Special Pictures # 248 – Marian Irwin in Orinda, California @ 1940

Marian (my Mom) wrote on the back of these pictures, “Marian Irwin, Orinda, CA, 1940?” This is the house she grew up and these were taken a couple of years before she met Lad (my Dad, Alfred Peabody Guion)

 

Tomorrow and the rest of the week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1943. Lad and Marian are getting serious, especially after Lad returns from a furlough in Trumbull and spends time with his girlfriend there.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Holiday Cards From 1941

The following are holiday cards received by Lad in December, 1941 and January, 1942.

To Lad, from Laura Mae, Russ and son Richard Stanley, friends in Trumbull.

To Lad from Pat and Willie Wright (I think he knew them in Venezuela)

To Lad, from Martin and Flor Williams from Pariguan, Venezuela.

From the Pages, their daughters were friendly with the older boys

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll post more Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1943. Lad is getting ready for a furlough and heading back to Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Cedric (2) – Christmas Day – December, 1941

 

 

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion, Grandpa

Page 2    12/28/41

Christmas Day

          Christmas Eve Dave ate too much candy or something that upset his digestive tract so that he felt pretty miserable and, having left the tree to trim for that time, he did not feel very much in the mood. He went through with the job however and toddled off to his little bed. Because everyone was pretty much used up from the happenings of the night before and had outgrown the childhood habit of getting up at the streak dawn to watch with fascinated eyes the bulging stockings at the foot of the bed, we all arose late. Zeke, Biss and the two youngsters arrived a little before 11, so I brought the stockings down to the kitchen and we opened them there. We then all repaired to the music room and sat around in a circle watching the unwrapping of each one’s gifts in the usual manner. Here, as nearly as I can recall, were the gifts received:

Lad – Leather jacket, leather shoehorn, leather case with comb and nail file, necktie and noise eliminator for his razor.

Dan – Gloves, wallet, films for movie and camera, book (Golden Bough), tie rack and combination comb and nail file.

Dick – Sleeping bag, hand knitted socks and sweater (Jean), key case and wallet, defense stamps, razor towels

Dave – Leather jacket, gloves, scarf, skating socks, file and comb

ADG – Triple head Remington dry shaver, file and comb set, five dollar gift certificate for tobacco, fountain pen, a beautiful crocheted doily from Grandma

Aunt Betty – three warm woolen night dresses, housecoat, hot-water bag, doily, playing cards, soap, writing paper, stockings and defense stamps.

All the family – guava jelly, candied fruit, fancy basket of Texas navel oranges, bushel basket of citrus fruit and the usual box of brownies from the Ives.

I then retired to the kitchen to prepare the dinner. Before the dinner dishes were washed and put away visitors began to arrive and from then on the place was literally packed. Just about dark we got out the movies and Dan’s color projector and for an hour or so we had a private showing. I may not be able to recall all those present but aside from myself and the four boys, Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie, Zeke, Biss and her two children, there were Bob and Red Shadick, Red Sirene, Jean Mortenson, Jane Mantel, Charley Hall, Harry Lasker, Dot McKenzie, Arnold and Alta (Gibson), Mr. and Mrs. Ives, Barbara (Plumb), Paul Warden, Don Whitney, Carl (Wayne) and Ethel (Bushey).

Christmas cards were received from the following: (I will omit those from my old friends that you don’t know) Nan and Stanley Osborne (Nan Duryee, Grandpa’s cousin), Mrs. Lea, Grandma, Marian and Ruth Noer, Aunt Dorothy, Britta and Sydney, Carl and Ethel, Alice Reyom, Cecilia Mullins (Lad’s girlfriend), Roger Bachelder, Sylvia Leeds, Jean Mortenson, the Searles,  the Cronins, Larry and Marion (Peabody), (Constable) Ray and Mrs. Beckwith, the Burrs, the Sirenes, the Larsons, May Bachelder, the Wardens, the Ives, the Kascaks, Helen Burnham, the Kirchers, the Charlie Kurtz’, the Chandlers, Barbara (Plumb), Don Whitney and Dick Christie. In addition, each of the boys received cards but I have no record of those.

Lad, Dick and Dave all worked on the driveway this morning while I prepared dinner. We got oil from Eb and Carl and incidentally, got rid of the accumulated ashes. Today things are pretty quiet for a change but I suppose that’s because it’s early yet and too soon to expect the Sunday visitors.

DAD

Tomorrow I have a special surprise planned and on Friday,I’ll post Holiday Cards from 1941.

On Saturday and Sunday, Special Pictures .

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1943, when four of Grandpa’s  five sons are scattered all over the world in the service of Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – Grandma Writes to Ced – December, 1941

Grandma Peabody

5 Curcuit Road

New Rochelle, N.Y.

Dec. 19,

Dear Cedric

I got your last letter a few days ago. It’s so interesting to know what you are doing and what’s going on out there.

There seems to be plenty going on in this part of the world. Didn’t the Japs play a dirty trick on us! And what a horrible thing it was for the Officers to allow the Japs to do so much harm. Well they are getting their reward leaving their important jobs.

I was surprised and glad to, that Rusty is with you. Although you seem busy all the time it must be nice to have a companion to talk and laugh with. If you are girls, you might even cry. Haven’t heard a thing from Trumbull. I hope they are all well. When I saw Aunt Betty last she seemed pretty well, and she was getting the use of her hand more and more. She is such a dear, so patient. We here, plod along as usual. Dorothy busy with her short hand. She has so little time for anything else.

We are hoping Anne, Donald and Gweneth (Stanley) will spend Christmas with us but she hasn’t made any definite plans known yet. How do you like that crocheted tie, do you ever use it? I would have liked to make some more. Donald, for instance, liked his so much.

Uncle Larry and Aunt Marian (Peabody)  have been so busy getting their new home in order. Painting and papering, etc., etc. They are so enthusiastic and happy.

I read in the paper a few days ago that Hitler is taking a rest. I hope it will be a long one. He is supposed to be sick, maybe unnerved.

Last Saturday we had our first snow but it turned into rain before the day was over and all the snow was gone in no time. We have had such a long dry spell. Up State there must be a good deal of snow according to papers and that will perhaps help out the water problem.

I imagine Trumbull is getting ready to receive Dick. He will be some Christmas present! Don’t you think it was a fine thing for you boys to get away from Trumbull! The chance of seeing some of the world is a fine education.

Dear Ced, I am not sending you any Christmas present. I did not know what to do for you. Wishing you a very happy Christmas, including Rusty, I am

With lots of love

Grandma

Tomorrow and Wednesday, I’ll be posting a letter from Grandpa to Ced, the only son away from home at this time.

Something special on Thursday. On Friday, I’ll post some Christmas and New Years cards.

Saturday and Sunday, Special Pictures – 

On Monday, I’ll continue with letters written in 1943, when four sons are working and/or training for duty with Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced – No Word From Dick – December, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., December 21, 1941

Dear Ced:

Just a few days before the traditional day of “Peace on earth, good will toward men” – – the traditional spirit of Christmas which has endured for 2000 years and will outlast this present horrid ascendancy of hate – – a day which I hope we all will live to celebrate. Why is it when every sane person will agree that peace is so desirable that a few perverted souls can throw the whole civilized world into a state of war – – some of them purporting to be followers of the simple Galilean carpenter who first brought us the good-will message. It is beyond my limited intelligence to supply the answer. All I know is that in my own individual soul there is a spirit of peace and goodwill when I think of my own little family and particularly the one absent boy up near Santa’s homeland that I am going to miss more than ever this year.

No word of any sort from Dick. Maybe he expects to surprise us by barging in at any time now. At least that is what I hope, although I am also conscious of the fact that he may have been delayed because of the war upset, and, perish the thought, may not be able to reach Trumbull by the 25th.

Dan and Barbara went to New York last night by train to see New York at Christmas. They did not enjoy themselves as much as they expected to because of the biting wind. It has been really cold yesterday and today and the little fireplace in the alcove has been acting as a booster for the furnace since last night when Kemper, Ethel, Burr Davis and his wife came up for a pre-Christmas visit.

Peggy Beebe is to be married I believe on Christmas Day. Her man I am told is wealthy and they plan to build a “small” home in Greenfield Hills. Charley Hall is home. He came in today to see if Dick had reached home yet. Dave and Dan were in a pageant this afternoon at the Church. Dan took the part of Joseph and Dave was one of the Three Wise Men – – the one with the gold.

Lad has not been feeling so well today. Last night he had a ham and egg sandwich at some lunch wagon that apparently did not agree with him and he has been hovering close to the toilet most of the day.

I was mighty pleased to get your letter of the 7th (received on the 17th) with its interesting news regarding Rusty bunking in with you. That makes it nice for both of you. Tell the old bean I am still waiting for one of his interesting letters telling me the latest news regarding his personal affairs, particularly if I can be of any help from this end. I relayed your note regarding Union Now to the Peabody’s in New Rochelle, but as yet have had no reply. We received a Christmas’s package from the L. K. Peabody’s. I still have no further news as to where Anne and her family will be over the holidays.

Helen Plumb called me up yesterday and asked if as Justice of the Peace I was available next Saturday evening to marry two couples at the house here. I don’t know who they are but I will be ready.

This letter will reach you after Christmas Day but I can hope anyway some of the things arrived in time.

Love, from

DAD

More from the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson tomorrow and Sunday.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1943, when  the boys were involved with the War effort.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Hermit (2) – The Office is Busy – December, 1941

Ced @ 1945

Page 2 of 12/14/41

While Lad has heard nothing from the draft board as to his status, and saying very little as he does, I have an idea he is prepared to go into it whenever the need arises. He does not feel the way you or Dan do about the ethics of the thing anyway. Myself, I shall have to steel myself to the thought that Lad and Dan and you and Dick will all be in it and if it lasts long enough, Dave also. In fact if they are going to draft folks up to 64 as proposed in the latest suggestion before Congress I may be in it myself, and that will make it unanimous. I cannot help but wonder what Mother would feel and say about things as they are opening up as far as her children are concerned.

I am still having a hectic time at the office. Difficulty in obtaining labor to turn out what work comes my way. Material shortages are threatening in the paper and Addressograph plate field, and it is too soon yet to say what influence the war is going to have on my business. Enlistments and draft calls will still further thin the ranks of men in the higher brackets in Bridgeport industries. According to Paul Warden, who is in Remington, a great many of the men at the heads of departments are leaving that company. Maybe I’ll have to be looking for a job somewhere myself to take care of taxes, etc.

Elsie informs me that business at the shop since last week has practically stopped in spite of the nearness of the Christmas season. Mrs. Burlingame, who has been in the hospital for an operation, is getting better but for several weeks Elsie has had to run the business alone herself.

It snowed yesterday for the first time this year. Lad remarked it was the first snowstorm he had seen in three years. It rained all last night so there is no snow left today but it is rather cold nevertheless. The furnace is not working too well this year. Maybe it’s a case of old age, hardening of the arteries, or something. Dan wants me to use some of his savings to put in a new furnace before the government orders a ban on use of metal for this purpose. I have asked a heating man to come in and give it a look-see with an estimate on what a new plant would cost.

You are cordially invited to attend a joint Guion-Warden New Year’s party with the three-fold purpose of making whoppee for some guests of the Wardens, to commemorate Red’s birthday and to celebrate Dick’s homecoming. Wouldn’t it be great if my great tall distant son accepted this invitation. What a start for the new year for his Dad!

But there, all dreams must have an end and so must letters. If you can fix up some mathematical formula about the strength of good wishes, particularly at Christmas tide, being as the square of the distance separating father from a well-beloved son, without an X X denoting unknown quantities, I wish you would figure out a good one that I could work out and send to you. The answer in any language would be  “much love from”

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to Ced in Alaska.

More  from the Autobiography of Mary E Wilson (and another daughter) on Saturday and Sunday.

Next week, letters from 1943 when the boys are serving Uncle Sam in their own unique ways.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Hermit (1) – Attitudes Towards The War – December, 1941

Judy_0003

Trumbull, Conn., December 14, 1941

Dear Hermit:

So they all up and left you, heh! It is interesting to speculate on one’s reactions under the circumstances. See how near I come imagining the various phases one goes through. In some ways you and I are temperamentally more alike than the others so perhaps a little introspection on the way I think I might feel may come within shooting distance of the way you may react. Perhaps the first reaction after the bustle and tenseness of seeing the last brother off would be a sense of relief and a feeling that now you can do whatever you want whenever you want in your own way without feeling that anyone else’s feelings have to be regarded. This might last for a week or maybe a little longer, after which it might seem a bit cheerless coming home to an empty room with no one to know or care or exchange small talk with. This will either induce you to seek other friends or outside recreation unless you are too busy with work or other individual activities to do much more than sleep when you get in. Anyway, as it will be your first experience of the kind it will be interesting to note your own reactions. In time, like everything else, you will get used to it, unless the war situation hastens your induction into service and then of course you will be too busy with that to have time to plan your own activities. By the way, did the Jap attack make you feel any different about getting into the service to defend our own country? Short as the time has been I sense quite a change in the feeling of many who up to last Sunday were opposed to giving up their time to what they considered was sort of wasted in training for something that did not look as though it would be needed. Even Dan, just today, said he did not feel the same as he did before, now that there was actually something tangible to prepare against, although he did still believe the necessity would never have arisen if we had tended strictly to our own business and not try to run other nations on our own ideas of morality. As no letter came from you last week I don’t know your reaction to Dick’s leaving nor the effect on your feelings or that of Anchorage folks in general on the rising Sun’s hot ray that scorched Pearl Harbor without warning a week ago today.

Such as it is, I got off a Christmas box to you last night. I am disappointed in it and I fear that you will be also. In fact so much uncertainty has attended your future doings and there has been such poor mail service in hearing promptly from you that things did not go as they normally would. Even the headlight I ordered sent to you from Sears Roebuck in Seattle was delivered to me from that city and had to be reshipped to Anchorage. I also mailed your watch which Dan brought back to be repaired, but I have much doubt as to whether any of these things will reach you by the 25th.

Have heard no word from Dick and I am wondering if war conditions will make any difference in the boat’s scheduled time of arrival and whether after he reaches Seattle transportation or blackouts or other circumstances attendant on the outbreak of war on the Pacific coast will necessitate any radical change of plans on his part and whether he will be able to get home by Christmas.

Tonight Dan is giving a talk on Alaska illustrated with colored views before some young people’s society of the Stratford Congregational Church. Barbara and Dave went along also, and possibly Lad and Babe.

Page 2 of this letter tomorrow, and on Friday, another letter to Ced from Grandpa.

On Saturday and Sunday, Mary E Wilson writes about the move to Trumbull and another daughter.

Judy Guion