social affairs.

BISS: (and two sons) busy at work as housewife and mother – – both boys husky and growing. 142 Cornwall St., Stratford, Conn.

Aunt Betty and Dad – still carrying on at same old stand. Can be reached at P.O. Box 7, Trumbull, Conn., Telephone Bridgeport 4 – 2993, or better still, by a personal visit from…. Y O U.

Tomorrow and Friday, I will post a 3-page letter from Grandpa, addressing a portion to each son away from home and finishing up with some General Notes. 

Why not share this “Slice of Life” blog (greatestgenerationlessons.wordpress.com) with your friends and family. They might find this look into life in the 1940’s very interesting.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced (2) – Barbara’s Visit to Dan – May 31, 1942

page 2     5/31/1942

Bar (Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend in Trumbull) spent last week-end with Dan, staying at a little hotel at Roanoke Rapids, and enjoyed herself very much. She says Dan looks fine and seems quite contented. He has been experimenting with third dimensional photos in color, and eight slides he has sent home are startlingly realistic. Various views of Dave, Dick, Bissie, Butch, etc., taken at Trumbull almost speak to you. Dan makes a suggestion I am seriously thinking of following if things break right. He says: “If Barbara has done right by “little Nell” Guion she has given you a vivid, perhaps lurid, description of the raptures of Roanoke Rapids. I hope that she has succeeded so well that nothing will do but that you-all will make a pilgrimage to the shrine of old St. Dan “Mephistopheles” Guion, perhaps pausing enroute at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds (long enough to be convinced of whatever they are trying to prove). I suggest the possibility of coming on the first of July, at which time I am hoping to get a furlough. I could go back no’th with you for a couple of weeks visit.

I wish I had time to quote Lad’s letter, all of which is interesting, but the hour is drawing late. I wish I could complete this letter with the report of what Ced has been up to for the last month but for some reason no mail from Alaska has been received since Ced last wrote on April 15th.

Dan and Lad will be interested to know that I spent yesterday afternoon collecting all their woolen civies, including Lad’s long blue overcoat, and subjecting them all to a demothing treatment. The smell that still lingers in my room as a result is not half so unpleasant as that pervading the rooms downstairs, due to what must be a leaky sewer pipe in the cellar. I have sent for a man to come tomorrow to remedy the matter but am looking forward to getting upstairs where I can close the door and open the window and get some clean fresh air.

I wish I had time to quote Lad’s letter, all of which is interesting, but the hour is drawing late. I wish I could complete this letter with the report of what Ced has been up to for the last month but for some reason no mail from Alaska has been received since Ced last wrote on April 15th.

Dan and Lad will be interested to know that I spent yesterday afternoon collecting all their woolen civies, including Lad’s long blue overcoat, and subjecting them all to a demothing treatment. The smell that still lingers in my room as a result is not half so unpleasant as that pervading the rooms downstairs, due to what must be a leaky sewer pipe in the cellar. I have sent for a man to come tomorrow to remedy the matter but am looking forward to getting upstairs where I can close the door and open the window and get some clean fresh air.

Alfred Duryee Guion

          After all these years I am learning something about myself. I had occasion to send to New York City recently for a copy of my birth certificate to comply with a possible government requirement, and learned that one week after my birth (at the time the certificate was filed) no name had been decided for the new child. Place of birth was given as 1159 5th Ave (corner of 78th St.). I’ll bet it looks quite different now. My father’s age was given as 31 at the time.

And that’s all from Trumbull at this time.

Many happy returns, old son, and may your next birthday find you in the best of health and contentment celebrating the event in a world at peace, in Trumbull, Conn., Surrounded by those who love and miss you, and particularly, your old

DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting Lad’s letter and the “Occasional Report of the Guion Family as of May 31, 1942”. On Thursday and Friday, letters addressed to Lad, Dan and Ced with general notes of interest.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced (1) – Birthday Greetings And A Tornado – May 31, 1942

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn.  May 31, 1942

Dear Ced:

In view of the fact that this is the eve of the day when you first opened your little peepers on this strange and naughty world, I am dedicating this opening paragraph to you. It so happens that we have with us on this occasion one known as your Aunt Elsie who desires to peck a few words.

FALSE ALARM. The above words were written about 7:30, at which time a tap was heard on the Alcove French door and Rufus Burnham, Louise and young David appeared en route from New Haven where they had been visiting Brad. After mixing up a few biscuits, tea and cheese, they ate a hasty supper and caught the 9 o’clock bus a few minutes ago to connect with a train that will take them all to the Grand Central, including Elsie, so the little round robin I had planned to vary the monotony of a “DAD” letter has flown back to its nest or wherever it is round robin’s fly to.

                                        Lilac Bush

As will be apparent to one of your perspicacity (that’s a $.25 word for you), Aunt Elsie has snatched a brief vacation over Memorial Day (or Decoration Day as it used to be known when I was a lad). Yesterday afternoon was pleasant but last night we were visited with a heavy thunder shower accompanied by big hailstones which reminded me of miniature bombs being dropped by nature’s luftwaffe, as they bumped and rattled on roof and windowsills. Apparently they did not do much damage to Iris and Rhododendrons, both of which are in bloom now, but today has been rather cloudy and generally overcast with occasional brief glimpses of the sun.

And while I think of it, Miss Babbitt in the Technology Room of the Bridgeport Public Library — a good friend of mine — tells me her cousin is Mr. Chandler Griggs, Chief Engineer of the Civil Aeronautics Administration at Anchorage, and wondered if you had happened to meet him. If not, she suggests you do so as he is a very delightful person.

We received on the 26th a very interesting letter from Lad which told in intimate detail just what happened in the process of induction to the U.S. Army from the time I said goodbye to him at the Derby Railroad Station to the time he mailed the letter. An excerpt from his letter is attached as part of a Report on the doings of you boys, prepared for family and friends. I am also enclosing a play which Uncle Ted mailed to me, which may cause a whimsical smile to adorn your countenance.

A recent letter from Grandma will be particularly interesting to you and Dan who met the Rex Peabody’s on your way west. She says: (quoting from Rex’s letter) “I know you will be interested to hear of a tornado which passed on a narrow path about 1 ½ miles west of us last Wednesday, May 13, at 3 PM. Serious damage occurred in Cumberland. The little house I built on the old Peabody farm is unharmed but the addition my sisters put on is slightly battered by wreckage from the barn. The big house has lost all three chimneys. The roof from the main part is gone, but there is still a roof over the East part and over the north addition. Kenneth and family have moved into the other house. The barn and granary are scattered from where they stood to the road north. A few pieces are even north of the cemetery. The foundation still stands and the stanchions are in place. While there was no loss of life, one girl from a home north of here is not expected to live.”

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter, on Wednesday, Lad’s letter and Grandpa’s “Occasional Report of the Guion Family as of May 31, 1942”.  On Thursday and Friday, a long letter from Grandpa

Judy Guion