Army Life – Dear Dad (1) – Lad’s Comments to His Dad – April 29, 1945

 

??????????????????????????Alfred Peabody Guion

Sunday April 29

Rec’d 5/9

Dear Dad: –

I’ve received two more letters from you since I wrote last week. April 8th and 15th.

But before I go into any discourse on letters, how about a little local news?

Yesterday we had a rather freakish day which included sunshine, rain, snow, hail and ice. This morning there was ice here and there and a heavy frost covered everything. As I came to work the sun was just rising and there were pretty white clouds scudding across a very blue sky. A perfect October day wouldn’t have been any different, even as far as the smell of the air. Since, however, it has clouded over and a few flashes of snowfall

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turning to water or disappearing on touching the ground. The temperature isn’t very much above 0°C. And we don’t have stoves anymore –!!

This present cold spell, reaching its peak early this morning, has been with us for most of this week, and somehow, somewhere, I found a germ. He attacked my throat and then crawled headward, but I believe I’ve got him stopped now.

The nicest day we’ve had, Tuesday, I took a pass and went to the same bomber base I wrote about before. This time I was successful and after many attempts (See Marian for details) I succeeded in going aloft. It was a B –26 and I flew higher than I’ve ever flown before, 10,105 ft. I watched the altimeter myself. Rather than repeat the whole story, I think the aforementioned source will

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give you the details.

And now, your letters.

Mar. 25th – The first part of this one deals with one of my letters to you. Therefore, no comments. Then Dave’s letter. Apparently he didn’t go very far west on his first hop. His account of changing from a pollywog to a shellback is very interesting, and educational. I’d like to cross the “line” to, sometime, but under different circumstances. Then comes Dan and Paulette. That really was a very nice letter and raises Paulette in my already high estimation. I disagree, however, with your own view about of what Paulette might gather or expect of Trumbull and the actuality. And I believe I form my opinion without prejudice. Dad, Trumbull itself, has something that is not visible until

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it can be seen. Something very lovely and attractive which is a combination of lots of things, and an exact duplication can’t be found anywhere else. I can now see what the Peabody’s and so many others saw that makes it such a lovely place. And that “ordinary, rather homely everyday individual well past the noon of life” is a rather incomplete picture of you. “Beauty is only skin deep” and it is that which is below the skin; the depth of a person; which makes one as he is. You, my dear Pop, could never be judged by what can be seen in a mirror. So, I still believe it would be hard to exaggerate Trumbull as a town and “Babbling Brook” as the Guion household. No I’m sure Paulette would have no

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misgivings on those points. For the inhabitants, I can’t say very much, with certain exceptions.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this letter. On Friday, a letter from Biss to Ced in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (2) – Elsie Sends Greetings – April 29, 1945

This is the rest of the letter Grandpa wrote to Lad and Dan, both in France, and Ced, still working in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick in Brazil and Dave, somewhere in the Pacific theater. 

And Catherine Warden writes that about three weeks ago Paul was notified to be ready to ship within 10 days, but as yet, orders haven’t come through. He is now ACM 3/c — that’s a third class petty officer – – Aviation Ordinance Man – – a rate comparable to T/4 in the Army, I think. At least he gets the same pay. “We have finally made up our minds what we will do when Paul is shipped out. It is most likely that he will draw sea duty. I did wish I could go back to Trumbull, but that’s out of the question too, I guess. So we are going to my sister’s in Orange, Mass. What do you hear from Dave? Both Paul and I have written him several times but we haven’t heard from him yet. I had a letter from Jimmy McLinch today in which he asks for Dave’s address, saying he hadn’t heard from him since he was at Crowder. I was very much surprised at Dan’s news. You certainly are collecting your daughters-in-law quickly, aren’t you? I do hope you have all gotten out your French grammars so you will be able to talk to the new one when she gets to Daniels Farm. My new address some time after the first of the month will be C/o  Cegiel, 26 Beacon St., Orange, Mass.”

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

One final news item. Thursday Elsie came up on a late afternoon train, heralded by a phone call from Mrs. Burlingame saying that she had just packed her on the train, that she was not feeling at all well and to please see that she got to a doctor right away. To make a long story short, after much delay in meeting her and finding the doctor, I finally got her to Dr. Trautman. She was quite weak, had a fever of 104, a headache and was generally ka-put. After an examination, Doc. said he could find nothing definite, gave her some pills, told her to stay in bed. He said it looked like something the boys in the Army were having called “cat fever”, cat short for catarrhal. The next day the fever had gone but she developed a swelling and very sore spot on her lower leg. Treatment with Epsom salts seems to be helping and probably she will go over for a checkup by the doctor tomorrow. She really ought to stay up here for a week to get thoroughly rested up before she goes back to her daily grind in the Grand Central foxhole, but I imagine there will be some difficulty in selling her on the idea.

Blog - Lilac Bush

The purple Iris, by the front steps, are blossoming. The lilacs are still not in full bloom due probably to the continued cool weather. I spent today doing odd jobs, such as emptying accumulated bottles and rubbish, taking down a few more storm windows and putting up screens, digging dandelions out of the lawn, mowing the grass, taking out ashes and smoothing out driveway, etc. – – Just the old routine.

DAD

 

P. S. Here is a note from your Aunt Elsie, written in lead pencil in her own fair hand while in bed, and transcribed by her only brother, as a service of love.

 

Hi, fellers:

Did you hear that strange but vaguely familiar note? That was Aunt Elsie. Now, here’s something really new! I struck a booby-trap in New York the other day and up came a cat – – short for catarrhal fever. I ran to Trumbull for a good doctor (those in New York haven’t any time or consideration for anybody because they are so overworked). Dr. Trautman routed the cat over night, but I get off too easy. The cat had planted another trap, this time striking my left leg by breaking some veins and playing havoc with my ability to even stand up – – let alone walk. It all comes from my being on my feet so constantly in the Shop. The only thing that prevents me from jumping into the booby-trap itself is the wonderful attitude of the gang. Jean was away, visiting her mother’s home, when I took possession of her room and then wouldn’t let me move. Aunt Betty waits on me “hand and foot”. Marian serves me without fuss or feathers when I am around her and need something, in the midst of many other things she is doing at the same time. Alfred can always find time to help. That attitude dates back to our young youth.

Be seeing you before long – – maybe, who knows!

Love,

From

Elsie.

Tomorrow and Thursday, I’ll be posting a letter from Lad to his Father and those at home. On Friday, I’ll post a letter from Biss to Ced, her older brother in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (1) – Some Words From Dave – April 29, 1945

 I have begun a week of letters written in 1945, when all of Grandpa’s sons are scattered around the world. Lad and Dan are in France, Dan near Calais on the northern coast and Lad in Marseilles on the southern coast.  Ced continues in Alaska and Dick is still in Brazil.  At this point Dave is in Okinawa ,Philippines. Dan and Paulette are anxiously awaiting their wedding and the rest of the family is getting involved or has something to say regarding this momentous occasion. Grandpa does an excellent job keeping his sons aware of what is going on in Trumbull and with their friends and family. He really makes an effort to let each one know what is happening to their siblings in “this man’s Army”.

 

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

Trumbull, Conn., April 29, 1945

Dear Boys:

Another week goes by and brings the end of the European War so close that yesterday we had rumors, later denied by Pres. Truman, that Germany had indeed surrendered unconditionally. Well, perhaps by the time I sit down next week to write my weekly message, it will be a reality – – one of the two big hurdles cleared, leaving the Japs to feel the full weight of the accumulated Allied might, now all to be concentrated on the enemy in the Pacific area. It must be mighty discouraging for the Jap War Lords to realize that victorious armies, navies and air forces, of three big nations, will now join in concentrating on them, when one of them alone has been delivering some devastating blows. They must see the jig is up, but apparently we cannot measure Jap psychology by our own. We can hope, anyway.

David Peabody Guion

The only word from any of you boys that has come direct to me, has come paradoxically, indirectly, from Eleanor Kintop, who phoned to say she had just received a letter from Dave. All he can say as to his whereabouts is that he is in the Western Pacific, but has evidently been on Guadalcanal where he talked to some of the natives, and the Florida Islands. He is living in a shack with some sort of a roof, rather than a foxhole, that some of the other boys have constructed. The letter was dated April 20, 1944, showing how quickly a year passes. He has received 36 letters, of which I am mighty glad, as one of his former communications said he had received no letters from home up to that time and was uncertain when any would arrive. He thoughtfully asked her to call me so that we wouldn’t worry and promised to write home soon, as soon as time permitted, as he was being kept very busy. She said the letter sounded cheerful. Maybe we will hear this week and I’ll have something more definite to report next writing. I hope so. Meantime, good luck to you, Dave, old scout.

Mrs. Sperling says Nellie (Nelson Sperling, a Trumbull boy friendly with the older boys) is home. He has been in South Carolina all this time, except for furloughs, when he goes to his wife’s home in Massachusetts for a visit.

Last week I got another package off to Dan containing a pair of white sandals and a pair of red slippers for Paulette. The white shoes are not what the girls wanted to send, but they will be better than nothing, I hope, and as the shoe salesman told me, if they are not the right size or not suitable in other ways, there are probably hundreds of girls in France who would be glad to take them off Paulette’s hands, or should I say “feet”?

There is a movement underway in Bridgeport to create a War Memorial in the shape of a new Armory at Seaside Park, commemorating both World Wars, I and II, but nothing definite has been decided on it yet.

With no Guion “quotes” available, I shall have to substitute one from Marian Peabody. She thanks me for a late arriving Christmas gift and goes on “it was so nice to have the girls remember us with cards at Christmas time. Hope Aunt Betty has kept real well during this winter. We had a great deal of snow this winter followed by an unusually early spring – – too early. We had a hard frost last week which did a terrific amount of damage to the fruit all through this section. We have had a setback in our spring work as the big pine tree in our yard blew over in one of our big windstorms a few weeks ago. Fortunately it didn’t fall on the house; in fact it missed everything and we still don’t know how. Larry has to spend almost every moment here chopping and sawing. It’s a terrific task – – the tree was over 70 feet tall. It will make some grand fireplace wood but it leaves a big hole in the landscaping of our yard. Allen grows taller all the time and finishes third grade in June. He gets along and has a grand time for himself. He was very well all winter, much to the relief of his Ma and Pa. So Dan promises to return from France with “the booty”, or maybe it would be more complementary to say “the Beauty”. I must say it sounds very exciting”. Larry (younger borther of Grandma Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion) adds a note, too. “What do you hear from the boys? We wonder a lot about where they are and do appreciate the news you send us about them. How is the advertising business these days? Do you get any help? This section is one of the critical areas and our company just can’t hire anyone. If they apply we have to send them to the U.S.E.S. and from there they are sent to a war plant to work. So we struggle on hoping that times will change before too long”.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter with news from Aunt Elsie, Grandpa’s sister. I’ll finish out the week with letters from Lad to his Dad and from Biss to Ced in Anchorage, Alaska.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Children – War Speculation – May 21, 1944

 

The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   May 21, 1944

Dear Children:

Your pop has been working like all get-out today – – out in the sunshine being a dirt farmer in an effort to make the place look halfway presentable to the homecoming bride and groom. Yes Sir, they really are coming and may even be here this time next week. Lad writes: ”The 1st. Sgt. told me my furlough would start May 24th. If possible I will get the U.P. (Union Pacific) Challenger leaving LA Tuesday at 6:45 PM. We intend to spend one week in Trumbull and one week with Marian’s folks in Orinda”. I would like to quote the letter in full, but the hour is late and I am very much in need of a hot bath before I hit the hay and any hoo, there is a letter from Dan, two from Dave, a six page single-spacer from Ced, and I’d watched the sun come up “over China ‘cross the Bay” if I ever tried to quote them all in toto, so you’ll just get a wee sample from each this trip. Take Dan, for instance. His letter is dated April 1st, but the envelope was postmarked May 12th. In it he says: “I must inform you that I can receive no more packages until further notice and may even have to return some that you have already sent – “existing regulation”. Now that looks to us in Trumbull like one more bit of evidence that the long awaited invasion is getting closer. Dave is out of the hospital, with one mump behind him. He omitted any reference to feeling “swell”. He expects to be transferred again but if this has occurred he has not yet signaled the message home. He asks what is the latest dope on how long the war will last, adding “you’d be surprised how little we know of this war after we get into the Army.” I have consulted my crystal ball and have this to report: When will be invasion start? Only a few of the top men know. Possibly no exact date has been set depending on how progress in Italy, bombing results in Germany and the invasion coast for softening up process. How long after invasion starts will it take to get “firm”? Probably weeks, rather than days. Heavy casualties? Yes. Secret weapons? Probably some on both sides. Will paratroops be landed behind the lines? Yes. Will there also be a new Russian push? Yes. When will the war be over in Europe? Best informed opinion believes this year. Dave, in view of your inquiry and interest in the war, I am graduating you from the funnies, which was all right for your boyhood with its childhood diseases like MUMPS, to News Week, such as a real he-man like your father reads.

Ced writes a long interesting letter. It is worthy of quoting at greater length than I have time to do tonight, but I will get the high spots. He is going to night school in Anchorage, a 10-week course, five nights a week, two hour sessions, preparing for CAA examination for commercial pilots license. He is supposed to take his pre-induction physical on the 17th, but has hopes of being deferred as men of his age working on the airlines commercially outside the Continental US are subject to deferment. Mail will reach Rusty at Nome, Alaska.

Your birthday, Ced, kind of snook up on me without much warning. Next week, however, I expect to get some kind of a box off to you with a few trinkets to let you know we still remember your visit here a long time ago. All this week I have been wrestling with a lot of government red tape to get those auto parts off to you. The exhaust pipe cost $2.50 and the floor mat $6.50. I had to go to the customs inspector for a number, had to have the paper notarized, had to get a receipted bill from Buick, and the express cost $4.18. I also asked Mr. Whitney to ship you a filter and send me the bill.

If Lad and Marian are home next week I may be too excited to write, so if you don’t hear from me for two weeks blame it on married life. Meantime, don’t stop writing on that account to your

DAD

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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From a Trumbull Farm (2) – May 14, 1944

 

page 2    5/14/44

Now for a report on what local happenings may be of interest.

Arnold (Gibson, Lad’s best friend in Trumbull) has decided to give up work here and go to Hawaii. He is just recovering from an attack of jaundice which has delayed his plans somewhat but he talks of going sometime later this month. I don’t know whether he is going to take the trailer or not.

Art Mantle came over to see me last evening as I was sitting out on the back lawn looking over the evening paper and pitting my wits against the crossword puzzle man. He looks more mature, as might be expected. Altogether he has been away six years. He was wounded with some shrapnel in the arm and leg but has entirely recovered now. It was while he was on a cruiser fight with some warships in a night battle at fairly close range. They sunk the Japs. He asked about each of you individually and asked me when I wrote to give you his best.

Zeke (Raymond Zabel, husband of Elizabeth (Bissie), Grandpa’s only daughter) has been laid up all week with a cold or something, celebrating his birthday in bed. Elizabeth has been repainting her dining room and has fixed up the yard. We are all invited over there next Thursday.

Blog - Lilac Bush

Lilac blooms

Lilacs are out in full now. I have been a rising an hour or so earlier these fine spring mornings and trying to do the Dan-est (a reference to the fact that Daniel, son # 2, loved to garden and keep up on work in the yard) in fixing the yard, flowerbeds, etc. This morning I alternated between getting dinner and taking down storm windows and putting up screens. As a one-man act it’s kind of slow work but I managed to get through without any serious consequences in trying to balance a storm window on a rickety ladder. This afternoon I had to go to Bridgeport in my disguise as Justice of the Peace and hitched two middle-aged people who aspired to the matrimonial state.

Paul (Warden, the husband and father of the family renting the little apartment in the Trumbull House) was home for the weekend but left an hour or so ago to go back to Sampson ( A U. S. Naval Training Center in Sampson, NY. See yesterday’s post of a letter from Dave’s friend, Bob Jennings, who is also at Sampson).

No further word from Lad and Marian. Jean says there was another rumor, Dick reports as to the possibility of a 21-days furlough for the Brazil”nuts”, permitting him to get home for a visit before being transferred elsewhere. He will ask to be transferred to Alaska if given the opportunity to choose. I’m a bit concerned about not having heard from Ced for so long. I try not to let the war tension get on my nerves but I wish you youngsters would not put my fortitude to the test too far. You see I have a five-fold Sword of Damocles hanging over my head and too long an interval in hearing from any one of you puts a bad strain on my optimism. So have a little pity, please.

And that about closes up the bulletin for this time. Cheerio.

Dad

Tomorrow and Thursday, a long letter from Lad and Marian. still in Pomona, California, and on Friday, a letter from Grandpa to all five sons.

Judy Guion, 

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives From a Trumbull Farm (1) – May 14, 1944

This week, we move to May of 1944. All five of Grandpa’s sons are serving Uncle Sam in one way or another. Lad (with his wife Marian) is in California training vehicle mechanics for the Army, Dan is in London and Paris, probably helping to draw maps for D-Day, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, rescuing and repairing airplanes at the airfield that has been commandeered by the Army, Dick is an MP, in Brazil, acting as a liaison between the Army and the local workers and Dave is at Camp Crowder, Missouri receiving further training before being sent overseas.

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt

Trumbull, Conn., May 14, 1944

Dear Fugitives from a Trumbull Farm:

This is Mother’s Day, which fact was delightfully brought home to our consciences by Aunt Betty’s receipt yesterday of a lovely box of flowers from Lad and Marian. After a moment of embarrassment on her part trying to explain the “mother” angle, she at last broke down and confessed all, although how Lad and Marian got wind of the affair way out in California made me realize that Lad should be in the Intelligence Department, instead of the Ordinance. All joking aside, it certainly made a very deep and heartwarming impression and I and was asked here and now to say how grateful she is and how chagrined she felt at never having yet acknowledged the Easter remembrance. She has difficulty in writing as you know but is saving it all up for a personal thank you when you arrive.

It is interesting to look back and see what the state of things was a year ago today. Grandma had recently arrived at Trumbull. Dorothy and Anne were visiting us to partake of one of Grandma’s toothsome pot roasts. Dan had been expected home and had telegraphed his regrets at his inability to obtain leave from Lancaster (PA). Lad had just recently arrived at Santa Anita and had not even mentioned the existence of anyone named Marian. Dick and Jean were at Miami, Ced reported he had missed out by several days on his guess as to the date of the break in the ice jam, Art Woodley was visiting Washington to see about getting the new plane and Rusty was on tour in northern Alaska with the Governor. Dave was still in the “bosom of his family”.

And right here it might be well for the latter to speak for himself:

David Peabody Guion

“Boy, have you got a surprise coming! I woke up yesterday morning with a slight sore throat. By last night it was getting kind of swollen so I went over to the infirmary to see what could be done. The diagnosis was MUMPS and I’m in the post hospital. I spent last night in the ward but this morning they gave me a room. It’s just a little place but I feel quite exclusive. Between this room and the next when there is a bathroom, tub and all, which I share with the guy next door. I wasn’t doing so well in radio school. There were seven of us that they were going to drop Saturday if we didn’t improve. Now I won’t have the chance. Maybe I can get into clerk school – – that would be perfect. And I know code now which is a pretty good thing to know. The thing that really hurts, though, is the fact that I had planned to get home by the end of June for graduation, but now as I see it, it will be impossible. All the news in this letter is not too good, but nevertheless, my morale is high in spite of it all. To say you are in a hospital always sounds bad but in the Army you can’t stay in your barracks, especially if you have something catching like MUMPS. I don’t feel bad and the life we leave here is swell – – movies today, for instance. (Next Day) my private room life is finished. I’ve been transferred to a windowed-in porch which I share with two other “mumpees”. I feel even better today than I did yesterday. I hope I keep improving – – at any rate, don’t any of you worry.”

Earlier in the week Mrs. Guion  (Jean, Mrs. Richard)  received a package from Brazil and she has been walking around on air ever since. A pair of alligator shoes, several pairs of fine silk stockings, and the biggest hit of all, a beautiful genuine alligator skin handbag that is the envy of all the girls at Harvey Hubble (A shirt factory in Bridgeport, CT, where Jean works) . Boy, but that made a big hit and puts Dick right up in the top class as husbands go.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the second half of this letter filled with local news of interest to all of Grandpa’s sons, scattered around the world. 

If you’re enjoying these stories and memories from the 1940’s, why not share them with as friend?

Judy Guion

 

 

Trumbull – Dear Boys (en masse) (2) – Notes to Each Son – April 12, 1939

 

Daniel Beck Guion

Page 3 of R-16

Dear Dan:

This will acknowledge yours of March 17th, written from Totouche and received here on April 4th, the day after I mailed my last letter to you..

It looks to me as if I know more of what is happening down there than you do, mainly because Lad is so dependable and regular about keeping us posted by airmail, 3 or 4  days after writing we know what is doing.  Probably by the time you get this note you will know that Lad is now working for the Socony-Vacuum people and expects to be sent to their camp at Pariaguan.  He himself does not yet know where it is or what kind of mechanical work he is expected to do, nor does he mention the salary he is to receive.  His last letter states he also has not yet been paid by I A.  Ted has sailed for home and expects to arrive in New York next Monday via Grace Line.

I also have your two letters enclosing the engineering reports which of course I shall keep for you.  These both arrived on February 1st. The report of the New York office being closed was not true.

I was very much interested to read of your finally finding the thing you wanted to do and that you intend to come back in the fall to study geology.  Would you like to have me get any information for you as to colleges, courses of study, etc.  Just say the word and I’ll perform.  It would be nice if you could get all that is coming to you from I A and starting May 1st, work for this other firm in Venezuela until say, September, so that you would have earned enough to carry you right through college without worrying anymore about paying for it.

Helen Plumb showed me your letter and the photo of the Phantom snake.  If you have any more films developed, why not send the prints along to file in the scrapbook.  It would be livened up considerably with a few illustrations scattered here and there through the text matter.

I am glad the way things are going is not getting you down.  Your philosophy is right: get all you can out of the thing while you can.  You are doing your job, or at least are there to do whatever you may be asked to do, and if they don’t ask you to do anything, you can’t be blamed for that.  I’m glad you are sticking at the Camp, because if those higher up were looking for some excuse to fire employees or refuse to pay them, the fact that you quitted the camp without leave might furnish the required pretext.  Therefore, if this other job pans out at all I should grab it quick, not only because Inter-America will probably fold up anyway, but because you will be getting presumably a higher rate, and will be paid promptly, but will be building up your educational reserve fund, and most of all, will be giving you some additional experience which will be valuable both from the standpoint of increasing your knowledge and experience, but will, in the eyes of your future employers, be an advantage.

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Thursday P?M?

Dear Lad:

Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley, with her two children, Don and Gwen) has been up and gone.  She has purchased a new Plymouth which she has had Carl (Wayne, a friend of Lad’s) Simonize for her.

I received on April 11th your letter written April 5th, containing some very interesting news regarding the Diesel installations and the new job.  I had hoped another letter would arrive today giving the details, but maybe it will be in tomorrow.  You did not say how much they are paying you, nor did you tell us one item of news which both Aunt Helen ((Peabody) Human, sister of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, my Grandma) and myself were hoping you would mention and that was whether Max (Mr. Maxidian, President of Inter-America, the company that brought Lad and Dan to Venezuela in the first place) actually sailed on Monday as he was expected to do.  We wondered if it were so hot for him down there with your vivid picture of jail life before us, that he had decided even Tom Dewey’s treatment would be preferable and had skipped.  But we don’t KNOW.

You don’t need to hesitate about cashing the draft because Monday the checks from the State came through, which I endorsed with your name and deposited to my account in the bank, so that makes us all straight on that transaction.  I have also taken care of your insurance premium — paid it today as a matter of fact.  Doctor Clark has just written asking for payment, which of course I have been unable to take care of.  With this, the loan, the amount owing at Reads and Meigs (two Department stores in Bridgeport) and certain other incidentals, I am afraid the total bill will amount to about $300, plus or minus.  I am hoping that back salaries will be forthcoming before May 15th when taxes are due.

Ted (Human, the uncle that was hired by Inter-America to over-see the construction of a road from Caracas to Maracaibo, and brought his nephews along) has written he will have to go to the hospital when he gets back as his liver is very wrong yet.  Aunt Helen is trying to decide whether to call for him at the boat with an ambulance or whether to take him to a hospital in New York, New Rochelle or Bridgeport.

Am much pleased to know you are settled in a new job and hope it will be the kind of work you like and one in which you can show what sort of specimens we produce in little old Conn., USA.

Auf wiedersehn.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting more letters from the World War II Army Adventures of my Uncle Dave, Grandpa’s youngest son (18 years old). 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Boys (en masse) (1) – News For Both Lad and Dan – April 12, 1939

Grandpa continues to keep his oldest sons apprised of the happenings of friends and family at home in Trumbull.

Alfred Duryee Guion – (Grandpa) – in the Alcove                               where he typed his letters

R-16

April 12, 1939.

Dear Boys (en masse):

As you may have noticed I usually find time of a Sunday to sit down at this rickety old typewriter and spend a couple of hours chatting with my expert sons, but last Sunday (Easter) we were all invited down to Larry and Marion’s (Larry and Marion Peabody) for dinner.  We left about 10:30 with seven in the little old Willys (Grandma, Helen, Elizabeth, Ced, Dick, Dave and the writer).  On arrival we found Aunt Dorothy (Peabody) had already arrived and Ced then left for Mt. Vernon where he picked up Aunt Betty (Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) and Elsie (Duryee, Grandpa’s sister).  During the course of the day, Anne (Peabody) Stanley),sister of my Grandma), Arla Mary Peabody) Burton (Arla’s brother) , Don and Gwen (Stanley, Anne’s children), Kemper and Ethel (Peabody), Frank and Lynn (possibly Frank Peabody, Arla’s uncle and his wife) also came in so there were quite a houseful.  Marion , as might be expected, served a wonderful dinner.  Allen is at the cute age and amused us all. BUT, I didn’t get my letter written.  Now it came to pass that Monday and Tuesday maketh the selectman to be diligent about his work, so that this is the first opportunity I have had to write, and I don’t feel so much like doing it tonight either, because this afternoon Don and Gwen and Aunt Anne arrived in their new Plymouth she had just bought and the five kids are playing chopsticks and whatnot on the piano, the telephone is persistently ringing for someone who doesn’t answer, the Stanley’s little black dog is running around sniffing everything and I have a miserable cold, but aside from that there is nothing to distract my attention from this English composition classic.

Biss and Zeke finally moved in the apartment after having spent most of the week taking off old wallpaper and painting the walls and in general cleaning up.  They bought a few pieces of furniture, which, with what was already in there, will be enough for them to get by on until they can get more of their own.  They bought a secondhand electric refrigerator which came today, is too large to fit anywhere in the apartment, so is installed in the laundry.  Elizabeth was given a surprise shower last week at Helen Smith’s and got quite a quantity of useful things.  They are paying a rent of $20 a month, but I am paying for the paint they bought to refinish the walls. Reyom has been fired from the Park City Engraving Co. and is now with the Park City School of Beauty Culture, if you please.  Alice is working in Kreesge’s  5 and 10. Smithson is over here re-papering Grandma’s room at Helen’s request so that Ted, when he arrives, will have a nice fresh clean room to stay in.  I thought in view of the fact that he had done so much for you boys (in intention, at least) the fair thing for me to do was to offer to have Ted stay here until he knows what he is going to do, and I suppose that was one reason Helen had the idea of fixing up the room.  She has repainted the bathroom at the head of the stairs white.

Page 2 of R-16

Ced has been laid up in his room for a couple of days with a cold.  The weather here is raw and Marchy.  We have only had one or two spring days, but birds and buds are heralding the arrival of something other than war in Europe.

I seem to have had a lot of trouble with the Briggs ever since it was installed.  Three times now the pipeline leading from or into it has broken, draining out all the oil in the first intimation I have had that something was wrong was when the motor began to knock.  On two occasions this all happened several miles from where I could get any oil, which is not done the motor any good.  Myron Whitney took the car today and put flexible hose at both inlet and outlet ends, so I’m hoping further damage from this cause will be prevented, but alas it will not remedy the harm that has already occurred.

There is a new building development being started over Beach’s Corner way which they are calling Parkway Village.  It is being financed by the Bridgeport City Trust Co. and apparently they intend to push it hard.  Their goal is six hundred lots, but if they erect fifty houses the first year they will be doing a good job.

Babe Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) has had a smashup in her Ford.  It happened just opposite Bill Park’s gas station on Noble Avenue.  She will probably write you full details, Lad, so I will not attempt to tell the story here.  Her car was damaged, but she escaped unharmed, I believe.

Enclosed you will find copy of a letter written to Shuster & Feuille, in answer to a suggestion Lad made to me in the letter received just after I had mailed the other letters off to the Venezuelan officials.  I hope they all do some good and result in you and the other men being paid in full.  I am much interested in seeing what my letters bring forth and what the result of it all is.

Aunt Betty keeps exceptionally well, as also does Elsie.  I took down the scrapbook with all your letters in it and Elsie spent most of Sunday afternoon reading these.  She has had to move out of the Tudor as they were raising prices on account of the Fair.  She is now down near East 20th St.

Well, so much for general news.

Tomorrow, I will post individual letters to Dan and Lad, all part of R-16. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Descendants (4) – I Am Back of You Morally and Financially – April 22, 1945

 

This is the conclusion of a long letter from Grandpa to his sons. 

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Little Driveway view - 1928

The home Grandpa refers to in Trumbull

As for my own boys, as I wrote you once before, you need feel no compulsion to immediately find your niche

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as far as a job is concerned. This is your home, both for you and your “spouse”. Headquarters where you can sleep and eat while you leisurely and without that sense of “must get something to do right away whether it is the right thing or not”. I can still supply the larder and your start in your life work, a bit tardy for you older ones due to wars interlude, is too important to permit of hurried decisions, so set your mind at rest and take your time in thoroughly investigating this and that until you are satisfied that it is the best the market has to offer you. And of course I don’t need to mention that under no circumstances, no matter how long the waiting period, you need feel no sense of obligation. I have had to do without you all so long that the longer you stay the better I will be pleased. I do think it wise, as you know from my frequent mention of the subject in the past, that you think seriously of what you want to do, and no matter what the cost, make that your goal. As long as I am here I am back of you morally and financially.

I know I would hear from young Dave if it were possible for him to write. It is about three weeks now since his last letter and I hope another will arrive before long. You will be interested to know Dave, that for the first time in many months, the young folks are here tonight giving the pianola rolls some exercise. It seems that young Lester Knecht, who has been working for Ed Dolan at the gas station, is being given a farewell party tonight, preparatory to his going into the Navy, and Bob Jennings dropped in to ask if they could all come here afterwards as of old. Of course I said Yes. With Bob was Kenny LaMond, but I hardly recognized him. He is 6’4” tall. Bob also said he met George Kermode who is married, has a pretty wife, and is now a second lieutenant, piloting a pursuit plane and is stationed at some field in Texas.

Ced, a salesman from some trade paper publisher was in to see me the other day and was quite enthusiastic about some airplane book his company had just published. He offered to send me a copy but I told him I would rather have it sent to you, which he promised to do. So if it arrives, you will know the reason.

Lad, if there are any trade papers in a particular field, electronic diesel, or any other industry, that you would be interested in having me send, just give me the word.

Dick, if there is any information of any sort I can send you, all you need do is give the proper signal in a letter to Jean or more welcome still, to me direct.

To all of you, any time, let me be useful to all of you as far as I can, and thus, make me a particularly happy,

DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a letter from Lad to Grandpa from southern France.

On Saturday and Sunday, more letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Descendants (1) – Hot Water Problems – April 22, 1945

The spring of 1945 has arrived. All five of Grandpa’s sons are serving Uncle Sam in their own unique way.  Lad, with his wife, Marian, is in California where he is training Vehicle Mechanics for the Army.  Dan is in London, although he does travel to France, probably drawing maps and surveying for the Army.  Ced, not actually in the Army but working as a civilian for the Army, maintaining and repairing airplanes in Anchorage, Alaska.  Dick is in Brazil serving as an M.P. for the Army and as a liaison between the Army and local workers.  His wife, Jean, keeps Grandpa company in the Trumbull House, waiting for Dick’s return.  Dave is in the Philippines, attached to headquarters and filling a variety of roles.

      Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

 

Trumbull, Conn., April 22, 1945

Dear Descendants:

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard) and Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Although sunshiny, today is a blustery, typical, March day. As I sit at my machine in the alcove, the waving leaves between me and the Maple tree make wavy patterns of alternate sunshine and shade on my paper. Correction. What I meant to say was the waving leaves on the Maple tree between me and the descending sun, etc. It is also cool enough so that both the burners lighted on the oil stove are necessary to make the room comfortable. Aunt Betty and I are alone today, both girls having gone gallivanting — Jean to visit a friend in Providence and Marian to New York to make the acquaintance of the wife of a friend (Army) of Lad’s, and herself, whom she has never met. They left yesterday and expect to be home early this evening.

 

Lilac Bush

                          Lilac flowers

As usual there is little news of local import to record. I was a bit premature in my estimate last week of the blossoming of the lilacs. Perhaps it is the cool weather we have had this week that has retarded their promised rapid development but if they don’t blow away in this wind, they will be ready to pluck this week, sure. However they are not nearly as plentiful this year as usual.

I don’t know whether I mentioned it or not in any of my recent letters but the electric hot water heater went flooey some weeks ago, the galvanized tank inside the casing having developed several rusty spots which eventually broke through so that one night when I came home, they told me they had had no hot water all day, and when going into the cellar to find the cause, I found the floor between the bottom of the cellar stairs and the furnace covered with water. The plumber, reporting that nothing could be done to repair the tank, I, next day, procured some stovepipe and connected up the little coal stove back of the furnace which has since given us a spasmodic hot water supply. The plumber thought he could obtain from the gas company a gas water heater to be connected with the Philgas tank but the Philgas deliveryman says their supply is “frozen” and they can’t connect any new apparatus, and besides, not having heard anything from the plumber, I suspect he was unable to get the gas tank. So last week I hunted around for an oil water heater and expect soon (I hope) to learn whether I can get one of these, the cost, capacity and other relevant data. Meantime we are getting along as best we can with an erratic hot water supply. Another item under the heading c’est le guerre, (this for Dan’s benefit).

Tomorrow’s post will be Dan’s letter to his father and his father’s comments. Wednesday and Thursday will finish out the rest of this letter and on Friday, a letter from Lad, stationed in southern France.

Judy Guion