Trumbull – Dear Alices in Wonderland (1) – Thank You, Ced And Comments About Marian – November 19, 1944

 Trumbull, Conn.,   November 19, 1944

Dear Alices in Wonderland:

(all of you)

“The time has come”, the Walrus said

“To talk of many things —-

Of Ced and Dave and Marian

And babes the stork doth bring.”

And just to be contrary we’ll start with the last first.

Saturday at 4 AM another little Hall came to town with the fond expectation of his parents that someday he would make his mark in the world – sort of a hall-mark, so to speak. Did I say “his”? Forgive the error, please. It is a little girl. And I don’t think I mentioned in my previous letters that Father and Mother Hughes are now grandpa and grandma Hughes, Jean also introducing a little girl into Trumbull Society. (Both of these little girls have been lifelong friends of mine)

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

As for Ced, he has just given birth to a birthday present to his dad. I call it a birthday present because that is what they said it was but it might well be an advance Christmas gift judging from the magnificence of the remembrance, the thoughtfulness displayed in its selection of the uncanny knowledge of my needs that it betokened, for it must be admitted that in glancing through sundry ads in popular magazines I have frequently read with interest announcement of the Parker Life-Time Pen and Pencil sets, only to dismiss the thought of owning one with the realization that the Scotch blood, if any, of some unknown ancestor would stay my hand in the act of withdrawing it from my pocket the necessary bills grasped there in to the faint accompaniment of a voice urging “my friends” to invest in victory bonds. Then two, there was the accompanying thought that having had in the past some unfortunate experiences in losing good fountain pens and pencils, I could not subject myself to the mental hazard of having such a thing happen to so costly and highly prized possession.

However, all these circumstances are now resolved for me who am now the happy possessor of the set in question, duly stamped with my initials, so that now, instead of envy as I turn the pages of Fortune, I now gloat. It would have been very difficult, Ced, for you to have hit upon anything that would be quite so welcome and appreciated, and you can take full satisfaction in that inner glow which comes from knowing that you really rang the bell.


Now, let’s turn our attention to Marian. I don’t know, Lad, what you’re going to do about that girl. Course I don’t like to worry you but I think you ought to know that there is someone called Heck that she mentions quite frequently and in the oddest connections, showing that she thinks of him throughout the day. She doesn’t say much about him, just mentions his name. I have even thought of writing in your name to the lady that runs the advice to the lovelorn columns but figured I’d better consult with you first. Otherwise she seems quite normal, and in truth has quite won a large place in all our hearts. Of course this is no more than what we expected would happen but in this case the realization is even better than the anticipation. Time and scarcity of paper precludes going into great detail but “helpfulness” seems to be her motto. I know Aunt Betty feels this way from what she has said and speaking from personal knowledge, whether it is work I have to bring home from the office occasionally or such household tasks as taking down screens and putting up storm wndows, she generously fills the shoes of my absent sons. Today, for instance, both before and after dinner, I accomplished considerably more in the winterizing process that I have for many weekends.

Page 2      11/19/44

MIG - Front yard with snow - 1945

I could go on at great length in the same vein, but just one more instance will show what I mean. Tomorrow she has offered to come down to the office with me in the morning and pinch-hit for some of the helpers I vainly seek to carry on the work of the Guion organization. The neck of the bottle right now seems to be an operator of the graph-o-type, and with work piling up in this department, she is courageously trying her hand at cutting stencils.


Tomorrow I will be posting the rest of this letter and a second letter from Grandpa will finish out the week.

If you find the story of family life during the 1940’s interesting, why not share it with friends or family? Perhaps they will enjoy it also.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sonny (1) – Marian’s Birthday Celebration – November 12, 1944

              Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 12, 1944.

Dear Sonny:

It gets a bit puzzling how to address you youngsters each week without repeating some salutation used in former letters, and in this respect perhaps Dan has the right idea of plunging right into the letter without wasting time on the customary form of address. Sometimes I sit for a couple of minutes puzzling how to begin this week’s screed, so today I just wrote the above applying to each of you individually and collectively.

Yesterday was not only Armistice Day but also Marian’s birthday, and following the usual custom we celebrated it today. Elizabeth, who came to dinner with her two boys (Zeke came in later, he having been to his mother’s to see Irv, who is home on leave), was able to get, through her butcher, a nice ham, quite a rarity these days, and that with some of Burrough’s cider of sainted memory, baked sweet potatoes, cauliflower, topped off with Guion’s celebrated prune whip, was followed with the opening of gifts amid the soft glow of candlelight – – in the dining room, of course. Lad had sent me a bottle of Marian’s favorite perfume earlier in the week and this happened to be the last gift she opened which topped off things with an unexpectedly pleasant surprise for her. Doing as much as we can, however, these days still lack that intangible something that used to be present with all you boys gathered around in your accustomed places. It is so pleasant having Marian added to the home circle that she and Jean supply what would otherwise be a very quiet and almost somber occasion.

Yesterday Lad wrote from “somewhere in the United States”, or I should say Marian got a letter yesterday written the day before but from where is one of those wartime secrets. He was unable to give the slightest inkling of what is planned, but at least it is clear he did not sail Tuesday with Carl on his transport, although even this sailing is just conjecture.

Ced saved the day from being a news blank week by making it possible for an Alaskan letter to reach me Saturday. The address on the envelope definitely puts me into the local wood choppers union along with Sidney Hillman of C.I.O. fame and other Roosevelt supporters. In spite of the old saying, there appear to be about 20 million Americans who voted for the wrong man, and being quite disgusted I shall not even comment on the horrible example of poor judgment on the part of the majority of U.S. citizens. Undaunted, however, I shall try again four years from now.

To come back to Ced, from what he says the traditional method of celebrating Halloween is practiced even in far-off Alaska. Here, it was very quiet, most of the Trumbull hell raisers having transferred their affections to pestering Japs and Jerries. Ced also recounts in his usual modest manner that he was duly elected President of the Anchorage ski club and has already gotten his committees working. Among other things they are planning a trip to Independence Mines and their annual ski rally. In his letter Ced enclosed a money order and for Dan’s benefit I quote: “Ten dollars of it are to be put into Dan’s account. It is payment for his Spanish records and I hope he will be satisfied. No one seems to know what they were worth, and as the girls had them in the cellar and wanted to clean out the place, they decided to try to sell them. Eleanor Oman has gone out to live with her mother in the states and before she left she made the deal with some soldiers.”

Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion of this letter including a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – A Birthday And An Anniversary – November 4, 1944

Since Lad is using this letterhead to write to Grandpa, my guess is that he brought along some writing paper when he was sent to Jackson, Mississippi.


 In Camp.

Nov. 4, 1944

Dear Dad: –

Since I don’t expect I’ll be able to get home for Marian’s birthday, I sent, under separate cover, a small bottle of Marian’s favorite perfume. I would like you to wrap it for me and give it to her on the great day (Nov. 11) or if a celebration is held, on that day.

Nov. 14 will be our 1st anniversary, and again, circumstances still being the same, I’d like you to get her an appropriate token of my appreciation for her. A bouquet of flowers or something – you probably have a good idea for this –, and any expense should be added to the sum already owed you by us. Marian will repay you as fast as possible beginning after her arrival.

She wants to get some sort of work and if you can have a talk with her maybe you might be able to give her some idea of what she should do. I told her to consult you on any problems which may arise so please try to get her to do so if it looks like she may be bashful or retentive.

I guess I didn’t tell you, and she may be there now, but she left here Friday morning with the Buick and trailer. She should be in Trumbull sometime before late Monday night. Her route followed US 11 to west of Washington DC where she turned east on US 211 and then from Washington DC to New York – US 1. From G. Washington Br. to Henry Hudson; Cross County; Hutchinson River, and Merritt Parkway. I hope she arrives with no difficulties.

I’m going to write her a letter which will give you all the news.

My regards to everyone.



Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Grandpa to “Dear Sonny”, meaning each of his sons.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – A Letter From Marian And Lad – November 1, 1944

MIG - letter to Grandpa - Thanks for the $35., Nov., 1944


Jackson   11/1

Dear Dad,

What a peach you are to send the $35.00 so speedily, without any question. We thought that we could wait here until our first government check arrived but Uncle Sam began rushing things too much. Today (Nov. 1st) is the dead-line as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. All the wives are supposed to have gone home, and no more private cars on the Post. But Lad took the car today, anyway. He’s going to park it outside the gate, so that I can pick it up if he gets restricted. He called me this noon to say that he thought he would be able to get out tonight.

Just to be on the safe side however, we packed the trailer last night, so that it will only take me a few minutes to put the last minute things into the car and be on my way home.

Incidentally, Dad, I’m really looking forward to living there at Trumbull. It seems to me to be the best place of all, other than actually being with Lad, and think of the extra nice company I’ll have. Your comments and P.S.’s in your recent letters have made me feel that I’m really coming home, so that this doggone separation has one bright side, anyway.

I’m leaving here tomorrow or Friday, at the very latest. When Lad comes home tonight, he’ll know a little more about their coming restriction, I think, so that he’ll have an idea whether or not he will be able to get home tomorrow night. If he can, I’ll stay until Friday, but I’m pretty certain I’ll leave then. So if everything goes according to schedule, I should be home sometime Sunday, probably late in the evening.

APG - letter to Grandpa - Nov., 1944

Dad: –

Marian has told you just about everything it is possible to tell, so far. I don’t know anything further about tomorrow night than I knew last night. It is quite disconcerting to say the least to have to make plans when everything is so unsettled, but I can’t get anything definite concerning just what we are going to do. That, I guess, will have to wait until it happens.

Marian is a wonderful girl, Dad, so please take care of her for me. My happiness, and practically my life, is wrapped up in her. I know you will, tho’, even without my asking. Incidentally, her birthday (29th) is Nov. 11.

I get up at 0400 and packing the trailer last night kept me up until almost 2300 last night, so I’m so sleepy I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I’m “gonna quit” here, and as they say in Mississippi – hurry back and see us.


From the looks of things it might be later than Sunday before I arrive. Lad wants me to stay as long as possible – and I want to, too. However, it would make it easier for him, I think, if he knew that I had arrived home safely, so I just don’t know. The best I can do, I guess, is to say, “Look for me when you see me.” It won’t be very long before I’m there – Love from Marian and Lad

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Lad, letting Grandpa know a little more.

Judy Guion

Army Life – A Telegram And A V-Mail From Lad – October 31, 1944

APG - telegram asking for $35 traveling money for Marian -Oct.,  1944





APG - V-mail giving new address - writing to Marian only - Nov. 1944

In using the cable address just put my name and the code address. That’s all. As you have probably realized, I’m writing to Marian only and relying on her to keep you all at home, posted. I hope she is doing a good job. I also hope she is not in the way there or is not unhappier then she need be. I’ve not gotten any letters yet due to moving too fast. Laddie

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from both Marian and Lad, letting Grandpa know a little more. Then another letter from Lad and one from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 351 – Lad’s Gold ID Bracelet And Ring

Both these pieces of jewelry were my Father’s and they are now mine.

Lad - LAD bracelet in gold

While my Father, Lad, was in Venezuela, he had this ID Bracelet made, probably by a jeweler or artisan. Engraved on the back is “A P GUION” and “TRUMBULL, CONN.” You may also notice two gold nuggets included in the chain.

After he had asked my Mother, Marian Irwin, to marry him, he asked her if she wanted an engagement ring. She told him, “No” He gave her this ID Bracelet to wear instead. Now I wear it continually.

APG - Gold Monogrammed Ring

This Cloisonne ring was also made in Venezuela, probably by the same person who made the ID bracelet. I believe that neither my Father nor the Artisan knew of the English tradition  of monogramming,  placing the last name initial in the middle (and larger) and the first and middle initials on the sides. I’m guessing that when the order was placed, my Father was asked for his initials and he told them his initials were “APG” and this is the ring that was made., although the “G” should have been in the middle. I also wear this ring continually.

Trumbull – Dear Army of Occupation (1) – Grandpa’s Worries And A Letter from Marian – October 22, 1944

Alfred Duryee Guion - summer, 1946

Home Detachment stationed at Trumbull, Conn.

October 22, 1944

Dear Army of Occupation:

(“Occupation” meaning employed, keeping busy, etc., written in the hope you will get busy and write another letter home one of these days.”)

Well, once again, armed (to the teeth) with my Sunday rapid-fire pipe, consuming more matches per hour then a B-32 does gasoline, and with my faithful Remington ready to pop away with its staccato fire, I start forth to battle those Allied foes, distance and new experiences, that would fain destroy your remembrance of “the old folks at home”.

My greatest concern at this writing (and I might as well get the worst out of my system at the start) is the lack of news lately from Dan. I don’t like that word “forward” in the latest address he sent me. Of course that may mean he is so busy chasing Heinies back to their homeland that he hasn’t time “between maps” to use the postal service. Still, I suppose maps must be prepared so that we can make our leaps forward into enemy territory (and apropos of this, at home we too are winning the war by “Jeeps and bonds”. According to the news from MacArthur this week, they are doing the leaping over in the Pacific area. However, Dan, before I drop the subject, just remember you are getting to be a big boy now. You have a birthday celebration coming up this week and you’ll be a year older since I heard from you last. That’s quite a long while between drinks, as the Governor of North Carolina is reported to have remarked to the Governor of South Carolina. And speaking of Governors, the Hon. Raymond Baldwin has once again called upon the Guion organization to help him attain leadership of the Commonwealth of Connecticut. We are supposed, within the next few days, to turn out some 20,000 multigraph letters for him, and how I miss Dave under these circumstances. I could hardly turn down the job so I finally got in touch with George Lipovsky who very kindly consented to come over, set up the letter and run at least some of them off for me. We have to fold them as well, so it looks like papa will be busy for a few days. To get ready for this job I worked until 11:30 Friday night, all yesterday afternoon (Sat.) so that “winterizing” the home has not preceded apace this week. I did get a little weather stripping down this afternoon and a few more screens taken down, but it is a long job with only one pair of hands.

Lad & Marian - Pomona - 1944

                          Lad and Marian Guion

The other fly in my ointment is twins – – the persisting rumors that both Lad and Dave – – the youngest and oldest – – are scheduled before the end of the year to take a trip across the big drink. I have not heard from Dave this week but Marian, my old news standby (old of course being a term of endearment and having no reference direct or implied to the age of the party aforesaid), says “That old overseas question is getting closer and closer. We had so hoped we could spend our first anniversary together, but we aren’t too sure now. In the meantime we avoid the subject like poison. Lad has secured authorization for enough gasoline for Marian to drive to Connecticut when and if, and she says: “One of these mornings (evidently she expects to travel at night) I may come blowing in with the breeze (how did she know I did not get all the chicks caulked up?). Looks as though I’m going to cash in that rain check very soon now. Also, according to her letter, Lad has reversed the theme of that song about finding a billion-dollar baby in a five and ten cent store, for she says: “Now that Lad is on the day shift again and I have some spare time during the day, I’m working again. This time it is at Woolworth’s, and it is very enlightening to say the least. It keeps one hopping trying to figure out what the customer wants. A colored lady came in today and asked for what I thought was a “straight comb”. I showed her everything we had but she insisted I didn’t understand. Turns out she wanted a “straight’n” comb to take the kinks out of her hair !!! (Reference Opus 63, mamas li’l baby likes Short’n Bread.) And referring to the branch meeting of the clan, she writes: “We had the grandest visit with Dave (who traveled south from Camp Crowder, Missouri, Lad and Marian traveling north from Jackson, Mississippi, to meet in Little Rock, Arkansas) weekend before last. We spent Saturday and part of Sunday with him and wished it could have been longer. I’m so glad I got a chance to meet him. He and Lad are a great deal alike. I watched them walking down the street together and there was no question as to their being related. (Note by Editor: That remark, young lady, with its sinister implication demands further explanation). They even stand the same way with their feet crossed. See what I mean? Anyway we had a grand time together and left with the fervent hope that it won’t be too long before we meet again under more favorable circumstances”.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter. For the rest of the week, I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to those away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Victors (2) – Paulette’s Father Writes To Grandpa – August 19, 1945

This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday,  written by Grandpa to members of the family, near and far.

Page 2    8/19/45

Dan has just forwarded to me a letter written by Paulette’s father last June, which is such a friendly message and so courteously written in English that I thought you would all be pleased to read it.

Paulette’s Step-Father and her Mother, Maurice Senechal and Julienne (DeClercq) (Van Laere) Senechal.

Dear Sir and friend:

Since a long time I intended to write you but I was nearly shamefully of having so much my English language forgotten. 31 years past I went in England for the last time and I had rarely the opportunity to maintain myself and refresh my vocabulary. Therefore I beg you to excuse me. I hope that you will even though understand me. At first, I wish to say you very sincerely and cordially, you may and you must be the proudest father (proud in the good sense), only when considering the most precious qualities of intelligence, of education and chiefly of heart, of your son Daniel. The most loving son will be surely the most loving husband. As for his future, we are not disquieted, and confidingly,  we canfide the happiness of Paulette to Daniel without the least fear. Since the first day when making his acquaintance, a current of sympathy, the largest, the warmest, the most heartily, streamed between us. It was soon a real affection and he has become for us a new son which we love alike our other children. Paulette has communicated us your letters and those of her future sisters. I should not know to explain you how much we have happily been affected when reading. We are sure that Paulette shall find, landing in the U.S., the most cordial and affectionate welcome in her new family. I care particularly about not to forget to thank you all for the splendid gifts that you have offered to Paulette and for those that we have ourselves received. Paulette has truly a new Dad who loves her well. You are too kind. How to thank you enough? We would fix the date of marriage to the 4th August next, at Calais. Do you agree this date? Daniel will be intermediate between us for fixing it. I halt and I ask you for saying lovely things to your family, and shaking heartily your hand, I am, yours truly and affectionately, Maurice Senechal.

Carl has quit the Merchant Marine and is looking around for some business of his own, possibly in the Marine field. Mr. Gibson has opened up a gas station near the Merritt Parkway at Oronoque, Conn. My hay fever has started. Happy birthday to Dick and the hope that Jean was able to be with him to suitably celebrate the day. It is Elsie’s birthday on the 22nd.

Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

                        Marian (Irwin) Guion

And that’s about all my excited brain can think of to say at present. Anyhow, I don’t want to write half as much as I want to hear from you all with your reaction to the big news and your ideas about homecoming. I took a part holiday Wednesday and all day Thursday celebrating by taking Marian and Aunt Betty for an all day auto ride visiting the Lees and the Kirchers. It was a beautiful, sunshiny day and we all enjoyed it. When the news broke in Trumbull it was recognized by the blowing of the fire siren, peeling of the church bell, tooting of auto horns with sundry yippeeees and bangs, with Marian, in between times, jumping up and down and clapping her hands in ecstasy. However, if Lad’s voice comes over the phone within the next few hours, her past actions will be mild compared to what will happen then. I hope, I hope, I hope. Well, we shall see. In any event, it won’t be long now when some of you will make this old place live again.


Trumbull – Dear Victors – A Very Busy Week – August 19, 1945

For this week, we will stay in 1945 so I can post the letters that I could not find last week — those that were written August 19th and August 20th, telling of Lad’s return to the U.S. and other momentous news.

Trumbull, Conn.,  Aug. 19, 1945

Dear Victors:

Since my last letter to you (only a week ago as time is reckoned but judged by events, a long era ago), so many things have happened here that it seems as though the Jap surrender happened a long time ago. Already millions of dollars worth of war contracts have been canceled by the Government among Bridgeport plants, thousands of employees here have already been laid off, among them the young folks living in the apartment, who have already made arrangements to vacate next week. Marian is quitting Sikorsky Sept. 1st, unless—-ah, that is something !! Today’s paper brings news that yesterday there arrived in New York a transport caring a bunch of boys that sailed from Marseille, France on August 7th en route to the Philippines via Panama and Hawaii, who were diverted to the U.S., among which was the 142nd  O.B.A.M. This is Lad’s outfit and, in view of the fact mentioned in one of Dan’s recent letters, that upon Lad’s return from Calais he had missed sailing with his outfit, it looks very much as though Lad might be on the August 7th sailing, and may now be in Camp Kilmer, N.J., coming home on a 30-day furlough. So, we are all alerted here for a phone call either today or tomorrow from Lad telling us he is on his way home. Anyway, we have our fingers crossed.

Marian has already announced she will not go to work tomorrow, just in case. Jean wrote Marian it was not out of reason to expect that tomorrow (Monday) she would actually be in Brazil, as last Tuesday she was to move into the Government hotel to be processed, briefed and have her last typhoid shot.

Dan wrote hastily just a few days before VJ day asking me to send Paulette some clothes she had picked out from the Sears Roebuck catalog and Dave on Aug. 6th wrote:  “I’m convinced more and more each day that we will all be home a lot sooner than a lot of people think. To let up would be disastrous, of course, but I can’t see that it can take much longer. You should see the airpower on this one island that has been ours for only a short time.”

Nothing new here. Our job here has slowed way down— what’s next— who knows? Incidentally, a postal from Ted Human from Bahama says he will be back soon in New York as the road award will be delayed for months.

Dan, as soon as I got your letter, I stopped at the Sears store on Fairfield Ave., they told me not one of the dresses Paulette had on the list was any longer in stock, as this was a catalog issued in the spring and they were all sold out. They suggested I wait until the fall catalog was out about Sept. 15th, with the new offerings. Meantime, Marian is going to look around among other Bridgeport stores to see if she can find something along the line of those items Paulette has selected. As for the missing camera part, I will try to find it, but not knowing just what to look for, I am rather handicapped in my quest. Meantime, I am breathlessly awaiting news from all of you boys as to what definite news, if any, you may have had regarding your return to the U.S.A.

Aunt Elsie is here with us today, and I shall have to leave in a few minutes to take her to the Station. By the way, all gas rationing is off and you’d be surprised how many cars are on the road again. All you do now is drive in a gas station, and like old days, just say “Fill ‘er up”, only the rush has been too much for many gas stations and they quickly run out of their supply. I hope too, that before long, the quality of gas will be considerably better. Both tire and food rationing is easing up, and blue points for canned fruit and vegetables has been discontinued. Meat, butter and sugar is still rationed. By the first of the year we are promised many things that we have not been able to obtain for years. Peace has come with a bang, and it is good, always.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter. On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa filled with more news.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Marian Writes to Grandpa – October 26, 1944

Blog - Marian Irwin - 1942



Dear Dad –

I wish I could arrange to have one day when I write to you and Mother and Dad, but somehow I always manage to hit a different day of the week. I suddenly realized that here it is Wednesday or Thursday, and still no letter written to you. And even tho’ they are often times just one thin page, I do like to write every week.

Altho’ I wonder sometimes just how I can make them interesting, or at least newsy. It seems as tho’ there isn’t much happening in the way of special events, and except for the now familiar “time bomb” feeling that is such an important item in our daily life, everything else goes along very much as usual.

The battalion has been issued new clothes, and they have been given until Nov. 1st to dispose of their cars, but it seems to me we went through this routine once before at Pomona, and look how long it took us to get out of there! Nevertheless, we are rearranging and packing as much as we can, so that I can leave here on a moments notice. We haven’t the slightest idea which P.O.E. (Point of Embarkation) the fellows will be sent to, but in case it is New York, or its vicinity, I’d like to be around there as quickly as I can get there, in case Lad has a chance to get away for even a few hours.

Unless we send you a telegram to the contrary, will you forward our check as soon as it arrives, the way you always do? But I think you had better send it to me at 303 Longino, in case the fellows are restricted and I can’t get in touch with Lad. He would have to mail it to me and it would take just that much longer. Our other check goes to California so I’ve asked Mom to mail it to you. Will you please hold it there until you hear from us? For all we know, I might be there by the time it arrives, but we don’t know for sure.

Everything else is pretty much the same. We are having some lovely fall weather, but we need a good hard rain to clear the air and settle the dust. I hope it doesn’t reach the proportions of your last storm, however!

Love to all from

Lad and Marian

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting letters written by Dave about his World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion