Trumbull – Dear Dan and Dave (1) – Discharges and Ced is Home – November, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 11, 1945

Dear Dan and Dave:

You to being the only outlanders left, the salutation above is correct, although on second thought, it was only about five minutes ago that Lad and Marian left for Aberdeen to make that their temporary home until he is discharged, their hope being that their sojourn will not be long and of course they are hoping to get home on a pass for Thanksgiving. However, they took along a limited amount of housekeeping utensils so that if they are stuck there for any length of time, they will have the ways and means of existing until the Army order finally comes through. Anyway, they will thus have an opportunity of celebrating their wedding anniversary together, which otherwise might not have been possible in view of the fact that obtaining another pass so soon after the one this week, might be difficult to secure. It was Marian’s birthday today so we were able to celebrate that en masse anyway. By all the laws of reason, Lad should be permitted to file his request for discharge in accordance with recent public announcement from Army headquarters, but due to a technicality in the wording, Lad not being on furlough or assigned to temporary duty, is not eligible. Dick is due for return to a camp in South Carolina the day before Thanksgiving, but is today writing for transfer to Fort Devens, which, if granted, with the necessary traveling time, will give him until after Thanksgiving to report there and file his request for discharge. Here’s hoping. As far as we can figure it out now, Aunt Elsie, Anne and Gwen (Stanley) and perhaps Lad’s friend in Aberdeen will be here for Thanksgiving, besides of course, Ced, Dick and Jean, Aunt Betty, myself and I hope Lad and Marian. The Zabels go up to their Trumbull in-laws for that day and here for Christmas. Aunt Helen (Peabody Human) has gone to the Bahamas to join Ted (Human, her husband), and Don Stanley is overseas somewhere.

Ced, in Alaska, with, I believe, a company plane.

          I mentioned Ced. Yes, he’s home. Got home Wednesday night and came in almost like Santa Claus. We were all sitting around the kitchen table, supper just being over, when in through the dining room walks Ced, as nonchalant as you please, having scorned to come in the back door, choosing rather to shinny up the front porch, onto the roof and in through the hall window, this procedure being necessary by virtue of the fact that I had put up storm windows on all the French doors on the ground floor and the front door was locked. He had flown down from Anchorage to Seattle in his own company plane and from there took the train to Ohio, where the Taylorcraft two-seater plane he had ordered was being built. Thence by train to New York, where he stopped in to see Elsie and Aunt Anne before “dropping in” on us here. I am going to ask Ced in a minute to write you a little more about the plane, etc., so I will not go into further details on that now.

The new furnace is in and working (but not paid for yet), and thanks to Dick and Ced, all the storm windows are up — the first time in many years, it seems, that I have not had to do this job myself. I doubt if they realize how much of a help they have been, as Saturday afternoons and Sundays furnish so little opportunity to do what is necessary. Also the little time Lad has been home he has been a great help in furnace regulation and other jobs of a mechanical nature that have needed to be done for a long time. It’s been so good to have three of the boys home together, but naturally only 3/5 as good as the ultimate. Anyway it’s the biggest score we’ve had in quite some time.

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday will complete this long letter from Grandpa to Dan and Dave, and on Friday I’ll post a note from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the General Staff – Chores and Birthday Wishes – October, 1943

Today’s letter is filled with the weekly minutiae of daily life on the Home Front. Just Grandpa keeping his boys informed of the weekly happenings in and around Trumbull and the Old Homestead.

Trumbull Conn.

October 24th, 1943

Dear Members of the General Staff:

While you war lords plan we’re next to axe the Axis, we of the WPA at home go about our job of raking leaves, sawing wood, etc., looking to the day when you come home, medals glittering on your manly breasts, and demand the various freedoms which you have fought so valiantly to achieve. Meanwhile, as the seasons roll around, I miss you each in a practical sense. Right now for instance, the wood sawing and chopping sure goes very much more slowly than it did when you axe wielders were around. Today, some of the eight and 10 foot lengths of Locust that were split and piled up on the west side of the barn, yielded grudgingly to my comparative puny efforts. I have let the leaf raking slide entirely, as being of less import than other more essential jobs, but soon must tackle the storm windows. Sunday is the only full day I have to do anything around the house, and that is spoiled by having to spend most of the morning getting dinner. For a while, when Grandma was here, I did get things accomplished on Sundays, as the long morning was mine to work steadily at a given job, but as Aunt Betty practically get supper every night, she certainly ought not to do more than she now does in helping with the Sunday dinner. And of course every afternoon I have a date with the typewriter, so Sunday is pretty well shot. Dave, with his numerous religious and social activities, doesn’t have time to even wash the dishes, and I haven’t the heart to say anything about it as there is no telling how soon he will be taking the trip up to the Shelton railway station in the early hours of the morning following in the foot-steps of his older brothers.

Daniel Beck Guion - (Dan)

Daniel Beck Guion – (Dan)

Up to the last moment, I thought the week past would go down in the records as one during which no word from any of my ”furriners” was received, but at the 11th hour, so to speak, I came home from Bridgeport yesterday (Saturday), after tying two folks in the knot of matrimony, to find a special delivery letter from Dan (of late he has been sending V-mail letters which arrived in record time). I don’t mean special delivery. I should have said airmail. Anyway, said letter contained the most generous money order and best birthday wishes. So, here I sit smoking one of the cigars Lad gave me for a gift, holding down papers with the ivory paperweight Ced dispatched from Alaska, and between pauses to try to think of something interesting to write, entertaining visions of all the good things I will supply myself with out of Dan’s largess. In moments of leisure I often wonder, out of all the fathers there are, how many are blessed with the number and quality of sons that have fallen to my lucky lot — each of you so different in personality and yet each with many qualities that make a secret feeling of pride and thankfulness steal softly into my inner consciousness, and when things tend to go wrong, stand as a bulwark to put new courage and purpose into life. And with that thought comes invariably another regarding how proud Mother would also be of her boys. While I promised her I would carry on as best I could with the job of holding the family together and bringing them up as she would like them to be, I realize in all humility that it is not so much me as it is your own innate characteristics, some of which of course you inherited jointly from both of us, but most of which you alone are responsible for. But, shucks, let Papa nurse his little prides  — it won’t do him any harm.

And as for you, Dan, old thing, you are not the only one that sends birthday greetings tardily. It was only yesterday that a homely brown box left on its way to merry England, via APO New York. How soon it will reach you is one of the mysteries of life, but let’s hope it will reach you before Christmas. If it speaks to you, if anything could, of the love and respect and esteem and high hopes the sender enclosed with it, it will have accomplished it’s purpose.

Lad, to you and Marian both, these letters to you henceforth will be intended. In fact, if you have been in circumstances where any

Lad and Marian - Pomona, CA

Lad and Marian – Pomona, CA

of my former letters have been preserved, might I suggest Marian, (if she cares to), read them with the thought in this manner of becoming somewhat acquainted with your newly to be acquired Dad. I do not share the feeling I know some folks do, that letters are highly personal and are not to be shared with other than the party receiving them. I have no quarrel with those that do feel this way, but, except where really personal and confidential thoughts are put on paper, I like to share the news, if any, with those interested. So, Marian, your interesting letter received this week has been enjoyed not only by me but by  Aunt Betty and Dave and Jean. It will be interesting to see if all my boys wives get along together as well as my boys do among themselves. Perhaps this is too much to expect, this is not to be taken as a disparaging remark about my daughters-in-law, so much as it is the realization that few brothers, to my knowledge and observation, got along so cordially as my five boys with their entirely differing personalities.

Ced in Alaska

Ced in Alaska

Ced and Lad: I don’t recall whether in my last letter I mentioned that I had come across a very interesting book on the theory of airplane mechanics put out by General Motors which I thought you would like to look over. Anyway, I have asked that a copy be sent you so, if and when it comes, you will know why. It did not seem the sort of thing that would interest Dick, in spite of the fact that this is the branch of service in which he serves, but if I am wrong, just let me know, Dick, old boy. Maybe this will serve as an excuse for writing me one of those rare epistles you occasionally favor us with.

Ced, the other day a tall chap with a mustache came into the office with the job for us to do. He is with a Bridgeport undertaker and asked if I were your father. He said he had been to high school with you and asked me to remember him to you when I wrote. His name is Ed Bachman. Does one ask if business is good under the circumstances?

I haven’t yet had time to hear from any of you since I sent along the news of Lad’s latest attack on the Citadel of a maiden’s heart. No matter where he goes he seems to attract the ladies. Soon after reaching Venezuela, he was chased by a reckless cow and now in California Cupid pierces him with a dart. I declare, he ain’t safe nowhere. With this bit of philosophy I had better bring this weekly Chronicle to a close. Happy Halloween to you all.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

On Monday I’ll start a week of letters written in 1945. Dan is still in france but out of the Army. He and Paulette try to see each other as often as his work will allow.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To Members of Medical Staff, Everywhere, Just Everywhere (2) – News From Dan in London – October, 1943

This  is a continuation of the letter I posted yesterday from Grandpa to his sons, scattered around the world.

From our London maternity branch, Dr. Daniel Guion reports the successful delivery of a new infant (or will within nine days) in the shape of an additional year to his young and growing family. I am open for congratulations myself in view of the good job along this line I helped your mother do so many years ago. Incidentally, there must be something psychic in his composition, for before he received my former letter with its epic California news, he starts his last note home with the words: “Neath the shade of an imported redwood tree in the famous (deleted by censor), I met a free French soldier whose home and family are in Paris. We spent an interesting afternoon, paying more attention to a discussion of languages and customs then to the imposing vistas of myriad trees and representative flora of the world’s most distant corners. Later in a tea shop in (Censor again) he described the occupation of Paris by the Germans in 1940, and his own escape, first to unoccupied France, then to North Africa. Any wonder I find England fascinating? I have spent literally hours at (darn that censor) with religious fanatics, socialist speakers, salvation army song fests, humorists to speak for the pure joy of pleasing listeners, malcontents who lampoon everything — a melee of people listening, heckling, talking — like a sort of intellectual Carnival. All this has occurred while on pass of course.

There is nothing to report from our First Aid Outpost Station near the Arctic Circle, nor from our Deaf, Dumb and Blind Clinic in Brazil. Intern Richard seems still unable to communicate with any regularity with any of his family but his wife. Guess I’ll have to study the sign language. It is quite evident he still loves her and keeps telling her so from start to finish of each letter. How do I know? The deduction is simple. She passes on to us any items of interest, but day by day the answer comes back “There ain’t no news”. (Am I going to suffer for this when Jean reads this paragraph! Whew.)

Dan, there is a little gift coming to you, if the P.O. will allow packages to be sent after the 15th deadline. It is not a Christmas gift but a wee birthday token, but whether the government will make the distinction, I know not. It was not send sooner because I have not been able to get delivery of what I ordered due to (so they say) the manpower shortage, so while it may not arrive by the 26th it will serve whenever it does put in appearance as a very inadequate token of love and affection that grows in profusion back here in old Trumbull.

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons scattered all over in service to Uncle Sam.

Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

On Monday I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1945. Dan is still in France, our of the Army but working with the Graves Registration Department and getting to see Paulette whenever they can arrange it.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To Members of Medical Staff, Everywhere, Just Everywhere (1) – October, 1943

This  letter includes a large portion of Grandpa’s dry wit as he tells the boys all about Lad’s fiance and asks quite a few questions, as he does quite often.

This picture was taken in about 1945 when a fellow serviceman of Lad’s visited the Trumbull House and took a few pictures – although he and Smokey are the subjects of this photo taken (probably) by Lad.

Trumbull Hospital, Clinic and Sanatorium

A.D. Guion, Chief Butcher

October 17, 1943

To members of medical staff

Everywhere, Just Everywhere

Greetings:

Last week we sent you a new package of our famous Cupid Serum specially developed by Dr. A. P. Guion of California. It is now time for a follow-up treatment. This one is stronger and more potent than the last. In fact, its effect is said to be permanent. It has been aging in the wood (my head) for about a week and is now ready for administering. Hold your chair, brace yourself. The needle, Dr. Watson. “Arrangements have been made, so far as is possible for a soldier, for us to be married at her home near San Francisco, on November 14th. We may have to suddenly changed plans but to date everything looks O.K.” Marian has an apartment in South Pasadena which they will continue to occupy, which, though small, will do, because neither of them will be there during the day. Indeed, its small size will be a convenience in that housekeeping problems will be simplified. Now I suppose you will be interested in the

Case History of Miss Marian Irwin

Marian Rider Irwin and Marian Dunlap Irwin - 1915

Marian Rider Irwin and Marian Dunlap Irwin – 1915

She was born some 27 1/2 years ago on the West Coast, and is a college graduate. She taught school for a few years, after which she did some traveling, but whether she got as

 Marian Dunlap Irwin - Berkley High School - 1933

Marian Dunlap Irwin – Berkley High School – 1933

far as Connecticut the record fails to say. She then accepted the position she now holds as Executive Secretary of the Campfire Girls, and presumably, like Boy Scouts, can start fires without matches, so that Lad will not suffer from lack of hot meals. She has one sister (married, so you bachelors need not let any false hopes arise) and a married brother. Her father, whom the prospective bridegroom has not yet met, is a factory distributor for Westinghouse (did somebody mention an electric toaster for a wedding present?). In spite of the fact that

Marian Dunlap Irwin - SFSU - 1937

Marian Dunlap Irwin – SFSU – 1937

Marian is in an electrically minded family, Lad writes “things have been running like a well-built turbine — direct connected, I assume.

P.S. to Marian: under separate cover last week I mail you a photo of my eldest son, so you can see what you are getting, through the camera’s eye. Object, matrimony. (That gives me an idea — perhaps I’ll start a matrimonial bureau for my other unmarried sons).

Lad: you did pretty well in covering some of the high spots, but to complete the record, here are a few questions that occur to one: Will it be an afternoon or evening wedding? Will you wear your uniform? As long as I cannot officiate as Justice of the Peace in California, I assume it will not be a “justice” wedding but at her home by a clergyman. (Episcopal or some other denomination?) Can you secure a long enough leave to permit any sort of honeymoon, and if so, what and where? Are you driving to Frisco in the Buick or going by train? Do you need any money? (Foolish question). How much? What did you do about an engagement ring? Will Marian be entitled to the $50 wife allowance monthly from the Army, or does this happen only when the soldier is married before he starts working for Uncle Sam? What would you like for a wedding present? (Better let Marion answer about 75 % of this one).  Would you like me to send you any of your belongings? What are your plans, or perhaps we had better say, hopes, after the war is over? And by the way, while we have that small photo of Marian, I don’t know whether she is short or tall, blonde or brunette, plump or slim (I know your answer to this one – “just right”). Whether she has voted for Roosevelt all her life, and still intends to do so the rest of her life, and whether she likes a father-in-law with Hay Fever? Oh I could go on and on, but real generous answers to these few questions as a starter will do for now. You can think of a lot of other things I’d like to know. There is one thing I do know and that is one month and one week from today I am going to feel like a very distant relative. In my wildest dreams I have never envisioned the fact that anyone of my boys would be married without my being there to help shove him off the dock into the sea of matrimony. That just shows to go you, that you can’t count on anything for certain in this old universe — a runaway married daughter, A hand-tied son and now this one by remote control. I know how busy you both will be from now on until the big day, but if you, one or both, can seek a few minutes to write more it will do somewhat in taking the disappointment out of the fact we can’t be on hand to throw a few handfuls of rice.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of this letter and on Friday, another missive from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

 

Welcome From the Irwins – October, 1943

 

Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

Marian (Rider) and Mowry Addison Irwin, Marian’s parents.

Lad had written a letter to Marian’s parents introducing himself and giving them a resume of sorts. Each of them wrote to Lad (they knew him as Al) welcoming him into the family.

Wednesday

Dear Al,

Marian knows that whomever she chooses for a husband would be welcome in her family, but I thought you might like a very special greeting all your own. We are very humorous, but not at all formidable, so don’t be dismayed at the prospect.

Being one of a fairly sizable family yourself you should know something about them.

Naturally, we would have liked knowing you before the wedding but it isn’t essential – it is just a pleasure awaiting us. Like most parents we want our children to lead healthy, normal lives, and feel that marriage has a very definite place in that program. After you try it for 20 or 30 years I hope you’ll be as much in favor of it as I am. There is some chance about practically everything in life; but I feel your chances for happiness without marriage are far greater than with it.

This won’t be a very long letter because I have many things urgently requiring attention and our mail collection is about due: but the welcome extended is not in accordance with the size of the letter – it is just a sort of “filler in” until I can extended it in person.

Very sincerely,

Marian Irwin

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

Thursday night

October 14th, 1943

Dear Al:

Thanks fellow, for your letter. I enjoyed the resume of your life very much. And it gave Mom and I a good opportunity to know you better. Now, if you can dig up a picture, we would appreciate that. However don’t put yourself out because after all, Sis has put her life in your hands, Don and Peg (Marian’s brother and sister) liked you very much when they met you in South Pasadena and that is plenty good enough for us! We naturally think we have a pretty fine family and will welcome you into it and bestow upon you the same love and appreciation.

You must secure the marriage license in the county in which you are to be married. In talking to the County Clerk today, I find that they are closed from Saturday noon until Monday morning. This means, in order that you may be married on Sunday, November 14th, that you both will have to arrive here by noon on Saturday. This makes it appear to me that you will have to be extra nice to your commanding officer that grants leaves and arrange to leave South Pasadena on Friday night and drive through. Otherwise the day of the wedding will have to be changed and we will have to know as quickly as possible, because we have arranged for the chapel for Sunday afternoon at 1:30 PM. It is a very popular place and a months advance notice is advisable. This explains why I am take it up with you and ask that (my pen ran dry and had to stop to refill) you let us know as quickly as possible. The troubles of the groom to be. Things have been running to smoothly for you both, so a couple of things like finding an apartment and arranging for a change, or additional leave, will do you good. Good luck in both tries. We will continue to make our plans for the 14th until we hear to the contrary from you.

I’m looking forward to seeing you, meeting you and extending a hearty hand clasp of welcome into the family.

Sincere regards,

Your Dad (to be)

Tomorrow, a letter to Ced from Grandma Peabody. Grandpa will finish out the week writing about Marian Irwin and other bits and pieces of Trumbull news.

Judy Guion

Peabodys and Duryees – Grandma Writes to Ced – October, 1943

Grandma Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody

5 Minetta St.

New York 12, N.Y.

Oct. 15, 1943

Dear Cedric

I hope you will forgive me for waiting all these months and delaying writing and thanking you for the lovely birthday greeting. Coming a little “late” did not change the charm of your note, I wish I was worthy of all your praise.

Of course I take it for granted you know I have been under the weather for over a year. Kemper and Ethel (Peabody) took the best of care of me, but yet, there was something lacking. I had a lovely room and their whole house is beautiful. They really have a fine dairy farm. Besides the manager there were seven hired men. Uncle Kemper was kept busy in his office. There was so much detail for him to learn. He was here two weeks ago and had dinner with Dorothy (Peabody) and me. He said Ethel will be down later in the fall, she is very busy canning vegetables out of their own garden. That makes me think of my planting Four Hills of Potatoes. I left Trumbull too early to know if there would be enough or one meal. Bugs got after them and Mrs. Warden (The Wardens are renting the apartment in the Trumbull House) sprayed them but that was done probably too late. The Wardens seem like nice people, and how Skippy and Susan love to come in to the big house. Uncle Burton (Peabody) was home for a short visit the last week of August and was looking fine. Do you know he was promoted to Major just a year after he got his commission as Captain? He is stationed in Washington in the air service, as a liaison officer.

Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley) spends her weekends at our apartment. It is so nice to be where anyone of the family is welcome. When she is with us she does most of the work and I just rest. I was terribly sorry I flunked in Trumbull. I did enjoy being there. Everybody was so nice to me and Aunt Betty and I got along fine as far as I know. She is such a sweet woman. But we were both old and I believe she was not always feeling any too well, but she is better off than I was. I had a letter from your father this week telling about all the family which is always so interesting. I do hope you can come home for Christmas and that you can make us a visit. In his letter he tells of Alfred and Marian’s being engaged, and that Jean is fixing up the house beautifully. I am so glad she can help out. She is such a lovely girl. I believe Dick was lucky to get such a fine wife. You seem to keep away from any love affairs, – but Aunt Betty believes you will fall hard when that time comes. I think it’s a good thing and not to be in too much of a hurry. (Ced was just 6 months shy of his 40th birthday when he married.)

Are you and Rusty still living together? Nice you have somebody to be with that you have known so long. Is he married?

Allen, Uncle Kenneth, Joyce, Aunt Nora and Muriel Peabody

(Muriel had just been born when Ced visited Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Nora, in Star Prairie, Wisconsin during his Coming of Age Adventure in 1934.)

I hear from Nora quite often. Allen graduated from high school last June and sent me an invitation to be present. At Christmas time he sent me a photo of himself. He is quite a nice looking young man. Nora has mentioned you many times and wishes you belonged to her, you can see how well she thinks of you but she is not the only one who loves you. We all do. When you come to visit D. and me at Christmas I hope I can make you a pie. I would just love to do it. The bird you sent me I still have and the basket I keep my crocheting in.

Loads of love,

Grandmother

Please remember me to Rusty

Friends – Letter of Congratulations From Babe – October, 1943

This is a letter of congratulations from Lad’s former girlfriend after his engagement was announced.

Dear Lad,

Can’t write much as this is class time – as usual – couldn’t wait, though to send you both my best wishes.

Congratulations to you – and tell your bride to be that I wish her much happiness.

Would write more – but between graces operation scheduled for today and he old classroom, I’m in a dither.

Cheerio,

Babe

P.S. do you think a few Californian vitamins might help us out back in old cold New England????                                                                – over

Kick-a-Poo Joy Juice is what I’ve been taking but the caloric content is too high.

P.S.S. Incidentally – it’s up to you two love birds to find me something tall, dark and ugly (don’t like pretty men) – who can boss me around!

Adios

Incidentally- Lad – better send my old picture back – sure would look funny in someone else’s home! I could use it myself, anyhow.

Gotta  have something for the old family album.

Tomorrow, letters to Lad from his soon-to-be in-laws, Marian and Mowry Addison Irwin, who have never met him. Wednesday, a letter to Ced from Grandma Peabody, and on Thursday and Friday, Grandpa fills in the blanks for the family in the Case History of Miss Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion