Trumbull – Dear Boy Backsliders (2) – October, 1941

Page 2    10/18

Things at the office are still hectic and are adding to my stock of gray hair. George’s sister comes in after school afternoons to take care of what mimeographing jobs have come in and Dave does the same in an effort to take care of the multi-graphing jobs. George comes in when asked to do so at night, when we get in a jam and Miss Denes comes in once a week to take care of bookkeeping and billing. I have another new girl, a Mrs. Papineau, who spends most of her time on the graphotype trying to catch up on an accumulation of Addressograph work, but she is rather slow. I got a letter from a man named Hoffman last week who says he understands letter shop work and I have asked him to call Monday. In consequence of all this, I don’t get home to get the supper started until about six, which makes it 7:30 or eight before we are through. This sort of spoils the evening for the boys, which bothers me, although they put a cheerful face on the whole affair. I am also concerned about Dave not having sufficient time for homework after working all afternoon at the office, having no time for recreation unless he neglects his studies. Added to all this, I don’t hear from you boys in a month (there he goes again) and you have a resume of a worried father’s problems. Offsetting this, Aunt Betty sets so good an example of cheerfulness under all circumstances that we all get by cheerfully and in good spirits. However, don’t let that stop your letters home. (I think it was Cato in ancient Rome who, in speaking in the Senate on any or all subjects, always ended with the words, “Carthage must be destroyed”). Get it?

Zeke, I understand, is working nights now and earns $80 a week. (And the hunting season has just started also)

Charlie Kurtz and Jess Woodhull were here this afternoon trying to sell me on the idea of having the attic floors insulated, claiming it will

Richard (Dick) Guion

make an unbelievable difference in the ease of heating the house. They measured up the place and will give me an estimate. Dan has just purchased a new projector for his kodascope stills, claiming it is a birthday present to himself from Dan. It certainly has a wonderful set of Alaskan views, sunsets, etc. and they make a very interesting evening showing.

I forgot to tell you in last week’s letter, Dick, that your Annapolis friend, I learned from his parents, has been in an Army hospital for several months, having been in an automobile accident after enlisting, which resulted in a fractured skull. He is getting along all right now.

There comes a point in every letter when one runs out of news and one sits and drums with his fingers on the table thinking, trying to think of something else to say. I have now reached that point and drum as I will, nothing seems to materialize, so even though the page is not full up, circumstances force me to bring this dark and haunting epistle to a close. Summing it all up, there is one thought I want to leave with you (there he goes again), and that thought I shall not put in words but shall leave in your fertile imagination to guess.

DAD

Tomorrow I’ll be continuing the story of Mary E Wilson as she wrote it. Quite an interesting story.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1943 as the relationship between Lad and Marian continues to develop.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Boy Backsliders (1) – October, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., October 18, 1941

Dear boy backsliders (but dear nevertheless):

Judy_0003This is getting to be a very one-sided correspondence. Do you realize that I haven’t heard from either of you since Dan left? That was, what? Sept. 18th? Just a month today, if so. Dan says: “That just shows what happens without ?????????????????????me there to keep them lined up in the matter of letter writing regularly.” I think Aunt Betty is getting a bit concerned because every night when I come home she asks if I have heard from the boys yet. I do hope there will be something in the mailbox tomorrow. You didn’t even fill in my questionnaire which would be a simple thing to do and would only take a few minutes. I will even send you a stamped, addressed envelope if that will help. I hate to start in every letter in this vein but it is a matter quite close to my heart and I do wish you both would exert a little willpower and grab off a few spare ten minutes here and there so that so long an interval will not elapse. Why don’t each of you make it a rule to write every other week, even if it is only a few lines. Surely this will not be a hardship. If I should stop writing for a month (which I don’t intend to do) wouldn’t you get the least bit anxious? Or wouldn’t you? Someday I suppose you will sit down and write, “Cut out this letter complaint. You ought to have learned by this time it does not accomplish any results anyway.” So be it, and I’ll go on with what meager news there is.

?????????????????Aunt Betty is coming along finely. All this week she has been down in the kitchen the better part of the day. Miss Pack, the visiting nurse, comes in the morning, gets Aunt Betty fixed up and down stairs for lunch. I have brought the nickel pipe armchair in the kitchen and she spends most of the afternoon and that until we get home at night. She then has supper with us after which I take her up to bed. She is gradually, but definitely, getting back the use of her hand. The doctor did not come at all this week. The nurse tells her she is making real progress.

Mrs. Warden and her new baby are back from the hospital. Paul has changed the location of the stove to the other side of the mantel. Dan is working at a machine in the Producto Co., which requires his constant dipping his hand in kerosene which has resulted in sort of a skin burn similar in its result to sunburn in that the skin peels from his hands. There is a rumor that he will be given another job this next Tuesday. He has now a driver’s license and in consequence, he planned to go to New York this afternoon for his trunk. His first intention was to take my car but he finally persuaded Lad to drive down in his car with Cecilia (Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) and Dan with Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) and after getting the trunk loaded on, I suppose they will have supper somewhere and make a night of it – – possibly taking in some show. I have recommended Fantasia ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032455/ ). They started from here about 2:30 in order to make this possible and still have Cecelia in the party (The Mullins were planning on a 3 o’clock dinner today) we invited Cecelia over here to dinner.

In the town the drive for the ambulance fund is on. Saturday night’s paper reported the collection of $800 of the $3000 goal. The drive ends next Wednesday and they are counting on doing quite a bit of soliciting today, so I’m waiting to see what total will be reported tomorrow night. I composed and processed the letter which was sent out in advance of calls and naturally I am interested in what results they bring.

Last night, Dan and Dave and the gang went bowling in Long Hill.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this lettr, including more news from Trumbull, to Ced and Dick, both still in Alaska.

Over the weekend, more from the Autobiography of Nary E Wilson.

Judy Guion

Friends – A Letter to Lad From A Friend From Venezuela – October, 1941

APG - The bunch at Pariaguan - 1940

The bunch at Pariaguan – 1940

L.K. Sieck

3222 West Street

Ames, Iowa

Oct. 12, 1941

Dear Al;

If Chris hasn’t already informed you, I have now removed to the U.S.A. I decided to enter school here at Iowa State College. My third week of classes has already passed and I find it very much to my liking. I am taking up civil engineering.

How are you doing? Fine I hope. Chris said he was sure you were married as you didn’t find time to write. Married or not, I’ll be around for a visit sometime. If you aren’t living in the U.S.A., the world isn’t so big that you just disappear.

I had a swell trip up from Venezuela. I traveled all the way by air. Had a little delay getting started though. When we left Guario it was clear but when we arrived in Maiquetia, fog had the airport covered. We cruised around until we had to return or run out of gas. Red went back to Guario, filled up with a little from the Pan-American and then we went to Pariaguan. Woody finished filling her up and that afternoon we got into Maiquetia. Some start, eh !

I stopped over two days in the Canal Zone. They really are busy there with all the lock construction, the new airports and naval bases and also a new road that they are building across the Isthmus. The road had always been delayed as the railroad belongs to the U.S. government and they were afraid it would take away business. Some boost for a Pan American highway when the U.S. doesn’t even have a road connecting the two ends of the canal.

Going north from there we landed in every Central American country. We spent about 16 hours in Guatemala City. The city is high and really cool. In fact I went out walking at night and it was cold. I spent 24 hours in Mexico City also. There I went out to see the pyramids about 60 kilometers away. Those Aztecs certainly built those pyramids for all time.

The scenery kept my neck stretched all the time. Volcanoes in Nicaragua in the lake, and the one that we flew by in Guatemala, evidently blew out the side. It was just a mountainside of smoking ashes. I was sure mad at myself for not having a camera.

Now we get to the real purpose – seeing as how I was once a good friend of yours? I want to find out if I could rent some of your movies for a showing here. Boy, they would sure go over good. I am joining the student branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers and a few scenes of crossing the Orinoco or the trip to El Callao shown at a meeting would be mighty interesting. That time the well was blowing off at El Tigre would be pretty good too. I will do almost anything to get on the waiting line for some of those scenes. I wonder if I could have duplicates made of some of them. Well, let me know if you get this letter.

Getting back to the trip; I set foot in 10 countries, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, San Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and the good old U.S.A. I left Guario the 15th of August and landed in Omaha, Nebraska the 25th of August. 10 days and 10 countries, boy was I happy. When I landed in Brownsville they hailed me off to the side to have a check up and take my temperature. There were mostly American schoolteachers on the plane from Mexico City and you could hear them wondering what I had. When they released me I had to prove to those schoolmarm’s that I wasn’t sick and didn’t have yellow fever or malaria or something.

If you ever cross Iowa, don’t forget to drop in on Ames. Our hospitality won’t make you rush off right away.

With best regards to you and your movies, I am,

Yours truly,

______________

L.K.Sieck

3222 West Street

Ames Iowa

P.S. – In that seventh paragraph, I also want to remain a good friend of yours.

Later today and tomorrow I’ll be posting a letter from Grandpa to  his two remaining sons in Alaska.

On Saturday and Sunday, more from the Autobiography of Mary E. Wilson.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Very Busy Sunday (2) – October, 1941

Ced @ 1945

          Ced, I want to talk to you quite seriously for a few minutes regarding the funds you are sending home regularly. Dan tells me you are not making more than $175 a month, and with the expenses you have, which will be a bit higher on your share of rent since Dan left, plus purchases you will probably want to make for the winter, plus some fund you ought to put by in case you get called in the draft and have to come home, makes it unwise for you to send $25 home each month. Let’s call your obligations, which you have so conscientiously felt you ought to discharge, ended. Moreover, with Dick’s generous six months accumulation of monthly payments, plus weekly board from Lad and Dan, I can get along O.K. and I’ll really feel better if you don’t skimp yourself as you probably have been doing. However, if you still feel you want to send $25 home as before, I shall put half of it aside each time to your credit in the Building & Loan or some other savings fund.

We have not started the furnace yet as the weather has been quite mild but the last few days, it has been a bit chilly mornings and evenings. I have a small oil stove in Aunt Betty’s room and we have started the kitchen oil stove. Aunt Betty plans to spend some of the days this week in the kitchen, and now that Kathryn is home again and the kitchen is warm, she can stay down there and visit, thus breaking the monotony of the day to some extent. The doctor has given her the job of emptying out a bottle of buttons and trying to pick them up and put them back several times a day until she gradually recovers the use of her right hand.

Elsie looks well but says business in the shop is still not what it ought to be and financially they are still in somewhat of a critical position and are hoping that the Christmas trade will help them get by the most critical period.

Please excuse all the mistakes in spelling, etc., but I am hurrying through with this letter, as some arrangements will have to be made to get those three youngsters home to Westport. Lad, I think, intends to take them home in his car. Dan was planning to drive down to New York today to pick up his trunk which ought to have arrived at the Pennsylvania station by this time, but he decided rather than ask Lad to drive him down, he would try to get a license this week and do his own driving, either in my car or Lad’s.

Richard (Dick) Guion

Richard (Dick) Guion

Dick, please squeeze a few minutes for a letter home, telling me about your job, sending back my questionnaire, etc. Dan says they finally came through with a raise for you. Are you now getting the  $133 cents (This is exactly what Grandpa wrote.) you spoke of some time ago? I don’t think you would find it such a task to write if you would just put yourself in the frame of mind of imagining me across the table from you and just talk on paper, telling just what you would if I were there sitting opposite you. You know me well enough to imagine what questions I would ask and you can just answer them without paying any attention to sentence construction, spelling, grammar, etc. Try it someday soon and see how it works out. I want to hear from you just as much (I hope) as you want to hear news from home. Maybe more. Having two boys home doesn’t make me one bit less anxious to hear from those still absent.

Well, that’s all for tonight, old scout’s. Love and kisses,

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter to Lad from a friend from Venezuela.

Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced and Dick.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Very Busy Sunday (1) – October, 1941

It is 1941. Lad has been back from Venezuela for about 5 months and Dan has just returned from Alaska. They are both working for the Producto Manufacturing Company in Bridgeport and hoping they won’t get drafted, but the war is moving closer each day.

October 12, 1941

Dear Ced and Dick:

I almost missed out on my weekly letter to you as this has been an unusually busy day. Aunt Elsie came up last night in honor of Aunt Betty’s birthday, and because she had to get back to New York early to trim the window, she had to leave in time to catch the 10:20 train this morning. As Lad was still asleep and Dan has no driving license, it was up to me to drive her to the station along with getting Aunt Betty fixed up, lighting her stove, etc., getting her breakfast, getting Elsie’s breakfast, starting dinner and so on. Then, because Mrs. Warden was coming home from the hospital today with her new baby, I invited Paul and his wife in to dinner. The doctor yesterday had told Aunt Betty she could come down to dinner today, so we had to get the dining room heated up. Dave helped me with this after coming home from church while Dan did some work around the yard.

While we were at dinner, Bruce Lee, his two sisters from Maryland (one of them Jack’s mother, Dick,) Jack’s father, their two young daughters and Pat all breezed in. This resulted in questions about Alaska and Venezuela developing quite naturally into showing of motion pictures, souvenirs, etc., during which Don Whitney, Barbara, Chet, Jean Hughes, Babe and Red dropped in. Then it was necessary to get the three Westport girls some supper, as Bruce and his party of older ones left for dinner waiting them in Westport, but the girls stayed on to see the finish of the movies. Then I had to get Aunt Betty back upstairs, get her supper. I have left Dave to act as host to the three girls while the rest of the gang are upstairs visiting with Aunt Betty and I sneaked off to do this.

This photo of a 1941 Buick Special – dark blue –  is from the following URL – https://www.google.com/search?q=1941+buick+special&safe=active&biw=1388&bih=668&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=JLmDVPbRDIypyASO6oKgCA&ved=0CDQQsAQ  

          The big news this week is that on Wednesday Lad bought a car. It is a twin of mine, same make, year, model, except that it is dark blue. I arranged a loan for him at the North End Bank, which, together with some $200 that Dan loaned him, made up the purchase price of $900, which, incidentally, is also the price I paid for my car. His car has more mileage on it than mine, but he says mine has more pep; in fact, Lad says my car is the peppiest car he has ever driven.

Dan, as he probably informed you, is working at the same place as Lad — the Producto Machine Co., only on different work. He seems to be getting along all right although it is entirely different work than he has ever done.

I thought I had been able to get a girl to help in the office, and Italian girl from Southport, but after being there three days she left word Saturday morning that she could not keep the job as her mother had been taken sick and she had to stay home to take care of her. That leaves me up in the air again. It is almost impossible to get any kind of girl around here these days to do any kind of work, as the demand from the factories where high salaries are paid, cleans the market out pronto.

I do wish one of you boys would write me as we have heard nothing from Alaska since Dan left.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this letter.

On Wednesday, a letter from a friend from Venezuela to Lad.

On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced and Dick in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Twiddledum and Twiddledee – October 5th, 1941

adg-twiddledum-and-twiddledee-october-51941

In the upper right of this letterhead is the title PROSECUTOR & CLERK,

with the name of ALFRED D. GUION below it.

Trumbull, October 5th, 1941

Dear Tweedledum and Tweedledee:
DPG - Dick on IslandWell the great day has come and gone, or perhaps I had better say has come and is still with us. Dan arrived onCed and car - 1940 (3)-head shot Friday as per schedule. I don’t know why it is that the weather man always plans a juicy return for my boys. We met Lad in a pouring rain and, in spite of the fact that September has been a phenomenally dry month, having established a record in these parts for a minimum of rainfall for a number of years, it decided Friday to make up for lost time. Dan’s telegram, if you recall, said the train was due at the Penn. station at 2 o’clock. Remembering that we were tardy in meeting him at the boat I determined that this procedure would not be repeated this time, so I allowed three hours for the trip, leaving the office a bit after 11, picking up Dave at Bassick (High School), making a delivery in Fairfield, and proceeding onto the Merritt Parkway. After riding around a bit to find a parking place near the station we finally disembarked at 1:20. We picked up a hasty snack at an automat nearby, telephoned to Elsie to tell her how Aunt Betty was getting along and arrived inside the waiting room at 1:40. The train was scheduled to arrive at 1:50 but when we finally reached the exit gate we were informed the train had arrived 10 minutes early and everyone was out. Then began a search through the big station, Dave on one side, I on the other. After a great deal of peering into ladies rooms, telephone booths, etc. I finally espied our long-lost son and brother and great was the joy thereof. Barbara had been looking forward to going down with us, but, because the only other clerk had to be away, Barbara couldn’t make arrangements with her office. We got Dan’s bags and drove home in the rain. Later Don and Barbara drove in and I invited them to supper. Then they hopped in Don’s car and picked up Jean M, Jean H, Chet, Evelyn, Biss and her two kiddies and Lad and ran off to the movies, both north and south wings. Last night (Carl and Ethel came in Friday also) Don and Barbara and Dick Christie and the home gang spent a very pleasant and entertaining evening looking at the enlargements of Dan’s colored 35mm stills. It certainly brings a warm feeling around the heart to have three boys home. I would like to make it five. Tell Dick, Jean and I got together and comforted one another on the absence of letters from Dick. We all agreed that Dick was all cockeyed in his wrong idea that he does not write an interesting letter. (Just a minute, Dick, and I’ll get out my little poem and read “it’s all in the state of mind” to you).Aunt Betty seems to be coming along fine. She has been very good about following the doctor’s orders and in consequence is showing much improvement. This is not only my opinion from observation but both the doctor who came again yesterday, and the nurse, say the same thing. In fact the doctor let her sit up today and as she improves, this will occur over longer periods until she can get around again. She will just have to take it easy for a while.

Mr. Warden is finally a mother, his wife having giving birth to a little girl last Thursday.

Tomorrow is Election Day in Trumbull and I suppose Mr. Bailey will again be returned to the office of First Selectman.

Dan said something about going down with Lad tomorrow and seeing about a job at Producto.

Aunt Betty likes to look over my letters to you boys before I send them and as I do not want to worry her, I am not showing her this page.

Yesterday, George told me he had received a telegram from the War Department in Washington assigning him to work as a draftsman at Remington Arms, and to report there Monday. This leaves me high and dry because he is the only one I have had since Miss Denes left, with Dave coming in afternoons to do graphotype work. Life hands us these rude jolts from time to time, and even though you get hardened to it after a while, it does slow one down for a while. I haven’t the least idea what I can do. I have asked Miss Platt if she can take care of jobs temporarily until I can locate someone else but the trouble is that everyone that has my ability at all has a job at defense work at a good salary, and experienced multi-graph operators are few and far between even in normal times. George has promised to come in nights temporarily to take care of rush jobs. If things were not the way they are at home here, what with the necessity of getting the boys supper and taking care of Aunt Betty, I could go back to the office nights and try to learn running the multigraph myself from George. Of course, right now I’m feeling pretty low in spirits but I’ll get over it and find some way out. With only George and myself taking small salaries, and with the low rent we have been paying, we are not doing so poorly financially. In fact, for the last few months we have been able to catch up quite a bit on old debts, and I was looking forward to really getting caught up in being a lot better off than we have for some years. I have asked Estelle to come in tomorrow to help out, but this added to Aunt Betty’s illness and the added burdens at home because of it, ought to get my fighting spirit up. Dan’s homecoming is the one sweet spot that helps brighten things up. I don’t know why I am unburdening myself on you boys except that it perhaps eases the pressure a bit at your expense, but it’s a mean stunt anyway.

Today is been unseasonably warm and humid. The leaves are beginning to turn and a few have fallen but we have not yet had a real frost.

Guess that’s about all I can think of at this time.

DAD

This weekend, two more letters from Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.

Next week, we begin a week of letters from 1943. Lad is in California and has been socializing with Marian Irwin, my Mother and the woman who would become his wife in about 6 months.Grandpa fills us in on the happenings of other family members.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Remainders (1) – September, 1941

Dan in white jacket in Alaska

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 28, 1941

Dear remainders:

It was with a combination of pleasure and disappointment that Dan’s letter of the 18th was received in these here parts. Saturday I was eating breakfast before starting for the office when the phone went Buzz- – –buzz. George, thinks I to myself, wanting me to make a stop to pick up a job or something on the way down. But no, it was Barbara who had just gotten a letter from Dan saying that he was leaving on the 19th, arriving Seattle on the 24th and home four or five days thereafter. Well, that was something. At the store a letter from Dan verify the information and further indicated that because of the high hat attitude of the draft board in Anchorage he felt he would rather transfer from there to here, in which decision I am in hearty accord, aside from any personal feelings we might have of the pleasure of having the old globetrotter back in the fold again. To put the finishing touches on the incident, this morning Western Union called up and gave me the following telegraph message from Seattle, signed DAN: “Abandoned sled. Had to lunch on dog after moccasins became unpalatable. Will arrive Pennsylvania station by train from New Orleans 2 o’clock, Friday, October 3rd”. Shades of Rusty’s picture! Why via New Orleans? What was the lodestone that pulled him so far off his course? Who knows the vagaries of a vagabond child’s mind? Dave has been all but overcome with anticipation. He goes around with a faraway look in his eye and every once in a while no matter what the topic of conversation, blurts out some remark which shows he has no thought for anything else but Dan’s homecoming. Last night he could hardly get to sleep and admits his school work from now until Friday will have a strong Dan-ish tinge. Of course Lad and Aunt Betty and yours truly are also agog, but we manage, let us say, to control our exuberance.

Aunt Betty is in bed and probably will be all of this week. Yesterday morning when she woke up she found her right hand paralyzed. I drove for over to see Dr. Smith in Long Hill (Dr. Laszlo will not be back for some days yet). He gave her a very thorough examination and said she was “pretty smart for her age” and if she rested up (preferably in bed) for a week she ought to be much better. The use of her hand would gradually come back although for the first week rest was the important thing. After that one of the public health nurses who comes in every day, when required, would help it with massaging. One big thing in Aunt Betty’s favor for a quick recovery is her optimism and cheerful outlook on things which seems to have a direct reaction on the body and helps even more than medicine, according to the latest medical findings. Luckily it was very slight and the doctor said she had a very good chance of complete recovery. She has been in bed all day yesterday and today and just a few minutes ago, when I talked to her, she seemed already to be much brighter and feeling better. The doctor will drop in tomorrow sometime to see her and I will then ask him if she ought to have a practical nurse, or if one of the visiting nurses coming in every day is enough, I come home noontime and am getting lunch for Aunt Betty and myself.

Grandma, Burton and an old friend of Dorothy is – – Martha Gresham – – came up to dinner today. In view of Dorothy’s not feeling so well herself it seemed better for her not to have to worry about taking care of Aunt Betty, so she has gone back to New Rochelle with the rest today.

I’ll post the rest of this letter tomorrow.

On Friday, a longer post but the entire letter.

Judy Guion