Trumbull – COMMUNICATION CENTER 42928 (4) – News From Dick – August 6, 1944

This is the end of this “elongated screed” with a letter from Dick and comments by Grandpa. 

 

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Dick has thrown down the gauntlet and challenges all of you individually and collectively to a contest to see who can invent the best reason for failure to write letters home. On Sunday, July 23rd, he had a real brainstorm. It was so overwhelming in its intensity that he immediately sat down and committed it to paper. Here it is:

“I just thought it a marvelous excuse for my not writing more regularly How does this sound? Assuming that you like to receive letters (and who doesn’t) I wait until I am sure you have given up all hope of hearing from me and then spring a surprise attack. The letter, of course, is a typical one or two page affair beginning and ending with the same old salutations but – the element of surprise!! That’s the secret. There is only one fallacy, the – – upon receipt of said “delayed action bomb”, you will probably ask yourself: “From whence comes this stray epistle, and who be the bounder that sits at the end of the pen and scratches aimlessly on this sheet. What manner of man (or mouse) is this thing that calls itself Dick? Have I ever been acquainted with it? Of course, I know what your reply will be. Why doesn’t this fellow write a little more often that we might become a little better acquainted.” I really enjoy getting your weekly letters, Dad, and think your idea of including extracts from the others is quite the thing. The latest rumor is that this base won’t last very much longer. In that event I should and probably would be sent home at least by Christmas. I feel hopefully certain that the European phase will be over by November 15th but not before November 1st. I want to thank you for buying that slip for Jean’s birthday. She certainly liked it very much and has probably told you as much. Everything goes well here. There are about 40 Army jobs I would much prefer to my present work but about 400 I would much less rather be doing, including all the jobs I have had so far. Give my love to Aunt Betty and Smoky and keep lots for yourself. My love for Jean will have to wait until I get home.”

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

       Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

COMMENT: Jean has been too busy this week with her vacation to miss your love. After giving the whole place a thorough housecleaning, with incidental jobs like putting up new curtains as a sideline, preparing the meals even to the extent of doing the shopping, you can all see that she is having a very lazy vacation. Aunt Betty has therefore had leisure to smoke in many of her cigars and when I come home nights I find her butts lying all over the house.

The weather here, to revert to a very complacent subject, the past week has been as hot as I have ever seen it for so long a stretch since coming to Trumbull.

Perhaps it is just as well I didn’t hear from Dave this week, as if this letter had to be extended over to a sixth page to include his quotation your eyes would probably give out. However, I cannot bring this to a close without passing on a bit of local news. The Trumbull post office, which for 26 years has been located in Kurtz’s store with Emanuel Kurtz as postmaster, will soon have to seek a new location. The President of the United States, in his great wisdom, has appointed a new acting postmaster – Mrs. Mary Ann Pimpinelle (daughter of Micky Langdon), as of August 1st. Mr. Kurtz, as you may have realized, is a Republican. Everyone is speculating as to where the new post office will be.

It is about time, don’t you think, that I brought this elongated screed to a timely end. Anyway, Jean is waiting to have me set up the projector to show some of the slides, and of course we should not keep ladies waiting, so with a hearty ta ta, I still remain,

Your loving

DAD

On Saturday I will post another excerpt from a letter to family and friends back home in the States by John Jackson Lewis. On Sunday, more on My Ancestor, my Father, Alfred Peabody Guion. This section focuses on the years during World War II when he is stationed in California and meets Marian Irwin.

On Monday,I will post five segments of The Beginning, Reminiscences of Alfred D. Guion and the childhood memories of his children..

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Sons of the North, East, South and West (2) – News From Ced and Dick – July 23, 1944

This is the second half of the letter posted on Wednesday. He ends with personal notes.

 

Ced @ 1945

Cedric Duryee Guion

Ced is trying to disrupt the family again. He is worse than the California Chamber of Commerce and a Cook’s Tour agency rolled into one. This time in a letter to
Aunt Betty he apparently is determined to get her to leave home and take up mining work in Alaska. The lure of high wages and plenty to drink is a strong lure and I expect any day now to come home and find her all packed up, with her hot-water bag and all ready to start out for Whitehorse.

Recently when I have been quoting letters received from you boys, I have felt a sense of something lacking in not being able to include anything from Dick. Of course there is a reason why he doesn’t often write to the old man, and so, with Jean’s cooperation, I am giving below a few extracts from his recent letters which she is kindly dictating as I write:

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Dick, Richard Peabody Guion

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mortensen), Mrs. Richard Guion

From his letter of July 11. “The warm season here lasts longer than summer in the states, but I don’t think it gets as hot. It very seldom goes higher than 90°. The weather we are having now is really very nice. There is a constant cool breeze blowing that makes living a little more bearable. The cool season lasts only about four months though. (This is in Fortaleza on the northern coast of Brazil). The job I have now is the best one I have had since I left Alaska. I work in the Civilian Personnel Office. We have to keep all the records, passes and payrolls for all the Brazilians who work at the base. The Civilian Personnel Officer is first Lieut. Lineham and the best officer I have yet found to work for. Whenever he has anything he wants me to do he just gives me the material and a few simple directions and from there on I fill in all the details and do the work the way I think it should be done. The system is very satisfactory for both of us because he gives it to me and just forgets about it until the work is due. So far our relations have been quite blessed. I have done everything in a satisfactory manner and he seems to have faith in my ability. We have one other person in the department – – a Brazilian who makes up the payroll and handles most of the heavy work. I’ll probably stay down here until shortly after the European war is over and after all the planes go back to the states this place will be closed and I will come home, I hope.”

And now a few words of not much account except to the one addressed.

Dave: The clippings I have sent for the last few weeks are weekly reviews of what events have transpired during the past week as reported in the Warden’s (the family renting the apartment) copy of the New York Tribune. I sent them because once you asked me what was going on in the war, that you seldom received any news there, so I figured this would be better than my personal summary. You have not yet answered my inquiry as to whether the notebook fillers for your friend were received. The leggings and tie went off to you last week by parcels post.

Dick: Next time you write to your “pride and joy” after receipt of this, would you please help me out of my dilemma by writing a list of a few of the things it would be possible for me to send to you by mail as a token of my rejoicing at your birthday, as I have already wasted many hours and will otherwise waste many more searching hungrily through this store and that trying to discover some gift that might be welcome to you.

Dan If you have time and opportunity someday why not drop a penny postcard to Ernest Woolard, Bucksburn, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and tell him where you are in the chance that he might be able to look you up.

DAD

Tomorrow, The next installment in the Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis. On Sunday, My Ancestor, Grandpa, Alfred Duryee Guion. On Monday, I’ll continue telling Grandpa’s life story in his own words, as he recorded them in Reminisceneces of Alfred D Guion.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Extracts from the Diary of Alfred D. Guion (1) – July 18, 1943 – The Circus and a Medal

Grandpa’s creative juices were again flowing freely and this week’s letter takes the form of a Diary, including all the interesting things that happened during the week. He actually ends up including just about everyone in the family – and even one that isn’t yet!

Extracts From The Diary of One Alfred D Guion

of Trumbull Connecticut For The Week

Ending July 18, 1943

Monday, July 12.

Little did I realize when the sun peeked into my bedroom window that this was to be circus day for me, but such it proved, for just before noon Elizabeth phoned to say she planned to take Butch and Marty to “The Greatest Show on Earth”, and was seeking someone to accompany her as assistant child tender. The Big Top was stifling hot, Marty was restless and during the lull between acts fell through the seats to the ground about 2 feet down, injuring his pride, which fact he boldly proclaimed to one and all. While no lady clown was on hand to search for the missing Alfred (This sounds like a reference to an event that took place when my father was a child, but sadly, this is the only reference I have found and there is no one to verify what happened.), many of the acts were reminiscent of those other times when my own little tots laughed at the antics of the clowns, the fire and the men perched atop of innumerable tables and chairs who swayed back and forth until the laws of gravity intervened. After the show nothing would do but the boys must each have a balloon, which, filled with gas, floated appealingly in the air at the end of a string. Not 2 seconds after Marty received his and before Elizabeth could grab the string, Marty shoved his balloon upward. It went sailing gaily up over the telegraph wires and on its way over towards Lordship to cavort with Sikorsky helicopters. Marty was so surprised he didn’t even cry. A replacement was at once secured which we then tied to each youngsters waist.

 

Cedric Duryee Guion

Tuesday, July 13.

PO Box 7 this morning disgorged a letter from Jean – terse but newsy: “Just a line to let you know I’ll be home Wednesday, July 14. Dick was shipped this morning”. Later a postcard came from “private” (if you please) Richard, APO 4684, Miami Florida. Jean told me afterward that he had been demoted, temporarily she believed, because one morning he overslept, and his C. O. felt it was necessary, for the sake of discipline, to make an example of someone and Dick was elected.

But there was another letter in the box, all in red from arson Ced, telling of his method of celebrating Independence Day in Alaska, recalling the fact that this was the first time a fourth of July celebration had been held since the 12 days after he and Dan arrived in Anchorage. Woodley is running in a streak of hard luck. A new pilot just cracked up another of their planes.

 

       Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion)

Wednesday, July 14.

Jean appeared with a coat of Indianapolis tan, and found awaiting her in Trumbull, a reception committee consisting of her mother, Marilyn, Natalie, (her two sisters) Grandma and Aunt Betty. Since then Jean has been getting her room to rights and getting used to her life as an Army widow.

 

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

While the great transportation arteries of the country were doing their duty by Jean, Postmaster Walker was doing his stuff in the way of a letter from Lad. As the fellow who invented “near-beer” was said to be a poor judge of distance, so Lad seems to have difficulty getting his time right. He writes as of Wednesday night, but on the next page says it is 4:15 AM. Back to your old tricks again, hey, you night hawk! It was mighty good to hear from you just the same, Sgt., and I hope you’ll start a bit earlier (or later) next time and enlarge a bit more on what you are doing. You have a way of writing about things, giving details that make very interesting reading. If Marian knew what nice people we were back here in Trumbull, she’d grant you an hour or so of grace. This isn’t to be construed as complaint because you have been mighty good at writing. I have sons who do lots worse. The following is quoted from a column appearing in the Bridgeport paper headed IN UNIFORM: (I don’t know where they get the information.)

GUION GETS MEDAL

Sgt. Alfred P Guion, son of

                        Alfred D Guion of Trumbull Connecticut,

              won a Marksman’s Medal for rifle

                              shooting recently at Camp Anita, California.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this letter about other family members.

Judy Guion

 

Special Picture # 340 – Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with Some of her Children

 

 

Arla Mary (Peabody Guion with Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad) – 1914

Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with Daniel Beck Guion – 1916

Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion and Richard Peabody Guion – 1922

Arla Mary Peabody Guion with her first five children – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss – 1921

Trumbull – Dear Neglectees (1) – Vacation Re-cap – September 22, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 22, 1946

Dear Neglectees:

The last letter in this apparently interminable series of mine I note was dated four weeks ago, marking the longest interval of silence since the start, which if I recall correctly was when the two oldest were in far-off Venezuela. (January, 1939) We (Dick, Jean and I) came home Tuesday of this week, we having decided Monday that the nights were uncomfortably cool for sleeping in the unheated abode, plus the fact that I erroneously surmised that frost down home here would have, by that time, destroyed the nasty ragweed. In this I was mistaken. The weather indeed all this week has been summer hot, registering in the 80s, and the ragweed, like the wicked, flourisheth. In consequence the hay fever, which was practically nonexistent while at the Island, has appeared in undiluted form and has succeeded in making life quite miserable for ye scribe.

While I sent you each a postal now and then from the Island I may as well take a few moments to review some of the high-lights of my New Hampshire visit. When I reached the Island Alta and Arnold (Gibson) had left but a few days later Elsie appeared. It was her first visit to the Island and she apparently liked it very much and enjoyed her few days with us. We salvaged some old boards where the icehouse used to be at States Landing (at the end of the road) and built a lean-to on Echo Point (the name I gave to the place where the diving board used to be). We built a new fireplace and made a work table adjacent thereto with the floorboard of an old rowboat which had been washed up on the shore as a derelict. We first attempted to repair some holes stove in her hull, but soon found it was not worthwhile on account of her extreme age, leaky condition, etc. On September 5, Bar and Pete (Barbara (Plumb) and Pete Linsey), who had been married according to schedule on Aug. 31st, paid us a surprise visit as a part of their honeymoon tour through New England and stayed a couple of days. Pete had brought his fishing tackle along which added impetus to Dick’s already aroused fishing interest. He later caught a 3-lb. Bass. Between us we cleared the brush and some of the trees from about 3/4 of the Island. One day I called at the State Capital at Concord and interviewed some of the Commissioners learning that apples, plums, but no peaches, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, hickory, butternut, walnut, but not chestnut, and strawberries could be grown successfully on the Island soil, that the lake water is pure and drinkable as it comes from the lake, that building under present conditions is out of the question. We also visited a country fair, and Dick, who had grown a full beard and looked like a member of the “House of David”, created quite a sensation. On my birthday I was surprised after supper by being presented with a birthday cake with one big red candle planted squarely in the middle and a card which bore this legend: “62 candle power. Like you, the candle may not be new, but there’s still a lot of life there.” Next day I got birthday cards from Lad and Marian, Dave and Eleanor and Aunt Betty; also a hand-made card from Chiche (Paulette) with pictures of Dan, herself and the baby. It was very thoughtful of her and much appreciated.

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, I will post segments of this letter and on Friday, one more letter from Grandpa to Ced and Dan.

Judy Guion

Friends – Jean Writes to Ced About Her Marriage – My face flushed, my hand’s trembling … – March 28, 1943

My Uncle Ced has been in Alaska for about 3 years and his younger brother’s marriage came as quite a surprise.  He received the following letter about the festivities from the bride herself.

Sunday

March 28, 1943

Dear Ced –

Another week has gone by and I still haven’t written you. The only trouble is, I haven’t even a halfway decent excuse to offer.

Here goes – I can easily imagine the shock you must have received when you read your father’s letter telling of Dick’s marriage. Things happened so quickly, that I think I was as much surprised as anyone. We had been talking about it for some time, but never with much seriousness. Then February 11th, Dick received his little card telling him to report to Hartford February 20th. That meant there wasn’t much time to waste. Dick asked your father if he could marry us, and he said  ‘Yes”.

Friday, February 12, – Dick saw the judge of probate and got a waiver. Noon of the same day, I had my blood test taken and Dick purchased a very beautiful wedding ring. I went back to work three quarters of an hour late. My face was very flushed, my hands trembling and my heart pounding. (but, worst of all, was the thought of telling my boss of the very great event). After two very nerve-racking hours of just thinking about telling him, and asking for a week off – I walked bravely up to him, (at least I thought I was brave), and explained the whole situation. Without a moments hesitation, he said “Certainly”.   Wow!!! Was I glad that was over.

Saturday, February 13 – we went up to see Helen Plumb, (the Town Clerk) and got our license. We then proceeded to Bridgeport to do a little shopping. During the evening there was much excitement as you can well imagine.

Sunday, February 14 – St. Valentine’s Day – The great day. It was a cold but very beautiful Sunday. Your father prepared a wonderful chicken dinner and before we knew it the ceremony was taking place. Your Aunt Anne and Aunt Dorothy, my mother and father and sister were present. Elizabeth was there too. A few hours later we had a small reception. The woman who lives in the apartment, Catherine Warden – prepared the food. Everything was very nice and I’m sure everyone had a good time. We left for New York on the 10:15 train. The gang saw us off in good fashion – Carl Wayne pinned a “Just Married” sign on Dick’s back, and of course they all had plenty of rice. The train finally came, and we were on our way.

We spent three wonderful days in New York – going to shows, seeing a play, eating, and just walking around. We came home late Wednesday afternoon. Dick left for the Army March 1st – now I’m all alone and lonesome. The previous pages are a very detailed report of our wedding. I hope they were interesting.

Your father has probably already told you that Dick is in the Air Corps at Miami Beach, Florida, and that he is training to be an M. P. Dick didn’t like the idea very much at first, but now I guess he has decided it’s a good thing to be. I understand there’s quite a good chance for advancement.

I think your father has already told you that we bought a lovely bed spread, when you suggested a gift. Thank you very much Ced – it was awfully nice of you. Having always liked Trumbull very much – I wanted to stay here when Dick left – so here I am and I like it very much.

I can’t seem to recall ever having met youCed. That isn’t unusual though – I have a very poor memory. I hope it won’t be too long before we meet again. It seems awfully funny or strange to have a brother-in-law I have never met, or can’t remember ever having met. I really am quite anxious to meet you. I’ve heard so many nice things about you. Thank you again for your gift.

Love, Jean

My father, Lad, was stationed near Los Angeles, California, and had some comments regarding the whole affair in a letter to his father.

Camp Santa Anita

March 21, 1943

So Dick is now married. Well, well, well. That move sort of leaves me writeless, but I’ll try to continue, nevertheless. In the first place, I knew pretty much about the affair, long before it happened. In fact, sometime around October, Dick asked me about it, and I told him what I thought about getting married before or during this war, and I see he took my advice – and threw it out the window, or some such place

But anyhow, I believe he really has a wonderful wife. I like her very much. I just hope that knowing that she is there waiting for him will sort of change some of his lackadaisical ways. (Maybe I had better get married).  I can think of lots more to say, but they are better said to Dick or Jean directly, so that’s that.

( NOTE: Lad had no idea that within 7 months, he would also be married, but that’s a story for another time.)

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa.

If you’re enjoying these stories and letters, please click “FOLLOW”, enter your email and you’ll be sent an email when I post another story.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Audience – Dick the Horse Trader – April 23, 1944

Trumbull, Conn., April 23, 1944

Dear Audience:
We open our vaudeville show this evening with a little sketch:
Tme – 1946
Scene: a comfortable little home furnished in green.
Characters: Mrs. Marian Guion and little Alfred, Junior
“Mama, why do I jiggle so,
from my toes to my solar plexus?
Hush, child, your father long ago
Rode a Jeep in the heart of Texas.”

(The absolutely amazing thing is that this was written in 1944 and in the middle of 1946, June 28th, Marian did give birth to little Alfred (Douglas Alfred, not Alfred, Jr. )  but the biggest surprise to all, including Marian, was that she also gave birth to a daughter, ME (Judith Anne Guion), on the same day. He was right about little Alfred but I fooled them all !)

Next, we introduce our educated dog, Smoky. Step this way, ladies and gentlemen, and see the dog who follows the progress of the war and also correctly pronounces Polish. “Smoky, what Polish city will the red Army capture next?”
Smoky: “Lwow, Lwow.”
We are sorry to announce that the great magician, Señor Guionne, having mislaid his wand and was not able to produce any rabbits out of his hat, to say nothing of his inability all this week to produce any letters from his five absent sons out of box 7 during the entire week just past. He hopes to find his wand very soon now, maybe tomorrow ???
So much for nonsense. Art Mantle is due home very soon from the Pacific theater for a month’s furlough. With practically all of his former pals in the war, I am wondering what he will find to do? Paul (Warden, the tenant) came back home Tuesday for a week’s rest before he goes back to find what the Navy is planning for him to do next.
None of the N.Y. Peabodys were able to get up to Elizabeth’s last week, so just the Trumbull bunch served as extras. Not much in the way of local news to report.
Weather has been cloudy and raining all week. In spite of that fact I did manage to get the back yard looking as if Dan was home, but there’s still much to do on sides and front.

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Through Jean’s (Mrs. Dick Guion) courtesy, I am privileged to quote from one of Dick’s recent letters (Dick is stationed in Brazil and working as a liaison for the local workers on the base.): “I’m still making out per diem for transient plane crews. The Post Commander’s Adjutant came into the office the other day and remarked that the finance department has told him that I was doing very well — turning out more work then anyone else who had been on the job. However, I’m still a lowly T/5. I’m supposed to have from noon to 1:30 for lunch but if there are a lot of men waiting for per diem, I only take 20 or 25 minutes and several times I have worked 2 1/2 to 3 hours overtime at night. Most of them appreciate what I can do for them. That helps.

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard (Dick) Guion

Incidentally, you are now the wife of a horse trader, extraordinary. Maybe I shouldn’t say horse trader, but the proud possessor of a beautiful 129 bouncing horse. Accent on the bouncing. But that’s not all. He is also the rightful owner of the Adjacento Riding Academy, with 2 1/2 horses to the credit. Another soldier owns half of one of the horses. (He owns the half that eats. He has to feed his half. Need I go further?) Oh, well, there’s nothing like a little manual labor at the end of a shovel to give one an appetite (Note by editor: I thought you said that was a one horse town you were in?) I plan to rent the horses to the transients at $.50 to a dollar an hour. So far I have spent $57 for horseflesh and $18.25 for feed and care. Now all they have to do is ship me home before I can hock the transients for $75.25.

Maybe my muse will supply more inspiration next week. Or it might be that one of you will substitute for the muse. Anyway, cheerio for now.
DAD

Tomorrow we have another letter from Rusty to Ced and we finish the week with Grandpa’s response to Marian’s little ribbing.

Judy Guion