Trumbull – Dear Convalescents (1) – Extracts From Dan and Ced – July 16, 1944


This letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock contains excerpts from letters he has received in the last week. It is quite a collection and it will take two days to finish the letter. Enjoy.


Trumbull, Conn., July 16, 1944

Dear Convalescents:

As your medical advisor I am recommending this week a full dose of extract of Guion, consisting of vitamins DBG, CDG, MIG a substitute for APG, (at the moment unobtainable) and DPG, to be taken with a little water, before, after or between meals.

Extract of DBG. (Daniel Beck Guion) (July 3, London) Gone completely is the idyllic lull about which I wrote so enthusiastically a few weeks past, and in its place has come a period which keeps us too much on our mettle to indulge in languid philosophy. Now we are engulfed in a realism which focuses war in sharp, unmistakable images, exciting… significant… decisive. The none too subtle curtain of the sensor must set as a haze filter to your perception, but one day soon I shall entertain you all with tall tales of “what Dan did in the war” – – and I promise it won’t be too boring. Thoroughly hail and equally hearty, Dan


Extract of CDG: (Cedric Duryee Guion) Anchorage almanac. Weather today clear, Sun rises before I get up, sun sets about bedtime. Hours of darkness, practically none. Temperature, good for swimming. Hospitalization notice: One 37 Buick seriously ill of spinal meningitis and requiring extensive surgery for return to active health. Medicines unobtainable in Alaska due to shortage of equipment as of war necessities. An emergency requisition has been placed requesting necessary herbs and tonics. The transmission, after a long and quarrelsome disturbance, accompanied by groans of pain for the last three months, finally had a hemorrhage and was partially paralyzed. Low, second and reverse suffered complete collapse of the motovaty nerves and left poor high badly overburdened, thus affecting composure of chauffer. While injury seemed trivial at first, treatment proved unobtainable and a major catastrophe developed. Patient was unavoidably retired from active service and in lieu of treatment, it was determined that further long-standing elements must be treated and so the heart was removed for observation and repairs. Tragically enough, this disclosed more faults that required unobtainable replacements. Now patient is interned in isolation ward until Pistons, transmission parts and other odds and ends can be obtained. Another birthday come and and gone with a very pleased recipient of gifts from home. McDonald’s had a little supper party with cake and candles. My burns (ha ha) have nearly disappeared (all signs of them, I mean). They turned out not half as bad as the other ones did, and I lost only three days work. I finished my course, took the CAA test and made an average of 86 which was up near the top of those grades received by the other students. Now I just need flying time and lots more of it. Can’t you picture me up high in the sky peeking around behind a cirrus cloud to see if the dew point is anywhere near the base of the cloud, or flying blind into the side of the next mountain only to discover I’d forgotten to correct for easterly deviation, and neglecting at the same time to consider the wind drift. Ah. Me, I wonder if I’ll ever get to use any of your laboriously gleaned aeronautical knowledge. Incidentally, if you want to get a good education in meteorology, as it is affected by weather, and get it in an easy to take form, get the book “STORM” from Mrs. Ives, or from the library. It has humor, pathos, drama, suspense and human interest all woven around the birth, growth and passing of a storm and its effects on men and their puny works.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the middle section of this letter with excerpts from Ced and Marian. On Wednesday, excerpts from  Dave along with Grandpa’s usual home town news. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion


Army Life – Dear Dad – Things Still On Ice – July 17, 1944

Marian Guion


Dear Dad –

Things are still pretty much “on ice” as far as we are concerned.  If the Army knows when we are going to move they are keeping it a deep dark secret.  But knowing the Army, we are mighty suspicious.

We have been trying to tie up all the loose ends so that we can move on a moment’s notice, and Lad has spent every spare minute that he’s had, which aren’t many, working on the Buick so that she will be ready, too, for a cross-country jaunt, if the occasion demands it.

Because Lad is rationing off the past, we have a “C” sticker so we were able to get 3 brand-new Grade 1 tires, so I shouldn’t have any serious tire trouble either.

The boys are coming in from Camp Haan today – Lad had to get up at 3:30 this morning so that he would be in camp in time for reveille, so, needless to say, we are glad they are coming back to Pomona.

We are enclosing the first installment on our loan, by way of a Postal Money order for $50.00.  We’re sorry it is so late in arriving but the Army held us up this month.

This doesn’t seem to be a very lengthy letter but that’s all the news we have this week.

All our love,

Lad and Marian

Army Life – Dear Dad – Tentative Plans for Marian – July 10, 1944


Monday –

Pomona, Calif


Dear Dad –

Thanks a million for your very nice letter that we received from you last week. Wish I could report some definite plans that the “Roving Guions” have made, but so far everything is still very much up in the air. We might be here two days, two weeks or even two months – we just don’t know. However, we have tried to make a few tentative plans – subject to an immediate change, if necessary.

  1. If it is at all possible I am going to drive the Buick, by way of Orinda, back east to our new destination. (Where??? When ???) We have received permission from the C.O. to get gasoline for the trip, but so far have not applied for it.
  2. I would love to come and stay at Trumbull – I really love it there and can think of no nicer place that I would like to be. Theoretically, you are not supposed to apply for gasoline for a move any oftener than once every six months, so I may be with you longer than you anticipated. In that case, I would probably get a job in Bridgeport. It remains to be seen just what will happen, but maybe I’ll have a chance to spend a winter where it snows yet!
  3. One of the other wives is planning on going east with me, and before we get started, there may be more. But at least, I know I’ll have company and although both of us would rather have our husbands along, Ruth and I have a lot of fun together so it should be a pleasant trip.

That’s the best we can do in the way of plans so far, and any changes or later developments we will report immediately.

The camera arrived safely, Dad. Thanks for sending it to us.

You are a peach for offering to increase our “budget” with another loan. Even though we don’t believe that we will need it, it is nice to know that we can call on you in case of dire necessity.

With two such recommendations as yours and David’s, we decided that we must see “Between Two Worlds” (, so we went yesterday. It was a very unusual picture, wasn’t it? We both enjoyed it very much.

Lad is still at Camp Haan, and although he gets home for dinner every night, this business of getting up at four o’clock every morning is no fun. We hope that he will be transferred back to Pomona in a few days so he can get a little more sleep in the mornings.

Thought perhaps we would have a check for you in this letter, but Uncle Sam has not come through as yet, so we are using the allotment check to live on for the time being. Maybe next time, Dad.

With all our love to everyone –

As always,

Marian and Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Marian about getting ready for the move – to where and when still a big question. On Saturday, another installment of Marian’s Grandfather’s (John Jackson Lewis) Voyage to California in 1851. On Sunday, more about the Rev. Elijah and Clara Guion’s life with their children after  leaving New Orleans, Louisiana. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Camp Santa Anita (2) – More About Marian – June 114, 1943

Grandpa finally receives a letter from Lad with quite a bit more news about Marian Irwin, his main social companion. Things seem to be moving along quite nicely.

Marian Irwin and Lad Guion

My social life has, if anything, been stepped up. It has also been pretty much concentrated, as far as companionship is concerned, on one girl. I believe I wrote you something about Marian Irwin previously, and she is the subject of concentration. You may hear more about her in the future. Every Thursday evening about 12 or 15 of us, in mixed company, go bowling, and a couple of weeks ago I sort of missed the boat, got off the beam, you know, was behind the eight ball, or in any case I took a couple of bets with Marian, and lost both of them. One game was for a bottle of her favorite perfume against a carton of cigarettes, and the other was for the admission to the play “Firefly”. I pay off Wednesday, and am sort of looking forward to it. Tomorrow night there is to be a swim party and picnic afterward at the Hospitality Center,  sponsored by the Senior and Junior hostesses of the South Pasadena Hospitality House. I expect that it will be a lot of fun. However it reminds me of something you can do for me. In my trunk, I think in the right hand corner, under two or three layers, is my bathing suit. Please dig it out and send it to me here at Camp Santa Anita. The keys for the trunk are in your drawer in the dresser in your room. And continuing on the social life, tonight I am supposed to attend a surprise birthday party for one of the Junior hostesses at her house. She is a friend of Marian’s and has really been awfully nice to all of us. In fact, the four of us, (Vic is no longer a part of our gang), are invited. That is Art, Jr., Vince and myself, and ever since we first started going to the Hospitality House regularly, we have just about taken over the place. Everyone there knows us by our first names, and we are always being invited to something, or someplace. We all expect to have a good time, as usual. That is a sample of just how our free hours are spent, week after week, and on into eternity, I hope. Last night, Art, Marian, and a girlfriend of Art’s and myself went to Hollywood and spent all evening dancing to Woody Herman at the Palladium. Woody is one of the Swing Band Leaders that I don’t like particularly, but he does have a good orchestra and plays some sweet music now and then. Marian is not a jitterbug and neither am I, but she is a very good dancer and we get along very well, dancing to almost any type of music, so we had a perfect time.

I said that Vic is no longer here. He has been accepted by the Army to attend college where he is to study electrical engineering. That means that he will, in all probability, be part of the Army of Occupation that is being built up now. However we do not know just yet to which school he will be sent.

This afternoon, before starting this, I took the machine apart and cleaned it and it is working quite well. There goes the siren which means there are 5 minutes to go until quitting time, so if I want to get supper before it is too late I had better finish this up quick.

So long.


P.S. the correct phrase is Buenas Noches and not as you wrote it, just in case you didn’t know.


Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will be letters from Grandpa. On Friday, another from Lad.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Camp Santa Anita (1) – Not Much To Do – June 14, 1943


Blog - Lad's Army Life - A Bet and a Band - June, 1943

Camp Santa Anita

June 14, 1943

Dear Dad:

This is Monday afternoon. I’m so terribly busy that I’ve had no time to write this morning, and so I have to do it now. (Apparently the ribbon is pretty shot so I shall write in red. Hope you can read it without too much trouble). It is a shame for the past four weeks or more I have done practically nothing, one week I spent out on the range, shooting for record, but even that was not too much of a success. Out of a possible 220 I pulled in only 165. Other than that I have done very little. No instructing, to speak
of, and most of the time I’ve devoted to “goldbricking”, and designing. The basic diesel principles course of which I wrote still has not received the final sanction from Washington, but the office is expecting daily. (And I don’t mean the secretaries – of which there are many, some very good-looking too). Therefore I’ve been making an injector test stand. It has been a lot of fun, but the thing is still only on paper, I won’t know just how well it will work for about a week. Art Lind has been put into the service so I’m in full authorized charge of the tentative class. That means that I’m in line for a staff rating and Art has a bet with me that by the end of August I shall have received the rating. Since the bet is worth winning, I hope that he will sort of give things a little help whenever he can, now that he has the opportunity. I definitely will not be sorry to receive it.

No further news on my furlough. However there has been no chance as yet, concerning the approximate date, and therefore I’m still expecting it to be toward the end of August. And that brings up another matter. I may need a little money in order to get home by plane if possible, and if not, by train. In any case I don’t think that it will be more than $50 or $75. Now if you will be in a position to help, fine and dandy, but if not, fine also. I can get money out here rather easily.

On the $525, I have not been able to find out much. It all amounts to the fact that the check is being handled by a bank here and not an individual.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter, mostly about Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Family – Marian’s Account of Their Furlough – June 18, 1944

Marian Irwin Guion at Trumbull - 1945 (cropped)Sunday


Dear family –

Back at Pomona again, with memories of the trip that I wouldn’t exchange for all the gold in the world. To have the chance to meet all of you, and to have Lad there too, means more to me than I could possibly tell you, but I think you understand. Now all I need is to meet the rest of the family in the same kind of pleasant surroundings. I have so very many pleasant and thrilling thoughts about Trumbull and the wonders of “our” family that I should certainly think I could find words to express them, but somehow they just won’t come out. Maybe they are too far down inside me! Anyway, they are there for me to reminisce (spelling???) and remember when things begin to turn blue or topsy-turvy for the time being.

You are right, Dad, about our flitting about meeting so many relatives that we forgot about writing to you. We were going to send you a telegram saying we had arrived safely, but it was three days after our arrival at Orinda before we thought about it. We’re sorry.

We had a very lovely visit with Larry and Marian. They have a lovely place in Milan, and we only wish we could have stayed longer. But time was hurrying by, so we got a train Tuesday morning and left Chicago Tuesday night. Had rain and even snow all the way home (until we reached California, of course!!), so that the train ride wasn’t so dirty, and then had a grand visit with my Mom and Dad. All in all it was a wonderful furlough, and we will talk about it for months to come.

In the excitement of our trip we neglected to mention a few minor details, so here’s where we catch up.

  1. Lad has changed the address of my allotment check (again !!!) so after July you probably won’t be getting them anymore. And incidentally, Dad, if the July one comes to you, would you mail it to us in a long envelope? The government and the banks object if you have any folds in them.
  2. Lad would like to have the address of his Life Insurance Company.
  3. We are enclosing with this letter a gasoline certificate that Lad would like you to give to Dave when he gets home on furlough. (Isn’t it grand that he’s getting their just at graduation time! Wish we could see him!)

I think that is all, Dad, as far as business matters go, except that we want to add an exceptionally grateful thanks a million for sending us the money to help us get home. Dad’s are so wonderful, when, without any complaint or question, they immediately find the cash for various and sundry (not to mention sudden) requests from their offspring for cash – even when it upsets the apple cart quite frequently. But we did appreciate it so very much Dad, and you shall be repaid as soon as possible.

In your last letter you mentioned to Ced that you didn’t think we received a package from him – and that is true. We haven’t! Should we write and tell Ced? He probably thinks we have just neglected to thank him. And it ‘tisn’t so!

Seems to me I’ve rambled on enough, for this time. Lad sent his very best regards and love to all of you. He left tonight for two weeks desert training – not to enthusiastically, either. They are having real war-time conditions there, with gas attacks, blackouts, restrictions, and living in fox-holes. No wonder he’s not too enthusiastic!

With my love to all of you –

As ever,


P.S. – Dad – you might know we couldn’t get away without leaving something! The movie camera! We think it is in the closet under the stairs. If you find it will you mail it to us, please? Thanks a lot.


P.P.S. – We also saw Arnold and Alta (Gibson). They are living in Vallejo for the time being, although Arnold expected to be sent out this week. They came over to see us on Sunday – had dinner with my family – and Lad and Arnold caught up with each other’s pasts. We were very glad to see them both.

Tomorrow, the next installment of the Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis, written in 1851.

On Sunday, the story of Josephine Cadoret, the mother of Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion, and quite a story it is.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Easter Greetings From South Pasadena – April 21, 1943

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)



Easter Greetiings

South Pasadena

April 21, 1943

Dear Dad:-

Things have been going too-well and therefore I have not gotten around to writing. I am using my new pen. Thanks. It is O.K. I would prefer a wider point, but to get one I will also require a heavier pressure, which I don’t want. So I’ll use this as it is.

I got my three-day pass as scheduled, but the girl who owns the house on Arrowhead Lake was taken sick just before we were to leave and so we called it off. She has since undergone an operation, and is much better, so I hope that we will be able to make it on our next pass.

General Campbell came out to Santa Anita today, and we spent all afternoon in the broiling sun on the parade ground, dressed in our O.D. uniforms, helmets and no ties. Gee-the helmets are hot, even though they are two-piece (inner – fiber: outer   steel).

I am now a Sergeant and have been given the same type of job as I had in Aberdeen, chief of section, which calls for a Staff rating. Therefore, I expect that in two or three months I shall be given a chance to take the Staff exam. Nothing definite as yet, however. As to our course in Diesel Fundamentals – it is still in the air.

Last Saturday I bowled 180 – my highest game. I’m getting better, slowly but surely, and someday, before long, I hope I’ll hit better than 200, which is considered above the average.

You mentioned something in your last letter about Dan seeing a notice on his bulletin board concerning overseas. We have not heard anything definite as yet, but activities seem to point toward something of that sort for most of us. There are some, however, who are considered indispensable, and I have a very good chance of being in the latter group.

It is 10:00 Wed. eve and I’m at the Hospitality House, and my feet are just aching for a dance, so adios.

My love to all.


Tomorrow,  Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll post a letter from Grandpa to his scattered family. On Friday, another letter from Lad.

Judy Guion