Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – News From Aunt Elsie And A Birthday Party For Two – August 20, 1942

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

Aunt Elsie, Grandpa’s sister

Trumbull, Conn., August 23, 1942

Dear Sons:

It gives me great pleasure to lead off this evening with a broadcast from our guest artist, Miss Elsie M. Guion, who had, this day, had the honor of entertaining in connection with a joint (cut out those remarks about “some joint”, etc.) celebration of birthdays.

Miss Guion:

Thank you, Mr. Guion, and how do you do, Sons o’ Guns. We, the celebrants, have had a great day, and speaking for myself, I am enjoying a rare Sunday both from the standpoint of a workless Sunday and also a Sunday at Trumbull. I’ll not dwell on the birthday, because, oh well, I’ve had too many of them, although they’ve always been swell. Today’s brought an odd assortment of gifts, but I asked for it. Some luscious big ripe tomatoes such as we don’t get in the big city, a loaf of unmatchable Soderholm’s Swedish rye bread. The rest I didn’t order: A bottle of delectable domestic Port Wine, a box of all American licorice candy and some coconut cupcakes. Aunt Betty’s gift was a birthday card with an appropriate message and a dollar bill tucked almost out of sight – but I found right soon. I’m quick that way.

Dan, I’m responsible for the Cookie Wookies. I hope it didn’t taste as wacky as it sounds but I didn’t have a chance to sample it. It’s a poor substitute for letters and my resolutions to write even a postal that never materialized. I’m slow that way.

ADG - Elsie's Shop Christmas Flyer - cover, 1941

Christmas Brochure for the Accessory Shop, Inc.

          The Shop (inside Grand Central Station) goes on – for better for worse. The Station seems to be filled most of the time now that automobiles are not used so much. Constantly, uniforms, singly and in bunches, pass through. Yesterday seemed busier than usual. But you should see the Station and also any part of New Your City in a Blackout. Any city street, utterly black, is a most interesting “site”. The Waiting Room in the station has to go completely black because it has windows high up that evidently can’t be blacked out.

Now I’m done except to send an affectionate hello to Ced, and to wish that, like the rest of us here, that we could grasp his hand and say “It’s great to see you again.” So long.

Thank you, Miss Guion. You refer to a “rare” Sunday. Now, that’s too bad. I did so try to have it “well done”. But then, as in most meals, one gets his just desserts. Dick (who was also celebrating a birthday), shy, modest and retiring as usual, “can’t think of anything to say”, so he is passing up this golden opportunity to hurl a few verbal bombshells at his absent brothers.

We had eleven round the festive board. Starting at my right and making the circle were: Lad (home for the weekend from Aberdeen, Maryland), Elsie (Guion, Grandpa’s sister), Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt), Elizabeth (Grandma and Grandpa’s only daughter, known as Bissie to friends and family), the two grandsons (Butch and Marty Zabel) (spasmodically), Dave, Zeke (Raymond Zabel, Bissie’s husband) , Dick, Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s future wife) and yours truly. The vegetables were fresh from Mr. Laufer’s (a neighbor across the street) garden and consisted of lima beans, raw tomatoes and sweetcorn. The two chickens were also native Trumbull products. Katherine (Warden, who has rented the apartment with her husband, Paul, who is also in the Armed Services, and their two children, Skipper and Susan) made the cake from Guion ingredients and it was right good. Naturally, as on all similar occasions, we missed Alaska (Ced) and North Carolina (Dan).

A hard shower sprang up before the meal was over which gave the lie to the sunshine with which the day had started. Lad is out calling but will be back before long and he and Aunt Elsie will entrain together for New York later this evening.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter from Grandpa to his absent sons.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Truants – Dick and Dave Go Camping – August 16, 1942

Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee), summer, 1946

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Trumbull, Conn., August 16, 1942

Dear Truants:

It was two hours ago at least that I wrote the first line above, which will give you some indication of the amount of energy, vim, pep or whatever you choose to call it, which animates me this afternoon. Perhaps the cause lies in the fact that my digestive apparatus has been kinking up again, perhaps in the fact that this week we have had at least eight days of rain (and some figure nine); or it may be that not a single word this week has come from any of my children who are at present playing hooky from the old home. I saw Lad last week, had a longer letter than usual from Dan last week, but nothing from what was once my dependable old Ced. What with the lapse of time and distance his ardor must be cooling. We used to try to write once a week, but now we’re lucky if we hear once a month. Oh well, perhaps I’m a bit unreasonable about wanting to know what’s happening to my furthest away boy.

After the rain stopped for a bit yesterday morning, Dick and Dave decided to do a bit of adventuring in the great outdoors, so they loaded their sleeping bags in Dick’s car and started for Candlewood Lake. They had supper in a nearby roadhouse, found a suitable camping spot on the shore, but while it did not rain during the night, it was so hot and muggy that the bags were too hot to sleep in and when they emerged the mosquitoes drove them inside again, and in consequence, they arrived back here, sleepy, early this morning and had a few hours sleep, a light dinner, which Aunt Betty prepared for them, I feeling too lazy and miserable to bother with food, after which they started off for the movies. This afternoon it has rained as hard as I have ever seen it rain here in a long time.

It was Jane Mantle’s birthday yesterday and she and Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), I understand, had supper with the Warden’s. Possibly we will have a celebration of our own next week – – certainly will if Dan and Lad and Elsie are all able to be present. I don’t really expect all that but it is fun to dream visions anyway.

Well, here it is the middle of August. Before very long I will start my regular sneezing bouts followed by first frost and the end of summer. Fortunately I now have almost a winters supply of coal in the cellar bin. In further preparation I ought to cement up cracks around the cellar windows where new sashes were put in and I also think it would be a good idea to encourage the storm windows with some judiciously installed weather stripping around doors and north windows. That may come after I have finished paying for the coal and cleaning the sewer line.

There is not much news I can relate. Danny Wheeler is now in the Army with the Ferrying Command, I hear. Trumbull shortly will have a test blackout which will duplicate as near as possible the real thing with imaginary incendiary fires, citizens injured, etc. The time is to remain a secret.

As I wrote you, Lad, L.K. Sieck, 228 Gray, Ames, Iowa, wrote a note and asked for your address, saying he had worked with you in Venezuela, having received my address from Charley Hall. He wrote on August 7th he was leaving college within a couple of weeks and hoped I would reply promptly. I did.

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Lad to Grandpa, and on Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Backslider With Excuses (2) – News About Dan and Ced – May 29, 1940

This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday about all of Grandpa’s excuses for not writing his usual weekly letter on Sunday night.

The boys have not decided when to leave. Ced heard from young Stohl saying that as Rusty (Heurlin) had decided not to drive with them, they have decided not to go to Seattle by car but would probably fly. So Ced decided to take the Willys (Grandpa’s car) and Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend and just as fanatical about all things mechanical as Lad) now has it, putting it into shape. He is doing a thorough engine overhauling job, new rings, etc. and is also  re-facing the clutch. It ought to be finished by Monday and then Ced will see how far North they can travel by auto and from that point take the car on the boat to the most southern port in Alaska where they can unload the car from the boat and continue their journey to Anchorage or where ever they decide to go, by auto. I have been trying to get the sailing dope for them from the bank’s Travel Bureau and road dope from the A.A.A. Will let you know the details as they are unfolded.

I think I told you I sent the three dollars check to Mr. Hadley and received a very nice acknowledgment which I will try to remember to enclose. Like most folks who know you, he likes you and also pays your family a nice complement.

I mentioned the other day to the VP of an oil refinery catalog that I am using to advertise Jelliff products that you were with the SV people and he told me he frequently saw in New York one of your bosses, a Mickey somebody, and would mention you to him when next they met.

The stock market is all shot to pieces in view of the war news. It certainly looks pretty serious for the allies but there seems to be nothing we can do about it. F.D., after having run the country into a tremendous debt with his crack-brained experiments, is now proposing to spend billions more for planes, etc. By the way there is enclosed an interesting account of a talk with Mr. Ford about the number of planes we could produce.

A man came into the office the other day and asked us to mimeograph a sheet giving his experience, etc., in business with the idea of looking for another job. He told George he had just been let go by the Standard Oil here, the reason being that while the company was not saying anything about it publicly, the company had lost so many tankers through German sub attacks that they were curtailing expenses by cutting down on their personnel. Whether this is actually true or merely his alibi for being fired I do not know.

Tomorrow is a holiday of course. The boys are not going to school until Monday and both Dan and Ced are also off. The latter are planning to make another trip to the fair (The New York World’s Fair) and will probably take Dave. I think I shall stay at home and get the house in some sort of shape for the party Saturday. It just occurs to me that as Kurtz’s is closed all day tomorrow, I may not be able to mail this letter to you until Friday and possibly by that time I may have another letter from you and perhaps the regular check from the company. Will this be the last check I will receive from them or have you decided to stay with SV (Socony-Vacuum Oil Company, which eventually became part of Mobil Oil)? Have you made any more definite plans for your trip to Caracas? Take a few hours off someday soon and write me a letter in which you let down your hair because, after all, the most interesting things are what you are planning and thinking as well as what you’re actually doing in the physical sense.

My clock says 10:30 and I am getting sleepy after my late hours last night, so I’ll bring a mental night cap to you and pile off to little old bed.

As always,

Dad

Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, a letter from Fred Chion, who worked with Dan for Interamerica, Inc. in Venezuela, telling him all the news since Dan left Venezuela about a year ago.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Backslider With Excuses (1) – All The Excuses – May 29, 1940

This week I will be posting two letters, today and tomorrow, one from Grandpa, and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a long letter to Dan from a co-worker of Dan’s in Venezuela with some very detailed information on what has transpired with the Interamerica, Inc. company since Dan left Venezuela.

Alfred Duryee Guion - summer, 1946

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

R-77  May 29, 1940

Dear Lad:

For the second week in succession I am a backslider. Here it is Wednesday eventide and I am just starting in to write you last Sunday’s letter. Aunt Betty came up for the weekend and having expressed a desire to see the pink Dogwood in Greenfield Hills and having a nice new Packard on tick to take her in, after dinner Sunday we donned our best bid and tucker and we all tried out the car in that direction. No, I’m wrong, that was Saturday afternoon. Sunday after dinner dishes were washed we loaded up with a car trunk full of Lilacs and started to take Aunt Betty home, making stops en route at Larry’s, Kemper’s, and Grandma’s. (all Peabodys) Ethel and Kemper were out of town but we saw all the rest who asked to be remembered to you. You must be getting better in your correspondence, by the way, because both Ethel and your lady friend at the cleaners both mentioned having received letters from you. Aunt Helen ((Peabody) Human) says however you haven’t answered the letters she wrote you. Well, after leaving New Rochelle we took Aunt Betty to Mount Vernon and after giving Mrs. Seipp some Lilacs nothing would do but we must all come in and have supper — “just a cup of tea” – which consisted of a bowl of soup, hot biscuits, hot turkey sandwich with gravy and generous helpings of rich fruitcake. By the time we reached home it was bedtime. (Incidentally, Ced discovered the borrowed Packard had picked up a nail somewhere and had developed a flat) and I decided to postpone writing you until Monday night. So, with supper out of the way I came in here to the alcove, had just inserted paper into the machine, when a tap  at the window caused me to look up and there was Bruce Lee. He explained he had been up in New England on business and was not expected home until late so decided to stop off and have a chat. You know Bruce. He got started on the war and while I got a yes or no in edgewise once in a while, he pretty well occupied the time with a monologue until nearly 11. So, says I to myself, the letter will have to go to Tuesday, but it must be written then without fail, failing to recall that an important town meeting was called for that night to decide on the budget, being an adjourned meeting from the fortnight previously. It was after 12 before the meeting was over, which brings us at one jump to the present time with almost a page 2/3 completed. Progress, I’ll say.

Received your note telling me all about little Kay. It must’ve been quite an ordeal. I can remember going through a similar experience with you at the time of the infantile paralysis epidemic when we called in Dr. Hubbard, a specialist on the disease, and learned, much to our relief, that you did not have it. That was on Dell Avenue (Mt. Vernon, NY), the time your little squeaky voice piped up in the middle of the night, “toot, toot, all aboard”.

Just here I have had quite a lengthy interruption by a visit from Carl and Ethel trying to arrange some sort of a farewell party for the Alaskan trippers. It is scheduled to be held Saturday which incidentally is also Ced’s birthday. I have bought him a watch and the gang is talking about giving the boys each a pair of heavy gloves and also a woolen lumbermen’s shirt or something of that sort.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter, which includes more information about Dan and Ced’s anticipated trip to Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Hello Again – Sprucing Up The Place – April 2, 1944

Blog - Trumbull House - 1960's (2) - cropped

                                                 The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   April 2, 1944

Hello again:

Another week has rolled around and finds me again seated at my faithful typewriter, withal a little lame in the back after having wrestled with numerous baskets of incinerator refuse which Ced laboriously filled and would have emptied himself undoubtedly if he had not been summoned so summarily back to the wilds of Anchorage. I wanted to get the yard cleaned up a bit so as to look somewhat presentable for Easter. Jean (Mortensen, Mrs. Richard), too, has been busy indoors, bless her heart. The kitchen floor looks as clean and nice as any time since the new linoleum was first laid, and she has washed the curtains which the kitchen oil stove managed to make quite drab.

Yesterday, I spent some time out front cutting down Maple shoots which had started up in between the arborvitae hedge, which is so ragged any way, that I think it would look better taken down altogether. What do you think? Then there is the cellar and the barn and the storm windows to be taken down and the screens to be put up. Two or three of you “father’s helpers” better quit the army and come home and give me a hand. Oh, yes, I also spent part of yesterday afternoon applying another coat of tar on the canvas roof over the laundry. In getting the can of tar out of the cellar, I had left the cellar door open, which was an invitation to Skipper and Susan to explore the cellar. Seeing their father’s oil barrel handy, they promptly took great delight in letting all the kerosene in said oil barrel run out on the cellar floor, much to their mother’s delight and my glee.

Dave is deserving of my appreciation, and he gets it. He has not let a week go by, no matter how busy or tired he is, without writing. In the letter received this week he mentions the possibility of his being transferred to another camp soon and hopes it might be to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where the chances of his being able to come home occasionally would be brighter than at present.

Daughter Marian (Irwin), Mrs. Lad) writes to say that Lad is being kept pretty busy. They are still house hunting but are finding it difficult to find a suitable place accessible to the Camp.

A letter from Dorothy (Peabody) reports Anne (Peabody) Stanley) has recently returned from a visit to Vermont, Gweneth (Stanley, Anne’s daughter)  having been ill with a cold. Burton (Peabody, Grandma Arla’s brother) is still in Washington. Helen (Peabody) Human) and Ted  (Human) are still in New York. Ted is doing a series of engineering articles for MacGraw Hill, Helen meantime taking over the complete management of the apartment leaving Dorothy ample opportunity to take it easy in recovering from her operation.

Art Mantle has been awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in the battle of the Salvo Islands. Dan’s letter about the Red Cross has recently been published in the Bridgeport Post and did it’s part in helping to put the drive over the top. Although Trumbull’s quota was double what it was last year, we even topped that by $1000. And that seems to be all – – a rather uninteresting letter, I’ll admit, but at least it’s something. Can you-all say as much? Happy Easter greetings to all of you. Remember the jellybean hunts you used to have as kids? No jellybeans on the market now. There’s a war on. Have you heard?

The same Dad

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of “Liquid Heaven” Special Pictures and Memories.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Each Son (2) – Dear Dave and Dan – March 26, 1944

David Peabody (Dave) Guion

Dear Dave:

It was good to get your letter and know you are holding up the Guion tradition in good style. Sorry you did not do so well in the shooting but there are other things of more importance. Paul (Warden, along with his wife, Katherine, and their two children, rent the small apartment in the Trumbull House)  is all pepped up over the fact that he went through his mental test with flying colors. 150 is the average; 180 is tops, which no one has obtained yet. He got 174 and thinks it will mean a rating. I saw Mr. Mehigan in Herb’s (Haye’s Grocery Store) the other day and he told me to tell you “Sonny” was being shipped out to Little Rock where he will have something to do with the Ferrying Command. Ed Dolan says Mrs. Boyce was in the other day and asked all about you boys, particularly Ced, but you are her pet. It’s certainly odd how all the women fall for you. They must like ‘em fresh. George (an employee at Guion Advertising Co., Grandpa’s business in Bridgeport, CT) is having considerable trouble with the folding machine. He can’t seem to remember how to make even a simple fold now, so lately we have to fold everything by hand. Postage rates have gone up – – no more 2 cent local rates. Everything is three cents now and airmail eight cents instead of six. Taxes on toilet articles now is 20% and taxes on movies have also been doubled. Dan writes he is enjoying himself, despite war and the Army. When he wrote on March 12th he didn’t seem to have been bothered by the bombing of London we read about but says his plans to go to Cambridge so far have not materialized.

Daniel Beck (Dan) Guion

Dear Dan: (last but not least)

I almost fell through the floor into Kurtz’s cellar (Kurtz’s General Store , not far from the house, is also the location of the Post Office and Mrs. Kurtz is the Postmistress) when I found four V-Mail letters from you at one fell swoop in the mailbox. The flooring is pretty sturdy however, so you can try again without fear of the consequences. Ced reports he is staying at the house of one of the Woodley Airways pilots, one McDonald by name, a new house. He has a fair sized room and garage for his car. A few days before he got back, Rusty (Heurlin) had departed for the far North for about a year.

He said when he wrote that the snow was 20 inches deep and still snowing. Skiing was good. On the way back (Ced had been home for a lengthy visit and returned via Hooks, Texas, so he could visit his older brother, Lad,  and meet his new sister-in-law, Marian) fairly long stops at Ketchikan, Wrangell and Petersburg enabled him to take short tramps into the interior with his camera. They arrived at Juneau at 8:45 of a Sunday morning. As Art (Woodley, Ced’s boss)  runs (flies) to Juneau on Tuesdays and Fridays, Ced was all set to fool around until Tuesday but figured he should promptly book his reservation anyway. I quote: “I went right over to the Juneau agent and asked if the Tuesday trip was loaded. The fellow said he thought it was but asked if I would like to go today. I asked who was going and he said Art Woodley was in town. Was I glad to hear that. Well, he was soon located at the Baranof Hotel. His wife and father-in-law were also present. It seems that they had some business to attend to and stayed over from the Friday trip on that account. They greeted me very pleasantly and at 11 o’clock we arrived at the airport for the return trip to Anchorage.

The following notice appeared in the Bridgeport paper Thursday: Funeral services for Walter H Rubsamen, 46, of White Plains Rd., Trumbull, who died of a heart attack yesterday, will take place, Friday at 2 PM. Mr. Rubsamen, who had been suffering from a heart ailment for several years, collapsed at Main and Bank streets at 1:50 PM yesterday and was dead before medical assistance arrived. Mr. Rubsamen is survived by his wife, a daughter, Barbara-Lee, and a son,, Walter Sanford, a student at Choate school, Wallingford, where he will be graduated in June. He has been accepted for Navy duty on graduation.”

To each and all of you, severally and individually, one and indivisible:

Will you please detach the bottom part of his paper and with your next letter home, mark the various items, after having thoughtfully gone over them, and indicate which, if any, you would like to have me send you from time to time. Thanks.

DAD

*  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Pads     Ink     Eraser     Paste     Clips     Ruler     Pencils     Calendar     Candy     Chewing Gum     Tobacco     Magazines     Bridgeport newspaper     Camera     Film     Coat hangers     Shoe polish     Kleenex     Shampoo or Tonic     Soap     Tooth powder     Camphor Ice     Deodorant     Shaving Materials     Shirts     Sox     Handkerchiefs     neckties     pajamas     slippers

State sizes, colors, brands, etc. preferred

Other Items Listed Here *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Tomorrow a newspaper article based on a letter Dan wrote from London to Grandpa about the American Red Cross Club near him, Thursday a short letter to Ced from Elizabeth and on Friday, an even shorter note from Lad to Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Letters to Each Son (1) – Dear Lad, Dick and Ced – March 26, 1942

We are now moving forward to 1944 when the United States is fully engaged in the war effort. So is the Guion family. All five sons are serving Uncle Sam in one way or another. Four are in the Army and Ced is in Alaska, repairing airplanes for the military in Anchorage. His boss continues to request deferments for him and so far, has been successful. Grandpa writes a weekly letter and sends carbon copies to all his sons (and one daughter-in-law). This is the first half of a three page typed letter. The second half will be posted tomorrow.

Lad  - 1943

       Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion 

Trumbull, Conn. March 26, 1944

Dear Lad:

You will receive this letter within a few days, either way, of your birthday – – your first birthday as a married man. (Incidentally, tomorrow is the anniversary of the day your Mother and I were married 31 years ago) there is so much that one would like to put into a goodwill greeting on such occasions that must remain unsaid because, outside of a few gifted persons, we ordinary folks are unable to put our thoughts on paper – – to say all that is in our hearts and minds.

Today Elizabeth (Grandpa and Grandma’s only daughter and her family) and Zeke, with Butch and Marty, took dinner with us. As I watched the children with their cute little ways and words, the days of my own children’s childhood came back and I lived over again those all too short happy years when all of you were youngsters and your Mother and I watched the unfolding of your young ideas and lives. Even as I write here in the alcove, there burns in the fireplace part of the seat of the little, old wooden high chair that all of you children successively used. It went the way of all things that have outlived their usefulness, being part of the rubbish Ced cleaned out of the attic recently. It gave me a bit of a pang I admit, as it went up in flames, to contribute a bit of warmth in it’s last service to the family.

One of the lessons that the years have taught me is the futility of impatience with things as they are. Perhaps you of all the children have this quality in larger measure. If there is one time we all need patience it is now. The cruel war drags on. Each of you undoubtedly feels he is contributing so little toward hastening the day of victory with all that it means to you individually, that at times it is most discouraging, far from home and loved ones, to keep up a good heart; but know that each day that passes inevitably brings one day nearer the day of peace and all that goes with it. When blue and inclined to feel bitterly tired of it all, I have found it a good tonic to deliberately set about reviewing in my mind all the good things on the credit side of the ledger that we can count as ours. Try it sometime and you’ll find the good far outnumbers the evil. To you and Marian goes a father’s loving thoughts on this reaching of another milestone on life’s journey.

Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion

Dear Dick:

After getting dinner started this morning, I took the wheelbarrow and shovel to try to repair the damage to the driveway caused by a recent hard rain which had guttered the driveway opposite Laufer’s in a most distressing manner. As I busily shoveled some of the stone from under the big flat stone at the bottom of the concrete steps leading to the front door, to serve as fill, a car came by and stopped. A face adorned with a sailor hat leaned out of the window and greeted me. It was Cy Linsley. He asked about all the boys and is quite happy in his job concerned with radar and radio tube technical work. Pete, (who marries Barbara Plumb, and becomes a member of the tight group of friends Marian and Lad have in Trumbull after the war) he says, is also in the Navy.

Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Mrs. Richard, who is living in the Trumbull House with Grandpa and Aunt Betty) tells me you have a new job which keeps you quite busy with clerical details. Haven’t much time to devote to Whirlaway (the facetious name for the horse which Dick is part owner of in Brazil) these days, I take it. Mr. Covell came into the office the other day to try to sell me some life insurance (He didn’t.) and asked about you, making me promise to give you his regards when I wrote. Smoky is outside the window and when I asked if he remembered you, he vigorously wagged his tail, which of course in dog language means “Yes”.

We had the worst snowstorm of the entire winter the other day, so deep that I did not try to take the car to Bridgeport, fearing I would not be able to make the drive at night, and when I stepped out of the back door on the way to the bus, a Robin in one of the apple trees over in Ives old orchard (behind the back yard) was singing lustily. I guess he knew that in spite of the snow Spring is here.

Cedric Duryee (Ced) Guion

Dear Ced:

Your interesting letter written on the typewriter, much to Aunt Betty’s delight, arrived safely in spite of the fact the envelope was addressed to me, “address unknown”. (This is a game Ced and Grandpa play quite often, trying to see who can come up with the most outrageous addresses for their letters to each other) I am tempted to address this letter to you, followed by the letters T&DES, meaning of course “Tax & Draft Evasion Specialist”, but I thought maybe the local board might take exception to such a liberty. By the way, I am still using your ration book. Enclosed is a sample of the one point tokens they are using now for change.

I called up the Buick place the other day and they said they had the rubber mat for the car now but no exhaust pipe. I asked them to hold the mat and let me know as soon as another pipe came in. From Mrs. McClinch I learned they would take the pipe uncrated for Alaskan shipment. By the way, you speak of being rather short of funds. If I can help out let me know and I will get a check off to you by return mail. Did Art (Woodley, owner of Woodley Airlines and Ced’s boss) come across with the promised bonus? Please let me have Rusty’s (Rusty Heurlin, dear friend to both Grandma and Grandpa, who moved to Alaska and became quite famous as an artist of Alaskan Life) address if you think of it when you write; also of course, I am anxious to see some of those self-portraits you speak up. By the way, your letter came without being reviewed by the sensor, as in the past.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter, with a special request for each of the boys. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys – Dick’s and Elsie Duryee’s Birthday – August 8, 1942

Aunt Elsie Duryee – Grandpa’s sister

Trumbull, Conn., August 8, 1942

Dear Boys:

It’s raining, Lad is home and we got a letter from Dan; and as this sums up about all the news, I’ll now close. DAD

Hold on there, says you. That’s no way to write a letter. Well, he replies, that’s a lot better than getting no letter at all. (Business of Ced flinching and looking a bit guilty). Even if it’s only a postcard, like the fellow sent home to his wife: “Having a fine time, wish you were her.”) Which shows what happens when a letter is omitted. At least you can if you have a good imagination. Moral, don’t omit letters. Q.E.D.

We are now enjoying one of those all-day steady rains. It started last night in fact and has been quietly and persistently keeping up. Yesterday afternoon I decided to paint our porch chair and as the weather even then looked a bit threatening, I took the chair and paint upstairs in the barn. There was some other furniture there too, and in my innocence, I left them together for a few moments alone, feeling sure that as this had been Aunt Betty’s chair, it had from association, learned some measure of discretion, and you can therefore imagine my surprise a short time later on my return to find a foundling on the doorstep in the shape of another camp chair, which I duly adopted into the family, painted a sort of a character whitewash, and, I suppose, for moral effect, will have to sit on hard occasionally.

APG - Lad in uniform next to barn -

Alfred Peabody Guion, home on leave

Lad dropped in last night on one of the raindrops, I guess. Anyway, there he was this morning, big as life, peacefully sleeping in the bed beside Dave. As his course in Cadre School will be completed next week, he expects to be assigned definitely to some other activity and will therefore not be able to get home. However, if things break right, he may be able to get home the weekend following – – that’s of the 22nd, on which we are planning to celebrate Dick’s and Aunt Elsie’s birthday, although I am not sure Elsie will be able to make it. Also, from Dan’s last letter, it does not look particularly hopeful that Dan will be able to get off either. He says the rumor mill has died down again and it looks as though they might stay on at Roanoke Rapids for a spell longer. Meantime his fame as a lecturer, quartette and choir singer seems to be stirring the little southern town into a seething realization of what a damn Yankee from Conn. really can be like. It is even rumored he will broadcast over their local station.

And here we are now just about where we started.

The moving finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all of your piety or wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line

Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

          So says Omar Khayyam, and while I see no reason at present to cancel anything above, neither can I think of more to say at this writing that will add either to your information or entertainment. Flash – Dave just came in and said, “Whatever you do, don’t miss an opportunity to see Mrs. Miniver.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mrs._Miniver

DAD

Tomorrow, Dan’s reply to Ced’s letter sent to Trumbull – and disappointing Grandpa when he realized the letter was not for him – but sent on to Dan in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Ced and Dan – Lad Home for the Weekend – August 2, 1942

Cedric Guion

Daniel Guion

Trumbull, Conn., August 2, 1942

Dear Ced and Dan:

Alert as your mind is you have of course discerned that the reason why Lad is not included in this letter is because he is home this weekend. He arrived at 2:30 this morning and rather than wake anyone at this hour, at once retired on the screened porch until 8 this morning when Red’s mother phoned here (Red also stayed overnight here). Although Lad left Aberdeen before 6 o’clock last night he did not arrive in Bridgeport until early this morning because of poor train connections – – my experience also. He is out visiting in his car at present but will probably be home later as he has to catch the 10:45 from Bridgeport in order to be on hand for reveille tomorrow. He looks fine – – brown and lean, seems to like his teaching job, has two weeks more to go to finish his 13-week’s training course and then will either be assigned elsewhere on Ordnance work or stationed at Aberdeen to continue along his present line. In the latter event, he will be able to get home more frequently than in the past unless he goes to Officers Training School, which will mean another grueling eight weeks of intensive study.

Got a letter from Dan this week. If I reciprocate by answering it with one of corresponding length it will read something like this: “Your letter received. Thanks. Dad”. However, we are grateful for even small mercies, and I would far rather have just a note then nothing. It’s about time that long legged pal of mine in Alaska came through with another letter and next week my hopes will be mounting to lofty heights in anticipation.

Undoubtedly you both received carbon copy of Mr. Chandler’s good letter and enjoyed reading it as much as I did. There is little of interest to report. Have been granted additional gas rations by the local board, which will now give me 12 gallons a week for the next three months, which, with careful use, will enable me to get by satisfactorily, unless, as seems unlikely at present, a pickup in business necessitates my making numerous trips to Milford, Fairfield, etc. I have also induced my coal man to shoot in 10 tons of buckwheat coal in the bin so that we at least will not freeze next winter. The latest rumor from Dan’s crystal ball has his company moving to Lancaster or York – – sort of a war of the Roses. Anyway, the trend seems to be northward and thus nearer Trumbull, which is all to the good. Whether it will now take a strong northerly flavor and bypass Trumbull for Alaska is something else again. By the way, Ray Beckwith told me one family in Long Hill received a letter from their son overseas which said, “I am now in Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was born, but Jesus Christ, I wish I was in Long Hill where I was born.” Dan, if you can get a pass home for the weekend nearest August 19th, it would put a nice touch on the joint celebration we usually try to hold in commemoration of Dick’s and Aunt Elsie’s natal day. Ced, tell that old sidekick of mine (Grandpa is referring to Rusty Heurlin, an artist and fried to both Grandma Arla and Grandpa, who became a well-known artist of Alaskan life) to write me again and let me know how you are behaving yourself, if you have burned anymore prunes lately, etc., also a bit about his own achievements. We are beginning to feel wars pinch here now. I am having trouble getting meat. What there is to be had is getting higher in cost in spite of price ceilings. Maybe we will have to transform ourselves into vegetarians for a spell. Aunt Betty sends love and of course you will know what to expect from your still hopeful

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa, this time to all three sons. On Friday, the response from Dan to Ced regarding Ced’s “almost” letter mentioned in Monday’s Post.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys of the North and South (2) – Advice to Lad – July 26, 1942

This is the second half of a letter I posted yesterday. Grandpa always has well thought out advice for the future of all of  his sons.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Page 2      7/26/1942

          Lad: There has been considerable comment of late, both over the radio and in print, as well as in addresses both here and in England by prominent men, on what sort of conditions economically will follow the beginning of peace. Some, like the editor of the Post Telegram, seem to feel it would be a lot better to devote all our thought and energy to winning the war first and then take up the subject of what is to follow at that time. However that may be, it would seem both wise and profitable to occasionally give some consideration to our own individual problems and plan, in so far as we can, on what our own course of action may be. This might well be done by Dan whose goal is not so clear-cut and definite as yours, and Ced, though not yet in the service, has more or less mapped out a definite airplane career for himself. But in your case, with diesel in mind, let’s see what we can do here and now to look into the possibilities of the future and lay plans so that whether this war is followed by boom times or depressions, you will be more likely to land on your feet. What, for instance, can you do with your Diesel Instructor’s Course to make it pay future dividends? For one thing, you can legitimately make it an excuse for writing to all the leading manufacturers of diesels, asking to get in touch with the key man in each plant, making engines with which Ordinance has anything to do, asking their help in placing at your disposal for instruction purposes, any charts, tables, or exhibits, etc., they may have available, asking if they might be willing to send some of their specialists to lecture to your classes on some particular phase of the problem, all of course with consent of your superior officer (I wouldn’t go too much into detail with him but just in an off-hand manner, get his consent to write to manufacturers for help), the main object, even though appearing to be incidental, being to make contact with leading men in the manufacturing industry and identifying yourself as an individual thoroughly conversant with diesel matters, and doing it so definitely right now that you might be assigned to some manufacturer as the Army’s representative at a particular plant, but here again the main object would be to get acquainted with leading manufacturing key men so that after this thing is all over, they will either be induced to notify you of their own accord that they have an opening for you in their organization, or failing this, you will have established so valuable a contact and possibly acquaintance, that in the scramble for post-war jobs in private industry, you will be several jumps ahead of the rank and file. But now is the time to start what is often a long process that takes time to sprout and flower before eventually bearing fruit. The average man will wait until he is mustered out and then start. Two quotations occur to me at this moment. One from Longfellow:

The heights by great man reached and kept

Were not attained by sudden flight

But then, while their companions slept

Were toiling upward in the night.

And from Shakespeare:

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good

we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

          And as anything else added by me would be an anti-climax, the best thing I can do is to close this letter, with regards from

DAD

Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll have two more letters from Grandpa to his sons far away and on Friday, a letter from Dan to Ced in reply to the “Almost Letter” that disappointed Grandpa on the first page of this letter..

Judy Guion