Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (5) – A Note to Paulette – October 21, 1945

The final chapter in this quite lengthy letter from Grandpa to his family members who are away from home this week.

Dear Paulette: I am going to answer Dan’s letter through you, thinking perhaps if I send a copy to you it might happen to get through before the one I am also mailing to Dan’s Army address. (When you get through reading and understanding “American” sentences like the above, you can feel confident of writing me in English without hesitancy). Of course I and all the rest of us here are more disappointed than you know at not seeing you and Dan (and the baby) as soon as we expected, but these things do happen time and again during a person’s lifetime the only wise thing to do is to accept them philosophically, after you have done everything humanly possible to remedy them, and look forward to a happier day, and that is the attitude which apparently both of you have sensibly adopted and that shall also be mine. However I am as disappointed really as I could be in for two cents I’d turn my business over to Dave, hop a liner to France and visit you “somewhere in Europe”, possibly even kidnapping you and little Daniel, leaving old man Daniel to keep house for himself while you get acquainted with Connecticut. Maybe I won’t have to resort to such extreme measures but this might be taken as a warning, at that. The things you wanted on Dan’s list, as he has probably told you, were all sent in boxes addressed to Dan’s Army address. In one of the boxes was the wool for knitting babies things. I hope they reach you soon. The next things we send I am going to addressed to you at Calais, to see if they don’t make better time that way. Tell Dan that in one of these boxes also was the winter addition of Sears Roebuck catalog (and it isn’t Montgomery Ward) Dan asks for photographs of the family see you can see what a handsome bunch of people we are. I wish you could see one of Ced in Alaska dressed in trappers costume, sporting a full beard, which we have on a slide. Dan says he would also like a picture of his mother. The best one I have of her is one taken in Larchmont Gardens, a family group, showing all the children when they were little (except Dave who had not yet made his entrance). This I will also send in the next box that goes to you, and I shall also see what I can do about getting photos of the others. For several years past they have all been so scattered around the globe that it is rather difficult to locate any that are “tame”. Tell Dan I was glad to get the snapshot. He looks a bit thinner than he was when he left, as well as a bit more serious, due undoubtedly to his efforts to make arrangements for your homecoming, etc. His job does sound very good and, outside of its keeping you both away, I am quite pleased he was able to land it. In fact, if it is what he expects, I could almost get enthusiastic. Of course I’m sure everything is going to come out happily but it’s the waiting for it that is the hardest. Another thing, it is very seldom that Dan ever answers questions that I ask. I do want both you and Dan to give me quite a full answer to the questions asked of the lake cottage proposition, as I know you both (all) will get a lot of enjoyment out of this place in the years to come. His views will be particularly interesting and I would surely want to have them to consider along with others before anything definite was decided.

Before very long I should like to send to you and the family a box containing a few things to make your Christmas season a bit happier, and I would appreciate it, daughter dear, if you would write down a few things that perhaps you cannot obtain readily yet in France, that you would like to have. I would like so much to do this but it would please me much more if I knew what I was sending was exactly what you would like most. And don’t forget something for Father Senechal (Paulette’s step-father Maurice Senechal, a pharmacist), for whom I have a warm place in my heart, every time I think of that friendly letter he sent me. My best regards also to your mother, brothers and sisters, not neglecting to keep a great big share for yourself.

I will be so happy when I get my first letter in English from you. I am sorry I cannot write in French to lead the way, but you know the saying about teaching an old dog new tricks, particularly when the old dog is too busy making a living to take time off to learn any new tricks. Dan says you are pretty good at English, so here’s hoping, whether you write or not, Paulette, my dear, we love you just the same.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more pictures of the Trumbull House and The End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (4) – News From Dan – October 21, 1945

Dan Guion, far left, working in France after his marriage.

Dear Dan:

I received your letter of Oct. 8th. To wit: “I have been transferred out of the 1539th and into the 19th Separation Depot where I am busily sitting around waiting action on the discharge ritual. I shall send you my new address when. Paris must get along without me for the next two or three days, after which – – –?. Chiche (Dan’s special name for Paulette) left for Calais Sat. A.M. You can write to her there, 8 rue de Temple.

And yesterday I received your Oct. 3rd letter, as follows:” Far-reaching changes have developed during the last week. Hold your breath – – here it comes:

(1) I shall not get home for several months – – perhaps a year – – unless some unforeseen event crops up. (2) Within a week I expect to be a civilian. (3) I have found me a job with the Army on civil service – – surveying for “Graves Registration”. I do not know the details of the job yet, but this is what I am led to believe: the work will be surveying. A base pay rate is $2100 per year. I shall get 25% more for overseas service plus extra pay for any overtime that might develop. The quoted total is $3417 per year! Lodging will be furnished by the government at cheap rates, and food, too. I shall be entitled to Army rations such as PX, officers clothing and QM Sales. It is supposed that arrangements will be made soon to supply facilities for the families of such employees as desire them. The work might be in any part of the European theater. Contract will be for six months or a year, with a clause stating that if the work is finished sooner, I will be sent home at government expense. If this does not occur until next summer, I shall be able to come home with Chiche and any additions to the family which might exist at that time. Until I know better what to expect, Chiche will live in Calais. You may continue to send me packages and mail through Army P.O. but I suggest that you wait until I send you my new address. You can imagine how disappointed I am at not getting home. Before accepting employment here I tried every possibility to get Chiche home this year, but civilian agencies (Cooks, etc.) say that they can do absolutely nothing at the present time. On the other hand, my job is a good one. It pays well and might lead to a permanent job with the government back home. It’s a good solution to a knotty problem. I write again as news develops. None of the packages has arrived but I suppose they will reach me later at my new address.”

Tomorrow, I’ll conclude this lengthy letter with a note to Paulette.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (3) – More Business News – October 21, 1945

This long letter continues.

DPG - Dave in uniform nexct to barn - Dec., 1944 cropped - head and shoulders)

David Peabody Guion

Now coming to Dave’s letter received this week (dated Oct. 8th) from Manila, he mentions how slow they seem to be sending boys home, even one with as high as 81 points. He asks if things at the office have improved any. Can you get help? Are orders increasing? What are the chances of getting new machinery?

Now, of course, I could take up the rest of the evening and my available supply of paper answering in detail all of these questions but then I would not have a chance to tell you the interesting news about Dan and the disappointment that goes along with it. However we’ll try to hit a few of the high spots on the business angle.

For the last three or four years, I have not made a single sales call. Every customer I have has either continued from old times, been recommended by some other customer or has seen our ad in the city directory or phone book. And if I may be a bit crude, this is a hell of a way to run a business. It does hold out rosy promise however, for the time when there is a young guy in, who, with the enthusiasm of youth, up-and-at-‘em spirit, will go out and do some aggressive sales work, for without any adequate sales effort or direct mail advertising, we can hold a backlog of business, it will stand us in mighty good stead when we start up a real fire. From a financial standpoint I have learned a very significant thing. We are better off on a profit and loss basis than we have been for 10 years and this, in spite of curtailed business, shortage of supplies, high taxes and inadequate help, which we have had to struggle during the past four years (and are still struggling for that matter). It is almost solely because the only laborers wages I have had to pay have been exclusively for work performed. No salaries, which quickly eat up profits in non-productive hours during the day. If you could find some worker who would be willing to work steadily from opening time in the morning to quitting time at night, and had orders flowing in regularly to correspond, then the income from sales would be sufficient to pay salaries and leave a margin of profit, but for the six or eight years when I had salaried help and a bigger volume of business than we have now, we always ended the year in the red. That, Dave, my boy, is one of the management problems that will be dumped in your lap when you take over. As for the help situation, the green, irresistible, unreliable, inexperienced people that will come in and work for a high salary would soon make for bankruptcy, so I am forced to hire mere children with no sense of responsibility, no business sense, no idea of dependability or sense to know how they can tie things up when they failed to show up after saying they will come in at a certain time to do a certain job, high school kids or even grammar school children, letting them do the routine while I devote my time to operations that require even the most elementary brain work. It’s exasperating and if I would let it be, nerve-racking and I would very much like to take a vacation from it all for a spell, but we hold the fort awaiting the arrival of the new commander in chief, and in the meantime we are not doing so bad. As for machinery, we are keeping the old stuff going and getting fairly good results by patching and replacing and repairing, but I am looking forward to the day when the surplus property release some of the equipment the Army has taken off the market for the last few years at which a service man, theoretically at least, would have a far better opportunity of obtaining than a mere civilian. Months ago I asked for a list of this equipment that might be available but in true government fashion, I got a letter referring me to someone else and promising the information, not a bit of which has yet materialized. Among the items I have tentatively put on this Wanted List are: a new power mimeograph, possibly a multility, new multigraph, possibly a varityper, a new variscope (or similar), a paper cutter, keyboard graphotype, etc. (I realize all this is very uninteresting to any but Dave and perhaps not too much for him, but I’m over it now). Dave’s letter goes on to tell about a symphony orchestra but I guess I’d better skip this and go on to the French Dept.

News From Dan tomorrow and I’ll end the letter on Friday with a note from Grandpa to Paulette.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (1) – Thoughts About Cars – October 21, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., October 21, 1945

Dear Dave

Dear Dan and Paulette

Dear Ced:

The above are the extent of my “foreign correspondence” this week in view of the fact that Lad came home again last night – – or rather Friday night – – on another six-day furlough and of course Dick’s furlough is not yet up, and as Marian and Jean are still living with their respective husbands and neither has yet “gone home to mother”, my world has considerably shrunk and is now rounded merely by Manila, Alaska and France. Further, the order of the names salutated (how’s that for a $64 word?) above is determined by the dates when respective letters were received during the week, except for the last-named, who still is suffering from paralysis of the typewriting finger. So, in an orderly way, let’s take them as they come.

Dear Dave:

First, let’s go back to yours of September 12th which I previously did little more than acknowledge. Events, however, move so swiftly that it takes only a few weeks to make a letter quite obsolete. For instance, your step-by-step instructions as to how Lad is to find your Manila office will probably not be needed, for although he has not yet been discharged, the chances are pretty good he will not be sent to the Pacific theater. Actually, he knows no more about the Army’s plans for him then you do. So, we just quit guessing and hope.

Next, and I quote: “I’ll tell you one of the D.P.Guion  postwar plans, submitted here for your approval. I am sending home $50 per month, but I won’t have enough to buy a car when I get home – – even if I wanted to spend my money on getting one. So I thought that I might take your car off your hands, use it during the day for business and at night for – – well, use it at night. You don’t like to drive, so I would do the driving and pay for the entire upkeep on it – – tires, gas, repairs, grease jobs, etc. what do you think?”

Well, here’s what I think. You are submitting the idea for my “approval”. Sort of a one-way street, isn’t it? If I don’t approve it isn’t submitted, I take it. In passing, I might remark, Dick has been flirting with the same idea. For instance, the other night he asked me how much I would sell the car for. The Buick people told Lad the other day that it would be approximately two years before the buyers they now had on their books could be supplied with cars (and that was before the strike). If we use the car for business for a while, which I think we will, the company stands the running costs, as part of the legitimate cost of doing business, and if the boss takes an occasional day off along the line of your previous suggestion, to make up for the 10 or so years he has kept his un-pretty nose close to the w.k. grindstone without vacations, he might want to use said car to go to the island for weekends, visiting friends or relatives, etc. In fact, looking ahead to just such a situation as seems to be developing, I, some years ago, at the time that fabulous prices were being offered for used cars for sale to Western war workers (and the used car market is still very good) decided that instead of selling Dan’s old Chevy, I would have Steve fix it up, knowing you boys would want some sort of transportation when you got home and that not a thing would be available except Dad’s car. That is what Dick is using now, and while it is nothing to get enthusiastic about, it runs and is a lot better than nothing. So, I think I shall retain title to the Buick for a while. Incidentally, it has just come home from the A.L. Clarke place (they now occupy the old Packard place on Fairfield Avenue., Ced, which you will doubtless recall) with a new clutch, tailpipe, etc. – – $50 worth of tinkering – – and with a few other things that Lad says can be done by himself or at the gas station, it will come pretty near being as good as new except for dented mud guards, etc. It is getting a real tri-out now, however, as Saturday morning early, Dick and Jean, Marian and Lad and Audrey pointed its nose toward Lake Winnipesaukee and right now, at 7:15 Sunday night, they have not yet returned. The autumn foliage right now is at its best, we are having a spell of Indian summer weather, and altogether it ought to be a very enjoyable trip for them all.

For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting additional sections of this very long letter.We’ll cover news from two of Grandpa’s sons who are away from home right now.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (4) – A Poem About Stocking Stuffer Gifts – December 25, 1944

Grandpa got quite creative this year while filling Christmas Stockings. Each person got a joke gift to go along with this poem he composed.

ADG - Poem About Christmas Stocking Gifts - Dec. 1944

Aunt Betty, once known as “Aunt Lizzie”

Keeps warm through the day while she’s busy

But at night, as a treat

And to warm her cold feet

Here’s some coal, which will make her toes frizzie.

*****

Here’s Elsie from New York’s great shop

She daily is kept “on the hop”

But without paper or string

She can’t do a thing

Take this, so your business won’t flop.

*****

Here’s our prize from the far Golden West

California has sent us her best

Though out there, as you know,

They don’t have much snow

So right here she ends her long quest.

*****

Now Jean is the star girl from Hubble

She’s afraid she’ll get round like a bubble

So a mirror will show

As you girls too will know

When her chin shows up signs of its double.

*****

And there is Dave, our young soldier from Crowder

Whose memory for hats takes a powder

Here’s a string for your thumb

To remind you, by gum

That your memory should be getting stouter.

*****

Little Biss is as lean as a poll

One would think she had been on the dole

So to her goes some fat

With the fond hope that that

Will make her get round like a roll.

*****

There was a young fellow named ZEKE

Who keeps Singer’s production at peak

He can turn out a screw

That is equaled by few

He does a month’s work in a week.

*****

Key to Christmas Jokes in stockings: Aunt Betty – piece of coal; Elsie – a paper bag, Marian – artificial snow; Jean – pocket mirror; Dave – piece of string; Biss – piece of suet; Zeke – old coupling.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will continue with more about The End of an Era. Judy Guion

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (3) – Christmas Day – December 17, 1944

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Page 3    12/25/44

Now the Christmas is all over. What a Christmas! Marian and Jean have spent hours and hours preparing the presents and decorations and tree. The presents were done up each with a different color wrapping and the name of the recipient spelled out with gummed letters, some in a single color, others with each letter a different color, with  ribbon ends all curled up or gummed strips of colored paper gaily decorating the box and gummed stars appearing scattered over the box. Under a beautifully shaped tree, with the usual lights and not too many trimmings, the whole ensemble made a striking appearance when the rather small clan gathered. Of course we spoke of each of you and recalled many instances which took place at former Christmases. Now our stomachs are very full and we are not very ambitious to do anything – you know how we feel!

Hello there, fellows! It is nice to know that even tho’ you are scattered practically over God’s green earth, with the help of the well-known  A.P.O. and the Alaskan Airways, we are able to send to you a small part of our Christmas celebration. Purely a vicarious participation on your part, but you know darn well that we were thinking of every one of you all day long, and wishing, of course, that you could have been with us. But just watch us make up for lost time when all of you do get home! In the meantime, rest assured that Santa hasn’t forgotten how to maneuver the intricate Guion chimney, and managed to leave more than a goodly share of gifts for every one of us. And in his usual discerning fashion he managed to leave “just exactly what I wanted!” Of course, the very obvious lists of “what I want Santa to bring me”, which have been lying around in very conspicuous spots for the last three weeks might have had something to do with his selection, but we won’t let him know that we suspect anything quite so obvious as that. The weatherman, naturally, had to be a little contrary. He very grudgingly gave us a White Christmas, but due to the fact that is been raining since very early this morning, the white part looks slightly moth-eaten. But who are we to complain! Besides it’s a darn sight more snow than we have ever had in California! (You might know that I would have to bring that in somehow – – – the California part, I mean). Nevertheless, we have no complaints to offer at all – – it really was a very wonderful Christmas (except for that very definite defect which I mentioned earlier in this paragraph but which we are trying our best to ignore! You can see how well we are succeeding!) Anyway, the very best of holiday greetings to each and every one of you (with a special emphasis on Lad’s, of course). Best of luck. We hope to see you soon …. As always, Marian

Above, you have heard from Elsie and Marian. Jean has gone to her Mother’s or we would have her contribution also. Well as you may have surmised it is now Christmas evening and the days hectic doings have been succeeded by comparative quiet. “The tumult and the shouting dies, the captains and the Kings depart. Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, A humble and a contrite heart”. And I may add, a hopeful heart that next year may see my brood gathered around this here old rooster. Thanks to the daughters-in-law, not only was this Christmas particularly enjoyable (under the circumstances), but in my own case, it was attended with much less stress and rush and responsibility than in many years past, leaving me in a mental frame of mind to enjoy the peace (what there is left of it on earth) that is symbolic of the season. Peace be with you soon, sons.

DAD

Tomorrow, the final segment of this holiday letter featuring a poem written by Grandpa about the small stocking gifts for the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (2) – Christmas Greetings – December 24, 1944

Trumbull House in winter - (cropped) - 1940

Page 2   12/24/44

As usual, Christmas cards have been arriving with their various messages, some of which I shall quote below:

From the Burnham’s – (17 E. 84th St., N.Y.C.) Love to all the Guion’s where ever they are from all the Burnham crew at sea on the Pacific and Mediterranean and Harlem River!

From Brita: (Rusty’s sister) (Bagshaw, Milhouse, Bedford Village, N.Y.) Aren’t you ever up this way? I’d just love to see any of you that could come – – any time. And I’d like to know how each and every one of you are. My love to everyone.

Mrs. Ives: A very Merry Christmas to you. I, too, wish all your boys were home at this time of year.

From Rudolf Noer’s wife: In lieu of a word from Rudolf himself, let me say that his unit was transferred from Italy to France in August and that they are in or near Dijon. He is well but holds out no hopes for being home in the near future, as once I had thought he might be. Best wishes. Anita.

The Chandlers: Are the Guion’s still covering the face of the earth? And are you still covering the Trumbull waterfront? We are still living in hopes of seeing you again. What a host of good memories come with Christmas! We are about the same – – just a year older – – a very little wiser. Please be the connection again between us and your boys and Elizabeth. And I hear that there are more daughters-in-law, and of course they are o.k. Emily and Douglas Chandler. Courage for today. Faith for tomorrow. Happiness always.

Of particular interest to Ced: from Nan and Stan Osborn. Love from all of us to all of you. I am terribly tired and worn out taking care of mother but will feel better in a few days when Connie will be home.

Christmas greetings also from the following: Harold Latour, Mrs. Beebe, Peggy (Sanford), the Mortensen’s, Corinne Flaniken, Gwyneth, Ethel and Carl, Virginia and Roy Rowland, Astrid, Axel and Florence Larson, Helen Plumb, Mildred and Stacy, Mrs. Munson and the Draz’s, Uncle Burton and a note from Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister) with the news that she expects to take a trip to Los Angeles and is going to try to get up to Trumbull before the first of the year to see us all.

From Elsie M. Guion – Well, here I am again and glad I am to be here at the scene of so many good times and each time the same and each time different – this time again the boys represented by one, Dave. Last year by Ced, and next year?

A young chap came into the Shop the other day and said to me he guessed I didn’t know him but his name was Dan Rowland and he was asking news about Dan Guion. So I told him all I knew about Dan as well as the other boys. He was not in uniform, said he was classified 4-F which he regretted, said he was working in New York in an advertising concern. He sent a Hello to Dan which I said I would relay in this Weekly Letter.

We have just finished a successful Holiday business. For months we had been trying to get some help in the Shop as there was more work in the Shop than the two of us could do, and we were getting desperate when a nice young girl appeared before Mrs. Burlingame one morning and asked where the Shirley Shop was, that they had advertised for help. Mrs. B. told her and said if she didn’t connect with them to come back. In five minutes flat she was back and the next morning she was working for us. Two days later another young girl came in and said she had casually mentioned to her friend that you would like to get a Christmas job and her friend said to come see us, and the next morning she was working with us too. So it worked out fine and they did a swell job for us.

Fkrmck,epx;503kforlcvksdjvd,    This is Susan’s (Susan Warden, the youngest child of the young couple renting the apartment) Merry Christmas to you!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the happenings of Christmas day and on Friday, a poem written by Grandpa to go along with small stocking gifts.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (1) – Christmas Preparations – December 24, 1944

MIG - Marian and Jean bringing in Christmas Tree - 1944

Marian (Mrs. Lad) and Jean (Mrs. Dick)

Trumbull, Conn.,  Christmas Eve, 1944

To my dear little boys:

My, what memories this day stirs in the dusty attic of the past! The visions of little Alfred, Dan, Ced, Biss, Dick and even baby Dave, with their eyes big and wide with anticipation, romping in to open the stockings and later, all athrill stealing downstairs to see the glittering tree with its candle light softly shining on the piles of mysterious looking packages and boxes, or that time in the attic, when I rigged up some sort of affair behind the curtain with strings attached to your presents. Marty and Butch were here this afternoon, and for a moment, I recaptured that old time spirit, when, with delighted gurgles and shouts, they hung up their stockings in anticipation of Santa Claus’ visit tomorrow. I am looking forward to the time when this war interlude ends and I may, perhaps, watch you boys play the role of Santa Claus for your own little tots.

While it is far from ideal with you boys so far from home, my native optimism rises to the challenge and I realize it could be lots worse. Speaking selfishly, if Aunt Betty and I alone had to go through tomorrow, it would not be much of a “merry” Christmas, but with the girls here with their enthusiasm and energy, it begins to take on much of the old time feeling, and to the climax, DAVE CAME HOME THURSDAY and stays until New Year’s Day. Then too, the weather is doing its part, for we have had the first real snowstorm of the season, and Marian is thrilled. And as an added dividend of cheer, a V-mail letter from Dan arrived yesterday, written on December 13th, reporting all well with him. And today Aunt Elsie arrived on the scene so it begins to take on a real holiday atmosphere.

Perhaps your Constitution is strong enough to stand an account of just how things are progressing on this day before Christmas, 1944. Marian and Jean were up betimes this morning, all prepared for a visit to the woods to find some Christmas greens. Their first thought was to go up along the old railroad tracks but they finally decided to go over to the woods in back of Mantle’s. Fortunately, they ran across Walter and he showed them just where to find some ground pine, Princess pine, hemlock branches, long needle pine and Laurel, which they have used in most tastefully decorating the house. I think it is as attractive as it has ever been. Dave started for church but because he could not get the Buick up the slippery driveways, my Buick had been left until late yesterday out in front of Laufer’s, but with no gas in the tank we had a little trouble getting the car started so as to get gas, enabling me to go to Bridgeport for a wedding which was scheduled for noon today. As the girls were busy with their decorating job I started the dinner, got my wedding out of the way. Then dinner. While Aunt Betty was washing the dishes, Zeke and Biss and the two youngsters arrived, then Bob Shattuck to see Dave, then Carl (Wayne), and while all this was going on, the phone rang to announce that Aunt Elsie was at the station in Bridgeport, so Dave and Aunt Betty went down to fetch our  Yuletide guest.

Tomorrow’s post will be Christmas Greetings to the family, Thursday will be events of Christmas Day and on Friday, a special poem with messages and stocking gifts for most of the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Son – Christmas Boxes and Household Hints – December 24, 1944

This week I will be posting letters written in December, 1944. All five sons are scattered around the world and Grandpa is holding down the fort in Trumbull with his two “Army Widows”, my Mom, Marian, (Mrs. Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad), who is in France),  and Jean, (Mrs. Richard Peabody Guion) who is in Brazil.)

        Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

               Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Trumbull Conn., December 17, 1944

Dear Son:

“Let us flee”, said the fly. “Let us fly”, said the flea; so they fled through the flaw in the flue.

There, having gotten a good start with a bit of profound wisdom appropriate to the season, my thoughts can now be released to deal with more practical and homely things, such as:

CHRISTMAS BOXES

          One thing I can promise with great assurance and that is that, aside from Dick and Dan, who’s Christmas boxes left about a month ago, in accordance with Government regulations, you others will NOT get your boxes by December 25th, for the simple reason that they have not yet been sent (and there is a grave doubt in my mind whether even Dick and Dan will get their boxes by that date, which will make it unanimous). And being pressed for an explanation of being so remiss, I would depose and say that due to the shortage of labor in the huge Guion organization,  plus the fact that customers are insistent that their addressograph plates be completed promptly in order to take care of their Christmas mailings, it has transpired that the Lord High Executioner of said organization has been forced to stick so close to his job that he has not even had time to go out for lunch, but must forsooth take down a thermos bottle of milk and nibble a few biscuits, instead of going out lunch time to see what Santa Claus has to offer. Result: no greeting cards this year, shopping by proxy through the courtesy of my daughters-in-law. However, if you wait patiently there will eventually arrive a small package containing sundry modest gifts, hardly more than token remembrances from the usual triumvirate, Aunt Betty, Aunt Elsie and Dad, limited by the limited requirements imposed by military life for you boys in the service, plus the distinct shortage of available items to be found currently in the stores. Some of the items, to be sure, are chosen with hope that the thought, in some cases little short of inspiration, will justify the senders earnest hopes – – as, for instance, a wee alcohol stove which your native Guion ingenuity may find many uses for, and in Ced’s case, to keep at the hangar to warm something hot on the cold days when he has to eat his lunch indoors on cold days. But there, no more ideas as to contents of the package, we can now turn to the:

HOUSEHOLD HINTS DEPARTMENT

          Guion’s Great Shaving Discovery: try this one, you with stubborn beards. First wet the face with warm water (in fact washing with soap and warm water will be even better). Then a quick application of brushless shaving cream (I have found Krank’s about the best), and then (here’s the trick) over this apply a regular old-fashioned lather shaving cream with a brush. Sounds like a lot of trouble but in my case, at least, it results in a nice clean shave which leaves the face smooth and not the usual aftershave rash. Maybe it won’t work with you as “one man’s face is another man’s poison”, but a trial will show.

Hint on one item in winterizing your car. During the summer, condensation in the tank, moisture in the air, etc., results in a certain amount of water accumulation in the gas line, carburetor, etc. Therefore, to a tank fairly full of gas add 1 gallon of alcohol, which in theory will absorb water out and itself be burned out in the running of the car. Or perhaps I will get an argument back from Alaska or southern France which will result in throwing this valuable hint out of the window, out there it is, for what it is worth.

Page 2    12/17/1944

(Time out to change carbons) and incidentally, if this letter seems to lack coherence, it is interspersed here and there with hints of dress patterns, the shape of collar best suited for Elizabeth’s particularly shaped neck, etc., you have to blame it on my chatterbox daughters-in-law who are sewing here at a great rate while I am trying to concentrate on this my weekly blurb. They are going to read this later and that is when I shall have my revenge.

However, there is little besides small talk to report. A letter from David still expresses hope of getting home for Christmas, but there is still nothing definite. Carl (Wayne) is home, as I reported last letter. He came over for a while today for a few moments, after we had finished an excellent meal prepared by Marian’s capable hands. I was thus enabled to get several needed things around the house done. All of us here in the house, except Marian, have been hosts to a pesky little cold germ which indeed seems to have been traveling the rounds in Stratford, Bridgeport and Trumbull, attacking the digestive track and causing vomiting and diarrhea. Besides us here, Elizabeth’s family and now the Mortensen’s and Jean reports several in the Harvey Hubble office (The Harvey Hubble Shirt Factory in Bridgeport where Jean is working). Much to Marian’s disgust, we have had no real snowstorm but there is still time to get it before Christmas.

I am now pleased to report that we have two tastefully decorated rooms in the old home – – Marian’s and Jean’s. Following the blue and white motif of the wallpaper, Marian has completed tastefully furnishing her boudoir in feminine style was new white paint on the furniture with blue drapes, etc. it is really surprising what she has been able to do with so little to start with. Very versatile, that lady, and while I am putting down things to be thankful for, I must put the top of the list the good judgment of my two married sons in their selection of my daughters-in-law. Altogether we are a very happy family here and it is just too bad the rest of you can’t be here to enjoy it. Although, of course, if you were, like the flea and the fly mentioned in my opening paragraph, you would probably spoil it all by fleeing somewhere else.

Gosh, here it is almost 10:30, besides which I cannot think of anything more to write about, so in spite of the paper shortage, we’ll just have to let the rest of this page go blank, and only pausing long enough in this closing paragraph to say that I am sorry you will not be here a week from tonight to hang up your stockings as you used to do in the days before Hitler. We can all look forward to next Christmas, and hope.

DAD

For the rest of the week, I will be posting a 4-page letter from Grandpa to his “dear little boys”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Guion Clan (4) – Random Thoughts on our Future Camp (3) – October 7, 1945

Fall and very low water at the Island

3 – Finances. How is all this (outside of cost of island itself, which I have taken care of) to be financed. If we get a government housing loan or bank loan or building and loan arrangement for building and equipment, how are payments to be met? Should each one contribute a stated amount monthly? What is the limit of total cost which should be set and how many years should payments be spread over? Taxes, which are now about $3 a year on $100 assessment, would naturally increase. There will also be insurance and running expenses for food, fuel and mechanical upkeep. When should work be started?

4 – Future Considerations. What arrangement for future sale of property should be made, if that ever becomes necessary or desirable? A jointly owned property invariably brings problems of one sort or another, if one or more of the joint owners desires to liquidate. Some arrangement agreed to by all in advance to cover such a contingency should be thoroughly understood and agreed upon in advance. What is your idea on this?

5 – Gifts.     It is quite likely that from time to time someone or other will bring up and leave in the cottage one thing or another for all to use.  Should it not be a rule that all such things shall cease immediately to be the property of any one individual or family and become common property, and so understood by everyone in advance.. In other words, should this not be a sort of Guion community project, the idea being that no one should feel any larger claim than any other because of any greater contribution he may have made in the way of goods or services for the common weal, than some other. As a community effort all things on the island ceased to be individually owned but become property to be shared equally by all.

6 – Obligations – I have told Anna Heurlin that under the circumstances she will always be welcome to use the property, and to a certain extent, the same moral obligation goes to the other members of the Heurlin family — Rusty or his two other sisters.

7 – Policy towards friends of each of you outside the family who may from time to time desire to use the cottage.  Should we accept offers to rent the cottage to outsiders and if so, under what circumstances.

Perhaps the above quick outline of some of the questions which occur to me may suggest others to you which are to be jointly considered.  (Maybe you will wonder at this point whether I have really made you a gift or saddled you with a liability.)  Anyway, let’s have a meeting of minds where each one freely expresses his likes or dislikes IN WRITING (in writing so that each of the absent ones can have the opinions of all others), letting me, if you will, be sort of a hopper to receive them all and work out, if possible, some tangible ideas to give us a starting point.

DAD

Grandpa never ceases to amaze me. He says: “I will jot down a few which immediately occur to me…” This is the result, in one evening! 

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will b e posting pictures of the Island “Then and Now”.

Judy Guion