Special Pictures – Christmas in Trumbull – The Lad Guion Family – 1947

As I was sorting through some Blog materials, I found a Christmas Card from my cousin, Sharon (the daughter of  Marian (Irwin) Guion’s sister, Margaret). She had come across some old slides her Dad (Cliff Mitchell) had taken when he travelled to Connecticut from California on a business trip. She sent them to me in a Christmas card.

APG - Christmas - 1947 - Christmas Tree at the Little House

In 1947, Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion) and Marian ( (Irwin) Guion) and their children, were living in The Little House on the Trumbull Property. These pictures were taken at Christmas, 1947. I still remember that child’s table and chair set.

APG - Christmas, 1947 - Family P

Marian  holding Gregory (4 months old), Lad holding Judy (literally) and Douglas (1 1/2 years old twins).

APG - Christmas, 1947 - Judy and Doug with Lad

Judy, fascinated with one of her toys and Doug looking at his Dad, Lad, looking on.

APG - Christmas, 1947 - Greg on hassock

Greg, looking at Mom or Dad.

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion


Army Life – Dear Dad, Aunt Betty And Jean – A Change In Plans – July 31, 1944

Lad and Marian - Pomona, CA

Marian (Irwin) Guion and Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Pomona, California


7/31/44 (Grandpa’s notation)

Dear Dad, Aunt Betty and Jean,

Here we go again!  Life in the Army is very much like sitting on a time bomb. We never know whether we will go off in the next minute, or whether our precarious seat will prove to be a dud.

The fellows have been told that they should have some technical training, so beginning tomorrow,  Lad is going to be teaching a course on the finer points of the Electrical System of Diesel Engines. This should last about two weeks. Actually, it means absolutely nothing, beyond the fact that it will keep the fellows busy! So, the way things stand now, we should be here for another two weeks, but just as soon as I put that in writing, the Army will change our minds for us! Consequently, you now know just about as much of our future plans as we do, and as to their definite-ness – your guess is as good as ours!

Life goes on pretty much the same these days, in all other respects. Lad is back at the Pomona Base now, and doesn’t have to report for work until 5:45 AM. He’s keeping busy, but is not working as hard or as long as he had to when he was at Camp Haan.

We thought we were going to be able to send you another addition for the ”Rogue’s Gallery”, but we were not satisfied with the finished product, so the photographers are going to see what they can do about it. But it will take another two weeks to get the pictures back. But you’ve waited this long for a picture of us together, so it shouldn’t be too hard to wait that much longer.

On the next cool Sunday, when you have nothing else to do, will you look in the top shelf of Lad’s trunk that is in the attic and see if his flashlight is there? It has a black, hard rubber case, with the red tab on it which says, “Approved by Underwriters Laboratory” on it. It is a gas proof and waterproof one, and Lad would like to have it with him if it is there. If you can’t find it in the trunk, contact Babe Mullins Lad’s girlfriend before he went into the Army), and see if she knows where it is.

Aunt Betty, I’m sure Ced has been using his most persuasive powers to get you to Alaska. But don’t forget that there might be some question about your being able to smoke those cigars of yours up there. Families, you know, understand these things and make the necessary allowances, but strangers are apt to raise their eyebrows at such goings on. And I’m sure the natives wouldn’t understand at all. They might think you were on fire, and  bury you under an avalanche of snow. So don’t say I didn’t warn you. Besides, who’s going to help me shovel a path to the garage if I come to Connecticut this winter?

With all our love,

Lad and Marian

Tomorrow and Friday, a very interesting letter from Dan, In Normandie, France, after the D-Day Invasion. He writes quite a b it about the countryside and the people he has met.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Lad Writes From The South Pasadena Hospitality Center – More Restrictions – April, 1943






Dear Dad: –

Here I am again. – And also, much time has elapsed between 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.


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to finish out the week.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dad – Lad Mentions A Female Friend – April 8, 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. This letter was written in 1943. By April of 1944, they were married and Marian was moving from base to base with him.


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 (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend in Trumbull) 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.


Tomorrow, and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa, on Thursday, another letter from Lad and on Friday, another from Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad From Marian – Things Still Pretty Much “On Ice” – July 17, 1940

This week I will be posting letters written in July of 1944. Lad and Marian are awaiting Lad’s move to an Embarkation Camp and Marian’s drive to Trumbull. Dan is in London following the hustle before D-Day and Ced is still in Anchorage, working at the airfield and gaining flying time towards his Pilot’s license. Dick is in Fortaliza, Brazil, coordinating things between the Army and the local workers and Dave continues at Camp Crowder, receiving more specialized training.

Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

Marian (Irwin) Guion

Army Life - Dear Dad - Things On Ice - July 17, 1944


Pomona   July 17  ‘44

Dear Dad –

Things are still pretty much “on ice” as far as we are concerned.  If the Army knows when we are going to move they are keeping it a deep dark secret.  But knowing the Army, we are mighty suspicious.

We have been trying to tie up all the loose ends so that we can move on a moment’s notice, and Lad has spent every spare minute that he’s had, which aren’t many, working on the Buick so that she will be ready, too, for a cross-country jaunt, if the occasion demands it.

Because Lad is rationing off the post, we have a “C” sticker so we were able to get 3 brand-new Grade 1 tires, so I shouldn’t have any serious tire trouble either.

The boys are coming in from Camp Haan today – Lad had to get up at 3:30 this morning so that he would be in camp in time for reveille, so, needless to say, we are glad they are coming back to Pomona.

We are enclosing the first installment on our loan, by way of a Postal Money order for $50.00.  We’re sorry it is so late in arriving but the Army held us up this month.

This doesn’t seem to be a very lengthy letter but that’s all the news we have this week.

All our love,

Lad and Marian


A week later, Marian writes to Grandpa with no news again.

Marian (Irwin) Guion



Dear Dad,

Another week has gone by and we still don’t know anything definite. The Army gets us all keyed up, thinking we are going to move within the hour, practically, and then just let’s us wait, literally holding our breaths. But you can be sure that when we do move, it will be in a hurry.

Did I tell you that mother was scheduled for an operation for a cataract on her eye? She was operated on last Tuesday and the doctors are very encouraging and optimistic about her receiving her eyesight back. Both eyes have been affected, so that for the last six months she has had practically no vision from either eye but the doctors feel sure that she will have a good percentage of her vision restored, and although we haven’t received the final report, we are very hopeful. She had only one eye operated on this time. I believe she has to wait about three months before she has the second operation. In the meantime Dad has been the chief cook and bottle washer around the house. His two week’s vacation was scheduled for last week and this, so that he could be home while mother was at the hospital. Some vacation, I’d say, but he seems to be getting along very nicely. We got a very nice letter from Dave last week. He seems to feel as badly as we do about not being able to see him. Seems as though we just miss him each time. Maybe the next time we will be more successful. I certainly hope so. If Jean is around would you ask her if she knows the recipe for the mocha frosting that Biss makes? Lad maintains that it is delicious, so it sounds like exactly what I need to cover my meager attempts at cake baking. Perhaps you know the recipe. And incidentally, Jean might also include the recipe for that delicious tomato soup cake of hers.

Love to all,


Alfred Peabody Guion

Dear Folks: –

I’m not feeling too well, having eaten something yesterday that did not agree with me too well. Hope that by tomorrow it will be a better behaved stomach.

I believe I told you when I was home, that if you could do anything for me I’d let you know. Here is something you can do. I would like you to try to get me a Boy Scout knife or one very similar (not too bulky), two tubes of Molle shaving cream, a couple of “T” shirts, white, size 38, a pair of tennis shoes, size 8 1/2 C (white if possible) and if shoe stamps are necessary, don’t bother, and some stamp pad ink, permanent. (Like the laundry uses). I understand that if we go overseas, we should have saltwater soap with us, so maybe, if you can find 6 bars, you might send them along also.

Since our permanency here is limited, please send it to me at camp – 3019 Co., 142 O.B.A.M. Bn., Camp Pomona, Pomona, Calif. In that case, if we move, it will be sure to follow me for ever or until it reaches me.  That is one nice thing about Army mail.  It will eventually reach its destination.  On second thought, that also has its bad points.  One can’t ship unpaid bills.

Well, as Marian said, Our love to all.

Judy Guion

Tomorrow and Wednesday I will be posting a letter from Grandpa to “Sons of the North, East, South and West”. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his sons, except Ced. .

Judy Guion

Special Picture – Marian Dunlap Irwin –

Marian Dunlap Irwin - San Francisco State College - 1937

Marian Dunlap Irwin – Graduation Picture from San Francisco State University, 1937

The Golden Gate Bridge was under construction while my Mom, Marian Dunlap Irwin, was a student at San Francisco State College. On opening Day, she and friends walked across the bridge and back to celebrate.


MIG - Marian Irwin's first teaching job - Arvin, CA

Marian Dunlap Irwin, Teacher, with her first class in Arvin, California, 1937-1938

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in 1943. Lad has been stationed at Santa Anita Base and is instructing mechanics for the Army.

Judy Guion

Special Picture – Life In California With Lad and Marian Guion – 1966 – 2004

My Mom and Dad (Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion and Alfred Peabody Guion) moved to California during the summer of 1966. I was a student at Central Connecticut State College and had decided to remain in Connecticut until graduation. Their son Douglas was a Clerk in Vietnam and Greg was to report in September for Army Basic Training.. Their youngest, Lynn, had just graduated from High School and  was moving with them. Greg joined them on the drive out west and flew back to Connecticut in time to report for  duty.

Only knowing the members of Marian’s family and with only one child living at home, they set out to create a brand new life. They joined the local branch of the Power Squadron, continuing Lad’s involvement with that group.

APG - Marin Power Squadron dinner

Alfred Peabody and Marian (Irwin) Guion at a Power Squadron dinner.

They also bought a motor home and joined the Marin Amblers, a group that made at least one excursion per month to various points of interest in California and the surrounding states. 

APG - Marin Ambler Vests

Marian Dunlap (Irwin) and Alfred Peabody Guion, wearing their Marin Amblers Vests at one of their events. 

APG - Marin Ambler Costumes

Alfred Peabody  and Marian (Irwin) Guion at another Marin Amblers Halloween event. 

I knew my Mom was creative and could sew (She made many of her own clothes all her life) but I had no idea my Dad was such a fun-loving guy and a good sport. This was a side of my father that I never knew. 

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Convalescents (2) – Extract Of Guion (Marian And Dave) – July 16, 1944

This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday. It includes excerpts from Marian and Dave. He also includes his usual round-up of happenings in Trumbull and what is going on with friends and neighbors.


Marian (Irwin) Guion, Mrs. Lad

Extract of MIG.  (Marian Irwin Guion) Wish I could report some definite plans that the “roving Guions” have made but so far everything is very much up in the air. We might be here two days, two weeks or even two months – – we just don’t know. However we have tried to make a few tentative plans, subject to immediate change if necessary.

1.  If it is at all possible I am going to drive the Buick by way of Orinda (California, where her parent’s live)  back East to our new destination. We have received permission from the C.O. to get gasoline for the trip.

2. I would love to come and stay at Trumbull. I really love it there and could think of no nicer place that I would like to be. One is not supposed to apply for gasoline for a move any oftener than once every six months so I may be with you longer than you anticipated. In that case I would probably get a job in Bridgeport. It remains to be seen just what will happen but maybe I’ll have a chance to spend a winter where it snows, yet.

3. One of the other wives is planning on going East with me, and before we get started there may be more. But at least I know I’ll have company. With two such recommendations as yours and David’s, we decided that we must see “Between Two Worlds” so we went yesterday. It was a very unusual picture, wasn’t it? We both enjoyed it very much. Lad is still in Camp Haan and although he gets home for dinner every night, this business of getting up at four o’clock every morning is no fun.

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

Extract of DPG: (David Peabody Guion) While I am waiting orders to be moved, I’m working in the supply room of the company. They were short of men – – the supply clerk being on furlough – – so the first Sgt. asked me if I would mind working here instead of going to school. I said I would (or rather wouldn’t mind) and so I’m living the life of Riley, as you can see (I’ve got time to get off a few letters). I like this work – – you never know what is going to come up next. The supply sergeant is out in the company area most of the time making an inventory of all the company equipment so that leaves me in charge of the supply room.

Now for a few unexciting home commonplaces. It has been very hot and humid here for about three weeks steady, no rain, so that the grass is parched and brown like you may recall it has looked in times past in the middle of August. Today however, we had a brief windstorm with a small shower. This cools the air off but it is still humid.

I suppose you read about the terrible Barnum and Bailey fire at Hartford where the tent caught fire and because of the gasoline-paraffin waterproof mixture used in waterproofing, burned so completely and quickly that many people, including children, lost their lives – – some so badly disfigured they were buried unidentified. The circus has returned to its winter quarters in Florida. I mention this because just a few weeks previously Elizabeth took her two youngsters to the same circus held in the same tent here in Bridgeport.

It is Jean’s (Jean (Mortyensen) Guion, Mrs. Dick) birthday tomorrow but we celebrated it here in the usual manner, today, Biss being in attendance with her two little boys. (Zeke was attending a company outing).

Barbara (Plumb) has recently had a furlough in Italy and is now a Corporal.

Jean (nee Hughes) is home again in Trumbull.

I recently disemboweled the extracting mechanism of the furnace Stoker and found the two worms that eject the ashes have worn down to such an extent that the spiral fins are almost nonexistant, being worn practically flush with the axle which turns them. I have ordered new worms but your guess is as good as mine whether I’ll be able to obtain them at all, or at least in time for the winter season. Toward the last of the season the firebox was continually filled with ashes and if the worst comes to the worst, I may have to put back the old grates and use the blower again.

Carl (Wayne) is on a big new tanker that has just taken a load of oil or gas to the far Pacific (Australia or New Zealand) and is on his way home again. The Bushey’s have moved into the little house opposite the Green where Danny Wells used to live. Coming down the hill approaching the Merritt Parkway overpass on Reservoir Avenue the other afternoon on my way home, and rolling at about 35 or 40, my right front tire suddenly blew out, twisting the wheel sharply to the right, so that I almost hit two posts guarding a culvert. Unfortunately I had no jack, so I had to walk some distance before I could find a phone and ask Ed Dolan to send his emergency car to the rescue. Now I am applying for a new tire. No jacks seem to be for sale anywhere in Bridgeport and the ones I have evidently are beyond repair, so California or Mo. P.X., please take notice.

Aunt Betty sends love, so does Jean, and as for me, well, you might know what to expect from                                        DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Thanks A Million – Tentative Plans For Marian – July 10, 1944


Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Army Life - Dear Dad - Tentative Plans For Marian - July 10, 1944

Monday –

Pomona, Calif


Dear Dad –

Thanks a million for your very nice letter that we received from you last week. Wish I could report some definite plans that the “Roving Guions” have made, but so far everything is still very much up in the air. We might be here two days, two weeks or even two months – we just don’t know. However, we have tried to make a few tentative plans – subject to an immediate change, if necessary.

  1. If it is at all possible, I am going to drive the Buick, by way of Orinda, back east to our new destination. (Where??? When ???) We have received permission from the C.O. to get gasoline for the trip, but so far have not applied for it.
  2. I would love to come and stay at Trumbull – I really love it there and can think of no nicer place that I would like to be. Theoretically, you are not supposed to apply for gasoline for a move any oftener than once every six months, so I may be with you longer than you anticipated. In that case, I would probably get a job in Bridgeport. It remains to be seen just what will happen, but maybe I’ll have a chance to spend a winter where it snows yet!
  3. One of the other wives is planning on going east with me, and before we get started, there may be more. But at least, I know I’ll have company and although both of us would rather have our husbands along, Ruth and I have a lot of fun together so it should be a pleasant trip.

That’s the best we can do in the way of plans so far, and any changes or later developments we will report immediately.

The camera arrived safely, Dad. Thanks for sending it to us.

You are a peach for offering to increase our “budget” with another loan. Even though we don’t believe that we will need it, it is nice to know that we can call on you in case of dire necessity.

With two such recommendations as yours and David’s, we decided that we must see “Between Two Worlds” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Between_Two_Worlds_(1944_film)), so we went yesterday. It was a very unusual picture, wasn’t it? We both enjoyed it very much.

Lad is still at Camp Haan, and although he gets home for dinner every night, this business of getting up at four o’clock every morning is no fun. We hope that he will be transferred back to Pomona in a few days so he can get a little more sleep in the mornings.

Thought perhaps we would have a check for you in this letter, but Uncle Sam has not come through as yet, so we are using the allotment check to live on for the time being. Maybe next time, Dad.

With all our love to everyone –

As always,

Marian and Lad

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his boys. 

Judy Guion

Special Pictures – Marian Dunlap Irwin And A Friend Travel To The New York World’s Fair – 1939

In 1930, the World’s Fair is happening in New York City. Marian Dunlap Irwin and a friend decide to drive across the country from California to visit the exciting event.

MIG - Marian, a friend and car - NY World's Fair - 1939An unnamed friend and Marian Dunlap Irwin ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

MIG - Marian Irwin at New York World's Fair - 1939

An unnamed friend and Marian Dunlap Irwin, dressed up as only ladies would be for this occasion, at the New York Worlds Fair.

MIG - New York World's Fair - 1939 - friend in front of pond

Marian Dunlap Irwin probably took this picture of her friend at one of the attractions.

MIG - New York World's Fair - 1939 - view of umbrellas

One of the numerous restaurants at the New York World’s Fair in 1939.

I never knew about this trip until I found these pictures, partially labeled, withy my mother’s belongings after she passed away.

Knowing that the Guion’s, in Trumbull, Connecticut, travelled to the New York World’s Fair numerous times while it was in the city, I wonder of Lad and Marian were ever there on the same day and did they perhaps see each other. An interesting thought. They did not meet formally until Lad (Alfred Peabody Guion) was sent to Santa Anita, California, to train Vehicle Mechanics for the Army in early 1943. Marian Dunlap Irwin was employed as the South Pasadena Director of the Camp Fire Girls and volunteered as a hostess at the South Pasadena Hospitality Center, where Military personnel from the nearby Santa Anita Base went to dance and enjoy an evening out. 

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion