Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (3) – Packages to France – November, 1945

 

Page 3   11/11/45

We are returning you know to the D A D broadcasting station.

It is now some minutes since Ced has written page 2 of my letter for me, the delay in resumption on my part being due to the fact that I heard them discussing the island cottage in the kitchen, where they had all gone to get something to eat, and I just couldn’t resist the temptation of being in on it. It seems that both Dick and Lad contingents are planning more of a permanent home while Ced’s idea is definitely for just a comfortable but “rough” summer camp idea. Perhaps it is too strong for me to say, what Shakespeare and Roosevelt would say, “a plague on both your houses”, but the camping out desire, at least as a starter, finds more favor in his eyes than a house with “all the comforts of home”. Understandably, he is not radical on the subject and is willing to go along with the rest, if that is what the majority wants, but to him the charm of the place would be it’s very differentness from the average civilized cottage. Personally I am glad to have this divergent opinion because it is only from considering all phases of the thing and getting every varying angle that is the surest way of arriving at the most satisfactory final result. I am looking forward with a great deal of interest to Dan and Paulette’s ideas and, when he gets time for it, further details from Dave.

Dear Dan:

Received this week a very nice letter from M. Rabet in answer to one I recently wrote to him. I have this week sent a box of only a portion, it is true, of the things you wrote you wanted us to get, the rest of the order being still on order from Sears, and up to now not reported on, in spite of the fact I have asked them to follow up the order to see what the present status is. I have also, as an experiment, sent to Mr. Rabet direct by parcels post two other items, but these entail so much red tape and form-filling and customs declarations, etc., that I doubt if it is worthwhile employing this direct method, especially if it entails payment of any sizable amount of customs duty on the part of the recipient. It may take a bit longer to reach them through the APO channels addressed to Dan but in the end it may be better. Please instruct me on this phase, Dan. They ask that in case it is not possible to deliver to the addressee, that some alternative address be given and I have therefore given the Senechal’s address in Calais as an alternative. As Thanksgiving draws nearer, my desire to have you and Paulette here grows correspondingly stronger, but I console myself with the thought that when that day rolls around again, all three of you will be here.

I don’t recall whether I mentioned it in one of my previous letters, but for Paulette I have sent to all the publishers in this country of baby magazines, asking for sample copies, and am sending them in the next box to you so she can look them over and see what USA has to offer along this line. As a Christmas gift I am also sending her a box of yarn for knitted baby clothes, enough for three sets of sweaters, mittens, booties, together with two packages of wool soap and two pairs of knitting needles. I will have these mailed to Dan’s APO address and hope they arrive without too much delay. I’m waiting to hear about Paulette’s visit to you and how she liked the things we sent. I suppose they were a bit wrinkled and mussed from traveling, but when ironed out, they ought to be fairly presentable. Hope that they fit and that down in her heart she will be really pleased with them. I know she would say she was pleased so as not to hurt our feelings but I naturally hope she will be really, truly, delighted, because nothing we can do for her here is too good for her, and we wish she were here to tell her so.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter and on Friday, Marian sends a newsy letter about their set-up in Aberdeen.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

 

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Trumbull – Dear Dan – Birthday Greetings – October, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., October 28, 1945

Dear Dan:

Yesterday was your birthday. I started out for the office with every intention of trying to find an interval in the days work long enough to permit my dashing off a V-mail letter to you, but alas from the time I arrived until quitting time one thing after another seemed to follow in endless demand, leaving but the alternative of incorporating a birthday greeting to you as part of my regular Sunday letter. So here I am, with a lot more desire than ability to state the obvious. Though I have said this to all you boys many times, it still loses none of its force, to me at least, in those quiet moments by oneself when we count over our blessings and mentally list the things we have to be thankful for, when I repeat how you boys have done so much to compensate for the loss of your mother in making life’s daily round so much more worthwhile than it otherwise would have been. While it applies to the other boys too, I am writing especially to you now, and I want to say to you what you must indeed fully realize, that from that moment when I anxiously paced back and forth anxiously waiting for the doctor to inform me that little Alfred  had a new brother or sister, through your mischievous childhood, your grammar school and Boy Scout days, high school, CCC Camp, and your various adult activities right up to the present moment, you have been the sort of son any father rejoices in having. It’s one of those things you really can’t appreciate until you have experienced it, so my main birthday wish to you at this time is that the little Valentine which is now on his way to you for arrival next May or thereabouts, may in turn bring to you and Paulette just as much joy and deep thankfulness as a parent, my boy, have brought to me – – and right now I can’t think of any bigger or better wish to send you. Not to rub it in at all, but we are all going to take time out right at this point to drink a toast to you with – – hold Your breath – – a glass of Burrough’s Cider. So here’s to you from Aunt Betty, Dick, Jean, Lad, Marian and myself, here seated in the old kitchen you know so well. So here’s to you. (Pause) Perhaps we might change this, if you think so, and say, a “moment for silent prayer.” – – You old reprobate.

Thanks for your letter of Oct. 22nd by airmail which arrived yesterday (five days in transit is pretty good), stating you were shortly leaving for Liege, that the things for the Rabets might be sent by express (they are awfully slow coming from Sears), your receipt of Aunt Betty’s letter and some of the boxes with Paulette’s things in them. Do get her to write us how she likes the various things so we can be guided next time if they are not just what she wants.

In contrast to this speedy letter, I also received earlier in the week a letter you wrote and sent by regular mail on Sept. 18th.  In this you ask that a complete layette be sent to Paulette. It is true that packages can now be sent either by mail or express to France but the thing that I am wondering about, if they are sent to a civilian address rather than to an APO  number, is whether duty will not have to be paid, and if so, whether it would not be much cheaper even if a little longer in transit, to continue to send packages addressed to you through regular Army channels. Perhaps France does not impose duties. Will you inquire on this point and let me know promptly if you still want things sent direct to civilian addresses?

Page 2   10/28/45

The Lad and Richard Guion’s are entering fully into the spirit of the late summer place idea and both of them, with the aid of their spouses, have or are in the process of making out floor plans showing their ideas for a summer cottage and I am eagerly waiting your’s and Paulette’s ideas. Ced I know is going to have some very interesting angles I am also wondering if Dave will surprise us, even though I do not expect he has given much thought to matters of this sort.

Lad came home on another pass yesterday and he and Dick and dad had a sort of a field day this morning that you would have enjoyed. With the aid of your old Chevy, Lad’s Buick, some borrowed rope and just plain manpower, we pulled down an old apple tree, hauled sundry fallen logs too heavy to manhandle and in general had such a good time in the pleasant October weather that we long overstayed our dinner hour, in spite of which fact the girls were very patient and forbearing and didn’t act all upset. So perhaps we felt all the guiltier.

Dear Dave:

Received your letter of Oct. 12th on the 22nd — not bad for so great a distance. This is the one where you say I am making you homesick by all the references to rides and trips; also that it has become an effort for you to write letters. That is quite understandable. I occasionally feel that way myself and find it an effort to try to sound interesting, knowing you boys will be disappointed if I don’t write and yet feeling that what I write is a lot of trash. And yet I imagine the effort is worthwhile. I know yours is to me. And you have a lot more to gripe about than I have. I keep busy all the time and feel I am doing something useful for your benefit when you come home, but you must feel sort of a let-down with the war over and nothing very important or dramatic to accomplish. I see, like the Guion tribe in general, you still keep your sense of humor, and for the benefit of the others I will quote your last paragraph. “Things go on the same here – we’re still sweating it out and feeling sorry for ourselves. The only change I can think of right now is the addition of a new sign out in the hall up here on the third floor of the Waterworks Building. The stairs going from the ground floor to the top (4th floor) are set in a sort of squared circle with a well going all the way down to the bottom. The sign here on the third floor says: “Don’t jump — will all be home in six months”. I hope the sign is right.

Dear Ced:

I’ll paraphrase what I said to Dan. Just wait to you have a boy of your own that you have a particular fondness for, who made a resolve to write to you at the very least once a month, and then you wait and wait and week after week goes by after the month is up and still you don’t know whether the plane he went up in ran out of gas and could not come down, and then you can appreciate how the poor old father feels, gnashing his fingernails, glancing anxiously up as each plane streaks across the sky, wondering if that is the silent son at last coming home. And so on that sad and doleful note I shall come to the signing off space, but still hopeful, shall continue to remain,

Yours                               DAD

Special Picture # 251 – My first Trip to the Island – Summer, 1949

 

 

My first trip to the Island – probably the summer of 1949 –

Judy, my younger brother Greg, my twin, Doug

 

my little sister, Lynn

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

My internet has been down all week, so on Monday, I’ll begin by re-posting the first section of a long letter from Grandpa to Dave, Dan and Paulette and Ced, written in October, 1945. I’ll continue with the rest of the letter during the week.

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

An Island Picture – Storm Cloud – 2016

We had one day on the Island when it stormed a few times – just quick showers – but this is what they looked like before they got to us.

 

Spring Island - Storm Cloud - 2016

Tomorrow, and Sunday, two more installments of a Tribute to Arla. Enjoy learning more about this very wise young woman. 

Next week I’ll begin posting letters from 1942. The first is from Lad, with a change of plans. During the rest of the week, I’ll be posting 3 more letters from Grandpa to his sons, both near and far from home.

Judy Guion