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

Life in Alaska – Dear Ced – One More Request – April 27, 1944


Cedric Duryee Guion

Nome, Alaska
April 27, 1944

Dear Ced,
Here we come to the unpleasant matter of Lloyd E Jensen and C Heurlin. What can I say about it? What can I do about it? I ordered them before Xmas and he has just gotten around to making them for me. Pictures this size will be my best sales for the next year over this way and I got six frames in only too insignificant a number with which to carry on, however, invaluable for showing pictures and if I can see them without the frames.
On leaving Anchorage I went out with a clean slate but for a balance of $25 to George Rengard and what I.O.U. I spent $300 in getting straightened out. Sure wish I could have taken care of bill to you but felt I could leave it to the more graceful going away if I squared up with merchants in Anchorage. If you still have faith in this old bum and are able to do something about getting frames for me – send Jensen a money order right away and in it a note to have him ship frames to you. Better use typewriter for that stubborn dumbkoff –

“Kindly ship Mr. Heurlin’s frames to me as soon as possible. He is in the Arctic and has left many pictures with me to frame. I cannot dispose of these paintings for him until they are framed so will greatly appreciate receiving them from you on next boat north.
Sincerely yours
Cedric Guion
Anchorage, Alaska”

I have given you a lot of headaches in the past – this to do and that to do and you never have asked a thing of me. Well, hope you don’t sigh too heavily over this. I have to make close to $1000 in a short time before I go up north. But once there with a year’s grubstake with me, I will start going ahead and with plenty of speed to clear up any debts with you. I have hated like hell to ask another favor of you, but boy! If you could possibly take care of it I will make sure of one thing in the days to come and that will be to see that you come out on top for this last big favor.
I will make arrangements with Gordon McKenzie to pick up these frames from you and get them to me with his careful handling.
Now to take care of one last piece of business and then to hit the sleeping bag.


Tomorrow, Grandpa’s reply to Marian’s ribbing.  

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – To Cedric Guion, Scavenger – A TO DO LIST from Rusty Heurlin – April 20, 1944

The following is a letter from Rusty,  (Magnus Colcord Heurlin) a very good friend of the family and who would become a very well known Alaskan Artist. He has left Anchorage and is traveling with Major Marston, in charge of Security for Alaska, and Governor Greuning, who wants to meet the various natives he is governing. Rusty is along to sketch and will use much of this material in future paintings of Alaskan life.

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - April, 1944

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - signature page - April, 1944

Nome, Alaska

April 20, 1944

Cedric Guion


Anchorage, Alaska

Dear Ced,

Spent the afternoon out at airbase here going over air manifests but could find no entrance reports on any 4 pieces shipped from Anchorage. A Lieut. Ladrak suggested I write you  to check what plane the stuff went on – see if it was Troop Carrier 3541, a C 47 plane which left Anchorage on the 7th of March. He thinks the bag was returned if put on the plane and that it may be in the Air Cargo Warehouse at Anchorage airbase. If you locate it there, have them ship it again with Army tag attached which has a stub number, clip off stub and mail to me.

Sorry to put you to all this work. I know nothing will be done about it unless you take the bull by the horns and make the search yourself. They are positive it was never unloaded here so if it came on that plane it was returned to Anchorage.

Where are you staying, Ced? Apparently you are not with George anymore. Must write to Hans and Ruth – Clara will be the next one to approach if you’ll be around for a space.

When you go out to the base take along a bunch of carrots – first, in case you locate bag, second, If any other _____ you lay eyes on that you think will keep if plane is going within a few days for Nome.

You should have seen four wolves hung up on main drag in front of Munn’s Arrival Office. They were shot from plane and picked out of a pack of nine chasing reindeer. They were all large but one larger than the rest weighed 175 pounds. The largest dogs in town sniffing them over looked like pygmies in comparison. Hanging with nose touching the ground they were longer than 6 feet from nose only to halfway up on their hind legs. This seems unbelievable but it is true. They would be more than twice as long as old Mack and were more than twice as large. I have never seen a black bear that would make a mistake for them and I believe the largest could take down a polar bear if it got its fangs into its throat or neck.

Enclosed is a letter finalizing the “Major played me one”. Lottie says hi, better sew his pants to his shirt when he comes up this way again.” Will you send it to Al (Grandpa) in your next letter.

We kindly see Bill Doran’s (don’t know how to spell it) at Fonsac’s #2 store and inquire about pictures I sent out with him for duplicates. Address is Nome.

And one more thing Ced – my Maul Stick left at George’s. Please get a tag and tie it around knob end. On tag write, “Gordon McKenzie for C Heurlin, Nome.” And leave it at Star Airways office.

About all I can think of now. Soon as I can think of more for you to do will certainly write you.

Lt. Heurlin, ____ later – PFC

Tomorrow, a card referencing an incident dating back to Easter and a misunderstanding, then another letter from Rusty, Grandpa’s answer to Marian’s note and finally a letter from Lad. This looks like it will be a very interesting week. Enjoy.

Judy Guion

Friends – A Quick Note from Rusty Heurlin to Ced – April 4, 1944

Rusty Heurlin in Nome. Alaska

April 4, 1944

Dear Ced,

Got a letter today from St. Rau in Anchorage saying bag was never sent from there, so he shipped it on the 25th. He was staying with me here while I was writing you about it – said he would check on it when he got down to Anchorage and so he did. On getting letter I immediately got a pass and started out for the base. A truck driver picked me up – asked where I was going and he was going to the same place. In back of his truck was my bag. He had been trying all over town to locate me. Some coincidence.

Told Rau to look you up while in town. Swell fellow and you will like him. He has three scouts with him – two Eskimos and white soldier Arnold Olsen, “Art” Npicksown and Jacob Stroker from Wainwright and P.T. Hope are the names of the Eskimos. Hope you meet them all as you should. You will get an earful if you do, of something that will interest you.

Well, thanks for trying to locate bag Ced.

Working tonight so must quit now.

Best of luck,


Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Grandpa, with the added attraction of a quick note from Elsie
Guion, Grandpa’s sister, who is visiting Trumbull for the Easter Weekend.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced and Dan – Lad Home for the Weekend – August 2, 1942

Cedric Guion

Daniel Guion

Trumbull, Conn., August 2, 1942

Dear Ced and Dan:

Alert as your mind is you have of course discerned that the reason why Lad is not included in this letter is because he is home this weekend. He arrived at 2:30 this morning and rather than wake anyone at this hour, at once retired on the screened porch until 8 this morning when Red’s mother phoned here (Red also stayed overnight here). Although Lad left Aberdeen before 6 o’clock last night he did not arrive in Bridgeport until early this morning because of poor train connections – – my experience also. He is out visiting in his car at present but will probably be home later as he has to catch the 10:45 from Bridgeport in order to be on hand for reveille tomorrow. He looks fine – – brown and lean, seems to like his teaching job, has two weeks more to go to finish his 13-week’s training course and then will either be assigned elsewhere on Ordnance work or stationed at Aberdeen to continue along his present line. In the latter event, he will be able to get home more frequently than in the past unless he goes to Officers Training School, which will mean another grueling eight weeks of intensive study.

Got a letter from Dan this week. If I reciprocate by answering it with one of corresponding length it will read something like this: “Your letter received. Thanks. Dad”. However, we are grateful for even small mercies, and I would far rather have just a note then nothing. It’s about time that long legged pal of mine in Alaska came through with another letter and next week my hopes will be mounting to lofty heights in anticipation.

Undoubtedly you both received carbon copy of Mr. Chandler’s good letter and enjoyed reading it as much as I did. There is little of interest to report. Have been granted additional gas rations by the local board, which will now give me 12 gallons a week for the next three months, which, with careful use, will enable me to get by satisfactorily, unless, as seems unlikely at present, a pickup in business necessitates my making numerous trips to Milford, Fairfield, etc. I have also induced my coal man to shoot in 10 tons of buckwheat coal in the bin so that we at least will not freeze next winter. The latest rumor from Dan’s crystal ball has his company moving to Lancaster or York – – sort of a war of the Roses. Anyway, the trend seems to be northward and thus nearer Trumbull, which is all to the good. Whether it will now take a strong northerly flavor and bypass Trumbull for Alaska is something else again. By the way, Ray Beckwith told me one family in Long Hill received a letter from their son overseas which said, “I am now in Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was born, but Jesus Christ, I wish I was in Long Hill where I was born.” Dan, if you can get a pass home for the weekend nearest August 19th, it would put a nice touch on the joint celebration we usually try to hold in commemoration of Dick’s and Aunt Elsie’s natal day. Ced, tell that old sidekick of mine (Grandpa is referring to Rusty Heurlin, an artist and fried to both Grandma Arla and Grandpa, who became a well-known artist of Alaskan life) to write me again and let me know how you are behaving yourself, if you have burned anymore prunes lately, etc., also a bit about his own achievements. We are beginning to feel wars pinch here now. I am having trouble getting meat. What there is to be had is getting higher in cost in spite of price ceilings. Maybe we will have to transform ourselves into vegetarians for a spell. Aunt Betty sends love and of course you will know what to expect from your still hopeful


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa, this time to all three sons. On Friday, the response from Dan to Ced regarding Ced’s “almost” letter mentioned in Monday’s Post.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty Heurlin Writes to Ced – An Arctic Bum – March 25, 1944

This letter is written to Ced from Rusty Huerlin, probably received after he had returned to his job in Anchorage after his lengthy stay in Trumbull and his quick visit with Lad and Marian.

Rusty Heurlin

Nome, Alaska


Dear Ced,

Word by mukluk telegraph informs me that you are back in Anchorage. Fine guy you turned out to be not to write to your dear old pal. But perhaps you’ll get the pin out of your tail now and drop us a line to let me know how Al (Grandpa) is doing and how you enjoyed your trip outside.

Since arriving here have been tied up with ATG (Alaska Territorial Guard Association, Inc.) work but going to start painting in a couple of days. The Major (Major Marvin “Muktuk” Marston, https://alaskahistoricalsociety.org/muktuk-marstons-five-point-plan/ and I have located a cabin for ourselves. Real cold weather here and have never seen as much snow. Twill be a late break up this year in case you would like to know. I should say between the fourth and the eighth.

On visit down from Palmer I emptied your pent-up mailbox and left mail with Bob Hall. Hope I did the right thing and that he contacted you or left it where you could get it before he went outside.

If Ted Kogan got luggage left in my wake, kindly get it back from him. Hold everything for me if you are not going into service. May write for frames in a couple of weeks. Keep stretchers and jib sail bag together. If you have no room for them, best place may be at George’s. Expect to be in Nome until break up time when I will go north with years supply of grub. But if you should happen to know of anyone traveling to Nome by CAA it would be all mighty swell, if no trouble to that person, to load on my frames, bag and stretchers. If Dale or Dell, the fellow who brought us out, is making the trip this way soon, I am sure he would be glad to do me this favor. You might be driving by his place sometime and can drop in to see him on this. Had I come the way planned for me, I could have handled everything.

Sorry I did not get to see you before I left. Confidentially, as I do not want it to get about, I pulled a fast one on Governor Gruening. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Gruening It resulted in him commandeering an army car and paying me a visit at Palmer. But it wasn’t exactly a fast one and it took me one month of careful planning. It is too long a story to go over at this early hour of the morning. I only want you to know that it was honest. Or should I not say to a trusted and tried friend that he, the Governor, fell for my rubber salmon egg. Two days later he was in Fairbanks, then came a telephone call from Fairbanks for me to proceed to Nome on next Army transport. At Fort Rich a week later I got my traveling orders but no planes to Nome were available. To wait longer for transportation was like waiting for the invasion. I finally decided to put tongue in cheek and go by Star. That was why I had to cut down on baggage. But trip here is not known to Star officials so I am now one jump and the hop ahead of them.

Water is $.10 a gallon here. Whiskey cannot be had. When you see George again tell him I really like my scotch cut with water. I think he will understand. Ha ha!

Contact Ted Kogan through weather Bureau or Juanita at OPA. Drop out of an evening and see their nice home which they bought. Also see Maurie and Helen. Best to you and Hans and Ruth and all good Scandahoovis. Sorry I cannot or it’s sad I cannot add the name of dear old Kjosen,

Thank Ted for his trouble and will write him soon. Let’s hear from you soon Sonny boy… Till we meet again,

Yours to be an Arctic bum —– Rusty

During stop-over at Nulato I pissed in the Yukon. Did it the hard way too— if you know what I mean? Aim to do the rest the hard way to— if I can— and I have shot and killed a bear.

I believe the following is Ced’s memory of this trip, although he may have incorrectly remembered the approximate dates. I don’t know if we’ll ever know the complete story. This is taken from the childhood memories I recorded with my Uncle Ced on one of two occasions.

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 the Governor of Alaska through Major Marston. Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re going to 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.’ Governor 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 those places, and make sketches.” “OK, come on along.” they said. That’s where he got this series of 18 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 16 others. This was after he moved to Fairbanks.” (Rusty Heurlin’s large panels depicting the history of Alaska are visible at Pioneer Park in Anchorage. http://fairbanks-alaska.com/pioneer-museum-big-stampede.htm

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures and Memories of our Family Island Retreat know as “Liquid Heaven”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear C.D.E. (Chief Diesel Engineer) (3) – Grandpa’s Final Comments – March 3, 1940

This is the final section of a letter written by my Grandfather to his oldest son, Lad (my Dad), who is working in the oil fields of Venezuela and sending money home to help with raising the younger siblings, a responsibility he took quite seriously.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

It has been raining steadily all day long today, not hard but in a dismally persistent manner. Ced has had a nibble on the sale of his car but nothing definite yet. He plans to put the proceeds into a Crossley or Willys or some light car, economical to operate. He figures that if he finally decides to go to Alaska in June it will be a means of getting him across the continent cheaply and on arrival at Seattle, he may be able to sell it for is much as he paid for it here or possibly, if the freight rate is not too great, may take it to Alaska with him.

Enclosed you will find a letter from Rusty that he wrote last week but gave to me too late to go in last week’s letter. I am also enclosing some snapshots that Dan took for your benefit. I hope they don’t make you feel too homesick. And speaking about photos, you remember you commented on the fact that Dan was getting to be quite a good-looking lad. Well the other night the Chandler Choral Society gave a concert in the school to help toward financing the athletic activities in the schools. Dan stood in the back row so that I could just see a portion of his face — a side view — and once or twice I was really startled at the resemblance to you. I could have sworn a couple of times it actually was you there instead of Dan. Isn’t that a nice little complement to you in the light of your letter. I asked Rusty if he thought Dan looked like you and he said, “definitely, yes”.

The check arrived on schedule, and I figure next month’s check will practically take care of the payments for the Fairbanks Morse stock. The following month will take care of your annual premium and then we will be looking around for some other form of investment.

No letter from you last week which makes it the more of a certainty that tomorrow will bring another Venezuelan billet doux. It is queer the photographs you sent have not yet arrived, although it may be that I am mistaken that you did actually send some by regular mail as you spoke of doing and that you are still waiting for them to be developed and printed and delivered from Caracas.

Since Rusty has come, we have revived the old anagram game and because the green on the raised letters was pretty badly worn off, we got busy with his paints the other night and gave them a good face lifting which makes them look like a new set. They are being used right now by the bunch who are all playing in Biss’s is apartment with the baby (Butch) looking on as referee. I should think that would be a good game for you to play down there at the camp.

Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) just came in and I asked her if she knew any news to write you. She said that Carl and a fellow named Eb Joy had left last Saturday in the latter’s car and trailer for a trip to Florida. They intended to stop in Jersey, of course, on the way. They arrived at Miami either Monday or Tuesday of this week, and from there they will be going to Sarasota. One of the main objects of the trip was fishing. They are expected to be gone about two weeks.

That about exhausts all the news that has accumulated during the past week that has come to my attention and that seems important enough to write about.

Mack sends a couple of snorts and of course all here want to send their love, including your one and only


On Saturday and Sunday, I will share the concluding post’s to Ced’s Amazing Adventure. I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse of a Slice of Life, a hitchhiking adventure for a seventeen year old, way back in 1934., Please post a comment and let me know what you thought or what you liked the most.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear C.D.E. (Chief Diesel Engineer) (2) – Pranks and Shenanigans – March 3, 1040

This is the second portion of a letter from Grandpa to Lad, in Venezuela, with the conclusion of the Car Theft Story and pranks and shenanigans going on at the old homestead.

After my meeting was over at the Town Hall, it was dark, and as I had intended Dick to take the car home with the food in it, I did not look for the car parked over there. Anyway, when I had gotten out of the car it looked to me as I went in the door that Dick was preparing to back out. However, it looked now as if the car had been parked all night at the Town Hall with the key in it, so I hustled over to the Town Hall expecting to see the car there where he had left it. Whalen has a gray Willys, the same as mine, and as I approached I thought for a moment it was my car, but on second glance I saw it was not. I had already passed through two reverses a feeling that morning — one when the car seemed to be stolen from the barn, the other when I believed it was at the Town Hall. Now I was going to be plunged into the dumps again? I hustled on, and there, behind another parked car which hid it, was my little, old, banged up, shabby Willys, just as Dick had left it the night before with the key in the switch and everything O.K. and that’s the news about the stolen Willys. I hope you got a thrill out of the telling and some of the suspense that I experienced. “All’s well that ends well”. “I am an old man and I’ve had many troubles but most of them never happened”.

Rusty (Magnus Colcord Heurlin, (Rusty Heurlin) a lifelong friend to the family and a well-known Artist of Alaskan Life.) is still favoring us with his presence. He was saying today he had now been here about two weeks. He has finished this painting and is waiting for it to dry to take it to Philadelphia and endeavor to sell it to the country gentleman. There is quite a contest going on now between Dick and Dave and Rusty as to who can do the most in the way of pranks on the other fellow. Yesterday afternoon Rusty’s room was full of old rotten stumps, tree trunks and posters. Dan’s room, where he had on display all the skins and trophies he brought back from Venezuela, was decorated with all kinds of streamer’s. At the entrance was a placard, hand-lettered by Dave, which read:

(I now find this was destroyed)

The placard Dave put up in Rusty’s room, as edited by Dan, reads as follows:

Rusty is a jolly wit, with pranks of ill repute

and though he thinks he’s really it,

we think he’s full of – (a lot of good ideas)

Anon Ymous

The family after Raymond Zabel, Jr.’s Baptism

l to r: Grandpa, Dick, Ced, Elizabeth, Dave, Zeke, Raymond, Jr. (Butch) and Dan

Last night, just after I heard Dick trudging up the stairs to bed in your old room in the attic, I heard the most awful bump, crash. This morning I learned his bed had been fixed so that it collapsed. Who the author is remains a mystery. Rusty and Zeke (Raymond Zabel, married to Grandpa’s only daughter, Elizabeth. They live in the small apartment in the Trumbull House) seem to be getting on very well together, owing to their interest in guns and hunting. Last night Rusty and Zeke went out somewhere together to get “a beer”. The same old story. They met a bunch of kindred spirits, the Tomeks, etc., and had several beers and then some, so that when they reached home last night they were both feeling pretty high. Rusty’s explanation is that he spent the evening in the Bridgeport Public Library. His head today however feels about the normal size, he says. Elizabeth on the other hand is pretty well burned up. Such is life.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Amazing Adventure (27) – Grandpa’s Lost Letter – August, 1934

This letter was written by Grandpa on July 30, 1934 and mailed to Ced to reach him while he was visiting the Chicago World’s Fair and staying at the Chicago YMCA. Ced left Chicago Monday morning, July 30th, and the letter arrived on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 1934. The YMCA held the letter for 14 days.  They marked it “Unclaimed” on Aug. 14 and mailed it back to Grandpa. Grandpa wrote a note on the envelope  before sending it to Ced at Star Prairie, Wisc.

CDG - Lost letter, July 30, 1934


CDG - Lost letter (Note) - July 30, 1934

Grandpa’s note reads:

Thurs, 8/16/1934

This was just returned to me this morning.

Brief News Summary

Uncle Fred (Stanley) stayed overnight. He brought Lyman with him.

Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend)  is O.K. He had some infected sore in his leg which the doctor took care of.

He went to school yesterday.

The girls can now say they have been to Yale. I had to go to New Haven yesterday on business,

so I took them with me. They had only time to walk around a bit and go through two of the buildings.


Next time you write include a list of those you would like to have invited to a “Welcome Home”

party. I am rather puzzled as to how many and who to invite and hesitant to leave it to the girls’


How is the raincoat standing up? Did you loose your knife with the address book?  Based on your experiences, what additional equipment would you take on a trip of this sort next time?


This is the letter:

Trumbull, July 30

Dear Ced,

Monday night, dishes are washed and Elizabeth (Bissie, Grandpa’s only daughter) and Peg (Peg Beebe, her friend) are out in Irwin’s (Laufer) truck and Dick is just putting the finishing touches on his packing. He leaves for camp at 8:30 tomorrow.

But to go back. A week ago yesterday Aunt Helen ((Peabody) Human) and Dorothy (Peabody) came up and told of your visit at New York and Ossining. Dan and Lad came home (from their work at the CCC Camps). Lad of course spent most of his time on the motorcycle. During the week Arnold (Gibson) took off the generator which I left with Mr. Page and I also had the battery rebuild by Carr. Cost $3.75. Lad came home Friday PM, having first stopped at Page’s and retrieved the generator. We had a rush job Saturday at the office, so the whole gang, including Lad, went down and finished up a 5000 mimeograph job, run both sides – 10,000 impressions. We then got Lad’s battery. Saturday afternoon Rusty (Huerlin) came up to get me to help him on an idea for a Lucky Strike advertising series. Dan did not come home at all this weekend and I have not heard from him. Sunday was uneventful.

Tonight I stopped at the store (Kurtz’s Store, which houses the Trumbull Post Office) and got your letter from Chicago – which brings us up to date. Incidentally, here is a cartoon from today’s telegram which amused Dick. It might also be interesting to show to some of those, like the man in the Auburn who related his story about his hitchhiker experience, who seemed a bit hesitant.

One day last week we had a severe rainstorm, with wind, which evidently dislodged a Chimney Swift nest in the dining room chimney. When we got up in the morning we heard a very queer noise and found two baby Swift’s who had fallen down the chimney into the dining room. In spite of Dick’s and Elizabeth’s efforts at feeding them, they expired within a day of one another and were buried under the Lilac Bush near the back door.

Blog - Lilac Bush


We have been pretty busy at the office this week. George had the automatic going today, imprinting 10,000 letterheads for Mercer.

David is still at camp. After supper one day last week (ink has run out of pen) we all took a trip up to the Hemlock’s (on same road as Huntington’s junk place) and paid him a visit. While he did not admit it, he seemed happy and cheerful enough, is eating better and looks well. He may come home next week. Here is a card I received from him. The little boy blue he refers to is a wooden door stop which he made up there under their direction.

That’s all the home news I can think of right now. It is certainly good to know you are so nicely fixed at the YMCA. Inside rooms are often quieter and better to sleep in than outside. I’m also glad you had a chance to visit with the Draz’s and renew old family contacts. Will be much interested to hear all about them in detail when you get back.

One man told me of a stunt some boys did in getting to the Pacific coast by your method. They would go to some leading hotel, clean-shaven, neatly dressed, shoes shined, hair brushed, etc. and ask the clerk if they might look over the register for names of people from their hometown who were checking out that day. When any were located, they would waylay them at the desk as they were leaving and briefly explain just what they were doing, where they were going, etc. and if it would be convenient if they had room in their car etc. Very often, in the case of traveling men, they were glad for the company and they liked it better than picking some unknown up on the road. The conversation I suppose would run something like this: “Pardon me, but aren’t you Mr. Smith from Bridgeport? I saw in the hotel register your name listed as from my own hometown and I wondered if you happen to be going in the direction of St. Paul, and could conveniently let me bum a ride. I came out here to see some relatives by hitchhike method and stopped to see the fair.”

I just noticed that your letter mailed Thursday at 7:30 PM from Chicago did not reach me until Monday PM. Even assuming it arrived last mail Saturday, if you stay only the four days, you are leaving today and this note, which can’t be mailed until Tuesday a.m., Wednesday noon is probably the earliest it will reach the YMCA and I’m wondering if you’ll be there.

You haven’t said anything in any of your letters as to how the finances are holding out. Have you tried to cash in any Travelers checks yet?

I’m awfully glad you are making this trip. It’s something you will always look back on with pleasure. While I hadn’t any fear whatsoever about your being able to take care of yourself, it will broaden your knowledge of human nature, affording additional opportunities of practicing self-reliance and add another interesting chapter to your journey through life. The kind of thing I wish I had done when I was your age. Just the same, I miss you, old standby, and I’ll be really glad to see you march up the driveway soon.



Tomorrow, another letter written during Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion