Trumbull – Dear G.I. Joe – Local Bits and News From Dan – July 1, 1944

Trumbull House

Trumbull, Conn., July the oneth, 1944

Dear G.I. Joe:

A while ago I told you what a wonderful linguist Smoky was getting to be. He still is improving, lately he has shown interest in the doings of our Navy in the Pacific. I asked him recently if he could name one of the islands which had recently been bombed and without an instants hesitation, he replied “Yap, yap.” You see?

Darn it all, Dave has gone back to Missouri. It’s awfully good to see you boys when you come home but it’s darn hard to say goodbye again. One of those questions which no one will ever definitely solve is, “Which is harder, for the soldier to say goodbye after a furlough or for the home folks to have him go?” Jean made a good suggestion tonight. She said: Send each of them a telegram reading “come home at once stop supper is ready”.

I am going on a one-man strike tomorrow. Yes sir, I’ll defy all the bureaucrats in Washington and stay home from work. I worked Saturday afternoon at the office and then because I wasn’t feeling so chipper about Dave having left, and thinking of a movie he had recommended, I went to see, “Between Two Worlds”,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Between_Two_Worlds_(1944_film)went back to the office, married two couples and did some more work. And by the way that movie is worth seeing. It’s a bit usual in concept and points some good morals without one ever knowing he is being uplifted. The gold digger actress, the selfish wife, the unselfish husband, the big businessman, the rough guy, the reporter, Mrs. Midget — all have their counterparts in people we have met. See it if you have the opportunity. (Thanks, Dave, for recommending it. Your judgment is good.)

And by the way, Dave, in cleaning up after you left, gathering up pieces of my auto tires, radio buttons, etc., we came across a pair of puttees and a necktie. I suppose you left them on purpose but if you change your mind let me know and I’ll send them on to Camp Crowder. To you, Lad, if you are back from the camel riding exploits in the desert, has gone by parcel post, insured, the camera, light gauge and a box of films. Let me know as soon as they arrive safely as otherwise your Uncle Sam will be owing me one hundred smackers.

Dear old Limey Dan has come through with another welcome letter. It was the only voice from the void this week, so it is doubly welcome. “This letter is primarily designed to allay any misgivings you might harbor about the new “robot plane” raids on southern England. Every indication shows that aside from their rather disconcerting erraticism, they are much less important than a plane-pilot-bomb raid. Of course the fact that they come during daylight hours makes it rather inconvenient, too. I have heard from Don Whitney who is in Calif. Also received a notice from the American Red Cross in N.Y. that Mrs. Dudley Sanford had given a blood donation in my honor! We are quite busy these days which is a much truer statement this time than it was if I ever said it before. There is plenty I should like to tell you but time and the censors frown held back my hand. It is permissible however to say I am well and highly impatient, now that the end of the war seems closer.”

And it might be as well to close on this hopeful note, particularly as no other items of interest present themselves for recording. So, be good boys, vote the straight Republican ticket.

DAD

Tomorrow, another excerpt from the Diary and Journal of John Jackson Lewis, written during his Voyage to California in 1851.

On Sunday, I’ll be posting more information about the Rev. Elijah Guion and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck and their early married life.

Next week I will post a few Special Pictures and then start posting the personal Christmas Cards Grandpa created over the years. I posted then two years ago but I believe they are interesting and they tell the story of the family, primarily after the letters end. I hope you enjoy them and will perhaps share them with friends.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear High School Graduate (2) – Lad and Marian Return to Old Stomping Grounds – June 25, 1944

                        Lad and Marian in Pomona, CA

Page 2    6/25/44

In the same mail there also arrived a copy of the London Daily Telegraph of June 7th which Dan thoughtfully sent with copies of the overseas “Stars and Stripes” of June 7th and 9th. Thank you, Dan. It was certainly good to know you were not part of one of the beachhead landing parties and while much of the tough fighting unquestionably lies ahead, your letter was a tonic which sent the blood coursing happily through my arteries. In my exuberance I even tried to do the English crossword puzzle on the back page of the Telegraph but was ignominiously defeated.

There is a note of cheer too in the letter Jean received from Dick: “I am due to leave Ft. Eliza sometime beginning July, but don’t know for where – 50/50 chance of going back to the States.”

Marian writes that she and Lad have returned at last to their old stomping grounds after all to brief visits to their respective in-laws. Marion says now all she needs is to meet the rest of the family in the same kind of pleasant surroundings. They had a very lovely visit with Larry and Marian. On the way west they had rain and even snow all the way to California. Lad has left for two weeks desert training under real war time conditions — gas attacks, blackout restrictions and living in Fox-holes. While at San Francisco they got together with Alta and Arnold. (I will take care of sending the camera and insurance matter. Dave was also grateful for the gas coupon. Knowing Ced, I am sure he doesn’t think you are neglectful but that you just didn’t get his package. Maybe it will turn up someday like the delayed one I sent you.)

Dick, thank you for the cigars. I like them better than the first lot you sent which while more costly, were not so mild as the last lot.

I am now waiting to hear from Alaska as to what Ced has set fire to next. After all the trouble and training I gave you children as to playing with fire, not to say spankings, and to think my third child has turned into a veritable firebug. If Ced ever gets into the Army they should put him in charge of a flamethrower.

Jean is worried about putting on weight. She is a veritable butter tub and we will soon all have to start calling her Fatty. Modesty deters me from mentioning the fact it must be the meals Aunt Betty and I are serving her. Instead of a perfect 36 she now makes straight for the Fashionable Stout Dept. at Read’s and even they have trouble finding 48s and 50s in these days of material shortages. When she reads this of course she will start pursuing me with a rolling pin, but I don’t care. I still can out run a fat woman.

The radio says tonight we have captured Cherbourg, Joe has started his drive from Vitabek to Berlin and another aircraft carrier has just been sunk in the Pacific, so I guess it’s all right for me to retire and let you boys carry on. I’ll be seein you.

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday, another installment in the Voyage to California of John Jackson Lewis from January to March, 1851.

On Sunday, we’ll pick up the story of Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck with her marriage to Rev. Elijah Guion. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear High School Graduate (1) – Dave’s Graduation and News From Dan – June 25, 1944

David Peabody Guion – (Dave)

Trumbull, Conn., June 25th, 1944

Dear High School Graduate:

There are certain recurring events in the life and progress of my children that serve as steppingstones, aside from birthdays — such as turning you over to the Shelton draft board, and, what I have immediately in mind, graduation. I saw the youngest of my sons receive his diploma last night and it brought back memories of that same occasion for each of you. As far as I can recollect, however, the whole affair as managed the other night at Bassick (High School in Bridgeport, CT) was arranged and conducted in a more satisfactory manner than any of the previous ones — and that opinion has nothing to do with the fact that Dave had any part in it. To be sure he was one of three, out of a total of 26 who had joined the Armed Forces, who was on hand to receive his diploma, and thereby caused a little special ceremony to be enacted. Most of these affairs are too long. This was not. There was no tedious reading of each name and waiting for that person to come forward to receive his parchment to the accompaniment of reiterated and tiresome applause. Each received his diploma in silence as they walked out. All names were printed on the program given to each of the audience. Speeches were not overlong. The whole affair, with a very satisfying aftertaste, was ended by 9:30. So Dave became the “last of the Mohicans”.

Dave got home much earlier than we expected him. He walked into my office Monday, his army uniform plastered to his body by a naughty shower that hit him walking from the station. He looks about the same, healthy but with no additional weight. He seems much interested in the Signal Corps work and hopes, but is not banking on it, of getting a chance at O.C.S. He goes back Tuesday. Red Sirene is also home on furlough and he too goes back Tuesday. Jean’s (Mortensen, Dick’s wife) married brother, in the Marines, is also on furlough and he too goes back Tuesday.

        Daniel Beck Guion – (Dan)

I don’t suppose any of you have had the experience of a 300-pound object resting on your chest, but perhaps you can imagine the relief when he gets off. In that case you may have somewhat of an idea how I felt when I received a V-mail letter from London dated June 6th, as follows: “Today the war seems much nearer to its conclusion than only yesterday. For so long have we been working towards this day that it began to seem that it would never really happen — that it was just a distant “certainty” which we all took for granted — but never quite visualized! This morning I heard the first “rumor” third-hand, by word-of-mouth, ‘Allied paratroops have landed in France’. But false reports had already been spread days ago, and a glance out of the window at the streets of London failed to reveal any abnormality. No church bells, no horns blowing, just the normal traffic — both vehicular and pedestrian. London was characteristically undisturbed on the surface, but by noon-time when I went out to eat, I found that the newspapers had been sold out immediately and the invasion was the predominant topic of discussion. At the Red Cross Club I listened to the radio over which the BBC was broadcasting recordings of the opening stages. Later in the evening the radio was the center of interest. Never have I seen so many of the boys so interested in a news- cast. I suppose each of us realizes how, by a stroke of fate, we might have been one of the men going into France on ‘D’ Day! I am on duty tonight which prevents my finding out how London is spending the evening but I suspect there will be little hilarity because most of the people have friends and relatives in the invasion armies. The fall of Rome created hardly a ripple of excitement, and the staid BBC announced that item in its regular laconic fashion. The newspapers permitted themselves rather large headlines, but certainly not in the manner you could call sensational. I believe today marks the great speeding of the tempo that will carry this degenerate martian symphony to a brief but perhaps terrible coda. Then – peace! and home! and a convalescent world turning toward the healing sun of hope.”

Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced – Dear Sudrack – June 14, 1944

 

Nome, Alaska

June 13, 1944

Dear Sudrack,

Why don’t you ask me to do something for you once in a while so I can ask favors of you without total embarrassment? You have a mean way of putting a fellow on the spot. That is all I can say about you.

Thanks for sending newspaper but which article did you want me to read? I still have it in my can for light reading. No heavy stuff there as I’m burdened enough with weighty matters every time I find the growler. You wouldn’t like Nome because we really don’t have the growlers here — no running toilets or “waters” and the sanitation is not and it stinks. But Nome is proud of Nome and do not want their shortcomings being wide cast. Think I had better move soon as I’m afraid I’m going to like it here.

Most important thing on my schedule now is word “yes” or “no” from Harry Olson. So kindly drop everything and give him a ring either at Alaska Novelty Company, Olson’s Cleaners or drop in at Ed Coffy’s and inquire as to his whereabouts. Just want to know if he got my letter of some three weeks ago — that’s all.

If you can visit Anchorage Grill, ask for Stanley (forgotten his last name) and tell him I want to be remembered to him. Get his last name and sometime when you write me you can send it along so I can drop him a line. He is the owner of a fine establishment, always neatly dressed and impeccable in character. You might tell him I read “My Native Land” by Adonis and found it a most important book, in fact, the best I have read since “10 Days Which Shook the World”. Stanley is one of those fellows which you have to dig up to know and perhaps the most farsighted of Anchorage, yet few people, if any, know him down there. As this book is written of his native land known as Yugoslavia I do not remember from what section he comes — what country — Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Livonia, Dalmotia,, Bosnia, Herzgovenia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro, or Goyrodina. I am just a Swede from Scandinavia. More simple with you — half breed from Larchmont, N.Y.

Good night!     ——- Rusty

Two boats from Seattle jammed in ice. Snowing today and cold.

(Heard from Sansbury’s – have moved again to where it is cooler – St. Ignatius, Montana, Route one. They’ll be back to Alaska one of these days.)

During the rest of the week I’ll be posting two letters from Grandpa to his sons and daughter-in-law, scattered around the country and the world. Judy Guion

 

Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced Hotfoot Guionferno – June 8, 1944

Nome, Alaska

June 8, 1944

Dear Ced Hotfoot Guionferno –

As I have forgotten how to spell Bill Dowes name and also forgotten the name of (the old) Lonsoac’s # 2  store, will you kindly take the enclosed in and give it to him personally at your earliest inconvenience. Have been waiting to hear from him for two months on picture I sent outside for duplicate.

Trust you got my letter explaining why I did not send ivory etc. to you. Will start purchasing as soon as I get away on trip north. You got the letter so will not have to wear my poor eyes out on this.

You wouldn’t like it over this way. No green vegetables and particularly no fish. Snowing to day and miserable weather. Leaving for God’s country in a month from today. Will write you at greater length — now busy as a cat in a stone quarry.

Guess I’ll have to write you another.

Tomorrow, another, longer letter from Rusty to Ced. The rest of the week will be filled with three letters from Grandpa to his boys (and the two wives) scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Camp Santa Anita (2) – More About Marian – June 114, 1943

Grandpa finally receives a letter from Lad with quite a bit more news about Marian Irwin, his main social companion. Things seem to be moving along quite nicely.

Marian Irwin and Lad Guion

My social life has, if anything, been stepped up. It has also been pretty much concentrated, as far as companionship is concerned, on one girl. I believe I wrote you something about Marian Irwin previously, and she is the subject of concentration. You may hear more about her in the future. Every Thursday evening about 12 or 15 of us, in mixed company, go bowling, and a couple of weeks ago I sort of missed the boat, got off the beam, you know, was behind the eight ball, or in any case I took a couple of bets with Marian, and lost both of them. One game was for a bottle of her favorite perfume against a carton of cigarettes, and the other was for the admission to the play “Firefly”. I pay off Wednesday, and am sort of looking forward to it. Tomorrow night there is to be a swim party and picnic afterward at the Hospitality Center,  sponsored by the Senior and Junior hostesses of the South Pasadena Hospitality House. I expect that it will be a lot of fun. However it reminds me of something you can do for me. In my trunk, I think in the right hand corner, under two or three layers, is my bathing suit. Please dig it out and send it to me here at Camp Santa Anita. The keys for the trunk are in your drawer in the dresser in your room. And continuing on the social life, tonight I am supposed to attend a surprise birthday party for one of the Junior hostesses at her house. She is a friend of Marian’s and has really been awfully nice to all of us. In fact, the four of us, (Vic is no longer a part of our gang), are invited. That is Art, Jr., Vince and myself, and ever since we first started going to the Hospitality House regularly, we have just about taken over the place. Everyone there knows us by our first names, and we are always being invited to something, or someplace. We all expect to have a good time, as usual. That is a sample of just how our free hours are spent, week after week, and on into eternity, I hope. Last night, Art, Marian, and a girlfriend of Art’s and myself went to Hollywood and spent all evening dancing to Woody Herman at the Palladium. Woody is one of the Swing Band Leaders that I don’t like particularly, but he does have a good orchestra and plays some sweet music now and then. Marian is not a jitterbug and neither am I, but she is a very good dancer and we get along very well, dancing to almost any type of music, so we had a perfect time.

I said that Vic is no longer here. He has been accepted by the Army to attend college where he is to study electrical engineering. That means that he will, in all probability, be part of the Army of Occupation that is being built up now. However we do not know just yet to which school he will be sent.

This afternoon, before starting this, I took the machine apart and cleaned it and it is working quite well. There goes the siren which means there are 5 minutes to go until quitting time, so if I want to get supper before it is too late I had better finish this up quick.

So long.

Lad

P.S. the correct phrase is Buenas Noches and not as you wrote it, just in case you didn’t know.

AG

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will be letters from Grandpa. On Friday, another from Lad.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Camp Santa Anita (1) – Not Much To Do – June 14, 1943

 

Blog - Lad's Army Life - A Bet and a Band - June, 1943

Camp Santa Anita

June 14, 1943

Dear Dad:

This is Monday afternoon. I’m so terribly busy that I’ve had no time to write this morning, and so I have to do it now. (Apparently the ribbon is pretty shot so I shall write in red. Hope you can read it without too much trouble). It is a shame for the past four weeks or more I have done practically nothing, one week I spent out on the range, shooting for record, but even that was not too much of a success. Out of a possible 220 I pulled in only 165. Other than that I have done very little. No instructing, to speak
of, and most of the time I’ve devoted to “goldbricking”, and designing. The basic diesel principles course of which I wrote still has not received the final sanction from Washington, but the office is expecting daily. (And I don’t mean the secretaries – of which there are many, some very good-looking too). Therefore I’ve been making an injector test stand. It has been a lot of fun, but the thing is still only on paper, I won’t know just how well it will work for about a week. Art Lind has been put into the service so I’m in full authorized charge of the tentative class. That means that I’m in line for a staff rating and Art has a bet with me that by the end of August I shall have received the rating. Since the bet is worth winning, I hope that he will sort of give things a little help whenever he can, now that he has the opportunity. I definitely will not be sorry to receive it.

No further news on my furlough. However there has been no chance as yet, concerning the approximate date, and therefore I’m still expecting it to be toward the end of August. And that brings up another matter. I may need a little money in order to get home by plane if possible, and if not, by train. In any case I don’t think that it will be more than $50 or $75. Now if you will be in a position to help, fine and dandy, but if not, fine also. I can get money out here rather easily.

On the $525, I have not been able to find out much. It all amounts to the fact that the check is being handled by a bank here and not an individual.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter, mostly about Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion