The Beginning (52) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Friends

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. 

 

                                   “The Good Times” – 1939
            Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl Wayne
                                      The Red Horse Station

This picture was taken several years after Lad worked there, Carl Wayne had bought the station from the Kurtz family

CED – Lad worked at Well’s garage, the Well’s Bus Company.  He was there maintenance man for years.  Later he ran two different gas stations in town.  The first was the Mobile station, next to Kurtz’s store.  The second was the Atlantic station after it opened.

DAVE – One more thought when your father, Al, had a gas station in Trumbull.  I don’t have witnesses but I think Ced told the story.  Somebody came in one day, knowing what a great diagnostician your father was, came in and said, “You hear it?  Something is wrong with my car.  Can you hear that noise?”  Your father, without saying a word, turned around and walked away.  “Well, what is this?  Here I am, asking a question, and the guy ignores me and just walks away.”  He was about ready to take off when your father came back and he says, “I think the problem is …”, but he never told the guy he was going off to think about what to say.

BISS – I would not repeat anything about my teenage years.

Dan and Lad used to be competitive with the girls; they always seemed to like the same girls.  There would be in upheaval because she would pick one or the other.  It might have been Adele O’Brien that they both liked.  She was another pretty girl.  Jimmy, her brother, was in my class and Adele was older.  I think both Lad and Dan took a shine to her.  I think it was the most serious difference of opinion; apparently they both liked her, so neither of them married her.

“The Gang” on the  Summer Porch at the Trumbull House – 1938

Front row, L to R: Edna Traphagen, Tessie Mikita, Edna Bebee, Jane Mantle, Richard Christie, Dave Guion, Dan Guion,

Back row: Peg Bebee, Lois Henigan, Helen Smith, Bill Slausen, Arnold Gibson. Barbara Plumb, Lad Guion, Ethel Bushey, Pete Linsley, Doris Christie 

There were a whole bunch of us that were friends and hung around together.  There was Ethel Bushey, Doris Christie, Jane Mantle, Barbie Plumb and Jean Hughes.  Some of the guys we hung around with were Zeke (Raymond Zabel, her eventual husband) Zeke’s brother Erv, Fred Karn and his brothers Earl and Al, and Rudy Mahulka.  At this time Zeke lived up on Daniels Farm Road and I guess they were playing with guns.  Anyway, Rudy shot the gun and the bullet hit a tree and ricocheted and hit his sister.  I guess the bullet was lodged too close to her heart; anyway, they couldn’t operate on it.  I think it was about five years later when she died from the gunshot wound.  Indirectly, the gunshot wound was the cause of her death.  She was another pretty girl.

Some of the other people who hung around with us were Art Christie and George Brelsford.  When Zeke’s family moved down onto Park Street, it was George Brelsford’s family that bought their house.  Then George moved away and I never heard from him again.  But there was Art Christie, Dick Christie went more with Ced, he was the younger brother, then there was Floyd Smith who was an acquaintance.

Tomorrow, Lad’s third day on the Santa Roas as he heads to Venezuela.

On Sunday, more of My Ancestors.

Judy Guion

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The Beginning (49) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Memories of the Island

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. 

CED – The Island belonged to the Heurlins (Rusty Huerlin’s parents) and they let us use it.  We used it long before we bought it.  Through Rusty, we met his family.  His mother and father came over from Sweden, his father spoke with a strong accent.  He was a Customs Agent in Boston.  They were a nice couple, they lived in Wakefield, Massachusetts, in a nice house.

The barge on the left

When we first went to the Island, probably about 1924 or 1925, there was nothing on it at all.  We would take a tent.  My Dad would load up the big old touring car.  To begin with, we used a canoe and a rowboat to get out to the Island.  Later, Lad and his buddies built the barge, which was hand-built in Trumbull.  It was 15 or 16 feet long, it had a square bow and a flat bottom.  It was always nice to have when you were moving your stuff out to the Island.  Then the guys started getting motorboats, outboards, a lot handier to go here and there.

BISS – My first recollection of the Island was when I was twelve or thirteen, somewhere along there.  At that time, Rusty (Heurlin) or is family owned the island.  He took us kids up there, and of course, there was nothing on the Island.  I picked a rock to sleep on.  It was probably the big, flat rock near Bathtub Rock.  That was my bed.

Current picture of about half of the Big Flat Rock

One night, Rusty and two guys from around the lake, named Eustis and Sully (we kid’s called them “useless” and “silly”) went to a house on the mainland where some Irish policemen were on vacation.  They were going to help them celebrate.  Rusty came back three sheets to the wind, oh, he was really out of it.  He staggered up the point.

DAVE – One of my earliest memories of the Island was running around naked.  There were no buildings on the Island when we went there, there was a tent.  We put up a tent and that was it

When I was a kid, I remember it was the first time I was up there – in the first place, it was a two-day trip to get up there – we used to leave, drive up to Rusty’s parents house, stay overnight, then drive up the rest of the way.  Rusty had a couple of friends who were at the Island one time I was up there.  We had spaghetti for supper that night.  By sometime around two or three o’clock I no longer had that spaghetti.  I don’t know what they had in it, but something made me sick.

One guy’s name was Eustis and Rusty used to call him Useless.  I don’t remember the other guy’s name.  Rusty is the last one in the world to call someone else silly.  I remember one time he decided to make himself a meal.  So he got a piece of bread and he proceeded to put anything and everything that was edible on top of that piece of bread and ate the whole thing, stood out on the rock and belched loud enough so people on Red Hill could hear him, I’m sure.  He was a character, a funny guy.

Red Hill taken from a Sunset Rock, right next to the Big Flat Rock.

I remember Rusty picked on Dick a lot.  I don’t know why.  I guess Dick was at that age,, fifteen, sixteen or seventeen, and Rusty didn’t have much patience.  Rusty was a man’s man.  He wasn’t too much for kids.  I just remember he picked on Dick a lot.  I just remember feeling sorry for Dick.

For the rest of the week, I wlll be posting more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (46) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Bissie and High School

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. 

Bissie and Mack

BISS – I started at Central High School in 1932, so it was the day after we got out of school that Mother died (June 29, 1933), freshman year.

Mother died when I was 14, and I hated school.  I’d hide in the closet every morning when Dad would make the rounds to make sure everybody was up and had gone to school.  I would hide in the closet and then after he had passed through, then I would come out.  I would have the whole day to myself.  I think I missed more school than I made.  Now Dad made a mistake because I needed a permission slip to go back to school.  He was supposed to tell why I stayed home.  He said it was none of their business.  “You write it and I’ll sign it”.  So I would write, “I stayed home with my father’s permission.”  And then he would sign his name.  So I just copied his name over and over until I got it down pat.  Then I would just write the thing and sign his name.  I would go to school only when I felt like going to school.  How I got through, I’ll never know.

I went to Central High School in Bridgeport my freshman year.  That was great.  I loved that school because they treated you like an adult, you were a grown-up, and you felt like you were really something.  Then the following year, they transferred us to Bassick High School, because they were going to make that into a Senior High and it was a Junior High at the time.  I hated that school intensely, because they still had monitors in the hall, you had to walk in a line and you couldn’t talk.  I mean, after being an adult in high school, I got this?

In my sophomore year, we were transferred to Bassick High School and I didn’t want to go because it was a new school and I didn’t like school anyway.  I liked Central and I wanted to go back there.  So, the first day of school, Dad wanted to know and I said, “No, I don’t have to go to school today because were starting a new school.”  He said, “You are going to school.”  So he took me.  He took Ced and I, he took us to school.  I told him my clothes weren’t ready and any other kind of excuse but he was adamant that we were going to school.  So he let us off in front of Central, maybe I told him I had to go to Central to get transferred, anyway, he let us out in front of Central and we walked through the hall and out the other side, and walked home.  We were walking up the railroad tracks and we met some friends on Reservoir Avenue who told us that Ruth Moy had just died.  So anyway, we were walking up the tracks and the train came along.  The engineer stopped and said, “Would you like a ride?”  We said, “Sure” and we climbed up into the cab and he let us off at Church Hill Road.  Boy. That was exciting for me.  I told everybody about it.

We never had an allowance, and I can remember, in high school, we would bring sandwiches to school.  All the other kids, with their allowances, would get ice cream and stuff.  My mouth would be watering as I wished that I could get one of those ice cream sandwiches.  Once in a while, Barbie Plumb would treat me and boy that was great.  That ice cream sandwich – when they put them in the freezer now, the cracker gets all soft.  I don’t like them that way.  I like the fresh ones with the crisp cookie and then the ice cream.

Tomorrow, more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (44) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – More Shenanigans

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. 

Planting a garden in the back yard – back row: Dorothy Peabody (Arla’s youngest sister), Biss, Lad, Dan, Ced, Dick and Grandpa. Front row: Donald Stanley and Dave, circa 1928.

CED – A bunch of us would walk over to Pinewood Lake, you know, it was all forested pine trees.  We would play in the tops of those trees.  We would go from one tree to the next.

DICK – One time, Lad, myself, Dan, Gib (Arnold Gibson) and Nellie Sperling (Nelson Sperling) went to Pinewood Country Club.  They had planted lots of pine trees to hold the soil.  We climbed a tree and moved from tree to tree.  Every once in a while you would hear a crack, thump, “ugh”, as someone fell out of his tree.

One time, me and a couple of my delinquent friends did some malicious mischief (at Center School).  We broke some windows.  Charlie Hall ran across the stage with a stick and broke all the stage lights … Pop … Pop … Pop … Pop.

LAD – I do remember I used to ride one of the horses we had frequently, possibly every day or two, to go up to a house on the top of the second hill beyond Middlebrook School.  There was a girl living there that I really liked.  In fact, Bill Hennigan and I liked this girl very much.  Ruth Moy was her name.  I used to go up there on a horse and invariably, Mother would call and say, “Send Alfred home, it’s time for supper.”

CED – in Trumbull, I went to the old Don Serene’s house, which was a school.  It had two rooms with a sliding door between them.  The first, second and third grades were in one room, the fourth, fifth and sixth grades were in the other.  The teachers were two sisters, one in each room.  Ms. Hawkins taught in the second building.  That was the building that was moved.  They put a basement under it and made some minor changes and made a firehouse out of it.  We had outhouses outside – one for the boys and one for the girls.  We had a water cooler, a 10-gallon jug with a push button on the bottom, no ice, and a wood stove.  Both buildings had a wood stove – we kids used to get the wood for it.

When they opened Center School, I was in the fourth grade.  It had four rooms upstairs and four rooms downstairs.  It was shaped like a square.

BISS – At Center School I fell in love with the Principal, very much and I couldn’t wait for the eighth grade to come so I could be with her.  She retired to get married, either one or two years before that.  I was in the sixth or seventh grade when she retired to get married.  I was always mad at her, because I wasn’t able to have her as a teacher.

LAD – We started high school in Congress High on Congress Avenue (in Bridgeport).  We went there for two years maybe, then they closed the school and made it into a Junior High.  All of the high school kids moved across the street to Central High.  Years later, some of the Trumbull kids went to Harding High, some to Central High and some went to Bassick High School.

BISS – When I was twelve or thirteen, Mother sent me to Kurtz’s Store to get some groceries. We had always charged it, so when I got to the counter I said, “Put it on our charge.”  He said, “Go home and tell your mother and your father that we can no longer carry them on the charge.  They will have to pay cash from now on.”  I felt like I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me.  I know it took Dad from then until 1954 before he could get out of debt and put a gravestone at Mother’s Grave.  (Since Biss was born in January 1919, this would have been in 1931 or 1932.  Her mother, Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, passed away June 29, 1933.  She had been severely sick for quite a while before that.)

For the rest of the week I will be posting more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

The Brginning (33) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Memories From Dave, Biss and Lad

At this point Grandpa’s “Reminiscences of Alfred D Guion” has ended  and the rest of this story will be the memories of the children as they were growing up.

    Daniel (Dan), David (Dave), Alfred (Lad), Richard (Dick), Cedric (Ced)                     and Elizabeth (Biss) on the porch in Trumbull, CT

DAVE: Did any of my siblings mention that we used to grow a little bit of mint across the front of the barn?  My Dad really liked rhubarb and we grew a rhubarb patch.

BISS: At one point, my brothers … evidently someone had cut down some rhubarb and when Dad got home, he was angry.  He asked, “Who did this?” and they all said, “Biss did it.”  I didn’t, but I got spanked for it anyway.

In grammar school, I was taking tap dancing lessons and Dad would always forget to give me the money.  I would have to go in and wake him up before I went to school.  He would say, “The money is in my pants pocket.”  And I would open his wallet and there would be all this money, so instead of taking one dollar, I would take two.  I guess this went on for about three weeks.  One morning Dad said, “Sister, do you take any more money out of my wallet than the dollar?”  I said, “Oh no, not me.”  Then I realized that he knew right down to the penny, how much he had, so I stopped taking it.  I am sure he knew that I was taking it.

A train went through town.  There were freight trains that would stop and deliver stuff to Kurtz’s Store.  Then there was the Toonerville Trolley, which was a passenger train that went once in the morning to Bridgeport (Connecticut) and came back once in the evening.  Dad used to take the train to work and then come back on it.

When we played, we would have water fights.  We would also climb up on the roof and then we’d jump off the edge to get down, which I did.  I would go to bed and then climb out the window and go meet the guys.

One day, Lad had a pump and he put it over a soda bottle, to pump air into the soda bottle to see what would happen.  Naturally, the thing exploded and it cut his artery.  Of course Biss had been playing doctor or nurse or something and had taken all the gauze and stuff so there was nothing around for the emergency, so I was in trouble again.  I can remember the blood spurting out, you know, through the thing and they wanted to bandage it to keep the blood in a little bit, but there weren’t any bandages left.

LAD: We didn’t have much in the way of toys, as I recall.  Earlier, when we had the animals, we had to go scare the chickens off their nests and get the eggs.  Bill Parks got the milk for us, although I did try milking once, to see what it was like.  He also slaughtered the pigs.  I don’t remember what we did with them – we probably had some of the meat.  Whether Dad sold it or gave it away or whatever happened, I don’t remember.  We didn’t have the animals for long.  Dad and Mom were not farmers; they were both city people, although we did have a garden in Larchmont and in Trumbull.  Dad took care of it and then the kids did it, that didn’t last very long, I guess.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue the description of the area around San Jose written by John Jackson Lewis.

On Sunday, the first part of a two-part tribute to My Ancestors, Lad and Marian Guion.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (32) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Three Fires

At this point Grandpa’s “Reminiscences of Alfred D Guion” has ended  and the rest of this story will be the memories of the children as they were growing up.

               Elizabeth – (Biss)

    Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

BISS: Dick and I were cleaning up the playroom which was the living room in the little apartment.  At that time there was no kitchen in that part of the house, and that was our playroom.  We used to put chairs in a line and that would be our train.  We had a lot of fun in there, too.  Anyway, Dick and I decided it would please Mother and we would clean up the room.  We had a wooden toy box where we put all our toys.  There was so much paper and stuff around that we decided to take the toys out and put the papers in there, like a wastepaper basket, and we would burn them.  What else do you do with paper?  So we did, and of course, since the toy box was right under the window, the curtains caught fire.  Dick and I got scared and ran into the kitchen, got quart bottles and filled them with water.  I’d run in and pour it on the fire and Dick would do the same thing.  We kept running back and forth, but the fire kept getting bigger.  Mrs. Parks, the housekeeper, happened to come in there and she put out the fire.

I think the second fire happened in the winter and we had one of those oil burners with holes on top to heat the bathroom.  Dick and I were sitting on the radiator in the back bathroom, the bathroom in Dave and Ellie’s apartment, and it was so cold there was frost on the window.  We’d take one of the pieces of our Erector Set, put it in a hole to heat it up and touch the frost on the window.  At one point, I leaned over a little too far, fell down on top of the oil burner and tipped it over.  I had always been taught that if there’s a fire you run out and close the door … which I did.  Dick was still on the radiator in back of the fire, and then the fire started up the curtains.  I screamed for Mother and evidently she heard the panic in my voice and she responded immediately.  As soon as she got upstairs and realized what was happening, she yelled for Lad to bring the fire extinguisher.  As she got to the top of the stairs and started walking towards the bathroom, the door opened and Dick walked out.  I put my hands on my hips and said, “How did you get out of there?”  As if he had a lot of nerve to get out by himself.  He explained that he had crawled between the bathtub and the fire and get out that way and opened the door.  Mother had on a very flimsy gown and that caught on fire and I remember she put it out.  Mother then took the rug from the hallway and threw it on the fire and put the fire out but the door was scorched where the flames had licked at it.

      Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

(When Biss was in high school) Lad was living in the attic and he used an oil stove for heat.  He lit the stove and then came downstairs to light the oil stove in the kitchen.  I was sitting out in the backyard with my boyfriend.  Lad noticed that the lights began to flicker, go up and down, so he dashed upstairs and when he opened the attic door, all he could see was an orange glow.  He knew the place was on fire so he ran down and called the fire department.  I heard the siren and said to Vinny, “Let’s go to the fire.”  As we drove down the little driveway, I could see a haze of smoke between Laufer’s house (across the street) and ours, sort of drifting across, but I didn’t think too much about it.  We parked in a driveway near the firehouse so no matter which way the truck went, we could follow it.  It turned right onto White Plains Road and I said, “If that fire truck turns at Kurtz’s Corner, then it’s my house.”  So, by the time we got to Kurtz’s Corner, the fire truck was going up the driveway.  I said, “I knew it, I knew it.”  When we got to the house, I dashed inside and got Vinny’s picture, mother’s picture and a clock that Vinny had given me.  I had everything I needed, so the rest of the house could burn down.  I didn’t care.  Now Dad was giving a talk at the Algonquin Club so I decided I better call Dad and let him know that he better not come home tonight because he might not have a house to come home to!  I called the operator and she said, “He’s giving a talk right now.  Is it important?”  I said, “Yeah, I think so.”  Dad came to the phone and said, “What did you call me for.  I was in the middle of a talk.  It better be important.”  I said, “I just wanted to tell you that the house is on fire and you’d better stay in a hotel down there tonight.”  You know, perfectly calm, as if there was nothing to it.  Of course, within twenty minutes Dad came up the driveway.  In the meantime, Ethel Bushey had come and she asked me if I had gotten my clothes.  “Clothes?”  I asked.  “No, what for?”  She said, “At least you will have something to wear.  So she made me go upstairs and get my clothes. I put them on the lawn.  After the fire was out I was furious that I had to put them all back.  I was furious because I didn’t give a hoot about my clothes.  I had what I needed.  There was a lot of water damage but the only part that burned was up in the attic itself.  If it had started in the cellar, I’m sure it would have gone up fast because it was such an old, dry house.

Tomorrow, more Childhood Memories of the children in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (31) – Childhood Memoreis of Trumbull – Biss and Dick

At this point Grandpa’s “Reminiscences of Alfred D Guion” has ended  and the rest of this story will be the memories of the children as they were growing up.

             Elizabeth Westlin Guion (Biss)

 

           Richard Peabody Guion (Dick)

BISS: My favorite game was Caddy.  You got a stick and put a point on either end.  You had a paddle and you hit the pointed end and it made the small stick go up and then you hit it with the paddle.  I don’t remember where it was supposed to go or anything.  I think it was how far you could hit it but I don’t remember what the exact rules were.  My brothers probably could remember, but I can’t, but I enjoyed that Caddy a lot.

DICK: I spent most of my time with Dad.  He was full of information and enthusiasm.  He’d say, “Want to take a walk?  I want to show you something.”  After walking a while, he’d say, “Sh-h-h-h, now lie down and crawl forward.’  And we’d see Fox cubs.  There was always interesting things in the field in back of the house.

I went to White Plains School for one year.  I started at Center School in second grade.  In eighth grade, I went to Edison School.  I went to Whittier Junior High School for a year, and then went to Bassick High School in Bridgeport.

Nelson Sperling tied a rope to a big Hickory Nut tree on the side driveway, near the steps.  We would take off from the steps, swing out in a big circle and come back to land.  The neighborhood kids couldn’t do it so well.

One time I rode our pony, Gracie, down the railroad tracks.  Heading back to the barn, I lost my footing and one leg got caught, held me as she galloped home.  I can still hear Mother saying, “Whoa, whoa!”

We also had a little cart that was pulled by a goat.

At Christmas time, we’d drive down Noble Avenue and look at the Christmas decorations.

We had a circus horse named Goldie, and while she was cropping grass, I would lie down on her back.  When I’d had enough I’d slide off her back.  I didn’t realize that it might annoy her.  The last time I did it, she kicked me.

BISS: I remember Dad always brought his work home with him and had to sit at the desk in the upper hallway.  Beyond the staircase there was a space and he had a desk there, and he always worked there.  Dick and I would be in bed, we’d be talking and he yelled in to us to keep quiet.  So we’d keep quiet … for maybe thirty seconds or a minute, and then start talking again.  He’d say, “I told you children to go to sleep, now keep quiet.”  So we kept quiet for thirty seconds, a minute maybe, and we’d start talking again.  So he’d say, “The next time you talk I’m coming in and spanking you.”  So we waited maybe a minute this time, and started talking again.  Well, boom, boom, boom, boom.  He came in and I was the closest to the door, so he spanked me and spanked me and spanked me, and of course, I was too proud, I wasn’t going to cry.  He could spank me until Doomsday and I wasn’t going to cry.  I guess his hand got sore after a while, I don’t know, but anyway, he went to Dick.  The first time he hit Dick, Dick started wailing, so Dad only gave him a couple of whacks, or something.  When Dad walked out of the room I said, “You big baby, what did you cry for?”  He said, “But Biss, he stopped spanking me.”  I said, “I still wouldn’t cry.”

Tomorrow and Friday, more early childhood memories of Trumbull from recordings I made with five of the six children.

Judy Guion