Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (5) – A Note to Paulette – October 21, 1945

The final chapter in this quite lengthy letter from Grandpa to his family members who are away from home this week.

Dear Paulette: I am going to answer Dan’s letter through you, thinking perhaps if I send a copy to you it might happen to get through before the one I am also mailing to Dan’s Army address. (When you get through reading and understanding “American” sentences like the above, you can feel confident of writing me in English without hesitancy). Of course I and all the rest of us here are more disappointed than you know at not seeing you and Dan (and the baby) as soon as we expected, but these things do happen time and again during a person’s lifetime the only wise thing to do is to accept them philosophically, after you have done everything humanly possible to remedy them, and look forward to a happier day, and that is the attitude which apparently both of you have sensibly adopted and that shall also be mine. However I am as disappointed really as I could be in for two cents I’d turn my business over to Dave, hop a liner to France and visit you “somewhere in Europe”, possibly even kidnapping you and little Daniel, leaving old man Daniel to keep house for himself while you get acquainted with Connecticut. Maybe I won’t have to resort to such extreme measures but this might be taken as a warning, at that. The things you wanted on Dan’s list, as he has probably told you, were all sent in boxes addressed to Dan’s Army address. In one of the boxes was the wool for knitting babies things. I hope they reach you soon. The next things we send I am going to addressed to you at Calais, to see if they don’t make better time that way. Tell Dan that in one of these boxes also was the winter addition of Sears Roebuck catalog (and it isn’t Montgomery Ward) Dan asks for photographs of the family see you can see what a handsome bunch of people we are. I wish you could see one of Ced in Alaska dressed in trappers costume, sporting a full beard, which we have on a slide. Dan says he would also like a picture of his mother. The best one I have of her is one taken in Larchmont Gardens, a family group, showing all the children when they were little (except Dave who had not yet made his entrance). This I will also send in the next box that goes to you, and I shall also see what I can do about getting photos of the others. For several years past they have all been so scattered around the globe that it is rather difficult to locate any that are “tame”. Tell Dan I was glad to get the snapshot. He looks a bit thinner than he was when he left, as well as a bit more serious, due undoubtedly to his efforts to make arrangements for your homecoming, etc. His job does sound very good and, outside of its keeping you both away, I am quite pleased he was able to land it. In fact, if it is what he expects, I could almost get enthusiastic. Of course I’m sure everything is going to come out happily but it’s the waiting for it that is the hardest. Another thing, it is very seldom that Dan ever answers questions that I ask. I do want both you and Dan to give me quite a full answer to the questions asked of the lake cottage proposition, as I know you both (all) will get a lot of enjoyment out of this place in the years to come. His views will be particularly interesting and I would surely want to have them to consider along with others before anything definite was decided.

Before very long I should like to send to you and the family a box containing a few things to make your Christmas season a bit happier, and I would appreciate it, daughter dear, if you would write down a few things that perhaps you cannot obtain readily yet in France, that you would like to have. I would like so much to do this but it would please me much more if I knew what I was sending was exactly what you would like most. And don’t forget something for Father Senechal (Paulette’s step-father Maurice Senechal, a pharmacist), for whom I have a warm place in my heart, every time I think of that friendly letter he sent me. My best regards also to your mother, brothers and sisters, not neglecting to keep a great big share for yourself.

I will be so happy when I get my first letter in English from you. I am sorry I cannot write in French to lead the way, but you know the saying about teaching an old dog new tricks, particularly when the old dog is too busy making a living to take time off to learn any new tricks. Dan says you are pretty good at English, so here’s hoping, whether you write or not, Paulette, my dear, we love you just the same.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more pictures of the Trumbull House and The End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (3) – More Business News – October 21, 1945

This long letter continues.

DPG - Dave in uniform nexct to barn - Dec., 1944 cropped - head and shoulders)

David Peabody Guion

Now coming to Dave’s letter received this week (dated Oct. 8th) from Manila, he mentions how slow they seem to be sending boys home, even one with as high as 81 points. He asks if things at the office have improved any. Can you get help? Are orders increasing? What are the chances of getting new machinery?

Now, of course, I could take up the rest of the evening and my available supply of paper answering in detail all of these questions but then I would not have a chance to tell you the interesting news about Dan and the disappointment that goes along with it. However we’ll try to hit a few of the high spots on the business angle.

For the last three or four years, I have not made a single sales call. Every customer I have has either continued from old times, been recommended by some other customer or has seen our ad in the city directory or phone book. And if I may be a bit crude, this is a hell of a way to run a business. It does hold out rosy promise however, for the time when there is a young guy in, who, with the enthusiasm of youth, up-and-at-‘em spirit, will go out and do some aggressive sales work, for without any adequate sales effort or direct mail advertising, we can hold a backlog of business, it will stand us in mighty good stead when we start up a real fire. From a financial standpoint I have learned a very significant thing. We are better off on a profit and loss basis than we have been for 10 years and this, in spite of curtailed business, shortage of supplies, high taxes and inadequate help, which we have had to struggle during the past four years (and are still struggling for that matter). It is almost solely because the only laborers wages I have had to pay have been exclusively for work performed. No salaries, which quickly eat up profits in non-productive hours during the day. If you could find some worker who would be willing to work steadily from opening time in the morning to quitting time at night, and had orders flowing in regularly to correspond, then the income from sales would be sufficient to pay salaries and leave a margin of profit, but for the six or eight years when I had salaried help and a bigger volume of business than we have now, we always ended the year in the red. That, Dave, my boy, is one of the management problems that will be dumped in your lap when you take over. As for the help situation, the green, irresistible, unreliable, inexperienced people that will come in and work for a high salary would soon make for bankruptcy, so I am forced to hire mere children with no sense of responsibility, no business sense, no idea of dependability or sense to know how they can tie things up when they failed to show up after saying they will come in at a certain time to do a certain job, high school kids or even grammar school children, letting them do the routine while I devote my time to operations that require even the most elementary brain work. It’s exasperating and if I would let it be, nerve-racking and I would very much like to take a vacation from it all for a spell, but we hold the fort awaiting the arrival of the new commander in chief, and in the meantime we are not doing so bad. As for machinery, we are keeping the old stuff going and getting fairly good results by patching and replacing and repairing, but I am looking forward to the day when the surplus property release some of the equipment the Army has taken off the market for the last few years at which a service man, theoretically at least, would have a far better opportunity of obtaining than a mere civilian. Months ago I asked for a list of this equipment that might be available but in true government fashion, I got a letter referring me to someone else and promising the information, not a bit of which has yet materialized. Among the items I have tentatively put on this Wanted List are: a new power mimeograph, possibly a multility, new multigraph, possibly a varityper, a new variscope (or similar), a paper cutter, keyboard graphotype, etc. (I realize all this is very uninteresting to any but Dave and perhaps not too much for him, but I’m over it now). Dave’s letter goes on to tell about a symphony orchestra but I guess I’d better skip this and go on to the French Dept.

News From Dan tomorrow and I’ll end the letter on Friday with a note from Grandpa to Paulette.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave, Dear Dan and Paulette, Dear Ced (1) – Thoughts About Cars – October 21, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., October 21, 1945

Dear Dave

Dear Dan and Paulette

Dear Ced:

The above are the extent of my “foreign correspondence” this week in view of the fact that Lad came home again last night – – or rather Friday night – – on another six-day furlough and of course Dick’s furlough is not yet up, and as Marian and Jean are still living with their respective husbands and neither has yet “gone home to mother”, my world has considerably shrunk and is now rounded merely by Manila, Alaska and France. Further, the order of the names salutated (how’s that for a $64 word?) above is determined by the dates when respective letters were received during the week, except for the last-named, who still is suffering from paralysis of the typewriting finger. So, in an orderly way, let’s take them as they come.

Dear Dave:

First, let’s go back to yours of September 12th which I previously did little more than acknowledge. Events, however, move so swiftly that it takes only a few weeks to make a letter quite obsolete. For instance, your step-by-step instructions as to how Lad is to find your Manila office will probably not be needed, for although he has not yet been discharged, the chances are pretty good he will not be sent to the Pacific theater. Actually, he knows no more about the Army’s plans for him then you do. So, we just quit guessing and hope.

Next, and I quote: “I’ll tell you one of the D.P.Guion  postwar plans, submitted here for your approval. I am sending home $50 per month, but I won’t have enough to buy a car when I get home – – even if I wanted to spend my money on getting one. So I thought that I might take your car off your hands, use it during the day for business and at night for – – well, use it at night. You don’t like to drive, so I would do the driving and pay for the entire upkeep on it – – tires, gas, repairs, grease jobs, etc. what do you think?”

Well, here’s what I think. You are submitting the idea for my “approval”. Sort of a one-way street, isn’t it? If I don’t approve it isn’t submitted, I take it. In passing, I might remark, Dick has been flirting with the same idea. For instance, the other night he asked me how much I would sell the car for. The Buick people told Lad the other day that it would be approximately two years before the buyers they now had on their books could be supplied with cars (and that was before the strike). If we use the car for business for a while, which I think we will, the company stands the running costs, as part of the legitimate cost of doing business, and if the boss takes an occasional day off along the line of your previous suggestion, to make up for the 10 or so years he has kept his un-pretty nose close to the w.k. grindstone without vacations, he might want to use said car to go to the island for weekends, visiting friends or relatives, etc. In fact, looking ahead to just such a situation as seems to be developing, I, some years ago, at the time that fabulous prices were being offered for used cars for sale to Western war workers (and the used car market is still very good) decided that instead of selling Dan’s old Chevy, I would have Steve fix it up, knowing you boys would want some sort of transportation when you got home and that not a thing would be available except Dad’s car. That is what Dick is using now, and while it is nothing to get enthusiastic about, it runs and is a lot better than nothing. So, I think I shall retain title to the Buick for a while. Incidentally, it has just come home from the A.L. Clarke place (they now occupy the old Packard place on Fairfield Avenue., Ced, which you will doubtless recall) with a new clutch, tailpipe, etc. – – $50 worth of tinkering – – and with a few other things that Lad says can be done by himself or at the gas station, it will come pretty near being as good as new except for dented mud guards, etc. It is getting a real tri-out now, however, as Saturday morning early, Dick and Jean, Marian and Lad and Audrey pointed its nose toward Lake Winnipesaukee and right now, at 7:15 Sunday night, they have not yet returned. The autumn foliage right now is at its best, we are having a spell of Indian summer weather, and altogether it ought to be a very enjoyable trip for them all.

For the rest of the week, I’ll be posting additional sections of this very long letter.We’ll cover news from two of Grandpa’s sons who are away from home right now.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear XXX (supply your own name here) – Lad and Dick Getting Things Done – October 14, 1945

This week I will be posting two letters from Grandpa containing all sorts of family news.

Trumbull, Conn., October 14, 1945

Dear XXX (supply your own name here)

APG - Lad and Marian in kitchen @ 1945

Lad and Marian Guion, 1945

My thoughts this Sunday are errant ones, or to speak brutally, I am scatter-brained tonight and it’s too bad, too, because I must rely on myself and cannot resort to quotes to make the letter appear interesting. So here goes and if my topics appear like the nimble mountain goat that it jumpeth from crag to crag, just put it down to the turmoil of thought incident to the rapid coming and going of soldier boys, here today and gone tomorrow. Lad, for instance, who leaves Wednesday night for Devens (Ft. Devens in Massachusetts), driven thereto by Marian (physically, not mentally), presumably for transshipment to Aberdeen, (Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland, where he started his training over three years ago) following a 15-day extension of his original 30-day furlough. Marian returns alone, which translated in Guionese means that he has actually departed for Aberdeen. But lo, and behold, as his train passes Bridgeport, off he hops for another visit home, because Army orders read he does not need to report definitely to Aberdeen until tomorrow. So off he goes again this afternoon, to return – – – (write your own ticket.)

Alfred Duryee Guion

   Jean (Mortensen) Guion and Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion

Meantime, we’re getting used to seeing Dick around again, and between Lad and Dick, there are a number of things around the house here that are getting done on rapid order, that have been vying for “doing” for some years. The furnace Stoker  regulated, the oven control on the kitchen (electric) stove fixed, the north slide on the kitchen table fixed, arm on the small maple chair in the alcove (the latter two by Dick), and in course of building a moth proof closet in the attic (also I Dick). Lad has also done a number of other mechanical repair jobs and both boys have helped sawing and chopping wood, etc. By the way, did I tell you that, in a small size windstorm the other day, another great branch or section of the north side of the Maple tree in the back of the house, split off about opposite where the other part fell off on the apartment roof, which leaves this particular tree, which I always admired for its symmetrical shape, looking rather anemic. But to ramble on, I’ve just had my car fixed up with new clutch, body bolts tightened, new muffler pipe, shock absorbers refilled, rubber bumper block installed, etc., so that it runs better than it has lately. How’s your Buick, Ced? I haven’t heard you say lately; in fact, I haven’t heard much from you about anything. Careful now, or I’ll begin to get up pressure again and explode right in P.O. Box 822, (and a few days after following usual custom, get a most contrite letter from you acknowledging that you should have written before, etc.). It’s about time also I heard again for Parisian Dan. Dave writes pretty regularly although I didn’t hear from him last week.

Jumping  now to the island proposition, which is the next thing that pops into my wondering mind, I am eagerly awaiting comments on the numerous questions I raised in my last letter and your several suggestions on the whole business. I know Lad and Marian have something in the works and Dick and Jean have something in contemplation. Elizabeth has not referred to the matter on the one or two occasions I have been in touch with her since, so I don’t know how enthusiastic she is about the thing. What do you think of the idea of planting, at some suitable spots on the island, a cherry tree, maybe some nut trees, fruit trees (apple, peach, pear, plum) possibly some grapevines, and how about an asparagus patch?

?????????????????

Aunt Betty Duryee

It was Aunt Betty’s birthday Thursday, and as that was our regular day for visiting Elizabeth, Dick and Jean also came over (Lad and Marian were enroute to Devens) we celebrated over there. And speaking of birthdays, one is coming up pretty soon for Dan. And in that connection, Dan, I neglected to mention in my last letter that a week ago Tuesday, I did receive your birth certificate from Mount Vernon with its assurance that you actually had been born, and this was sent on the same day to the government office requesting it at Philadelphia.

page 2    10/14/45

I hope it speeds you both on your way back to the good old U.S.A. in fact, it would be the occasion of quite a celebration if we could commemorate your birthday by having you here in person. By the way, the old Chevy, which has been down in Steve’s Kascak’s Garage) derelict car graveyard for so long, has now been retrieved and after an hour and a half of waiting and red tape, I was able to get it registered again in Dan’s name and now Dick and Jean have a car (?) to run around in. Rumor has it that a week from next Saturday, they plan to take a trip up to the island and give it the once over. And while I’m still talking to Dan, I might mention that the Railway express, I believe, has announced the resumption of air express service to France, so that we may be able to send the things for the Rabet’s (The family that has allowed Paulette to stay there while Dan was working in the area)  by air as soon as all finally arrive from Sears, Roebuck; that is, of course, if I hear from you promptly instructing me to send them by this channel rather than the regular overseas box method to you. It will, of course, be more expensive but quicker. Another thing I am hoping to hear from you about by tomorrow, which is supposed to be the last day Christmas packages can be sent to boys overseas, is what your latest plans are, if any, for a return here by that time, so we can know what to do regarding gifts for you and Paulette. And please, be so kind and considerate as to send us a list of things both of you would like to have us send you from the states for Christmas gifts. Then I should like to have Paulette begin to think about a suitable wedding gift from Dad. Marian’s and Lad’s (he’s of course delighted with it) is a Singer sewing machine; Jean and Dick may also decide on the sewing machine but they want first to settle their future plans more definitely before deciding. I should prefer, naturally, to have it some sort of gift that will last a long time, that no one else would be apt to give, the cost to be at least $100. Give it some thought, Paulette, my dear, and don’t be too bashful about expressing your thoughts.

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

Now turning to Dave. That was quite a little blow out they had back in your old camping place, wasn’t it? I was certainly glad you were in Manila. In the Readers Digest for last May, which I just got around to reading the other day, I ran across the enclosed article on “Stop, Look and Listen! Before Starting Your Own Business”, and I agree so whole-heartedly with everything he says in it that I am sending it on to you for careful consideration.

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Cedric Duryee Guion

   Ced, me heartie, I received through the mail this week a book by Thurber from Alaska, which looks to me like very good bedtime reading and I assume it comes from my tall Alaskan lad. As mentioned previously, I am waiting to hear from you that I am right in this, as well as to be brought up to date on your airplane news, your doings in general, ski club, Rusty Huerlin), Buick, airways news, future plans, etc., and later when you have time, your complete reaction on the island affair.

And that’s about all I can think of at present outside of the fact that Barbara Lee Rubsamen’s engagement is announced in the paper today. The man’s name is S. C. Whiteside, Jr., of Old Greenwich, Conn.

So, the 16th of October passes into the great past and we look forward to the atomic future (and Dan’s birthday), with I hope, some new and interesting news next writing from your reporter, who subscribes himself as

Your loving          DAD

For the rest of the week, I will post another long (5-page) letter from Grandpa to his scattered family. 

Judy Guion

The End of an Era (16) – Then and Now – Livingroom – 1922 – 2021

Here are some more pictures taken in the livingroom in 1947 and 2018.

APG - 1947 Christmas - Judy and Doug after Dinner

This is a picture of my twin brother and me sitting in front of the corner cabinet in the livingroom at Christmas Dinner.

Trumbull House - 2018 - Corner cabinet in Living Room

This is the same corner cabinet in 2018.

APG - 1947 Christmas - Dan and Grandpa

This is the fireplace in 1947, decorated for Christmas. Clock-wise from left: Dan, Ced, Zeke, Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Marian (Irwin) Guion and Grandpa.

ADG - China - the good set

This is the  plate of the China set on the table.

Trumbull House - Living Room fireplace - 1957

The same fireplace in 2018.

APG - 1947 Christmas - Aunt Chiche with Cedric

Shifting the camera angle slightly to the left, we can now see Paulette (Van Laere) Guion holding her second child, Cedric Van Laere, Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) Human, Elizabeth, Aunt Dorothy Peabody partially hidden by Elizabeth, Dave (partially hidden) his wife, Eleanor (Kintop) Guion, Raymond Zabel Jr. (Butch), his younger brother Martin Zabel (Marty), Ced again and Dan’s back. Lad is taking the picture. The door in the upper right leads in to the kitchen. 

Trumbull House - 2018 - Gradma Arla's Secretary

This is Grandma Arla’s Secretary in 2018, placed all the way to the left corner in the picture above. To the left, through the window, is the enclosed (formerly screened) porch.

Next weekend, I will be posting more pictures of the interior of the Trumbull House. Tomorrow I will begin a week of letters written in 1945.

Judy Guion

The End of an Era (15) – Then and Now – Livingroom – 1922 – 2021

I have been posting many pictures of the outside of the Trumbull House. I am now going to start posting pictures of the inside. 

ADG - Grandpa with Smokey in yard - near Thanksgiving, 1945

The window to Grandpa’s left, covered with wines, was converted to a door about 1950. 

Trumbull House - 2018 - Lilac Bush near Grandpa's Apartment Door

This is a similar view of the house in 2018. If you entered the house through this door, you would enter the livingroom.

ADG - Trumbull House Thanksgiving - 1945 (2)

This is another view of the window at Thanksgiving, 1945. L to R – Aunt Betty Duryee, (Grandpa’s Aunt), Lad, Marian (Irwin Guion), Grandpa, and Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Dick.

ADG - Trumbull House Thanksgiving, 1945 (1)

This picture appears to have been taken after dinner. Zeke (married to Elizabeth) has his back to us, over his right shoulder is Ced, who made it home for Thanksgiving that year, Grandpa, Aunt Elsie Guion, Grandpa’s sister, and Lad.

Trumbull House - Living Room Door - Christmas, 1947

This is a view of the window, before the conversion, probably taken at Thanksgiving, 1947. Marian is probably feeding my twin brother and me before the main meal. We would have been 17 months old at the time.

This is a picture of the door taken by me in 2018.

Tomorrow, I will post more pictures of the Livingroom, Then and Now.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (4) – A Poem About Stocking Stuffer Gifts – December 25, 1944

Grandpa got quite creative this year while filling Christmas Stockings. Each person got a joke gift to go along with this poem he composed.

ADG - Poem About Christmas Stocking Gifts - Dec. 1944

Aunt Betty, once known as “Aunt Lizzie”

Keeps warm through the day while she’s busy

But at night, as a treat

And to warm her cold feet

Here’s some coal, which will make her toes frizzie.

*****

Here’s Elsie from New York’s great shop

She daily is kept “on the hop”

But without paper or string

She can’t do a thing

Take this, so your business won’t flop.

*****

Here’s our prize from the far Golden West

California has sent us her best

Though out there, as you know,

They don’t have much snow

So right here she ends her long quest.

*****

Now Jean is the star girl from Hubble

She’s afraid she’ll get round like a bubble

So a mirror will show

As you girls too will know

When her chin shows up signs of its double.

*****

And there is Dave, our young soldier from Crowder

Whose memory for hats takes a powder

Here’s a string for your thumb

To remind you, by gum

That your memory should be getting stouter.

*****

Little Biss is as lean as a poll

One would think she had been on the dole

So to her goes some fat

With the fond hope that that

Will make her get round like a roll.

*****

There was a young fellow named ZEKE

Who keeps Singer’s production at peak

He can turn out a screw

That is equaled by few

He does a month’s work in a week.

*****

Key to Christmas Jokes in stockings: Aunt Betty – piece of coal; Elsie – a paper bag, Marian – artificial snow; Jean – pocket mirror; Dave – piece of string; Biss – piece of suet; Zeke – old coupling.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will continue with more about The End of an Era. Judy Guion

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (3) – Christmas Day – December 17, 1944

ADG - Grandpa about 1945 or 1946 near a tree in winter

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Page 3    12/25/44

Now the Christmas is all over. What a Christmas! Marian and Jean have spent hours and hours preparing the presents and decorations and tree. The presents were done up each with a different color wrapping and the name of the recipient spelled out with gummed letters, some in a single color, others with each letter a different color, with  ribbon ends all curled up or gummed strips of colored paper gaily decorating the box and gummed stars appearing scattered over the box. Under a beautifully shaped tree, with the usual lights and not too many trimmings, the whole ensemble made a striking appearance when the rather small clan gathered. Of course we spoke of each of you and recalled many instances which took place at former Christmases. Now our stomachs are very full and we are not very ambitious to do anything – you know how we feel!

Hello there, fellows! It is nice to know that even tho’ you are scattered practically over God’s green earth, with the help of the well-known  A.P.O. and the Alaskan Airways, we are able to send to you a small part of our Christmas celebration. Purely a vicarious participation on your part, but you know darn well that we were thinking of every one of you all day long, and wishing, of course, that you could have been with us. But just watch us make up for lost time when all of you do get home! In the meantime, rest assured that Santa hasn’t forgotten how to maneuver the intricate Guion chimney, and managed to leave more than a goodly share of gifts for every one of us. And in his usual discerning fashion he managed to leave “just exactly what I wanted!” Of course, the very obvious lists of “what I want Santa to bring me”, which have been lying around in very conspicuous spots for the last three weeks might have had something to do with his selection, but we won’t let him know that we suspect anything quite so obvious as that. The weatherman, naturally, had to be a little contrary. He very grudgingly gave us a White Christmas, but due to the fact that is been raining since very early this morning, the white part looks slightly moth-eaten. But who are we to complain! Besides it’s a darn sight more snow than we have ever had in California! (You might know that I would have to bring that in somehow – – – the California part, I mean). Nevertheless, we have no complaints to offer at all – – it really was a very wonderful Christmas (except for that very definite defect which I mentioned earlier in this paragraph but which we are trying our best to ignore! You can see how well we are succeeding!) Anyway, the very best of holiday greetings to each and every one of you (with a special emphasis on Lad’s, of course). Best of luck. We hope to see you soon …. As always, Marian

Above, you have heard from Elsie and Marian. Jean has gone to her Mother’s or we would have her contribution also. Well as you may have surmised it is now Christmas evening and the days hectic doings have been succeeded by comparative quiet. “The tumult and the shouting dies, the captains and the Kings depart. Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice, A humble and a contrite heart”. And I may add, a hopeful heart that next year may see my brood gathered around this here old rooster. Thanks to the daughters-in-law, not only was this Christmas particularly enjoyable (under the circumstances), but in my own case, it was attended with much less stress and rush and responsibility than in many years past, leaving me in a mental frame of mind to enjoy the peace (what there is left of it on earth) that is symbolic of the season. Peace be with you soon, sons.

DAD

Tomorrow, the final segment of this holiday letter featuring a poem written by Grandpa about the small stocking gifts for the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (2) – Christmas Greetings – December 24, 1944

Trumbull House in winter - (cropped) - 1940

Page 2   12/24/44

As usual, Christmas cards have been arriving with their various messages, some of which I shall quote below:

From the Burnham’s – (17 E. 84th St., N.Y.C.) Love to all the Guion’s where ever they are from all the Burnham crew at sea on the Pacific and Mediterranean and Harlem River!

From Brita: (Rusty’s sister) (Bagshaw, Milhouse, Bedford Village, N.Y.) Aren’t you ever up this way? I’d just love to see any of you that could come – – any time. And I’d like to know how each and every one of you are. My love to everyone.

Mrs. Ives: A very Merry Christmas to you. I, too, wish all your boys were home at this time of year.

From Rudolf Noer’s wife: In lieu of a word from Rudolf himself, let me say that his unit was transferred from Italy to France in August and that they are in or near Dijon. He is well but holds out no hopes for being home in the near future, as once I had thought he might be. Best wishes. Anita.

The Chandlers: Are the Guion’s still covering the face of the earth? And are you still covering the Trumbull waterfront? We are still living in hopes of seeing you again. What a host of good memories come with Christmas! We are about the same – – just a year older – – a very little wiser. Please be the connection again between us and your boys and Elizabeth. And I hear that there are more daughters-in-law, and of course they are o.k. Emily and Douglas Chandler. Courage for today. Faith for tomorrow. Happiness always.

Of particular interest to Ced: from Nan and Stan Osborn. Love from all of us to all of you. I am terribly tired and worn out taking care of mother but will feel better in a few days when Connie will be home.

Christmas greetings also from the following: Harold Latour, Mrs. Beebe, Peggy (Sanford), the Mortensen’s, Corinne Flaniken, Gwyneth, Ethel and Carl, Virginia and Roy Rowland, Astrid, Axel and Florence Larson, Helen Plumb, Mildred and Stacy, Mrs. Munson and the Draz’s, Uncle Burton and a note from Dorothy (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s youngest sister) with the news that she expects to take a trip to Los Angeles and is going to try to get up to Trumbull before the first of the year to see us all.

From Elsie M. Guion – Well, here I am again and glad I am to be here at the scene of so many good times and each time the same and each time different – this time again the boys represented by one, Dave. Last year by Ced, and next year?

A young chap came into the Shop the other day and said to me he guessed I didn’t know him but his name was Dan Rowland and he was asking news about Dan Guion. So I told him all I knew about Dan as well as the other boys. He was not in uniform, said he was classified 4-F which he regretted, said he was working in New York in an advertising concern. He sent a Hello to Dan which I said I would relay in this Weekly Letter.

We have just finished a successful Holiday business. For months we had been trying to get some help in the Shop as there was more work in the Shop than the two of us could do, and we were getting desperate when a nice young girl appeared before Mrs. Burlingame one morning and asked where the Shirley Shop was, that they had advertised for help. Mrs. B. told her and said if she didn’t connect with them to come back. In five minutes flat she was back and the next morning she was working for us. Two days later another young girl came in and said she had casually mentioned to her friend that you would like to get a Christmas job and her friend said to come see us, and the next morning she was working with us too. So it worked out fine and they did a swell job for us.

Fkrmck,epx;503kforlcvksdjvd,    This is Susan’s (Susan Warden, the youngest child of the young couple renting the apartment) Merry Christmas to you!

Tomorrow I’ll be posting the happenings of Christmas day and on Friday, a poem written by Grandpa to go along with small stocking gifts.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To My Dear Little Boys (1) – Christmas Preparations – December 24, 1944

MIG - Marian and Jean bringing in Christmas Tree - 1944

Marian (Mrs. Lad) and Jean (Mrs. Dick)

Trumbull, Conn.,  Christmas Eve, 1944

To my dear little boys:

My, what memories this day stirs in the dusty attic of the past! The visions of little Alfred, Dan, Ced, Biss, Dick and even baby Dave, with their eyes big and wide with anticipation, romping in to open the stockings and later, all athrill stealing downstairs to see the glittering tree with its candle light softly shining on the piles of mysterious looking packages and boxes, or that time in the attic, when I rigged up some sort of affair behind the curtain with strings attached to your presents. Marty and Butch were here this afternoon, and for a moment, I recaptured that old time spirit, when, with delighted gurgles and shouts, they hung up their stockings in anticipation of Santa Claus’ visit tomorrow. I am looking forward to the time when this war interlude ends and I may, perhaps, watch you boys play the role of Santa Claus for your own little tots.

While it is far from ideal with you boys so far from home, my native optimism rises to the challenge and I realize it could be lots worse. Speaking selfishly, if Aunt Betty and I alone had to go through tomorrow, it would not be much of a “merry” Christmas, but with the girls here with their enthusiasm and energy, it begins to take on much of the old time feeling, and to the climax, DAVE CAME HOME THURSDAY and stays until New Year’s Day. Then too, the weather is doing its part, for we have had the first real snowstorm of the season, and Marian is thrilled. And as an added dividend of cheer, a V-mail letter from Dan arrived yesterday, written on December 13th, reporting all well with him. And today Aunt Elsie arrived on the scene so it begins to take on a real holiday atmosphere.

Perhaps your Constitution is strong enough to stand an account of just how things are progressing on this day before Christmas, 1944. Marian and Jean were up betimes this morning, all prepared for a visit to the woods to find some Christmas greens. Their first thought was to go up along the old railroad tracks but they finally decided to go over to the woods in back of Mantle’s. Fortunately, they ran across Walter and he showed them just where to find some ground pine, Princess pine, hemlock branches, long needle pine and Laurel, which they have used in most tastefully decorating the house. I think it is as attractive as it has ever been. Dave started for church but because he could not get the Buick up the slippery driveways, my Buick had been left until late yesterday out in front of Laufer’s, but with no gas in the tank we had a little trouble getting the car started so as to get gas, enabling me to go to Bridgeport for a wedding which was scheduled for noon today. As the girls were busy with their decorating job I started the dinner, got my wedding out of the way. Then dinner. While Aunt Betty was washing the dishes, Zeke and Biss and the two youngsters arrived, then Bob Shattuck to see Dave, then Carl (Wayne), and while all this was going on, the phone rang to announce that Aunt Elsie was at the station in Bridgeport, so Dave and Aunt Betty went down to fetch our  Yuletide guest.

Tomorrow’s post will be Christmas Greetings to the family, Thursday will be events of Christmas Day and on Friday, a special poem with messages and stocking gifts for most of the family.

Judy Guion