Special Picture # 357 – Charlie Hall and Jane Claude-Mantle’s Wedding at Annapolis – 1943

Charlie Hall and Jane Claude-Mantle's wedding - 1943

Jane Claude-Mantle grew up in the Trumbull neighborhood with Lad, Dan and Ced, although I think she was slightly younger. Charlie Hall moved to Trumbull and became good friends with Dick. Charlie went to Annapolis and they were married on the day of his graduation. Charlie built their house on the same street in the neighborhood where Jane had lived all her life. They went to the same church and came up to the Island with us most summers. They were part of the group that my parents remained friends with their entire lives. Their daughter shared this picture and remains my close friend. 

Tomorrow another Special Picture.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – The Continuation of Car Problems – December 10, 1939

Grandpa continues with tale of a disastrous trip home from work in Bridgeport.

ADG - The Bridgeport Times-Star picture, Sept. 12, 1939- September 12, 1939 (2)

The engine had stopped but I got it going again, and not knowing I had a puncture, I felt it was all the more necessary to get to a garage as quickly as possible to get the car fixed up. I then tried another fuse which immediately blew. I then tried inserting my knife into the fuse slot but that got so hot, so quickly, that I gave up the idea of trying to get lights and decided to try crawling along again. I finally reached the Parkway and noticed my wheels were harder to steer than before, but naturally attributed it to the bent tie rod or bent axle or whatever else it was that was damaged. Cars went whizzing past me at 50 miles which is the speed limit, but naturally I did not feel it was either safe or possible to follow at this rate, so I tried to follow the white cement and stay on the road that way. There are yet no reflector buttons installed up there and even if there were, they would do me no good without lights. I got on all right I thought, but evidently there was a curve in the road that I did not see and the first thing I knew, the car slowed very suddenly and stopped. I had run off the road into the middle strip that they had just filled up with loam, and there I was up to the hub in fresh muddy earth. The car could go neither forward nor backward. It was then I discovered I had a flat tire. Well, I was off the road, anyway, without lights. This was on the Parkway about midway between Waller Road and Madison Avenue.

Cedric Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

I looked around and saw a house with the light on beyond the Parkway fence about 700 feet off. Methinks I shall go over there and phone for Ced to tow me out with his car. So off I marched, but they didn’t have a phone and they told me no one in the neighborhood had a phone. I walked almost up to Beaches Corners before I found a house equipped with a phone, got Ced and met him near Edison School.

When we got back, there was a state cop inspecting my car. He asked me what the big idea was but was very nice after I explained why I was parked in such a place. He even went so far as to tell me I did the right thing by pulling off the road ! Ced hitched on his chain, pulled me out without great difficulty while the state cop stood by his car to protect us from being rammed and also to give us some light. Ced then told me I could take his car home while he put on the spare and fixed the lights. He arrived home with the car a couple of hours later, telling me he had had difficulty steering it because the rod was bent about as far as it could be.

Oh, I forgot to say that just as I got in his car to come home, that too, pooped out. Ced did not believe it could be out of gas because he had just put in a couple of gallons a short time before. He put in the gas from my spare tank and then almost ran his battery down trying to get his vacuum tank full, but at last it started and I was on my way.

Mr. Doyon has the car now and will work on it tomorrow. I suppose, compared to the things you are up against, this little experience seems like kindergarten stuff to you — mere child’s play, but for a while it had me feeling sort of helpless. If it hadn’t been for Ced I would have been in a fix. No letter from you this week, but I’m hoping. Streets and stores are taking on their holiday dress. Weather has been calm. I have had a cold which I am trying to keep under control so that I can do my part in the play which is being given on the 15th and 16th. The Chandler Chorus broadcasted over WICC this morning and are singing in Wallingford this afternoon. So long until my next.


Poor Grandpa. What a story! This was probably not that unusual am experience with cars and roads back then. Cell phones certainly have made things quite a bit easier, haven’t they? Tell me about a nightmare experience you had with a car.

Tomorrow I will be posting the story of the play Grandpa mentions casually in the last paragraph. On Friday another letter from Grandpa, this one hand-written.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – The Beginning of Car Problems – December 10, 1939

This is the next section of this long letter to Lad in Venezuela.

By the way, I am finding a number of folks up this way who are much interested in having me save the Venezuelan stamps that come on your letters and it occurred to me that if it would not be too much trouble, we might give a bit of pleasure to a number of people if you could save the various foreign (to the U.S.) stamps that might come to your camp locally and enclose a few with your letters as you think of it each week.

ADG - Jean Guion, Aunt Betty and Grandpa outside in winter, Ja. 27, 1945 (2 Grandpa only)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

I think I shall have to spend a portion of the 50 bucks you sent me to fix up my car. I noticed the clutch has been slipping lately, not badly, but enough to indicate that it ought to be taken care of before it gets worse, but the worst is a short somewhere in the lighting circuit. I first noticed it the night when we were coming home from work about five o’clock. It was quite dark and on the way up Noble Avenue, with Dick at the wheel, suddenly all lights silently went black. The horn also refused to function but the engine ran O.K. We continued up to George Knapp’s place and, being a sort of a Boy Scout, I was prepared by having an extra fuse along. This Dick put in, we started and had gone about 5 feet when that fuse also blew. Aided by streetlights and other cars which we got behind and followed closely we got home all right. I mentioned taking it over to Arnold to have him look it over but Dick talked me into letting Ced take care of it. Ced looked it over, fooled around a bit and came in later telling me that he did not know what was the matter or what he had done but the lights worked O.K.

Thursday I left the office at five just at the rush hour which is a little worse than ordinary this time of year, and in order to avoid the worst of the traffic jams I decided to come home by way of Park Avenue where it intersects the Merritt Parkway and then on the Parkway to Rocky Hill Road. Everything went fine until nearing the Parkway at the end of Park Avenue where there were no streetlights and no moon, out went the lights again. Ahead of me I could see the lights from the passing cars on the Parkway, to reach which, however, I had to negotiate a winding road, down a steep hill through a cut alongside of the steam shovel with boulders strewn all around, incident to the building of a bridge across the Parkway. It was absolutely pitch black. I couldn’t stay where I was because the road was narrow and just a minute before I had seen a car come up from the Parkway and knew if another tried to do the same thing, I would be blocking the road and there was just a chance that ,with no lights and a crooked road, he might not see me. The only thing then was to go ahead cautiously the few hundred feet until I hit the Parkway and then try to keep behind some lighted car until I got to Main Street, Long Hill, from which I could go up to Doyon’s Garage and have him fix the lights.

So I started, trying to see the sides of the road. It was just as though I were driving with my eyes closed. Neither could I tell the speed of my car, although I thought I was going very slowly. Evidently, being a steep downgrade, I was going faster than I thought because, first thing I knew, I slammed bang into something which I afterwards surmised was a boulder, although I could not see it, the car careened way over, but did not upset, punctured the tire and bent the tie rod so that it was very difficult to steer.

Tomorrow I will continue with Grandpa’s stressful car problems.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – News of Family and Friends – December 10, 1939

This is the first segment of a long letter to Lad, in Venezuela, working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. At this point, he is acting the part of a trouble-shooter, traveling from camp to camp, fixing equipment that the men in the field are not able to repair. This part of the letter is full of news about friends and family.

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter (cropped) (2)

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

December 10, 1939

Dear Lad:

Ah, a new ribbon! I think I can hear you saying this as soon as you unfolded this and glimpsed the inside. Yes Sir, you’re right. You know after Dan came home from Venezuela, his typewriter was in a very malarial condition. He asked me to fix it up and because Mr. Mullins (the father of Cecelia, Lad’s girlfriend)  had been so decent about fixing this machine for us a while ago, I thought it would be a good opportunity for him to recoup a little on the free job, so I took it to him and got a quotation of $10 for putting it in first class shape. Dan called for it and Mr. Mullins told him to take it along, which Dan did, knowing I would take care of the bill from Dan’s fund, which was in my bank and which he told me to draw against. The other day, when I needed a new ribbon, I stopped in with a $10 check drawn to Mr. Mullin’s order and he absolutely refused to take it. He at first even refused to let me pay for the typewriter ribbon, I insisted. Evidently he is very generous and goodhearted. I wish I could do something for him in return.

Alfred (Lad) Peabody Guion @ 1938

                Alfred (Lad) Peabody Guion

Gee, you certainly are a lady killer. I ran across another dame that asked very interestedly about you. I don’t know her name but she works, I think, over at the Blue Print Company. I haven’t noticed that you pick them out from the standpoint of pulchritude, but maybe you go deeper than looks, which are said to be only skin deep, and pick them for some mental quality — I wouldn’t be so crude as to suggest anything about sex appeal.

Friday when I got home from the office Helen ((Peabody) Human, Grandma Arla’s sister, married to Ted Human, who hired Lad and Dan to work for him in Venezuela) was here. She had come up to get Ted’s overcoat which they had left here. She said Grandma (Peabody) was fine and while she had to be careful for a while, she looked better than she had been for a long while. Evidently the operation was entirely successful but she is suffering now from rheumatism in her hands and knees. She cannot do any knitting which makes it too bad, now that she has time to do it. Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, another od Grandma Arla’s sisters) has moved to Staunton, Virginia, where Gweneth is going to school and Don to a military academy there. Ted has not yet received a cent of money from InterAmerica although he is going after it hard and Helen said he was seeing McCarter that day with a lawyer. All the rest of the uncles, aunts and in-laws are fine.

Mildred Kircher stopped in at the office for a few moments Friday afternoon. She had left Bob at the dentist’s and thought she might find me in. She said Stacy had been very sick, was home now, was without a job and had to play the part of an invalid for a couple of months. It seems that he has been gradually getting thinner and thinner and had increasing difficulty in breathing with pains in his back which the Dr. first thought was lumbago. Later, they decided it was t.b. and were about to make arrangements to take him up to Wallingford, when the last Dr. they consulted sent him to a specialist in New York, where after questioning, it was found that the fumes that Stacy had been inhaling for months, in connection with his daily work, had dried up the tissue in his lungs and brought on their collapse. The company he worked for was criminally negligent in not providing gas masks for its workers. Stacy, of course, had to leave at once. Mildred says he is slowly improving and has not had the agonized expression he used to have in trying to gasp for breath. They don’t know whether they will be able to collect any money from the firm, so that for the present, they are living only on the $12 or $15 Harold earns each week in the hat factory in Norwalk where he is working. They have moved to South Norwalk, so if you get time to write him a letter I think he will enjoy hearing from you and it may take his mind off his troubles for a few minutes.

Tomorrow I will post another section of this letter with the beginnings of Grandpa’s car problems.

Judy Guion

Friends – News From Arnold Gibson – Lad’s Best Friend – January 4, 1940

Arnold Gibson was Lad’s best friend  (any idea why?) and he joined the older boys on many adventures, including the trip to the Chicago World’s Fair. I think you’ll be able to figure out one of the reasons why they were best friends. They kept in touch with letters several times a year while Lad was in Venezuela. At this point, Lad has been there for a year.


              Arnold Gibson

Friends - Arnold Gibson - January 4, 1940

Jan. 4, 1940

Dear Laddie,

My card made a bum start, but I hope it finally reached you.

Well, I’m fairly familiar with your doings via your letters to your Dad. I go over and get him to read some of them now and then. However, a lot has happened around here that may be news to you.

Anne Holt was married in September and has a nice little cottage on a pond over between Nichols and Shelton.

My folks have moved over to a place near the river between Shelton and Stratford, and I am boarding at Pratt’s. Alta (Pratt) and I became engaged this New Year’s.

Last summer I worked a couple of months with contractors on the Merritt Parkway at good pay, and so saved enough for a nice trip up into Maine and Canada. I worked in the woods first, and then on the wagon rock drills and bulldozers. By the way the Parkway is now open from New York to Nichols, so it’s a cinch to drive to the city.

This spring I got a nearly new, slightly damaged canoe, which I repaired and made a rack on “Nomad” (Arnold’s Travel Trailer) for, so with a two speed rear end, new oil pump, fog, reverse, cab, and clearance lights, and numerous other new improvements. “Old Nomad” was in great shape for the trip.

We (Alta and I) took off at around noon one day after a couple of false starts due to a lost knife, and a leaky oil line, and spent two months around New England stopping at various relative’s homes and American Youth Hostels. You may have heard of the latter, it is a fine organization of several million persons to further travel in the great outdoors, and provide Hostels with proper accommodations (rough and ready ones) and chaperones at convenient overnight stops. It is also international.

Well, we had a great trip, all in all, with many minor adventures and only a few mishaps.” Nomad” performed nobly with only a broken front spring and relapsed generator to her discredit in 2400 miles. Oh yes, she has the speedometer now too.

I worked for Ruby for two weeks and also cleared the lines around the piece of land I have up there. I had to dig up an “oldest resident” to help find the ancient markers, and do the rest with compass and axe as the deed was written in terms of long dead persons. What a time!

We really swarmed all over Mount Katahdin this time, spending four days at it. You remember the little Chimney Pond in the bottom of the gulf we looked into from the summit? Well, on its shore are a cabin and some shelters operated by one Mr. Dudley, who is certainly a real character, and what yarns he spins by the fire at night! There were around six or eight people there and the women and food were kept in the cabin at night, as several bears, one monster, came messing around every night, and we got a swell chance to watch them.

We fell in with a couple of fellows from Boston and after much debate borrowed Dudley’s Alpine rope, and climbed the Chimney Trail which is really just a gully which runs up the nearly perpendicular head wall for around 4000 feet, and contains among other hazards ice and three nearly impossible choke stones (boulders). The 4000 feet (and return) from the top by an easy(?) trail took all day, and in one place we hoisted Alta 40 feet up an overhang, but when it was done we were really proud of ourselves.

We visited Rusty’s Spring Island in our canoe and had a great time in general, in spite of much rain, and even snow (in the middle of September in Canada), and got home with only one flat.

Three days after we got home I went to work in the Stanley Works. I run a machine which cuts steel up into strips for razor blades. The work is steady and the pay pretty good, but it is pretty dull. Cecelia (Mullin, Lad’s girlfriend back home) still has not gotten her new Ford that was promised for December 15.

Have you heard about Cedric’s ’33 Plymouth that he got in New York for $50? I did a very complete motor overhaul on it, and it runs fine except that I can’t get quite as much oil pressure as I would like in spite of new gears and main and a rod bearings.

I just did a valve and carbon job on my Packard and she runs like new. Well almost. For extremely cold starts or low battery, I have a hot shot battery and master coil (Ford) independent of the regular system.

Laddie, I’d like to hear about the various conveyances you people use, and the engines you work on, and all that sort of thing. And when do you think you may be home again? I had Spring Replacement put two front springs in your Packard the other day.

Let me hear from you!

Your friend


Did you figure it out? All that talk about vehicle maintenance gave it away, didn’t it. That was one love they shared. Arnold and Alta purchased, at some point, a little island, very near Rusty’s island, which my family used from the mid-20’s and eventually bought. Learn more about that special place for my family by reading post’s in the Category, “The Island”.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – A Note From Aunt Betty Duryee – New Year’s Visits – January 4, 1940

This is a note to Grandpa from his Aunt Betty, his mother’s sister.

ADG - Jean Guion, Aunt Betty and Grandpa outside in winter, Ja. 27, 1945 (2) Aunt Betty only

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Peabodys and Duryees - A Note From Aunt Betty - January 4, 1940

Jan. 4, 1940

My dear Alfred

I was so glad to get your card from Westminster and to know you are taking time off to have a little pleasure, I think you need it.  As you know I went over Sunday to spend New Year’s Eve and Day with Miss Hachen________ at the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn.

When I arrived there she was sitting in a chair up in her room with pillows at her back, but all dressed and looking fine, so you can imagine my surprise when she told me that just a few days before that she had fallen down the subway stairs (16 steps all told) and yet had only a few bruises to tell love, she didn’t even break her glasses, and only felt a pain when she got up and sat down.  Sunday afternoon I went over to see Eliza Pigot as she lives very near Miss H and I have not been there since last year.  She was so glad to see me and told me she was 95 years old and still able to enjoy life and go out.  She received 51 presents for Christmas and really seems very happy and strong.  Sunday night Miss H and I went down into the lobby of the Hotel and enjoyed watching all the people and joining in at twelve o’clock and some of the fun.

There was a great crowd and some beautiful dresses.  On Monday I went with Miss H’s to call on some of her friends and had a lovely time.  Got back to Mount Vernon in time to hear all about the fun they had here in the cocktail room.

We were asked at church Sunday morning to send one of the folders that they have for the services each Sunday to some person that would read the message in the back, someone who was intelligent and I can think of no one who was more intelligent than you so I have enclosed one to you.  I have been looking for a letter from Laddie but it has not come yet.

Hope you all had a good time with the chandlers.


Aunt Betty

Tomorrow a letter to Lad from his best friend in Trumbull, Arnold Gibson, known to family and friends as Gibby.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Lad of the Llanos (2) – Ringing in the New Year – January 1, 1940

This is the second half of the first letter written by Grandpa to his oldest son who is living and working for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company in Venezuela. He is a mechanic, maintaining their vehicles and the Diesel engines running their oil pumps.

Blog - Lad in Venezuela walking in field (cropped)

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) at a Camp in Venezuela

Last night, to make sure the new year got properly introduced, the three boys with Barbara, Jean, etc., started off to attend some barn dance in Danbury. On arrival, however, they found the place crowded to capacity and were referred to the Wagon Wheel, to which they then proceeded, only to find that the admittance charge was six dollars per couple! They then proceeded to Milford, and midnight found them at Howard Johnson’s saying goodbye to 1939 and hello to 1940. Back in the old Trumbull home and gathering around the little alcove fireplace, they toasted the new year as well as their shins, using for the former purpose some of the wine Mr. Plumb sent me for Christmas. Their beds finally claimed them somewhere between 3 and 4 AM, although this is mostly all from hearsay, as most of the time your Dad was comfortably snoozing in his bed, having found, from several years of experience, that the old year can pass out and the new one be ushered in just as efficiently without his personal presence as otherwise.

I am wondering what you did this turn of the year, and I suppose if I am patient enough I will hear in due course. The Chandlers, of course, asked about you and wanted to be remembered to you when I wrote. I haven’t heard from the New Rochelle branch of the family but I suppose they each celebrated in their own way. Anne started back to Virginia today or tomorrow with the kids, I suppose, and Dave and Dick start back to school again, and that is really a hard job, I do believe.

The photos I am sending with Dan’s complements are probably much more interesting than this letter, at least I find them so, as I look over both.

Have heard that Arnold is soon to announce his engagement to Alta Pratt. Nellie Sperling, I understand, is now running a garage up in Monroe. Joe Manzanillo is building or is going to build a new house in Trumbull. Mr. Miller was working in Kurtz’s store as a clerk over the holidays. I met Roy Rowland the other day in front of Sears Roebuck. He is selling some kind of patent mat or rug for office buildings. I understand his wife is still working in New York. Roy looked very thin and not at all well although he said he was okay.

Well my news well seems to have run dry and I suppose I will have to start drilling anew so as to have some production started by next week even though it’s too much to hope it will be a gusher. As a matter of fact, this is the only worthwhile thing I have done today, but even at that it might get me by on the basis of writing to an absent son — sort of a son-set as it were. Whew, I guess when it gets that bad it IS time to stop. So here’s tops to you old snoozer in 1940 — the best year you have ever had in all ways and may all your best hopes come true. This is the wish and fondest hope of your admiring old



APG - Socony-Vacuum Oil Co. letter - Raise - January 3, 1940

You can read this letter informing Lad of a raise, effective immediately.


Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, I’ll be posting three letters from friends to Lad, asking about how things are going in this foreign land and when will he be coming home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad of the Llanos (1) – A Trip to Visit the Chandlers – January 1, 1940

This week I will begin posting letters from a New Year – 1940. Lad is working in Venezuela for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company. Dan, Ced, Dick and Dave are all at home. Dick and Dave are still in school.

Lad Guion and Jim Pierce at Karnopp's Camp - 1939

                                 Jim Pierce and Lad Guion  at Karnopp’s  Camp in Venezuela

Trumbull, Conn.

January 1, 1940

Dear Lad of the Llanos:

No matter how closely you scrutinize you will find no evidence of erasure’s on the 1940 above. You didn’t catch me even though this was the first time. I am surprised at your negligence, however. How guilty you must feel, we haven’t had a letter from you since last year, and here we are well into 1940. Incidentally, I do hope there is a letter from you waiting for me in Box 7, because as I wrote you, we didn’t hear from you at all the week before, and up to Friday, no letter had reached us from you last week. I say Friday because on that day we left Trumbull for a trip to Maryland, so we missed the Saturday mail, this being the day of last hope when the usual Tuesday post fails to produce the weekly red white and blue bordered envelope.

Not much of moment has occurred this week to make history in the annals of the Guion family. Wednesday evening Anne (Peabody) Stanley, sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, Grandpa’s wife who passed away in June of 1933) called up from New Rochelle saying that she and the two children and perhaps Dorothy (Peabody, the youngest sister) expected to be up early Thursday afternoon and would stay all night, leaving early Friday, which I assured her would be perfectly okay and that we all expected to leave for a visit to the Chandlers ourselves at that time. So, up they came as arranged. I prepared a dish of Italian spaghetti for supper which they were good enough to praise highly. They did not however stay overnight and the final arrangement was that they take David back with them to New Rochelle which he preferred to the trip to Maryland. That is where he is now although I expect him home sometime today, as he has to go back to school tomorrow.

Ced - 1938

Cedric Duryee Guion

Now for the trip to Maryland. After Ced had telegraphed them how many of us were coming and receiving their reply that it was okay, I learned through Carl at the gas station that Shaddick and his family were also intending to go down to pay Chandlers a visit, also on Friday. This had me worried for a bit (we afterward learned that Doug was afraid if he told either party the other was coming one of us might decide to stay home and they wanted us both) but we finally decided they knew what they were doing, so we started in the Willys at about 9:30 Friday morning and arrived at the Chandlers about 6:30 PM without any incident worthy of mention except that the further south we got the more snow we found. The Merritt Parkway was entirely clear with very little snow even on the neighboring landscape, but Jersey was slippery, Pennsylvania worse and Maryland quite bad. The Chandler’s place at Westminster is only about 50 miles across the Pennsylvania border in rolling country strongly suggestive of the Connecticut hills and dales.

ADG - Chandler

A visit to the Chandlers. Grandpa is in the first row, all the way to the left. Ced and Dick are the first two in the back row, all the way to the left. A guess would be that Dan is the photographer.

Doug is comfortably housed in a bigger place than he had either here or in the Solomons, on rather high ground near the College of Maryland where he teaches in the theological seminary. We spent a quiet but pleasant time, the three boys, Dan, Ced and Dick, sleeping in the college dormitory. We left Sunday morning at about 9:30 just as Doug and Mr. Shaddick also left to go to a church about 60 miles distant at Harpers Ferry where Doug was to preach. He is a gentle, kindly soul, his wife having much more  vim and go about her. In her capacity for keeping on the go, taking things in their stride and never getting ruffled no matter how many things pile up, she reminds me of your mother before her stomach first went back on her. On the way down we crossed into Jersey via the Holland Tunnel but on the return trip we came across the Fort Lee ferry. That, with the tolls on the Merritt Parkway, the Hutchinson River Pkwy., Holland Tunnel and toll bridge across the Susquehanna, the tolls cost more than the gasoline for the trip.

Tomorrow I will post the second half of this letter with news of ringing in the New Year and local news of friends in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Remnants of a Widely Scattered Family (4) – News From Grandpa in Trumbull, Connecticut – November 4, 1945

Grandpa ends this long letter 

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

You boys are no more disgusted about union demands than many of us here at home. I have talked to many men in unions who feel the same way about it themselves. Individually, they seem to have no choice if a strike is called. It seems to me a comparatively few men at the top are responsible, and as usual, the far larger, unorganized, white collar or middleman class suffers the consequences. It’s too long a subject for me to discuss here, but I think it’s a crying shame and I am afraid we are mixing ourselves a dose of bitter medicine unless some strong leader steps up and reverses the present trend. As for you

Page 5   11/4/45

personally, and the gripping and lowered morale, etc., I know it is awfully easy for the other fellow to sit back and philosophize as long as it doesn’t happen to him, that’s one of the opportunities that come to one when he can join the ranks of the knickers and begin to feel sorry for himself, which, like worry, doesn’t do anyone any good, or he can “turn the cloud inside out to see the silver lining” and refuse to see the gloomy side and try to find out the good things about the situation — so that, for instance, in after years, he will not have to say to himself, “Here I was all set to get the most out of the situation and instead I was so close to the forest I couldn’t see the trees”. Remember Kipling’s poem about “if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, etc.”. Just one viewpoint. You say you are getting concerned because the longer the high pointers are delayed in getting home the later you will be. Isn’t it apt to work the other way? There is already a big stink over here about this very thing of the public and radio commentators are getting thoroughly aroused. Even a strike was threatened on stopping work on every ship except those sent to the Pacific and European Theatres to bring boys home, so that they would have to devote them all to that purpose. Now if this tide that is backing up gets strong enough, when it does burst out it is liable to go to the other extreme and those who wouldn’t otherwise rate a prompt homecoming would be swept in with the flood. Pendulum’s, you know, have a tendency to swing too far, and there is evidence of a strong public sentiment developing. Thanks for the island views, your ideas are so good I hope you will write some more.

Now back to Dan, for something I forgot to mention. You asked me to see what I can do in Washington. Before I can present the matter convincingly, I have to have a much cleaner-cut, concise statement of facts to present than my present knowledge permits, and I would suggest you make this statement in a letter to me which I in turn can turn over to someone in Washington in an effort to get whatever you want, which a civilian in the U.S., writing to the war dept. about a son in France, (status not clear as explained above) would command much attention. I will of course be glad to try with all my energy, if you will supply the ammunition.

Just a few local items before I toddle off to my little trundle bed. Aunt Betty went down to the dentist with Jean last week and had four teeth taken out at one sitting. Next day she was back on the job, washing dishes, etc.

Well at last it happened — after many years of faithful service — more than I know — the old furnace has gone kaput. Last Sunday Lad and I started to drain air out of the radiators — our annual rite — when noticing the pressure was unusually low, we let more water in the system. There was a “pop” and water sprayed out of the back of the furnace. Monday a plumber came to look it over, said it was useless to try to repair it, that he had a used boiler of a modern make (two-years old) which would more than do the job, that new ones were not yet on the market and that he could put it in and connect up with the auto-stoker so I could use the 10 tons of coal in the bins, so I told him to go ahead. Luckily the weather has been mild. They expect to finish tomorrow, so here’s hoping. The bill is yet to come. Here’s hoping twice. Anyhow, you can keep warm when you come home. Here’s hoping three times. And that’s about all the hope I’ve got left tonight.


Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures. On Monday.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Remnants of a Widely Scattered Family (3) – News From Dave in the Philippines – November 4, 1945

Continuing this letter from Grandpa to his scattered family.

Last week I bought for you, Dan, a dozen t-sleeve undershirts and shall ship them to you during the week. They will, however, come to you in the regular way via APO 887, as I learn that unless I can continue to send you things at this address, I cannot send at all except at exorbitant rates (airmail is $.30 a half ounce). The Railway Express rumor was false as to shipments to France. They will send to England and Ireland (one dollar a pound, I believe is the rate) but not to the continent, so, unless being a civilian, I cannot send service men’s boxes to your army address, we will have to watch shipping expense, as the fund you have is being rapidly diminished. For instance, on the camera business, when they again become available, which apparently is not this year, the thing you should do is to write me specifically just what you want, let me order it, sell your old camera and forward me the money, as I don’t think you want your war bonds cashed, or do you? I also can’t quite get through my head what your status is now. You say you are a civilian and are addressed as Mr., yet you still have an APO army address. You are employed by the civil service and yet you say you are a war dept. employee; that you have to wear an army uniform while you are on the job. If you are a civilian, why the Army uniform? If in the Army, what office do you hold — private, your former rank or are you an officer? In any event, why the Mr.? And how can you be working for the war dept. and still get paid by the civil service? It is all rather confusing to a layman!

I showed Elizabeth Paulette’s circular about baby bottles and she said, based on the experience of those she has talked to who have used this type, Paulette is likely to be disappointed in that the bottles seem to leak out the wrong hole and get things wet and stained. And by the way, tell Chiche I have sent to all the publishers I can find listed of baby magazines and have asked for sample copies, which I will send her to look over and if there is one or two she particularly likes, I can subscribe to them for her. No, I have not sent any additional knitting wool, but shall do so. And by the way, Marian and I are not alone responsible for the purchase of the things you have received for Paulette. Jean also spent time and effort, and I was just a wee bit concerned that I had not made this clear to you and Paulette. Both girls have given willingly and enthusiastically of their time and interest and deserve far more credit than I. Maybe it’s a good thing you didn’t need your suits because I don’t know just what the moths have left. In spite of the good care Jean has given to Dick’s things, the moths have been busy and Dick, since this experience,

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has been moved to construct a moth-proof closet in the corner of Lad’s old attic room (of fire days memory), which he has been working rather steadily on since he has been home. Just had a letter from the Burnett’s, Dan, in answer to my announcement, which I will enclose.

David Peabody Guion

Now let’s turn to Dave, who has been waiting patiently on the sidelines here for a chance to be heard. Most of his letter concerns some interesting, and to my mind intelligent, comments on the island proposition which I will not quote here but will take up at a later time when all of you have had an opportunity to comment. He says: “Apologies are in order. We both apologize — MacArthur and myself. I apologize because I haven’t been able to write regularly and MacArthur apologizes because he and others under his command have kept me so busy that I have not been able to write. No kiddin’, I’ve been busier since the war ended than I ever was during the war. We are handling all sorts of traffic now — a good part of it is messages to and from the Red Cross in Korea concerning guys that are trying to pull deals to get out of the Army. Seeing those messages sure are tempting. I keep thinking I ought to try to get out by claiming that I was needed to help you run the business. It’s funny, it was easy to think of maybe two or three years over here while the war was on, but now it’s awfully hard “sweating it out”. As to Dick and Lad, it’s beginning to look as if everyone will be home and possibly gone again by the time I get home. In one of your letters you enclosed some articles about the men getting out. We get the same stuff in the papers here but the fact remains that there are scores of 90-pointers here in the repple depples. Joe Bohn in our outfit has 81 points and he hasn’t heard anything yet. The morale is getting worse and worse all the time. It’s beginning to bother me now, because the longer the high pointers stay here, the longer it will delay my getting home. I figured sometime in late spring or early summer, and I sure don’t want to spend any longer — that’s plenty long enough to wait for a boat. Well, so much for our woes. Oh, one more thing. The next time you see a union man, tell him that he better get labor back in line because the servicemen are apt to give them one hell of a time when they all get back. I’ve had several Filipinos asked me about the strikes in the states. It must look awfully bad to these other countries to see the U.S. so torn as soon as the war is over. We were talking the other day and have come to the conclusion that the people of the U.S. are the only ones who actually feel that the war is over. The people of Europe, Russia, China, England and Japan are all licking their wounds. Those of us who are still out here see very little difference now than when the war was going on — the fighting is over but we aren’t home. So it’s just about the same. But in the states it’s all over — now they can slide back to their petty problems and forget the war. In the eyes of the rest of the world, this, the strongest country of all, must look pretty weak under all this upheaval over wages. We can almost smell the stench of it all out here.”

Tomorrow, the final piece of this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion