Army Life – An Apartment and Wedding Gifts – December 7, 1943

              Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

Monday

Dear Dad –

Lad is still busy monogramming every article of G.I. clothing he possesses with G-2058 – even his sox – and I finished wrapping some of our Christmas gifts, so I can think of no better time to write you and relate the latest happenings of the very happy A. P. Guion’s of California.

First and foremost – we have finally located a place to hang our hats. Hallelujah! This business of vagabonding in the Buick has been find, but it’s going to be wonderful having our own place. It is in South Pasadena – a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath over a garage, completely furnished – only four years old and sounds very nice. I haven’t seen it yet, but we’re moving in this coming weekend, we hope! I’ll believe it when we are actually in, and not before. The new address is 1416 Stratford Ave., South Pasadena. I hope it will be fairly permanent. Seems to me that you had quite a time wondering just where to send your letters. Hope you won’t have to think about any other address for quite a while. We are going to spend next weekend collecting our things from various parts of Southern California and concentrating them in one spot, and it’s going to be wonderful. We are actually looking forward to moving!

Secondly, the photograph of Lad has never arrived. I have inquired twice at this post office, with no positive results. They said the best thing to do would be to start checking from your post office. Perhaps by now it’s come back to you. I hope so.

–      About wedding gifts. It’s rather hard to tell you just what to say to lad’s friends- we don’t want to get too many things so that we will have a hard time moving – and not knowing where we will be after the war makes a difference, too. However, linens of any kind are very acceptable. We haven’t picked out our sterling pattern as yet, and are waiting until after the war to get our dishes – so, that’s out – our Fostoria is the candlewick pattern – we don’t have cake plates or cups and saucers in that – odd pieces of any fairly plain Fostoria would be acceptable. Vases are another thing we could use – does that help?

–      We are sending our Christmas package to you this week. Hope it arrives before Christmas. Isn’t very much, but with it comes a heartfelt wish for happiness for all of you and the fervent prayer that next year we can all be together for Christmas. Will certainly be thinking of all of you.

Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

    Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

–         Quoting from Mother’s last letter, “I received the nicest letter from Al’s father this week. I hope that we will get a chance to meet him sometime soon, for I know we will like him very much.” She also  said how startled she was to have you referred to Al as “Lad” ‘cause three or four times while we were home she started to call him that because it seemed so natural. And she has never known that Lad was his nickname. I’ve never mentioned it in any letter to them. I always referred to him as Al. Strange, isn’t it?

Lad asks me to tell you that, for the record, the pajamas, bathrobe and Christmas box have all arrived safely – and he hereby sends his thanks.

Will write again, soon,

Love to all-

Marian

Lad ads a note:

Lad writes: Thanks for your cooperation. All of the pkgs. have arrived in fine shape. As Marian mentioned, her temporary address will be 1416 Stratford Ave. I think monogram letterhead will be very nice. Something like this:Initials are M I G. More later. Love to all — Lad

Tomorrow, more of the Voyage to Venezuela. On Sunday, more of My Ancestors. 

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan – Marian and Lad’s Thanksgiving Wish – November 25, 1943

This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian have just been married and are looking for an apartment.  Dan is in London, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic for Uncle Sam, Dick is in Brazil and Dave is battling with various Army training schools.

Mowry and Marian Irwin, Marian and Lad Guion, November 14, 1943

Marian’s first letter as a newlywed to Grandpa and everyone else in Trumbull on Thanksgiving Day, 1943.

Thursday

Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan —

Surely it can’t be a week since Lad wrote you saying that I would be writing to you in a day or two, but after taking a hasty glance at the calendar, I find that it is over a week ago! How time flies by – and all my good intentions, too — nevertheless, we have been thinking of you, and wishing there were some way we could induce Superman to transport us to Trumbull for Thanksgiving Day. Of course, Uncle Sam says that Lad must work today, although he did surprise me by getting off for two hours for lunch – but maybe Superman could convince Uncle Sam, too, that eating at home on Thanksgiving Day would be quite a morale “lifter-upper”.

We are going out for our Thanksgiving dinner — seeing as how we don’t have an apartment as yet– and besides, I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life! There always has to be a first time, however, but perhaps it’s just as well for Lad’s innards that we are going out. Even though you will probably all be in bed, we will drink a toast, too, to the Guion Clan and the fervent wish that another year will find us all together.

Seems to me that Lad reported quite completely to you about our wedding. It was really lovely and although simple, was quite impressive. Lad, of course, didn’t tell you what a very fine impression he made on the members of my family – you and I know, of course, that it certainly wouldn’t have been any other kind of an impression – but my family has never seen him. All comments were highly favorable, and as mother says, “We have some rather outspoken members in our family too!” But they all think he is mighty fine, as, of course, he most definitely is!

We received a congratulatory telegram from Ced bemoaning the fact that he wouldn’t be around to tie tin cans on the car! I’m surprised someone in our family (West Coast branch) didn’t think of it either. They must be slipping, or perhaps the fact that we didn’t leave until after everyone else did sort of cramped their style! We were so pleased that everyone could come to the wedding – some driving as far as 100 miles in spite of the “gas and tire situation” – then we stayed around talking to everyone until they had to leave.

Isn’t it wonderful that Ced is getting home? For a whole month, too. There will certainly be great rejoicing when he arrives, won’t there? Three years is an awful long time.

If my husband (gosh, that sounds wonderful!) Expects to find me practically ready to go out with him this evening when he gets home, I’d better close this letter and start to get ready.

Can’t possibly tell you how very happy we are – in spite of the fact that we have no home. Perhaps a slight ray of our happiness will shine through the lines of this letter – if you could see us I know you’d see what I mean, for we are just beaming all the time. Our friends just look at us and say, “You can’t possibly be that happy!” But we are — Even more so–

With love and happy Thanksgiving Day greetings from

Lad and Marian

P.S. – The package containing the P.J.s arrived safe and sound.

M

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, two letters from Grandpa and on Friday, another letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

 

Tomorrow and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa, on Thursday another of Grandpa’s letters and on Friday, another from Marian.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (57) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – End of the War For Dave

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

David Peabody Guion

DAVE – On August 25th, I think, we were all watching a film in a kind of natural amphitheater and one of the guys was from Brooklyn and had a buddy, whowas also from Brooklyn, and I remember this just as if it were yesterday, he came running over – we had gotten some rumors that the Japs were going to quit – and this guy came running over and said, “The signing has been confoimed.”  I never forgot that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Manila_(1945)

The time between August 25th and September 7th when they signed the Treaty, I left Okinawa and went down to Manila.  Here I am now – the war is over – all I have to do is go home and they are shipping me out in a plane to Manila.  The pilot spent about twenty minutes, maybe, trying to start one engine and I said to myself, “I’m going to die in the ocean and the war is over.”  Anyhow, we got to Manila.  That was quite a sight – buildings where the first floor was completely gone and five or six or seven stories would be on top of it, canted, all kinds of destruction.  If you went to the City Hall and looked up you would see a room with curtains on the windows.  That was MacArthur’s headquarters.  So he had curtains on his windows and the Philipinos were watching dead bodies float down the river.

I would say I was in Manila probably about six months.  It would have been August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, eight months.  I came home in March 1946.  I got out of the service the day Chiche (Paulette) gave birth to Arla, Danielle, as the case may be. (Dan and Paulette’s daughter was named Danielle Arla Julien Andre Guion but the family always called her Arla.)

I had a friend who had a friend who was MacArthur’s driver, chauffeur, and this guy said that whenever MacArthur went in someplace, he’d always get one of those Oriental houses where there was a porch all the way around the building.  He’d have his staff come up and sit in chairs around the building.  He got up to the first staff member and he would say, “Give me your report.”  It might be a question, it might be a problem, or it might just be a report.  Then he would walk around the whole building, see the whole staff, each giving him these questions.  Then he would get in his car and tell his friends friend, “Drive me”.  They would drive around and pretty soon MacArthur would say, “OK”, let’s go back.”  Then he’d say, “you, — blah, blah, blah. You — blah, blah, blah.”  He went all around the whole building telling each one of his staff members what to do about his problem.  What a brain.  There shouldn’t be enough room in there for an ego, but there was.

Tomorrow, Day Six of Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela. He arrives in Guayra and writes of his experience.

On Sunday, more about My Bradford Ancestors, Caleb Rider and Hannah McFarland.

Judy Guion

 

 

Army Life – Marian Writes to Grandpa From Jackson, Mississippi – September 23, 1944

 

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Dear Dad —

The week is practically over and it suddenly occurred to me that we haven’t written to you as yet, so if this violent stationary of mine doesn’t put your eyes out, I’ll try to acquaint you with our latest happenings.

Which really aren’t very many. Things go on just about as usual – swing shift still in session. Lad’s working quite hard – he’s the only one of the instructors, I believe, who has classes right straight through until 1230. The others get off early two or three nights in the week. Consequently, it’s pretty tiring.

The photograph that I mentioned sending to you hasn’t gotten in the mail yet! Were awfully sorry, but there seems to be a shortage of boxes and cardboard around here, so that we are having difficulty trying to find something to wrap it in. But will get it to you eventually.

The hot weather is with us again, and believe me it is rather hard to take – it is so darned unpleasant being so “sticky” all of the time, and when the nights don’t cool off it’s hard to get decent sleep. Our only consolation is that the hot spells don’t seem to last very long.

If you have the opportunity, may we recommend Bing Crosby’s latest picture, “Going My Way”,    ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036872/  ) as a definitely “must see” for me. I think Aunt Betty would enjoy it, too, as well as Jean, for to our way of thinking, it is the best picture we have seen this year. The title is a little confusing, and it is hard to imagine Bing Crosby in the role of a priest, but he and Barry Fitzgerald do an exceptionally fine job in the picture. I saw it twice, and would thoroughly enjoy seeing it again. Perhaps you’ve seen it already. If so, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Incidentally Dad, we thought your last letter (Dated September 10th) was a “top – notcher” – particularly Dave’s reminiscent contribution. And to think it came from an ancient 18-year-old! You must feel exceedingly proud, Dad, when you receive such letters, and what satisfaction you must have, knowing that you were in a large part responsible for such perfectly grand results as five wonderful sons and an equally fine daughter.

Pleasant surprise! Lad just came home early (Wonder of wonders) and he is hungry, so I’d better get busy and fix him something to eat.

Lad brought your latest letter with him, tonight. The news of the hurricane was not too good, to say the least. It’s a shame about all those lovely treats. We hope that the house, however, is none the worse for wear.

Lad says to tell you he is going to follow through on Uncle Ted’s suggestion. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. It sounds wonderful as far as we are concerned – hope Uncle Sam feels the same way.

Love to all – Lad & Marian

Tomorrow another post Voyage to Venezuela, Day Five on the Santa Rosa. On Sunday, more of My Ancestors. This one will be about Elisha Bradford and his wives, Hannah Cole and Barsheba Brock (or Bathsheba LaBrocke). 

Judy Guion

Army Life – The Wedding (As Lad Describes It) – November 18, 1943

 

Thurs., Nov. 18, ‘43

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Dad: –

This won’t be much of a letter because I’m not in much of a letter-writing mood — but I’ll try to give you a little something about which you are most anxious to hear. I’ll start after work last Friday. Things were rather slow at the section so about 2:00 (1400) I asked for permission to leave and it was granted. I cleaned up and got my pass and went into Arcadia to get the special ration of gas I had asked for. I had no trouble getting it and then I went back to camp and checked again to see if I had forgotten anything. Nothing showed up so I went to South Pasadena to get Marian. She was at the Irwin’s where she had been staying since the preceding Sunday when she had been ousted from de ‘ouse out.

Vern Eddington - Best Man

Vern Eddington – Best Man

Her landlady wanted the room for some friends of hers who were coming to California to live. So that also leaves us without an apartment and we are living in hotels or auto courts where ever we can find room. We are still hoping to have an apartment, though, by next week, and until such time, please use, for our mailing address: 2017 Edgewood Dr., South Pasadena, California — well, to go on. From the Irwin’s we went back to camp and got Junior (Vernon Eddington – Maryland) and started for Frisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Orinda. Junior and I, taking turns, drove the 415 miles in 10 hours arriving in Orinda at 0530.

After a couple of hours of rest Marian and I went into Berkeley and procured the license. A little last minute shopping took up the rest of the morning and we got back to Orinda about 1300. Saturday afternoon Mr. Irwin took us with him to get the last minute things and the cake and we ate supper at the Irwin’s. Following age-old traditions I had to sleep somewhere where I would not see the bride on her wedding day before starting up the aisle, so I went home with her brother Scrub (Homer, if you must) and his wife. Junior and I got to the Chapel about 30 min. early and were given the final instructions. At exactly 1330 the first strains of the Wedding March sounded and following about 4 feet behind Fred Stripp, the Minister, with Junior the same distance behind me, I walked onto the platform from the left. Mr. Stripp stopped at the center and I continued on around behind him, stopping about 4 feet to the right and in front of him at about 45° to the aisle down the center. By this time Marian was coming down from the rear on her father’s arm, preceded by her sister, the Matron of Honor and her mother. When Marian and her Dad came onto the platform he stopped and she continued on. As she came up beside me I turned to face Fred and took a couple of steps with Marian so that we were both about 2 feet from Fred. (He reminds me of Mr. Chandler). Marian coughed a couple of times and my knees shook so much my pants legs rippled, but after taking Marian’s hand in mine I calmed down right away and the rest went off very well. Even Fred commented on the self-assurance we both appeared to have during the whole service (He didn’t know from nothin’) which was very short, concise and beautifully worded and done. Everyone, even I, thought it was a wonderful ceremony, except that it was over too soon. We were outside the Chapel and I was meeting some of my new family by ten minutes to 2.

Wedding cake - 1943

                                                                                                                                                Wedding cake – November 14, 1943

From there Junior drove us in my car to the Irwin’s where I met many more (48 in all) and the reception dinner (sandwiches, coffee and cake) was held. We took a number of pictures, all in color, and spent the entire afternoon. By about 6:30 all the guests had left and then Marian and I packed our stuff and went into San Francisco. We stayed at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, and had a wonderful evening. We had made arrangements to meet Junior in Berkeley at 3 PM Monday in order to start back early, so I didn’t see much of San Francisco. I did see the Bay Bridge, and it is very pretty as bridges go. We called Mother Irwin before we left and started about 3:30 for South Pasadena. We got in about 2:30, too late to go to anyone’s house, and not having an apartment ourselves, we put up at the Hotel Green in Pasadena. Tuesday at 0700 Junior and I had to be back at work so that ended our honeymoon. Marian wore a dark green suit that I think was the most perfect creation I have ever seen on any woman. She really looked wonderful. I’m really awfully sorry you weren’t here, but I’m glad I didn’t decide to wait until after the war. Marian is going to write in a couple of days so give my regards and love to all.

Laddie

Thursday and Friday I’ll be posting a long letter from Grandpa to Captains of Industry in the Post-war World.

On Saturday, Day Four on the Santa Rosa as Lad travels to Venezuela for a job working with his Uncle Ted Human and his brother Dan.

On Sunday, more of My Ancestors with information (I hope) on Joseph Bradford, son of Governor William Bradford.

Judy Guion

 

Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes About a Move – September 14, 1944

Another letter from Marian to Grandpa keeping him up-to-date on the activities of the Lad Guion’s in Jackson, Mississippi.

MIG - Two From Marian In Jackson - On The Swing Shift - Sept., 1944Wednesday –

Jackson 9/14/44

Grandpa’s writing

Dear Dad: –

We’ve moved again, but not out of Jackson. Our new “home” is very much nicer than the first one, and we have kitchen privileges, so we don’t have to eat out. And from what we’ve sampled of Southern cooking, we are just as glad! Somewhere along the way I’ve been sadly misinformed about Southern cooking. (That’s not the only dissolution – I imagined sitting on the porch, sipping mint juleps and sniffing magnolias and honeysuckle! Something is definitely wrong! Mississippi is as dry as can be, and beer is a poor substitute for a mint julep!)

The couple who own the house where we are staying are very nice, and the house is furnished very nicely – Both of them work so we have the house to ourselves during the day.

For we are on the swing shift. Lad’s classes are from 3:00 in the afternoon until 1230 at night. Consequently, he gets home at 1:30 or so and doesn’t have to report back to Camp until to the next afternoon. Although night classes are a little hard on the fellows, the day schedule would be worse, for he wouldn’t get off until 5:30 or 6 and would have to be back at Camp at 1 AM. So we are hoping the present schedule continues. He gets home every night and has from 12:30 Friday night until 2 PM Monday afternoon off. So far, at least – which is very nice indeed.

Our new address is 303 Longino, Jackson – but I think you might as well continue to send your weekly “morale – builder – uppers” to Lad at Camp. They are certain to reach us that way.

In case you are still wondering, the “we” I referred to in my letter written coming across the country were two of the wives who came with me and a two-year-old boy. We all lived at the same place in Pomona, so we decided to stick together and come here, too. We are living in a different part of town than they are, but it is very convenient to hop a bus now and go see them. ‘Cause afternoons and evenings give us a lot of spare time.

You are probably wondering what happened to the photograph we promised you. We have it with us and are sending it on to you. We’re sorry to say that they did too much re-touching, and that the proof was really a much better likeness than the finished product. But maybe you can hide it in some dark corner – at least, we tried – but we are not satisfied as yet – and will continue to try to get a better one taken – some time. And that’s a promise!

With all our love –

Marian and Lad

P.S. Lad tells me that September 11th was a very special day in your life. Please forgive our tardiness. Our best wishes for you are just as sincere and heartfelt as if we had been there to wish them in person.

M

Tomorrow, Lad’s account of his second day on the Santa Rosa as he heads south to Venezuela to join his Uncle Ted Human and his brother, Dan in 1939.

On Sunday, more of Marian’s ancestors.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – From Marian – Visit with Dave – September, 1944

Lad has been transferred from Santa Anita in California to Jackson, Mississippi. Marian has driven the Buick to join him.

MIG -Two From Marian In Jackson - Meeting Dave - Sept., 1944

Tuesday –

Dear Dad: –

We had the grandest visit with Dave weekend before last. We finally made connections and were able to spend Saturday and part of Sunday with him. We wished that it could have been longer, but we had to get back to Camp. Dave was the plutocrat and if connections had been better, he would have come back with us (He had a three day pass.) But bus and train connections were simply foul, so we left him Sunday afternoon at the bus station where he got a bus to Fort Smith, and we drove back to Jackson.

Don’t you dare tell him I said so, – I don’t think he’d forgive me – but I think Dave is as cute as he can be. I’m so glad I got a chance to meet him. He and Lad are a great deal alike, aren’t they? I watched them walking down the street together and there was no question as to their being related (Was there ever????) That last remark of mine sounds most peculiar, but you know what I mean!) It just seems to me that the family resemblance is very strong between them. (They even stand the same way with their feet crossed! See what I mean??) Anyway, we had a grand time together and left with the fervent hope that it won’t be too long before we meet again under more favorable circumstances.

That old overseas question is getting closer and closer – we had so hoped that we could spend our first anniversary together, but we aren’t too sure now. But it gets closer and closer, so we might make it. In the meantime, we avoid the subject like poison, and talk of more frivolous things!!!!

Lad has applied for (and received) gasoline for me to drive to Connecticut, so one of these fine mornings I may come blowing in with the breeze. I’ll let you know more specifically exactly when I’ll arrive. (Looks as though I’m going to cash in that rain check very soon now).

Now that Lad is on the day shift again, and I have some spare time during the day, I’m working again. This time it’s at Woolworth’s and it is very enlightening,to say the least. It keeps me hopping trying to figure out what the customers want. Piece goods, for instance, or a shoe spoon. (Yardage and a shoehorn) And one customer (a Negro) came in today and asked for what I thought was a “straight comb.” I showed her everything we had, and even repeated it after her, but she still insisted that I didn’t understand. Turns out she wanted a straightening (straightn’) comb – to take the kinks out of her hair (Well, how was I to know!??)!!! Chalk it down to the liberal education I am receiving traveling over the countryside with my beloved husband.

Mom’s eyes are coming along just fine, Dad. When she first got her glasses she had difficulty distinguishing depth, and sometimes the walls seemed to be coming toward her, but she reports that she is getting used to them now, and every letter makes a reference to how much nicer it is to be able to really see again.

Love to all –

Lad and Marian

P.S. Last Sunday was such a beautiful fall day here. Lad remarked, “Gee, I’d like to be in Trumbull now.” Are the leaves turning color, or did the hurricane ruin them?

M

Tomorrow I will finish off the week with another letter from Marian to Dave.

On Saturday, another excerpt for Voyage to Venezuela. Lad recounts his second day aboard the Santa Rosa as it heads to Venezuela.

Judy Guion