The Beginning (57) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – End of the War For Dave

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

David Peabody Guion

DAVE – On August 25th, I think, we were all watching a film in a kind of natural amphitheater and one of the guys was from Brooklyn and had a buddy, whowas also from Brooklyn, and I remember this just as if it were yesterday, he came running over – we had gotten some rumors that the Japs were going to quit – and this guy came running over and said, “The signing has been confoimed.”  I never forgot that.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Manila_(1945)

The time between August 25th and September 7th when they signed the Treaty, I left Okinawa and went down to Manila.  Here I am now – the war is over – all I have to do is go home and they are shipping me out in a plane to Manila.  The pilot spent about twenty minutes, maybe, trying to start one engine and I said to myself, “I’m going to die in the ocean and the war is over.”  Anyhow, we got to Manila.  That was quite a sight – buildings where the first floor was completely gone and five or six or seven stories would be on top of it, canted, all kinds of destruction.  If you went to the City Hall and looked up you would see a room with curtains on the windows.  That was MacArthur’s headquarters.  So he had curtains on his windows and the Philipinos were watching dead bodies float down the river.

I would say I was in Manila probably about six months.  It would have been August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, eight months.  I came home in March 1946.  I got out of the service the day Chiche (Paulette) gave birth to Arla, Danielle, as the case may be. (Dan and Paulette’s daughter was named Danielle Arla Julien Andre Guion but the family always called her Arla.)

I had a friend who had a friend who was MacArthur’s driver, chauffeur, and this guy said that whenever MacArthur went in someplace, he’d always get one of those Oriental houses where there was a porch all the way around the building.  He’d have his staff come up and sit in chairs around the building.  He got up to the first staff member and he would say, “Give me your report.”  It might be a question, it might be a problem, or it might just be a report.  Then he would walk around the whole building, see the whole staff, each giving him these questions.  Then he would get in his car and tell his friends friend, “Drive me”.  They would drive around and pretty soon MacArthur would say, “OK”, let’s go back.”  Then he’d say, “you, — blah, blah, blah. You — blah, blah, blah.”  He went all around the whole building telling each one of his staff members what to do about his problem.  What a brain.  There shouldn’t be enough room in there for an ego, but there was.

Tomorrow, Day Six of Lad’s Voyage to Venezuela. He arrives in Guayra and writes of his experience.

On Sunday, more about My Bradford Ancestors, Caleb Rider and Hannah McFarland.

Judy Guion

 

 

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The Beginning (56) – Childhhood Memories of Trumbull – Dave and World War II

 

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

David Peabody Guion

The Beginning (56) Childhood Memories of Trumbull(56) – Dave and World War II

DAVE – After Missouri, I got shipped out.  So when it was time to leave ….. We were a Company – I can’t get away from radio – we were a company that, when we got overseas, we were supposed to police the other nets (networks), conversations between one company and another or one unit and another.  The guys that were the operators really hated that.  The guys really hate doing that because they felt like they were spying on their fellow soldiers.

For some reason or other they decided to send an advance party so there were twelve of us plus three officers.  We shipped out quickly – very short notice – and went up to Ft. Lewis outside Seattle.  We went from there to Hawaii.  We were on a different ship after we left Hawaii – and we went down across the equator.  I got the full initiation when we crossed the equator.  A tank of water was set up on deck.  You would have water dumped over you again and again until you yelled, “Shellback”.  A Shellback is one who has crossed the equator for the first time.  Now, I’ve always, even to this day, been afraid of the water.  That was an ordeal for me.  After the dunking, you had to run down a long line of Shellback’s that had paddles or rolled towels and they would hit you with them as you went by.  I forgot to say you had nothing on but underpants.  So that was my initiation into being a Shellback after having crossed the equator.

We got down to Ulithi, (https://www.warhistoryonline.com/world-war-ii/hidden-ulithi-naval-base.html) which was a weird sounding name, and they started talking about someplace called Okinawa.  They said, “We are going to Okinawa and we are going to invade Okinawa.”  At dawn they were going to send in a flotilla to the center of the island but the real invasion would be on the other end of the island, further up.  I said to myself, “What kind of outfit would do something as stupid as this?  Why did they think the feint would work?”  I was attached to Army headquarters at this point, at least our company would be when they got there.  What happened was that the feint worked so well that we were supposed to go in, I think it was the third day, we were supposed to land.  We didn’t plan for ten days because the Americans went through so fast that they left us behind.  They couldn’t afford to have us valuable people in Army headquarters get shot.  So, we didn’t get in for some time.  When we were ready to go in, my Sergeant, who was a buddy of mine, came up to me and he said, “Dave, I have a special assignment for you.”  And I said, “What’s that?”  He said, “When we get on land your job is to bunk with and take care of Marvin.”  Now Marvin King was a guy who was so stupid that he wasn’t bright enough even to get a Section 8 and get out.  I can remember whenever we were on the ship and they called out the anchor detail, he would run to the side and start throwing up.  We hadn’t even moved yet, and he was already seasick.  My job was to take care of him.  When we got to Okinawa, finally landed, we dug ourselves a little two-man foxhole.  I was bunking with Marvin.  My job at that point was to go and get water and the mail – ho, ho, ho … There was no mail – and bring it back to the company.  Now some time had gone by and Marvin and I were in close quarters.  Needless to say there was not a lot of friendship between the two of us.  So anyway, one night, near dawn, a plane came over and obviously was hit.  It was a Japanese plane, he was hit and so he was jettisoning his bombs which were small 25-pound anti-personnel bombs.  One guy didn’t believe in being in a foxhole, so he was in a hammock.  When he woke up in the morning, he looked up, put his hat on and realized that half of the visor was gone.  So, needless to say, he decided he was going to sleep in a foxhole.  That morning, when I went to get water, I went alone.  I usually went alone.  When I came back the hole that we had dug was now two levels – one level where I was and one deeper level where Marvin was.  It was very, very easy to dig, like clay, no stones like we get in Connecticut, so it was easy to dig out but he wasn’t about to dig me a place, I was one level above him.

Tomorrow, I will finish the week with one more post of The Beginning, Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The Beginning (55) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – The Guion Boys at War

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place.

Lad in uniform at the Trumbull House on leave

LAD – (During the War) Dan was in France.  He was a surveyor and was coordinating between England and France, I guess helping to make arrangements (before D-Day). Ced was working at Elmendorf Airfield when it was taken over by the military.  He was then employed by the government as a mechanic.  Later on, he was willing to do it, or was crazy enough to do it, but he would take a tractor and an AT Wagon (a little wagon with tracks on it so it stayed on top of the snow) and go out and bring back downed planes.  Sometimes it would take a number of days before he found the plane and was able to bring it back.  Dick, I know very little about.  He went to Brazil and was able to converse with Portuguese civilians.  He spent a couple of years there. I know nothing about Dave except that he was in the Philippines.

David Peabody Guion

DAVE – on December 23 (1944) I was sworn into the Army and on January 16th I went off to Ft. Devin’s to begin my training. One of the deals in the processing up there was a situation where you could sit down and some guy with a typewriter and a form would ask you questions and then type the answers.  Well, one of the questions further down the line was, “What would you like to do while you are in the service?”  I said, “I’d like to get to talk to people.  I’d like this job.”  A few days later – George Knecht (a friend and neighbor from Trumbull) and I went into the service at the same time – a few days later they called me down to processing and said, “We can keep you for, we don’t know how long, it depends on how you orders are written, but we can keep you on this job doing this typing.”  And I said, “Yes.”  I could see some weekends home with my new girlfriend, so that’s fine with me.  A couple of days later George shipped out and went to Europe and slogs through mud and muck during the whole war.

I got home three weekends; it was a pretty nice job at Fort Devens.  Of course at the time I said I’d like to do this job I didn’t realize that it was done by people who were just recruits as I was once.  Anyhow, the guy behind me – there were four of us who were doing this job – was telling me about his brother who was in the Signal Corps in New Jersey.  So I figured that was a good deal.  I’ll joined the Signal Corps and from New Jersey, get home some more weekends.  What I neglected to say is that they told us, “When they ask you this question of what you would like to do, nobody ever reads that.  At this point, we are just filling a quota, but those who work here, we actually do try to put them where they want to be.”  So that’s when I said, “New Jersey.  I’d like to go into the Signal Corps.”  So I went into the Signal Corps.  After I got into the Signal Corps I found out that New Jersey was the advanced training for radar or something and I ended up in Missouri, but at least I was in the Signal Corps.

I was sent to radio school and radio school was – what you had was earphones on your head and there were all these dits and dahhs, dit-dit-dahh-dit, all this business, and you were supposed to write down these letters as they came out.  I found out they were random letters.  I didn’t want to be a radio operator, didn’t want to hear all those dits and dahhs in my head, in my ear.  What I used to do – it’s tough to beat the service, they’ve seen everything – but I managed to get away with this.  I don’t know how, but there was a key that you could send messages, I guess that was advanced training, and I found out that the messages, the letters, came through that key.  So I used to take a little piece of paper and stick it in a spot where it broke the connection and then when the instructor went by I would sit and write any letter that happened to come into my head because they were all random letters.  When he moved on, I would switch papers and write a letter to my girlfriend.  Roundabout that time I got the mumps.  I was in the hospital and when I came back out ….. I guess it was maybe before I went to radio school I got the mumps; I guess that’s what it was.  I remember my finest hour  I begged and pleaded with the officer to let me stay in radio school even though I wanted desperately to get out and he didn’t buy my act so they sent me off to cryptography school.  That was a better deal.  I was encoding and decoding messages and I had to get an FBI clearance and people back home were interviewed, a big fuss made, but at eighteen, how much trouble could I have gotten into in my life.  So I got into Cript School and that’s where I stayed and although I didn’t do a lot of encoding and decoding, I was officially a cryptographer.

For the rest of the week I will be posting more of the recorded Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Lumbermen at Large (3) – Dave Writes Grandpa A Birthday Letter – September 11, 1944

 

(copy)

September 11, 1944

Dear Dad:

You usually write each of us a special letter each time our individual birthdays roll around. So I said to myself: Why not follow in your good father’s footsteps, and do the same for him? So, here I am.

I thought of this day many times during the last month and a half, but never once in that time – – I’m ashamed to admit it – – did I think of sending something home to you. I had thought of telephoning you or sending a telegram, but never once did I think of sending a box of cigars or something else as a reminder to you of how proud I am to be able to have you for my father. In view of the fact that I had already written you that I may be home, I decided that to phone you would be a bad policy because your first thought on hearing my voice would probably be that I am at the Bridgeport R.R. Station. This thought would probably come to you before I could explain that I am still in Crowder; and that – pardon my conceit – – would only be a disappointment rather than glad tidings. I may send you a telegram yet – – I don’t know. At any rate, I’ll send the letter.

Since coming back from CPX I thought time and time again that I may be able to bounce in on you on September 11th, but Saturday I finally abandoned all hope because I would have had to leave Saturday night to make it.

I hope this birthday is a happy one, but I KNOW next year’s WILL BE a happy one. By that time at least part of your scattered family will be home under the shaded roof of our old house – – business will be much improved with the Bridgeport war plants once again turning or turned back to fluorescent lamps, brass fixtures, rivets for peace time use and organizations and clubs once again throwing their anniversary parties and the like, without being hampered by gas or food shortages. They’ll all turn back to the Guion Advertising Company for their ads, business letters and announcements. There’ll be the old customers and there’ll be new ones in a better and bigger Bridgeport. Right now it may seem like a dream but by Sept. 11, 1945, it will be far more than a dream.

Maybe by that time I won’t have to be telling my buddies about the business I’m going back to, about all my brothers who are scattered all over the world, about my father who pulled his small company through the hard times and who, in spite of losing his wife, brought all of us up so he could be proud of us. Maybe I won’t have to lie on my Army cot and wish I were home with my father who brought me up just the way a kid would like to be brought up – always advising, seldom laying down the law, letting me think things out for myself, hardening me to the world, being a brother rather than a Lord over me. Maybe I can be back appreciating it rather than just remembering what used to be.

I started this letter and it was going to be a “happy birthday” letter, but it has turned out to be a letter of hope and thankfulness. I AM thankful, Dad, and I always will be – – and maybe that will make you happier knowing it’s true, then just having me say in a lot of words HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD. I hope so, anyway. Love, DAVE

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s One Act Play, entitled “Bolivering with the Guions”. On Friday, a letter from Marian to Grandpa with lots of news.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (52) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Friends

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place. 

 

                                   “The Good Times” – 1939
            Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl Wayne
                                      The Red Horse Station

This picture was taken several years after Lad worked there, Carl Wayne had bought the station from the Kurtz family

CED – Lad worked at Well’s garage, the Well’s Bus Company.  He was there maintenance man for years.  Later he ran two different gas stations in town.  The first was the Mobile station, next to Kurtz’s store.  The second was the Atlantic station after it opened.

DAVE – One more thought when your father, Al, had a gas station in Trumbull.  I don’t have witnesses but I think Ced told the story.  Somebody came in one day, knowing what a great diagnostician your father was, came in and said, “You hear it?  Something is wrong with my car.  Can you hear that noise?”  Your father, without saying a word, turned around and walked away.  “Well, what is this?  Here I am, asking a question, and the guy ignores me and just walks away.”  He was about ready to take off when your father came back and he says, “I think the problem is …”, but he never told the guy he was going off to think about what to say.

BISS – I would not repeat anything about my teenage years.

Dan and Lad used to be competitive with the girls; they always seemed to like the same girls.  There would be in upheaval because she would pick one or the other.  It might have been Adele O’Brien that they both liked.  She was another pretty girl.  Jimmy, her brother, was in my class and Adele was older.  I think both Lad and Dan took a shine to her.  I think it was the most serious difference of opinion; apparently they both liked her, so neither of them married her.

“The Gang” on the  Summer Porch at the Trumbull House – 1938

Front row, L to R: Edna Traphagen, Tessie Mikita, Edna Bebee, Jane Mantle, Richard Christie, Dave Guion, Dan Guion,

Back row: Peg Bebee, Lois Henigan, Helen Smith, Bill Slausen, Arnold Gibson. Barbara Plumb, Lad Guion, Ethel Bushey, Pete Linsley, Doris Christie 

There were a whole bunch of us that were friends and hung around together.  There was Ethel Bushey, Doris Christie, Jane Mantle, Barbie Plumb and Jean Hughes.  Some of the guys we hung around with were Zeke (Raymond Zabel, her eventual husband) Zeke’s brother Erv, Fred Karn and his brothers Earl and Al, and Rudy Mahulka.  At this time Zeke lived up on Daniels Farm Road and I guess they were playing with guns.  Anyway, Rudy shot the gun and the bullet hit a tree and ricocheted and hit his sister.  I guess the bullet was lodged too close to her heart; anyway, they couldn’t operate on it.  I think it was about five years later when she died from the gunshot wound.  Indirectly, the gunshot wound was the cause of her death.  She was another pretty girl.

Some of the other people who hung around with us were Art Christie and George Brelsford.  When Zeke’s family moved down onto Park Street, it was George Brelsford’s family that bought their house.  Then George moved away and I never heard from him again.  But there was Art Christie, Dick Christie went more with Ced, he was the younger brother, then there was Floyd Smith who was an acquaintance.

Tomorrow, Lad’s third day on the Santa Roas as he heads to Venezuela.

On Sunday, more of My Ancestors.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (51) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Assorted Memories

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place. 

The Beginning (51) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Assorted Memories

Dick – Lad did some wrestling for a while – he was extremely proficient – he could beat guys older and heavier than he was.

Lad and Gibby (Arnold Gibson) had an old Model T Ford.  They would tie a rope to the differential, tie a tire on ten or fifteen feet back, and ride it like a surfboard or sled.

CED – We used to play the piano.  We had a player piano, we got it from Aunt Anne, she had it in New Rochelle and they didn’t use it anymore so we got it.

DAVE – The big draw was the player piano.  Each one of us, as we got to a certain age, would have people over and we would stand around the piano, play a few songs and sing to them, sing to the music.

Grandpa, Ced and Dick (not sure if Dave was there) visited the Chandlers after they moved to Maryland.

CED – The young people’s group in church was led by Doug and Emily Chandler.  Long after Chandler left, we kept on with the Chandler Chorus.  The only two people who ever directed the Chandler Chorus were Doug Chandler and Laura Brewster.  He was good, very good with young people.  There must have been seventeen or eighteen kids in the group.  He played the piano beautifully and we would have these meetings once a week.  He played really jazzy music for us, too.  He was very fond of music, good music, and started the Chandler Chorus.  We had everywhere from ten-year-olds to sixty-year-olds, maybe higher.  Maybe not ten-year-olds, but we had young people.  We sang quite frequently.  We went all over the place, up to Shelton.  We were good.  In fact, that’s where Fannie and I met.

Anyway, then there was this young group, as I said, our house was the center of activity all over town.  It drew practically everyone in the town of Trumbull.  Mother said every Tuesday night we could have an Open House for all the young people.  We would play the piano and we would sing.  We just had a ball, and then we would have cookies and cocoa or something.  That was so much fun.

DICK – Dad, Ced, Dave and I went on a trip to the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec.  At Lewis we crossed over and went up the south side.  Dad got violently sick from rancid bacon.  At Cape Bon Homie there is a high, steep precipice – about two hundred feet high.  At the top, we all lay down on our bellies and inched forward to the edge.  Nearby, we had found some rotten logs – one of us would throw one over the edge and the rest of us would watch.  It was fascinating watching it fall – almost in slow motion.

Art Mantle, Biss and Lad with the Model T

DAVE – Where did I learn to drive?  I guess I never did.  I don’t remember.  I don’t think it was in the back lot.  I remember a game the older boys used to play.  Someone would stand on the running board (if you don’t know what a running board is, look it up) and stick their bottom out.  There had to be a little bit of teamwork between the driver and the person on the running board, and they would try to see how close they could come to a tree without hitting their butt.  That’s all I remember about it.

Tomorrow I will finish off the week with one more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

On Saturday, Day Three for Lad on his Voyage to Venezuela.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (50) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Specific Memories From Dave

 

           Dave Guion

DAVE – Dick, Ced and I, when I could get them to drag me along … there was a whole gang that used to do things together.  I couldn’t understand why they did not want me along all the time.  Now, I don’t know how they put up with me at all, anytime.  I used to go and do things with them.  Sometimes we would go for a walk in the woods, we would go to Helen and Barbara Plumb’s house and play tennis. One of the fellows that was part of that gang was a guy by the name of Don Sirene.  His father was an architect and he lived in the house that my older siblings went to school in.  I remember one day, we were at his house, and we were having hot chocolate.  I guess it was Don Sirene who was sitting right across from Dick.  Somebody said something funny and Dick had a mouth full of chocolate.  Whether it was Don or someone else, I don’t remember, but whoever it was across from Dick got really sprayed.  Dick couldn’t hold it in.

As far as games are concerned, I was the consummate athlete.  The sandlot game was really an unorganized game when I was a kid.  In a sandlot game, a bunch of kids would get together and decide who would get to be captains.  One of them would throw the bat in a vertical position to the other captain, he would grab it and then they would put hand over hand until they reached the top of the bat, and that was the guy, whoever was the last to touch the bat, he was the one who would pick first.  He would pick the best player, probably, and then the other captain would pick somebody and they would go back and forth like that until it got to me.  I always managed to be the last one picked because I couldn’t hit, I couldn’t catch, and no one wanted me as a ballplayer.  When it came to football, I was too light and I was too scared, so I was never a football player.  I never learned to ice skate until, after I was married, my wife taught me how to ice skate.  So, you can see, I was the consummate athlete.

slightly older Dave Guion

In Trumbull, behind McKenzie’s (Drug Store) and a bunch of other stores, there used to be an open lot and we used to play football and baseball there.  We had a team called the Trumbull Rangers.  We would play basketball and – I say we – they would play basketball, football and baseball.  We had a regular club and I was the President.  I wasn’t worth a darn as an athlete so … besides, we used to meet in the barn at the Big House.  I became the President.  That ran for several years.  We played other Trumbull teams, we played Bridgeport teams.  For a lot of years we never got together.  Now, on the first Wednesday of the month, we get together.

We had one fellow, of course this was during the war, we had one fellow who usually was the pitcher and he so badly wanted to go into the Air Force.  Whenever a plane flew over, he would stand there holding the ball until the plane got almost out of sight, then he would resume the game.  It was kind of like a commercial break, I guess.

Unfortunately, the same fellow – three years before that – was up at the Trumbull Reservoir.  There was a cliff up there and he and a couple of other fellows were at the bottom of this cliff.  Some kids from Bridgeport – I say this because kids from Bridgeport were bad, either accidentally or on purpose, threw or kicked a rock off the top of the cliff and it hit this kid in the head, so he had a metal plate in his head.  When it came time for him to go into the service, he wanted to fly and of course, they would not let him.  So he left in the Navy.

Dave after going into the service at 18

I got a letter from him when I was in Okinawa and it had been written maybe two or three days before that, so I said, “My God, he’s got to be here.”  As soon as I got a chance I went down to the harbormaster and found out that his ship had just left, so I missed him.

Thursday and Friday, more Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion