Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – Dave’s Induction and a Good Conduct Medal – January 16, 1944

This is the first half of a  long letter Grandpa penned to his sons and daughter-in-law during the first month of 1944. It is filled with Army News.

DPG - Dave in uniform nexct to barn - Dec., 1944 cropped - head and shoulders)

David Peabody Guion, January, 1944

Trumbull, Conn., January 16, 1944

Dear Dave:

Now that you have become eligible for membership in the “Veterans of Foreign Wars”, and this is the first letter you will have received as a rookie from me, it is quite appropriate that this week’s news sheet should be addressed to you alone. With your kind permission, however, we will allow other Guion members of the armed forces and their “appendages” to peak over your shoulder, so to speak, and thus glean what few bits of information they may from this screed.

While we did not receive the expected postal from you up to the last mail Saturday, a little bird whispered that internally you were humming a theme song which had a slight resemblance to the old saw: “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”. But cheer up, all your big brothers went through the same experiences and got over it without any permanent scars. It’s always the beginning that is the most difficult and beginnings never last.

After saying goodbye to you at the Shelton Town Hall Thursday, clutching in your little hands the booklet donated by the American Legion on how to act as a soldier, the little package of cigarettes, chewing gum, etc., we drove down to Bridgeport and Aunt Betty took the bus home. I admit I felt a bit lonesome all by myself in the office but having found from past experience that plunging into work is the best antidote for brooding, I tried a full dose of the remedy and held the enemy at bay, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors. I will say however that we all miss you a great deal and every so often someone says: “I wonder what Dave is doing now?”. (If they only knew, huh?)

Every week over this station we call in our correspondents from distant points. We will now hear from Ordnance in Texas. Come in Texarkana. (Pause) We regret that conditions beyond our control interfere with proper reception, but here is a report as of Jan. 9th.

Lad'swedding photo (2)

            Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) 

Lad opens up with the shot amid ship: “I’m sorry, my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance.” (Which is quite proper as long as you don’t back the old man off the map entirely, Lad. I know you won’t do that and even if you felt like it I don’t think Marian would let you, so there) These faithful daughters-in-law of mine do have such a struggle at times trying to get their new husbands lined up. It’s an awful task, girls, I know. I’ve been at it longer than you, sometimes with fair results but many times with but meager returns. All this, of course by way of an aside, because Lad reassuringly goes on to temper the broadside by adding: “However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense decreased. I still think of all of you constantly but time has been lacking. In fact, I had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week.

On December 18th Lad was given advance notice he was to be shipped out. On the 21st he learned he had to go to Texarkana, Texas, and must be there by December 25th. Some Christmas present! By noon of the 21st he was on his way in the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. He arrived on Christmas Day and until January 3rd worked in getting a group of men ready to start training. If the 23 men under Lad’s charge successfully pass their examination, they are scheduled for overseas sometime in the early summer, but due to the type of work they are trained for, they should always be at least 300 miles from the front.

Lad doesn’t like the weather there at all – snowy, cold and damp. Marian is planning to come out by train about February 1st, and will come to Trumbull with Lad when (?) he gets his furlough.

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick)

Incidentally, just to show up thoughtful, generous minded Jean, just as soon as she learned the above, she immediately said, “When they come they can have my room.”, and as admittedly, hers is the most attractively furnished room in the house, it’s rather significant. And while I am at it, I might as well tell on her some more. Zeke asked Elizabeth to go out with him to some affair last night, but they could find no one to take care of the children, and in spite of the fact that she was not feeling top-notch, Jean packed her little overnight bag and took the double bus journey over to Stratford. I don’t suppose she will like me publishing these facts but I believe these little kindnesses should not go unacknowledged.

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

(We now switch to Southern California where Mrs. A. P. has a message for us.

Marian writes on some new stationary with her initials and address embossed in green, which I sent her at Lad’s suggestion. And now, young lady, stop around at the 5 and 10 on your way back from lunch and pick up a bottle of green fountain pen ink, just to put the finishing touch on this Irish Symphony. Enclosed with her letter were some highly prized photo prints from the Kodachrome slides, showing Marian, Lad, the cake and other members of the wedding party. And there is a promise of more to come later. They were very much appreciated, as you may well surmise. Marian has officially terminated her work with the Camp Fire Girls as of February 1st, and is looking forward to soon being “down in the heart of Texas”, clap, clap or however the song goes. Thanks, Marian, for keeping us so well posted. You’re a great girl, as Lad has remarked once or twice.

APG and MIG wedding pictures -0 cake and table (2)

The Wedding Cake in the Irwin House, where the ceremony and reception were held

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

 Marian (Irwin) Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

  Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

Your announcer for several months past has been able to highlight various items of importance to listeners over this station. In November it was the Guion – Irwin wedding. In December, it was the Alaskan’s return. In January, the youngest son eloped with Uncle Sam’s Army. But that is not all. The month is not finished yet. In fact January has already proven to be a doubleheader and may even become tripodal in character – see Alaska note later. The big news beginning January’s second-half is a broadcast from Brig. Gen. Pleas B. Rogers, U.S.A., Commanding Headquarters, Central Base Section as follows: I quote from the official document received by the proud father during the week-

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Subject: Award of Good Conduct Medal to

Daniel B. Guion

T/5 31041206

Co. A, 660th Engr. Bn.

Dear Mr. Guion:

It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity

(At this point, I believe Grandpa started another sheet of paper, but the carbon paper was reversed, so I don’t have the rest of this letter from Brigadier General Rogers.)

Tomorrow, I’ll post the conclusion to this letter.

If you enjoy reading these stories and adventures of various members of my family, why not share this link with a friend or two? They might find them interesting, also.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Christmas Report From Trumbull, Connecticut (5) – December 30, 1945

This is the final installment of Grandpa’s Christmas Report from 1945 with a letter from Dave and some final thoughts.

Alfred Duryee Guion at his trusty Remington typewriter

And to top off here’s a letter from Dave (nothing from Dan lately): Dear Dad: You’re first on the list of people whom I hope I will write to tonight (December 17th). This is the first night in quite some time that I’ve sat down to write. My laxity can be blamed on the Army. First of all they’ve put me to work. I’m now working in the GHQ message center. Were still in the 3373d but we may be transferred to GHQ in which case we would be sent to Korea. We have no desire to go to Korea. Forget all about those low morale letters I wrote. I am once again happy here. There is an athletic and recreation center here in Manila that is opening up, super PX’s all over town with ice cream, restaurants, hamburgers, etc. It’s got now to a point where the folks back home are the ones whose morale will suffer. There’s no time for writing letters anymore. There are also innumerable shows being presented around town. Another thing that has helped me is the one thing that most fellows don’t have overseas and that the Army can’t supply – a girl. Come to think of it the Army does supply girls but not ladies, and a lady is what I have met here. Now stop thinking what you are thinking. I’m not going to bring home a Philipino bride. The girl is about 25 years old, a schoolteacher, plans to become an old maid and would stop even talking to me if I started getting romantic with her. She works down at the Manila Club behind a counter playing cards and checkers with lonely GI’s and handing out cards, checkers and ping-pong paddles and balls — so, I sit and play cards and talk to her. I met her through one of the guys in our outfit. She used to teach first and second grade in the little village outside Manila. She told me a little about how it was out there during the occupation. She says sometimes she wakes up at night screaming from bad dreams. It seems funny to talk to a young woman who has seen more war-caused hell than I’ll ever see in my life. She said when the Jap’s were retreating they went around to all the houses getting the girls. Her father put her and her three sisters in the back room and told them that if the Japs got them it would be over his dead body. He meant it literally. Esther says she never will know why the Jap’s didn’t stop at her house.

Christmas Report    page 7

(Dave’s letter continues:)

David Peabody Guion

Today I got a package containing this writing paper. I don’t know when it was mailed but it was to the old address. Maybe it was sent just after you got that letter from me that was written on toilet paper. It so happens that I need paper now just about as badly as I did then, so thanks. If things keep going as they have been I’ll be on my way home in another three months. I wouldn’t send anything expensive in any packages from now on if I were you. I would like some canned food though, peanut butter, jam, cheese, canned chicken, etc. try to send canned stuff — the rest gets spoiled. Something to make sandwiches out of is best, nothing that has to be heated.”

You’re right, Dave, about when I sent you the writing paper. I received your toilet paper letter on June 4th and within a week thereafter I got off that box to you containing the things you have just received. It is most discouraging to know that it takes from June to December for a package to reach you. The milk of magnesia tablets sent in the same package at your request must have arrived a bit late for your attack of indigestion. You could have had ulcers of the stomach twice over during the interval. It’s probably just as well we didn’t get off a package containing any expensive Christmas gifts because on the record established, it will be next June before they would reach you, and by that time, I hope we will be able to hand you personally any gifts we may want you to receive right here on your own doorstep. I’m glad the mail — airmail at least, is so good. Your letter was mailed on the 19th I notice and within 10 days it arrives here. I hope mine in the opposite direction are as quick in transit. Thank Esther for being so nice to my boy and let me know if there is anything I can send her from here that will be useful to her in six months from now. You will be interested to know that Rev. Powell is now home from the hospital and well on the way to recovery. The Dominie asked to be remembered to you and Dennie also asks about you every so often and asks to be remembered when I write.

My cold is better now and I’m beginning to feel more like my old self. Meantime Lad has taken over heaving coal into the hopper each night, filling the oil bottles and in general taking over all the bothersome chores I used to force myself to do cheerfully every night. And I didn’t even need to ask him. He just started doing it one night when the cold germs forced an early retreat to bed and has continued it ever since. “How silently, how silently, the precious gift is given” says the Christmas Carol, to which I heartily subscribed an Amen. It’s hard to imagine him as a harassed father walking the floor with little Lad making a big noise, although I must say he himself was a very good baby and did not cause either of his adoring parents much trouble.

Well, I guess it’s about time I brought this long letter to a close. It is now 7:40 P.M. I started it just after breakfast this morning and save for time out for lunch and to read the Sunday paper, I have been at it all day. If it brings you one little spark of the good cheer and the tender wishes for your welfare that we feel here, it will not have been a day wasted. And as it will be 1946 before you get this, let me here and now wish you a happy 1946 and you know how I am apt to interpret that phrase. Here’s looking at you.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting updates from Ced’s letters which he is using as a journal record of his adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – Mack’s Adventures – February 10, 1940

This very creative letter was created by Dave, pretending to write as Mack, the family pet.

Mack - Snow Dog - March, 1940

Mack, posing for his snow portrait

DPG - Letter From Mack to Lad, 2.11.1940

DPG - Letter From Mack to Lad (2) - February 11, 1940

DPG - Letter From Mack to Lad (3) - February 11, 1940

Sunday         Feb 10, 1940

Der brother Afurd,

I am miserable. Dick gave me a bath the other day, just because I went for a stroll in a fertile field. I wonder if I would no you if I saw you, I think I would. I would prably no you by your smell (don’t get me wrong). I’m getting fatter all the time. Zeke says it’s a DAM shame I don’t get fed more but he’s crazy. One day I went down to Center School to look around and I went in one room where a bunch of little kids and a rather plump teacher – I recognized the teacher as a girl I had seen befor. She started to teach me to read and write. It was Babe. (Lad’s girlfriend). Some time ago, while I was asleep in the music room, I heard a lot of noise in the kitchen. Then I heard Dick say, “HERE, MACK”. So I ran in there and Ced and Dick were standing around with brooms in their hands. I heard a scurrying around in back of the cabinet. All of a sudden out ran a rat. AH, A MEAL !!! But Ced took the remains of him away from me. I caught five (5), two in one night. I was a hero until I went for that walk in the field I mentioned at the beginning of this letter. Well, I guess there’s no other news now so I’ll say,

Bow, wow !!

MACK

Tomorrow and Sunday we will rejoin Ced on his Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Laddieboy (4) – Letters From Dave – January 28, 1940

At this point, Dave is 15 and a Sophomore in High School. It appears he is already thinking about his future in the Guion Advertising Agency.

David P. Guion & Co.,  Jan, 1940

DAVID P. GUION

TRUMBULL, CONN.

 January 28, 1940

Dear Sir:

Due to a holding of the mail (or some other foolish excuse) the David P. Guion & Co. letters Have not reached you as they should have. I hope that because of these wrong-doings of my friend and colleague, Mr. Farley, I shall not lose one of my most active consumers (or what have you ).

Sincerely,

David P. Guion

President

66___________________

How’m idoin. enclosed youwill find a bit of very important news.

Ifyoucanfigurethisoutyourabettermanthaniamiwontevenmakeanypunctuationfortheendofthesentence

I would hate to have you not get any letter from Dad so I will stop here.

Dave

Tomorrow, a letter to Lad from Grandma Peabody.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (4) – A Morale Booster Shot – November 11, 1945

Page 4   11/11/45

Dear Dave:

Got your letter this week, old son, dated Nov. 1st and wish I could say something that would lift the morale a bit, but I guess it will take more than words to accomplish this. Only a trip home apparently would be the effective remedy for your trouble, although the fact remains that all the concentrated love and affection combined from all of us and our sympathy in your predicament and the fight we know you must be putting up to do your job right anyway, may help to let you know we are with you in spirit. Disappointments such as you are facing now do come to us all from time to time through life and the best way I have found to meet them is with a smiling face, hard as it may be to smile, and resolutely look at the pleasanter phases of the matter rather than let yourself dwell on the darker side and feel sorry for yourself. This is one of the times your character is being tested and how you meet the challenge this time successfully will make others that may come later easier to bear. I know this sounds a bit preachy but there is truth there nevertheless. I am going to try to see what I can do to start something here along the line of your suggestion but it would be far safer for you not to count on any favorable result from my effort. One of the things that will help, and for which I am glad, is that you are busy. I hope you will continue to be so because that will give you not much leisure to brood over your enforced stay in Manila. Bring up that sunny good nature and sense of humor you have in reserve. The sun always shines sooner or later, no matter how violent the storm. When you feel too low, count over the things you have to be thankful for (which incidentally, is a good Thanksgiving Day exercise) and you will conclude that things might be a lot worse at that. We want you and need you just as much as you want to come home but we are trying to carry on cheerfully and make the best of it and in the old Guion spirit, we expect you to do the same. Don’t let the Army or the Signal Corps down but keep on keeping on so that in the days to come you can look back on this time and say to yourself that in spite of everything that got even older men down, you “fought the good fight”. Of course it is quite obvious I am trying to give you a moral shot in the arm as it were, but just the same, I believe it all and know from my own experience it is true, trite though it may sound.

You have been so good about writing that I will understand if your job keeps you from sending home letters as frequently as in the past. Last week I mailed you a box with a few eatables in it, which I hope will reach you before Christmas. The camera situation is still bad. Ced has brought back with him a bunch of shots he took in Alaska, which we have not seen yet, but he says they are pretty good.

Well, it’s pretty near my bedtime (10:30) and I haven’t yet had any supper, so I’ll close with Happy Thanksgiving Day wishes to you.

DAD

Tomorrow a note from Marian as they re-enter military life.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Remnants of a Widely Scattered Family (3) – News From Dave in the Philippines – November 4, 1945

Continuing this letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Last week I bought for you, Dan, a dozen t-sleeve undershirts and shall ship them to you during the week. They will, however, come to you in the regular way via APO 887, as I learn that unless I can continue to send you things at this address, I cannot send at all except at exorbitant rates (airmail is $.30 a half ounce). The Railway Express rumor was false as to shipments to France. They will send to England and Ireland (one dollar a pound, I believe is the rate) but not to the continent, so, unless being a civilian, I cannot send service men’s boxes to your army address, we will have to watch shipping expense, as the fund you have is being rapidly diminished. For instance, on the camera business, when they again become available, which apparently is not this year, the thing you should do is to write me specifically just what you want, let me order it, sell your old camera and forward me the money, as I don’t think you want your war bonds cashed, or do you? I also can’t quite get through my head what your status is now. You say you are a civilian and are addressed as Mr., yet you still have an APO army address. You are employed by the civil service and yet you say you are a war dept. employee; that you have to wear an army uniform while you are on the job. If you are a civilian, why the Army uniform? If in the Army, what office do you hold — private, your former rank or are you an officer? In any event, why the Mr.? And how can you be working for the war dept. and still get paid by the civil service? It is all rather confusing to a layman!

I showed Elizabeth Paulette’s circular about baby bottles and she said, based on the experience of those she has talked to who have used this type, Paulette is likely to be disappointed in that the bottles seem to leak out the wrong hole and get things wet and stained. And by the way, tell Chiche I have sent to all the publishers I can find listed of baby magazines and have asked for sample copies, which I will send her to look over and if there is one or two she particularly likes, I can subscribe to them for her. No, I have not sent any additional knitting wool, but shall do so. And by the way, Marian and I are not alone responsible for the purchase of the things you have received for Paulette. Jean also spent time and effort, and I was just a wee bit concerned that I had not made this clear to you and Paulette. Both girls have given willingly and enthusiastically of their time and interest and deserve far more credit than I. Maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t need your suits because I don’t know just what the moths have left. In spite of the good care Jean has given to Dick’s things, the moths have been busy and Dick, since this experience,

page 4   11/4/45

has been moved to construct a moth-proof closet in the corner of Lad’s old attic room (of fire days memory), which he has been working rather steadily on since he has been home. Just had a letter from the Burnett’s, Dan, in answer to my announcement, which I will enclose.

David Peabody Guion

Now let’s turn to Dave, who has been waiting patiently on the sidelines here for a chance to be heard. Most of his letter concerns some interesting, and to my mind intelligent, comments on the island proposition which I will not quote here but will take up at a later time when all of you have had an opportunity to comment. He says: “Apologies are in order. We both apologize — MacArthur and myself. I apologize because I haven’t been able to write regularly and MacArthur apologizes because he and others under his command have kept me so busy that I have not been able to write. No kiddin’, I’ve been busier since the war ended than I ever was during the war. We are handling all sorts of traffic now — a good part of it is messages to and from the Red Cross in Korea concerning guys that are trying to pull deals to get out of the Army. Seeing those messages sure are tempting. I keep thinking I ought to try to get out by claiming that I was needed to help you run the business. It’s funny, it was easy to think of maybe two or three years over here while the war was on, but now it’s awfully hard “sweating it out”. As to Dick and Lad, it’s beginning to look as if everyone will be home and possibly gone again by the time I get home. In one of your letters you enclosed some articles about the men getting out. We get the same stuff in the papers here but the fact remains that there are scores of 90-pointers here in the repple depples. Joe Bohn in our outfit has 81 points and he hasn’t heard anything yet. The morale is getting worse and worse all the time. It’s beginning to bother me now, because the longer the high pointers stay here, the longer it will delay my getting home. I figured sometime in late spring or early summer, and I sure don’t want to spend any longer — that’s plenty long enough to wait for a boat. Well, so much for our woes. Oh, one more thing. The next time you see a union man, tell him that he better get labor back in line because the servicemen are apt to give them one hell of a time when they all get back. I’ve had several Filipinos asked me about the strikes in the states. It must look awfully bad to these other countries to see the U.S. so torn as soon as the war is over. We were talking the other day and have come to the conclusion that the people of the U.S. are the only ones who actually feel that the war is over. The people of Europe, Russia, China, England and Japan are all licking their wounds. Those of us who are still out here see very little difference now than when the war was going on — the fighting is over but we aren’t home. So it’s just about the same. But in the states it’s all over — now they can slide back to their petty problems and forget the war. In the eyes of the rest of the world, this, the strongest country of all, must look pretty weak under all this upheaval over wages. We can almost smell the stench of it all out here.”

Tomorrow, the final piece of this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

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

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

Trumbull, Conn., October 28, 1945

Dear Dan:

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

Alfred Duryee Guion

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

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

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

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

Page 2   10/28/45

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

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

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

David Peabody Guion

Dear Dave:

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

Dear Ced:

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

Yours                               DAD

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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (3) – More Business News – October 21, 1945

This long letter continues.

DPG - Dave in uniform nexct to barn - Dec., 1944 cropped - head and shoulders)

David Peabody Guion

Now coming to Dave’s letter received this week (dated Oct. 8th) from Manila, he mentions how slow they seem to be sending boys home, even one with as high as 81 points. He asks if things at the office have improved any. Can you get help? Are orders increasing? What are the chances of getting new machinery?

Now, of course, I could take up the rest of the evening and my available supply of paper answering in detail all of these questions but then I would not have a chance to tell you the interesting news about Dan and the disappointment that goes along with it. However we’ll try to hit a few of the high spots on the business angle.

For the last three or four years, I have not made a single sales call. Every customer I have has either continued from old times, been recommended by some other customer or has seen our ad in the city directory or phone book. And if I may be a bit crude, this is a hell of a way to run a business. It does hold out rosy promise however, for the time when there is a young guy in, who, with the enthusiasm of youth, up-and-at-‘em spirit, will go out and do some aggressive sales work, for without any adequate sales effort or direct mail advertising, we can hold a backlog of business, it will stand us in mighty good stead when we start up a real fire. From a financial standpoint I have learned a very significant thing. We are better off on a profit and loss basis than we have been for 10 years and this, in spite of curtailed business, shortage of supplies, high taxes and inadequate help, which we have had to struggle during the past four years (and are still struggling for that matter). It is almost solely because the only laborers wages I have had to pay have been exclusively for work performed. No salaries, which quickly eat up profits in non-productive hours during the day. If you could find some worker who would be willing to work steadily from opening time in the morning to quitting time at night, and had orders flowing in regularly to correspond, then the income from sales would be sufficient to pay salaries and leave a margin of profit, but for the six or eight years when I had salaried help and a bigger volume of business than we have now, we always ended the year in the red. That, Dave, my boy, is one of the management problems that will be dumped in your lap when you take over. As for the help situation, the green, irresistible, unreliable, inexperienced people that will come in and work for a high salary would soon make for bankruptcy, so I am forced to hire mere children with no sense of responsibility, no business sense, no idea of dependability or sense to know how they can tie things up when they failed to show up after saying they will come in at a certain time to do a certain job, high school kids or even grammar school children, letting them do the routine while I devote my time to operations that require even the most elementary brain work. It’s exasperating and if I would let it be, nerve-racking and I would very much like to take a vacation from it all for a spell, but we hold the fort awaiting the arrival of the new commander in chief, and in the meantime we are not doing so bad. As for machinery, we are keeping the old stuff going and getting fairly good results by patching and replacing and repairing, but I am looking forward to the day when the surplus property release some of the equipment the Army has taken off the market for the last few years at which a service man, theoretically at least, would have a far better opportunity of obtaining than a mere civilian. Months ago I asked for a list of this equipment that might be available but in true government fashion, I got a letter referring me to someone else and promising the information, not a bit of which has yet materialized. Among the items I have tentatively put on this Wanted List are: a new power mimeograph, possibly a multility, new multigraph, possibly a varityper, a new variscope (or similar), a paper cutter, keyboard graphotype, etc. (I realize all this is very uninteresting to any but Dave and perhaps not too much for him, but I’m over it now). Dave’s letter goes on to tell about a symphony orchestra but I guess I’d better skip this and go on to the French Dept.

News From Dan tomorrow and I’ll end the letter on Friday with a note from Grandpa to Paulette.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives (2) – Excerpt From Rusty Huerlin’s Letter To Ced – December 3, 1944

To continue extract from Rusty’s letter to Ced: “Charles Brown had me over for dinner the day after we landed. Most interesting old timer in the whole territory. First painting will be of him and that one I will keep for myself. Then we’ll have to get down to making bread and butter money or go on Eskimo diet. Eskimos on the way said I was the only white man they had ever seen take to all their food and like it. Ate walrus blubber by the pound, meat dipped in seal oil, dried fish and seal oil and even soured walrus flippers. The latter dish is a rare one but was bound to try it to see if my stomach could digest it. This dainty dish is apt to knot up any white man’s stomach if not poison him. If soured by the sunshine it poisons even the Eskimos. But that did not keep me out of their gathering in a tent full of friends at Wainwright when the flippers were boiling. Sat around and ate like the rest but excuse from now on for not “taking it” again, will be that my false teeth cannot get through it. The stench from this boiling tough stuff and fat is the most repulsive I have ever experienced. It has not a sour smell alone for it smells of rottenness but I used imagination in “taking it” like one should use in first eating Limburger cheese. So the imagination I used was that my nose was rotting away and that I was starving for food – – that a rather spoiled pigs foot would give some strength to me. The girl cut off a big hunk of it dripping with rotten fat and handed it to me. Put it in my mouth and started the imagination and began chewing it. “That’s enough for him” said one of the Eskimos and stared at me with the rest watching for the effect. But I ate one piece after another. Did not get seasick the next day after we cast off and did not get seasick on the whole trip. Most explorers in their lectures throw out the hooey of what the Eskimos call them. McCracken’s bunk was “The Great White Provider”, though up here he is not regarded as much of an Explorer. Others have been known, according to their own accounts, as “The Peaceful One”, “The Crack Shot” and “He Who Never Tires”. The Eskimos have named to me now and by Mukluk telegraph it has gone a long way: “Artist, First White Man to Eat Flippers”. If I do it again it will be the last. Seal guts with crap in them tastes like sausage meat in comparison. One day on the trip I lived on raw caribou meat dipped in seal oil. Looks like pretty days ahead. My three months grubstake, which was all I was able to afford, is going to last me a year now. Have given up rum and all forms of liquor. Sure amazed at my willpower”.

Doesn’t that sound just like Rusty. I can see now that he was getting in training for the walrus flipper diet on that trip to Lake Winnipesaukee, the day he ate that famous sandwich which you all probably recall – – who could forget it?

From the childhood memories of Dave: “Rusty is the last one in the world to call someone else silly. I remember one time he decided to make himself a meal. So we got a piece of bread and he proceeded to put anything and everything that was edible on top of that piece of bread and ate the whole thing, stood out on the rock and belched loud enough so people on Red Hill (across the lake) could hear him, I’m sure. He was a character, a funny guy.”

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Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Just the same, there is a great truth in what he says about going through with a task by using the imagination. Purposely shutting your mind to any consideration of the unpleasant aspects of something that has to be done will enable one to do the impossible. Rusty seems to have developed this imagination faculty to a remarkable degree.

Back where reference is made to Larry being a Mason reminds me of something, Ced, which I have been going to suggest to you for some time but have never happened to think of it when writing, and that is to ask if there is a Masonic Lodge in Anchorage and do you know, fairly well, any of the members? I am sure you would enjoy masonry very much and would take a great interest in it – – more so than any of the other boys. If you ever have the chance and the slightest inclination I would suggest serious consideration of it.

No word yet from Lad but the time is drawing near when a letter from overseas is about due if he sailed when we expect he did.

Catherine (Warden, who is continuing to live in the small apartment with her two children) told me last night that as Paul (her husband)  is expected to be stationed for 18 months in Oklahoma, he has applied to Washington for permission to bring his family out there and in that case, Catherine plans to sell the car to raise car fare, which will leave the apartment minus a tenant. Of course nothing is certain yet but she should know definitely by the end of the month whether permission has been granted or not.

Well, my hearties, I cannot say that I am imbued with the Christmas spirit, but I hope that as the day draws nearer, in spite of the fact that none of you will be home for that festival for the first time in our lives, I may recapture some of the old spirit, particularly with the girls here and possibly Butch and Marty present to put more meaning into the day. Be that as it may, perhaps this letter may not reach some of you before that day, so I give you what is deep in all our hearts here – – hopes and best wishes, particularly from

DAD

I’ll finish out the week with another of Grandpa’s letters addressed to T/3, T/4, T/5, Sergeant and Chief Ski Instructor.

Judy Guion