Family – A Letter From Biss to Ced in Alaska – July, 1943

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

This is a detail of the monogram in the corner of Bissie’s writing paper.

The internal white area is actually cut out. (How fancy is this?)

9:39 P.M.

7/10/43

Dear Ced: –

          I wrote to you just one week and one day ago at 11:55 P.M. while Barby (Barbara Plumb) was taking a bath and setting her hair. I wrote it on paper from iPad which I keep on top of the radio. Everything went along fine until I folded it to put in an envelope at which time it cracked and fell apart in my hands. Sooo this time I am doing everything Emily Post style in pen and on the proper paper. I told you of Ethel’s baby which was news at the time but no longer is.

          Zeke went up to Kenotia fishing last weekend so Dot M. Mackenzie)  and Lois H. (Henaghan) came down to spend the night (Sat.) with me. We had a grand time andSun. Morning I picked up Aunt Elsie at the station and went to Dad’s for dinner. Aunt Dorothy was there too. Grandma hasn’t been feeling very well this past week so Aunt  Dee. Came up again this weekend. Barby has joined the Waacs or Wacs – whichever spelling you prefer altho’ Wacs is the proper spelling now – and expects to leave at the end of this month. Edna and Frank Heigelmann had a baby boy and so did Johnny and Dot H. (Heigelmann). Bill Henaghan and his wife expect to have their third child at the end of this month also. I guess it’s my turn now. Helen S. And Bill are expecting one next January. Anna Rakowski ( one of the younger girls) died this morning. Barby sought Dick Christie and they had their first wedding anniversary last Sunday. Donald Whitney’s wife had to come home – either here or to her own home – because all of the service wives had to leave. I told Barby I wish you would come home and marry her because I had my heart set on her being my sister and Dan – damn him – put the kibosh on it. Maybe I’ll get her to marry Irv (Irvin Zabel, Zeke’s brother) – Heaven forbid. When she read that she said I sounded very insulting.

          Someday I’ll sit down and write you a whole letter about the children and their antics. I am listening to Scheherazade on the radio while I am writing this so if I am incoherent in spots it is because I get to interested in the story – it is pretty good. I called up Barby to let her know it was on because she likes the story and the musical background  very much. Zeke is going fishing with Frank tonight and they have just come in from catching nightcrawlers – you know big worms – they are talking too so I’m really getting into a muddle. Now to get down to business – the birthdays are as follows: Marty – Jan. 25th; Zeke is May 12th; Butch is October 20th; Biss is Jan. 6th; and Ced is June 1st. – is that enough birthdays  for you or should I continue?

          Dave has an infection in his leg and Dr. Z. doesn’t know what or why it is but he told Dave to keep his leg in the air – it is improving so I guess it wasn’t anything serious. I am finishing your letter at the same time the story is finishing. How is the food situation up there? Is it as bad as down here? You made us all homesick for old times when you mentioned driving  for a picnic – our battery is going sour from lack of use – peaking of tires – we need one too – but so far have been unsuccessful because our tire has to be vulcanized and Zeke says it is too expensive so they won’t give him the other tire he needs until that one is done. No more room so good-bye for now. Love, Biss

P.S. I hope you will write even tho’ I didn’t as often as I should. I got the bracelet and show it off every once in a while.  Biss

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa with updates on family members and friends. Friday I’ll post a letter from Lad, one that is long overdue.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll continue the story of Archie and Mary Wilson’s early married life.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Extracts From Diary of Alfred D Guion – July, 1943

Extracts From The Diary of One Alfred D Guion

of Trumbull Connecticut For The Week

Ending July 18, 1943

Grandpa’s creative juices were again flowing freely and this week’s letter takes the form of a Diary, including all the interesting things that happened during the week. He actually ends up including just about everyone in the family – and even one that isn’t yet!

Monday, July 12.

Little did I realize when the sun peeked into my bedroom window that this was to be circus day for me, but such it proved, for just before noon Elizabeth phoned to say she planned to take Butch and Marty to “The Greatest Show on Earth”, and was seeking someone to accompany her as assistant child tender. The Big Top was stifling hot, Marty was restless and during the lull between acts fell through the seats to the ground about 2 feet down, injuring his pride, which fact he boldly proclaimed to one and all. While no lady clown was on hand to search for the missing Alfred, many of the acts were reminiscent of those other times when my own little tots laughed at the antics of the clowns, the fire and the men perched atop of innumerable tables and chairs who swayed back and forth until the laws of gravity intervened. After the show nothing would do but the boys must each have a balloon, which, filled with gas, floated appealingly in the air at the end of a string. Not 2 seconds after Marty received his and before Elizabeth could grab the string, Marty shoved his balloon upward. It went sailing gaily up over the telegraph wires and on its way over towards Lordship to cavort with Sikorsky helicopters. Marty was so surprised he didn’t even cry. A replacement was at once secured which we then tied to each youngsters waist.

Tuesday, July 13.

PO Box 7 this morning disgorged a letter from Jean – terse but newsy: “Just a line to let you know I’ll be home Wednesday, July 14. Dick was shipped this morning”. Later a postcard came from “private” (if you please) Richard, APO 4684, Miami Florida. Jean told me afterward that he had been demoted, temporarily she believed, because one morning he overslept, and his C. O. felt it was necessary, for the sake of discipline, to make an example of someone and Dick was elected.

But there was another letter in the box, all in red from arson Ced, telling of his method of celebrating Independence Day in Alaska, recalling the fact that this was the first time a fourth of July celebration had been held since the 12 days after he and Dan arrived in Anchorage. Woodley is running in a streak of hard luck. A new pilot just cracked up another of their planes.

Wednesday, July 14.

Jean appeared with a coat of Indianapolis tan, and found awaiting her in Trumbull, a reception committee consisting of her mother, Marilyn, Natalie, (her two sisters) Grandma and Aunt Betty. Since then Jean has been getting her room to rights and getting used to her life as an Army widow. While the great transportation arteries of the

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

country were doing their duty by Jean, Postmaster Walker was doing his stuff in the way of a letter from Lad. As the fellow who invented “near-beer” was said to be a poor judge of distance, so Lad seems to have difficulty getting his time right. He writes as of Wednesday night, but on the next page says it is 4:15 AM. Back to your old tricks again, hey, you night hawk! It was mighty good to hear from you just the same, Sgt., and I hope you’ll start a bit earlier (or later) next time and enlarge a bit more on what you are doing. You have a way of writing about things, giving details that make very interesting reading. If Marian knew what nice people we were back here in Trumbull, she’d grant you an hour or so of grace. This isn’t to be construed as complaint because you have been mighty good at writing. I have sons who do lots works. The following is quoted from a column appearing in the Bridgeport paper headed IN UNIFORM: (I don’t know where they get the information.)

GUION GETS MEDAL

Sgt. Alfred P Guion, son of

                                                                            Alfred D Guion of Trumbull Connecticut,

                                                                            won a Marksman’s Medal for rifle

                                                                           shooting recently at Camp Santa

                                                                  Anita, California

Thursday, July 15.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Up betimes this morning – a bit after 5 AM to be exact, because this was to be the day when the mountain went to Mohammed. Dan has been consistently evading accepting furloughs that his C. O. has been trying to force upon him on numerous occasions lately, and I made up my paternal mind that I wouldn’t let him get away with it any longer but would seek Daniel in his den, so off I goes to Lancaster. From 1:34 until 7:00 I tramped the country surrounding Lancaster without even seeing one lion, even less Dan, finally learning that his whole outfit had been moved, bag and baggage, to a rumored place about 40 miles distant. With tired heart and sinking feet (or vice versa), but with the old Guion spirit which refuses to be licked, I started to trail T-5 and at 9:30 that night, after sampling bus transportation in Pennsylvania, I arrived at a Service Club in Indiantown Gap (an exact replica, Lad, of the Service Club in Aberdeen) and was tapped on the shoulder and a level (or transit) voice inquired if my surveying of the premises indicated I was searching for anyone in particular. And who do you suppose it was? Right! We never decided who was the more surprised, and I guess we’ll never know. I stayed in his barracks that night by permission of the Sgt., ate a  soldier’s breakfast at six something and after a nice long talk, in which I forgot to ask several things I had come down to find out about (one was what disposition Dan wanted made of his auto which is standing unused in the backyard), I took the 10 AM bus on my return journey (Dan’s time was up anyway), and after transportation delays and journeys in air-conditioned cars which weren’t conditioning, finally arrived back home a bit after 8 PM. Dan expects to be shipped out soon, but when or where is a deep, dark secret.

Saturday, July 17.

Aunt Anne phoned to ask if it would be all right for her and Gwen to come up to stay over with Aunt Dorothy. Gwen, it seems, is with her mother in New Rochelle for the summer but expects to go back to school in Vermont in the fall. Today was Jean’s birthday, which she spent with her family in Stratford.

Sunday, July 18.

Due to being back on the old kitchen detail, I have to divide my Sunday time now, once again, to getting dinner and trying to do odd jobs around the house. Today

Aunts Dorothy, Anne and Helen

Aunts Dorothy, Anne and Helen

I wanted to do some repairs on the old washing machine and also get the laundry tubs in working condition, but had time only for the latter. And I didn’t get the grass cut either. (Dave was busy praying for his father who failed to keep holy the Sabbath day). Carl is now in the Merchant Marine, but can’t land the kind of job he wants because of his colorblindness, so he says he may be peeling potatoes or doing any other job where it won’t matter if things are pink or purple. Barbara is being given a farewell party tonight by the young people. I was invited and intended to go, but it was so late when the Aunts finally got away and I needed a shave and had not written my weekly blurb (even now it is 10:20 and the shave is still to be) and I haven’t had any supper, and it’s getting near the end of the page so I’ll end this now.

Your faithful

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Bissie to her older brother, Ced, in Alaska. Thursday’s post continues along these same lines as Grandpa writes a short paragraph on where everyone is and what they are doing. On Friday, a letter from Lad from ther Hospitality Center in South Pasadena, California.

If you are enjoying these letters from an earlier time, please share them with others you think might also enjoy them. If you click FOLLOW VIA EMAIL and enter your email address, each post will automatically be delivered to your inbox. Now how easy is that???

Judy Guion

Trumbull – TRUMBULL SUNDAY CLARION – July 11, 1943

Trumbull Sunday Clarion, July 11, 1943

Trumbull Sunday Clarion, July 11, 1943

My Grandpa’s gifts with words, printing and advertising all came together this particular Sunday and we are the recipients of those gifts. This is the “letter” he sent out to his sons scattered around the world. Lad, the oldest, is in Camp Santa Anita in California,  training auto, truck and diesel mechanics for the Army; Dan, next in line, is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, awaiting transfer to London with the rest of his Civil Engineering Unit;  Ced, son number three, is in Alaska working at Woodley’s Airfield, which has been taken over by the military, working as an airplane mechanic and bush pilot; and Dick, son number four, is in Indianapolis, awaiting transfer to who-knows-where.

I’ll give you a little background information on each of the stories.

COOKS VACATION ENDS

Guion Resumes K.P. Duties

_______________

Due to the fact that Mrs. Peabody has been feeling slightly under the weather, and it seemed wiser for her to assume as little ordinary work as possible, the former chef smilingly don’s his erstwhile apron and tackles the meal getting chores. Lamb and proven with on today’s menu are prepared in usual form and proclaimed as up to the best former standards. Miss Dorothy Peabody,  who visited Trumbull again this week and reports having rented as of August 1, a larger apartment and as soon after that date as can be arranged,  she expects to have her mother living with her again in New York.

Mrs. Peabody is the Grandma referred to in many of the letters. She is Grandpa’s (Alfred Duryee Guion’s) mother-in-law, the mother of Arla, his wife, who passed away in 1933 after a long battle with cancer. That event was the lynch-pin that set all of the events in the letters in motion.

________________________

  PERSONALS

________________________

D. Guion has just reported another near miss in securing furlough. We’ll keep on trying, he stated recently.

June and July issues of Alaska Sportsman arrived this week – – gift of C. Guion. Thanks, Ced.

Mrs. R. Guion reports still building Army morale, particularly among the M.P.’s in Indianapolis.

No postage stamps were on sale at the Anchorage or Arcadia post offices  recently. Is Rationing Board added again?

It is rumored that Sgt. Guion is trying to arrange matters so that he can spend his vacation furlough with friends in Trumbull. Reception Committee tents.

Miss Anna Rakowski recently died of a heart attack.

Poppa is well, Aunt Betty is well, Dave is well. All send greetings and await mail. The Box is No. 7

D. Guion refers to Dan, in Pennsylvania, who is trying his hardest to get a furlough to travel the 250 miles home for one last visit before he heads overseas.

C. Guion has subscribed to the Alaska Sportsman for his father, possibly to give him a better idea of what life is like in the northern territory.

Mrs. R. Guion is Jean, Dick’s wife, who has followed her MP husband from Miami to Indianapolis and will follow him until he is sent overseas, when she will return to Trumbull to stay in the family homestead.

Sgt. Guion refers to Lad, in California, who is trying to plan a furlough to travel across the country to visit family and friends.But, as it always is with the military, you don’t know anything until it actually happens, particularly during a war.

I have no idea who Miss Anna Rakowski was.

At this point in time, Papa (Grandpa), his Aunt Betty and youngest son Dave are the regular residents in the Trumbull house, since Grandma is supposed to leave in a couple of weeks.

B. PLUMB BECOMES WAC-Y  

Local Organist successfully

Passes Examination

_____________

Passing both physical and mental test with flying colors, local Trumbull girl will soon leave for training,  having resigned her business position in Bridgeport. Miss Evelyn Hughes will replace Miss Plumb as organist of the local Church. The latter started to duties today and performed her duties well.

Barbara Plumb is Dan’s girlfriend and has been for a while.  The brief article tells the rest.

CAROL ELIZABETH WAYNE 

Moves to Trumbull

Likes her New Home

___________

After a short sojourn in the Bridgeport Hospital, the young lady, with little persuasion from her father and mother, decided to permanently locate on Daniels Farm Road. Her father spent the day sailing together with Paul Wardenand Walter Mantle, to Port Jefferson. Father Carl, anticipating an early call to the colors has enlisted in the Merchant Marine, and leaves for his new duties, Wednesday. No information has yet been announced as to what will become of the gas station which Mr. Wayne has been conducting. His father recently has been aiding in the work. However with the stringent gas rationing, is becoming increasingly difficult to find gas station personnel.

Her father, a close friend of the older boys, is running the gas station that Lad worked at when he was in his teens and early twenties. You might remember his letter to Lad in the post titled “Trumbull – The Red Horse Service Station – Carl Wayne”. He couldn’t wait to tell my father all the news in town, especially the fact that his sister (Elizabeth, Bissie to family and friends) had eloped.

SHOE SHORTAGE HITS INDIANAPOLIS

Local girl finds following Army from camp to camp hard on feet. Buys new pair of shoes.

This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that Jean must be wearing out her shoes following her husband from Trumbull to Miami to Indianapolis.

I hope you found this particular post as interesting as I did. My Grandfather continues to surprise me.

Tomorrow, extracts from Grandpa’s Diary, Wednesday, a letter from Biss to Ced, Thursday, another letter from Grandpa bringing everyone up to date on family and friends and on Friday, a letter from Lad, which Marian made him promise to write.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Benedicts and Bachelors (3) – The Chandlers and Local News – September, 1945

Here is a letter from the Westminster Theological Seminary. (Doug Chandler is a good friend of the family. was the music director at the Trumbull Congregational Church, which the family attended, and where several family members sang in the choir. The families have kept in touch and Grandpa, Ced, Dick and Dave went down to visit them in December of 1939.)

A visit to the Chandler’s in December, 1939.

Grandpa (lower left), Ced and Dick and possibly Dave (top, left to right)

This is to thank you, belatedly I know, for the letters from Dan and Dave and for the more recent announcement of the wedding. I am sorry I have not reported to you sooner about this and about the doings of the Chandlers, but here I am now with enough brass to face the music. The memory of the Guion deluge upon us some several Christmases ago is a classic note sounding out of a rather nondescript past. We are hanging on stubbornly to the hope that we may get together again when the hurley burley’s done, etc. I expect that there will be some changes in all of us but never enough to break the continuity. My own gray hairs and sagging “chest” are evidence of passing years and when I see my six-foot sons I find myself on the verge of panic – – for just a moment. Then I start muttering, as we always do about “the best is yet to be – – the last of life for which the first was made”. I think that Emily must have given you the not-too-low-down about us when she came by your office early in June. I enjoyed her account of her trip to Trumbull and Bridgeport. We met in New York and “helled” around a little – – too timid souls up from the provinces expecting the wrath that fell on Sodom to hit us any minute. I am afraid I enjoyed some of the theater more than I really should have. Last night, as we sat under the apple trees in the backyard, we agreed that it would have to be done all over again soon. Teaching is still fun – – most of the time. There is a breathing spell, I will not say vacation, just here before school opens the 18th of September. We’re spending this weekend in Washington, as I have done each weekend in August. But Washington isn’t a place for vacationing anymore, if it ever was, which I doubt. I had the interesting experience two weeks ago of meeting a man who had been born in Washington, D.C., I hadn’t thought of it but there must be others too who have been born there. Our August is going out in a blaze of heat. Still the thin air and the thinner shade on many of the trees speak of fall, just another “haircut away” as my brother says. By the way, Chan and his family are still on the home place at moors. Joel, his son, is just 18 and waiting. Anytime you can find your way down here you will find us ready to kill the “fatted calf” in your honor. Let us have the fun of a visit with you soon, will you? Greetings and best wishes to you and all the family – – and it is getting to be quite a family, isn’t it? Doug Chandler

The apartment is again vacant and while three or four have looked at it, for one reason or another, each has found it not suitable. Meantime, Catherine (Warden, former tenant in the apartment with her husband and two children) has written and phoned that she must leave where she is, wants to get back to Trumbull and would very much like to have the apartment again. Because of Aunt Betty and the children, lack of prideful upkeep, child nuisance, etc., I would prefer childless tenants but my conscience would bother me if, under the circumstances, I turned her down. And of course the financial aspect of not bringing in the usual income along with other recent changes here is an important and quite necessary consideration. I have been holding off making the final decision hoping that over this weekend someone would definitely take the place but here it is early Monday morning and no takers.

Just for old times sake I strolled down to the carnival Saturday night. Things were much as you can picture them from past memories except on a smaller scale. Instead of knowing 50% or more of the people, one occasionally spotted one or two I knew of old. I chatted with a few – – Charlie Kurtz, Bert Searles, Lewis Pack, from across the street, Herman Strobel, Monsanto, whose hand is getting better, and a few others known by sight but not by name, and then, as it started to sprinkle a little, I took a few chances on the main prizes and went home.

Jimmy Smith came in yesterday afternoon and entertained us in his inimitable matter relating his experiences getting into the ARC for overseas duties. Apparently he made it although he is going first to Washington for a few weeks special service.

Well, if this is to go into the morning’s mail I suppose I had better quit right here and now and then hope there is something waiting for me in the mailbox that will give me some quotable material for next week. Come on, Dan, it’s your turn.

DAD

Trumbull – Dear Benedicts and Bachelors (2) – News From Ced – September, 1945

This is the next portion of a 5-page letter from Grandpa to his 4 sons away from home. Lad has been discharged from the Army and is home in Trumbull with Marian.

And from Ced, bless his heart, comes the following under date of August 23rd. “Last week I wrote up the missing link of the Farwell trip, included with this letter. Next week I’ll try to get off a new chapter in the adventures of the three invincible, or should I say, “three men on a cat”. Since you have been so patient in waiting I shall try to finish the balance soon. Now, the last letter you sent mentioned a great many planes down in Georgia and I have mailed the R. F. C. a request for information on these ships. In the meantime, I learned that the new planes will be out very soon and so I am looking into that angle also. I have made tentative arrangements to go on a 50-50 basis in buying the plane with Leonard and Marion Hopkins. They’re the people who have the clothing and sporting goods store in Anchorage at which I got those clothes just before going home two years ago. They are both ski club members and I think you have pictures of them in that ski club rally set of pictures. Marion was the head of the membership committee who stood behind the desk. They have given me absolutely free rein in getting the plane but I think they rather favor a new one. The new Aeronca will sell for approximately $1800 f.o.b. Ohio. They will be available around the first of Sept., and just how soon after that I could get my name on the waiting list is problematical. The Aeronca is the most likely choice at present. The Hopkins are extremely generous people, and I have no qualms about going in with them on this deal. Fact is, Leonard really bends over a little backwards on this deal, although I suppose he figures that a mechanic is a good one to tie in with, just for the purpose of maintenance. At any time either of us want, we can either buy or sell to the other, whichever is most agreeable. The upkeep will be jointly carried with my biggest share of being in the labor while his will be capital. Felis, the radio operator at Woodley’s, is co-dealer with another local man for the Anchorage Aeronca Agency, and he could probably get me some extra considerations. I am still waiting to hear from the R. F. C. before taking any definite action. In any case, I hope to get out fairly soon to pick something up and fly it back to Alaska. Don’t be surprised if I dropped in on you at the office one of these days.

Enjoyed the dual blow-by-blow account of the Guion nuptials and hope I can soon meet both the major parties. I have now three wedding gifts to present after the family’s return to a home somewhere. Incidentally, I am looking forward to seeing Marian again – – our meeting was so brief and under such turbulent circumstances, with she and Al about to take off for California when the clutch was repaired on the Buick and I hastily grabbed the proverbial last rail on the observation car as I beat a hasty retreat from Texarkana in my whirlwind scamper across thecountry.

Think what all this war will mean in experiences as we look back. All the hardships and headaches and for much too many, heartaches. I feel especially privileged in looking back and realizing that to the best of my knowledge, there have been no members of our immediate family, relatives or close friends who have had to undergo the real hardship which has been the misfortune of so many. We are indeed a lucky family as we not only came out virtually unscathed but acquired two fine additions to the family (and Jean) in the persons of Marian and Paulette.

On top of that I get a half reduction in my January rent due to the bet with Chuck Morgan, and that I took the side that the war with Japan would be over by the first of the year. It certainly is wonderful to realize that the war is apparently finished, if only we can avoid anymore. I presume the celebrations were as hilarious back there as here, perhaps more so, as we only celebrated the cessation of hostilities, while for you poor ration plagued individuals, it speeded the unshackling of so many of the restrictions with which you have been forced to put up. Well it looks as if it’s all over now and I look for a lot happier  and more prosperous period  for a while at least. In Anchorage, the horns, sirens, whistles and bells all sounded out the glad tidings and, the streets were alive with people it brought to mind Dan’s description of the celebration in Holland, even to the rain which pattered down steadily all night long which, just as in the case of Dan’s invention, failed to dampen in the slightest the glowing spirits which prevailed.

The report is that there were 10,000 gallons of liquor consumed on that first night on 4th Ave. in Anchorage! What headaches there must have been the next morning. The police were out, as were the M.P.’s, but the order was to apprehend no one unless the violations were severe. Of course there were lots of arrests – – a bunch of soldiers and civilians stormed the South Seas Club and walked out with half the furniture from the place, damages running to about of thousand dollars over the days gross receipts. There were many fights but most of it was just good friendly fun. Servicemen appeared in bright neckties, suit jackets, army pants, sailor hats or any other outlandish mixture which came their way. One M.P. accosted Bob Barnett while he was en route to the house here and said: “Hey soldier, unbutton your collar.” That was typical of the type of feeling which prevailed. Officers insignia were a dime a dozen and there must’ve been lots of fraternizing between enlisted men and their officers, judging from the number of privates who blossomed out major and Col. clusters. There was a two day holiday to go along with the celebration, although it, of course, didn’t affect me. We worked right along just as we would any other day.

For Dan’s benefit, Harold Rheard, with whom he used to work and ride to work and who is now Anchorage’s City Engineer, ran  in to me at one of the bars (no, I wasn’t there to drink) and yanked a handkerchief out of my jacket pocket and threw it to a soldier and shouted, “Here, soldier, here’s a civilian handkerchief for you.” The handkerchief was one of those nice ones which Aunt Elsie gave me when I was leaving to come back up here a year ago last February, but under the circumstances I willingly let it go.

One of the more bawdy incidents of which I only heard was the case where a girl in an upper window of the Anchorage Hotel did a striptease, throwing her clothes out of the window one at a time while she stood in full view and the crowd cheered her on. I questioned the fellow telling the story as to how far she got and he said, “All the way”.

Woodley’s is in an extreme state of flux again, the shop men are fighting among themselves, all telling their troubles to me. There is a new man who is going to take over the operations, leaving Art free to run the Washington D. C. end of the business, and to make new financial contacts – – I think he has tied up with Mr. Boeing of Boeing Aircraft and United Airlines in some way or other – – and other executive duties. The Anchorage-Seattle run is still not out of the frying pan but rumor has it that we are going to get two new DC-3’s (C – 47 Army designation) in 4 to 6 weeks anyway. We started the Kodiak run last week and it looks as though it would be a good one. I am still flying when I can – – put in an hour and a half today. Love to Marian and Aunt Betty. CED

I share the doubt that is evidently in the back of your mind as to the advisability of joint ownership. There are so many unforeseen circumstances that might occur, conditions change, people apparently change and what looks favorable today may tomorrow become a headache. I don’t mean to be pessimistic and in your case, everything may work out, but my observation and experience teach me that a situation of this sort has potentialities for unpleasant development. So, if you can swing it, is better to be all on your own. One thing about this plane business to my mind is of paramount importance and that is no economy should be practiced at the expense of safety. Guard against “familiarity breeding contempt” lest your knowledge of airplane mechanics lure you into taking a chance that a less confident person would avoid. “There speaks the cautious father”, I hear you say. All right, I’ll admit it but who has a better right. After all, I’ve only one Ced, and you’re it.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the final sections of this very long letter with a note from Doug Chandler and other local news.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of the life of Mary E Wilson, an English girl who arrived in 1925 as a young teenager. She is in her early 20’s and experiencing life.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Benedicts and Bachelors (1) – Dave Sent to Manila – September, 1945

Same old Trumbull, but a new Sept. 2nd, 1945.

otherwise known as VJ Day

Dear Benedicts and Bachelors:

Well, the dawn of a tomorrow is at last a reality, and the “land of the rising Sun” is indeed facing a new day. When you read this however, the event will have passed on into history, and so fast is the pace these days that new events may have already crowded it into the background. There are great days ahead. Huxley once said that the most difficult time in which we live, but also the most rewarding, was in those occasional dark valleys between two peaks of vision when one system had lost its grip on men’s minds and the new system was not yet crystallized. Which seems to describe this present generation. Maybe that is why having lived through the recent dread days there is such a thrill in anticipating the days ahead which you boys, in the strength of your manhood, are facing. History shows us that man’s eternal struggle towards the heights has often been retarded and even halted, but never turned back. Problems the world is now facing will be solved. Nations will find their souls, a new and better world will emerge. You boys are truly at the threshold of great things I truly believe. So much for that, now let’s get down to earth.

Lad, of course, is the big fact still in our conscious thoughts. He and Marian, with the help of the Buick, seem to find plenty doing in these here parts. Yesterday morning we gave Elizabeth a few hours breathing spell by kidnapping Butch and Marty for an auto trip to Bronx Zoo. After returning, they went to a dance in Candlewood Lake as guests of Burr Davis and tonight they are having supper with George Knapp. Elsie just arrived so tomorrow promises also to be not without incident.

And turning to the Quotes Dept., we also have some interesting items there. Dave writes from Manila: “You are no more surprised to find I’m here than I am to be here. It all happened so suddenly that it still hard to believe. Take it from the beginning and follow through. On August 23rd I was told that I had been taken off the old five-man team, and Friday afternoon I was told to pack my stuff and be ready to leave Okinawa by 5 AM Saturday morning. I got only one hour sleep Friday night. In the morning we went up to Kadena Airport, boarded a C-46 Commando transport and in 5 ½ hours found myself in Manila. It was my first real plane ride and I felt a little sick-ish from nervous tension. As soon as the plane started to move up the runway, I lost all fear and became intent on watching the ground below fade away. All of a sudden it just became a big thrill. I acted like a kid on his first train ride. I glued my nose to the window until I couldn’t see Okinawa anymore. Then every once in a while I’d look out to see if we might not pass over an island. Then in almost no time I began seeing the northernmost of the Philippine Islands. I watched every one of them fade away in the distance far below. Finally we got to Luzon. I was sitting up forward near the navigator’s position and by way of conversation, I said: “This is my first time”. I could tell he knew it anyway because of my eagerness to see everything below. When he finished a plot on his map he handed it to me and asked if I’d like to follow our progress as we went along. We were flying at about 8500 feet and the coastline looked just like the map. I could see the rivers and inlets and bulges along the coastline just as they were on the map. We passed over Lingayen Gulf where the American Navy had come in to retake Luzon. Then we cut inland and finally landed at Nichols Field about 6 miles outside Manila.

After waiting for about two hours (spent that time in a canteen gaping at comparatively beautiful Philippine women) we got on the truck and started towards Manila. We passed through what was once a beautiful residential district. There were remains of large and magnificent homes. We passed a ballpark that I had seen in the newsreel. The movie showed American boys cleaning the Japs out of the bleachers and an American tank pitching shells from the pitcher’s box. Now it was just a quiet, torn up mess. We passed well-to-do Philippines living like the ignorant “Okies”. When we entered Manila we saw large public buildings, half rubble and half gutted concrete frames. Manila seems to be about the size of Bridgeport, possibly larger. Can you picture the Klein Auditorium strewn all over Fairfield Avenue, the stage alone standing? Or Central High with the facade all bashed in and the rest of the school gutted, the City Trust Building reduced to four or five stories, City Hall just a pile of bricks? You can’t imagine how heartbreaking it is or how lucky we were this war turned out as it did. The City Hall here was built in 1939. You can see it was a beautiful structure but now it is full of shell and Bomb holes. The people are trying to keep their businesses going but they don’t have much to do it with. You can see where there was once a beautiful nightclub. It is now a makeshift affair with a makeshift band looking like a sideshow at Coney Island. That about explains the whole city – – just a bunch of concessions on the sidewalks of a gutted ghost-city. http://rogue.ph/18-photos-that-show-manila-before-and-after-world-war-ii/

The following quote is from an interview I had with Dave about his childhood memories and growing up in Trumbull:

On August 25th, I think,  we were all watching a film in a kind of natural amphitheater and one of the guys from Brooklyn had a buddy, who was also from Brooklyn, and I remember this just as if it was yesterday,  he came running over – we had gotten some rumors that theJaps were going to quit – and this guy came running over and says, “the signing has been confoimed.” I never forgot that.

But anyhow,  between the time of August 25th and September 7th when they signed the Treaty, I left Okinawa and went down to Manila. Here I am now – the war is over – all I have to do is go home and they’re shipping me out in a plane to Manila. The pilot spent about 20 minutes, maybe, trying to start one engine and I said to myself, “I’m going to die in the ocean and the war is over.” Anyhow, we got to Manila. That was quite a sight – buildings where the first floor was completely gone and five or six or seven stories would be on top of it, canted,… All kinds of destruction. If you went to the City Hall and looked up, you’d see a room with curtains on the windows. That was MacArthur’s headquarters. So he had curtains on his windows and the Filipinos  were watching dead bodies float down the river.

I would say I was in Manila probably six months. I came home in March 1946.

I’ll tell you more next time. The address will do for the time being until we can find out a little more. Dave

Yes, Dave, I called up Eleanor and she was of course interested to hear about your latest move. She asked what we all have been asking each other, “What does this mean?” in terms of your homecoming? And of course the answer is a large lettered WHO KNOWS? Your birthday is not so far off and so far I have not been able to hear a thing about the camera so I am afraid it won’t get to you for your birthday. We’ll be waiting for your next installment to see if it throws any light on this new move. Does it mean a promotion, part of the Army of occupation on Japan, a visit to China to aid in their communication system, or what? At least it means you are seeing another part of the world and that is interesting.

Tomorrow and Friday I’ll post the rest of this long letter, including a very interesting letter from Ced.

hJudy Guion

Trumbull – Gentle Reader (2) – News About Lad and Dick – August, 1945

 This is the second half of the letter I posted yesterday. Grandpa has quite a bit of news to report, both worldwide and within the family.

To come back to Lad. He has 30 days home and then reports back with his outfit to Aberdeen what will happen after that is just another of those things. We’ll know a lot more a month from now as to how things are going in Japan, so we can hope.

I have just mailed to about 75 relatives and friends the attached American addition of Dan’s marriage announcement and have just received from Mr. Burnham the following: “It was a great pleasure to get your unique announcement of Dan’s acquisition of a French bride, and I congratulate you and him. If he comes to Trumbull be sure to let me know, for after seeing her picture, I shall want to get up there on the first train. An article in the Sept. Reader’s Digest says one international marriage is worth half a dozen exchange scholarships. I meant to write when you sent me Dan’s letter about his war experiences and hope you

Page 3   8/20/45

will accept these tardy thanks. We all enjoyed the letter very much. Well, the good news in the Pacific leads us to hope Brad may be back for Christmas. He is in fine health apparently, but thin — 140. Dave, at Fisher’s Island, weighs 170. Helen has finished her first year at Beirut and is traveling in Turkey this summer. Eleanor is studying for a degree in library science at the University of Michigan, so the Burnham family are scattered almost as much as yours. If you have another of those announcements I know Helen would be delighted to get one but I don’t want to spare the one you sent me. The address is Helen S. Burnham, American Community School, Beirut, Lebanon.

And last we come to little Okinawa Dave. Under date of August 10th he writes: “At 9:50 tonight we were all at the show. Lieut. Bartz came out of his tent and said, “Japan has just surrendered!” I never saw any theater empty so fast. The guys yelled and screamed and jumped around. It seemed as if in only a few minutes every gun on the island that had tracer bullets in the chamber started. 10:30 right now — just got confirmation of acceptance of the U.S. I’m very happy for myself and everyone else— but I don’t guess there are many as happy as you. I’m too excited to write much of a letter. I can’t see that I’ll be over here much more than six months now.” And the next day, “I don’t even know what I wrote to you last night. I was so excited that now I can’t remember. Today things go on as usual except that were tense and anxious, waiting to hear that the allies and Nippons have come to an agreement. If they do, it looks to me like we should be home sometime next summer, but I won’t know ‘til I’ve stepped into the kitchen and find the whole family there. The news of Dan’s wedding was really something, but I’m afraid in my own mind it took a backseat last night. It’s really wonderful that Lad could be there. If all has gone well, Jean should be with her hubby to celebrate the victory. I sure hope so.

I’m waiting for Alaskan Ced’s reaction also. If any development can do more to bring about a world union, such as Ced is so interested in seeing, than the atomic bomb discovery, I can’t imagine what it could be. This terrible force is so menacing to the largest and most powerful, even in the hands of the tiniest and most insignificant country, but it seems to me as a weapon of war it must have to be controlled by one centralized authority, lest one lunatic like Hitler again runs amok. And when this idea sinks through the minds of the individuals in the whole world it may start the first movement in the union idea which may well expand into other fields. It is childish to think one country can hold a monopoly or even keep the secret of this new discovery. It has never yet been done in the world history. History is full of instances where two scientists, working independently, have simultaneously run across some great discovery. We are kidding ourselves if we think otherwise.

Sunday morning, Lad and I worked together to get more wood sawed and chopped up from the fallen trees than I have been able to accomplish in the year alone. It’s certainly good in more ways than one having one of my stalwarts around again.

So, my bally lads, come one and all back to the old stamping ground. I’d even be willing to lose another pair of pajamas apiece if it would do any good, well, at least one leg anyway. Too bad you’re not here for the Trumbull Carnival. They have extended it to next Sat. Want I should take a chance for you on a washing machine? It isn’t the same without Bob Peterson, or Mack, or you boys, but will try to carry on.

DAD.

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I’ll post a 5-page letter from Grandpa covering all sorts of news and including quotes from Dave, Doug Chandler and a long letter from Ced.

Judy Guion