Trumbull – Dear Dick – An Anniversary, Travel Woes and Roast Beef – February 13, 1944

Trumbull, Conn.,   February 13, 1944

Dear Dick:

Richard (Dick) Guion

     Richard  Peabody(Dick) Guion

Jean (Mortensen)(Mrs.Richard)Guion                                                                                                                           

Tomorrow for me marks the anniversary of my most highly prized and noteworthy official activity as Justice of the Peace — you won’t have to search far to guess why. (Last year, in early February, Dick received notice from the local Draft Board that he had to report for induction on February 20th, so he and Jean decided to get married before he left. A very hasty plan was put into effect and they were married on February 14th at the Trumbull House with Grandpa, a Justice of the Peace, performing the ceremony. They left for a few nights in New York City, came back to Trumbull and Dick was inducted into the Army.)  While your first year of married life has been spent under conditions as far removed from what newlyweds have a right to normally expect as they could possibly be, there are several aspects in the situation from which you might justly derive considerable satisfaction. As I see it, first, both you and Jean have been darn good sports about the whole thing — no complaining or indulgence in self-pity over your hard luck. Second, you may not realize it now but in later years you will both derive a sense of contentment in the realization that at considerable personal sacrifice, you have done your full duty and played a man’s part in a great worldwide struggle. Third, because of the self-denial you youngsters have faced so resolutely there is apt to be a corresponding compensation and an all the more lasting appreciation of a happy married life when it is all over. So, while on this occasion particularly you both may feel a bit resentful of the circumstances that keep you apart, there is always the dawn of a new tomorrow to look forward to, and one that will glow with more sunshine and comfort because of the present darkness. So be of good cheer. There are better days ahead.

Ced and car - 1940 (2)

Cedric Duryee Guion

For Ced this week has been one of quick changing circumstances. In fact fate has tossed him about in a way that reminds me of those movies you took in Alaska of the natives being tossed up and down in a blanket. Early in the week he received a notice dated February 3rd from the President of the United States, through the Anchorage draft board, ending his long period of uncertainty by ordering him to report for his physical examination on February 13th. On Friday, however, a telegram dated February 10th  arrived from A.G. Woodley, as follows: “Board has approved appeal. Suggest you return immediately to work as they cannot reclassify unless you are actively engaged in  essential work. Have a good trip. Regards from all.” So yesterday he hurried to New York to make reservations for his return journey. Up to this writing (6:30 P.M.) he has not returned so I cannot at this time give you more definite news as to his departure. Unless his present return routing by way of Texarkana is changed, it is quite possible he will be able to stop off to visit the new Texas branch of the family en route.

We have our upsets in civilian life too. By virtue of the fact that this was to be Ced’s last Sunday in the bosom of his family and Dave also expected to be home for possibly the last time before leaving for some unknown camp to undergo his basic training, I figured a reckless expenditure of ration points was warranted, so I blew in 50 Brown points on a piece of prime roast beef, done to a turn in the famous Guion manner, only to find that Ced evidently succumbed to the lure of the big city and a big snowstorm or other unknown cause has kept our little Dave for making his expected trip home. So Auntie (Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Mother’s sister), daughter Jean (Dick’s wife) and Dad spent a quiet Sunday by themselves.

Dan briefly reports by V-mail that he is happy in a new job which, although temporary, is both interesting and educational, while faithful Marian probably has a letter on the way telling of her arrival. Lad, I take it, is too busy with his new training and getting a new home fixed up for his bride to find time for letters home. (2 pkgs. by express from L.A.)

Aunt Betty has her Accousticon (hearing aid) and is having a bit of a struggle getting used to it. I am waiting for tomorrow to see if a letter from Dave explains his failure to get home.

DAD

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Marian writing about her first few days n Texas. I will finish the week with another epistle from Grandpa to the Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian).

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (2) – News About Trumbull – January 16, 1944

This is the second half of a long letter written by Grandpa to his sons and daughters-in-law with news of the family.

In Brazil, actions speak louder than words — anyway they did last week when there arrived addressed to me a most beautiful box of fine Brazilian cigars which I have since been enjoying very much, not only because the cigars themselves are good but because they came from Dick. And when I say “beautiful box” I mean just that. The wood is highly polished, the box well made and is far superior to any packing even the most expensive cigars in the U. S. A. are given. Your gift is truly appreciated, Dick old boy. Incidentally Jean has just received word from Dick that his base has been changed to another location in Brazil. Evidently they spell it Brasil down there.

Cedric Duryee Guion

And now here’s a newsflash just received from Alaska. Ced had made his reservation and was all ready to leave for Anchorage via Texarkana and South Pasadena, when a telegram from Woodley Airways arrived informing Ced he had been reclassified to 1-A, and advising him to defer his return until Art Woodley (Owner of Woodley Airfield and Ced’s employer) could definitely determine whether another deferment could be procured or Ced would have to be inducted. And that is the status quo of things at the present moment.

And now for local news broadcasts (at this point, Dave, I know you usually tune out, which is your privilege now, but you may under the circumstances stay tuned to this station.)

On invitation from the Lee’s, we all went down to Westport for supper Friday, and as usual, had a very pleasant evening. Ced showed some of the Alaskan slides and movies which they enjoyed. Incidentally, Dan, they have relatives living in London whom they thought you might like to visit – Arthur Toft, 40 Chaucer Rd., Herne Hill, London S.E24.

In today’s paper, Barbara’s (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) picture appears in the uniform of a WAAC with news that she has received an assignment to serve overseas.

Smoky has been under the weather for the last few days — either he has been

page 4 (oy, what a letter writer I am tonight)                                                    1/16/1944

grieving over your absence, or in your affectionate adieu,  you may have put ground glass in his Ken-L-Ration. However, he is improving as evidenced by the lowering temperature of his nose.

I’m getting to be a regular old rake — married three women this week — all divorced, too — on the 10th, 12th and 15th  respectively. Grandpa, as the Justice of the Peace, has the honor of performing marriage ceremonies.)

You older boys will be interested to know that in answer to one of my Christmas cards sent to Corrine Flaniken, I received a rather rambling letter from her enclosed in a letter from her sister in Arlington, Texas, stating that Corinne is in a psychopathic Hospital in Colorado Springs. Normal life is much too confusing for her as the slightest responsibility upsets her until she is almost frantic. A letter or card from any of you to her would probably be much appreciated. Address Route 1, Box 47, Colorado Springs, Colo.

And last, a letter from Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley), thanking us for the flowers I sent Grandma, which evidently she appreciated very much. Grandma continues comfortable, and while she sleeps a good deal of the time, she is bright and cheerful when awake. She enjoyed seeing us when we visited her.

Donald, (Stanley,  Anne (Peabody) Stanley’s son), she wrote, is in New York and will be for several more days. Gweneth came down from Vermont and they all spent the weekend together. Don looks fine and is still enjoying the sea. (Donald, only a few years older than Dave, in in the Navy.)

And that, dear children, is about all from your Uncle Don this evening, except Dave, I think there is a present for you under the barrack cot, a big juicy paddle that the first Sgt. will be glad to hand you with much verve and spirit if you don’t watch out. And don’t try to make friends with the bugler because he’ll blow reveille just as quick for you as he will for the rest of the boys.

Remember, there is a brand-new folder in the file with your name on it, and the first insertion should be an essay on Army life from a rookies standpoint. I’m sure Dan and Lad and Dick would enjoy reading it and comparing the memory of their experiences with yours.

A glance at my watch tells me this is been one of those regular three hour broadcasts and undoubtedly others are waiting to get on the air: who knows, even Franklin may be waiting to deliver another fireside chat to “my friends”. Anyway, I’m signing off. This is station ADG, 7 on your dial. (A reference to the mailing address, PO Box 7, Trumbull)

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Elizabeth’s St. Petersburg (Florida) Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dick, Lad, Marian and Dan (1) – Surprise Letter From Dick – January 9, 1944

Grandpa pointing in the rough direction Ced will be returning to soon, Anchorage, Alaska.

Trumbull, Conn.  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Dick, Lad, Marian and Dan:

‘Tis only the four of you I am writing to today, but it won’t be long now before Ced and Dave will be added to the list. Dave goes Thursday, and following my usual custom, which has happened so many times now it has almost developed into a habit, I should deliver my youngest at the well-known railroad station at Shelton to swell the ranks of Uncle Sam’s Army, and two days later I shall bid adieu to 6 foot plus Ced who departs again for the far North, with full intentions of making two stops en route, one at Texarkana to catch a glimpse of his oldest brother whom he last saw as he bid him goodbye at the Grace Line here (1939), and the second stop at Los Angeles  (So. Pasadena) in order to meet his new sister-in-law; two visits which the writer confesses he would like very much to be making himself.

Ced has had an active week, spending two days in New York in which he visited the Burnham’s  Rufus Burnham and family, who became lifelong friends after meeting as neighbors in Larchmont Gardens, Mt. Vernon, New York) and Grandma (Peabody), driving us all down to Pogg’s in Redding, where we had supper, and last night eating dinner with the Platt’s in Westport and showing the Alaskan slides. Last Sunday night we all went up to the Plumbs where also the Alaskan and South American movies were run off. Grandma, he said, was still mentally alert but was visibly weaker.

No letters from either Lad or Dan this week, but surprise of surprises, a letter from Dick, and a nice long letter from Marian.

In reply to yours, Dick, (stationed in Santeliza, Brazil, and serving the Army as a liaison to the local workers employed there) I want you to know how much it is appreciated. I was beginning to think you had  disowned the family. Writing letters to you month after month with never a peep in return makes one realize how a person broadcasting over the radio must feel who never gets any fan mail and doesn’t know whether anyone is listening or not or moreover doesn’t care. I am glad to have your assurance that my weekly efforts do mean something to you. I suppose it must be hard for each of you to realize that I really feel I am writing to each of you individually and not the way a newspaper editor feels when he writes for his public. I often have the feeling, when no comments are ever forthcoming to any of the topics mentioned (except of course, big events like Lad’s marriage or Ced’s homecoming), that perhaps they are really of slight interest and not worth the effort, because at times it really is difficult, as you must know from your own experience, to sit down at a regular time, whether you feel in the mood or not, and try to be interesting.

Aunt Betty Durtee

Grandpa’s Aunt Betty Duryee)

Aunt Betty is very encouraging along this line. She reads every letter after I have finished and always, in a tone of great conviction, says, “That was a very nice letter. I don’t see how you do it, Alfred.” And immediately my ego goes up a point or two and I say to myself, “Well, maybe it wasn’t so bad, at that.” Good old Ced  occasionally adds a few encouraging words and Lad and Dan keep on writing, so I give you the benefit of the doubt and keep on pounding out this stuff, hoping the fact you are away from home will add a bit of the glamour not inherent in the thing itself. It’s good to have Dick’s slant, for instance, in the following quotation:  “I miss the scenes around good old Trumbull — the walks in the woods, the brook, every room in the house and all the people whom I have known so well. I know I could walk blindfolded through the house from top to bottom without any trouble. It’s been nearly a year since I’ve been home. When I was up in Alaska it wasn’t quite so bad because I was enjoying myself and knew that I could leave for home whenever I pleased. I really don’t get to lonesome though. There is always something to occupy my time, and idleness is the chief cause of homesickness. We all work and are hoping for victory.” Aren’t we all, Dick, feeling much the same, whether at home or in the armed forces.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter, addressing thoughts Dick raised about the Trumbull house.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (1) – Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians and The Mikado – March 8, 1942

This is a postcard mailed March 1st from Ames, Iowa,  to Lad from Charlie Hall, one of the neighborhood boys, and a good friend of Dick’s.

Charlie Hall

Hi Ghost –

Yep. I met your friend Larry Sieck today – Nice guy – Says he planned to come “over” and see you this spring vacation – but since we have no spring vacation – yellow fever epidemic – he’s going to wait till next summer. Me likewise, darn it.

By the way, doesn’t ghost mean spook?

Tell R.P.G. (Dick) I’m expecting a letter any month now –

Farmboy Hall

***********************************

This very early picture of Lad, maybe wearing a Cowboy outfit he received at his 9th birthday in 1923, shows the cellar door mentioned in the letter as well as the Lilac bush screening the window where Aunt Betty sat and watched the birds.

Trumbull, Conn., March 8, 1942

Dear Boys:

For one solid hour I have been listening to Jim Smith who came in just as I started to write you, and he has practically denuded my mind of any ideas I had to start with in the way of raw material for this my weekly news sheet.

I shall try to get back into running condition by discussing the weather – – a perfectly safe topic with which to get by the sensor – – except of course in a radio broadcast. And that gives me a lead off. I noticed an article in the paper recently to the effect that Gilbert and Sullivan operas were playing in New York, and knowing Dave’s enthusiasm for such, recalling my own boyhood days when my father took me to the big city to see a real show and realizing that Dave has been very helpful in working at the office in a real spirit of cooperation, it seemed a good opportunity for me to get back at him by taking in a performance sometime during the week when he had no school on account of the mid-year vacation. So we ups and decides to see The Mikado on Friday. It so happened that on that same day Dave had been invited to attend rehearsal for radio broadcasting at W.I.C.C. (Bridgeport Radio station) and in calling up to tell them he could not attend, they suggested he might, while in New York, like to take in a real broadcast at Radio City. Accordingly, he was given a card of introduction, which, when duly presented, got us into an hour’s performance with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians – – 15 minutes of the regular Chesterfield broadcast and 45 minutes of his own. It was very interesting and quite enjoyable. Then Gilbert and Sullivan and then home where Lad met us at Bridgeport. Home and to bed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mikado

But to get back to the weather. It has been like an April day, the thermometer in the shade registering about 60. The sun, while not brilliant, was warm. I got out the deck chair from the cellar for Aunt Betty and she spent about two hours on the cement terrace enjoying the first promise of summer. She and the birds have been quite chummy lately. A piece of suet hung on the lilac bush just outside the kitchen window (the one looking out toward the barn)  (near where the cellar door used to be that Rusty burst out of one night after sitting around the alcove fireplace and getting a dose of monoxide gas poisoning)  was what started the whole thing. This proved to be so popular with our little feathered friends that it was followed by scattered crumbs, etc., until we have quite a number of regular visitors, among them some pretty little slate gray birds which Dan or Rusty could probably identify if they were here.

Dick still has not been able to get his car. The holdup has been caused by the fact that before he could obtain his registration, he had to show his birth certificate (a new rule I suppose because of the war, registration of aliens, etc.) I told him to write to Mount Vernon and the answer came back that they had no record of anyone by that name, the records being in the name of Lawrence Guion on that date born in the Mount Vernon Hospital. To make the necessary change I had to make out a formal request which I mailed back to them Saturday. Perhaps it will come through Tuesday of next week. We had not registered Dan’s car so he has been using mine nights. And, one day last week, he reported one of my tires blew out. That, with the present tire situation, is a major calamity. So, I have filed a formal request to the tire rationing board for permission to buy two new tires, but I have little hope of their granting the request. They are pretty damn tough.

I’ll be posting the conclusion of this letter tomorrow. The rest of the week will be filled with more letters from Grandpa to Ced, in Anchorage, Alaska, and Dan in the Army.

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Chillun (1) – Ced Starts For Alaska – December 16, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., December 16, 1945.

Dear Chillun:

Having been confined all day in my cell entertaining some streptococci firgidarius (cold germs to you), and not feeling in much of a mood to write anything to anybody, this letter will probably follow the pattern set by those of the last few weeks and be divested of that sparkling quality found occasionally in my correspondence and in Mumm’s Extra Dry, more frequently in the latter.

Ced in Alaska with airplane - 1940

Ced and his plane at Monroe Airport.

This old house of late has taken on a strong resemblance to the Grand Central Station with arrivals and departures following one another in rapid succession. Among the departures this week are two. The first was Ced, early last Monday morning accompanied by his brother, Lad, autoed over to the Monroe field, (Lad) watched him stow away his belongings in his little plane, waiting a bit for him to get the latest weather report from New Haven, and finally take off in the northwesterly direction, quickly losing sight of the little dot in the sky but hearing his motor for a surprisingly long time afterwards, so much so in fact that the proprietor of the landing field at first was of the opinion he was coming back again. A few anxious days passed and then on the 12th (Wed.) A letter dated Dec. 10th, written 8:30 P.M. from Oil City, Pa., brought the following good news: “I had a very poor day as you will guess by this letterhead. I bucked a bad headwind all day, had to sit on a field for a couple of hours waiting for the snow to quit and in general fighting the weather ‘til I could cuss. At least this is a nice clean town, as different as day from night compared to Alliance, Ohio. The hotel is clean and respectable and all the stores seem clean and attractive; the restaurants decent. It is on the Allegheny River between high mountains and at the fork of two rivers. Prices are reasonable and the air is clean and clear. The promise of good weather tomorrow and I shall take off about nine A.M. I hope that Danged wind will quit, tho. It is moaning outside the window right now.”

While Ced didn’t make Larry’s place at Milan (near Sandusky) Ohio, he came pretty close to it. Friday night he had reached St. Paul which is the last we have heard to date. The news today is that a cold wave is blanketing the country, which probably means clear weather for his on-to-Alaska continuation. When he left he was not sure what his route would be from St. Paul on so I’m hoping we’ll have a postal or something soon which will further enlighten us. Good luck to you, Ced, eat plenty of carrots so you can spot those landing fields, and happy landings always.

Alfred Duryee Guion

L to R – Alfred Duryee Guion, Marian (Irwin) Guion, Alfred (Lad) Peabody Guion, Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Aunt Betty Duryee, around the kitchen table after dinner.

As for Dick’s departure, before we can get rid of him in proper shape, we’ve got to get him here first. That happened soon after I answered the phone and heard a voice (disguised) asking for “Al”. Said Al soon thereafter departed to get some “beer” and came home with Dick. You can figure that one out yourself. Hardly giving us time to seeing him around again, this morning he and Jean started off in the Chevy for Camp Westover which is in the vicinity of Springfield, Mass., and where he is supposed to report before five tonight. If things go according to schedule he will by Friday, have discarded his Army career and return a plain Mr. The dinner table today seemed rather “minus” without Jean and Dick. If it hadn’t been for Lad and Marian it would have indeed been similar to the Grand Central at 3 A.M.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue this letter and finish it off on Thursday. On Friday, two more Christmas cards to Ced.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – Local News of Interest – December 9, 1945

David Peabody Guion

Trumbull, Conn., December 9, 1945

Dear Dave:

While in theory I am glad you are busy — that being the best way to have time pass quickly, for with each passing day it brings that much nearer the time when you step on board the transport that will bring you back to the good old U. S. A. One has to be quite a philosopher, however, to let the theory overweigh the desire to hear from you, to know you are well and contented, and most of all, what the latest rumors are as to when you and your outfit are scheduled for the trip home. It seems quite a long time since we heard from you. The other day I talked to Franny Moore over the phone and of course she asked to be remembered to you, and a few days ago Peggy VanKovics also phoned and said she had not heard from you since October and was a bit concerned. I told her how busy you were and she wanted me to give you her best.

Ced is still with us but expects to start his long flight back to the frozen North tomorrow. He has been delayed by a cold he picked up here and also by not being sure his radio is working properly. I’ll heave a real sigh of relief when I finally get word from Anchorage that he has arrived back there promptly and SAFELY. We have all been up in his plane now, some of us several times. Aunt  Betty even went up the other day. I really enjoyed flying with him, but just the same, that long trip back there alone, through all kinds of weather and over numerous mountains and all over strange territory, is quite a hazardous undertaking under the best of conditions. Well, here’s hoping.

The boys have repaired the stovepipe in the clubroom. I talked with Vicchiola for a few moments last night. As more of you older boys get back and can re-construct the original lineup, it will be much better.

Jean Mortensen Guion - Christmas, 1947

  Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick)

Dick phoned Jean this afternoon that he starts separation proceedings Tuesday, will then proceed on his own to his Mass. Camp stopping en route a day or two in Trumbull, and expects to be out finally in about a week. She got so excited about the whole business that she upset the drawing board Dick had in the phone booth planning out the island house, pulled down the curtains and knocked the phone over and then fell and sat on it. Dick will have to develop another technique of telephoning good news to his wife or else she will have to take out additional accident insurance. It’s lucky the lightbulb was fastened up on the wall or she might have blown a fuse. Oh, well, one’s husband is likely to be discharged only once in a lifetime (we hope) from the Army, and even though she be battered and bruised, she still smiles. What’s that line about one’s head being bloodied but unbowed. That’s Jean all over.

So far, I suppose because I have been so confined at the office and the family exchequer is not only empty but in the red, I have not been imbued with the Christmas spirit so far. I did send you a few candy bars, chewing gum, etc., some weeks ago, but with even two or three of you away it won’t seem a 100% Christmas here and I don’t suppose it will be for you in Manila. However, the spirit of “goodwill to men” will mean as much as ever from all of us here to you, encouraged by the thought that it will be different next time. Until we see you then, good night, from

SANTA CLAUS

Tomorrow, a letter to Dan and Paulette written the same day as Dave’s letter.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (3) – A Letter From Dick – How To Take A Picture – November 26, 1939


In yesterday’s post Grandpa’s letter promising one from Dick.

ADG - Dick atThe Chandler's - Group on steps (cropped) - 1939

Richard Peabody Guion (Dick)

Como esta, Chico!!/?

Have you gotten a camera yet? if so I would like to give you some advice on how to take pictures. If you’re taking some private subject, such as your underwear, hold your hand over the lens or else forget to insert film in the camera. If taking landscape, hold camera in the study position about 2 feet above the belt, or suspenders, if you happen to be wearing them, and pick out the best subject matter, taking into consideration the amount of light in the distance from the bi-focal lens, place index finger on shutter release or some other damn gadget, and push like hell. If you want to take an animal, wait until you find an animal that is more or less passive, and doesn’t seem interested in taking apart you or the camera. For example, we’ll take a monkey. Wait until subject stops throwing coconuts at you and open rangefinder aperture to 200 ft./s or, if the weather is clear, turn it to WICC and listen to Uncle Don. Wave a banana around your head until the monkey smiles and then throw camera in the bushes and make the shot with a 22. This will make the monkey rather disconcerted, and it will also give you something for supper. To hell with the picture, it wouldn’t have been any good anyway. If you’re going to take pictures of the camp, I think it would be a good idea to get above it, if possible, so as to get a picture of the whole camp, and show the relationship of the different buildings. I am particularly interested in landscapes to show the vegetation, streams, lakes and mountains. More important, however, are pictures of yourself. We want to keep tabs on you so that we can tell if you are going native. Pictures of animals would also be nice, but you’d better use your own discretion and forget my former advice.

I have only three subjects this year, so I don’t have much homework. Right now, I’m working in the office after school, but I don’t know how long it will last.

You probably understand that it’s a miracle to get a letter from me. Not that I don’t want to write, but it takes me so long to get set and I can never think of anything good to tell people about.

Adios, Senior,

Dick

Tomorrow I will post a letter written by Dan, on the same day, and enclosed in the same envelope. On Friday, a letter from Aunt Betty.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (2) – News From France – September 23, 1945

This is the second portion of this letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Jean and Dick Guion

Oh Kay, Jeannie, old kid, we’ll do that little thing. And while I think of it, Dick, your insurance premium notice arrived the other day. Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I shall take care of it by my check in the regular way before it comes due. You’ll be interested, Jean, to know I received a nice letter from Marge (Mrs. Ted Southworth) the other day announcing their safe arrival at “Crosswinds, RFD West Sand Lake, N.Y.”. She says: “We want you to know we thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Trumbull under the Guion roof and thank you for putting up with us. Ted has already started classes at R.I.P. (I believe Grandpa meant to type R.P.I, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY) in Troy  and finds it a little strange to be a student again. We will be living with Ted’s folks for a while as there is not much hope of finding anything in Troy at present. We have sort of a private apartment with “kitchen privileges”. I haven’t found any gainful employment yet but am working on it. I hope it won’t be too long before all the members of the Guion family will be together again. We certainly enjoyed reading their letters and meeting Lad. “Spintail” was overjoyed to see us again and is leading a very happy life here on the farm, free from strange dogs to fight with. He gets his exercise by chasing rabbits and woodchucks.”

Alaska was silent this week but I haven’t forgotten that threat: “Some time I may drop in unexpectedly at your office”, after landing, I suppose, in a Piper or something that he has just acquired, and hitchhiking in from the Stratford airport. Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to dream!

And now let’s turn the spotlight on the French theater of action. A Sept. 13th letter arrived on the 20th (regular mail, it says here) and one dated the 5th arrived on the 22nd. The composite result is somewhat as follows: The whole Senechal family is spending a few days in Drancy. They asked me to send their best regards to you all – – especially to Lad who, they know, is home at last. I no longer expect to be home this year.

(Comment. This is a bitter disappointment to me Dan, as you must realize, and I am not giving up without a struggle. I want to see my son – – I want very much to know my new daughter and I had very much hoped my little grandchild would open his little eyes first in good old Connecticut. Having stated that with all the sincerity and fervor of which I am capable, I must add that no matter how strong my wishes, or yours, Dan, might be, it is, after all, Paulette’s wishes that must, under the circumstances, come first. I can understand she might want to have her baby born among familiar surroundings rather than in a foreign country, yet I wonder if judging from the economic conditions in both countries, she wouldn’t be better off from every other standpoint if she were here. As for getting home, I understand the airlines have already started transatlantic service, and I imagine the fare is not out of reason. I am also going to make inquiries as to the resumption of steamship service. I understand some of the liners have already been returned by the Government to the steamship companies and regular service will soon be resumed.)

But to go on with the quotation. “The explanation is somewhat involved. “Chiche”, being pregnant, cannot travel by government transport until three months after the birth of the child, unless she leaves before her pregnancy has advanced more than four months. But with shipping as crowded as it is these days, even assuming that her visa could be hastened by political pressure from you back home, the chances are remote that the Army could find room for her before next year. She is expecting the child in April or May. Thus she will not be eligible for travel by government transport until July or August, 1946!

(Comment. I should hate to rely on any governmental pressure I could exert these days with all the red tape that would be necessary, although I would not hesitate to try, but I should think the best thing would be to forget the Army transport method and make it as a civilian, and that, as soon as you can be discharged, and she can find accommodations. And don’t let the expense deter you, because this is important enough to transcend any consideration of this sort just as long, at least, as you have a Dad to fall back on.)

Tomorrow, the final section of this letter with more information from France. Thursday and Friday I’ll post a Birthday letter to Dave from his Dad.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons: (and daughters Jean and Paulette) (1) – News From Jean – September 23, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., September 23, 1945

Dear Sons:      (and daughters Jean and Paulette)

Well, things have been running along here in their accustomed way. More of the boys are coming home with H.D.’s. Barbara (Plumb), I understand, has already sailed for home. Rationing is easing a bit. Gas, meat, canned goods, fuel are all easier. A few civilian goods long off the market are beginning to appear, but strikes are mentioned more and more frequently in the daily papers – – labor demanding higher wages which of course will inadvertently result in a raise in prices and thus the vicious spiral starts again, inflation in the offing.

Lad and Marian (Irwin) Guion

Lad’s 30-day furlough is practically up. He and Marian start out in the car tomorrow for Devens (Ft. Devens, Massachusetts), the idea being that if his leave is extended, as one newspaper report said was going to be done on the authority of Gen. Henry, then perhaps they can drive back together. On the other hand, if Lad has to go back from there to Aberdeen, as was the original intention, then Marian will drive back alone and we will then wait to hear from Lad as to what the Army’s future plans are for him. Personally, I do not expect they will send him to the Pacific area where the rest of his outfit is now and where he would be, if he had not gone to Dan’s wedding and thereby “missed the boat”. This week they toured New England, visiting the old Lake Winnipesaukee island of fond memories. No one is inhabiting it now but the cottage on the shore has been rebuilt. They visited Ingrid and Anna (Huerlin, Rusty Huerlin’s sisters) in Melrose and saw Lars Erik. They then toured through the White Mountains (Mt. Washington, the Notches, etc.), and Sunday reached St. Albans where they found Larry, Marian and Alan (Larry Peabody, Grandma Arla’s brother, and his wife and son) on a visit, then to Colchester and Burlington (unable to locate Fred) (Stanley, husband or ex-husband of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister), crossed Champlain on the ferry (remember the big pig?), Ausable Chasm, Saratoga (which they reached too late to look up the Osbournes) and home. Last night they had a final blowout in New York and right now Marian is doing some ironing and Lad is wrapping up packages to send to Dan with some clothes that Paulette needs and which I shall try to get off this week.

Jean Mortensen) Guion, (Mrs. Dick)

A letter from Jean (bless her heart) Correction. Letter is signed “Dick and Jean”, but if so, Dick’s handwriting has changed quite a bit – – must be the Portuguese influence. Anyway the letter says: “First of all, Dad, I want to wish you a belated birthday wish from Dick and myself. I meant to write sooner so it would reach you on your birthday, but I just didn’t get around to it. Poor excuse, isn’t it! “Happy Birthday” just the same, Dad, and we’ll be thinking of you. Dick sent you a box of cigars. Did they reach you on time? (Yes, thank you.) Well, Dick and I have been two very busy people this past week. We went to two dances, a party, two movies and a USO show. That accounts for six of the days and the other one we entertained the Polish couple at our home! We had lots of fun but this week we’re going to try to get home early and catch up on some of our sleep. By the way, we’ve been gadding about since I got here. You’d think we were trying to make up for two years of separation in a few weeks. We aren’t – – it’s just that everything happens at once. It’s a lot of fun but a little tiring after a while. We haven’t had any pictures taken of our little house yet but as soon as we do, will send some to you. Dick’s assistant said he’d take some for us but he hasn’t had a chance to come out yet. I have a camera and films in my trunk but it is still someplace between here and New York. By the time it gets here, we’ll probably be ready to go home. That’s the Army for you – – slow motion.

The base is closing. They say everyone will be out of here by the end of the year. The fellows with the highest amount of points leave first, than the ones who have two years or more of overseas service – – that includes Dick, and he’s not sure he will go because I’m here. He wants to go home but he’d rather stay at this base than one in the states. They aren’t very strict so it’s really wonderful. We really don’t know what will happen, so you may be seeing us soon, or it may be a few more months. As you already know, you can’t depend on the Army. The fellows who have only a few months overseas will be sent to another base in this wing. All this business about the base closing has us in kind of a stew, though, we have two rooms of furniture that Dick bought and would like to sell it before we leave. Once Dick gets his orders we won’t have much time. Then again, if we were going to stay, we want to get a refrigerator. There is just no way of telling what’s going to happen so I guess we’ll just hang on to our furniture and continue eating at the base. Gosh, I’ll be so glad when this Army life is over and we will know what we can do. I’d like to ask another favor of either you or Marian. Would you take my beige wool dress and my green spring coat, that I sent home from Florida, to the cleaners?                                    Jean (and Dick)

Tomorrow and Wednesday, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter. Thursday and Friday will be the two parts of a Birthday Letter to Dave.

Judy Guion

Dear Reader – The End of an Era (5) – Memorable Event (2) – Dick and Jean’s Wedding Activities – February 14, 1943

With six married children, it is unusual that Grandpa was present for only three weddings. Three marriages took place during World War II, and Dick’s was the first. Lad and Marian Irwin were married in California on November 14th, 1943 and Dan and Paulette Von Laere were married in Calais, France on July 17, 1945. Grandpa had the privilege of performing this first one as the Justice of the Peace. Below is his account of the event in a letter to his other sons away from home.

Dick and Jean (Mortensen) Guion on Christmas Day, 1947.

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.

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 out.

Tomorrow, another post about the End of an Era at the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion