Trumbull – Dear Convalescents (2) – Extracts From Ced and Marian – July 16, 1944

In this weeks missive, Grandpa has gathered extracts from the letters he has received and presented them to all those away from home. This is the second portion of the letter.

(continuation of Ced’s extract)

I received a letter from the Reader’s Digest telling me that my subscription had expired and going on to say that they had a little stencil with my name on it which had been directing my copies to me and that before they threw it out they just wanted to remind me that the subscription had expired and let me know that it (the stencil) was in fine company – – MacArthur, Sinclair Lewis, Gen. Marshall and a host of others. There was a lot of other dribble which I don’t recall, but it kind of burned me, so I sat down and wrote them a letter explaining that it seemed a little odd that two weeks after sending a gift card from my Dad, and promising me so much, they now tell me the subscription has expired and didn’t I think it good to renew it? I also suggested that my father probably really intended that I get 12 copies of the magazine, not just a gift card. Then I flattered them by saying that I wasn’t surprised that MacArthur, etc., subscribed to the Digest, but that I didn’t give a damn who read it and took it just because I happen to like its contents – – no doubt the same reason the celebrities would profess, and that I was surprised that Roosevelt wasn’t listed, “didn’t he take the Digest, or was it an intentional slight.” I rambled on at length concerning the rest of the letter, but I did have fun writing it. In closing I said to remember me to Sidney Bagshaw if he was around, and signed the thing. I am curious to see what kind of an answer I’ll get, if any. The first copy (June) arrived today. I hope they don’t strike me from the records. In today’s mail there was also a copy of “Federal World Union” and the “Union Now” paper. The more I see the more I am encouraged. You ought to get on the bandwagon yourself. There are more and more people with political power joining the movement every month and I wouldn’t be surprised if it is heard from in some measure in the fall elections. I wish to heck Stassen had been nominated by the Republicans instead of Dewey, and could get the Presidency. He is back of the idea to a large extent and I feel would try to work it out. I don’t know about Dewey although he may be leaning that way too, for all I know. I think he could certainly improve on what we’ve got, anyway. I was reclassified 1-A three days ago and I think I can beat the rap again.


Extract of MIG.  (Marian Irwin Guion) Wish I could report some definite plans that the “roving Guions” have made but so far everything is very much up in the air. We might be here two days, two weeks or even two months – – we just don’t know. However we have tried to make a few tentative plans, subject to immediate change if necessary. 1.  If it is at all possible I am going to drive the Buick by way of Orinda (Her parent’s home)  back East to our new destination. We have received permission from the C.O. to get gasoline for the trip. 2. I would love to come and stay at Trumbull. I really love it there and could think of no nicer place that I would like to be. One is not supposed to up apply for gasoline for a move any oftener than once every six months so I may be with you longer than you anticipated. In that case I would probably get a job in Bridgeport. It remains to be seen just what will happen but maybe I’ll have a chance to spend a winter where it snows, yet. 3. One of the other wives is planning on going East with me, and before we get started there may be more. But at least I know I’ll have company. With two such recommendations as yours and David’s, we decided that we must see “Between Two Worlds” so we went yesterday. It was a very unusual picture, wasn’t it? We both enjoyed it very much. Lad is still in Camp Haan and although he gets home for dinner every night, this business of getting up at four o’clock every morning is no fun.

Tomorrow, the final section of this letter with an extract from Dave and Grandpa’s local news. On Thursday and Friday, another of Grandpa’s weekly letters including news from family and friends.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Convalescents (1) – Extracts From Dan and Ced – July 16, 1944


This letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock contains excerpts from letters he has received in the last week. It is quite a collection and it will take two days to finish the letter. Enjoy.


Trumbull, Conn., July 16, 1944

Dear Convalescents:

As your medical advisor I am recommending this week a full dose of extract of Guion, consisting of vitamins DBG, CDG, MIG a substitute for APG, (at the moment unobtainable) and DPG, to be taken with a little water, before, after or between meals.

Extract of DBG. (Daniel Beck Guion) (July 3, London) Gone completely is the idyllic lull about which I wrote so enthusiastically a few weeks past, and in its place has come a period which keeps us too much on our mettle to indulge in languid philosophy. Now we are engulfed in a realism which focuses war in sharp, unmistakable images, exciting… significant… decisive. The none too subtle curtain of the sensor must set as a haze filter to your perception, but one day soon I shall entertain you all with tall tales of “what Dan did in the war” – – and I promise it won’t be too boring. Thoroughly hail and equally hearty, Dan


Extract of CDG: (Cedric Duryee Guion) Anchorage almanac. Weather today clear, Sun rises before I get up, sun sets about bedtime. Hours of darkness, practically none. Temperature, good for swimming. Hospitalization notice: One 37 Buick seriously ill of spinal meningitis and requiring extensive surgery for return to active health. Medicines unobtainable in Alaska due to shortage of equipment as of war necessities. An emergency requisition has been placed requesting necessary herbs and tonics. The transmission, after a long and quarrelsome disturbance, accompanied by groans of pain for the last three months, finally had a hemorrhage and was partially paralyzed. Low, second and reverse suffered complete collapse of the motovaty nerves and left poor high badly overburdened, thus affecting composure of chauffer. While injury seemed trivial at first, treatment proved unobtainable and a major catastrophe developed. Patient was unavoidably retired from active service and in lieu of treatment, it was determined that further long-standing elements must be treated and so the heart was removed for observation and repairs. Tragically enough, this disclosed more faults that required unobtainable replacements. Now patient is interned in isolation ward until Pistons, transmission parts and other odds and ends can be obtained. Another birthday come and and gone with a very pleased recipient of gifts from home. McDonald’s had a little supper party with cake and candles. My burns (ha ha) have nearly disappeared (all signs of them, I mean). They turned out not half as bad as the other ones did, and I lost only three days work. I finished my course, took the CAA test and made an average of 86 which was up near the top of those grades received by the other students. Now I just need flying time and lots more of it. Can’t you picture me up high in the sky peeking around behind a cirrus cloud to see if the dew point is anywhere near the base of the cloud, or flying blind into the side of the next mountain only to discover I’d forgotten to correct for easterly deviation, and neglecting at the same time to consider the wind drift. Ah. Me, I wonder if I’ll ever get to use any of your laboriously gleaned aeronautical knowledge. Incidentally, if you want to get a good education in meteorology, as it is affected by weather, and get it in an easy to take form, get the book “STORM” from Mrs. Ives, or from the library. It has humor, pathos, drama, suspense and human interest all woven around the birth, growth and passing of a storm and its effects on men and their puny works.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the middle section of this letter with excerpts from Ced and Marian. On Wednesday, excerpts from  Dave along with Grandpa’s usual home town news. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Family – Dear Ced – Biss Writes to Ced in Alaska – July 10, 1043


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?) I’m sure Grandpa designed and printed it. Writing paper was a usual gift from him.

9:39 P.M.


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 a  pad 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 and Sun. 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  D. 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 saw Dick Christie  (A close friend of Lad’s) 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.  (Dan and Barbara had been engaged but made a mutual decision to end 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 – speaking 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

On Saturday the next Diary and Journal entry of John Jackson Lewis on his Voyage to California.

On Sunday, another post entitled My Ancestors. This one is about my great-grandfather, Alfred Beck Guion. He was the ninth child and fifth son of Elijag and Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion. He was also the father of Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Extracts from the Diary of Alfred D. Guion (1) – July 18, 1943 – The Circus and a Medal

Grandpa’s creative juices were again flowing freely and this week’s letter takes the form of a Diary, including all the interesting things that happened during the week. He actually ends up including just about everyone in the family – and even one that isn’t yet!

Extracts From The Diary of One Alfred D Guion

of Trumbull Connecticut For The Week

Ending July 18, 1943

Monday, July 12.

Little did I realize when the sun peeked into my bedroom window that this was to be circus day for me, but such it proved, for just before noon Elizabeth phoned to say she planned to take Butch and Marty to “The Greatest Show on Earth”, and was seeking someone to accompany her as assistant child tender. The Big Top was stifling hot, Marty was restless and during the lull between acts fell through the seats to the ground about 2 feet down, injuring his pride, which fact he boldly proclaimed to one and all. While no lady clown was on hand to search for the missing Alfred (This sounds like a reference to an event that took place when my father was a child, but sadly, this is the only reference I have found and there is no one to verify what happened.), many of the acts were reminiscent of those other times when my own little tots laughed at the antics of the clowns, the fire and the men perched atop of innumerable tables and chairs who swayed back and forth until the laws of gravity intervened. After the show nothing would do but the boys must each have a balloon, which, filled with gas, floated appealingly in the air at the end of a string. Not 2 seconds after Marty received his and before Elizabeth could grab the string, Marty shoved his balloon upward. It went sailing gaily up over the telegraph wires and on its way over towards Lordship to cavort with Sikorsky helicopters. Marty was so surprised he didn’t even cry. A replacement was at once secured which we then tied to each youngsters waist.


Cedric Duryee Guion

Tuesday, July 13.

PO Box 7 this morning disgorged a letter from Jean – terse but newsy: “Just a line to let you know I’ll be home Wednesday, July 14. Dick was shipped this morning”. Later a postcard came from “private” (if you please) Richard, APO 4684, Miami Florida. Jean told me afterward that he had been demoted, temporarily she believed, because one morning he overslept, and his C. O. felt it was necessary, for the sake of discipline, to make an example of someone and Dick was elected.

But there was another letter in the box, all in red from arson Ced, telling of his method of celebrating Independence Day in Alaska, recalling the fact that this was the first time a fourth of July celebration had been held since the 12 days after he and Dan arrived in Anchorage. Woodley is running in a streak of hard luck. A new pilot just cracked up another of their planes.


       Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion)

Wednesday, July 14.

Jean appeared with a coat of Indianapolis tan, and found awaiting her in Trumbull, a reception committee consisting of her mother, Marilyn, Natalie, (her two sisters) Grandma and Aunt Betty. Since then Jean has been getting her room to rights and getting used to her life as an Army widow.


Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

While the great transportation arteries of the country were doing their duty by Jean, Postmaster Walker was doing his stuff in the way of a letter from Lad. As the fellow who invented “near-beer” was said to be a poor judge of distance, so Lad seems to have difficulty getting his time right. He writes as of Wednesday night, but on the next page says it is 4:15 AM. Back to your old tricks again, hey, you night hawk! It was mighty good to hear from you just the same, Sgt., and I hope you’ll start a bit earlier (or later) next time and enlarge a bit more on what you are doing. You have a way of writing about things, giving details that make very interesting reading. If Marian knew what nice people we were back here in Trumbull, she’d grant you an hour or so of grace. This isn’t to be construed as complaint because you have been mighty good at writing. I have sons who do lots worse. The following is quoted from a column appearing in the Bridgeport paper headed IN UNIFORM: (I don’t know where they get the information.)


Sgt. Alfred P Guion, son of

                        Alfred D Guion of Trumbull Connecticut,

              won a Marksman’s Medal for rifle

                              shooting recently at Camp Anita, California.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this letter about other family members.

Judy Guion


Special Picture # 340 – Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with Some of her Children



Arla Mary (Peabody Guion with Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad) – 1914

Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with Daniel Beck Guion – 1916

Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion and Richard Peabody Guion – 1922

Arla Mary Peabody Guion with her first five children – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss – 1921

Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced Hotfoot Guionferno – June 8, 1944

Nome, Alaska

June 8, 1944

Dear Ced Hotfoot Guionferno –

As I have forgotten how to spell Bill Dowes name and also forgotten the name of (the old) Lonsoac’s # 2  store, will you kindly take the enclosed in and give it to him personally at your earliest inconvenience. Have been waiting to hear from him for two months on picture I sent outside for duplicate.

Trust you got my letter explaining why I did not send ivory etc. to you. Will start purchasing as soon as I get away on trip north. You got the letter so will not have to wear my poor eyes out on this.

You wouldn’t like it over this way. No green vegetables and particularly no fish. Snowing to day and miserable weather. Leaving for God’s country in a month from today. Will write you at greater length — now busy as a cat in a stone quarry.

Guess I’ll have to write you another.

Tomorrow, another, longer letter from Rusty to Ced. The rest of the week will be filled with three letters from Grandpa to his boys (and the two wives) scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

Friends – Don Sirene Writes to Ced – January 11, 1947


11 Jan 1946 or 7

To C.D. (Seedy) Guion:

This is to remind you that I am now a proud Father who is endeavoring to set a good example for his son to follow, but your references to my promiscuous adolescence, when I spent my time with bad company (yours) are undermining the allusion I wish to create. Henceforth please expound my limitless virtues, you will find it saves a lot of expensive stationary.

You had better start polishing up your heretofore coarse language because you will find Trumbull abounding in infants – Namely:

1. – Brion Douglas Sirene

  1. – 3 Guions (Arla, Dan and Paulette; ,Doug and Judy, Lad and Marian)
  2. – 1 Linsley  (Bar and Pete) (Susie, Barbara Plumb and Pete Linsley)
  3. – 2 Waynes (Ethel Bushey and Carl Wayne)
  4. – 1 Hayden (Nancy, Jeanne Hughes and Chet Hayden)
  5. – 2 Whitneys
  6. – 1 Hall (Cindy, Jane Claude-Mantle and Charlie Hall)
  7. and many others of less distinction

Are you planning to give up Alaska or are you simply planning a long vacation? I hear Rusty is also thinking of “going outside”. Anchorage has certainly grown since you went up there. I saw an interview of it in the newsreel. How do you feel about Statehood for Alaska? There is some talk of it.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing you – come spring. You are welcome to visit us at any time (the past tense will not be used in any conversation – naturally).

Incidentally, the “Howdy Club” has disappeared. Charley reports he saw some of its male characters in San Francisco.

Best Wishes

Don Sirene

Apt. 601, 243 Ryerson St,

Brooklyn 5, N.Y.


This letter brings up quite a few questions for me. It is the last one that I have, chronologically, and it was sent to Ced in Alaska.  Ced came home for Christmas in 1946 (I have pictures). Did he go back to Alaska? Why are there no letters? Did they end up with another of my Father’s siblings? I have all the letters from Ced’s wife – at least she and I think they are all the letters. If he didn’t return to Alaska, why didn’t Don know? He knew Dan and Paulette, with baby Arla were in Trumbull, and they arrived December 28,th, 1946,  I believe,. He writes in this letter about seeing Ced in the Spring. It is only the beginning of January and perhaps Ced didn’t make the decision not to return until after the holidays and Don just didn’t know yet.                   

My belief is that Ced came home for Christmas and then made the decision not to return to Alaska. I just can’t accept the fact that Grandpa would not have written to him if he did go back.

In January, I will begin the story at the beginning with  Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion, starting with an introduction and his memories of growing up in Mount Vernon, New York at the end of the 19th Century. When the children start entering his life, I will add their childhood memories, which gives you a glance into the early years of these letter-writers.

Tomorrow, the next selection from the Diary and Journal of John Jackson Lewis as he nears the end of his Voyage to California in 1851.

On Sunday, I’ll tell the story of the childhood of Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1943. Lad and Marian continue to see each other socially. Dan is in London, in the Topography Battalion, possibly preparing maps for the D-Day invasion .Ced remains in Alaska, Dick is in Brazil, and Dave is at home with Grandpa.

Judy Guion