Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – News From Aunt Elsie And A Birthday Party For Two – August 20, 1942

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

Aunt Elsie, Grandpa’s sister

Trumbull, Conn., August 23, 1942

Dear Sons:

It gives me great pleasure to lead off this evening with a broadcast from our guest artist, Miss Elsie M. Guion, who had, this day, had the honor of entertaining in connection with a joint (cut out those remarks about “some joint”, etc.) celebration of birthdays.

Miss Guion:

Thank you, Mr. Guion, and how do you do, Sons o’ Guns. We, the celebrants, have had a great day, and speaking for myself, I am enjoying a rare Sunday both from the standpoint of a workless Sunday and also a Sunday at Trumbull. I’ll not dwell on the birthday, because, oh well, I’ve had too many of them, although they’ve always been swell. Today’s brought an odd assortment of gifts, but I asked for it. Some luscious big ripe tomatoes such as we don’t get in the big city, a loaf of unmatchable Soderholm’s Swedish rye bread. The rest I didn’t order: A bottle of delectable domestic Port Wine, a box of all American licorice candy and some coconut cupcakes. Aunt Betty’s gift was a birthday card with an appropriate message and a dollar bill tucked almost out of sight – but I found right soon. I’m quick that way.

Dan, I’m responsible for the Cookie Wookies. I hope it didn’t taste as wacky as it sounds but I didn’t have a chance to sample it. It’s a poor substitute for letters and my resolutions to write even a postal that never materialized. I’m slow that way.

ADG - Elsie's Shop Christmas Flyer - cover, 1941

Christmas Brochure for the Accessory Shop, Inc.

          The Shop (inside Grand Central Station) goes on – for better for worse. The Station seems to be filled most of the time now that automobiles are not used so much. Constantly, uniforms, singly and in bunches, pass through. Yesterday seemed busier than usual. But you should see the Station and also any part of New Your City in a Blackout. Any city street, utterly black, is a most interesting “site”. The Waiting Room in the station has to go completely black because it has windows high up that evidently can’t be blacked out.

Now I’m done except to send an affectionate hello to Ced, and to wish that, like the rest of us here, that we could grasp his hand and say “It’s great to see you again.” So long.

Thank you, Miss Guion. You refer to a “rare” Sunday. Now, that’s too bad. I did so try to have it “well done”. But then, as in most meals, one gets his just desserts. Dick (who was also celebrating a birthday), shy, modest and retiring as usual, “can’t think of anything to say”, so he is passing up this golden opportunity to hurl a few verbal bombshells at his absent brothers.

We had eleven round the festive board. Starting at my right and making the circle were: Lad (home for the weekend from Aberdeen, Maryland), Elsie (Guion, Grandpa’s sister), Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt), Elizabeth (Grandma and Grandpa’s only daughter, known as Bissie to friends and family), the two grandsons (Butch and Marty Zabel) (spasmodically), Dave, Zeke (Raymond Zabel, Bissie’s husband) , Dick, Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s future wife) and yours truly. The vegetables were fresh from Mr. Laufer’s (a neighbor across the street) garden and consisted of lima beans, raw tomatoes and sweetcorn. The two chickens were also native Trumbull products. Katherine (Warden, who has rented the apartment with her husband, Paul, who is also in the Armed Services, and their two children, Skipper and Susan) made the cake from Guion ingredients and it was right good. Naturally, as on all similar occasions, we missed Alaska (Ced) and North Carolina (Dan).

A hard shower sprang up before the meal was over which gave the lie to the sunshine with which the day had started. Lad is out calling but will be back before long and he and Aunt Elsie will entrain together for New York later this evening.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter from Grandpa to his absent sons.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Backslider With Excuses (1) – All The Excuses – May 29, 1940

This week I will be posting two letters, today and tomorrow, one from Grandpa, and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a long letter to Dan from a co-worker of Dan’s in Venezuela with some very detailed information on what has transpired with the Interamerica, Inc. company since Dan left Venezuela.

Alfred Duryee Guion - summer, 1946

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

R-77  May 29, 1940

Dear Lad:

For the second week in succession I am a backslider. Here it is Wednesday eventide and I am just starting in to write you last Sunday’s letter. Aunt Betty came up for the weekend and having expressed a desire to see the pink Dogwood in Greenfield Hills and having a nice new Packard on tick to take her in, after dinner Sunday we donned our best bid and tucker and we all tried out the car in that direction. No, I’m wrong, that was Saturday afternoon. Sunday after dinner dishes were washed we loaded up with a car trunk full of Lilacs and started to take Aunt Betty home, making stops en route at Larry’s, Kemper’s, and Grandma’s. (all Peabodys) Ethel and Kemper were out of town but we saw all the rest who asked to be remembered to you. You must be getting better in your correspondence, by the way, because both Ethel and your lady friend at the cleaners both mentioned having received letters from you. Aunt Helen ((Peabody) Human) says however you haven’t answered the letters she wrote you. Well, after leaving New Rochelle we took Aunt Betty to Mount Vernon and after giving Mrs. Seipp some Lilacs nothing would do but we must all come in and have supper — “just a cup of tea” – which consisted of a bowl of soup, hot biscuits, hot turkey sandwich with gravy and generous helpings of rich fruitcake. By the time we reached home it was bedtime. (Incidentally, Ced discovered the borrowed Packard had picked up a nail somewhere and had developed a flat) and I decided to postpone writing you until Monday night. So, with supper out of the way I came in here to the alcove, had just inserted paper into the machine, when a tap  at the window caused me to look up and there was Bruce Lee. He explained he had been up in New England on business and was not expected home until late so decided to stop off and have a chat. You know Bruce. He got started on the war and while I got a yes or no in edgewise once in a while, he pretty well occupied the time with a monologue until nearly 11. So, says I to myself, the letter will have to go to Tuesday, but it must be written then without fail, failing to recall that an important town meeting was called for that night to decide on the budget, being an adjourned meeting from the fortnight previously. It was after 12 before the meeting was over, which brings us at one jump to the present time with almost a page 2/3 completed. Progress, I’ll say.

Received your note telling me all about little Kay. It must’ve been quite an ordeal. I can remember going through a similar experience with you at the time of the infantile paralysis epidemic when we called in Dr. Hubbard, a specialist on the disease, and learned, much to our relief, that you did not have it. That was on Dell Avenue (Mt. Vernon, NY), the time your little squeaky voice piped up in the middle of the night, “toot, toot, all aboard”.

Just here I have had quite a lengthy interruption by a visit from Carl and Ethel trying to arrange some sort of a farewell party for the Alaskan trippers. It is scheduled to be held Saturday which incidentally is also Ced’s birthday. I have bought him a watch and the gang is talking about giving the boys each a pair of heavy gloves and also a woolen lumbermen’s shirt or something of that sort.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter, which includes more information about Dan and Ced’s anticipated trip to Alaska.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – A Letter From Marian Peabody – March 12, 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. Laurence 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 our 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 Friday, a letter from Grandpa  to the members of the expansive and extended Guion Clan.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – Birthday Greetings From Grandma Peabody – March 22, 1940

Grandma Peabody at her home  - cropped

                        Grandma Peabody

26 Coligni Square

New Rochelle, N. Y.

Apt. 22

March 22, 1940

Dear Ladd,

This morning we are having a great snowfall. I awoke at five o’clock. The wind was blowing very hard and I got up to look if there had been snow or rain but there was neither. Grandma Peabody went back to bed listening to the wind and the windows rattling. About 5:30 I commenced hearing the foghorn and boats answering each other. About 6:00 I thought I smelled coffee and I got up again and went to the kitchen and there was Helen ((Peabody) Human, sister to Grandma Arla), sitting at the table with a cup of their frightfully strong coffee. She said she couldn’t offer me any because “I know it’s too strong for you.” I said there must be a very heavy fog the way the storm boat horns are blowing, she pulled up the window shade and said, “Look.” I was perfectly amazed to see the ground and trees heavily covered with snow. It was beautiful. It is now 9:30 and the snowfall has abated some and big chunks of snow are falling off the trees. I won’t be surprised if there is rain before long.

You have no doubt heard all about the terrible sleet storms we had as it reached Connecticut, too. In this section we were without heat and light from early Monday morning until Wednesday evening at seven. We lived in the kitchen where the gas oven was running from morning till night. All houses using oil burners run by electricity suffered. Kemper and Larry (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s brothers) have coal furnaces so they had heat. At Larry’s, they had no lights but got it back the day before we did. At Kemper’s, they had both light and telephone all right all the time. Our phone was also in order.

You may know as much as I do about the sleet storm. I presume you get the New York papers.

Ted (Human, Helen’s husband) brought your last letter to me to read. You are a wonderful letter writer. Always so interesting. You certainly seem to have plenty to do. That’s all right as long as you don’t overdo. Ted has been home all week with a cold but is improving. Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister) has been in bed since Sunday with a slight cold. But she is coming along fine. I am hoping this letter will arrive on your birthday. I am so sorry I can’t be near enough to make you a birthday cake. With my love and best wishes for your happiness, I am

Always your loving

Grandmother Peabody

11:30 AM – Sun is shining bright.

Tomorrow and Friday I will be posting an Easter letter from Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys – Grandma Died Last Tuesday (1) – January 23, 1944

We hyave moved ahead to 1944. Dave has now joined the ranks of Uncle Sam’s Army and is in training at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Dick is at Forteliza, Brazil, working in a liaison capacity between the Army and the local employees. Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, repairing planes and going out to repair and retrieve downed planes. Dan is now stationed in London and working with the topography unit, although I do not know if they are yet working on maps of France in anticipation of D-Day. Lad and Marian have recently arrived in Texarkana, Texas, where Lad will be training mechanics for the Army

Grandma Peabody

          Grandma Peabody

Trumbull, Conn   Jan. 23, 1944

Dear Boys:

Grandma (Peabody) died last Tuesday at 11:30 AM, having been unconscious from the night before. She passed away quietly and peacefully, and if the expression may be permitted, happily, with her loved ones near. Death is, at best, a lonely adventure and is made more so when none near and dear are close by. Helen and Dorothy were there; Burton and Anne arrived later, as did Ced who was in New York and happened in about 11:30 to see them all. At Grandma’s request no funeral service was held, which, all with the exception of Kemper, met with the approval of the family. She was cremated Wednesday. Dorothy expects to continue living in the same apartment.

Grandma’s life span marks an era in American history which is fast becoming legendary. Born in Sweden, she came to this country as a young girl and with her parents settled as pioneers in what was the raw Far West in those days. Battling fierce Dakota winter storms and summer’s heat and drought, life was lived under the most primitive conditions. With Grandpa frequently away from home for days at a time, with the constant fear of marauding Indians, often facing periods verging on privation and want, she raised a family of seven children, never for once lowering her ideals of honor and integrity. Not knowing what the next day would bring she still carried on. In the light of these struggles when your mother was a baby, the words of that beautiful old hymn take on for me a greater significance:

Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,

Lead thou me on,

The night is dark, and I am far from home,

Lead thou me on.

Keep thou my feet! I do not ask to see

the distant scene; one step enough for me.

I like to think of Grandma going to join Grandpa and your mother — going home, as it were, after a long and useful journey:

So long thy power hath blest me, sure it still

will lead me on,

O’er moor and fen, o’er crag and torrent, till

the night is gone;

and with the morn those angel faces smile,

Which I have loved long since, and lost a while.

In the intimate service which we hold each in the stillness of our own hearts at her passing, I am reminded of a little prayer which years ago as director of the church boys club (The Brotherhood of St. Andrew) was customarily part of our closing service: “Guide us all the day long, oh Lord, through this troubulous life until the shadows lengthen and the evening, and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in thy tender mercy grant us a safe lodging and rest in peace at last with Thee.”

So passes from this earth one whom it has been good to know and who can set for us all an example of courage and faithfulness to ideals which can be a treasured memory, and an inspiration.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter.

Judy Guion

Elizabeth’s Adventure in St. Petersburg, Florida (8) – Report Cards (2) – February 4, 1935

This is the rest of the letters Biss wrote in February, 1935.

Dave

        David Peabody Guion

Sunday evening

8:29 PM

Dear Dave:

This envelope is so fat already that I will just be able to write a short note to you because I’m afraid it can’t hold much more junk. Don and Gwen were both put ahead, Gwen to 3A and Don to 5A. I passed all subjects and so don’t have to repeat which I think is quite nice and also quite unusual. I’ll finish this tomorrow.

It is now Monday afternoon at 5:46 PM I got my new guitar today and I am thrilled !!!! It certainly is worth every cent I paid for it.

We had a Chinese man visit our school today and he told us a lot about China. Maybe if you remember it and remind me, I will tell you when I get home. I have a lot of things planned for when I get home and if you and Dick learn to get along well, I feel sure we will have lots and lots of fun together. Be sure to answer this letter for I love to hear from you. I’ll send you a picture of the speaker we had. You will see that he is quite nice looking. I had expected to see a yellow faced looking man with just slanty slits for eyes and what a surprise I got! Well I have to go downtown and get Don for he went for his music lessons about an hour ago. I am expecting to hear from you very soon.

Love,

Biss

Richard (Dick) Peabody Guion

 Richard Peabody Guion (Dick)

Monday evening,   8:16 PM

Dear Dick,

Boy, what a “D” that is in ”Dear”, hey what? I am going to get orange juice in a few minutes but I am going to try to finish it before I go. Tell Dad that the fruit man’s son, who broke his neck, got pendicitis (acute at that) but that he pulled through and is now at home for he did not enjoy the hospital. Tell Jane that I will write to her as soon as possible.

I told Dave that I felt sure all three of us (or four if Peggy will come back only I’m afraid I have lost her for she seems to be so happy where she is) but I will try to take her place and play with you more and go out into the woods, we could have lots of fun and I will have lots and lots of stories to tell you and you will have lots and lots to tell me, I hope. Well, we can tell the stories while doing our work and it won’t take long at all to do it.

I am getting more and more anxious to see Trumbull again. I passed everything and am I glad! Those two hour (each) exams were nightmares!

Don Stanley

              Don Stanley

Donald at last has a new friend so he doesn’t have to go around with Billy so much anymore. He still goes around with him somewhat though. Save the football and baseball until I get home. Do you still have skiing? How is skating?

Tell me all about these things in a letter to me and make it snappy! Donald and I tried playing some duets on the guitars and they sounded quite nice. Gee, if I don’t give the guitar any rest it will be all worn out before I can show it to all of you up there. Be sure and not tell anyone about it and I miss the family again.

Love,

Bis

P.S. Hurry up and write!

P.P.S. I couldn’t write two sheets because the envelope is too full!

I think this is a second – or third – installment – to her letter to her father, but since she doesn’t address it to anyone, I’m guessing.

Friday – 4:36 PM

I received your letter yesterday, and the check, and the letter from Parents Magazine, and the news from Trumbull, and Dan’s second installment. Are you going to have my magazine a free installment? I would like it, if it is all right with you for then I would have no fear of its expiring at the end of the year the way I have been and next year I will be able to ask for “Good Housekeeping” instead and thereby get the two magazines I like best. I wanted “Good Housekeeping  this year but felt that you didn’t have the money for it so I didn’t bother to ask for it.

I got my geometry report today and got 85 – my average is only 76%. It looks as though Ced has the upper hand. I am getting my guitar either Monday or Thursday so you will see me with a guitar when I get home. I am going to put on 3 3-cent stamps so it should get there O.K. There is something wrong if it doesn’t.

Gwen Stanley

            Gwen Stanley

Gwen has “water on the knee” and Aunt Anne took her to the doctor today. I think one thing but my hand keeps writing another – I was going to say doc tonight instead of Doctor and today my hand wrote correctly where as my mind didn’t think as it should.

Don has a steam engine just like Alfred’s steam boiler. The one we fooled with so much last year. Well I want to reel off a number of things to Ced so I guess I’ll say goodbye to you for, if I keep on going I won’t stop and then I can’t send the letters for I’ll still be writing and I’ll starve because I’ll be writing instead of eating and then the letter will never be finished because I’ll die of starvation and fatigue before I finish it – soooo, goodbye until the next time.

Love,

Biss

Tomorrow I will start posting letters written in 1944. Dave has now joined the ranks of Uncle Sam’s Army and is in training at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Dick is at Forteliza, Brazil, working in a liaison capacity between the Army and the local employees. Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska, repairing planes and going out to repair and retrieve downed planes. Dan is now stationed in London and working with the topography unit, although I do not know if they are yet working on maps of France in anticipation of D-Day. Lad and Marian have recently arrived in Texarkana, Texas, where Lad will be training mechanics for the Army.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys – Lad is in the Army (2) – May 10, 1942

page 2     5/10/42

It’s too bad you boys can’t claim exemption on account of paralysis of your writing fingers. As far as I know secondhand, Dan is too busy planting flowers to write, no word having come from him this week. This could be born with more fortitude if the phone had rung last night and a voice said, “This is your son, Dan, at the Bridgeport railroad station”. I must say he is impartial in his neglect as Barbara (plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is considerably burned up about her inability to get letters also.

I did get a postal from a Mrs. Beckwith of Roanoke Rapids, who very kindly wrote what she calls a “keeping -in-touch” card to me telling me she had met Dan, was inviting him to supper and had a son of her own about his age in the Army.

Ced @ 1945

Cedric Duryee Guion

          And I seem to have lost my pulling power with you, too, Ced, for in spite of my splendid example of invariably writing to you backsliders once a week, come hell or high water, I can’t seem to get either of you on a weekly schedule. I hope Lad will do better because it will be pretty tough having three boys away and not hearing from any of them regularly. I know it’s tough to have so exacting a father, but that also you can blame on the war. Maybe I’ll stop writing for a month or so and wait for you to ask some questions. It’s too easy having home news sent to you without any effort once a week. Maybe you wouldn’t mind it so much at that, and then where would I be?

And speaking of asking questions, Dick was asking today if Ced wouldn’t write him what the labor situation was at present at the airbase, if they still needed men and were still paying the same salaries. From a few remarks he has dropped I surmise jobs and salaries here do not compare favorably with his Alaskan experience. In your next (?) letter home, Ced, tell us a bit about how you are getting along with your flying, which you haven’t mentioned for months. Was your boss successful in getting a deferment for you? Have you filled out your questionnaire yet?

This week I managed to get three packages off to you which I hope will arrive in time for your birthday. Two of them are from Read’s — not much but just to let you know you are not forgotten. I also sent direct a box of miscellaneous junk. A couple of small items will gladden Rusty’s heart when he is confronted with an overdone batch of apricots cooking on the stove all night. Be sure to let me know when they arrive so I can put in claims for them if they are lost in transit.

Among news briefs are these: A new gray line bus now runs to Trumbull, up Reservoir Avenue, as far as Ray King’s place just beyond the Merritt Parkway. Wardens have a washing machine, his present to her for Mother’s Day. Next month she has to go to the hospital for a minor operation.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Speaking of Mother’s Day (today) Aunt Betty thoughtfully arranged a bunch of lilacs (which are now in bloom) on the dinner table today in memory of your mother. Yesterday at the Town Hall I united a couple in matrimony. Lad is trying to sell his car. He is trying to get $750 for it. He paid $900. On account of tire and gas rationing the market is none too good. If he can’t get $700 for it he will store it for the duration.

The following letter from Grandma (Peabody): “I have been on the half and half sick list since February 16th. The first two weeks Dorothy had to stay out of school to care for me. It made it pretty hard for her because she wanted to keep up with her studies along with doing the housework. I am feeling much better. My heart was quite bad for a while. You may be surprised to know we are both staying at Kemper’s (Peabody, one of Grandma Arla’s brothers), who has moved into this lovely large house which they are renting. They are renting their own house. Last Sunday Kemper and Ethel left for Vermont to be gone until next Tuesday. I would like very much to make you a visit and enjoy the lilacs but it may be some time yet before I can and by then the lilacs will be gone. What an experience Ced is having.”

Tomorrow, The Induction Booklet presented to Lad at the Shelton Railroad Station on May 14th, 1942. 

Judy Guion 

Ced’s Amazing Adventure (30) – A Letter From Grandma Peabody – September 13, 1934

Grandma Peabody

Grandma Peabody

September 13

Dear Cedric,

Your welcome letter came several days ago. I am so glad you are home again because I could not help worrying about you.

I would certainly like to see you and hear of your visits and all about the relatives you visited. You must have had a great time

Did you like haying and threshing? I know all about such things. You should have seen us (the Westlin’s) carrying lunches out to the men haying, and to the threshing crews when that work started usually late in September, sometimes as late as October. The wind would blow and it was cold. The men were always so glad for the hot coffee, sandwiches and cake.

I believe I told your father I am moving to New York City in a short time to live with Aunt Dorothy. I am wondering if it will be easier for you to come to New York to make a visit rather than Ossining. We are all anxious to hear any news.

No news from here, everything seems to go jogging along as usual.

Lovingly,

Grandma

My love to all of you.

Tomorrow, I will begin a week of letters written in 1940, when Lad is the only son away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Scattered Flock (1) – A Visit With Grandma Peabody – January 2, 1944

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn.  Jan. 2, 1944

To my scattered flock:

There are several matters of import to record in this my first letter of the new year. First, about Grandma (Peabody). Burton (Peabody, her son) phoned me at the office early in the week to say that his mother was very weak and the doctor had told them she had not many more days before starting out on the great adventure. Might be a week, possibly two weeks, but to be safe and in accordance with Grandma’s wishes, all the children were summoned to her bedside. Thursday, Ced, Jean and I, together with Elizabeth, her two kids (Butch and Marty), Flora (Bushey) and Red (Sirene) all went down on the train together. We phoned to Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, her daughter) from Elsie’s (Duryee, Grandpa’s sister) shop and learned that Grandma would like to see us that afternoon, so, Red and Flora, having planned to attend some movie, Jean and Ced and I went to Grandma’s while Elizabeth stayed at Anne’s apartment some blocks away with her two children, then Ced and Jean left to meet Red while I went back to Anne’s to amuse the kids while Elizabeth went over to see Grandma. Grandma looks very bad, but is alert and interested in all that goes on. She was interested in reading Marian’s ((Irwin) Guion, Lad’s new wife) letter and also one from Dan, doing so propped up in bed without the aid of her glasses, too. Physically she is extremely weak, there apparently being a combination of intestinal and liver trouble. Helen ((Peabody) Human, her daughter) was there with Anne. Dorothy (Peabody, her Youngest daughter) had gone to work. Kemper (Peabody), Marion and Larry (Peabody, her son and his wife) had come on but Larry and Marian, with Alan (now 7 years old) had gone to see old friends in New Rochelle and Kemper had gone to Mount Vernon. Before we left Anne’s apartment to come home, Larry phoned from the Grand Central and he and Marian came down and we all had supper together. I neglected to say that Dave had gone down to see Grandma the day before and to my place at the office Thursday, as otherwise I would have had to close up shop.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel Beck Guion

Two airmail letters from Dan, one in the first part of the week and the other the last day of the old year, sort of ended up 1943 in good style. His first letter mentioned having had a very pleasant Thanksgiving Day with Mr. and Mrs. Heath, of whom he says he has never encountered any people more sincerely generous than the Heath’s. He mentions receiving three invitations to Christmas celebrations, but “the old fox is waiting to see which invitation will be most worthwhile”. His second letter describes a short furlough which he spent in a visit to Cornwall in a little town called St. Ives (of Mother Goose fame) and a short distance from Penzance, immortalized by Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates. He was guest of a very hospitable elderly retired couple named Burnett who were introduced to him by mail through the kindness of one of the Red Cross workers.

Dear Dan:

Lt. P. R. Martin, the Censor who usually goes over your letters, felt it his duty to remove the Heath’s address, but he very courteously wrote the following note: “Send the articles to T-5 Guion. Sorry I must cut the address out; however it is of little importance.” Accordingly, I had D. M. Read Company make up a package of bath salts, powder and soap and will get it off to you early in 1944. Are you getting some good movies or Kodachrome pictures or won’t they allow the use of a camera in England? Send me another list of things you want sent, now that we know they arrive, even though somewhat delayed. I think hereafter, that with every package I send you, I shall include some item of cosmetic or toilet article as gifts to those who are so good to you, BUT, please, in every letter make a definite request which I can show the post office as otherwise packages will not be accepted for mailing overseas. We all enjoy your letters very much and it’s so good to know you are well and content.

Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion of this letter, with notes to Lad and Marian. The week ends with two more letters from Marian.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Amazing Adventure (28) – A Letter From Aunt Mary Peabody – August 21, 1934

The following letter was originally sent to St. Paul but was forwarded to Star Prairie and I believe Ced received it before he left for Ohio and the Air Races. 

CDG - Coming of Age Adventure - Pettigrew Museum envelope - Aug., 1934.jpeg

CDG - Perrtigrew Museum (1) - Aug., 1934

CDG - Coming of Age Adventure - Pettigrew Museum (2) - Aug., 1934

August 21, 1934

Dear Cedric:

Aunt Marian, cousins Ruth, Nora, Edith and I were glad to have your card and were sorry we could not go to see you in St. Paul. This is a busy place – 800 visitors shown through the building already this month, which keeps us busy indeed. Ruth is here for a short visit, leaving tomorrow for Morgantown, West Virginia. Edith is staying here and attending Business college. She hopes to get some kind of work in September; is now devoting her time to shorthand and typing. It is good that one of you at least has had a glimpse of your Western home. It seems too bad when families scatter and lose track of each other. All of great grandfather Peabody’s nieces and nephews were as old or older than my mother’s. That makes cousins on that side much older than me. No one knew more than two first cousins on that side and five cousins once removed. There are probably more than 100 people nearby related to us who are utter strangers to us. Don’t let your generation do that – the world is so very much smaller than it was 70 years ago, and it is so much easier to go from one place to another than it was some 35 years ago. Please give my love to your family when you see them again. I was happy to have a glimpse of some of you last fall. Aunt Marian and all her cousins send greetings.

Affectionately,

Aunt Mary

Judy Guion