Trumbull – To Members of Medical Staff, Everywhere, Just Everywhere (2) – News From Dan in London – October, 1943

This  is a continuation of the letter I posted yesterday from Grandpa to his sons, scattered around the world.

From our London maternity branch, Dr. Daniel Guion reports the successful delivery of a new infant (or will within nine days) in the shape of an additional year to his young and growing family. I am open for congratulations myself in view of the good job along this line I helped your mother do so many years ago. Incidentally, there must be something psychic in his composition, for before he received my former letter with its epic California news, he starts his last note home with the words: “Neath the shade of an imported redwood tree in the famous (deleted by censor), I met a free French soldier whose home and family are in Paris. We spent an interesting afternoon, paying more attention to a discussion of languages and customs then to the imposing vistas of myriad trees and representative flora of the world’s most distant corners. Later in a tea shop in (Censor again) he described the occupation of Paris by the Germans in 1940, and his own escape, first to unoccupied France, then to North Africa. Any wonder I find England fascinating? I have spent literally hours at (darn that censor) with religious fanatics, socialist speakers, salvation army song fests, humorists to speak for the pure joy of pleasing listeners, malcontents who lampoon everything — a melee of people listening, heckling, talking — like a sort of intellectual Carnival. All this has occurred while on pass of course.

There is nothing to report from our First Aid Outpost Station near the Arctic Circle, nor from our Deaf, Dumb and Blind Clinic in Brazil. Intern Richard seems still unable to communicate with any regularity with any of his family but his wife. Guess I’ll have to study the sign language. It is quite evident he still loves her and keeps telling her so from start to finish of each letter. How do I know? The deduction is simple. She passes on to us any items of interest, but day by day the answer comes back “There ain’t no news”. (Am I going to suffer for this when Jean reads this paragraph! Whew.)

Dan, there is a little gift coming to you, if the P.O. will allow packages to be sent after the 15th deadline. It is not a Christmas gift but a wee birthday token, but whether the government will make the distinction, I know not. It was not send sooner because I have not been able to get delivery of what I ordered due to (so they say) the manpower shortage, so while it may not arrive by the 26th it will serve whenever it does put in appearance as a very inadequate token of love and affection that grows in profusion back here in old Trumbull.

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons scattered all over in service to Uncle Sam.

Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

On Monday I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1945. Dan is still in France, our of the Army but working with the Graves Registration Department and getting to see Paulette whenever they can arrange it.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To Members of Medical Staff, Everywhere, Just Everywhere (1) – October, 1943

This  letter includes a large portion of Grandpa’s dry wit as he tells the boys all about Lad’s fiance and asks quite a few questions, as he does quite often.

This picture was taken in about 1945 when a fellow serviceman of Lad’s visited the Trumbull House and took a few pictures – although he and Smokey are the subjects of this photo taken (probably) by Lad.

Trumbull Hospital, Clinic and Sanatorium

A.D. Guion, Chief Butcher

October 17, 1943

To members of medical staff

Everywhere, Just Everywhere

Greetings:

Last week we sent you a new package of our famous Cupid Serum specially developed by Dr. A. P. Guion of California. It is now time for a follow-up treatment. This one is stronger and more potent than the last. In fact, its effect is said to be permanent. It has been aging in the wood (my head) for about a week and is now ready for administering. Hold your chair, brace yourself. The needle, Dr. Watson. “Arrangements have been made, so far as is possible for a soldier, for us to be married at her home near San Francisco, on November 14th. We may have to suddenly changed plans but to date everything looks O.K.” Marian has an apartment in South Pasadena which they will continue to occupy, which, though small, will do, because neither of them will be there during the day. Indeed, its small size will be a convenience in that housekeeping problems will be simplified. Now I suppose you will be interested in the

Case History of Miss Marian Irwin

Marian Rider Irwin and Marian Dunlap Irwin - 1915

Marian Rider Irwin and Marian Dunlap Irwin – 1915

She was born some 27 1/2 years ago on the West Coast, and is a college graduate. She taught school for a few years, after which she did some traveling, but whether she got as

 Marian Dunlap Irwin - Berkley High School - 1933

Marian Dunlap Irwin – Berkley High School – 1933

far as Connecticut the record fails to say. She then accepted the position she now holds as Executive Secretary of the Campfire Girls, and presumably, like Boy Scouts, can start fires without matches, so that Lad will not suffer from lack of hot meals. She has one sister (married, so you bachelors need not let any false hopes arise) and a married brother. Her father, whom the prospective bridegroom has not yet met, is a factory distributor for Westinghouse (did somebody mention an electric toaster for a wedding present?). In spite of the fact that

Marian Dunlap Irwin - SFSU - 1937

Marian Dunlap Irwin – SFSU – 1937

Marian is in an electrically minded family, Lad writes “things have been running like a well-built turbine — direct connected, I assume.

P.S. to Marian: under separate cover last week I mail you a photo of my eldest son, so you can see what you are getting, through the camera’s eye. Object, matrimony. (That gives me an idea — perhaps I’ll start a matrimonial bureau for my other unmarried sons).

Lad: you did pretty well in covering some of the high spots, but to complete the record, here are a few questions that occur to one: Will it be an afternoon or evening wedding? Will you wear your uniform? As long as I cannot officiate as Justice of the Peace in California, I assume it will not be a “justice” wedding but at her home by a clergyman. (Episcopal or some other denomination?) Can you secure a long enough leave to permit any sort of honeymoon, and if so, what and where? Are you driving to Frisco in the Buick or going by train? Do you need any money? (Foolish question). How much? What did you do about an engagement ring? Will Marian be entitled to the $50 wife allowance monthly from the Army, or does this happen only when the soldier is married before he starts working for Uncle Sam? What would you like for a wedding present? (Better let Marion answer about 75 % of this one).  Would you like me to send you any of your belongings? What are your plans, or perhaps we had better say, hopes, after the war is over? And by the way, while we have that small photo of Marian, I don’t know whether she is short or tall, blonde or brunette, plump or slim (I know your answer to this one – “just right”). Whether she has voted for Roosevelt all her life, and still intends to do so the rest of her life, and whether she likes a father-in-law with Hay Fever? Oh I could go on and on, but real generous answers to these few questions as a starter will do for now. You can think of a lot of other things I’d like to know. There is one thing I do know and that is one month and one week from today I am going to feel like a very distant relative. In my wildest dreams I have never envisioned the fact that anyone of my boys would be married without my being there to help shove him off the dock into the sea of matrimony. That just shows to go you, that you can’t count on anything for certain in this old universe — a runaway married daughter, A hand-tied son and now this one by remote control. I know how busy you both will be from now on until the big day, but if you, one or both, can seek a few minutes to write more it will do somewhat in taking the disappointment out of the fact we can’t be on hand to throw a few handfuls of rice.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter and on Friday, another missive from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

 

Welcome From the Irwins – October, 1943

 

Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

Marian (Rider) and Mowry Addison Irwin, Marian’s parents.

Lad had written a letter to Marian’s parents introducing himself and giving them a resume of sorts. Each of them wrote to Lad (they knew him as Al) welcoming him into the family.

Wednesday

Dear Al,

Marian knows that whomever she chooses for a husband would be welcome in her family, but I thought you might like a very special greeting all your own. We are very humorous, but not at all formidable, so don’t be dismayed at the prospect.

Being one of a fairly sizable family yourself you should know something about them.

Naturally, we would have liked knowing you before the wedding but it isn’t essential – it is just a pleasure awaiting us. Like most parents we want our children to lead healthy, normal lives, and feel that marriage has a very definite place in that program. After you try it for 20 or 30 years I hope you’ll be as much in favor of it as I am. There is some chance about practically everything in life; but I feel your chances for happiness without marriage are far greater than with it.

This won’t be a very long letter because I have many things urgently requiring attention and our mail collection is about due: but the welcome extended is not in accordance with the size of the letter – it is just a sort of “filler in” until I can extended it in person.

Very sincerely,

Marian Irwin

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

Thursday night

October 14th, 1943

Dear Al:

Thanks fellow, for your letter. I enjoyed the resume of your life very much. And it gave Mom and I a good opportunity to know you better. Now, if you can dig up a picture, we would appreciate that. However don’t put yourself out because after all, Sis has put her life in your hands, Don and Peg (Marian’s brother and sister) liked you very much when they met you in South Pasadena and that is plenty good enough for us! We naturally think we have a pretty fine family and will welcome you into it and bestow upon you the same love and appreciation.

You must secure the marriage license in the county in which you are to be married. In talking to the County Clerk today, I find that they are closed from Saturday noon until Monday morning. This means, in order that you may be married on Sunday, November 14th, that you both will have to arrive here by noon on Saturday. This makes it appear to me that you will have to be extra nice to your commanding officer that grants leaves and arrange to leave South Pasadena on Friday night and drive through. Otherwise the day of the wedding will have to be changed and we will have to know as quickly as possible, because we have arranged for the chapel for Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM. It is a very popular place and a months advance notice is advisable. This explains why I am take it up with you and ask that (my pen ran dry and had to stop to refill) you let us know as quickly as possible. The troubles of the groom to be. Things have been running to smoothly for you both, so a couple of things like finding an apartment and arranging for a change, or additional leave, will do you good. Good luck in both tries. We will continue to make our plans for the 14th until we hear to the contrary from you.

I’m looking forward to seeing you, meeting you and extending a hearty hand clasp of welcome into the family.

Sincere regards,

Your Dad (to be)

Tomorrow, a letter to Ced from Grandma Peabody. Grandpa will finish out the week writing about Marian Irwin and other bits and pieces of Trumbull news.

Judy Guion

Friends – Letter of Congratulations From Babe – October, 1943

This is a letter of congratulations from Lad’s former girlfriend after his engagement was announced.

Dear Lad,

Can’t write much as this is class time – as usual – couldn’t wait, though to send you both my best wishes.

Congratulations to you – and tell your bride to be that I wish her much happiness.

Would write more – but between graces operation scheduled for today and he old classroom, I’m in a dither.

Cheerio,

Babe

P.S. do you think a few Californian vitamins might help us out back in old cold New England????                                                                – over

Kick-a-Poo Joy Juice is what I’ve been taking but the caloric content is too high.

P.S.S. Incidentally – it’s up to you two love birds to find me something tall, dark and ugly (don’t like pretty men) – who can boss me around!

Adios

Incidentally- Lad – better send my old picture back – sure would look funny in someone else’s home! I could use it myself, anyhow.

Gotta  have something for the old family album.

Tomorrow, letters to Lad from his soon-to-be in-laws, Marian and Mowry Addison Irwin, who have never met him. Wednesday, a letter to Ced from Grandma Peabody, and on Thursday and Friday, Grandpa fills in the blanks for the family in the Case History of Miss Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion 

Special Picture # 259 – Lad and Marian Guion on a Road Trip – 1945

In the fall of 1945, Lad came home from France and reported to Aberdeen, Maryland. They didn’t quite know what to do with him, so he was given several furloughs. During one of them, he and Marian took a road trip to upstate New York and New Hampshire. These pictures were taken on that trip.

 

 

 

 

Trumbull – THE BOOK OF THE WEEK – October, 1943

In this weeks letter, Grandpa announces Lad’s engagement to Marian to the brothers who are so far from home. 

Lad and Marian in Pomona, CA

Lad and Marian at Pamona, CA

October 10, 1943

THE BOOK OF THE WEEK

Being Trumbull’s Refuse of Refuse

Translated from the original by A. D. Guion

CHRISTMAS BOXES:      How much moral fortitude have the boys in the service? Can the Trumbull contingent resist temptation? Have the Guion draftees willpower strong enough so that they can delay opening their Christmas boxes, being sent sometime during the coming week, until December 25th, no matter how much before that date said box arrives? These are the questions that the inmates of BABBLING BROOK are asking themselves, instead of the outmoded question: “Is there a Santa Claus?” Time alone will afford the answer. To be sure, the contents of the boxes are nothing to write home about (Which, following the usual custom, you will not do). We have tried to inject a little local color in the shape of certain products found locally on trees in the vicinity, while daughter-in-law Jean, has, with loving care, prepared a few toothsome bits on which you may contentedly munch (this is not a cow product add).

THE GREAT RECORD MYSTERY:     For some weeks Read’s have been advertising how thrilling it would be for “your boy or girl in the service” to receive a Christmas greeting in your own voice, and to this end they set up a recording service where, under competent supervision, one could go to their store and speak your little piece on both sides of a metal photograph record which could then be sent in one’s overseas Christmas box. Yesterday (Saturday) Howland’s announced a similar service and on my way to deliver the Liggett’s menus, I stopped in and made my little speech three times on records to go to Dan, Dick and Lad. After completing my creation the operator told me I could also use the other side of the record and rather than extemporized on the spur of the moment, I told him I would come back later after giving a bit of thought to what I wanted to say. I did so and was greeted with the sad news that orders had just come through from the War Department to the effect that such service had to be discontinued and that no records made would be allowed to be sent. Read’s had already made some 400 recordings. The only one they would allow to be sent was the one to Lad, as he was not overseas. I don’t see the sense of the ruling any more than I do some of the other queer edicts that issue from New Dealers in Washington, but there is nothing much to do about it, so that idea is bust.

THIS WEEK’S FEATURE STORY:     (replacing the usual column “Advice to the Lovelorn”). So as not to spring this startling news to suddenly on our indulgent readers, mention is made that under a Stratford dateline last week the Bridgeport Post ran an item captioned “Laddie Ignores War Department”! Be that as it may, the only letter received from any of the absentees last week was one from California announcing the engagement of one Sgt. Guion to Miss Marian Irwin, or to put it in his own words: (oh, damn, I just recall having left the letter in the office). But anyway, he mentioned having been hit quite hard and when he had time to get his breath he promised to send more details. SO, you Dan and Ced, look out for Cupid! Who knows but that he has two arrows left in his quiver tagged with your names! Come on, now, who will be the next? Remember I have, for a number of years, had only one daughter and five sons and the sooner I acquire more daughters by proxy, the better, so step right up, gentlemen, and place your bets.

Book of the week, page 2               10/10/43

DEAN OF TRUNBULL EMULATES KAISER:     Ye shades of doom! If the Kaiser can be a wood chopper in his exile, why can’t old Pop Guion, when exiled by his own sons, chop up firewood against the coming fuel shortage? No sooner said than done. So, with my regular wood choppers chopping hunks out of Nazis and other vermin, I ups and tackles the old apple tree which blew down last winter. That was my good deed for this week. Next on the program is taking down screens and getting storm windows ready to erect. Who says I don’t miss the gang?

MOTORING ITEM:     Young David, just turned 18, has now turned to motoring and has a yen to run Dan’s Chevrolet. He had some of his buddies put

Dave Guion

Dave Guion

it through its paces yesterday and found that outside of a battery, busted taillight and a weak starter, there seems to be little the matter. A car in running condition is a better perspective sale than one that lays out in the backyard with tires deflated, etc., so, irrespective of the fact that this plays right into Dave’s hand, if Dan consents, Dave will register the car, and I will expand what funds are necessary to put it into driving condition, with the idea that anything so spent will pay dividends when the car is sold. Of course Dan, if there is any reason why you prefer not to have Dave use the car, that is something else again. I will say, however, that none of you boys at his age drove any more carefully or with better judgment than he does.

PREDIUCTION:     This is where we outrival Drew Pearson, Walter Winchell and other prognosticators, who either have not thought so far ahead or have not dared put it into print. A Reuter’s dispatch from Zürich states the Germans ”plan to remove the Pope to a North Italian town offering greater security should Rome be in danger of capture by the Allies.” This decision was said to have been taken on the grounds that the Germans had assumed responsibility for protecting the Pope and could not allow him to be endangered by street fighting. Good, kind, thoughtful Nazis. I predict: that desperate Hitler has an ace card in the person of the Pope, that he will remove him to Germany with perhaps all the Cardinals, and when the Allies demand the head of Hitler, that wily paper hanger will reply: “Full pardon for me and Mussy or the Pope and Cardinals go to the block”. When I was a boy, Theodore Roosevelt sent a message to a Barbary pirate chieftain who had captured an American citizen: “Pericardis alive, or Rasuli dead.” And what a poser this question would pose for Roosevelt and Churchill to decide. You may be sure Adolph is not overlooking the possibilities. Talk about political dynamite. This is truly “high explosive”.

SOCIAL NOTES:     A week ago Saturday, Carl Wayne, while at Norfork, visited the Chandlers at Westminster. He is scheduled for his first trip in about three weeks time and after that has a chance to be made 3rd Assistant Engineer. Ethel says he is still using his selling ability, having contracted to do the men’s washing. He then got friendly with the cook and uses the galley to dry the clothes, of course charging extra for this. David Chandler is going to Prep School in Washington. Carol Elizabeth is three months old and is living with her mother when her father isdoing washing for Uncle Sam, at the Bushy residents, with Papa and Mama bushy and Daniels Farm Road.

The Editor says it is time to close the forms and go to press. Letters to the editor are always appreciated. Don’t let your subscription expire.

A.D.G.

This was a long post but I wanted to get the whole letter in before the week ended. I hope you enjoyed it.

Tomorrow, some more Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll be moving ahead to 1945 and more of the trials of Dan and Paulette during the beginning of their marriage.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Lad, You Old Rascal – October, 1943

Lad and Mariam at Pomona

Marian Irwin and Lad Guion in Pamona, CA

October 7, 1943

Dear Lad:

Well, you old rascal. So, you have decided to make me rich with another daughter! Well, that’s good news. I like it.  It arouses a strong desire to get better acquainted with one whom we are all set to welcome into the family — and like it.

To be sure, some undiscerning soul might question her good judgment in the choice of a prospective husband, but personally, I admire her good taste and have done so for years (with “x” representing Marian). Indeed, I have already credited her with several good marks in the scorebook.

Seriously, Lad, I am mighty happy with you. It makes me feel young again. I relive those happy days when, as a young husband, I found “the only girl in the world” and began my great adventure (as yet still unfinished, so long as you boys carry on into a new generation, and I am here to share it with you). I found, living with your mother, that marriage with the right girl comes as near heaven on earth than anything we experience in this world can, and obversly, my observation tells me that two people mismated, is quite about the worst kind of living hell. Of course all marriage, to some extent, is a gamble — each one, after the rosy clouds of the honeymoon disappear to permit a clear view of the other fellow in all his humanness, finds it a bit hard to give up some of his cherished ideas, which each must be prepared to do, to fit smoothly into a joint working partnership — and surprisingly, it is not the big crises that threaten to be the stumbling block — it is the little, unimportant, constantly recurring things that make life miserable, like pinching the family toothpaste tube the wrong way, the constant mispronunciation of the word, or any one of 1000 trivial things — but I grow serious and perhaps tiresome. This is a time of rejoicing – not of listening to tiresome lectures.

While your letter came as a big surprise it was a mighty pleasant one, and it is too bad you both are not nearer home so that we could celebrate in a manner fit for the occasion. Needless to say, I am looking forward personally, very eagerly, to more detail than just the base facts announced in your note. Perhaps Marian might feel inclined, if she has the time, to write me also a bit more about herself, so that we can get better acquainted with one another — even if it be only by correspondence.

A father’s loving blessings on you both, and may the years be long and happy in all that is best.

As ever,

Dad

Tomorrow and Wednesday, Grandpa will be making the announcement to the rest of the family in his weekly chronicle as well as broadcasting other family news. On Thursday, we’ll read a congratulatory note from Babe, Lad’s former girlfriend and on Friday, we’ll read what Marian’s parents have to say to Al, as they call him.