Army Life – An Apartment and Wedding Gifts – December 7, 1943

              Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

Monday

Dear Dad –

Lad is still busy monogramming every article of G.I. clothing he possesses with G-2058 – even his sox – and I finished wrapping some of our Christmas gifts, so I can think of no better time to write you and relate the latest happenings of the very happy A. P. Guion’s of California.

First and foremost – we have finally located a place to hang our hats. Hallelujah! This business of vagabonding in the Buick has been find, but it’s going to be wonderful having our own place. It is in South Pasadena – a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath over a garage, completely furnished – only four years old and sounds very nice. I haven’t seen it yet, but we’re moving in this coming weekend, we hope! I’ll believe it when we are actually in, and not before. The new address is 1416 Stratford Ave., South Pasadena. I hope it will be fairly permanent. Seems to me that you had quite a time wondering just where to send your letters. Hope you won’t have to think about any other address for quite a while. We are going to spend next weekend collecting our things from various parts of Southern California and concentrating them in one spot, and it’s going to be wonderful. We are actually looking forward to moving!

Secondly, the photograph of Lad has never arrived. I have inquired twice at this post office, with no positive results. They said the best thing to do would be to start checking from your post office. Perhaps by now it’s come back to you. I hope so.

–      About wedding gifts. It’s rather hard to tell you just what to say to lad’s friends- we don’t want to get too many things so that we will have a hard time moving – and not knowing where we will be after the war makes a difference, too. However, linens of any kind are very acceptable. We haven’t picked out our sterling pattern as yet, and are waiting until after the war to get our dishes – so, that’s out – our Fostoria is the candlewick pattern – we don’t have cake plates or cups and saucers in that – odd pieces of any fairly plain Fostoria would be acceptable. Vases are another thing we could use – does that help?

–      We are sending our Christmas package to you this week. Hope it arrives before Christmas. Isn’t very much, but with it comes a heartfelt wish for happiness for all of you and the fervent prayer that next year we can all be together for Christmas. Will certainly be thinking of all of you.

Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

    Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

–         Quoting from Mother’s last letter, “I received the nicest letter from Al’s father this week. I hope that we will get a chance to meet him sometime soon, for I know we will like him very much.” She also  said how startled she was to have you referred to Al as “Lad” ‘cause three or four times while we were home she started to call him that because it seemed so natural. And she has never known that Lad was his nickname. I’ve never mentioned it in any letter to them. I always referred to him as Al. Strange, isn’t it?

Lad asks me to tell you that, for the record, the pajamas, bathrobe and Christmas box have all arrived safely – and he hereby sends his thanks.

Will write again, soon,

Love to all-

Marian

Lad ads a note:

Lad writes: Thanks for your cooperation. All of the pkgs. have arrived in fine shape. As Marian mentioned, her temporary address will be 1416 Stratford Ave. I think monogram letterhead will be very nice. Something like this:Initials are M I G. More later. Love to all — Lad

Tomorrow, more of the Voyage to Venezuela. On Sunday, more of My Ancestors. 

Judy Guion

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Army Life – Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan – Marian and Lad’s Thanksgiving Wish – November 25, 1943

This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian have just been married and are looking for an apartment.  Dan is in London, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic for Uncle Sam, Dick is in Brazil and Dave is battling with various Army training schools.

Mowry and Marian Irwin, Marian and Lad Guion, November 14, 1943

Marian’s first letter as a newlywed to Grandpa and everyone else in Trumbull on Thanksgiving Day, 1943.

Thursday

Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan —

Surely it can’t be a week since Lad wrote you saying that I would be writing to you in a day or two, but after taking a hasty glance at the calendar, I find that it is over a week ago! How time flies by – and all my good intentions, too — nevertheless, we have been thinking of you, and wishing there were some way we could induce Superman to transport us to Trumbull for Thanksgiving Day. Of course, Uncle Sam says that Lad must work today, although he did surprise me by getting off for two hours for lunch – but maybe Superman could convince Uncle Sam, too, that eating at home on Thanksgiving Day would be quite a morale “lifter-upper”.

We are going out for our Thanksgiving dinner — seeing as how we don’t have an apartment as yet– and besides, I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life! There always has to be a first time, however, but perhaps it’s just as well for Lad’s innards that we are going out. Even though you will probably all be in bed, we will drink a toast, too, to the Guion Clan and the fervent wish that another year will find us all together.

Seems to me that Lad reported quite completely to you about our wedding. It was really lovely and although simple, was quite impressive. Lad, of course, didn’t tell you what a very fine impression he made on the members of my family – you and I know, of course, that it certainly wouldn’t have been any other kind of an impression – but my family has never seen him. All comments were highly favorable, and as mother says, “We have some rather outspoken members in our family too!” But they all think he is mighty fine, as, of course, he most definitely is!

We received a congratulatory telegram from Ced bemoaning the fact that he wouldn’t be around to tie tin cans on the car! I’m surprised someone in our family (West Coast branch) didn’t think of it either. They must be slipping, or perhaps the fact that we didn’t leave until after everyone else did sort of cramped their style! We were so pleased that everyone could come to the wedding – some driving as far as 100 miles in spite of the “gas and tire situation” – then we stayed around talking to everyone until they had to leave.

Isn’t it wonderful that Ced is getting home? For a whole month, too. There will certainly be great rejoicing when he arrives, won’t there? Three years is an awful long time.

If my husband (gosh, that sounds wonderful!) Expects to find me practically ready to go out with him this evening when he gets home, I’d better close this letter and start to get ready.

Can’t possibly tell you how very happy we are – in spite of the fact that we have no home. Perhaps a slight ray of our happiness will shine through the lines of this letter – if you could see us I know you’d see what I mean, for we are just beaming all the time. Our friends just look at us and say, “You can’t possibly be that happy!” But we are — Even more so–

With love and happy Thanksgiving Day greetings from

Lad and Marian

P.S. – The package containing the P.J.s arrived safe and sound.

M

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, two letters from Grandpa and on Friday, another letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

 

Tomorrow and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa, on Thursday another of Grandpa’s letters and on Friday, another from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen at Large (2) – News From Ced and Marian – September 17, 1944

 

Judy_0003

Nature must have handed your Uncle Ted a “roving commission” (On second thought, nobody handed him anything – – he’s won what he has by his own ability and effort). Be that as it may, he’s now headed for Bolivia, and by the time this letter is in the mail he will probably be winging his way over the continent to the south of us. He and Aunt Helen came up to Bridgeport Wednesday where I was able, fortunately, to be of some aid in straightening out a passport technicality, thus permitting Aunt Helen later to join Ted in Bolivia. It seems a big American engineering firm, backed jointly by the big Import-Export Bank and the Bolivian government, has about concluded negotiations for the building of some 500 miles through Bolivia of a Pan-American section of the super highway, and Ted was elected to act as sort of a John the Baptist in the matter, to go down there now and prepare the way for the final act before they get down to actual excavation. He estimates that it may turn out to be an eight year job but in any event, there will undoubtedly be openings for quite a bit of American skill and labor before it is finished. In fact, Ted asked me when I wrote Lad to say that he, Ted, would like to get Lad down there as soon as possible on diesel electric or similar work, and would like to have any suggestions as to how this could be made possible right now – – even to seeing if some wire pulling in Washington could be undertaken. He also hinted that later, there might be additional openings for some of you other boys. And that gave me an idea. You may recall that in one of my letters some time ago, I let my fancy have free reign and had you all in Alaska, Lad in charge of a big diesel electric power plant, Dan in some engineering or surveying or prospecting activity, Ced as a holder of his U.S. licensed airplane mechanic certificate (and now with his pilots operating license), Dick, who by the way wrote recently that besides paying the soldiers and making monthly reports, he has to make out the civilian payroll, prepare rosters of all Brazilians hired and fired. Because he now seems to have acquired enough Portuguese at school down there and in actual practice, he says his new boss, the Major, has ideas of putting him in complete charge of hiring, firing, sick leave, payroll, records, etc., of all our 500-odd Brazilian employees, and lastly Dave, running the business and in addition, producing on the spot, all those sundry business forms, printed matter, etc., with yours truly as the boss who sat at the top and looked important but made you fellows do all the work. Well, Ted’s remarks have inspired Act 2 of the Guion Saga, which I have attempted to set forth for your amusement in the attached.

Marian writes: “Our new home is very much nicer than the first one and we have kitchen privileges so we don’t have to eat out – – and from what we’ve sampled of “Southern cooking” we are just as glad. Somewhere along the way I’ve been sadly misinformed about Southern cooking (that’s not the only dissolution – – I imagined sitting on a porch, sipping mint juleps and sniffing magnolias and honeysuckle! Something is definitely wrong. Mississippi is as dry as can be and beer is a poor substitute for the mint julep). The couple who own the house where we are staying are working so we have the house to ourselves during the day. Lad’s classes are from 3:00 in the afternoon to 12:30 at night. He gets home about 1:30 and doesn’t have to report back to camp until to the next afternoon. Our new address is 303 Longino, Jackson, Miss., but your weekly morale builder-uppers, if sent to Lad, are certain to reach him that way. In case you are still wondering, the “we” referred to in my previous letter were two of the wives who came with me and a two-year-old boy. We all lived in the same place in Pomona so we decided to stick together and come here, too.”

A letter addressed to “Sneezy Guion, Ragweed, Conn.” from you-know-who in Alaska, arrived on the morning of September 11th, which shows pretty good timing, and started the day off right. It’s worth having a 60th birthday to find out what one’s boys think of their old man. Ced writes: “Once again I see by the calendar that the natal anniversary date of pater Guion approaches. This being most likely the last letter from an admiring son to be received in Trumbull before that date, must convey a message of thanks for all you have been to us all, and the very best wishes for you in the ensuing year. I wish that all of us could join you at the dinner table on the eventful day in body as well as in spirit. Be it a comfort to you to know that few up here can rival my record of one letter a week from home. One has the feeling that no matter what happens he can always fall back on Dad and be sure of the best that Dad can offer in the way of assistance. A token of appreciation is en route from the sourdough via carrier pigeon, underground telegraph or some other means of transportation but may not reach you until after your birthday. Last night and today have been a definite prelude to winter. Snow fell quite low in the mountains last night while a cold rain and accompanying wind hit town. I am of the opinion that this winter will be early, with lots of snow but not too severe. Some of the Buick parts have arrived and I start tomorrow putting the transmission together. (Ced next gives an interesting account of his watch repairs, and goes on to say) Now I can fly and keep track of my minutes in the air. The ship I am soloing in is the most luxurious of small planes but to operate the radio one must have a radio operators license so that too I must study for and obtain. In the meantime, I use the lights from the control tower. Eleanor Burnham is doing library work in New York with little children. Helen has gone to Syria on missionary schoolwork. Brad is in the Marines in the Pacific. Rusty (Heurlin) is at Pt. Barrow.” He writes he has completely quit drinking.

DAD

P.S. I found Dave’s letter in my car. See attached copy. This reminds me of the famous Sears Roebuck letter: Gentlemen: I git the pump witch I by from you, but why for Gods sake you doan send me no handle. Wats the use of a pump when she don have no handle, I lose to me my customer. Sure thing you don treat me rite.  I wrote ten days gone and my customer he holler like hell for water from the pump. You no he is hot pumper and the win he no blow the pump. She got no handle so wat the hell I goan to do with it. If you doan send me the handle pretty quick I send her back and I order pump from Myers company.                       Goodby.

Yours truly,

Antonio

Since I write I find the dam handle in the box. Excuse to me.

Tomorrow, a letter from Dave to Grandpa regarding his birthday, on Thursday a one act play written by Grandpa and on Friday, more news from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Captains of Industry in the Post-War World (1) – The London Red Cross – November 21, 1943

This is the first half of a rather lengthy letter from Grandpa with many quotes from other letters he has received and some well-meaning fatherly advice. This post contains an interesting account of an American Red Cross Club outside of London and Dan’s thoughts about it.

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 21, 1943

Dear Captains of Industry in

the Post-War World:

Well, the newlyweds are one week older today, and from all reports they started off in double harness in grand style. I know this from a night letter received early Monday morning. In spite of this most important happening in their own lives they still found time to send this message to the ancestral homestead: “Sorry you could not be here. We are in San Francisco and are leaving for Camp Santa Anita tomorrow. The wedding went beautifully and everyone is nice. Details following. Love to all” signed Marian and Lad.

This was followed a few days later by an announcement that Mr. and Mrs. Mowry A. Irwin announce the marriage of their daughter Marian to Mr. Alfred P. Guion, Army of the United States, on Sunday, the 14th of November, 1943 at Berkeley, California.

And that’s the story to date of the latest launching on the sea of matrimony. The port authorities at Trumbull are looking forward to the day when they will drop another in the harbor here. All hands will be piped on deck, the flag will be dipped, the big guns will fire their salute, the brass band will get into action, and a good time will be had by all. Speed the day! It can’t happen too soon for us.

Evidence keeps piling up that Lad, as usual, is showing rare good judgment, in his choice of a lifetime partner, this time. It has been my privilege to receive this week one of the nicest letters any father-in-law could receive from his son’s mother-in-law. (Incidentally, the stock mother-in-law jokes will have to retire in confusion in this instance). First her thoughtfulness in writing and the sensible understanding tone of her letter are revealed by her first two paragraphs: “Because you couldn’t be present to share in the happiness of Marian and Al on Sunday, but feeling sure that you would be interested, I’m taking the privilege of writing you. They can tell you about the wedding which I’m sure is just what they wanted — simple, happy and friendly, but with dignity, solemnity and beauty which I feel should accompany any marriage. Quite naturally, Mr. Irwin and I would have liked to become acquainted with your son before he walked down the aisle with our daughter as his wife. In normal times it would have been managed; but at present it was well nigh impossible. Really, I can honestly say to you that I retired Sunday night feeling absolutely sure that Marian was safe with the man of her choice. I had no qualms or worries whatever as to his treatment of her. Can any mother say more?” The letter follows with some intimate glimpses from a mother’s knowledge of her daughter and ends: “If any of you boys happen to be in our vicinity we’d enjoy having them get in touch with us, and we hope some time to have the pleasure of meeting you.” Aunt Betty summed it up by saying: “Evidently they are a very nice family!” Amen to that, Lad, and I’ll also be willing to bet Mrs. Irwin will never have cause to change her feelings towards you. And now, of course, we will be looking forward to letters from you or Marian or both telling us all about the main bout. I assume you couldn’t arrange time for even a short honeymoon, but that only means you will have that to look forward to.

A letter from Aunt Dorothy says Helen and Ted are coming north for a brief stay. Anne is staying with Dot and her mother temporarily, until Anne’s furniture arrives from Staunton. She has leased an apartment just a few blocks from Dorothy’s. Mother keeps pretty well but has her off days now and then.

Dave, by the way, received his notice to go to Shelton Tuesday for his physical exam.

Another interesting letter from Dan, and rather, as Shakespeare remarks, “to gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue onto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish” I will simply quote: “Because it occupies such a prominent position in my mind today I am dedicating this letter to the American Red Cross. The clubs in London have been a catalyst to every “G. I.” who has come to London wanting to get the most out of his visit. Maps, accommodations, education, information, entertainment, all are the daily diet of the A. R. C. Considerable prejudice has been built up in the minds of most of us against the Red Cross for alleged acts of dubious character during the last war — selling cigarettes, stationary, etc., which had been donated for free distribution — so it has been quite a pleasant revelation to learn how unfair such a prejudice has become. I am not familiar with administrational set up over here. Apparently only a few of the workers are Americans. These few are regional Directors, generally men. But the majority of workers, paid or volunteer, are British women who do all in their power to help us in every way. They are a composite Travelers aid, shopping guide, nursemaid, companion (in a moral sense, of course!), entertainer, tour conductor, Encyclopedia, Dorothy Dix and hostess, all at the “beck and call” of any “G. I.” uniform. Rooms and meals are available at minimum charge. But nicest of all, a new A. R. C. Club has just been opened quite near the place in which we are stationed. It is rather different in atmosphere from the downtown London clubs — more like an exclusive U. S. O. Club in that there are no overnight facilities to attract the “Grand Central terminal” crowd that prevails in the regular London clubs (coming and going at all hours of the day and night, unkempt from travel — gas mask and musette bag drooping from weary shoulders as they “queue up” for lodgings. This local A. R. C. is housed in a building built by Christopher Wren for Queen Anne early in the 18th century. It is built on the site of an old palace, which causes it fairly to reek of atmosphere and tradition, despite the modern comforts that have been added for its present function. There is an open fireplace in virtually every room; library music room, dining room, information desk, all contribute notably to our comfort indoors, while spacious lawns, secluded bowers, gardens and aged walls lend an aura of romantic antiquity to the grounds around it. Glimpses of barges and boats can be caught through the trees that line the further edge of the lawn past which a river flows. By fortunate coincidence I am able to take advantage of this club during the daylight hours all this week because I have begun working on a “shift” job which changes hours periodically. The work I am doing is new and interesting, particularly by contrast to the stagnation I have been exposed to for such a long time.” Thanks Dan, for that masterly letter. I have an idea it will be read by a wider range of folks than those in the immediate neighborhood.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the second half of the letter with some well thought out advice from Grandpa to his sons, scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

Army Life – The Wedding (As Lad Describes It) – November 18, 1943

 

Thurs., Nov. 18, ‘43

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Dad: –

This won’t be much of a letter because I’m not in much of a letter-writing mood — but I’ll try to give you a little something about which you are most anxious to hear. I’ll start after work last Friday. Things were rather slow at the section so about 2:00 (1400) I asked for permission to leave and it was granted. I cleaned up and got my pass and went into Arcadia to get the special ration of gas I had asked for. I had no trouble getting it and then I went back to camp and checked again to see if I had forgotten anything. Nothing showed up so I went to South Pasadena to get Marian. She was at the Irwin’s where she had been staying since the preceding Sunday when she had been ousted from de ‘ouse out.

Vern Eddington - Best Man

Vern Eddington – Best Man

Her landlady wanted the room for some friends of hers who were coming to California to live. So that also leaves us without an apartment and we are living in hotels or auto courts where ever we can find room. We are still hoping to have an apartment, though, by next week, and until such time, please use, for our mailing address: 2017 Edgewood Dr., South Pasadena, California — well, to go on. From the Irwin’s we went back to camp and got Junior (Vernon Eddington – Maryland) and started for Frisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Orinda. Junior and I, taking turns, drove the 415 miles in 10 hours arriving in Orinda at 0530.

After a couple of hours of rest Marian and I went into Berkeley and procured the license. A little last minute shopping took up the rest of the morning and we got back to Orinda about 1300. Saturday afternoon Mr. Irwin took us with him to get the last minute things and the cake and we ate supper at the Irwin’s. Following age-old traditions I had to sleep somewhere where I would not see the bride on her wedding day before starting up the aisle, so I went home with her brother Scrub (Homer, if you must) and his wife. Junior and I got to the Chapel about 30 min. early and were given the final instructions. At exactly 1330 the first strains of the Wedding March sounded and following about 4 feet behind Fred Stripp, the Minister, with Junior the same distance behind me, I walked onto the platform from the left. Mr. Stripp stopped at the center and I continued on around behind him, stopping about 4 feet to the right and in front of him at about 45° to the aisle down the center. By this time Marian was coming down from the rear on her father’s arm, preceded by her sister, the Matron of Honor and her mother. When Marian and her Dad came onto the platform he stopped and she continued on. As she came up beside me I turned to face Fred and took a couple of steps with Marian so that we were both about 2 feet from Fred. (He reminds me of Mr. Chandler). Marian coughed a couple of times and my knees shook so much my pants legs rippled, but after taking Marian’s hand in mine I calmed down right away and the rest went off very well. Even Fred commented on the self-assurance we both appeared to have during the whole service (He didn’t know from nothin’) which was very short, concise and beautifully worded and done. Everyone, even I, thought it was a wonderful ceremony, except that it was over too soon. We were outside the Chapel and I was meeting some of my new family by ten minutes to 2.

Wedding cake - 1943

                                                                                                                                                Wedding cake – November 14, 1943

From there Junior drove us in my car to the Irwin’s where I met many more (48 in all) and the reception dinner (sandwiches, coffee and cake) was held. We took a number of pictures, all in color, and spent the entire afternoon. By about 6:30 all the guests had left and then Marian and I packed our stuff and went into San Francisco. We stayed at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, and had a wonderful evening. We had made arrangements to meet Junior in Berkeley at 3 PM Monday in order to start back early, so I didn’t see much of San Francisco. I did see the Bay Bridge, and it is very pretty as bridges go. We called Mother Irwin before we left and started about 3:30 for South Pasadena. We got in about 2:30, too late to go to anyone’s house, and not having an apartment ourselves, we put up at the Hotel Green in Pasadena. Tuesday at 0700 Junior and I had to be back at work so that ended our honeymoon. Marian wore a dark green suit that I think was the most perfect creation I have ever seen on any woman. She really looked wonderful. I’m really awfully sorry you weren’t here, but I’m glad I didn’t decide to wait until after the war. Marian is going to write in a couple of days so give my regards and love to all.

Laddie

Thursday and Friday I’ll be posting a long letter from Grandpa to Captains of Industry in the Post-war World.

On Saturday, Day Four on the Santa Rosa as Lad travels to Venezuela for a job working with his Uncle Ted Human and his brother Dan.

On Sunday, more of My Ancestors with information (I hope) on Joseph Bradford, son of Governor William Bradford.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Newlyweds (2) – A Few Words of Fatherly Advice – November 14, 1943

 

Grandpa concludes the letter I posted yesterday with words of advice to the Newlyweds.

    Alfred Peabody Guion and Marian           Dunlap Irwin Guion, Nov. 14, 1943

Well, I suppose a few words of fatherly advice are in order. There are mighty few young people who go into marriage with any real idea of what it means. They get their notion of it from the clouds where they live while they are engaged, and naturally about all they find out there is wind and moonshine; or from novels which always end just before the real trouble begins, or if they keep on, leave out the chapters that tell how the husband finds the rent and the wife how to make over last year’s coat to look stylish for this season. But is quite easy to get all the facts about matrimony; part of them are right in the house where you spent your childhood, and the neighbors have the rest. Someone has said that you’ve got to have leisure to be unhappy. Half the troubles in this world are imaginary and never happened, but it’s oftener these than the real troubles that break a young wife’s or a young husband’s heart. There are a few folks who can be happy idle when single but married, they have to have something to do or there’s trouble. A woman can find fun from the cellar to the nursery in her own home but with nothing to do but gad around the streets and she’ll find discontent. A man can ride 3 miles on a bus to his job in the morning and find happiness at the end of every trip but he can chase it all over the world in a steam yacht without ever catching up with it. There is usually an idle man or an idle woman in every divorce case. As some wag once remarked “when the man earns the bread by the sweat of his brow, it’s right that the woman should perspire a little baking it.” It’s good to have money and the things money will by, but it’s good too, to check up once in a while to make sure you haven’t lost the things that money won’t buy.

I guess that’s enough of that for this letter which according to the rules, should be just full of sweetness and joy, but marriage is not so much the fulfillment of all one most fondly desires as the beginning of a sacred and serious relationship that in union, can become far bigger than either one can accomplish alone, and it is that bigger fulfillment that, of course, I am hoping you will attain together.

There, I haven’t written at all the kind of letter I should have liked to have turned out on this important day, but there is a lot of truth in the saying “too full for utterance “, and you will both have to read between the lines all the good things that I have left unsaid.

Of course, when you have had time to get the ricin confetti combed out of your hair, would all like to know the details of the wedding itself, if and where you went on your honeymoon, what future plans are as far as Uncle Sam will let you plan, and anything else you think we would be interested in hearing. A surrealistic picture of us here would be a lot of big ears all turned in your direction and listening for all we’re worth.

Yours for good sound effects,

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Lad and I will finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa to the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull -Dear Newlyweds (1) – Thoughts About THE DAY – November 14, 1943

 

Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin, Alfred Peabody and Marian (Irwin) Guion

November 14, 1943

The BIG Day: Let’s go a step farther and simply

call it THE day, otherwise known

to just ordinary folks as Nov. 14th

Dear Newlyweds:

We have been thinking of you all day home here and wishing we had a long-range telescope so that we could focus it in on the Little Chapel of the Flowers in Berkeley and fix in

our memory for all time the setting for so important an event in the archives of the Guion family. With none of our clan present, Lad, I hope you maintained your noted calm and placid mien, and while no one pays much attention to the groom on such occasions anyway, he is apt to forget that fact and feel as though the eyes of everyone were focused on him alone, much as I felt on that Easter so many years ago when I first donned my pair of long pants, and as I walked the few blocks to Sunday school, I was sure the neighbors in every house along the street were crowding to the windows and behind the curtain, peeking out to look at my pants. I didn’t dare look to verify the fact because I didn’t want them to have the satisfaction of knowing I was aware of their scrutiny.

At dinner time today, Aunt Betty decided there ought to be some sort of celebration, so she got down her bottle of port wine, and we all drank a toast in your honor. Did you both feel the surge of good wishes that went speeding over the airwaves on your wedding morn?

It is being borne upon my consciousness that the 14th must be my lucky day  —  my daughter acquisition day  —  for on  February 14th, just nine months ago, I acquired my first daughter-in-law, and you know, I like it. And I don’t doubt I’ll like it still better when I get better acquainted with the latest blossom from the Little Chapel of the Flowers.

Another bit of evidence that I was thinking of you today is the fact that I went looking for pajamas and bathrobe. I found the former together with a shoe holder I gave you some years ago which I am including in the package with the pajamas on the theory that in your small apartment any device which will aid in saving room will be welcome. I have one more place to look for the terrycloth bathrobe and I am pretty sure it is the right place, so shortly after receiving this first package you can be looking for another. Unless you had a most particular reason for asking that they be sent to you at camp, I’m going to disregard your request and ship them to Bushnell Avenue, because, while there is a limit to the size and weight of packages that is permissible to send to a boy in the armed services, there is no such limitation on shipments to civilians; and I while I haven’t measured the pajama package to see if it exceeds the permissible dimensions, I won’t have to bother with this limitation at all if I mail it to you at a civilian address.

After two weeks in succession hearing from my scattered correspondents, it is perhaps quite understandable that this last week I received nothing at all through Uncle Sam’s mail service. Of course that is not the reason I am ignoring in my salutation all the rest of you to whom a copy of this letter is being sent, but merely that the importance of the occasion overshadows all else and warrants centering the spotlight on “the happy couple from South Pasadena”.

 

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter, with a few words of Fatherly advice, then a letter from Lad and another letter from Grandpa will finish out the week.

Judy Guion