Trumbull – Dear Sonny (2) – Extracts From Rusty’s Letter to Ced – November 12, 1944

 

Page 2      11/12/44

Friday’s local paper recorded the death of Tom Cullen, who had been ill for about six months. Cancer, I believe, was the cause of death starting with a face infection and finally going to his brain. In his early 40’s, it is quite a loss to scouting.

These last two weekends I have not only been busy at the office but the breeze has been enough to make it a bit dangerous for me to attempt to put up storm windows alone perched on a rickety ladder, so we are not yet set for old man winter’s onslaughts. I have the furnace running however and so far the house has been comfortable.

Rusty - Rusty at his painting cabin - 1979 (2)

Perhaps this would be a good occasion to send a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced written August 14th from Barrow, Alaska. He describes the perilous run from Nome to Barrow in a 44-foot powerboat, five of them, all together, as crew, the boat 5-tons overloaded on deck, running into storm after storm. “I have seen high waves off Cape Hatteras and in the North Sea but never so close to rough weather as what we ran into on the “ADA”. Conrad would have made a book out of it. None of us ever expected to see land again and I know now why men pray. Hope becomes one concentration and that a tremendous thing. I pumped and pumped and pumped and pumped and never taxed my heart as much before as we kept taking in water and more water. Finally the engine quit. One of the Eskimo crew saved the lives of all of us by getting out 9 fathoms of anchor line and holding onto the end of the line probably two minutes before he could get 2 feet of it to make a turn on the forward bit. None of us could get to him, the sea was so rough. And that was the beginning of a 24-hour battle with the devil in that deep green sea. Finally we could take it no more and made for a lagoon. Breakers were 5 miles long over shoals. When soundings showed we were in only 6 feet of water one of the men yelled “Let’s get the hell out of here.” But it was too late. We struck bottom, went over on our starboard side, shipped water to soak me from head to foot where I stood on one ear in the cabin. Water poured down into the engine room to kill engine. All we could do was to blow the foghorn to summon Eskimos in tents on shore to get out what help they could offer. All this happened so quickly, and the next breaker sucked us so hard that we went some 10 feet sideways, and then the miracle of all miracles happened. The ADA righted herself. We had been smacked over the bar. We rolled helplessly in deeper water until blown into the channel. Finally we got the engine started and motored in to behind a sand spit breakwater. 15 minutes later a gang of Eskimos came aboard saying we were the luckiest people they had ever seen. We all knew that. Not one boat in a million could do the same thing again. After laying up for five days we finally made Wainright. Here we unloaded most of the freight and took on as passengers storm bound Eskimos unable to return to Barrow in their boats heavily loaded with coal. So we left there towing five whale boats and about 25 Eskimos to sweeten the forecastle and share with us the four bunks when the next storm came. We had then run into icebergs 20 feet high and were forced outside of them and land. 60 miles of this. The kids had gotten over their seasickness and there was no more rushing from below to punk pots. One woman had six children. She and all of them had been sick in my bunk. But that was nothing. After one storm I had laid down in more filth than could be found in a garbage can and never felt more clean in my life. To sleep alongside of those shipmates after trying to take what they did uncomplainingly was the finest sensation I have yet experienced. I have made four friends I shall never forget.” More at some later date.

DAD

This week will continue with more letters from Grandpa to his sons, so far from home.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Sonny – Marian’s Birthday Celebration – November 12, 1944

                 Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 12, 1944.

Dear Sonny:

It gets a bit puzzling how to address you youngsters each week without repeating some salutation used in former letters, and in this respect perhaps Dan has the right idea of plunging right into the letter without wasting time on the customary form of address. Sometimes I sit for a couple of minutes puzzling how to begin this week’s screed, so today I just wrote the above applying to each of you individually and collectively.

Yesterday was not only Armistice Day but also Marian’s birthday, and following the usual custom we celebrated it today. Elizabeth, who came to dinner with her two boys (Zeke came in later, he having been to his mother’s to see Irv, who is home on leave), was able to get, through her butcher, a nice ham, quite a rarity these days, and that with some of Burrough’s cider of sainted memory, baked sweet potatoes, cauliflower, topped off with Guion’s celebrated prune whip, was followed with the opening of gifts amid the soft glow of candlelight – – in the dining room, of course. Lad had sent me a bottle of Marian’s favorite perfume earlier in the week and this happened to be the last gift she opened which topped off things with an unexpectedly pleasant surprise for her. Doing as much as we can, however, these days still lack that intangible something that used to be present with all you boys gathered around in your accustomed places. It is so pleasant having Marian added to the home circle that she and Jean supply what would otherwise be a very quiet and almost somber occasion.

Yesterday Lad wrote from “somewhere in the United States”, or I should say Marian got a letter yesterday written the day before but from where is one of those wartime secrets. He was unable to give the slightest inkling of what is planned, but at least it is clear he did not sail Tuesday with Carl on his transport, although even this sailing is just conjecture.

Ced saved the day from being a news blank week by making it possible for an Alaskan letter to reach me Saturday. The address on the envelope definitely puts me into the local wood choppers union along with Sidney Hillman of C.I.O. fame and other Roosevelt supporters. In spite of the old saying, there appear to be about 20 million Americans who voted for the wrong man, and being quite disgusted I shall not even comment on the horrible example of poor judgment on the part of the majority of U.S. citizens. Undaunted, however, I shall try again four years from now.

To come back to Ced, from what he says the traditional method of celebrating Halloween is practiced even in far-off Alaska. Here, it was very quiet, most of the Trumbull hell raisers having transferred their affections to pestering Japs and Jerries. Ced also recounts in his usual modest manner that he was duly elected President of the Anchorage ski club and has already gotten his committees working. Among other things they are planning a trip to Independence Mines and their annual ski rally. In his letter Ced enclosed a money order and for Dan’s benefit I quote: “Ten dollars of it are to be put into Dan’s account. It is payment for his Spanish records and I hope he will be satisfied. No one seems to know what they were worth, and as the girls had them in the cellar and wanted to clean out the place, they decided to try to sell them. Eleanor Oman has gone out to live with her mother in the states and before she left she made the deal with some soldiers.”

Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion of this letter including a few extracts from Rusty’s letter to Ced. For the rest of the week I will be posting more letters from Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – A Birthday and an Anniversary – November 4, 1944

Saturday

 In Camp.

Nov. 4, 1944

Dear Dad: –

Since I don’t expect I’ll be able to get home for Marian’s birthday, I sent, under separate cover, a small bottle of Marian’s favorite perfume. I would like you to wrap it for me and give it to her on the great day (Nov. 11) or if a celebration is held, on that day.

Nov. 14 will be our 1st anniversary, and again, circumstances still being the same, I’d like you to get her an appropriate token of my appreciation for her. A bouquet of flowers or something – you probably have a good idea for this –, and any expense should be added to the sum already owed you by us. Marian will repay you as fast as possible beginning after her arrival.

She wants to get some sort of work and if you can have a talk with her maybe you might be able to give her some idea of what she should do. I told her to consult you on any problems which may arise so please try to get her to do so if it looks like she may be bashful or retentive.

I guess I didn’t tell you, and she may be there now, but she left here Friday morning with the Buick and trailer. She should be in Trumbull sometime before late Monday night. Her route followed US 11 to west of Washington DC where she turned east on US 211 and then from Washington DC to New York – US 1. From G. Washington Br. to Henry Hudson; Cross County; Hutchinson River, and Merritt Parkway. I hope she arrives with no difficulties.

I’m going to write her a letter which will give you all the news.

My regards to everyone.

Love,

Laddie

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

APG - V-mail giving new address - writing to Marian only - Nov. 1944

In using the cable address just put my name and the code address. That’s all. As you have probably realized, I’m writing to Marian only and relying on her to keep you all at home, posted. I hope she is doing a good job. I also hope she is not in the way there or is not unhappier then she need be. I’ve not gotten any letters yet due to moving too fast. Laddie

Tomorrow, more Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion. Next week I will be posting letters written in 1939, when both Lad and Dan are away from home and working in Venezuela.

Judy Guion

Army Life – A Telegram and Letter From Lad and Marian – November 1, 1944

 

APG - telegram asking for $35 traveling money for Marian -Oct., 1944

A D GUION

FONE BPT4-2928 DANIELS FARM ROAD, TRUMBULL, CONN=

HOLD CHECK FOR MARIAN CAN YOU WIRE $35.00 IMMEDIATELY TO MARIAN I GUION 303 LONGINO JACKSON MISS FOR TRIP TO TRUMBULL DEPARTURE THIRD=

LAD MARIAN

 

MIG - letter to Grandpa - Thanks for the $35., Nov., 1944

Wednesday

Jackson   11/1

Dear Dad,

What a peach you are to send the $35.00 so speedily, without any question. We thought that we could wait here until our first government check arrived but Uncle Sam began rushing things too much. Today (Nov. 1st) is the dead-line as far as Uncle Sam is concerned. All the wives are supposed to have gone home, and no more private cars on the Post. But Lad took the car today, anyway. He’s going to park it outside the gate, so that I can pick it up if he gets restricted. He called me this noon to say that he thought he would be able to get out tonight.

Just to be on the safe side however, we packed the trailer last night, so that it will only take me a few minutes to put the last minute things into the car and be on my way home.

Incidentally, Dad, I’m really looking forward to living there at Trumbull. It seems to me to be the best place of all, other than actually being with Lad, and think of the extra nice company I’ll have. Your comments and P.S.’s in your recent letters have made me feel that I’m really coming home, so that this doggone separation has one bright side, anyway.

I’m leaving here tomorrow or Friday, at the very latest. When Lad comes home tonight, he’ll know a little more about their coming restriction, I think, so that he’ll have an idea whether or not he will be able to get home tomorrow night. If he can, I’ll stay until Friday, but I’m pretty certain I’ll leave then. So if everything goes according to schedule, I should be home sometime Sunday, probably late in the evening.

APG - letter to Grandpa - Nov., 1944

Dad: –

Marian has told you just about everything it is possible to tell, so far. I don’t know anything further about tomorrow night than I knew last night. It is quite disconcerting to say the least to have to make plans when everything is so unsettled, but I can’t get anything definite concerning just what we are going to do. That, I guess, will have to wait until it happens.

Marian is a wonderful girl, Dad, so please take care of her for me. My happiness, and practically my life, is wrapped up in her. I know you will, tho’, even without my asking. Incidentally, her birthday (29th) is Nov. 11.

I get up at 0400 and packing the trailer last night kept me up until almost 2300 last night, so I’m so sleepy I can hardly keep my eyes open, so I’m “gonna quit” here, and as they say in Mississippi – hurry back and see us.

Lad

From the looks of things it might be later than Sunday before I arrive. Lad wants me to stay as long as possible – and I want to, too. However, it would make it easier for him, I think, if he knew that I had arrived home safely, so I just don’t know. The best I can do, I guess, is to say, “Look for me when you see me.” It won’t be very long before I’m there – Love from Marian and Lad

Tomorrow I’ll post a letter from Lad, letting Grandpa know a little more. 

On Saturday and Sunday, more Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion .

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1939. Lad has been in Venezuela for over month and Dan has been there for about three months. Grandpa holds down the fort in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

 

 

Trumbull – Dear Baby Snooks (3) – More News From Dave and a Letter From Marian – October 29, 1944

His second letter, however, has a bit of right interesting news that puts him right up in your class. He writes: “I made it. They call me Corporal now. I took a test the day before yesterday. It wasn’t very hard but I had my doubts as to whether I had passed. But today the lieutenant told us all we had passed. Of course, I’ve already got my stripes on. You can tell my brothers that I’m on my way up the ladder and that I’ll keep plugging till I catch up to them and in time I’ll pass them all – – oh yeah? There’s still nothing definite as to when we will pull out of Crowder, but rumors are plentiful. I’ll let you know when – – – –“.

Congratulations, young son. Better tell the man to throw in a strap with that wrist watch you were going to get for your birthday gift from the Pater. By the way I have not received a bill yet for the purchase nor even notification of the amount. Better let me know pronto so I can send you a check before you leave Crowder. Where do you want your Christmas box sent and what do you want in it? (Flora papers please copy)

 

             Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

And speaking of Flora, Marian the dependable has again chalked up another run to her score. In a letter written on the 26th she says: “The Battalion has been issued new clothes and they have been given until Nov. 1 to dispose of their cars, but it seems to me we went through this routine once before at Pomona and look how long it took us to get out of there! Nevertheless we are arranging and packing as much as possible so that I can leave here at a moment’s notice. We haven’t the slightest idea which P.O.E. the fellows will be sent to, but in case it is New York or its vicinity, I’d like to be around there as quickly as I can get there in case Lad has a chance to get away for even a few hours.”

Your check instructions have been noted, Marian, and will be duly observed. Meanwhile if you find yourself in need of funds, you know what to do.

       Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Richard) 

Between Jean not hearing from Dick when expected and I anxiously awaiting a letter from Dan, we both of us weep on the other fellow’s shoulder. However she did get a couple of letters from Brazil this week which leaves me still “expecting”.

Aunt Betty (Lizzie) Duryee

Aunt Betty was “made a voter” the other day which means another vote for Dewey, and Baldwin. Zeke and Elizabeth however are voting for Mc Levy for Gov. I don’t think Jean has qualified yet so at least she won’t vote for Roosevelt. You all know where I stand. Well, it won’t be long now. Here’s hoping – – I’ve been doing that for twelve years.

While final reports on the destruction of the Jap fleet are not in, it certainly looks good in the Philippine sector. Now if Dan will hurry up with those invasion maps so General Ike can get his final push started maybe it won’t be too bad if Lad and Dave do have to go across the big drink.

In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,

In spite of false lights on the shore

Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea

Our hearts, our hopes are all with thee

Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,

Are all with thee, are all with thee.

Dad.

Tomorrow, and Friday, news from Lad and Marian. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Baby Snooks (2) – Let’s Get Serious – October 29, 1944

Trumbull House - The Barn

This is the walk Grandpa had to make from the back porch (left) to the barn

Page 2   10/29/44

 

So much for the froth. Now let’s get serious. It occurred to me the other day that for each of you absent boys I have some daily reminder that pleasantly brings you to mind. The days of late have been getting right chilly, so saying goodbye to Aunt Betty, gathering my lunch under my arm, I hasten out to the barn and slide under the Buick wheel. It feels cold to the touch but not for long because soon the heater which Ced not only “gifted” me but installed as well, begins purring and my hymn of Thanksgiving daily floats with the heat waves up toward Anchorage. And, by the way, Ced, the regular arrival of the Alaska Sportsman is enjoyed by all. I noticed in the last issue a mimeograph ad giving the name and address of a concern in Anchorage that does mimeographing. It would be interesting if you got a schedule of prices from them and sent it to me.

But to get back to my Daily Reminders. Quite soon after I hop out of bed I think of Lad and his thoughtfulness in giving me the Remington Rand electric razor. Then after shaving and dressing I make my bed. Do you remember Dan, that two toned woolly brown sweater you once had? Well, the blanket you had in Alaska, which Ced brought back with him and which I use on my bed, is the same two toned Brown and I always think of you as I put this blanket in place. At the office, time and time again during the day as jobs have to be turned out I am reminded of how much I miss Dave, and lastly at night when I come home I usually enjoy a smoke after dinner, and as I reach for a cigar, and see the Brazilian cigar box Dick sent I am of course reminded of my Portuguese son – – yes, there are still three cigars left. I counted them today. And speaking of office work, Dave, Mac says he has someone who has agreed to take over the task of sending out News to Youse again. He says the principal reason it was discontinued was because you went away and he found there was no one who could quite fill your place. Others dillydallied with the idea but you were the only one that went right ahead and did something about it – – few words and plenty of action.

Trumbull House - from the front, showing the steps to the Front door

 

Trumbull House - the driveway and the back of the house

In these pictures, you can’t even see all the windows,

so you can imagine what a job it is in the spring and fall to replace storm windows or screens.

This week has been the busiest I have put in at the office for a long time. A total of some 34,000 letters had to be produced for Governor Baldwin to go to new voters (see sample enclosed) (This letter has been lost sometime over the years) . Of course I worked until late yesterday and so did not have my regular Saturday afternoon at home to try to catch up on the storm window situation. I did get in a few hours this morning and this afternoon, but compared to the amount still to be accomplished the net result was pitifully small.

Carl came home yesterday, having just conveyed a bunch of German prisoners over from France. He says they were either boys or old man, some even 60 and a few badly wounded and all tired of the war and glad to get to America. Carl had to go back again for another assignment yesterday.

Two letters from Dave this week! In the first he says his team consists of 40 men. “I truthfully can’t think of a better bunch of guys to go across with. There are rumors that we will have two more weekends at Crowder. I want you to know that my morale at present is higher than it’s been at any time since I was at home last June. I’m really pepped up over the situation. On my 3-day pass after I left Fort Smith I went to Fayetteville as planned, but, I ran into a little Arkansas lass and that was not planned. Last week I went down to see her again – – she’s really pretty nice and makes good company. Nothing serious in all this, of course, but it gives me something to do with my off time.”

Tomorrow, the conclusion to this letter and on Thursday and Friday, a telegram, a V-mail note, a letter from Marian and Lad and another from Lad alone.

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Baby Snooks (1) – Daily Reminders – October 29, 1944

 

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn., Oct. 29, 1944

Dear Baby’s Snooks:  I mean Jack Benny: Oh, shucks, Jean has the radio going and my concentrations get all mixed up. There, she has thoughtfully and selfsacrificingly turned it off so that I can unhamperedly write to her sweetie among others. Whether it will be worth all this trouble I have my doubts, but here goes anyway.

First will turn to the anecdote department. The Greek dictator General Metaxes was invited to try out a new flying boat. He undertook to pilot it himself. All went well until the Commander noticed they were gliding down to the airdrome. “Excuse me, General, but it would be better to come down on the sea. This is a flying boat”. “Of course, Commander, what was I thinking of!” said Metaxes. After making a safe landing on the water he rose from the wheel and said, “Commander, I greatly appreciate the tact with which you drew my attention to the incredible blunder I was about to make.” Whereupon he turned around, opened the door and stepped into the sea.

Two little sardines were swimming aimlessly in New York’s East River. “Let’s go up to Connecticut for the weekend! suggested one. “Heavens, no, it’s much too long to swim.” “We could go by train” ventured the first sardine. “What! And be jammed in like a couple of soldiers.”

Americans on the German front have their own secret weapon – Patton Pending.

Here is one whom Dave, a rabid Gilbert and Sullivan fan, will especially appreciate. The other night at a political rally in Fairfield, the Norwalk baritone, Greek Evans, sang the following to the tune of Tit Willow from The Mikado.

On the train in Chicago sat little Tom Tit,

Singing Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney

Said Hennigan, Dickie Bird, why do you sit

Singing Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney

Said Dickie Bird, “I feel in my little insides

The American people are wise to my lies,

So give me that fat little worm, now decide

To clear Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney

In thirty-six I had John L., as you know

Clear Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney

But he got to tough to swallow, and so

Clear Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney

In 40 I gave them dear Wallace, you see

But he tried to steal top billing from me

And so we must ship this nit-wit out to sea,

Clear Sydney clear Sydney clear Sydney.

So here then am I, your little Tom Tit

Singing Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney.

I must have my way or the job I will quit.

Clear Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney.

With Ickes to throw the mud till it hurts

And Biddle to get the business man’s shirt

All we need then is the Hillman to drive the rest NERTS

Clear Sydney, clear Sydney, clear Sydney

 

 

Tomorrow and Wednesday I’ll be posting the rest of this letter. On Thursday and Friday, a collection of news reports from Lad and Marian.

Judy Guion