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 the summer of 2000, I went to The Island for our family vacation. I stopped and visited with my Uncle Dick. As soon as I got there, I realized that I had left my tape recorder at home. I asked questions and he talked. I scribbled down what he was telling me in my own shorthand scribble. This resulted in short memories. I made plans to come back with my tape recorder but he passed away before I could return. Therefore, his collection of memories is the shortest section.
Richard Peabody Guion
One of my earliest memories is Mom at the front Dutch door (of the Trumbull House), talking to someone from the Red Cross. I was standing next to her and she was running her hand through my hair … it was Heaven.
At Christmas time, we’d drive down Noble Avenue and look at the Christmas decorations.
We had a circus horse named Goldie, and while she was cropping grass, I would lie down on her back. When I’d had enough, I’d slide off her back. I didn’t realize that it might annoy her. The last time I did it, she kicked me.
Aunt Dorothy had a wild stallion named Nador. He threw Lad and Dan. (Nador actually belonged to Aunt Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s only sibling.)
One time I rode our pony Gracie down the railroad tracks. Heading back to the barn, I lost my footing and one leg got caught, which held me as she galloped home. I can still hear mother saying, “Whoa, whoa!”
We also had a little cart that was pulled by a goat.
We spent a couple of summers on Fisher’s Island in Long Island Sound with the Burnham’s. (Lifelong friends Grandpa and Grandma met in Larchmont Gardens in Mount Vernon, NY.)
I spent most of my time with Dad. He was full of information and enthusiasm. He’d say, “want to take a walk? I want to show you something.” After a while, he’d say, “s-h-h-h, s-h-h-h, now lie down and crawl forward.” And we would see Fox cubs. There was always interesting things in the field in back of the house.
I went to White Plains School for one year. I started at Center School in second grade. In eighth grade, I went to Edison School. I went to Whittier Junior High School for a year, and then went to Bassick High School in Bridgeport.
Lad did some wrestling for a while … He was extremely proficient … He could beat guys older and heavier than he was.
Nelson Sperling tied a rope to a big Hickory Nut tree on the side driveway, near the steps. We would take off from the steps, swing out in a big circle and come back to land. The neighborhood kids couldn’t do it so well.
Tomorrow, I will post the rest of the Memories of Richard Peabody Guion.