Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1957 – LIFE… ANNUAL REVIEW


This particular Christmas Card describes the lives and important events occurring during this remarkable year. It ends with a special holiday greeting from the EDITOR (Grandpa).

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When one reaches, as Washington Irving phrases it, “that happy age when one can be idle with impunity”, he sometimes falls into a philosophical mood and admits that the individual he has now become is the combined result of certain outstanding past experiences, plus the personal impact of sundry friends – – (and you are one of these or you wouldn’t be getting this card). Perhaps the strongest continuing influence has been that of his own immediate family; so that in large measure this annual reaffirmation of goodwill toward those for whom one feels a special tie of affection, becomes in effect a FAMILY greeting. That is why, in the following pages, we include some at the jurors “in outer space” of other members of the family.



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“A Notable Wedding”


Gradually, over the years, I have had the satisfactory experience of seeing one after the other of my children happily married – – had that is, in the case of, all, except Ced. But why that one exception? Kind, generous, self-sacrificing Ced, liked by everyone and possessing all the ingredients making for a good husband and father in a happy home! Well, it’s an exception no more! At last his ideal dream-girl came along to complete the family marriage record and at the same time make his admiring father quite content with his new daughter, and just recently with his 15th grandchild. So this message to starts on its way significantly inspired by the counterpart of another December birth proclaimed by angels so many years ago.



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One of life’s deepest regrets was my financial inability, following the dire events of 1929 and the subsequent death of my wife, to provide college educations for my children. I had had to obtain my own the hard way over a three-year period through days and nights of alternate work and study. Circumstances deprived my children of even that opportunity except for short specialized courses undertaken by Lad and Dan. Aided by the moral encouragement and willing sacrifice of his help-mate, Dave’s University of Bridgeport diploma means almost as much to his father as it does to Dave and Ellie.



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Dick, along with all my other children, had always enjoyed the family’s annual summer trip to our little island camp on Lake Winnipesaukee; so after choosing his pretty Stratford bride (his father, as Justice of the Peace, tying the knot), and doing his stint for Uncle Sam in Brazil, they mutually decided to make New Hampshire their home. There, in an attractive old New England homestead which they bought and modernized, surrounded by generous acres of land, they are bringing up two of my wonderful little granddaughters. How hospitable they invariably are when, throughout the summer, other members of the family take advantage of their proximity to our island!



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Like the clown who said he enjoyed banging his head against a brick wall because it felt so good when he stopped, I enjoyed my winters stay in Florida, partly because it’s always so enjoyable to get back home in Trumbull with the family and especially the grandchildren. Naples, on Florida’s West Coast, is indeed a lovely place in which to spend the winter and I could be completely happy in this Golf coast Haven if I could transport all the Guion’s there too. As a matter of fact, I’d settle for even one of my six branches to share the Florida sunshine with me.


Due to popular demand, “Life with Father” has been booked for another full year’s run – (God Willing).


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Lad and Marian have solidly identified themselves with Trumbull life – – Lad with his service station here for a number of years, and Marian as a member of the Trumbull Board of Education and originator and dynamo of Trumbull’s only kindergarten school under Church auspices. Participation in church and community responsibilities, with concurrent devotion to the upbringing of four promising youngsters, goes hand-in-hand with the serene and happy home life – – a heritage which the youngsters will appreciate in the years to come even more than they do today. None of the family groups enjoy more the annual vacation visit to our Island, nor have any contributed more to its improvement.



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On both my mother’s and father’s side, family roots were deeply embedded in the soil of France before the Huguenots were driven from their native land. It took my second oldest son, Dan, following his Army service in Europe, to restore ancient land ties with the old world by choosing for himself a charming French bride and in measurably enriching the family’s future with five attractive and well behaved hostages to the Guion fortune. Keeping pace with food requirements for a family of seven, paired with their mother’s ability to keep the children neatly and tastefully dressed, leaves Dan with little leisure time. His earning ability fortunately meets the test as well as being able to supply their home with what Mark Twain terms “all the modern inconveniences”.



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The first of my children to embark on the sea of matrimony was my only daughter, Elizabeth. (Biss to the family.) She and Raymond Zabel (Zeke to us), one of Trumbull’s native sons, have not only established their own comfortable home in nearby Huntington, but also Pioneer in making possible the first college boy in the families current generation. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, Raymond, Junior., merits the admiration of his younger brother, Martin, and little sister Arla. Their mother, I am proud to say, embodies many of the endearing traits of her lovely mother, whom she grows to resemble more and more as the years go by.



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News From Outer Space

Stratford inhabitants were startled upon glancing over the front page items in the November 23 addition of their local paper to find news of Sputnik relegated to the inside pages and replaced by headlines announcing the arrival (a bit ahead of schedule) of ARTHUR CEDRIC GUION, weight 7 pounds and three and half ounces.

Aside from its effect upon population as a census figure, or from the financial aspect of an income tax exemption, the addition of this youngest member of staff marks him as the 15th of the younger generation of grandchildren. With such parents, a brilliant future is predicted for this young man.


If you have read between the lines in the foregoing pages you may perhaps have discerned an identifying the thread running throughout. “Behold”, say the psalmist, “how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.” Many times even in smaller families the years bring differences of opinion among its members. Those coming into the family circle through marriage sometimes are incompatible with other units, geographical distances weaken home ties, differing views over inheritances cause squabbles, until sometimes one’s neighbors or friends seem closer than blood relations. How fortunate I am in the unity and good fellowship that pervade among sons and daughters, spreading its peaceful warmth over their Dad’s Indian summer. May this same spirit of peace and goodwill shine through this Christmas greeting to you from all of us Guion’s, and particularly the

. . . .EDITOR. . . .

Tomorrow, a Christmas card based on a Special Showing of GUION’S MID-WINTER FLOWER SHOW, with each family represented by various flowers, the number of flowers depicted equal the members of the family. 

Tomorrow, another excerpt from the Diary and Journal of his Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis.

On Sunday, more on the lives of the Rev. Elijah Guion and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

Judy Guion




Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1953

Grandpa, being in the advertising business, used his very creative skills to produce a unique and personal Christmas card for many years.

I don’t know why there are two Christmas Cards that were dated 1953. It may be that one was for business associates and the other for personal friends, I’m not sure. 

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Tomorrow, more of the Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis.

On Sunday, I’ll continue the story of the Rev. Elijah Guion and his Wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Guion Christmas Card – 1947

Until Christmas Day I’ll be posting various Christmas cards that Grandpa sent to his friends near and far.. On Saturdays, I’ll continue to post the Yoyage to California by John Jackson Lewis, and on Sunday, I’ll continue with My Ancestors.

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This is a composite photo of Grandpa’s entire family in 1947.

Top left is Ced (Cedric Duryee Guion)

Top right – Elizabeth (Bissie) (Guion) Zabel, Raymond Zabel Sr., below them – Butch  and Marty,

Middle left – Paulette holding Arla, Dan holding Cedric, Arla below them,

Middle Right –  Jean (Mortenson)  and Richard Guion,

Bottom Left – Marian (Irwin), Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion), below them, Doug, Judy and Greg,

Bottom Right – Eleanor (Kintop) and David Peabody Guion,

Bottom Center – Grandpa at his typewriter.

The message reads on the Left – The GUION “Family Tree”, Christmas, 1947, Trumbull, Conn.

The message on the right reads: From the “old root” himself up thru all the  branches, out to the newest, tiniest twigs, warmest greetings !


Special Picture # 340 – Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with Some of her Children



Arla Mary (Peabody Guion with Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad) – 1914

Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with Daniel Beck Guion – 1916

Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion and Richard Peabody Guion – 1922

Arla Mary Peabody Guion with her first five children – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss – 1921

Trumbull – Dear G.I. Joe – Local Bits and News From Dan – July 1, 1944

Trumbull House

Trumbull, Conn., July the oneth, 1944

Dear G.I. Joe:

A while ago I told you what a wonderful linguist Smoky was getting to be. He still is improving, lately he has shown interest in the doings of our Navy in the Pacific. I asked him recently if he could name one of the islands which had recently been bombed and without an instants hesitation, he replied “Yap, yap.” You see?

Darn it all, Dave has gone back to Missouri. It’s awfully good to see you boys when you come home but it’s darn hard to say goodbye again. One of those questions which no one will ever definitely solve is, “Which is harder, for the soldier to say goodbye after a furlough or for the home folks to have him go?” Jean made a good suggestion tonight. She said: Send each of them a telegram reading “come home at once stop supper is ready”.

I am going on a one-man strike tomorrow. Yes sir, I’ll defy all the bureaucrats in Washington and stay home from work. I worked Saturday afternoon at the office and then because I wasn’t feeling so chipper about Dave having left, and thinking of a movie he had recommended, I went to see, “Between Two Worlds”, back to the office, married two couples and did some more work. And by the way that movie is worth seeing. It’s a bit usual in concept and points some good morals without one ever knowing he is being uplifted. The gold digger actress, the selfish wife, the unselfish husband, the big businessman, the rough guy, the reporter, Mrs. Midget — all have their counterparts in people we have met. See it if you have the opportunity. (Thanks, Dave, for recommending it. Your judgment is good.)

And by the way, Dave, in cleaning up after you left, gathering up pieces of my auto tires, radio buttons, etc., we came across a pair of puttees and a necktie. I suppose you left them on purpose but if you change your mind let me know and I’ll send them on to Camp Crowder. To you, Lad, if you are back from the camel riding exploits in the desert, has gone by parcel post, insured, the camera, light gauge and a box of films. Let me know as soon as they arrive safely as otherwise your Uncle Sam will be owing me one hundred smackers.

Dear old Limey Dan has come through with another welcome letter. It was the only voice from the void this week, so it is doubly welcome. “This letter is primarily designed to allay any misgivings you might harbor about the new “robot plane” raids on southern England. Every indication shows that aside from their rather disconcerting erraticism, they are much less important than a plane-pilot-bomb raid. Of course the fact that they come during daylight hours makes it rather inconvenient, too. I have heard from Don Whitney who is in Calif. Also received a notice from the American Red Cross in N.Y. that Mrs. Dudley Sanford had given a blood donation in my honor! We are quite busy these days which is a much truer statement this time than it was if I ever said it before. There is plenty I should like to tell you but time and the censors frown held back my hand. It is permissible however to say I am well and highly impatient, now that the end of the war seems closer.”

And it might be as well to close on this hopeful note, particularly as no other items of interest present themselves for recording. So, be good boys, vote the straight Republican ticket.


Tomorrow, another excerpt from the Diary and Journal of John Jackson Lewis, written during his Voyage to California in 1851.

On Sunday, I’ll be posting more information about the Rev. Elijah Guion and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck and their early married life.

Next week I will post a few Special Pictures and then start posting the personal Christmas Cards Grandpa created over the years. I posted then two years ago but I believe they are interesting and they tell the story of the family, primarily after the letters end. I hope you enjoy them and will perhaps share them with friends.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear High School Graduate (2) – Lad and Marian Return to Old Stomping Grounds – June 25, 1944

                        Lad and Marian in Pomona, CA

Page 2    6/25/44

In the same mail there also arrived a copy of the London Daily Telegraph of June 7th which Dan thoughtfully sent with copies of the overseas “Stars and Stripes” of June 7th and 9th. Thank you, Dan. It was certainly good to know you were not part of one of the beachhead landing parties and while much of the tough fighting unquestionably lies ahead, your letter was a tonic which sent the blood coursing happily through my arteries. In my exuberance I even tried to do the English crossword puzzle on the back page of the Telegraph but was ignominiously defeated.

There is a note of cheer too in the letter Jean received from Dick: “I am due to leave Ft. Eliza sometime beginning July, but don’t know for where – 50/50 chance of going back to the States.”

Marian writes that she and Lad have returned at last to their old stomping grounds after all to brief visits to their respective in-laws. Marion says now all she needs is to meet the rest of the family in the same kind of pleasant surroundings. They had a very lovely visit with Larry and Marian. On the way west they had rain and even snow all the way to California. Lad has left for two weeks desert training under real war time conditions — gas attacks, blackout restrictions and living in Fox-holes. While at San Francisco they got together with Alta and Arnold. (I will take care of sending the camera and insurance matter. Dave was also grateful for the gas coupon. Knowing Ced, I am sure he doesn’t think you are neglectful but that you just didn’t get his package. Maybe it will turn up someday like the delayed one I sent you.)

Dick, thank you for the cigars. I like them better than the first lot you sent which while more costly, were not so mild as the last lot.

I am now waiting to hear from Alaska as to what Ced has set fire to next. After all the trouble and training I gave you children as to playing with fire, not to say spankings, and to think my third child has turned into a veritable firebug. If Ced ever gets into the Army they should put him in charge of a flamethrower.

Jean is worried about putting on weight. She is a veritable butter tub and we will soon all have to start calling her Fatty. Modesty deters me from mentioning the fact it must be the meals Aunt Betty and I are serving her. Instead of a perfect 36 she now makes straight for the Fashionable Stout Dept. at Read’s and even they have trouble finding 48s and 50s in these days of material shortages. When she reads this of course she will start pursuing me with a rolling pin, but I don’t care. I still can out run a fat woman.

The radio says tonight we have captured Cherbourg, Joe has started his drive from Vitabek to Berlin and another aircraft carrier has just been sunk in the Pacific, so I guess it’s all right for me to retire and let you boys carry on. I’ll be seein you.


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday, another installment in the Voyage to California of John Jackson Lewis from January to March, 1851.

On Sunday, we’ll pick up the story of Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck with her marriage to Rev. Elijah Guion. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear High School Graduate (1) – Dave’s Graduation and News From Dan – June 25, 1944

David Peabody Guion – (Dave)

Trumbull, Conn., June 25th, 1944

Dear High School Graduate:

There are certain recurring events in the life and progress of my children that serve as steppingstones, aside from birthdays — such as turning you over to the Shelton draft board, and, what I have immediately in mind, graduation. I saw the youngest of my sons receive his diploma last night and it brought back memories of that same occasion for each of you. As far as I can recollect, however, the whole affair as managed the other night at Bassick (High School in Bridgeport, CT) was arranged and conducted in a more satisfactory manner than any of the previous ones — and that opinion has nothing to do with the fact that Dave had any part in it. To be sure he was one of three, out of a total of 26 who had joined the Armed Forces, who was on hand to receive his diploma, and thereby caused a little special ceremony to be enacted. Most of these affairs are too long. This was not. There was no tedious reading of each name and waiting for that person to come forward to receive his parchment to the accompaniment of reiterated and tiresome applause. Each received his diploma in silence as they walked out. All names were printed on the program given to each of the audience. Speeches were not overlong. The whole affair, with a very satisfying aftertaste, was ended by 9:30. So Dave became the “last of the Mohicans”.

Dave got home much earlier than we expected him. He walked into my office Monday, his army uniform plastered to his body by a naughty shower that hit him walking from the station. He looks about the same, healthy but with no additional weight. He seems much interested in the Signal Corps work and hopes, but is not banking on it, of getting a chance at O.C.S. He goes back Tuesday. Red Sirene is also home on furlough and he too goes back Tuesday. Jean’s (Mortensen, Dick’s wife) married brother, in the Marines, is also on furlough and he too goes back Tuesday.

        Daniel Beck Guion – (Dan)

I don’t suppose any of you have had the experience of a 300-pound object resting on your chest, but perhaps you can imagine the relief when he gets off. In that case you may have somewhat of an idea how I felt when I received a V-mail letter from London dated June 6th, as follows: “Today the war seems much nearer to its conclusion than only yesterday. For so long have we been working towards this day that it began to seem that it would never really happen — that it was just a distant “certainty” which we all took for granted — but never quite visualized! This morning I heard the first “rumor” third-hand, by word-of-mouth, ‘Allied paratroops have landed in France’. But false reports had already been spread days ago, and a glance out of the window at the streets of London failed to reveal any abnormality. No church bells, no horns blowing, just the normal traffic — both vehicular and pedestrian. London was characteristically undisturbed on the surface, but by noon-time when I went out to eat, I found that the newspapers had been sold out immediately and the invasion was the predominant topic of discussion. At the Red Cross Club I listened to the radio over which the BBC was broadcasting recordings of the opening stages. Later in the evening the radio was the center of interest. Never have I seen so many of the boys so interested in a news- cast. I suppose each of us realizes how, by a stroke of fate, we might have been one of the men going into France on ‘D’ Day! I am on duty tonight which prevents my finding out how London is spending the evening but I suspect there will be little hilarity because most of the people have friends and relatives in the invasion armies. The fall of Rome created hardly a ripple of excitement, and the staid BBC announced that item in its regular laconic fashion. The newspapers permitted themselves rather large headlines, but certainly not in the manner you could call sensational. I believe today marks the great speeding of the tempo that will carry this degenerate martian symphony to a brief but perhaps terrible coda. Then – peace! and home! and a convalescent world turning toward the healing sun of hope.”