This appears to be a temporary Driver’s License issued on June 20, 1940, to my Father, Alfred P. Guion, at Estado Anzoategui (perhaps County?). The letter is dated August 1, 1940
Partial translation: “Temporary permit for driver of Motor Vehicles. That this Sub-Inspectorate grants to the citizen Alfred P. G(u)ion, older than 26 years of age, of North American nationality, to drive motor vehicles. having consigned from this office A PERMIT EXPIRED BY SIX MONTHS, to request the final title.”
This seems to be a very detailed document of identification including his name, nationality, date of birth, gender, profession, religion, political affiliation, physical description, name of his father and mother, to pictures, current residence in the U.S., a fingerprint, and his employer, among other things.
Tomorrow and Sunday, the last two posts of the Early Years, the Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion.
A one-page but interesting letter from Lad, which, also, I hope will be amplified in his next, recounts the highlights of an eight day trip to Caracas by plane, in which he saw his dentist, had dinner and a pleasant evening with Mr. O’Connor, did some shopping, saw some movies, went to clubs and dances with friends, and in his own way painted the town a Spanish red, with the assistance of Martin Williams. His camera was stolen at Pariaguan, but nothing daunted, in true Yankee spirit, he just went out and got another — even better than his first. Apparently he did not get the matter of the tools settled as Max is back in U.S.A.
We had another large town meeting Thursday and at last Sexton won out on the audit. The level-heads lost out to the crack-pots by a vote of 176 to 204, and $6000 of the taxpayers money will be spent to satisfy a personal grudge. This is a hell of an age in which we are living.
Aunt Anne and the children left for Vermont Monday. She has informed Fred that, new wife or not, he owes it to the children to give them the vacation he promised them on the lake, and while he had not definitely told her, up to the time she left Trumbull, when he wanted them to arrive “for a week’s visit” and which she told him it had to be considerably longer than that, she decided to get them up there anyway and at the same time make arrangements for Gweneth to hire the same riding horse she had last year, of which she is very fond and which there was a chance she would not be able to obtain, as Carol had told Gweneth that the Kemper Peabody’s were renting a cottage on the lake for the summer and Carol was to have said horse. Methinks I can see storm clouds in the offing.
Yesterday afternoon I spent having the boys move out the old Waverley (Electric car) into the former chicken coop and cleaning and sweeping the barn out, removing the accumulated dirt of more than a year, if I am not mistaken. The next cleaning job is the cellar.
Dan’s checks From the Highway Department and Lad’s regular monthly check from Socony arrived and are deposited. They helped me to meet the semi-annual payment of interest on the mortgage due July 1st, which will be replaced, of course. The new tax schedule is now operative and hereafter one quarter of the annual tax will be due and payable every three months, starting August 1st.
Dave is quite happy because he just got over the passing mark with an average of 76 1/2, although he flunked in Latin and Algebra and will probably have to go five years. However he does not have to go back to Whittier (High School in Bridgeport) which was what was worrying him most of all.
Well, there is some hope for the future now that Willkie is nominated, and it certainly makes me feel a lot better. As you know he very definitely was my choice from the beginning. Now if Franklin will leave the wreckage and gracefully retire, maybe something can be saved for posterity. I shall end on this note of optimism.
Tomorrow, you will finally get a look at the letter and booklet I have been telling you about all week.
This is the second page of Grandpa’s letter I began posting yesterday.
I have your photos all nicely mounted now in an album and showed them the other day to your lady friend in the cleaners. I also told George Knapp about them and he was so interested and likes you so much that I promised to let him have them to look over also.
Biss (Elizabeth) and Butch (Raymond Zabel, Jr.) in 1940
The baby (Butch, Biss’s first son) is crawling around quite actively now and Elizabeth has to watch her step so that she will not step on him. Zeke was sitting in his living room the other day when he saw a rat poke its head up through a hole in the floor in the doorway leading into the kitchenette. He went upstairs and got his .22 revolver and when friend rat poked his head up again, he drilled him clean through with one shot. Exit another public enemy.
It has been quite cool here the last few days – so much so that on the first day of summer a fire in the alcove was very welcome and a comforter on my bed at night was necessary. The days have been sunshiny and it has been pleasant in the sun.
And now for a letter to Pooh and Piglet.
Dear Rover boys:
You can read Lad’s letter, as I don’t think he will object.
The last postal I got from you arrived Saturday PM and was postmarked Rapid City, June 19th, 9 PM. I expect tomorrow I shall get your message from Yellowstone. You didn’t mention getting the card I sent to you care of Kenneth Peabody, so I don’t suppose it got there on time. I have mailed other letters which you may or may not get. One of them contained a testimonial from William G Davis, First Selectman, of the town of Trumbull, certifying as to your good character, etc., which I thought you might need if you find you were traveling through British Columbia. Enclosed is another of the same kind from Mr. Bollman.
Aunt Anne (Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s sister) tells me that Fred (Stanley, her ex-husband and father of Gweneth and Donald) was married again on June 8th in Burlington and went to Montréal on his honeymoon. She was a miss Fischer, of German descent, about 28 years of age and was formerly employed in New York City. Dorothy knows her slightly and likes her.
I asked Anne why she did not marry again, to which she replied, “A burnt child avoids the fire”.
Howard Stanley (he is the older of the two boys, has just received his MD degree and will start his internship in a Worcester hospital. Robert, the other brother, is much interested in aviation. Don (Stanley, Aunt Anne’s son and about Dave’s age), his mother tells me, is interested in taking up surgery as a profession.
Roger Bachelder has been transferred at his request to a Veteran’s Home. Where I do not know. May is the editor of a local women’s club publication in Larchmont. Austin goes to Cornell and is much interested in the course in hotel management which he is taking there. (Roger Batchelder was a friend and neighbor of Grandpa’s when they lived in Larchmont, NY. I’m guessing May and Austin are his children, whom the boys would have known.)
Enclosed are a few newspaper clippings just to give you something to read while you were speeding along en route to Alaska.
Aunt Anne does not know what your plans for the summer will be. She is waiting to hear from Fred who will perhaps take the two children for the summer now that he has a house of his own. Of course the children will enjoy it and Anne is waiting to hear from Fred.
And that’s all the news for now, except Dan, that I have shown Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) the postals, as you requested.
Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll post another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, a rather official-looking letter and booklet, all written in Spanish, dated June 20, 1940. It appears to be some sort of official identity document or permission, perhaps to work on vehicles, I’m really not sure.
Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) when in Caracas, Venezuela
R-81 June 23. 1940
No letter from you this week either, but I assume it is the mail and not you that is to blame. Perhaps I’ll have a letter tomorrow.
This past week naturally has been concerned principally with following the progress of the boys – – that is so much more wholesome than listening to unvarying disheartening news from abroad. They have sent postals every day although I have not been receiving them so regularly. Following is a resume of their progress to date as revealed by their dispatches.
1st day – June 13th – 459 miles to Kane, Pa., – About as far west as Buffalo and about two thirds of the way to Cleveland. I suppose they slept out as they mentioned mosquitoes.
2nd day – June 14th – Got an early start at 5:30 AM, near Ohio State line had the first flat. Arrived at Draz’s about noon and stayed there overnight.
3rd day –June 15th – Left Cleveland at 10 AM, skirting Chicago and slept in a grain field somewhere near the Wisconsin line.
4th day –June 16th – Off at 7:15 (Sunday) had breakfast at Madison. Arrived at Star Prairie where mother was born and were Kenneth Peabody lives, in the afternoon and stayed there all night.
5th day – June 17th – Arrived at St. Paul about noon and visited relatives there. Stayed overnight at Uncle Frank’s. Averaging 50 to 60 m.p.h.
6th day –June 18– Left St. Paul 9:30 AM and traveled until 11:30 PM, postal card stamped 6 PM, mailed it at Wolsey, S.D. slept in sight of Badlands. Are heading for Yellowstone.
7th day –June 19th – At 11 AM had a flat near Waste, S.D. and will probably reach Rapid City early in the afternoon.
They might reach Sheridan, Wyom. by dark. I figure that Thursday they will make the 170 miles easily to Yellowstone and will undoubtedly spend the night there and possibly all day Friday. The next day they should make Missoula, the day following Spokane and the next, Seattle. I’ll let you know next week how wide I have come of the mark.
Tuesday Aunt Anne called up and asked if she and the two children and Boots could pay us a visit. Of course I said yes and they have been here since. Yesterday afternoon and this morning I got them all working. Anne got the dinner, Gwen did a little light cleaning and the three boys (Dick, Dave and Don Stanley) helped me take down and put back the laundry tubs while I repaired the plumbing. Ced had brought home from Tilo some old tar that had overflowed and they were scrapping. We heated this up and poured it over the holes in the driveway that I had filled with stones. I hope it works. I am tired and dirty but with the satisfied feeling of accomplishment. This afternoon after dinner Dave and Donnie went up to Plumb’s to play tennis.
There are some rumors around about people who are suspected, wrongly or not, of “fifth column” activities. There are two people in Nichols who are the subject of a whispering campaign and my friend Eichner is also said to be involved. The payoff however is that the people of Trumbull are not in favor of the views held by Mr. Bollman and the talk is that they are going to reduce his salary in an effort to discourage him into leaving. I don’t know how much truth there is in this and I am not passing it on to anyone, even here in the family.
Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter. On Wednesday and Thursday, another letter from Grandpa to “My sons, everywhere”. On Friday, an Official-looking document date June 20, 1940, having something to do with the Camp at Anzoategui.
After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.
Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings.
These are the memories of Cedric Duryee Guion, Grandma and Grandpa’s third child and third son.
Cedric Duryee Guion
I am one of those who brag about the fact that I’ve been driving cars since I was about ten years old. I got my license – my mother died on June 29th and on June 1st, that same year, I turned sixteen. I think I got my license on the 2nd. At that time I had driven quite a few miles with a driver next to me – quite a few miles without, and much more off road then on. I used to drive on that road along the cemetery. When they put the cemetery in, there was about a 4 foot drop to the road. At the very end of it, the drop-off was less and you could turn a car around where it was shallow and come back about halfway on the ledge to the gate. We had a 1927 Packard Touring car. I guess this was when Lad was working at Wells Garage and he was making a little money there. He saw 1929 Packard Touring car – it was a beauty – and he asked my dad if he could trade in the old Packard and my dad told him, “OK”. We didn’t like that because that was his (Lad’s) car. Well anyway, I had the car. This one day I drove up that road, I guess I didn’t have my license yet, I’m not sure. I was trying to turn around up there and I didn’t have enough room. I got the front wheel over the bank. When it went over the bank, it lifted the back end of the car on the right side. Oh, no, I thought, it was about a foot lower than the other end. “Oh, brother, so this is it.” I don’t remember how I got it off the bank; maybe I used a jack and pried it over. I couldn’t go back and I knew I had to get it the rest of the way over. I finally got it over the hill and onto the road.
Lad worked at the Well’s Garage, the Well’s Bus Line. He was their Maintenance man for years. Later he ran two different gas stations in town. The first was the Mobile Station, next to Kurtz’s Store. The second was the Atlantic Station after it opened.
We had an old Waverley electric car in the barn. Dick, poor Dick, got all excited about the war effort. He thought, “Well gee, here’s this old junk and it’s pretty well shot.” The Fire Department was looking for scrap metal. Dick was very patriotic and he thought he’d give them the Waverley, and at the same time, help the war effort.
We still have a series of pictures of the old Waverley in the backyard. Rusty and some of his friends, my mother and my aunts, all dressed up in these beautiful costumes from the 1800’s that were in good condition in the attic. They all dressed up in these clothes we took pictures of them in the Waverley. Rusty pretended to be the groom and Aunt Dorothy was the bride. Rusty had this stovepipe hat on and all the ladies were all dressed up. Of course, the Waverley didn’t have any tires on it but it looked nice.
Tomorrow, more of the Early Years as we continue with the Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion.
Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)
Trumbull, Conn. April 30, 1944
Save a little verse from Marian (about which more later) this is the second week that has passed without hearing a word from any of my five absentees. Now, I ask you, how can I quote from letters received if there are no letters received?
Last week about the time I was appending a little verse to my letter to you boys, Marian was indicting a little verse to me, to wit::
In the letter we received last week
there was a certain reference,
made to the fact that we had shown
a very distinct preference!
We didn’t know – (we’ve been away
from Trumbull quite a spell.)
That Dad had reached the well-known stage
that even “best friends won’t tell”!
He seems to think that a sweet sachet
will help his cause a bit.
But frankly, Dad, we think you’ll find
that there is something you forgot !
So we are sending with this note
the things we think you need,
we know your friends will all return
if only you take heed.
And use a little every day
of each and every one.
With best regards from daughter-in-law
and ever loving son.
To which the following the reply is respect fully submitted:
That’s done it. Now the lid is off.
Aunt Betty and Jean know
The reason you sent them sachet –
You think they have B.O.
And by the selfsame reasoning
The hanky, I should say
Implies they both have fevers
That flaunt the name of “hay”.
Another thing — the envelope
By Marian duly panned
Says: from “T/3 A. Guion”
As if these words would lend
An aura of great probity
And in advance, defend
Our Marian from the wrath to come
By blaming “friend husband.”
However, judgment is reserved
In my case, till receipt
Of alleged package, now en route,
I must, without deceit
Admit, as one thing not forgot —
The height of all my joys
In having safe at home again
Not friends, but all my boys.
And now this bit of doggeral
Should meet a timely end
And what more fitting that it be
The vehicle to send
To Marian, and to “T/3 (who
We best know here as “Lad”)
In spite of all we’ve said — our best.
Aunt Betty, Jean and Dad.
Now a quick glance at the meager home news of the week. Art Mantle is home. His nerves seemed to be a bit shot but otherwise is O.K. He has 30 days leave. I have not seen him yet. Biss, her two kids, Aunt Betty and yours truly went to see “Snow White” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_White_%28Disney%29 ) yesterday.
Since eight o’clock this morning I have been as busy as the proverbial bee, clearing the back flower bed of stones, dumping several loads of raked up leaves, putting tar on the laundry roof where it leaks, replacing numbers on storm sashes to match frames where they had come off, cleaning out the furnace, besides getting dinner, etc.
We have as our guest Jean’s friend, Ann, from New Hampshire. Early yesterday morning they left for New York to paint the town red, stay overnight at a hotel and come home, sometime.
A letter from Barbara (Plumb) “somewhere in Italy” says: “I am well — gaining weight at a rate I don’t like to think about — enjoying everything I’m seeing and experiencing so very much. Overseas WACS, from all reports, are doing their jobs well. I saw Col. Hobby in North Africa and she certainly is absolutely charming — completely a woman. I’d never seen her before and didn’t know quite what to expect.”
My strenuous day in the outdoors, while but child’s play for you youngsters in the pink of condition, has made my bones a bit weary, do let’s call it a day, and hope the mailman will give me some quotable material for next week’s screed.
Tomorrow and Sunday, we return to the Early Years with Memories of Cedric Duryee Guion.
Cedric Duryee Guion
April 27, 1944
Here we come to the unpleasant matter of Lloyd E Jensen and C Heurlin. What can I say about it? What can I do about it? I ordered them before Xmas and he has just gotten around to making them for me. Pictures this size will be my best sales for the next year over this way and I got six frames in only too insignificant a number with which to carry on, however, invaluable for showing pictures and if I can see them without the frames.
On leaving Anchorage I went out with a clean slate but for a balance of $25 to George Rengard and what I.O.U. I spent $300 in getting straightened out. Sure wish I could have taken care of bill to you but felt I could leave it to the more graceful going away if I squared up with merchants in Anchorage. If you still have faith in this old bum and are able to do something about getting frames for me – send Jensen a money order right away and in it a note to have him ship frames to you. Better use typewriter for that stubborn dumbkoff –
“Kindly ship Mr. Heurlin’s frames to me as soon as possible. He is in the Arctic and has left many pictures with me to frame. I cannot dispose of these paintings for him until they are framed so will greatly appreciate receiving them from you on next boat north.
I have given you a lot of headaches in the past – this to do and that to do and you never have asked a thing of me. Well, hope you don’t sigh too heavily over this. I have to make close to $1000 in a short time before I go up north. But once there with a year’s grubstake with me, I will start going ahead and with plenty of speed to clear up any debts with you. I have hated like hell to ask another favor of you, but boy! If you could possibly take care of it I will make sure of one thing in the days to come and that will be to see that you come out on top for this last big favor.
I will make arrangements with Gordon McKenzie to pick up these frames from you and get them to me with his careful handling.
Now to take care of one last piece of business and then to hit the sleeping bag.
Tomorrow, Grandpa’s reply to Marian’s ribbing.
Trumbull, Conn., April 23, 1944
We open our vaudeville show this evening with a little sketch:
Tme – 1946
Scene: a comfortable little home furnished in green.
Characters: Mrs. Marian Guion and little Alfred, Junior
“Mama, why do I jiggle so,
from my toes to my solar plexus?
Hush, child, your father long ago
Rode a Jeep in the heart of Texas.”
(The absolutely amazing thing is that this was written in 1944 and in the middle of 1946, June 28th, Marian did give birth to little Alfred (Douglas Alfred, not Alfred, Jr. ) but the biggest surprise to all, including Marian, was that she also gave birth to a daughter, ME (Judith Anne Guion), on the same day. He was right about little Alfred but I fooled them all !)
Next, we introduce our educated dog, Smoky. Step this way, ladies and gentlemen, and see the dog who follows the progress of the war and also correctly pronounces Polish. “Smoky, what Polish city will the red Army capture next?”
Smoky: “Lwow, Lwow.”
We are sorry to announce that the great magician, Señor Guionne, having mislaid his wand, was not able to produce any rabbits out of his hat, to say nothing of his inability all this week to produce any letters from his five absent sons out of PO Box 7 during the entire week just past. He hopes to find his wand very soon now, maybe tomorrow ???
So much for nonsense. Art Mantle is due home very soon from the Pacific theater for a month’s furlough. With practically all of his former pals in the war, I am wondering what he will find to do? Paul (Warden, the tenant) came back home Tuesday for a week’s rest before he goes back to find what the Navy is planning for him to do next.
None of the N.Y. Peabodys were able to get up to Elizabeth’s last week, so just the Trumbull bunch served as extras. Not much in the way of local news to report.
Weather has been cloudy and raining all week. In spite of that fact I did manage to get the back yard looking as if Dan was home, but there’s still much to do on sides and front.
Jean (Mortensen Guion, (Mrs. Dick)
Through Jean’s (Mrs. Dick Guion) courtesy, I am privileged to quote from one of Dick’s recent letters (Dick is stationed in Brazil and working as a liaison for the local workers on the base.): “I’m still making out per diem for transient plane crews. The Post Commander’s Adjutant came into the office the other day and remarked that the finance department has told him that I was doing very well — turning out more work then anyone else who had been on the job. However, I’m still a lowly T/5. I’m supposed to have from noon to 1:30 for lunch but if there are a lot of men waiting for per diem, I only take 20 or 25 minutes and several times I have worked 2 1/2 to 3 hours overtime at night. Most of them appreciate what I can do for them. That helps.
Richard Peabody Guion (Dick)
Incidentally, you are now the wife of a horse trader, extraordinary. Maybe I shouldn’t say horse trader, but the proud possessor of a beautiful 129 bouncing horse. Accent on the bouncing. But that’s not all. He is also the rightful owner of the Adjacento Riding Academy, with 2 1/2 horses to the credit. Another soldier owns half of one of the horses. (He owns the half that eats. He has to feed his half. Need I go further?) Oh, well, there’s nothing like a little manual labor at the end of a shovel to give one an appetite (Note by editor: I thought you said that was a one horse town you were in?) I plan to rent the horses to the transients at $.50 to a dollar an hour. So far I have spent $57 for horseflesh and $18.25 for feed and care. Now all they have to do is ship me home before I can hock the transients for $75.25.”
Maybe my muse will supply more inspiration next week. Or it might be that one of you will substitute for the muse. Anyway, cheerio for now.
Tomorrow we have another letter from Rusty to Ced and we finish the week with Grandpa’s response to Marian’s little ribbing.