Trumbull – Dear Sons (2) – Work Around the House and Yard – April 21, 1946

Grandpa, in the Alcove, writing his weekly letter on his Remington typewriter.

Meanwhile, things go on here as usual. A few commodities are back on the store shelves but nothing like in normal times. Food is still scarce, supplies are spotty. We have had no butter to speak of in months and only occasionally is margarine obtainable. Today, in spite of its being Easter, we had neither. And prices are exorbitant. With plans for sending wheat to the starving people in Europe, we are facing a period of flour shortage — something we did not have even during the war, when everything else was rationed — which means less bread, cereal, cookies, cakes, etc. In spite of that fact, Dave, we will do our best to around you out a little physically — I assume you have attended to doing that mentally yourself.

I took Good Friday off and with the aid of Lad, Dick and Paul, we used almost 100 gallons of oil and almost a winter’s supply of ashes fixing up the driveway, and a pretty good job we did of it too. The surface is now as smooth and even as I’ve seen it in a long while. The Seagels, who live in the stone house, have also spent quite a bit of money, apparently, in grading, filling in with many yards of dirt and, with the aid of a bulldozer, have extended the lawn in front of their house and the rough land between their road and the brook into what promises to be a park-like stretch of ground. Dick and Paul have been busy repairing the picket fence between Ives’s corner lot and our eastern boundary, which improves appearances considerably. Yesterday afternoon I relayed the bricks in the fireplace hearth in the music room — not a very good job but making it look better than it did anyway.

No letters this week from either Dan or Ced, which only makes it more likely that news from either England or Alaska, possibly both, may be on the way. News from my “foreign correspondents” will inevitably taper off. Soon Dave will be out of the reporting picture, then, before the year is out (I hope), Dan will be delivering oral reports and it will be Ced only who will be the object of my Sunday afternoon correspondence, but then, I will have firsthand reports to give to my new French daughter-in-law and a grandfather’s version of the growth and progress of two new grandsons or granddaughters.

Right now I’ll have to possess my soul in patience, and so with best Easter greetings to you all, from all of us here, I remain

Your affectionate,

DAD

Tomorrow more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now.

On Sunday, another post about my Ancestor, Alfred Beck Guion, Grandpa’s Father.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – Dave’s Plans to Arrive in Trumbull – April 21, 1946

Easter Day, Trumbull, Conn., April 21, 1946.

Dear Sons:

Except for being just a bit cool today, weather-wise, it is a typical Easter Sunday — bright, warm sunshine, a gentle breeze, a cloudless sky, grass getting green, leaves beginning to bud  — all the signs of nature awakening from its long winter’s sleep. It brings back memories of other Easte’s in the long ago when you kids were little tykes and all agog for hunting hidden nests of Easter eggs, candy bunnies, etc. I wonder what you are all doing today. It is perhaps as diversified an Easter as the family has had. I picture Dan somewhere in old England, perhaps journeying with the English holiday crowd to visit perhaps his friends in Cornwall, where the scene of the book I am now reading – “The Kings General”, was laid. Ced probably is back for the day with some church choir, recalling perhaps the sunrise service he attended one year in Putney, while Dave is riding out his Easter on the surface of the vast Pacific somewhere between Manila and Honolulu, possibly watching “the sun come up like thunder over China ‘cross the Bay”, England, Alaska and the Pacific — truly an international Easter for representatives of the Guion family. When another Easter dawns in Trumbull perhaps these wandering ones will be watching the lilacs coming in to bloom in our own backyard.

       Lilac Flowers

           My reference to Dave on the high seas is founded on fairly good authority. Have had two letters from him this week, as follows: April 5th, Manila. I’m truly sorry for neglecting to write at such an important time. I left for the depot on schedule just as I wrote. But there wasn’t room for me on the boats that were here at the time. I’ve been waiting at the depot ever since. As things stand now I will leave here sometime around the middle of the month, getting into Frisco the first week in May. The ship I’ll probably sail on is the General Heinzelman. It’s arrival in Manila and it’s estimated time of arrival in the states is not yet definitely known because of storms in the Pacific. But you can be pretty sure of seeing me sometime between the 15th and 20th of May. I’m well and unhappy — this business of waiting three weeks for a ship isn’t easy. Don’t be surprised if I’m a little thin when I get home — hot weather never did agree with me and I had 14 straight months of it. But it’s nothing that a little of your cooking won’t fix up in a short time.”

And four days later: “Yup, still here. Rumors still say we are to leave here April 13th, but the Geeral. Heinzelman still hasn’t arrived. I have three letters here which I shall answer. The first is one written on Feb. 6th and sent to Dan by mistake. As this is all about the office I’ll wait till I get home before I answer it. I was glad to get a report on how things were shaping up, tho. The second was written on St. Patrick’s Day. It contained little news but was nevertheless important. A letter is a letter – even if it is a short one. The third letter quotes one of mine in which I tell of being relieved of duty. This one I presume is to be the last I receive. It was written March 24th and said you were sending a copy to Aunt Dorothy in case I didn’t get it here. By the way, thank you for Aunt Dorothy’s new address. She sure does get around. I probably wouldn’t have been able to find her if I hadn’t gotten this letter. This brings me to your predictions on my arrival date in Trumbull. The day before I received your letter I set a date in my mind — a goal, so to speak. Figuring on leaving here the 13th and taking 17 days across the Pacific, 7 days across the country, 3 days in Fort Devens and one day to get home, my guess would be the same as Lad’s — May 11th, say 3:30 or 4:00 P.M. The only trouble is that I’m allowing no time for the inevitable delays in Army transportation. I’m figuring on no time in California. And I don’t think 7 days across the country is particularly slow for an army troop train.

Page 2    4/21/1946

If I leave on the 13th, tho, I most certainly should be home sometime during the week of May 12th. My thanks to Lad for any and all work done at the office. I know you’ve been up to your neck, Dad, and I guess you had a real need for the help. Anything Lad does now will make it easier for me too, so thanks again, Lad. It looks to me as if Dan were having as much trouble getting to England as I’m having trying to find a ship with my bunk on it. I hope Dan’s nerves aren’t taking the beating mine are. I’ll have had three weeks in the depot next Saturday. The usual wait is 3 to 5 days, and to top it off there’s no shoulder to cry on. Guess this does it for this time. When I get definite news that I’m leaving Saturday I may not have time to write but I’ll try to say something, even if it’s just I’m leaving; so, “ ‘til we meet again”, Dave.

This is the last word we have had direct from Dave but last evening Biss called up to say she had just received a letter from Dave to the effect that on the 11th when he wrote, he had definite word he was sailing on the 13th. Maybe I’ll get a letter tomorrow confirming this.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter to Dan, Ced and Dave.

On Saturday, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now.

On Sunday, Another post about an Ancestor, Alfred Beck Guion, Grandpa’s Father.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Duet – All About the Home Front – April 14, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., April 14, 1946

Dear Duet:

With David on the way home my “outlanders” have shrunk to two. I assume Dave is on the way home because I had no word from him last week. (I have had no word either from Dan or Ced but am not so optimistic to assume for this reason that they too are on their way home). As a matter of fact I intended starting this letter by saying word from Dave had just been received as follows: “(quote                                         end quote), but on second thought, I don’t think I’ll bother with it — it’s pulled too many times on the radio to have any novelty.

Well today we “boys” put in a pretty full day outdoors– the weather was like that — the first job being the transportation of the root of the Maple tree that used to stand by Ives fence, weight of which being varyingly estimated at from 1 ½ to 2 ¼ tons, from the place where it grew for so many years to the “stockpile” of big wood to be cut, back where the old Playhouse used to stand. This Herculean task was eventually accomplished by the aid of sundry pieces of chain, rope, an old auto tire, crowbar, Paul (Warden, living in the apartment with his family) and the little old Chevrolet. It was lots of fun. Dick has been working on it for several days in an effort to pry the roots loose from the ground. Last night (or afternoon) Dick and Lad really went at it and with the aid of the Chevy, Paul’s rope and block and tackle , finally wrenched it loose and dragged it out of its foxhole. We then tackled other jobs such as transferring a big flagstone from where it was doing no good to outside the door leading upstairs in the barn, using the old broken pieces that used to serve this purpose as a baffle for the drain leader outlet near the back door. I did some lawn raking and after dinner some of them played a game of badminton and did some exercising with a big rubber ball. Biss, Zeke, and the kids came up and it being a near-June day, we got out the porch chairs and sat out in the sun just like old times.

Dick’s trench mouth trouble has practically disappeared, this fact being especially welcome to Jean who has religiously kept all Dick’s dishes and silverware separate from the rest and has sterilized them after each use. A few more days will see this safety first measure no longer necessary.

Jean (Mrs. Richard) and Marian (Mrs. Lad)

Both the girls have been busy sewing and knitting, Marian getting ready for the “blessed event” and Jean getting a running start on Christmas presents. Aunt Betty keeps well and religiously performs her daily chores, Lad daily helps me at the office and Dick has been busy with sundry jobs outdoors around the house. At night Lad has been doing some painting, room fixing, etc. to get ready for young master’s arrival. I still go on percolating about as usual. And that’s the home news to date. We burnt the last of the furnace coal two or three weeks ago and since then have depended on oil heaters and fireplaces to take the chill off the rooms. If we have a few more days like today or a bit warmer, even this will be unnecessary. Everything is beginning to look green and spring-like and I often thought, as we were working around outside today, how you all and especially Dan would be enjoying it if he were home. Well, anyway, Dave will be getting home soon to enjoy most of May and June, I hope. Paul estimates he should be home pretty early in May, barring unforeseen delays. Here’s hoping.

A letter I wrote to Dave the middle of February has just been returned — a bit of evidence that he has really left Manila. I am sending this on to Dorothy, as usual, in the hope that Dave lands at San Francisco and has time to contact her before he starts east. A few clippings from the current news might be of interest. I guess that about finishes up all that I have to report. For full details you will have to apply in person. Ask for        A.D.G.

I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa to Dan and Ced, his two remaining “outlanders”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dan (2) – Notes to Ced and Dave – April 7, 1946

Dear Ced:

In case you are wondering what the above is all about, let me quote Dan’s last letter from Antwerp, March 26th. “The last month or so has seen an incredible melee of activity without progress. If you were to trace my itinerary it would go something like this: Metz, Paris; Paris, Calais; Calais, Paris; Paris, Le Havre; Le Havre, Paris; Paris, Calais; Calais, Paris, Versailles; Versailles, Paris, Brussels, Antwerp; Antwerp, Brussels, Lille, Calais; Calais, Lille, Brussels, Antwerp; Antwerp, Brussels, Lille, Calais; Calais, Lille, Brussels, Antwerp; Antwerp, Calais; Calais, Lille, Brussels, Antwerp. During this period I have managed to be in Calais nearly 50% of the time. Ostensibly, we are trying to get to England. Actually, while waiting for a boat, we are having quite a

Page 2    4/7/1946

vacation. Tomorrow at long last we are scheduled to board a small British ship which will take me to Folkstone. All the delay has been caused by our truck. It seems that only a limited number of ships are authorized to carry vehicles, else we should have gone right on to England from Le Havre. Frequent trips between Calais and Antwerp were made to see if the boat had come in yet. P.S. It hadn’t. “Chiche” is doing fine. She has been a promising herself to write you a letter in English, Dad, but only a “Richard” could say when. She plans to write it first in French, then translate as well as possible using a dictionary. The result should prove highly original considering how different are the word groupings between the two languages. Latest orders and cancellations: (1) Please send three women’s blouses with long sleeves and collar. Material and color governed by availability. Suggested cotton, white, yellow, red. (2) If electric flatirons with adjustable thermos-controls are available please send one. Ordinary electric irons are obtainable here but none thermo-controlled. (3) You may cancel both dress cloth and cradle cloth orders. They are becoming more common and more reasonable over here. The items that are most sorely lacking now in France are the staples of life such as flour, potatoes, dairy products, etc. Potatoes can be found only by going to the country and carrying them home yourself and the price runs around 6 or 7 cents per pound. Bread, which was un-rationed during the early winter months, is now rationed more stringently than ever and the quality is poorer than it was. In Belgium conditions are much better but prices are startlingly high. And now for the third time I mentioned that the next letter I write will be from England. Dan.”

And that’s the news from your next older brother. Saw Mrs. Ives this week and she asked about you. She has been visiting a friend in Jersey whose husband is dying from cancer and expects to go back there soon. In last week’s letter I neglected to enclose the statement promised so I sent it later in another envelope together with some watercress seeds for the Hopkins’ which I hope will be there when they reached Anchorage.

Dear Dave:

I suppose, and hope, that by this time you are on the high seas so I will not attempt to send a letter to you at the old address but shall instead take advantage of Aunt Dorothy’s good nature and use her for a temporary post office box, carrying the privilege of reading the mail. We have all been working outside today which has been sunny and fairly warm, tidying up the place to look nice for your homecoming. Dick has even gone so far as to give Smokey a shampoo and haircut. April 3rd we celebrated Lads birthday in a quiet manner just among ourselves at home. We had a treat in the way of beefsteak and Marian of course made a birthday cake which was a humdinger. Business keeps coming in pretty well, and if it weren’t for Lad helping out in his usual, quiet, efficient and neat way, I’d be swamped. Miss Platt (who left Grandpa’s employ to open her own printing shop) told me the other day she now has five employees. A couple of competitors have sprung up but apparently there seems to be business enough for all. Lad and I witnessed a demonstration of a multilith last week and it looks like something we could use. Price about $500. I told the salesman I would do nothing in the matter until your return, secretly hoping you might be able to get one as a veteran from army surplus stock and save several hundred dollars. Oh well, I suppose it will be time enough to talk shop after you have returned and gotten Pacific seaweed combed out of your hair. I am certainly looking forward to a vacation at the Island, however toward the end of the summer. And that’s about the only reason I’ll be glad to see you wither. Until you stumble up our old, stony driveway, I’ll remain your same old

DAD

For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting letters from Grandpa to Dan and Paulette and Ced. He won’t bother trying to send a letter to Dave because he should be on his way home, joining his brothers, Lad and Dick, their wives, Grandpa and Aunt Betty. The Trumbull house if filling up again which makes Grandpa very happy.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (2) – Good Conduct Medal and Other News – January 16, 1944

 

This is the  final installment of a letter written by Grandpa to his five sons, who are all in the military or working for the military in the war effort.  This is the first letter to Dave who left school upon his 18th birthday and joined up. Grandpa continues to try to keep everyone informed of what is going on in the lives of the rest of the family.

Your announcer for several months past has been able to highlight various items of importance to listeners over this station. In November it was the Guion – Irwin wedding. In December, it was the Alaskan’s return. In January, the youngest son eloped with Uncle Sam’s Army. But that is not all. The month is not finished yet. In fact January has already proven to be a doubleheader and may even become tripodal in character – see Alaska note later. The big news beginning January’s second-half is a broadcast from Brig. Gen. Pleas B. Rogers, U.S.A., Commanding Headquarters, Central Base Section as follows: I quote from the official document received by the proud father during the week-

Subject: Award of Good Conduct Medal to

Daniel B. Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

                             T/5 31041206

                                 Co. A, 660th Engr. Bn.

Dear Mr. Guion:

It is with great pleasure that I take this opportunity

(At this point, I believe Grandpa started another sheet of paper, but the carbon paper was reversed, so I don’t have the rest of the letter. Grandpa caught his mistake about half way down the page, and his letter continues.)

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard (Dick) Guion

In Brazil, actions speak louder than words — anyway they did last week when there arrived addressed to me a most beautiful box of fine Brazilian cigars which I have since been enjoying very much, not only because the cigars themselves are good but because they came from Dick. And when I say “beautiful box” I mean just that. The wood is highly polished, the box well made and is far superior to any packing even the most expensive cigars in the U. S. A. are given. Your gift is truly appreciated, Dick old boy. Incidentally Jean has just received word from Dick that his base has been changed to another location in Brazil. Evidently they spell it Brasil down there.

And now here’s a newsflash just received from Alaska. Ced had made his reservation and was all ???????????????????????????????????????ready to leave for Anchorage via Texarkana and South Pasadena, when a telegram from Woodley Airways arrived informing Ced he had been reclassified to 1-A, and advising him to defer his return until rt Woodley could definitely determine whether another deferment could be procured or Ced would have to be inducted. And that is the status quo of things at the present moment.

And now for local news broadcasts (at this point, Dave, I know you usually tune out, which is your privilege now, but you may under the circumstances stay tuned to this station.)

On invitation from the Lee’s, we all went down to Westport for supper Friday, and as usual, had a very pleasant evening. Ced showed some of the Alaskan slides and movies which they enjoyed. Incidentally, Dan, they have relatives living in London whom they thought you might like to visit – Arthur Toft, 40 Chaucer Rd., Herne Hill, London S.E24.

In today’s paper Barbara’s (Plumb) picture appears in the uniform of a WAAC with news that she has received an assignment to serve overseas.

Smoky has been under the weather for the last few days — either he has been (my, what a letter writer I am tonight) grieving over your absence, or in your affectionate adieu  you may have put ground glass in his Ken-L-Ration. However, he is improving as evidenced by the lowering temperature of his nose.

I’m getting to be a regular old rake — married three women this week — all divorced, too — on the 10th, 12th and 15th  respectively.

You older boys will be interested to know that in answer to one of my Christmas cards sent to Corrine Flaniken, I received a rather rambling letter from her enclosed in a letter from her sister in Arlington, Texas, stating that Corinne is in a psychopathic Hospital in Colorado Springs. Normal life is much too confusing for her as the slightest responsibility upsets her until she is almost frantic. A letter or card from any of you to her would probably be much appreciated. Address Route 1, Box 47, Colorado Springs, Colo.

And last, a letter from Aunt Anne (Stanley), thanking us for the flowers I sent Grandma, which evidently she appreciated very much. Grandma continues comfortable and while she sleeps a good deal of the time she is bright and cheerful when awake. She enjoyed seeing us when we visited her.

Donald (Stanley), she wrote, is in New York and will be for several more days. Gweneth came down from Vermont and they all spent the weekend together. Don looks fine and is still enjoying the sea.

And that, dear children, is about all from your uncle Don this evening, except Dave, I think there is a present for you under the barrack cot, a big juicy panel that the first Sgt. will be glad to hand you with much verve and spirit if you don’t watch out. And don’t try to make friends with the bugler because he’ll blow reveille just as quick for you as he will for the rest of the boys.

Remember, there is a brand-new folder in the file with your name on it, and the first insertion should be an essay on Army life from a rookies standpoint. I’m sure Dan and Lad and Dick would enjoy reading it and comparing the memory of their experiences with yours.

A glance at my watch tells me this is been one of those regular three hour broadcasts and undoubtedly others are waiting to get on the air: who knows, even Franklin may be waiting to deliver another fireside chat to “my friends”. Anyway, I’m signing off. This is station ADG, 7 on your dial.

DAD

Tomorrow,more Special Pictures – Thrumbull House – Then and Now. On Sunday, My Ancestors (2) – Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – Comments to Dave and Lad – January 16, 1944

 

 

This is the first installment of a  letter Grandpa penned to his sons and daughter-in-law during the first month of 1944.

Trumbull, Conn., January 16, 1944

Dear Dave:

Now that you have become eligible for membership in the “Veterans of Foreign Wars”, and this is the first letter you will have received as a rookie from

me, it is quite appropriate that this week’s news sheet should be addressed to you alone. With your kind permission, however, we will allow other Guion members of the armed forces and their “appendages” to peak over your shoulder, so to speak, and thus glean what few bits of information they may from this screed.

While we did not receive the expected postal from you up to the last mail Saturday, a little bird whispered that internally you were humming a theme song which had a slight resemblance to the old saw: “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”. But cheer up, all your big brothers went through the same experiences and got over it without any permanent scars. It’s always the beginning that is the most difficult and beginnings never last.

After saying goodbye to you at the Shelton Town Hall Thursday, clutching in your little hands the booklet donated by the American Legion on how to act as a soldier, the little package of cigarettes, chewing,, etc., we drove down to Bridgeport and Aunt Betty took the bus home. I admit I felt a bit lonesome all by myself in the office but having found from past experience that plunging into work is the best antidote for brooding, I tried a full dose of the remedy and held the enemy at bay, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors. I will say however that we all miss you a great deal and every so often someone says: “I wonder what Dave is doing now?”. (If they only knew, huh?)

Every week over this station we call in our correspondents from distant points. We will now hear from Ordnance in Texas. Come in Texarkana. (Pause) We regret that conditions beyond our control interfere with proper reception, but here is a report as of Jan. 9th.

Lad Guion

Lad Guion

Lad opens up with the shot amid ship: “I’m sorry, my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance.” (Which is quite proper as long as you don’t back the old man off the map entirely, Lad. I know you won’t do that and even if you felt like it I don’t think Marian would let you, so there) These faithful daughters-in-law of mine do have such a struggle at times trying to get their new husbands lined up. It’s an awful task, girls, I know. I’ve been at it longer than you, sometimes with fair results but many times with but meager returns. All this, of course by way of an aside, because Lad reassuringly goes on to temper the broadside by adding: “However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense decreased. I still think of all of you constantly but time has been lacking. In fact, I had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week.

On December 18th Lad was given advance notice he was to be shipped out. On the 21st he learned he had to go to Texarkana, Texas and must be there by December 25th. Some Christmas present! By noon of the 21st he was on his way in the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. He arrived on Christmas Day and until January 3rd worked in getting a group of men ready to start training. If the 23 men under Lad’s charge successfully pass their examination, they are scheduled for overseas sometime in the early summer, but due to the type of work they are trained for, they should always be at least 300 miles from the front.

Lad doesn’t like the weather there at all – snowy, cold and damp. Marian is planning to come out by train about February 1st, and will come to Trumbull with Lad when (?) he gets his furlough.

Incidentally, just to show up thoughtful, generous minded Jean, just as soon as she learned the above, she immediately said, “When they come they can

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

have my room.”, and as admittedly hers is the most attractively furnished room in the house, it’s rather significant. And while I am at it, I might as well tell on her some more. Zeke asked Elizabeth to go out with him to some affair last night, but they could find no one to take care of the children, and in spite of the fact that she was not feeling top-notch, Jean packed her little overnight bag and took the double bus journey over to Stratford. I don’t suppose she will like me publishing these facts but I believe these little kindnesses should not go unacknowledged.

We now switch to Southern California where Mrs. A. P. has a message for us.

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian writes on some new stationary with her initials and address embossed in green which I sent her at Lad’s suggestion. And now, young lady, stop around at the 5 and 10 on your way back from lunch and pick up a bottle of green fountain pen ink, just to put the finishing touch on this Irish Symphony. Enclosed with her letter were some highly prized photo prints from the Kodachrome slides, showing Marian, Lad, the cake and other members of the wedding party. And there is a promise of more to come later. They were very much appreciated, as you may well surmise. Marian has officially terminated her work with the Camp Fire Girls as of February 1st , and is looking forward to soon being “down in the heart of Texas”, clap, clap or however the song goes. Thanks, Marian, for keeping us so well posted. You’re a great girl, as Lad has remarked once or twice.

 

 

APG and MIG wedding pictures -0 cake and table (2)

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

 

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this four-page letter from Grandpa to his scattered family, in all their locations around the world.

Judy Guion

 

Army Life – Dear Everybody – Lad Arrives in Texarkana – January 9, 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

As you may remember, Lad received orders to report to Taxarkana, Texas before Christmas and only one month after getting married to Marian in California. They had a quiet and early Christmas just before he left on the 21st. This is his first letter to the Home Guard, and his father, in Trumbull.

Sun. Noon  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Everybody:-

I’m sorry, but my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian, and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance. However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense, decreased. I still think of all of you, constantly, but time has been very lacking. In fact I’ve had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week. Here is the reason, en todo:-

Lad - 1943

Lad – 1943

On December 18th I was told that I was to go to Texarkana or Flora, Miss. On the 21st I learned definitely that it was Texarkana and that I had to be there by December 25th. Some Xmas present. By noon on the 21st I was on my way via the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. As I wired, I got in on Sat., December 25th and that’s ”B.S.” in the message should have been “By”. The Texarkana W.U. (Western Union) also made a mistake in the one to Marian. Until Jan. 3rd we worked hard getting a group of men ready for basic training, which really amounted to nothing of consequence and we really didn’t need to arrive here until Jan. 2nd. That first week was just a waste of time. Then on the 3rd we started training our men in earnest. From Santa Anita 25 good men were sent here as the parent cadre for the 3019th Co. 142 Bn. We are an engine rebuild company attached to the 142 Bn. which contains two engine rebuild cos., one powertrain rebuild Co., one Hq & supply Co. and one base depot co. We will work as a unit, always, the five companies being in close contact at all times and performing 5th echelon or Base Ord. work. I saw one of the barracks sergeants and am responsible to see that my 23 privates passed a P.O.E. examination. If they pass we are scheduled for overseas shipment sometime in June or July, and there seems to be no kidding about that. Due to our type of work we should always be at least 300 miles from the front lines. That, at least, is one consolation. This past week, and I imagine that the next five also, has been the toughest one I’ve spent since my induction in May, 1942. I am teaching these boys (most of them have at least one child, some three or four or five) the same training I received during my first five weeks in the Army. They have all been in the Army less than one month, and all were inducted just a few days before Christmas. I’ll never understand why the Army does some of the things it does. It is very disheartening, and produces a lot of resentment, even in myself.

The weather here is terrible after Southern California. Today is the fourth day of sunshine we’ve seen in over two weeks. It is cold enough to freeze and we had snow for two days. It is impossible to keep warm and well in the cold, wet rain we’ve had here. I’ve got a very slight cold, but other than that and cold feet, I’m well.

Marian is coming out by train, I think, soon after February 1st and will come to Trumbull with me when (?) I get my furlough. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Christmas, naturally, was quite a quiet affair, and the same with New Year’s Eve, and not being able to wire anything I had to use “the best of everything” in my telegram. However, the thoughts to you all were there nonetheless.

I got your gifts, thanks, via Marian and the mail, and was extremely pleased with everything. This is my last sheet of paper until I go to the PX so I’ll quit with the very best wishes for the new year and a sincere desire that your numerous wishes come true.

Lots of love, etc.

Laddie

Tomorrow and Friday, Another letter from Grandpa to his sons.

On Saturday, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now.

On Sunday, Post # 2 of My Ancestors – Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody, wife of Kemper Foster Peabody. Information about him was posted last Sunday.

Judy Guion