Army Life – The Gospel According To St. Dan – August, 1945

The Gospel, according to St. Dan, Drancy, Aug. 5, 1945

To follow the somewhat erratic history of Dan, it is perhaps more feasible to follow through chronologically, beginning on or about the 9th of July, at which time he was planning to leave Drancy for Calais on the 12th.

July 10 – At breakfast, Lt. Shirk casually asked if I were ready to “parti” to Calais. “When?” “Today!” “But I thought it was to be the 12th.”  “We’ll leave today. Are your clothes packed?” Thus began a week of hectic preparations and worries. I had to send a telegram that A.M. to Calais, notifying them of the change of plans; then I had to get my laundry from the laundry; then I had to get my official papers from the C.O.’s office; that I had to get my cigarette and candy rations from the PX, then I had to pack; then I had to eat early lunch —-. We arrived at Calais about five PM — half an hour after the telegram. The Lieutenant and his chauffeur left for Ghent almost immediately, leaving orders that I was to wait there until a truck came to take me back to Paris. By a curious coincidence, Robert and Maurice (Chiche’s brothers) arrived that same evening from Algeria, relegating yours truly to a position of an all-but-forgotten kibitzer, while emotion rained after four years of frustration.

July 11 to 16. Feverish preparations, trying to get the necessary papers in order and church arrangements settled. I had to hitchhike to Lille and back to have a seal affixed to certificates. The same day Chiche went to Boulogne for other papers, only to learn that she needed my papers too. The church arrangements broke down very soon because the Catholic Church frowned on a “mixed” marriage. The day before the marriage we were still in doubt. Chiche and I went to Bologne that morning and got the final papers. In the meantime it developed that no marriage can take place in France until ten days after all the papers are in order and the banns have been published! No banns were in evidence at the City Hall. But the fault was not ours so everything smooth out at the last minute – – even the church arrangements, because we decided to be married at the Protestant Temple after the civil ceremony at the City Hall. Late that night a dusty traveler Lad) arrived from Marseille – unexpectedly — he having already written that it was impossible to come. It was a thoroughly pleasant surprise, after two and half years of separation.

July 17. Ah, fateful day! 2 knots were tied – – both by men who took a personal interest in our marriage. All of Calais seems to have turned out for the occasion, for it was the first Franco-American wedding in that area. The first ceremony took place in the marriage hall at mairie. Mr. Hubert Desfachelles performed the ceremony as mayor, altho’ he was deputized for the affair as his own request. I think he was as nervous as we. It was “the first time” for all three of us! We drove to the Temple immediately afterward, where the Rev. Dubois officiated at a double ring ceremony. He said later that he had never seen the church so crowded for a marriage ceremony. There were many more who waited outside the door for a glimpse of “les espoux” as we came out. No rice was thrown, partly because there was no rice to be had, and partly because it is not the custom here to waste good food in such prodigal fashion. After the church ceremony the public was invited to the “vin donneur” which is the French equivalent of a reception, during which time wine and cookies are served to all who can get in. Fortunately, the Senechal home is across the street from the Temple (hence the name “rue du Temple” for the street on which they live)

Page 2 of the Gospel

so we were quickly embarked on this ceremony. Later, when the public had left we were served a sumptuous feast which represented hours of preparation and diligent searching in the black market for such luxuries as chicken and wine and a multitude of other dainties that no longer exist on the open market. That night there was dancing. “Chiche” and I heard that there was horseplay afoot, and we escaped upstairs shortly after midnight to our room. We locked both doors and kept vigil during an hour or so, during which time “they” tried to find a way to enter.

July 18 two August 1. An idyllic existence, during which time there was no worry or care save the possibility that the truck might come to take me back to Paris. For two full weeks I lived like a civilian on vacation, altho officially, I was in Calais on “Temporary Duty”. Furloughs are not authorized by the American Army to visit Calais, as it is part of the British sector – – but in order to permit the marriage, the 1st Sgt. arranged to send me on T.D. I suspect I am the only American on record whose solel “duty” during three weeks was to get married and enjoy a honeymoon! The truck came one afternoon about 3 P.M. while I was playing ping-pong with “Bob”, my new brother-in-law. Departure was mercifully swift. We had to leave immediately for Ghent where we spent two days.

Now, back in Drancy, I await the day (perhaps tomorrow) when Chiche will come to spend several days with me. The Army has not announced anything new about future plans. We are waiting to be “alerted” from day to day, but no new indications are manifest that such a move is near.

Lad arrived back in Marseille just in time to miss the boat! He is with the rear detachment and has left already for the Pacific, I presume. He doesn’t know just what route he will take, but usually the troops pass through CZ (Panama) and stop off a while in Hawaii. Love. DAN

Tomorrow I’ll post Lad’s account of the festivities.  Thursday and Friday, a letter from Grandpa posting updates on family members for family members, a quite comprehensive missive.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Absentees – Ced Misses His Party – June, 1943

This weekly missive from Grandpa catches up on the doings of all his children, Lad (California), Dan (Pennsylvania), Ced (Alaska) and Dick (just left Miami Beach for Indiana), all in the service of their country. Ced’s (Alaska) birthday is June 1st, and his family remembers, as Grandpa mentions in his usual tongue-in-cheek manner. Elizabeth (Biss) is married with two sons, Butch(4) and Marty (2).

Trumbull, Conn.      June 6, 1943

Dear Absentees:

With all this talk about the naughtiness of absenteeism, it seems to me it’s about time some of you stay-away-from-homer’s would take the lesson to heart and come back

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

once in a while and help me mow the lawn. But there is this — after working my fingers to the bone and staying up until the small hours of the morning sewing on your pinafore’s, you up and away, leaving me to shovel snow in winter and chase moths out of your clothes in summer, which reminds me, Lad, to report the sad news that even after what I thought was sufficient precaution those pesky little insects did get one pair of your gray pants and ate some ventilation holes in them. Unless they come with a blowtorch next time, however, I don’t think mama moth will lay any more eggs in your clothes this time.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dan and his General don’t hit it off very well, it seems. He didn’t get home this week either end of the slice of Grandpa’s pie I have been saving for him now for five weeks is beginning to look a little green around the gills. Three more weeks of this delay and we will have to make it into a pudding. Anyway, he keeps me posted regularly once a week which is a lot better than neither hearing from him or seeing him. As the old saying goes, “It’s a long lane that has no ash barrel”, and sooner or later he’ll nonchalantly drop in and ask how the crops are coming. Which reminds me: instead of taking my daily walk, I have been grasping a hoe these mornings and aiding Mr. Laufer hoeing potatoes.

No letters from either Lad or Ced this week, but Jean (Dick’s wife) sent two excellent snapshots which I was very glad to get, and says in the letter accompanying them that Dick has finally departed for Indiana along with the husbands of the two other girls Jean has been living with in Miami Beach. As soon as they learn more definitely as to destination, the three of them will pack up their duds and will trail their fleeing husbands to their lairs, their present plans being to make the trip by bus for economy’s sake.

Your youngest brother, in company with two girls and Howard Mehigan spent yesterday in New York, devoting most of their time to Radio City. Elizabeth reports Marty will

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

have to have his tonsils out. Next Sunday she plans to have Marty baptized at the Trumbull church. In order to have it “take” she has had his head shaved so that he looks positively bald.

We have had lately some of the rare June days immortalized by the poets, some of them have been pretty hot in Bridgeport, but the shade trees in Trumbull make the house delightfully cool, as perhaps you may recall from the long-ago days when you used to live here. Both Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) and Grandma (Peabody, his Mother-in-Law) seem to be thriving and enjoying themselves. As usual they asked to be remembered to you all. We celebrated Ced’s birthday by burning incense before his picture, discussing all his faults and eating a good dinner on his behalf, but somehow or other it didn’t go over so big with the main guest absent.

As by now you must have discovered there is not much news to write about, so there is no use my bluffing any longer. Moreover my bathtub beckons, so I’ll toddle off to my trundle bed and dream of my pretty toys — boys.

Hasta luego and buenos notches, as usual, from

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa, reporting news from Trumbull for his sons in far off places.

Saturday and Sunday I’ll post two more segments of the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Fair Blossoms of my Fading Years – May, 1943

The time is getting closer for both Dan and Dick to be shipped overseas but as Jean says, “It could be weeks or months” until it happens. Grandpa is  surely missing his sons and all the work they used to do around the old homestead. At least with two venerable ladies living there, he doesn’t have to deal with fixing the meals and cleaning up after dinner.

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   May 23, 1943

Fair blossoms of my fading years:

That reminds me of the story. Prof. Huxley once gave his class in biology the question: “What is a lobster?”, to which one student replied: “a lobster is a red fish that moves backwards”. The good professor retorted that that was a very good answer except for three points: first, a lobster wasn’t red; second, it wasn’t a fish; and third, it didn’t move backwards. None of you are fair (Jean, you’re out of this), you are not blossoms, and I am not fading – – but why go on? “Years” is the only thing left and I have plenty of them.

(There were) three ingredients for the correspondence melting pot this week. Jean (substituting for Dick, as usual) says there is no further news about Dick being shipped, but they have started to crate their supplies for shipment which doesn’t sound very good, but you never can tell. It may be weeks or months before they are shipped. I’d give anything if Dick and I could be in Trumbull right now. If I had my choice between Trumbull and Florida, I’d take Trumbull. It’s so nice and peaceful and everyone is so friendly. Florida is all right but it’s getting too warm for me. (Later) Dick came home Saturday night and told us they were being shipped to another camp. All Miami Beach has to be evacuated to make room for the wounded soldiers from Africa (Just the soldiers have to leave). They are going either to Toledo, Ohio, or Indianapolis, Indiana. So I guess I’ll be moving again but I don’t mind. I like to travel. We wives decided we would stay here until we hear from our husbands which probably won’t be until the end of the month. I started working today at Sears Roebuck, Electrical Appliance Department.

Dan writes: a new company is being formed to fill out the new battalion of which we are a part. There are vague promises of intensive training for overseas service. As a consequence we are reminded that AWOL offenses are now equivalent to desertion. Papers and furloughs will ultimately be granted “to finish up personal affairs at home”, which means that I must wait my turn. I don’t know when that will be.” Well, Dan, whenever it comes, we’ll have the soup kettle on the fire. It used to be an old family custom, if you recall, to have a family get-together on Decoration Day, so if you can get leave for next Sunday, it will be in the best Guion tradition. Incidentally, a later letter to Barbara (Plumb) gives Dan’s address now as: Co, A, Spec. Eng. Topo. Bn., Lancaster, Pa, so change your address books.

A letter from the family’s only Sergeant (Lad) says camp regulations are becoming stiffer with fewer passes for shorter periods. Weather is perfect. He may get a furlough in July or August.

No word this week from the midget of the tundra but he wrote a nice long newsy letter last week so I can’t kick until next week.

Not much local color to report. Flowerbeds and storm windows have occupied my attention yesterday afternoon and today. Have had the lawnmower sharpened but the rain every day last week has made the grass look as bad as Dave’s need for a haircut. The two venerable ladies send their love (by request). They both have numerous bloodless scrapes over who shall do the dishes while insisting the other sits down, etc. I seldom have to referee – – just let them fight it out by themselves because I know it will end in a draw and leave them free to start all over again after the next meal. Until next time,

Your loving           DAD

Tomorrow’s post will mark the end of May, 1943, or Decoration Day, as it was called back then, and then we’ll check up on Biss in St Petersburg (1935), Lad in Venezuela (1939)  and the boys in Alaska (1940). I promise that it will be easier keeping track of everyone once we get to 1942. Would love to read your thoughts on this blog.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – News of The Army Boys and Ced – May, 1943

 We are almost to the middle of the year and the war had engulfed just about all of Grandpa’s sons. No news from Lad who is in Santa Anita training mechanics for the Army and gadding about with a group of friends, including a special person by the name of Marian. Both Dan and Dick are still receiving training but expect to be moving further afield soon.There is quite a bit of news from Ced, Even thought he is not in the Army, he is doing airplane maintenance on Army airplanes stationed near Anchorage. He continues to get deferments because of his job. Dave is the only son still home with Grandpa.

Trumbull, Conn.   May 16, 1943

Alfred D. Guion

To whom it may concern:

Swindled again! Dan did not show up. Just wait until I see that general. Will I give him a piece of my mind. Roast lamb, Grandma’s gravy and homemade rhubarb pie, too. But there, I won’t make it any worse for Dan because he was probably (I hope) just as disappointed as we were. Anyway the weather wasn’t very good, and we still have it to look forward to – – just a natural born optimist.

Usually I do not refer to war news in these letters but the dispatches have been so good this week that they merit some notice. Hitler must be having second thoughts about what he has started.

Still no definite word as to when Dick or Dan move into more active duty. In spite of the word officially given that Dam’s outfit is “going overseas on hazardous duties” I question the hazardous part because it seems to me it is contrary to all Army practices to take a bunch of men who have been highly trained in a special branch and stick them into duties entirely foreign to their training. Dan’s detail is strictly a surveying outfit and while I can imagine many instances where newly won territory would need to be surveyed, they would hardly be used until there was a small chance of the district being retaken, and while I suppose there would always be the chance of a stray bomber coming over, the use of the word hazardous in this connection would be only relative. As for Dick it does not seen within the realm of probability that there would be need of M. P.’s anywhere near front line combat zones. Jean writes asking me to send her Social Security card on to her so that she can capture a job down there, so it does not seem as though she expects Dick to leave so very soon.

A generously long letter from Ced starts out with the same wholehearted approval both Dan and Lad have expressed of grandmother’s coming to stay here. He mentions a busy Easter season singing in the church cantata – – the same one Dan helped with – – (The last 7 words of Christ), the possibility of Woodley enlarging and building a new hangar if a visit he is now making to Washington is successful, a report from Rusty on the progress of his Alaskan tour with the governor, and the fact that he guessed from 5 to 28 days off the beam as to the date of ice breakup in the Nenana River.

It is such a relief not to have to spend all Sunday morning getting dinner. Today I spent most of the day trying to get the barn straightened out and cleaned up. There is still much to do but I made a good start anyway. The lilacs are almost out – – one more sunshiny day will do it. Everything looks fresh and green and clean. Dave cut the grass for the first time this season yesterday.

There does not seem to be much more news of moment that I can recall. Maybe because I am a bit weary with all my unusual physical exertions, so I’ll close with the usual wish expressed by Aunt Betty and Grandma to be remembered to you all.

As ever,

DAD

For the rest of the week I’ll continue to post letters from Grandpa to his sons, scattered all across the country.

Judy Guion

Army Life (5) – Letters From Dave and Aunt Helen – July, 1945

Letter from Dave dated July 24th.

Got your letter written July 8th. I’m glad to see you’re giving thought to this business of seeing the world. About having someone take care of the house, I guess I’ll have to get married. Will that solve the problem? If all the boys moved off to other parts of the world with their families, I could stay there at “Ye Olde Homesteade” with you and the business and we could keep things going. Then, no matter what may happen, there’d always be a home to come back to. My vote is to keep the house by all means. If on the other hand, one of the married factions of the family should stay on in Connecticut and want to live in the house, you and I could set up house in another place. As far as I can see there are no problems.

One thing I’d like to have Dad, is a camera. I suppose that’s an impossible item to get back there. That’s why I put off asking for one ‘til now. I’ve been hoping to get my hands on one here but it seems to be hopeless. I don’t want a good one – – just any old thing that will record the places I’ve been and seen. Yesterday I saw Naha for the first time – – what a mess !! The whole countryside down there is torn up. You’d never know that Naha was as big as it was. So far we haven’t seen anything in the way of typhoons. We get reports of them every so often. For instance, we got a report of the one that hit the naval force off Japan. It was coming up from the south but missed us. Okinawa now has lost a good deal of its quaintness. Native buildings, and in some cases, whole villages, are gone. New, well-made roads have been cut and airfields

Page 6  (continuation of Dave’s letter)

are going up all over. It seems every time they find 3 square feet of flat land they start to build a strip on it. I saw my first B-29 at Kadera airfield the other day – – are they beautiful !! On the side door in the rear of the monster these words were inscribed: “Through These Portals Pass The World’s Best Pilots”. Okinawa, having lost its quaintness in my eyes, is becoming less enjoyable to me. It’s been awfully hot and I’d welcome cooler weather even at the expense of meeting the Imperial Emperor at his home – – provided, of course, that Gen. Stillwell is right in front of me. Don’t try to read between the lines and guess I’ll be moving soon. We’ve received no orders, but just in case I should ever stop writing for a month or so you can expect the letter following the elapsed time to be full of news – – sights in a new land.

July 9, 1945

July 9, 1945

In the July 9th issue of Time magazine there is a picture of a landing spot on Okinawa. It’s a scene of LSTs and equipment on the beach. This is the point at which I came into Okinawa. I thought it might be interesting for you to see this spot. This picture was taken from what was then a narrow, winding, dirt road. At the time I landed, there wasn’t as much equipment on the beach as the picture shows, however. The picture is in an article about re-conversion under Vinson whose picture appears on the front cover. If you like you could save some pictures of Okinawa. As I don’t have a camera maybe I could tell you something of the island through the pictures you save.

(I have just ordered a copy of this magazine and will perhaps be able to share snippets with you.)

Letter from Aunt Helen dated July 29th.

The news about Jean just bowled me over with joy. I think it is perfectly wonderful and I am very happy for both Jean and Dick – – sorry though for all of you in Trumbull. Ted left on the 23rd for the Bahama Islands. He went to Miami by train and from there took a plane for Nassau. It was all rather sudden and so no time for anything but general preparation. It may be a very brief stay. If it develops into something then of course I’ll go down. And am I hoping it will develop into something !! Ted got there about noon on Thursday so there hasn’t been time for me yet to get any news from Nassau. He enjoyed his trip to Miami and the short stay there looking up old friends. If the job develops it will be on the island of Eleuthera. I never knew before that the Bahamas had such an island. It has 7500 inhabitants and we are betting they are mostly Blacks. Oh, I’m working. I’m in the circulating library at Bloomingdale’s (lending library). By the way, since Ted left there is an extra room here. In fact I can put up two. Of course, whoever comes will have to be on their own during the day. I don’t get home until about 630. Dan’s letter is at Anne’s and she will mail it to Dorothy.

Sorry, but I’m fresh out of further quotes maybe it’s a good thing because my finger is developing corns from soaking this thing for 3 ½ hours on my gold watch and chain.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      ADG

We have reached the end of this 6-page typed letter, the longest I can remember. Grandpa brings the family totally up-to-date on each of the boys in their own words, which highlights their distinctive personalities; Lad’s analytical approach commenting on each letter from Grandpa in chronological order; Dan’s use of  a wide variety of very descriptive words that actually helps you visualize what he is telling you about; Ced’s rambling jaunt from here to there and back again, indicating his penchant for doing many different things and jumping from one to another quickly; an earlier letter from Grandpa finally inspires Dick to compose a letter, showing his quirky sense of humor and his growing confidence in himself; and finally, Dave’s letter from Okinawa, expressing opinions and observations as he did even as a child. Not much from Grandpa but I hope you thoroughly enjoyed hearing from each of his “boys”. 

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll begin the autobiography of Mary Ellum Wilson, born in England. She came to this country as a young girl but eventually achieved “the American Dream”. She was the mother of a good childhood friend so I knew her personally but never realized how difficult her life had been until I received this from her daughter. It is my honor to share her story with all of you. Enjoy.

Judy Guion

Army Life (4) – Letters From Dan and Dick – July, 1945

In Grandpa’s all-inclusive letter, we now come to one from Dan and another from Dick. Dick’s letter is rather short, but since he is rarely heard from, all the more noticeable. 

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

Letter from Dan dated Drancy, July 9th

I received the money order the day before yesterday. It came too late for direct action but I was able to borrow enough to buy a camera (German) at a bargain and sell it at an amazing profit. My conscience almost bothers me! I have sent home two money orders during the last two months and another is enclosed herein. I cannot send it all at once because of suspicious Army regulations that cry “black market” at the drop of a peddler’s cart. The Sears Roebuck catalog arrived and already has been eagerly perused by all my roommates and it has wrought  on me the mischief of avarice – – or to say it more in my favor – – acquisitiveness – – a condition that has been chronic with me ever since my delicate little hands first violated the pages of Sear’s 1922 catalog. I expect that the reactions in Calais will be even more violent, since these European natives have, during the past five or six years, lost any natural immunity they might have had to sales aggression. My moments of protoplasmic functioning, and even my less lucid (the word is “lucid”, not “lurid”, see?) moments are monopolized these days by the approaching wedding, at which I am billed for one of the two major roles. I shall leave Drancy on July 12th, planning (with the connivance of the Army) to spend a week in Calais. The wedding will be on the 17th. We are still in

page 5 ( continuation of Dan’s letter)

Category II and planning to return to U S A before setting out for China.  Personally, I should rather stay here for a while. “Chiche” won’t be able to travel to the U.S. for a matter of months at least, unless commercial travel is resumed, so I would do better to occupy Germany until Hirohito loses his shirt. As soon as I am safely married, I shall suggest a transfer to an occupational unit. Incidentally, being in Category II automatically bars me from attending the special university courses. I am not even eligible to apply. What a “sale guerre”! But with that almost pristine optimism that has always been my particular charm  (well, waddaya know!) I close this letter with the hope and faith that everything is going to be so oh-so-frightfully O.K.

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion

Letter from Dick dated July 24th

I just received your weekly news letter in which you devoted a page or so to each of us individually. Evidently, it has inspired me to unaccustomed effort. (Here he describes his office personnel as shown on a snapshot which accompanies the letter, and which would be meaningless to quote without the picture to go with it). He also encloses a print of himself, and writes: I am wearing a pair of pants that were issued to me in Miami more than two years ago. I am also wearing the same face that was issued to me in N.Y.  more than 24 years ago. That explains absolutely nothing and might even lead to your asking, or better still, passing a harsh remark at some later date, concerning the addition under my nose. That definitely was not issued but came to be very near and dear to me. That squint in my eyes is not a pose but a necessary or unavoidable reaction from the bright sun. I’m quite well, Dad. I don’t gain much weight but neither do I lose it. The job I have with its responsibilities has given me a sense of confidence in myself – – a feeling in me that was always a little slow in developing. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are doing a good job  – – that people are depending on you. Give my love to Aunt Betty and say “hello” to all the rest.

Tomorrow, a letter from the youngest son, Dave, in Okinawa,  full of news and personal opinion.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll begin the autobiography of Mary Ellum Wilson, born in England. She came to this country as a young girl but eventually achieved “the American Dream”. She was the mother of a good childhood friend so I knew her personally but never realized how difficult her life had been until I received this from her daughter. It is my honor to share her story with all of you. Enjoy.

Judy Guion

Blog – Army Life (3) – A Letter From Lad in France – July, 1945

Grandpa’s letter continues with a copy of Lad’s letter from somewhere in Southern France.

APG - APG at D_____ ______ a_____, 25 June, 1945

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad), in France

Copy of letter from Lad, Southern France, rec’d July 31

Due to restrictions, just where I am is a secret. I have gone swimming in the Mediterranean, but where we are allowed to swim, there are numerous jellyfish of the stinging variety and the wind has a habit of blowing most of the time, so that you get stung in the water and chilled out of it. And besides, I prefer fresh water. We do have a canal near enough to go in for a dip, so that is where I go. Speaking of canals, there is a system of them here, like roads. They probably were built long, long, years ago when wheeled vehicles were unknown or at least scarce, and by the use of gates, reach almost all cities and towns of any size at all – – quite complex and complete. Due to the constant tread of feet and trucks, the sparse vegetation here is even scarcer, and in conjunction with gusty winds, the dust which is almost always present in some degree is very, very bad. At times it is hard to see the person just a few feet from you. There is a cloud of dust, like fog, which the wind keeps in the air so that it never disappears. I don’t think we have had even one day without sun and it sure is hot. Very similar to Venezuela except that it is warmer at night, and not so pleasant. I would rather be in S. A. than here.

And now your letters.

May 13th. In answer to a question of Aunt Elsie’s, there are birds here, but nothing like in Trumbull. Maybe in other parts of France they are more plentiful. They are very scarce here and very limited in “makes and models”. Did Biss ever get her pocketbook? And Aunt Betty as Aunt Elsie’s nurse sounds just like her – – never happy unless she’s helping somebody else regardless of self-inconvenience. And tell her, as I used to tell her, before I went into the Army, she really is a good cook.

May 20th. Dan’s comment upon Holland as “like the City Trust Co.” is very descriptive, isn’t it? Just the same I’d like to see it.

Page 4 (continuation of Lad’s letter)

I hope Dan answers at least some of those questioned you referred to. I inserted the word “honestly” in the question about your health for just the reason you reached. Thanks for your answer, and don’t try to “beat an auto at its own game”. Of course you are bound to worry, but as you’ve told us innumerable times, worry doesn’t accomplish anything except the ill effect on the worrier, so please try to keep it at a minimum.

May 27th. You mention only four flowers. Did you leave out tiger lilies and skunk cabbage purposely, not wishing to cause Biss and myself undue embarrassment? And I owe Ced a letter, so thank you for the reminder of his birthday. I’m still “too damned healthy” to suit me and about as happy as I could be here. There’s no reason for being otherwise.

Now back to your letters. In the many years which have passed since the “goat days”, I wondered once in a while just why you bought those goats, and at last I found the reason. It is possible that you’ve told me before, but if so, I’ve forgotten it. In the same letter you have a quote from Dave which is really rather humorous in a couple of spots, now that you know he is actually in Okinawa. I understand that one Al. Peabody (Lad himself) may be there too. Maybe Dave will be able to look him up.

Alfred Duryee Guion

Jean (Mortensen) and Dick Guion

June 3rd. Dick and Jean are very fortunate. That is one of the reasons I wanted to be a part of the occupational forces over here. The prospects of getting out of the Army were very slim. Here is my set up on discharge points as of May 15th – – the end of the time for calculation. 36 months in the service, six months overseas and one battle star, (36, 6 & 5) a total of 47, just a little over half of the 85 points necessary. Dan’s vivid description is very good. I wish I could have been someplace in a little larger town then Langres at the time. I ‘d have enjoyed it immensely, I’m sure.

June 10th. Not much to comment on here.

June 17th. Tops all others as far as news is concerned. It is really nice to receive a letter written with no thought of censorship and it must be even more fun to write. I never do so without thinking of the regulations, which greatly curtails the little interesting things which make a letter so much fun to read. Those letters of Dave’s and Dan’s have been read by a number of the fellows here and are still in circulation. With the exception of the end of the Japanese war on July 15, all the other predictions have passed unnoticed. As far as I’m concerned, any day, whether predicted or not, will be a good one for the war to end – – the sooner, the better.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue with Grandpa’s copies of letters from Dan and, will wonders never cease, Dick. On Friday, a letter from Dave and Grandpa’s final comments.

Judy Guion