In yesterday’s post, Grandpa tells the story of when he first realized that he was in love with Arla Peabody. He continues:
Afred Duryee Guion about 1913
I got up the nerve a few weeks later to ask my mother, timidly, what she thought of her and was immensely gratified when she answered favorably. I suppose like lovers the world over, before and since, things followed a regular pattern, but it was a long time before I could believe anyone since the world began could love a girl as I loved her, simply because there had never been anyone as perfect as she. I suppose she knew how I felt long before I told her. I used to make up all kinds of excuses to visit her home, using her brothers and sisters, who were all likable youngsters, as reasons on matters concerning church, choir, Sunday school, etc. The more I saw her in her home and noticed the tactful and gentle way in which she handled her little brothers and sisters, the willing help she gave her mother around the house, the dependence and trust her mother showed her, all convinced me, aside from viewing her with the lovers eye, that she would be an ideal wife and mother, and in this, as was afterwards proven, I was right.
Some nights, even when I knew her whole family would be in bed I would walk my dog, Spot, the long distance over to her house just so I could look at the place where she lived. There was only one girl I would ever want as long as I lived. I was a “one girl man” and would remain so all of my days.
With the three years college ordeal behind me and the girl of my choice looking upon me with favor, the future looked promising. Two main objects were to be achieved. I now had a promising job with a respectable company – St. Nicholas Magazine – and a definite incentive for making good. My job was to solicit advertising for this leading high-grade children’s magazine. It seemed a natural that children in better high-class homes and pedigreed pets belonged together, so I proposed starting a “Pet Department” in the magazine. The idea was approved and I was made Manager.
Of course nothing but the best in a diamond engagement ring was good enough for my girl, so on June 1, seated side-by-side alone on the lower deck of an excursion boat then running to and from New York City, I slipped the ring on her finger. It apparently came as no surprise and was evidently quite acceptable. For many years, when circumstances permit it, we celebrated June 1st by taking a boat ride of some sort.
We chose Bermuda for our honeymoon and there we spent a delightful two weeks, marred only by an accident Arla had on a bicycle caused by the fact that she was not familiar with the operation of the coaster brake with which the rental machine was equipped, so she did not know how to slow speed at the end of a long downhill grade and chose crashing into a stone wall by the roadside in preference to smashing into a horse-drawn vehicle which was blocking the road. Outside of skinned hands when she was thrown over the handlebars onto the rough stone and a few bruises, no damage resulted, but the bike was pretty badly smashed.
Back home again, we spent the first few days fixing up an apartment I had rented in the Bronx for my bride. With my savings we bought some substantial dining and living room “Craftsman” furniture and there we lived for about a year, little Lad having arrived in the meantime to add to our happiness.
Tomorrow, I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1943. Lad and Marian have been married for only about a month and the holidays are upon the Guion Clan.