Trumbull – Dear DARCD – Home Town News In Brief – September 24, 1944

This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian are still in Jackson,Mississippi, Dan is in France, Dick is in Brazil acting as a liaison with the locals who are employed on the base, Ced remains in Anchorage, Alaska repairing planes and finding and repairing downed planes and Dave  is at Camp Crowder, recently assigned to the Signal Corps Battalion.

pp pic 1

Trumbull, Conn   September 24, 1944

Dear DARCD:

(Dan, Alfred, Richard, Cedric, Dave)

That’s my code word for all the boys in the family, individually and collectively (in recognition, naturally, of the fact that our youngest is now in the U.S. Signal Corps).

Home Town News in Brief: Bob Peterson, age 50, died quite suddenly last Thursday at the Newington Veterans Hospital where he had gone for treatment for headaches. The trouble is alleged to have been a blood clot on the brain. Besides being a veteran of World War I and a member of the Trumbull American Legion Post, he was a member of the Board of Education, a Building Commissioner, Pres. of the Fairfield Co. Fire Chief’s Assn., and has for 20 years been our local fire chief. Cedric Joslin, whom some of you knew, a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps was reported killed in action in Corsica when his fighter plane crashed. Don Whitney is reported home in Long Hill on a visit but I have not myself seen him. Red Sirene is probably overseas somewhere. Yesterday afternoon and this morning, interspersed with spells of cooking dinner, I chopped and sawed, trying to clear the place of fallen timber and as soon as I finish this I shall have to tackle cleaning the kitchen oil burner, so if this letter is shorter than usual, let’s call it the laws of compensation in operation.

Thanks Marian and Lad for your birthday greetings, and by the way, did you ever receive the government check I forwarded to Miss? Dave, happy birthday greeting to you, come next Saturday, just in case, although I expect sometime during the week to write a special birthday letter, as per usual practice. Ced I am in touch with a man who handles refrigerator repairs and who has promised to keep his eye open for something really suitable.

Dave writes he has been assigned to a Sig. Trng. Bn. At Camp Crowder, having been up to the present time in the Replacement Training Section. The new group trains as a unit and as a unit when their training is completed is sent overseas together. He also writes that he and Lad are trying to arrange some time and place where they can meet halfway for a chat. I received Dave’s letter Thursday. In it he suggested I take Jean and Aunt Betty to see “Arsenic and Old Lace” when it comes to Bridgeport.  (  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0036613/ ) It was then playing at the Merritt, so that night we all went to the Merritt and enjoyed seeing it. Thank you, Dave, for the suggestion. And now for something not quite so pleasant. I don’t urgently need it, but I don’t like to see any of my boys careless about money matters, so don’t overlook the fact that you still owe me some borrowed money, only part of which has been repaid. Don’t “save till it hurts”, but on the other hand, don’t be too nonchalant about it either. Your father may be lenient but others not. And it’s the habit and frame of mind that count, not the money owed.

Dan writes he has seen a bit of the Brest section.  ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_for_Brest )He reports the German atrocities, after talking with the French eyewitnesses and near victims, are unfortunately true. His explanation sounds plausible. The Jerry’s considered themselves superior to the French. The French didn’t feel inferior. Resentment led to action, action to punishment, punishment to revenge, revenge to atrocity. Dan is still enjoying himself and his contact with the French folk.

And now, if you will, let be off this week for just one page, I’ll tackle the oil stove. The weather is getting cooler and Aunt Betty feels it quite a bit and unless the kitchen stove stays lighted it is uncomfortable for her here during the day. I have been able to get some parts for the furnace and that will have to be tackled soon. Adieu.    DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Biss to her brother, Ced, in Alaska, working on a Military Air Base, Wednesday, a short thank you note from Marian to Ced, on Thursday another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another note from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – Newspaper Article – October 1, 1939

This is the Article which was published by the Bridgeport Times Star at some point prior to the election on October 2, 1939. 

ADG - The Bridgeport Times-Star picture, Sept. 12, 1939- September 12, 1939 (2)

This same picture was used for the article below with this title:

ALFRED D GUION

Trumbull First Selectman

Town Officials

by Don Quaintance

Fifteen years ago, if someone had suggested to Alfred D.  Guion that he enter the political arena he would have laughed, shrugged and labeled the suggest or a wag.  At that time he was advertising director of a big industrial concern.

But today, he plays his role of leader of Trumbull’s 5,000 citizens with skill born of true executive ability.

Trumbull can thank the depression for Guion.

For, if business conditions in the advertising field had been better than they were, he would still be plotting nation-wide advertising campaigns, working far into the night, with no time for the mundane tasks of a New England town selectmen.

Guion has been in the advertising business most of his life.  He spent six years of it as advertising manager of the Bridgeport Brass Co., and also held executive jobs with Allied Chemical, the Celluloid Co. of New York and Century Co. publishers.

His entrance into the field of public service was inspired, he says, by the late Mrs. Guion, the former Arla Peabody of Mt. Vernon, N.Y. Those who knew her can readily understand, since the sales manager’s wife was devoted to the community in which she lived.  An ardent worker for civic improvement, she never tired of doing things for other people – little kindnesses, in addition to large-scale organizing for new roads, Social service and better local government.

There are many who remember Arla Guion and her work, her friendliness.  She took care of her own home, she was invested in work that made for the betterment of Trumbull.  In addition to that she inspired a career.

Those who get to know the First Selectman regard him as an all-round booster.  He never knocks.  As a matter of fact, he is rather inclined to be indulgent.  Deplores, for instance, the towns self-separation into Trumbull – Nichols – Long Hill.  Thinks it should be all one.  Becomes very unhappy of the “feeling” between the sections which crops out at intervals.

According to Guion, there should be no “across the railroad tracks.”

“If that’s going to be the case, he says, let’s tear up the railroad tracks.”

Guion’s political ideology is predominately Republican, although locally, he says, politics shouldn’t mean a thing.

“He knows his people so well who serves a small community that it is always the individual work of the man that counts, rather than his politics,”  he maintains.

“In a community-minded town liked Trumbull, for instance, political questions affecting the State or Nation have no place.  The only local interest should be the common welfare.  Because of this belief Guion has more than once discussed the prospect of a change in the form of Trumbull’s town government, from the unwieldy town meeting system to a non-partisan, business-like town managership.

“There should be no selfish axes to grind, and the non-partisan governments should take an interest in such things as education, the religious activities, instead of some of the things they do now.”

Guion proves beyond a doubt that he is a square shooter when, regardless of his political following, he makes open declarations of where he stands.

“I’m convinced that Trumbull could get a good deal more for its taxes than most critics would be willing to admit; redeeming it with: and that’s what we are constantly striving to do.”

Alfred Duryee Guion was born Sept. 11, 1884, son of Alfred Beck and Ella (Duryee) Guion in the city of New York.  Went to Mount Vernon High School and took a B. S. C.  at the NYU School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance in 1912.

Mr. Guion has six children, five of them boys.  Alfred, Daniel, Cedric, Richard and David; and the sixth a girl, Elizabeth. (Elizabeth was actually the fourth child)

He was employed in various corporations in New York from 1912 to 1921, throughout the war.,  and was associated with the Bridgeport Brass Co. during the next decade.  In 1929, he formed his own Corporation, the Alfred D.  Guion and Co. Advertising Agency and has been President and Director since.

He served as Justice-of-the-Peace since 1928, was assistant prosecutor of the town court in 1934-35.

He is a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity, is a Mason and a member of the Algonquin Club.

True, he has an impressive business and public service record, but the private life of Mr. Guion is much more interesting.

His hobby, to begin with, is cooking.  Like many other business executives of today, he is an expert chef.

Along these lines, he likes home life and has five sons and one daughter.

His “oldest boy” (Lad) is in charge of the mechanical equipment on an oil well in Venezuela.  Another son, (Dan) has been building a road through the jungles of Central America, (actually Venezuela) is now visiting his father in Trumbull, and will continue college work in geology in the fall.

The First Selectman of this landlocked town likes water and boating.  He has often dreamed of owning a yacht, just like most of the other people in town.  If he had the money, that’s what he might do.

He likes dogs.  He has one at home called “Mac”, short for McKenzie, the son of an Alaskan malamute brought by a friend (Rusty Huerlin) from the Mackenzie River in Alaska.

He loves to read ancient history, mysteries and see stories.  Says it permits him to relax.

Best known of Guion’s social activities of course are those which take him out among his neighbors.  Primary among them is his interest in young people.  He is a member of the National and local Boy Scout Councils and an Executive Board member of the Pomperaug Council.

He is vitally interested in promoting the activity of young people in Trumbull.

He thinks more young folks should be interested in government.  They’ll be running the show tomorrow, he says.

Guion likes the youngsters and they like Guion.  It’s not supposed to be known, of course, but rarely do they approach him for a favor to ask that it is not granted with alacrity.

Locally, the First Selectman favors bi-partisan Boards and Commissions, which in many towns have found constant opposition from the parties in political power.

The “hecklers” rap him in print and speech, he usually refrains from defending his actions, believing in the old adage, “Don’t chase a lie, let it alone and it will run itself to death.”

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guon

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – West Point And Election Results – October 1, 1939

This is the conclusion of the letter I posted yesterday, with an addition added after the election.

Today is the most miserable ,rainy, cold, raw, cheerless day. I have the fire going in the alcove. The youngsters have all gone down to Foote’s more for something to do, I imagine, then because they want something to eat. Dick was invited by Mr. Ives to go down to New York to a ballgame this morning, but they had just about reached New York when it started to rain, so they came home again.

Richard Peabody Guion

Yesterday, however, Dick got in what he feels was a very enjoyable trip. The senior class of Basssick, of which he is now a member, made up a party yesterday to visit West Point. They were to meet about seven at the school (Dick left here about 630 in the Packard.) Then they went by train, I think, to New York, boarded a Hudson River Day Boat, visited West Point, stopped and did some roller skating at Bear Mountain Inn and arrived home at 1 AM this morning, tired but happy.

A link to the Wikipedia entry – The History of the United States Military Academy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Military_Academy#:~:text=The%20history%20of%20the%20United,on%20the%20site%20in%201802.

    David Peabody Guion

Well yesterday was officially Dave’s birthday. I was so occupied with political duties that I could not pay much attention to him and in consequence we held a very modest celebration today. I gave him a sweater, a pair of shoes, jockey shorts, socks, handkerchiefs, a fountain pen, flashlight (small pocket edition) pocket nail file, candy and of course ,we had store ice cream for dessert. Aunt Betty sent her regular card with its dollar enclosed, Dan also gave him a dollar, Ced bought some cider just made a few hours before from Boroughs, and yesterday the New Rochelle folks sent him a telegram of congratulations.

Politics has been given quite a bit of prominence in the daily news during the past week or so. There have been repeated attacks on the Republican Party of those in power in the town including your poor old father who is being accused of all kinds of indirect and indefinite wrongdoing, but in the opinion of many these mudslinging tactics are boomerangs which do more harm than good to the throwers, principal of whom is our old friend Sexton. However, tomorrow will tell the tale and while I think from some standpoint it would be a good thing if I were relieved of the job and could devote more time to my business, I do need the extra income and anyway, I would not want to quit under fire and have my critics say I couldn’t take it, etc. The Times Star has been publishing a series of articles on public officials in various towns in the vicinity. I am enclosing the one about me in which you will note that Mack has made the grade as a celebrity.

I think I shall stop this letter right here (I can’t think of anything more to tell you anyway) and finish it after election returns have been received.

Tuesday night. The sad news is told in the newspaper clippings attached. Your dad went down to defeat by 21 votes, but the rest of the Republican ticket got in. This is primarily due to the nice things our friend Sexton has been saying. My feelings are mixed at this time. My pride naturally is a bit hurt and from a financial angle it will put quite a serious crimp in my affairs, but aside from this, I feel a lot freer, as though a weight has been lifted off and it will give me an opportunity to devote more time to my lame business which I have sadly neglected for the last two years.

One thing that cheered me up today was receipt of two letters from you, one written on the 14th with birthday wishes and the other on the 22nd. As to the birthday thought, you had already put your okay on a wonderful birthday set of gifts which I am still enjoying. Will write you more next week when my mind has been adjusted to the sudden change in my fortunes. Until then, old hotshot, except this as a shock from your old, dry battery,    DAD

Tomorrow I will post the article which appeared in the Bridgeport Times Star newspaper prior to the election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (1) – Danbury Fair Week – October 1, 1939

We are in to October, 1939, and Lad has been in Venezuela for nine months. He has been promoted to the “Trouble Shooter” and travels from one rustic camp in the hinterlands of northern Venezuela to another, to repair vehicles that other mechanics are unable to fix. This keeps him out of Caracas and makes it difficult to write home weekly, as he used to. Grandpa doesn’t like it one bit.

Alfred Peabody Guion (my Dad)

R-43

October 1, 1939

Dear Lad:

It is getting kind of monotonous to have letters from me being the same each week, so I’ll fool you this time and say nothing about the empty mailbox. Whether my restraint will hold out next Sunday, if no news is received in the interim, marking the fourth week of silence, is too soon to forecast.

Daniel Beck Guion with his nephew, Raymond Zabel, Elizabeth’s firstborn

The only big news, relatively speaking, that has happened this week is that Dan has returned to college at Storrs. He had written to them about the possibility of re-enrollment but not having heard anything in reply, I telephoned Tuesday to  the registrar and learned that Dan could enroll, but that he ought to go up there at once and arrange for a room. So bright and early Wednesday Ced drove him up. He came home yesterday and reported that he is again on the debating team, is boarding with a retired professor of geology, and is a Junior. He’s taking the Packard up as Ced prefers the old Willys as being cheaper to run back and forth.

And speaking of cars, Carl is trying to sell his all Auburn. He has it outside the gas station was a big for-sale sign on it. He has officially changed his name to Wayne as you may have heard. Nellie (Nelson Sperling) is still working off and on as the spirit moves him at Steve’s (Steve Kascak’s garage, where Lad started working as a mechanic during summer vacations when he was 14, and continued for several years) garage. Art Mantle is somewhere on the high seas on one of Uncle Sam’s warships, but at just what location I have not heard lately. Chris Smith and family, I learned, have sold their house on Cottage Place and moved to California St. in Stratford. I understand they have taken a big enough house so that when Bill and Helen are married, which is scheduled to take place towards the end of this month, they can live there also. Irwin Laufer, as I may have told you, is on the Democratic ticket nominated as Constable from the Center. Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) is working for Judge Miller in Bridgeport.

This is Danbury Fair week once again, and it is the present intention of Dan and Ced and the gang to go up there next Saturday. If I go too, I shall naturally miss you. I was trying to figure out the other day whether it was more logical, you suppose, that we miss you here more than you miss home, and decided that the former was the case because at home here, I particularly am reminded by a thousand familiar things that have associations with what you did or said, whereas you are in entirely new surroundings with little to remind you of former scenes or people. Just as an example, the air was quite chilly the other morning when I got up and because I have a cold that is still hanging on, I thought it would be more comfortable to shave in a warm bathroom, so I upped and lights the old oil stove, and as I was turning it out I pictured you stalking in in your 6 feet 1 or whatever it is, and promptly moving the stove outside the door where it would not smell. Go on, say it, you are quite hurt that a stinky stove should have reminded me of you, to which my reply would be that the sweetest perfume is made from what a sick whale throws up, so you needn’t get all worked up about that remark. I was only trying to make conversation anyway, so there’s no sense in your flying off in a temper. There, that’s disposed of.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter and on Friday, an article published by the Bridgeport Times Star about the Republican Candidate for First Selectman of Trumbull …. Grandpa, up for re-election.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear R S B S (2) – Financial Matters And The Election – September 24, 1939

The following is a continuation of the letter I posted yesterday with memories of the early years in the Trumbull House.

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Yesterday the Bridgeport City Bank reported that Dan’s draft had been collected and $255 was being credited to Dan’s account. Now all he has to do is to get the $400 balance. Simple. By the way, what ever happened to your own claim? I thought you were going to send the tools to McMillan (General Manager, I think, of the Interamerica, Inc. office in New York) with instructions not to surrender them to Maxy (Yervant Maxudian, owner and President of the company that both Lad and Dan were working for in Venezuela) until he had the check. What was done along this line? Did you collect? If not, what is the present status?

You may recall that when you were a mere infant a savings account was started for you in a New York Building and Loan Association. The same procedure was followed for each of the children as they came along. Due to depression, etc., these never grew to any sizable amount. Just lately I have had the accounts transferred to the Bridgeport Building and Loan Association of which Mr. Hughes is an officer, and am enclosing a card for you to sign. I have signed up for 10 shares for you and shall, each month out of your check, take the necessary amount to keep up these payments. It is very safe and pays more interest than do savings banks. Anyway, I think it is wise to diversify your sources of investment. The balance I may invest in stocks of some sort, and in this connection don’t forget to let me have an answer to the question in my last letter as to whether your present contract provides for a certain portion of your money that you are not ordering sent home, go for purchase of Socony-Vacuum stock, as Ted thought might be the case.

Guion, Davis Head Ticket

                               Guion, Davis Head Ticket

This is the last week before election — Monday, October 2nd. They have now a full-fledged Socialist ticket in town so that it will be a three cornered fight for First Selectman: Guion on Republican, Bill Davis of Nichols on Democrat and Flick of Chestnut Hill on Socialist. Sexton has been quieter lately although he is probably behind the recent move to embarrass me by presenting a petition asking me to call a special town meeting for the purpose of placing Town Clerk and Tax Collector on a salary basis instead of, as they are at present, on a fee basis. I am refusing to do this because I believe it is illegal for the town to vote to do something which the state legislature does not give a town power to do. Schwimmer, the new judge and Bill Davis both signed the petition. Mr. Judd, the Tax Collector for 19 years, has resigned, which is quite a blow to those who knew how well he does his work. Mr. Monroe Blackman has been nominated to fill the office. Most people seem to think that the Republicans will again win and there are some who say that I will go in and by a bigger majority that I ever got, but you never can tell, and if I’m not reelected, while it will cramp me financially, it will give me more time to devote to boosting up my business. Well, I’ll know more about it next time I write you.

I understood Dan to say you have his watch which he asked you to keep for him when he was out in the bush. Do any of your men from New York come to visit you through whom I can send some small parcels down to you by or who would take back with them some small article like a watch? The more I think of it the less I like the smuggling idea mentioned in my last letter, but I do want in some way to evidence, at Christmas time, the fact that those at home have remembered you in some tangible manner.

Mike Whitney is building a house across the road from his parents place and is trying to get it finished before the new year. Dan goes back to college today. Dan has not yet heard definitely from Alaska and is beginning to question the wisdom of starting at so late a date for so distant a point. He may go back to Connecticut State College, now that he has received part of his back salary.

Dave is tackling his school work with interest and the determination to make good his first year (in High School), particularly in Latin. That’s all the news I can think of now, so until a week from today, as always, your loving    DAD

For the rest of the week, I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to Lad which is full of local news about friends and family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear R S B S (1) – Early Memories – September 24, 1939

On the one hand, Grandpa is trying to shame Lad into writing but on the other hand, he comes up with all kinds of acceptable reasons why letters from Venezuela have not made it to PO Box 7. He’s also reminiscing about their arrival in Trumbull and the difficulties they had during their first Christmas in the house.

September 24, 1939

Dear R. S. B. S.:

which in this instance stands for Rainy Season Back Slider. A second week has again gone by without news from my oldest chick. Maybe the war has upset schedules in the boat service as far as mail transportation is concerned or maybe it is just the fact that now the rainy season must be approaching its peak and throws various kinds of monkey wrenches into the machinery. The last straw came yesterday when daily for two weeks I have hustled over to the store the first thing in the morning bubbling with hope and expectation that THIS time there would be a letter from you. Well, the only thing in the compartment of PO Box 7 was a bill for box rent and I tell you, I was disgusted.

I don’t feel much like writing letters today, so if this note is not bubbling over with interest it’s because I’m feeling rather low. Yesterday I came home at noon after going to the office in Bridgeport and arranging for the payroll and buying food for today’s dinner, and went to bed. I’m up and around today but with not much pep. I am entertaining some very active cold germs that Dicky has been carting around with him for the last week. I was very hoarse yesterday but that seems to have cleared up to a large extent today. Dan cooked most of the dinner.

Arla Peabody Guion and the five children that moved to Trumbull in 1922.

The Guion family in their new House in Trumbull, Connecticut

L to R – Daniel, Alfred (Lad), Ced, Dick in the lap of Arla (Peabody) Guion and Elizabeth

Well, this month marked the 17th anniversary of the fall day when a new family moved to Trumbull — a mother, father and five small children, the oldest a stripling of eight and the youngest a two-year-old boy. As we look back on it now and recall the oil lamps and the candles we had to use for the first few months, and the old pump, a one-lunger, that pulled water up from the stream, and occasionally pulled up a fat eel to clog up the pipe, and the little eight-year-old youngster (Lad) helped his daddy with odd mechanical jobs around the house, it is hard to think of them looking forward in those far-off days to a future where the boy, grown to manhood, would be in far-off Venezuela, north of the Orinoco, that we studied about in geography, making machinery work that would help to supply the civilized world with oil and gasoline.

Elizabeth Westlin Guion, at 5, with her broken arm

Memories come crowding back of your gentle mother, the little old one room school where Miss Lindley taught you the 3 R’s, Geneva, the pony, Elizabeth’s broken arm, etc. somehow or other these are the real permanent things in life. Material possessions, money, etc., that you can actually see and feel vanish with the years but the things of the spirit remain. It might be interesting someday when you’re in a reminiscent mood and have the time, to jot down some of the things YOU recall most clearly about those days. Naturally they would be different things that would impress a boy that would stick in an adult’s mind.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter, including Financial matters and some information on the politics of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (4) – Dave’s Birthday Greeting to Grandpa – September 17, 1944

David Peabody Guion

September 11, 1944

Dear Dad:

You usually write each of us a special letter each time our individual birthdays roll around. So I said to myself: Why not follow in your good father’s footsteps, and do the same for him? So, here I am.

I thought of this day many times during the last month and a half, but never once in that time – – I’m ashamed to admit it – – did I think of sending something home to you. I had thought of telephoning you or sending a telegram, but never once did I think of sending a box of cigars or something else as a reminder to you of how proud I am to be able to have you for my father. In view of the fact that I had already written you that I may be home, I decided that to phone you would be a bad policy because your first thought on hearing my voice would probably be that I am at the Bridgeport R.R. Station. This thought would probably come to you before I could explain that I am still in Crowder; and that – pardon my conceit – – would only be a disappointment rather than glad tidings. I may send you a telegram yet – – I don’t know. At any rate, I’ll send the letter.

Since coming back from CPX I thought time and time again that I may be able to bounce in on you on September 11th, but Saturday I finally abandoned all hope because I would have had to leave Saturday night to make it.

I hope this birthday is a happy one, but I KNOW next year’s WILL BE a happy one. By that time at least part of your scattered family will be home under the shaded roof of our old house – – business will be much improved with the Bridgeport war plants once again turning or turned back to fluorescent lamps, brass fixtures, rivets for peace time use and organizations and clubs once again throwing their anniversary parties and the like, without being hampered by gas or food shortages. They’ll all turn back to the Guion Advertising Company for their ads, business letters and announcements. There’ll be the old customers and there’ll be new ones in a better and bigger Bridgeport. Right now it may seem like a dream but by Sept. 11, 1945, it will be far more than a dream.

Maybe by that time I won’t have to be telling my buddies about the business I’m going back to, about all my brothers who are scattered all over the world, about my father who pulled his small company through the hard times and who, in spite of losing his wife, brought all of us up so he could be proud of us. Maybe I won’t have to lie on my Army cot and wish I were home with my father who brought me up just the way a kid would like to be brought up – always advising, seldom laying down the law, letting me think things out for myself, hardening me to the world, being a brother rather than a Lord over me. Maybe I can be back appreciating it rather than just remembering what used to be.

I started this letter and it was going to be a “happy birthday” letter, but it has turned out to be a letter of hope and thankfulness. I AM thankful, Dad, and I always will be – – and maybe that will make you happier knowing it’s true, then just having me say in a lot of words HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD. I hope so, anyway. Love, DAVE

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s One-Act Play, entitled “Bolivaring with the Guions”. This is an imaginary look into the future.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (1) – The BIG Storm – September 17, 1944

Trumbull House - Maple tree taken down in Hurricane of 1944 - view towards litle drive way

Trumbul house - Maple tree taken down in hurricane of 1944 - loking towards road

Trumbul house - Maple Tree taken down in Huricane of 1944 (front porch steps

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 17, 1944

Dear Lumberman at large:

Return immediately. Poppa needs you. The wind she blow like hell in Trumbull and the place formally yelept (I have no idea what he meant by this) Babbling Brook (The name Grandma Arla used for the Trumbull House) seemed to be right in the path of the storm. Anyway, this morning, inspired by the good neighbor policy, Messrs. Laufer, Reynolds, John Kurtz and A.D.G. with ax, saw, crowbar, block and tackle, plus Buick horsepower lifted several tons of maple tree off the roof of the apartment, after a big section of the big maple tree in the back of the house ripped off and crashed down on our domicile. What internal damage was done I have not yet been able to ascertain, but here is a brief review of the other tree damage on the property;

1 – The aged maple tree between the barn and the old chicken coop was entirely blown down over the electric wires leading to the cottage.

2 – The top of the pine tree just outside the barn door had the top entirely blown off where it extended above the barn roof.

3 – At last the little old half Apple tree outside the back door which lost half its life in the last storm in 1938, has now been completely uprooted and lies partly across the driveway.

4 – The middle sized apple tree near the fence between the east side of our property and Ives corner lot, about opposite the big dining room window, was completely snapped off about 5 feet from it’s base so that it now parallels the driveway on top of the rhododendron brush and practically up to the stone gateway.

5 – The big old Maple tree on the front lawn near the screened porch, which was pretty hollow at the base anyway, had a big section toward the street broken off.

6 – The top of one of the big fir trees, or whatever it was, on the west side of the front entrance cement steps, as completely wrenched off.

Of course the whole place was littered with leaves and twigs and broken branches. It looked as if Eisenhower’s men had just finished a bombardment of enemy territory and this was it. There is plenty of potential firewood available this winter if I have the time and strength and endurance to saw it all up. Catherine took some pictures of the damage done to the place and as soon as prints are available I will send you some.

It’s the big fish that always gets away, they say, so it follows that one of the most appreciated letters that it has ever been my privilege to receive – – a birthday message from Dave – – which I intended to preserve and reread from time to time as a bracer and moral tonic when ere I got to feeling out of sorts, was lost in the big storm that visited us. The letter arrived on the same day during a heavy downpour and a few hours before the big wind hit. I took it with me after I left the office that night to go over to Elizabeth’s for supper. When I arrived I showed it to Elizabeth and Aunt Betty. Just before leaving for home, Zeke read it, handing it back to me just as I went out the front door into the driving rain with Aunt Betty toward the car. I thought I put it in my inside pocket where I generally carry such things but  I had several packages in my hand and was guiding Aunt Betty. When I reached home a search through all my pockets failed to reveal it and I pictured it being blown over the fair state of Connecticut at the rate of 70 mph. Oh well, it’s good to note Dave feels like he does to his pater, anyway.

You know the kind of glass they sometimes have on bathroom doors that lets light through, but is rippled and clouded so you can’t see through it? Well, that’s just about the visibility through the windshield of my car on the way home except for the immediate instant as the wiper was making its quick pass back and forth. Repeatedly we were engulfed in small ponds in low places on the road, invisible a few feet ahead through the storm, sprayed walls of water to each side just like the prow of a speeding boat (Remember that day in Hartford, Ced?) After a few such experiences the car began to buck a little and miss and the brakes began slipping, but we finally made port in the old barn, dropped anchor and reefed all sails to prepare for the coming hurricane, which the radio promised would increase in violence until reaching its peak at midnight. As the hours wore on, gradually the gale increased. Powerful gusts again and again would make the old house shiver. An occasional snap or thud made one wonder what was going on and what would happen next, but as the streetlights were all out, it was as black as pitch and you couldn’t see a thing. Jean, who was a bit on edge with it all, stayed up until 3 AM, writing all about it to Dick – – a sort of blow-by-blow description, one might truthfully say. On Friday morning, alas, the bright sun showed the havoc. The old Guion place had literally had its face lifted. We were without electric current until late Saturday afternoon and thus were without radio news, lights, hot water, or stove, and to cap it all, the oil burner in the kitchen range acted up so we had no cooking means at hand and had to avail ourselves of Catherine’s offer to use her gas stove. The telephone is still out.

Valerie, a valued follower in New Zealand, took this one step further than I did and found this link about the Great Atlantic Hurricane which hit New England in September, 1944. Trumbull is five miles north of Bridgeport, which is on Long Island Sound. This is where the Hurricane landed in Connecticut.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1944_Great_Atlantic_hurricane

Tomorrow and Wednesday, the rest of the letter. Thursday, the Birthday letter from Dave, on Friday, a One-Act Play, written by Grandpa.

Judy Guion.

Trumbull – Dear Lad (3) – Old-Fashioned Politics – September 17, 1939

I am enclosing a clipping which will give you a line on the political news. You will recognize your Dad’s homely face peering at you from amongst the type. Erwin Laufer is running for Constable from Trumbull Center on the Democratic ticket.

ADG - The Bridgeport Times-Star picture, Sept. 12, 1939- September 12, 1939 (2)

Guion, Davis Head Ticket

I will share below some of the pieces of news included in this article from the Bridgeport Times Star, September 12, 1939

G.O.P. Insurgents Beaten; Guion, Davis Head Tickets

Special to the Times-Star -TRUMBULL – Sept. 12 – camp and attempt by an insurgent Republican group to overthrow the twenty-five year domination of the George H.  Woods political machine failed last night when Alfred D. Guion was nominated for the third consecutive year as the standard bearer in the annual October election.  He defeated Burril L. Northam of Long Hill, candidate of the insurgent group, 145 to 80.

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The placing of the name of Monroe J.  Blackman in nomination for First Selectman to oppose Alfred Guion, choice of the town committee, and Burril l. Northam, candidate for the anti-Woods faction, was seen by political observers as a clever piece of work by the Woods machine to upset the insurgents and walk off with the town party caucus.

SEXTON SURPRISES

George Sexton, president of the Trumbull Taxpayers a Leaguenti-Woods and member of the faction, offered the only real excitement of the evening when he surprised the Republicans by nominating Constable Joseph Kane, Democrat, for Constable on the Republican ticket.  Kane drew a vote of 104, more than at his own caucus, at which he received 44 votes.

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It is remembered that three years ago George L. Sexton headed a dissatisfied Republican movement to block the nomination of Alfred D.  Guion for First Selectman.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting the Program from the Manila Symphony Society performance on October 11, 1945 and another letter from Dave to his Dad in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – Dan’s Old Wreck – September 17, 1939

EWGZ - Dan and Raymond, Jr. at baptism - 1939

Raymond Zabel Jr. (Elizabeth’s new son) and Daniel Beck Guion

Dan has been driving his old wreck of a car 14 miles to work each day and home again and has managed to make it work the three weeks or so he has been working for the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company, without serious difficulty. But yesterday the gas line apparently got clogged (no, it was Friday night on the way home) and he dropped in at my office in the town hall to borrow my car, pick up Dick and see if they could manage to fix it up enough to drive it home. They found the gas line had not been properly put together at a joint and had leaked. So they left it near the Merritt Parkway and Ced spent all day yesterday trying to repair it only to find that in addition to the gas line leak, it had evidently skipped and was out of time. They did get it home but it is not in running condition. Today, as luck would have it Dan heard he could get a job on the Merritt Parkway with his old gang, work which he likes better than he does the reservoir job and has accordingly made arrangements to be off with the old and on with the new, so the lack of a car won’t mean much under the circumstances.

Dan thought you would be interested to know that Benedict, Nelson and Meyers are now all back in the states. Stephenson has gone to the dogs. Nelson and Benedict were the last to see him and that was in Panama. He was drunk then and had no plans. Jim Shields has a job on the new superhighway they are building in Pennsylvania.

Chris Wells, a few weeks ago, had a smashup in which his car was mixed up with two others. I guess it was the other fellow’s fault. Chris had some slight cuts on his head, surface wounds only, but the car was pretty well smashed up.

Mr. Zabel came down this morning and asked me if I wanted to sell him my deep well pumping outfit that Zeke had told him I was not using. He went down and looked at it. I told him I did not know what it was worth but would try to find out. Have you any idea what I should ask for the head, the rods and foot valve?

Looking over some of my papers the other day I ran a cross a birthday card addressed to you, postmarked Columbus, Ohio, March 30, which I carelessly neglected to send.

Ced got another raise the other day and is now on a $.55 rate. Barbara was in a short time ago with Dan and told me to tell you she had written you a letter last Thursday and would probably mail it within a week or so.

Now that’s all the news my brain can cudgel up this afternoon and it’s pretty good with nothing to start on. Oh, yes, there’s one other thing I did think of the other day, and that was something for your Christmas. How would it do for me to send you, with the next shipment of books, some small gift of some sort smuggled in the same box. Do you think we could get by with it, and if so, what thing or things that would not be as big as a grand piano would you like from the dear old U.S.?

There was another newspaper clipping I am enclosing commenting on the need for oil, which I thought you the boss might be interested in reading. Well, xxxxxx, here’s your daddies good night kiss, and write without letting too much time go by or I’ll disinherit you lock, stock and barrel.

DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll post the last piece of this letter, containing the political news and Grandpa’s involvement.

Judy Guion