Special Picture # 319 – Dan and Raymond Zabel, Jr., (Butch) – 1940


Tomorrow, another Special Picture.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1946. Both Lad and Dick are home in Trumbull with their wives, Ced remains working in Anchorage, Alaska, Dave is expecting to arrive home in a couple of months and Dan and Paulette await the arrival of their firstborn in France before returning to Trumbull.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (2) – A Family Round-up -February 27, 1944



OLD DOC GUION HIMSELF: On the basis of the old saying, “Physician, heal thyself”, I suppose this report would not be complete without a word as to the author. At present he is suffering from an extended case of painindeatus caused by too frequently sitting down to read letters from his patients that keep crowding into Box 7 with scarcely a let-up. This, however, is only during the day. He starts the morning right and ends up in a happy frame of mind before retiring by inspecting his bureau on which, side-by-side, stant photographs of his two daughters-in-law — one of them a California gift and the other a Valentine.

Hints to toilers on the homefront. Every so often we have the urge to use the mail facilities Uncle Sam has provided to supplement the weekly letter by some little trinket as a token of our thought of you and naturally the thought pops up, “What shall it be?” And then we try to think back on what has been previously sent and how acceptable it was and the only clue we can recall are the words, “Your package arrived O.K..” Lots of help in that, isn’t there? So you can imagine my delight when letters arrived simultaneously from each of you boys giving me just the answers I wanted. I quote from Lad: “That cloth you sent to shine up my rifle and other hardware with was undoubtedly well intended but in your ignorance you didn’t know that the Army doesn’t allow us to use anything of that sort.” From Dan: “Those playing cards with my initials on them, I am sorry to say, are just cluttering up my pack. In the first place, I don’t get time to play, even solitaire, and in the second place, I wouldn’t play if I had the time. Thanks just the same”. From Dick: “Now what do you suppose a soldier could do with a dinky little round knife and nail file? That might be O.K. down Trumbull way for civilian use, but sorry, Dad, it’s pretty useless here.” Well, boys, that’s fine. Just what I wanted to know, and then when your letter continues with, “but, what I would like to have which I can’t get here is some, etc., etc.,” it just finished off with the right note. Why not make the dream come true? We all learn by experience but experience won’t help if it’s tongue-tied.

A postal from Ced en route written from St. Louis, 6 PM reports a comfortable trip that far. From my timetable he should have reached Texarkana very early Monday morning. However one of those formal Army change of notice cards from Lad dated February 20 informed me his new address was Pomona, and I am waiting to hear again from Ced as to whether or not he made it. It will also be interesting to hear from Ced and Lad and Marian as to their get together after all these years.

Time out  –  the furnace sheared a pin

2 hours later – after much effort the pin has been restored but in the meantime the fire has gone out, so I’ll just rather abruptly bring this missive to a close, get something to eat, light the fire and then I’ll really need a bath, which I shall duly take.

So long then, from


Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (1) – A Family Round-up – February 27, 1944

Trumbull, Conn. February 27, 1944


Dear Patients:

Old Doc Guion finds that with his patients so widely scattered he is unable to make regular calls in his old horse and buggy and must perforce issue courses of treatment and prescriptions in bulletin form.

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

LAD: Symptoms: fever and high blood pressure due to rapid change of climate and flitting from California to Texas and back again in too rapid succession. There is also danger of having chest sticking out too far due to newly contracted disease called T/3 in Army circles, which can be recognized by four stripes on the arm between wrist and elbow.

Basis for above conclusion: telegram dated February 25th from Pomona, Calif., as follows: “Hold everything. New address T/3 APG, PO Box 491, Pomona, Calif. notice new prefix. Now carry four stripes.”

Treatment: Suggest remaining in one place long enough for wife to catch up with him. If usually placid nature becomes ruffled a bit by Army one-man maneuvers, try reading Kipling‘s IF at frequent intervals.

Marian (Irwin) Guion

MARIAN: Symptoms: mental hallucinations of wife in pursuit of husband

Treatment: Make it sort of a game idea, round the world tour, etc., arriving at one port to find the other fellow just left a jump ahead of you. Try reading Evangeline between stops. Take frequent doses of “a sense of humor”.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

DAN: Symptoms: rather severe case of tempus fugit accompanied by partial paralysis of the writing finger.

Treatment: Make note to query Gen. Rogers if good conduct medal additional award can be issued to soldiers who write home more frequently than once a month. Care should be exercised in applying this treatment, being sure not to make doses to strong as up to the present, patient has been quite regular and this may be but a temporary lapse due perhaps to some unavoidable circumstance.

Cedric Duryee Guion

CED: Symptoms: sort of mental germ carrier. This is rather a clear case of contradictory manifestations. Frequently and in numerous places there are strong clusters of regret at his departure surrounded by deep layers of pleasant recollections of many kindnesses and accomplishments of things needing to be done. As one of my daughter-in-law’s expressed it, she never knew anyone so willing to put themselves out to do things for others.

Treatment: Apparently incurable.

DICK: Symptoms: recurring attacks of awayfromhomeitis.

Treatment: His is an extremely difficult malady to treat from a distance of more than a few feet. Soft arms in the vicinity of the collarbone with plentiful applications of lipstick judiciously supplied by the proper party is said to affect wonderful cures promptly. Meantime equestrian sports like polo and horse racing with one’s own mount and occasional letters to old Doc Guion should cause enough mental anguish to take one’s mind off his troubles.

DAVE: Symptoms: a rather acute attack of busyitis, which being quite fresh, hit the patient particularly hard. He is at present resting rather comfortablyon a Beautyrest mattress in private ward 31409102, Co. B, 28th Sig. Trng. Bn., CSCRTC, Camp Crowder, Mo., in charge of a pretty nurse. Apparently has time only to hang up coats as he has requested coat hangers to be rushed to him immediately. Suffers from occasional flights of fancy and thinking his older brother and wife are only 200 miles from his camp whereas a portion at least has returned to California (see first paragraph).

Tomorrow the 2nd half of this letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion


Army Life – Dear Dad – Back to California – February, 1944

Blog - Lad's new address in Pomona, CA - Feb., 1944

Blog - Lad's telegram with new address and new insignia with four stripes - Feb., 1944

1416 Stratford Ave.

South Pasadena, Calif.

Box 491

Dear Dad –

Your “Valentine” has arrived safely and is a most welcome addition to our household belongings – and just think – no laundry problem! Such attractive paper towels are

Marian Irwin

Marian Irwin

really a big help and I’m a firm believer in using the placemats any chance I get. Thanks very much for thinking of me, Dad.

Lad’s package arrived, too, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day – and matching the day beautifully. He’d send his thanks in person, if he had time to write any letters, but Uncle Sam keeps him so busy that he only has time to eat and sleep when he’s at home. So I’m saying “thank you”, from him, this time.

We are still house hunting – but not very successfully. Last Sunday we combined house hunting with the picnic – it was a beautiful day for it – cloudy and a drizzle that was very much like rain! But we didn’t let that stop us. The house we were looking at was about 10 or 12 miles from the Pomona, and if it were on a more traveled road we would have taken it. It was really a weekend cabin – not too modern, but clean and quiet. No electricity nor hot water, but we wouldn’t have minded that. The only drawback was that if anything happened to the car, Lad would have practically no way of getting to Camp. And Uncle Sam is sort of particular about his being there on time and when he is supposed to. So we very regretfully had to say “No”. We have now acquired a trailer, so the next time we moved it won’t be quite so hard on the car. This isn’t the house variety, although we’ve threatened to get one of those, too. But our trailer is a two -wheel kind, about 6 feet long and 2 feet high and about 4 feet wide. It is very sturdily built, and is good-looking, too.

Remember my saying that I was having my allotment check sent to you and that you could forward it to us? Well it must take time to change the address in their files, for I’m still receiving it at South Pasadena. But you will probably receive the next one.

Love to everyone.

Lad and Marian

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Grandpa bringing everyone up-to-date on what has been happening with various members of the family.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian) – Ced Leaves For Alaska – February, 1944

 Lad has been sent to Texarkana, Texas, Marian has left her job as Director of the Camp Fire Girls in South Pasadena, CA, and has traveled to Texas to be with her new husband. This letter fills in a little bit about the rest of the family.

Trumbull, Conn. February 20, 1944

Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian)

Judy_0003You may perhaps recall, gentle readers, that at the close of last week’s chapter we had left our hero, Ced, out on a limb. Upon his return from New York he reported the best reservation he was able to obtain for his return journey was February 22, and quite ironically this Washington’s Birthday reservation was on the Jeffersonian, the crack Pennsylvania train to St. Louis, whence he expected to proceed to Texarkana for a stopover long enough to visit the. A.P.‘s. A few days later however having received another wire from Art Woodley advising him to start immediately, he again visited New York Friday to try for an earlier reservation only to find the Jeffersonian date could not be better but he could take his chance without reservation on one of the other regular trains. This he decided to do so yesterday (Saturday) he held a hasty and quite informal Farewell Sourdough Flapjack Party attended by we inmates, Alta Gibson, (Arnold had already left for work) Flora Bushey, Mrs. Ives and Ethel. The one o’clock express from Bridgeport to Penn Station was very late and thus the first section gathered up those on hand for both sections which not only crowded the Bridgeport station but filled the entire length of the long platform. When the train finally pulled in it was already so crowded that people were packed standing in the aisles and also on the platform, so that we were hardly able to crowd up the steps of the train. We did manage to squeeze in but whether the rest of the waiting crowd were able to wedge themselves in I don’t know. Arriving at the station which was also packed with the usual wartime weekend crowd, Ced finally managed to get his baggage checked. We then went over to the Grand Central to say goodbye to Elsie, ate an early supper and got back to Penn Station just before Jeffersonian train time. Still no last minute cancellations on any of the St. Louis trains, but on the basis of “nothing ventured, nothing won”, Ced asked me to go through the gate with his 22nd reservation while he picked up his bags and made a last try. I waited at the foot of the stairs and finally won from the reluctant brakeman the admission that Ced might board the train on the slim chance that someone who had not canceled might still fail to show up, but that if this did not happen, he would have to get off in Philadelphia and wait for some other train. The minutes clicked by, the conductor stood with watch in hand, yelled, “All aboard.” when Ced appeared at the top of the steps, rushed down with his bag in one hand and a ticket in the other and announced, “I got it”. We said a hasty goodbye and the train pulled out leaving me with the comforting feeling that he would have a comfortable ride at least as far as St. Louis where he was due at 1:35 this afternoon. From there he goes by way of the Missouri Pacific to Texarkana. There is a train which leaves shortly after the Jeffersonian arrives, which would land him at Texarkana at 2:20 AM Monday morning. The next train to my mind is better, leaving St. Louis at 5:50 PM and arriving at Texarkana at 6:05 AM.. Possibly permitting him to have Monday breakfast with Lad and Marian. I am waiting to hear just what did happen.

From there Ced continues on to Los Angeles, thence to Seattle and from there by boat to Alaska. For your information, Ced, Aunt Betty says she mailed your Seattle letter and Elsie’s card in the mailbox in the medical building at about two o’clock, a collection from which was scheduled to be made at three. Of course everyone felt they would like to have Ced stay longer, but we did have him for such a long visit that we were more reconciled to his leaving as contrasted with Lad’s flying visit in the early fall.

Nary a word has been received this week from Dave outside of a letter received last Monday, written the Saturday previously and expressing doubt as to his future movements. I assume he has been sent to some other camp for basic training and has been so busy he hasn’t had time to write. I hope tomorrow’s mail will bring some definite word.

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard (Dick) Guion

Dick has delighted us with a whimsical letter giving us a sort of a psychoanalysis of his Brazilian horse, as well as a glimpse into the family life of one native family with a daughter of marriageable age. I wish space permitted my quoting it in full, as the whole thing is quite delightful and shows considerable writing skill. In fact, as in Dan’s case, it seems too bad that those possessing such ability do not practice more on the home folks. It makes me quite envious and somewhat ashamed of some of my own efforts. To you, Dave, Dick says he’s glad you like the Army. He thinks the Air Corps is one of the best branches to get into. He hopes you make the grade and will be able to go to school for 15 months as he feels sure that by that time the war will be over. Amen to that.

I am going to award a home decoration to Marian for faithfulness in writing. Another letter this week, in which Lad also adds a pleasant promise of future

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

epistles to, tells about their being temporarily established in a “fairly nice auto court, with room and a bath”, with the prospect of later obtaining furnished rooms in a new federal housing project. Lad keeps pretty busy with his intensive training job but is able to get home most nights. Marian will try to find some job to keep her busy during the day. For your information, all of you — their present mailing address is Box 154, Hooks, Texas. Be nice, and drop them a line. Marian, as a little reward for your devotion I am sending a sort of Valentine myself which I hope may prove useful in your little apartment. You don’t think your husband will mind other fellows sending you a Valentine, do you?

Dan must be pretty busy also because I haven’t heard from him now for about a month. I am wondering if the recent London air raids came anyway near where he is staying.

A letter this week from Dorothy, written from the New Rochelle hospital, says she expects to have an operation on the 18th and hopes to be back in New York in a couple of weeks. She has been out on a 10 day visit to Larry’s place in Ohio and says it is even lovelier than she had anticipated.

Paul has received word from Remington that due to the fact that supplies of ammunition are so far ahead of needs that he and several thousands of others are to be laid off March first. He plans to enlist in the Navy, if possible, if not in the Army, leaving Kit and the children to occupy the apartment. Ethel just received a letter from Carl in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is one place his trip has taken him.

Aunt Betty is slowly getting used to her Acousticon and thinks she will like it better as time goes on.

It is now 8:30 and I hear outside a chorus of “Young Peoples” who still continue to pay us Sunday night visits. Bob Jennings just came in and says Eleanor heard from Dave. He has left Devens but he does not know where his new camp is located.


Tomorrow, I’ll post a letter from Marian with some news.

I’ll finish out the week with a letter from Grandpa bringing us up to date on the entire family.

Judy Guion



Army Life – Marian Writes to the Home Folks – I Took a Civil Service Exam – February, 1944

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Wednesday –

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean – Ced, too – ‘cause I imagine he’s there also—

Life in Texas seems very serene these days. Not too much excitement, and Uncle Samuel has been keeping Lad so busy that he hasn’t had time to think, but he has gotten home every night so far, so I’m not complaining in the least – for that is much more than I expected. Don’t know how long this will continue, but just being near enough that I can see him occasionally is all I ask.

Valentine’s Day being our third (month) anniversary, we were going to celebrate, but Uncle Sammy stepped in and decided that Lad should work until 9 PM that evening. However, we did have dinner together, slightly rushed, I will admit. – but that in itself is an occasion! Just think of all the celebrating we are going to be able to do when this is all over!

Dad, we are sending you one of our wedding gifts that we would like to have you put in Lad’s safe deposit box. It is a $25 War Bond, and we don’t want to carry it around with us.

I took the civil service exam yesterday, so if I passed the test and they still need office workers, I may be working at the Red River Ordnance Depot. I should know the results the first of next week, so perhaps our next letter will tell whether or not I have a job. Being a lady of leisure has been very nice so far, but with no house to take care of, I’m hoping to be able to work at least part of the time, so that I’ll have something to keep me busy during the day.

I’m going to wait to mail this letter, and also one to Dan, in case Lad gets home early enough to add a few lines to them. He’s had to work every night this week, so far, so I’m not sure whether he will even get home – needless to say – I hope so – .

Love to all



P.S.   Sorry, Dad, but I better get this in the mail before you think a Texas tornado has done away with the Lad Guions! Received your letter yesterday – we were glad to hear that Ced has been deferred and are waiting in hopes that we will be able to see him before he returns to Alaska. If he left immediately, I guess he couldn’t stop off in Texas, for he would have been here by now, but if he couldn’t get a reservation until later this week, perhaps we will see him after all. Needless to say, we certainly hope so!

Lad has been working so hard he hasn’t had time to think, let alone write letters! Maybe next time – and that roast beef you mentioned had us practically drooling! How we would have loved to be there! In fact we got so hungry that we had a late evening snack. The best Texas had to offer was crackers spread with peanut butter and one lone candy bar! A far cry from delicious roast beef!

Love —


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

Judy Guion



Friends – Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced – September 14, 1942

This letter was written by Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend, to Ced in Alaska. In the body of the letter, Barbara explains the timeline quite well. 

CDG - Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced - Sept., 1942 - front

CDG - Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced - Sept., 1942 - back

Notice seal on the end of the envelope, Examined By 13833

CDG - Barbara Plumb Writes to Ced - Sept., 1942 - l1st pageMonday – September 14

9:00 A M

Law offices –

Miller, Bent & Smith


As you know, yesterday a round robin was written to you – but because of the numerous participants etc., I didn’t write a single word – so will have to write you a special edition or rather addition)

Dear Ced:

We certainly missed you at the birthday gathering yesterday – but the pictures helped out considerably, even though that bearded fellow doesn’t look much like Old Ced. But I like the beard – must try one myself some time. (Maybe I’d enjoy circus life.)

My occupational status is still the same – working, not too hard, for four very nice men.

I have had one weeks vacation – when Dan was home on furlough at the end of June and have another week coming. I’ll probably take it in another two or three weeks and visit Lancaster. If I have as nice a time as when I went to Roanoke Rapids, N.C., it will be O.K. Dan and I are going to see the ice show in NY too. I’ve been trying to get to see it for at least three years. I’ve been down twice for the express purpose of seeing it and both times something happened.

Doesn’t the time go fast though?! You’ve been in Alaska for over two years – Dan has been home one year, minus 2 weeks, – I’ve been out of high school for six years – Butch is nearly 3 – it doesn’t seem possible – I’ll be happy if the time continues to race, at least until the war is over – then I can go very slowly please.

I like your house a lot – especially the corner windows. I wish Dan and I lived right next door. I studied the picture of Anchorage which you sent and asked Dan “What’s this? – Where’s so-and-so?” Until now I feel that if I were dropped in front of the P.O., I could find you without asking directions. I want very much to see Alaska – someday – but that’s as far as plans can go just now.

I seem to have plenty to do always – in fact there are always two or three things “I’m going to do this week”, which I never get to – such as practicing piano exercises or reading – But all I do is knit and play bridge – go to choir rehearsal and church and just buzz around doing nothing much. Lately I’ve been going over to Bissie’s about once a week right after work and stay all night –

Well, as it’s almost 10 o’clock, and as I haven’t done anything in the line of work so far, I better close this and try to look busy anyway. Give my regards to Rusty. Judging from the picture, he’s looking younger than ever – Dan said – “He looks like a big kid!” – Almost 21.

As you can see, I enjoy your letters to your family, so that I really owe you a letter or two – I like to write when I get started – In fact, when I do get started I ramble on and on and don’t know when to stop – so, abruptly,



P.S. Color of paper means absolutely nothing.

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures. Next week, we’ll move to letters written in 1944.