Trumbull – Dear Foreign Legion – Bits Of Family News- December 13, 1942

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Trumbull, Conn., December 13, 1942

Pulchritudinous Al

Reticent Dan

Uncommunicative Ced

Dear Foreign Legion:

A real winter’s day here. The snow began last night and has been at it steadily all day – – those big, soft, fluffy flakes that pile high on bush and branch, putting a white cap on all familiar landmarks and a cloak of ermine on the ground itself.

My prospecting this week has unearthed only one nugget – – a letter from Flint, Mich., revealing Lad’s address as c/o Ordnance School, Flint Sec., Armory, 1101 Lewis St. It reveals no war secrets, but leaves one in no doubt as to Lad’s keen appreciation of feminine beauty. He says: “Due to the fact that Flint is such a friendly town and so full of really pretty girls that this is the first time I have had a free moment. I should really be ashamed of myself for not taking time to write earlier but I really have had such a good time and so thoroughly enjoyed every moment that I can’t honestly say that I am. But I’ll try to be better in the future.”

They left Aberdeen Wednesday P.M., arriving at Pittsburgh through a blizzard at 2 A.M. the following  morning. They started just before noon and reached Flint late that night. Seeking accommodations at the “Y”, no room there but a girl at the desk (a really beautiful blonde), told them her mother had an empty room. They spent Friday and Saturday nights there (no charge), and were invited to an exclusive formal dance Saturday night where they met Flint, Mich. “And boy, girls galore. And since that time I’ve had more fun that I have ever had in my life and I really mean that. It is wonderful here. I’ve met more beautiful girls here than I ever thought existed, and everyone is very friendly. If we did not have to stay at the Armory, the stay here would not cost us a cent. In fact, we turned down about six invitations for suppers because we can’t make them in four days, and next week and the following is all accounted for. And all kinds of dances – – most of them for the better society. The “Y” girl, Elizabeth (Lee) Duhaune, is of this set. Since then – – wow – – I just can’t imagine anything better.”

It would seem from the above that Lad is not exactly homesick and is manfully doing his best not to be overcome with ennui. Flint may sound hard to you and me but it has certainly resulted in a spark or two for Lad.

Last week I finally succeeded in getting a box off to Ced with knick-knacks of one sort or another for his Christmas stocking but decided to wait for a reply to last October’s inquiry as to what he wanted before I bought him a serious gift. Of course it will reach him late but I’d rather that than send something not particularly desired.

No word from Dan except through Barbara. Apparently he is still at Red Lion (Pennsylvania). I don’t know whether to address letters to him there or at Lancaster (Pennsylvania).

Dave has been home most of the week with a cold but the rest of us are O.K.

DAD

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In order to include all of the final letters of 1942 this week, I am posting this quick Christmas greeting to Ced from the Larry Peabodys here.

CDG - Christmas Card envelope from Larry Peabody, Dec., 1942

CDG - Christmas card front from Larry Peabody - Dec., 1942

Dec. 8, 1942

Dear Ced —

         Recently we received a letter from your Dad giving details and whereabouts of each of you boys. So glad to know that you are all well and to hear about your various activities.

         You have been an Alaskan for a long time so trust you must be enjoying yourself there. When you return home remember the L.K. Peabodys are now Ohioans and stop off  to visit us! We have had a grand year (in spite of the war), in our new-old home. We had a wonderful summer gardening, etc. Alan is in school now and loves it.

          We haven’t been back to N.R. (New Rochelle, New York, where most of the Peabody’s used to live)
since we came out here two years ago. Weren’t you surprised to hear that Kemper, Ethel, Grandmother and all are now living in Vt?

          Our love and very best wishes to you for a happy Christmas —

                                                                                               Marian, Larry and Alan

For the rest of the week, I will be posting the final letters of 1942. All are from Grandpa to his scattered sons.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – R-85 (2) – Dear Polar Bears – July 21, 1940

About June 12th or 13th, Dan and Ced left Trumbull, driving the Willys, bound for Seattle. They were going to ship the car to Alaska, but if that turned out to be costly, they would sell the car in Seattle and board a ship for Anchorage, where they were planning on seeing the Stolls, who, Rusty Huerlin had told them, was hiring. 

Dan, Ced and car

Daniel Beck Guion and Cedric Duryee Guion with the Wyllis.

R-85                                                                                                                          Trumbull, July 21, 1940

Dear Polar Bears:

And I don’t mean Pall Bearers, as you might infer from the number of funerals I have attended lately. (This reminds me of Billy Parks telling us one day that his father had been a polar bear at a funeral.)

Dick has been a very busy boy during his first week at Columbia Phonograph. He worked overtime every night save one until 9:30, and presumably he will be paid time and a half for overtime. He did not have to work Saturday however. I saw Mrs. Kermode the other day and she told me young George was working very hard at the aluminum company plant in Fairfield and is getting about $35 a week. He is saving most of it to go to college with the idea of taking up medicine.

To come back to Dick again, he has brought home a Krupa ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Krupa )  ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHr4XQ9SEcg )
hot record which one of the men at his plant gave him, and can purchase any records he wants at 40% discount, so that I suppose from now on my life will be hectored with hot music from these modern jazz orchestras, and you know how I’d love that.

Don (Stanley, son of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, who invited himself to Trumbull for an indefinite stay, because his mother was in the hospital and his father had a new wife and there were no young people where he was living) has been alone most of the week with both Dave and Dick working during the day, but is kept fairly busy cutting lawns. We all went to the movies Saturday afternoon, I seeing “Earthbound”   ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earthbound_%281940_film%29 ) and the boys, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney in “Andy Hardy Meets Debutante” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Hardy_Meets_Debutante ).

I am enclosing, in the hope that they will help you get jobs, the following material:

newspaper report of Dan’s Venezuela and experience.

C.C.C. certificate of merit of Dan’s survey work

letter of recommendation from the Tilo Company, (in Bridgeport, where he had been working)  for Ced

( I haven’t found a copy of any of these documents)

I see there is a New Federal Writers Project book out on Alaska, a guide to Alaska, I think it is called, which the Bridgeport library has not yet received but which I have requested when it arrives.

Your airmail letter, Ced, written on the 7th came through pretty promptly and was very interesting. The “great expectations” based on Rusty’s and the Stolls promises sort of dissolved in thin air. Reminds me of my story about not trusting anybody, even your own father. It speaks well, either for the stuff that is in you fellows or the favorable relation between the law of supply and demand in the labor market in Anchorage, that you fellows so promptly got work, even though, temporarily, it is not the choicest sort of jobs you might prefer. In your case, Ced, I think the Stolls have lost out on a good bet. I am not sure Dan would have liked that sort of work well enough to have stuck to it very long anyway. It should give you a safer feeling to know that there are funds back home you can requisition if you need them. Dick, from now on, will be paying me five dollars a week for your car and of course Dan has funds to his credit he has not yet requisitioned, and there is still more to come when we get paid by Ashcroft for his stencil cutting work.

I am rather surprised, after what I read, that milk does not cost more than it does here ($.10 a glass) as I understood dairying in Alaska is not much of an industry.

Have seen or heard nothing from Rusty, but from what Bruce said when I saw him last, Rusty is evidently still with Brita (his sister), and probably will remain there if he is depending on selling a story before earning enough funds to take him to Alaska.

I have not heard anything from the Huerlins regarding the camp (the Island in New Hampshire) and the necessary permission for the Boy Scouts to go up there the last two weeks in August. Dr. Shattuck asked me about it the other day, and thought it might be a good stunt if he got a phone connection someday and put me on to talk to them about it. Will keep you posted as to developments.

Don’t forget in writing that what may seem commonplace happenings to you is still very interesting news at home. And if each of you depend on the other fellow writing, we are apt to lose out on some of the things we would like to hear about. I still don’t know anything about the sale of the Willys.

Would you like me to send you a check next time I write just to tide you over the starting period?

I miss you both, and send lots of love, as you must know without my writing it every time.

Dad

Tomorrow, I will finish off the week with a glimpse of what Grandpa thinks about the Chicago Convention with an extract from Julius Caesar, Act I. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Brigands Large And Small (2) – Ced’s Fire And Dave’s Furlough – June 11, 1944

This is the second half of a letter started yesterday.

Cedric Duryee Guion

                            

We will have to re-baptize Ced “Arson the Second”. He’s been playing with fire again, the naughty thing. He says: “This time I picked on the poor, defenseless Fleetster, which, however, refused to bend to my will as readily as did the hangar last June. (Instead of June weddings, Ced seems to prefer fires). For myself I fared about the same as before though a little less severely. It all came about through mixing gasoline and static electricity on a warm sunny day (yesterday). Incidentally, the letter is dated May 29th, received June 5th. “Here was I nonchalantly gassing the Fleetster for a trip to Naknek, finishing filling the first tank and starting to move the gas funnel when, wham, here’s me skidding in colossal haste to the ground amidst flaming gas hose, funnel and a loud explosion from the gas tank and sheets of flame. As luck would have it, the danged wing is plywood and wouldn’t catch like fabric, so I lost my chance – – besides my eyebrows, half my mustache, a good handful of hair, and my composure. From now on I think Woodley’s gassing operations will be done only when hose, funnel and plane are grounded. Really, my listeners, you have no idea how fast it can happen. It recalls the time when Pete Linsley had the same thing happen to his old Franklin. Moral: when gassing, see that at least the metal nozzle of the hose touches the edge of the gas tank.”

His school lasts two weeks longer and then comes the test. The pre-induction physical proves his good health and it only remains for Art (Woodley, his boss and the owner of the airfield)  to use his influence (in obtaining another deferment) , or else…

Yes, Ced, you are right about the source of my information being that Kiplinger newsletter, but didn’t you notice at the bottom of their letter where it says “No quotations”, so of course I had to make it sound original. Why do you show up your old Dad in his harmless little mind wanderings? I am sure the Pamonaites (This refers to Lad and Marian, in Pomona, California) did not receive your package from Tacoma, or they would have mentioned it. Make a note to ask me to send you an asbestos suit for Christmas.

David Peabody Guion

I don’t know who is the more delighted, Dave or his sire, but the fact remains that he is coming home on an emergency furlough June 21st, the reason being, from an Army viewpoint, that the legal matters in connection with the settlement of Grandma’s estate will be up for consideration at that time. The fact that his class at Bassick (High School in Bridgeport) graduates two days later, of course, is just incidental good luck. His account of the matter is rather interesting:

“It WORKED!!! I guess I don’t need to say any more than that, but I think you might like to hear the details. I got your letter and was even more relieved than happy – – and I was plenty happy – – you can see I must’ve had quite a conscience. It still doesn’t seem quite right to me to use Grandma’s Will as an excuse to get home. Anyway, this morning I went to see the Captain. He was very informal, gave me the “at ease” right away and I stated my business. I showed him your letter and the documents from the lawyer and at the same time said, “Sir, I don’t know if the Army will consider this of enough importance to grant me a furlough because of it, but my father seems to feel that it is. I thought there would certainly be no harm in trying.” He picked it up and started to read it to himself. There I was hopes high, but common sense telling me: “you’re wasting your time, Dave”. It seemed like a whole night of guard duty before he finally looked up and said: “Yes, we’ve granted emergency furloughs for these things before. I’ll see the Colonel about it and see if we can get one for you.” It was then I realized I had done a good job of holding myself back because I was actually surprised when he said “Yes”. But the surprise quickly led to “sweet ecstasy”. So, even if it isn’t anywhere near definite I think tonight I’m the happiest of all your sons – – yes, even happier than Ced who is celebrating his birthday today, and even happier that Lad, who has the best of wives from all reports, and a furlough besides.

What it is to be young and get such a big kick out of life !

Well, I guess I’ll hobble off to bed.

DAD

Tomorrow  and Sunday, I will post more of the Early Years, with Memories of David Peabody Guion.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Dear Ced – Distinguished Service Citation – May 24, 1944

This week, I have moved forward to 1944, a time when all five of Grandpa’s sons are serving the war effort in one way or another. Lad is in California, with his new bride, Marian, training vehicle mechanics for the Army; Dan is in London, with trips to Paris, probably drawing maps for the coming Army invasion; Ced is working as an airplane mechanic at an airfield which has been taken over by the Army; Dick is in Brazil, working as an M.P. and acting as a liaison between the Army and the local workmen; Dave has been in the Army for about six months and is at Camp Crowder, Missouri, for further training before being sent overseas. 

Rusty Heurlin, taken in Alaska (2)

Magnus Colcord Heurlin (Rusty)

Nome, Alaska

May 24, 1944

Dear Ced,

Sure wish to thank you for taking care of frames for me. Will someday show appreciation for lifts you’ve given me. But plans have taken a change with me on these frames being sent here. May have you deliver them later on to someone in Anchorage who may take care of selling my work, as then would only need 2 frames — one gold and one silver to show paintings in — judge type of frame best for pictures I sent to this person in Anchorage — send picture without frame and tell him which kind to use. This is a more practical arrangement. So hold on to them until you hear from me on this score.

Cashed your money order and went to Bureau of Indian Affairs Office to pick you up some ivory. In same mail came a check from Harry Olson of Anchorage for whom I was going to do some work. But come to find out that they are sending all their ivory over  to office in Juneau. Next best thing I can do is to pick up stuff direct from natives on trips to Pt. Barrow. Will stop at Diomede where Indian Affairs got ivory, was in hopes of getting here so I will get the jump on them here over there. But what may be of greater value are whale bone baskets made farther north, as the art is slowly passing away and most all this work is real art.

Ice is still reflecting into sky blinding light. Looks like you were going to lose but Army on turning point of war with regard to invasion. We had invasion pool here – month by month — but will not take any chance until month of July. For some reason or other I peg July 5th but who cares what I think anyway. I could be wrong on this psychological analysis. That means — look it up in the dictionary!

You wouldn’t like it here — grapefruit 90 cents apiece — lemons 20 cents apiece. Why should I eat them just because they are not to be had during winter time up here? Never went in for them much before says I to greedy storekeepers so can wait till I get back on the farm someday where fruit will be a carrot (for the eyes) then pounds of tomatoes for the gut.

Was over to the flying preacher’s house at a little gathering tonight and we all turned to pages this and that and sung hymns. Find it rather difficult at times to sing with tongue in the cheek. But soon he is taking me on a trip to ___________  in the Piper Cub. Went down to Solomon with him few weeks ago and attended church with him there. Getting to be quite religious these days and seeing as much of Seward Peninsula as I can. Attended Catholic services at Nulato on way over and was invited to dinner at rectory where I had a delightful repast with Father Band and interesting evening with the 3 sisters. It is nice or good to see how the different men of the different clergy live.

How goes the flying? And how is your daffy boss treating you these days? Nothing new here — marking time only for the breakup. Old Hankus Morgenthau put his hand and seal to distinguished service citation on behalf of War Finance Program whereupon beautifully centered and over pale blue lithograph of Minute Man is this number, name, with “Rusty” written between C. H. It is a neat little tidbit of parchment but I did so want to get a Purple Heart. Feel wounded as it is, so I think that I should – Enuff stuffy stuff so’ll be writing you anon – when I have something interesting to tell you.

Best to all friends in Anchorage as ever and thanks again for taking care of the frames.

Rusty

For the rest of the week, two more letters from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Prodigal Son (2) – Ced’s Bike And Christmas – November 15, 1942

Judy_0003

Page 2    11/15/42

So you’re a bike owner now, you say. Well, under present-day conditions that might be a wise move. Where can you keep the car without spending so much for garage rent as to endanger the $10 an hour fee for airplane rides? Of course I want to see you attain the things you desire most, but when you write me about planes crashing or I read about experienced pilots wrecking their ships on mountain sides, I can’t help but wish you would get more interested in the ground end then in the flying. Incidentally, that was good news yesterday about Eddie Rickenbacher being found. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Rickenbacker  (read the story in section 6.2) Too bad you can’t get Art (Art Woodley, owner and Ced’s boss at Woodley Airfield) to let you fly one of your own planes at half price or less.

The camera purchase is interesting. Some time ago you mentioned wanting a camera so I decided that was what I was going to try to get you for Christmas. The kind Dan and Dick have, I am informed by the dealer, are under government priorities and even then are hard to get, so then I asked him to try to get me a first-class used one, but up to date he has not been able to find even that, and as I have not heard from you as to anything else you might want and the time is growing short, I am sort of up in the air as to how to handle the Alaska Christmas. Your bike seems to have everything, and what you need most for the car can’t be bought, and there I seem to stick.

Lad came home today for a weeks furlough before he goes to California via Flint, Mich., and Dan also was able to get off and come home for a short visit.

Yesterday the weather turned real cold and I lighted the furnace. Holding off this long, it is possible I have enough coal now in the bin to last me through the winter if I don’t have too many cold spells. The adjustment on the Stoker is not right in that it doesn’t seem to be burning all the coal, but with Lad home this week, maybe he can teach it to behave better.

I was glad to get the two more pages on the Farewell rescue trip and hope you can finish it soon so that I can be sure you finally got there. There is a gap in the narrative I think, but I will look it up definitely and let you know.

Wish you were going to be home for Thanksgiving. I guess neither of the boys will be able to make it. I know Lad won’t be here for Christmas.

Thanks for the clippings; also thank Rusty a lot for his brief note. I wish he would write more often and tell me more about himself, how he is getting along, his hopes and plans, etc. I wish he would walk in on us again as he did so many years ago the night we tried to suffocate him. Aunt Betty, Lad and Dave all want to be remembered to you both.

DAD

Three more letters from Grandpa to his sons far away from home will finish out the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Prodigal Son (1) – Mail And The Alaskan Highway – November 12, 1942

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn, November 15, 1942

Dear Prodigal Son:

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was a great way off his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Now to be sure I didn’t fall on my neck when I saw that letter in (PO)  Box 7, but otherwise, I know just how this old man felt, no matter whose neck he fell on. Mailed on October 30th, it reached me November 14th, which bears out what you said about the mail service not being as good as formerly. As you may observe if you get my letter written last week, I have just about made up my mind that I have imagined the importance of letters from home to be far greater then was actually the case, judging from the response they have elicited lately as compared with formerly. I note that they do seem important enough at least for you to notice when one week is skipped, which is something, but as I said before, I have reached the point now where I am getting a little hard of hearing and seem to understand actions a lot better than mere words. And when mail service is poor it but aggravates the case a little more. However, this letter to you is fairly earned. You are the only one to receive it this week however, just to prove I am in earnest.

As to the missing letter of 20th of Sept., in case it has not yet reached you, there were only two things of moment in it; one the news of Charlie Hall’s engagement to Jane Mantle, and the other far more important to me, the receipt of one of the most unique and attractive belts it has been my good fortune to ever see. It was not alone the thoughtfulness that was behind its choice or the value it bore because of the giver, but the buckle being so typically Alaskan seemed to impress everyone who saw it with its individuality and caused such comments as, “worth waiting for”, “something you can be proud to wear”, “never saw anything like it”, “truly suggestive of Alaska”, etc. It IS highly prized, I can assure you, and will give me a daily thrill of pleasure thinking of my far away Alaskan son.

Am glad to learn you received the Readers Digest, the McK & R ditty bag and Briggs clarifier. Carl asked me the other day if I had heard from you as to whether it was the right size. I was also glad to get that first-hand information about the Alaskan Highway and particularly what Dick refers to as the Chickaloon extension. Who knows but what if you continue to be anchored in Anchorage, I will be dusting off the old Buick and starting on a long journey, provided the government will let one buy tires and gas, and you will eventually find me knocking at the door of (PO) box 822.

The information contained on the back of the last page is surprising. I don’t understand the psychology behind it any more than you but think you did the right thing.

Tomorrow I’ll post the last page of this letter to Ced, which had actually been mailed well prior to the last letter Grandpa wrote, threatening to stop writing his weekly missives unless he started receiving letters in return. But in true Grandpa fashion, he sends this letter to Ced alone, thus confirming for both Ced and Dick that he is serious. More letters from Grandpa will fill out the week.

Judy Guion

Life in Anchorage, Alaska – Itinerary and Job Prospects (2) – July 13, 1940

DBG - 1st letter from Anchorage, July, 1940

After the Fourth we both got jobs through the Employment Agency; Ced with Glover’s Super Service Station and I with Mrs. Baldwin as grocery clerk. Both jobs were temporary, at least as far as we were concerned. Ced has landed another job with Woodley Airways as General Service man. His pay is less than the Glover job, but he will get a toehold in Aviation, which is his aim. He starts work Monday with Woodley (July 15). I lost my job with Mrs. Baldwin yesterday at noon. She had found a permanent clerk, who may or may not last. She has had about five or six clerks since the Air Base began taking her men from her. She is hard to get along with, they say. The men usually quit after a week, or a few days. I got along very well with her, having been forewarned at the Employment Office that she was hard to work for.

I have three irons in the fire, each in connection with surveying. One is the Air Base here at Anchorage. Another is the Air Base at Kodiak. The third is the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which is putting in Air Beacons etc., all over Alaska. They do surveying work, of course, preliminary to construction. The latter job, I think, would prove the most interesting, since I would not be stationed in one town. The work is in the interior, and I would have a better chance to see more of Alaska, giant mosquitoes notwithstanding.

When we sold the car in Seattle, we needed the cash to buy our tickets. We had decided that the money in the bank in Bridgeport, which is mine, would pass to you, Dad, in payment for the car. Both Ced and I would feel better about the whole thing if you would buy a new car; at least one better than the Precocious Lemon. Ced saw a car like the Lemon sold for over $300 here!

Since leaving home we have received only two letters from you, Dad, one in Seattle and one in Anchorage. The latter was postmarked July 1, and is the only mail we have received since leaving Seattle! Either the mail is slow, or the letters have not been addressed properly (c/o Gen’l. Del., Anchorage, Alaska), we do not know. The only other mail was from Barbara and Jean, Seattle. (One from Barbie (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), two from Jean (Ced’s special friend). I have made a few inquiries, and it seems that airmail is best. A new service has been opened with Fairbanks, so that it is possible to send airmail from here to the states (“outside”) completely by air except from Anchorage to Fairbanks (train). It should not take any longer than five or six days, at the most. I shall send all my mail by air, and I should like to know how it fares. Our address, until further notice, will remain Gen. Del., Anchorage.

Dust, canning salmon, and drunken Indian women are the highlights of Anchorage so far. I don’t know yet whether or not I like it. I hope I can get to the interior, anyhow. Regards to all. Tell them to write. I’ll answer all letters received!

Dan

Ced sends hugs and kisses.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting the Memories of Richard Peabody Guion during the Early Years.

Judy Guion

Life In Anchorage, Alaska – Itinerary and Job Prospects (1) – July 13, 1940

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel  Beck Guion

Ced Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

Hotel Hopkins

July 13, 1940

Dear “Outsiders”,

This is the first letter I have written to youse since leaving, and, although I have not yet become permanently settled, I can catch you up to me, at least.

I have noted a distinct interest in the two letters we have received from Dad about how far we traveled each day. I shall give you our itinerary, but first will qualify it by admitting that Ced might have told you already. I have left everything to him when it came to writing home while I (blush) have written only to Barbara (Barbara Plumb, his girlfriend).

(This is a list of all the places they slept on the trip west)

Thursday, June 13, Kane, Pa.

June 14, Draz’s barn, Chagrin Falls, Wisc.

June 15, Grain Field, Walworth, Wisc.

June 16, Peabody Farm, Wisc.

June 17, Frank Peabody’s, St. Paul, Minn.

June 18, Badlands, S. Dak.

June 19, Wildcat, Wyo.

June 20, Gillespie’s, Missoula, Mont.

June 21, Blewett’s Pass, Washington

June 22, Seattle, about noon. Slept on beach first night.

June 23 – 25, YMCA Hotel, Seattle

June 26 – 28, Inland Passage, arrived Ketchikan

June 29, arrived at Juneau 4:30 A.M.

June 30, arrived Cordova

July 1, arrived the Valdez

July 2, arrived Seward, took train to Anchorage.

July 2 – present, Anchorage (2 – 7 at Anchorage Hotel; 7 – present at Hopkins Hotel).

Our first afternoon in Anchorage we found Mr. Stohl who was tersely polite upon learning that we were friends of Rusty, but he said there was nothing for us at the mine but he was sure we could find work in Anchorage. We went to a few of the offices, and learned that new arrivals from  the “outside” (Cheechakos) were not being accepted on the Government’s Air Base project, since there was an ample supply of Alaskans who were looking for work, but it should not be hard to find other employment. We registered at the Employment Office, and were told that the Rail Road was advertising for men, their employees having left to get better wages with the Air Base. So Ced and I went down to the RR office next AM, underwent a physical examination, and were told that we could go to work after the Fourth. In the meantime, we discovered that any man who worked on the RR could not quit for a job on the Air Base, and no man who had quit the RR could return later! It seemed best, then, to post – pone the RR job until we had exhausted the other possibilities.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter with more job information and other pieces of news.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion (8) – 1940 – 1986

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

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

These are the memories of Cedric Duryee Guion, Grandma and Grandpa’s third child and third son.

Ced @ 1945

Cedric Duryee Guion

About 1940-41, things were getting red-hot.  Major Marston was up there in charge of the Alaskan Defense Command.  He was based in Anchorage.  Rusty made friends with him – he made friends with everyone he talked to.  He met Governor Gruening of Alaska through Major Marston.  Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re gonna do?  Major Marston says that the Governor wants to go around the whole perimeter of Alaska and try to develop a reasonable defense system for Alaska.  I guess it was Major Marston’s idea.  Major Marston said, ”None of us know anything about Alaska, the Eskimos, the Indians.  We should go around and meet these native people.  They know the land and if any problems develop with the days coming, we’d be lost.  We wouldn’t know what to do.’ He said, ‘We want to get an Alaskan Defense going with native people.’ Gruening says, ‘Well, you know what?  I don’t know any.  I’m the governor of this territory and I’d like to go around with you and meet these people that I’m supposed to be Governor of’.  So Rusty sat and listened to all this talk and he said, “You wouldn’t want to take me along, would you?  I’ve had this in the back of my mind for years, that I would like to do a series of pictures on the discovery of Alaska”.  His whole goal, idea and the love of his life was Alaska.  He said, “I’d like to have a chance to go around to all these places, make sketches.”  “OK, come on along.”  they said.  That’s where he got this series of eighteen pictures, starting with the fellow who came from Russia, sailed to Alaska and took it for the Russians.  That was the first painting, he did the Gold Rush and sixteen others.  This was after he moved to Fairbanks.

Rusty - Pioneerland - Rusty's Panels

Rusty moved to Fairbanks and got married.  He was probably in his 60s, and he married a girl from the Fairbanks News.  At this point he decided that he would teach Art so he got a job teaching Art at the University.  He did that for quite a while.  After he got these pictures done, the University said to him, “Why don’t we set up a building for you and fix it with a huge rotating platform and you can put these eighteen pictures all the way around the building.”  They talked it over and they got the Poet Laureate of Alaska to narrate the story.  He did a beautiful job and that’s up there.  If you ever get to Alaska, you should see it in Fairbanks.  Alaska is different than any other state.  This place is out of town about 10 miles or so.  It’s a park sort of thing.  They have a huge boat there that they have on display, probably like the boats they used up there.  This one building is all Rusty’s pictures.  They also have a museum and other historic stuff.

Rusty was an amazing person.  He did posters during the War with “Uncle Sam Needs You” on them.  We (Ced, his wife, Fannie, and his sister, Elizabeth) went to the University of Alaska, we told them what we were after, they took us down to the basement and showed us some of his work.

Ced planned this trip to visit with Rusty, introduce his wife and re-introduce Rusty to Elizabeth, whom he hadn’t seen since she was a child. Unfortunately, Rusty passed away in March, only 3 months before Ced was to visit. I believe his trip to the University of Alaska and seeing some of Rusty’s work in the basement was bittersweet.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are serving in the Army, receiving Training for their units.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion (7) – 1924 – 1945

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

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

These are the memories of Cedric Duryee Guion, Grandma and Grandpa’s third child and third son.

Blog - The Island

The Island

When we first went to the Island, probably about 1924 or 1925, there was nothing on it at all.  We’d take a tent.  My Dad would load up the big old touring car.  To begin with, we used a canoe and a rowboat to get out to the Island.  Later, Lad and his buddies built the barge that was hand-built in Trumbull.  It was 15 or 16 feet long, it had a square bow and a flat bottom.  It was always nice to have when you are moving your stuff out to the Island.  Then the guys started getting motorboats, outboards, a lot handier to go here and there.

Spring Island - Transportation @ 1960s - Utility Barge, rowboat (Lad)

The Barge

The barge was used to move the Cook Cabin.  Lad and some of his friends went to the mainland and bought a garage.  They sawed it in half, put it on the barge and brought it to the Island.  They made it into the kitchen shack.

The Island belonged to the Heurlin’s and they let us use it.  We used it long before we bought it.  Through Rusty, we met his family.  His mother and father came over from Sweden, his father spoke with a strong accent.  He was a Custom’s Agent in Boston.  They were a nice couple, they lived in Wakefield, Massachusetts, in a nice house.

Rusty Heurlin gave my mother a painting – it was a rather famous one – he was very fond of her.  He was younger then my Mother and Father by a little.  We did a lot with him – we’d go hiking with him.  He made quite a name for himself.  All his life he lived by sponging.  He was so charismatic that he could get away with it.  He walked out of school, he took Art lessons, he was a hobo for a while.  The only thing that really interested him was painting.  He spent all his life painting beautiful pictures.  He was a good artist but he didn’t make any money at it.  He knew all the artists in Westport – Red Heurlin – they knew Red Heurlin and they loved him.  He loved dogs, oh, he loved dogs with a passion.  There are a lot of his paintings around Fairbanks, Alaska, at the University of Alaska, in banks and in hospitals.  They’re mostly outdoor scenes, some have to do with the early settlers, the Russians.  Colcord Heurlin – he always signed C. Heurlin.

One painting did more to make him famous than anything else he did.  Rusty made friends, he lived with me for a time in Anchorage.  He made pictures.  He made a mural, he filled the whole wall with it, for one of the bars in town, a whole Hawaiian scene.  He used to drink quite heavily at times.  I’d come home at three or four o’clock in the morning and he’d be painting.  We lived with an old Norwegian guy named George, he slept in the upstairs room, you had to climb up a ladder. I worked for the airline there, mostly Bush piloting – scheduled passenger service came later – but most of the time I was there, it was all Bush pilot’s.  Rusty and I would go down to George’s living room, George was a bachelor.  Rusty would paint in that living room until three or four in the morning.  During the day he’d go out partying up and down the street.  They called it the longest bar in Alaska – that was Main St. in Anchorage.

Tomorrow, more of the Early Years with the last portion of the Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion. Next weekend, I will begin the Memories of Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel.

Judy Guion