Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From A Lumber Camp – The Trumbull Communications Exchange – October onth, 1944

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Little Driveway view - 1928

The Trumbull House prior to 1950

Trumbull, Conn.  October onth, 1942

(The date IS NOT a typo)

Dear Fugitives from a lumber camp:

It is difficult to estimate how many board feet of maple Zeke and I worked on today (I also did some cutting yesterday afternoon alone), but we made a good start on clearing away some of the fallen trees. However there is much yet to be done so if any of you boys were making plans to come back and give me a hand don’t let the above statement deter you. Last week Zeke took my axe home with him to put a good edge on it and brought it back this morning along with his wife and offspring. I had started dinner so at once Elizabeth took over and I thereupon doffed my chef’s cap and donned lumbermen’s pacs, figuratively speaking. We made a good start on the Apple tree near the old chicken house and on the big old Maple tree on the front lawn but where we really went to work was on the Maple tree near Ives’s fence and the big trunk that split off and fell on Warden’s roof. We have been at it pretty steadily all day, both before and after dinner and we are both pretty tired and blistered, so again this letter may be somewhat abbreviated. Incidentally, enclosed are some snapshots showing the hurricane damage.

Trumbull House - Maple tree taken down in Hurricane of 1944 - view towards litle drive way

Trumbul house - Maple tree taken down in hurricane of 1944 - loking towards road

Trumbul house - Maple Tree taken down in Huricane of 1944 (front porch steps

David Peabody Guion

The Trumbull Communications Exchange announces a letter from Marian and two from Dave, written on the 22nd and 25th respectively. The first announced his transfer to the 847th  S.T.B.  (Co. F) and told of numerous current rumors. The second, written three days later, told of his company being scheduled for six weeks team training when the officers assigned to the job arrive, thence to a port of mobilization, joining with a unit for three weeks more training, then to a POE (Port of Embarkation) for the boat ride, bringing this date possibly sometime in December. He adds: “You can’t be really sure what’s going to happen from one minute to the next (Ask Marian) so as usual we’ll just have to sit tight, make no calculations or plans and see what happens. After reading your quotations from Ced’s letter it occurred to me that right along I’ve been taking your weekly letters for granted, never realizing how much they’d be missed if even one week should go by without at least a note. Every time someone else writes they seem to take it for granted that I (and I suppose everyone else) already knows all the home news, so without your “News Events of the Week” written in your pleasant “Oh, Alfred, how do you do it?” style, we’d never know anything about the old home style. I for one want to feel at home when I get back there so I don’t want every change to be new and foreign when I get home.” Someday soon, Dave, why don’t you drop Mac a line and tell him you would like to see a recent issue of News to Youse — that he must have overlooked putting your name on the subscription list, etc., I have several times offered my help but I guess he doesn’t get around to it.

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

Marian Irwin Guion

As for  MtF (Marian the Faithful), she writes that things go on just as usual. Lad is working hard at his instructor’s job, the promised photos will be on the way soon as packing facilities can be obtained. The hot spells make sleeping difficult. She recommends our seeing “Going My Way” with Bing Crosby, which we all had seen, Jean having heard it was good, and it certainly was. I think this inter-family movie recommendation is a very good idea. Marian said some very nice things about Dave’s reminiscent contribution, “And to think it came from an ancient 18-year-old!”

The war news about the Arnhem setback this week sort of puts a damper on the unbridled optimism. I have an idea Eisenhower is using the time that seems to mark a sort of lull to gather men and material for one great big push, one of those big doses of medicine he handed the Jerries when they broke through the Normandy front, a sort of Patton medicine, so to speak. And with that last as sort of a last expiring effort I shall take my weary bones off to bed although the clock says it is only 8:30. So, toodle loo for now.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear DARCD – Home Town News In Brief – September 24, 1944

This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian are still in Jackson,Mississippi, Dan is in France, Dick is in Brazil acting as a liaison with the locals who are employed on the base, Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska repairing planes and finding and repairing downed planes and Dave  is at Camp Crowder, recently assigned to the Signal Corps Battalion.

pp pic 1

Trumbull, Conn   September 24, 1944

Dear DARCD:

(Dan, Alfred, Richard, Cedric, Dave)

That’s my code word for all the boys in the family, individually and collectively (in recognition, naturally, of the fact that our youngest is now in the U.S. Signal Corps).

Home Town News in Brief: Bob Peterson, age 50, died quite suddenly last Thursday at the Newington Veterans Hospital where he had gone for treatment for headaches. The trouble is alleged to have been a blood clot on the brain. Besides being a veteran of World War I and a member of the Trumbull American Legion Post, he was a member of the Board of Education, a Building Commissioner, Pres. of the Fairfield Co. Fire Chief’s Assn., and has for 20 years been our local fire chief. Cedric Joslin, whom some of you knew, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps was reported killed in action in Corsica when his fighter plane crashed. Don Whitney is reported home in Long Hill on a visit but I have not myself seen him. Red Sirene is probably overseas somewhere. Yesterday afternoon and this morning, interspersed with spells of cooking dinner, I chopped and sawed, trying to clear the place of fallen timber and as soon as I finish this I shall have to tackle cleaning the kitchen oil burner, so if this letter is shorter than usual, let’s call it the laws of compensation in operation.

Thanks Marian and Lad for your birthday greetings, and by the way, did you ever receive the government check I forwarded to Miss? Dave, happy birthday greeting to you, come next Saturday, just in case, although I expect sometime during the week to write a special birthday letter, as per usual practice. Ced I am in touch with a man who handles refrigerator repairs and who has promised to keep his eye open for something really suitable.

Dave writes he has been assigned to a Sig. Trng. Bn. At Camp Crowder, having been up to the present time in the Replacement Training Section. The new group trains as a unit and as a unit when their training is completed is sent overseas together. He also writes that he and Lad are trying to arrange some time and place where they can meet halfway for a chat. I received Dave’s letter Thursday. In it he suggested I take Jean and Aunt Betty to see “Arsenic and Old Lace” when it comes to Bridgeport.  (  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036613/ ) It was then playing at the Merritt, so that night we all went to the Merritt and enjoyed seeing it. Thank you, Dave, for the suggestion. And now for something not quite so pleasant. I don’t urgently need it, but I don’t like to see any of my boys careless about money matters, so don’t overlook the fact that you still owe me some borrowed money, only part of which has been repaid. Don’t “save till it hurts”, but on the other hand, don’t be too nonchalant about it either. Your father may be lenient but others not. And it’s the habit and frame of mind that count, not the money owed.

Dan writes he has seen a bit of the Brest section.  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Brest )He reports the German atrocities, after talking with the French eyewitnesses and near victims, are unfortunately true. His explanation sounds plausible. The Jerry’s considered themselves superior to the French. The French didn’t feel inferior. Resentment led to action, action to punishment, punishment to revenge, revenge to atrocity. Dan is still enjoying himself and his contact with the French folk.

And now, if you will, let be off this week for just one page, I’ll tackle the oil stove. The weather is getting cooler and Aunt Betty feels it quite a bit and unless the kitchen stove stays lighted it is uncomfortable for her here during the day. I have been able to get some parts for the furnace and that will have to be tackled soon. Adieu.    DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Biss to her brother, Ced, in Alaska, working on a Military Air Base, Wednesday, a short thank you note from Marian to Ced, on Thursday another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another note from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – Newspaper Article – October 1, 1939

This is the Article which was published by the Bridgeport Times Star at some point prior to the election on October 2, 1939. 

ADG - The Bridgeport Times-Star picture, Sept. 12, 1939- September 12, 1939 (2)

This same picture was used for the article below with this title:

ALFRED D GUION

Trumbull First Selectman

Town Officials

by Don Quaintance

Fifteen years ago, if someone had suggested to Alfred D.  Guion that he enter the political arena he would have laughed, shrugged and labeled the suggest or a wag.  At that time he was advertising director of a big industrial concern.

But today, he plays his role of leader of Trumbull’s 5,000 citizens with skill born of true executive ability.

Trumbull can thank the depression for Guion.

For, if business conditions in the advertising field had been better than they were, he would still be plotting nation-wide advertising campaigns, working far into the night, with no time for the mundane tasks of a New England town selectmen.

Guion has been in the advertising business most of his life.  He spent six years of it as advertising manager of the Bridgeport Brass Co., and also held executive jobs with Allied Chemical, the Celluloid Co. of New York and Century Co. publishers.

His entrance into the field of public service was inspired, he says, by the late Mrs. Guion, the former Arla Peabody of Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Those who knew her can readily understand, since the sales manager’s wife was devoted to the community in which she lived.  An ardent worker for civic improvement, she never tired of doing things for other people – little kindnesses, in addition to large-scale organizing for new roads, Social service and better local government.

There are many who remember Arla Guion and her work, her friendliness.  She took care of her own home, she was invested in work that made for the betterment of Trumbull.  In addition to that she inspired a career.

Those who get to know the First Selectman regard him as an all-round booster.  He never knocks.  As a matter of fact, he is rather inclined to be indulgent.  Deplores, for instance, the towns self-separation into Trumbull – Nichols – Long Hill.  Thinks it should be all one.  Becomes very unhappy of the “feeling” between the sections which crops out at intervals.

According to Guion, there should be no “across the railroad tracks.”

“If that’s going to be the case, he says, let’s tear up the railroad tracks.”

Guion’s political ideology is predominately Republican, although locally, he says, politics shouldn’t mean a thing.

“He knows his people so well who serves a small community that it is always the individual work of the man that counts, rather than his politics,”  he maintains.

“In a community-minded town liked Trumbull, for instance, political questions affecting the State or Nation have no place.  The only local interest should be the common welfare.  Because of this belief Guion has more than once discussed the prospect of a change in the form of Trumbull’s town government, from the unwieldy town meeting system to a non-partisan, business-like town managership.

“There should be no selfish axes to grind, and the non-partisan governments should take an interest in such things as education, the religious activities, instead of some of the things they do now.”

Guion proves beyond a doubt that he is a square shooter when, regardless of his political following, he makes open declarations of where he stands.

“I’m convinced that Trumbull could get a good deal more for its taxes than most critics would be willing to admit; redeeming it with: and that’s what we are constantly striving to do.”

Alfred Duryee Guion was born Sept. 11, 1884, son of Alfred Beck and Ella (Duryee) Guion in the city of New York.  Went to Mount Vernon High School and took a B. S. C.  at the NYU School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance in 1912.

Mr. Guion has six children, five of them boys.  Alfred, Daniel, Cedric, Richard and David; and the sixth a girl, Elizabeth. (Elizabeth was actually the fourth child)

He was employed in various corporations in New York from 1912 to 1921, throughout the war.,  and was associated with the Bridgeport Brass Co. during the next decade.  In 1929, he formed his own Corporation, the Alfred D.  Guion and Co. Advertising Agency and has been President and Director since.

He served as Justice-of-the-Peace since 1928, was assistant prosecutor of the town court in 1934-35.

He is a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, is a Mason and a member of the Algonquin Club.

True, he has an impressive business and public service record, but the private life of Mr. Guion is much more interesting.

His hobby, to begin with, is cooking.  Like many other business executives of today, he is an expert chef.

Along these lines, he likes home life and has five sons and one daughter.

His “oldest boy” (Lad) is in charge of the mechanical equipment on an oil well in Venezuela.  Another son, (Dan) has been building a road through the jungles of Central America, (actually Venezuela) is now visiting his father in Trumbull, and will continue college work in geology in the fall.

The First Selectman of this landlocked town likes water and boating.  He has often dreamed of owning a yacht, just like most of the other people in town.  If he had the money, that’s what he might do.

He likes dogs.  He has one at home called “Mac”, short for McKenzie, the son of an Alaskan malamute brought by a friend (Rusty Huerlin) from the Mackenzie River in Alaska.

He loves to read ancient history, mysteries and see stories.  Says it permits him to relax.

Best known of Guion’s social activities of course are those which take him out among his neighbors.  Primary among them is his interest in young people.  He is a member of the National and local Boy Scout Councils and an Executive Board member of the Pomperaug Council.

He is vitally interested in promoting the activity of young people in Trumbull.

He thinks more young folks should be interested in government.  They’ll be running the show tomorrow, he says.

Guion likes the youngsters and they like Guion.  It’s not supposed to be known, of course, but rarely do they approach him for a favor to ask that it is not granted with alacrity.

Locally, the First Selectman favors bi-partisan Boards and Commissions, which in many towns have found constant opposition from the parties in political power.

The “hecklers” rap him in print and speech, he usually refrains from defending his actions, believing in the old adage, “Don’t chase a lie, let it alone and it will run itself to death.”

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guon

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – West Point And Election Results – October 1, 1939

This is the conclusion of the letter I posted yesterday, with an addition added after the election.

Today is the most miserable ,rainy, cold, raw, cheerless day. I have the fire going in the alcove. The youngsters have all gone down to Foote’s more for something to do, I imagine, then because they want something to eat. Dick was invited by Mr. Ives to go down to New York to a ballgame this morning, but they had just about reached New York when it started to rain, so they came home again.

Richard Peabody Guion

Yesterday, however, Dick got in what he feels was a very enjoyable trip. The senior class of Basssick, of which he is now a member, made up a party yesterday to visit West Point. They were to meet about seven at the school (Dick left here about 630 in the Packard.) Then they went by train, I think, to New York, boarded a Hudson River Day Boat, visited West Point, stopped and did some roller skating at Bear Mountain Inn and arrived home at 1 AM this morning, tired but happy.

A link to the Wikipedia entry – The History of the United States Military Academy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Military_Academy#:~:text=The%20history%20of%20the%20United,on%20the%20site%20in%201802.

    David Peabody Guion

Well yesterday was officially Dave’s birthday. I was so occupied with political duties that I could not pay much attention to him and in consequence we held a very modest celebration today. I gave him a sweater, a pair of shoes, jockey shorts, socks, handkerchiefs, a fountain pen, flashlight (small pocket edition) pocket nail file, candy and of course ,we had store ice cream for dessert. Aunt Betty sent her regular card with its dollar enclosed, Dan also gave him a dollar, Ced bought some cider just made a few hours before from Boroughs, and yesterday the New Rochelle folks sent him a telegram of congratulations.

Politics has been given quite a bit of prominence in the daily news during the past week or so. There have been repeated attacks on the Republican Party of those in power in the town including your poor old father who is being accused of all kinds of indirect and indefinite wrongdoing, but in the opinion of many these mudslinging tactics are boomerangs which do more harm than good to the throwers, principal of whom is our old friend Sexton. However, tomorrow will tell the tale and while I think from some standpoint it would be a good thing if I were relieved of the job and could devote more time to my business, I do need the extra income and anyway, I would not want to quit under fire and have my critics say I couldn’t take it, etc. The Times Star has been publishing a series of articles on public officials in various towns in the vicinity. I am enclosing the one about me in which you will note that Mack has made the grade as a celebrity.

I think I shall stop this letter right here (I can’t think of anything more to tell you anyway) and finish it after election returns have been received.

Tuesday night. The sad news is told in the newspaper clippings attached. Your dad went down to defeat by 21 votes, but the rest of the Republican ticket got in. This is primarily due to the nice things our friend Sexton has been saying. My feelings are mixed at this time. My pride naturally is a bit hurt and from a financial angle it will put quite a serious crimp in my affairs, but aside from this, I feel a lot freer, as though a weight has been lifted off and it will give me an opportunity to devote more time to my lame business which I have sadly neglected for the last two years.

One thing that cheered me up today was receipt of two letters from you, one written on the 14th with birthday wishes and the other on the 22nd. As to the birthday thought, you had already put your okay on a wonderful birthday set of gifts which I am still enjoying. Will write you more next week when my mind has been adjusted to the sudden change in my fortunes. Until then, old hotshot, except this as a shock from your old, dry battery,    DAD

Tomorrow I will post the article which appeared in the Bridgeport Times Star newspaper prior to the election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Danbury Fair Week – October 1, 1939

We are in to October, 1939, and Lad has been in Venezuela for nine months. He has been promoted to the “Trouble Shooter” and travels from one rustic camp in the hinterlands of northern Venezuela to another, to repair vehicles that other mechanics are unable to fix. This keeps him out of Caracas and makes it difficult to write home weekly, as he used to. Grandpa doesn’t like it one bit.

Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad)

R-43

October 1, 1939

Dear Lad:

It is getting kind of monotonous to have letters from me being the same each week, so I’ll fool you this time and say nothing about the empty mailbox. Whether my restraint will hold out next Sunday, if no news is received in the interim, marking the fourth week of silence, is too soon to forecast.

Daniel Beck Guion with his nephew, Raymond Zabel, Elizabeth’s firstborn

The only big news, relatively speaking, that has happened this week is that Dan has returned to college at Storrs. He had written to them about the possibility of re-enrollment but not having heard anything in reply, I telephoned Tuesday to  the registrar and learned that Dan could enroll, but that he ought to go up there at once and arrange for a room. So bright and early Wednesday Ced drove him up. He came home yesterday and reported that he is again on the debating team, is boarding with a retired professor of geology, and is a Junior. He’s taking the Packard up as Ced prefers the old Willys as being cheaper to run back and forth.

And speaking of cars, Carl is trying to sell his all Auburn. He has it outside the gas station was a big for-sale sign on it. He has officially changed his name to Wayne as you may have heard. Nellie (Nelson Sperling) is still working off and on as the spirit moves him at Steve’s (Steve Kascak’s garage, where Lad started working as a mechanic during summer vacations when he was 14, and continued for several years) garage. Art Mantle is somewhere on the high seas on one of Uncle Sam’s warships, but at just what location I have not heard lately. Chris Smith and family, I learned, have sold their house on Cottage Place and moved to California St. in Stratford. I understand they have taken a big enough house so that when Bill and Helen are married, which is scheduled to take place towards the end of this month, they can live there also. Irwin Laufer, as I may have told you, is on the Democratic ticket nominated as Constable from the Center. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is working for Judge Miller in Bridgeport.

This is Danbury Fair week once again, and it is the present intention of Dan and Ced and the gang to go up there next Saturday. If I go too, I shall naturally miss you. I was trying to figure out the other day whether it was more logical, you suppose, that we miss you here more than you miss home, and decided that the former was the case because at home here, I particularly am reminded by a thousand familiar things that have associations with what you did or said, whereas you are in entirely new surroundings with little to remind you of former scenes or people. Just as an example, the air was quite chilly the other morning when I got up and because I have a cold that is still hanging on, I thought it would be more comfortable to shave in a warm bathroom, so I upped and lights the old oil stove, and as I was turning it out I pictured you stalking in in your 6 feet 1 or whatever it is, and promptly moving the stove outside the door where it would not smell. Go on, say it, you are quite hurt that a stinky stove should have reminded me of you, to which my reply would be that the sweetest perfume is made from what a sick whale throws up, so you needn’t get all worked up about that remark. I was only trying to make conversation anyway, so there’s no sense in your flying off in a temper. There, that’s disposed of.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and on Friday, an article published by the Bridgeport Times Star about the Republican Candidate for First Selectman of Trumbull …. Grandpa, up for re-election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear R S B S (2) – Financial Matters And The Election – September 24, 1939

The following is a continuation of the letter I posted yesterday with memories of the early years in the Trumbull House.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Yesterday the Bridgeport City Bank reported that Dan’s draft had been collected and $255 was being credited to Dan’s account. Now all he has to do is to get the $400 balance. Simple. By the way, what ever happened to your own claim? I thought you were going to send the tools to McMillan (General Manager, I think, of the Interamerica, Inc. office in New York) with instructions not to surrender them to Maxy (Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of the company that both Lad and Dan were working for in Venezuela) until he had the check. What was done along this line? Did you collect? If not, what is the present status?

You may recall that when you were a mere infant a savings account was started for you in a New York Building and Loan Association. The same procedure was followed for each of the children as they came along. Due to depression, etc., these never grew to any sizable amount. Just lately I have had the accounts transferred to the Bridgeport Building and Loan Association of which Mr. Hughes is an officer, and am enclosing a card for you to sign. I have signed up for 10 shares for you and shall, each month out of your check, take the necessary amount to keep up these payments. It is very safe and pays more interest than do savings banks. Anyway, I think it is wise to diversify your sources of investment. The balance I may invest in stocks of some sort, and in this connection don’t forget to let me have an answer to the question in my last letter as to whether your present contract provides for a certain portion of your money that you are not ordering sent home, go for purchase of Socony-Vacuum stock, as Ted thought might be the case.

Guion, Davis Head Ticket

                               Guion, Davis Head Ticket

This is the last week before election — Monday, October 2nd. They have now a full-fledged Socialist ticket in town so that it will be a three cornered fight for First Selectman: Guion on Republican, Bill Davis of Nichols on Democrat and Flick of Chestnut Hill on Socialist. Sexton has been quieter lately although he is probably behind the recent move to embarrass me by presenting a petition asking me to call a special town meeting for the purpose of placing Town Clerk and Tax Collector on a salary basis instead of, as they are at present, on a fee basis. I am refusing to do this because I believe it is illegal for the town to vote to do something which the state legislature does not give a town power to do. Schwimmer, the new judge and Bill Davis both signed the petition. Mr. Judd, the Tax Collector for 19 years, has resigned, which is quite a blow to those who knew how well he does his work. Mr. Monroe Blackman has been nominated to fill the office. Most people seem to think that the Republicans will again win and there are some who say that I will go in and by a bigger majority that I ever got, but you never can tell, and if I’m not reelected, while it will cramp me financially, it will give me more time to devote to boosting up my business. Well, I’ll know more about it next time I write you.

I understood Dan to say you have his watch which he asked you to keep for him when he was out in the bush. Do any of your men from New York come to visit you through whom I can send some small parcels down to you by or who would take back with them some small article like a watch? The more I think of it the less I like the smuggling idea mentioned in my last letter, but I do want in some way to evidence, at Christmas time, the fact that those at home have remembered you in some tangible manner.

Mike Whitney is building a house across the road from his parents place and is trying to get it finished before the new year. Dan goes back to college today. Dan has not yet heard definitely from Alaska and is beginning to question the wisdom of starting at so late a date for so distant a point. He may go back to Connecticut State College, now that he has received part of his back salary.

Dave is tackling his school work with interest and the determination to make good his first year (in High School), particularly in Latin. That’s all the news I can think of now, so until a week from today, as always, your loving    DAD

For the rest of the week, I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to Lad which is full of local news about friends and family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear R S B S (1) – Early Memories – September 24, 1939

On the one hand, Grandpa is trying to shame Lad into writing but on the other hand, he comes up with all kinds of acceptable reasons why letters from Venezuela have not made it to PO Box 7. He’s also reminiscing about their arrival in Trumbull and the difficulties they had during their first Christmas in the house.

September 24, 1939

Dear R. S. B. S.:

which in this instance stands for Rainy Season Back Slider. A second week has again gone by without news from my oldest chick. Maybe the war has upset schedules in the boat service as far as mail transportation is concerned or maybe it is just the fact that now the rainy season must be approaching its peak and throws various kinds of monkey wrenches into the machinery. The last straw came yesterday when daily for two weeks I have hustled over to the store the first thing in the morning bubbling with hope and expectation that THIS time there would be a letter from you. Well, the only thing in the compartment of PO Box 7 was a bill for box rent and I tell you, I was disgusted.

I don’t feel much like writing letters today, so if this note is not bubbling over with interest it’s because I’m feeling rather low. Yesterday I came home at noon after going to the office in Bridgeport and arranging for the payroll and buying food for today’s dinner, and went to bed. I’m up and around today but with not much pep. I am entertaining some very active cold germs that Dicky has been carting around with him for the last week. I was very hoarse yesterday but that seems to have cleared up to a large extent today. Dan cooked most of the dinner.

Arla Peabody Guion and the five children that moved to Trumbull in 1922.

The Guion family in their new House in Trumbull, Connecticut

L to R – Daniel, Alfred (Lad), Ced, Dick in the lap of Arla (Peabody) Guion and Elizabeth

Well, this month marked the 17th anniversary of the fall day when a new family moved to Trumbull — a mother, father and five small children, the oldest a stripling of eight and the youngest a two-year-old boy. As we look back on it now and recall the oil lamps and the candles we had to use for the first few months, and the old pump, a one-lunger, that pulled water up from the stream, and occasionally pulled up a fat eel to clog up the pipe, and the little eight-year-old youngster (Lad) helped his daddy with odd mechanical jobs around the house, it is hard to think of them looking forward in those far-off days to a future where the boy, grown to manhood, would be in far-off Venezuela, north of the Orinoco, that we studied about in geography, making machinery work that would help to supply the civilized world with oil and gasoline.

Elizabeth Westlin Guion, at 5, with her broken arm

Memories come crowding back of your gentle mother, the little old one room school where Miss Lindley taught you the 3 R’s, Geneva, the pony, Elizabeth’s broken arm, etc. somehow or other these are the real permanent things in life. Material possessions, money, etc., that you can actually see and feel vanish with the years but the things of the spirit remain. It might be interesting someday when you’re in a reminiscent mood and have the time, to jot down some of the things YOU recall most clearly about those days. Naturally they would be different things that would impress a boy that would stick in an adult’s mind.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter, including Financial matters and some information on the politics of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (5) – News From Dave and Aunt Helen Human – July, 1945

Letter from Dave dated July 24th.

Got your letter written July 8th. I’m glad to see you’re giving thought to this business of seeing the world. About having someone take care of the house, I guess I’ll have to get married. Will that solve the problem? If all the boys moved off to other parts of the world with their families, I could stay there at “Ye Olde Homesteade” with you and the business and we could keep things going. Then, no matter what may happen, there’d always be a home to come back to. My vote is to keep the house by all means. If on the other hand, one of the married factions of the family should stay on in Connecticut and want to live in the house, you and I could set up house in another place. As far as I can see there are no problems.

One thing I’d like to have Dad, is a camera. I suppose that’s an impossible item to get back there. That’s why I put off asking for one ‘til now. I’ve been hoping to get my hands on one here but it seems to be hopeless. I don’t want a good one – – just any old thing that will record the places I’ve been and seen. Yesterday I saw Naha for the first time – – what a mess !! The whole countryside down there is torn up. You’d never know that Naha was as big as it was. So far we haven’t seen anything in the way of typhoons. We get reports of them every so often. For instance, we got a report of the one that hit the naval force off Japan. It was coming up from the south but missed us. Okinawa now has lost a good deal of its quaintness. Native buildings, and in some cases, whole villages, are gone. New, well-made roads have been cut and airfields

Page 6  (continuation of Dave’s letter)

are going up all over. It seems every time they find 3 square feet of flat land they start to build a strip on it. I saw my first B-29 at Kadera airfield the other day – – are they beautiful !! On the side door in the rear of the monster these words were inscribed: “Through These Portals Pass The World’s Best Pilots”. Okinawa, having lost its quaintness in my eyes, is becoming less enjoyable to me. It’s been awfully hot and I’d welcome cooler weather even at the expense of meeting the Imperial Emperor at his home – – provided, of course, that Gen. Stillwell is right in front of me. Don’t try to read between the lines and guess I’ll be moving soon. We’ve received no orders, but just in case I should ever stop writing for a month or so you can expect the letter following the elapsed time to be full of news – – sights in a new land.

In the July 9th issue of Time magazine there is a picture of a landing spot on Okinawa. It’s a scene of LSTs and equipment on the beach. This is the point at which I came into Okinawa. I thought it might be interesting for you to see this spot. This picture was taken from what was then a narrow, winding, dirt road. At the time I landed, there wasn’t as much equipment on the beach as the picture shows, however. The picture is in an article about re-conversion under Vinson whose picture appears on the front cover. If you like you could save some pictures of Okinawa. As I don’t have a camera maybe I could tell you something of the island through the pictures you save.

Letter from Aunt Helen dated July 29th.

The news about Jean just bowled me over with joy. I think it is perfectly wonderful and I am very happy for both Jean and Dick – – sorry though for all of you in Trumbull. Ted left on the 23rd for the Bahama Islands. He went to Miami by train and from there took a plane for Nassau. It was all rather sudden and so no time for anything but general preparation. It may be a very brief stay. If it develops into something then of course I’ll go down. And am I hoping it will develop into something !! Ted got there about noon on Thursday so there hasn’t been time for me yet to get any news from Nassau. He enjoyed his trip to Miami and the short stay there looking up old friends. If the job develops it will be on the island of Eleuthera. I never knew before that the Bahamas had such an island. It has 7500 inhabitants and we are betting they are mostly Blacks. Oh, I’m working. I’m in the circulating library at Bloomingdale’s (lending library). By the way, since Ted left there is an extra room here. In fact I can put up two. Of course, whoever comes will have to be on their own during the day. I don’t get home until about 630. Dan’s letter is at Anne’s and she will mail it to Dorothy.

Sorry, but I’m fresh out of further quotes maybe it’s a good thing because my finger is developing corns from soaking this thing for 3 ½ hours on my gold watch and chain.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ADG

We have reached the end of this 6-page typed letter, the longest I can remember. Grandpa brings the family totally up-to-date on each of the boys in their own words, which highlights their distinctive personalities; Lad’s analytical approach commenting on each letter from Grandpa in chronological order; Dan’s use of  a wide variety of very descriptive words that actually helps you visualize what he is telling you about; Ced’s rambling jaunt from here to there and back again, indicating his penchant for doing many different things and jumping from one to another quickly; an earlier letter from Grandpa finally inspires Dick to compose a letter, showing his quirky sense of humor and his growing confidence in himself; and finally, Dave’s letter from Okinawa, expressing opinions and observations as he did even as a child. Not much from Grandpa but I hope you thoroughly enjoyed hearing from each of his “boys”. 

On Saturday and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (1) News From Alaska – July, 1945

Grandpa hit the jackpot this week. He received letters from all five sons and he is thrilled to share the entire letters in this 6-page missive to all family members. I will be posting this one letter for the entire week. Enjoy catching up on the activities of each son away from Trumbull and the Homestead.

Copy of a letter from Ced, postmarked July 24th and addressed to M. Alfredeau de Guion, Baux 7, Trumbull, Conn.

The ski club scheduled a hike and picnic for today (Sunday) but the weather was stinko this morning, consequently the trip was called off. Lad has been doing such a wonderful job of writing and answering your letters that he puts me to shame. So in humility I shall attempt in part to make recompense. To Lad you say he is probably hardest hit by being situated as he is. Reasoning is good and I think you are perhaps right. I hope, whatever happens, that he will find it not too depressing (witness Dave’s glowing account of the beauties of Okinawa). There is always the assurance that each day is one nearer to home, no matter how you look at it. Dan – – ah, there’s a fellow – – our Monsieur Guion. I keep telling all the girls at the office that I’ll write him and Paulette one fine day – – weather sure MUST be stinko – – and for sure I will. I should also take up French but time is so scarce. Perhaps by now Chiche and Dan are probably hitched. I hope so, at any rate, as it must be heartbreaking to have to keep putting off such an important thing in one’s life. How I would like to have been there to witness the ceremony and properly welcome the bride and groom – – wouldn’t we all.

Dave mentions my flying down to Okinawa on a visit. What does he think is going to happen when I fly over Paramushiro? Of course the Japs don’t give much opposition in the air anymore, but if a poor little puddle-jumper such as I happened along, I’m afraid my gas might be so low at that point that I’d have to stop for more, and while it might be fun to steal some Jap gas, it would be a little foolhardy, don’t you think? I’d sure like to be able to do just that tho, Dave.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion  (Ced)

Now you wonder about my future plans. They are not too definite yet but I hope to get a commercial pilot’s license. If I stay in the flying game it will be as a pilot – – of that I am quite sure. Flying is becoming safer every day and I don’t expect to get into trouble. I wish you were up here this afternoon and I’d take you up for a spin. Should we get into trouble, I expect I could land almost anywhere with little or no scratches. The plane might suffer considerable damage but occupants would be comparatively safe. For the present I am sitting tight awaiting developments up here. I’m afraid this will not satisfy your requests for information, but we have this in common. I am just about as set on what to do as the proverbial tumbleweed, which puts me in exactly the same category as yourself concerning my plans.

To Jean and Dick it must be a lovely world just at the moment. I am interested in Dick’s answer to your question as to whether or not he is still expecting to come to Alaska. It might be that I could do something for him in the event he is still serious about it. As to your plans for Dave at the office, I suspect he is going to stoop to a little subversive activity to prolong the war. Certainly the easy life of a soldier stalking through swamps, sleeping on tree stumps, guns firing near misses now and then, nasty officers asking and requiring the impossible, would be a picnic beside the task of upholding a schedule such as you line up. Just because you lean to the Superman-style is no reason you must expect it from your youngest son. Dave’s letter about being in Okinawa was a little worrisome for a while but he came through with flying colors. Incidentally, neither he nor you seem to have realized that Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, killed just a few days before the end of the Okinawa campaign, was Commanding General of the Alaska Defense activities, stationed here at Fort Richardson from 1940 through 1944. He was credited with saving Alaska from the Japs, owned land here on which he intended to build and it was here he planned to live after the war. He resided in a house in Anchorage for some time prior to the outbreak of hostilities, along with his wife and family. Rusty has been

Page 2 of Ced’s letter

at several parties at which he was a guest and knew him quite well. I never met him but have seen him many times on the street and at civic and Army gatherings. Dave’s mention of having seen him a few days before his death interested me, and more so, the remarks on his popularity. While here in Alaska he was quite well-liked, both in and out of Army circles. I suppose there were many who didn’t like him but the vast majority seemed quite taken with him. He was a heavy drinker but held it well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bolivar_Buckner_Jr.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of Ced’s very long letter (two and a half typed pages from Grandpa. (I don’t have Ced’s original). Letters from the other sons will appear later in the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (5) – The Human Equation – September 17, 1944

A little background information. Ted Human married Helen Peabody, Grandma Arla’s sister. He was a Civil Engineer, I believe. He is the uncle who hired both Lad and Dan to work for him and the Inter-America Oil Company in Venezuela, Lad as a mechanic for all their vehicles and Dan to to help survey the route the road would take from Caracas to Maracaibo.

A one act play, entitled:

THE ‘HUMAN’ EQUATION’

Or

Bolivering with the Guions

SCENE – Headquarters of huge American engineering organization in LaPaz, Bolivia.

TIME – Late 1945.

Curtain rises on luxurious offices with Chief Engineer Human seated at his desk, busily engaged in looking over reports. Three doors shown opening out from main office – LEFT, marked “Labor – Richard Guion; CENTER – “Survey and Map Division – Daniel Guion; RIGHT – Correspondence and General Office – David Guion. Overhead is heard the hum of airplane motors, interspersed with sharp, irregular discharge from diesel motors, which suddenly assume an even hum as Chief Operator evidently adjusts them to perfect running condition. Human glances up from papers to push buzzer on his desk. Office boy appears.

Human – “Tell the men I’m ready for their daily reports.”

Boy – “Yes, sir.”      (exit)          (Enter promptly five men who stand at attention in front of desk.)

Human – “Report!”

Lad – “Pleased to report, sir, all diesel-electric installations in perfect working condition.

Dan – “Maps and profiles for “Central cut job” completed and ready, sir.”

Ced – “Sorry to report, sir, we had a little fire trouble with the Sikorsky 12 seater job this morning but she’s now running O.K. New propellers on the Curtis transport will be completed this noon.

Dick – “Complete new gang hired and ready to start on the trestle job in accordance with your orders, sir.”

Dave – “New report forms you ordered printed yesterday now completed and already in use.

Human – “Good. Dismissed.        (Exit men as office boy enters)

Boy – “The President of Bolivar, with a group of high government officials, waiting in the reception room to see you, sir.”

Human – “What’s Bolivar want now?”

Boy:  “He says the Bolivan Congress has voted the highest award in the country for your outstanding achievement in roadbuilding and they want to make an official presentation – it’s a solid tin metal.”

Human – “Tell them to wait. I’m busy right now. Will let ’em know when I’m at leisure.”

Boy – (hesitatingly) – “There’s another party just came in – – says his name is Guion. An elderly lady (Aunt Betty) with him is sewing a button on his coat. They have a dog named “Smoky” – – says you hired him to coordinate all business departments and take charge of all paperwork, bookkeeping, payroll, reports, etc.”

Human: “Well, what are you waiting for? Show him in at once so he can get to work.”

(CURTAIN)

Tomorrow and Sunday, a letter from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion