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

Army Life – Dear Dad (2) – News From Lad and Marian – May 14, 1944


This is the second half of a letter written by Lad to Grandpa on May 14, 1944. The first half, posted yesterday, explains Lad and Marian’s plans for their furlough and a trip to Trumbull as well as Orinda, California, where each will have time to meet the others family.

Lad and Marian in Pamona

Lad and Marian in Pamona

apg - letter to Grandpa before furlough, june, 1944

I can’t very well wish you the same sentiments on this May day, the 14th, as I could Mother, but I still wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Today has a triple meaning for us. Besides Mother’s Day it is our six months anniversary and the second anniversary of my entrance into the armed forces, which has brought me so much happiness as well as disappointments. And, of course, my sentiments also go to Aunt Betty who has done so much for us in her unselfish and pleasant manner. I can hardly wait for the weekend of the 27th. Time seems to be nearly standing still. For once in my life I am really excited and sort of jumpy inside when I think of coming home with Marian. It will be one of the biggest moments of my life I think. I really love her very sincerely and deeply. She is wonderful. I can’t do enough for her, and I hope she understands how I feel. I think she does.

To go back a little, it seems to me that I promised to send you an account of our trip to our present habitat, but I have never gotten around to doing it, so here goes.

After leaving Ced at the station we went to the movies and then went around to the garage and picked up the car where we had left it to have the clutch replaced. The clutch job was very poor and even now, 5000 miles later, it is still not right, but getting better little by little. Then we took the car to a gas station and had it filled up with gas and oil and had it lubricated while we went out and had supper. Returning we got into the car and started on our way west, the first trip of any distance we had taken together, but far from the most pleasant we ever hope to take. That first night we drove about 100 miles and stopped in a place called Paris, Texas, and ran into our first difficulty in finding a place to stay. We ended up by staying in a very large room that had 7 foot partitions erected in order to make separate rooms. Nothing however could keep out the noise of the other people sleeping, and the night was punctuated now and then by extra loud snores as well as the climaxing episode which turned out to be an epileptic suffering one of its attacks. We came to the conclusion that the accent was on the wrong end of the word Texas and that it should be Texas, the hole of the United States. Breakfast the following morning was procured after quite a tour of the town on the lookout for any place that looked as though it might be open. That day and all of the following days including Wednesday, Thursday and Friday were the same. Nothing of any consequence, except steady driving at about 40 or 50 MPH. On Wednesday night however we did find a nice place to sleep and it was one of the nicest overnight cabins I have ever seen. It was a nice clean 3 Room place with a nice bathroom to boot. It would’ve been perfect to take along with us to put down here in Pomona. We got into Pomona on Saturday about 11 AM and asking at a gas station, found out that the Chamber of Commerce ran a War Housing Department and we were lucky enough to find the first place we had that afternoon. That was at 601 Burdick Dr. That weekend we went on to South Pasadena and came back here for only a place to sleep. Then about four weeks ago we heard about this place in Ontario where we are at present. That about winds up our present doings. Any other questions you have just write down somewhere where you can find them easily and we will do our best to answer them upon our arrival in TRUMBULL.

Well, Dad, Aunt Betty and Smokey, our best until we show up in person at the latest two weeks from today.


P.S. If you see Arnold please tell him I’d like to see him if he can wait until we get there.


Dear Dad, Aunt Betty, Jean – and anyone else who happens to be there –

We are still keeping our fingers crossed and are hoping to see you soon. Just think! Two weeks from today!! I’m really excited. We are practically packed already – have decided what clothes I’m taking (Lad doesn’t have to wonder about that!) and have them hanging in a special place ready to go – We’ll see you soon –(we hope)



Tomorrow, another segment of  the Diary and Journal of John Jackson Lewis, recording his travel from New York to San Jose, California in 1851.

On Sunday, another post about our original ancestor, Louis Guion, Equyer, and his wife, Thomasse (Le Fourestier) Guion.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad (1) – News From Lad and Marian – May 14, 1944

Lad and Marian - 1943

                Lad and Marian – 1943

Alfred P. Guion

Box 491

Pomona, California

May 14, 1944

Dear Dad:-

Your letter with the good news arrived O.K. and was really welcome. And then yesterday we received another from you written last Sunday. I have no comments on the first mentioned, except that you sort of surprised me. I, as usual, was expecting the worst, and you sort of knocked “me pins out from under”. As to the last, the details as I know them today are as follows: yesterday the 1st. Sgt. called me into the orderly room and told me that barring unforeseen circumstances my furlough will start May 24th, which is a week and three days from today or one week from this Wednesday. If possible, I will get off early Tuesday afternoon and try to get the Union Pacific Challenger leaving LA at 6:45 PM. If I can’t do that I shall possibly try to make the same train from LA on Wednesday at 7:15 AM or if the worst comes I’ll make the one at 6:45 Wednesday night. In any case I’ll be on the train with Marian by Wednesday night. As to the exact arrival day, we’ll cable you whether it will be Saturday or Sunday. We plan to spend about one week in Trumbull and then come back to California and spent another week at Orinda where I shall go through the same process as Marian will in Trumbull. Actually I only was in Orinda for about 36 hours during which time I was married and attended a reception which lasted about six hours and I never did get to know Mom or Dad Irwin very well and vice versa. What we will do during the time we are in Trumbull, we don’t know, except that I would like Marian to meet some of the people who have been so kind and nice to me, including the Pages and the Stanleys in New Haven. And of course I’d like to go into New York and have her meet the Peabody Clan and anybody else of the same sort. I think in that connection I’ll write to No. 5 Minetta and tell Dorothy to write to me at Trumbull as to the best date for an entrance into the Clan. One question you asked I don’t understand unless you meant will I be ready for overseas service when I return, and if that is the case, I believe I can strongly state NO to that. The rumors are still flying around here but until an official notice is released I refuse to believe any of them. None of them even hint at O.S. and I really don’t think that the 3019 is ready for active duty anyway. If you have anything in mind that you think we would like to do, other than just going to a show or play or something like that, just keep it in mind and mention it when we arrive. I’m not the nighthawk I used to be. I have reasons aplenty now to desire to stay home evenings. Maybe Marian would like to do some night gallivanting but she has never said anything about it and she seems to be happy as long as I am where she is, or the other way around. This trip will be sort of a preliminary to our honeymoon after this is all over. And that being the case I’m not trying to make plans to far ahead. We seem to be able to have a good time without planning everything ahead of time.

That’s about enough for one paragraph isn’t it? And this about finishes what I have to say in the second so here comes a third.

I’ll post the rest of this letter tomorrow.

On Saturday, the next installment of the Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis in 1851.

On Sunday, more information about my original ancestor, Louis Guion, Equyer, and his wife, Tomasse (Le Fouretier) Guion.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Note Frpm Hospitality Center of South Pasadena About More Restrictions – April, 1943






Dear Dad: –

Here I am again. – And also, much time has elapsed my last epistle and this, but I will try to cover everything that has elapsed, which is getting easier. Camp regulations are becoming worser by the day.

First, however, an answer to your note. This friend of mine, here, purchased a certified check for $595.00 from a bank, and instead of mailing it to me, here, it was sent to Bridgeport by Airmail, special delivery (according to available information). Immediately upon receipt of this info, I sent you the remainder, and you should know the rest, better than I.

We are being further and further restricted. In fact, it is very hard to get off every other weekend now. [And rumor has it that very shortly we will be no longer associated with O.T.C. but with S.C.U. (Service Command Unit) which will, in all probability, mean six hour passes once every 3 or 4 days, and one weekend out of every 7 or 8 – Oh, me]

I have heard from Hartford direct, so forget about the licenses. Thanks.


Lad and Marian in Pamona

Lad and Marian in South Pasadena, 1943 

We went to the beach last Sunday, but the wind blew too much sand around to make it pleasant. However the weather is perfect. I may get a furlough sometime in July or August, but nothing definite as yet. My love to all.


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa and another letter from Lad to finish out the week.

Judy Guion