Special Picture # 339 – “The Gang” at the Trumbull House – 1934

This is a photo of many of the young people who congregated at the Trumbull House. This photo was taken in 1936 on the side porch.  A few of them are mentioned in Grandpa’s early letters regularly.Those include Barbara Plumb (who was actually engaged to Dan for a while); Jane Claude-Mantle (who married Charlie Hall and is the mother of a great childhood friend); Ethel Bushey (very good friend of Elizabeth (Bissie) Grandpa’s only daughter); and Arnold Gibson (Lad’s best friend). Lad is in the back row, 4th from the right, Dan is in the  front row, 1st from the right, Dave is in the front row, 2nd from the right.

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Trumbull – Dear High School Graduate (1) – Dave’s Graduation and News From Dan – June 25, 1944

David Peabody Guion – (Dave)

Trumbull, Conn., June 25th, 1944

Dear High School Graduate:

There are certain recurring events in the life and progress of my children that serve as steppingstones, aside from birthdays — such as turning you over to the Shelton draft board, and, what I have immediately in mind, graduation. I saw the youngest of my sons receive his diploma last night and it brought back memories of that same occasion for each of you. As far as I can recollect, however, the whole affair as managed the other night at Bassick (High School in Bridgeport, CT) was arranged and conducted in a more satisfactory manner than any of the previous ones — and that opinion has nothing to do with the fact that Dave had any part in it. To be sure he was one of three, out of a total of 26 who had joined the Armed Forces, who was on hand to receive his diploma, and thereby caused a little special ceremony to be enacted. Most of these affairs are too long. This was not. There was no tedious reading of each name and waiting for that person to come forward to receive his parchment to the accompaniment of reiterated and tiresome applause. Each received his diploma in silence as they walked out. All names were printed on the program given to each of the audience. Speeches were not overlong. The whole affair, with a very satisfying aftertaste, was ended by 9:30. So Dave became the “last of the Mohicans”.

Dave got home much earlier than we expected him. He walked into my office Monday, his army uniform plastered to his body by a naughty shower that hit him walking from the station. He looks about the same, healthy but with no additional weight. He seems much interested in the Signal Corps work and hopes, but is not banking on it, of getting a chance at O.C.S. He goes back Tuesday. Red Sirene is also home on furlough and he too goes back Tuesday. Jean’s (Mortensen, Dick’s wife) married brother, in the Marines, is also on furlough and he too goes back Tuesday.

        Daniel Beck Guion – (Dan)

I don’t suppose any of you have had the experience of a 300-pound object resting on your chest, but perhaps you can imagine the relief when he gets off. In that case you may have somewhat of an idea how I felt when I received a V-mail letter from London dated June 6th, as follows: “Today the war seems much nearer to its conclusion than only yesterday. For so long have we been working towards this day that it began to seem that it would never really happen — that it was just a distant “certainty” which we all took for granted — but never quite visualized! This morning I heard the first “rumor” third-hand, by word-of-mouth, ‘Allied paratroops have landed in France’. But false reports had already been spread days ago, and a glance out of the window at the streets of London failed to reveal any abnormality. No church bells, no horns blowing, just the normal traffic — both vehicular and pedestrian. London was characteristically undisturbed on the surface, but by noon-time when I went out to eat, I found that the newspapers had been sold out immediately and the invasion was the predominant topic of discussion. At the Red Cross Club I listened to the radio over which the BBC was broadcasting recordings of the opening stages. Later in the evening the radio was the center of interest. Never have I seen so many of the boys so interested in a news- cast. I suppose each of us realizes how, by a stroke of fate, we might have been one of the men going into France on ‘D’ Day! I am on duty tonight which prevents my finding out how London is spending the evening but I suspect there will be little hilarity because most of the people have friends and relatives in the invasion armies. The fall of Rome created hardly a ripple of excitement, and the staid BBC announced that item in its regular laconic fashion. The newspapers permitted themselves rather large headlines, but certainly not in the manner you could call sensational. I believe today marks the great speeding of the tempo that will carry this degenerate martian symphony to a brief but perhaps terrible coda. Then – peace! and home! and a convalescent world turning toward the healing sun of hope.”

Trumbull – Dear Sons (2) – Looking for News – June 18, 1944

page 2    6/18/44

The only episode which disturbed the serenity of our communal life was the wedding yesterday at the Serene’s estate of Jean’s sister. Outside of Jean working herself into a frazzle (and perhaps because of it) she reports everything went off smoothly, the weather was kind and reportedly a good time was had by all. The bride is nearing her 40s and the groom his 50s, so they was some good-natured kidding about young people rushing into matrimony, etc.

Last time I talked to Elizabeth she said time was approaching when she and her two kids would make a wholesale job of going to the hospital and having the family tonsils removed. No date has yet been set.

The big event we are looking forward to now is Dave’s return to the ancestral fold. Just what day that will be is still shrouded in mystery, but I shall be on the DPG - with Zeke holding Butchalert to see my youngest bursting into the office Wednesday or earlier, thus driving all thoughts of business (for a minute or so, at least) from my head. He will find the old car still in the same decrepit condition it was when it performed during the latter part of Lad’s stay, still without license plates for 1944. I imagine Dave will get a great kick out of greeting his friends in the graduating class at Basssick and will be one of comparatively few there in uniform to receive his diploma.

No word from any of my progeny this week in the shape of letters. I am waiting to hear from Dan to learn whether he is still in London dodging the Nazi new secret weapon, from Ced whether he is still a civilian or not, from Lad and Marian as to the details of the return trip, from Dick on what his new duties are and how he likes them, and Dave will “speak for himself”. I have acquired this Father’s Day the first picture of one of my boys in uniform – that of Dick taken at Miami. Others I understand are in the process of evolution.

Both my young office helpers gave me noticed this week that they are taking jobs at better hourly rates, so I’ll be alone for a while – a one man Corporation, as it were. A Robinson Crusoe of business without even a man Friday. As President I shall come to the office in the morning, tell the office boy to sweep out the office, instruct the graphotype operator to punch out some stencils, see that the mimeograph operator turns out the few jobs that come in, write a few trade paper adds as an advertising man, spend a few minutes as required as telephone operator, dictate a few letters to myself, as bookkeeper I shall make out a few bills and entries in the ledger, and simultaneously at the end of the day we’ll all quit together, each one of us slamming the office door in unison and making much noise clattering down the office stairs. We will all then pile in the old Buick, and loaded down with the entire office personnel, head for Trumbull. What a life. The Dionne triplets have nothing on me. Quintuplets, I mean.

Oh yes, Marian, Aunt Betty has asked me to write a note of acknowledgment on her behalf to thank you for the little cigars. She is somewhat puzzled as to the significance of the name. Why Between The Acts”? And what happens between them? Knowing your deeply religious nature she is wondering if it has something to do with the Acts of the Apostles, and then knowing you went to the theater just before you left New York, she wondered if it had anything to do with the play. Well, as Lady Godiva said toward the end of her ride, I am nearing my close.

DAD

Tomorrow a letter from Marian and  Lad to the family.

On Saturday, another segment about the Voyage to California written by John Jackson Lewis in 1851.

On Sunday, the story of Josephine, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Brigands Large and Brigands Small (2) – News From Ced and Dave – June 11, 1944

page 2    6/11/44

We will have to re-baptize Ced “Arson the Second”. He’s been playing with fire again, the naughty thing. He says: “This time I picked on the poor, defenselessJudy_0003 Fleetster, which, however, refused to bend to my will as readily as did the hangar last June. (Instead of June weddings, Ced seems to prefer fires). For myself I fared about the same as before though a little less severely. It all came about through mixing gasoline and static electricity on a warm sunny day (yesterday). Incidentally, the letter is dated May 29th, received June 5th. “Here was I nonchalantly gassing the Fleetster for a trip to Naknek, finishing filling the first tank and starting to move the gas funnel when, wham, here’s me skidding in colossal haste to the ground amidst flaming gas hose, funnel and a loud explosion from the gas tank and sheets of flame. As luck would have it, the danged wing is plywood and wouldn’t catch like fabric, so I lost my chance – – besides my eyebrows, half my mustache, a good handful of hair, and my composure. From now on I think Woodley’s gassing operations will be done only when hose, funnel and plane are grounded. Really, my listeners, you have no idea how fast it can happen. It recalls the time when Pete Linsley had the same thing happen to his old Franklin. Moral: when gassing, see that at least the metal nozzle of the hose touches the edge of the gas tank.” His school lasts two weeks longer and then comes the test. The pre-induction physical proves his good health and it only remains for Art (Woodley, his boss and the owner of the airfield)  to use his influence, or else…

Yes, Ced, you are right about the source of my information being that Kiplinger newsletter, but didn’t you notice at the bottom of their letter where it says “No quotations”, so of course I had to make it sound original. Why do you show up your old Dad in his harmless little mind wanderings? I am sure the Pamonaites did not receive your package from Tacoma, or they would have mentioned it. Make a note to ask me to send you an asbestos suit for Christmas.

I don’t know who is the more delighted, Dave or his sire, but the fact remains that he is coming home on an emergency furlough June 21st, the reason being, from an Army viewpoint, that the legal matters in connection with the settlement of Grandma’s estate will be up for consideration at that time. The fact that his class at Bassick graduates two days later, of course, is just incidental good luck. His account of the matter is rather interesting:

DPG - with Zeke holding Butch“It WORKED!!! I guess I don’t need to say any more than that, but I think you might like to hear the details. I got your letter and was even more relieved than happy – – and I was plenty happy – – you can see I must’ve had quite a conscience. It still doesn’t seem quite right to me to use Grandma’s will as an excuse to get home. Anyway, this morning I went to see the Captain. He was very informal, gave me the “at ease” right away and I stated my business. I showed him your letter and the documents from the lawyer and at the same time said, “Sir, I don’t know if the Army will consider this of enough importance to grant me a furlough because of it, but my father seems to feel that it is. I thought there would certainly be no harm in trying.” He picked it up and started to read it to himself. There I was hopes high, but common sense telling me: “you’re wasting your time, Dave”. It seemed like a whole night of guard duty before he finally looked up and said: “Yes, we’ve granted emergency furloughs for these things before. I’ll see the Colonel about it and see if we can get one for you.” It was then I realized I had done a good job of holding myself back because I was actually surprised when he said “Yes”. But the surprise quickly led to “sweet ecstasy”. So, even if it isn’t anywhere near definite I think tonight I’m the happiest of all your sons – – yes, even happier than Ced who is celebrating his birthday today, and even happier that Lad, who has the best of wives from all reports, and a furlough besides.

What it is to be young and get such a big kick out of life !

Well, I guess I’ll hobble off to bed.

DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday we’ll hear from Grandpa, and on Friday, a letter from Marian  and Lad to the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Easter Bunnies (1) – Fond Memories – April 25, 1943

It’s Easter and Grandpa is remembering the happy times when all his children and his wife were at the Trumbull house with him. He sounds quite nostalgic, doesn’t he?

Trumbull, Conn. Easter Sunday   April 25, 1943

To my dear little Easter bunnies:

With all my brood away, except one, and no jellybeans, it hasn’t seemed a bit like Easter today. However, in another sense you all almost rang the gong this week because the mail brought letters from Dan and Ced and even Dick. I hoped up till yesterday afternoon that one would arrive from Lad to complete the lineup but was doomed to disappointment on that score.

Needless to say I missed all you boys (this especially so on holidays or special occasions). I recalled past Easter’s when you were little tykes and the family all got together and the children hunted for Easter eggs, jelly beans, etc.; I recalled the sunrise service in Stratford that Ced used to get such a kick out of attending; the colored eggs, new clothes, bright sunshine and all the rest that makes up a composite Easter memory and wondering how you all spent the day under Uncle Sam’s wing. I got quite a thrill driving home the other day in the car up North Main Street, approaching the bus terminal up near the Log Cabin. In the distance coming toward me, walking, was a great tall lanky long-legged rascal that looked and walked for all the world just like Ced. The resemblance was so strong that I almost lost control of the car for a second, but for just one instant it was a great thrill. Of course, on nearer inspection, it was not anyone nearly so nice as Ced, but then, you’ll say, and I’d have to admit, I’m prejudiced.

Dick, bless his heart, is getting along splendidly. He writes that Uncle Sam seems well enough pleased with what he has been doing to award him two noncom stripes and a T.

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

I may be wrong but it seems that Dick got this recognition in shorter order in either of my other corporals. Dick has charge of the morning reports and the sick book which, along with the calisthenics, has enabled him to maintain a sound body and mind? (the “?”  is his). When they get properly organized he expects to be clerk in the investigations branch of their outfit which will give him a good background for enrollment in the intelligence. O. C. S. Oh well, I’m sure he passed because he was always intelligent. As the washerwoman said of her son, who took the civil service examination, he was sure to pass because he was never rude to anybody. Dick says soon they expect to be transferred to a staging area (whatever that is) to which he is looking forward with relish. No news as to when Jean returns.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dan tersely describes the training period of three days duration as consisting primarily of picking up cigarette butts between rain showers in preparation for the arrival of the colonel. He hopes to be able to get home again for a visit sometime next month. Somehow spring (and the bushes are now really putting out little green leaves, and we had daffodils on the table from our own yard today), spring, I say, really hasn’t officially arrived until Dan’s handiwork is visible in garden and grounds that you all know so well and that has taken on, I suppose, a certain mantel of extra attractiveness on account of its being so far away from most of you right now.

 

Now that Grandpa has brought us up to date on two of his three sons in Alaska, he will continue with news of Ced and Stephen Vincent Benet’s Prayer for all Nations” tomorrow.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Mr. Guion – Dave Writes to His Father About GUION ADERTISING – September 9, 1946

           AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

Sept. 9, 1946

Mr. Guion,

Immediately upon receipt of your card, I pondered your request for an extension of your vacation. Because of your unexcelled work and necessity both in this office and the Trumbull one, I decided that rather than make a decision alone, I would check to find out if Trumbull could stand not having your able (and financial) assistance. Having received a favorable reply, I can now report to you that your vacation may continue as long as you should like it to.

The girl that typed Mr. Chasmar’s second job (the one done outside the office) tried to conserve on space and ran one heading right after the other. He wanted them kept separate. We made the corrections and now he is once again comparatively happy.

I can keep Wheeler Wire quite happy now I’m sure.

I haven’t made any deposits or done any billing – but I shall now that I know you’re not coming home on the 15th.

Help has come pretty hard. Bobbie went back to school and Jeannie has had too much to do at home. But now George wants to start working the night shift again and Bissie wants to come in two hours in the afternoon, four days a week.

Just now got a call from the bank. They say that Ced’s check, dated July 25, has come back with a note stating that there are insufficient funds to handle it. I have another check in my pocket waiting to go to the bank. They’ve asked me to hang onto this one and pick up the other one, leaving $100 with them. What to do? I’ll write to Ced as soon as I finish this letter and tell him what’s happened. Should I pay for the check out of company funds?

Actually, I don’t get it – why should I pay for the check? Can’t they just take it off their books and not credit the account for the money?

I’ll tell Mr. Burr about Dan’s homecoming. Lad sent you a card this morning about an oil burner. You should get that about the same time you get this.

I was very glad to get your letter the other day because I was getting very discouraged. I still want to get married next August. I got a notice from the gov’t. saying that they couldn’t give me any money because I’m working full time – so if it can possibly be swung I’d still like to get at least $20 a week. I’ve got to change over my insurance and that is going to cost me quite a bit a month compared to what I’m getting for a salary. And I still want to go out and sell. That means I need some steady help down here. Even if it’s only a kid coming in afternoons. We can’t build this business without going out after more customers.

Guess that’s all for now. I’ve got to write to Ced and then get back to work. Keep on having a good time and don’t worry about GUON ADV. – Everything’s under control.

Dave

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