Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (3) – News From Ced – Sneezy Guion – September 17, 1944

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 Birthday letter from Dave to his Father. On Friday, Grandpa’s One-Act Play with a look to the future.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen At Large (2) – News From Marian – September 17, 1944

 

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 (Irwin) Guion

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.”

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON YESTERDAY’s POST:

Valerie, a valued follower in New Zealand, took it upon herself to do some research found this link about the Great Atlantic Hurricane which hit New England in September, 1944. Trumbull is five miles north of Bridgeport, which is on Long Island Sound. This is where the Hurricane landed in Connecticut.

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

Tomorrow, a letter from Ced to Grandpa addressed to Sneezy Guion. On Thursday, a letter from Dave to Grandpa regarding his birthday, and on Friday, a one act play written by Grandpa, 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lad (2) – News Of Dan And Max – August 20, 1939

(This was supposed to go live on Friday, but I did not schedule it – I guess I thought I had scheduled it when I finished it on Thursday night. I do apologize for this oversight.)

This is a continuation of the letter I began yesterday. Grandpa does a fine job of keeping Lad aware of happenings in Trumbull, which I am sure makes him feel a part of the family, even though he is so very far away.

Elizabeth’s son, Raymond Zabel Jr., (Grandpa’s first grandchild) and Dan enjoying sunny weather.

 Dan and Jim Shields spent two days this week in New York, seeing McCarter and talking with Ted. The latter seems to be sore at both Dan and myself because Dan did not immediately get in touch with Ted immediately on his arrival. I, on the other hand, felt rather annoyed at Ted and Helen because apparently, while they were in New York with nothing to stop them and could easily find out when the boat landed, they made not the slightest attempt to meet him, and now Ted feels hurt because Dan did not rush down to see him immediately. They saw McCarter who knew nothing about any arrangement Maxudian had made for payment in New York, and in consequence, Jim is about fed up and told McCarter he was putting through his check for payment, and if it were returned, uncashed, he is going to send it at once to Dewey, the New York District Attorney. McCarter asked that the check be sent by regular mail so as to give him time to communicate with Max by airmail and give him an opportunity to arrange for funds to meet the check, which Jim promised to do, but after talking with Ted a bit later the latter persuaded him not to send it by regular mail but to send it por avion. Dan on the other hand has written to Max directly telling him he is going to deposit the check and see what happens. In the meantime, Jim will probably get a report on his check. This undoubtedly will make Ted sore because he is out for blood as far as Max is concerned and does not believe in giving him any leeway at all.

I got another batch of books off to you this week — about seven of them including a Metals Handbook which I gave you some time ago and which I thought you might have more use for now, than I at first thought you would have. It costs more to send books than it does to buy them.

Reports from Grandma are that she is coming along nicely but as yet she does not want to see anyway.

No letter arrived from you this week, but I suppose with your jumping around the way you have to do on your new job you can’t be as regular as formerly and I must expect letters to be less regular.

I seem to be having quite a bit of trouble with my Briggs clarifier, not with it’s operation but with its continually breaking. Twice the supply lines have broken, and twice the brackets holding the clarifier onto the block have cracked, due to the excessive vibration. I have come to the conclusion that the only remedy is to take the mounting off the motor block and mount it on the frame of the car. Any advantage the device might have been in keeping the oil clean is far more than offset by the damage done to the motor due to its necessitating my operation on two occasions, without oil. The last time the break in the oil line occurred was on the way to New York on the Merritt Parkway and we had to run several miles before we could get off to a repair station and fix it temporarily.

Ced got a letter from Rusty during the week. He has evidently been home in Wakefield for some weeks and has learned from an Alaskan friend that the reason Rusty has not heard from his mining friends is that the owner evidently got into some sort of trouble, probably domestic, with another woman involved, and Rusty thinks for that reason they have not wanted to write to any of their friends. Rusty does not say what his plans are for the future so presumably he has nothing definite in mind. Dan has written making application to go to the University of Alaska this fall but has not yet had a reply. If he does not get his back salary from Max I don’t see how he will have the money to go ahead with his plans, as it will take a small fortune just to get out there.

Well, that’s all I can think of in the week’s review of news. Maybe if a letter from you reaches me tomorrow it will suggest some other thoughts, until which time, adios.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, another letter from Dave, who is in Manila. Again, this letter is out of sequence. This appears to be the second letter written from there.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Lizzie of the Klondike (4) – A Rare Letter From Dick – August 6, 1944

This is the final chapter of this “elongated screed”, with a letter from Dick and comments by Grandpa. 

“Lizzie of the Klondike” refers to the first section of this letter which quotes a letter from Ced trying to convince Aunt Betty (whose name is actually Lizzie) to move to Alaska.

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

Richard Peabody (Dick) Guion

Dick has thrown down the gauntlet and challenges all of you individually and collectively to a contest to see who can invent the best reason for failure to write letters home. On Sunday, July 23rd, he had a real brainstorm. It was so overwhelming in its intensity that he immediately sat down and committed it to paper. Here it is:

“I just thought of a marvelous excuse for my not writing more regularly. How does this sound? Assuming that you like to receive letters (and who doesn’t) I wait until I am sure you have given up all hope of hearing from me and then spring a surprise attack. The letter, of course, is a typical one or two page affair beginning and ending with the same old salutations but – the element of surprise!! That’s the secret. There is only one fallacy, the – – upon receipt of said “delayed-action bomb”, you will probably ask yourself: “From whence comes this stray epistle, and who be the bounder that sits at the end of the pen and scratches aimlessly on this sheet. What manner of man (or mouse) is this thing that calls itself Dick? Have I ever been acquainted with it? Of course, I know what your reply will be. Why doesn’t this fellow write a little more often that we might become a little better acquainted.” I really enjoy getting your weekly letters, Dad, and think your idea of including extracts from the others is quite the thing. The latest rumor is that this base won’t last very much longer. In that event I should and probably would be sent home at least by Christmas. I feel hopefully certain that the European phase will be over by November 15th but not before November 1st. I want to thank you for buying that slip for Jean’s birthday. She certainly liked it very much and has probably told you as much. Everything goes well here. There are about 40 Army jobs I would much prefer to my present work but about 400 I would much less rather be doing, including all the jobs I have had so far. Give my love to Aunt Betty and Smoky and keep lots for yourself. My love for Jean will have to wait until I get home.”

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard)

COMMENT: Jean has been too busy this week with her vacation to miss your love. After giving the whole place a thorough housecleaning, with incidental jobs like putting up new curtains as a sideline, preparing the meals even to the extent of doing the shopping, you can all see that she is having a very lazy vacation. Aunt Betty has therefore had leisure to smoke many of her cigars and when I come home nights I find her butts lying all over the house.

The weather here, to revert to a very complacent subject, the past week has been as hot as I have ever seen it for so long a stretch since coming to Trumbull.

Perhaps it is just as well I didn’t hear from Dave this week, as if this letter had to be extended over to a sixth page to include his quotation, your eyes would probably give out. However, I cannot bring this to a close without passing on a bit of local news. The Trumbull post office, which for 26 years has been located in Kurtz’s store with Emanuel Kurtz as postmaster, will soon have to seek a new location. The President of the United States, in his great wisdom, has appointed a new acting postmaster – Mrs. Mary Ann Pimpinelle (daughter of Micky Langdon), as of August 1st. Mr. Kurtz, as you may have realized, is a Republican. Everyone is speculating as to where the new post office will be.

It is about time, don’t you think, that I brought this elongated screed to a timely end. Anyway, Jean is waiting to have me set up the projector to show some of the slides, and of course we should not keep ladies waiting, so, with a hearty ta ta, I still remain,

Your loving

DAD

Tomorrow I’ll be posting a letter from Marian with the latest news from California.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Still Don’t Know Anything Definite – July 24, 1944

Marian (Irwin) Guion

Monday

7/24/44

Dear Dad,

Another week has gone by and we still don’t know anything definite. The Army gets us all keyed up, thinking we are going to move within the hour, practically, and then just let’s us wait, literally holding our breaths. But you can be sure that when we do move, it will be in a hurry.

Did I tell you that mother was scheduled for an operation for a cataract on her eye? She was operated on last Tuesday and the doctors are very encouraging and optimistic about her receiving her eyesight back. Both eyes have been affected, so that for the last six months she has had practically no vision from either eye but the doctors feel sure that she will have a good percentage of her vision restored, and although we haven’t received the final report, we are very hopeful. She had only one eye operated on this time. I believe she has to wait about three months before she has the second operation. In the meantime Dad has been the chief cook and bottle washer around the house. His two week’s vacation was scheduled for last week and this, so that he could be home while mother was at the hospital. Some vacation, I’d say, but he seems to be getting along very nicely. We got a very nice letter from Dave last week. He seems to feel as badly as we do about not being able to see him. Seems as though we just miss him each time. Maybe the next time we will be more successful. I certainly hope so. If Jean is around would you ask her if she knows the recipe for the mocha frosting that Biss makes? Lad maintains that it is delicious, so it sounds like exactly what I need to cover my meager attempts at cake baking. Perhaps you know the recipe. And incidentally, Jean might also include the recipe for that delicious tomato soup cake of hers.

Love to all,

Marian

Alfred Peabody Guion

Dear Folks: –

I’m not feeling too well, having eaten something yesterday that did not agree with me too well. Hope that by tomorrow it will be a better behaved stomach.

I believe I told you when I was home, that if you could do anything for me I’d let you know. Here is something you can do. I would like you to try to get me a Boy Scout knife or one very similar (not too bulky), two tubes of Molle shaving cream, a couple of “T” shirts, white, size 38, a pair of tennis shoes, size 8 1/2 C (white if possible) and if shoe stamps are necessary, don’t bother, and some stamp pad ink, permanent. (Like the laundry uses). I understand that if we go overseas, we should have saltwater soap with us, so maybe, if you can find 6 bars, you might send them along also.

Since our permanency here is limited, please send it to me at camp – 3019 Co., 142 O.B.A.M. Bn., Camp Pomona, Pomoma, Calif. In that case, if we move, it will be sure to follow me for ever or until it reaches me.  That is one nice thing about Army mail.  It will eventually reach its destination.  On second thought, that also has its bad points.  One can’t ship unpaid bills.

Well, as Marian said, Our love to all.

Tomorrow and Sunday I will post more letters from Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (4) – Ced’s Birthday and Summer Plans – May 30, 1939

 

Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee), summer, 1946

Aunt Betty (Grandpa’s Mother’s Sister)

Page 4 of R-25

          Ted just asked if I were writing to the boys and said that his advice to you boys both was not under any circumstances for Dan to leave Venezuela without definitely putting his claim in to the labor court through Matienza and if he cannot or will not handle it you should go to Burkhart and let him ask the Fair people to put him in touch with Petrie. This lawyer hates Maxudian (President and owner of Inter-America, Inc., the company that Lad and Dan were hired by for the work in Venezuela) and would give him good service. If there is likely to be any delay it may be wise to give the lawyer your power of attorney.  He also thinks, Lad, you should start action along the same line, and I would suggest that in any claim you make, you include your return fare home as an offset in negotiation for the set of tools.

          June 1st was Ced’s birthday.  It was just the usual family celebration.  Grandma made him a cake, Aunt Betty sent her regular card, dollar enclosed.  I gave him a shirt, necktie, writing paper, bottle of Listerine, can of chocolate malted milk, linen handkerchiefs and a set of small screwdrivers.  I also expect to give him some photographic printing paper and developer.  I also wrote a little verse to go with it which was not very clever.

          Plans for the summer are not very definite.  With Mother leaving in July, Dan’s arrival home sometime during the summer, Ced’s plans to possibly go to Alaska with Rusty (nothing has been heard from Rusty or from his friends in the mine there to whom he wrote some months ago about Ced coming) and Dick’s very indefinite intention to possibly go to Vermont to work on the Munson farm, all make definite plans very much of a gamble.  It looks as though Mr. Keating’s plans to take a few boys West with him this summer have fallen through.  The one thing we probably can be sure of doing once anyway, is taking a trip to the Fair (World’s Fair in New York).

          Bar (Barbara Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend) stopped in for a few minutes the other day and said a friend of hers at school had mentioned the fact that there was a boy friend of hers at the same camp with Lad.  Of course we must add the trite remark about how small the world is.

          Well, here it is bedtime again and I seem to have told all the news that I can recall at the present writing, so here’s a good night kiss for my two little lads.

                                         DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday I will be posting two letters, one from Dave to the Folks back home, the other from Paul Warden, husband of Katherine and father of her two children, who are living in the small apartment at the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion

 

World War II Army Adventure (68) – At Long Last …. – October 9, 1944

 

World War II Army Adventure (68) - At Long Last ... - October 9, 1944

9 Oct. 44

Dear Dad –

        Well – at long last I’ve met my second sister-in-law.  I got a 3-day pass Saturday Sunday and Monday for Little Rock,  Ark. and left camp Friday night.  Lad got a weekend pass good till Monday morning.  We met about 9:30 Saturday morning.  I spent all day Saturday and Sunday morning with them.  I like Marian very much – but who doesn’t?  Lad looks fine – and everything was perfect except that I was going to go back to Miss.  with them until we found the connections were so poor.  You see they came up to Little Rock in the Buick.  I left them at 12:30 Sunday noon and boarded a bus headed for Ft. Smith.  I spent the night here at the Salvation Army U.S.O. in Ft. Smith.  At noon I’m going to catch a bus to Fayetteville and spend the afternoon and evening there, then I’ll catch a bus tonight to Neosho.  I’ll get to camp about 5:30 tomorrow morning.  I figured it out and found out that I could have come home on this three-day pass.  If you could come to the RR station I could be with you about an hour.  Some fun – eh?

        In another hour and a half or so I’ll be going through Bob Burns’ hometown – Van Buren.  I came through it before on my way down here – but it was in the middle of the night.  This trip is taking me through the Ozarks and there certainly is some beautiful scenery.  These Ark. towns are certainly “Western”.  All the jukeboxes play Bradley Kincaid stuff.  Ced would love it here.

        Well – I’ve gotta catch my bus.  So long –

                                                  Dave

Tomorrow I will post another letter from Dave to Grandpa giving him details.

Judy Guion

The Island – Pictures and Stories (3) – Split Rock Behind Sleeping Cabin – September, 2020

Spring Island - Split Rock behind Sleeping Cabin - 9.2020

Split Rock behind Sleeping Cabin

(When we were children, the “Split” was about two inches wide. As you can see, time and weather have made a difference over the last  seventy-five years)

When I was growing up, my family (Lad and Marian (Irwin) Guion, my two brothers, my sister and me) always went to the Island for the last two weeks of August. We always invited several other families to join us. Regulars were Jeanne (Hughes) and Chet Hayden with their two daughters and a son, Evelyn (Hughes) Lenhard with her two sons and a daughter, Barbara (Plumb) and Pete Linsley, with their son and daughter, Jane (Claude-Mantle) and Charlie Hall with their daughter and son, Peg and Harold Neville with their three sons. If you do a quick count, you will see that it wasn’t unusual to have sixteen children on the Island, with probably about twelve years separating the oldest from the youngest.

My brother Greg’s birthday was during our Island trip. Debbie, one of the members of another family, had a birthday earlier in the month. Her mother and mine (Marian Guion and Jeanne Hayden) quite often created a Treasure Hunt for the two birthday honorees as well as the other children. This Split Rock was a favorite hiding place for a clue, sending us all scurrying to another named place on the Island.

World War II Army Adventure (38) – Congratulations to the Graduate – June, 1944

Grandpa and my Uncle Dave were able to finagle a furlough so that Dave would be able to attend the court proceedings relating to his Grandma Peabody’s will.  It just so happened that he would also be able to attend the Graduation ceremony at Bassick High School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, with his class and receive his diploma in person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomorrow I will begin posting letters written in the spring of 1945. All five of Grandpa’s sons are serving Uncle Sam in their own unique way.  Lad, with his wife, Marion, are 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, while his wife, Jean, keeps Grandpa company in that he kept Trumbull House, waiting for Dick’s return.  Dave is in the Philippines, attached to headquarters and filling a variety of roles. 

Judy Guion