Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (5) – Grandpa’s Final Comments – September16, 1945

This is the final section of a long letter from Grandpa to family members around the world.

Trumbull House in winter - (cropped) - 1940

The Trumbull House prior to 1950

Now for a few asides, comments, remarks, criticisms, insults or what have you. Dave, your letter cleared up a number of points I have been wondering about. The comments I would make to most of the things are obvious. I’m thinking the way people back home here are kicking up a fuss with Congress in the Army that you will be home long before Christmas, 1946. Dan, Airmail from your and might also cut down the 16 day transit time for regular mail. Last week I got off to you and adapter made to Lad’s specifications of aluminum by the Singer Mfg. So. Through  Zeke’s courtesy. I tried to send it by air mail but P.O. said no. I also sent a box with a couple of cans of meat for the Rabets, a few items for the Senechals and a couple of items for Paulette. More clothing items will be sent this week. All on the list have either been purchased or ordered, excepting the watch and wool. I am also greatly elated about the grandchild news. I am hoping it can be born here in little old Trumbull, but as you say, we’ll just have to wait for developments. Jean, enclosed is Paulette’s letter to you, with translation by Dan. Your check was mailed last week. The Washington phone calls totaled $4.85, if you must know. Thanks for the ration books.

Next week, along with new quotes (I hope), I will probably have an account of the APG’s trek through upper N.E. and N.Y. Coming up, one birthday for Dave. Hope he gets that raise, or better yet, an H.D., along with that phantom camera I have not yet been able to find for him. Dan, the latest, according to a Paris radio report, is that Adolph Hitler is hiding out in Bridgeport, Conn. I haven’t had any orders recently from a man named Schickelgruber so I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the rumor. I’m sneezing off now until next week.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll post more information about the End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (4) – News From Jean in Brazil – September 16, 1945

This is another portion of a 4-page letter from Grandpa, informing the rest of the family about the lives of Dick and Jean.

Jean Mortensen Guion - Christmas, 1947

        Jean (Mortensen) Guion

And Jean, who is probably the American belle of Brazil, writes: “Did you think we had forgotten all about you? We haven’t, honestly. Just that we’ve been so busy fixing up our house and keeping up with all the social obligations that I haven’t had a chance to write. We are quite popular, you know! We spent quite a lot of time out at the base —  it’s more of a necessity than a desire. We haven’t a refrigerator yet so we can’t keep food for any length of time. Once in a while though, we get a few cans of vegetables and a can of meat and come home for dinner. It is a little hard cooking, tho, because we have only a small gasoline stove, but it’s fun. Dick usually goes to the base at 7 and I get a ride in at 11. This gives me a chance to do a few of the necessary things around the house. I spend every afternoon sitting at Dick’s desk knitting or talking to some of the Brazilians. They’re trying just about as hard as Dick is to teach me Portuguese. I’m afraid I’m a hopeless case but I’m trying anyway. All the Brazilians I’ve met so far seem to be very nice — they go out of their way to do things for us. Being here with Dick is almost as good as civilian life. I see him practically all day during the week. He gets off at 4:30 and doesn’t have to report back until eight the next morning. Sunday is his day off. It’s really wonderful. We’ve been out almost every night — most of the time we stay at the base and see the movies or go to N.C.O. club where they have an outdoor dance floor. It is wonderful dancing under the stars. I’ve learned the Samba and the March. They’re lots of fun. The Polish couple that Dick mentioned in one of his letters lives a block away from us so we see quite a lot of them. They both speak English so it’s a lot more enjoyable for me being with them. One night we visited a Brazilian family. The man spoke English but his wife didn’t, so we sat and smiled at each other all evening. This same man took us to the Club last night — quite an affair. The Brazilian General and the American Consul were there. There were five

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American officers but Dick was the only enlisted man who was invited — that made him feel pretty good. Tomorrow night the enlisted men are giving a Labor Day dance at one of the Brazilian Clubs, where there is a beautiful tile swimming pool. There will be a swimming meet during the dance — it should be fun. I’ll probably be the only American girl there because the only other wives who are here are officers wives and that’s only two. I’m sort of getting used to being the only American. I felt uncomfortable at first with everyone staring at me. They still stare but I don’t mind it so much. The people in Portaleza are pretty poor and about 40% or more of them are illiterate. They can’t even sign their names. The school problem here is really bad. They have to pay for both grammar and high school. Most families can’t afford it so the children just don’t go. Three-quarters of the people are suffering from mal-nutrition. Before I got here I was under the impression that the cost of living was very low but it isn’t. Food, clothing and everything else is very high. Most of the people don’t even wear shoes and if they do, they’re just a scuff made of cheap leather or wood with a piece of material over the toes to hold it on. I get the creeps every time I go downtown and see the conditions that exist here. The Government does nothing at all for the poor people –if they can’t get work that pays them enough to live, they die in the streets. Out where we live tho, all the rich people have homes. It’s really a very pretty section. Our house isn’t one of the finest but it’s quite nice. We’re going to try to get some pictures of it soon and when we do, will send some to you. The weather is ideal –there’s always a strong breeze from the water. We live about a mile from the beach. Received your weekly letter the other day. Now I know how much that letter means to the boys. It made me feel a little closer to home. Dick gave me a beautiful Ronson cigarette lighter the day I got here. It has my monogram on it –JMG — pretty snazzy. Love to all. Jean.

Tomorrow I will end the week wit Grandpa’s final comments to his sons, scattered around the world..

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (3) – Quotes From Internationalist Dan – September 16, 1945

Daniel & Paulette's wedding - 1945

Daniel Beck and Paulette (Van Laere) Guion on July 17th, 1945

And Internationalist Dan writes way back on August 25th, by regular, not airmail, “Mail service is immensely improved— 5 to 6 days by airmail. Thus I am answering your August 19th letter today; and a rather amusing situation it is too, reading your account of how the war ended in Trumbull, because over here it is not yet official although we are convinced that the formality alone is lacking. But the spontaneity of celebration seems to have suffered an even greater blow than that of VE day because of rumors and preliminary reports. No tolling of bells, no blowing of horns, no demonstration of any kind has marked the end of the war, in Drancy, although I understand that the Yanks in downtown Paris cut up a bit on 16th of Aug. I am excited at the prospect of Lad’s getting home so unexpectedly. If only it is true! And if only I had known! Speaking of getting home, I hope you can send me those articles for Paulette as soon as possible because I might be leaving soon. She will not be able to leave for a matter of months because she must wait for an immigration visa from Philadelphia. Also if pregnant (which seems definite) she might be prohibited from sailing on any Army transport until the child is three months old. There is always the alternative of civilian transportation but waiting lists are long and space is limited. It seems that we must just make the best of it. While I remain in

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France it is feasible to send parcels but whether or not it will be possible after I leave I cannot say. So please don’t wait for the fall and winter catalog. Enclosed are two belated letters, one to Marian and the other to Jean that Chiche wrote last May. They were mailed to me while I was in Maastricht but were returned to Calais undelivered. We are both excited about the “expectations”. Chiche asks if it is possible to buy wool in America. She wants six lobs of wool, two each of pink, light blue and white. Our Army program is undergoing the throes of reorganization. We are hoping to get a good educational program started and perhaps I can take the Paris University course. It looks now as if I might get home in November or December. If you get a chance, please write a letter of thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Rabet, 5 rue Cuvier, Drancy, Seine, France. They have given us (Chiche and I) every form of hospitality imaginable and will not accept any money for it. I manage to find small presents for them such as cigarettes and soap but I feel very much in debt to them. Most of their food is bought on the black market because the legal ration is too slim. They particularly miss meat. If you can find any kind of canned meat or fish, please send it.

(Cease quotes. Red (Don Sirene) dropped in a while ago to see Lad, who is at present touring New England with his wife, and was accompanied by his fiancée, Geraldine Fisher. He asked me if I had seen the Bpt. Herald (Bridgeport Herald newspaper) headline which read: “Corp. Sirene wins Syracuse belle”. He said Jack Filman and Bill Palmer were fresh out of the service and that Barbara Plumb (Dan’s former girlfriend, who enlisted as a WAC) was expected home in November.)

Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll post the final segments of this letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (2) – More Quotes From Dave – September 16, 1945

This post continues quotes from Dave, with insights and observations from a 19 year old.

Trumbull - Dave Is In Okinawa (3) - June 7, 1945

This is the Water Works building in downtown Manila where Dave works on one of the upper floors.

The other important thing I want to tell you is far more saddening to me. A group of the boys went down to Shuri — I think it was the last Sunday in July — souvenir hunting. There were about nine of them. Shuri was a scene of hard but swift fighting. Naturally there were a lot of explosives left there by the swift advancing army. Minefields weren’t cleared and duds were still left lying around without being detonated. The supply sergeant, who is a wild sort of guy, saw a Jap dud and raised his foot to kick it. Al Rundel, who was in my class

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back at Crowder, told him not to kick the dud, and when he saw him doing it anyway, he dropped to the ground. The dud went off throwing shrapnel all over the place. Bernie Arnold was in front of Sgt. Hamm, the guy who kicked the dud, and caught most of the shrapnel right in his stomach. He screamed and fell to the ground. He died about an hour later. There were three of us who were quite good friends — Hensley, Bernie and myself. Hensley was there and saw the whole thing. He gave me the complete story which wasn’t very pretty. I’ll never forgive Sgt. Hamm for the damned-fool thing he did. If we’ve seen one training film about leaving duds and charges alone, we’ve seen fifty. He escaped with the damaged foot. Leg injury to one of the cooks, complete paralysis to the arm of one of the clerks and other cuts and bruises were some of the other damage done. But as usual, it was the best man of all that had to die. Naturally I felt terrible about the accident and loss of Bernie. I want to church that night and that helped, but not enough. I felt pretty bad for a number of days. All I could think of was the picture he had shown me so many times of himself, his wife and his three-year-old daughter sitting in front of their Christmas tree the year before last. To top it all off, about two days later I got a letter from Ellie asking me to thank Bernie for the bracelet he had made from a Jap plane, which I had sent her. Bertie was no longer there to thank. He had missed the end of the war only by a few months. He was 38 and would probably be on his way home now. I’m doing crypt work here or at least I will be when our Co. get set up in Korea in a few days. We will handle the communications between GHQ and the Co. I think the rest of the Co. will be in Korea. We are no longer a monitoring Co. and now have reverted back to a plain service Co. When the rest of the Co. landed on Okinawa, Lieut. Greenberger intended to give me the T/4 that was open on our team. At that time he didn’t know how good Salamone was, and was more deserving of the rating and been in grade longer than I. So Sallie got the rating but Lieut. G. told me that when the chance permitted, he would see if he could promote me. As he is in charge of the group here in Manila, my chances are fairly good I think. All I’ve got to do is stay on the ball. The only trouble is it’s been so long since I’ve worked in a code room, as up in Okie I was working in the compilation section.

Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, I’ll post the rest of this long letter. The posts will include more news from Dan and also news from Brazil.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (1) – Start In With Quotes – September 16, 1945

We are in the fall of 1945. All the boys are serving Uncle Sam in their unique ways. Lad is home from France and he and Marian are very happy. Dan is still in France, seeing Paulette whenever he can and waiting anxiously for the day he will be discharged. Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, working for the Army at the airport, repairing and recovering planes. Dick, with his wife Jean, are in Fortaliza, Brazil and Dave in now in Manila, the Philppines, and fulfilling the role of a clerk in the Army Communication Center.

The Homestead in Trumbull

Trumbull, Conn., September 16, 1945

Dear Network Stations:

Might as well start in with quotes at once this week as otherwise I might be accused of not doing my part in conserving paper. Maybe you have noticed that the quotes tail now wags the letter dog so to speak. Clever of me to work it this way, wasn’t it? I now don’t have to do anything but sit like a big spider in the middle of my web and merely act as a clearinghouse or central station (Dave would probably have the right descriptive adjective or term for this sort of communication center) for the messages you boys send in of interest to all the rest of the family (when I say “boys” of course that includes the girls too), making it unnecessary for me to use my brain, if any, to try to think up interesting and clever things to write so that you boys will all exclaim in chorus, “Oh, isn’t he wonderful! I don’t see how he does it!” You notice, don’t you, how we get to the quotes at once. Oh well, then, here’s one from Dave:

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

“Someday I’ll write you a long letter on St. Augustine’s Church in the Intramuras and some of the other things I’ve seen and heard here. One night at St. Augustine’s I talked to a Spanish woman that had lived near there. She told me some pretty gruesome things that she had actually seen. One thing I got a laugh about was her account of the first Americans she saw returning to Manila. She said she looked at them from a distance and decided that they were awfully nice looking Japs, but when one of them said, “Okay, sister, move along”, she knew they were Americans taking back the city. The Japs have turned many of these “flips” into robbers. The only food they had was what they could steal and it became a habit. Now we have to watch carefully every time one gets near. Of course they aren’t all that way, some are really very nice and respectable people. They love MacArthur and seemed to be better Americans than some of the people whose homes are in the States. There seems to be some resentment on MacArthur’s seemingly “glory getting” attitude among the men in the Pacific, but you won’t find very many guys who express satisfaction with those that are over them. It just gives them something to moan about. Remember I said they didn’t like Buckner too well? – The same thing. However I’ve never heard anyone say anything about not liking Stillwell— he seems to be an all-right guy.

And another from Dave dated Sept. 4th: “Today they stopped censorship on the mail which gives me a chance to say some things which until now I have hesitated to mention. The first you have probably already guessed – – I was put in the harbor on L-Day at Okinawa. That was Easter Sunday—a day I’ll never forget. The feint on the east side of the island came off at dawn and then at 8:30 the real invasion went ashore. It was a beautiful clear day and we stood on the deck watching the barges go by with the Marines in them. On shore we could see the little dots advance up the beach and into the brush. Later on, we watched the vehicles, tanks, etc., go in. In the air over the island we watched American planes dive straight down out of sight and then come up again in a matter of seconds. There was a haze over the spot— they were dive bombing Yontan Airport.

Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, I will be posting the rest of this 4-page letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Reader – The End Of An Era (2) – July 19, 2021

For several weekends – perhaps more – I will be posting pictures and memories of the Trumbull House and what it has meant to my Family.

Quotes from The Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion,: “…. written in the spring of 1960 while on a four months “around the world freighter trip.”

“We moved in one late December day.  There was a furnace of sorts heating a potentially good hot water heating system.  Water was pumped from a nearby broke to a large storage tank in the cellar. No lights, as a storage battery system in the barn had frozen, so we celebrated our first Christmas with candlelight under rather primitive conditions.  Early the following year the local power company installed electric lights that heating and water supply still furnished problems.  There were six fireplaces to supplement the furnace and firewood was plentiful.  With foot valve troubles at the broke and of the water supply, water pipes freezing, frequent pump failures, it became necessary at times to draw water from the three Wells on the property until some years later, when city water mains furnished adequate supplies.

At one edge of the property a small cottage once served as an office for a long vanished paper mill.  This cottage was lent, rent-free, to various couples in return for the man’s help in his spare time in taking care of the grounds and the woman’s aid in helping Arla with the housework.  Over the years we had many and sundry types of individuals in the cottage, all of which would make an interesting story in itself.

Guion kids - Daniels Farm Road (dirt) - about 1925

Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick on the dirt road in front of the house, taken in 1924, probably. Biss, born January 6, 1919, was 5 years old when she broke her arm climbing on a fence to pick grapes.

We inherited some scraggly chickens with the place but these were soon abandoned.  A small pony cart and harness and an early vintage Waverley Electric auto were also found in the barn, which later led to the acquisition of a pony for the children, a gentle little goat named Geneva, and Airedale dog, Patsy, and later, when my sister came to live with us, she brought a high-spirited Bridle horse, Nador,, who one day broke loose, ran down the railroad tracks, broke her leg and had to be shot.

DICK – Aunt Elsie had a wild stallion named Nador. He threw Lad and Dan.

LAD – When we first arrived in Trumbull, the house had been unoccupied for a while; there was an awful lot of cleaning and fixing up to do.  We had cows, chickens, pigs, but we didn’t have any horses at that time.  We got the horses later.  In the cottage, there was a fellow named Parks, who was living there with his wife.  They helped Dad and Mom with the Big House.  His wife did the cleaning and he did the outside work.

A.D.G. – Meanwhile, I was having serious commuting troubles.  Each winter the trains were frequently late, which, together with the antagonistic attitude of my immediate boss at the office, made my frequent late arrivals it worked increasingly disagreeable incidents.  Also, the 7 mile auto ride to and from Trumbull in all kinds of weather, the 2 1/2 to 3 hour train ride to Grand Central followed by a crowded subway ride to the battery, and this twice a day, not only was physically exhausting but also necessitated my leaving home early and arriving home late.  There seemed only one sensible alternative – to seek employment in Bridgeport.  A letter campaign from New York to Bridgeport manufacturers proving unfruitful after months of vain effort, in desperation I resolved on desperate measures.  With five little ones to feed and clothe I simply had to get a job, so burning all bridges behind me, I quit my New York job cold to wage an all-out on-the-job search to find something in Bridgeport.  To make this step was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but within two weeks I became Assistant Advertising Manager of the Bridgeport Brass Company, and a few months later, Advertising Manager, which job I held until I left to start an advertising agency of my own.

Tomorrow, we will revisit 1945. Lad has arrived home from France, Dan remains in France with his new wife, Paulette, Ced continues to work at the Woodley Airfield in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick and his wife Jean are in Santaliza, Brazil and Dave is in Manila, the Philippines.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – Extracts From Rusty Huerlin’s Letter To Ced – November 12, 1944

Page 2      11/12/44

Friday’s local paper recorded the death of Tom Cullen, who had been ill for about six months. Cancer, I believe, was the cause of death starting with a face infection and finally going to his brain. In his early 40’s, it is quite a loss to scouting.

These last two weekends I have not only been busy at the office but the breeze has been enough to make it a bit dangerous for me to attempt to put up storm windows alone perched on a rickety ladder, so we are not yet set for old man winter’s onslaughts. I have the furnace running however and so far the house has been comfortable.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Perhaps this would be a good occasion to send a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced written August 14th from Barrow, Alaska. He describes the perilous run from Nome to Barrow in a 44-foot powerboat, five of them, all together, as crew, the boat 5-tons overloaded on deck, running into storm after storm. “I have seen high waves off Cape Hatteras and in the North Sea but never so close to rough weather as what we ran into on the “ADA”. Conrad would have made a book out of it. None of us ever expected to see land again and I know now why men pray. Hope becomes one concentration and that a tremendous thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped and never taxed my heart as much before as we kept taking in water and more water. Finally the engine quit. One of the Eskimo crew saved the lives of all of us by getting out 9 fathoms of anchor line and holding onto the end of the line probably two minutes before he could get 2 feet of it to make a turn on the forward bit. None of us could get to him, the sea was so rough. And that was the beginning of a 24-hour battle with the devil in that deep green sea. Finally we could take it no more and made for a lagoon. Breakers were 5 miles long over shoals. When soundings showed we were in only 6 feet of water one of the men yelled “Let’s get the hell out of here.” But it was too late. We struck bottom, went over on our starboard side, shipped water to soak me from head to foot where I stood on one ear in the cabin. Water poured down into the engine room to kill engine. All we could do was to blow the foghorn to summon Eskimos in tents on shore to get out what help they could offer. All this happened so quickly, and the next breaker sucked us so hard that we went some 10 feet sideways, and then the miracle of all miracles happened. The ADA righted herself. We had been smacked over the bar. We rolled helplessly in deeper water until blown into the channel. Finally we got the engine started and motored into behind a sand spit breakwater. 15 minutes later a gang of Eskimos came aboard saying we were the luckiest people they had ever seen. We all knew that. Not one boat in a million could do the same thing again. After laying up for five days we finally made Wainright. Here we unloaded most of the freight and took on as passengers storm bound Eskimos unable to return to Barrow in their boats heavily loaded with coal. So we left there towing five whale boats and about 25 Eskimos to sweeten the forecastle and share with us the four bunks when the next storm came. We had then run into icebergs 20 feet high and were forced outside of them and land. 60 miles of this. The kids had gotten over their seasickness and there was no more rushing from below to punk pots. One woman had six children. She and all of them had been sick in my bunk. But that was nothing. After one storm I had laid down in more filth than could be found in a garbage can and never felt more clean in my life. To sleep alongside of those shipmates after trying to take what they did uncomplainingly was the finest sensation I have yet experienced. I have made four friends I shall never forget.” More at some later date.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (1) – Marian’s Birthday Celebration – November 12, 1944

              Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 12, 1944.

Dear Sonny:

It gets a bit puzzling how to address you youngsters each week without repeating some salutation used in former letters, and in this respect perhaps Dan has the right idea of plunging right into the letter without wasting time on the customary form of address. Sometimes I sit for a couple of minutes puzzling how to begin this week’s screed, so today I just wrote the above applying to each of you individually and collectively.

Yesterday was not only Armistice Day but also Marian’s birthday, and following the usual custom we celebrated it today. Elizabeth, who came to dinner with her two boys (Zeke came in later, he having been to his mother’s to see Irv, who is home on leave), was able to get, through her butcher, a nice ham, quite a rarity these days, and that with some of Burrough’s cider of sainted memory, baked sweet potatoes, cauliflower, topped off with Guion’s celebrated prune whip, was followed with the opening of gifts amid the soft glow of candlelight – – in the dining room, of course. Lad had sent me a bottle of Marian’s favorite perfume earlier in the week and this happened to be the last gift she opened which topped off things with an unexpectedly pleasant surprise for her. Doing as much as we can, however, these days still lack that intangible something that used to be present with all you boys gathered around in your accustomed places. It is so pleasant having Marian added to the home circle that she and Jean supply what would otherwise be a very quiet and almost somber occasion.

Yesterday Lad wrote from “somewhere in the United States”, or I should say Marian got a letter yesterday written the day before but from where is one of those wartime secrets. He was unable to give the slightest inkling of what is planned, but at least it is clear he did not sail Tuesday with Carl on his transport, although even this sailing is just conjecture.

Ced saved the day from being a news blank week by making it possible for an Alaskan letter to reach me Saturday. The address on the envelope definitely puts me into the local wood choppers union along with Sidney Hillman of C.I.O. fame and other Roosevelt supporters. In spite of the old saying, there appear to be about 20 million Americans who voted for the wrong man, and being quite disgusted I shall not even comment on the horrible example of poor judgment on the part of the majority of U.S. citizens. Undaunted, however, I shall try again four years from now.

To come back to Ced, from what he says the traditional method of celebrating Halloween is practiced even in far-off Alaska. Here, it was very quiet, most of the Trumbull hell raisers having transferred their affections to pestering Japs and Jerries. Ced also recounts in his usual modest manner that he was duly elected President of the Anchorage ski club and has already gotten his committees working. Among other things they are planning a trip to Independence Mines and their annual ski rally. In his letter Ced enclosed a money order and for Dan’s benefit I quote: “Ten dollars of it are to be put into Dan’s account. It is payment for his Spanish records and I hope he will be satisfied. No one seems to know what they were worth, and as the girls had them in the cellar and wanted to clean out the place, they decided to try to sell them. Eleanor Oman has gone out to live with her mother in the states and before she left she made the deal with some soldiers.”

Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion of this letter including a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Good Investment – November 5, 1939

ADG - Grandpa with Smokey in yard - near Thanksgiving, 1945

Grandpa with Mack on the side yard

Page 2 of R-48

Your reference to the pilot, Dave Duryea was quite interesting. I wonder if he is not some relation. My mother was a Duryee or Duryea as it was sometimes spelled. Her father, Joseph Duryee was one of several brothers, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (twins) Joseph, my grandfather and William. Abraham was a noted general in the Civil War, head of the Duryee Zouaves and commander of the famous 7th Regiment of New York. Perhaps that will give enough of the family background to enable him to identify the family if he knows the family history. The family originally was Long Island Dutch and before that were French Huguenots.

Your comments on the prospects of taking Mr. Leander’s place versus being a diesel man are interesting. I think your idea of playing along for a while to see what happens is a good idea. It may be if the new man is a veteran or expert diesel man and you, more or less, come in contact with him, one of two things will happen. You will have an opportunity to learn something from him that will increase your knowledge or he will soon learn your value and knowledge in this field, and if the work increases so that he will need an assistant, he will want you and you will be in line for advancement in this field, as you now are in the transportation and garage line.

It is now 7:45. The electricity in all the vicinity is still absent. My one candle is burning low and I don’t know how much more of this letter I can write under the circumstances, but there is one topic I want to cover before the candle fails entirely. Perhaps you remember Bob Shedden. He is now selling a form of investment known as Investors Syndicate. He told me about it. I had heard it before and knew it was a good thing. I told him I would take out, in your name, a share or whatever they call it, which will cost about $130 a year and which at the end of 15 years yields a good income, which in the meantime is entirely safe. It is a combination of all the best features of Building and Loan, insurance and investment combined. I have asked him to write you about the details and have you sign the necessary papers, but I have definitely told him to go ahead. I will take care of the payment out of the money you send home. I don’t approve of putting all funds in one thing, putting all your eggs in one basket, as the saying goes. So with the home building and loan card, for which I have received duly signed by you, and this Investors Syndicate, we have a good diversification in, but will yield a good income in time, be safe and still leave some funds to be invested in some other form of investment that will be worthwhile.

I brought Elizabeth home from St. Vincent’s Hospital on Monday. The baby (Raymond Zabel, Jr., Biss (Elizabeth (Guion) Zabel) and Zeke Zabel’s son) is a cute little tyke and seems to be good and doesn’t cry much. Well boy, this is about all that little candle will permit me to do tonight. Until next week, then old Laddie, my very best hopes and wishes and love from your one and only    DAD

I know about the 7th Regiment of New York but I’ll do some additional research and do at least one post about that. It’s quite an interesting story.

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Candlelight – November 5, 1939

At this point in 1939, Dan has returned to Trumbull from Venezuela and is attending the University of Connecticut at Storrs. Lad is the only son away from home as he continues to work for an oil company in Venezuela. With his weekly letters, Grandpa  makes sure Lad knows what is going on in Trumbull and within the family.

R-48 of Nov. 5, 1939

Dear Lad:

This is stormy afternoon. It has been raining all day– a steady, hard downpour with a high wind, whistling and howling and beating the rain against the windows, by contrast making the lights and the cozy fire in the fireplaces all the more cheery by contrast. It is for 4:45. Dan has just come back with Barbara and Jean.

(lapse of some time) It is now six o’clock. Just as I will wrote the above sentence, the lights went out. They are still out and am proceeding with this by candlelight. Dan is trying to pop corn over the open fire. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend)  is lending him moral support. Dick and Dave are singing to accompany Dick on his guitar, assisted by Jean (Hughes) and Barbara. Ced has gone to work (I don’t envy him on his outdoor job in this weather).

SOL - (DAN) Family picture in 1938 (2)

    Daniel Beck Guion

The following message is transcribed: ”I saw one of your old girlfriends recently. I have been told that she used to engage you in conversation by the hour when you drove the school bus. I have further been informed that your repeated attempts at discouraging her advances fell flat. Her name? Alice Habersham! She had a small part in a play which was presented in Trumbull by the Ladies Improvement Society, Munroe. I did not meet la muchacha, but Jean told me the story. Dan”

SOL - (CED) Family picture in 1938 (2)

      Cedric Duryee Guion

Whimpy expired the other day — died of a broken axle while Ced was driving her home from Bridgeport. He had just about decided to sell the tires to Carl. He is now preparing to register old Peep., after he gets another tire, battery and a waterproof top.

Tuesday is usually the day mail reaches me from Pariaguan and I’ve been fearing, all this week, that this would be another time I did not hear from you regularly, but the day was saved by a welcome letter in the box when I went for the mail yesterday. I note you are a convert to the theory of relaxation. I suppose what you say is good advice, but there is a difference in temperaments that has to be taken into account. You are more like your mother, who could do just what you find works so well in your case. I don’t know as I do relax completely in the sense that you mean, but when I have nothing to occupy my leisure moments, such as a good book or cooking the meals, or writing letters or doing crossword puzzles or listening to the radio, I am apt to concern myself about the bills or problems at the office or some non-comforting thought, so as an escape, I like to put these things away that do not profit anything by thinking about them. I believe my health is apt to be better by replacing worrying thoughts by some form of activity than it would be by trying to relax and have disturbing thoughts intruding into my solitude. Anyway the only way I can truly relax is by getting away from the ordinary, everyday obligations that force themselves on one’s attention. That’s why a sea voyage is prescribed so many times I suppose. Someday, maybe I can leave all the things that call for attention here and start out on a voyage to see my eldest son in his South American haunts. I’ve always felt any way, that I would much rather wear out than rust out. It’s nice to know that your old man’s well-being concerns you. Right now you are doing the maximum job contributing to my piece of mind by your contribution to the family exchequer. If it were not for your financial help I would have a real serious problem that I could not help worrying about…

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter.

Judy Guion