Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (4) – News From Jean in Brazil – September 16, 1945

This is another portion of a 4-page letter from Grandpa, informing the rest of the family about the lives of Dick and Jean.

Jean Mortensen Guion - Christmas, 1947

        Jean (Mortensen) Guion

And Jean, who is probably the American belle of Brazil, writes: “Did you think we had forgotten all about you? We haven’t, honestly. Just that we’ve been so busy fixing up our house and keeping up with all the social obligations that I haven’t had a chance to write. We are quite popular, you know! We spent quite a lot of time out at the base —  it’s more of a necessity than a desire. We haven’t a refrigerator yet so we can’t keep food for any length of time. Once in a while though, we get a few cans of vegetables and a can of meat and come home for dinner. It is a little hard cooking, tho, because we have only a small gasoline stove, but it’s fun. Dick usually goes to the base at 7 and I get a ride in at 11. This gives me a chance to do a few of the necessary things around the house. I spend every afternoon sitting at Dick’s desk knitting or talking to some of the Brazilians. They’re trying just about as hard as Dick is to teach me Portuguese. I’m afraid I’m a hopeless case but I’m trying anyway. All the Brazilians I’ve met so far seem to be very nice — they go out of their way to do things for us. Being here with Dick is almost as good as civilian life. I see him practically all day during the week. He gets off at 4:30 and doesn’t have to report back until eight the next morning. Sunday is his day off. It’s really wonderful. We’ve been out almost every night — most of the time we stay at the base and see the movies or go to N.C.O. club where they have an outdoor dance floor. It is wonderful dancing under the stars. I’ve learned the Samba and the March. They’re lots of fun. The Polish couple that Dick mentioned in one of his letters lives a block away from us so we see quite a lot of them. They both speak English so it’s a lot more enjoyable for me being with them. One night we visited a Brazilian family. The man spoke English but his wife didn’t, so we sat and smiled at each other all evening. This same man took us to the Club last night — quite an affair. The Brazilian General and the American Consul were there. There were five

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American officers but Dick was the only enlisted man who was invited — that made him feel pretty good. Tomorrow night the enlisted men are giving a Labor Day dance at one of the Brazilian Clubs, where there is a beautiful tile swimming pool. There will be a swimming meet during the dance — it should be fun. I’ll probably be the only American girl there because the only other wives who are here are officers wives and that’s only two. I’m sort of getting used to being the only American. I felt uncomfortable at first with everyone staring at me. They still stare but I don’t mind it so much. The people in Portaleza are pretty poor and about 40% or more of them are illiterate. They can’t even sign their names. The school problem here is really bad. They have to pay for both grammar and high school. Most families can’t afford it so the children just don’t go. Three-quarters of the people are suffering from mal-nutrition. Before I got here I was under the impression that the cost of living was very low but it isn’t. Food, clothing and everything else is very high. Most of the people don’t even wear shoes and if they do, they’re just a scuff made of cheap leather or wood with a piece of material over the toes to hold it on. I get the creeps every time I go downtown and see the conditions that exist here. The Government does nothing at all for the poor people –if they can’t get work that pays them enough to live, they die in the streets. Out where we live tho, all the rich people have homes. It’s really a very pretty section. Our house isn’t one of the finest but it’s quite nice. We’re going to try to get some pictures of it soon and when we do, will send some to you. The weather is ideal –there’s always a strong breeze from the water. We live about a mile from the beach. Received your weekly letter the other day. Now I know how much that letter means to the boys. It made me feel a little closer to home. Dick gave me a beautiful Ronson cigarette lighter the day I got here. It has my monogram on it –JMG — pretty snazzy. Love to all. Jean.

Tomorrow I will end the week wit Grandpa’s final comments to his sons, scattered around the world..

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Gentle Readers (2) – News From Jean in Brazil – August 20, 1945

jean-on-lawn-1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)

However a letter from Jean reveals that she was practically on her way when the peace news came through. Maybe this would be a great time to quote her letter:

“Surprise, I’m here. Arrived at one (noon) on the 16th.  Dick didn’t know I was due that day so he didn’t meet me. They had quite a job locating him but when his assistant found him and told him I was here all he could say was, “Are you kidding?” He was quite worried because the officer here told him that all the wives orders had been canceled because of the end of the war. He was sure I wouldn’t be able to come. I wasn’t supposed to leave Miami until Thursday, but when I checked in to

page 2   8/20/45

the Army hotel Tuesday morning, they started rushing me through briefing classes and my last typhoid shot. They told me late in the afternoon that I would be leaving about 6:30 that night. We were out at the airport at seven when the news of the Jap surrender was announced. We took off at eight in a C-47–the same one they flew Gen. Mark Clark back to the US in. We were very lucky to get such a nice one, as most of the planes were just plain transport ships with bucket seats and very uncomfortable. There were seven girls, one child and myself, +5 crew members. Our first stop was Puerto Rico, 2:30 A.M. Wednesday. They gave us breakfast and we sat around in the post lounge waiting for a minor repair to be made until 4:30 A.M. We flew until noon when we stopped at British Guiana. There we were treated like Queens–met us in the staff cars, took us to a restroom to get cleaned up, then to the officer’s mess hall for lunch and from there to a cottage where we took showers and slept until 6 PM, then dinner, after which two officers took us to the officers club for a highball. We took off at eight P. M. Our next stop was at Belem, Brazil, at four A.M. Thursday. After breakfast we took off again, arriving at Natal at 10:45 A.M. Everyone but me and the crew got off—I was the only passenger back to Forteleza.

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion

Dick couldn’t get the house he wanted but he got a cute place in a very nice section, about the same size as the other place, four rooms, bath and a separate servants home on the side. So, we have a garden. Dick is having the yard all fixed up. The man starts work at seven A. M. And works until about 4:34 P.M. for $.50 a day. Can you imagine working in the hot sun for that? I can’t either. It is spring here now. I don’t know what the temperature is but it’s just comfortable and there is always a strong breeze. Dick looks wonderful. He says he’s lost some weight the past week, though, worrying about me and trying to get the house cleaned up. He even bought a table cover for our dining room table.”

Dick adds a  P. S. “I want to thank you for having taken such good care of Jean, Dad. I’m happier now than I have been since I was drafted. I don’t mean to insinuate that I was happy they drafted me. She’s the difference between existing and living. My love to all. Dick”.

So we see that maybe if Jean had been a few hours later in getting started, orders might have come through for cancellation. Incidentally, this might cause Lad to revise his opinion that allowing the wives to go down probably means Dick will be there for some time yet. Would like to know what the prospects are as they look to you down there, Dick. Do take some snapshots of the house and send them home as we are all eager to see what the Guion Brazilian home looks like.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the rest of this letter.

Judy Guion

Special Picture (341) – Grandpa’s Children – 1914 – 1927

In this Post I am going to show group photos of the children as they were growing up.

 

Blog - Arla Mary Peabody and children - 1922 (sepia)

                           Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with her first five children – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss, circa 1922

 

 

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This shows some of the children playing on the dirt road in front of the house. I believe Ced is to the left, Biss is in the middle and dick is on the right. This would have been 1925 because Biss was five years old when she broke her arm.

 

Dick, Dan, Ced, Lsd and Biss

Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss circa 1927

There is another picture I have found on my computer but I can’t seem to get it in this post. I’m giving up.

Judy Guion

 

 

 

 

 

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – West Point And Election Results – October 1, 1939

This is the conclusion of the letter I posted yesterday, with an addition added after the election.

Today is the most miserable ,rainy, cold, raw, cheerless day. I have the fire going in the alcove. The youngsters have all gone down to Foote’s more for something to do, I imagine, then because they want something to eat. Dick was invited by Mr. Ives to go down to New York to a ballgame this morning, but they had just about reached New York when it started to rain, so they came home again.

Richard Peabody Guion

Yesterday, however, Dick got in what he feels was a very enjoyable trip. The senior class of Basssick, of which he is now a member, made up a party yesterday to visit West Point. They were to meet about seven at the school (Dick left here about 630 in the Packard.) Then they went by train, I think, to New York, boarded a Hudson River Day Boat, visited West Point, stopped and did some roller skating at Bear Mountain Inn and arrived home at 1 AM this morning, tired but happy.

A link to the Wikipedia entry – The History of the United States Military Academy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Military_Academy#:~:text=The%20history%20of%20the%20United,on%20the%20site%20in%201802.

    David Peabody Guion

Well yesterday was officially Dave’s birthday. I was so occupied with political duties that I could not pay much attention to him and in consequence we held a very modest celebration today. I gave him a sweater, a pair of shoes, jockey shorts, socks, handkerchiefs, a fountain pen, flashlight (small pocket edition) pocket nail file, candy and of course ,we had store ice cream for dessert. Aunt Betty sent her regular card with its dollar enclosed, Dan also gave him a dollar, Ced bought some cider just made a few hours before from Boroughs, and yesterday the New Rochelle folks sent him a telegram of congratulations.

Politics has been given quite a bit of prominence in the daily news during the past week or so. There have been repeated attacks on the Republican Party of those in power in the town including your poor old father who is being accused of all kinds of indirect and indefinite wrongdoing, but in the opinion of many these mudslinging tactics are boomerangs which do more harm than good to the throwers, principal of whom is our old friend Sexton. However, tomorrow will tell the tale and while I think from some standpoint it would be a good thing if I were relieved of the job and could devote more time to my business, I do need the extra income and anyway, I would not want to quit under fire and have my critics say I couldn’t take it, etc. The Times Star has been publishing a series of articles on public officials in various towns in the vicinity. I am enclosing the one about me in which you will note that Mack has made the grade as a celebrity.

I think I shall stop this letter right here (I can’t think of anything more to tell you anyway) and finish it after election returns have been received.

Tuesday night. The sad news is told in the newspaper clippings attached. Your dad went down to defeat by 21 votes, but the rest of the Republican ticket got in. This is primarily due to the nice things our friend Sexton has been saying. My feelings are mixed at this time. My pride naturally is a bit hurt and from a financial angle it will put quite a serious crimp in my affairs, but aside from this, I feel a lot freer, as though a weight has been lifted off and it will give me an opportunity to devote more time to my lame business which I have sadly neglected for the last two years.

One thing that cheered me up today was receipt of two letters from you, one written on the 14th with birthday wishes and the other on the 22nd. As to the birthday thought, you had already put your okay on a wonderful birthday set of gifts which I am still enjoying. Will write you more next week when my mind has been adjusted to the sudden change in my fortunes. Until then, old hotshot, except this as a shock from your old, dry battery,    DAD

Tomorrow I will post the article which appeared in the Bridgeport Times Star newspaper prior to the election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters From Each Son (4) – News From Dan And Dick – July, 1945

In Grandpa’s all-inclusive letter, we now come to one from Dan and another from Dick. Dick’s letter is rather short, but since he is rarely heard from, all the more noticeable. 

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

Letter from Dan dated Drancy, July 9th

I received the money order the day before yesterday. It came too late for direct action but I was able to borrow enough to buy a camera (German) at a bargain and sell it at an amazing profit. My conscience almost bothers me! I have sent home two money orders during the last two months and another is enclosed herein. I cannot send it all at once because of suspicious Army regulations that cry “black market” at the drop of a peddler’s cart. The Sears Roebuck catalog arrived and already has been eagerly perused by all my roommates and it has wrought  on me the mischief of avarice – – or to say it more in my favor – – acquisitiveness – – a condition that has been chronic with me ever since my delicate little hands first violated the pages of Sear’s 1922 catalog. I expect that the reactions in Calais will be even more violent, since these European natives have, during the past five or six years, lost any natural immunity they might have had to sales aggression. My moments of protoplasmic functioning, and even my less lucid (the word is “lucid”, not “lurid”, see?) moments are monopolized these days by the approaching wedding, at which I am billed for one of the two major roles. I shall leave Drancy on July 12th, planning (with the connivance of the Army) to spend a week in Calais. The wedding will be on the 17th. We are still in

page 5 ( continuation of Dan’s letter)

Category II and planning to return to U S A before setting out for China.  Personally, I should rather stay here for a while. “Chiche” won’t be able to travel to the U.S. for a matter of months at least, unless commercial travel is resumed, so I would do better to occupy Germany until Hirohito loses his shirt. As soon as I am safely married, I shall suggest a transfer to an occupational unit. Incidentally, being in Category II automatically bars me from attending the special university courses. I am not even eligible to apply. What a “sale guerre”! But with that almost pristine optimism that has always been my particular charm  (well, waddaya know!) I close this letter with the hope and faith that everything is going to be so oh-so-frightfully O.K.

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion

Letter from Dick dated July 24th

I just received your weekly news letter in which you devoted a page or so to each of us individually. Evidently, it has inspired me to unaccustomed effort. (Here he describes his office personnel as shown on a snapshot which accompanies the letter, and which would be meaningless to quote without the picture to go with it). He also encloses a print of himself, and writes: I am wearing a pair of pants that were issued to me in Miami more than two years ago. I am also wearing the same face that was issued to me in N.Y.  more than 24 years ago. That explains absolutely nothing and might even lead to your asking, or better still, passing a harsh remark at some later date, concerning the addition under my nose. That definitely was not issued but came to be very near and dear to me. That squint in my eyes is not a pose but a necessary or unavoidable reaction from the bright sun. I’m quite well, Dad. I don’t gain much weight but neither do I lose it. The job I have with its responsibilities has given me a sense of confidence in myself – – a feeling in me that was always a little slow in developing. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you are doing a good job  – – that people are depending on you. Give my love to Aunt Betty and say “hello” to all the rest.

Tomorrow, a letter from Grandpa’s youngest son, Dave, in Okinawa,  full of news and personal opinion. On Saturday and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (2) – A Sailor’s Difficulties in Getting Married – July 29, 1945

mig-jean-mortenson-guion-and-marian-irwin-guion-june-1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion and Marian (Irwin) Guion

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Did I mention in last week’s letter that Red Sirene is home? He is. A girl’s farewell party was given to Jean (who is travelling to Brazil to be with her husband, Dick) here Thursday night and from all reports it was a bang-up affair. Marian had the table most attractively decorated with the centerpiece depicting a tropical landscape, palm trees, sandy beach adjoining a pond, thatched hut, a couple of Brazilian natives running around in their birthday clothes, and Brazilian flags as place cards. Automatically, Marian became a member of the home decorating squad along with Ced and Dave. Dan still retains his seat as chairman of the greens committee. Tomorrow night, Mrs. Ives, Ethel and the young folks in the apartment are coming over here for a farewell dinner in Jean’s honor.  We’re going to miss that gal, Dick, so don’t linger in your hacienda any longer than is necessary after the Army throws you out.

Just one other anecdote before we get on with the letters from Dave and Ced. Saturday of last week the phone rang. U.S.O. from Bridgeport. A sailor and his girl wanted to get married right away. He had to go back that night. Could the J. P.(Justice of the Peace – Grandpa) issue the license and tie the knot quick. No. The J. P. had no authority to issue licenses. License bureau in Bridgeport closed until Monday. What to do. Only possibility was if Miss Helen Plumb, Town Clerk, living on Church Hill Road, could be located, a license might be issued and marriage performed in Trumbull. They phoned Miss Plumb. She was out but her mother said she would be home soon. They would taxi to her home. Between the taxi man and the U.S.O., they located a Church Hill Road (in Fairfield). Out they went to Fairfield. After some considerable inquiries they found that the Fairfield Town Clerk, had married a second time, to a Mrs. Plumb who had a daughter named Helen, so when they asked at the Town Clerk’s house in Fairfield if a Helen Plumb lived there, the answer was “Yes”. The taxi was dismissed. But Helen Plumb was not the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk was away. Perhaps it was the town clerk in Trumbull named Helen Plumb. It was another taxi to Trumbull. Meantime, the Trumbull Town Clerk had been waiting hours. Meanwhile, the J. P. had just decided to go out for a restaurant supper with Biss and Aunt Betty. Just before the Buick starter purred, up the driveway walked a sailor lugging a suitcase trailed by a girl. They had had enough of taxis and walked down from the Town Clerk’s house. The J. P. went into action on the cement Terrace and they all lived happily ever after, or maybe that’s just a fairytale. All rights copyrighted for plots for plays or movies.

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Now for the quotes. Both Ced and Dave have written good long letters. They are two interesting to summarize too much yet too long to quote both in full, so I think I shall reserve Ced’s until next week. Dave, after comparing the experiences of Dan and himself and showing their marked similarity goes on to say: “Dan’s description of the V-1’s reminds me of the Japanese Kamakazi (suicide) planes. The effect is the same but as it carries a pilot, it is more accurate. Here’s an account of the first suicide plane I saw. One day I was down at the beach when the air raid sirens blew. “Hit the dirt”. I dove for a concrete wall that stood in front of one of the numerous tombs on the island. I looked up and saw flak mushrooming all around a fly speck in the sky. All of a sudden it started to fall. “They got it” someone yelled, and all the guys started to clap as though the fellow carrying the ball broke through the line and went over for a touchdown. Later we found that the plane hadn’t been hit but instead took a nosedive into a hospital ship. Hospital ships are painted white, have big red crosses on them and look like a Dollar Line steamer.

No other ship looks anything like it out here. No one will ever convince me that the Jap flying that plane was trying to hit any other ship in the harbor, which ship, by the way, was not empty.

I’ll finish up this letter tomorrow.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Individual Letters to Each Son (3) – Dear Dick and Dear Dave – July 15, 1945

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion (without his mustache)

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Dear Dick:

Of course the big excitement around here these days is Jean’s forthcoming exodus to join her mustached hubby in the wilds of Brazil. Yesterday we packed the trunk still bearing an Alaska sticker on it, and toted it down to the railroad station to get a head start on its mistress. No matter how excited you are in anticipation of her visit, you cannot exceed her feelings along the same line. Between Jean and Marian, the old sewing machine has had more man-hours of activity than all the rest of its ancient life put together. It clicks its teeth like an old man whose uppers are a bit loose and it still eats up the work. I’ve already promised both girls sewing machines for wedding presents when they are on the market for civilian use again. Of course we are all going to miss her terribly around here and I solemnly charge you now to break this letter writing deadlock and keep us posted on her doings. Don’t leave it all to her to do the writing back home. She’ll be expected to write to her folks, of course, and while you’ll of course continue to get my weekly letters, just the same, remember there will be no secondhand reports of you anymore. Besides you will now have something to write about. And by the way, what plans have YOU for the future? Are you still Alaska minded? What sort of work do you plan to get into by way of an income bringer after the Army turns you loose on this hungry world? Do you plan to make your Brazilian contacts and familiarity with Portuguese the basis of some Brazilian-U.S. connection or have you some other ideas stirring about in your mind? After the excitement of getting reacquainted with your bride quiets down a bit, sit down some day with pen and paper before you and let down your hair on what you would like to do if you could just have your own way. No more letters to quote, so I’ll now proceed to hectoring.

David Peabody Guion

Dear Dave:

Last but not least, although maybe it will be least as far as news is concerned, as I am pretty well wrote out. I did get to thinking the other day, as I often do, about you and the office. We are now in the midst of the summer quiet period. I still have enough to keep me busy, but I don’t have enough to need any outside help. Maybe that is just as well as George tells me he is going into the Navy, has passed his physical and is awaiting orders. So from then on I’ll be entirely on my own. When you get back I think the first thing you should plan to do is to make each day a double-header. Mornings dressed in your best bid and tucker and that winning smile, you go out making calls on prospects and customers, as the genial Dr. Jekyll, and afternoons you put on the old shop coat and as Mr. Hyde, get all smeared up with mimeograph ink turning out the orders you have collected in the morning. That for six months or so will be sufficient to keep you out of mischief. In between times you can repair machines, cut Addressograph plates, order paper and supplies, do bookkeeping, make out bills, answer phone calls, draw checks and occasionally sweep out the office. Course this will mean five nights a week at the office leaving one night to call on your girl  friends. The rest of the time will be your leisure hours. Isn’t that just ducky? When do we start? Guess I’d better stop here before I think of several other items. Good hunting.

DAD

On Saturday and Sunday, two more letters from Dave’s  World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Lizzie of the Klondike (4) – A Rare Letter From Dick – August 6, 1944

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

“Lizzie of the Klondike” refers to the first section of this letter which quotes a letter from Ced trying to convince Aunt Betty (whose name is actually Lizzie) to move to Alaska.

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Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion

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 of 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 (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)

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 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

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a letter from Marian with the latest news from California.

Judy Guion

To All My Sons, Except Ced (3) – July 30, 1944

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 a 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 than 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 to the family unit. And unfortunately it takes only one to cause the rift.

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 occasions 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

DAD

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Marian and on 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 (3) – Quotes From Dick – July 23, 1944

This is the final segment of the letter posted on Tuesday and Wednesday. 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:

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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, a letter from Marian – and Lad – with special requests.

Judy Guion