Trumbull – My Dear “Poor Dogs” – St. Patrick’s Day – 1946

St. Patrick’s day in the mornin’, 1946

My dear “poor dogs”:

No disrespect intended of course. And besides, it is generally admitted I believe that the dog is man’s best friend, but even this implies designation of you as my best friend is not the meaning I had in mind in the usual salutation. It is rather based on the old childhood saga. When this here Father Hubbard went this week to the mailbox cupboard he found it entirely bare of quotes and so you have none. Q.M.D. of course I might have called you snakes, again in no sense of disrespect but hoping in view of the day that you in turn would be driven out of your respective “islands” and shipped back to the mainland of the U.S. anyway, it is St. Patrick’s Day in the morning here or glancing at my gold watch and chain I see it is but nine A.M. – – an unusually early time for me to be indicting my weekly Clarion, but you see I have already been up hours applying a coat to tar to the laundry roof – – that and the driveway seem to be perennial jobs. And the reason for all this unseemly early morning activity? Well, Friday evening the phone rang and Aunt Anne (Anne Peabody Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister), after the usual inquiry as to the state of my health, thought it might be a good thing if the six of us (Grandpa, Aunt Betty, Lad, Marian, Dick and Jean) should motor down today and visit them at her apartment. I consulted the various oracles and as all the auguries seemed favorable, I gave an affirmative answer and in an hour or so we start for the big city; AND not wanting to let the day go by without the usual letter you have learned to expect on this day, it seemed best to get started with it early, and there you have the whole thing laid bare before you. It took me a long time to say “I’m writing you early because we are going to N. Y. this afternoon”, but I have to fill up the page with words of some sort and news this week is confined to Joe Stalin’s blasts, Winston Churchill’s flowing measures and news of the settlement of the General Motors and General Electric strike settlement.

There is a little of local moment. Paul (Warden, the apartment tenant, along with his wife and two children), with the aid of Walter Mantle, is putting a new wall on the apartment bathroom. Jean went shopping in New York Thursday with Marion Hopkins (one of her objects being to see if, in the big city, she could find some suitable dress material for Paulette, unsuccessfully, I might add). Dick and Jean went horseback riding yesterday morning from the Madison Avenue Sables, it being a beautiful spring day, and later came back and did some cleaning up work around the yard.

Dave, I forgot to mention in last week’s letter that I received a note from Herman R. Semenek of Chicago, enclosing a five dollar bill and asking me to thank you for your trust in him. You will regret to learn that your Alaskan brother Ced has been insulted by the Bridgeport City Trust Co. They read his signature and addressed him thereupon as Pedric D. Tucon. It cannot be that his handwriting is a bit illegible.

Surprise. Dick is up. He just came from this cellar where he has been coaxing the old coal water-heating stove into activity. The oil burner installed eight months ago burned out apart and for several weeks now we have been waiting for the replacement part to arrive. Meanwhile we have sort of a local ration allotment for hot water. Today everyone will want to take baths and get all dolled up before going to visit so the little old stove will be working overtime.

Aunt Betty has just called me into breakfast, so leaving with the hope that the coming week will bring news from Alaska and abroad to liven up next week’s screed, I remain, respected Sirs,

Your doting father

familiarly known as


Tomorrow and Friday,  I’ll be posting pages 2 & 3 of a letter Grandpa wrote to his far-way family. I did not have a copy of page 1 so I went to my original letters and page 1 is missing from there also. 

Judy Guion


Friends – Rusty Huerlin Writes to Ced – An Arctic Bum – March 25, 1944


This letter is written to Ced from Rusty Huerlin, probably received after he had returned to his job in Anchorage after his lengthy stay in Trumbull and his quick visit with Lad and Marian.

Nome, Alaska


Dear Ced,

Word by mukluk telegraph informs me that you are back in Anchorage. Fine guy you turned out to be not to write to your dear old pal. But perhaps you’ll get the pin out of your tail now and drop us a line to let me know how Al is doing and how you enjoyed your trip outside.

Since arriving here have been tied up with ATG work but going to start painting in a couple of days. The Major and I have located a cabin for ourselves. Real cold weather here and have never seen as much snow. Twill be a late break up this year in case you would like to know. I should say between the fourth and the eighth.

On visit down from Palmer I emptied your pent-up mailbox and left mail with Bob Hall. Hope I did the right thing and that he contacted you or left it where you could get it before he went outside.

If Ted Kogan got luggage left in my wake, kindly get it back from him. Hold everything for me if you are not going into service. May write for frames in a couple of weeks. Keep stretchers and jib sail bag together. If you have no room for them best place may be at George’s. Expect to be in Nome until break up time when I will go north with years supply of grub. But if you should happen to know of anyone traveling to Nome by CAA it would be all mighty swell, if no trouble to that person, to load on my frames, bag and stretchers. If Dale or Dell, the fellow who brought us out, is making the trip this way soon, I am sure he would be glad to do me this favor. You might be driving by his place sometime and can drop in to see him on this. Had I come the way planned for me, I could have handled everything.

Sorry I did not get to see you before I left. Confidentially, as I do not want it to get about, I pulled a fast one on Governor Gruening. It resulted in him commandeering an army car and paying me a visit at Palmer. But it wasn’t exactly a fast one and it took me one month of careful planning. It is too long a story to go over at this early hour of the morning. I only want you to know that it was honest. Or should I not say to a trusted and tried friend that he, the Governor, fell for my rubber salmon egg. Two days later he was in Fairbanks, then came a telephone call from Fairbamks for me to proceed to Nome on next Army transport. At Fort Rich a week later I got my traveling orders but no planes to Nome were available. To wait longer for transportation was like waiting for the invasion. I finally decided to put tongue in cheek and go by Star. That was why I had to cut down on baggage. But trip here is not known to Star officials so I am now one jump and the hop ahead of them.

Water is $.10 a gallon here. Whiskey cannot be had. When you see George again tell him I really like my scotch cut with water. I think he will understand. Ha ha!

Contact Ted Kogan through weather Bureau or Juanita at OPA. Drop out of an evening and see their nice home which they bought. Also see Maurie and Helen. Best to you and Hans and Ruth and all good Scandahoovis. Sorry I cannot or it’s sad I cannot add the name of dear old Kjosen,

Thank Ted for his trouble and will write him soon. Let’s hear from you soon Sonny boy… Till we meet again,

Yours to be an Arctic bum —– Rusty

During stop-over at Nulato I pissed in the Yukon. Did it the hard way too— if you know what I mean? Aim to do the rest the hard way to— if I can— and I have shot and killed a bear.

I believe the following is Ced’s recorded memory of this trip, although he may have incorrectly remembered the approximate dates.I don’t know if we’ll ever know the complete story.

About 1940-41, things were getting red-hot. Major Marston was up there in charge of the Alaskan defense command. He was based in Anchorage. Rusty made friends with him – he made friends with everyone he talked to. He met the Governor of Alaska through Major Marston. Rusty came home one night and he said, “Know what they’re going to do? Major Marston says that the Governor wants to go around the whole perimeter of Alaska and try to develop a reasonable defense system for Alaska. I guess it was Major Marston’s idea. Major Marston said, ’None of us know anything about Alaska, the Eskimos, the Indians. We should go around and meet these native people. They know the land and if any problems develop with the days coming, we’d be lost. We wouldn’t know what to do.’ He said, ‘We want to get an Alaskan defense going with native people.’ Governor Gruening says, ’Well you know what? I don’t know any. I’m the Governor of this territory and I’d like to go around with you and meet these people that I’m supposed to be Governor of.’ “ So, Rusty sat and listened to all this talk and he said, ”You wouldn’t want to take me along, would you? I’ve had this in the back of my mind for years, that I would like to do a series of pictures on the discovery of Alaska.” His whole goal, idea and the love of his life was Alaska. He said, ”I’d like to have a chance to go around to all those places, and make sketches.” “OK, come on along.” they said. That’s where he got this series of 18 pictures, starting with the fellow who came from Russia, sailed to Alaska and took it for the Russians. That was the first painting, he did the Gold Rush and 16 others. This was after he moved to Fairbanks.

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now.

On Sunday, another Guest Post by GPCox,,

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Off Spring (4) – Local News From Grandpa – March 3, 1946

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Page 4   3/3/46

My watch says 10:25 (I am reminded of one fellow I work with who says the only thing a watch says is “Tick-tock”), so I’d better quit this pounding so as to not disturb others in the house who are probably turning in. I have done a little skiing and a little flying and will tell you more later!

Next day, 7:15 P. M. Went out in the plane Saturday with the schoolteacher from Barrow, “Pirkey”. We flew over to Big Lake and landed there on the snow-covered ice, only to find that the ice was flooded with water about 10 inches deep with another 10 inches of heavy snow on top of that. The outlook wasn’t good, especially with one wearing oxfords and a topcoat. I pulled a duffel bag out of the baggage compartment and by tramping lightly with one foot there was a firm enough crust on top to hold my weight on top of this heavy bag and I gradually worked the ship around toward a footpath which was about 25 feet away, tramping and moving the bag as I got the ship around. Fortunately there were two good Samaritans staying in a cabin nearby and they came out and each pushed on a wing. In this manner the ship finally reached the path and we took off along this path, one of the skis slipping off to one side or the other till we got quite a little speed. These fellows had snowshoes and were able to push lots easier than I could. On the way back to Anchorage we flew low and hunted out some moose. Some were lying down, others feeding and still others walking out in the open stretches. Once we landed on the small lake and tried to get some pictures of them but they skedaddled as soon as we landed and we didn’t see any of them until we took off again.

Rendezvous Week is here and all the men are supposed to have beards. Mine is again flush as are about half the other men’s. The women are complaining — but who cares. There will be big ski events, skating events, a Queen of Alaska chosen and a car raffled off. Should be a gala affair from all appearances, and after the smoke settles I will write more about it if there is much to write about. Love to all. Ced.

Thanks for the check, Ced. They arrived on the second and I had already taken care of the bank payment but they will restore the balance so if you cannot conveniently get the April check to me before the first of the month, I can bridge the gap without inconvenience. Your description of your new ships is a good selling document — at least it makes me want to make a trip in one of them — particularly if the pilot or co-pilot happened to be a near relation of mine. By the way, did you receive my letter in which I mentioned finding your old log? Yes, we were all very much interested in following the account of the Yukon rescue work. Hope Fitz will yet turn up O.K.

Pete Linsley is home again. He is divorced from his wife who I hear “did he wrong”. He has been out with Barbara (Plumb, Dan;s old girlfriend) several times recently. Jack Fillman is now the father of the baby boy. Red (Sirene) and his wife stopped in a few minutes today. He is now working in an architect’s firm in N.Y. All of us here are well and happy and hope you are the same. And that, dear children, is about all that your news monger has found to distribute today, so ta ta until next Sunday when we will take up the tangled threads of our story a new, hoping you will each have something to add to the common fund. Goodbye and good luck.


Trumbull – Dear Off Spring (3) – More News From Ced – March 3, 1946

page 3   3/3/46

The party was on St. Valentine’s day and since then most of my time has been put in on this Student Federalist work. I had the check canceled — duplicate enclosed. The news items had to do with arrival and maiden voyages of Woodley’s new Douglas transports. Two of them are here and the third is due to arrive this week. They are really fine ships even to the extent of being pronounced of finer interior than any of this particular type operated by any of the major lines in the states. The ship is the latest model of the twin-engine Douglas (C117 A). It was built for the Army on contract which was canceled and Woodley got it. They were for transportation of the “Brass” and were beautifully appointed for that reason. The model is a very successful one although its design is almost obsolete. (It was first produced around 1935 and was used almost universally by the big airlines in the country up to the declaration of war. Then the Army took most of them from the airlines and all the new production of this model (DC3 or Army C47). Douglas is finishing out their production on these last 150 ships, then they will go into production on their new pusher models (the DC7, I believe). We are taking three and possibly two more of these last 150 planes. They cost approximately $135,000.00 each. The airlines in the states are still operating the old DC3’s on most of their routes, so you could say we are operating better equipment than they are. The ships carry a pilot, a co-pilot and a stewardess. There are luxurious seats for 21 passengers. With each ticket purchased one finds himself welcomed and seated in the plane by a rather attractive uniformed stewardess. His seat is finished in an attractive soft gray-green ribbed upholstery. The armrests and skirts are tan leatherette and the base molding is aluminum. The floor is carpeted with a green rug and the walls and ceiling are the same soft shade as the seats and have aluminum stripes running across over the top and down the sides about every 3 feet from front to back of the cabin. Should the passenger want to recline, he may move a lever and the seat tilts back to a very comfortable degree or he may stop at any intermediate position he desires. An ashtray is at his fingertips. There is a pocket for papers, etc., which he might be carrying, right in front of him on the seat-back of the chair in front. If the sun comes in through the window to strongly he can draw the cream and tan curtains closed, and if cold or hungry, a push on the call chime will bring the stewardess with a P.N.A.- monogrammed blanket or a light lunch served from the buffet with coffee or a fruit juice to drink. After dark he may turn on his individual reading light and the stewardess will bring him a recent copy of some magazine which suits his taste. The pilot, too, may be relaxing, occasionally glancing at his instruments and resetting the automatic pilot for a change in course or just to check its operation. Then he sits back comfortably and enjoys the scenery along with the co-pilot. His radio equipment is the most modern and with that he can fly in nearly any kind of weather with comparative safety. Radar and blind landings are still in the future but he is creeping up on them.

The same day I lost that letter I was a passenger in one of the old Boeings piloted by Woodley and we flew out to Mt. McKinley alongside one of the new Dougs, taking pictures through an open port in the Boeing. Each time the professional photographer moved away to reload his camera I would jump in with my 35 mm color job and take the same ones he was getting. If the exposures were good there should be some humdinger’s. The shots taken should be better than those of the Electra which I took several years ago and which you perhaps recall having seen.

No doubt you read of the wreck of the YUKON just south of Seward, en route to Seattle. I know many people who were aboard and it must have been a rather harrowing experience. One man, whom I knew quite well, F. J. Fitzsimmons, has not been heard of since. He was manager of the Alaskan branch of the Standard Oil Co., and was perhaps the best liked man in Anchorage. Everyone knew and loved “Fitz.” He was fat and jolly, had a wonderful sense of humor and a fine personality. His wife and four kids are among the cream of the Anchorage families and his loss will cause the Yukon disaster to be imprinted deeply on the minds of most everyone in town. It is odd that of the 485 people aboard the ship only 10 were missing and only two of these civilians, and one of them the most popular man on the ship. Odd too, is his disappearance, as many saw him after the ship had broken in half and after the high waves, which swept over the decks, had subsided somewhat. It is the “mystery of the Yukon” and time may yield the answer. So far there is not even a clue.

Tomorrow, more from Grandpa with local news and on Friday, an original One Act Play, written by AD Guion, Grandpa to you and me.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 302 – Rusty Huerlin – End of the Trail – Tribute to A Pioneer – February, 1960

The following piece was printed in the column, On The Inside”, printed in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (Fairbanks, Alaska) on February 3, 1960.

TRIBUTE TO A PIONEER – Rusty Heurlin of Berry, Alaska, has written an open letter to the citizens of Valdez, proposing that Mt. Sugar Loaf be named after the late Anthony J. Dimond.

He suggests this mountain for its gentle slopes and balance in simple contour, which made it one of the most photographed peaks of the early days and perhaps even yet.

Also, he says, if a play on words would not be objectionable, this mountain is quite similar in shape to that of a diamond when reflected into the Bay of Valdez.

“As there are many other such named mountains (as Sugar Loaf) the world over, little controversy should arise from the change …” Rusty says.

“At any rate we trust that the last request of Art Lutro’s will be honored to help perpetuate for all time the name of Anthony Dimond.”

Lutro, the late Grand President of the Grand Igloo of the Pioneers of Alaska, proposed recently that an “unnamed peak” be honored with Dimond’s name. His request has been presented to the Board of Geographic Names of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Heurlin, who was an early resident of Valdez and next-door neighbor of Dimond, recalls his qualities of greatness and what he meant to fellow Alaskans. “Towering above all was a simplicity that was greatness in itself.”

Dimond was long a territorial delegate in Congress and later a federal judge.


END OF THE TRAIL – Rusty has also written this tribute to an old friend:

The going had been rough in places and the pack heavy but the uncomplaining Sourdough stuck to his lonely trail. At times the sleet pained his eyes, and it was hard to see when friends passed him as they hurried on their way. At the end of the day a light appeared around the bend of a river. Was it home, he wondered, or was he lost? He wasn’t sure until he arrived there, and not even then until the cabin door opened. He got out of his snowshoes. Old friends helped him with his pack. They called him into the cabin fragrant with wood smoke,,, happy with light and laughter and the warmth of those companions of old who had passed him on the way.

It was the End of the Trail for another sourdough. This time a man known throughout Alaska and Yukon Territory,  – big, good-natured, helpful and friendly Art Lutro, Grand President of the Alaska Pioneers.

Check out this video :

I appears that the request of Art Lutro and Rusty Heurlin was honored as there is a Mt. Dimond near Valdez, Alaska.

Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters written in July, 1942. Both Lad and Dan are serving Uncle Sam and receiving training.

Judy Guion