Special Picture # 337 – Trumbull House – Then and Now – Screened Porch and Dining Room Door – 1940 – 2018

Recently I spent a night in the Trumbull House visiting with Paulette – Aunt Chiche to family and friends – and took quite a few pictures. For the next few Saturdays I will be posting pictures taken during this stay as well as older pictures of similar places taken over the years, when I have them. I hope you enjoy.

 

 

Trumbull House – Screened Porch and Dining Room Door – date unknown

Trumbull House with Screened Porch and Dining Room door – 1940

The following is a childhood memory recorded by me with my Uncle Dave.

I don’t know how to explain it because the house, the Big House, has changed so much with renovations but  there used to be a screen porch on the southeast corner of the house and there was a window there that looked from the stairs out onto the porch. Don and Gwen (Stanley) were there and Dick and I were talking, talking, talking, talking, talking. We had been warned on two or three occasions to quiet down and go to sleep. If Dick has told this story it will be a different version than mine because what happened was the last one to speak when the last warning came, was me. So, I was sent upstairs away from the rest of them and as I went up the stairs, I kicked at the window to warn them that I was going to cause trouble for them. Anybody else and everybody else will tell you that I kicked in the window on purpose, but at any rate, I never bought that story. It was a warning. I kicked it into warn them but I broke it. The next thing I knew, my father came charging up the stairs gave me a good spanking and sent me to bed. When I got into bed, I began to feel something sticky down around my right foot. I was already crying and upset, and when I checked it, I’d cut my foot on the glass, which made me feel still more hurt and angry, and suffering such a terrible injustice. I was probably nine or 10 when that happened, maybe eight, well it had to be after my mother had died and I was seven she died.

Tomorrow I’ll begin posting letters written in 1946. The most notable event will be the birth of Grandpa’s first granddaughter in France.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – Dave’s Plans to Arrive in Trumbull – April 21, 1946

Easter Day, Trumbull, Conn., April 21, 1946.

Dear Sons:

Except for being just a bit cool today, weather-wise, it is a typical Easter Sunday — bright, warm sunshine, a gentle breeze, a cloudless sky, grass getting green, leaves beginning to bud  — all the signs of nature awakening from its long winter’s sleep. It brings back memories of other Easte’s in the long ago when you kids were little tykes and all agog for hunting hidden nests of Easter eggs, candy bunnies, etc. I wonder what you are all doing today. It is perhaps as diversified an Easter as the family has had. I picture Dan somewhere in old England, perhaps journeying with the English holiday crowd to visit perhaps his friends in Cornwall, where the scene of the book I am now reading – “The Kings General”, was laid. Ced probably is back for the day with some church choir, recalling perhaps the sunrise service he attended one year in Putney, while Dave is riding out his Easter on the surface of the vast Pacific somewhere between Manila and Honolulu, possibly watching “the sun come up like thunder over China ‘cross the Bay”, England, Alaska and the Pacific — truly an international Easter for representatives of the Guion family. When another Easter dawns in Trumbull perhaps these wandering ones will be watching the lilacs coming in to bloom in our own backyard.

       Lilac Flowers

           My reference to Dave on the high seas is founded on fairly good authority. Have had two letters from him this week, as follows: April 5th, Manila. I’m truly sorry for neglecting to write at such an important time. I left for the depot on schedule just as I wrote. But there wasn’t room for me on the boats that were here at the time. I’ve been waiting at the depot ever since. As things stand now I will leave here sometime around the middle of the month, getting into Frisco the first week in May. The ship I’ll probably sail on is the General Heinzelman. It’s arrival in Manila and it’s estimated time of arrival in the states is not yet definitely known because of storms in the Pacific. But you can be pretty sure of seeing me sometime between the 15th and 20th of May. I’m well and unhappy — this business of waiting three weeks for a ship isn’t easy. Don’t be surprised if I’m a little thin when I get home — hot weather never did agree with me and I had 14 straight months of it. But it’s nothing that a little of your cooking won’t fix up in a short time.”

And four days later: “Yup, still here. Rumors still say we are to leave here April 13th, but the Geeral. Heinzelman still hasn’t arrived. I have three letters here which I shall answer. The first is one written on Feb. 6th and sent to Dan by mistake. As this is all about the office I’ll wait till I get home before I answer it. I was glad to get a report on how things were shaping up, tho. The second was written on St. Patrick’s Day. It contained little news but was nevertheless important. A letter is a letter – even if it is a short one. The third letter quotes one of mine in which I tell of being relieved of duty. This one I presume is to be the last I receive. It was written March 24th and said you were sending a copy to Aunt Dorothy in case I didn’t get it here. By the way, thank you for Aunt Dorothy’s new address. She sure does get around. I probably wouldn’t have been able to find her if I hadn’t gotten this letter. This brings me to your predictions on my arrival date in Trumbull. The day before I received your letter I set a date in my mind — a goal, so to speak. Figuring on leaving here the 13th and taking 17 days across the Pacific, 7 days across the country, 3 days in Fort Devens and one day to get home, my guess would be the same as Lad’s — May 11th, say 3:30 or 4:00 P.M. The only trouble is that I’m allowing no time for the inevitable delays in Army transportation. I’m figuring on no time in California. And I don’t think 7 days across the country is particularly slow for an army troop train.

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If I leave on the 13th, tho, I most certainly should be home sometime during the week of May 12th. My thanks to Lad for any and all work done at the office. I know you’ve been up to your neck, Dad, and I guess you had a real need for the help. Anything Lad does now will make it easier for me too, so thanks again, Lad. It looks to me as if Dan were having as much trouble getting to England as I’m having trying to find a ship with my bunk on it. I hope Dan’s nerves aren’t taking the beating mine are. I’ll have had three weeks in the depot next Saturday. The usual wait is 3 to 5 days, and to top it off there’s no shoulder to cry on. Guess this does it for this time. When I get definite news that I’m leaving Saturday I may not have time to write but I’ll try to say something, even if it’s just I’m leaving; so, “ ‘til we meet again”, Dave.

This is the last word we have had direct from Dave but last evening Biss called up to say she had just received a letter from Dave to the effect that on the 11th when he wrote, he had definite word he was sailing on the 13th. Maybe I’ll get a letter tomorrow confirming this.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter to Dan, Ced and Dave.

On Saturday, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now.

On Sunday, Another post about an Ancestor, Alfred Beck Guion, Grandpa’s Father.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan (2) – Notes to Ced and Dave – April 7, 1946

Dear Ced:

In case you are wondering what the above is all about, let me quote Dan’s last letter from Antwerp, March 26th. “The last month or so has seen an incredible melee of activity without progress. If you were to trace my itinerary it would go something like this: Metz, Paris; Paris, Calais; Calais, Paris; Paris, Le Havre; Le Havre, Paris; Paris, Calais; Calais, Paris, Versailles; Versailles, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp; Antwerp, Brussels, Lille, Calais; Calais, Lille, Brussels, Antwerp; Antwerp, Brussels, Lille, Calais; Calais, Lille, Brussels, Antwerp; Antwerp, Calais; Calais, Lille, Brussels, Antwerp. During this period I have managed to be in Calais nearly 50% of the time. Ostensibly, we are trying to get to England. Actually, while waiting for a boat, we are having quite a

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vacation. Tomorrow at long last we are scheduled to board a small British ship which will take me to Folkstone. All the delay has been caused by our truck. It seems that only a limited number of ships are authorized to carry vehicles, else we should have gone right on to England from Le Havre. Frequent trips between Calais and Antwerp were made to see if the boat had come in yet. P.S. It hadn’t. “Chiche” is doing fine. She has been a promising herself to write you a letter in English, Dad, but only a “Richard” could say when. She plans to write it first in French, then translate as well as possible using a dictionary. The result should prove highly original considering how different are the word groupings between the two languages. Latest orders and cancellations: (1) Please send three women’s blouses with long sleeves and collar. Material and color governed by availability. Suggested cotton, white, yellow, red. (2) If electric flatirons with adjustable thermos-controls are available please send one. Ordinary electric irons are obtainable here but none thermo-controlled. (3) You may cancel both dress cloth and cradle cloth orders. They are becoming more common and more reasonable over here. The items that are most sorely lacking now in France are the staples of life such as flour, potatoes, dairy products, etc. Potatoes can be found only by going to the country and carrying them home yourself and the price runs around 6 or 7 cents per pound. Bread, which was un-rationed during the early winter months, is now rationed more stringently than ever and the quality is poorer than it was. In Belgium conditions are much better but prices are startlingly high. And now for the third time I mentioned that the next letter I write will be from England. Dan.”

And that’s the news from your next older brother. Saw Mrs. Ives this week and she asked about you. She has been visiting a friend in Jersey whose husband is dying from cancer and expects to go back there soon. In last week’s letter I neglected to enclose the statement promised so I sent it later in another envelope together with some watercress seeds for the Hopkins’ which I hope will be there when they reached Anchorage.

Dear Dave:

I suppose, and hope, that by this time you are on the high seas so I will not attempt to send a letter to you at the old address but shall instead take advantage of Aunt Dorothy’s good nature and use her for a temporary post office box, carrying the privilege of reading the mail. We have all been working outside today which has been sunny and fairly warm, tidying up the place to look nice for your homecoming. Dick has even gone so far as to give Smokey a shampoo and haircut. April 3rd we celebrated Lads birthday in a quiet manner just among ourselves at home. We had a treat in the way of beefsteak and Marian of course made a birthday cake which was a humdinger. Business keeps coming in pretty well, and if it weren’t for Lad helping out in his usual, quiet, efficient and neat way, I’d be swamped. Miss Platt (who left Grandpa’s employ to open her own printing shop) told me the other day she now has five employees. A couple of competitors have sprung up but apparently there seems to be business enough for all. Lad and I witnessed a demonstration of a multilith last week and it looks like something we could use. Price about $500. I told the salesman I would do nothing in the matter until your return, secretly hoping you might be able to get one as a veteran from army surplus stock and save several hundred dollars. Oh well, I suppose it will be time enough to talk shop after you have returned and gotten Pacific seaweed combed out of your hair. I am certainly looking forward to a vacation at the Island, however toward the end of the summer. And that’s about the only reason I’ll be glad to see you wither. Until you stumble up our old, stony driveway, I’ll remain your same old

DAD

For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting letters from Grandpa to Dan and Paulette and Ced. He won’t bother trying to send a letter to Dave because he should be on his way home, joining his brothers, Lad and Dick, their wives, Grandpa and Aunt Betty. The Trumbull house if filling up again which makes Grandpa very happy.

Judy Guion

Trumbull (1) – Letters From Ced and To Dave and Dan – March 31, 1946

 

For some reason I cannot find page 1 of this letter dated March 31, 1946. I even went to the original letters and page 1 is not they are so I will post page 2 today and page 3 tomorrow with Easter wishes from Grandpa. This appears to be a continuation of a letter from Ced, who is in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Page 2    3/31/46

One other interesting sidelight on the “Student Federalists” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_Federalists) is a report in the local papers one day last week of the proposed formation of a S.F. chapter at the Homer High School. I had no previous knowledge that there was any further interest in the territory whatever and it seemed great to think that there were some people to help carry the ball in Alaska. If there is interest that strong in Homer, why not other places in Alaska and also why not elsewhere in scattered waypoints in the States and foreign lands? Of course I know there is lots of interest and sympathy all through the world but it gives a kind of impetus to one’s inspirations when he realizes that there is strong support in a previously unknown quarter. I regret that I failed to send a letter to the Homer school but the population seemed too small to warrant the speakers traveling there. Now, tho, I expect that the speakers will certainly visit home or if they decide on coming up to Alaska.

Have been skiing on Saturdays and on my afternoons off and enjoying it immensely. Perhaps by thaw time the art of “Christie” turns will be mastered. Flying has been dealt into less frequently, but when the skiing is over, I shall again take to the air. I did do a loop for the first time about two weeks ago and it worked beautifully. In fact there is lots less sensation than I thought there should be. Spins are much more severe.

There is a new men’s chorus starting in town with Blanche Fusek playing and directing it. I went last Monday and will probably attend regularly from now on. I’d rather be in a mixed chorus but there is no such thing in town except church choirs. They are nice to, but I work Sundays and besides, I prefer non church singing.

Thanks loads for the pictures you sent. They make me homesick for the old home tho. They are also natural and homey. I will soon have some pictures of my bearded frontispiece and will startle you with one or two of same. The Rendezvous went off alright but I got to see very little of it. The car went to someone else, the house wasn’t for me and now all that can be hoped for is the ice pool. Sure is good to hear that the Hopkins made such a hit. They are still in the States but when they return here it is going to be fun checking up on Trumbull again. They will be the first links between here and there since I have been up here.”

Dear Dave:

Following last week’s practice I shall send a copy of this letter to you care of Aunt Dorothy in San Francisco, hoping that either in Manila or S.F. one will reach you, although I am of course hoping that the one to Manila will make good speed and still miss you. Denny the Greek is still asking about you frequently and was quite thrilled when I told him you might now be on your way home. And for the love of Mike, if you have received Dominic Powell’s famous poem dedicated to his son, acknowledge it at the first opportunity. I had the job done for him and he is as proud of it as Lucifer. I told him you had said the males were very poor lately. Perhaps you had better cable him.

Perhaps the other two would like to know what you say in your latest letter. I know nothing of my C.O.’s letter to the W.D. (War Department) about my allotments – – probably a routine thing that happens all the time. Of the four letters I find comments on only two. Your March 3rd letter tells of Dan’s meeting a Mr. Loveridge in France. Aunt Anne writes that Mike Gresham is out this way in a USO show “Three Men and a Horse”. I don’t remember him but when he gets here all certainly look him up. Your “pictorial thoughts” most certainly were not needed to create in me the desire to come home but you’ll never know how welcome they were.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the conclusion to this letter.

On Saturday more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now. On Sunday, the final Guest Post from GPCox titled There’ll Be A Hot Time…

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Letters to Dave, Dan, Paulette and Ced (1) – March 10, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., March 10, 1946

Dear Dave:

Thank you very much for the letter and particularly the promising news it contains, which you wrote from Manila, 25th, 1946, as follows: “it’s been so long since I’ve written you I’ve forgotten what I said last time. Not much is happening here anyway. I’m still working and waiting for the day when they decide I shall go home. The mail situation is deplorable. A couple of days ago I got yours of Feb. 2nd, in which you enclosed the legal form, but I don’t know the story behind it because I’m missing mail from a number of Sundays prior to the 2nd. You can expect me by May 15th, but don’t drop dead if I should walk in on you before that. This isn’t much of a letter but I’m trying to write and listen to Margaret O’Brien on the radio at the same time. See you before too long. Dave

Well, that’s one point in the score for Margaret. Even if she did win out this time the situation will be different after the aforesaid May 15th. I’m even beginning to wonder now where we are going to bunk you when you do arrive along with your Philipino tan. You may have your choice of the bathtub or the coal bin in the cellar which is just about empty. And then of course there is the clubroom in the barn, or rather what is left of it. A glance inside the other day showed evidence they have been breaking up the furniture for fuel. However, don’t delay your homecoming on this account. As to the mail situation the radio this morning announced that Gen. MacArthur had given orders to speed up mail delivery so maybe you boys will have one less gripe on this score. But before we cast off and sail for other ports here is one business news item which may interest you. Lad has brought to consummation one of your long dreamed of ideas and that is converting the mimeograph into an automatic operated unit. He rigged up a little motor and part of an old signature attachment in such a way that you can switch on the juice on a rheostat speed regulator and the old mimeograph, now automatically fed will automatically operate, automatically failing to print when the feeder forgets to push through a sheet, so now theoretically, you can put on a stencil, load up with a hundred blank sheets, turn on the current, let her percolate and go off and listen to Margaret O’Brien on the radio if you dare. Aside from that I’m feeling pretty peppy over the news that you still are hopeful of a comparatively early return and that now leaves only Dan & Co. with a big question mark after the words “embarkation date”. No further word from him this week but each day that goes by brings inexorably nearer that indefinite but nevertheless certain date when France will conquer America through the Trumbull invasion point.

Dear Dan:

Anent invasions we are completely conquered this week by an old friend of yours, Leonard Hopkins and his charming wife. Ced had written some weeks ago that they were starting for the east and would probably stop in for a visit. We have been looking forward to seeing them and sure enough this week they phoned from New York and yesterday Lad met them at the railroad station. They are tops, both of them. She is much like your mother in being interested enthusiastically in almost everything and he, aside from his friendly, interesting personality, strikes me as a very able, farsighted and discriminating businessman.

Dear Paulette:

Jean is still searching the stores for some attractive flowered cotton material from which you can make a pretty summer dress but they do not yet seem to have received their spring and summer stock yet from the manufacturers in the department stores. However she will keep trying and as her judgment in clothes is exceptionally good you can be sure when she does find something it will be well worth waiting for.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter – addressed to Ced. The rest of the week will be filled with another of Grandpa’s letters to his “poor dogs”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear DB, CD and DP – Short Notes and Local News – February 10, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., Feb. 10, 1946

Dear DB, CD and DP,

A cablegram from Dan, a New Year’s greeting from the Senechal’s (Paulette’s parents), a letter from Dave and a letter from your mother’s Aunt Marian (Rudolph Peabody’s mother) in Morgantown, W. Va., is what the mailman left in my lap — yes, even the cablegram arrived by mail, so you’re not as smart as you thought you were in catching me in a misstatement. I am also enclosing for your perusal copy of chapter 2 of Ced’s trek to the far North which I stated in my last letter I had left at the office but afterward remembered I had given it to Elizabeth to read and she had not returned to me. I did however, leave Dave’s letter at the office where I had taken it to make correction in my Addressograph stencils, as in this letter he stated his unit had been transferred to Tokyo, leaving him, however, in Manila. His revised address is Sgt. etc. 4025 Sig. Svc. Det., 5th Plt. Hq. Det. 1, APO 75, c/o PM, S.F. etc. This was about all he had time to write before he was called to duty (Yes, Dave, I called Kilner at once and let her know the new address).

Dan’s cablegram was short but a bit disconcerting. It read: “Register parcels henceforth. Theft evident. Dan.” Unfortunately most of the things he had asked for from time to time, including items of jewelry and a fur coat from Sears Roebuck, representing in all several hundred dollar’s worth of merchandise, had all been shipped before his cable arrived. We are now awaiting follow-up letter which will undoubtedly give us more details on the “theft evident” feature. There has hardly been sufficient time since the coat was shipped to have had it arrive, so I am hoping that will get through O.K. I am sorry now that I did not meticulously set down for record purposes the date of each parcel shipped and the contents thereof so that, if it would do any good, which I doubt, claim could be entered for missing articles. Without this date however, I am afraid filing a claim would be useless. Besides it may not have been that the looting occurred until after it left the jurisdiction of the U.S. authorities, if the packages have been chasing Dan around France under French government auspices. The Senechal card is a very attractive reproduction of the official seal of the City of Calais in colors and extends New Year’s greetings from the Senechal’s to all of us here.

Aunt Marian says her daughter Ruth (Rudolph’s sister) who is a teacher of _______ in the Univ. of Morgantown, has gone on a week’s vacation. She says Rudolph’s hospital unit turned over their hospital to a younger unit last September and then “sat in the mud” until Nov. 14th before starting home, thus missing Thanksgiving at his Madison home. He is now back at Wayne University.

Art Mantle and his new wife are home. She is from California I believe, but I have talked to no one yet who has met her. Red Sirene is now a civilian but it is too soon to have given him time to make any plans for his future. His wife works at McCall’s Magazine and they live in Brooklyn. Nellie Sperling is in the hospital with some tropical hold over from his service in the East. I am not sure whether it is malaria or some other tropical disease. Paul (Warden, he and his family live in the small apartment in the Trumbull House) is now working at Remington and is busy with plans to build a boat in collaboration with Walter Mantle. Zeke (Biss’s husband) is not making as much money now as his time at Singer’s (Sewing Machine) has been cut. G.E. strike still continues. A threatened Bpt. (Bridgeport) Brass strike has been averted. Dave Cronin died very suddenly of a heart attack while driving on White Plains Road in his car.

DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll be posting letters from 1942 when Grandpa is writing to his sons who are away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Rover Boys (2) – Dave Speaks His Mind – February 3, 1946

And Dave says: Jan. 11, Manila. “We got a message through our code room last night from Eisenhower to Gen. Styer and other base commanders stating that all men with 2 ½ years service and 45 points will be home by Apr. 30. All men with two years service and 40 points will be out by June 30th. This second group will include me. I have 32 points as of VJ Day and two years active service as of Jan. 13th — 2 days from now. The message stated that the plan was a must and a minimum. If the men could be released faster than they should by all means be released. After the 2 ½ year man leave Manila (in early April if they are to be in the states by the deadline), then they will start sending the 2-yr. 5-mos., then 2-yr. 3 mos., etc. I figure that I should leave at the latest by May 15th, getting me home about June 15th. If we keep bringing pressure to bear on Washington it can be sooner than that. If we’re actually needed over here “for the good of the country” then I’m the last one on earth that would ask to be allowed to go home, but I think that if the Govt. had worked for weeks they couldn’t have thought of a poorer excuse than to say they don’t have replacements. I may sound cynical but I think that if there is really a dire need for us out here the government could have given us a better reason for keeping us here — even granting that the real reason may be a diplomatic or military secret. Therefore, I’ve come to the conclusion that politics of one sort or another has entered into the matter. I hope I’m wrong but I’ll have to have proof to the contrary if I’m to believe anything else. (Here follows some comments about work at the office) I got your “book” on Christmas activities at Trumbull. I especially liked the part about Marty. There should be more people in this world like him. I hope “growing up” doesn’t change him. I’m in for T/4 again. Some of these days it will come through. This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve gone in for it. (In a letter written the next day Dave says the rating did come through). Do you remember some time ago I had a large filling put in one of my teeth? Well it came out before we landed on Okinawa. (Teeth chattering that much, Dave?) It therefore

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has to come out. My appointment for the dentist today was canceled due to the fact that a Major asked him to do something for him this morning. So now I have to think about how much I don’t want to get my tooth pulled, from now until Monday. I intend to write Lad and Marian to congratulate them, etc., but I know myself too well, so I’ll say it here. “Congratulations to you both! (Or should I say to you three). Here’s wishing you all (that’s leaving it open for more additions) every kind of happiness throughout all the years to come. Love. Dave.

Last night we here discussed plans for the forthcoming house to be erected on the Island and Dick and Marian thought it would be a good idea if they now all pooled their respective ideas (Ced and Dick talked the thing over pretty thoroughly last time Ced was on) and arrived at something more concrete that might form the basis for a place representing the composite of everyone’s ideas. That will leave Dan and Dave yet to be heard from, and when I say Dan, of course I also include Paulette. With Spring now so far off and building materials possibly more generally available, it might not be too soon to look into the preliminary phases of the matter. Financing, of course, is one of the first things to consider and before we can get anywhere with this phase of the matter, we have to have more or less of an idea what the structure will cost and as this will be determined by the size, style, character of building, etc., it behooves us to get our ideas pretty well pooled and in agreement, so open up, ye “furriners” and let us have your European and Asiatic ideas before the crocuses start out of the ground.

Things here are going along as usual. Strikes still occupy news headlines, food shortages, certain articles of clothing, notably men’s shirts and women’s hosiery, still are bothersome, but by the time you get back perhaps things will be more normal. Jean and Dick this afternoon have gone over to visit their in-laws and Lad and Marian have invited Aunt Betty and myself to go to the movies with them — The Bells of St. Mary’s” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bells_of_St._Mary%27s I believe it is, which means that I shall now have to write finis to this, my weekly offering, and with hope in my heart and a great deal of love and good wishes to you all, subscribe myself, as usual, the same old

DAD

I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa to DB, CD and DP, the boys who are not in Trumbull.

On Saturday and Sunday, Special Pictures.

Judy Guion