Family – Biss Writes To Lad in Venezuela – News About Bobo and Trumbull Friends – July 4, 1940

I have moved back to 1940. At this point in time, Lad is in Venezuela and Dan and Ced have driven (and sailed) up to Anchorage, Alaska, in search of well-paying jobs. Grandpa has been speculating on exactly where they are along the route but has not heard from them yet.

Biss and Butch, 1940

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (Biss) and Raymond Zabel Jr. (Bobo)

12:29 A.M.

7/4/40

Dear Alfred –

I fooled you and answered within a comparatively short time – for me – Zeke has gone fishing for the night in a steady rain – at least it is raining here. How old do you want me to be before I marry? – 99 years old? Just because you are an old, old man and single doesn’t mean that I want to follow in your footsteps – but I agree with you I guess because Zeke says I am just a kid and he shouldn’t have married me.

Bobo (Butch, Raymond Zabel, Jr. 9 months old) is at that very pesky stage where he is in everything that he shouldn’t be. He doesn’t look like you anymore. His hair looks like Ced’s used to, but aside from that, he doesn’t look like anybody anymore – or maybe I should say everybody. We took some snapshots of him and the rest of us which Dad will send down to you one of these days when he gets some reprints. Lois H. (Hennigan) has the negatives, that is why you haven’t gotten any sooner. As far as Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend)  is concerned – I haven’t seen her since I wrote to you. We never did get along any too well anyway because I didn’t like the way she always used people without even considering how they may feel.

John Goulash has finished his internship – he was my doctor, you know, when I had Bobo.

Ervin (Zabel, Zeke’s brother) is a special policemen on the Merritt Parkway for 6 (or 8 – I don’t remember which) weeks. If he is appointed to fill in for the vacations of the others then he will be considered a regular police on call at any time. He has to work 12 hours or more a day but he is looking a good deal better in spite of the hours. He has gotten very tan instead of that sickly white he always used to have.

Nell (Nelson Sperling) up and left town again just like that. He has joined the artillery section of the Army. He wouldn’t join the Navy because he hates the water.

Dad took Dick and Dave to New York yesterday to see ”Hellzapoppin’”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x3SKXh79Xo

Well I had better stop because it is late (or early) and I want to write to Jane (Jane Claude-Mantle). Do you ever write to her? I wish you would if you don’t, because Trumbull more or less slights her and it hurts her quite a bit. There isn’t much for her here anymore when she comes home for vacations because no one asks her to go anyplace and personally, I think it’s pretty mean of those people who used to be so nice to her. It isn’t her fault because she is just as nice, if not nicer than she used to be – but Barbara never did like her and Jean grew to dislike her when she started to go with Barbara. So of course the fellows had to drop her to. No more space.

Love

Biss

Tomorrow and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa to his three sons away from home and on Thursday and Friday, the first letter from Dan (and Ced) who have arrived at Anchorage, Alaska.

Judy Guion

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Early Years – Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (10) – 1922 – 1964

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel, Grandma and Grandpa’s fourth child and only daughter.

Biss - 1938

Elizabeth Westlin Guion

I guess Lad taught me how to drive.  When Lad was twelve or fourteen, I don’t remember when, he and Ced and Dan and Dad went for a walk.  Dad’s eye got cut with a blade of grass or something.  So Lad drove him to the hospital, even though he was under the age, too.  Of course, Dad couldn’t drive because he couldn’t see.  So Lad drove him to the hospital and back after they took care of him.

Lad’s memory of this event is slightly different:

When I was eight, Dad took Dan Ced and I, possibly Biss, for a walk up behind our property, past the cemetery.  There was a slightly sloped hill on the lot, and all of us were rolling down the hill, including Dad.  When he got up he said there was something wrong with his eyes, some dirt or something, so we went home.  His eye got worse and more bloodshot and it began to hurt more so Mother told him he should go see the doctor.  He was reluctant but finally consented.  I asked him if I could go and he said yes.  When he got to the doctors, the doctor told him that a piece of stubble had apparently pierced his eye.  He sewed it up and when dad came out he could only see out of one eye, and that was blurred and watery.  He asked me if I would steer the car for him.  So I sat on his lap and steered the car, told him when to put on the brakes.  He did the shifting and used the clutch, but from that time on, I was very interested in driving.  I was only eight.

(I doubt Lad could have sat on Grandpa’s lap if he was twelve or fourteen. If Lad was eight, Biss would have been four or five, depending on the time of the year.)

We had an old Franklin Touring car, I fell out of the back seat of that one.  We had a Durrant and a Dodge.  I’m not sure if the Durrant was Lad’s car later or what.  I can remember a Durrant, I think it was a family car, and then, of course, we had the Packard.  Lad was looking through it and discovered a hidden bottom; it must have been a Rum Runner’s car back in the prohibition days.  The Packard was by far the best. (I think they actually had 3 Packards). Of course, none of them had windows like they have today.  You had to snap on the side curtains, you know, if it rained or something.

I started driving when I was twelve years old.  We had that lot in back of the house that Dan bought.  Well, that was mowed down, in other words, it was a lot at the time, and we had a racetrack around it.  So I started out with a Model-T Ford, and then there was an Oldsmobile truck, so I got that.

I can remember one day, I had a flat tire.  Axel Larsson was the gardener at that time because mother was already sick so she had to have somebody to take care of us kids.  Astrid and Axle and their daughter Florence moved into the cottage, the Little House.  Astrid was the housekeeper and Axle was the gardener.  He was the one who did all the stone work around the house; he built the fireplace and did the stones lining the driveway.  Anyway, the tire was flat on the truck and I was looking for a jack or something to jack it up with so I could change the tire.  Axel said, “What seems to be the problem here?”  I said, “I’m looking for something to jack it up with.”  So he said, “Well, get that concrete block over there and when I lift the truck, you just slide it under.”  So, he did.  He lifted the back of the truck up and I slid it under.  He was a blacksmith, and he used the hammers all the time so he was really burly up on top, even though he was kind of short.  When we moved to Stratford, (After I was married and had my sons) his Blacksmith’s Shop was about two blocks away. I used to take the boys down there so we could watch Axel at work.  But anyway, he fixed the flat and then I drove around the track.  There is where I learned to drive, in the backyard.  Of course, traffic wasn’t heavy like it is today.

When Dad bought the island from the Heurlin’s, (in 1945) I was married and had two children.  I tried to talk Zeke (Raymond Zabel) into going up there.  He wanted no part of it, he wasn’t interested.  I figured it would be good for the kids, it would be a vacation and it wouldn’t cost much more than food and supplies.  Zeke wouldn’t go.  After five or six years, I finally convinced him to try it.  Then I could never keep him away.  Now, if only I could have gotten him to try traveling once.  I’m sure it would have been the same way.  Then I would have had my dream of traveling all over.  I got the van, the mattress, the gas lantern and the gas stove, and then we never went anywhere, no matter what I’d say.  I figured when we retired, we would just start out with no particular destination; he could bring his guns and his fishing gear.  Anyplace we found a spot, if we liked it, we could spend two or three days there; if we didn’t like it, we could go to another place.

Dad was very determined to beat the Stock Market because it had done him in.  He was out for revenge.  He’d sit up there in his bedroom and follow the charts.(He had a Ticker Tape Machine in his bedroom)  He did a lot of investing on margin.  He had an estate worth over $100,000 (in 1964, worth $1,006,790.90 today) when he died, only ten years after he got out of debt.

Next weekend, I will post the Memories of Richard Peabody Guion.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in July of 1940, including the first letter from Dan (and Ced) from the Anchorage Hotel in Anchorage, Alaska.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (8) – 1922 – 1964

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel, Grandma and Grandpa’s fourth child and only daughter.

Blog - Trumbull House - 1960's (2) - cropped

       The Old Homestead – The window in the center portion of the house is the window of the attic. In the lower right hand corner is the Little Driveway that Biss and Vinny went down.

Lad was living in the attic and 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 the 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 (in Bridgeport) so I decided I had better call Dad and let him know that he had better not come home tonight because he might not have a house to come home to!  I called and the operator 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 had 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’ll 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’ve gone up fast because it was such an old, dry house. (The house was built in 1756)

I will continue with more of the Early Years and Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel next weekend.

Tomorrow, I will start a week of letters written in 1944. All five of Grandpa’s boys are in the service of Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories Of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (7) – 1922 – 1964

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel, Grandma and Grandpa’s fourth child and only daughter.

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion, with Model T - 1932

Art Mantle, Elizabeth Westlin Guion, Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

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 her 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.

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 fourteen, and I hated school.  I’d hide in the closet and every morning Dad would make the rounds to make sure everybody was up and had gone to school.  I’d hide in the closet and then after he had passed through, then I’d come out.  I had 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’d write, “I stayed home with my father’s permission.”  Then he would sign his name.  So I just copied his name over and over until I got it down pat.  Then I’d just write the things and sign his name.  I’d go to school only when I felt like going to school.  How I got through school, 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 (Central) into a Senior High and it was a Junior High at the time.  I hated that school (Basssick) 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 left us off in front of Central, maybe I had 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 and they told us that Ruth Moy had just died.  She was a pretty girl and she had a pimple on her chin.  She put something on it to cover it up, she got blood poisoning and it killed her; so much for vanity.  So anyway, we were walking up the tracks and a train came along.  The engineer stopped and said, “Would you like a ride?”  We said, “Sure.”  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.

Tomorrow, I will continue with more of the Early Years and Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (4) – 1922 – 1964

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel, Grandma and Grandpa’s fourth child and only daughter.

BSOL - Biss on front steps

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (Biss)

One day, Ced was going to give me a ride to school on the handlebars of his bike.  We got down to Sunset Avenue and a car was coming out of there. Ced panicked and I went down.  I got my face scraped in the tar on the side of the road.  We had to go back home to get my wounds taken care of, so we started back.  A truck came along, a big Mack truck, and the driver asked if we wanted a ride, so we said, “Sure”.  I was sitting in the middle and I was all ready to grab that brake if he went beyond Kurtz’s Store because I didn’t know if he was trying to kidnap us or what.  I was watching that brake and of course he let us off at Kurtz’s corner and we went home.  Mother washed the cuts with alcohol … talk about the screaming mee-mees.

(At Center School) I fell in love with the Principal, very much and I couldn’t wait for 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.

My favorite game was Caddy. You got a stick and put a point on either end.  You had to 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.

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 yell in to us to keep quiet. So we 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’d keep 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 of course, I wasn’t going to cry.  He could have spanked me till 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.”

I will continue with the Early Years and Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel next weekend.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1940, when Lad was in Venezuela and Dan and Ced have just arrived in Anchorage, Alaska, to try their luck at finding well-paying jobs.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (3) – 1922 – 1964

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

These are the memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel, Grandma and Grandpa’s fourth child and only daughter.

SOL - Young Biss on Porch

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (Biss)

I used to climb trees and if my brothers went up three branches, I had to go up four just to show them that I was just as good as they were.

I started school in Trumbull in the house that the Sirene’s bought, which was originally a two-room school.  It was at the top of the hill just before Kascak’s Garage, on the left-hand side, the same side as the gas station.  It looked like a house even though it was a schoolhouse.  I think I spent my first, second and maybe third year there, while they were building Center School.  I loved that one, the original, because the brook was running right behind it.  There was a great big rock that went down to the brook and I’ve always loved rocks, for some reason or other.  I have a love affair with rocks.  I always looked at them as I’m coming up the Thruway, you know, all those different colored rocks … I loved that.  Anyway, there was this big rock and I’d sit out there at recess.  I guess some of the boys went skinny dipping in the brook and they’d be late coming back in.

In the first grade, I swore in school and the teacher washed my mouth out with soap.  The soap was so sweet, so I went home and washed my mouth out again.  I don’t know what kind of soap it was, but it left a very sweet taste, it didn’t while you were doing it, but afterwards it did.

Back in the first school, I think I was in second grade, I guess I was a jumping jack.  I just couldn’t sit still.  I never did like school anyway and I couldn’t sit still.  I forgot what it was she said, but the teacher said something about a jumping jack and then, “Sit still.”  I can remember that.  I don’t remember what punishment she did or what threat she gave me but I do remember her putting me up on the carpet for not being able to sit still.

Another time, when Dick was in first grade, and I was in second, he hurt himself and I had to take him home.  It was about a mile and a half, a pretty good distance.

One thing I remember about Center School was that I’d wait for the first bell to ring and then I’d cut across the lots because it was that close by the brook and I’d get to school on time.

A train went through town.  There were freight trains that would stop at 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 that train to work and then come back on it.

Tomorrow, more of the Early Years with the Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (2) – 1922 – 1964

SOL - Very Young Biss with broken arm

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel, right after she broke her arm

When I was five, Lad and George Brellsford, and I think Dan, were on the fence behind the grape arbor, which was to the left of the incinerator.  They were picking grapes, sitting on the fence picking grapes.  I came over and I wanted to climb up on the fence to, because the grapes were much nicer on the top than they were on the bottom.  They told me I could pick them from the bottom … so I climbed up on the fence.  When I got to the top, I fell over into Dan Ward’s field, and evidently, my elbow hit a rock, because every single solitary bone was broken, so it was just hanging loose.  George looked over and said, “Hey Al, your sister broke her arm.”  I can remember my arm spinning just as fast as it could spin.  I was trying to get up because I was afraid Dan Ward was going to come with his gun and shoot me if I didn’t get over on my side of the fence.  And of course, I couldn’t do it.  So anyway, they picked me up and took me into the house.  Mother wasn’t home and I was lying in the living room, on the couch.  I don’t remember any pain; I was probably in shock because I don’t remember any pain at all.  I guess Mrs. Parks called Mother, wherever she was, Mother and Dad, and they came home.  Evidently, Rusty (Heurlin) was there but I don’t remember Rusty.  They told me that he carried me in his arms, cradled me in his arms all the way to the hospital so that I wouldn’t get jiggled.  I can’t remember that at all.

When we got to the hospital, the Doctor was going to cut my dress off and I was not about to let them cut my dress off because it would kill my dress.  Mother said, “But I can sew it back together.”  And I said, “But it won’t be the same.  You can’t do that.”  Obviously, they cut it off and then the nurses made the biggest mistake they ever made.  They said, “Don’t look at the light,” so I had to look at the light to see why I wasn’t supposed to look at the light.  I can remember to nurses holding my head down so I couldn’t.  I was moving and squirming so I could finally get to see that light.  Anyway, they set my arm and I think I spent one day in the hospital, I don’t think I spent more than that.

For some reason or other, I thought the doctors and nurses lived at the hospital.  There was a school across the street and you could see the kids playing outside.  I thought those were the children of the doctors and nurses.  You could hear their voices, you know, playing out there.

I had to go to the bathroom and I held it and held it.  I kept watching the door and waiting for Mother to come.  It was getting worse and worse.  I was afraid I was going to wet my bed.  I was wiggling and squirming, and I finally saw her coming.  I thought, “Oh, good, and I told her, “I have to go to the bathroom.”  She said, “Well, why didn’t you tell one of the nurses?”  I said, “I couldn’t do that!”

I can remember them giving me ice cream.  Rusty gave me a little letter (I had it for years, but I don’t know, it’s probably gotten lost in some of the moving).  It said, “Here are two nickels for you to spend anyway you want”, or something like that, and it had two nickels in it.  Then they gave me ice cream which was a big treat so I enjoyed that hospital stay, outside of having to go to the bathroom.  I felt like a little queen, you know, with everyone waiting on me.  I got a Teddy Bear … It was really something special.  I should break my arm every week.

Next weekend, I will continue the Early Years with Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel.

Tomorrow, I will move on to 1944. All five of Grandpa’s sons are in the service of Uncle Sam. 

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel (1) – 1919 – 1964

The only memory I have of Larchmont is a vague picture of the living room.  It had a fireplace and it seems to me a piano (probably the Player Piano that Grandpa bought for their first apartment, in 1913) or something, but I’m not sure.  My impression is of hardwood floors but I can’t remember what the furniture looked like.  I was four when we left there.

Guion kids - Daniels Farm Road (dirt) - about 1925

A very early picture of the children playing near the steps, which were not complete yet, probably taken in 1923, because Biss broke her arm when she was five. Left to right: Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick.

I probably enjoyed the move from Larchmont because this was a nice house, with a lot of yard, lawn and stuff, lots of corners to hide in.  I slept in the study for a while, upstairs, in other words, the bedroom in the apartment.  The doorway went through and I think that was the original room I slept in, but I’m not sure.  I know Dick and I slept in the big room that the little room came into.  It was probably the first place I stayed.  It had twin beds.

I think the first memory I have of the Trumbull house is being sent to the store at the corner (Kurtz’s Grocery Store) and when I came out of the store, I didn’t know how to get back home.  There was a street that went straight, which wasn’t the right street.  I started down there but I knew that was wrong so I turned around and came back.  I could be wrong but my impression was that Daniels Farm Road was a dirt road, but I’m not sure.  I know that there were no streetlights or anything. (The road was dirt and it was a couple of years before electricity was installed on that road) Anyway, I found my way home.

Trumbull House - 2018 - Maple Tree and Summer Porch

The steep driveway up to the house

Trumbull House - 2018 -Front View with Stpes to Front Door

The front steps with steps and landings, steps and landings, steps and landings

I remember this steep Hill I had to climb all the time.  That was true until I got quite older.  That steep hill was the driveway … or you could use the front steps which had steps and landings, steps and landings, steps and landings.  The front door was used quite a bit.  The salesman would come to that door.  So any time anyone was selling anything, they came up the front stairs.

We were all close in age.  Between your father (Lad) and Dick, there was one and a half years between each one of us.  Then there was five years between Dick and Dave.  Lad was in April, Dan was in October, Ced was in June, I was in January and Dick was in August.  So there was just about a year and a half between us.

Tomorrow, more of the Early Years and the Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel.

Judy Guion

Family – Dear Ced – Biss Writes a Short Note – March 31, 1944

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

            Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Friday afternoon

2:07 P.M.

3/31/44

Dear Ced: —

I am going to do a mean thing to you and write a very short note, as it is well into the PM already and I have touched nothing at all in the house. Besides I have just finished writing five other letters and am beginning to get tired. I wrote Alfred, Aunt Dorothy, (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister) ) Uncle Burton, (Peabody, one of Grandma Arla’s brothers) Peg and Viv. Viv was disappointed because she didn’t get to see you while you were home. I am writing mainly to find out how you made out with your deferment and whether or not this new law, of all under 26, will spoil your deferment for you – I hope you will be able to hold off until June and maybe you will be able to keep out altogether.

I got a letter from Aunt Dorothy this morning and she is up and around again – that is what started me on this writing spree. I had been meaning to write her ever since I found out she was laid up. I am beginning to feel like my old self again, thank goodness. Butch is supposed to be in bed with a cold but I think he is out more than in – I have told him to get back to bed so far about 100 times at least. Marty just came in from outside with wet feet and pants so he has to go to bed as soon as he is through  in the bathroom. They’re going to have their pictures taken tomorrow night in their sailor suits. I wish it would get nice and warm out – we have had a couple of warm days so far and it just makes one inpatient for more of them. Marty is calling so I guess I had better close here.

Love,

Biss

P.S. – My arm is so tired it is stiff and sore – that is my real reason for stopping.

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa covering news of  family and friends. 

Judy Guion

Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida (20) – Pictures Taken About This Time – 1934 – 1935

Elizabeth, Biss to family and friends, lost her Mother, Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion,  after a long illness in June of 1933, six months after her fourteenth birthday. She was not handling this loss very well, having problems in school and at home. Her Father, Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa) and her Mother’s three sisters, discussed the situation and decided that a change of scenery and responsibilities might help Biss make the adjustment. It was decided that she would go to St. Petersburg, Florida, with Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley, and her two children, Donald and Gweneth, to help with housework, the children, and also attend school. 

These are pictures of Biss shortly before she left Trumbull and during the time she was in Florida.

EWGZ - Biss and Mack, 1933

Elizabeth (Biss) and Mack, the family pet, a gift from Rusty Heurlin, named after the Mackenzie River in Alaska

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad Guion, with Model T - 1932

Art Mantle, Biss and Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

ADG - Trip to St. Petersburg, FL with children - Christmas, 1934

Grandpa and the other children travelled from Trumbull to St. Petersburg to surprise Biss for Christmas and her birthday, January 1st.

Back row: Cedric Duryee Guion, Daniel Beck Guion, Alfred Peabody Guion, this is probably Richard Peabody Guion, but he is not labeled on the photo.  (I cannot think of any reason why he would not have gone on this family trip) , Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Front Row: Donald Stanley, Gweneth Stanley, Biss with Aunt Anne’s pet, David Peabody Guion

 

Tomorrow, I will start posting a week of letters written in February of 1944. Lad has been married to Marian (Irwin) Guion since November, 1943. They have just returned to Pomona, California, from Texarkana, Texas. Lad is still an instructor of Diesel and Vehicle Maintenance for the Army. 

Next weekend, and for the week and following weekend, I will be posting pictures and stories of some special places on our family’s Island Retreat, our piece of Liquid Heaven. I will also be enjoying my time there with family members.

Judy Guion