Ced’s Amazing Adventure (3) – Ossining, New York to Chagrin Falls, Ohio – July 23, 1934

Last weekend I started a series of posts based on the letters, photos and memorabilia Ced collected on a hitchhiking trip from Trumbull, Connecticut to North Dakota and Wisconsin. His Mother, Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, had passed away the year before and he wanted to get to know the Peabody family members who knew his Mother and to see the place where she grew up. I will continue the story every weekend for a while.

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Monday, July 23, 1934

Dear Dad,

Sorry I could not write sooner but when you get a hitch through the city it is better not to stop at the post office, therefore this is the first convenient time I have had. Now for the story.

I am with the Draz’s and arrived yesterday afternoon. I had trouble finding them because their address is not the one you gave me.

I stayed with Grandmother (Peabody) until Thursday noon and while there, I went with Burton Peabody, His Mother Arla’s brother), Grandma and Aunt Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister) to three or four places on the Hudson and saw Sing Sing from the outlooks. I had lunch with Grandmother Thursday and she made me some sandwiches and had me take them with me. I got a ride, after walking about 3 miles, in a 1932 Buick with three army officers on their way to a reunion and they were having quite a gay time smoking, drinking and swearing at each other. I left them and walked about 100 feet and caught another Buick which took me about 10 miles and across Bear Mountain Bridge. I walked about 5 miles before getting another ride which was about 5 miles long on the running board of a Studebaker, then I got a short ride and walked about a mile and got another ride about 10 miles, walked another mile and got a ride about a mile long and then I stopped to get something at a little refreshment stand and was presented with a plate of spaghetti and the glass of malted milk with ice cream free of charge. After that I walked until about one o’clock, about six or 7 miles and got about a 10 mile ride. I walked another mile or so and then found a suitable camping spot and spent the night slapping mosquitoes.

The next day, Friday, I walked about 3 miles before getting a ride and then walked about 5 miles and came upon a Connecticut Ford which was packed and got a sort of grudge ride for about 10 miles. Just after that my luck improved and I got rides in two more Fords, then and A. & P. Mack truck picked me up and apparently the governor on it was not in correct adjustment and the driver was having a good time taking corners at high speed. Next I rode with two women without thanking them and they took me about 3 miles then I rode through some wild country in two small delivery trucks, one was a post office truck. Then I got rides in a Ford and a Chrysler which got me to Scranton where I learned Mr. Kreitler is away until September. It started to rain so I put up at a boarding house.

The next day I rode through some of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen along the Allegheny River Valley; the views were perfect and most of the way through there with a nice man who was on his way home from New York where his wife and little boy and girl were staying. He carried me about 175 miles and as we went, pointed out some points of interest, among them the mystery of nature where there is  nice warm weather and not a cold winter, and places where the mountains were 2427 feet high.

I slept outdoors again Saturday night and Sunday I rode into Cleveland where I found by the telephone book that your address for Draz’s was wrong. Their place is about 18 miles east of Cleveland. I wandered around trying to find out how to get to Chagrin Falls and finally I called from a tavern in Little Italy, and Uncle Frank came down and got me. I expect to stay at Chagrin Falls today and leave tomorrow morning.

CDG - Vehicles - Ossining, NY to Cleveland, Ohio

I am feeling fine and hope you are all well. I am keeping a diary of all autos I ride in and I have quite a list already. We’re going into Cleveland on a sightseeing trip in a few minutes and so, in haste, goodbye until the next time.

Ced

Tomorrow, another post concerning Ced’s Amazing Adventure. Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. The year is drawi9ng to a close and it appears that both Lad and Dick will be home for good by Christmas. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced (3) – What Dan Means … – January 11, 1942

What Dan means by moom pictures I leave it to you to guess but it does give me a chance to remark “don’t laugh at others mistakes, the banana peel may be under your own foot”.

Don Whitney has received his summons to appear before the draft board for physical examination so how long he will be figuring the profits and losses for the Stratfield is anyone’s guess. The Laufer’s have not heard from Erwin since he reached the Pacific coast. Dick Christie I understand has been down with pneumonia but is getting along nicely. It is reported that Jack Philmon tried to join the Marines but was turned down.

Meigs new store at the corner of Main and Wall – – where the A & P Market used to be – – is now just about completed and they will probably move about the 1st of February. Their old building I understand will be torn down for a new Woolworth store. There has also been a new building erected opposite Read’s where the parking lot used to be and I understand Singer’s will erect a new building near the corner of Fairfield and Broad between the old telephone building and where the church used to stand. The old building back of my office has been torn down and the space thus provided has been turned into a parking lot for customers and employees of the Bridgeport Peoples Savings Bank. So, when that glad day comes when you will be back in this neck of the woods again you will see quite a few changes in the old burgh.

As you may discern there is evidence of my news fund tapering out and inquiries of Dick and Dan not resulting in any fresh spurt to my imagination, if such it can be called, leaves me the sad alternative of bringing this momentous epistle to a close, with the usual hope that the coming week will again bring a letter with more news from my Alaskan pilot.

Give that jovial old pal of mine, Rusty, greetings from his old sidekick, and tell him to write me as soon as he gets any interesting news.

DAD

This is the letter enclosed with Ced’s Birth Certificate, sent by Kemper Peabody, Grandmother Arla’s brother, to Ced  in Alaska. The actual Birth Certificate was not with this, I presume it is wherever it was needed.

Tomorrow and Sunday, the next two communications regarding Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced (1) – I Have Written To Kemper Peabody – January 11, 1942

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn., Jan. 11, 1942.

Dear Ced:

Once again letter writing time rolls around. As I glance out of the kitchen window, the kitchen being our living room for the last few days, particularly because of the cold spell, it reveals a typical winter landscape with the white mantle of snow on the ground and the sun valiantly striving to peer through masses of dark clouds which hold a threat of more snow. Last night was bitterly cold, perhaps as much as 10 below zero here. The paper yesterday predicted 20 below in northern New England, so you see Alaska and Conn. are somewhat akin at times.

Your welcome letter of December 28th reached here on the7th, which, while not equaling the speed with which some of my letters have reached you by airmail, is still pretty good time compared with what it was this time last year. Perhaps the importance of Anchorage in the war picture has caused a speeding up of communications. At any rate I hope it will continue to be good as you do not seem quite so far away when only 10 days off.

I have written Kemper (Peabody) in Mount Vernon (his office) asking him to obtain your birth certificate from the City Hall and forward it on to you by airmail, as I figured this method would save time writing back and forth, forwarding necessary fee, etc. I have asked him to let me know the total cost and will take care of reimbursing him from here. I have also taken care of paying your life insurance premium which is due in a few days. And while we are on the financial aspect, I am enclosing income tax blanks in duplicate – – not that I think you will have difficulty in obtaining these blanks locally, but it is my experience the tendency to put such things off until the last moment generally means a wild rushing around trying to meet the deadline with the possibility of error and consequent additional expense, so the possession of blanks may induce a more leisurely attention to this disagreeable task.

Why is it you have to have your birth certificate before you can fly again? Is that a new regulation or is there more behind this than meets the eye? You said nothing in your letter about the draft status. Has Woodley been able to do anything about your deferment beyond the indefinite February date you mentioned some time ago as the time when you would cease to be a civilian? I suppose this will have some bearing on any arrangements you make as to taking a cabin with Rusty after leaving Walsh’s.

I suppose you will be one of the crew that goes out to rescue Don’s stranded plane. This should prove an interesting experience. Incidentally I should think this might be a dramatic subject for a Heurlin picture of a typical Alaskan experience. Does the idea appeal to Rusty?

It was good to know you spent an enjoyable Christmas day. Your caroling  stunt was one of those things you will look back on in years with interest and “fond recollection”. Aunt Betty has just chirped up again, “Give my love to Ced and Rusty”.

Dan got his summons this week and is to report for active duty on the 21st. He quit working for Producto and is now a man of leisure. Knowing Dan, I don’t know how much leisure there will be in his activities. Dick is working at Producto on a lathe at a $.50 an hour rate and seems to like the job. He of course, will register next month.

Tomorrow, the middle of this letter, which is from Dan to Ced and the last bit from Grandpa.  

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced and Rusty (2) – Business Developments – January 4, 1942

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion
(Grandpa)

Page 2 0f 1/4/1942

If you have not already done so by the time this letter reaches you, Ced, old scout, will you please be sure to let me know what packages you have received so that I can follow through from this end if anything I sent has not yet arrived. I sent a stainless steel sauce pan to Rusty to start housekeeping with, your watch which you sent home by Dan to be repaired, sealed beam headlights from Sears Roebuck, a box of Christmas knickknacks and a sweater from Forster Besse. While the total was far less than I wanted to send, perhaps it is all the more important that what did go should arrive safely. I did not renew subscription to the Sunday Post, first, because I did not know how much you cared for it (according to Dick he enjoyed the funnies from Seattle more), and second, your future movements seemed so uncertain that I thought I had better wait and ask you what you wanted done. Even if you go into service and are stationed at Fort Richardson, I suppose the mail would be forwarded to you from Box 822 anyway. Just say the word and I will do the necessary at this end.

Aunt Betty has just piped up and asked to have her love sent to you both.

At the office things are going a bit better or have for the past month or two. I am still having labor troubles but so far Dave has managed to get out what multigraphed letters we have had to produce and I am also able, with outside help, to keep up with the mimeographed jobs. Addressograph work has been quite heavy and I do have a girl that is doing this work very satisfactorily. During the year we have been able to pretty nearly clean up on our old debts, and, unless the nation at war throws another monkey wrench into the machinery, it looks as though we would continue. In this connection, the organization which Miss Platt left me to join, called the ADCRAFTERS, with offices just across the street, composed of the letter shop, run by Miss Platt, Art service (commercial) maintained by Mr. Thorpe, and commercial photography handled by the third member of the organization, has been having hard sledding. They originally had a printer in with them, but he proved to be no good so the rent that had been divided among the four of them had to be shared by three along with the other running expenses. It now develops that the photographer has been called into service and along with that fact, the bottom lately has been knocked out of the demand for artwork, so that Mr. Thorpe is seriously considering getting a job with some of the Bridgeport manufacturers who need his sort of service. This may throw Miss Platt on her own but with the doubtful course of future business in our line, it might be that she will be open for some arrangement whereby she will throw her little business in with mine and again be part of the Guion organization. If this happens, I may be content to let her carry on while I seek a job myself with some of the war industries here who are badly in need of men, due to the fact that so many are leaving to join up with Uncle Sam. All this, however, awaits the course of events.

To Rusty:

It was certainly good to get your letter. You don’t know how much I enjoyed hearing from you. Congratulations on the Dr. Romig painting. Please be sure to let me know about the result of the Court House petition, particularly if you get it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It will certainly mean the opening up of bigger things for you, which you richly deserve. Naturally I shall also be much interested to hear what results from the plans to seek other quarters. I suppose this depends somewhat on what happens in Ced’s case. It is good to know you are together. I hated to think of his being all alone so far from friends and home. As to your own personal affairs I have a hunch things are going to come out O.K. And if I can help, you know the offer still stands, to any extent within my power. I would be very happy if I could do anything that would help things to come out of the way you want them.

To Ced:

Write when you can, old son of mine. I’ll be listening.

DAD

Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced.

Judy Guion

Trumbull- Dear Ced and Rusty (1) – The Holidays Are Over – January 4, 1942

Judy_0003

Cedric Duryee Guion with his plane 

January 4, 1942

Dear Ced and Rusty:

I am so used to writing to more than one of my boys that Rusty will have to substitute, although as far as “love and affection” goes, he fits right into that category anyway. Indeed, as far as realism goes, the fact that I had a very welcome letter from Rusty this week, penned, I suppose, from the very room that housed and still houses a portion of the Guion clan, adds strength to the fact. Rusty’s vivid power of description – – Ced’s tramping across the floor in his jockstrap, his lusty snores, all brought back well-remembered recollections. Somehow or other I had a feeling that trampings ten times as heavy and snores ten times as stentorius would be more than welcome if I could hear them right here in little old Trumbull for a change.

Well, the holidays are over and things have settled down to a 1942 basis. Before bidding it a final adieu, however, there are a few facts to record. New Year’s Eve Anne (Peabody) Stanley) phoned from New Rochelle that she would like to come up with the children and stay overnight. They arrived in time for supper. The combined party with Paul’s friends did not materialize because Paul (Warden, renting the apartment with his wife Katherine) , a few days previously, developed a very bad sore throat, swollen glands, etc., and was in bed, unable to talk above a whisper and only today has been up and around. However, most of the steady visitors were on hand, and while Aunt Betty and I did not stay up until three or four or whatever time it was the last of the revelers (Don Stanley was the last one in) had retired, there was enough noise and what goes with it to issue in the New Year in the approved fashion. Friday the Stanley’s left for Vermont where Anne felt it necessary to go in order to make financial arrangements so that she could continue on with the children’s schooling in Virginia.

Last night it snowed quite hard and today looks like an Alaskan landscape. The boys who were out in their cars last night had difficulty in coming up the driveway. Today Lad took Dave down to WICC (a Bridgeport Radio station) where he took part in a program sponsored by the American Legion, on Pan-American activities, acted out by students selected from Harding, Central and Bassick. (the three local High Schools) The new ruling that has gone into effect prohibiting the sale of tires here and I suppose all over the country, has caused me to wonder a bit what I will do. I tried to get my spare retreaded recently but was unable to do so because the sidewalls were not strong enough. Lad was lucky enough to get two tires from George Knapp the other day. There is some compensation in the fact that, as both Lad’s car and my own are identical models, the tires are interchangeable and in a pinch we can help out the other fellow.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter. For the rest of the week, another letter from Grandpa to Ced.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Amazing Adventure – The First Note Home – July 16, 1934

Ced Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

Grandpa, Alfred Duryee Guion, lost his wife, Arla Mary Peabody Guion, possibly due to cancer, when she was 41. She left six children. My father, Alfred Peabody (Lad) was the oldest at 19. Daniel Beck (Dan) was 17 and, Cedric Duryee (Ced) had just turned 16. Elizabeth Westlin (Biss) was 14, Richard Peabody  (Dick) was 12 and David Peabody (Dave) was only 7.

The financial burden put on the household due to Arla’s painful and protracted illness was huge. It was 1933 and the country was struggling. Lad and Dan decided that they would get jobs with the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and since they would be living at their work camps during the week, Grandpa didn’t have to feed them and their wages could help support the younger children.

I have received from Ced’s wife a Scrapbook which included memorabilia and the letters from his summer hitchhiking trip. They include the letters he wrote home and some he received on his journey. 

What was going on in the mind of Cedric, I have no idea. Perhaps he thought the older boys knew their Mother better than he did. Perhaps he felt a hollowness in his heart and wanted to fill it with stories from his mother’s childhood. He knew her sisters (Aunt Helen Human, Aunt Anne Stanley and Aunt Dorothy Peabody)  and brothers quite well but the rest of her family was a different story. They remained in the Mid-west where she had grown up. He decided to hitchhike by himself from Trumbull, Connecticut to North Dakota and Wisconsin to find his mother’s roots.

When possible, I’ll try to give you some background on the individuals to help flesh out the story.

CDG - July 16, 1934 - Postcard from Ced to his Father from Aunt Betty's Grand Central Shop 16, 1934

Postcard from Ced to his father from Aunt Betty's Shop in Grand Central Station - July 16, 1934

Postcard from Ced to his father from Aunt Betty’s Shop in Grand Central Station – July 16, 1934

Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie send their love

Dear Dad                                                                                                                                                                                                    Monday

I am at Aunt Betty’s shop and will write further particulars later. In all my hurry I forgot the summer suit, shirt and slacks and my brown leather pocketbook containing nine dollars. If you would send the pocketbook and clothes along with your letter of approval for identification, and a letter to Grandma explaining my plans to pick it up at Ossining, it would help. Send them to Grandma.

Love and more later.

Ced

Aunt Betty Duryee was Grandpa’s Aunt, the sister of his Mother, Ella Duryee. She ran a shop in Grand Central Station for many years. Aunt Elsie Guion, Grandpa’s sister, worked in the shop with her aunt for some years.

Ced kept a record of all the vehicles he rode in each day (does that remind you of Grandpa?) and he didn’t list any vehicle for Sunday, July 15th, his first day. His second note to his Dad, written on Thursday, explains how his first few days went. I’ll post that note tomorrow.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (2) – News From Ced – November 11, 1945

Page 2    11/11/45

And now let’s hear from Ced.

“You now are in a way a sort of archaeologist delving deeply into the past and exploring some long forgotten man, that called Cedric. Of course others from time to time have made brief sketches of his habitat and some of his occupations, but for the most part, you probably find that his is a nearly dead memory. This would be true certainly for Dan, and to a lesser extent for Dave. Dan, I have not seen or written since September, 1941, he unmarried, unmilitarized, unEuroped, and the country uninvaded and unPearl Harbored. Dave has had the pleasure of seeing my personal self somewhat more recently, he having been home in the Christmas season, 1943. First off, I owe you both letters, long overdue. I am dreadfully chagrined at my failure to correspond with the newlyweds in Français. Be assured Dan and Paulette, that this is through no intentional snub, or even lack of interest on my part, but mostly to a phobia on my part on writing letters, and also due to the fact that I have been too, too dreadfully busy in Alaska. I must still take time, while I have it at home, to write a more lengthy and chatty letter, telling about Alaska and other items of interest to you two. I wish that I could write you, Paulette, in Français, but what little of it I received in high school would hardly bear repeating even if I remembered it at all. Perhaps when we meet you can teach me the language yourself. May I here take occasion to congratulate you with all my heart, and wish for you and yours the best of everything in the future.

To Dave, who has written me on several occasions and is perhaps still waiting vainly for an answer, I must also beg forgiveness, and I might add, I am highly interested in your broad-minded observations as to treatment the Japs should receive. Dave, I think you and I have a lot in common on this score, and one of these days I’ll write you a long letter answering all your questions and telling you a little more about what’s what. I will have more time in Alaska to write, as I am no longer tied up with the Ski Club administration, and hope to have less overtime at Woodley’s.

I just learned that this letter is also for Lad and Marian, and to them I just say “poo”.

This Taylorcraft plane is to be half mine, and half Leonard Hopkin’s. We are planning to put it on floats next summer and I hope to be able to have a commercial license by then. Leonard has learned to fly and has also a private license. His wife, Marian, is also learning, but hasn’t yet soloed. My intention was to fly from Ohio to Trumbull in the plane, but the factory was unable to install the extras before the 20th of this month, so I came on home by train, and will go back and pick up the plane if I can, on the 20th, returning to Trumbull with it (landing at Monroe) and being home for Thanksgiving and the balance of November. I should start back for Alaska about the first of December.

The Taylorcraft is one of the little planes, similar to the one I had an interest in, in Anchorage once before. It is however, a brand-new one, just being finished up at the factory next week. It will carry two passengers and 50 pounds baggage. Will cruise at 90-95 m.p.h., and fly nonstop without refueling, for about 5 hours and 25 minutes. It will have a high priced two-way radio of the very latest type, and should be a fine airplane. The cost of the plane landed in Anchorage will be approximately $3200, and will break my bank for some time to come, but this figure will cover protective insurance on the plane and I will have the benefit of all the flying time from Trumbull to Alaska, an amount of time which would cost me quite a little if I were buying it in Anchorage. Now enough of this item.

I have lots more good Kodachromes for the family album, and you will soon see them, I hope. Adieu for now, and Bon Nuit, Paulette.

Ced”

Tomorrow, part 3 and on Thursday, the conclusion to this letter. On Friday, Marian writes a note to the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan – Yesterday Was Your Birthday – October 28, 1945

Daniel Beck Guion and Paulette (Van Laere) Guion on their wedding day in July, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., October 28, 1945

Dear Dan:

Yesterday was your birthday. I started out for the office with every intention of trying to find an interval in the days work long enough to permit my dashing off a V-mail letter to you, but alas from the time I arrived until quitting time one thing after another seemed to follow in endless demand, leaving but the alternative of incorporating a birthday greeting to you as part of my regular Sunday letter. So here I am, with a lot more desire than ability to state the obvious. Though I have said this to all you boys many times, it still loses none of its force, to me at least, in those quiet moments by oneself when we count over our blessings and mentally list the things we have to be thankful for, when I repeat how you boys have done so much to compensate for the loss of your mother in making life’s daily round so much more worthwhile than it otherwise would have been. While it applies to the other boys too, I am writing especially to you now, and I want to say to you what you must indeed fully realize, that from that moment when I anxiously paced back and forth anxiously waiting for the doctor to inform me that little Alfred  had a new brother or sister, through your mischievous childhood, your grammar school and Boy Scout days, high school, CCC Camp, and your various adult activities right up to the present moment, you have been the sort of son any father rejoices in having. It’s one of those things you really can’t appreciate until you have experienced it, so my main birthday wish to you at this time is that the little Valentine (Grandpa is referring to the fact that Paulette is expecting their first child, due in May, 1946) which is now on his way to you for arrival next May or thereabouts, may in turn bring to you and Paulette just as much joy and deep thankfulness as a parent, my boy, have brought to me – – and right now I can’t think of any bigger or better wish to send you.

Alfred Duryee Guion

This picture may not have been taken on the night that Grandpa was writing this letter, but this is what it might have looked like. Grandpa, Marian, Lad, Jean, Dick and Aunt Betty sitting around the kitchen table.

Not to rub it in at all, but we are all going to take time out right at this point to drink a toast to you with – – hold Your breath – – a glass of Burrough’s Cider. So here’s to you from Aunt Betty, Dick, Jean, Lad, Marian and myself, here seated in the old kitchen you know so well. So here’s to you. (Pause) Perhaps we might change this, if you think so, and say, a “moment for silent prayer.” – – You old reprobate.

Thanks for your letter of Oct. 22nd by airmail which arrived yesterday (five days in transit is pretty good), stating you were shortly leaving for Liege, that the things for the Rabets (the famil that invited Dan and Paulette into their home shortly after they were married and Dan was working a distance from Paulette’s parent’s home) might be sent by express (they are awfully slow coming from Sears), your receipt of Aunt Betty’s letter and some of the boxes with Paulette’s things in them. Do get her to write us how she likes the various things so we can be guided next time if they are not just what she wants.

In contrast to this speedy letter, I also received earlier in the week a letter you wrote and sent by regular mail on Sept. 18th.  In this you ask that a complete layette be sent to Paulette. It is true that packages can now be sent either by mail or express to France but the thing that I am wondering about, if they are sent to a civilian address rather than to an APO  number, is whether duty will not have to be paid, and if so, whether it would not be much cheaper even if a little longer in transit, to continue to send packages addressed to you through regular Army channels. Perhaps France does not impose duties. Will you inquire on this point and let me know promptly if you still want things sent direct to civilian addresses?

Page 2   10/28/45

Lad, Dick, Ced and Grandpa on the small island Grandpa bought for his children’s summer retreat.

The Lad and Richard Guion’s are entering fully into the spirit of the lake summer place idea and both of them, with the aid of their spouses, have or are in the process of making out floor plans showing their ideas for a summer cottage and I am eagerly waiting your’s and Paulette’s ideas. Ced I know is going to have some very interesting angles. I am also wondering if Dave will surprise us, even though I do not expect he has given much thought to matters of this sort.

Lad came home on another pass yesterday and he and Dick and dad had a sort of a field day this morning that you would have enjoyed. With the aid of your old Chevy, Lad’s Buick, some borrowed rope and just plain manpower, we pulled down an old apple tree, hauled sundry fallen logs too heavy to manhandle and in general had such a good time in the pleasant October weather that we long overstayed our dinner hour, in spite of which fact the girls were very patient and forbearing and didn’t act all upset. So perhaps we felt all the guiltier.

David Peabody Guion

Dear Dave:

Received your letter of Oct. 12th on the 22nd — not bad for so great a distance. This is the one where you say I am making you homesick by all the references to rides and trips; also that it has become an effort for you to write letters. That is quite understandable. I occasionally feel that way myself and find it an effort to try to sound interesting, knowing you boys will be disappointed if I don’t write and yet feeling that what I write is a lot of trash. And yet I imagine the effort is worthwhile. I know yours is to me. And you have a lot more to gripe about than I have. I keep busy all the time and feel I am doing something useful for your benefit when you come home, but you must feel sort of a let-down with the war over and nothing very important or dramatic to accomplish. I see, like the Guion tribe in general, you still keep your sense of humor, and for the benefit of the others I will quote your last paragraph. “Things go on the same here – we’re still sweating it out and feeling sorry for ourselves. The only change I can think of right now is the addition of a new sign out in the hall up here on the third floor of the Waterworks Building (The Water Works Building is in the downtown area of Manila, Philippines, where Dave’s unit, the communication center is located). The stairs going from the ground floor to the top (4th floor) are set in a sort of squared circle with a well going all the way down to the bottom. The sign here on the third floor says: “Don’t jump — we’ll all be home in six months”. I hope the sign is right.

Dear Ced:

I’ll paraphrase what I said to Dan. Just wait to you have a boy of your own that you have a particular fondness for, who made a resolve to write to you at the very least once a month, and then you wait and wait and week after week goes by after the month is up and still you don’t know whether the plane he went up in ran out of gas and could not come down, and then you can appreciate how the poor old father feels, gnashing his fingernails, glancing anxiously up as each plane streaks across the sky, wondering if that is the silent son at last coming home. And so on that sad and doleful note I shall come to the signing off space, but still hopeful, shall continue to remain,

Yours                               DAD

Tomorrow I will begin posting the very long second letter, filled with all kinds of news from his sons who are still away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Reader – The End of an Era (3) – July 21, 2021

The Trumbull House has been sold.  From what I understand, the new owner plans to create nine one room Studio Apartments in the main house, two more apartments in the barn and to add on to the Little House to form a home for his family.

I will be devoting at least the next few weekends – maybe many more – to a Memorial of the house that has been an anchor for my family for almost 100 years and to the people who made it a HOME.

I find it especially hard to decide what to post because I have been writing about this house and the people who lived there, daily, for almost 9 years. Do I want to focus on the individuals – special events – everyday events – pictures – I just cannot decide which direction to choose. This weekend I am going to focus on pictures of the six chidren who spent their childhood there – Lad, my Dad (Alfred Peabody); Dan (Daniel Beck); Ced (Cedric Duryee); Biss (Elizabeth Westlin); Dick (Richard Peabody) and Dave (David Peabody).

Last weekend I posted the earliest pictures taken of the children. This weekend, I will post some more pictures of them through the years in Trumbull.

Lad @ 1922

                            Lad @ 1923

SOL - Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad & Biss with their dog

                                       Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss @ 1925

It appears that Patsy, their dog, has found something that interests all of the children.

Guion Kids on side porch - @ 1928

Guion children on side porch about 1928

Dan, Dave, Lad, Dick, Ced, Biss

Guion kids as adults - posed as 1928 photo - 1992

This picture is out of order but it was taken at our Family Reunion in 1992. They posed in the approximate position of the 1928 photo above. This was the last time all six children were together.

Standing – Lad, Seated – Dan, Dave, Dick, Ced and Biss.

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Steps and Landings, steps and landings - @1928

This picture was probably taken in the spring of 1929.

Back row: Grandpa and Lad; Middle row: Dick, Ced, Aunt Dorothy

Front row: Don Stanley (cousin), Dave, Biss, Gwen Stanley (cousin)

Tomorrow I will post more about the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – Extracts From Rusty Huerlin’s Letter To Ced – November 12, 1944

Page 2      11/12/44

Friday’s local paper recorded the death of Tom Cullen, who had been ill for about six months. Cancer, I believe, was the cause of death starting with a face infection and finally going to his brain. In his early 40’s, it is quite a loss to scouting.

These last two weekends I have not only been busy at the office but the breeze has been enough to make it a bit dangerous for me to attempt to put up storm windows alone perched on a rickety ladder, so we are not yet set for old man winter’s onslaughts. I have the furnace running however and so far the house has been comfortable.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Perhaps this would be a good occasion to send a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced written August 14th from Barrow, Alaska. He describes the perilous run from Nome to Barrow in a 44-foot powerboat, five of them, all together, as crew, the boat 5-tons overloaded on deck, running into storm after storm. “I have seen high waves off Cape Hatteras and in the North Sea but never so close to rough weather as what we ran into on the “ADA”. Conrad would have made a book out of it. None of us ever expected to see land again and I know now why men pray. Hope becomes one concentration and that a tremendous thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped and never taxed my heart as much before as we kept taking in water and more water. Finally the engine quit. One of the Eskimo crew saved the lives of all of us by getting out 9 fathoms of anchor line and holding onto the end of the line probably two minutes before he could get 2 feet of it to make a turn on the forward bit. None of us could get to him, the sea was so rough. And that was the beginning of a 24-hour battle with the devil in that deep green sea. Finally we could take it no more and made for a lagoon. Breakers were 5 miles long over shoals. When soundings showed we were in only 6 feet of water one of the men yelled “Let’s get the hell out of here.” But it was too late. We struck bottom, went over on our starboard side, shipped water to soak me from head to foot where I stood on one ear in the cabin. Water poured down into the engine room to kill engine. All we could do was to blow the foghorn to summon Eskimos in tents on shore to get out what help they could offer. All this happened so quickly, and the next breaker sucked us so hard that we went some 10 feet sideways, and then the miracle of all miracles happened. The ADA righted herself. We had been smacked over the bar. We rolled helplessly in deeper water until blown into the channel. Finally we got the engine started and motored into behind a sand spit breakwater. 15 minutes later a gang of Eskimos came aboard saying we were the luckiest people they had ever seen. We all knew that. Not one boat in a million could do the same thing again. After laying up for five days we finally made Wainright. Here we unloaded most of the freight and took on as passengers storm bound Eskimos unable to return to Barrow in their boats heavily loaded with coal. So we left there towing five whale boats and about 25 Eskimos to sweeten the forecastle and share with us the four bunks when the next storm came. We had then run into icebergs 20 feet high and were forced outside of them and land. 60 miles of this. The kids had gotten over their seasickness and there was no more rushing from below to punk pots. One woman had six children. She and all of them had been sick in my bunk. But that was nothing. After one storm I had laid down in more filth than could be found in a garbage can and never felt more clean in my life. To sleep alongside of those shipmates after trying to take what they did uncomplainingly was the finest sensation I have yet experienced. I have made four friends I shall never forget.” More at some later date.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion