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

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Dear Dave:

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

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

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

DAD

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

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

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

Continuing this letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

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

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

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

David Peabody Guion

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

Tomorrow, the final piece of this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

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

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

Trumbull, Conn., October 28, 1945

Dear Dan:

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

Alfred Duryee Guion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Peabody Guion

Dear Dave:

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

Dear Ced:

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

Yours                               DAD

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

Judy Guion

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

This long letter continues.

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

David Peabody Guion

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

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

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

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

Judy Guion

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

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

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

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

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Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

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

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

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

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

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

DAD

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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (2) – A Birthday Letter – Grandpa’s Advice – September 23, 1945

There is just one other thought that I want to get out of my system. Since your last letter I have been thinking of Sgt. Hamm (who caused the death of Dave’s good friend, Bernie, by kicking an unexploded “dud” while a group of men were walking during a break) and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m sorry for him. Some folks are so built that they have to learn things the hard way. (Remember that icy morning in the car when Dick was driving and I warned him he had better go slower and we hit a tree at Beardsley Park, and later Dick had the moral courage or sense of fairness or good sportsmanship or whatever you want to call it that is typical of Dick, to own up he’d been wrong?) The Sgt., I warrant, has learned a bitter lesson. He would give anything to have a chance to live that moment over again. How do you think he feels inside? How would you feel if you had impulsively done a foolish thing with so fatal a result? Maybe he, too, saw the Christmas tree photo. (Bernie with his wife and child in front of the Christmas Tree that Bernie always carried with him)  What do you suppose his thoughts are when he is alone or when he sees you or Bernie’s other buddies looking at him? His own conscience is far worse a hell than anything you can say or do to make him feel his guilt. You say you’ll never forgive him. I know you don’t mean that as it sounds. Right now he needs a friend more than you need the satisfaction of knowing the mental agony he’s going through, no matter how bold a face he may put on for the benefit of his pride. Isn’t this a good place to apply the Golden Rule? We all make mistakes – – some, like this one, are irrevocable and carry a lifetime of regret. That’s punishment enough, don’t you think? Let’s be tolerant. You can’t bring the dead back but you can extend a helping hand to the living. He’ll never need understanding or forgiveness more than he does right now. Right?

Well, things look increasingly better for you to be getting home much earlier than the Christmas of 1946 that you have set as the deadline. It’s too much to expect you home for this Christmas, but who knows but what you may see the lilacs blossoming this spring. Anyway, we can hope. There was no letter from you last week but you’ve been so good about writing that this doesn’t bother me.

As for your letter putting in very convincing terms the reasons why you boys should be sent home soon, this idea has made so much progress nationwide, since you wrote, that it almost seems superfluous to send it. The enclosed newspaper clippings day by day will give you the way we at home here feel about it. I read the other day that so many letters similar to yours had been received that a special department in the war office had been established for the sole purpose of opening and reading letters to Congressman on this subject. Perhaps it will be better to wait a few weeks to see what comes out of this, and then, if more fuel is needed for the fire, you can send your letter on then, when it will perhaps have even more effect than it would now when so many others dilute the force of one more.

Well, happy birthday, old son, keep well and come home soon to

Your affectionate,

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll be posting more from The End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – A Birthday Letter – “A Father’s Letter To His Son” – September 23, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 23, 1945

A Birthday Letter to Dave.

My dear Son:

On the 30th of this month you will be entering upon your 21st year. Little did I suspect during all these years that you would be celebrating your 20th anniversary on Manila, and of course I am hoping that before the year is out you will be back in the same place that you first looked out upon.

Most of us have had the experience of some time reading a passage that has made us exclaim, “That is exactly what I think but did not have the ability to put into words.” Such is the following “Letter from a Father to His Son”, which I ran across one day and which, if I remember rightly, I quoted to Lad on his 21st (or thereabouts) birthday. Anyway, here it is, saying what I want to say better than I could say it myself.

“Yesterday a man talked to me about a father who wrote an entire history of mankind in order to guide his son on his march through Life. There must be thousands of ways which the fathers of the world take to bring their sons the wisdom and the truth which they want them to feel and to understand.

I, too, my boy, have felt this urge. From the first day you came into the world, life took on a richer meaning. There was something more to live for – – to fight for. Men thought that I was after dollars. How little they knew! Why, I would rather earn one honest hour of your faith and your trust than decades of the world’s pomp and glory.

In every waking minute of my life there is one great urge – – that you shall know me. Not as a neighbor nor even as a husband. Each of these is a different world. In these other worlds even good men must often be something other than their real selves. Father’s take on masks. There is so much they want to be – – so much they want to say and yet dare not say. But in your world, here, surely, a father may be real. Here he may grope forward. Here he may reach out for his boy to hold him, to touch him, to talk to him.

Time and again, how I have hungered for this. I wanted to tell you the truth about life as I have come to know it. Time and again, alone in the sacred recesses of my heart, I have carved words for you. Carefully, earnestly, sacredly, I have carved them – – and yet when I came to speak them they were not the words I wanted to say. The sacredness was gone from them. They were dull and lifeless. A wall seemed to come between us – – a wall created by a greater power than yours or mine, and it seemed to say: “Yes, you want to be part of your boy – – a limb of his limbs; to speak for him; to fight for him; to take for yourself the blows which the world is waiting to aim at him. But no! It is not to be. Alone he must fall, and creep and climb and bleed and hunger. Alone, even as you did; even as he learned to crawl and walk. By his own desperate sorrows – – by the crashing of his own dreams, by the leap of ambition when it fires him, and by the flames of defeat when they scorch him – – out of these he must learn.

Yes, perhaps this is as it should be.

Listen, my boy. I cannot write you a History of Mankind. Live your own life in your own way. I cannot put out tomes of wisdom and reason. But this much I can do. This much I can say: March out on life. Live it according to the truth as you see it – – not as other men do. According to the dreams you dream – – not those other men dream. March out on life. Come to grips with it. Seek out your birthright and fight for it. A thousand men will come to talk of fear and defeat and failure. A thousand others will frighten you by the futility – – the emptiness – – the miserable emptiness of their lives. A thousand lies will seek to deafen the song of courage and truth in your ears. But go on. Go on and keep going on – – so that I may see in you the hopes – – the yearnings I sought for my own life. Your Father.”

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second half of this letter. Grandpa has some additional advice for Dave.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Turkey Eaters (3) – News From Ced in Alaska – November 26, 1944

Cedric Duryee Guion

Now Ced, heartless Ced, with no regard at all for the feeling of new postmistresses, addresses a letter to:

The publican Guion

Do we Rose Ave

which by some miraculous chance was delivered to the undersigned. There is something wrong with that boy. While the postmark on the envelope is November 17th, his letter is dated October 16th and still he has the effrontery to ask right under the date “(Is that better?)”. I’ve have asked him to date his letters and now I begin to understand why he neglects to do so – – he simply doesn’t have any idea of time. He told us a while ago Big Ben was failing, but I did not realize he’d flirt with the international dateline in such a manner. I suppose the antics of the midnight sun is rather hard on the tempis fugit cells in his brain, if any. However, Ced goes on to say: Ski season is now in high gear. The temperature today is up around 40 but it has been down as low as 12 out at the airport and while a little snow has fallen on a couple of occasions, not enough to ski here in town, but one more good storm and we’ll have it. The trip to the mine two weeks ago was a grand success with 56 people out and enjoying themselves. I skied down to Fishhook at the end of the day and only fell twice. The rally last Friday went over with a big bang. Following movies of the ski competition last year when I was in Trumbull, there was dancing and a skit depicting a group of comically garbed novice skiers, all on barrel staves, taking lessons from a mock Norwegian ski instructor. One of the students, the dud, wore a pair of white silk gym shorts, a huge fur muff tied around his waist, resembling an old-fashioned bustle, a stupid looking pack on his back, and bare legs. Twice during the evening a wheel was spun and the person holding the new membership card with a number corresponding to that at which the wheel stopped, was the winner of a $2.50 award. Liquor, contrary to other years, was totally absent, due mainly to the fact that we had a different hall where no liquor was sold. Crackers and cheese and an excellent punch was supplied by the club. The punch was made in two big dairy milk cans. Each one was filled with about 5 pounds of sugar, six or eight dozen each of oranges and lemons, and about that many jars of cherries all sliced and mixed with ice cut by some of the members at Lake Spenard. Just before serving time we carried the cans out to the ladies room, and attaching a rubber hose to the faucet, filled the cans and then mixed the mass by pouring back and forth many times. It turned out as fine a fruit punch as you ever tasted and when it was gone, we poured the residue back into one of the cans, added another three or 4 gallons of water, mixed and mashed it with a hammer handle and there was so much fruit left that the flavor was as good as the original. This process was repeated once more, later on, but at some cost to flavor.” He mentions also working on the Buick while Art Woodley is a way in an effort to sell one of their planes, the fact that the people he is living with now intend to leave Anchorage, which will make it necessary for him to find other living quarters, and the list of Christmas needs for which I am very grateful.

Dear Ced:

In view of the fact that my campaign to obtain a decent electric refrigerator has resulted in absolutely no result whatever, I guess Fate will decide the question for us. It is getting rather late in the season anyway to ship to the frozen North, which fact was bothering me a bit. As I wrote you last week I did credit $10 to Dan’s account and I did receive your most welcome birthday remembrance. It was well worth waiting for and is one of my most prized possessions.

Don Whitney stopped in at the office the other day to pick up the latest mailing addresses of you boys. His address is AGF Replacement Depot #1, Armored School, Fort Meade, Md. He expected to leave for that place yesterday.

Oh, I haven’t told you about our Thanksgiving party. The girls were debating the other day which was best, to tell you boys about the things we had to eat and make you homesick or to say nothing about it and make you sore. To be or not to be: that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them. I don’t know what Dick and Lad have learned from their respective spouses, but for the rest of you there were present four fe and one he male (me), if we might exclude Butch and Marty who were suffering the aftermath of a tonsil operation and didn’t feel so hot. Aunt Elsie was unable to get up. Marion made two delicious pies. Biss contributed two chickens, and of course we had Burrough’s cider. (I can hear Dan’s groans). Most of all, we missed you boys. Oh dear me, here’s the end of the page. Anyway, that’s about all.

DAD

On Saturday and Sunday I will continue posting The End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Reader – The End of an Era (3) – July 21, 2021

The Trumbull House has been sold.  From what I understand, the new owner plans to create nine one room Studio Apartments in the main house, two more apartments in the barn and to add on to the Little House to form a home for his family.

I will be devoting at least the next few weekends – maybe many more – to a Memorial of the house that has been an anchor for my family for almost 100 years and to the people who made it a HOME.

I find it especially hard to decide what to post because I have been writing about this house and the people who lived there, daily, for almost 9 years. Do I want to focus on the individuals – special events – everyday events – pictures – I just cannot decide which direction to choose. This weekend I am going to focus on pictures of the six chidren who spent their childhood there – Lad, my Dad (Alfred Peabody); Dan (Daniel Beck); Ced (Cedric Duryee); Biss (Elizabeth Westlin); Dick (Richard Peabody) and Dave (David Peabody).

Last weekend I posted the earliest pictures taken of the children. This weekend, I will post some more pictures of them through the years in Trumbull.

Lad @ 1922

                            Lad @ 1923

SOL - Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad & Biss with their dog

                                       Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss @ 1925

It appears that Patsy, their dog, has found something that interests all of the children.

Guion Kids on side porch - @ 1928

Guion children on side porch about 1928

Dan, Dave, Lad, Dick, Ced, Biss

Guion kids as adults - posed as 1928 photo - 1992

This picture is out of order but it was taken at our Family Reunion in 1992. They posed in the approximate position of the 1928 photo above. This was the last time all six children were together.

Standing – Lad, Seated – Dan, Dave, Dick, Ced and Biss.

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Steps and Landings, steps and landings - @1928

This picture was probably taken in the spring of 1929.

Back row: Grandpa and Lad; Middle row: Dick, Ced, Aunt Dorothy

Front row: Don Stanley (cousin), Dave, Biss, Gwen Stanley (cousin)

Tomorrow I will post more about the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion