Special Picture # 293 – Dave and Butch’s Baptism – June, 1940

This is an excerpt from a letter written to my father, Lad, while he was in Venezuela in June of 1940.

This morning I got up at nine and got the dinner started and then rushed up and got dressed for church, because this was the day Mr. Bollman had appointed for baptismal services, and not only was young grandson to be baptized along with three other babies, but our own David was also to receive the same sacrament along with Evelyn Hughes and Robert Shattuck. Your nephew was very good during the entire ceremony but celebrated by wetting himself afterwards while his father was holding him. They decided to leave on this account before the ceremony was over and stopped at MacKenzie’s drugstore on the way home because Zeke was thirsty. Baby evidently did not approve of this because he upset a glass of Coca-Cola and Mac, in his haste to mop up the spilling, upset another glass himself.

These pictures were all taken on the same day. Both Dave and Raymond, Jr. (Butch) were baptized on June 9, 1940

Grandpa, Dick, Ced, Biss, Zeke holding Raymond, Jr. (Butch) and Dan.

Biss and Raymond Jr. (Butch)

Dan holding Butch and Ced

 

Raymond, Jr. (Butch) and Dan on the side lawn

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Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home For Christmas (5) – Quick Notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave – December, 1945

And so this letter and this week finally come to an end. I hope you especially enjoyed the day-by-day adventures of Ced as he flew his new airplane from Trumbull, Connecticut to Lethbridge, Canada. The conclusion of this trip to Anchorage will be covered in A CHRISTMAS REPORT FROM TRUMBULL, CONNECTICUT, which I will be posting from December 25th to the 29th.

Page 4   12/23/1945

Dear Dan:

With the passing of General Patton and the news that he is to be buried in Luxembourg naturally raised the question in my mind if this was one of the cemetery locations you had surveyed.

Today has been one of the real wintry days that you used to enjoy as a youngster. The snow is white and deep and has been swirling around all day in a high wind. I can hear it howling now and even under Lad’s expert eye the furnace has not been able to keep the house even comfortably warm, going full speed. Weatherman promises no letup tomorrow or Christmas. Winter sure is starting in with serious intent. This is the season of the year when I shall miss you and Dave most of all, but when that little elf Hope escapes from Pandora’s box, it was to serve in just such cases as this, so I shall look forward to 100% PLUS representation next year when Christmas again rolls around. Now that the Christmas rush is over I have hopes of getting some of the things Paulette wants that we were unable to obtain. Another box or so will be going forward to you soon, as well as Baby’s layette which we have slowly been accumulating. By the way, three pieces of Government mail reached me this week. Two of them I am enclosing — Counter receipt which I take it you are to sign and return to cover insurance premium, and the other is a registration from the Draft Board at Anchorage, if you please. The third is the check you spoke of — at least I assume this is the one — which I am to retain. It is drawn to your order for $100 and represents the second installment of your mustering out pay. In any event it is being credited to your account here subject to your order for merchandise.

 

Dear Paulette:

While I know you must be happy with your family this first peaceful Christmas after so many years of war, yet I do wish you could also be with us all here so we could show you the good-will part of the Christmas spirit and try to make you feel the love we all have for you for yourself as well as because you are Dan’s wife and sweetheart. Happy days are ahead for us all. Lovingly, your   DAD

Dear Dave:

I am looking hopefully as well as longingly for your return in Spring or early summer when I hope things will be shaping up better than they have been for many years, for you to take over at the office and make things zip. I’m getting sort of tired of carrying things on alone, particularly when I don’t feel so hot, like at present with cold germs camping on my doorstep. After about six months of young blood actively at work, out “making friends and influencing people”, there will be an entirely different atmosphere, and it looks as though, from the financial angle, we would be able to do things in the way of new equipment and company advertising which we haven’t done for years. Meantime, take care of your health, learn all you can, make as many friends as possible, and head for home with the least possible delay when they give you the signal. Meanwhile, a Merry Christmas from all of us, but especially, your   DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are in the Service of Uncle Sam, Ced is in Alaska working for Woodley Air as a mechanic and bush pilot and the other boys are still at home.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 286 – Trumbull House – Blizzard of 1940

 

Just found these pictures from the Blizzard of 1940.

Dave, Mack and Dick shoveling.

Dave with Mack in front of the Packard.

Dick does a “Whirling Dervish”.

Note on the back: “Russian camouflaged as spruce tree sights at snowdrift, figuring it might be a Finn. Real Finn is disguised as a discarded coat in foreground.”

Trumbull – Dear Dave – Local News of Interest – December, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., December 9, 1945

Dear Dave:

While in theory I am glad you are busy — that being the best way to have time pass quickly, for with each passing day it brings that much nearer the time when you step on board the transport that will bring you back to the good old U. S. A. One has to be quite a philosopher, however, to let the theory overweigh the desire to hear from you, to know you are well and contented, and most of all, what the latest rumors are as to when you and your outfit are scheduled for the trip home. It seems quite a long time since we heard from you. The other day I talked to Franny Moore over the phone and of course she asked to be remembered to you, and a few days ago Peggy VanKovics also phoned and said she had not heard from you since October and was a bit concerned. I told her how busy you were and she wanted me to give you her best.

Ced is still with us but expects to start his long flight back to the frozen North tomorrow. He has been delayed by a cold he picked up here and also by not being sure his radio is working properly. I’ll heave a real sigh of relief when I finally get word from Anchorage that he has arrived back there promptly and SAFELY. We have all been up in his plane now, some of us several times. Aunt  Betty even went up the other day. I really enjoyed flying with him, but just the same, that long trip back there alone, through all kinds of weather and over numerous mountains and all over strange territory, is quite a hazardous undertaking under the best of conditions. Well, here’s hoping.

The boys have repaired the stovepipe in the clubroom. I talked with Vicchiola for a few moments last night. As more of you older boys get back and can re-construct the original lineup, it will be much better.

Dick phoned Jean this afternoon that he starts separation proceedings Tuesday, will then proceed on his own to his Mass. Camp stopping en route a day or two in Trumbull, and expects to be out finally in about a week. She got so excited about the whole business that she upset the drawing board Dick had in the phone booth planning out the island house, pulled down the curtains and knocked the phone over and then fell and said that it. Dick will have to develop another technique of telephoning good news to his wife or else she will have to take out additional accident insurance. It’s lucky the lightbulb was fastened up on the wall or she might have blown a fuse. Oh, well, one’s husband is likely to be discharged only once in a lifetime (we hope) from the Army, and even though she be battered and bruised, she still smiles. What’s that line about one’s head being bloodied but unbowed. That’s Jean all over.

So far, I suppose because I have been so confined at the office and the family exchequer is not only empty but in the red, I have not been imbued with the Christmas spirit so far. I did send you a few candy bars, chewing gum, etc., some weeks ago, but with even two or three of your way it won’t seem of 100% Christmas here and I don’t suppose it will be for you in Manila. However, the spirit of “goodwill to men” will mean as much as ever from all of us here to you, encouraged by the thought that it will be different next time. Until we see you then, good night, from

SANTA CLAUS

Tomorrow, a letter to Dan and Paulettr written the same day as Dave’s letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Dave – Thanksgiving Day in the Morning – November, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 22, 1945

          Thanksgiving Day in the morning.

This is sort of a special

in the way of a letter,

quite an interesting to the

majority.

Dear Dave:

On the 21st I received yours of the 13th relating to your talk with Lt. Greenberger about procurement machines no longer needed by the Army. He tells you the Army hasn’t settled its policy as to who is going to get priority on the goods or just how their plans will work. As things stand now, as long as a man is in the Army he can make no tangible deals. He must wait until he becomes a civilian and then he may apply as a veteran.

It is interesting to compare this Army dope with letter just received from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, New England headquarters, situated in Boston. I wrote asking how you could secure office machines with which to engage in business after discharge. Here is the reply:

SURPLUS PROPERTY DIVISION

Reference is made to your recent letter to this agency concerning surplus property. As office machines and equipment are classified as Consumer Goods, your inquiry has been referred to Consumer Goods, Surplus Property Division, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, at 600 Washington St., Boston. The Surplus Property Board has established a procedure whereby a veteran may make application for certain preferences in the purchase of surplus property at a local or regional office of the Smaller War Plants Corporation. The address of the regional office of the Smaller War Plants Corporation is given below:

Smaller War Plants Corporation

55 Tremont St.

 Boston, Mass.

A veteran may, of course, purchase Surplus Property independently of any preference rights on an equal basis with other purchasers.

John J. Haggerty, Manager.

          Unless you see some objection, why not write Tremont St., and ask for list so you can make formal application, and thus establish a sort of priority for any possible value it may have later. I can’t see where it would do any harm even if it didn’t do any good.

In addition to the office equipment, it might be interesting to look into the matter of materials for the island, such as outboard motor, rowboat, motorboat, motor-generator lighting outfits, refrigerators, both electric and kerosene operated, building materials, etc. I will, of course, follow-through from this end.

The barn club room is going from bad to worse. Some of the young kids around here have broken the panel in the door so they can reach up and operate the Yale lock from inside and go in and make the place their own, having little if any respect for the rights of club members or the slightest feeling of obligation or responsibility toward the owner, who allows use of his property for their use. The other morning I found lights had been burning all night and a fire in the stove was still burning in spite of the fact that the smokestack has rotted and broken off, making a fire hazard. Something will have to be done.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1942.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – News of Dave and Ced – November, 1945

 

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 18th, 1945

Dear Dave:

When the renowned Florentine sculptor, Michelangelo, during the middle ages, was commissioned to do a figure celebrating the city’s deliverance from the Borgia’s, the only material he could obtain was a block of marble of wrong proportions. It was too narrow for its length. However, time being short, the young artist went to work with what he had and gave to the world one of its great masterpieces – “David”. Visitors who look upon this statue of the shepherd lad in battle against the mighty Goliath seldom realize why the right arm of the youth clings to his side as his hand reaches for the slang; or why his left arm hugs that side as his hand goes back for the stone; or why the knees been just as they do. The artist was working out his idea within the available space given him by that odd-sized block of marble. That he could create his great work within such narrow limits is astounding. One miscalculation would have meant failure. And the moral for my own “David” far away at this Thanksgiving season? Well, rough and done even are the materials handed to most of us out of which to carve our destiny. They frequently are not the ideal shape which we would have chosen. It is quite natural for us to curse the luck that makes the present state of things in evitable. The wiser ones choose to bless the fate that imposes such challenging necessities upon us, for it is the attitude we take towards life’s limitations which determines whether the outcome is to be a masterpiece or a mess.

Of course you will see in this allegory just another attempt by “the old man” to take some of the bitterness out of the present pill you are swallowing. Fortunately, from personal experience, I know it works.

Ced is now on his way to alliance, Ohio, to check up on the progress of his plane, stopping enroute at Pittsburgh where there is in progress and annual convention of the Federal Union enthusiasts. I am hoping that tomorrow there will be some word from him as to what progress he is making. In any event, whether he flies back here and lands at the Monroe field or comes back by train, he expects to be with us for Thanksgiving. Whether Dick will also be with us is at the present moment somewhat uncertain. He is right now toying with the thought of going back to his South Carolina base as ordered, starting tomorrow, hoping that in tomorrow’s mail he might receive word which will make that unnecessary.

And Marian writes: “back to Army routine — no matter where we move the routine seems exactly the same. We have a very nice room with private bath and separate entrance in an apartment building — more or less. I that I mean there are about four apartments (ours is the only single room) all attached to the main house. The hallway is about 2 ½ feet wide. We like it but if we are going to be here much longer, we will look for a real apartment because eating all our meals out is much too expensive. Lad is being transferred into a new co. so will know a little more about our plans in a day or two. We learn he will remain in this new holding company until the 50-point deal gets straightened out, when he would get his discharge. The Army picked yesterday to give him an influenza shot so he didn’t feel much like doing any anniversary celebrating. We went to a USO dance but came home early. At least we were together, for as it worked out, he could not have come home on a pass.”

I hope they will be able to get home for Thursday’s dinner.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the rest of this letter, on Thursday, news from Marian and on Friday, another short letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (4) – A Morale Booster Shot – November, 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 they are 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