Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad Arrives In Flint, Michigan – December 8, 1942

This week I will be posting the final letters of 1942. Lad is in Flint, Michigan, receiving Advanced Training on Diesel Tank Engines. Dan might be able to get home for Christmas and Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, repairing airplanes for Woodley Aircraft.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion

APG - Flint, Michigan letter, Dec. 1942

Cpl. A.P. Guion

Ordnance School –

Flint Section

Armory, 1101 Lewis

Flint, Michigan

Dec. 8, 1942

Dear Dad: –

Arrived home (?) O.K., but, due to the fact that Flint is such a friendly town and so full of really pretty girls, this is the first time I’ve had a free moment. I should really be ashamed of myself for not taking time to write earlier, but I really have had such a good time, and so thoroughly enjoyed every moment that I can’t honestly say that I am. But I’ll try to be better in the future.

Well, here is the story. Left Aberdeen as scheduled on Wednesday at 1:30 P. M. and drove through plenty of snow and exceedingly high winds (practically a blizzard) over the Penna. Turnpike (Pennsylvania Turnpike) to Pittsburgh (Ohio). Due to snow and ice we had to drive with extreme caution, and got to Pitt. about 2:00 A. M. Stayed in Hotel Henery until about 11:30 Thurs. morn., and started again. Again no trouble and we made pretty good time despite snow and ice. We ate supper about 200 miles out of Flint and continued on. We got into Flint about 11:30 Thurs. eve. Couldn’t find a decent room so we stayed in a 3rd (?) Class Hotel and even at that, we really slept. Fri. noon went to the Armory (where we are staying) and discovered that if we checked in then we would have to stand (or rather sleep) an 11:00 (P.M.) bed check, so we went off to the “Y”. No room there but the girl at the desk (a really beautiful blonde) said that her mother had a room she was renting and that it was empty. We went up there and the room was fine. The best part was that she would not accept anything. We not only spent Fri. and Sat. nights there, but had a wonderful supper Sat. night and an invitation to a formal dance given for the men in the Service. It was rather exclusive and there we met Flint, Mich. And, boy, girls galore. And since that time I’ve had more fun than I have ever had in my life. And I really mean that. It is wonderful here. I’ve met more beautiful girls here than I ever thought existed. And everyone is very friendly. If we did not have to stay at the Armory, the stay here would not cost us a cent. In fact, we’ve turned down about six invitations for suppers, because we can’t make them, in four days. Next weekend is all accounted for and the following. And all kinds of dances – most of them for the better society. The “Y” girl, Elizabeth (Lee) Dehanne (Dutch) is of this set, and Vic Bredehoeft and I fitted in perfectly. Since then – WOW —-. I just can’t imagine anything better. More later.

Because the Armory wasn’t clean this morning, everyone has to be confined to quarters tonight, that’s how come this letter, since I had a date with a good-looking nurse, and the lights go out at 10:00 P. M. That’s seven minutes, and I still have to get into bed.

Therefore, adios —

Lad

***********************************************************

Since this is the last communication from Lad until a telegram informing Grandpa to send further mail to Camp Santa Anita, California, I’m posting his certificate of completion of the U. S. Army Mechanics Training, on December 26, 1942, in Flint, Michigan.

APG - GM Certificate, Flint, Michigan, Dec., 1942

Tomorrow, I will post a Christmas Card to Ced from the Larry Peabodys and I will be finishing out the week with letters written by Grandpa to his boys who will not be home for Christmas (Lad and Ced) and Dan, who might be able to make it. We’ll find out on Thursday and Friday with the last letter from 1942.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – R-85 (1) – Dear Lad – Heat Wave Across America – July 21, 1940

Lad - Anzoategui Camp -Jan., 1940 (2) Lad's bureau and desk

Lad’s bureau and desk at a camp in Venezuela

A cartoon sent to Lad with a quick note: “Lad, this is July 21.The last letter I received from you was dated June 24th. Dad”  (Notice Lad’s face glued on to the male character)

R-85

Trumbull, Conn. July 21, 1940

Dear Lad:

There is a rumor that Dave just brought in that Cecelia (Mullins – also referred to as Babe,  Lad’s girlfriend ) has had another crack up. No details, only that Charlie Hall (neighbor and friend of the boys, but especially Dick) saw her car smashed up in a repair shop. She may furnish you with details. Mr. Mullins, (owner of the local Funeral parlor) I understand, is going to erect a new two-story modern building at the corner of Main and Golden Hill adjoining his present location, but evidently from a paragraph I noticed in the newspaper there is some legal trouble on the thing because Morris Shumofsky, the Bamby Bread owner, is suing the bank, from whom Mr. Mullins bought the property, because they sold the lot to Mullins after Shumofsky had offered a higher price for it.

The last two days have been scorchers as far as heat is concerned. In fact I just listened to a radio report that a heat wave was general throughout the United States. It is hot and humid right now at 4:30 PM although there is a nice breeze stirring and is not really uncomfortable in the house. Poor old Mack seems to feel it as much as anyone.

Enclosed is an article appearing in Bridgeport Life based on an interview their reporter had with Dan at my suggestion. It seems quite interesting to me, but of course, being the father, I am apt to be a bit prejudiced. You need not return it as I obtained several copies. Besides, sending one to Dan who has not himself seen it yet, I thought I would also send one to Ted. (Uncle Ted Human, who hired Lad and Dan for the job in Venezuela)

There is really very little news this week regarding the little home town. As to national affairs, I am sending an extract from Shakespeare’s play, Julius Caesar, which strikes me as being quite amusing.

Neither Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) or I have received any news from the Alaskans, so there is nothing on that score to pass on to you. No, I am wrong. Since writing you last I did get a nice two-page letter by airmail from Ced, telling of their arrival in Anchorage just before the Fourth of July, their temporary quarters in Anchorage’s best hotel at three dollars a day for two of them, with prospects of getting a room with double bed in a house occupied by a young man and his two sisters whom they met on the boat. They met Mr. Stoll and Walter (Rusty Huerlin, a family friend, had suggested to the boys that they contact the Stoll’s because they were hiring.) the day they arrived and were told he was sorry but they had all the men they needed. They registered at the employment office, sought jobs at the airport, but could not qualify because of the year in Alaska requirement. They could have secured jobs as laborers on the Alaskan railroad but as this would mean sending them to out-of-the-way locations where they could not look for permanent jobs they decided against it. Dan got a job as a clerk and delivery boy in a grocery store and Ced as a service station attendant. Eventually Dan hopes to get a surveying job and Ced into aviation. As this all happened on the 5th of July, it would seem as though a man willing to work at anything would not starve to death. I am waiting interestedly to hear what has happened since.

Mr. Heath died very suddenly last week. I went to the funeral Saturday. It was the first Christian Scientist funeral I had ever attended. See other letter for further news, if I can think of any.

DAD

Tomorrow I will post the letter to the Polar Bears and on Friday, Grandpa’s take on Shakespeare’s comments on the Chicago Convention.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Cheechakoes – An Asylum For The Peabodys (2) – July 14, 1940

Dan, Ced and car

Daniel Beck Guion and Cedric Duryee Guion, probably just before they are leaving for their epic drive, ending in  Anchorage, Alaska in mid-June, 1940

R-84

Trumbull, July 14, 1940

Dear Cheechakoes:
Which I understand is the Alaskan term for tenderfoot, pronounced Cheechalker. You are not a sourdough unless you have been in Alaska continuously since 1898. I picked up at the library the other day “The Lure of Alaska” by Harry Franck, which I read with some interest under the circumstances. He reports the following conversation: Tourist: “Say, what’s a sourdough, Mister?” “Well, son, to be a sourdough a man must have done three things: shot the Wild Horse Rapids, killed a moose and lived with a squaw.” “Are you a sourdough Mister?” “Naw, I never did shoot a moose.”
Dan, while I think of it. I came across a certificate of honorable discharge in your name from the C.C.C. camp giving you a first-class rating as surveyor. You might bear this in mind and send for it if you think it will help you in landing a job. And Ced, I have a very nice letter from the Tilo Company, in the shape of a recommendation. When I know your permanent address I will forward both these documents.
Before you left, Uncle Ted (Ted Human, husband of Helen (Peabody) Human, Grandma Arla’s next younger sister. Uncle Ted took Lad and Dan to Venezuela when he was hired by Interamerica, Inc. to oversee the construction of a road between Caracas and Maricaibo.) gave me the names of members of the A.S.C.E. now in Alaska, which he thought it might be well for you to look up in case you were looking for a job, telling them they could refer to Mr. Brown in New York for references. They are: Anchorage, A.M. Truesdale; College, W. E. Duckering; Juneau, M.D. Williams, L.W. Turoff, C.F. Wyller, (the two latter associate members) and R.N. Cruden, a Junior; Kodiak, E.W. Davidson, Jr., Naval Air Station; Sitka, W.J. Stribling, Naval Air Construction. Among Junior members there is at College, T.H. Campbell and at McKinley Park, A.F. Ghiglione.
Ced, I have been letting Elizabeth take the Packard every other week to take the baby to the doctors, but have not let Dick use the car. Now with his job at Columbia Phonograph starting Monday, I told him he could use it getting back and forth to work but not for joy rides. He now tells me he thinks he will buy it and asked had you left any papers home to be signed or already signed for motor vehicle transfer. I told him he had better write to you as to prices, terms, payments of money in installments, etc. He starts in at $16 a week and plans to pay me $5 board a week, get some clothes and pay for the car with the balance. By the way, I took care of your insurance premium yesterday, so that’s out of the way for the next three months.
Did I tell you or did you already know that Donald Whitney (a friend up the street) is working at the Stratfield Hotel? He acts as bellboy next week at a salary of $10 per week, PLUS TIPS, which sometimes, in the busy season or during conventions, amounts to four times that sum. He and Red (Don Sirene, a good friend) and Don Stanley (see yesterday’s post for more on Don Stanley) were all here last night and when I called “Don”, all three answered.
There is nothing to report from Lad this week as I received no letters from Venezuela.
I learned from talking to Don (Stanley) that the real trouble with his mother (Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Grandmother Arla’s younger sister) is that she has ulcers of the stomach. Both Larry (Laurence Kane Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest brother) and Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister), have, from time to time, complained of their stomach being affected and having to be careful of their diet, so I am beginning to wonder if there is not a tendency towards ulcers in the Peabody family, probably on grandpa’s (Kemper Peabody) side, as he too had trouble before it developed into cancer of the intestines.
That’s all for now, and hopefully next week will bring some more news from both Northwest and Southeast.
DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll post the first half of another letter written by Grandpa to Lad in Venezuela and to Dan and Ced in Alaska.

Why not share these interesting stories with a friend?

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – An Asylum For Peabodys (1) – July 14, 1940

This is the first half of a letter written by my Grandfather to his oldest son, my father, who is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of the letter to his next oldest boys, Dan and Ced, who have just driven across the country and sailed to Anchorage, Alaska, in search of better wages and an adventure.

Lad in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion, Lad, in Venezuela

R-84                                                                    Trumbull, July 14, 1940
Dear Lad:
Tuesday of this week I received a letter from Donald Stanley (The son of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister, probably a few years older than Dave) informing me that he would arrive the next day for an indefinite stay. Upon arrival he said his father wanted me to write him regarding board, etc., that Fred did not want him to stay with him in view of the fact that he had a new wife, and that there were no youngsters of his age up there in St. Albans that he wanted to pal around with, so he told his father the place he would prefer to be was Trumbull. With Ced’s board, which he paid regularly while employed by Tilo stopped, and the considerable amount of food Donnie is able to put away between meals, the financial burden of this additional mouth to feed is not too good; besides we had planned, with only two boys left, to make numerous weekend visits to friends and relatives which I did not feel as if I ought to do with a big flock of kids in the past, and these plans have been knocked into a cocked hat. I so wrote Fred but have not had time to get his reply. Another thing that bothers me a bit is that Don has been subject to fits. Still another angle to the situation is that Dick, on Saturday last, received a call from the Connecticut Employment Bureau about a job for an Addressograph operator being opened at the Columbia Phonograph. He went over and interviewed the employment man and starts in Monday at $16 a week. Dave has a two-weeks job at the office enclosing Ashcroft blotters, and this will leave Don at home alone here all day. With his mother in the hospital and naturally inclined to worry about him, and not wanting to hurt the poor lad’s feelings, I suppose the only thing for me is to accept the situation with a smile. This house seems to be an asylum for Peabody’s who have nowhere else to go. I am of course glad to be able to do it but as it is partly your monthly contribution that is keeping us going, it doesn’t seem quite fair to you to be too charitable.
I had to go down to New York Wednesday on business so we got out the old Plymouth and the three boys and myself drove down and back. They went to the movies while I did my stuff.
For a long time I have been behind in my rent at the office, but Miss Denis has gradually been getting caught up with it so that now we are just about square. As the landlords have not done anything to my shabby looking place since the beginning and as we have a very unwholesome heating system, I have been looking around for some other quarters. Last week, on Main Street, just south of State Street, and next to the Bridgeport Land and Title office I located the entire third floor of a small building owned by the Bridgeport City Trust Company, the two lower floors of which are occupied by a law firm. The rent is only $25 a month including heat in winter. To be sure it is up two flights of stairs and there is no elevator, but there is a parking place right next door. I am seriously thinking of making the change.
During the week the only mail received from my absent ones was a letter from Ced dated June 30th, or rather a picture postcard showing the boat they sailed in and indicating on it the location of their stateroom. He says they had seen many miles of virgin forest, small icebergs, whales, a shark, numerous fish and porpoises. By this time I expect they are at Anchorage but it takes so long for letters to cover the distance that it may be a week or two before I know anything definite. I will of course keep you posted.
I noticed in today’s paper that Mr. Cronin’s father and Bob Peterson’s father both died last week.
See attached letter to Dan and Ced for other home doings.
DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second half of this letter, written to Dan and Ced in Alaska. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Braves From A Trumbull Reservation – June 11, 1944

Trumbull House with tall grass in front

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn. June 4, 1944

Dear Braves from the Trumbull Reservation:

Old Ham in the Face greets you and says “How”. The Children of the Setting Sun (Lad and Marian, who have gone back to California, after a furlough) have come and gone, leaving this wigwam quite desolate at their departure. Laughter-in-her-voice (Marian) and Young Willow Tree (Jean, Mrs. Dick), my two daughters-in-law, got along very amicably and there was not even any hair pulling match staged for the amusement of the bystanders. He-who-fiddles-with-engines (Lad, a very talented mechanic) is as tall and rangy as ever and has developed no hint even, of a front porch. Pistol packin’ Mama Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee, known as Aunt Betty, Grandpa’s Mother’s sister, who is staying at the Trumbull House for an extended period) has been worrying all the week for fear they would not get enough to eat and return to the Land of the Sunshine and Oranges looking like shadows, but this happily was prevented partly through the generosity of the neighboring Ives Tribe Neighbors who live across the street) who bravely invited us all over to a powwow and feast Friday night, which as usual was most excellent.  Elsie of the Choo-Choo’s End (Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, who has a shop in Grand Central Station) invited them down to a matinee Saturday afternoon from which they returned in time to greet at supper time Helen ((Peabody) Human) and Dorothy (Peabody), who had come up earlier in the afternoon to look over their mother’s belongings and also to “serve” a paper on me in connection with Grandmother’s Will. Served me right, of course. By the way, the play they saw was” Mexican Hayride” ( [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Hayride_(musical) ) which apparently they enjoyed very much. Lad, during the last few days of his stay, has been using the “family car”, if that is what you can call the contraption which has been successfully abused by Dan, Dick, Dave, Ced and now Lad. Having obtained temporary markers for it and rented a battery from Dolan’s, thought he would give it a critical once over with his Santa Anita Army Eye with the result that he quickly noticed the absence of the carburetor. At first we figured Ced might have snatched it in trade with some of the natives for blubber are other geegaws, but later we concluded that some of the neighborhood “juvenile delinquents,” who have been known to steal the neighbors gas, needed a carburetor for a Chevrolet or “shrovrolet” as Marian, in an inspired moment, baptized it, and helped themselves. Lad finally was able to borrow one from Steve Kascak, but as the man said who came home one night and found his wife had run off with another man,” My God, but I was annoyed”. However as most of the boys with cars are joining up with Uncle Sam pretty soon, maybe these activities will cease and become null and void, as it were. Thanks to Ced, who cleaned up the whole top floor when he was here, Lad and Marian were comfortably (I hope) tucked away in his old room of fire smelling memories, and by the way, the two aunties raved over the way the attic looked. Never in their long association with Trumbull, and the memory of man runneth not to the contrary, had they ever seen this catch-all for discarded effects so neat and clean appearing. Who said “The evil men do lives after them”? There ain’t no attic evil interred with Ced’s bones! Or maybe I should have said “good”. Oh well, you figure it out to suit yourself. Shakespeare won’t care.

Guess I sort of got off the track, but anyway, here’s notice to the next one of you Guion upstarts, whoever he may be, who next brings home a new wife, that he’s got a mighty high standard to shoot at if he is to maintain the quality level of the first two to jump off the dock. Marian, like Jean before her, won everyone’s heart. Both seem to feel, as husband pickers, they did a little better job than the other, which puts me in a hell of a spot, so I agree with them both. If it ever came to a showdown I would have to put in a plea of non-compes mentis, corpus delicti, acqu regis or whatever it is they do under those circumstances.

Dave, bless his heart, continues to keep us supplied with reports of his progress quite regularly whether he makes any or not. He is now in Signal Center School which is supposed to be the best in the Signal Corps – – the best equipped, best life, treatment and best for ratings. “You see, a Signal Center is a clearinghouse for ALL messages from division and up. All the messages are written by an officer and delivered by a messenger to the Signal Center where they are classified as to importance, how they shall be sent (radio, pigeon, motor messenger, messenger, telephone, teletype) and then they are put into code (cryptographed). They teach message procedure, a little of all the agencies above mentioned and cryptography. If you do well in the latter I understand you may be sent to advanced Cry. School for three weeks and are graduated as a cryptographer”. This is what our youngest is aiming for and more power to him. Watch his smoke. While you others are busy bringing home attractive daughters the first thing you know he will be walking up and clanking a commission right down under your noses. And don’t say I didn’t warn you.

No letter from Ced this week, but that really doesn’t matter too much as we are still reading, rereading and digesting (mentally of course) the long six page single spaced letter he wrote a couple of weeks ago. And as for news from the Anglican branch of the family in London, I am prepared any day now to be told we will receive no more letters for a while due to the fact that invasion activities have driven out every other form of activity. In fact we were all startled yesterday afternoon to have announced over the radio that advice from Gen. Eisenhower’s headquarters was that the invasion had started. This was denied a few moments later, but gee, didn’t we all get a thrill while it lasted.

Lad, I learned, is not teaching diesel anymore, but is in charge of a group of men, sort of a miniature General Motors assembly line, where defective motors from all kinds of Army vehicles situated in all parts of the world, needing major repairs, are sent back to them and re-built into first class condition. Lad’s group is concerned with the electrical end. He likes the group he is working with very much.

Dick, from what Jean tells me, is no longer an M.P. but is doing clerical work in connection with an Army transport command and is in the Provost Marshall’s office. His horses escaped the other day and as far as we know, the Brazilian police are still looking for them.

According to a letter Ethel ((Bushey) Wayne) received yesterday, Carl (Wayne, a fried of Lad’s and Ethel’s husband) who has been on a tanker taking oil to the Far East, is on his way home and expects to arrive sometime around the end of the month. He has been somewhere near Australia but just where we don’t know. Monsanto joins the Marines this week. Tiny is home. Someone said he has been put into the reserves.

The weather this week, I am glad to say, has lived up to the best traditions of even a Californian, so Marian got acquainted with Trumbull at its best. The Iris was out and also the Rhododendri (page Dan to see if that is the correct plural of Rhododendron) was in full bloom.

The only thing I regret about the newlyweds visit (I keep coming back to that subject – – the memory will undoubtedly linger for weeks and crop up at the most unexpected times and places) is the fact that there were not a number of snapshots taken to send so that you absent ones might in spirit relive with me the short but very pleasant visit. By the way, on the way back they have arranged to stop at Milan, Ohio, and see Larry’s (Peabody) place. It will be a case of when Marian meets Marian Larry’s wife, Marian). They left this afternoon on the 4:38 from Bridgeport, I, putting on a brave front and waving them goodbye in a very nonchalant manner.

The old humbug

DAD

Thursday and Friday, I will post another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chilluns – Well, They’re Here – May 28, 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion) and Marian (Irwin) Guion), my Dad and Mom, on their wedding day, November 14, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., May 28, 1944

Dear Chilluns:

Well, there here! They arrived about 11 o’clock Saturday morning. I met them at the railroad station and knew at first glance what I have surmised right along: that my new daughter rated 100%, not only with her husband but with her father-in-law, and I don’t doubt with all her new brothers-in-law when you have had a chance to get acquainted. With no more than a very short acquaintance to date, I should say her two outstanding characteristics were kindness and a jolly good nature – – a happy disposition and a natural charm that makes everyone like her at once. As she will probably read this I won’t say too much on the subject here and now but I think any family reunions we have, and which of course I am looking forward to, will be all the happier for her presence. It looks as though Lad’s married life would be a peaceful and happy one.

They had an uneventful trip from Los Angeles except in that section of the country where the floodwaters delayed all travel, but stopped and had a fleeting meeting with Aunt Elsie (Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, who runs a shop in Grand Central Station) at the Grand Central, just before rushing to catch the Bridgeport train. Last night we saw some pictures of the wedding on both movie and Kodachrome slides. They were both pretty tired after so many nights traveling and trying to sleep under difficult conditions, so this morning they slept until dinnertime. Biss, (Lad’s sister, Elizabeth, Grandpa’s only daughter) Zeke (Raymond “Zeke” Zabel, Biss’s husband) and the two youngsters (Biss and Zeke’s sons, Raymond, Jr., known as Butch, and his younger brother, Marty) came over for dinner but Jean ((Mortensen) Guion, Dick’s wife, who lives at the Trumbull House with Grandpa) had been invited some weeks before to spend the weekend with her aunt, so the family circle was not quite complete.

Right now Marian and Lad are looking over our famous log telling of the famous cruises of the Helen, and from the laughter that bubbles out frequently, it seems as though there must have been quite a few funny incidents. I guess I’ll have to look over it myself again to refresh my memory.

The only note this week is a letter from Dave in which he is hopeful of making legal matters in connection with Grandma’s (Grandma Peabody, who passes away in January, 1944) Will, to be an excuse for catching a furlough in June. He is now completely recovered from the Mumps, which I guess was a light case, and is now back in the regular routine. I am waiting to find out if he will continue in radio where he left off.

Mr. and Mrs. Gibson stopped in after church today to see Lad and said Arnold and Alta  (Arnold Gibson, Lad’s best friend, and wife Alta (Pratt)) had started on their motorcycle for San Francisco where he is to be stationed a few days before final acceptance under the contract he had arranged for work at Pearl Harbor. Alta cannot go out there with him immediately but hopes eventually to line up for some sort of job that will permit her to join him later. He sold his Packard, his canoe and the trailer within a day after advertising them in the paper.

Lad, who talked with Aunt Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister) for a few minutes, says Ted and Helen ((Peabody) Human, Grandma Arla’s sister, and her husband Ted, the uncle who hired Lad and Dan for work in Venezuela)  expect to be in New York this week, that Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister) has gone to Vermont presumably for Gweneth’s (Anne’s daughter) graduation. Aunt Dorothy (Peabody), Grandma Arla’s youngest sister)  is not feeling yet quite up to the strain of wartime train trips but hopes before long to be able to make a visit to Trumbull. Meantime Lad and Marian plan to go to New York someday this week to see them all.

Summons for supper, combined with lack of further news, induces me to forgo starting a second page, so ta ta from

DAD

For the rest of the week, more letters from Grandpa to his scattered flock, attempting to keep everyone quite knowledgeable about family events. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – News From Marian And Lad (2) – Earlier Trip From Texarkana, Texas, to Pomona, California – May 21, 1944

This is the second half of a letter written by Lad to Grandpa on May 14, 1944. The first half, posted yesterday, explains Lad and Marian’s plans for their furlough and a trip to Trumbull as well as Orinda, California, where each will have time to meet the other’s family.

Lad and Marian’s Wedding Day with Marian’s parents, Mowry Addison Irwin and Marian Edith (Rider) Irwin, November 14, 1943

apg - letter to Grandpa before furlough, june, 1944

I can’t very well wish you the same sentiments on this May day, the 14th, as I could Mother, but I still wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Today has a triple meaning for us. Besides Mother’s Day, it is our six months anniversary and the second anniversary of my entrance into the armed forces, which has brought me so much happiness as well as disappointments. And, of course, my sentiments also go to Aunt Betty (Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Mother’s sister) who has done so much for us in her unselfish and pleasant manner. I can hardly wait for the weekend of the 27th. Time seems to be nearly standing still. For once in my life I am really excited and sort of jumpy inside when I think of coming home with Marian. It will be one of the biggest moments of my life I think. I really love her very sincerely and deeply. She is wonderful. I can’t do enough for her, and I hope she understands how I feel. I think she does.

To go back a little, it seems to me that I promised to send you an account of our trip to our present habitat, but I have never gotten around to doing it, so here goes.

After leaving Ced (Ced was on his return trip to Anchorage, Alaska, after spending a few weeks in Trumbull. He arranged it so that he would arrive in Texarkana, Texas, with the hope of seeing Lad and Marian while there. He almost missed them. They were supposed to leave on their trip back to Pomona, California, the afternoon before he would arrive but had a problem with the clutch and had to stay an extra day while the car was repaired.) at the station we went to the movies and then went around to the garage and picked up the car where we had left it to have the clutch replaced. The clutch job was very poor and even now, 5000 miles later, it is still not right, but getting better little by little. Then we took the car to a gas station and had it filled up with gas and oil and had it lubricated while we went out and had supper. Returning we got into the car and started on our way west, the first trip of any distance we had taken together, but far from the most pleasant we ever hope to take. That first night we drove about 100 miles and stopped in a place called Paris, Texas, and ran into our first difficulty in finding a place to stay. We ended up by staying in a very large room that had 7 foot partitions erected in order to make separate rooms. Nothing however could keep out the noise of the other people sleeping, and the night was punctuated now and then by extra loud snores as well as the climaxing episode which turned out to be an epileptic suffering one of it’s attacks. We came to the conclusion that the accent was on the wrong end of the word Texas and that it should be Texas, the hole of the United States. Breakfast the following morning was procured after quite a tour of the town on the lookout for any place that looked as though it might be open. That day and all of the following days including Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, were the same. Nothing of any consequence, except steady driving at about 40 or 50 MPH. On Wednesday night however, we did find a nice place to sleep and it was one of the nicest overnight cabins I have ever seen. It was a nice clean three-room place with a nice bathroom to boot. It would’ve been perfect to take along with us to put down here in Pomona. We got into Pomona on Saturday about 11 AM and asking at a gas station, found out that the Chamber of Commerce ran a War Housing Department and we were lucky enough to find the first place we had that afternoon. That was at 601 Burdick Dr. That weekend we went on to South Pasadena and came back here for only a place to sleep. Then about four weeks ago we heard about this place in Ontario where we are at present. That about winds up our present doings. Any other questions you have just write down somewhere where you can find them easily and we will do our best to answer them upon our arrival in TRUMBULL.

Well, Dad, Aunt Betty and Smokey, our best until we show up in person at the latest two weeks from today.

Lad

P.S. If you see Arnold please tell him I’d like to see him if he can wait until we get there.

(Lad)

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty, Jean – and anyone else who happens to be there –

We are still keeping our fingers crossed and are hoping to see you soon. Just think! Two weeks from today!! I’m really excited. We are practically packed already – have decided what clothes I’m taking (Lad doesn’t have to wonder about that!) and have them hanging in a special place ready to go – We’ll see you soon – (we hope),

Love,

Marian

Tomorrow I will post a letter from Grandpa to his sons, wherever they are. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – News From Marian And Lad (1) – News About Furlough Travel Plans – May 14, 1944

Lad and Marian - 1943

Lad and Marian at Pomona, California         

Alfred P. Guion

Box 491

Pomona, California

May 14, 1944

Dear Dad:-

Your letter with the good news arrived O.K. and was really welcome. And then yesterday we received another from you written last Sunday. I have no comments on the first mentioned, except that you sort of surprised me. I, as usual, was expecting the worst, and you sort of knocked “me pins out from under”. As to the last, the details as I know them today are as follows. Yesterday the 1st. Sgt. called me into the Orderly Room and told me that, barring unforeseen circumstances, my furlough will start May 24th, which is a week and three days from today or one week from this Wednesday. If possible, I will get off early Tuesday afternoon and try to get the Union Pacific Challenger leaving LA at 6:45 PM. If I can’t do that I shall possibly try to make the same train from LA on Wednesday at 7:15 AM or if the worst comes I’ll make the one at 6:45 Wednesday night. In any case, I’ll be on the train with Marian by Wednesday night. As to the exact arrival day, we’ll cable you whether it will be Saturday or Sunday. We plan to spend about one week in Trumbull and then come back to California and spent another week at Orinda (California, where Marian’s parents live) where I shall go through the same process as Marian will in Trumbull. Actually, I only was in Orinda for about 36 hours during which time I was married and attended a reception which lasted about six hours and I never did get to know Mom or Dad Irwin very well and vice versa. What we will do during the time we are in Trumbull, we don’t know, except that I would like Marian to meet some of the people who have been so kind and nice to me, including the Pages and the Stanleys in New Haven. And of course I’d like to go into New York and have her meet the Peabody Clan and anybody else of the same sort. I think in that connection I’ll write to No. 5 Minetta (in Mount Vernon, New York, the address of Grandma Peabody and her daughter, Dorothy Peabody, my Grandma’s youngest sisters) and tell Dorothy to write to me at Trumbull as to the best date for an entrance into the Clan. One question you asked I don’t understand unless you meant will I be ready for overseas service when I return, and if that is the case, I believe I can strongly state NO to that. The rumors are still flying around here but until an official notice is released I refuse to believe any of them. None of them even hint at O.S. (overseas) and I really don’t think that the 3019th (Lad’s Battalion) is ready for active duty anyway. If you have anything in mind that you think we would like to do, other than just going to a show or play or something like that, just keep it in mind and mention it when we arrive. I’m not the nighthawk I used to be. I have reasons aplenty now to desire to stay home evenings. Maybe Marian would like to do some night gallivanting but she has never said anything about it and she seems to be happy as long as I am where she is, or the other way around. This trip will be sort of a preliminary to our honeymoon after this is all over. And that being the case, I’m not trying to make plans to far ahead. We seem to be able to have a good time without planning everything ahead of time.

That’s about enough for one paragraph isn’t it? And this about finishes what I have to say in the second so here comes a third.

I’ll post the rest of this letter tomorrow. On Friday, a letter from Grandpa to all his (male) children.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Paralytics Of The Writing Hand (1) – This Is Not A Threat – November 8, 1942

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Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 8, 1942

Dear Paralytics of the Writing Hand:

Still no word from Ced and a back-handed round-the-corner word from T-5 (Dan, through his girlfriend, Bartbara Plumb) through Barbara that he might be home next week end. Lad again reported in person so that this correspondence of mine is sort of a one-way affair instead of a round trip. I’m beginning seriously to doubt the expediency of what I intended to be a conscientious effort to do my duty in keeping you boys posted of small time doings around here, so if this is the last of the series you will understand it is an attempt to feel out the situation, sort of a straw in the wind as it were, coupled with the promise that I shall of course deliver value received in the shape of a letter to match, in number, those letters received by me. I confess that in spite of Aunt Betty’s repeated opinion “That was a very nice letter”, I often feel the things I write are of so little consequence that, aside from the fact that it is a letter, you must feel you wouldn’t be missing much if it were omitted entirely. Of course you would be too polite to admit as much but the evidence certainly bears out this point of view. All this newspaper stuff about the boys in the service, etc., appreciating a letter from home by this token is a lot of bunk and I’m just kidding myself to think otherwise, and the only way to make me believe anything else is by deeds, not words. This is not intended as a threat because, if my premise is true, the elements of a threat are not present. It is merely an attempt to make my position clear. Furthermore, they do not apply to Lad, who in spite of the fact he has been able to get home pretty consistently each week and, still finds the time during the week to keep me posted as to any developments. For instance, two letters last week contain interesting news. I quote: “I was supposed to leave last night (Nov. 2nd) for California with a very short stop in Trumbull. Then, before we were dismissed a fellow came running from Co. C headquarters with an order revoking shipment of A. P. Guion and stating new orders would be issued soon. (This, of course, through out of gear, Lad’s arrangements to drive out some of the boys in his car). (1) This afternoon I was called over to one of the school buildings with about 20 others, and was told that I and two others were to leave here in order to get to Flint Michigan to take a three weeks course starting December 7th, and from there on to California, transportation by private vehicle. The captain who addressed us stated we were picked very carefully (After the first section of training, the men took a test and the top two were selected form one thousand men, to move on to a second course of training. After this training was completed, again a test was taken and the top two out of one thousand were selected for special training. Lad and two others were chosen.) from the entire bunch going to California, holding back the best men to give them additional training in specialized teaching and to enable us to study the methods used in other and older specialized schools, thus gaining for ourselves and for the Ordnance Department, thru special report forms we have to fill out and send back to the Major, the benefit of methods used by others, in instructing diesel specialists!” This looks as though Lad would be far from home Christmas and New Year’s.

Well, as perhaps you have observed, we elected a Republican Governor for Conn. My friend, Ray Baldwin, has returned to his rightful place and when I called him up to congratulate him, he was good enough to say the letters we sent out, he believed, were quite a help in accomplishing the result.

(1) – This next section might be the rest of the letter from Lad posted yesterday or from a second letter which I do not have, but it fills in the missing information.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter which announces the addition of another member to the family. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come And Gone – November 3, 1942

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Nov. 3, 1942

Dear Dad: –

The news has come, and gone, – – – just like that. Here is the way it happened. We were asked to form for “chow” earlier yesterday in order to hear some announcements. They were in connection with the California shipment, of course. I was supposed to leave last night for California, with a very short stop in Trumbull. Then, before we were dismissed, a fellow came running from the Co. C headquarters with an order which stated that the order for Shipment of A. P. Guion was hereby revoked, and it also stated that new orders were to be issued sometime soon. I expect that they might come out before the week is out, but I hope not. It seems that the Army has decided to improve upon my knowledge in general or particular and is sending me to some school. My impression is that it will be either the G. M. Diesel School in Flint, Mich., or the Ford School in Dearborn. But there is nothing official in any of my ideas, so it is really up in the air at present. I was told however, that at the termination of my studies on November 21st or 22nd, I would go directly from the school to California. The departure date is again up in the air.

This new arrangement rather changed some of my plans, and now I don’t know just what to do about the car. The fellows who were to go with me had to find other means of going, and although I felt rather guilty about promising that I would take them and then having to refuse, I really could not do anything about it at all. It was something completely out of hand. Again, I meet up with something within me which says, “Never make a promise”.  (1) There are always so many unpredictable things which can occur during the time that the promise is made and the actual time of carrying it out. I think that if I get a chance to come home this weekend, I shall bring the car along, and then leave it there until something definite comes along and I can really see just what I can do. This uncertainty is sort of getting a little under my skin. I may be easy-going and all that, but I still like to know, in my own mind, just what I am going to do if I get the chance.

If there was more to this letter, I don’t have it. There isn’t even a signature, so it makes me wonder. Your guess is as good as mine.

(1) My Father took this lesson very seriously. I don’t believe he ever made a promise after that. When he was teaching me to drive, I’d ask him before dinner if we could go driving afterward, and he would say, “We’ll see.” As we were finishing dinner, I’d ask again, “Can we go driving now?” He  would say, “We’ll wait and see.” He would sit down and read the paper after dinner and then he’d ask, “Judy, do you want to go driving now?” I probably replied rather sarcastically, “Of course. I’ve been asking you all evening!” Now I understand something that drove me crazy as a teen.

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his scattered sons.

Judy Guion