Trumbull – Dear Silent Ones – November, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., November 30, 1941

Dear Silent Ones:

           Grandma Peabody

Ten o’clock in the evening is the time. Lad (driving), Dan, Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), Aunt Betty and myself left here about 1 o’clock with our movie equipment and motored, I believe that is the word, to Mt. Joy Place, New Rochelle, there to partake of a very nice meal. It was the first real Sunday dinner I had not cooked myself for months, and I did enjoy it. Later, (Aunt) Dorothy, Burton (Peabody) and Grandma (Peabody) came over. Dan showed his stills first and then Lad followed with the movies. I tried to find out from Grandma what Anne’s plans were for Christmas but she had not heard from Anne for some time and could give me no information on that score. Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) was supposed to go along with us today but she called up this morning and said she had a cold and did not feel like going along. Dave had his Young People’s meeting to attend so he did not go along, though I suspect the real reason was his dislike of having to be questioned by Aunt Dorothy as to the progress of his school work.

Dan has about decided to purchase a 1933 Chevrolet coupe which Carl has had for sale since August. I think it is one which he bought from Mr. Powell. I know little about it except that the price is $75. He has decided that he needs some means of getting back and forth from work. Since the shop has become unionized, he has to be at work by seven and quits at three in the afternoon, and as Lad does not have to report for work on his job until 9 AM, and leaves when his work is done, which may be anywhere from 5 to 7, it leaves Dan without timely transportation. He plans to get his markers tomorrow.

The weather continues quite mild. We have yet had no real cold days and not a speck of snow. Some of the trees have still not shed their leaves and we noticed today on the Parkway, that the Dogwood trees still carry leaves that have not entirely changed from green to brown.

I have been a waiting anxiously for a letter from you last week to tell me what the latest news is about your deferment. I hope there will be a letter either from you or Dick in the mail tomorrow.

Again there seems little noteworthy of transmission to you under the general subject of news. After recovering from his attack of flu, Kemper (Peabody)  was informed by the doctor that he had a mild case of diabetes and, while he does not have to take insulin, he does have to diet.

ADG - China - the good set

ADG - China - detail

Ethel (Bushey) presented me with a dinner plate exactly matching that gold bordered set of dishes (the good set) that we inherited from Aunt Mary Powers. She said she was in an antique shop in Mamaroneck and happened to notice this one dish and recognized that it was exactly like our set and she bought it for me. She said it was the only one they had.

Last week, very suddenly, the Times Star folded up. They had been losing money for some months but nobody expected it to discontinue so abruptly. Even the employees did not know anything about it when they came to work that morning. At 10 o’clock orders went around to write a swan song for the addition just going to press and at noon all employees were paid a week’s salary and dismissed. That leaves the Post-Telegram Cock of the Walk although there is a rumor that the Harold is going to put out a daily edition. I hired one of the girls temporarily that had been in their editorial department.


Tomorrow, more on the continuing story of Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson.

Next week I’ll be posting letters from 1943. Each week Grandpa anxiously awaits letters from his four oldest sons, all away from home and working for Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – Post Cards From Aunt Helen (Peabody) Human – November, 1941

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Airport from H. Human

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Airport (message) 1941

This is one of the prettiest airports I’ve seen so far. You can see for yourself, one volcano and there are two more just as imposing. Everyone who comes here loves it and I know the men at this port will be sorry when their work is completed. So far since we left Brownsville we’ve been in Tampico and Mexico City. The plane trip from Mexico City to Guatemala City is the best so far.

Aunt Helen

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Plaza from H. Human - 1941

ADG - Post card of Guatemala Plaza from H. Human (message) 1941

This is an exceptionally beautiful old church and Plaza on a little hill so that in every direction you can get a most wonderful panoramic view of the city. We drove out to Antigua Sunday and saw the ruins of an old cathedral which was built in the 1500s and destroyed by an earthquake in 1773 I believe. What ruins remain are fascinating and beautiful. It was a tremendous thing. You will just have to see it all for yourself some day.


Tomorrow, I’ll finish the week with a letter from Grandpa to his two sons in Alaska.

On Saturday and Sun day more on the lives of Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson..

Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1943,Lad’s interest in Marian Irwin seems to be heating up and vice versa..

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Awayoffs (2) – Thanksgiving – November, 1941

Page 2 of 11/15/41

Biss - with Butch and family - 1940          Dan, this morning, about finished up getting up the storm windows. This, with the insulation and furnace ought to keep us comfortable this winter. We still have had no cold weather.


DPG - with Zeke holding Butch

Between Lad and Dave at the office we have now put the old automatic feed in condition and are turning out Wheeler labels in fairly good shape. Lately we have been busy with mimeograph work on architect’s specifications, 50 to 100 pages, each run off from 40 to 50 stencils.

There is some talk about the Remington-Rand dry shaver building a factory in Trumbull in that big empty field opposite Rakowski’s store, running from the railroad by Iron Ledge back to the rear of Noyes house, provided the Zoning Board will grant the necessary permission.

I took some more chances for you, Ced, on a 1942 Nash to be raffled off last night but as I did not receive a phone call by midnight telling me you were the lucky man, I guess we’ll kiss that goodbye also.

Next Thursday is supposed to be our Thanksgiving this year. I have already ordered a turkey from Kurtz’s and have invited Biss and her family over to dinner. Elsie writes it is very questionable as to whether she will be able to get up on that day and Sylvia will also be working, so I guess we won’t have to put a couple of extra leaves in the table as we have on some occasions in the past. There is one thing you can be sure of and that is that we will be thinking very much of you two boys and wishing you were home with us.

My car is not running as well as I would like it to at present. When I slow down in high and step on the gas it has a tendency to buck, and this morning I found most of my antifreeze had leaked out. Carl had put in new hose connections and I guess they were not tight. Otherwise we’re doing pretty well.

As you may surmise from the rambling tone of the foregoing, there is again not much news of interest, but I am writing it anyway for what interest it may have, as I know from experience how disappointing it is to look, week after week, for the expected letter and not have it materialize. This has been the case here for the past two weeks but I am hoping the spell will be broken on the morrow when I twist the dial on P.O. Box 7.

Aunt Betty has asked me to send her love to both of you. As far as the writer is concerned, you probably know what to expect along this line from your    DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting two post cards from Helen (Peabody) Human from Guatemala and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his two boys in Alaska.

Saturday and Sunday I’ll continue the story of Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson..

Next week, I’ll be posting letters from 1943 when four out of five of Grandpa’s sons are dealing with Uncle Sam..

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Awayoffs (1) – A Trip to New Rochelle – November, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 15, 1941

Dear Awayoffs:

Not five minutes ago (it is now a few minutes after nine) we arrived home from a visit to New Rochelle, (New York). Dan had not seen any of the New Rochelle folks since he arrived home, so he decided that as the weather was good, we could, today, make the journey. Lad had been invited to Long Island for dinner, so after our own meal had been consumed, Dan picked up Barbara and then Zeke, Biss and the two kids and off we started, Dan, Barbara, and Aunt Betty in the front seat, Biss, Zeke and myself and the two kids in the back. Almost the entire length of the Hutchinson River Parkway below Portchester is torn up as they are widening it on both sides. Coming back they allow no northbound traffic until Portchester, so we followed the Old Post Road as far as that city.

Helen Human, Anne Stanley, Dorothy Peabody

          Our first stop was Kemper’s. We found that Kemp (Peabody) had been confined to his home the last week with the flu but was intending to go back to work for a short time tomorrow. Later, Burton (Peabody) arrived with Grandma (Peabody) and Aunt Dorothy (Peabody), and after a light tea and conversation of the same tint, we started back home. Dave did not go along with us as he had his Young People’s meeting to attend. We learned that Helen (Peabody Human, Mrs. Ted Human) had left Brownsville (Texas) and gone to Mexico City and had just left there in turn for a plane trip to Guatemala City. Larry (Peabody) and (his wife) Marion are in their new home but are having water trouble and will have to put in a driven well in case they are unable to get city water. Doesn’t that bring back recollections?

This morning about 8:30, I took Aunt Betty over to see Dr. Smith as the nurse thought it wise for her to have a check-up. The doctor said he thought she had made a remarkable recovery. He gave her a tonic to pep her up a bit and improve her appetite.

The C.I.O. has gotten into Producto and it is now a union shop. The wage rate has been raised but working hours reduced so that the boys do not earn any more but do work less hours. Lad thinks he may soon be transferred to a salary basis and given charge of their shipping department. He has just been transferred there from his old job and is being groomed for the new work as the man in charge at present has been ordered by his doctor to take a long rest. Dan has still heard nothing more about his draft status, either from Alaska or Conn., so he is working with the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head. If you don’t know what that is, ask Dick, as he seems to be more or less of a specialist in ancient Greek folk lore.

The ambulance drive went well over the top and they are now about to purchase a fine new gray Cadillac ambulance with all the latest equipment, such as red lights, sirens, stretchers, etc.

“The Good Times” – 1939
Arnold Gibson (Gibby), Charlie Kurtz and Carl Wayne
The Red Horse Station

This is Carl’s last day at the Socony station (at Kurtz’s store). He was moving his stuff today over to the new place and tomorrow Eb Joy takes over. He came in the office the other day and together we doped out a letter to go out to Trumbull folk urging them to buy Socony products.

Helen Burnham is up visiting Peggy. The boys went over to see her last night. Rufus, Louise and David are in Fort Pierce, Fla., where Rufus is managing an apartment house and writing magazine articles on the side. Helen is teaching in a girls school in Massachusetts. Eleanor is at college somewhere and Brad is going to Yale.

Tomorrow I’ll post the second half of this letter to Ced and Dick, the only Guion’s away from home at this point. Both Lad (from Venezuela) and Dan (from Alaska) have returned to Trumbull. On Thursday, two post cards from Aunt Helen (Peabody) Human. On Friday, one more letter from Grandpa to wrap up November.

Judy Guion      

Trumbull – To Section 2 of the Guion Family, Far North Division, Greetings – November 9, 1941

Alfred Duryee Guion (my Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn.,   Nov. 9, 1941

To section 2 of

the Guion Family,

Far North Division,


The shadows lengthen, the evening comes, a busy day’s work is over and the time is now for my weekly chat with my two absent boys.

This week there is little to relate. The weather has been mild – – no cold spells as yet, somewhat rainy, grass still green, leaves mostly brown.

The new gas station being built just this side of Sperling’s is about finished and I suppose Carl takes over in a few days, as they have offered him a much better proposition selling Atlantic gas and oil. I don’t know whether Socony has obtained anyone yet to take over Kurtz’s station. I have told Karl I will patronize his new station for the present. I have never believed Socony gas to be exceptionally good anyway, in which opinion Lad concurs. He says he has been mixing special with regular and finds it gives him better results than straight special. I should think using aviation gas all the time, as I understand you do, would not be too good for your engine.

Monty is back from the hospital and is apparently feeling O.K. after his operation. I have not seen any of them since, but Aunt Betty tells me they all came over to visit her one afternoon during the week and the three boys, Barbara and Babe went over there Thursday night. Last night, at the Klein Memorial, where Fredric March, Alan Reed and Florence Eldridge starred in “Hope For A Harvest”, Dan and Barbara, Lad and Babe, Dave and Evy Hughes splurged on $2.50 orchestra seats and enjoyed it much.

The ambulance drive went over the top in good shape. Several hundred dollars over the 3000 mark assured the town of a good ambulance.

I invited Sylvia up here for Thanksgiving but she says she has to work at the British Consulate that day and at Christmas she is going over to Long Island to take charge of her former wards, so I guess it will be Aunt Betty and Elsie, as usual.

McLevy has again been reelected mayor for two more years. Bridgeport continues to beem and in spite of numerous parking meters, the traffic problem, particularly at closing time, is acute.

Today Dave went to Church and sang in the choir, Lad worked on the heater in his car and Dan took down screens and put up some storm windows. I got dinner and for the first time tried your lemon meringue pie, with the boiling flour. It was my first attempt at a pie and while I would not call it an unqualified success as far as the meringue top went, it was good enough so most of them had two helpings and there is only one small section left.

I doubt if you will find this letter of much interest but there seems to be a dead space in the news and no letters from you to reply to. Aunt Betty sends love and is coming along nicely. Hoping you are the same, love from your old


The rest of the week will include two letters from Grandpa and two post cards from Helen (Peabody) Human.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll be posting more on the romance between Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson..

Next week, we’ll move forward to 1943, to a time when all five sons are involved in war work for Uncle Sam and Lad’s interests seem to be focused on Marian Irwin.

If you are enjoying this “slice of Life” from the 1940s, why not share this blog with a friend or two, who also might enjoy this look into the past.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Isolationists (3) – Local Bits and Pieces – October, 1941

DPG - Dick on Island

Page 3    10/26/41

Thanks, very much, for the money order, including the $15 for the movie camera. You did very well on this, and I appreciate it. You ought to have deducted commission and cost of ad.

To Richard the Dick:

Well, boy, that was a real letter and very much enjoyed by one and all. The old Ricardian humor does not seem to have frozen any in your northern home, but bubbles out as quaintly as ever. The story of your Grecian friend was my gracious has earned a place among the great explanations of the age.

Congratulations on the visible evidence of work satisfactorily done and advancement achieved without pull. Your sentiments do you honor and show the existence of the true Guion spirit. First thing you know, Lewis and his C.I.O. will be getting after you to join the union.

Glad you won the new suit so easily. Now that you are having Sundays off you will have a chance to wear it to Sunday school. I suppose if Ced is adopted by Uncle Sam, and you get feeling lonesome, you will get my gracious, forgo further $135’s and head for sunny California or possibly little old Trumbull. In the latter event we shall certainly be glad to see you again and I don’t doubt it will take David long to figure out a schedule on dishwashing activities that will make you feel right at home.

We haven’t started the furnace yet, but today’s temperature in the house is a quite definite reminder that something ought to be done about this soon.

Little Marty was operated on Tuesday for his hernia which lately seemed to be getting worse instead of healing itself is the doctor thought might happen. I have not heard today but the last news was that he was progressing nicely.

I wish you were both home again. It seems so good to have Dan and Lad back. We’d just burst out in full bloom if you and Ced returned to the fold.

Paul (Warden) went to the Yale-Army game last week and to the Dartmouth-Yale game yesterday. Red and Dave went to the Bassick game yesterday at Schwartz field.

And that’s about all I can think of at this writing. Send us another of your interesting letters soon. Adios.


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

This weekend, I’ll continue the story of Mary E. Wilsn.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Isolationists (2) – Conscientious Objector – October, 1941

This is the second page of a three-pager from Grandpa to Ced and Dick. This page addresses Ced’s position as a Conscientious Objector and explains Grandpa’s viewpoint.

Ced - 1938

Page 2  10/26/41

Now to comment on your letters. That questionnaire idea did not work out so badly at all. I got several bits of information I would not have received any other way. Dan was duly appreciative of the way you filled out his copy for him. He blamed it on you, Ced, so if Dick had any part in it, he had better own up.

The one main objection I can see to your taking exception to the regular draft procedure is that in a country as big as this, they have to adopt certain rules and regulations that are applicable to the majority. They can’t make exceptions for every gradation of feeling and circumstance without endless delay and bother. In consequence you have to be classed in with a lot of religious nuts and queer ones and are tarred with the same brush. The government had made provision for these odd ones, I understand, by providing some sort of occupation which will remove their religious scruples, and I imagine they will not receive the benefits and advantages and opportunities for advancement in grade, pay and knowledge that are given to the others. While you don’t belong in this class, such as you, for want of a separate classification, have to be herded with this group. I should say that if your making this personal sacrifice would accomplish your object, it might be justified, but I am afraid the practical effect will be merely to deprive yourself of opportunities that would enable you more truly to accomplish your purpose by classifying you with a lot of religious fanatics. You are old enough to make up your own mind, and one cannot help admire you for the courage of your convictions, but if your appeal is turned down, I should think the best course, without surrendering one least portion of your ideals, would be to go along in the regimentation which seems necessary in times like these, go through with the job, giving and getting out of it the best, and thus be in a far better position to speak with authority afterward from personal knowledge. We actually are in an undeclared war and governments in such cases do not find it expedient to cater to the wishes of the individual. It seems to me to be pretty well proven that Hitler’s ideology is in direct opposition to all the ideals we believe in and things have gone so far now that nothing but force of the rudest kind can stop him. In that sense, you would be fighting for the ideals you believe in even though it might not mean actual physical invasion of U.S. soil. The very fact that so many men believe war so deplorable is just what has given Hitler his big advantage and enabled him to enslave race after race with many young men among them that think just the same as you do. Such thinking has availed nothing to Norwegians, Dutch, Belgians or French. You can’t argue with a cancer on moral grounds. You have to cut it out painfully and with necessary loss of blood. Of course we would rather not have it grow in the first place, but merely sitting passively by and letting it develop and spread because we don’t believe in operations, seems hardly the best road to recovery. The sooner the world goes all out on the operating table and cuts out it’s malignant growth, the sooner plans such as Streit’s will have an opportunity to function. At least, that’s the way I see it and I don’t like to see you make a needless sacrifice for an ideal that, under the present circumstances, has so little chance of succeeding. Just the same, I honor you for your convictions. I’m proud of you even if I don’t see eye to eye.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the last page of this letter filled with bits and pieces of local news.

Thursday and Friday will be another two-page letter from Grandpa to Alaska.

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

Judy Guion