The Brginning (26) – Reminiscences of Alfred D Guion (1884 – 1964) – Talking About Arla (Peabody) Guion

The following memories are quotes from “Reminiscences of Alfred D.  Guion”, written in 1960 while he was on a four-months “around the world” freighter trip. 

At this point I will begin adding the memories of the children as they were growing up.

 

                           Arla Mary Peabody Guion – portrait

A.D. – In Trumbull, we became interested in local activities.  A local volunteer fire company was started in which I was a charter member.  To raise money to buy firefighting equipment we ran annual carnivals which were successful for many years, and in which the old Waverley Electric car played a part.

CED – We still have a series of pictures of the old Waverley in the backyard.  Rusty and some of his friends, my mother and my Aunts, all dressed up in these beautiful costumes from the 1900’s that were in good condition in the attic.  They all dressed up in these clothes and we took pictures of them in the Waverley.  Rusty pretended to be the groom and Aunt Dorothy was the bride.  Rusty had this stovepipe hat on and all the ladies were all dressed up.  Of course, the Waverley didn’t have any tires on it, but it looked nice.

We had an old Waverley Electric car in the barn.  Dick, poor Dick, got all excited about the war effort.  He thought, “Well, gee, here’s this old junk car and it’s pretty well shot.”  The fire department was looking for scrap metal.  Dick was very patriotic and he thought he’d give them the Waverley, and at the same time, help the war effort.

A.D. – I became Justice of the Peace, and Judge of the local traffic court.  Later, for two terms, I served as the town’s First Selectman, during which time we celebrated the 300th anniversary of the town and also saw an old mine property converted into a public park.  Arla became President of the Women’s Community Club, and was active in the Parent Teachers and other civic affairs, especially where common sense and sympathetic help was needed.

LAD – I don’t have many memories of my mother.  I remember that she was involved in the Women’s Club, and was very, very well-liked by everybody.  We always had a lot of visitors.  She was very outgoing and friendly and quite pretty.  She was very active in the community.  Other than the fact that Mom was involved in the community a great deal, she was a good mother.  We all liked her very much, got along with her.

CED – I don’t believe my mother had a single enemy in Trumbull.  She was President of the Women’s Community Club, and she was very, very good to the family.  She had practically all of our Aunts and some of our Uncles living with us in Trumbull at various times.  We had a big house and most of them lived in New York City.  When they had vacations and when we had holidays, they’d all come up on the train from New York.  Sometimes they would drive – it would take them about four hours on the Post Road.  I remember those trips too.  Traffic was all over the place, stop and go, stop and go.

I always said that I knew one person in town that my mother didn’t like.  This woman had two sons, one of them was my age and he was my best friend.  I always liked Dick.  His older brother was about your father’s (Lad’s) age and he got us in trouble a couple of times.  I don’t believe that the woman ever knew that my mother didn’t like her because she was … I can’t gossip … She was very critical of other people and that bothered my mother.

LAD – My mother was very active in town, she was very public-spirited.  She helped plant flowers on the green, that sort of thing.

Our house was the center for the local population.  All the kids our age congregated at our house because of everything, and my mother, of course.  She was very pro-social, in her own life and in ours.  She was a wonderful woman.

We were really one big happy family and we really had fun growing up.  Arnold Gibson was part of that group; he was more a part of the family group.  He was very fond of our family, and spent a lot of time with us.  Arnold was devoted to my mother, too.  Everybody knew that he loved her.

For the rest of the week, I’ll continue posting more memories of growing up in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

 

Advertisements

Trumbull – COMMUNICATION CENTER 42928 (1) – Lizzie of the Klondike – August 6, 1944

Aunt Betty

Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee – Grandpa’s Mother’s sister)

COMMUNICATION CENTER 42928

DFR TR C/O POB-7

6 August 1944

GREETINGS…..

From the ex-mayor of Trumbull:

Copy of communication

Addressed to “Lizzie of the Klondike, Igloo?”

From C.D. Guion, Alaska.

“I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you for not packing up and running on up here. Why, the weather is so nice here that it is only on the rarest of occasions that I am prevented from basking in the sun all day long. The temperature stays at a comfortable 15° above zero all summer long, and only slightly cooler than that in winter, which is only nine months long anyway. I do hope you will reconsider immediately, and if you feel you don’t want to cook or drive taxis, I’m sure you would enjoy mining or fishing, and the pay for either is excellent. You could work at fishing for just the short three months season and live on your earnings for the balance of the year. If you chose to mine you could probably get a job “mucking” (digging out the ore) on the graveyard shift and have the whole day to run around the country and hunt bear or go sightseeing to your hearts content. You could probably grab a couple of cat naps on the job when the boss was away and so not get too tired. As an added inducement you might always remember that a gal up here has every opportunity to go out with nice fellows to dances, nightclubs, etc., and  then you might even find the man of your dreams! Who knows? There was a woman up here (Rusty Dow) whom I have mentioned as a friend of mine in a previous letter, who just recently drove a 10 wheel truck over the new Alaskan military Highway with a full load. (Query by editor –  the girl or the truck?) She reports the road as good, and if you can disguise yourself as a service men you might be able to get onto the road which is close to civilians. Perhaps Dad would let you take the Chevy which seems to be idle since Lad and Marian and Dave are again away from home. I am sure you could get gas enough by buying at black market stations, although you would have to pay a little extra. I’d advise bringing along a few spare tires as you might have to make repairs along the way. Extra supplies of gas would also probably be necessary. A good sleeping bag and some grub, a rifle and axe will complete your dear, and I’ll buy you a barrel of rum when you get here. Another advantage to this country is that women are more likely to smoke pipes and cigars here than back in the East, and your between the acts cigars would entail less embarrassment than back there. Another thought just occurred to me. You are there near the Sikorsky airplane plant. Why don’t you see Mr. Sikorsky and get the Alaskan franchise distribution ship for the helicopter and then fly one up here yourself. That might be more exciting then the Chevy. Of course all this is just a suggestion, and you could do what ever you like, even trying a rocket were jet propulsion. There is good future in trapping, as in almost any other occupation you desire to try. The sky’s the limit, but if you just want to stay in that dreadful old stuffy East where they have those horrid toilets inside the house and messy faucets and sinks that can’t be put outside when not in use – space well, then I’m sorry for you, and don’t ever say you didn’t have the opportunity. “There is a tide in the affair of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune”. And don’t turn your deft here at me! How is be acoustic on working. What a pleasant low we feeling it gave me to open up my little box number 822 just before my birthday a month or so ago the find of good old “Aunt Betty” card and the famous old portrait of a Pres. Should have acknowledged your thoughtfulness long ago, but I am as much a dreadful correspondent, as you well know.

This is only the first quarter of this five-page letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home. This particular portion is a letter from Ced to Aunt Betty giving her numerous possibilities for jobs if she were to move to Alaska.

During the rest of the week, I’ll post the other three parts of this letter.

Judy Guion

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.

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 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.)

GUION GETS MEDAL

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