Trumbull – Dear Ced (3) – What Dan Means … – January 11, 1942

What Dan means by moom pictures I leave it to you to guess but it does give me a chance to remark “don’t laugh at others mistakes, the banana peel may be under your own foot”.

Don Whitney has received his summons to appear before the draft board for physical examination so how long he will be figuring the profits and losses for the Stratfield is anyone’s guess. The Laufer’s have not heard from Erwin since he reached the Pacific coast. Dick Christie I understand has been down with pneumonia but is getting along nicely. It is reported that Jack Philmon tried to join the Marines but was turned down.

Meigs new store at the corner of Main and Wall – – where the A & P Market used to be – – is now just about completed and they will probably move about the 1st of February. Their old building I understand will be torn down for a new Woolworth store. There has also been a new building erected opposite Read’s where the parking lot used to be and I understand Singer’s will erect a new building near the corner of Fairfield and Broad between the old telephone building and where the church used to stand. The old building back of my office has been torn down and the space thus provided has been turned into a parking lot for customers and employees of the Bridgeport Peoples Savings Bank. So, when that glad day comes when you will be back in this neck of the woods again you will see quite a few changes in the old burgh.

As you may discern there is evidence of my news fund tapering out and inquiries of Dick and Dan not resulting in any fresh spurt to my imagination, if such it can be called, leaves me the sad alternative of bringing this momentous epistle to a close, with the usual hope that the coming week will again bring a letter with more news from my Alaskan pilot.

Give that jovial old pal of mine, Rusty, greetings from his old sidekick, and tell him to write me as soon as he gets any interesting news.


This is the letter enclosed with Ced’s Birth Certificate, sent by Kemper Peabody, Grandmother Arla’s brother, to Ced  in Alaska. The actual Birth Certificate was not with this, I presume it is wherever it was needed.

Tomorrow and Sunday, the next two communications regarding Ced’s Amazing Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced – (2) – I Go to Fill Out Some Scrawny African Buzzard – January 11, 1942

This is page 2 of a letter I first posted yesterday from Grandpa to Ced, the only son away from home now, but that is about to change.

Blog - 2015.05.13 - Trumbull (2) - Moom Pitchers and Exotic Orchids - Jan., 1942

Page 2     1/11/1942

Time out for a message from Dan who has just come in and wants to say something to you about taking 1/2ictures. Here’s Dan.

Daniel Beck Guion

Cedirk, dear,

I don’t rightly know why fayther wrote 1/2ictures unless he feels that our results are only 1/2lf satisfactory, which is what I aim to tell you. The moom pitchers we took show an unfortunate tendency toward over-exposure on one edge and not on the other! Lad says changing over at twenty-five feet, taking out the film…… re-loading, changing over at 25 feet, taking out the film … says it probably becomes loose on the real, allowing the light to penetrate. Solution: change film only in very subdued light and do not allow the film to loosen on the real.

Uncle Sam feels that he needs me to save the world for Roosevelt, especially since the dirty stinking yellow bastards have the idiotic nerve to grab the U.S. property called the Philippines after we went to so much trouble to save them from the nasty old Spaniards a few decades ago. Imagine their wanting to get some islands that don’t even belong to them! And they even talk of invading the U.S., just because we refused to sell them a few little staples like iron and machinery and raw materials and because we stopped buying a little silk from them!

Of course we could easily win the war if we just sent 10 more bombers to the Dutch….You can’t expect little countries like U.S. and England to beat Japan without some help. That is why the Dutch have to sink two extra Jap ships for every one they sink for themselves….one for us, one for England. If things get worse, maybe Joe Stalin can withdraw his troops from Berlin long enough to help the Dutch win our war.

Gawd! When I think of those filthy Japs having the nerve to Bomb our Navy! They are nothing but savages. And they even sink our freighters. But we will get even. We are going to start building guns and things and in about 10 years we are going to say to the Dutch and Ciang Kai Shek, “O.K., boys, we’ll take a round out of those little yellow Aryans!” And then they’ll be sorry. Of course, there won’t be anything left in U. S. by that time except taxes, but we will get those cowardly Mongolians! We’ll just take their little trousers down and paddle their pink rising suns.

New topic: When I left Anchorage I made several promises to keep the boys posted about how I made out with the Army. I have failed to do so, but there is still time. Meanwhile, if you see Fred Crowl or Don Tyree, or Hal Reherd, or any of the Air Base boys, tell them I tried valiantly, but the Anchorage draft board tried harder, so into the Army I go, perhaps to fertilize some exotic orchid in the jungles of Sumatra, or fill out the lean feathers of some scrawny African buzzard….saving America, of course, from the Japs, the Huns, and the Wops, every one of whom have only one aim in life….to make every U.S. citizen into a slave.


Tomorrow, the final portion of this letter from Grandpa to Ced.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced (1) – I Have Written To Kemper Peabody – January 11, 1942

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn., Jan. 11, 1942.

Dear Ced:

Once again letter writing time rolls around. As I glance out of the kitchen window, the kitchen being our living room for the last few days, particularly because of the cold spell, it reveals a typical winter landscape with the white mantle of snow on the ground and the sun valiantly striving to peer through masses of dark clouds which hold a threat of more snow. Last night was bitterly cold, perhaps as much as 10 below zero here. The paper yesterday predicted 20 below in northern New England, so you see Alaska and Conn. are somewhat akin at times.

Your welcome letter of December 28th reached here on the7th, which, while not equaling the speed with which some of my letters have reached you by airmail, is still pretty good time compared with what it was this time last year. Perhaps the importance of Anchorage in the war picture has caused a speeding up of communications. At any rate I hope it will continue to be good as you do not seem quite so far away when only 10 days off.

I have written Kemper (Peabody) in Mount Vernon (his office) asking him to obtain your birth certificate from the City Hall and forward it on to you by airmail, as I figured this method would save time writing back and forth, forwarding necessary fee, etc. I have asked him to let me know the total cost and will take care of reimbursing him from here. I have also taken care of paying your life insurance premium which is due in a few days. And while we are on the financial aspect, I am enclosing income tax blanks in duplicate – – not that I think you will have difficulty in obtaining these blanks locally, but it is my experience the tendency to put such things off until the last moment generally means a wild rushing around trying to meet the deadline with the possibility of error and consequent additional expense, so the possession of blanks may induce a more leisurely attention to this disagreeable task.

Why is it you have to have your birth certificate before you can fly again? Is that a new regulation or is there more behind this than meets the eye? You said nothing in your letter about the draft status. Has Woodley been able to do anything about your deferment beyond the indefinite February date you mentioned some time ago as the time when you would cease to be a civilian? I suppose this will have some bearing on any arrangements you make as to taking a cabin with Rusty after leaving Walsh’s.

I suppose you will be one of the crew that goes out to rescue Don’s stranded plane. This should prove an interesting experience. Incidentally I should think this might be a dramatic subject for a Heurlin picture of a typical Alaskan experience. Does the idea appeal to Rusty?

It was good to know you spent an enjoyable Christmas day. Your caroling  stunt was one of those things you will look back on in years with interest and “fond recollection”. Aunt Betty has just chirped up again, “Give my love to Ced and Rusty”.

Dan got his summons this week and is to report for active duty on the 21st. He quit working for Producto and is now a man of leisure. Knowing Dan, I don’t know how much leisure there will be in his activities. Dick is working at Producto on a lathe at a $.50 an hour rate and seems to like the job. He of course, will register next month.

Tomorrow, the middle of this letter, which is from Dan to Ced and the last bit from Grandpa.  

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced and Rusty (2) – Business Developments – January 4, 1942

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Alfred Duryee Guion

Page 2 0f 1/4/1942

If you have not already done so by the time this letter reaches you, Ced, old scout, will you please be sure to let me know what packages you have received so that I can follow through from this end if anything I sent has not yet arrived. I sent a stainless steel sauce pan to Rusty to start housekeeping with, your watch which you sent home by Dan to be repaired, sealed beam headlights from Sears Roebuck, a box of Christmas knickknacks and a sweater from Forster Besse. While the total was far less than I wanted to send, perhaps it is all the more important that what did go should arrive safely. I did not renew subscription to the Sunday Post, first, because I did not know how much you cared for it (according to Dick he enjoyed the funnies from Seattle more), and second, your future movements seemed so uncertain that I thought I had better wait and ask you what you wanted done. Even if you go into service and are stationed at Fort Richardson, I suppose the mail would be forwarded to you from Box 822 anyway. Just say the word and I will do the necessary at this end.

Aunt Betty has just piped up and asked to have her love sent to you both.

At the office things are going a bit better or have for the past month or two. I am still having labor troubles but so far Dave has managed to get out what multigraphed letters we have had to produce and I am also able, with outside help, to keep up with the mimeographed jobs. Addressograph work has been quite heavy and I do have a girl that is doing this work very satisfactorily. During the year we have been able to pretty nearly clean up on our old debts, and, unless the nation at war throws another monkey wrench into the machinery, it looks as though we would continue. In this connection, the organization which Miss Platt left me to join, called the ADCRAFTERS, with offices just across the street, composed of the letter shop, run by Miss Platt, Art service (commercial) maintained by Mr. Thorpe, and commercial photography handled by the third member of the organization, has been having hard sledding. They originally had a printer in with them, but he proved to be no good so the rent that had been divided among the four of them had to be shared by three along with the other running expenses. It now develops that the photographer has been called into service and along with that fact, the bottom lately has been knocked out of the demand for artwork, so that Mr. Thorpe is seriously considering getting a job with some of the Bridgeport manufacturers who need his sort of service. This may throw Miss Platt on her own but with the doubtful course of future business in our line, it might be that she will be open for some arrangement whereby she will throw her little business in with mine and again be part of the Guion organization. If this happens, I may be content to let her carry on while I seek a job myself with some of the war industries here who are badly in need of men, due to the fact that so many are leaving to join up with Uncle Sam. All this, however, awaits the course of events.

To Rusty:

It was certainly good to get your letter. You don’t know how much I enjoyed hearing from you. Congratulations on the Dr. Romig painting. Please be sure to let me know about the result of the Court House petition, particularly if you get it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. It will certainly mean the opening up of bigger things for you, which you richly deserve. Naturally I shall also be much interested to hear what results from the plans to seek other quarters. I suppose this depends somewhat on what happens in Ced’s case. It is good to know you are together. I hated to think of his being all alone so far from friends and home. As to your own personal affairs I have a hunch things are going to come out O.K. And if I can help, you know the offer still stands, to any extent within my power. I would be very happy if I could do anything that would help things to come out of the way you want them.

To Ced:

Write when you can, old son of mine. I’ll be listening.


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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave – Business Interests and Thanksgiving Day – November 22, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 22, 1945

          Thanksgiving Day in the morning.

This is sort of a special

in the way of a letter,

quite uninteresting to the


Dear Dave:

On the 21st I received yours of the 13th relating to your talk with Lt. Greenberger about procurement machines no longer needed by the Army. He tells you the Army hasn’t settled its policy as to who is going to get priority on the goods or just how their plans will work. As things stand now, as long as a man is in the Army he can make no tangible deals. He must wait until he becomes a civilian and then he may apply as a veteran.

It is interesting to compare this Army dope with letter just received from the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, New England headquarters, situated in Boston. I wrote asking how you could secure office machines with which to engage in business after discharge. Here is the reply:


Reference is made to your recent letter to this agency concerning surplus property. As office machines and equipment are classified as Consumer Goods, your inquiry has been referred to Consumer Goods, Surplus Property Division, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, at 600 Washington St., Boston. The Surplus Property Board has established a procedure whereby a veteran may make application for certain preferences in the purchase of surplus property at a local or regional office of the Smaller War Plants Corporation. The address of the regional office of the Smaller War Plants Corporation is given below:

Smaller War Plants Corporation

55 Tremont St.

 Boston, Mass.

A veteran may, of course, purchase Surplus Property independently of any preference rights on an equal basis with other purchasers.

John J. Haggerty, Manager.

          Unless you see some objection, why not write Tremont St., and ask for list so you can make formal application, and thus establish a sort of priority for any possible value it may have later. I can’t see where it would do any harm even if it didn’t do any good.

In addition to the office equipment, it might be interesting to look into the matter of materials for the island, such as outboard motor, rowboat, motorboat, motor-generator lighting outfits, refrigerators, both electric and kerosene operated, building materials, etc. I will, of course, follow-through from this end.

The barn club room is going from bad to worse. Some of the young kids around here have broken the panel in the door so they can reach up and operate the Yale lock from inside and go in and make the place their own, having little if any respect for the rights of club members or the slightest feeling of obligation or responsibility toward the owner, who allows use of his property for their use. The other morning I found lights had been burning all night and a fire in the stove was still burning in spite of the fact that the smokestack has rotted and broken off, making a fire hazard. Something will have to be done.




10 A..M.     Jean was the first one up this morning and the turkey is already in the oven, the aroma from its roasting wafting in here to the alcove where I am dashing off this report to you.  It is raining hard and steadily outside – – has been doing so all night, as a matter of fact, and the radio says it will continue until about noon.  Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, Grandma Arla’s younger sister) phoned last night that she was just recovering from a bad cold and if the weather permitted, she would be up this morning.  If it was rainy she would not.  That’s the way it stands at present.  Elsie Aunt Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s sister) arrived last night loaded down with three Thanksgiving pies.  Sometime in the wee small hours of the morning Lad and Marian arrived with Bob (Marks), having all driven up from Maryland.  Marian just came down a few minutes ago with the good news that Lad has been granted a three-day pass and that the Tuesday following his return he will go to a separation camp to be processed for discharge, which should be completed sometime about the first of the month, and will take place either at Mead or Indiantown Gap (page Dan) (Dan was stationed at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, during his first months in the Army.).  Last word from Ced was that he intended to leave Pittsburgh from Alliance, Ohio, to pick up his plane but alas he reports by letter that they have failed to get the radio and messed up the extra wing tank, and while he ended his note with the words ” See you Tues. or Wed.” he has not yet put in an appearance.  If he held over with the idea of flying back here this morning, it looks as if the weather might make this an unwise proceeding.  Reminds me of election day, wondering which candidate will make the grade and be elected in time for Thanksgiving Dinner, if you don’t mind mixed thoughts.  (Signing off at 10:30 — will report further news as received over this network).

8:30 P.M.     I expected to go on with this report long before this.  A lot has happened since the above was written. (Aunt) Anne phoned that because she had been in bed for several weeks with the bad cold, almost threatened with pneumonia and had two relapses when she had started too early to return to her regular occupations, and in view of the bad weather, she thought she had better not try to come up for dinner.  So that made two more definitely accounted for.  By two o’clock no Ced yet and no word from him, and not knowing when he would show up, we decided to go ahead with dinner.  We sat down at 2 and just when we had finished with dessert and were taking the dishes off, in walked Ced.  The plane was not yet ready and he intends to go back for it starting Sunday night when Lad also starts back.  While Ced was eating his dinner in walked Red Sirene and his bride to be.  They expect to be married Christmas day.  Incidentally, being reminded of it by the mention of pneumonia, Mr. Powell of the church up here reported yesterday that his wife, who for a few days before was not expected to live, was now out of danger and on the way to recovery.  She had had a cerebral hemorrhage followed by pneumonia.  While Red was still here, Elizabeth (Guion) Zabel, Grandpa’s only daughter), Zeke (her husband) and the two children (Raymond Jr. (known as Butch, and his younger brother, Marty) came in.  Later Ced showed some new colored slides he had recently taken of Alaska.  I had to leave in the midst of the showing to go to Bridgeport to marry a couple.  Soon after I returned, Chet and Jean (Hayden) (nee Hughes) walked in and in fact are here now.  Bob has left to go back to Maryland (Aberdeen Proving Ground, Aberdeen, Maryland, where he and Lad are presently stationed) and Elsie also left a few minutes ago.  Maybe it will make you feel a little less frustrated, Dan, but we were unable to get any Burrough’s cider this year, the first time in a long series of thanksgivings when this has occurred.  Reason, shortage of apples this season.  We had had a very dim hope that Dick might have been able, by some miracle, to get his discharge overnight and fly back in time for dinner but of course that was too much to expect.  We thought of you all, of course, and will also miss you even more on Christmas and New Year’s.  With the holidays over we can then look forward to the next ones with all of you back home.                               DAD

Tomorrow I will begin a weekend series about a trip taken by Ced, Cedric Duryee Guion, when he was only seventeen years old.

He decided that he wanted to learn more about his Peabody relatives and see the place where his Mother, Arla Mary Peabody, had spent her childhood. He hitchhiked from Trumbull, Connecticut to North Dakota and Wisconsin and back, taking most of the summer in 1934.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (3) – Grandpa Writes to Dan and Paulette – November 18, 1945

Daniel Beck Guion

(First let me comment on the last part of your quotation. It is a bit of a bother, to be sure, to order, collect when received, pack and ship stuff ordered from. S. R., (Sears Roebuck) as it is difficult for me, with no help to get away from the office, but shucks, if we at home here cannot put ourselves out a bit when it means so much to you folks over there to get the thing, it’s just too bad and makes meaningless our protestations of goodwill.

Page 3   11/18/45

Besides knowing Chiche as I think I do, I don’t believe she would ever abuse or overdue the matter. Certainly as far as she herself is concerned, nothing she may ever want us to do for her over here will ever be too much trouble and if occasionally she has some dear friend, who, through her, we can do something for, it would probably give her as much pleasure to be the means of benefiting such other person as though it were done for her herself. There are only two aspects of the matter that give me any concern. First, is the fact that so small a percentage of the things ordered are available (in the case Rabets, for instance, of the $34 worth ordered only $12 could be obtained) and the other is the cost angle, which is your affair and only indirectly any affair of mine. I don’t like to see you spend every cent as earned because sooner or later you will want some money for fares back to USA, for doctor’s bills, for baby things, etc. and that brings me incidentally to the old order you enclosed with your letter totaling roughly $145, the more costly items being two wedding rings and an engagement ring. What are you doing, getting engaged and married all over again? Before I go ahead with this purchase, I want to be sure it is something you didn’t leave on unintentionally, particularly in view of the fact you state in your letter it was a list made out last summer. I think I know what Chiche means about the other raincoat. On the catalog page showing raincoats are shown two styles, one the trench coat model which we sent to her and the other the dressmaker model, so-called, which I take it is the one she wants for her friend. It looks to me as if Paulette made out this order in her own handwriting, and that being the case, I think I shall write her to find out if I am correct, hoping I’ll get her answer in English. I have a sneaking idea that she can write English a lot better than she modestly claims. Note: you are sending paychecks home; also new address. I shipped off two more boxes to you last week at the former address. Best Thanksgiving wishes to you. Wish you were here for a swig of Burrough’s cider.

Paulette (Van Leare) (Chiche) Guion

Dear Paulette:

You being one of the family now, you shouldn’t have to get this letter secondhand, particularly as with Dan rushing around Europe, there is no telling when his mail will catch up with him. So, if you have read down this far you will know some of the questions that are bothering me. Am I right about the raincoat? Do you want the raincoat for Renée the same color as yours? It also comes in blue. And am I also right about the other style for your friend? And maybe when you write me about these things you can also clear up the question of the wedding and engagement rings. Maybe they are not for you but for someone else? n’est se pas? I will order the tablecloth and kitchen towels and gloves and hope they have them in stock. In one of the boxes I sent to Dan last week I enclosed a number of American baby magazines thinking you might be interested in looking them over. I guess you know how disappointed we are here that official red tape has kept you both from coming to your new home, but Time will cure that as it does many other things and we can still have the fun of looking forward to your arrival on some future happy day. Meantime, take good care of yourself and my little grandchild, and give that hubby of yours a big kiss for me when you see him again. Also, please give my warmest regards to your father and mother.

To all of you, love from


Tomorrow, a note from Marian and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (2) – Letters to Lad and Marian and to Dan – November 18, 1945

Alfred Peabody (Lad) and Marian (Irwin) Guion

Page 2   11/18/45

Dear Lad and Marian:

Thought of you several times on the anniversary day and was tempted to send you a wire didn’t know whether it would reach you in time if sent to your camp address, even though of sending Marian flowers by wire, so you see that nothing tangible resulted, you were at least in mind.

Dick has been busy as the proverbial bee, tinkering away at this thing and that, much to the improvement and comfort of all concerned. He doped out a complete and comprehensive fuse plan for all the light outlets, installing new lights in the apartment bathroom, replaced one light socket (fixture) in the old bathroom. Between you and Ced and Dick a lot of mechanical things that have needed to be fixed up for some time have been completed. Jean cooked the dinner today, Marian, and did a right good job, too. We had a roast of lamb (page Dan), baked sweet potatoes, string beans, shoelace beets (canned) and prune whip. Last week another bunch of delayed letters arrived which I sent on to you at Lad’s address so you could have something to do besides knitting while Lad was out helping Uncle Sam. I am enclosing another letter for Marian which arrived since.

We are of course hoping you both can get here for Thursday’s event. Was Bob (Mark, who met Lad in Marseilles, France, after their units shipped out, bound for Okinawa, and they were left behind to gather the Company’s equipment and take it to Okinawa, while nearing the Panama Canal, Hiroshima was bombed, and Lad and Bob’s ship was sent to New York. They are both like fish out of water: not with their respective Companies, no need for their skills where they are and yet, not discharged. It is a waiting game.) transferred to the new company too? Was he able to get a pass to enable him to go home for Thanksgiving?

Daniel Beck Guion

Paulette (Van Leare) Guion

Dear Dan:

Yours of Nov. 8th from Paris. The letter in which you say: “Just like old Finnigan, I’m off again — this time to Luxembourg. We arrived back from Liege Tuesday evening and the next two days have been a hurricane of activity getting enough survey equipment to make up two crews. My crew is going to Luxembourg and another  to Holland. The job this time is rather like the last, i.e. a topo. (topography)  survey of a military cemetery.”

(Later on in the letter you say you haven’t received any mail lately so of course you didn’t answer any questions I have asked you lately which would tend to clear up such points as to what position do you occupy in these survey teams? What exactly is your work? How do you like your boss and the men you work with?)

You go on to say: “ Chiche is still at Calais. She asks for a few more items from S.R. (Sears Roebuck) some of which date back to last summer, hence are listed in the old catalog. Reasonable facsimiles will suffice. In addition to the items listed she wants to give her sister Renée a raincoat similar to the one you sent her– same size. And I promised to ask for a third raincoat for a friend– small size — not the same style as Paulette’s. Incidentally, I have told Chiche that she is not to promise anything more to her friends because it is an abuse of your and Marian’s willingness, and a hell of a bother.”

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter. On Thursday a note from Marian and on Friday, another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) News From Dave and Ced – November 18, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 18th, 1945

Dear Dave:

When the renowned Florentine sculptor, Michelangelo, during the middle ages, was commissioned to do a figure celebrating the city’s deliverance from the Borgia’s, the only material he could obtain was a block of marble of wrong proportions. It was too narrow for its length. However, time being short, the young artist went to work with what he had and gave to the world one of its great masterpieces – “David”. Visitors who look upon this statue of the shepherd lad in battle against the mighty Goliath seldom realize why the right arm of the youth clings to his side as his hand reaches for the sling; or why his left arm hugs that side as his hand goes back for the stone; or why the knees bend just as they do. The artist was working out his idea within the available space given him by that odd-sized block of marble. That he could create his great work within such narrow limits is astounding. One miscalculation would have meant failure. And the moral for my own “David” far away at this Thanksgiving season? Well, rough and uneven are the materials handed to most of us out of which to carve our destiny. They frequently are not the ideal shape which we would have chosen. It is quite natural for us to curse the luck that makes the present state of things inevitable. The wiser ones choose to bless the fate that imposes such challenging necessities upon us, for it is the attitude we take towards life’s limitations which determines whether the outcome is to be a masterpiece or a mess.

Of course you will see in this allegory just another attempt by “the old man” to take some of the bitterness out of the present pill you are swallowing. Fortunately, from personal experience, I know it works.

Ced is now on his way to Alliance, Ohio, to check up on the progress of his plane, stopping enroute at Pittsburgh where there is in progress and annual convention of the Federal Union enthusiasts. I am hoping that tomorrow there will be some word from him as to what progress he is making. In any event, whether he flies back here and lands at the Monroe field or comes back by train, he expects to be with us for Thanksgiving. Whether Dick will also be with us is at the present moment somewhat uncertain. He is right now toying with the thought of going back to his South Carolina base as ordered, starting tomorrow, hoping that in tomorrow’s mail he might receive word which will make that unnecessary.

And Marian writes: “back to Army routine — no matter where we move the routine seems exactly the same. We have a very nice room with private bath and separate entrance in an apartment building — more or less. By that I mean there are about four apartments (ours is the only single room) all attached to the main house. The hallway is about 2 ½ feet wide. We like it but if we are going to be here much longer, we will look for a real apartment because eating all our meals out is much too expensive. Lad is being transferred into a new Co. so we’ll know a little more about our plans in a day or two. We learn he will remain in this new holding company until the 50-point deal gets straightened out, when he would get his discharge. The Army picked yesterday to give him an influenza shot so he didn’t feel much like doing any anniversary celebrating. We went to a USO dance but came home early. At least we were together, for as it worked out, he could not have come home on a pass.”

I hope they will be able to get home for Thursday’s dinner.

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the rest of this letter, on Thursday, news from Marian and on Friday, another  letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Grandpa Expressed His Concern – January 7, 1940

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Page 2 of R-57 (nothing to do with Heinz products)

Last week when I finished my letter to you, Dave had not yet returned from New Rochelle. He barged in about 10 PM however, and undoubtedly the trip was too much for him, because he complained of feeling none too hot in his stomach and did not, therefore, go to school. He reports all the folks well (he saw them all) and apparently nothing newsy to report.

We have been visited with a cold wave last week which did not please me at all, the only compensation from the children’s standpoint being the opportunity to slide, ski, skate, etc. That’s where they are right now, by the way. The ornaments have been taken off the tree and things are beginning to look normal again. Ced is getting his car into good running condition. The only thing he needs now is tires and I believe he has just placed an order with Carl (Wayne, owner of The Red Horse Service Station (Mobil) next to Kurtz’s store) for two Goodyear all weather treads.

I am enclosing for you to sign and return if you wish, 1939 operator license 593647, good until April 1st and the P. S. license number 200, expiring the same date, in accordance with your wishes. I am also paying your life insurance premium this month. Incidentally, the regular company check came through as usual so that I know you weren’t fired anyway. I am also enclosing a Trumbull news clipping which gives sort of a summary of the last year’s doings. In a week or two I shall probably be able to tell you what the results of the police examination showed as to the appointment of a permanent Trumbull police force.

I got a picture postcard from Rufus Burnham last week, postmarked Tampa, Florida, and stating “The whole Burnham crew down here for the holiday. Have been having a grand time”. Johnny Kurtz informed me yesterday that he is now the father of a new 9 pound baby boy. The population of Trumbull is increasing as you see.

I mailed you last week another batch of commercial car journals, each with an article in it on some phase of diesel work, as well as general articles on keeping fleets of trucks in repair. I think one of the unanswered letters or rather questions had to do with whether or not these were worthwhile sending to you. The postage costs more than the magazines and I don’t mind sending them if they are of the slightest help to you, but there is obviously no use sending them if you don’t find them valuable.

Well, I guess that is the end of my thought path this evening. I have been sitting here for some time trying to think of some other interesting facts to write, but they don’t seem to be flooding in on my mental screen.

Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), Dan, Carl (Wayne) and Ethel (Bushey, the future Mrs. Carl Wayne) have just come in, having been in Carl’s car (Ced, Dick and Dave also went along) on a trip to Redding Ridge in an effort to find Valley Forge. Since they put in the new reservoir and changed the roads around, I guess it was difficult to find. Apparently they didn’t get the right road, but had a good time anyway.

Well, here’s hoping. I’m thinking of P. O. Box 7 when I say this. Thus beginning and ending with the same thought with news in between. Maybe you’d call it a hope sandwich.

Buenos botches.


This week I will continue with letters to Lad from friends and family, but I don’t have a letter from Lad. Perhaps Grandpa mentions getting one in one of his letters. We’ll find out later.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad – Grandpa Expresses His Concern (1)- January 7, 1940

In this letter, Grandpa expresses a feeling that many parents deal with and that children do not realize. Young people tend to get wrapped up in their activities, and knowing they are just fine, they forget that parents need to know if they are healthy and doing well.

Blog - Alfred Duryee Guion

                 Alfred Duryee Guion

January 7, 1940

Dear Lad:

You’ve got me worried this trip, my boy. Your last letter home was dated December 3rd  and arrived here on the 16th. Three weeks have since gone by, which leads me to ask a question which I have thought of many times but have not put into words. It is this. In case something should happen to you, either in the nature of a serious accident or sickness, is it the custom of the Company to notify the home or parents of such employee? In the background there always lurks the possibility of something like this happening, made more fearsome by the thought that you are so far away among strangers. When I hear from you regularly that ogre of a thought is kept in its place in the background, but it is always ready to push it’s ugly presence forward when each week in succession goes by without hearing from you. While I say this in no spirit of complaint, life has dealt me some rather disappointing blows from time to time, which I have learned to take on the chin and accept with a smile, so that usually I succeed pretty well in not worrying over the many dire things that might happen but seldom do. Just the same, it’s going to make the sunshine seem a lot brighter if the fourth week does not go by without some word from Venezuela. We can always hope, and generally do, optimistically, but sometimes in the dark watches of the night fear attacks in a rush, and while subdued with an effort of will and without letting anyone know about it, it does persist in popping up more often as the days go by without word. While it is disappointing not to get a full account of your doings when the well-known red white and blue envelopes peek at me through the glass slit in P.O. Box 7, it would be a lot better than nothing to have just a line or two from you saying that you are too busy or too tired or what not, to write a regular letter. Why not address and keep on hand two or three envelopes, stamped and addressed to me, so that if at the last moment before the mail leaves, you have not had an opportunity to write, you can at least scribble a short message so that there will be a break in this dead silence. Perhaps this is all silly on my part and you have been writing regularly and through some slip up in the mail the letters have failed to arrive, the same as my letters to you were held up for several weeks so that you got several in a bunch. With the rainy season practically over, however, this ought not to happen, especially over so long a lapse of time. It took a lot of words, didn’t it, to say “Why haven’t you written sooner?”

This week Dan got a registered package through the mail from an address on Long Island, and was delighted upon opening it to find it contained his watch. It is now at the jewelers for a general checkup, new crystal, new strap, etc. Incidentally, talking of time and the jeweler, I also took down the old Seth Thomas in the kitchen to Abercrombie, who has a place in with Kann as you may know, and he has given old Tom a new lease on life. He found, among other things in the case, evidence that mice have used it as a nesting place. There is a sticker in the clock with the date 1908 on it so that it is at least 32 years old. Abercrombie says they made parts much better in those days and will probably run for another 30 years before it stops short, never to run again.

Trumbull House - Kitchen table withj Seth Thomas Clock - June, 2020

Trumbull House Kitchen table with the Seth Thomas Clock on the back wall in June of 2020. I believe it was still running, making it 112 years old.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and continue during the week with letters to Lad from friends and family, but I don’t have a letter from Lad. Perhaps Grandpa mentions getting one in one of his letters. We’ll find out later.

Judy Guion