Trumbull – To All My Sons, Except Ced (3) – Special Birthday Letter To Dick – July 30, 1944

This is the continuation of Grandpa’s Birthday letter to Dick.

Dick in Kitchen

Richard Peabody Guion

So my heart is full of thankfulness that we are a congenial family. (And that goes for the new daughters in law, too). It is a circumstance I know from what she has so often said, that would greatly please your mother if she were here to share it with me. And of course you, as one unit, must take full satisfaction in doing your share to make the sum total what it is.

Then there is the personal (and somewhat selfish) satisfaction I feel, in you, my son, as an individual. Somehow your being away for so long has made me appreciate all the more those little traits of character that go to make up one’s personality – your even-tempered and good nature, your whimsical ideas and comical way of expressing them, your artistic urgings to self-expression that never really have had an adequate outlet or chance for full flowering – your pride in doing well the things you undertake, your possession of high ideals and early start in married life with an attractive loyal mate, with like ideals, all bring a feeling of certainty that whatever the future may hold for both of you, it will be good. Someday I hope it may be your privilege to watch a little son or daughter, or both, grow up from babyhood through childhood to adult years and that you may have occasion to take the same full measure of joy and satisfaction in the result as I have and have had in you.

There, I still have not been able to get across the sort of birthday greeting I had hoped to accomplish when I started this letter, but for the rest, you will have to read between the lines. Right now, I want most of all to have you back home again, safe and sound, all the better, mentally and physically and spiritually for this horrid war interlude, but until that time comes, you’ll just have to imagine the love and boundless goodwill you deserve and command from your loving


Tomorrow, I will post a letter from Marian to “Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean” and on Thursday and Friday, an interesting letter home from Dan who is in Normandie, France, after the D-Day Invasion.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – To All My Sons, Except Ced (3) – Special Birthday Letter To Dick – July 30, 1944

This week, the posts will be short to fill the week. The next letter in chronological order is a five-pager and will take a full week in the next rotation.


Richard Peabody Guion

Trumbull, Conn., July 30, 1944

Dear Richard:

If this were intended to be just an ordinary letter, you know, it might have started off with “Dear Dick”, but as this is in communication of a very “special occasion”, we naturally have to observe some formality. Of course it is a bit ahead of time, I know, but the 19th will roll around fast enough and I would much rather have this reach you a bit ahead of time that a bit late. But to forgo further preamble, here, as you may already have surmised, is what is intended to be a very special birthday letter.

By this time, you will say, he ought to have had enough experience to write a bang up birthday letter. Let’s see. Between you all, 151 birth days have come and gone, and while it is true only a small portion have occasioned letters, there have been quite a number at that; and yet with all this practice it is just as difficult as ever to say the things one feels deep down inside and to give voice to all the thankfulness and well wishing and great expectations for the future which anniversaries like this stir up in one’s heart.

Perhaps the predominant thought is a feeling of deep satisfaction for the kind of son you have turned out to be. So many times in a family of our size there is likely as not to be at least one who, in spite of all the hope and care and good intentions of the parents, go off at a tangent causing heart aches and worry and disappointments, or even if not anything so definite, there is at least an ill feeling or resentment among brothers and sisters that brings disunity in the family unit.  And, unfortunately, it takes only one to cause the rift.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this special Birthday Letter to Dick, on Wednesday, a letter from Marian, on Thursday and Friday, a very interesting and informative letter from Dan who is in Normandy, following the D-Day Invasion. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons Of The North, East, South And West (2) – Quotes From Dick – July 23, 1944

This is the rest of the letter posted yesterday. Grandpa ends with personal notes.

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 (Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Richard, who is living with Grandpa until her husband gets home) cooperation, I am giving below a few extracts from his recent letters which she is kindly dictating as I write:


Dick, Richard Peabody Guion

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean ((Mortensen) Guion), Mrs. Richard 

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.


Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons.

Judy Guion

Friends and Family – Jean (Mortensen) Guion Writes To Ced About Her Wedding – 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.

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)


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 (Peabody) Stanley) and Aunt Dorothy (Peabody), 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 you, Ced. 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

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 whenever I post another letter.

Judy Guion

Special Picture – Richard Peabody Guion – Bassick High School Graduation Picture – 1940

Searching online, I found this picture of my uncle, Richard Peabody Guion, which was his Bassick High School, Bridgeport, Connecticut, in 1940. I have not been able to find any other High School Graduation pictures of my father or any of his other siblings, but I will keep trying.


RPG - Richard Peabody Guion - High School Graduation Picture - 1940

Tomorrow, another Special Picture.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Bachelor Sons – Dick Home On Leave – February 28, 1943

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mortensen) Guion

Trumbull, Conn., Feb. 28, 1943

Dear Bachelor Sons:

Dick has been home all of this week, enjoying his state of married bliss which Jean has been sharing with him as much as being away from him with a cold can fulfill that specification, and tomorrow he departs again from Shelton to begin his training seriously to materialize the four freedoms. Jean, meantime, has decided to take up her abode with us so that she can be here when Dick comes home on furloughs, and because she has here a room all to herself, which she did not have at her home, where she can more or less be on her own, and then, too, most of her girl friends are in Trumbull, the bus passes the door here where it does not travel so close to her Stratford home, etc. As Dave, latterly, has been working at the Algonquin Club from 5 on setting up their menus on the multi-graph and along with it all, enjoys a first-class club dinner, with Dick gone, it would have left to elderly and sedate people to take the evening meal in a house that for so many years has echoed to the sound of young folks. So Jean will serve as one tenuous link with the past.

At dinner today, after putting away the broiled chicken, sweet potatoes, ice cream, cake, etc., I presented to Dick, on Ced’s behalf, a much delayed Christmas gift in the form of a money belt, as well as a compact toilet kit, emergency sewing kit, etc. After dinner, Red (Sirene) came in and they went out and took some snapshots, which I shall await and, if they turn out well, shall send you each prints of the “newlyweds”. Of course their plans are, of necessity, quite vague, but I know Dick has in the back of his mind the prospect of going to Alaska, “when the lights go on all over the world”.

Catherine Warden, sometime after the middle of March, goes to the hospital for an operation, taking the children to her sister’s in Mass. (Massachusetts) for the time she will be away.

Thanks, Dan, for your “quickie”, and also for the razor blades. I had hoped you would be able to get home this week and to break a bottle of champagne over the bow of the S.S. Richard, as he left the ways, but I hear that Paul sort of substituted for you last Friday with a bottle of rye replacing the conventional medium. I think Dick has arranged to sell his car, on time, to Bob Strobel, for something over $100, which leads me quite naturally to the thought of your car, Dan, and whether, now that March 1st is at the threshold and a new car license is due, you want me to renew it for you or allow things to rest in status quo. Instruct me as to your wishes, son.

The whole family was invited to supper at the Mortensen’s last Thursday, which we all enjoyed very much. They are very nice and I like them all. On the way over, in my Buick, I had a flat. Luckily, I had, a while previously, obtained authorization from the local rationing board to purchase two new tires so Carl got busy at once and tomorrow I expect to be the proud possessor of two new second grade tires, which is all I am allowed.

Thanks, Lad, for the prompt follow through on last week’s letter. It was very interesting reading. At present, Carl has it, but I expect to get it back tomorrow and pass it around to others, including Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend), whom I saw at Center school Tuesday when I got #2 ration books.

And now may peace be upon you and blessings from your               DAD

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Lad, who has been in California for about two months.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – Dick Goes To The Derby Railroad Station – February 21, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., February 21, 1943

Dear Lad:

You will recall, as will Dan also, that early morning trip over the Shelton road to the Derby railroad station and my dutifully surrendering into Uncle Sam’s care, my two oldest boys. Well, that performance was repeated yesterday with Dick as the sacrificial lamb. 5:30 was the time set (to get to the station), and both Dave (who was to go along) and Dick, both dutifully set their alarms, which dutifully went off at the designated time, and each of them, as dutifully shut them off as they went off and promptly went back to sleep again. At ten to five, conscientious Dad, with matter weighing on his subconscious mind, awoke, roused the two slackers, had a hasty breakfast (Dick’s wife prepared his), and started on our way by bright moonlight at about 5:15. We stopped to pick up Joe Mizek, who was also on the list, and at about 5:45, pulled up to the familiar station. By that time all the boys were on the train which was waiting on the platform. There seemed to me to be far fewer than when you and Dan left but perhaps that was because they were all on the train and not standing around outside with friends and relatives. However there was not over one car full in all. Unlike in your case, Dick was granted a nine-day leave so after going through the routine at Hartford, he returned last night about 9 o’clock and does not have to go to report until next Monday. The draftees, Dick says, this time were divided into three groups, or more, O.S., G.S.A., S.A.,etc. Dick was in the S.A. classification, (probably South America, since he went to Brazil) whatever that means, but he is in the Army at any rate.

The only “boy” news I received last week was a welcome letter from you, Lad, and I am grateful to you for sending it and relieving my mind. I guess this thing is beginning to get me a little bit and when weeks go by without any word, in spite of my optimism, I begin to get a little down. Rotten business, civilian restrictions of all kinds, etc., don’t help boost morale. Yesterday afternoon, after shipping off Dick, I felt sort of low so I went to the movies; so your cheerful letter, Lad, with its reassurance, you may chalk up as being worth any effort it may have cost you in the cheer it brought with it. I’ll be anxious to get that continued story you have in preparation. One of the things that pleased me most of all was the news that you are taking a technical course in the U. S. C. , because I have always had a sense of guilt that I didn’t, in some way, provide college educations. Of course I can readily find excuses in the fact that Mother’s sickness took all I could earn and more, but all the same, there is a haunting thought that if I had it all to do over again, I might have found some way. So when, in spite of it all, all you boys are all turning out to be sons I could be proud of, it is all the more to your credit and I can bask in a father-like refracted satisfaction.

A little card from Peggy (Beebe) Sanford this week announces the arrival of a little girl. Dick and Jean naturally seem quite happy in their married bliss. They spent their honeymoon, three days of it, in New York, stopping at the Piccadilly Hotel, during two of the most bitterly cold days we have had for a long time. What with the low temperature and high winds, the pipes in the apartment froze and for a while, the hot water in the kitchen refused to run, but I didn’t think any of the pipes burst, at least not where it was visible. The newlywed’s went to movies, a stage play a nightclub, etc. This family is all invited to the Mortensen’s for dinner next Thursday. And by the way, Dan, if you want to see Dick before he takes over the job of licking Hitler and the gang single-handed, you had better see if you can come home before March 1st.

There was a new book out about Alaska which is quite worthwhile. HERE IS ALASKA, by Steffansen.   Get it from your library if possible.


Tomorrow I’ll be posting another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, a letter from Lad, in California.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Three Still Unwed Sons – February 14, 1943

Alfred Duryee Guion

Jean (Mortensen) Guion and Richard Peabody Guion

Trumbull, Conn., St. Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14th, 1943

To my three still unwed sons:

Well, things have been happening so thick and fast this week that I scarcely know where to begin, although the one big item of news crowds the others into insignificance. To get the least important out of the way first – – my two office helpers have left to take jobs elsewhere and although they were only part-time helpers, it leaves the company now 100% Guion, Dave and myself, although even Dave has taken a job from 5 to 6:30 PM with the Algonquin Club, setting up their menu on their multi-graph. Dave has also joined the State Guard and drills at the Armory one night a week.

Dick is now in the Army. His notice came through Thursday telling him to report at the well-known Derby R.R. station at 5:30 next Saturday for induction. And now for the big news. Dick is married. I tied the knot personally this afternoon, so I know. It seems that after receiving his induction notice, he and Jean talked the situation over and on Friday they announced they intended to get married at once. So Saturday, Dick got the license from Helen Plumb, obtained the waiver of the customary 10-day notice and blood test from the Judge of Probate, set this afternoon between four and five for the deed, and in the living room, in the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Mortensen (Jean’s parents), Mr. and Mrs. (Red) Sirene, Aunt Betty (Duryee), Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) and Aunt Anne, ((Peabody) Stanley), I exercised the right conferred upon me by the State of Conn., and as Justice of the Peace, pronounced them man and wife. The whole thing was arranged and completed in so short a space of time that no opportunity was given to make any but the most hasty arrangements, although I did telegraph Dan, thinking he might be able to get the necessary leave, and also phoned Aunt Elsie, asking her to let Dorothy know. Dan wired back his congratulations to Dick in lieu of personally being present and Aunt Elsie was unable to make arrangements to get away.

Today, as you can imagine, was a busy one. After preparing a chicken dinner held in the dining room, adorned with flowers and suitable St. Valentine’s Day decorations, Katherine Warden took over the arrangements for the reception refreshments held in the dining room at which were present, besides those witnessing the ceremony (I forgot to include Biss above) Dave, Zeke, Paul and Katherine (Warden, renters of the small apartment), Jean’s sister and aunt, grandmother and grandfather, Carl (Wayne) and Ethel and Flora (Bushey), Red (Sirene), Barbara (Plumb), Jane (Mantle), (Paul and Zeke, in the course of the celebration, imbibed freely and at the end, were in “high spirits”). The girls had the dining room attractively decorated and, with chairs filched from various parts of the house and the Wardens, we all sat around in a large circle and enjoyed a light upper. Carl and Paul had obtained a big box labeled “Extra Heavy Duty Rubber” and in this they packed an extra large white baloney-shaped object together with a tube of salve which they handed to the bride and groom just before they left for the train and insisted upon its being opened in the presence of all. Jean’s face got red and she retired but Dick stood and faced the music without batting an eyebrow.

Dick, Jean, Dave and I went down to the station in my car and two other carloads went along. During the five or ten minute wait for the train in the packed depot, the usual rice throwing took place and a placard reading “Just Married”, at the last minute was tucked under Jean’s arm. The poor girl was evidently so taken up with the excitement of the moment that she never noticed it and walked through the train in search of a seat with the sign still under her arm, both ends projecting.

I have just got back after all the excitement and as it is nearing midnight, and by the way, it is a bitterly cold night, temperature way below zero and the wind blowing, the house is getting cold, and I guess I am a bit tired with all the doings, so having told the big news here I’ll quit. Haven’t heard from Lad for several weeks.


Tomorrow and Thursday, two more  letters from Grandpa and on Friday, one from Lad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – Father’s Day And A Sergeant – June 18, 1944

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn. June 18, 1944

Dear Sons:

Well, the back porch is painted (it’s gray this time instead of the reddish brown you may remember), the back lawn is cut except where the dry spell we have been having lately has dried up the grass so that brown spots do not need the services of a lawnmower (and save a few spots like that in the immediate vicinity of the staff that holds the clothes line off the ground where it stretches between the old Apple tree and the big Maple, where the long grass deifies the revolving knives of the lawnmower), the big hole Freckles (Ethel’s (Ethel Bushey, Biss’s best friend) dog and Smoky’s playmate) has dug at the roots of the old half Apple tree has been filled up with earth, and the canvas roof above the laundry has received another coat of paint at the seams where it has shown a tendency on the last rainy day to leak, dinner has been cooked and eaten, dishes all washed and put away, and Father, on Father’s Day, has settled down to his fatherly job of writing his weekly epistle.

And how do you know it’s Father’s Day, someone asks, just to make conversation. My children, a very proper question, that. I know because late yesterday in the last mail from the store, there was delivered a package postmarked Pomona, containing, what do you suppose? Yes Sir, a box of White Owl cigars – – and just in time too, because I recently smoked to the last of the former box and the Brazilian cigars Dick had sent – – but learning from past experience, as all wise ones do, THIS time Aunt Betty also received a box of Between The Acts little cigars, accompanied by an ode “for Aunt Betty”:

We know it’s time for Father’s Day

That Dad should get the gift,

Sending gifts to Dad alone

Has really caused a rift.

With this in mind, Aunt Betty, dear,

And so Dad need not share,

We’re sending you this little box

To keep you on the stair.

And my gift was accompanied also by a little card with a likeness of a man smoking a pipe. Skipper (the son of the tenants in the little apartment) says looks like me.

But that wasn’t all. No, indeed. Another card arrived from “Jean and Dick” with highly flattering but undeserved sentiments, and right on its heels a beautiful gift box of STAG shaving soap, powder and lotion. I feel like a little shaver now because, as you will recall, it was not so long ago that other toilet accessories in a post-Easter spirit also arrived from California. So if I don’t get shaved and smell nice afterward, it won’t be the fault of my boys and girls in double harness.

And now, after having got you properly warmed up, relating my own selfish affairs, here’s the big news in this letter. We’ll let Sgt. Richard tell it in his own words:

Richard Peabody Guion

“Tuesday morning I was told to report to the Non-commissioned Officers Reviewing Board. Monday night Capt. Luck had requested that I be promoted to Sgt. The Post Adjutant wanted me to work in the civilian personnel office (Brazilian). Sgt. Saroyan asked me if I wanted to go. When I told him, “No, unless I got another stripe.” He told the Adjutant he wouldn’t let me go unless I was promoted, so yesterday I was made Sgt. It’s a funny Army when you have to bargain for ratings, but I don’t care much as long as the end justifies the means. The Board asked me quite a few questions but I think I could have answered them all wrong and still made Sgt. It was more a formality than anything else”. So, there you have it. Lad already a Sgt., Dan a T-4 and now Dick. Come on, Dave, shake a leg. Oh, it’s pretty early yet, you say.

Tomorrow the rest of  this letter, and on Thursday, a letter from Marian and on Friday, a quick V-Mail from Dan.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of David Peabody Guion (8) – 1930 – 1946

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

In July of 2004, I sat down with my Uncle Dave and recorded his memories. With the other siblings, the memories were recorded in a somewhat chronological order, but with Dave, after a few early memories, he went right to his Senior year in high school when he made the decision to enlist in the Army. The conversation continued through his service, from Basic Training and his posts in Okinawa and the Philippines until he came home after World War II was over. I then led him back with questions about his childhood. I will present his memories as they were recorded.  

Trumbull House - Blizzard of 1940 - Dave, Mack and Dick shoveling

David Peabody Guion and Richard Peabody Guion with Mack after a big snow storm in 1940

This is a continuation of some of Dave’s memories surrounding sports and the Island.

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’d resume the game.  It was kind of like commercial breaks, I guess.

Unfortunately, this 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 when 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 wouldn’t let him.  So he left in the Navy.  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 I got a chance I went down to the Harbormaster and found out that his ship had just left, so I missed him.

Back to athletics.  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. (I believe Dave filled the role of Organizer and Manager) 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, (in 2004) on the first Wednesday of the month, we get together.

One of my earliest memories of the Island was running around naked.  There were no buildings on the Island when we went up there, there was a tent.  We put up a tent and that was it.

(At this point, the Island was owned by Rusty Heurlin’s parents. Rusty was introduced to the family through Fred Stanley, (married and divorced from Grandma Arla’s younger sister, Anne (Peabody) Stanley), who know Rusty from the group of artists who hung out in Westport, Connecticut)

Here’s a couple of little stories.  When I was a kid, I remember it was the first time I was up there (the Island in New Hampshire) – in the first place, it was a two-day trip to get up there – we used to leave, driving up to Rusty’s parent’s house (in Wakefield, Massachusetts), stay overnight, then drive up the rest of the way.  Rusty had a couple of friends who were at the Island one time I was up there.  We had spaghetti for supper that night. About sometime around two or three o’clock I no longer had that spaghetti.  I don’t know what they had put in it, but something made me sick.

Spring Island - Sunset 2007 (Judy)

Red Hill from the Big Flat Rock on the Island

One guy’s name was Eustis and Rusty used to call him Useless.  I don’t remember the other guy’s name. (I told Uncle Dave: His name was Sully and he was called Silly, at least according to Aunt Biss.) (Dave replied:)  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 he 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 The Big Flat Rock near Bathtub Landing) and belched loud enough so people on Red Hill could hear him, I’m sure.  He was a character, a funny guy.

Tomorrow I will start posting letters written in December 0f 1942.

Judy Guion