Trumbull – Dear Army of Occupation – Grandpa’s Worries and Letters From Marian and Ced – October 22, 1944


Alfred Duryee Guion - summer, 1946

Home Detachment stationed at Trumbull, Conn.

October 22, 1944

Dear Army of Occupation:

(“Occupation” meaning employed, keeping busy, etc., written in the hope you will get busy and write another letter home one of these days.”)

Well, once again, armed (to the teeth) with my Sunday rapid-fire pipe, consuming more matches per hour then a B-32 does gasoline, and with my faithful Remington ready to pop away with its staccato fire, I start forth to battle those Allied foes, distance and new experiences, that would fain destroy your remembrance of “the old folks at home”.

My greatest concern at this writing (and I might as well get the worst out of my system at the start) is the lack of news lately from Dan. I don’t like that word “forward” in the latest address he sent me. Of course that may mean he is so busy chasing Heinies back to their homeland that he hasn’t time “between maps” to use the postal service. Still, I suppose maps must be prepared so that we can make our leaps forward into enemy territory (and apropos of this, at home we too are winning the war by “Jeeps and bonds”. According to the news from MacArthur this week, they are doing the leaping over in the Pacific area. However, Dan, before I drop the subject, just remember you are getting to be a big boy now. You have a birthday celebration coming up this week and you’ll be a year older since I heard from you last. That’s quite a long while between drinks, as the Governor of North Carolina is reported to have remarked to the Governor of South Carolina. And speaking of Governors, the Hon. Raymond Baldwin has once again called upon the Guion organization to help him attain leadership of the Commonwealth of Connecticut. We are supposed, within the next few days, to turn out some 20,000 multigraph letters for him, and how I miss Dave under these circumstances. I could hardly turn down the job so I finally got in touch with George Lipovsky who very kindly consented to come over, set up the letter and run at least some of them off for me. We have to fold them as well, so it looks like papa will be busy for a few days. To get ready for this job I worked until 11:30 Friday night, all yesterday afternoon (Sat.) so that “winterizing” the home has not preceded apace this week. I did get a little weather stripping down this afternoon and a few more screens taken down, but it is a long job with only one pair of hands.

The other fly in my ointment is twins – – the persisting rumors that both Lad and Dave – – the youngest and oldest – – are scheduled before the end of the year to take a trip across the big drink. I have not heard from Dave this week but Marian, my old news standby (old of course being a term of endearment and having no reference direct or implied to the age of the party aforesaid), says “that old overseas question is getting closer and closer. We had so hoped we could spend our first anniversary together, but we aren’t too sure now. In the meantime we avoid the subject like poison. Lad has secured authorization for enough gasoline for Marian to drive to Connecticut when and if, and she says: “one of these mornings (evidently she expects to travel at night) I may come blowing in with the breeze (how did she know I did not get all the chicks caulked up?). Looks as though I’m going to cash in that rain check very soon now. Also, according to her letter, Lad has reversed the theme of that song about finding a billion-dollar baby in a five and $.10 store, for she says: “now that Lad is on the day shift again and I have some spare time during the day, I’m working again. This time it is at Woolworth’s, and it is very enlightening to say the least. It keeps one hopping trying to figure out what the customer wants. A colored lady came in today and asked for what I thought was a “straight comb”. I showed her everything we had but she insisted I didn’t understand. Turns out she wanted a “straight’n” comb to take the kinks out of her hair !!! (Reference Opus 63, mamas li’l baby likes short’n Bread.) And referring to the branch meeting of the clan, she writes: “we had the grandest visit with Dave weekend before last. We spent Saturday and part of Sunday with him and wished it could have been longer. I’m so glad I got a chance to meet him. He and Lad are a great deal alike. I watched them walking down the street together and there was no question as to their being related. (Note by Editor: That remark, young lady, with its sinister implication demands further explanation). They even stand the same way with their feet crossed. See what I mean? Anyway we had a grand time together and left with the fervent hope that it won’t be too long before we meet again under more favorable circumstances”.

And good old Ced becomes the father of a three page letter with interesting detail of local happenings. There is too much to quote verbatim, to say nothing of the long letter from Rusty which he also enclosed, which if you don’t mind Ced, I will retain for a while until my business and home rush is over somewhat because I should like to copy it and send it to the boys who, knowing Rusty, would be much interested in his doings “fathest” North where the winter is frozen most of the year and cars are few. Here are some of the highlights of Ced’s news. Art Woodley is now a father of a baby boy. Ced has added a few more flying hours to his logbook and is now studying for a radio license so that he can use the aircraft communications services. At the time he wrote (please date your letters, Ced, because ofttimes the postmark is illegible) there had been some frost and it was chilly riding to work on his bike. He is now a member of the choir of the Presbyterian Church and enjoys it. Pistons for the Buick finally arrived so he will have to get busy and install them, putting the bike into winter storage. He received a package from Rusty containing an ivory letter opener, ivory buttons and a bracelet and bead set, all carefully packed in the hollow of a human skull, minus the lower jaw – – probably the skull of some ancient Eskimo or a Siberian ancestor of the same. The ski season is about to open. The snow is creeping down the mountains with every rain in the city of Anchorage. The ski club soon elects officers. Ced is on the nominating committee. Anchorage is growing. Dan and Dick wouldn’t know the outskirts of town anymore. There are three huge government housing projects underway and more to come – – new apartments, two new stores, gas stations, homes, etc., where formally were vacant lots. There is a new book out on Alaska entitled “I Got a Country”. The story takes place in the town of “Inlet” but to those who are in the know it is really Anchorage. According to official records Anchorage airport tops all others in the country as to the number of airplane operations (July, 1944) 9553. Also in the 9000 class but less than Anchorage are Columbus Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Miami, Fla; La Guardia field, N.Y.; Richmond, Va.; Sacramento, Calif; Salt Lake City, Utah.

To you, Dan, I have already sent a special V-mail birthday letter and to you as well as Dick I got off Christmas boxes containing small remembrances from Aunt Betty, Aunt Elsie and myself. There is no telling when you will receive them as in Bridgeport alone on the siding there are 20 freight cars filled with Christmas packages from this vicinity alone, 15 for shipment via New York and five from San Francisco, a total of 218,000 parcels altogether.

My bed time is drawing near with the end of this page, so until next time, a pleasant good night from     DAD

Tomorrow, the last post for Voyage to Venezuela. It is Lad’s first letter from Caracas letting the home folk know about his first week in Venezuela. The story will continue next week with letters written in 1939.

On Sunday I have some more Special Pictures.

On Monday, we go back in time to 1939, when Lad and Dan are working in Venezuela and Grandpa begins writing letters to his sons, so far from home.

Judy Guion


Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes from Jackson – October 26, 1944

Blog - Marian Irwin - 1942



Dear Dad –

I wish I could arrange to have one day when I write to you and Mother and Dad, but somehow I always manage to hit a different day of the week. I suddenly realized that here it is Wednesday or Thursday, and still no letter written to you. And even tho’ they are often times just one thin page, I do like to write every week.

Altho’ I wonder sometimes just how I can make them interesting, or at least newsy. It seems as tho’ there isn’t much happening in the way of special events, and except for the now familiar “time bomb” feeling that is such an important item in our daily life, everything else goes along very much as usual.

The battalion has been issued new clothes, and they have been given until Nov. 1st to dispose of their cars, but it seems to me we went through this routine once before at Pomona, and look how long it took us to get out of there! Nevertheless, we are rearranging and packing as much as we can, so that I can leave here on a moments notice. We haven’t the slightest idea where P.O.E. the fellows will be sent to, but in case it is New York, or its vicinity, I’d like to be around there as quickly as I can get there, in case Lad has a chance to get away for even a few hours.

Unless we send you a telegram to the contrary, will you forward our check as soon as it arrives, the way you always do? But I think you had better send it to me at 303 Longino, in case the fellows are restricted and I can’t get in touch with Lad. He would have to mail it to me and it would take just that much longer. Our other check goes to California so I’ve asked Mom to mail it to you. Will you please hold it there until you hear from us? For all we know, I might be there by the time it arrives, but we don’t know for sure.

Everything else is pretty much the same. We are having some lovely fall weather, but we need a good hard rain to clear the air and settle the dust. I hope it doesn’t reach the proportions of your last storm, however!

Love to all from

Lad and Marian

The rest of the week will be postings of letters written by Grandpa to all his boys – and Marian – regarding war news, local news and news of the family.

On Saturday Lad’s first letter home from Caracas telling of his first week in Venezuela. The story will continue on Monday with Grandpa’s letters to his sons so far from home. And so begins six and a half years of weekly letters written to whichever sons – and daughter-in-laws who join the family – are away from Trumbull. The letters are filled with news on the home front, news about friends and news from the boys – and girls – when they write home. This was Grandpa’s way of cheering up his boys and keeping everyone connected.

On Sunday, more Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1939, when Lad and Dan are working in Venezuela.

Judy Guion 

Trumbull – Dear G.I. Joe – A Birthday and News From Marian and Dave – October 15, 1944

Aunt Betty Duryee

Trumbull, Conn.,  October 15, 1944

Dear G. I. Joe:

(and of course Ced and Marian also)

There is little of interest to report this week in the way of local importance.  We celebrated Aunt Betty’s birthday Wednesday, which by a strange coincidence was her birthday.  The day before she was thrilled by getting an appreciative birthday letter from Dave, and the day after one each from Lad and Marian, so it turned out to be a sort of three-day celebration.  In commemoration of passing her 81st milestone she had the day before signed a new will and also took the bandage off her leg.  I don’t think I told you in any of my previous letters that a week or so ago, while carrying the kitchen stove in one hand and the dining room table in the other, she slipped just outside the telephone booth where the dining room has ambitions of becoming a 2nd story into the living room, and sprained or bruised her knee.  The public health nurse was summoned and told her to bathe it and if this was not effective within a short time, to see a doctor.  The pain still persisting, she did see a doctor one day through Catherine’s courtesy.  Her leg was strapped and she was told to keep off it as much as possible and avoid going up and down stairs.  As aforementioned, the leg having improved under this treatment the day before her birthday, the bandage was removed and she is now practically O.K. again.

In a letter received from Dave this week (and also in Lad’s letter to Aunt Betty) there was an announcement of a pioneer’s movement gradually closing on Marian.  When General Dan’s army of occupation and General Dick’s Brazilian contingent close in on the flanks, the encirclement will be complete.  For the benefit of those of you who are not as familiar with military strategy, I will explain to you layman that this means that the APG’s and DPG finally met, having compromised on a halfway meeting place, sort of a Teheran conference in the Guion annals.  The news dispatch of the proceedings is as follows: “Well, at long last I’ve met my 2nd sister-in-law.  I got a three-day pass for Saturday, Sunday and Monday to Little Rock, Ark., and left camp Friday night.  Lad got a week-end pass good until Monday morning.  We met about 9:30 Saturday morning.  I spent all day Saturday and Sunday morning with them.  I like Marian very much — but who doesn’t?  Lad looks fine and everything was perfect — except that I was going to go back to Miss.  with them until we found the connections were so poor.  (You see they had driven up to Little Rock in the Buick).  I left them at 12:30 Sunday noon.  I spent the night at the Salvation Army USO at Ft. Smith where I am now.  A bus at noon to Fayetteville, where I will spend the afternoon and evening, thence by bus to Neosho.  I expect to reach camp at 5:30 tomorrow morning.  I just figured out that on a 3-day pass I could come to Trumbull and stay for almost an hour if you could meet me at the Railway station.  I’ll soon be going through Van Buren, Bob Burn’s hometown.  This trip is taking me through the Ozarks where there certainly is some beautiful scenery.  These Ark. towns are certainly “Western”.  All the Juke boxes play Bradley Kincaid — Ced would love it here.”

Marian again has earned her right to maintain her title, but best of all was the long-expected photo of Lad and Marian, and it was well worth waiting for.  Thank you both very much.  I didn’t reply by air mail to your letter as to what Dick might want because both Jean and myself are absolutely at a loss what to send in our own boxes, so you’ll just have to “shut your eyes, grab hard and trust in the Lord”.

No other letters.  I’ve waited so patiently now for more news from Dan and Ced.  I hope it won’t be long now.


Tomorrow, a letter from Marian and on Friday, another from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Jack Armstrong, the Aaaaaal American Boy (1) – October 8, 1944

This week I’ll be posting letters written in 1944 with news from Marian (and Lad), Dave and local news and happenings in Trumbull. This is the first of a two-parter, with the conclusion posted tomorrow.

Trumbul house - Maple Tree taken down in Huricane of 1944 (front porch steps

Trumbull, Conn., October 8, 1944

Dear Jack Armstrong, the aaaaaal American Boy:

Of course if you haven’t been listening to the radio lately and followed the adventures of this wonderful youth who accomplishes so much on a diet of Wheaties, you will fail to get the full implication of the compliment being paid to you in being so addressed. Be that as it may, you may rejoice that the blood of pioneers flows in your veins and you may hand down to posterity that your sire at the age of sixty swung a lusty axe, and un-dismayed by hurricanes that back in these days visited the section known as New England, and in spite of blisters, tackled the job single-handed with such vigor that he even hit himself on the forehead with an axe (fortunately it was the broad end) due to swings so mighty that he literally fouled electric light wires (you needn’t mention that they had been brought low by a tree falling on them). However no harm was done either to wire, forehead or axe, save perhaps a little injured dignity. In other words, much of the brush has been cut away from the smaller limbs and what now remains is the sawing of the big trunks which would probably be accomplished much more satisfactorily with the aid of certain soldiers now in the U.S. Army or an Alaskan pilot-mechanic. The next step would then be an S O S for a certain technical expert who already has in his mind the plan for mounting a circular saw to be operated by an auto motor and thus make short work of the ten foot pile of logs and branches that still have to be sawed to length – – thus adding home improvement #3 to #1 Method for flattening tin cans, and #2 Blower for outdoor incinerator. Up to this point however I must confess it is Dan whose services I have missed most, and hearing his cry of T-i-m-b-e-r as another denizen of the forest succumbs to his well-placed strokes, might even be surprised by the stamina, initiative and sustained devotion to the job that Dick and Dave might evince after working a while for Uncle Sam. However, I guess that’s enough of this which might be entitled “much ado about nothing”.

Now will move over into the subject of hometown gossip. Lad’s friend, Myron Whitney is, or was a short while ago, in a Bridgeport Hospital where he was taken for treatment of some bad burns when a steam line burst in the plant where he is working and scalded him. Dan will be interested to know that there is a young man who met Barbara in Italy and seemed enough smitten with her to come to Bridgeport to meet the Plumb family and stayed there several days (perhaps the entire time of his furlough) as I understand his father and mother are both dead. I have not been informed whether the feeling on Barbara’s part is mutual. Carl, I am informed, Ced, is now on a transport. Charlie Hall is somewhere south of the equator in the Pacific area, which is about as much as Jane knows about it. This morning, Dave, Bob Jennings, McClinch and Ed Young, all in sailor outfits, came to call on Catherine.. Bob says he will be in Sampson for about six months, McClinch has sailing orders for the 18th of this month and Young is at Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn. The club has all but passed out. The place is a wreck. It looks like what I imagine a gambling joint looks like after being raided by the police. Broken glass scattered all over the floor, playing cards strewn in every direction, furniture out of place. It is probable that not all this mess is attributable to the members, as I came home one day and found Skip and Susan in there having a most delightful time, throwing things around, down the stairs and in general having a riotous time. It seems that a couple of boards in the little cubbyhole door at the back had been ripped off and the children had gotten in that way and were playing “the wreck of the Hesperus””, the Sacking of Rome, or maybe to be up to date, the bombing of Berlin.

Tomorrow, the conclusion to this letter with thoughts about the war from Grandpa and news from Marian and Dave. For the rest of the week, another letter from Grandpa, a letter from Marian and a long letter from Grandpa on Friday.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Plans for Christmas – December 21, 1943


Marian (Irwin) Guion


December 21, 1943

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty, Jean, Dave and anyone else of the Guion clan who is present —

Last Wednesday Uncle Sam gave us a Christmas present that we find rather hard to take. Lad has been transferred from Camp Santa Anita to Texarkana, and he left this morning to drive there in the Buick. It isn’t an embarkation depot (Thank God) but as far as we know now, he is in a cadre that are being organized and trained for overseas duty. This shouldn’t happen right away, however, ‘cause it’s supposed to take from 6 to 8 months to get the company ready for overseas work. He is going to wire you his new address (the one I have may not be right) and will probably be able to explain a little more in detail just exactly what the setup really is. For the present, until he sees what the post is like and what housing conditions are, I am going to stay here. As soon as he can find a room, a tent or a packing box, I’m going to join him! We should be used to this business of being anywhere we can- after all, we’d only been in the apartment 12 days, so we shouldn’t be too much in a rut, and too used to domestic life. Somehow, we haven’t quite been able to see the funny side of the situation as yet, altho’ we should be able to very soon. Everything has been so perfect and so wonderful so far, that we are sure everything will be all right in the very near future.

In the meantime, we try not to think about the time we are separated, and are looking forward to the day when I can meet him in Texarkana.

Somehow, we hated to take time out to finish our Christmas cards (we are making them this year), but I’ll get them out to everyone even if they don’t arrive until the 4th of July! Our Christmas box to you also, was delayed a little, so we’re not too sure it will arrive in time for Christmas. However, we know you’ll understand, and we want you to know that the lateness of arrival in no way dims our Christmas wishes for you.

I find that I’m not as good a soldier’s wife as I thought I was so I’m trying to get a reservation home. I’ll know tomorrow morning whether it’s possible or not, but I rather think I will get there.

Lad and I had a wonderful Christmas celebration last night. We had our tree and gifts then, and although it wasn’t quite the way we had planned, at least we celebrated our first Christmas together, in spite of the fact that it was a little earlier than is customary.

I seem to have rambled on quite a bit. I hope you won’t feel that I am too blue or depressed. You do know of course, how disappointed we both are, but we have known all along that it might happen this way and that we would just have to take it and no questions asked. It’s particularly hard for Lad, though. They did the same thing to him last year and moved him just at Christmas time. I guess, however, that Uncle Sam can’t afford to be sentimental, and as his nieces and nephews, we all have to take things as they come and be cheerful about it. It can’t last forever!

I sincerely promise that my next letter to you will be much more cheerful. With love to all of you–


P.S. We both enjoyed your Christmas box, Dad. You do things just the way I like – (specifically- the little Christmas tree, candy and raisins enclosed with the gifts), Lad took them with him to eat along the way. (The food, I mean, the gifts will be used in appropriate places).


We also got a chance to play your Christmas record, Dad. Enjoyed it very much —


Tomorrow, a letter from Lad on board the Santa Rosa and mailed in Curacao.

On Sunday, more Special Pictures. Next week, letters written in 1944.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Gang – Ced Has Arrived – December 19, 1943



Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 19, 1943

Dear Gang:

Well, if old Ponce de Leon had ever found the Fountain of Youth and imbibed a draught of the elixir of life, I would have known just how he felt when, after sitting up last Sunday night figuring out when Ced might possibly arrive home after receiving an airmail letter dated Calgary, in he walked about eight A.M. Tuesday morning, having stepped off the Montréal train at Bridgeport at 7:45 and hopping in a taxi (which incidentally couldn’t make our driveway). The candle, which as per my promise, I had kept burning for him the night before, was badly guttered in the holder as it stood on the electric stove just inside the back door, as he marched in with his hands full of baggage — the same old towering Ced. He looks about the same except that we all agreed he has filled out a bit, at least as far as his face is concerned. His trip from Seward to Seattle was uneventful except for the blackout Friday and Saturday (the first and second days out) after five P.M., and the gulf being a bit rough. Stops at Juneau, where, as usual, it rained and at Ketchikan where, for a wonder, it was clear and sunshiny, were enjoyed. On his arrival at Seattle chances for a plane trip East were so indefinite that he finally decided to retrace his steps as far as Vancouver and take a Canadian Pacific train to Montréal, which he did. It was bitterly cold at Montréal – much colder than in Alaska, but as related he reached Trumbull safe and sound and weren’t we glad to see him! Needless to say, I was late to work that morning. Since then we have been learning all about Anchorage first-hand. We were all invited over to Ives for dinner Thursday night and had a most enjoyable evening, supper followed by movies of their Hatian trip and scenes from Trumbull. What a comfort to have Ced home again and to know he will be here about a month. His plans are to leave here around the middle of January and return via Los Angeles in order to visit the newlyweds. Carl came home last night for a short visit and Ced went over to see him this morning. Tomorrow Ced is going to Bridgeport with me and plans Tuesday, to go to New York with Aunt Betty to see Grandma, etc. He brought a host of things from Alaska in the way of gifts for us all, which of course we are eagerly awaiting to open on Christmas.

No letters this week from either Lad, Dan or Dick, which may not mean they have not written but merely that the Christmas mail is slowing things up. Oh, yes, this morning for breakfast we had real Alaskan sourdough pancakes prepared by Alaskan Ced himself, with enough of the batter left over to form the nucleus of another batch for later consumption.

We have not shown yet any of the Alaskan or South American movies, none of which Ced has seen, but probably will, if not tonight, soon, as Ced also has some slides which he sent home and are now, according to reports, awaiting him at the railroad station.

There is much more to write, but I’ll cut this letter short here as there is so much to do and hear and talk about and right now they are awaiting me in the kitchen (I hope). Anyway, I’m sure you’ll be charitable and forgive my not writing more under the circumstances. I only wish you were all here too.


Tomorrow and Thursday, another letter from Grandpa. I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Marian to The Gang in Trumbull.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick (2) – Dave’s Departure and a Letter From Marian – December 12, 1943

This is the second page of a letter to everyone except Ced, who is on his way to Trumbull.

page 2    12/12/43

As to mail time, I am interested to know if my letters arrive regularly at weekly intervals and if so, what the average time of transmittal is. In August and September you used V-mail, which took from 6 to 11 days en route. The average was 8 1/2 days. Airmail, which you have been using lately, however, takes an average of 18 days and one letter you sent by soldier mail was 26 days coming. I am glad to know the shoes reached you safely. They were sent in September and you say were received early in November, but you failed to mention whether the kodascope film, which I had considerable difficulty in obtaining, and the chewing gum, etc., which I had packed inside the shoes also reached you, or whether in repacking in New York (if they do that) these were omitted. Incidentally, since then I have sent two packages containing Kleenex, etc., which I hope also reaches you together with a few Christmas tokens jointly from Aunt Betty, Aunt Elsie and myself. I wrote to Sylvia in Canada the other day giving her your address and mentioning the fact she might have some friends in London on whom you might like to call. It also occurs to me that if by any quirk of fortune you should be in the vicinity of Aberdeen, Scotland, you might like to look up Scotty’s folks (WOOLLARD) at 1 Bankhead Rd., Bucksburn, Aberdeenshire, Scotland.

Another nice long letter from Marian mentions the fact that for the present they have established the Guion California address at 141 Stratford Ave., South Pasadena (the Stratford part makes it seem close to home anyway). While Marian has not seen it yet, is supposed to be a completely furnished apartment, four years old, consisting of living room, bedroom and kitchen, with bath. The fact that it is over a garage perhaps made an appeal to Lad. Unfortunately the package containing Lad’s photo was not insured and there is very little chance of tracing it if it is not returned. I am not even sure whether I mailed it in Trumbull or in Bridgeport, nor am I certain where I addressed it, but I think it was to you at the Camp Fire Girls office. Thanks for your helpful hints as to what gifts would fit in best with what you have, but I’m rather hesitant to suggest glassware or anything breakable to go so far on account of the breakage danger.

We had a real cold snap yesterday so I started the furnace. The house is quite comfortable today.

Dave has received his induction notice and is quite delighted. He goes to New Haven for his final December 23rd and believes he will be definitely on his way, January 11th.

To some of you, this letter will probably not be received in time to convey Yuletide greetings, furthermore it will not seem very Christmasy probably to either you or me. It doesn’t seem as though the day were so close. I suppose with all of you so scattered and so far away and with war shadows hanging over things it is hard to get into the right spirit. But you can be sure, when the day comes, that we all at home will be thinking of you and wishing for the dawn of that tomorrow which will see us all gathered together again in a real spirit of peace and goodwill to men.


Tomorrow, another letter from Marian.

On Saturday, a letter from Lad, mailed from Curacao, about his trip so far on the Santa Rosa, bound for Venezuela. 

On Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion