Trumbull – Hello, Laddie (1) – Birthday Greetings From the Two “Jeeps” – April 3, 1940

      Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in              Venezuela at Knopp’s Camp

April 3rd , 1940

4:30 PM

Hello, Laddie:

Well it is almost six months since we last had any word from you, and as this is your birthday and we are thinking very much of you, we could not withstand the temptation to write and see if you would answer. (Will prayer help?)

Incidentally, do you remember a family or rather a young married couple, by the name of Stanley, who used to live in New Haven. They were queer people who used to entertain people at the oddest hours, and they used to go on picnics with a Miss Mullins (Cecelia Mullins, know as Babe, Lad’s girlfriend back in Trumbull) and a Mr. A.P. Guion. We were talking to them just the other day and they were wondering if we had heard from Mr. Guion, they had not heard since last November 10th  and were wondering whether it was by chance or by choice.

Seriously, we have wondered whether you were tired of writing to people in a faraway place, or if you have written to us and we had never received your letter. We look forward to hearing from you so much that we had to take the chance that you still cared about hearing from your old “Jeeps”. If we never receive an answer to this letter we will know that you do not care to hear from us.

Winter is finally subsided and now we have a beautiful, even if a little belated, spring. People are out raking up leaves and getting their gardens ready to plant. Even I have the urge to plant flowers so spring must really be here, for I have never had the urge since we have been in New Haven, before.

As I sit here writing to you, for the Stanley family, I am remembering two birthdays ago when we had you here with us, and your smiling face is still here with us, right on the radio. We sincerely hope that before too many years, or months, go by, we may again have the pleasure of having you in our family circle again. Those were grand days, and days that Rusty and I never tire of talking about, undoubtedly we bore everyone else with our forever harking back to your being in the states, but some day perhaps, if we hope hard enough, our friendship circle will be complete.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter from friends.

Judy Guion

Friends – Dear Laddie – An Obiturary and A Trailer – March 29, 1940

At this point in 1940, Lad is the only son away from home. In a few months, Dan and Ced will leave for Alaska and you will learn more as the time gets closer.

Lad in Venezuela with his car

          Lad in Venezuela with his car

Mar. 29, 1940

Dear Laddie,

Have you gone native or something? Why don’t you write?

I hear you have a V-8 – too bad, but I suppose one must bow to necessity. Or have you become a convert.

Have you heard the news? (I think I told you that Alta and I were engaged). I am buying a new (demonstrator) 21 1/2 foot trailer in which we intend to make our home. It is to be delivered in June. I am quite bugs on the subject of trailers. They seem to me to be the ideal answer to a young (or old) couple’s home needs, especially if they, like us, suffer from the itching (not athlete’s) foot.

Do you expect to get home at the end of your two years?

Perhaps you know that Rusty, plus the usual general hell raising, has been visiting your family for some time.

Your new nephew is getting to be quite a spunky little devil. His dad and I and a couple of others go out target practicing nearly every Sunday.

I enclose the obituary

               Arnold Gibson

Alta Pratt

                Alta Pratt

Write soon, Laddie.

Your friend,

Gibby

Arnold Gibson, know to family and friends as Gibby, is Lad’s best friend back in Trumbull. They have a shared interest in all things mechanical, from motorcycles to cars and trailers.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a short letter from Grandpa, who is still under the weather, Wednesday and Thursday,  a letter from friends and on Friday, another short letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian) (2) – News About Family and Friends – February 20, 1944

page 2          2/20/1944

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard Peabody (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.

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

 Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

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 epistles to come, 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 (Peabody), 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 (Larry Peabody and his wife, Marian)  in Ohio and says it is even lovelier than she had anticipated.

Paul (Warden, who’s wife and children are staying in the apartment in the Trumbull House) 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 (Katherine, Paul’s wife) and the children to occupy the apartment. Ethel (Bushey) Wayne), wife of Carl Wayne, both friends of Lad’s)  just received a letter from Carl in Edinburgh, Scotland, which is one place his trip has taken him.

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Aunt Betty is slowly getting used to her Acousticon (hearing aids) 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 (Kintop, Dave’s future wife) heard from Dave. He has left Devens but he does not know where his new camp is located.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian) (1) – Ced’s Travel Plans – February 20, 1944

Trumbull, Conn. February 20, 1944

Dear Ex-Trumbullites (and Marian)

Judy_0003Cedric Duryee Guion

You 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.P.’s  – Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) and his wife, Marian (Irwin) Guion)  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.

David Peabody Guion

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.

Tomorrow, page 2 of this letter filled with bits and pieces of news about the rest of the family and some friends.

Judy Guion.

Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida (14) – Coming Home, Laddie and The Helen – May 4, 1935

Saturday afternoon

3:15 PM E.S.T.

5/4/1935

Dear Dad:

I haven’t written to you as soon as I should have but I only have one stamp. I thought perhaps one of my brothers would send a letter and then I could write two letters at the same time for I didn’t want to waste a cent. This month is going so slow but I guess it doesn’t make any difference for I don’t know when I will be able to come home. Aunt Anne is hoping that she won’t have to stay here through the summer but she is afraid for fear she will – I hope not!

The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

I stayed up until two o’clock (your time) this morning writing letters but I still feel like writing for it seems to make everyone seem closer to me up there and they don’t feel so hopelessly far away. Thanks ever so much for that ‘Young People” program that you sent to me. You better get into the habit of writing to me again for I am going to write once a week – I promised and so far I have kept my promise. You certainly are a very busy man!

We had a lot of fun on Easter and got up to go to the sunrise service. The Easter Bunny left me a basket of candy eggs, bunnies and chicks and also hid some colored eggs all around in the yard. I suppose you will be going on that planned picnic someday soon, maybe even tomorrow. I am waiting anxiously for a picture of the house with the lilacs around it – if you can I would like a picture of the front of the house taken from the road. How is Helen (the boat) getting along? Have you heard or haven’t you seen Skippy lately – he still owns her doesn’t he? It is so hot down here that the perspiration is streaming down my face. I have been feeling pretty cheerful lately and yet especially lonesome. I can’t explain what I mean but I am quite homesick and lonely for Trumbull and for the Maple tree and for the piano and yet I feel light and free and it is quite easy to look on the cheerful side of things. I am glad Alfred’s birthday party was such a big success and I think it is too bad that the rest of the family couldn’t have been there.

I saw ”Laddie” the other day and hope to see “Dog of Flanders” when it comes out again – I can not see it today for I am financially embarrassed and I sadly fear I couldn’t have seen “Laddie” if it hadn’t been for Aunt Anne. The whole family went. My music lessons have been going along very well. There is a little boy sitting on my lap –Kent – do you remember him? He has been trying to keep me from writing – he is holding my left hand so I can’t hold onto the letter. Poor Boots is so hot that he doesn’t know what to do – he just roams from one spot to another – sighs, lies down and within five  minutes is looking for another place. That is what I would like to do myself! I think I’ll give him a bath to cool him off.

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow, I will begin posting a week of letters written in February of 1944. All five of Grandpa’s sons are helping Uncle Sam with the War effort.

Judy Guion

Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida (13) – Please, Please, Please – April 19, 1935

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

Elizabeth (Biss) Westlin Guion

At this point, Aunt Biss is definitely thinking about coming home. She almost sounds wistful as she thinks about her brothers.

Friday night

10:00 PM

4/19/1935

Dear Dad:

I have just gotten back from church. The whole thing was just music – and it was very pretty. There were one or two very nice voices in the choir also. Absolutely the only talking was at the very end when the preacher gave a half minute sermon for dismissal. The service was “The Seven Last Sentences of Jesus” or something to that effect. Buelah – the maid – stayed with the children so Aunt Anne and I were able to go with peaceful minds. I have to go in to tell Aunt Anne that I put the hot water heater on for her so I will be back in a minute.

Lilac Bush

Lilac Bush in Bloom

This is going to be what you would call a rather selfish letter – it is selfishness on my part. First – I have told several people down here a great deal about my family – perhaps too much, for I am quite proud of them and I also said plenty about the house. I have shown them the pictures of all of you which were taken while you were down here – but I have no picture of the house to show them. They evidently have never seen a lilac for they haven’t the slightest inkling of what they look like – so – I was wondering if you would take a picture of the house from every angle and then send them down here to me. Please take the pictures when the lilacs are in bloom for that is the time I like best. If you feel as if it would be too much, why, you can send the films down and I will have them developed here. I would also like to have one of Mack – for they have heard how wonderful he is.

The other favor is much, much larger but I hope you will do it so that I may carry out my plans – that is – Aunt Anne’s finances are very low – too low for comfort and so I told her that I was going to suggest to you that you send me – if possible – money for my passage home. I stayed up until 11 one night figuring out the cost for one steamline and I am going to find out the price for the other tomorrow or one day next week. The total cost for the Savanna line – minimum – would be around fifty dollars. Dad, I am going to change that a little bit. How anxious are you to see me? You see, Aunt Anne may not be going home until July or August and I explained to her that I would like to get home and I wished to go home around June 1st if she didn’t mind. I am hoping to go home by June 1st at the latest and want to know if you will help me out – something tells me you are angry at reading this letter and thank goodness – I am far enough away to be fairly safe – don’t take it out on the poor boys. But seriously, Dad, please don’t delay answering for it is a case of life or death and I want to know which my fate is to be. Please don’t mention this to anyone, not even my brothers – for if it is “No”, I don’t want them to be disappointed (I suppose I should say overjoyed) and if it is “Yes” (as I hope, although I try not to) then I want to surprise them all – and I think I can get my transportation home from New York – so you needn’t worry about that – if I can’t I will let you know ahead of time. Please hurry so I won’t get nervous prostration while waiting.

Love,

Your hoping, but not too expectant, daughter,

Biss

P.S. Please answer in the affirmative  like a good pop.

P.P.S.  It is 11:36 P.M. Tsk, tsk, tsk!

I’m sorry to leave you hanging like this but I don’t know if Grandpa sends the money or not. There are 8 more letters, all written in May, 1935. The last one is dated the 24th (Grandpa gets it the 29th). I skimmed them but didn’t see anything about her plans. I don’t have any of the letters he wrote to her so that doesn’t help either. Tomorrow, the next letter about Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (2) – Dear Ced and General Notes – June 7, 1942

Judy_0003

Cedric Duryee Guion

Page 3   6/7/1942

Dear Ced:

Your letter, dated May 26th, examined by Censor, was like a drink of water to thirsty troops on the Libyan desert. That was certainly a most interesting experience you had enroute to rescue the plane and I am anxious to get the next installment. You always manage to leave off just as the hero is about to step off the precipice in the dark. I don’t know how my nerves are able to stand up under the strain. Can’t recall such excitement since that day on the Gaspé trip when you drove the car over the road that was crumbling off into the ravine.

Dick is still on night work but thinks there is a possibility of his changing to a day shift in the near future. He has at last gotten his tires but they are not much to brag about. One of them has a cut on the side wall, but he patched it up and put it on anyway.

I received a letter from Nan Osborne (Grandpa’s Duryee cousin and childhood playmate)  the other day. She says Stan (her husband) is in the hospital for an operation in Albany. He has been having prostate gland trouble. She says: “Please give them all (Aunt Betty and the boys) my love, and be particular about sending it to Cedric for he was exceedingly kind to me when I saw all of you on our last visit.” She says they still have my hat and invite me to visit them at New Paltz (New York) this summer. I look back on that trip we took there together with a great deal of pleasure.

I note what you say about camera and radio and I will keep my eye open for a camera similar to Dan’s. It’s too bad you did not have a camera along on your rescue trip to go with the account just to make it doubly interesting. Thanks very much for the money order. In view of the fact that interest on mortgage and taxes on the house arrive simultaneously on July 1st, it is quite opportune. I have, as you know, been keeping up your insurance payments. There is another due next month so that too is welcome.

As to tennis balls, I went to three places. One was out of them entirely and did not expect to get anymore. Another had only a few, and at Read’s, I tried to order a dozen but they refused to sell me more than three. Cost: $.50 each. I therefore ordered them to send three to you. Later on I’ll try to pull the same stunt again.

I am enclosing a couple of newspaper clippings which may be of interest to you. How did you celebrate your birthday? I am glad you are so comfortably housed. Between two such good cooks as you and Rusty (Heurlin, family friend and renowned Alaskan Painter) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnus_Colcord_Heurlin , the cuisine in your ménage must be sompin’.

General Notes:

I understand Nellie (Nelson Sperling, a friend in Trumbull) is home with his bride but I haven’t seen him. Jack Philmon (another friend in Trumbull)  came home on a hasty furlough. He has been ordered to San Francisco and has been issued cold weather clothing so the inference is he might be seeing you one of these days, Ced. Charlie Hall (good friend of Dick’s and father of my childhood friend. He and his family always joined us for two weeks at our Island in New Hampshire every summer.) was unable to make the flying core on account of his eyes. He will probably rate Ensign in the Navy however.

One thing I have been intending to take up with all three of you is a request for blanket permission to open any mail coming here addressed to you. I take it that action will be O.K., but just for forms sake, I am mentioning it here now, my intention to do just that, unless I receive specific instructions to the contrary. I can then deposit any dividend checks to your account and use my discretion about forwarding any letters to you.

Dick has moved upstairs to Lad’s room. Today Dick asked Jean (Mortensen, his girlfriend and future wife)  over to spend the weekend – – one reason why Dick vacated the spare room for the attic. Mr. Eichner sent me some broilers for today’s dinner and with homemade ice cream, we had a regular Sunday dinner.

Lately I have been doing some advertising work for Milford Rivet, who are supplying the plane manufacturers with rivets. I went through their plant and found Dwight Brinsmaid (a neighbor) working there.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida.  

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad and Dan – Letters to Lad, Dan and Ced (1) – June 7, 1942

 

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Alfred Peabody Guion

Trumbull, Conn.,   June 7, 1942

Dear Lad:

Perhaps it is superfluous to mention it, but your note was very welcome indeed and was enjoyed by family and friends. You probably received my postal card. Here is a bit more detail. Friday Steve Kascak called me at the office and said he thought he had a purchaser for your car – – a man named Dow, who lives in Trumbull and works at Bridgeport Brass. He mentioned to Steve that he was looking for a Buick and Steve evidently succeeded in selling him on how careful you were about keeping the car in condition, etc. Steve brought him up to look at it in the barn, and of course it was locked up and they could not try it out. I told Steve you are asking $750 for it. Later Steve called me again and said he knew the man, believed him reliable and as he was willing to pay cash he thought perhaps you might be willing to lower the price a bit. Later that evening Mr. Dow called. I drove the car out of the barn (at least Dick did)  and after looking over the tires carefully he said he would paying me $650 cash the next night. I told him you had authorized me to accept not less than $700 as you had paid over $900 for it and the only thing I could do under the circumstances would be to get in touch with you and transmit his offer. He said he had no doubt as to its mechanical condition as Steve had assured him on that point. He said there was no rush when I offered to wire you, so I said I would be writing you today anyway and he said that would be O.K. Did you say anything to Steve about allowing him a commission if he made a sale? If not, do you think I ought to offer Steve anything and if so, how much? Steve is not the kind of person who would demand anything. He did say he thought if you could sell the car for a reasonable sum it would be wiser to get it now rather than hold out for a higher price sometime in the indefinite future. Perhaps we could take a chance on offering him $675, but if I made that offer I would want to stick to it and mean that or no sale. However, that is up to you and I shall do just what you say. Perhaps if you come home next week and we could let it rest until then, you could close the deal yourself. Dow says he doesn’t need the car until July.

A notification from the North End Bank arrived to the effect that the note for $615 was due June 5. I called the bank to tell them you had started working for Uncle Sam and on the salary you were being paid, it would be impossible for you to continue payments at the same rate. They told me they were on the point of getting in touch with you to tell you the government had just passed a new regulation that made it necessary for you to increase your payments in order that the loan might be paid back within the year limit that the government had set, and I told him I would stop in and talk the matter over with him. Of course, they’ve got us by the short hair because they have it fixed so that they will look to me to make good if you can’t.

And while we’re on this financial subject, there is some offsetting good news that helps but does not solve the matter. Mrs. Lee has refunded the $6.50 on your insurance and will have an additional rebate for us as soon as the car is disposed of and fire and theft insurance canceled. Also, Ced, in a letter just received, remits an additional $25 to be credited to you, and there is also a dividend check from Fairbanks Morse for $5. You received a bill from Carl for some 16 odd dollars which I have paid. Your watch hadn’t been finished when I called for it but I will get it next week and have it for you when you come home. I also have the photos finished up from Howland’s and these are also awaiting your homecoming.

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

Page 2   6/7/1942

Dear Dan:

Barbara showed us your letter in which you said you had been made a corporal, which of course is only the first step toward the rank of general – – the proper designation for a Guion. I bet I’m prouder of this acknowledgment of your ability than you are. And, by the way, Lad writes there is a possibility that he will be able to get home next weekend and will probably take the same train that you took arriving in Bridgeport somewhere about 10:30, so as his superior officer, you will probably demand the proper salute from him as you meet quite by chance on board the train enroute to Connecticut.

I have just received notice that your income tax payment, 2nd installment, is due, which of course I shall pay when the time comes. You mentioned the heat. It must have been pretty uncomfortable down your way for Lad writes: “Although it was hotter by 10° or 15° in Venezuela, I don’t think I was ever more uncomfortable, due to high humidity. Regardless of how little energy I use, even just using my brain, I perspire. It really is HOT. Yesterday, according to custom, we all here in Aberdeen had a review. We went out on the Parade Grounds in our best uniforms, cartridge belts and rifles, at 11:30 and were there until a few minutes after 1:00. It was hot out there too, and quite a number of the fellows passed out under the strain of standing at attention. However, I was not affected in the least.”

Dick says the battery in your car was shot so he bought a secondhand battery from Carl for $3, which I have paid. An interesting letter from Ced this week says he has been classified as 1-A 0, which he figures as meaning induction into the Army in the near future in non-combatant duty. He gives some other local news of people you probably know which you will probably read about when you get home next week, I hope, I hope, I hope. There will be some doubleheader of a celebration next week if both you laddies can get off together. Ced is getting to be a real sourdough. He is making his own bread. Now that is something even I have not attempted so I’ll have to resign in his favor when we can corral him in the old ranch once again.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter, written to Ced plus some general notes about friends and family.  

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Ced (1) – Birthday Greetings And A Tornado – May 31, 1942

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn.  May 31, 1942

Dear Ced:

In view of the fact that this is the eve of the day when you first opened your little peepers on this strange and naughty world, I am dedicating this opening paragraph to you. It so happens that we have with us on this occasion one known as your Aunt Elsie who desires to peck a few words.

FALSE ALARM. The above words were written about 7:30, at which time a tap was heard on the Alcove French door and Rufus Burnham, Louise and young David appeared en route from New Haven where they had been visiting Brad. After mixing up a few biscuits, tea and cheese, they ate a hasty supper and caught the 9 o’clock bus a few minutes ago to connect with a train that will take them all to the Grand Central, including Elsie, so the little round robin I had planned to vary the monotony of a “DAD” letter has flown back to its nest or wherever it is round robin’s fly to.

                                        Lilac Bush

As will be apparent to one of your perspicacity (that’s a $.25 word for you), Aunt Elsie has snatched a brief vacation over Memorial Day (or Decoration Day as it used to be known when I was a lad). Yesterday afternoon was pleasant but last night we were visited with a heavy thunder shower accompanied by big hailstones which reminded me of miniature bombs being dropped by nature’s luftwaffe, as they bumped and rattled on roof and windowsills. Apparently they did not do much damage to Iris and Rhododendrons, both of which are in bloom now, but today has been rather cloudy and generally overcast with occasional brief glimpses of the sun.

And while I think of it, Miss Babbitt in the Technology Room of the Bridgeport Public Library — a good friend of mine — tells me her cousin is Mr. Chandler Griggs, Chief Engineer of the Civil Aeronautics Administration at Anchorage, and wondered if you had happened to meet him. If not, she suggests you do so as he is a very delightful person.

We received on the 26th a very interesting letter from Lad which told in intimate detail just what happened in the process of induction to the U.S. Army from the time I said goodbye to him at the Derby Railroad Station to the time he mailed the letter. An excerpt from his letter is attached as part of a Report on the doings of you boys, prepared for family and friends. I am also enclosing a play which Uncle Ted mailed to me, which may cause a whimsical smile to adorn your countenance.

A recent letter from Grandma will be particularly interesting to you and Dan who met the Rex Peabody’s on your way west. She says: (quoting from Rex’s letter) “I know you will be interested to hear of a tornado which passed on a narrow path about 1 ½ miles west of us last Wednesday, May 13, at 3 PM. Serious damage occurred in Cumberland. The little house I built on the old Peabody farm is unharmed but the addition my sisters put on is slightly battered by wreckage from the barn. The big house has lost all three chimneys. The roof from the main part is gone, but there is still a roof over the East part and over the north addition. Kenneth and family have moved into the other house. The barn and granary are scattered from where they stood to the road north. A few pieces are even north of the cemetery. The foundation still stands and the stanchions are in place. While there was no loss of life, one girl from a home north of here is not expected to live.”

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter, on Wednesday, Lad’s letter and Grandpa’s “Occasional Report of the Guion Family as of May 31, 1942”.  On Thursday and Friday, a long letter from Grandpa

Judy Guion 

Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida (12) – Tests, Projects and Lilacs – April 16, 1935

My Grandmother died when my Dad was nineteen and her youngest, Dave, was only seven. Biss was fourteen, a terrible age to lose her Mother, and she didn’t take it well. She acted out and my Grandpa and Arla’s sisters thought it would help Biss if she went to St Petersburg and lived with Aunt Anne, also helping Anne, a single parent,  with her two children, Don and Gwen. She tries very hard to write to her Dad every week, sometimes more often, and he writes to her every week.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Tuesday morning

11:26 AM

4/16/35

Dear Dad:

I better explain first about the letter you just received (yesterday or today). You see I was getting sort of worried about my allowance. I just stated that I would write to you whether you did to me or not and so I did. I did not send the letter until after I had read yours but I figured that I might just as well send it anyway for it was all sealed and ready to go. The bell has rung so I will finish this later.

It is just after lunch period now and my history teacher has disappeared so I am taking time to write a little bit further. I am going to a play with Bill tonight and do not expect to take a vacation tomorrow as I had planned, but Friday instead. There was a boy in this history class who drew a picture of President Roosevelt which looks more like him than he does himself. Ralph – the painter – is going to send it to President Roosevelt in a week or two so you see our history class is quite “fed up” about it and we look at the world as though they were trash.

We had a geometry test yesterday and it was quite stiff but I think I passed it. I’ll let you know when I get my paper back today. My daily use of the King’s English has become quite careless and I am trying to work myself back to a high standard – Aunt Anne is helping me immensely. We are starting a contest here in history so I have to stop.

I am now in geometry and there is such a commotion that I cannot hear myself think. There is going to be a school exhibit and I am making a project for French and also for geometry so I am quite a busy child which is quite unusual for me. In English we had to write some informal letters – I wrote one to Dan and I am going to send it on up to him. Am glad Alfred’s party was such a big success. It reminds me of my birthday party about five years ago – as I remember it. We did not get our papers back so I cannot give you my mark. We’re going to have a departmental test day after tomorrow – I don’t mind them especially. I like writing these letters like this for it makes the day go so much faster. At last we can have peace to do what we like! I’m in sixth period study – I suppose that has become a familiar phrase. How do you like Peggy’s Westport friends? I imagine they are a very nice bunch. We are all gradually becoming very dark because we go out to the beach at least once a week and the sun is very hot! I don’t see how it can be done but if you can figure out a way I would love to have some lilacs when they come out.

Love,

Biss

P.S. Is this a quick enough answer to your letter?

Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in May of 1942. Dan is already in the Army and Lad is joining him to help Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion