Trumbull – Dear Benedicts and Bachelors (1) – Dave Sent to Manila – September, 1945

Same old Trumbull, but a new Sept. 2nd, 1945.

otherwise known as VJ Day

Dear Benedicts and Bachelors:

Well, the dawn of a tomorrow is at last a reality, and the “land of the rising Sun” is indeed facing a new day. When you read this however, the event will have passed on into history, and so fast is the pace these days that new events may have already crowded it into the background. There are great days ahead. Huxley once said that the most difficult time in which we live, but also the most rewarding, was in those occasional dark valleys between two peaks of vision when one system had lost its grip on men’s minds and the new system was not yet crystallized. Which seems to describe this present generation. Maybe that is why having lived through the recent dread days there is such a thrill in anticipating the days ahead which you boys, in the strength of your manhood, are facing. History shows us that man’s eternal struggle towards the heights has often been retarded and even halted, but never turned back. Problems the world is now facing will be solved. Nations will find their souls, a new and better world will emerge. You boys are truly at the threshold of great things I truly believe. So much for that, now let’s get down to earth.

Lad, of course, is the big fact still in our conscious thoughts. He and Marian, with the help of the Buick, seem to find plenty doing in these here parts. Yesterday morning we gave Elizabeth a few hours breathing spell by kidnapping Butch and Marty for an auto trip to Bronx Zoo. After returning, they went to a dance in Candlewood Lake as guests of Burr Davis and tonight they are having supper with George Knapp. Elsie just arrived so tomorrow promises also to be not without incident.

And turning to the Quotes Dept., we also have some interesting items there. Dave writes from Manila: “You are no more surprised to find I’m here than I am to be here. It all happened so suddenly that it still hard to believe. Take it from the beginning and follow through. On August 23rd I was told that I had been taken off the old five-man team, and Friday afternoon I was told to pack my stuff and be ready to leave Okinawa by 5 AM Saturday morning. I got only one hour sleep Friday night. In the morning we went up to Kadena Airport, boarded a C-46 Commando transport and in 5 ½ hours found myself in Manila. It was my first real plane ride and I felt a little sick-ish from nervous tension. As soon as the plane started to move up the runway, I lost all fear and became intent on watching the ground below fade away. All of a sudden it just became a big thrill. I acted like a kid on his first train ride. I glued my nose to the window until I couldn’t see Okinawa anymore. Then every once in a while I’d look out to see if we might not pass over an island. Then in almost no time I began seeing the northernmost of the Philippine Islands. I watched every one of them fade away in the distance far below. Finally we got to Luzon. I was sitting up forward near the navigator’s position and by way of conversation, I said: “This is my first time”. I could tell he knew it anyway because of my eagerness to see everything below. When he finished a plot on his map he handed it to me and asked if I’d like to follow our progress as we went along. We were flying at about 8500 feet and the coastline looked just like the map. I could see the rivers and inlets and bulges along the coastline just as they were on the map. We passed over Lingayen Gulf where the American Navy had come in to retake Luzon. Then we cut inland and finally landed at Nichols Field about 6 miles outside Manila.

After waiting for about two hours (spent that time in a canteen gaping at comparatively beautiful Philippine women) we got on the truck and started towards Manila. We passed through what was once a beautiful residential district. There were remains of large and magnificent homes. We passed a ballpark that I had seen in the newsreel. The movie showed American boys cleaning the Japs out of the bleachers and an American tank pitching shells from the pitcher’s box. Now it was just a quiet, torn up mess. We passed well-to-do Philippines living like the ignorant “Okies”. When we entered Manila we saw large public buildings, half rubble and half gutted concrete frames. Manila seems to be about the size of Bridgeport, possibly larger. Can you picture the Klein Auditorium strewn all over Fairfield Avenue, the stage alone standing? Or Central High with the facade all bashed in and the rest of the school gutted, the City Trust Building reduced to four or five stories, City Hall just a pile of bricks? You can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is or how lucky we were this war turned out as it did. The City Hall here was built in 1939. You can see it was a beautiful structure but now it is full of shell and Bomb holes. The people are trying to keep their businesses going but they don’t have much to do it with. You can see where there was once a beautiful nightclub. It is now a makeshift affair with a makeshift band looking like a sideshow at Coney Island. That about explains the whole city – – just a bunch of concessions on the sidewalks of a gutted ghost-city. http://rogue.ph/18-photos-that-show-manila-before-and-after-world-war-ii/

The following quote is from an interview I had with Dave about his childhood memories and growing up in Trumbull:

On August 25th, I think,  we were all watching a film in a kind of natural amphitheater and one of the guys from Brooklyn had a buddy, who was also from Brooklyn, and I remember this just as if it was yesterday,  he came running over – we had gotten some rumors that theJaps were going to quit – and this guy came running over and says, “the signing has been confoimed.” I never forgot that.

But anyhow,  between the time of August 25th and September 7th when they signed the Treaty, I left Okinawa and went down to Manila. Here I am now – the war is over – all I have to do is go home and they’re shipping me out in a plane to Manila. The pilot spent about 20 minutes, maybe, trying to start one engine and I said to myself, “I’m going to die in the ocean and the war is over.” Anyhow, we got to Manila. That was quite a sight – buildings where the first floor was completely gone and five or six or seven stories would be on top of it, canted,… All kinds of destruction. If you went to the City Hall and looked up, you’d see a room with curtains on the windows. That was MacArthur’s headquarters. So he had curtains on his windows and the Filipinos  were watching dead bodies float down the river.

I would say I was in Manila probably six months. I came home in March 1946.

I’ll tell you more next time. The address will do for the time being until we can find out a little more. Dave

Yes, Dave, I called up Eleanor and she was of course interested to hear about your latest move. She asked what we all have been asking each other, “What does this mean?” in terms of your homecoming? And of course the answer is a large lettered WHO KNOWS? Your birthday is not so far off and so far I have not been able to hear a thing about the camera so I am afraid it won’t get to you for your birthday. We’ll be waiting for your next installment to see if it throws any light on this new move. Does it mean a promotion, part of the Army of occupation on Japan, a visit to China to aid in their communication system, or what? At least it means you are seeing another part of the world and that is interesting.

Tomorrow and Friday I’ll post the rest of this long letter, including a very interesting letter from Ced.

hJudy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Guions – Fathers Day and Hot Boots – June, 1943

Grandpa is just ending a family Father’s Day celebration – minus his four oldest sons – and even though it’s 10 PM, he still sits down to write his weekly missive to them.

Trumbull, Conn.

June 19, 1943

Dear Guions:

It is now nearly 10 PM, and I have been, since 3:30 this afternoon, trying to get started on this letter. Dorothy and Anne had come up last night and after dinner we sat on the cement Terrace and chatted, then they got ready to catch the five o’clock bus and found it didn’t leave until six on Sundays, and just as they got on the bus Elizabeth popped in with the children. They left about an hour ago (it is quite impossible to write with those two youngsters around), and just as I at last pulled out this machine, Dave arrived home, having been out all day with Paul and Carl and Walter to launch Paul’s new boat, and of course I had to hear about their adventures, so I am just now getting started.

First, the Aunts asked to be remembered to you. Don is off again, no one knows where but it is possible this trip he is to bring home prisoners of war from North Africa. Elizabeth yesterday went to Edna Beebe’s wedding, I taking the children to be cared for meanwhile up at the Zabels. So much for the scanty news.

This was a 100% letter week – – Lad, Dan, Ced and Dick (by proxy) made it a bang up Father’s Day for me. Jean sent me a nice card, a box of Dan’s things arrived with some toilet articles and razor blades for me, the girls brought up some crullers and a coffee cake. Your letter, Jean, as always, was much appreciated. Of course we would be delighted to hear from Dick and learn a bit about his daily work, his accomplishments, trials, etc., and I do hope when you are not there to pinch hit for him he will not neglect to keep us informed. You have certainly been awfully good about keeping us informed as to how he is getting along.

Dan, your packages arrived safely and I liked your selection of toilet articles. Thanks, old boy. I took the batteries out of your radio, as requested. They are putting you through your paces, all right, and it all may prove a blessing in disguise, but we’ll be mighty glad to see you just the same when you get that July furlough.

By the way, if you fellows want to make the most acceptable Father’s Day gift, please send me, each of you, a snapshot or photo of some sort of yourself in uniform.

Lad, I had to renew the note again at the bank. It would clear up what has now become somewhat of a mystery, if you would explain just what the situation is on that remittance that never came, as unless I can offer the bank somewhat of an explanation, it puts me in rather an embarrassing position. Every time I see them I tell them I’m

Marian Irwin

Marian Irwin

expecting daily to hear from you, and your last very sketchy reference leaves me up in the air as much as ever. After so long a silence it was good to get your two-page letter to learn a bit about what you are doing. I was particularly interested in the nice things you had to say about Marian and hope someday you can wangle an extra snapshot from her and send it to us. How do you plan to spend your furlough when you get it? What is ”goldbricking”? Good luck to you and your staff rating affair. Of course I’ll see you through your vacation funds. Just let me know the amount and when you want it and the check will be forthcoming. It’s just as easy as that. That description of the new plane, Ced, was so realistic I could almost believe I had seen it myself. We all enjoyed your letter immensely. Dan will have some interesting reading when he finally pops in.

I have just finished reading 50 Years Below Zero by Brower that you recommended and found it, as you said, a very interesting account of far North Alaska. I will also appreciate very much receiving the Alaskan Sportsman when it arrives. Thanks also for the money order.You thanked me for sending the Buick parts and paid for them but you did not say that they had reached you. I would also like to know whether the several other packages I sent reached you, as they have been charged to my account at Read’s and of course if you didn’t get them I want to follow through. Aunt Betty also asks if you received the birthday card she mailed to you about two weeks before the happy day. With that new camera, I hope you will be able to send us some snapshots. These will be welcome adjuncts to your interesting letters. Just a word of advice, if you can get film up there now for your camera, take a homely man’s word for it, it would be well for you too lay in as large a supply as you can, because here in the East there are no more obtainable, and we are told there will be no more for civilian use until after the war. Biss did get your gift and has promised to write you and also send dates of Butch’s and Marty’s birthdates. You speak of having written another letter prior to this one after Rusty’s return. If you did I did not receive it and I am wondering if I get all the letters you send. I never got your account of the end of that rescue mission you were on and I would particularly like to have it. Many months ago I told you just where the present account I have ended, and if you save my old letters and can dig it up sometime I would like to learn how it all came out. Yesterday Carl came up and said he had had a very interesting note from you. He brought along a gift for you which he asked me to send the next time a package left here for Alaska. It was a pair of General Electric aviator boots, wired for heating. You can plug them into a battery on the plane or heat them up before you leave. They are supposed to keep hot for six hours. They are a part of the aviator’s electrically-heated suit made by G.E., so you have a start on it anyway. By the way, you haven’t mentioned anything lately about how you’re coming along with your flying, and I suppose nothing new has come to light on the draft matter.

A suggestion just occurs to me that all you correspondees might like to follow. Whenever I ask a question in my letters which calls for an answer or whenever, in reading over my weekly epistles, they remind you of something you want to mention when next you write, and then forget what it is when you finally get around to it, why not make a mark of some kind on the margin opposite the item in question and then when you come to write all you have to do is to look through the last two or three letters you have received, quickly glance at the margins and you will have the whole thing there without having to wade through all the stuff I write from week to week.

Well, as I have to play Peter Rabbit tomorrow and get over to Mr. McGregor’s garden, I’ll  pull down the curtain right here and bid you all a fond adieu (spelling all right on that one, Lad?)

DAD

P.S. to Lad: I did try to find that bathing suit this afternoon, but the attick was so intolerably hot and I was getting so thoroughly wet with honest sweat that I gave up my search until a bit cooler day. You’ll hear from it, however.

Tomorrow and Thursday, more letters from Grandpa to those near and far, trying to keep the family informed of each others lives.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Camp Santa Anita – A Bet and a Band – June, 1943

Grandpa finally receives a letter from Lad with quite a bit more news about Marian Irwin, his main social companion. Things seem to be moving along quite nicely.

Blog - Lad's Army Life - A Bet and a Band - June, 1943

Camp Santa Anita

June 14, 1943

Dear Dad:

This is Monday afternoon. I’m so terribly busy that I’ve had no time to write this morning, and so I have to do it now. (Apparently the ribbon is pretty shot so I shall write in red. Hope you can read it without too much trouble). It is a shame for the past four weeks or more I have done practically nothing, one week I spent out on the range, shooting for record, but even that was not too much of a success. Out of a possible 220 I pulled in only 165. Other than that I have done very little. No instructing, to speak
of, and most of the time I’ve devoted to “goldbricking”, and designing. The basic diesel principles course of which I wrote still has not received the final sanction from Washington, but the office is expecting daily. (And I don’t mean the secretaries – of which there are many, some very good-looking too). Therefore I’ve been making an injector test stand. It has been a lot of fun, but the thing is still only on paper, I won’t know just how well it will work for about a week. Art Lind has been put into the service so I’m in full authorized charge of the tentative class. That means that I’m in line for a staff rating and Art has a bet with me that by the end of August I shall have received the rating. Since the bet is worth winning, I hope that he will sort of give things a little help whenever he can, now that he has the opportunity. I definitely will not be sorry to receive it.

No further news on my furlough. However there has been no chance as yet, concerning the approximate date, and therefore I’m still expecting it to be toward the end of August. And that brings up another matter. I may need a little money in order to get home by plane if possible, and if not, by train. In any case I don’t think that it will be more than $50 or $75. Now if you will be in a position to help, fine and dandy, but if not, fine also. I can get money out here rather easily.

On the $525, I have not been able to find out much. It all amounts to the fact that the check is being handled by a bank here and not an individual.

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

Lad and Marian, So. Pasadena, CA

My social life has, if anything, been stepped up. It has also been pretty much concentrated, as far as companionship is concerned, on one girl. I believe I wrote you something about Marian Irwin previously, and she is the subject of concentration. You may hear more about her in the future. Every Thursday evening about 12 or 15 of us, in mixed company, go bowling, and a couple of weeks ago I sort of missed the boat, got off the beam, you know, was behind the eight ball, or in any case I took a couple of bets with Marian, and lost both of them. One game was for a bottle of her favorite perfume against a carton of cigarettes, and the other was for the admission to the play “Firefly”. I pay off Wednesday, and am sort of looking forward to it. Tomorrow night there is to be a swim party and picnic afterward at the Hospitality Center,  sponsored by the Senior and Junior hostesses of the South Pasadena Hospitality House. I expect that it will be a lot of fun. However it reminds me of something you can do for me. In my trunk, I think in the right hand corner, under two or three layers, is my bathing suit. Please dig it out and send it to me here at Camp Santa Anita. The keys for the trunk are in your drawer in the dresser in your room. And continuing on the social life, tonight I am supposed to attend a surprise birthday party for one of the Junior hostesses at her house. She is a friend of Marian’s and has really been awfully nice to all of us. In fact, the four of us, (Vic is no longer a part of our gang), are invited. That is Art, Jr., Vince and myself, and ever since we first started going to the Hospitality House regularly, we have just about taken over the place. Everyone there knows us by our first names, and we are always being invited to something, or someplace. We all expect to have a good time, as usual. That is a sample of just how our free hours are spent, week after week, and on into eternity, I hope. Last night, Art, Marian, and a girlfriend of Art’s and myself went to Hollywood and spent all evening dancing to Woody Herman at the Palladium. Woody is one of the Swing Band Leaders that I don’t like particularly, but he does have a good orchestra and plays some sweet music now and then. Marian is not a jitterbug and neither am I, but she is a very good dancer and we get along very well, dancing to almost any type of music, so we had a perfect time.

I said that Vic is no longer here. He has been accepted by the Army to attend college where he is to study electrical engineering. That means that he will, in all probability, be part of the Army of Occupation that is being built up now. However we do not know just yet to which school he will be sent.

This afternoon, before starting this, I took the machine apart and cleaned it and it is working quite well. There goes the siren which means there are 5 minutes to go until quitting time, so if I want to get supper before it is too late I had better finish this up quick.

So long.

Lad

P.S. the correct phrase is Buenas Noches and not as you wrote it, just in case you didn’t know.

AG

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will be letters from Grandpa. On Friday, another from Lad.

Judy Guion

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

DAD

 

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll continue the story of Mary E Wilson and her early years here in America. Next week I’ll begin posting letters written in 1941. Both Lad and Dan are facing the real possibility that yhey will be drafted soon. The pressure isn’t quite as strong for Dick or Ced and, fortunately, Dave is still in high school. Judy Guion

Army Life – Note From Hospitality Center of South Pasadena About More Restrictions – April, 1943

apg-note-from-so-pasadena-hospitality-center-about-more-restrictions-april-1943

HOSPITALITY CENTER OF SOUTH PASADENA

______________________________________________________________________________________

435 FAIR OAKS AVENUE

SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA

Dear Dad: –

Here I am again. – And also, much time has elapsed my last epistle and this, but I will try to cover everything that has elapsed, which is getting easier. Camp regulations are becoming worser by the day.

First, however, an answer to your note. This friend of mine, here, purchased a certified check for $595.00 from a bank, and instead of mailing it to me, here, it was sent to Bridgeport by Airmail, special delivery (according to available information). Immediately upon receipt of this info, I sent you the remainder, and you should know the rest, better than I.

We are being further and further restricted. In fact, it is very hard to get off every other weekend now. [And rumor has it that very shortly we will be no longer associated with O.T.C. but with S.C.U. (Service Command Unit) which will, in all probability, mean six hour passes once every 3 or 4 days, and one weekend out of every 7 or 8 – Oh, me]

I have heard from Hartford direct, so forget about the licenses. Thanks.

 

Lad and Marian in Pamona

Lad and Marian in South Pasadena, 1943 

We went to the beach last Sunday, but the wind blew too much sand around to make it pleasant. However the weather is perfect. I may get a furlough sometime in July or August, but nothing definite as yet. My love to all.

Laddie

Army Life – Lad’s First Mention of Marian – April, 1943

This letter is written from the Hospitality Center of South Pasadena. Marian Irwin was the Executive Director of the South Pasadena Camp Fire Girls and did her duty to entertain the troops at the Hospitality Center. She actually met three of Lad’s friends who arrived at Camp Santa Anita while Lad was taking a two week Diesel Engine course from the Wolverine Motor Works near Chicago. She told me that they kept telling her, “Wait until you meet Al”. Little did they know how well that would turn out.

The date appears to be April 8, 1942, but in actuality, Lad wasn’t drafted until June, 1942. By April of 1944, they were married and Marian was moving from base to base with him.

apg-first-mention-of-marian-hospitality-center-april-8-1943

Blog - Marian Irwin - 1942April 8, 1943

Dad: –

Again too many days have gone by, but they have all been full. Even Apr. 3rd. I got a letter from you on the eventful day – thanks. It went by as usual, but the bunch of us were invited to a party in my honor at the home of one of the girls I have met here. In fact, she is so much like Babe that I have difficulty now and then in calling her Marian. She is not quite as pretty as Babe but resembles her in almost every other way. Even to occupations. Well, anyhow, the party went off fine and about 2 A.M. on Sunday we decided to go to a swing-shift dance at the Casa Manana and had a good time. Got in Camp at 6 Sun. Morn. (this is the first mention of Marian, my Mom, in Lad’s letters home.)

Due to a change in the system of paying last Wednesday, we could not get out of camp in time to see “The Drunkard”, so it is still something to look forward to.

I heard from Mrs. Lea, and everything is O.K. – sorry I didn’t or couldn’t do anything earlier, but I should have written. But that’s me.

You asked in one of your letters that I tell you something about what I’m doing. Well, Art Lind and I are working together in the same class and we have decided that the system used by the Army for teaching Diesel Engines can be greatly improved. Well, without authority, because of stubbornness on the part of one officer to listen to our story, we went ahead and ran the class for one week. It was a decided success and proved our point to a “T”, but still, since it has been general knowledge that Art and I were responsible, this same officer is not able to get credit now as having originated the idea, and has still not issued the necessary orders. It is people like he who are responsible for a great deal of the discontent prevalent in the Army. Other than that, the course is continuing as it should, and running very smoothly.

It seems that our new Battalion C.O. is from a Basic Co. and thinks that we are trainees. If this sort of treatment keeps on, there is going to be trouble in Hdq. Bn. And I won’t be lax in cooperating.

In a letter, you mentioned that Dan may be scheduled for overseas, it is beginning to look like all of we A-1’s will be replaced by “limited service” men, and then – – –? Who knows?

I’m fine, Dad, and I hope you and the rest are the same. Remember me to all.

Lad

Tomorrow, we learn more about Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure as he moves west from Chicago and the World’s Fair.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1945. Dan’s wedding is getting closer and closer but it does not happen in next weeks letters. It will have taken place the next time we visit 1945.

Judy Guion

Friends – Marian Writes to Ced – May, 1945

mig-marian-irwin-guion-with-jean-june-1945-2

Thursday

May 17th

Dear Ced—

It certainly isn’t because I’ve forgotten you that I have neglected writing to you – but you know how it is. Dad’s letters every week seem to cover all the local news – and by the time I finish writing to Lad each night, there doesn’t seem to be much time to do anything else. So various and sundry friends and relatives get sadly neglected.

But that’s enough space for the Excuse, Please Department. Let’s see what else I can find to comment upon.

First and foremost is your darling Christmas gift. How did you know that I have a what-not shelf in my room that is practically bare and now, my little ivory figurine is the beginning of a collection. I hope to add more things to the shelf as time goes by. Thanks ever so much, Ced —

It seems as tho’ I’ve sort of annexed your room – you probably have visions of organdy frills and furbelows all over the place. I assure you that the dressing table is the only “frilly” piece of furniture – and that can be easily removed, when you are again ready to take occupancy of the room. For my stay is strictly temporary – and as soon as Lad gets home, we will be on our merry way, probably – the direction, North? East? South? or West remains to be seen.

From your reports upon the lack of snow this year, I imagine that your skiing activities are somewhat curtailed – or has Winter finally caught up to you, (We are trying to have winter all over again here in Conn.) so that you were able to get in some good skiing – I really envy you – being so close to such wonderful skiing country. It must be loads of fun. And I imagine your Ski Club has really been a lot of fun, too. The pictures you sent looked as tho’ they were all a lively bunch – and good sports, too.

You are not the only one in the family in the airplane business. My branch, however, is quite a bit different from yours – and probably much less interesting. I’m working at the Sikorsky Aircraft – doing very routine office work – but I don’t mind – Somehow, I’m quite satisfied not having to think too hard! Must admit that that is a heck of a rut to be in, but until Lad gets home, I’m just sort of marking time anyway –

Isn’t it exciting news about Dan and Paulette? We are really anxious to meet her – when this d___ war is over we might have a chance. Dan is keeping his fingers crossed, hoping to get a furlough in July – at least long enough time off to be married. So far he and Lad haven’t met but they are still trying –

Don’t work too hard – write to us when you have a chance –

As always –

Marian

For the next three days, I’ll be posting a long letter from Grandpa to “YOU”. On Friday, a letter from Lad in Langres, France.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll begin a new series of letters (written in 1934-35) from Elizabeth (Biss) to her Father, while she is living with Aunt Anne Stanley and her two children, Donald and Gweneth, in St, Petersberg, Florida. Biss was having a hard time dealing with the loss of her Mother, high school and the expectations of her Father (Grandpa) during this extremely trying time for the whole family. Grandma Arla’s sisters and Grandpa decided that a move away from Trumbull might help Biss cope with her life.

Judy Guion