This week I will be posting two letters from Grandpa containing all sorts of family news.
Trumbull, Conn., October 14, 1945
Dear XXX (supply your own name here)
Lad and Marian Guion, 1945
My thoughts this Sunday are errant ones, or to speak brutally, I am scatter-brained tonight and it’s too bad, too, because I must rely on myself and cannot resort to quotes to make the letter appear interesting. So here goes and if my topics appear like the nimble mountain goat that it jumpeth from crag to crag, just put it down to the turmoil of thought incident to the rapid coming and going of soldier boys, here today and gone tomorrow. Lad, for instance, who leaves Wednesday night for Devens (Ft. Devens in Massachusetts), driven thereto by Marian (physically, not mentally), presumably for transshipment to Aberdeen, (Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland, where he started his training over three years ago) following a 15-day extension of his original 30-day furlough. Marian returns alone, which translated in Guionese means that he has actually departed for Aberdeen. But lo, and behold, as his train passes Bridgeport, off he hops for another visit home, because Army orders read he does not need to report definitely to Aberdeen until tomorrow. So off he goes again this afternoon, to return – – – (write your own ticket.)
Jean (Mortensen) Guion and Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion
Meantime, we’re getting used to seeing Dick around again, and between Lad and Dick, there are a number of things around the house here that are getting done on rapid order, that have been vying for “doing” for some years. The furnace Stoker regulated, the oven control on the kitchen (electric) stove fixed, the north slide on the kitchen table fixed, arm on the small maple chair in the alcove (the latter two by Dick), and in course of building a moth proof closet in the attic (also I Dick). Lad has also done a number of other mechanical repair jobs and both boys have helped sawing and chopping wood, etc. By the way, did I tell you that, in a small size windstorm the other day, another great branch or section of the north side of the Maple tree in the back of the house, split off about opposite where the other part fell off on the apartment roof, which leaves this particular tree, which I always admired for its symmetrical shape, looking rather anemic. But to ramble on, I’ve just had my car fixed up with new clutch, body bolts tightened, new muffler pipe, shock absorbers refilled, rubber bumper block installed, etc., so that it runs better than it has lately. How’s your Buick, Ced? I haven’t heard you say lately; in fact, I haven’t heard much from you about anything. Careful now, or I’ll begin to get up pressure again and explode right in P.O. Box 822, (and a few days after following usual custom, get a most contrite letter from you acknowledging that you should have written before, etc.). It’s about time also I heard again for Parisian Dan. Dave writes pretty regularly although I didn’t hear from him last week.
Jumping now to the island proposition, which is the next thing that pops into my wondering mind, I am eagerly awaiting comments on the numerous questions I raised in my last letter and your several suggestions on the whole business. I know Lad and Marian have something in the works and Dick and Jean have something in contemplation. Elizabeth has not referred to the matter on the one or two occasions I have been in touch with her since, so I don’t know how enthusiastic she is about the thing. What do you think of the idea of planting, at some suitable spots on the island, a cherry tree, maybe some nut trees, fruit trees (apple, peach, pear, plum) possibly some grapevines, and how about an asparagus patch?
Aunt Betty Duryee
It was Aunt Betty’s birthday Thursday, and as that was our regular day for visiting Elizabeth, Dick and Jean also came over (Lad and Marian were enroute to Devens) we celebrated over there. And speaking of birthdays, one is coming up pretty soon for Dan. And in that connection, Dan, I neglected to mention in my last letter that a week ago Tuesday, I did receive your birth certificate from Mount Vernon with its assurance that you actually had been born, and this was sent on the same day to the government office requesting it at Philadelphia.
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I hope it speeds you both on your way back to the good old U.S.A. in fact, it would be the occasion of quite a celebration if we could commemorate your birthday by having you here in person. By the way, the old Chevy, which has been down in Steve’s Kascak’s Garage) derelict car graveyard for so long, has now been retrieved and after an hour and a half of waiting and red tape, I was able to get it registered again in Dan’s name and now Dick and Jean have a car (?) to run around in. Rumor has it that a week from next Saturday, they plan to take a trip up to the island and give it the once over. And while I’m still talking to Dan, I might mention that the Railway express, I believe, has announced the resumption of air express service to France, so that we may be able to send the things for the Rabet’s (The family that has allowed Paulette to stay there while Dan was working in the area) by air as soon as all finally arrive from Sears, Roebuck; that is, of course, if I hear from you promptly instructing me to send them by this channel rather than the regular overseas box method to you. It will, of course, be more expensive but quicker. Another thing I am hoping to hear from you about by tomorrow, which is supposed to be the last day Christmas packages can be sent to boys overseas, is what your latest plans are, if any, for a return here by that time, so we can know what to do regarding gifts for you and Paulette. And please, be so kind and considerate as to send us a list of things both of you would like to have us send you from the states for Christmas gifts. Then I should like to have Paulette begin to think about a suitable wedding gift from Dad. Marian’s and Lad’s (he’s of course delighted with it) is a Singer sewing machine; Jean and Dick may also decide on the sewing machine but they want first to settle their future plans more definitely before deciding. I should prefer, naturally, to have it some sort of gift that will last a long time, that no one else would be apt to give, the cost to be at least $100. Give it some thought, Paulette, my dear, and don’t be too bashful about expressing your thoughts.
David Peabody Guion
Now turning to Dave. That was quite a little blow out they had back in your old camping place, wasn’t it? I was certainly glad you were in Manila. In the Readers Digest for last May, which I just got around to reading the other day, I ran across the enclosed article on “Stop, Look and Listen! Before Starting Your Own Business”, and I agree so whole-heartedly with everything he says in it that I am sending it on to you for careful consideration.
Cedric Duryee Guion
Ced, me heartie, I received through the mail this week a book by Thurber from Alaska, which looks to me like very good bedtime reading and I assume it comes from my tall Alaskan lad. As mentioned previously, I am waiting to hear from you that I am right in this, as well as to be brought up to date on your airplane news, your doings in general, ski club, Rusty Huerlin), Buick, airways news, future plans, etc., and later when you have time, your complete reaction on the island affair.
And that’s about all I can think of at present outside of the fact that Barbara Lee Rubsamen’s engagement is announced in the paper today. The man’s name is S. C. Whiteside, Jr., of Old Greenwich, Conn.
So, the 16th of October passes into the great past and we look forward to the atomic future (and Dan’s birthday), with I hope, some new and interesting news next writing from your reporter, who subscribes himself as
Your loving DAD
For the rest of the week, I will post another long (5-page) letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.