Life in Alaska – Dear Dad and all – Short Note From Ced – August 28, 1946

 

CEDRIC D. GUION

P. O. Box 822

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

28 Aug. 46

Dear Dad & all:

I now hold and A & E mechanics license, but still not a commercial pilot. I have done a lot of flying tho’, and should have nearly enough hours. Have to find a place to move to by Sunday of this weekend, so am frantically searching for any thing which will suffice. Car is in need of repairs also, and I have to do work on it before then so we can use it to move with, then must cut this very short. Rusty came into Anchorage for a few days – looks fine and I think the Barrow stay did him good. Leonard and Marian send regards. I sent more promises of future and better letters.

Must close now as time and tired feet (?) try on the wild winds.

Oh yes, I may be in the armed forces of uncle Sammy by the middle of next month unless the company is able to gain another deferment for me.

My love to all – and wish I could be there to slap Aunt Betty on the back and spar around with the Junior members of the  A.P. Guions. Kick Dick in the pants for me.

Ced

Thanks again dad for the pan but am glad you were not able to get one at those other Reynolds 27 pens.

Tomorrow, a letter from Dave to his father on the Island, reporting on the weekly business.

On Saturday, another installment of the Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis.

On Sunday, another of My Ancestors.

Judy Guion

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Friends – Dear Ced – Just One Last Thing – April 27, 1944

Judy_0003

Nome, Alaska
April 27, 1944
Dear Ced,
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.
Sincerely yours
Cedric Guion
Anchorage, Alaska”
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.
Rusty

Tomorrow, Grandpa responds to Marian’s ribbing with some wit of his own.Then a letter from Lad and Marian. I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa to his sons (and daughter-in-law) scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Dear Marian and Al – Ced’s Take On His Niece And Nephew – July 25, 1946

 

Douglas Alfred and Judith Anne – summer, 1946

CEDRIC D. GUION

P.O. Box 822

Anchorage, Alaska

July 25th

Thursday evening

Dear Marian and Al,

The crowd collected instantaneously as it always does, and one old lady in a rather dirty pair of slacks and the foul stench of stale liquor on her breath, elbowed her way toward the man sprawled grotesquely on the post office steps where he had fallen. Someone had run for a doctor and another man had tried to keep the crowd back while he wiped the forehead of the victim. The old lady finally worked into a good vantage point, not without receiving several sour glares, remarked to anyone who cared to listen, “Geese, he don’t look like he was sick, does he?” To which someone else replied, “Probably ain’t as sick as you, lady”. This last brought an ominous rumble from the old woman, but she thought better of more banter, and contented herself with studying the victim again. “He got a letter clutched in his hand “, she remarked, “maybe he got bad news”. About this time the figure of the man stirred and his eyes flickered, then opened, and he sluggishly raised himself on his elbow while the man who’d been wiping his head helped him to rise, and finally got him to his feet. The victim looked around at the crowd and flushed deeply. It was very embarrassing to be stared at by so many people, and he wasn’t too pleased with his public spectacle. It had all happened so suddenly that he had been caught off guard; he had stopped in to get his mail, and received a letter from his folks across the continent, and while that was a weekly occurrence, the news it contained was such, that as he sauntered from the post office, opening the letter and glancing at its contents, he was so shocked that his mind had gone blank, and the next thing he knew was this moment of awakening with a pain-racked body. While the news was very good, it still had this startling aspect – the man had become an uncle, not of a niece alone, or a nephew, but both at once! Well, the crowd, disappointed at nothing more gruesome than a case of fainting, quickly dispersed, a few well-meaning souls hanging on embarrassingly to offer help if it seemed needed, but as the man’s mind cleared, he started off down the street, first thanking the doctor, who had arrived, and assuring him that he was quite well. As the old lady departed she was heard to muse, “What in the hell was wrong with that guy?”

Now it seems that this young man has recovered his equilibrium sufficiently to address this selfsame missile to his brother and sister-in-law, jointly guilty of this great event, and in the same joy which they no doubt feel, he wishes to congratulate them on their dual role in the appearance of dual offspring. I am tempted to ask, “How did you do it?”, but will think better of it, and content myself with the pleasure of knowing that I have more relatives. Wish I were there to say hello to all the A.P. Guions.

This is probably the first letter I have addressed to you since way back when you were in California, but I don’t feel that we don’t correspond, as Dad keeps us up on the family doings so completely and efficiently. Nevertheless, I am ashamed of my correspondence record in general, and hope that time will cure this bad habit of omission.

Have Dad, Jean and Dick left for the island? I could really drink in a little bit of “Winnipesaukee (sp?) myself about now. I would have about two weeks vacation with pay, and what a treat it would be. The distance is a little prohibitive and probably I’ll wait till next summer when I should have four weeks added up with pay, and possibly a little sick leave to add in.

Will you tell Dad, or yourselves, to take care of mailing the package of color slides which were mentioned in a previous letter home? They are supposed to be mailed to Miss Margaret Pirkey. Saybrook, Ill. They should be sent express, and as soon as possible, as she will be leaving there about the 20th of August to return to Anchorage. It was too, too stupid of me to forget to include the address last time.

Enclosed is a bunch of odds and ends which might be of interest to one and all. In haste as usual.

Written with my new pen –

Thanks, Dad – it works fine.

Ced

Tomorrow another segment of the Diary and Journal of John Jackson Lewis about his Voyage to California – 1851.

On Sunday, another of My Ancestors.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty’s To Do List for Ced – April 24, 1944

 

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - April, 1944

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - 2nd page - April, 1944

CDG - Rusty's TO DO List - signature page - April, 1944

The year is 1944. All of Grandpa’s sons are scattered around the world. Lad is married and training mechanics for the Army in California. Dan is in London and making frequent trips to France. I don’t know exactly what he is doing but he is a Surveyor and Civil Engineer and D-Day is coming soon. Did he have a part in planning the invasion? Maybe he did some surveying and made maps?  I don’t know. Ced is in Alaska working to retrieve and repair airplanes for the Army in the Anchorage area. Dick is in Brazil, I believe  acting as a liaison with the locals who work on the base. Dave, the youngest, had left school when he turned 18 and joined the Army. He is currently going through Basic Training in Missouri. Grandpa is doing his best to keep everyone in the family informed about what is going on in the lives of their siblings.

The following is a letter from Rusty,  (Magnus Colcord Heurlin, a very good friend of the family and who would become a very well known Alaskan Artist). He has left Anchorage and is traveling with Major Marston, in charge of Security for Alaska, and Gov. Greuning, who wants to meet the various natives he is governing. Rusty is along to sketch and will use much of this material in future paintings of Alaskan life.

Nome, Alaska

April 20, 1944

Cedric Guion

Scavenger

Anchorage, Alaska

Dear Ced,

Spent the afternoon out at airbase here going over air manifests but could find no entrance reports on any 4 pieces shipped from Anchorage. A Lieut. Ladrak suggested I write youto check what plane the stuff went on – see if it was to carrier 3541 or C 47 plane which left Anchorage on March 7. He thinks the bag was returned if put on the plane and that it may be in the air cargo warehouse at Anchorage airbase. If you located it there have them ship it again with Army tag attached which has a stub number, clip off stub and mail to me.

Sorry to put you to all this work. I know nothing will be done about it unless you take the bull by the horns and make the search yourself. They are positive it was never unloaded here so if it came on that plane it was returned to Anchorage.

Where are you staying, Ced? Apparently you are not with George anymore. Must you write to Hans and Ruth – Clara will be the next one to approach if you’ll be around for a space.

When you go out to the base take along a bunch of carrots – first, in case you locate bag, second, If any other guns you lay eyes on that you think will help if plane is going within a few days for Nome.

You should have seen four wolves hung up on main drag in front of Munn’s Arrival Office. They were shot from plane and picked out of a pack of nine chasing reindeer. They were all large but one larger than the rest weighed 175 pounds. The largest dogs in town sniffing them over looked like pygmies in comparison. Hanging with nose touching the ground they were longer than 6 feet from nose only to halfway up on their hind legs. This seems unbelievable but it is true. They would be more than twice as long as old Mack and were more than twice as large. I have never seen a black bear that would make a mistake for them and I believe the largest could take down a polar bear if it got its fangs into its throat or neck.

Enclosed is a letter finalizing the “Major played me one”. Lottie says hi, better sew his pants to his shirt when he comes up this way again.” Will you send it to Al (Grandpa) in your next letter.

We kindly see Bill Doran’s (don’t know how to spell it) at Fonsac’s 2-store and inquire about pictures I sent out with him for duplicates. Address is Nome.

And one more thing Ced – my Maul Stick left at George’s. Please get a tag and tie it around knob end. On tag write, “Gordon McKenzie for C Heurlin, Nome.” And leave it at Star Airways office.

About all I can think of now. Soon as I can think of more for you to do will certainly write you.

Lt. Heurlin, ____ later – PFC

Tomorrow, a card referencing an incident dating back to Easter and a misunderstanding, then another letter from Rusty, Grandpa’s answer to Marian’s note and finally a letter from Lad. This looks like it will be a very interesting week. Enjoy.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty Huerlin Writes to Ced – April 15, 1944

 

 Rusty is in Nome, Alaska, with no heat, and his hands are very cold. He writes with a business proposition for Ced.

Nome, Alaska

April 15, 1944

Dear Ced,

Your latest welcome letter received yet the news was sorrowful about poor Grandma Peabody’s passing. But it is over for her and now – all the unhappiness she had to bear in losing the ones she loved. But it was wonderful that all her children stayed by her and that must have been consoling to her. I think they expressed in a most civilized action in waiving all customs of the actual departure, aside of the feeling that manufactured words of the preacher gives one – soft spoken and well meant as they may be. No one can intercede for any almighty power – tell one what to do – what to expect – how to go on living, especially when one lives and vibrations have always been on different wavelengths. She understood the silence of brothers and sisters speak finer words in final parting if no interception enters to break the bond. My deepest feelings go out to Dorothy, Helen, Anne, Lawrence, Kemper and Burton for they were her dearest left, as she was theirs.

I am half in furs and half in sleeping bag. It is 15 below outside. Ran out of oil tonight so no heat tomorrow unless I take down the front door and put it in the coal stove.

You wouldn’t like Nome at all – not enough water for you to wash out burnt pans and it takes plenty of water to do that. But I have discovered a trick. Just turn the pan upside down – let all the burnt beans fall out then put same pan back on the stove. Gradually the burnt will all flake off – every bit of it, and it will need no washing for the next batch – we live and learn do we not?

Saw Betty Davis for the first time tonight – picture – “The Little Foxes” ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0033836/ ) at the Dream theater. It should have been named “The Wolf Pack” or “The Great Big Wolves”, anyway she is a truly great actress.

You all did right by my baggage left behind even though I have lost the jib sail bag. Confidentially now – I do not wish it known that the Brown boys took anything of mine from Anchorage to Nome. So if you will kindly contact Lieut. Brooks at Army Transportation and tell him since I was informed by him there would be no plane from Anchorage to Nome for a month or probably two months – his words – that I had changed my plans and had, unbeknownst to you and George, made other arrangements to get all my stuff here. Next month I can write to him but don’t want anything to go down in writing to him as yet and this is confidential between you and me. Why I do not want to wait until then –  it is because some effort should be made to locate the bag before many more days have passed. It says jib sail on the bag and I sure would like to get the clothes that are in it to say nothing of the handy old article. After getting your letter I went right over to the base but evidently it never reached here.

It is too long a story why I do not want to write Sgt. Brooks at this time – another thing, I had a tag on the bag – C HEURLIN – NOME.

Hands are about stiff but will warm them up – can hardly see the writing for the storm. Going to be a late break up but I cannot say the exact minute.

Sent Maury some ivory as a starter to see how he makes out on it. If it gets to him this time take a look at it and see what you think. Two of the pieces were damaged in PAA crackup so I got the package back. If you like the seals I can get some for you to sell. Sure you could turn them over at a profit if you stay around long enough. If interested how about you and I going into business? I owe you some money now but hope you will forget it for a time. But here is my idea. Send me what money you can spare – what you can put out and forget and I will put every cent of it into good ivory.Then sell every bit of it at what ever profit you can get and send that money on to buy more. This should build up into a big thing in a very short while, then someday we can or you can take on a store of your own. What do you think will be a fair commission for me, well, should not a 50-50 proposition above cost be agreeable all around? It takes time to locate good stuff and you take time to dispose of it. It is all a matter of making a small sum of money grow – personally I hate business, however, money gained under this set up is an economic necessity today. And we can be dealing in good workmanship. I have come to learn a lot about ivory but have always known good workmanship. I can now buy two large ivory bookends for $38.50 and the Major says they sell in Juneau for $85 perhaps $100 in Anchorage.

Ivory is shipped from here is Seattle and sold to companies in Juneau, then resold to brokerage – bought and sold outside again. A fine set up is this! We can cut out all those middlemen – not be too high priced but keep things moving by selling at fairly good price to the last purchaser. And  your dollars would build up fast. I saw several hundred dollars of it sent to Seattle last week which could have made a nice profit for anyone here with connections in Anchorage to dispose of it there. I have been asked by many people – owners of stores – in Anchorage to write or wire for money when I see something good but why should I take time of my own to help them profit while I lose.

So they didn’t get you in the Army – best of luck to you with your studies. And when you get flying don’t dare nature to ground you. A fine view is stretched out in the rolling plains in back – eight and a  half miles in back of this city. Freddie Mueller, who had walked out of several wrecks said to a few of us a few nights before that no one would be so tough to get him. He, like all the rest, died instantly. Freddie was about 60 years old.

Love to all when you write again, including the elves.

Rusty

For the rest of the week, I’ll post a letter from Grandpa, another from Rusty, a note from Marian and letter from Grandpa, and a third letter from Rusty.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska (2) – Ced Writes to Grandpa – June 26, 1946

(Letter from Ced to Grandpa

page 2, June 26, 1946)

Dan and Ced with new Buick delivered by Dick, 1941 

  In spite of all my efforts to counteract the trend, old father time is creeping up on Old faithful (his Buick, the one Grandpa bought in 1941 and Dick personally delivered to Dan and Ced in Anchorage), and aided by my indifference of late, I am afraid it is fast becoming mortal. These Alaskan highways are just too much for even a good car. I still hold fleeting hopes of finding a corrective rejuvenator, but without the finances or time, the old girl is sinking rapidly, tho’ she still holds her head high and pretends virility. I am still debating about performing more necessary surgery. With cars so scarce and so high, I still believe that inroads against senility can be made. Time alone will answer my questions, and in the interim, if you all in Trumbull will put in a good word for her in your devotional services, we may pull her through to a more glorious sunset.

I am in the midst of very similar activities as above on another long suffering and even more ancient member of our Alaskan family. Poor ailing Ben (his alarm clock), still faithfully clucking away in its ceaseless passing of time, was the object of much commendation and praise last week, but the inspection it received at the time was too much for it’s ailing heart, (prompted no doubt by my not to gentle handling and it’s being held in other than face down position) and now I have placed it under a complete rejuvenation program of my own, which I have some reason to believe might be successful. Pirkey’s clock is here as stand in, but it makes so da_n much noise! Big Ben is the quietest running alarm clock I ever heard. Funny thing is that I really have no need for an alarm anymore. I go to bed after work (around 5 A.M.) and of course waking up around 1 or 2 in the afternoon requires very little encouragement from external sources.

P.N.A. is still trying to get into long pants and still waiting for the C.A.B. (Civil Aeronautics Board) to- (what’s that poem about Roosevelt, and riding to the promised land?) What I am trying to say is they haven’t yet decided who will run the Seattle run.

I am enclosing an article about the new source of power for the city of Anchorage for the next two years. This will alleviate the terrible shortages which have caused terrific curtailment of power, affecting restaurants, hospitals and industry, as well as heatless homes, cold dinners in midwinter, etc. The city has also voted for and obtained a city manager at long last. Yours truly did his part to achieve this last by voting yes.

I’m doing some flying, and hope for a commercial license before fall. What after that? — Your guess is as good as mine.

Aunt Betty – Thanks for the card and enclosure, I am still holding the latter till I find something worthy of your thoughts for myself. Maybe a super necktie with the advantage of being a birthday necktie, which pleases both the giver and receiver. My very best love to you, and to all the others in the habitat de la Guion.

Ced

Other items of interest

The draft board has reclassified me 1-A, (silly people)

Some of the fellows out at P.N.A. are trying to form a union (more silly people, but they may succeed and if so, will get a closed shop). Maybe I’ll have to join if it is half reasonable, otherwise I’d go find another job. – Who knows?

Till next time then.

Oh yes, my vision is still 20-20, but I will probably have a permanent scar on my left eye corner. My eyes will perhaps give me a little trouble – tire more easily, etc.

Ced

The rest of the week will be filled with letters from Grandpa about the news in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska (1) – Ced Writes to Grandpa – June 26, 1946

 

CEDRIC D. GUION

P. O. Box 822

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

June 26th, 1946

Dear Dad:

I still haven’t taken my A test, and still am holding up everything for it. I have been sloughing off badly in all other activities, and if something doesn’t iron out soon I will have to go prospecting or homesteading. Getting more money than I ever have, and yet I have never been more short of spare cash. The good part of it all is that I am paying off a few big debts which are getting smaller at a good clip. When they are paid off I should be sitting pretty.

Enclosed are two checks, one for the June payment on loan at the North End Bank, the other to carry my insurance at John Hancock for another quarter.

Well, since I last wrote you much water has spilled. I am now living in a small apartment with Chuck Halgrimson, another P. N. A. employee, and doing our own cooking here. So far it is working out fine, and the future seems good, except that Pirkey, who had the apartment before she left for Chicago for the summer vacation, may be back for next school season, and will want the apartment back. By that time we may find another apartment and continue on as we are. We are paying $50 per month for a living room-bedroom, kitchen, and bath. The rent is reasonable up here, but back there the charge would be about $35 post war inflation price. We are still lucky to get it at that price here. It is small but comfortable. Furniture was included, but we moved the bed out and put up Dan’s and my double bunks. The stove is a three burner hot point electric range with oven. Refrigeration is ingeniously achieved by putting perishables in the bathtub and letting a stream of water from the cold water faucet run through a big bowl, which in turn cools all the various items in their individual and sundry jars, cans, etc.

Speaking of Pirkey – She is back in Chicago with no pictures of Alaska to speak of, and I told her I would ask you to gather up the Alaskan slides and express them out to her for her to show to her friends in Chicago. I hope that this will meet with your approval, and I am sure she will take good care of them. She has done so much for me that I felt it was one way of giving favor in return. When she is finished with them she promised to return them to you at Trumbull – (be sure to enclose return address). I should have requested this the first of the month, but as you already know, I am not as prompt at that sort of thing as I should ought to of be.

Thanks, Dad, for the filters. They were as always highly cherished, and they arrived last week in good condition. As far as anything else is concerned, I can suggest nothing which would be required. I do appreciate your generosity, but let me suggest that you be generous to yourself this once, buy a few cartons of cigarettes (earmarked with my name if you like) and deposit them in the “had to see Paris” fund. You owe it to yourself, and it will do you good to make the pilgrimage to the ancestral nation. In case you find it impossible to take the boat, why not try the airways? I don’t believe they are too much more than the boats, but you can find that out yourself. They have the advantage of no tipping at least. (I mean in a money gift sense) and a much shorter time in transit. Maybe you could make one way boat, the other plane, although in that case you might lose the round-trip rate. Well, bon voyage, and happy landings.

Tomorrow, the rest of the letter from Ced to Grandpa with more news from Alaska. The rest of the week will be filled with letters from Grandpa.

Judy Guion