Trumbull – Dear Dan – Yesterday Was Your Birthday – October 28, 1945

Daniel Beck Guion and Paulette (Van Laere) Guion on their wedding day in July, 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 (Grandpa is referring to the fact that Paulette is expecting their first child, due in May, 1946) 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.

Alfred Duryee Guion

This picture may not have been taken on the night that Grandpa was writing this letter, but this is what it might have looked like. Grandpa, Marian, Lad, Jean, Dick and Aunt Betty sitting around the kitchen table.

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 (the famil that invited Dan and Paulette into their home shortly after they were married and Dan was working a distance from Paulette’s parent’s home) 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

Lad, Dick, Ced and Grandpa on the small island Grandpa bought for his children’s summer retreat.

The Lad and Richard Guion’s are entering fully into the spirit of the lake 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.

David Peabody Guion

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 Water Works Building is in the downtown area of Manila, Philippines, where Dave’s unit, the communication center is located). 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 — we’ll 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

Tomorrow I will begin posting the very long second letter, filled with all kinds of news from his sons who are still away from home.

Judy Guion

The Island – Then and Now (2) – 1945 – 2021

Spring Island - Cook Cabin @ 1956

The tarp set up next to the Cook Cabin where the children ate their meal.

Spring Island - Lad with Pete Linsley at the Fire Pit

             Lad Guion and Pete Linsley at the firepit, the “new” Sleeping Cabin in the background in the late 1950’s

Spring Island - Water fun - Johnny Hayden, Roy Lenhard and  David Lenhard

Some of the boys using an original innertube and the board pulled behind the boat

Spring Island - Transportation @ 1960s - Utility Barge, rowboat (Lad)

The hand-made “Barge” built in Pete Linsley’s basement, and the rowboat converted into a sailboat

Spring Island - The kids (I'm the talest one in the back)

All the children after a Talent Show (I’m in the back row, third from the left, about 1958

Spring Island - Greg Guion, Nancy Hayden, Susie Linsley, Judy Guion @ 1960s - (Lad)

The older girls heading into town (I’m on the far right)

Spring Island - Path from Toothpaste Landing to Cook Cabin - 9.2020

The screened Porch added to the Cook Cabin where the Tarp was originally used

Spring Island - Sleeping cabin from roof of Cook Cabin - (Judy - 2013)

The Sleeping Cabin (I took this picture from the roof of the Cook Cabin on a Painting Party Weekend – my cousins and I painted both buildings

Spring Island - Old dock - possibly 40 years old (Judy - 2007)

The 40-year old dock (which replaced the original of the same design)

Spring Island - installation of new dock - (Judy - 2007)

The new dock being installed

After reading so much about the proposals for our Future Camp, I hope you enjoyed seeing the changes over the years. At this time I am on the Island, enjoying my last weekend for 2021. Very much looking forward to spending two full weeks there next year – which will include another Guion Family Reunion at another location on the lake.

Tomorrow, I will return to  letters written in 1939 when Lad was working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company (which became part of the Mobil Empire) and Trumbull is celebrating Thanksgiving.

Judy Guion

The Island – Then and Now (1) – Early Building -1945 – 2021

Since the prominent theme this past week has been about the purchase of the Island and Grandpa’s thoughts and  questions about the development of our Future Camp, I thought I would give you a view of changes that have been made to the Island since the beginning. Enjoy. 

ADG - Grandpa and the boys on Spring Island (cropped) - 1948

My guess is that this picture was taken in the spring of 1946, although I do not remember Ced being home at that time. Lad and Dick came home from the war in the late summer and the fall of 1945. Ced came home from Anchorage, Alaska for Thanksgiving in 1945. Left to right: Lad, Dick, Ced and Grandpa. Dan is in France (still in the Army) and Dave is in Manila, Philippines). My bet is that Rusty Huerlin is the one holding the camera. This might have been their first trip to the Island as the owners.

The area directly behind them is where the Cook Cabin was erected, after trees and brush were removed.

Spring Island - Winter - Pete Linsley with Cook Cabin in background

This picture, taken in 1954, shows the Cook Cabin, the first structure on the Island. It is a one-car garage that Lad purchased on the mainland. It was taken apart, all boards numbered, transferred by row boat and re-build on the Island. My Dad, Lad, was in charge of “mechanical installations and upkeep”, and this is Pete Linsley, one of my Dad’s friends, a member of the work crew to open and close the Island each year and a regular visitor with his family during our two-week vacation on the Island. The picture was taken when three couples (Lad and Marian, Chet and Jean Hayden and Pete and Barbara Linsley) came to New Hampshire in the winter.

Spring Island in winter (3) - Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion with Suzanne @ 1954

They visited with Dick and Jean Guion, living nearby, and brought Jean and her oldest daughter, a toddler, to the Island for a quick visit for the day. (Dick may also have been part of the group.)

Spring Island in winter (8) - Marian (close-up) walking back @ 1954

Marian Guion (Lad is probably holding the camera)

Spring Island in winter (6) - walking back to States Landing @ 1954

Walking back to the cars on the mainland.

Tomorrow, I will be posting pictures from the 1950’s and more recent photos.

Judy Guion



Trumbull – Dear Members of the Guion Clan (4) – Random Thoughts on our Future Camp (3) – October 7, 1945

Fall and very low water at the Island

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?

5 – Gifts.     It is quite likely that from time to time someone or other will bring up and leave in the cottage one thing or another for all to use.  Should it not be a rule that all such things shall cease immediately to be the property of any one individual or family and become common property, and so understood by everyone in advance.. In other words, should this not be a sort of Guion community project, the idea being that no one should feel any larger claim than any other because of any greater contribution he may have made in the way of goods or services for the common weal, than some other. As a community effort all things on the island ceased to be individually owned but become property to be shared equally by all.

6 – Obligations – I have told Anna Heurlin that under the circumstances she will always be welcome to use the property, and to a certain extent, the same moral obligation goes to the other members of the Heurlin family — Rusty or his two other sisters.

7 – Policy towards friends of each of you outside the family who may from time to time desire to use the cottage.  Should we accept offers to rent the cottage to outsiders and if so, under what circumstances.

Perhaps the above quick outline of some of the questions which occur to me may suggest others to you which are to be jointly considered.  (Maybe you will wonder at this point whether I have really made you a gift or saddled you with a liability.)  Anyway, let’s have a meeting of minds where each one freely expresses his likes or dislikes IN WRITING (in writing so that each of the absent ones can have the opinions of all others), letting me, if you will, be sort of a hopper to receive them all and work out, if possible, some tangible ideas to give us a starting point.


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 Sunday, I will b e posting pictures of the Island “Then and Now”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Guion Clan (3) – Random Thoughts on our Future Camp (2) – October 7, 1945

The Island

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

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s final thoughts on our Future Camp.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Clan Guion (2) – Random Thoughts on our Future Camp (1) – October 7, 1945

These pages represent Grandpa’s random thoughts on the future camp in New Hampshire. As usual, he was very thorough but also asked for comments and suggestions from each of his children. Since I have posted so many pictures of the Island, I thought you might like to see the original thoughts.

Spring Island - from States Landing @ 1960s

ADG - Random Thoughts on our Future Camp (1) - October 7, 1945

October 7, 1945

Random thoughts on our Future Camp

I have just purchased from Anne 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 towards 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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 a 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 – Boathouse, 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) sea plane — 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.

Tomorrow and Friday, more Random Thoughts on our Future Camp.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Regulars – Lots And Lots Of News – September 30, 1945

During this week I will be posting letters written in the fall of 1945, all of them written by Grandpa.

pp pic 1

Alfred Duryee Guion – (Grandpa) – in the Alcove where he typed his letters

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 we called on Brita (Huerlin, Rusdty Huerlin’s sister) and Sydney Bagshaw and were lucky enough to find Anna (Huerlin, another of Rusty Huerlin’s sister) 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 has 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. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire), 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,


Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, his “Random thoughts on our Future camp”.


Judy Guion

Special Picture # 345 – Beautiful Sunset At The Island – July, 2015

I must admit this is one of my all-time favorite sunsets at the Island. Enjoy. I will be going up there this coming weekend for the Fourth of July. 

Spring Island - beautiful sunset - 2015

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1944.There is a possibility that both Lad and Dave will be shipped overseas in the not to distant future and Marian will drive to Trumbull to stay at the Trumbull House with Grandpa and Jean for the duration. Only time will tell.

Judy Guion

The Island – Pictures and Stories – September, 2020

JAGGH - Spring Island in the evening - June, 201

The Island at dusk

While I was on the island last month I gave you a tour with a map and pictures.  My plan with this series was to add pictures of  other places that have not been featured very often on any of my island posts. Before I lost my Internet, due to a frozen Modem, I was able to send some of the pictures I took while I was there to my computer via email.  Now, when I send pictures from my phone as an email, they do not arrive in my inbox.

I have decided to put this project on hold until I can add the new pictures and new places that I want to share with you.

On Saturday and Sunday, I will continue with Dave’s World War II Army Adventures.  On Monday I will begin a week of letters written in 1939.  Lad is working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela.  Dan has written of his intentions to leave Venezuela at the end of May, hopefully after receiving the back pay that is owed.  Maybe we will have the answers next week.

Judy Guion

The Island – Pictures and Stories (2) – Pointed Rock – September, 2020

Spring Island - Path to Dock - 9.2020

Path down to the dock

Spring Island - Pointed Rock from the Dock - 9.2020

Pointed Rock from the dock

Spring Island - Pointed Rock (close-up) - 9.2020

Close-up of Pointed Rock

        We always called this “Pointed Rock”. You can tell the high water mark by the green algae on top. You may also notice that the bottom of the lake looks quite light in color. That is because the water – in this picture – is only about three feet deep and the bottom is covered with soft sand.
        When we were young (eight to about ten), this was an ideal place to go swimming. It also had the added bonus of fresh-water mussels which we used for fishing bait. I learned how to do a hand stand in the water here.
For the rest of the week I will  share Pictures and Stories of The Island.

Judy Guion