Trumbull – Dear Ced and Rusty (2) – Business Developments – January, 1942

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion
(Grandpa)

Page 2 0f 1/4/1942

If you have not already done so by the time this letter reaches you, Ced, old scout, will you please be sure to let me know what packages you have received so that I can follow through from this end if anything I sent has not yet arrived. I sent a stainless steel sauce pan to Rusty to start housekeeping with, your watch which you sent home by Dan to be repaired, sealed beam headlights from Sears Roebuck, a box of Christmas knickknacks and a sweater from Forster Besse. While the total was far less that I wanted to send, perhaps it is all the more important that what did go should arrive safely. I did not renew subscription to the Sunday Post, first, because I did not know how much you cared for it (according to Dick he enjoyed the funnies from Seattle more), and second, your future movements seemed so uncertain that I thought I had better wait and ask you what you wanted done. Even if you go into service and are stationed at Fort Richardson, I suppose the mail would be forwarded to you from Box 822 anyway. Just say the word and I will do the necessary at this end.

Aunt Betty has just piped up and asked to have her love sent to you both.

At the office things are going a bit better or have for the past month or two. I am still having labor troubles but so far Dave has managed to get out what multigraphed letters we have had to produce and I am also able, with outside help, to keep up with the mimeographed jobs. Addressograph work has been quite heavy and I do have a girl that is doing this work very satisfactorily. During the year we have been able to pretty nearly clean up on our old debts, and, unless the nation at war throws another monkey wrench into the machinery, it looks as though we would continue. In this connection, the organization which Miss Platt left me to join, called the ADCRAFTERS, with offices just across the street, composed of the letter shop, run by Miss Platt, Art service (commercial) maintained by Mr. Thorpe, and commercial photography handled by the third member of the organization, has been having hard sledding. They originally had a printer in with them, but he proved to be no good so the rent that had been divided among the four of them had to be shared by three along with the other running expenses. It now develops that the photographer has been called into service and along with that fact, the bottom lately has been knocked out of the demand for artwork, so that Mr. Thorpe is seriously considering getting a job with some of the Bridgeport manufacturers who need his sort of service. This may throw Miss Platt on her own but with the doubtful course of future business in our line, it might be that she will be open for some arrangement whereby she will throw her little business in with mine and again be part of the Guion organization. If this happens, I may be content to let her carry on while I seek a job myself with some of the war industries here who are badly in need of men, due to the fact that so many are leaving to join up with Uncle Sam. All this, however, awaits the course of events.

To Rusty:

It was certainly good to get your letter. You don’t know how much I enjoyed hearing from you. Congratulations on the Dr. Romig painting. Please be sure to let me know about the result of the Court House petition, particularly if you get it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It will certainly mean the opening up of bigger things for you, which you richly deserve. Naturally I shall also be much interested to hear what results from the plans to seek other quarters. I suppose this depends somewhat on what happens in Ced’s case. It is good to know you are together. I hated to think of his being all alone so far from friends and home. As to your own personal affairs I have a hunch things are going to come out O.K. And if I can help, you know the offer still stands, to any extent within my power. I would be very happy if I could do anything that would help things to come out of the way you want them.

To Ced:

Write when you can, old son of mine. I’ll be listening.

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter to Lad from a friend from Venezuela, who is now back in the states. Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced and Rusty (1) – New Year’s Eve – January, 1942

Judy_0003

January 4, 1942

Dear Ced and Rusty:

I am so used to writing to more than one of my boys that Rusty will have to substitute, although as far as “love and affection” goes, he fits right into that category anyway. Indeed, as far as realism goes, the fact that I had a very welcome letter from Rusty this week, penned, I suppose, from the very room that housed and still houses a portion of the Guion clan, adds strength to the fact. Rusty’s vivid power of description – – Ced’s tramping across the floor in his jockstrap, his lusty snores, all brought back well-remembered recollections. Somehow or other I had a feeling that trampings ten times as heavy and snores ten times as stentorius would be more than welcome if I could hear them right here in little old Trumbull for a change.

Well, the holidays are over and things have settled down to a 1942 basis. Before bidding it a final adieu, however, there are a few facts to record. New Year’s Eve Anne phoned from New Rochelle that you would like to come up with the children and stay overnight. They arrived in time for supper. The combined party with Paul’s friends did not materialize because Paul (Warden, renting the apartment with his wife Katherine) , a few days previously, developed a very bad sore throat, swollen glands, etc., and was in bed, unable to talk above a whisper and only today has been up and around. However, most of the steady visitors were on hand, and while Aunt Betty and I did not stay up until three or four or whatever time it was the last of the revelers (Don Stanley was the last one in) had retired, there was enough noise and what goes with it to issue in the New Year in the approved fashion. Friday the Stanley’s left for Vermont where Anne felt it necessary to go in order to make financial arrangements so that she could continue on with the children’s schooling in Virginia.

Last night it snowed quite hard and today looks like an Alaskan landscape. The boys who were out in their cars last night had difficulty in coming up the driveway. Today Lad took Dave down to WICC (a Bridgeport Radio station) where he took part in a program sponsored by the American Legion, on Pan-American activities, acted out by students selected from Harding, Central and Bassick. (The three local High Schools) The new ruling that has gone into effect prohibiting the sale of tires here and I suppose all over the country, has caused me to wonder a bit what I will do. I tried to get my spare retreaded recently but was unable to do so because the sidewalls were not strong enough. Lad was lucky enough to get two tires from George Knapp the other day. There is some compensation in the fact that, as both Lad’s car and my own are identical models, the tires are interchangeable and in a pinch we can help out the other fellow.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter. Wednesday will bring a letter to Lad from a friend in Venezuela who is back in the states, and Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Random thoughts on our Future Camp – Oct., 1945

 

October 7, 1945

Random Thoughts on our Future camp.

 

I have just purchased from Anna Heurlin the Lake Winnipesaukee Island which has so many pleasant memories for all of us – – a Christmas present jointly and equally to each of my six children – – legally, that is, but from a practical standpoint, to be shared, of course, with their wives and children, now and to be. (I may add by way of parenthesis that such a situation in some families might in future develop into a cause for friction between brothers and sisters and their families, but somehow I feel that in our case, I will not be sowing a seed of possible future discord but that the family spirit of unity and tolerance toward one another, which, with your mother’s spirit still present, has been with us all so far, will still guide us and prevent future misunderstandings from arising. That at least is my fervent wish.)

There are many interesting and happy problems that arise from this acquisition. I will jot down a few which immediately occur to me and will welcome others which may occur to you.

1 – Name. I neither know nor care what name, if any, the island bears on official state maps. As owners we have the privilege of calling it what we will. What is your suggestion for a suitable name. Give reasons for your choice.

2 – Living accommodations. Do each of you want to build a cabin of your own or would it be better to pool our resources, erect jointly a “camp” which would be suitable for comfortable living both for summer and winter sports? If the former, we will have to go more into detail as to parceling out lots to each of you. If the latter, some interesting questions present themselves:

a – Choice of location of the building.

COMMENTS:  Lad, who visited the island this fall with Marian, says the trees have grown surprisingly. There will undoubtedly have to be some clearing out of brush. I can see Dick and Dan just naturally taking charge of this phase of the work, with Dan perhaps doing some surveying, preparatory to choice of site.

b – Type of building.

COMMENTS: Let’s have suggestions from each of you as to what your ideas are along this line, if you alone had the decision to make. And then, with the variety of ideas to work from, we can settle on something that seems to meet the composite idea. “Six heads are better than one”.

c – Boat house, dock, swimming safeguards (with small children in mind)

COMMENT: Joint ownership would seem to be desirable under the circumstances, of canoe, rowboat (outboard motor?), Sailboat, motorboat and (for Ced) seaplane – – any or all. Ideas on this please.

d – Water supply.

COMMENTS: Dug well or drilled well? Would it be possible to get permission to pipe water from spring on mainland, and if so, would this be desirable? How about water supply in winter? Hand pump or electric pump? If we expect to have shower, toilet and kitchen sink, or possibly washing machine, a pump would save many hours of manual labor.

e – Electricity

COMMENTS: Would it be possible to obtain, at a reasonable cost, electricity from the main road (central power station supply) vs. our own diesel electric plant for light, pump, water heater, electric refrigerator, radio, washing machine and other “Modern inconveniences”. (Gas, of course, would not be available for cooking and coal would present quite a transportation problem by rowboat from the mainland, so we would have our choice of wood, kerosene or electricity, for cooking, heating, hot water and lights.

f – Heat.

COMMENTS: Shall we have an open fireplace? Wood, of course, would be available on the island. Of what material should fireplace be built? Are there enough stones on the island? Or would you prefer brick, concrete or what?

g – Sewage disposal. Cesspool or chemical toilet? We should find out state sanitary laws on this matter.

h – Boats. Which kind first and how about storage facilities when no one is occupying cottage? How about ice boat in winter?

i – Interior Arrangements. Anyone collected plans of a summer cottage? What arrangement of living room, kitchen, bath, how many bedrooms. Built-in bunks and furniture? Storage places for clothes, bedding and foodstuffs. This would seem to be a problem, especially for the girls to consider.

j – Miscellaneous

1 – Would expense of telephone be justified?

2 – Where could we garage cars on mainland?

3 – How about daily milk supply?

4 – Fire extinguishers

5 – Garbage disposal

6 – Mail arrangements

k – Job assignments.

Sports – Hunting and fishing – Zeke

Winter sports, skiing, etc. – Ced

Mechanical installations and upkeep – Lad and Ced

Clearing of grounds, maintenance of landscaping,

fruit tree planting, garden? etc. Dan and Dick

Supervision of building erection – Dick

Schedule of occupancy, assignment of boats, troubleshooter,

Smoother-over, etc. – Dave

3 – Finances. How is all this (outside of cost of island itself, which I have taken care of) to be financed. If we get a government housing loan or bank loan or building and loan arrangement for building and equipment, how are payments to be met? Should each one contribute a stated amount monthly? What is the limit of total cost which should be set and how many years should payments be spread over? Taxes, which are now about $3 a year on $100 assessment, would naturally increase. There will also be insurance and running expenses for food, fuel and mechanical upkeep. When should work be started?

4 – Future Considerations. What arrangement for future sale of property should be made, if that ever becomes necessary or desirable? A jointly owned property invariably brings problems of one sort or another, if one or more of the joint owners desires to liquidate. Some arrangement agreed to by all in advance to cover such a contingency should be thoroughly understood and agreed upon in advance. What is your idea on this?

Grandpa never ceases to amaze me. He says: “I will jot down a few which immediately occur to me…” This is the result, in one evening!

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter filled with news of the family and friends associated with Grandpa and Trumbull.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Clan Guion – Dick and Jean Are Home – Oct., 1945

Spring Island, with a very low water level

Trumbull, Conn., October 7, 1945

Dear Members of the Clan Guion:

Again events this week have combined to cut down my correspondence time, but late as it is now, I must take time to at least hit the high spots and some of said spots have considerable altitude.

First, Dick and Jean are home. Yes sir, the clan is beginning to gather. The first inkling I had was a telegram the first part of the week from Dick announcing they were in Miami, ending with the cheering words, “See you soon.”, And as good as his word, he and Jean dropped into the office Friday in a surprise visit. He looks well, has a miniature mustache and has not put on any weight, and outside of a cold, is the same old Dick. Jean says she has put on a little weight but it is not noticeable. Gosh, but it’s good to have two boys home at once with their wives, but I, apparently, cannot be satisfied – – all I need now is Dan and Paulette, Ced and Dave, and then I will admit to a maximum of satisfaction.

The same day Dick and Jean arrived, Britta, Anna and young Peter Bagshaw visited us and stayed to supper. Biss, Zeke and the two boys also came over for supper so we put three leaves in the table and it began to look like old times again. Later, we showed pictures, movies and stills, of Alaska, Venezuela, etc. I got Anna aside, found out she was willing to sell the Island, so, as a novel Christmas present to you children, I decided to buy it for you all. This will practically clean me out of cash put aside for Christmas gifts, and then some, but I figured it would be worth it to you all. I will have something more to say on the thing a little later.

Martin and Flor Williams visiting Trumbull

Then yesterday, the date of Lad’s meeting, planned five years ago in Venezuela, came around and he and Marian went down for their reunion with the Venezuelan crowd. They stayed overnight in New York and today brought Mr. and Mrs. Williams back with them, and again we showed movies of Venezuela, Alaska, etc. Jack Fillman and his wife, and Red (Sirene) and his fiancée, dropped in to see Dick and Marian and later my cousin Dud (Dudley Duryee) and wife from Brooklyn drove up to see us and stayed to supper and the movies. Incidentally Dan, Martin Williams asked me to be remembered to you when he saw that I was writing a letter to you. They are staying overnight, so I have just left the party to write this note to you all.

No letters this week from Ced or Dan, but Dave wrote a short note commenting on some of my previous letters. He says: “Rumor has it that GHQ will be moving out sometime in October, but doesn’t know whether or not he will go along. He may stay in Manila or go to Korea or possibly to Yokohama.

Now let’s get back to the Island proposition, which, I admit, has got me all excited. Ever since your mother and I first went up there with Rusty, landing late one night and sleeping out on the island, which it was too dark to see until next morning, I have been hoping that someday events would work around so that we could own the Island and perhaps build a little cabin on it where we could spend summer vacations. And at last this dream has materialized. I am attaching a sort of snap shot of my thoughts on the subject and invite you to do the same, so that from the combination of thoughts on the subject, we ought to arrive at some final solution fairly acceptable to all. Therefore I will close this brief letter and proceed to the Island subject.

DAD

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s “Random thoughts on our Future camp.” On Thursday and Friday, another of Grandpa’s usual letters filled with news of family and friends.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Regulars – Visiting The Heurlins – September, 1945

Spring Island at dusk, June 5, 2017

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 30, 1945

Dear Regulars:

This will be of short duration, as it is now almost 10:30 EST and we have just arrived home from a trip to Bedford, N.Y. (Lad driving), where recalled on Brita, and Sydney Bagshaw and were lucky enough to find Anna visiting. Peter, whom you will recall Dick, as having had an accident while swinging at his home in Whitestone, has grown to be quite a boy. They have a really wonderful place – – an old mill which is been converted with truly artistic touches which you might expect of a Heurlin married to an artist – – with mill stone, a mill race which they use as a swimming pool, a waterfall, and in every sense a most attractive place. They are all coming for a visit to Trumbull next Friday, we hope, on which occasion we will show pictures of Alaska, etc. We talked about old times, the island at Lake Winn., which Anne still owns and which she is willing to sell. What do you boys think of the idea of our purchasing it and putting up a cabin for a summer camping place?

Jean, I am enclosing an important-looking registered communication from the State Department. Dan, I just yesterday received a letter from the Dept. of Justice stating it was necessary, in order for you to secure a visa for your wife, for me to furnish birth certificate or other evidence that you were actually born and not a figment of the imagination. So I immediately wrote to Mount Vernon asking for such birth certificate and as soon as it arrives (possibly Tuesday), I shall at once send it on to them.

Lad and Marian went shopping again and have practically completed purchasing everything on the list for the Rabets (the couple who have let Paulette, and sometimes Dan, stay at their house at no cost) except a pale blue striped shirt which they could not find. They have been ordered from Sears Roebuck, maybe some $35 worth, and as soon as they arrive will be re-shipped to you via the regular Army channel. As I told you in my last letter, five boxes of clothes for Paulette have been sent and yesterday I sent a new addition of the S-R catalog.

Letters this week from Marian and Dave, which I will not take time to quote due to the lateness of the hour. I also received a letter from Catherine (Warden, a former tenant, with her husband and two children,  her husband is now in the service), now with her sister in Hartford, stating that she will resume her residence in the apartment at the earliest possible moment. I had at first thought of possibly holding off renting it on the chance that Dan and Paulette would be coming home soon and would thus have a suitable domicile, but this is so uncertain now that I thought it best not to hold off any longer. Then too, the loss of revenue means quite a difference in the income. Several others have looked at it but for one reason or another, one or the other of us didn’t get together on it.

And  by the way, Lad went to Devens (Ft. Devens in Massachusetts) and next day came back again with a 15- day extension on his furlough, goes back to Devens on October 10th and then ?????

And so, my little ones, will you accept this meager offering in lieu of a full-fledged letter, minus some interesting quotes, and will try to do better next time. Oh, you will? Thank you so much.

I love you just as much.

Short windedly yours,

DAD

Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa and on Wednesday, his “Random thoughts on our Future camp”. Thursday and Friday, I’ll have another of Grandpa’s usual letter, filled with news.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced – No Word From Dick – December, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., December 21, 1941

Dear Ced:

Just a few days before the traditional day of “Peace on earth, good will toward men” – – the traditional spirit of Christmas which has endured for 2000 years and will outlast this present horrid ascendancy of hate – – a day which I hope we all will live to celebrate. Why is it when every sane person will agree that peace is so desirable that a few perverted souls can throw the whole civilized world into a state of war – – some of them purporting to be followers of the simple Galilean carpenter who first brought us the good-will message. It is beyond my limited intelligence to supply the answer. All I know is that in my own individual soul there is a spirit of peace and goodwill when I think of my own little family and particularly the one absent boy up near Santa’s homeland that I am going to miss more than ever this year.

No word of any sort from Dick. Maybe he expects to surprise us by barging in at any time now. At least that is what I hope, although I am also conscious of the fact that he may have been delayed because of the war upset, and, perish the thought, may not be able to reach Trumbull by the 25th.

Dan and Barbara went to New York last night by train to see New York at Christmas. They did not enjoy themselves as much as they expected to because of the biting wind. It has been really cold yesterday and today and the little fireplace in the alcove has been acting as a booster for the furnace since last night when Kemper, Ethel, Burr Davis and his wife came up for a pre-Christmas visit.

Peggy Beebe is to be married I believe on Christmas Day. Her man I am told is wealthy and they plan to build a “small” home in Greenfield Hills. Charley Hall is home. He came in today to see if Dick had reached home yet. Dave and Dan were in a pageant this afternoon at the Church. Dan took the part of Joseph and Dave was one of the Three Wise Men – – the one with the gold.

Lad has not been feeling so well today. Last night he had a ham and egg sandwich at some lunch wagon that apparently did not agree with him and he has been hovering close to the toilet most of the day.

I was mighty pleased to get your letter of the 7th (received on the 17th) with its interesting news regarding Rusty bunking in with you. That makes it nice for both of you. Tell the old bean I am still waiting for one of his interesting letters telling me the latest news regarding his personal affairs, particularly if I can be of any help from this end. I relayed your note regarding Union Now to the Peabody’s in New Rochelle, but as yet have had no reply. We received a Christmas’s package from the L. K. Peabody’s. I still have no further news as to where Anne and her family will be over the holidays.

Helen Plumb called me up yesterday and asked if as Justice of the Peace I was available next Saturday evening to marry two couples at the house here. I don’t know who they are but I will be ready.

This letter will reach you after Christmas Day but I can hope anyway some of the things arrived in time.

Love, from

DAD

More from the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson tomorrow and Sunday.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1943, when  the boys were involved with the War effort.

Judy Guion