Army Life – Dear Family -Marian Writes to the Folks at Home – November 19, 1945

Army Life - Marian Writes to family - November 19, 1945

Monday

Dear Family —

Our status is no clearer now than it was last week, altho’ there have been a number of changes.  Lad is now in a new company – a perfectly foul one that treats their men worse than the basics.  He has no definite job to do, because he has over 50 points, but he can’t get out so they are just holding him there.  He has to report on the post at 5.45 every morning – can get a pass every night except Friday night (Don’t ask us why – even they don’t know.  It’s just a company policy.)  You have to be in the company four months (Heaven forbid!)  Before you can get a three-day pass, so we probably won’t be home very often.  Because he’s in a holding company he can’t apply for rations off the post – can’t have his laundry done on the post – can’t buy things at the commissary – can’t _______ Oh, the list is endless.  Now that I’ve presented the worst side, here are a few encouraging items.

One – He hasn’t been sent to Classification as yet, so that might make a difference, we hope.

Two – Because he’s a T/3 he won’t draw any company duties except C.2 – and that shouldn’t come up too often.

Three – they are off duty by 11 o’clock Saturday morning, so we do have a fairly long weekend.  And they usually get off at 4 o’clock on Wednesdays. otherwise it is 5:30 before he can leave.

So —–  if Lad doesn’t pull C.2 on Thursday (or Wednesday night) we will drive up Wednesday night and be home for Thanksgiving dinner anyway.  Bob is in the same company but is hoping to be moved today or tomorrow, so he might not be coming with us.  I guess one place more or less won’t make too much difference, will it?

Dad, will you please call Jean and ask her to get an extra pound of butter for us?  Butter is a very scarce item down here, so I’d like to bring some back with us.  Also tell her that we will bring olives, pickles, nuts, candy (if we can find it) and anything else along that line that I might think of.  They won’t be perishable, and we should be able to get them down here.

We have found an apartment such as it is — which isn’t too bad (We’ve been in a lot worse).  It has a fairly large living and bedroom and a fairly nice kitchen – Good gas stove – icebox – and dishes and silver furnished.  We share the bath with a couple in the other half of the duplex.  Ice and milk are delivered four times a week and we are only five blocks from town.  It really isn’t bad at all and it’s ever so much better than eating out all the time.  We just hope we won’t be here very long.

Went to see the Chandlers The Chandlers lived in Trumbull and Doug Chandler held some position in our church. He also started the Chandler Chorus, which the Lad, Dan and Ced were all involved with. The Chandler Chorus went to area towns to perform at various functions and even were heard on the local radio. Ced met his wife there.) yesterday.  Took us forever to find the place but we finally made it.  Only the two boys were home, however.  Mike is 6 ft. tall – Dave is 6’3″ !! Lad could hardly believe it.  Mrs. Chandler’s stepmother had died, so she was in Kentucky – was expected home tonight.  Mr. Chandler was speaking to a Young People’s Group in a town about 12 miles away (on our way home) so we stopped there and said “Hello”.  Didn’t have time for much more.  We hope to get back there again.

Hope  we see you late Wed.  night or early Thursday morning.

Love —

Marian and Lad

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa which includes some business talk to Dave and a wrap-up of Thanksgiving.

Judy Guion

Friends – Lad Hears From Wolverine (1) – January 7, 1940

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce in Camp in Venezuela - 1939

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce at Knopp’s Camp in Venezuela

Lad hears from the instructor he had at the Wolverine Diesel class he took in Bridgeport before he went to Venezuela.

105 Plymouth Street

Stratford, Conn.

January 7, 1940

Dear Alfred:–

Wishing you a very happy and prosperous New Year. I was very glad to receive your last letter and hear about your new connection. I had meant to answer it sooner, but we have bought a new home in Stratford, so you will have to change your record of my address to the above. With moving and starting school, I have been pretty busy.

We were very much interested to read about the big fire you have had and I am enclosing some of the clippings from the Bridgeport Post concerning it. I thought you might be interested in reading the details as we get them here.

Business seems to be getting a little better here in New England and at the Wolverine, we have been very busy the past month and will be through February, although September to December was a very slow period. We have the crankshafts ordered for our new 8 x 10 1/2” engine and the patterns for the bases are now being made. It will probably be running in March or April. Three big engines have been purchased by an ice plant in Middletown, New York, and Mike is installing the first one tomorrow. Jacob Bros., the scrap dealers in town here, have bought a big six-cylinder engine to operate a scrap baling press, which will be the largest one East of Detroit. The concrete foundations have already been poured for this job and the building is now being erected to house the complete unit. This project will cost about $75,000, and will be the first diesel engine installation we will have installed in Bridgeport.

We are also experimenting with supercharging our two-cylinder engine and I expect to have this year’s class operating this engine next week. It will have a single intake valve in the center of the cylinder head and the valve will be mechanically operated by an overhead cam shaft. It is very problematical what we will get out of this experiment. We are using a rotary vein type supercharger. If you remember, the test we made on this engine during class showed that the base compression was slightly under 3 pounds. We are going to try and raise this to 5 pounds because of the smallness of the valve in the head. It probably will be possible to raise the Mep. to about 70 pounds. If we can do this, it may be possible to get enough more H. P. to pay for the auxiliary equipment. However, if we don’t raise the Mep. this high, we will probably have to build a new engine around the supercharger.

Yesterday, the school went to the Motor Boat Show in New York, and we had a fine time. The test engineer at Palmer Brothers in Cos Cob, Connecticut, is attending my class this year and they exhibited for the first time their new 4 cylinder, 4 cycle Diesel Engine. at the show this year. We met him there at their exhibit where he was in charge of answering questions. The Palmer Bros. bought the license to build the Russell-Newberry Diesel Engine, which is an English make. It has horizontal valves, displacer type piston, direct injection with Bosch Pump and nozzle is 51/4″ bore and runs up to 1800 r.p.m. ,

Lathrop are exhibiting their Diesel and Mack, Grey, Buda, Cummins, and Caterpillar are also exhibiting along with the usual old-line companies like F. & M., Superior, etc. It is a very good show but a tiresome one. You walk for miles and I am glad it is over for this year. We have come home with the usual number of bulletins, look them over, file them away, and never look at them again.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and on Friday,  a letter from Grandma Peabody, Arla’s Mother, to Grandpa in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Grandpa Expressed His Concern – January 7, 1940

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Page 2 of R-57 (nothing to do with Heinz products)

Last week when I finished my letter to you, Dave had not yet returned from New Rochelle. He barged in about 10 PM however, and undoubtedly the trip was too much for him, because he complained of feeling none too hot in his stomach and did not, therefore, go to school. He reports all the folks well (he saw them all) and apparently nothing newsy to report.

We have been visited with a cold wave last week which did not please me at all, the only compensation from the children’s standpoint being the opportunity to slide, ski, skate, etc. That’s where they are right now, by the way. The ornaments have been taken off the tree and things are beginning to look normal again. Ced is getting his car into good running condition. The only thing he needs now is tires and I believe he has just placed an order with Carl (Wayne, owner of The Red Horse Service Station (Mobil) next to Kurtz’s store) for two Goodyear all weather treads.

I am enclosing for you to sign and return if you wish, 1939 operator license 593647, good until April 1st and the P. S. license number 200, expiring the same date, in accordance with your wishes. I am also paying your life insurance premium this month. Incidentally, the regular company check came through as usual so that I know you weren’t fired anyway. I am also enclosing a Trumbull news clipping which gives sort of a summary of the last year’s doings. In a week or two I shall probably be able to tell you what the results of the police examination showed as to the appointment of a permanent Trumbull police force.

I got a picture postcard from Rufus Burnham last week, postmarked Tampa, Florida, and stating “The whole Burnham crew down here for the holiday. Have been having a grand time”. Johnny Kurtz informed me yesterday that he is now the father of a new 9 pound baby boy. The population of Trumbull is increasing as you see.

I mailed you last week another batch of commercial car journals, each with an article in it on some phase of diesel work, as well as general articles on keeping fleets of trucks in repair. I think one of the unanswered letters or rather questions had to do with whether or not these were worthwhile sending to you. The postage costs more than the magazines and I don’t mind sending them if they are of the slightest help to you, but there is obviously no use sending them if you don’t find them valuable.

Well, I guess that is the end of my thought path this evening. I have been sitting here for some time trying to think of some other interesting facts to write, but they don’t seem to be flooding in on my mental screen.

Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), Dan, Carl (Wayne) and Ethel (Bushey, the future Mrs. Carl Wayne) have just come in, having been in Carl’s car (Ced, Dick and Dave also went along) on a trip to Redding Ridge in an effort to find Valley Forge. Since they put in the new reservoir and changed the roads around, I guess it was difficult to find. Apparently they didn’t get the right road, but had a good time anyway.

Well, here’s hoping. I’m thinking of P. O. Box 7 when I say this. Thus beginning and ending with the same thought with news in between. Maybe you’d call it a hope sandwich.

Buenos botches.

DAD

This week I will continue with letters to Lad from friends and family, but I don’t have a letter from Lad. Perhaps Grandpa mentions getting one in one of his letters. We’ll find out later.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – Grandpa Expresses His Concern (1)- January 7, 1940

In this letter, Grandpa expresses a feeling that many parents deal with and that children do not realize. Young people tend to get wrapped up in their activities, and knowing they are just fine, they forget that parents need to know if they are healthy and doing well.

Blog - Alfred Duryee Guion

                 Alfred Duryee Guion

January 7, 1940

Dear Lad:

You’ve got me worried this trip, my boy. Your last letter home was dated December 3rd  and arrived here on the 16th. Three weeks have since gone by, which leads me to ask a question which I have thought of many times but have not put into words. It is this. In case something should happen to you, either in the nature of a serious accident or sickness, is it the custom of the Company to notify the home or parents of such employee? In the background there always lurks the possibility of something like this happening, made more fearsome by the thought that you are so far away among strangers. When I hear from you regularly that ogre of a thought is kept in its place in the background, but it is always ready to push it’s ugly presence forward when each week in succession goes by without hearing from you. While I say this in no spirit of complaint, life has dealt me some rather disappointing blows from time to time, which I have learned to take on the chin and accept with a smile, so that usually I succeed pretty well in not worrying over the many dire things that might happen but seldom do. Just the same, it’s going to make the sunshine seem a lot brighter if the fourth week does not go by without some word from Venezuela. We can always hope, and generally do, optimistically, but sometimes in the dark watches of the night fear attacks in a rush, and while subdued with an effort of will and without letting anyone know about it, it does persist in popping up more often as the days go by without word. While it is disappointing not to get a full account of your doings when the well-known red white and blue envelopes peek at me through the glass slit in P.O. Box 7, it would be a lot better than nothing to have just a line or two from you saying that you are too busy or too tired or what not, to write a regular letter. Why not address and keep on hand two or three envelopes, stamped and addressed to me, so that if at the last moment before the mail leaves, you have not had an opportunity to write, you can at least scribble a short message so that there will be a break in this dead silence. Perhaps this is all silly on my part and you have been writing regularly and through some slip up in the mail the letters have failed to arrive, the same as my letters to you were held up for several weeks so that you got several in a bunch. With the rainy season practically over, however, this ought not to happen, especially over so long a lapse of time. It took a lot of words, didn’t it, to say “Why haven’t you written sooner?”

This week Dan got a registered package through the mail from an address on Long Island, and was delighted upon opening it to find it contained his watch. It is now at the jewelers for a general checkup, new crystal, new strap, etc. Incidentally, talking of time and the jeweler, I also took down the old Seth Thomas in the kitchen to Abercrombie, who has a place in with Kann as you may know, and he has given old Tom a new lease on life. He found, among other things in the case, evidence that mice have used it as a nesting place. There is a sticker in the clock with the date 1908 on it so that it is at least 32 years old. Abercrombie says they made parts much better in those days and will probably run for another 30 years before it stops short, never to run again.

Trumbull House - Kitchen table withj Seth Thomas Clock - June, 2020

Trumbull House Kitchen table with the Seth Thomas Clock on the back wall in June of 2020. I believe it was still running, making it 112 years old.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and continue during the week with letters to Lad from friends and family, but I don’t have a letter from Lad. Perhaps Grandpa mentions getting one in one of his letters. We’ll find out later.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 363 – Alfred Peabody Guion – 1916 – 1920

Alfred Peabody Guion, my Dad, also known as Lad, passed away on December 28, 2003. He was 89 years old. This time of year always brings up many memories, especially because Marian (Irwin) Guion, my Mom,  passed away not quite a year later, on December 16, 2004. I will be posting early childhood pictures of her tomorrow.

This picture is not dated but Grandpa wrote on the back: “Alfred”. He looks about two years old, so this picture was probably taken somewhere in Mount Vernon, NY.

This picture is of Lad and Dan probably when they were about six and four.

Tomorrow, I will post early childhood pictures of Marian (Irwin) Guion, my Mom.

Judy Guion

Lad and Marian Guion’s Christmas Cards Throughout the Years – 1964

When Valerie, one of my followers, commented on how much she liked the old Christmas cards in a recent post, it led me on a trip down Memory Lane. I was reminded of the photo Christmas cards that were so popular during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. I will be posting the Christmas Cards Marian and Lad sent out each year as their children grew up. Some of you will recognize this type of card, they may be unfamiliar to others. Enjoy them each day for the rest of the month.

 

APG - 1964 Christmas Card

Left to right: Greg, Lynn, Judy and Doug

Signed by Marian – “The Lad Guions”. I don’t seem to have any other pictures of this session. 

Doug and I graduated from high school the previous June. Doug went into the Army and I was away at college, so this was the last family picture Christmas Card that Lad and Marian sent to their friends and family. During Christmas in 1965, Doug was in the Army. In the summer of 1966 Lad and Marian moved to California with Lynn. Greg helped them move out there and then returned to Connecticut to enter the Army also. I remained in Connecticut to finish college. We had all begun our separate lives.

Tomorrow, one last Christmas Card. This is the final Christmas card that was sent out by the family after Grandpa passed away in September of 1964. He had been working on the design for several months and the family decided to finish it and send it out with Grandpa’s final words to family and friends.

Judy Guion

Lad and Marian Guion’s Christmas Cards Throughout the Years – 1963

When Valerie, one of my followers, commented on how much she liked the old Christmas cards in a recent post, it led me on a trip down Memory Lane. I was reminded of the photo Christmas cards that were so popular during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. I will be posting the Christmas Cards Marian and Lad sent out each year as their children grew up. Some of you will recognize this type of card, they may be unfamiliar to others. Enjoy them each day for the rest of the month.

 

APG - 1963 Christmas Card picture

Back row:, Doug, Judy and Greg. Lynn is in front.

This is not the picture that was chosen for this year’s edition of our Christmas Greeting. The boys changed places in the one that was chosen. Check out those flat tops !!

APG - 1963 Christmas Card

Back row: Greg, Judy, Doug, Lynn is in front.

Signed by Marian – “The Lad Guions”

Tomorrow I will post the final Picture Christmas Card sent out by Lad and Marian from Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Lad and Marian Guion’s Christmas Cards Throughout the Years – 1962

When Valerie, one of my followers, commented on how much she liked the old Christmas cards in a recent post, it led me on a trip down Memory Lane. I was reminded of the photo Christmas cards that were so popular during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. I will be posting the Christmas Cards Marian and Lad sent out each year as their children grew up. Some of you will recognize this type of card, they may be unfamiliar to others. Enjoy them each day for the rest of the month.

 

APG - 1962 Christmas Card

Left to Right: Greg, Doug, Marian, Lynn Lad and Judy (me)

I remember my dress was Royal Blue. I only have the actual Christmas card, no other pictures. My guess is that this photo shoot took a little longer with Lad having to set the timer, get into the picture and having us all looking at the camera and smiling at the same time.

The message reads, “From our house to your house, The Lad Guions”.This card was sent to Harold and Peggy Neville and returned to me by one of their sons.

Tomorrow, more holiday greetings form Lad and Marian Guion.

Judy Guion

Lad and Marian Guion’s Christmas Cards Throughout the Years – 1961

When Valerie, one of my followers, commented on how much she liked the old Christmas cards in a recent post, it led me on a trip down Memory Lane. I was reminded of the photo Christmas cards that were so popular during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. I will be posting the Christmas Cards Marian and Lad sent out each year as their children grew up. Some of you will recognize this type of card, they may be unfamiliar to others. Enjoy them each day for the rest of the month.

 

APG - 1961 Christmas Card picture

Left to Right: Greg, Judy, Lynn and Doug

From this point on, the old sheets were only used as a blank backdrop and we posed in our holiday best in front of the fireplace.

APG - 1961 Christmas Card

As we got older, I don’t remember these as being so long and tiresome. We probably could settle down rather quickly and get it done.

Tomorrow, another family photo from Lad and Marian at Christmas.

Judy Guion

Lad and Marian Guion’s Christmas Cards Throughout the Years – 1960

When Valerie, one of my followers, commented on how much she liked the old Christmas cards in a recent post, it led me on a trip down Memory Lane. I was reminded of the photo Christmas cards that were so popular during the 1940’s, 1950’s and 1960’s. I will be posting the Christmas Cards Marian and Lad sent out each year as their children grew up. Some of you will recognize this type of card, they may be unfamiliar to others. Enjoy them each day for the rest of the month.

 

APG - 1960 B & W photo not chosen

This is a black and white photo not chosen for the Christmas card. 

Back row: Doug and Greg; Front row: Judy and Lynn

APG - 1960 Christmas card photo - Color

This is the photo that was chosen for this year’s Christmas card.

APG - 1960 Christmas card - Individual shot of Judy

Lad also took individual shots of each of us. This is one of mine. I still remember that blouse. The design was rows of gold hearts with gold buttons. I wore it during the holidays for a few years.

APG - 1960 Christmas Card

This is the actual Christmas Card that was sent out in 1960.

Tomorrow, the 1961 design of Lad and Marian’s Christmas Card.

Judy Guion