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).
WHY DRAG IN THE FAMILY
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.
“A Notable Wedding”
NEW YEAR’S DAY 1957 MAKES FAMILY HISTORY
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.
DAVE REVIVES A LOST HOPE
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.
NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND CALLS
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!
S O S FROM WINTER QUARTERS
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.
TRUMBULL SUMMER THEATRE NOTE
Due to popular demand, “Life with Father” has been booked for another full year’s run – (God Willing).
DEEPENING FAMILY ROOTS IN CONNECTICUT
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.
BLOOD TRANSFUSION FROM OVERSEAS
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”.
MY PIONEER DAUGHTER
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.
SPECIAL TO “LIFE”
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.
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM EDITOR IN CHIEF
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.