Trumbull – Dear Silent Ones – November, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., November 30, 1941

Dear Silent Ones:

           Grandma Peabody

Ten o’clock in the evening is the time. Lad (driving), Dan, Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), Aunt Betty and myself left here about 1 o’clock with our movie equipment and motored, I believe that is the word, to Mt. Joy Place, New Rochelle, there to partake of a very nice meal. It was the first real Sunday dinner I had not cooked myself for months, and I did enjoy it. Later, (Aunt) Dorothy, Burton (Peabody) and Grandma (Peabody) came over. Dan showed his stills first and then Lad followed with the movies. I tried to find out from Grandma what Anne’s plans were for Christmas but she had not heard from Anne for some time and could give me no information on that score. Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) was supposed to go along with us today but she called up this morning and said she had a cold and did not feel like going along. Dave had his Young People’s meeting to attend so he did not go along, though I suspect the real reason was his dislike of having to be questioned by Aunt Dorothy as to the progress of his school work.

Dan has about decided to purchase a 1933 Chevrolet coupe which Carl has had for sale since August. I think it is one which he bought from Mr. Powell. I know little about it except that the price is $75. He has decided that he needs some means of getting back and forth from work. Since the shop has become unionized, he has to be at work by seven and quits at three in the afternoon, and as Lad does not have to report for work on his job until 9 AM, and leaves when his work is done, which may be anywhere from 5 to 7, it leaves Dan without timely transportation. He plans to get his markers tomorrow.

The weather continues quite mild. We have yet had no real cold days and not a speck of snow. Some of the trees have still not shed their leaves and we noticed today on the Parkway, that the Dogwood trees still carry leaves that have not entirely changed from green to brown.

I have been a waiting anxiously for a letter from you last week to tell me what the latest news is about your deferment. I hope there will be a letter either from you or Dick in the mail tomorrow.

Again there seems little noteworthy of transmission to you under the general subject of news. After recovering from his attack of flu, Kemper (Peabody)  was informed by the doctor that he had a mild case of diabetes and, while he does not have to take insulin, he does have to diet.

ADG - China - the good set

ADG - China - detail

Ethel (Bushey) presented me with a dinner plate exactly matching that gold bordered set of dishes (the good set) that we inherited from Aunt Mary Powers. She said she was in an antique shop in Mamaroneck and happened to notice this one dish and recognized that it was exactly like our set and she bought it for me. She said it was the only one they had.

Last week, very suddenly, the Times Star folded up. They had been losing money for some months but nobody expected it to discontinue so abruptly. Even the employees did not know anything about it when they came to work that morning. At 10 o’clock orders went around to write a swan song for the addition just going to press and at noon all employees were paid a week’s salary and dismissed. That leaves the Post-Telegram Cock of the Walk although there is a rumor that the Harold is going to put out a daily edition. I hired one of the girls temporarily that had been in their editorial department.

DAD

Tomorrow, more on the continuing story of Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson.

Next week I’ll be posting letters from 1943. Each week Grandpa anxiously awaits letters from his four oldest sons, all away from home and working for Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – Post Cards From Aunt Helen (Peabody) Human – November, 1941

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Airport from H. Human

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Airport (message) 1941

This is one of the prettiest airports I’ve seen so far. You can see for yourself, one volcano and there are two more just as imposing. Everyone who comes here loves it and I know the men at this port will be sorry when their work is completed. So far since we left Brownsville we’ve been in Tampico and Mexico City. The plane trip from Mexico City to Guatemala City is the best so far.

Aunt Helen

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Plaza from H. Human - 1941

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Plaza from H. Human (message) 1941

This is an exceptionally beautiful old church and Plaza on a little hill so that in every direction you can get a most wonderful panoramic view of the city. We drove out to Antigua Sunday and saw the ruins of an old cathedral which was built in the 1500s and destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 I believe. What ruins remain are fascinating and beautiful. It was a tremendous thing. You will just have to see it all for yourself some day.

Helen

Tomorrow, I’ll finish the week with a letter from Grandpa to his two sons in Alaska.

On Saturday and Sun day more on the lives of Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson..

Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1943,Lad’s interest in Marian Irwin seems to be heating up and vice versa..

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Awayoffs (1) – A Trip to New Rochelle – November, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 15, 1941

Dear Awayoffs:

Not five minutes ago (it is now a few minutes after nine) we arrived home from a visit to New Rochelle, (New York). Dan had not seen any of the New Rochelle folks since he arrived home, so he decided that as the weather was good, we could, today, make the journey. Lad had been invited to Long Island for dinner, so after our own meal had been consumed, Dan picked up Barbara and then Zeke, Biss and the two kids and off we started, Dan, Barbara, and Aunt Betty in the front seat, Biss, Zeke and myself and the two kids in the back. Almost the entire length of the Hutchinson River Parkway below Portchester is torn up as they are widening it on both sides. Coming back they allow no northbound traffic until Portchester, so we followed the Old Post Road as far as that city.

Helen Human, Anne Stanley, Dorothy Peabody

          Our first stop was Kemper’s. We found that Kemp (Peabody) had been confined to his home the last week with the flu but was intending to go back to work for a short time tomorrow. Later, Burton (Peabody) arrived with Grandma (Peabody) and Aunt Dorothy (Peabody), and after a light tea and conversation of the same tint, we started back home. Dave did not go along with us as he had his Young People’s meeting to attend. We learned that Helen (Peabody Human, Mrs. Ted Human) had left Brownsville (Texas) and gone to Mexico City and had just left there in turn for a plane trip to Guatemala City. Larry (Peabody) and (his wife) Marion are in their new home but are having water trouble and will have to put in a driven well in case they are unable to get city water. Doesn’t that bring back recollections?

This morning about 8:30, I took Aunt Betty over to see Dr. Smith as the nurse thought it wise for her to have a check-up. The doctor said he thought she had made a remarkable recovery. He gave her a tonic to pep her up a bit and improve her appetite.

The C.I.O. has gotten into Producto and it is now a union shop. The wage rate has been raised but working hours reduced so that the boys do not earn any more but do work less hours. Lad thinks he may soon be transferred to a salary basis and given charge of their shipping department. He has just been transferred there from his old job and is being groomed for the new work as the man in charge at present has been ordered by his doctor to take a long rest. Dan has still heard nothing more about his draft status, either from Alaska or Conn., so he is working with the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head. If you don’t know what that is, ask Dick, as he seems to be more or less of a specialist in ancient Greek folk lore.

The ambulance drive went well over the top and they are now about to purchase a fine new gray Cadillac ambulance with all the latest equipment, such as red lights, sirens, stretchers, etc.

“The Good Times” – 1939
Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl Wayne
The Red Horse Station

This is Carl’s last day at the Socony station (at Kurtz’s store). He was moving his stuff today over to the new place and tomorrow Eb Joy takes over. He came in the office the other day and together we doped out a letter to go out to Trumbull folk urging them to buy Socony products.

Helen Burnham is up visiting Peggy. The boys went over to see her last night. Rufus, Louise and David are in Fort Pierce, Fla., where Rufus is managing an apartment house and writing magazine articles on the side. Helen is teaching in a girls school in Massachusetts. Eleanor is at college somewhere and Brad is going to Yale.

Tomorrow I’ll post the second half of this letter to Ced and Dick, the only Guion’s away from home at this point. Both Lad (from Venezuela) and Dan (from Alaska) have returned to Trumbull. On Thursday, two post cards from Aunt Helen (Peabody) Human. On Friday, one more letter from Grandpa to wrap up November.

Judy Guion      

Trumbull – Dear Offspring – Messages and Sundry Answers – August, 1945

Trumbull House in summer

Trumbull, Conn., August 5, 1945

Dear Offspring:

Well, we hit the jack-pot this week. The wheel stopped on the right number – – five it was. So I’ve just spent this Sunday afternoon and evening copying letters for your enjoyment from every single one of you.  (These letters were posted during the week of February 27th – March 3rd)  In consequence, my typewriter finger is kinder frayed and weak but I’ll try to dash off a few more lines before it fails entirely.

First, about Jean. She got off alright Thursday from LaGuardia field. Marian went down with her, as did also Pa and Ma Mortensen. Aunt Elsie (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) joined them at Grand Central and all went over to see Jean take off. She wired she had arrived safely and perhaps tomorrow we shall get more details by letter.

Still no definite word about Dan’s leap off the dock. There is a neck and neck race on as to whether Dan will come through first with an account of the nuptials or Lad will furnish his version. Marian has received letters from Lad written before and ten days after but the one in between, with the real dope, has not yet arrived. Here’s hoping.

To come back to Jean. Monday before she left we were able to obtain some meat and had over for dinner, Mrs. Ives and a friend who was staying with her, Ethel, Southworth’s (Ted and Marge) and Watson from the apartment, and altogether it was a very pleasant party.

Now messages and sundry answers. Lad. No, Bissie never got back her pocketbook or its contents. Ethel says Carl is not enjoying his course at all. He is doubtful of passing as it is given at high pressure and has much mathematics, in which he does not like and always had trouble with in school. Dan. As you have probably already heard, the Army is said to have decided not to lower the point total for the present, which leaves you in the same spot as Lad, except that he evidently is not going to get a furlough in the states. If there is any justice in things however, it seems to me that the boys who are sent to the Pacific without first coming home should be the first to be sent back after the Japs fold up. Ced. The boys in the apartment are going to keep their eyes and ears open and if they hear of a plane that looks suitable, will let you know at once. Dick. Don’t want to rub it in at all, but we had corn on the cob for dinner today and Aunt Betty recalled how you once had consumed 14 ears at one sitting. Dave. The young folks, who are here now, are planning some sort of a blowout here next Saturday to present Vichiola with some sort of gift. He is home from the Pacific and may be discharged. I will see what I can do about lining up a used camera although everything in this line is scarcer than butterflie’s eyebrows.

There are probably a dozen other things I will think about tomorrow that I might have included in this letter but right now I’m sort of washed up on ideas – – probably the shock of hearing from you all within so short a space of time has sort of unseated my mentality for the moment (I hope). Anyway, I am willing to undergo the same sort of thing again. In time I might even get used to it. Try it and see.

In a happy fog,

Dad

Trumbull – Dear Absentees – Ced Misses His Party – June, 1943

This weekly missive from Grandpa catches up on the doings of all his children, Lad (California), Dan (Pennsylvania), Ced (Alaska) and Dick (just left Miami Beach for Indiana), all in the service of their country. Ced’s (Alaska) birthday is June 1st, and his family remembers, as Grandpa mentions in his usual tongue-in-cheek manner. Elizabeth (Biss) is married with two sons, Butch(4) and Marty (2).

Trumbull, Conn.      June 6, 1943

Dear Absentees:

With all this talk about the naughtiness of absenteeism, it seems to me it’s about time some of you stay-away-from-homer’s would take the lesson to heart and come back

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

once in a while and help me mow the lawn. But there is this — after working my fingers to the bone and staying up until the small hours of the morning sewing on your pinafore’s, you up and away, leaving me to shovel snow in winter and chase moths out of your clothes in summer, which reminds me, Lad, to report the sad news that even after what I thought was sufficient precaution those pesky little insects did get one pair of your gray pants and ate some ventilation holes in them. Unless they come with a blowtorch next time, however, I don’t think mama moth will lay any more eggs in your clothes this time.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dan and his General don’t hit it off very well, it seems. He didn’t get home this week either end of the slice of Grandpa’s pie I have been saving for him now for five weeks is beginning to look a little green around the gills. Three more weeks of this delay and we will have to make it into a pudding. Anyway, he keeps me posted regularly once a week which is a lot better than neither hearing from him or seeing him. As the old saying goes, “It’s a long lane that has no ash barrel”, and sooner or later he’ll nonchalantly drop in and ask how the crops are coming. Which reminds me: instead of taking my daily walk, I have been grasping a hoe these mornings and aiding Mr. Laufer hoeing potatoes.

No letters from either Lad or Ced this week, but Jean (Dick’s wife) sent two excellent snapshots which I was very glad to get, and says in the letter accompanying them that Dick has finally departed for Indiana along with the husbands of the two other girls Jean has been living with in Miami Beach. As soon as they learn more definitely as to destination, the three of them will pack up their duds and will trail their fleeing husbands to their lairs, their present plans being to make the trip by bus for economy’s sake.

Your youngest brother, in company with two girls and Howard Mehigan spent yesterday in New York, devoting most of their time to Radio City. Elizabeth reports Marty will

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

have to have his tonsils out. Next Sunday she plans to have Marty baptized at the Trumbull church. In order to have it “take” she has had his head shaved so that he looks positively bald.

We have had lately some of the rare June days immortalized by the poets, some of them have been pretty hot in Bridgeport, but the shade trees in Trumbull make the house delightfully cool, as perhaps you may recall from the long-ago days when you used to live here. Both Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) and Grandma (Peabody, his Mother-in-Law) seem to be thriving and enjoying themselves. As usual they asked to be remembered to you all. We celebrated Ced’s birthday by burning incense before his picture, discussing all his faults and eating a good dinner on his behalf, but somehow or other it didn’t go over so big with the main guest absent.

As by now you must have discovered there is not much news to write about, so there is no use my bluffing any longer. Moreover my bathtub beckons, so I’ll toddle off to my trundle bed and dream of my pretty toys — boys.

Hasta luego and buenos notches, as usual, from

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa, reporting news from Trumbull for his sons in far off places.

Saturday and Sunday I’ll post two more segments of the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Decorations – May, 1943

This weekend, some family members and two neighbors join Grandpa and his household for a Sunday dinner outside to celebrate Decoration Day, known as Memorial Day now. The weather is beautiful and Grandpa waxes poetic about his “Little Flowers” away from home.

Alfred Duryee Guion

May 30, 1943 at Trumbull, Conn.

Dear Decorations:

Surely that’s an appropriate salutation for today’s letter. And how are all of Daddies Little Flowers?

Excuse, please. This is me – – your Aunt Dee – – I feel like a brute since your Dad had to get out of his comfortable chair so I could take my turn at the typewriter. And when I say take my turn it sounds easy. But this is work! – – Not writing you (Daddy’s Little Flowers), that is a delight – – but doing it on this machine. Doubtless you have all taken a “turn” yourselves,, one time or another, and you will understand what I mean. And in case you don’t – – I mean this particular machine isn’t streamlined. Catch? (in case you haven’t seen your cousin Gweneth in the last couple of years you may not know that that is one of her favorite expressions.) By the way, Donald is back on these shores from his maiden voyage – why, please, do they call a man’s trip his maiden voyage? Unless it might have something to do with Donald’s stay in Ireland –for details of which please contact him yourself. Anyway, he said the girls in Ireland were alright! I’d better stop and give Dad a chance — much love to you all – – I think of you often – – and we all missed you muchly today. Your ears must have burned plenty for you and your far-flung stations took a good bit of our conversation time. Love again to all – – and my best to Jean (if Dick dares let her read what Donald has to say about traveling.) Aunt Dee

Hi ho, it’s me again. I was just developing the flower thoughts when Dorothy volunteered to add bits of variety to the weekly bugle, for of course you know there is the bugle plant. Yes, we really have quite a little family garden. There is Lad who stays up dancing until all hours of the night – my Night Blooming Cereus; and Dan used to be so good about going to bed early nights (used to be, I said) and up bright and early – our Morning Glory; Ced in the far North typifies Snow on the Mountain; Dick with his leading towards jazz bands is our Red Hot Poker, and Jean with her 17 pairs of shoes, well, what more appropriate than Lady Slipper. Of course, given time, I could work up something about the Honesty Plant, the Forget-Me-Not for those that don’t write and the Angels Trumpet for those that do, and if I felt mean I could bring in the Lily somewhere. As it is I’ll end this little digression by admitting that I am very happy to have so many son flowers.

The weather has been grand and glorious both yesterday and today. Elsie and Dorothy both trained up from New York, Elizabeth and her two mischiefs came over for dinner, which we held out under the old half apple tree, in which we were joined by Mrs. Ives, who we called away from a weeding job in her Victory Garden, and Mrs. Warden. Paul has just purchased an 18 foot sailboat which he and Dave brought up here on Walter Mantle’s trailer for repainting. Carl is rushing repairs to his boat so that it will be in good shape for sale as he has just received word from Uncle Sam to report Tuesday. He hurt his finger a while ago and has had it bandaged for a couple of weeks so that may possibly delay his induction. It is pretty near time for young Carl to put in an appearance, so it may work out that instead of Carl missing seeing his new baby by a foot he will make it hand-ily. Joke.

Dan has written quite regularly once a week lately, and we did so hope he might be able to get home this weekend. Jean, too, has been faithful and conscientious about writing. Her letter this week says that Dick has been moved to another hotel preparatory to leaving for Indiana or Ohio.

Love,

DAD

Two more letters from Grandpa will finish off the week.

On the weekend, more of the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boy Backsliders (1) – October, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., October 18, 1941

Dear boy backsliders (but dear nevertheless):

Judy_0003This is getting to be a very one-sided correspondence. Do you realize that I haven’t heard from either of you since Dan left? That was, what? Sept. 18th? Just a month today, if so. Dan says: “That just shows what happens without ?????????????????????me there to keep them lined up in the matter of letter writing regularly.” I think Aunt Betty is getting a bit concerned because every night when I come home she asks if I have heard from the boys yet. I do hope there will be something in the mailbox tomorrow. You didn’t even fill in my questionnaire which would be a simple thing to do and would only take a few minutes. I will even send you a stamped, addressed envelope if that will help. I hate to start in every letter in this vein but it is a matter quite close to my heart and I do wish you both would exert a little willpower and grab off a few spare ten minutes here and there so that so long an interval will not elapse. Why don’t each of you make it a rule to write every other week, even if it is only a few lines. Surely this will not be a hardship. If I should stop writing for a month (which I don’t intend to do) wouldn’t you get the least bit anxious? Or wouldn’t you? Someday I suppose you will sit down and write, “Cut out this letter complaint. You ought to have learned by this time it does not accomplish any results anyway.” So be it, and I’ll go on with what meager news there is.

?????????????????Aunt Betty is coming along finely. All this week she has been down in the kitchen the better part of the day. Miss Pack, the visiting nurse, comes in the morning, gets Aunt Betty fixed up and down stairs for lunch. I have brought the nickel pipe armchair in the kitchen and she spends most of the afternoon and that until we get home at night. She then has supper with us after which I take her up to bed. She is gradually, but definitely, getting back the use of her hand. The doctor did not come at all this week. The nurse tells her she is making real progress.

Mrs. Warden and her new baby are back from the hospital. Paul has changed the location of the stove to the other side of the mantel. Dan is working at a machine in the Producto Co., which requires his constant dipping his hand in kerosene which has resulted in sort of a skin burn similar in its result to sunburn in that the skin peels from his hands. There is a rumor that he will be given another job this next Tuesday. He has now a driver’s license and in consequence, he planned to go to New York this afternoon for his trunk. His first intention was to take my car but he finally persuaded Lad to drive down in his car with Cecilia (Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) and Dan with Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) and after getting the trunk loaded on, I suppose they will have supper somewhere and make a night of it – – possibly taking in some show. I have recommended Fantasia ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032455/ ). They started from here about 2:30 in order to make this possible and still have Cecelia in the party (The Mullins were planning on a 3 o’clock dinner today) we invited Cecelia over here to dinner.

In the town the drive for the ambulance fund is on. Saturday night’s paper reported the collection of $800 of the $3000 goal. The drive ends next Wednesday and they are counting on doing quite a bit of soliciting today, so I’m waiting to see what total will be reported tomorrow night. I composed and processed the letter which was sent out in advance of calls and naturally I am interested in what results they bring.

Last night, Dan and Dave and the gang went bowling in Long Hill.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this lettr, including more news from Trumbull, to Ced and Dick, both still in Alaska.

Over the weekend, more from the Autobiography of Nary E Wilson.

Judy Guion