Special Picture # 293 – Dave and Butch’s Baptism – June, 1940

This is an excerpt from a letter written to my father, Lad, while he was in Venezuela in June of 1940.

This morning I got up at nine and got the dinner started and then rushed up and got dressed for church, because this was the day Mr. Bollman had appointed for baptismal services, and not only was young grandson to be baptized along with three other babies, but our own David was also to receive the same sacrament along with Evelyn Hughes and Robert Shattuck. Your nephew was very good during the entire ceremony but celebrated by wetting himself afterwards while his father was holding him. They decided to leave on this account before the ceremony was over and stopped at MacKenzie’s drugstore on the way home because Zeke was thirsty. Baby evidently did not approve of this because he upset a glass of Coca-Cola and Mac, in his haste to mop up the spilling, upset another glass himself.

These pictures were all taken on the same day. Both Dave and Raymond, Jr. (Butch) were baptized on June 9, 1940

Grandpa, Dick, Ced, Biss, Zeke holding Raymond, Jr. (Butch) and Dan.

Biss and Raymond Jr. (Butch)

Dan holding Butch and Ced

 

Raymond, Jr. (Butch) and Dan on the side lawn

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Special Picture # 264 – Early Photo of Alfred and Arla’s First Five Children – @ 1924

 

Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss with Mack @ 1924

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1942. Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, working for Woodley Aircraft Company and Dan has been drafted. He is at Ft. Belvoir, Virginia (near Washington), going through Basic Training. Lad and Dick are working in Bridgeport but both are concerned about their draft status. Lad has already been classified.

Judy Guion

Family – A Letter From Biss to Ced in Alaska – July, 1943

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

This is a detail of the monogram in the corner of Bissie’s writing paper.

The internal white area is actually cut out. (How fancy is this?)

9:39 P.M.

7/10/43

Dear Ced: –

          I wrote to you just one week and one day ago at 11:55 P.M. while Barby (Barbara Plumb) was taking a bath and setting her hair. I wrote it on paper from iPad which I keep on top of the radio. Everything went along fine until I folded it to put in an envelope at which time it cracked and fell apart in my hands. Sooo this time I am doing everything Emily Post style in pen and on the proper paper. I told you of Ethel’s baby which was news at the time but no longer is.

          Zeke went up to Kenotia fishing last weekend so Dot M. Mackenzie)  and Lois H. (Henaghan) came down to spend the night (Sat.) with me. We had a grand time andSun. Morning I picked up Aunt Elsie at the station and went to Dad’s for dinner. Aunt Dorothy was there too. Grandma hasn’t been feeling very well this past week so Aunt  Dee. Came up again this weekend. Barby has joined the Waacs or Wacs – whichever spelling you prefer altho’ Wacs is the proper spelling now – and expects to leave at the end of this month. Edna and Frank Heigelmann had a baby boy and so did Johnny and Dot H. (Heigelmann). Bill Henaghan and his wife expect to have their third child at the end of this month also. I guess it’s my turn now. Helen S. And Bill are expecting one next January. Anna Rakowski ( one of the younger girls) died this morning. Barby sought Dick Christie and they had their first wedding anniversary last Sunday. Donald Whitney’s wife had to come home – either here or to her own home – because all of the service wives had to leave. I told Barby I wish you would come home and marry her because I had my heart set on her being my sister and Dan – damn him – put the kibosh on it. Maybe I’ll get her to marry Irv (Irvin Zabel, Zeke’s brother) – Heaven forbid. When she read that she said I sounded very insulting.

          Someday I’ll sit down and write you a whole letter about the children and their antics. I am listening to Scheherazade on the radio while I am writing this so if I am incoherent in spots it is because I get to interested in the story – it is pretty good. I called up Barby to let her know it was on because she likes the story and the musical background  very much. Zeke is going fishing with Frank tonight and they have just come in from catching nightcrawlers – you know big worms – they are talking too so I’m really getting into a muddle. Now to get down to business – the birthdays are as follows: Marty – Jan. 25th; Zeke is May 12th; Butch is October 20th; Biss is Jan. 6th; and Ced is June 1st. – is that enough birthdays  for you or should I continue?

          Dave has an infection in his leg and Dr. Z. doesn’t know what or why it is but he told Dave to keep his leg in the air – it is improving so I guess it wasn’t anything serious. I am finishing your letter at the same time the story is finishing. How is the food situation up there? Is it as bad as down here? You made us all homesick for old times when you mentioned driving  for a picnic – our battery is going sour from lack of use – peaking of tires – we need one too – but so far have been unsuccessful because our tire has to be vulcanized and Zeke says it is too expensive so they won’t give him the other tire he needs until that one is done. No more room so good-bye for now. Love, Biss

P.S. I hope you will write even tho’ I didn’t as often as I should. I got the bracelet and show it off every once in a while.  Biss

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa with updates on family members and friends. Friday I’ll post a letter from Lad, one that is long overdue.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll continue the story of Archie and Mary Wilson’s early married life.

Judy Guion

A FAMILY STORY – 1922

 

Arla Mary Peabody Guion and children - Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick, and Biss at the Trumbull house

Arla Mary Peabody Guion and children – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick, and Biss at the Trumbull house

I believe this is the first group picture taken in Trumbull. Dick, the baby on Arla’s lap, was born August 20, 1920 and the family moved into the Trumbull house in Dec, 1922. That would make Dick 16 months old at that time. In this picture he looks slightly older than that and Lad, the oldest, looks about 8 or 9, which would appear to confirm the approximate date of the picture. (I have since ascertained that it was taken in 1922.)

This picture was taken by a family friend and, unbeknownst to the family, submitted it to a photo contest for Life Buoy soap. It was not the top winner but was mentioned in the Bridgeport paper as a winner for Connecticut. It was actually used in an advertisement for Life Buoy soap, with a “direct” quote from Mrs. A.D. Guion. That’s how the family found out about it and asked the company not to use it. I’ve actually seen the spread in the local paper on Newspapers.com but because of copy write laws, I can’t show it to you. Our own “15 minutes of Fame”.

This weekend I’ll resume posting from “What I saw at the CHICAGO WORLD’S FAIR, 1934.

On Monday, I’ll get back to my regular schedule and the letters will be from 1941.

Judy Guion

Life in St. Petersburg (18) – The Last Letter – May, 1935

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Friday night

12 PM E.S.T.

5/24/1935

Dear Dad,

This may be a long letter or it may be a short one – as yet I know not. We will be sending the package up sometime at the end of next week. This is the third letter I have written to you this week so a two letter week will seem small after this.

I have a proposition to make with you. I was wondering if you would let Aunt Anne stay with us for two or three weeks until I once more get settled, for if I have her with me for my first one or two weeks at home I think it will be easier for me. It could be on the same basis as it was while you were down here at Christmas time. You could give her the apartment if Astrid has moved out by the time we get home.

I got a Good Housekeeping for June yesterday and it says to give 3 to 5 weeks notice for change of address – but to get back to my proposition – I figured it would be nice for the kid brothers to have Don and Gwen for company for a while for they are here so seldom and I also thought it would be nice for you to have a grown person to keep you company for a while. She has no place to go when she does get up there and that is one reason why we are staying on here. Of course the other reason is money. Aunt Anne is thinking of getting a job. It is now Monday and Gwen and Aunt Anne have gone down for a lesson in knitting.

We took Carl and Dot out for a picnic lunch yesterday. We had loads of fun playing baseball and catch. I am going to miss them frightfully when I leave and how I wish I could bring them home with me for keeps. The only thing I can bring home is a picture of them but I am hoping that they will come up and visit me – but I doubt it for they haven’t much money. I ate dinner there yesterday and had lemon pie! How it makes my mouth water to think about it. Carl is going to graduate this year and he’s going to have a picture of himself taken in his graduating cap and gown – what a laugh I’m going to give him. Dot is only a sophomore but she looks more like a Junior. Exams commence next week. How I dread that! We have two weeks counting this one – left of school. I hope I pass – and thinking of learning how to knit. Have you seen Peggy since she has been home? How is she – I mean how sick? I have finally written to Grandma. I am hoping to get a letter from you this morning. Have you gotten any pictures of Mack? This seems to be limited to asking questions and so I had better quit and give you a chance to draw your breath and answer the questions.

Love,

Biss

This is the last letter I have found from Biss. If Grandpa agreed to the suggestion that Aunt Anne and her children stay in Trumbull for a few weeks, it would make sense that they would leave as soon as possible. There are only two more days of school this week and then exams next week. School would be finished and it would make sense for Aunt Anne to leave by May 31st to avoid paying rent in June.

On Monday I’ll start posting letters written in 1945. Dan and Paulette’s wedding is getting closer the war continues to effect everyone else in the family.

Judy Guion

Life in St. Petersburg (17)- Letters to Dave and Pops – May, 1935

Biss (Elizabeth), Grandpa’s only daughter, has been living in St Petersburg with her Aunt Anne taking care of Anne’s children, Don and Gwen, for the past school year. She was having trouble at home, struggling to adjust to the death of her Mother and her Father and three Aunt’s felt a change of scenery might help her to adjust. The school year is practically over and she will be heading home soon, she just isn’t sure when.

Wednesday afternoon

3:59 PM E.S.T.

5/22/1935

Dear Dave,

I enjoyed your letter very much. I hope that scene you put on the back of the letter won’t come true but it will let you go to bed when I tell you to. That word, scene, up

Dave

Dave

above means picture. I hope you will be able to read this letter, I have no hard words to write, I don’t think, so you should be able to understand all of it. What is Ardith’s sister’s name? I suppose you play with Tubby quite a lot, don’t you? I was naming your past girlfriends as well as your present one. I bet a lot of other boys like Evelyn besides you, don’t they?

You should always make it a capital I when you are referring to yourself, like “I went to the store when I was home.” instead of “i went to the store when I was home.” Do you see what I mean? I am very glad that Miss D’Alier is all well now. How long was she out of school? You better get your marks up in school or I will…. I don’t know what I will do. I am glad that Miss Grabber is a good teacher. What is the matter? Don’t you like her when she isn’t teaching? I knew you would like Miss Shiffron more. I think she is very nice and I have had a lot of nice times with her. Will you send her my best regards?

It seems to me that you have a pretty long tongue! I was just studying the picture on the back. It is supposed to be a picture of you and myself? Is it in the past or in the future? I hope I will hear from you again very soon for I enjoy your letters very much. Tell Dick to write to me please – I’ll send the story some other time.

Love,

Biss

Wednesday afternoon

4:13 PM E.S.T.

5/22/1935

Dear Pops !

I get a great kick out of your letter today but wish to tell you that it isn’t the first time that I have written twice in one week nor is it going to be the last time. Why is it that the lilacs out by the kitchen are always the first ones to come out? We are studying very hard for exams and it is hard to find time to write however, I skipped today consequently have found some time to write. I have been trying to straighten my clothes out.

There was a dress I saw which I wanted to get for a dollar 59 but I have decided to save my money instead. I have been fighting with myself all morning trying to decide and I still haven’t come to any conclusion! Avid feeling that my brothers are going to cooperate with me quite a bit more than they did and I feel sure that we can make a go of it. I feel sure that I will be able to make the great – because, ”I’m a Guion.”  It will certainly take a lot to trim me down to any kind of size, I’m afraid.

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

Dick

I am glad Dick and Dave are well but I do think that Dick could have written me while he was in bed. I enjoyed Dave’s letter immensely and have

already answered it  – I hope you will give me just an immediate answer is I have given him. I am glad Mr. D’Alier liked me for I simply adore the whole D’Alier family and expect to go down and see them the very first night I am home – unless I get home at night, then I will wait until the next day. My writing is very uneven this evening, have you noticed? Maybe it is my change of thoughts.

If you see Carl tell him to write to me although I haven’t written to him – maybe I will before you see him again – it all depends on how much time I have. I loved that “Town of Trumbull” writing paper which you used last time. I thought it quite aristocratic. I hope you expect to see “Les Miserables”. I saw “Mississippi” and thought it was very uninteresting. How did the boys like it? I imagine Grandma liked that quite a lot.

I have a picture of the gang but thanks for a glimpse of them in the enlarged – I only have the small. As for my photographs – I have decided as the senior one and as yet have not received them from the studio. I will bring one or two of them home with me for I promised Ced one. Tell Dan you will never know how I appreciate that dollar and those stamps. I am going to break my rule and by a popsicle this afternoon with a nickel of that dollar for I am boiling over.

I went to Tarpon Springs but I’d don’t like Bill – I like Carl and Dot Roughgarden – you will probably hear plenty about them in the future. The reason why I wanted to write to Good Housekeeping and Parents is I haven’t the address and I don’t know how to word the letter – will you do it? If you don’t mind I would like to use the stamps for personal letters. I’ll hold onto them until I receive your answer.

Send Mack down here. I won’t mind one speck! Tell him I miss him and hope he misses me too. He wags his tail – it means he does. Well I have to close now because I have no more room.

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting Biss’s last letter from St. Petersburg. After that, we jump to 1939 with politics in Trumbull and Lad, the oldest, living and working in Venezuela, sending his pay home to Trumbull to help support his younger siblings.

Judy Guion

Life in St. Petersburg (16) – The Prom and Some Ping Pong – May, 1935

Monday afternoon

3:36 PM E.S.T.

5/20/1935

Dear Dad:

I really have a good reason for not answering your letters as soon as I should. I have been very busy this last week. I went to the prom last Friday evening as I had hoped and

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

played ping pong from about 9:15 to around 1230 or 12:45. I had a very nice time. I had one game with my geometry teacher and another with some other teacher. I didn’t know who he was. I would take a few minutes out of every hour or hour and a half and go over to have something to drink – for refreshments were free. Saturday, I was busy right up until the time that I went to bed. Sunday Carl and Dot Roughgarden went out to the beach with us and we took lunch along. I have not had so much fun in a long time. Carl is my favorite boy and Dot is my favorite girl so it was just perfect. Both of them were quite badly sunburned – my face is the only part of my anatomy which was touched by the penetrating rays. So you see my weekend especially was very busy.

Next Sunday, Jim Wokheiser and his sister, Gwen’s teacher, are going  out to the beach with us. I like Jim a lot too, but I hope to go out with Carl and Dot once more before I go home. I’m afraid I won’t because they are both very nice looking and I imagine they have plenty of other things to preoccupy them.

I hope Ced will hurry and get better – perhaps you will have to feed him with a derrick to get enough food into his system! I am glad Dave is getting over his fear of the dark! He must, if he is willing to sleep out all by himself.

I am very glad you liked and saw ”One Night of Love” – don’t you like Grace Moore better than Jeanette McDonald?

I got four letters today! That is the most I have gotten, at once, for a long time. I was trying to figure out how that sentence should go and so the mistakes. It seems to me that I have made quite a few mistakes in this letter already. Maybe it is because I am trying to write too fast but I have to or fear that my thoughts will slip from my head.

I got my English report and found I had gone up 10 points, almost, and now have 85. Last time I had 75+ so I did not go up quite 10 points. We are studying for exams so I may not write as often this week but I will try. We have exams on the third and fourth of June. I’ll be glad when they are over! The Seniors get their’s next Wednesday and Thursday. That’s all for now.

Love

Biss

As I was re-reading this letter, I found myself reading faster and faster, so I wouldn’t loose the train of thought. Biss is jumping all over the place with her thoughts and I’m afraid I might miss something if I don’t get to it fast enough. Do you think that’s what she is feeling as she writes this?

Judy Guion