Trumbull – Dear Gang – The Great Guion Mystery – December 5, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 5, 1943

Dear Gang:

Cedric Duryee Guion

The Great. Guion Mystery, unsolved to the present moment, is: “Has Ced left Anchorage en route home?” The last word from Alaska, as reported to you in a previous communication, was that our arctic explorer expected to leave for his long trip to Connecticut on December 3rd , and I have been anxiously, almost fearfully, looking for further word that would relieve the tension and let us know that nothing is intervened to prevent his leaving per schedule.

Dave has received notification that he is now class 1-A, and if rumors are to be given credence, he will leave Trumbull January 10th . The last hurdle he has yet to get over is his final physical exam. He is flirting with the idea of asking to join the Navy, probably because several of his buddies here have chosen that branch of the service, but this, I hope, will not happen.

Our guest for dinner today was Harold LaTour whom you older boys may remember. For a while he was salesman for an American concern in South America but is now with the Daily News in New York. He was one of Roger Bachelder’s college friends.

A review of incoming correspondence this week reveals the following:

A card announcing the arrival of Donald Robert Whitney, Jr., on November 25th , wait 8 pounds ten and a half ounces.

              Lad and Marian Guion – 1943

Another nice letter from Marian expressing the expectation of drinking a Thanksgiving toast to the “Guion clan and the fervent wish that another year will find us all together”. She also reports receiving a congratulatory telegram from Ced bemoaning the fact that he would not be around to tie tin cans to the car. It seems that the newlyweds waited so long before starting away for their home trip that all the guests got tired of waiting for them to leave, and in consequence, they escaped the horseplay that usually accompany affairs of this sort.

A letter from Dan enclosing signed registration certification which makes Dave happy in that he will now have about a month in which to drive around a car of his own (provided he can get it running). After a typical Danielesque description of English weather in lieu of the real news he hints he may write about, were it not for the limitations of censorship, he goes on to say his expected studies at Oxford or Cambridge have not yet materialized. He ends with the words: “Hurrah for Lad. I shall write to her personally.”

It is many weeks now, Dan, since a package of Rum and Maple, Kleenex, shampoo, etc. has been sent to you, but if I can secure anymore of that brand of tobacco (they told me it was not being made anymore and what I got was the last of their stock), I shall get off another shipment with the hope that sooner or later one of them might escape Hitler’s U-boats.

Thank you, Marian, for your welcome letter. I hope next time you or Lad write, you will be able to say that you have found a cozy little house or apartment. I’m going to miss you all here Christmas, but I hope Ced will be here to partly compensate. Jean and Dave anyway will save the day and I expect Bissie and her two hopefuls will be on hand. Jean is a way with her Aunt this week and visiting friends in New Milford.

Aunt Betty, Dave and Smoky all send their best, and as for me, you all know what to expect from                               DAD

Tomorrow, I will finish the week with another letter from Marian.

On Saturday, more on the Voyage to Venezuela in 1939. OnSunday, more of My Ancestors. Judy Guion 

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Absent Ones (2) – Wishful Thinking – November 28, 1943

This is the second page of a letter from Grandpa to his sons – and daughter-in-law) letting them know what has been going on in Trumbull the past week.

page 2    11/28/43

        Jean (Mortensen) Guion

Just so that you will know Dick is still alive and kicking, I asked Jean to extract a few lines from his letters to her, which she very kindly consented to do, as follows: He is permitted to tell where he is now – in Natal, Brazil, but of course no mention of this fact is to be made on any letters you may write him. The camp where he is staying has a day room equipped with a radio phonograph, books, magazines, ping-pong table, horse shoes, boxing gloves, baseball and basketball equipment. They have built a tennis court and he has played on it several times. He is learning to ride a motorcycle but doesn’t have too much time to devote to it.

I spent most of the day on storm windows. Remember the weather stripping you put around the inside kitchen door, Lad? Well, one night last spring one very bold rat got in the laundry in an effort to get into the kitchen gnawed portions of the weather stripping away and this too, I repaired. Dan, do you recall the good job you did last year in chinking up the spaces between frame and storm windows? Some of it was still in place this year. Ced, do you recall the day you gave me a set of hardware for my bathroom window? Due to warping or settling or something, the storm sash this year was considerably out of whack, so that, too, I remedied today. About half the windows on the ground floor are now completed and I’m hoping, before the weather gets too cold, I can complete the balance.

Dave is away today – he went up to Hartford to visit his friend Howard Mehegan, who is going to school up there at Uncle Sam’s expense. Tomorrow night Dave presides at his first formal dinner, formal not in dress but in the fact that as President of the Trumbull Rangers, who are holding their first annual dinner at the Algonquin club, no less, he presides as Toastmaster.

We have had one storm so far this season which however was neither very deep nor did it last very long. Most of the weather we have had lately has consisted of beautiful cool, but mainly sunshiny, days. Due to the coal shortage we have not yet started the furnace, keeping the real chill off by generous use of oil stove. Up to the present, we have been able to get by without too great discomfort, and as soon as I get all the storm windows up, or in case of a particularly cold spell, we will start up the old ash maker.

And that about closes up the session for this evening. Maybe by next week I will be able to tell you more about the news from the scattered points where the Guion boys are holding up Trumbull prestige. Until then, spare a thought occasionally for all of us back here in the hills of Connecticut, and especially one who now and again describes himself as

DAD

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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Absent Ones (1) – Wishful Thinking – November 28, 1943

 

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 26, 1943

Dear Absent Ones:

The days speed on, bringing nearer the time when Ced pulls up his anchor at Anchorage; Lad and Marian, homeless now, come to the end of a long cross-country journey to their Trumbull home, when Dick, returning to his adoring wife and still un-discouraged father, makes his verbal report on all the things he has failed to write about; and Daniel, now in the Lion’s Den of London, is released from his not un-enjoyable bondage; and Dave slays his Goliath in the shape of Uncle Sam’s Army training routine and eventually returns to the fellowship of his family. Then, we can have a real Thanksgiving again. Holidays without you boys and girls are like Thanksgiving without Turkey — which is just what we had this year — Thanksgiving without Turkey. We stay-at-homes have been told that you boys had “the bird” on that day which left us rather short. If the former is true, we don’t object to the latter one bit. And now the fire in the hearth in the alcove sputters and crackles as I write the above as if mentally in agreement with my frame of mind and having you all so far away from the ancestral home at this season.

Jean went to her grandparents for the family’s annual get together while Elsie came up from New York and Elizabeth and her two sprites were with us.

“Old Faithful” Lad was responsible for the “foreign” mail this week. Marian has had to give up her apartment because the landlady’s friends had a prior claim which leaves the newlyweds to leave a rather nomadic existence. They have been searching for a place for almost 2 months now, with no luck. He says: “We have six places in mind but in order to get one, the present occupants have to move and there are no available apartments for them either, so it’s just a vicious circle and we seem to be at the outer end of the radius. Our friends out here, though, are wonderful, and have many rooms in which we could stay, and as Marian says, ‘We still have a car and I’ve slept in worse places — my car is only a Chevy.’ We really aren’t very worried, I guess, we just too happy and confident in ourselves to take it very seriously.”

Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion

And now, Marian, just come aside with me for a moment where the others can’t hear what we’re saying, as I want to ask you a few questions. Lad, as you may surmise, has a number of friends back home here and many have asked me what I think they should send you as a wedding gift. That, as you may imagine, is a rather difficult question for both of us to answer under present circumstances, but more so for me then you; so just sit down soon, when you have a breathing spell, and make a list of things you would like, so that I will not be so much on the spot as I am right now. I also am interested to know if you ever received that photo yet. I am in a quandary as to whether packages addressed to soldiers get preference over civilian parcels post or not, but last week before getting Lad’s letter, I mailed his bathrobe to your old address, as soldier packages are quite limited as to size, weight, etc. I have also been saving a Christmas box which I packed up some time ago for Lad, finally mailing it last week to Edgewood Drive.

Thanks, Lad, for your definite instructions. The way is cleared now and I know just where I stand. I will wait a while before selling your Venezuela Petroleum, as, due to stock market fluctuations, the price went down to $9, but my broker thinks it will go higher than it was before, as it has good value behind it. Meantime, I am renewing the bank note and will (Oh darn, I just noticed that all my carbon copies are backwards. Sorry, but you’ll just have to borrow a mirror and read it that way. Another way would be to hold it up against a strong light, wrong way to), or rather, I have already paid the Investors Syndicate installment and will later write you the whole story so that you can determine whether you wish to continue it or not.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter. Then another letter from Grandpa and finally, a letter from Marian to finish off the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen at Large (2) – News From Ced and Marian – September 17, 1944

 

Judy_0003

Nature must have handed your Uncle Ted a “roving commission” (On second thought, nobody handed him anything – – he’s won what he has by his own ability and effort). Be that as it may, he’s now headed for Bolivia, and by the time this letter is in the mail he will probably be winging his way over the continent to the south of us. He and Aunt Helen came up to Bridgeport Wednesday where I was able, fortunately, to be of some aid in straightening out a passport technicality, thus permitting Aunt Helen later to join Ted in Bolivia. It seems a big American engineering firm, backed jointly by the big Import-Export Bank and the Bolivian government, has about concluded negotiations for the building of some 500 miles through Bolivia of a Pan-American section of the super highway, and Ted was elected to act as sort of a John the Baptist in the matter, to go down there now and prepare the way for the final act before they get down to actual excavation. He estimates that it may turn out to be an eight year job but in any event, there will undoubtedly be openings for quite a bit of American skill and labor before it is finished. In fact, Ted asked me when I wrote Lad to say that he, Ted, would like to get Lad down there as soon as possible on diesel electric or similar work, and would like to have any suggestions as to how this could be made possible right now – – even to seeing if some wire pulling in Washington could be undertaken. He also hinted that later, there might be additional openings for some of you other boys. And that gave me an idea. You may recall that in one of my letters some time ago, I let my fancy have free reign and had you all in Alaska, Lad in charge of a big diesel electric power plant, Dan in some engineering or surveying or prospecting activity, Ced as a holder of his U.S. licensed airplane mechanic certificate (and now with his pilots operating license), Dick, who by the way wrote recently that besides paying the soldiers and making monthly reports, he has to make out the civilian payroll, prepare rosters of all Brazilians hired and fired. Because he now seems to have acquired enough Portuguese at school down there and in actual practice, he says his new boss, the Major, has ideas of putting him in complete charge of hiring, firing, sick leave, payroll, records, etc., of all our 500-odd Brazilian employees, and lastly Dave, running the business and in addition, producing on the spot, all those sundry business forms, printed matter, etc., with yours truly as the boss who sat at the top and looked important but made you fellows do all the work. Well, Ted’s remarks have inspired Act 2 of the Guion Saga, which I have attempted to set forth for your amusement in the attached.

Marian writes: “Our new home is very much nicer than the first one and we have kitchen privileges so we don’t have to eat out – – and from what we’ve sampled of “Southern cooking” we are just as glad. Somewhere along the way I’ve been sadly misinformed about Southern cooking (that’s not the only dissolution – – I imagined sitting on a porch, sipping mint juleps and sniffing magnolias and honeysuckle! Something is definitely wrong. Mississippi is as dry as can be and beer is a poor substitute for the mint julep). The couple who own the house where we are staying are working so we have the house to ourselves during the day. Lad’s classes are from 3:00 in the afternoon to 12:30 at night. He gets home about 1:30 and doesn’t have to report back to camp until to the next afternoon. Our new address is 303 Longino, Jackson, Miss., but your weekly morale builder-uppers, if sent to Lad, are certain to reach him that way. In case you are still wondering, the “we” referred to in my previous letter were two of the wives who came with me and a two-year-old boy. We all lived in the same place in Pomona so we decided to stick together and come here, too.”

A letter addressed to “Sneezy Guion, Ragweed, Conn.” from you-know-who in Alaska, arrived on the morning of September 11th, which shows pretty good timing, and started the day off right. It’s worth having a 60th birthday to find out what one’s boys think of their old man. Ced writes: “Once again I see by the calendar that the natal anniversary date of pater Guion approaches. This being most likely the last letter from an admiring son to be received in Trumbull before that date, must convey a message of thanks for all you have been to us all, and the very best wishes for you in the ensuing year. I wish that all of us could join you at the dinner table on the eventful day in body as well as in spirit. Be it a comfort to you to know that few up here can rival my record of one letter a week from home. One has the feeling that no matter what happens he can always fall back on Dad and be sure of the best that Dad can offer in the way of assistance. A token of appreciation is en route from the sourdough via carrier pigeon, underground telegraph or some other means of transportation but may not reach you until after your birthday. Last night and today have been a definite prelude to winter. Snow fell quite low in the mountains last night while a cold rain and accompanying wind hit town. I am of the opinion that this winter will be early, with lots of snow but not too severe. Some of the Buick parts have arrived and I start tomorrow putting the transmission together. (Ced next gives an interesting account of his watch repairs, and goes on to say) Now I can fly and keep track of my minutes in the air. The ship I am soloing in is the most luxurious of small planes but to operate the radio one must have a radio operators license so that too I must study for and obtain. In the meantime, I use the lights from the control tower. Eleanor Burnham is doing library work in New York with little children. Helen has gone to Syria on missionary schoolwork. Brad is in the Marines in the Pacific. Rusty (Heurlin) is at Pt. Barrow.” He writes he has completely quit drinking.

DAD

P.S. I found Dave’s letter in my car. See attached copy. This reminds me of the famous Sears Roebuck letter: Gentlemen: I git the pump witch I by from you, but why for Gods sake you doan send me no handle. Wats the use of a pump when she don have no handle, I lose to me my customer. Sure thing you don treat me rite.  I wrote ten days gone and my customer he holler like hell for water from the pump. You no he is hot pumper and the win he no blow the pump. She got no handle so wat the hell I goan to do with it. If you doan send me the handle pretty quick I send her back and I order pump from Myers company.                       Goodby.

Yours truly,

Antonio

Since I write I find the dam handle in the box. Excuse to me.

Tomorrow, a letter from Dave to Grandpa regarding his birthday, on Thursday a one act play written by Grandpa and on Friday, more news from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen (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 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 use her gas stove. The telephone is still out.

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

Judy Guion.

Trumbull – Dear Captains of Industry in the Post-War World (2) – Advice From Grandpa – November 21, 1943

 

This is the second half of a rather lengthy letter containing quotes from many letters Grandpa has received this week plus some timely advice to his sons.

Cedric Guion

And Ced sent a very welcome and long desired letter telling more in detail of his homecoming plans. The pleasantest surprise of all was the fact that he has a two months leave of absence. He says: “I plan to start early in December, probably the third and will fly to Juneau with Art (Woodley, owner of Woodley Airfield, where Ced works) in the Electra. There I hope to board a Canadian Pacific boat for Vancouver where I will try to get either a train or plane seat. As you know, travel is very difficult and I may not even get home for Christmas. If lucky I shall be there a few days before. The fare by plane from Anchorage to Seattle is close to $200. My time off is supposed to be approximately 2 months elapsed time, leaving about one month home. Possibly I can arrange an extension if desired.”

Ced let one of his helpers at the airport borrow his car the other day and because the brakes were poor, the borrower ran it into the back of a pickup, damaging the grill and denting the fender. Repairs will cost about $60. Ced has been skiing at Independence, spending the evening afterward with Rusty. The snow was perfect and they had an enjoyable day all around.

The Trumbull House 

I suppose if you noticed my salutation you have forgotten it by this time, but it is meet that we return to it for a few minutes for the tiresome part of this letter — a few words of fatherly advice, which probably, in the usual course of human events, will be dutifully noted and forgotten right afterwards. Newspaper editorials, debates in Congress, speeches by businessman, etc., have dealt quite persistently of late on what is going to happen after the war, from an international, national and individual standpoint. If it is foolhardy for the nation to drift on into the problems of peace without taking adequate forethought and laying plans as far as is possible to do so at this time, it is equally improvident for the individual to do likewise. Two of you are now married and have someone other than yourself to consider and the rest of you hope to follow in their footsteps sooner or later, (I hope), so it behooves all of you to give some thought to the subject. There is nothing so good for the purpose of clarifying one’s thoughts on the matter as to attempt to put it down in writing. There is another coincidental reason why I wish you would all make the effort and that is the fact that this war has blasted wide open the former course of our family’s procedure and whether for good or ill it will be difficult, perhaps even unwise, to expect to return to the former status quo. The old home here which has seen you all grow up and out in wider circles may no longer, for all of you, be so much a place to live as a place to come back to. As long as I am around peddling papers I would like to feel I might have some part in coordinating, as far as is possible with your individual plans, not only my own activities but those of all of you in order that the intangible thing known as “family spirit” may not gradually disperse in thin air. So with the idea of helping rather than hindering what you may see in the way of opportunity, it is essential that you first have some idea what you want to do, for of course no captain ever reached a port merely by sailing around without knowing where he was bound. So, dear children, your homework this time will consist of your writing teacher a composition under the caption “What I plan to do after the war”. I promise you now that no matter how hard the task may seem in contemplation, its execution will pay dividends for you. That is the main thing — my interest, great as it is, is secondary. Now, are you all going to be good children and set a deadline of your own choosing and not too distant a date in 1943, so that when the New Year is ushered in with the customary tooting of horns and whistles we as a family can have some united news to toot about ourselves?

When next I write my weekly screed another Thanksgiving Day shall have passed into the great limbo. You may be sure that we shall be thinking of you all as we gather around the old table in the dining room, and we shall silently toast you all in the distant corners of the globe, and pray that when the day next rolls around we shall have a real Thanksgiving because you are all safe and sound home again.

DAD

On Saturday, Day Four on the Santa Rosa as Lad gets closer and closer to his destination. On Sunday, more about My Ancestors, Joseph Bradford.

Next week I’ll be posting letters written in 1944, when all five of Grandpa’s sons are helping win the war for Uncle Sam. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Captains of Industry in the Post-War World (1) – The London Red Cross – November 21, 1943

This is the first half of a rather lengthy letter from Grandpa with many quotes from other letters he has received and some well-meaning fatherly advice. This post contains an interesting account of an American Red Cross Club outside of London and Dan’s thoughts about it.

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 21, 1943

Dear Captains of Industry in

the Post-War World:

Well, the newlyweds are one week older today, and from all reports they started off in double harness in grand style. I know this from a night letter received early Monday morning. In spite of this most important happening in their own lives they still found time to send this message to the ancestral homestead: “Sorry you could not be here. We are in San Francisco and are leaving for Camp Santa Anita tomorrow. The wedding went beautifully and everyone is nice. Details following. Love to all” signed Marian and Lad.

This was followed a few days later by an announcement that Mr. and Mrs. Mowry A. Irwin announce the marriage of their daughter Marian to Mr. Alfred P. Guion, Army of the United States, on Sunday, the 14th of November, 1943 at Berkeley, California.

And that’s the story to date of the latest launching on the sea of matrimony. The port authorities at Trumbull are looking forward to the day when they will drop another in the harbor here. All hands will be piped on deck, the flag will be dipped, the big guns will fire their salute, the brass band will get into action, and a good time will be had by all. Speed the day! It can’t happen too soon for us.

Evidence keeps piling up that Lad, as usual, is showing rare good judgment, in his choice of a lifetime partner, this time. It has been my privilege to receive this week one of the nicest letters any father-in-law could receive from his son’s mother-in-law. (Incidentally, the stock mother-in-law jokes will have to retire in confusion in this instance). First her thoughtfulness in writing and the sensible understanding tone of her letter are revealed by her first two paragraphs: “Because you couldn’t be present to share in the happiness of Marian and Al on Sunday, but feeling sure that you would be interested, I’m taking the privilege of writing you. They can tell you about the wedding which I’m sure is just what they wanted — simple, happy and friendly, but with dignity, solemnity and beauty which I feel should accompany any marriage. Quite naturally, Mr. Irwin and I would have liked to become acquainted with your son before he walked down the aisle with our daughter as his wife. In normal times it would have been managed; but at present it was well nigh impossible. Really, I can honestly say to you that I retired Sunday night feeling absolutely sure that Marian was safe with the man of her choice. I had no qualms or worries whatever as to his treatment of her. Can any mother say more?” The letter follows with some intimate glimpses from a mother’s knowledge of her daughter and ends: “If any of you boys happen to be in our vicinity we’d enjoy having them get in touch with us, and we hope some time to have the pleasure of meeting you.” Aunt Betty summed it up by saying: “Evidently they are a very nice family!” Amen to that, Lad, and I’ll also be willing to bet Mrs. Irwin will never have cause to change her feelings towards you. And now, of course, we will be looking forward to letters from you or Marian or both telling us all about the main bout. I assume you couldn’t arrange time for even a short honeymoon, but that only means you will have that to look forward to.

A letter from Aunt Dorothy says Helen and Ted are coming north for a brief stay. Anne is staying with Dot and her mother temporarily, until Anne’s furniture arrives from Staunton. She has leased an apartment just a few blocks from Dorothy’s. Mother keeps pretty well but has her off days now and then.

Dave, by the way, received his notice to go to Shelton Tuesday for his physical exam.

Another interesting letter from Dan, and rather, as Shakespeare remarks, “to gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue onto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish” I will simply quote: “Because it occupies such a prominent position in my mind today I am dedicating this letter to the American Red Cross. The clubs in London have been a catalyst to every “G. I.” who has come to London wanting to get the most out of his visit. Maps, accommodations, education, information, entertainment, all are the daily diet of the A. R. C. Considerable prejudice has been built up in the minds of most of us against the Red Cross for alleged acts of dubious character during the last war — selling cigarettes, stationary, etc., which had been donated for free distribution — so it has been quite a pleasant revelation to learn how unfair such a prejudice has become. I am not familiar with administrational set up over here. Apparently only a few of the workers are Americans. These few are regional Directors, generally men. But the majority of workers, paid or volunteer, are British women who do all in their power to help us in every way. They are a composite Travelers aid, shopping guide, nursemaid, companion (in a moral sense, of course!), entertainer, tour conductor, Encyclopedia, Dorothy Dix and hostess, all at the “beck and call” of any “G. I.” uniform. Rooms and meals are available at minimum charge. But nicest of all, a new A. R. C. Club has just been opened quite near the place in which we are stationed. It is rather different in atmosphere from the downtown London clubs — more like an exclusive U. S. O. Club in that there are no overnight facilities to attract the “Grand Central terminal” crowd that prevails in the regular London clubs (coming and going at all hours of the day and night, unkempt from travel — gas mask and musette bag drooping from weary shoulders as they “queue up” for lodgings. This local A. R. C. is housed in a building built by Christopher Wren for Queen Anne early in the 18th century. It is built on the site of an old palace, which causes it fairly to reek of atmosphere and tradition, despite the modern comforts that have been added for its present function. There is an open fireplace in virtually every room; library music room, dining room, information desk, all contribute notably to our comfort indoors, while spacious lawns, secluded bowers, gardens and aged walls lend an aura of romantic antiquity to the grounds around it. Glimpses of barges and boats can be caught through the trees that line the further edge of the lawn past which a river flows. By fortunate coincidence I am able to take advantage of this club during the daylight hours all this week because I have begun working on a “shift” job which changes hours periodically. The work I am doing is new and interesting, particularly by contrast to the stagnation I have been exposed to for such a long time.” Thanks Dan, for that masterly letter. I have an idea it will be read by a wider range of folks than those in the immediate neighborhood.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the second half of the letter with some well thought out advice from Grandpa to his sons, scattered around the world.

Judy Guion