Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dear Lad – A Warning and News from Trumbull – April, 1939




Dear Dan:

The pace is swifter of late.  Since I wrote you last week Lad has fired Inter-America, Inc.,  Max has decided to fly back to New York, Rudolph has been put in charge of things in Ted’s place, Ted (Human) has decided to return home as soon as he can stand the trip and I have started to raise hell with the Venezuelan government at the treatment you are receiving, and in general, hell’s a poppin’.

Lad had a run in with Max who wanted him to join you out in the field, which Lad refused to do without being paid, claiming he did not want to be stranded out in the bush with no money.  This made Max mad  and Lad was told he would be sent back to New York where he could collect back salary.  Lad replied he would have to have more than Max’s word for this, so Lad is now looking for a job with some other concern.

As for you, the sooner you can connect with some other outfit, the better.  I hope that job the Engineering Society had open for you in Venezuela comes through.  If you need any money for cables, or for food, for that matter, and can reach Alfred, perhaps he can help you out.  You had better watch your step and not do anything that will enable Max or Rudolph to accuse you of failing in your duty so that they can have an excuse to fire you until you can make some other connection, but I think you should spare no effort to tie up with some other concern as soon as possible, as it looks to me as though the whole outfit down there were going to fold up.  The complaints I am making to the government may help to do this, but not, I believe, before back salaries of everybody have been paid up.  As Ted will probably get through and further, as I believe Rudolph has been kidded by Max to come over to his side, I don’t see that there will be much use for you to stay on if that other job can be hastened by any means (that’s what I meant by referring to cabling above ).

Whether Lad’s run in with Max and Rudolph’s subsequently coming over to Max’s side on the promise of being given Ted’s job, will have any repercussions in Rudolph’s treatment of you, I don’t know, but this will serve as a tip for you to watch your step in case Max has planned to get even with Lad through you.  The whole business is in a nice mess and I’ll be glad when you are both free of it and either connected up with some other decent company or on your way home with back salary in your pocket.  Lad had an opportunity of possibly getting a job with an oil co., and as he seems to like it pretty well in Caracas, he may stay on for a while.



Page 2 of R-15

Dear Lad:

Enclosed are the letters you suggested I write as per the airmail letter I received from you Saturday afternoon.  I had just that morning sent you an airmail with the draft covering the payment for unemployment insurance.  I hope I have interpreted Ted’s suggestions properly.  The reference to the deposit was somewhat vague, as I did not know what the deposit referred to as being exempted, or was supposed to cover, so I hope the reference I made to it was O.K.

Yesterday and today, Reyom was moving down to the cottage, Zeke and Biss are moving in this week.  They plan to paper or paint and use the furniture (ours) that is in there until such time as they have money enough to purchase nice pieces of their own.  Marion (Mrs. Laurence Peabody) invited both the newlyweds down to New Rochelle with the rest of us for Easter dinner, but Zeke would rather not go so Biss is going anyway.  Marion has also invited Aunt Betty (Duryee) and Elsie (Duryee, Grandpa’s sister), as well as Helen (Peabody Human, Mrs. Ted)and Dorothy (Peabody) and all of us, so it will be quite a party.  We’ll be thinking of you boys of course.  Dick has been in bed yesterday and today was a cold but seems to be better tonight.  He is twanging away on his guitar right now and has been spending his time making up models with plasticine.  Helen (Human) came back from New York yesterday.  Uncle Fred Stanley, ex-husband of Aunt Anne (Peabody)Stanley), she says, took Gweneth (their daughter, bout Dave’s age) up to Westport to visit some friends and in getting out of his auto, slipped and smashed his face up against a stone post, breaking his nose and blacking his eye.  He is getting better O.K. and will probably show no marks.  Mr. Keating took David and some other boys up to West Point yesterday.  Today has been a blustery day, not cold but windy with quick changes from sunshine to clouds.  Last night we hadthis the first thunderstorm of the season and quite a hard rain later.  Ced has been spending about three days taking all the books out of the shelves in both rooms, cleaning them off, washing the bookcases and rearranging all the books.  He has done his usual thorough job and they look much better.  There is really not enough news in this letter to warrant spending the extra money for airmail, but I think I shall do it just the same in order that you may know what I have written to the Venezuelan government officials, which letters I am also sending by airmail.

Why don’t each of you boys go back over the letters I have written you, if you have saved them, and answer some of the questions I have asked from time to time?


The letters Grandpa has written to the Venezuelan officials (on the town of Trumbull First Selectman letterhead) will be posted on May 29th, when we return to this story line.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting more letters from Dave regarding his World War II Army Adventure. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (28-1) – A Surrogate Court Form – May 21, 1944

Dave’s letter regarding an Emergency Furlough – May 21, 1944

21 May 1944

Dear Dad –

Yesterday I got a Surrogate Court Form “In the Matter of Proving the Last Will and Testament of Anna Westlin Peabody– etc.”.  You probably know all about them.

Upon reading this thing I thought it would present an excellent opportunity to get an emergency Furlough.  I’ve got a pal here who used to be a lawyer in Penn.  I asked him what he thought of it all – and he said he’d gotten fellows emergency Furloughs under identical circumstances.

This is the story.  The only trouble is that in order to put the deal across I’ll have to ask you to do something that isn’t exactly honest.  You see – If the Will is to be contested I should be there – besides – as I am a minor – somebody must represent me when the Will is read.  Now – if you can get a lawyer to write to “The Company Commander”, (It can’t be addressed any more thoroughly than this because I don’t know what company I’ll be in when the time comes to present it), stating that he requires my presence for an interview and proceedings to follow as to the contesting of the Will – or even just to have me there when he represents me at the reading of the Will – I can very likely get an emergency Furlough.

The personal point of view is this – I wanted very much to get home for graduation on the 23rd of June.  I won’t finish my training until June 21st. As it will take me at least 24 hours to get home – and besides – the chances are very, very slim that I’ll get Furlough right away at all – I couldn’t make it home – no matter what – under regular circumstances – in time for graduation.  But with this legal business – with a letter from a lawyer – I could apply for – and very likely get – an emergency Furlough.  I think it can be arranged for me to have a couple or three days cut off of my training so that I can leave here by June 20th – arrive sometime on the 22nd in ample time for graduation.  I’d suggest that it be stated that this lawyer who is to represent me – wants to talk to me before the proceedings on Monday – therefore, would require my presence by Friday the 23rd. And also that I remain throughout as much of the proceedings as possible.  (I’ll try to get 10 days plus traveling time– 14 days).

Tomorrow, I will post page 2 of this letter giving us more insight into Dave’s thoughts and feelings about the whole matter. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Trumbull’s Gift to the U.S. Army (1) – News From Aunt Elsie and Grandpa – April 9, 1944


Trumbull, Conn.  Easter Day, 1944

Dear “Trumbull’s Gift to the U.S. Army”:

Introducing a visiting layman, who will now do her stuff:

Hello, folks! The setting Sun is looking in the alcove window as I sit down to write. I am a little too early to see the “explosion of spring” in the case of the lilac trees. It won’t take but a few warm days to burst them open and I’m sorry to miss it.

Blog - Lilac Bush

The Grand Central Station is a very busy place these days. More goes on there than we ever hear of. Famous people, tragedies, joys and a multitude of other things are constantly happening and sometimes we read about them, because we don’t actually see more than what’s in front of our noses.

We see columns of inductees going by and occasionally we hear a band of music honoring some celebrity, but for the most part the station is full of just people and lots of uniforms hustling hither and yon, where ever that may be.

Our busy Easter season is over and we are settling down now to the spring and summer needs. I haven’t had much time to take in many shows. At last I saw “Life with Father” and it justifies its long run. Also I saw “Arsenic and Old Lace” which I liked immensely. And some movies. I’ve taken up too much space already, so, so long folks!


There you see I sprung an Easter surprise on you first crack out-of-the-box. With spring well on its way I and thousands of others are waiting for the Allies to spring a surprise on me with news of the long awaited invasion. The broadcasters theme repeatedly today has been “This we hope will be the last Easter our boys will spend at war”, to which I breathed a sincere Amen. Elsie was with us today, as you may have surmised already, and needless to say, at dinner today we wondered what each of you were doing as we at home set around the little kitchen table you know so well.

Friday I took advantage of the fact that the banks, etc., were closed, to declare a personal holiday and devote the time to doing some of the neglected chores around the house, getting in here and there a lick of work reminiscent of each of you, saying, “Well, this is what Dan would be doing to the yard, or Lad would be busy at this, or Dick or Ced or Dave probably would be helping at this, so I had an invisible gang of helpers, which didn’t however prevent my back being sore at the unaccustomed tasks. While I did accomplish quite a bit it was just a drop compared with what there was to do and very modest in accomplishments measured by what we all would have been able to finish together.

Dave writes he is working at low speed radio. He found on being interviewed for a cadre job that 18 is to young. Last Sunday he went to a Palm Sunday service at a Presbyterian Church at Carthage and thereafter was taken to the home of one of the congregation for dinner and in the afternoon spent an interesting hour at the Granite Quarries.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter from Grandpa to his sons far from home on Easter Sunday. On Thursday, a letter from Dave and on Friday, one from Marian.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Hello, Again – Sprucing Up the Place – April 2, 1944


The Old Homestead

                    The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   April 2, 1944

Hello again:

Another week has rolled around and finds me again seated at my faithful typewriter, withal a little lame in the back after having wrestled with numerous baskets of incinerator refuse which Ced laboriously filled and would have emptied himself undoubtedly if he had not been summoned so summarily back to the wilds of Anchorage. I wanted to get the yard cleaned up a bit so as to look somewhat presentable for Easter. Jean, too, has been busy indoors, bless her heart. The kitchen floor looks as clean and nice as any time since the new linoleum was first laid, and she has washed the curtains which the kitchen oil stove managed to make quite drab.

Yesterday, I spent some time out front cutting down Maple shoots which had started up in between the arborvitae hedge which is so ragged any way that I think it would look better taken down altogether. What do you think? Then there is the cellar and the barn and the storm windows to be taken down and the screens to be put up. Two or three of you “father’s helpers” better quit the army and come home and give me a hand. Oh, yes, I also spent part of yesterday afternoon applying another coat of tar on the canvas roof over the laundry. In getting the can of tar out of the cellar I had left the cellar door open which was an invitation to Skipper and Susan to explore the cellar. Seeing their father’s oil barrel handy, they promptly took great delight in letting all the kerosene in said oil barrel run out on the cellar floor, much to their mother’s delight and my glee.

Dave is deserving of my appreciation, and he gets it. He has not let a week go by, no matter how busy or tired he is, without writing. In the letter received this week he mentions the possibility of his being transferred to another camp soon and hopes it might be to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where the chances of his being able to come home occasionally would be brighter than at present.

Daughter Marian writes to say that Lad is being kept pretty busy. They are still house hunting but are finding it difficult to find a suitable place accessible to the Camp.

A letter from Dorothy (Peabody) reports Anne (Peabody) Stanley) has recently returned from a visit to Vermont, Gweneth (Stanley, Anne’s daughter)  having been ill with a cold. Burton (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s brother) is still in Washington. Helen (Peabody) Human)and Ted  (Human) are still in New York. Ted is doing a series of engineering articles for MacGraw Hill, Helen meantime taking over the complete management of the apartment leaving Dorothy ample opportunity to take it easy in recovering from her operation.

Art Mantle has been awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in the battle of the Salvo Islands. Dan’s letter about the Red Cross has recently been published in the Bridgeport Post and did it’s part in helping to put the drive over the top. Although Trumbull’s quota was double what it was last year, we even topped that by $1000. And that seems to be all – – a rather uninteresting letter, I’ll admit, but at least it’s something. Can you-all say as much? Happy Easter greetings to all of you. Remember the jellybean hunts you used to have as kids? No jellybeans on the market now. There’s a war on. Have you heard?

The same Dad

Tomorrow, a quick note from Lad and on Friday, a letter to Ced from Peg, a Trumbull friend.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To Members of the Expansive and Extended Guion Clan (1) – March 10, 1944


At this point, Lad and Marian have just been sent back to Pomona, California, Ced is almost back in Alaska, Dan is in England, Dick is in Brazil and Dave has just begun his service to Uncle Sam and is in Missouri for further training. The only ones left in the Trumbull house are Grandpa, Jean (Dick’s wife) and Aunt Betty, who helps take care of the house. It must really seem empty, especially when the Young People come on Sunday nights, as they have for years, and none of Grandpa’s children are among them. What a painful memory that must be.

pp pic 1

Grandpa at his Remington Typewriter in the Alcove

Trumbull, Conn.  March 12, 1944

To members of the expansive and extended Guion clan, Greetings:

Just a few unimportant odds and ends, relatively speaking, from a family standpoint, have been gathered by ye scribe this week to make up his weekly bugle.

First, Lad, your package has arrived from Texarkana by express, and assuming that they were personal belongings to be held in storage for your further instruction, I did not open it, and will put it away for you unless you instruct me to the contrary.

There was an item in the paper recently that Cy Linsley has enlisted. I don’t know details. The Wardens received a nice long letter from Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) yesterday announcing that she is now in Italy. Just before leaving Africa for the airplane trip to her new base she must have eaten something that upset her stomach to such an extent that she felt so miserable she was unable to do more than sleep during the whole trip, but she seems to be having an interesting time nevertheless and I do not believe an offer of her old job back again would have much appeal.

Yesterday was Elizabeth’s wedding anniversary. She and Zeke planned to go to a show in celebration but were unable to get anyone to take care of the children so instead they postponed it until today and invited Aunt Betty and myself to go with them to the Merritt Theater where a humorous picture was playing which we attended this afternoon and enjoyed very much – “The Mystery of Morgan’s Creek”.

Carl has completed his first voyage and is back in this country for 21 days. I went over to Ives last evening and listened to an interesting account of his adventures. The ship stopped first in Scotland, the Clyde and then went on to London where he spent a few days. If he returns he is going to try to look Dan up. By the way, Dan, a business friend of mine, Mr. Dent, suggested I ask you if, when you were in Cornwall, you had any “tatie pasties”. I received a very nice letter this week from the Burnett’s in St. Ives acknowledging mine to them which they said was delayed considerably in receipt. Oh, and Lad, while visiting Carl he said his mother mentioned having seen in the Bridgeport paper mention of the fact that you had received also a Good Conduct Medal, (they were sure it said Alfred and not Dan) and I hereby charge you to answer me in spite of any natural modesty and tell me if this is so.

And, this is a rambling letter you must admit, Barbara’s address is Pvt. Barbara Plumb, A-130160, 6718 WAC Hqs. Pl. (Prov) Hdq. Sq. AAF/MTO, APO 650, c/o P./M., New York City.

Trumbull Center has had its first war casualty and the flag on the green now flies at half-mast. Robert Thorburn was killed in action in Italy. Trumbull and in fact Bridgeport and the entire country for that matter is engaged in a Red Cross drive, to which naturally all members of the family left have contributed.

The mail this week brought a very much delayed V-mail letter from Dan, dated February 8th, in which he says he is well and happy he mentions receiving a very nice letter from Marian,  “complete with photos of the newlyweds looking newly wed”. Dave also writes that on his first weekend with a pass he went with a buddy to nearby Carthage, saw a movie and wrote some letters from the Service Club there. He misses home he says, and while he doesn’t have time to actually get homesick “they can’t stop me from thinking”.

Marion Peabody writes acknowledging the few Christmas gifts I sent to Milan, Ohio, as well as Ced’s Alaskan momentos, and chatting about family doings.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter. On Thursday a letter from Marian to Grandpa and on Friday, a letter from Arnold and Alta Gibson to Ced. 

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – A Letter From Marian Peabody – March 5, 1944

This letter is from Marian Peabody (Mrs. Laurence, Arla (Peabody) Guion’s youngest brother) to the family in Trumbull. It is 1944 and all of Grandpa’s sons are serving Uncle Sam in one way or another. 

Remember the Milan Peabodys would love to have a visit from any Guion’s at any time!

Mrs. Lawrence K. Peabody

Gaytown Road

Milan, Ohio

Dear Al, Elizabeth, Ced and any other Guions in the vicinity of Trumbull –

In fact, I’m wondering if Ced may be “transplanted” by now. I’ve been so long writing you folks. We did receive your fine Christmas remembrances and are enjoying them very much. The attractive little hooked mat already has a permanent place in our dining room. And the “Master of the Ducks” has adopted the lovely Alaskan basket for the golden eggs !!! We are getting around three dozen a day now so the basket is brimful most of the time. We especially liked having that fine Alaskan basket. Of course Alan was thrilled with the “cartwheel” ! A whole dollar is something, in his young life – especially a big, round, heavy one like that. For all of your thoughtfulness, Thank you both so much, Al and Ced.

Even at this distance, we feel so lost with Mother gone. She was such a grand correspondent and kept us so up-to-date in the affairs of the rest of the family. Larry and I wonder so often about the location, and well-being, of all your boys.

It was grand having a short visit with you in New York. We were sorry not to see Ced and sorry that you did not see Alan. We wished so much we could have gone to Trumbull too, but it seemed quite impossible this trip. We hope it won’t be too long before we may return again and this time for a pleasure trip. We did not see many of our New Rochelle friends either.

You probably know by now that Dorothy was out for a ten day visit early in February – just before her operation. We enjoyed her being here so much. Now we are anxious for her to come again in pleasant weather. February is really not are prettiest month!

Elizabeth, again I wish to say how much I appreciated hearing from you in the fall. It really is not fair to “answer” in this manner but at the moment my desk is chock full of unanswered letters and I fear it will be a long time before I am “out from under”. Your two boys are darling and you have every right to be very proud of them. Aren’t they fun! I wish we had a companion for Alan. Alan loves school (second grade) and really does very well. He has just returned after two weeks of measles! Last year he had chickenpox so now we have mumps to go!

We have been so glad to hear that Dorothy is getting on so well after her operation. She gained six pounds while out here. Naturally, she was very tired and run down after mother’s illness.

Please give our very best to Aunt Betty. Hope she is keeping very well this winter. Did we tell you that when passing through Grand Central we stopped in to say “Hello” to Elsie. She looked so well.

Larry is busy preparing our upstairs for painting. We have loads to do in the house before spring work in the yard and garden starts. We have ordered our seeds and planned most of our garden.

Hope you folks are all fine and we will enjoy hearing from you whenever you find time to write us. Alan was very pleased with the foreign stamps you enclosed in his letter.

Love to you all,

Marian, Larry and Alan.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa  to the members of the expansive and extended Guion Clan. On Thursday, a letter from Marian (Mrs. Lad) to Grandpa and on Friday, a letter from Arnold (Gibby) and Alta Gibson (both from Trumbull and Lad’s best friend) to Ced.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – Aunt Helen (Peabody) Human Writes to Lad – March 16, 1939

Aunt Helen (Peabody) Human

March 16, 1939

Dear Lad-

To-day your father got a letter from you which he showed to me.  When I returned to Trumbull from New York, I learned that he had not been kept informed during that period, which was definitely a mistake — I had requested that those letters from you and Mr. Rudolph  be opened here by Gr. P (Grandma Peabody) and for Cedric to telephone highlights of letters to me in N.Y. She did not realize that your father should have been given information.  I guess she didn’t know he hadn’t heard from you.  Anyway it is all straightened out now — only I am sorry that it went as it did, when you specifically, in one letter, asked that he be told you wouldn’t be writing for a while.

Your last letter, which arrived last Saturday, came shortly after I had mailed one to you.  Thanking you again so much for your reports on T.H. Jr. I am so glad he is getting along well.  I’ve had two notes from him to date, so I feel lots better.  I imagine it will be some time before he will be really strong.

I said nothing until a recent letter to him, about the fact that I was staying in New York — I had no idea how long I would be there, but I wanted to stay until he was really well on the road to recovery and to be close to telephone communications in New York.  I can tell you that I was completely bewildered and lost for a while, which can’t compare with what he has gone through and must have suffered.  Also, I can tell you that things are very much brighter than they were four weeks ago.  Perhaps from the money angle things are much brighter than they were four months ago!  Have you got your 12 Bs. (12 Bolivars) back yet? I hope you are still able to buy cigarettes.  It’s bad enough not to have enough food, but cigarettes !! One can’t live without them.

we’ll try to get some more of the enclosed for you — maybe for the next letter that goes.

I am glad you had a chance to see Daniel, even if it was only for a little while — he is so isolated that I think at times it bothers him quite a bit, but his family gets very amusing and interesting letters in spite of that.

The best of luck to you and success — I hope you like Venezuela — do you really, or don’t you?

As always,

Helen Human

Tomorrow and Sunday I will continue the World War II Army Adventure as Dave  is nearing transfer from Basic Training at Fort Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, to some unknown location.

Judy Guion