Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (7) – 1922 – 1925

 

Arla Mary Peabody Guion with her first five children - Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss

Arla Mary Peabody Guion with her first five children – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss

In 1922, during a family vacation, Arla found out about a house in Trumbull, built in 1756, went to see it and fell in love with it. She eventually had her way and the family moved in to their new house in December of 1922. The story continues in Grandpa’s autobiography:

Meanwhile, I was having serious commuting troubles. Each winter the trains were frequently late. This, together with the antagonistic attitude of my immediate boss at the office, made my frequent, late arrivals at work increasingly disagreeable incidents. Also, the seven 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 to take drastic 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-site 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.

In Trumbull we became interested in local activities. A local volunteer fire company was started in which I was a charter member. To raise money to buy firefighting equipment we ran annual carnivals which were successful for many years, and which the old Waverley Electric Car played a part.

Arla’s children shared a few memories of her in their recorded childhood memories.

LAD – I don’t have many memories of my mother. I remember that she was involved with the Women’s Club, and was very, very well-liked by everybody. We always had a lot of visitors. She was very outgoing and friendly and quite pretty. She was very active in the community. Other than the fact that Mom was involved in the community a great deal, she was a good mother. We all like her very much, got along with her.

CED – I don’t believe Mother had a single enemy in Trumbull. She was President of the Women’s Community Club, and she was very, very good to the family. She had practically all of our aunts and some of our uncles living with us in Trumbull at various times. We had a big house and most of them lived in New York City. When they had vacations and when we had holidays, they’d all come up on the train from New York. Sometimes they would drive – it would take them about four hours on the Post Road. I remember those trips too. Traffic was all over the place, stop and go, stop and go.

I always said that I knew one person in town that my Mother didn’t like. This woman had two sons who were friends with us. I don’t believe that the woman ever knew that my mother didn’t like her because this woman was very critical of other people and that bothered my mother.

My Mother was very active in town, she was very public spirited. She helped plant flowers on the green, that sort of thing.

Our house was the center for the local population. All the kids our age congregated in our house because of everything, and my mother, of course. She was very pro-social, in her own life and in ours. She was a wonderful woman. We were really one big happy family and we really had fun growing up. Arnold Gibson was part of the group; he was more a part of the family group. He was very fond of our family, and spent a lot of time with us. Arnold was devoted to my mother, too. Everybody that knew her loved her.

DICK – One of my earliest memories is Mom at the front Dutch door, talking to someone from the Red Cross. I was standing next to her and she was running her hand through my hair… It was heaven.

BISS – Dick and I were sitting on the radiator in the back bathroom and it was so cold there was frost on the window. We take one of the pieces of our Erector Set, putting it in a hole of the oil heater to heat it up and touch the frost on the window. At one point I leaned over a little too far, fell down on top of the oil burner and tipped it over. I had always been taught that if there’s a fire you run out and close the door… which I did. Dick was still on the radiator in back of the fire, and then the fire started up the curtain. I screamed for Mother and evidently she heard the panic in my voice and she responded immediately. As soon as she got upstairs and realized what was happening, she yelled for Lad to bring the fire extinguisher. As she got to the top of the stairs and started walking towards the bathroom, her very flimsy gown caught on fire and I remember she put it out. Mother then took the rug from the hallway and threw it on the fire and put the fire out, but the door was scorched where the flames had licked at it.

Dick, Dan, Ced, Lsd and Biss

Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss

Tomorrow, I’ll begin a week of letters written in the beginning of 1944.

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Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (6) – How We Came to Trumbull – 1922

 

In last week’s “Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion”, we learned about the very early years of the marriage of Alfred D Guion and Arla Peabody, including some early memories from the children. This week we will learn how Arla played a major part in the decision to move to Trumbull.

The Old Homestead

The Trumbull House

A.D. – And now having recorded some of the events in the first two decades of my life spent in the state of New York, let us look further east to Connecticut, were up to the present time, two or more decades have seen the childhood, youth and adulthood of most of my children and their families.

How did we come to settle in Trumbull? Almost purely by chance. And it all happened because of a vacation spent at my brother-in-law’s summer camp in Connecticut. One day, Fred Stanley, who had married my wife’s sister Anne, told us he had rented a little shack in the woods near Sandy Hook, Connecticut, on the Housatonic River, and as he could use it only part of the time, he asked if my family would be interested in occupying it for a couple of weeks. We were, and one summer morning we loaded up the old Franklin with beds, mattresses, clothing and food, and with five children and two adults, escorted by Fred to show us the way, we started merrily on our adventure.

Approaching Danbury, the most awful bangs, rattles and clanking left no doubt that something was seriously wrong with my car. Luckily, a Franklin repair service was located nearby and here we learned that a main bearing had burned out, which would take a couple of days to repair. By dint of persuasion, seeing our plight, the headman finally consented to put all hands to work to try to finish the job by nightfall. Fred was to go on to the camp with the children in his car and Arla and I would stay with the Franklin until repairs were completed. While I watched the mechanics at work, Arla spent several hours chatting with the proprietor’s wife, who, she told me afterward, painted a glowing picture of an old house they owned in a small country place called Trumbull, too far away for them to live in while conducting a business in Danbury, but evidently a dream of a home. She must’ve been a good saleswoman because Arla was so enthusiastic from the description given that when vacation time was over and I had to get back to work, she persuaded Fred to drive over to the place. It was a case of love at first sight and nothing would do but I must see it too and discover what an ideal place it would be for the children. I, too, was pleased with it.

It was obviously out of the question as a practical proposition because, with the job in the lower part of New York City and a Connecticut home 7 miles from the nearest railroad station at Bridgeport, itself 55 miles from Grand Central Station, only a madman would give the matter a moment’s consideration. She reluctantly agreed and the subject was abandoned, in my mind at least. As it has often been said, it is unwise to underestimate the power of a woman. Returning home from work several weeks later I found her, one afternoon, busily sketching at a table covered with several sheets of paper, and, upon inquiry, was told that she was figuring how our present furniture would fit in the Trumbull house. Seeing how serious she was, there followed several weeks of weighing arguments pro and con, ending in the decision that, for the children’s sake, I would take the chance and try commuting between Bridgeport and New York.

The Larchmont house was sold for considerably more than it cost and the Trumbull property bought for considerably less than the proceeds from the Larchmont property. 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,and 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 but 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 brook end of the water supply, water pipes freezing and 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.

In Tomorrow’s “Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion”, I’ll share some of the early memories the children have of their mother in the Trumbull house. On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1945.

Monday through Thursday, one 4-page-letter from Grandpa, On Friday, one from Lad.

Judy Guion

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (5) – 1892 – 1933

 

My grandfather, Alfred Duryee Guion, married my grandmother, Arla Mary Peabody, on March 27, 1913. After a honeymoon trip to Bermuda they returned to New York and spent the first few days fixing up an apartment they had rented in the Bronx. My grandfather continues the story in his autobiography. I’ve also added some memories from the older children.

Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion and Daniel Beck Guion about 1916

ADG – Both Arla and my mother were very fond of each other, and both being easy to live with, we decided it was better for the new baby to get out of the big city so we moved back with my mother on Dell Avenue. Little Daniel soon joined the family and for several years things ran along uneventfully.

October 31, 1915

My dear folks,

Many hearty congratulations to you upon the arrival of another little son. I hope you are doing nicely Arla and will soon be up and around. Have been dreadfully negligent and corresponding, but things have been so upset. We moved to Brooklyn on Friday, owing to the work I am in at Vitagraph. Have been very successful so far, and hope to be able to work in stock. Hoping to be able to see you soon. With best love to all,

As ever,

Fondly,

Elsa Hetzel

 

LAD – I was born in New York City in 1914 that I lived in Yonkers for short time. When I was about one, we moved to 91 Dell Avenue in Mount Vernon, New York. My mother, Arla, was 19 years old when I was born and she was the oldest Peabody girl. Burton was ahead of her. Then there was Arla, Helen, Kemper, Anne, Dorothy and Lawrence. There were seven of them. I don’t remember much about my Dad in Mount Vernon or Larchmont. He was always busy working.

CED – In about 1918 or 1919, Dad bought a new Franklin touring car. My mother used to drive Dad down to the station and he’d go into New York City where he worked. Then she’d come back home. She would go back and get him later. One day, she backed up to turn around after the train had pulled out and ran up on a hydrant. The wheels of the Franklin were about 20 or 21 inches. She got out of the car and there it sat up on the hydrant, all out of shape. She stood there and looked at it, she said everything was skewed, the doors, the frame… And that was a wooden frame of course. She had to get help to get it off there. We moved up to Trumbull in that car. I guess Dad decided to sell it shortly after we moved to Trumbull.

ADG – After I had been with the Celluloid Company for about five years my boss was offered and accepted a job with a large die manufacturer. I was offered the position of Assistant Advertising Manager of the National Aneline and Chemical Company, which I accepted. The Advertising Manager was a sneering, sarcastic individual who evidently resented my being assigned as his assistant, which created the sort of atmosphere in which I found it difficult to do my best creative work. However, the salary was generous and my growing family made it unwise for me to take too independent an attitude.

It seemed about time also for my increasing brood to have a home of their own. We finally decided on a lot in Larchmont Gardens, and with the money I had saved, I bought one of the first “redi-cut” homes on the market and with the help of my father-in-law, who was Construction Superintendent on the New York Central, aided by one of his workmen on this free days, the house was erected. The garage, to hold the Franklin car, I built myself with the aid of friends and neighbors on weekends and holidays, in a sort of old-time building-bee fashion.

LAD – When I was five, Dad and Mom were building a house in Larchmont. They had a contractor build it and it was on Landsdown Drive in Larchmont Gardens. I accompanied them, well, maybe three or four times when they went out to look at it. Mom told the carpenters what she wanted changed. She was quite conscientious about what she wanted. It took four days for the workers to build our garage. The neighbors put theirs up in one day. Later, a strong wind came up and blew down the neighbor’s garage but ours stood strong.

ADG – With the exception of Dave, who was born in Bridgeport Hospital, all our children spent their early years in Larchmont. Dan was a mischievous little him. I recall one time when baby Cedric was taking his afternoon nap on the screened porch; Dan procured a bottle of shoe blacking and proceeded to paint Ced’s face with it. You can imagine his Aunt Dorothy’s shock and surprise when she glanced in and saw our baby son with a black face. On one occasion I walked into the kitchen and found Dan sitting on the floor by the refrigerator busily breaking eggs on the linoleum. Lad early showed interest in mechanical things and was always quite a help in fixing things around the house.

On one summer’s day Arla and I motored to Mount Vernon to visit mother Guion, leaving the children in care of their Aunt Anne.  Ced, who was playing on the window seat in his upstairs nursery, somehow loosened the window screen and both he and it fell to the ground below, Ced landing on his head in the flower bed. Anne at once phoned us and I recall breaking all speed laws and safety regulations speeding back to Larchmont. Apparently no harm resulted and in a short time the youngster was playing as usual.

CED – I don’t remember much about the Larchmont house on Landsdown Drive. I do remember that milk was delivered by a milkman with a horse and buggy. Landsdown Drive was on a hill and at the bottom was a creek. One day the horse and wagon went down the hill faster than usual – they went bouncing down the hill. I don’t remember if the horse went in the brook or not. I was pretty young at the time, about four maybe.

BISS – The only memory I have of Larchmont is a day picture of the living room. It had a fireplace and it seems to me a piano or something, but I’m not sure. My impression is of hardwood floors but I can’t remember what the furniture looked like. I was four when we left there.

LAD – When I started school in Larchmont, either kindergarten or first grade, I went to school in a horse-drawn sleigh in the winter. I just remember being awfully cold. In the warmer months, Mother drove me to school. Dan probably started school there because he was only a year and a half behind me.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1939. Both Lad and Dan are in Venezuela working for INTERAMERICA, INC. with their Uncle Ted Human, and Grandpa writes to let them know what is going on in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (4) – 1892 – 1933

 

This letter was received by my Grandfather from his friend, Alex Snith, after the birth of Lad, the first of six children born to Alfred Duryee Guion and Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion. It’s a letter full of advice from a father to a new father, advice that I believe Grandpa took to heart.

Bearer Street

Waltham, Mass.

April 22, 1914

Dear Alfred,

This is the third time I have started a letter to you since the little pink notice arrived. It is going this time if I stay up all night to write it.

Congratulations don’t quite express it. Having been through it twice myself and expecting another little one any time now, I can appreciate something of how you feel. I wish you, Arla and Alfred the Great long life and lots of happiness. May he be the chap his father and mother hope he will be – and then some.

Arla Mary Peabody Guion

I hope Arla has recovered fully by this time and the happy family is rapidly getting acquainted on the new basis. For there will be a readjustment all along the line you’ll find.

Now I’m just going to ramble along without much rhyme and less reason. I’m not going to try to impose any mature reflections on you (if I am capable of such) but just think things out on paper until I get tired of writing. You know you’ll read this in about 1/10 the time it takes me to jot it down, provided it is legible. First off the reason I haven’t written sooner is that I wanted plenty of time and nothing else on my mind when I got to. Second I have been so busy that I have not had until now such an opportunity. And third I am becoming the ____ of writer’s cramp. I haven’t done any writing since Friday so my arm isn’t bothering me tonight. One of the things I think of when I hear of a little fellow coming into the world is, what has the world in store for him? And, conversely, what will he give to the world? It is a mighty good thing for civilization or I might say, mankind, that childbirth is seldom the result of much deliberation. If it wise I am convinced that there would be lots fewer children, but what does it mean? Well, better fellows then I have attempted to answer that question. I don’t know as I can. But I’m going to let you in on some of the things that have passed through my head more than once in connection with it. You have entrusted to your care one of the most difficult problems you’ll ever run up against. I don’t mean this in a warning or foreboding manner at all. It is just a matter of fact. Difficult problems make life interesting. But one of the things that is most of forcefully born in upon me is, there is a real necessity for my living. Before Florence had these little ones the loss of my life would not have been nearly so serious a matter to her as it is now. She could have gotten along very well without them. But she has them now and I am responsible for them. I’ve got to live and work and be a decent fellow for them as well as for her and myself now. I can’t be as foolhardy as I’d like to be sometimes. I can’t be as irresponsible. I can’t be a marker for I’ve got to hand on a clear inheritance to them. I looked up to by that. That brings me up with a jolt sometimes. I’ve got to deserve being looked up to. When they get to a place where their judgment will be passed upon me, I don’t feel I can afford to be a disappointment to them. I want them to feel that they must pass on to their children a better and nobler life than I passed along to them, but not because mine is ignoble. Now maybe you won’t get my slant on this. I don’t know as I’ve got it myself, but I know I ought to be trustworthy and true for my wife and myself and society generally. But somehow these youngsters are an additional bracer and steadier. Maybe you’ll feel as I do about it later and understand what I’m driving at.

Then you find it will make a tremendous difference to Arla. You have borne it until now. Well you’re it now, old man, in a different way. You are the father of her son. That will make a difference you’ll find. I’ve heard a lot about the baby cutting the old man out. In a sense he does. But not in a sense that counts. You’ll see how she worries about the little chap. She wants to tell you all about him. She’ll note everything he does and you’ll find yourself an audience every evening instead of being the disclaimer yourself. You may feel like a square peg in a round hole for some time but finally the edges will get rounded off and you’ll find you fit. In fact you’ll find you always fits it.

Another thing I think of often, is how am I going to fit with these children of mine as they come along? I guess that depends almost entirely on me. Florence says it does. I found she knows something about it to. I want to respect them as well as want them to respect me. And out of my own bitter experience I want to stick by them through thick and thin. Whether I can respect them or not I never want one of my boys to feel that the old man feels he is no longer responsible for them. I never want to say no matter what the provocation may be “You are no longer a son of mine.” because I feel that is a lie. They will always be my boys, no matter how hard I try to persuade myself to the contrary. One of the things I find I must do is to curb my temper. And also I must try to realize how much I can dominate them physically and mentally for the formation part of their lives. I know that I can contribute largely to whether or not they become strong men, physically and morally, and I realize it with considerable gravity. I know I’ve made mistakes already. But I’m trying not to make the same ones twice.

Well, in a certain sense that’s one phase of it. The other is the one you’ll enjoy more. It won’t be long before the youngster and you will begin to form an acquaintance. You’ll find that next to Arla, you are the most important thing in this little fellow’s life. He will be laying for you when you come home. If you could hear the hubbub my arrival at night causes, you can understand what I mean when I say it warms you up inside no matter how tired you are. I can’t get in the house and get my things off before they are swarming over me. And until they get quite sleepy there is no use in my trying to do anything that doesn’t include them. I have tried it sometimes for one reason or another. They don’t understand it. And they want to know, at least the older boy does, when it will be Saturday and Sunday, for daddy will be home. I’d like to go on but Florence said, “I told Arla you’d tell them about the house” i.e. “if you are rambling come down to earth before it’s too late”.

He goes on for another 6 pages with a description of their new house, the lot and a drawing of the floor plan – including a room for Al, Arla and Lad – and where the house sits on the lot and ends with:

Best regards to you and Arla and Alfred the second.

Hope to see you soon.

Your friend,

Alex R. Smith, Jr.

Tomorrow, another Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion.

On Monday I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1939. Lad has arrived in Venezuela to join his younger brother, Dan, and Grandpa is writing letters to remind them of home.

Judy Guion

Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (3) – New Furniture and Their First Child – 1892 – 1933

 

Alfred and Arla Guion have moved into an apartment in the Bronx after their honeymoon in Bermuda. Alfred purchased furniture from Gimbel Brothers and James McCreery and Company, as well as a musical instrument known as a Technola Player Piano from the Aeolian Company to furnish the apartment.

 

Gimbel Brothers - 1913

                                   Gimbel Brothers – 1913

1          4/6 Brass Bed               $24.00

                                                                                 1          4/6 W W Spring               6.00

1          4/6 Mattress                   18.50

1         Walnut  Chiff                    35.00

1              ”       Dresser                40.00

1              ”       Chair                       4.75

1              ”       Rocker                     5.75

1        ?.O.     Bookcase                  23.50

1           ”       Chair                         20.00

1           ”        Rocker                     20.00

                                                           ________________

                                                                                                               $197.50

 

 

James McCreery and Company - 1913

                      James McCreery and Company – 1913 

SOLD TO: Mrs. A. D. Guion                                                    796 East 175th  Street

1            #816                 Buffet

                                                                                       1            #820                China Closet

               1            #682                Extension Table

      1           #310-1/2         Arm Chair

     1          #306-1/2           side chair

                                                                                           $110.00

 

The Aeolian Company Player Piano - 1913

The Aeolian Company Player Piano – 1913

TECHNOLA Player Piano, Style 500 T, Mahogany, (Disc Style) and bench for $325.00

 

About one year later, Alfred Peabody (my Dad) joined the family. The following letters were received after this happy occasion.

I would like to believe that this picture was taken after Arla had informed Alfred of the child she was carrying. His face shows how much he loves and cherishes her. Their hands are clasped where a new life is developing.

 

Congratulations on the arrival of a son - 1914 J M Carr

The Park Hotel

Williamsport, Pennsylvania    4/1/1914

Dear Al,

I hope that everything is going along all right with you, and I have been waiting every day to hear that you have had your addition, and that your

wife is getting along in good shape. Things have not been any too good on the road but we are out after what we can get and I suppose I should notkick, as I am away ahead of last year, but then I have to be. I have had very little time home, in fact only a day now and then, for it keeps me on the go all the time trying to make good on what I have undertaken to do this year to earn my salary. This of all years, but I am sure of doing it, if in fact, not doing more, which will mean a little more for me. If it is possible I will do it. Hope you are making good headway with your people and I wish that you would call me up some day and take lunch with me. I will be home, I expect, on Monday and Tuesday and then I start away on a 4 to 5 weeks trip and expect to finish. Well, it here’s hoping that everything is all right and hope both will be well.

Your sincere friend,

J.M. Carr

Congratulations on the birth of a son - 1914 Josiah J. Hazem

                                                                                                                                                                                                         

John O. Powers Company

11 West 25th Street

New York

Advertising

April 21, 1914

Dear Guion,

Hurrah ! Hooray!!

I sincerely hope the “family” is getting on nicely.

It’s great to be a daddy.

Yours sincerely,

Josiah J. Hazen

 

Congratulations on the birth of a son - 1914 Aunt Anna

49 W. 94th

                                                                                 My Dear Nephew and Niece,                                                                                                                                                                                                    

My sincere congratulations for the birth of a son.

Hoping he will be a blessing to you both.

Sincerely,

Aunt Anna

April 16, 1914

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting one more letter of congratulations from Alex Smith. It’s quite a long letter from a father to a “new” father, filled with thoughts and words of wisdom.

Next week I’ll begin posting letters from 1944. 

Judy Guion

The Beginning (22) – Reminiscences of Alfred D Guion (1884 – 1964) – Childhood Memories of Larchmont Gardens

The following memories are quotes from “Reminiscences of Alfred D.  Guion, written in 1960 while he was on a four-months “around the world” freighter trip. 

At this point I will begin adding the memories of the children as they were growing up.

Lad and Dan

A.D. – We had chosen our lot in Larchmont primarily to be “out in the country”, but the place was growing rapidly and became a thickly settled community.  It was getting difficult to find sleeping accommodations for frequent guests, five children and their parents.  Then, too, the boys were active little tykes, and like children the world over, frequently got into trouble, like rooting up vegetables in the neighbor’s garden, running around his house carrying a raw carrot leaving a yellow streak on his new paint.  If my neighbor had boiled over and said some harsh things I would have felt better, but he took it to good-naturedly so that I felt doubly worse.  We had, from time to time, offers from those interested in buying the house for considerably more than it had cost us, and all these were contributory causes for looking for a larger place further out in the country.

LAD – I think he had a garden in the backyard with green beans growing.  Dan and I each took 2 or 3 green beans and walked around and around his house, with the beans rubbing on the house, wearing them down until they got short.  Then we would throw them away and get some more beans.  So Roger (Bachelder) was kind of upset about that.

When we moved in, there were two houses on Lansdowne Drive, ours and another one at the top of the hill.  When we left in 1922, there were probably eight or ten houses.

I don’t know why but my father started calling me Lad and gradually it got to be my nickname.

A.D. – Before anything definite materialized along these lines, however, an epidemic of chickenpox turned the Guion ménage into an amateur hospital, and to make it even harder for head nurse Arla, Dad also got the bug. While it seems a laughing matter to relate, don’t let anyone tell you it is any fun for an adult to have chickenpox.

Lad

LAD – When I started school in Larchmont, either kindergarten or first grade, I went to school in a horse-drawn sleigh in the winter.  I just remember being awfully cold.  In the warmer months, mother drove me to school.  Dan may have started school there; he was only a year and half behind me.

Once in a while, we had to walk home from school.  I went across the street from the school and there was a fire hydrant on the corner.  Just for the fun of it, I jumped over the hydrant.  Well, for some reason or other, there was a short in the power somewhere and I got an awful shock.  I’ve never forgotten it and I’m always cautious when I come to a hydrant.

CED

CED – I don’t remember much about the Larchmont house on Lansdowne Drive.  I do remember the milk was delivered by milkman with a horse and buggy. Lansdowne Drive was on a hill and at the bottom was a creek.  One day the horse and wagon went down the hill faster than usual – they went bouncing down the hill.  I don’t remember if the horse went in the brook or not.  I was pretty young at the time, about four, maybe.

BISS (Elizabeth)

BISS – The only memory I have of Larchmont is a vague picture of the living room.  It had a fireplace and it seems to me a piano or something, but I’m not sure.  My impression is of hardwood floors but I can’t remember what the furniture looked like.  I was four when we left there.

Tomorrow I’ll continue this with the story of how the Guion family ended up in Trumbull, Connecticut.

I will finish out the week with more stories of their early years in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

The Beginning – Reminiscences of Alfred D Guion (1884 – 1964) – Larchmont Gardens

The following memories are quotes from “Reminiscences of Alfred D.  Guion, written in 1960 while he was on a four-months “around the world” freighter trip. 

At this point I will begin adding the memories of the children as they were growing up.

 

Alfred Duryee with Daniel in his lap, Arla (Peabody) with Lad in her lap

A.D. – After I had been with the Celluloid Company for about 5 years, my boss was a offered and accepted a job with a large die manufacturer recently grown to huge proportions because the dies, which up to the opening of hostilities, had been a German monopoly.  Mr. Abbott, shortly afterwards, offered me the job of Assistant Advertising Manager of the National Aneline & Chemical Company, which I accepted.  My senior, the Advertising Manager, was a sneering, sarcastic individual who evidently resented my being assigned as his assistant, which did not make for very harmonious relations between us and created the sort of atmosphere in which I found it difficult to do my best creative work.  However, the salary was generous and my growing family made it unwise for me to take too independent and attitude.

The house on Landsowne Dr. in Larchmont Gardens, Larchmont, New York

It seemed about time also for my increasing brood to have a home of their own.  We finally decided on a lot in Larchmont Gardens, and with the money I had saved, I bought 1 of the firstt “Redi-cut” homes on the market and with the help of my father-in-law, who was Construction Superintendent on the N. Y.  Central, aided by one of his workmen on his free days, the house was erected.  The garage to hold the Franklin car, I built myself with the aid of friends and neighbors on weekends and holidays, in sort of an old-time building bee fashion.  My two nearest neighbors, the Burnhams and Batchelders, became lifelong friends.  My brother-in-law, Fred Stanley, on one of these weekend parties, brought along a fellow artist, Rusty Heurlin, who at once won all hearts by his personality and was responsible for many happy times.  He is one of Alaska’s leading artists of Arctic life.  The children all loved him and he was always a welcome guest and cherished friend.

Lad – When I was five, Dad and Mom were building a house in Larchmont.  They had a contractor build it and it was on Lansdowne Drive in Larchmont Gardens.  I accompanied them, well, maybe three or four times, when they went out to look at it.  Mom told the carpenters what she wanted changed.  She was quite conscious about what she wanted.

It took four days for the workers to build our garage.  The neighbors put theirs up in one day.  Later, a strong wind came up and blew down the neighbor’s garage but ours stood strong.  Roger Batchelder was that kind of a guy.

Rusty Heurlin was introduced into the family by Fred Stanley, (Aunt) Anne’s husband.  They were both artists, so it was through Fred Stanley, who married Anne Peabody, that he became acquainted with the Peabody clan.  Later, he met Dad.  We were kids, still living in Larchmont, so I was under five and the other kids were younger.

Cedric Duryee Guion

A.D. – With the exception of Dave, our youngest, who was born in Bridgeport Hospital, all our children spent their early years in Larchmont.  Dan was a mischievous little imp.  I recall one time when baby Cedric was taking his afternoon nap on the screened porch; Dan procured a bottle of shellacking and proceeded to paint Ced’s face with it.  You can imagine his Aunt Dorothy’s shocking surprise when she glanced in and saw our baby son suddenly changed into a Negro.  On another occasion, I walked into the kitchen and found Dan seated on the floor by the refrigerator busily breaking eggs on the linoleum.  Lad, early, showed an interest in mechanical things and was always quite a help in fixing things around the house.

On one summer’s day Arla and I motored to Mount Vernon to visit Mother Guion, leaving the children in care of their Aunt Anne. Ced, who was playing on the window seat in his upstairs nursery, somehow loosened the window screen and both he and it fell to the ground below, Ced landing on his head in the flower bed. Anne at once phoned us and I recall breaking all speed laws and safety regulations speeding back to Larchmont.  Apparently no harm resulted and in a short time the youngster was playing as usual.

Tomorrow I will continue the story of the Guion children in Larchmont Gardens.

Judy Guion