Trumbull – Dear Boy Backsliders (2) – October, 1941

Page 2    10/18

Things at the office are still hectic and are adding to my stock of gray hair. George’s sister comes in after school afternoons to take care of what mimeographing jobs have come in and Dave does the same in an effort to take care of the multi-graphing jobs. George comes in when asked to do so at night, when we get in a jam and Miss Denes comes in once a week to take care of bookkeeping and billing. I have another new girl, a Mrs. Papineau, who spends most of her time on the graphotype trying to catch up on an accumulation of Addressograph work, but she is rather slow. I got a letter from a man named Hoffman last week who says he understands letter shop work and I have asked him to call Monday. In consequence of all this, I don’t get home to get the supper started until about six, which makes it 7:30 or eight before we are through. This sort of spoils the evening for the boys, which bothers me, although they put a cheerful face on the whole affair. I am also concerned about Dave not having sufficient time for homework after working all afternoon at the office, having no time for recreation unless he neglects his studies. Added to all this, I don’t hear from you boys in a month (there he goes again) and you have a resume of a worried father’s problems. Offsetting this, Aunt Betty sets so good an example of cheerfulness under all circumstances that we all get by cheerfully and in good spirits. However, don’t let that stop your letters home. (I think it was Cato in ancient Rome who, in speaking in the Senate on any or all subjects, always ended with the words, “Carthage must be destroyed”). Get it?

Zeke, I understand, is working nights now and earns $80 a week. (And the hunting season has just started also)

Charlie Kurtz and Jess Woodhull were here this afternoon trying to sell me on the idea of having the attic floors insulated, claiming it will

Richard (Dick) Guion

make an unbelievable difference in the ease of heating the house. They measured up the place and will give me an estimate. Dan has just purchased a new projector for his kodascope stills, claiming it is a birthday present to himself from Dan. It certainly has a wonderful set of Alaskan views, sunsets, etc. and they make a very interesting evening showing.

I forgot to tell you in last week’s letter, Dick, that your Annapolis friend, I learned from his parents, has been in an Army hospital for several months, having been in an automobile accident after enlisting, which resulted in a fractured skull. He is getting along all right now.

There comes a point in every letter when one runs out of news and one sits and drums with his fingers on the table thinking, trying to think of something else to say. I have now reached that point and drum as I will, nothing seems to materialize, so even though the page is not full up, circumstances force me to bring this dark and haunting epistle to a close. Summing it all up, there is one thought I want to leave with you (there he goes again), and that thought I shall not put in words but shall leave in your fertile imagination to guess.

DAD

Tomorrow I’ll be continuing the story of Mary E Wilson as she wrote it. Quite an interesting story.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1943 as the relationship between Lad and Marian continues to develop.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Boy Backsliders (1) – October, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., October 18, 1941

Dear boy backsliders (but dear nevertheless):

Judy_0003This is getting to be a very one-sided correspondence. Do you realize that I haven’t heard from either of you since Dan left? That was, what? Sept. 18th? Just a month today, if so. Dan says: “That just shows what happens without ?????????????????????me there to keep them lined up in the matter of letter writing regularly.” I think Aunt Betty is getting a bit concerned because every night when I come home she asks if I have heard from the boys yet. I do hope there will be something in the mailbox tomorrow. You didn’t even fill in my questionnaire which would be a simple thing to do and would only take a few minutes. I will even send you a stamped, addressed envelope if that will help. I hate to start in every letter in this vein but it is a matter quite close to my heart and I do wish you both would exert a little willpower and grab off a few spare ten minutes here and there so that so long an interval will not elapse. Why don’t each of you make it a rule to write every other week, even if it is only a few lines. Surely this will not be a hardship. If I should stop writing for a month (which I don’t intend to do) wouldn’t you get the least bit anxious? Or wouldn’t you? Someday I suppose you will sit down and write, “Cut out this letter complaint. You ought to have learned by this time it does not accomplish any results anyway.” So be it, and I’ll go on with what meager news there is.

?????????????????Aunt Betty is coming along finely. All this week she has been down in the kitchen the better part of the day. Miss Pack, the visiting nurse, comes in the morning, gets Aunt Betty fixed up and down stairs for lunch. I have brought the nickel pipe armchair in the kitchen and she spends most of the afternoon and that until we get home at night. She then has supper with us after which I take her up to bed. She is gradually, but definitely, getting back the use of her hand. The doctor did not come at all this week. The nurse tells her she is making real progress.

Mrs. Warden and her new baby are back from the hospital. Paul has changed the location of the stove to the other side of the mantel. Dan is working at a machine in the Producto Co., which requires his constant dipping his hand in kerosene which has resulted in sort of a skin burn similar in its result to sunburn in that the skin peels from his hands. There is a rumor that he will be given another job this next Tuesday. He has now a driver’s license and in consequence, he planned to go to New York this afternoon for his trunk. His first intention was to take my car but he finally persuaded Lad to drive down in his car with Cecilia (Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) and Dan with Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) and after getting the trunk loaded on, I suppose they will have supper somewhere and make a night of it – – possibly taking in some show. I have recommended Fantasia ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032455/ ). They started from here about 2:30 in order to make this possible and still have Cecelia in the party (The Mullins were planning on a 3 o’clock dinner today) we invited Cecelia over here to dinner.

In the town the drive for the ambulance fund is on. Saturday night’s paper reported the collection of $800 of the $3000 goal. The drive ends next Wednesday and they are counting on doing quite a bit of soliciting today, so I’m waiting to see what total will be reported tomorrow night. I composed and processed the letter which was sent out in advance of calls and naturally I am interested in what results they bring.

Last night, Dan and Dave and the gang went bowling in Long Hill.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this lettr, including more news from Trumbull, to Ced and Dick, both still in Alaska.

Over the weekend, more from the Autobiography of Nary E Wilson.

Judy Guion

Blog – Army Life (2) – More News From Alaska – July, 1945

This is the continuation of Ced’s long letter I started yesterday.

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

As to flying, perhaps you could find me an airplane cheap. Seriously, the more I think of it, the more I think it would be smarter for me to buy one instead of paying rental on planes here. The cheapest I can fly for is $7.50 an hour and I need at least 150 hours more. That makes $1125 and nothing to show for it but the flying time and experience. The Army is releasing some of the small ships which they used for observation purposes. If I could get an Aeronca Chief or a Taylorcraft or some such thing, I might be money ahead. I think the Army is selling them for around $750 as is. Most need repairs but some need very little. My thought is that if I could get one of these, spend a few dollars on repairs and licensing, I would not only get my flying time a little cheaper but would have something material out of it. As for purchasing wherewithal I would have to scrape up the cash somehow, as the Army, I don’t think, would like a time payment plan. If Dan would permit me, I might sell the car and use that money toward a plane paying him back on time. The biggest hitch is finding the plane as I think I could promote the money. Perhaps the fellows in the apartment could steer you onto something. There were also some good buys on the civilian market, but they are probably not quite as much for the money. If something were available back there, I could perhaps take time off,  home to Trumbull on a flying trip, and fly the ship back up here. Then next time I wanted to go to Trumbull, it would be just a matter of packing up the plane and get going. This is perhaps all a pipe dream but I’m enjoying it and if you happen to run across something let me know, post haste. In the meantime I am looking around for whatever I can see and paying from $7.50 to $10 an hour. A plane similar to those I mentioned, in this country, would run from $2500 to $4000, which is slightly beyond my means. Ask Marian if she could get me a helicopter for $25 down and the rest when they catch me.

I must finish that trip history before I forget that I went on it. I’ll try to include another installment in the next issue. Dave’s moccasins will be on the way soon. I haven’t been able to get them yet but I think this coming week will turn the tide. Now as regards the much discussed touring, all arrangements at Trumbull should be comparatively simple. There should be someone interested in renting the house in the event you care to leave on an extended vacation after the war. They should be willing to take over the apartment care if the rent was reasonable, and of course Dave and Aunt Betty would either stay there or moving to other quarters, whichever seemed the most adaptable to all concerned. At any rate, it seems to me that a trip such as you mention would be a swell one to take and maybe things can be worked out so that I can start from here and join you somewhere along the road. Perhaps I would fly on ahead and spied out a trail for you in case the highway was too bad. Seriously, it would be fun to start by car from here and go all the way down through the U.S., stopping at the national parks and wonders which Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie have raved about, and continuing on through Central America. Wouldn’t a house trailer be a good investment on a trip such as that? Maybe the roads wouldn’t be good enough to take a heavy trailer over, but if they were, and from what I’ve heard of trailers or tourists, it would be a most enjoyable way to go and perhaps as inexpensive as any other way and less than most. We could

page 3 of Ced’s letter

carry a tent for extra sleeping and use the trailer as a cook shack and base camp. Of course, it would be most enjoyable and a WOW of a trip if the whole caboodle clan Guion and spouses could gather together enough rolling stock and equipment to make the trip together, and I for one would be for it, but I suppose that due to circumstances beyond our control, that would be difficult to manage. However it is something to think about and to work for. Well, I sure have wandered about in this letter and romanced plenty.

Now let’s get down to facts again. Art Woodley is again in the states to see about new planes, new routes, etc. All planes are now running again. Thursday of this coming week, the fishing season closes and again we have that mad rush evacuating the fisherman. At least we are better situated to handle the rush then we have been for a long time.

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

Latest rumor, unconfirmed, is that Rusty is coming back to Anchorage to live. Walter Stoll told me that John Manders had a letter from Rusty to that effect. I have not written him lately nor have I heard from him for five or six weeks. The city of Anchorage has finally oiled many of the streets to keep down the dust, a move which I have felt necessary since Dan and I arrived here in 1940. There is an amusement park at the east end of town opening soon. It consists of a merry-go-round and an airplane loop-the-loop. There are now some 90 odd licenses in the city for the dispensing of retail and wholesale liquor. Whoops, my dear, what a fair city we have, hic, hic. The community hall has been converted into a hospital for venereal diseases, which are on the sharp increase hereabouts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bolivar_Buckner_Jr.

The successor to Gen. Buckner, Gen. Mittlestedt, has threatened to call “off-limits” many places in Anchorage if the condition isn’t cleared up quickly. So much for the dirt. To Jean, bon voyage and a pleasant landing. Marian, I hope such joy as Jean is experiencing will soon be yours. To Aunt Betty I promise a letter in the near future. Till then, to all a good night.

Tomorrow, Grandpa gives us the complete letter from Lad, who is somewhere in Southern France. On Thursday, letters from Dan and Dick and on Friday, a letter from Dave and Grandpa’s comments.

Judy Guion

Blog – Army Life (1) – News From Alaska – July, 1945

Grandpa hit the jackpot this week. He received letters from all five sons and he is thrilled to share the entire letters in this 6-page missive to all family members. I will be posting this one letter for the entire week. Enjoy catching up on the activities of each son away from Trumbull and the Homestead.

Copy of a letter from Ced, postmarked July 24th and addressed to M. Alfredeau de Guion, Baux 7, Trumbull, Conn.

The ski club scheduled a hike and picnic for today (Sunday) but the weather was stinko this morning, consequently the trip was called off. Lad has been doing such a wonderful job of writing and answering your letters that he puts me to shame. So in humility I shall attempt in part to make recompense. To Lad you say he is probably hardest hit by being situated as he is. Reasoning is good and I think you are perhaps right. I hope, whatever happens, that he will find it not too depressing (witness Dave’s glowing account of the beauties of Okinawa). There is always the assurance that each day is one nearer to home, no matter how you look at it. Dan – – ah, there’s a fellow – – our Monsieur Guion. I keep telling all the girls at the office that I’ll write him and Paulette one fine day – – weather sure MUST be stinko – – and for sure I will. I should also take up French but time is so scarce. Perhaps by now Chiche and Dan are probably hitched. I hope so, at any rate, as it must be heartbreaking to have to keep putting off such an important thing in one’s life. How I would like to have been there to witness the ceremony and properly welcome the bride and groom – – wouldn’t we all.

Dave mentions my flying down to Okinawa on a visit. What does he think is going to happen when I fly over Paramushiro? Of course the Japs don’t give much opposition in the air anymore, but if a poor little puddle-jumper such as I happened along, I’m afraid my gas might be so low at that point that I’d have to stop for more, and while it might be fun to steal some Jap gas, it would be a little foolhardy, don’t you think? I’d sure like to be able to do just that tho, Dave.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion  (Ced)

Now you wonder about my future plans. They are not too definite yet but I hope to get a commercial pilot’s license. If I stay in the flying game it will be as a pilot – – of that I am quite sure. Flying is becoming safer every day and I don’t expect to get into trouble. I wish you were up here this afternoon and I’d take you up for a spin. Should we get into trouble, I expect I could land almost anywhere with little or no scratches. The plane might suffer considerable damage but occupants would be comparatively safe. For the present I am sitting tight awaiting developments up here. I’m afraid this will not satisfy your requests for information, but we have this in common. I am just about as set on what to do as the proverbial tumbleweed, which puts me in exactly the same category as yourself concerning my plans.

To Jean and Dick it must be a lovely world just at the moment. I am interested in Dick’s answer to your question as to whether or not he is still expecting to come to Alaska. It might be that I could do something for him in the event he is still serious about it. As to your plans for Dave at the office, I suspect he is going to stoop to a little subversive activity to prolong the war. Certainly the easy life of a soldier stalking through swamps, sleeping on tree stumps, guns firing near misses now and then, nasty officers asking and requiring the impossible, would be a picnic beside the task of upholding a schedule such as you line up. Just because you lean to the Superman-style is no reason you must expect it from your youngest son. Dave’s letter about being in Okinawa was a little worrisome for a while but he came through with flying colors. Incidentally, neither he nor you seem to have realized that Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, killed just a few days before the end of the Okinawa campaign, was commanding general of the Alaska Defense activities, stationed here at Fort Richardson from 1940 through 1944. He was credited with saving Alaska from the Japs, owned land here on which he intended to build and it was here he planned to live after the war. He resided in a house in Anchorage for some time prior to the outbreak of hostilities, along with his wife and family. Rusty has been

Page 2 of Ced’s letter

at several parties at which he was a guest and knew him quite well. I never met him but have seen him many times on the street and at civic and Army gatherings. Dave’s mention of having seen him a few days before his death interested me, and more so, the remarks on his popularity. While here in Alaska he was quite well-liked, both in and out of Army circles. I suppose there were many who didn’t like him but the vast majority seemed quite taken with him. He was a heavy drinker but held it well.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Bolivar_Buckner_Jr.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of Ced’s very long letter (two and a half typed pages from Grandpa. I don’t have Ced’s original). Letters from the other sons will appear later in the week.

Judy Guion

 

Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (15) – From Grandma Peabody – Bus Accident in Ossining – July, 1934

Grandma Peabody

Grandma Peabody-Anna Charlotta Westlin Peabody

(Grandma Arla’s mother)

August eight

Dear Cedric,

I was so relieved when I received your card telling of being at Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Nora’s. You did not state how long you expected to stay with them but I am taking a chance hoping this letter will find you still there on the farm.

It’s wonderful to know you are meeting so many of the relatives. I’m sure you will enjoy knowing them all. Don’t you think Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Nora very nice? I fell in love with her when I met her.

Last Sunday afternoon Burton (Peabody) and I went over to Trumbull, having received a letter from Elizabeth inviting us, also telling us Aunt Corinne was there on a visit. I don’t suppose you remember her very much, do you? It was nice to see the family again. Laddie and Daniel were home. Dickey was away at camp. They all seemed fine.

Monday afternoon I was very pleasantly surprised by Anne (Peabody Stanley)and Dorothy (Peabody, Arla’s sisters) arriving unannounced. They are both fine. Aunt Anne expects to leave for Vermont the latter part of this week. Uncle Larry (Peabody) and Aunt Marian are leaving today. If you could hitchhike to Vermont too, you would have some more happy times.

Things here in Ossining are running along the usual way again. That gruesome accident made quite a stir up. ( http://archives.chicagotribune.com/1934/07/23/page/1/article/14-are-killed-in-bus-crash-23-others-hurt)  (https://www.facebook.com/HistoricOssining/posts/559085660800614) It was horrible. Most of those injured were brought up St. Paul’s Place to the hospital which is some blocks away on the street above us. Also the dead were taken to the undertaker who lives on the other side of St. Paul’s Church. As only one person could be carried in the ambulance and trucks, it took a long time before all were cared for. There was such a clanging of bells, and noise from autos. Hundreds of autos passed our place. Burton (Peabody) was very busy getting all possible information and did not get home till after midnight. One young man lost his father, mother and a sister, 13 years old.

Today’s papers are telling again of the terrible heat wave in the middle west, and that we will get it. Thermometer shows 80° today. I would love to hear from you again. Please give my love to everyone and keep a lot for yourself.

Lovingly,

Grandma

Tomorrow, we hear from Ced who is now in Star Prairie, Wisconsin. On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters from 1943. Lad has met Marian and he even wrote home about her so I guess things are going well for them.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Hart, Schaffner and Marx (2) – Questionnaires – September, 1941

Dan in white jacket in Alaska

D A N

(To  be filled in with adequate detail, and returned promptly to  ADG)

What has become of your Spanish class and typewriter instruction course? Are you now taking any other education courses? WHY?

Are you devoting any time to cultural activities, such as reading, study, church, music, etc. Give details.

What are your principal recreations? Give example of typical week.

What is state of your health? Are you troubled with irregular bowel movements, colds, headaches, anything else (No wisecracks — this is serious) are you taking care of your teeth and eyes?

A you putting aside a definite sum of money in bank or other savings depository? Do you budget your money? If not, will you?

Name three articles you would like as Christmas gifts. (Give details)

What would you suggest as a wedding gift for Rusty?

Do you want your auto driver’s license renewed in Connecticut?

What became of your Home Building and Loan book?

Other remarks:

Judy_0003

C E D

(Please fill out and return promptly)

Are you eating in restaurants or have you located another regular eating place?

How many solo hours have you now to your credit Western Mark (Saw Dive Bombers, a new movie, yesterday, and would just as leave have you on the ground)

Did you ever receive the shoe holder I ordered sent to you?

Would you boys like any of the following: a portable shower outfit, heating pad, small electric fan for steering wheel of car?

Name three gifts you would like for Christmas (no kidding)

What wedding gift would you suggest for Rusty?

How much money are you able to save over living expenses and what you sent me Western Mark how are you investing it?

What are your regular hours of work? Do you have much over time?

Give example of typical week as far as recreation is concerned.

Have you continued in any of your singing activities or church affiliations ?

Do keep fairly free from colds? Do you have sneezing spells up there like you did here? Are you troubled with headaches, indigestion? Have you had your teeth looked over recently ?

Did you pass your flying exam without any reservations ?

Remarks:

?????????????????????

D I C K

(Please fill in promptly and fully and return at once to A.D.G.)

Refer to my letter of July 13 asking for details about your job. Please give full details below.

What are you doing about selling my old movie camera?

What became of your Home Building and Loan deposit book?

Please tell me what packages of birthday gifts you received as several shipments were made at different times as I want to be sure you received them all.

Name three articles you would like as Christmas gifts.

What would you suggest as a wedding gift for Rusty?

Have you a budget and are you making regular planned savings as you intended to do?

In such leisure time as you have what are your recreations?

Are your teeth or eyes troubling you? You have trouble with your bowels? Headaches? Indigestion? Colds? Anything else?

Please give a description of what happened on your birthday.

Other remarks:

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a newspaper article about Dan’s Labor Day trip to the Kenai Peninsula.The article includes excerpts from Dan’s letter to Grandpa about his impressions, in Dan’s unique style of writing. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to the Trio in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Hart, Schaffner and Marx (1) – Grandpa’s Letter – September, 1941

 

Dan in white jacket in Alaska

Trumbull, Sept. 7, 1941

Dear Hart, Schaffer & Marx:

Today I have the ambition of a louse. If you have ever been a louse you will know exactly how I feel. Loosing one ambish with each sneeze for the last 10 days leaves the score minus something, so that it has been difficult indeed to lash up enough energy to get started on this miserable piece of English composition.

There was a rift in the clouds this week occasioned by receipt of a letter from Dan and a letterette from Dick, but such is the ingratitude and insatiable appetite of man, that already I am hoping for more this week in order to even up the score which is been so one-sided for so long a period.

As to Dan’s comments about cigar smoking, it seems to me it was just about a year ago next week that you wrote me about another cigar smoking episode involving a Rossi that you and one Swanson donated to your boss Bud Johnson. Is this cigar yearning a recurring annual event such as hay fever? Does it help you to write inspired letters? If so, I shall be tempted to send you a box. (I do not refer to the w.k. pine box). It may be your vacation trip to the peninsular villages would loosen a flood of descriptive waterfalls, some of which might get diverted to P.O. Box 7. The check you sent is being credited to your account. Thanks also for the pictures. These together with the others you have sent I have turned over to Barbara, as she has so many more that we and anyway, it is not possible to see them properly without the use of Helen’s projector. Which reminds me, if you want to know what I would like to have for Christmas, that’s it. I mean a projector with which to display some of the wonderfully colored little art gems you have sent home. They are really exceptionally beautiful. You will know if you have seen them projected on a screen, but cannot appreciate their beauty otherwise. The consensus of opinion seems to be that for scenic views and still life they are better than the colored movie films. Some of your shots were really of a place alongside the paintings of Corot or Turner. With two movie cameras up there and funds with which to purchase films I am surprised we have not received more Alaskan films recently.

Will somebody please tell me whether any of you were able to contact Dr. Laszlo. I know he was looking forward to seeing you. Possibly I was too enthusiastic in my build up with the corresponding letdown if none of you could spare the time to get away to meet him at the station or dock or what not.

Grandma and Dorothy left Wednesday and are now installed in a new apartment. The visit did Dorothy lots of good.

As questionnaires seem to be a popular national pastime these days, I am enclosing one for each of you boys, which will be one method of getting answers to some of the questions that arise in one’s mind from time to time.

Maybe I’ll feel more like writing next week. Right now I can’t think of any news anyway, other than the usual Aunt Betty sends love, Dave has started back to school and likes his teachers, Carl received a letter from Ced, Dad sneezes and wheezes, etc. So with a hail (Spelled Hell) to the lowly ragweed, this is station D A D signing off.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the questionnaires for each son.

On Wednesday, I’ll be posting a newspaper article about Dan’s trip to the Kenai Peninsula which includes excerpts from a letter he wrote to Grandpa telling of his experiences and impressions.

Judy Guion