Trumbull – Dear Ced and Rusty (1) – New Year’s Eve – January, 1942

Judy_0003

January 4, 1942

Dear Ced and Rusty:

I am so used to writing to more than one of my boys that Rusty will have to substitute, although as far as “love and affection” goes, he fits right into that category anyway. Indeed, as far as realism goes, the fact that I had a very welcome letter from Rusty this week, penned, I suppose, from the very room that housed and still houses a portion of the Guion clan, adds strength to the fact. Rusty’s vivid power of description – – Ced’s tramping across the floor in his jockstrap, his lusty snores, all brought back well-remembered recollections. Somehow or other I had a feeling that trampings ten times as heavy and snores ten times as stentorius would be more than welcome if I could hear them right here in little old Trumbull for a change.

Well, the holidays are over and things have settled down to a 1942 basis. Before bidding it a final adieu, however, there are a few facts to record. New Year’s Eve Anne phoned from New Rochelle that you would like to come up with the children and stay overnight. They arrived in time for supper. The combined party with Paul’s friends did not materialize because Paul (Warden, renting the apartment with his wife Katherine) , a few days previously, developed a very bad sore throat, swollen glands, etc., and was in bed, unable to talk above a whisper and only today has been up and around. However, most of the steady visitors were on hand, and while Aunt Betty and I did not stay up until three or four or whatever time it was the last of the revelers (Don Stanley was the last one in) had retired, there was enough noise and what goes with it to issue in the New Year in the approved fashion. Friday the Stanley’s left for Vermont where Anne felt it necessary to go in order to make financial arrangements so that she could continue on with the children’s schooling in Virginia.

Last night it snowed quite hard and today looks like an Alaskan landscape. The boys who were out in their cars last night had difficulty in coming up the driveway. Today Lad took Dave down to WICC (a Bridgeport Radio station) where he took part in a program sponsored by the American Legion, on Pan-American activities, acted out by students selected from Harding, Central and Bassick. (The three local High Schools) The new ruling that has gone into effect prohibiting the sale of tires here and I suppose all over the country, has caused me to wonder a bit what I will do. I tried to get my spare retreaded recently but was unable to do so because the sidewalls were not strong enough. Lad was lucky enough to get two tires from George Knapp the other day. There is some compensation in the fact that, as both Lad’s car and my own are identical models, the tires are interchangeable and in a pinch we can help out the other fellow.

Tomorrow, the rest of this letter. Wednesday will bring a letter to Lad from a friend in Venezuela who is back in the states, and Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 246 – Lad’s Trip to Florida With Friends – March, 1936

I knew that my father had taken a trip to Florida with these guys because Art Mantle’s niece, Cindy, (my friend from childhood) sent me a couple of pictures of my Dad. A while ago,I was looking for a particular picture and I came across this picture. A few weeks later, I was looking for the same picture and came across this letter that I don’t ever remember seeing. Some additional information on that trip.

 

Art Mantle, Carl Wayne, Arnold Gibson and Lad Guion

I had thought this trip had taken place in 1935 because that’s what my Mom had written on the back of this picture. The letter below is postmarked March, 1936. 

 

 

 

 

Thursday

SARASOTA

FLORIDA

Dear Dad:

        How do you like our new stationary. We  got some  from   each of  the  numerous  Hotels  here, but I think this is the best. We  are here  in  Sarasota  visiting  some  distant  relatives  here of Carl’s.  It is really a very pretty place and  the  weather is  fine. The  biggest trouble  is  the  sulfur  water  but  we  are  beginning  to  get  used  to  it.

        If  you  want  to  write  you  can  send  it  to  general  delivery, Miami. We  are  leaving  here  tomorrow  afternoon  for  the  last  leg of  the  trip  in  a  southern  direction.  Everything  is  fine  except that  after  leaving  Aunt  Anne’s  * Monday  afternoon  and stopping  at  Silver  Springs  for  a  short  visit, a bearing  burned  just  outside  of  Ocala. This  time  it

was  number one. But  again  the  Ford  is  running  fine. Now I have  invented  an  oil  pump to  keep oi l  in  the  front  of  the motor  to  eliminate  the  trouble  of  overheated  bearings.

        We  all  went  swimming  this  afternoon  and  got  slightly burned  on  the  beach. The water was  cool  at  first  but  after  the first  dip  it  was  pretty  good.

        We  are  going  to  look  the  town  over  tonight  and  I still have  to  get  shaved  and  dressed  so  as  much  as  I hate  to,  I will have  to  let  it  go  until  some  other  time.

        Hope  to  hear  from  you  in  Miami.

                                                                       Love

                                                                           Lad

* Lad and his friends, Art Mantle, Carl Wayne and Arnold Gibson stopped to visit Grandma Arla’s youngest sister, Anne (Peabody) Stanley in St. Petersburg, Florida. This is where Elizabeth (Biss) went during her Junior year in High School to help Aunt Anne care for her two children, Don and Gwen Stanley, in 1934. This story is told in the Category, “St. Petersburg, FL”.

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting letters written in 1942. The year is just beginning and Draft Boards are getting busy.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear XXX – Questions for Ced and Dan – October, 1945

page 2    10/14/45

I hope it speeds you both on your way back to the good old U.S.A. in fact, it would be the occasion of quite a celebration if we could commemorate your birthday by having you here in person. By the way, the old Chevy, which has been down in Steve’s direlict car graveyard for so long, has now been retrieved and after an hour and a half of waiting and red tape, I was able to get it registered again in Dan’s name and now Dick and Jean have a car (?) to run around in. Rumor has it that a week from next Saturday, they plan to take a trip up to the island and give it the once over. And while I’m still talking to Dan, I might mention that the Railway express, I believe, has announced the resumption of air express service to France, so that we may be able to send the things for the Rabet’s by air as soon as all finally arrive from Sears, Roebuck; that is, of course, if I hear from you promptly instructing me to send them by this channel rather than the regular overseas box method to you. It will, of course, be more expensive but quicker. Another thing I am hoping to hear from you about by tomorrow, which is supposed to be the last day Christmas packages can be sent to boys overseas, is what your latest plans are, if any, for a return here by that time, so we can know what to do regarding gifts for you and Paulette. And please, be so kind and considerate as to send us a list of things both of you would like to have us send you from the states for Christmas gifts. Then I should like to have Paulette begin to think about a suitable wedding gift from Dad. Marian’s and Lad’s (he’s of course delighted with it) is a Singer sewing machine; Jean and Dick may also decide on the sewing machine but they want first to settle their future plans more definitely before deciding. I should prefer, naturally, to have it some sort of gift that will last a long time, that no one else would be apt to give, the cost to be at least $100. Give it some thought, Paulette, my dear, and don’t be too bashful about expressing your thoughts.

Now turning to Dave. That was quite a little blow out they had back in your old camping place, wasn’t it? I was certainly glad you were in Manila. In the Readers Digest for last May, which I just got around to reading the other day, I ran across the enclosed article on “Stop, Look and Listen! Before Starting Your Own Business”, and I agree so whole-heartedly with everything he says in it that I am sending it on to you for careful consideration.

   Ced, me heartie, I received through the mail this week a book by Thurber from Alaska, which looks to me like very good bedtime reading and I assume it comes from my tall Alaskan lad. As mentioned previously, I am waiting to hear from you that I am right in this, as well as to be brought up to date on your airplane news, your doings in general, ski club, Rusty, Buick, airways news, future plans, etc., and later when you have time, your complete reaction on the island affair.

And that’s about all I can think of at present outside of the fact that Barbara Lee Rubsamen’s engagement is announced in the paper today. The man’s name is S. C. Whiteside, Jr., of Old Greenwich, Conn.

So, the 16th of October passes into the great past and we look forward to the atomic future (and Dan’s birthday), with I hope, some new and interesting news next writing from your reporter, who subscribes himself as

Your loving          DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1942. The year is just starting and the older boys are quite concerned about what the Draft Boards are deciding – about them!

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear XXX – News About Family -October, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., October 14, 1945

Dear XXX (supply your own name here)

My thoughts this Sunday are errant ones, or to speak brutally, I am scatter-brained tonight and it’s too bad, too, because I must rely on myself and cannot resort to quotes to make the letter appear interesting. So here goes and if my topics appear like the nimble mountain goat that it jumpeth from crag to crag, just put it down to the turmoil of thought incident to the rapid coming and going of soldier boys, here today and gone tomorrow. Lad, for instance, who leaves Wednesday night for Devens (Ft. Devens in Massachusetts), driven thereto by Marian (physically, not mentally), presumably for transshipment to Aberdeen, (Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, Maryland, where he started his training over three years ago) following a 15-day extension of his original 30-day furlough. Marian returns alone, which translated in Guionese means that he has actually departed for Aberdeen. But lo, and behold, as his train passes Bridgeport, off he hops for another visit home, because Army orders read he does not need to report definitely to Aberdeen until tomorrow. So off he goes again this afternoon, to return – – – (write your own ticket.)

Meantime, we’re getting used to seeing Dick around again, and between Lad and Dick, there are a number of things around the house here that are getting done on rapid order, that have been vying for “doing” for some years. The furnace Stoker  regulated, the oven control on the kitchen (electric) stove fixed, the north slide on the kitchen table fixed, arm on the small maple chair in the alcove (the latter two by Dick), and in course of building a moth proof closet in the attic (also I Dick). Lad has also done a number of other mechanical repair jobs and both boys have helped sawing and chopping wood, etc. By the way, did I tell you that, in a small size windstorm the other day, another great branch or section of the north side of the Maple tree in the back of the house, split off about opposite where the other part fell off on the apartment roof, which leaves this particular tree, which I always admired for its symmetrical shape, looking rather anemic. But to ramble on, I’ve just had my car fixed up with new clutch, body bolts tightened, new muffler pipe, shock absorbers refilled, rubber bumper block installed, etc., so that it runs better than it has lately. How’s your Buick, Ced? I haven’t heard you say lately; in fact, I haven’t heard much from you about anything. Careful now, or I’ll begin to get up pressure again and explode right in P.O. Box 822, (and a few days after following usual custom, get a most contrite letter from you acknowledging that you should have written before, etc.). It’s about time also I heard again for Parisian Dan. Dave writes pretty regularly although I didn’t hear from him last week.

Jumping  now to the island proposition, which is the next thing that pops into my wondering mind, I am eagerly awaiting comments on the numerous questions I raised in my last letter and your several suggestions on the whole business. I know Lad and Marian have something in the works and Dick and Jean have something in contemplation. Elizabeth has not referred to the matter on the one or two occasions I have been in touch with her since, so I don’t know how enthusiastic she is about the thing. What do you think of the idea of planting, at some suitable spots on the island, a cherry tree, maybe some nut trees, fruit trees (apple, peach, pear, plum) possibly some grapevines, and how about an asparagus patch?

Aunt Betty Duryee

It was Aunt Betty’s birthday Thursday, and as that was our regular day for visiting Elizabeth, Dick and Jean also came over (Lad and Marian were enroute to Devens) we celebrated over there. And speaking of birthdays, one is coming up pretty soon for Dan. And in that connection, Dan, I neglected to mention in my last letter that a week ago Tuesday, I did receive your birth certificate from Mount Vernon with its assurance that you actually had been born, and this was sent on the same day to the government office requesting it at Philadelphia.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter from Grandpa to Dan, Ced and Dave – Lad and Dick both being home.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Random thoughts on our Future Camp – Oct., 1945

 

October 7, 1945

Random Thoughts on our Future camp.

 

I have just purchased from Anna Heurlin the Lake Winnipesaukee Island which has so many pleasant memories for all of us – – a Christmas present jointly and equally to each of my six children – – legally, that is, but from a practical standpoint, to be shared, of course, with their wives and children, now and to be. (I may add by way of parenthesis that such a situation in some families might in future develop into a cause for friction between brothers and sisters and their families, but somehow I feel that in our case, I will not be sowing a seed of possible future discord but that the family spirit of unity and tolerance toward one another, which, with your mother’s spirit still present, has been with us all so far, will still guide us and prevent future misunderstandings from arising. That at least is my fervent wish.)

There are many interesting and happy problems that arise from this acquisition. I will jot down a few which immediately occur to me and will welcome others which may occur to you.

1 – Name. I neither know nor care what name, if any, the island bears on official state maps. As owners we have the privilege of calling it what we will. What is your suggestion for a suitable name. Give reasons for your choice.

2 – Living accommodations. Do each of you want to build a cabin of your own or would it be better to pool our resources, erect jointly a “camp” which would be suitable for comfortable living both for summer and winter sports? If the former, we will have to go more into detail as to parceling out lots to each of you. If the latter, some interesting questions present themselves:

a – Choice of location of the building.

COMMENTS:  Lad, who visited the island this fall with Marian, says the trees have grown surprisingly. There will undoubtedly have to be some clearing out of brush. I can see Dick and Dan just naturally taking charge of this phase of the work, with Dan perhaps doing some surveying, preparatory to choice of site.

b – Type of building.

COMMENTS: Let’s have suggestions from each of you as to what your ideas are along this line, if you alone had the decision to make. And then, with the variety of ideas to work from, we can settle on something that seems to meet the composite idea. “Six heads are better than one”.

c – Boat house, dock, swimming safeguards (with small children in mind)

COMMENT: Joint ownership would seem to be desirable under the circumstances, of canoe, rowboat (outboard motor?), Sailboat, motorboat and (for Ced) seaplane – – any or all. Ideas on this please.

d – Water supply.

COMMENTS: Dug well or drilled well? Would it be possible to get permission to pipe water from spring on mainland, and if so, would this be desirable? How about water supply in winter? Hand pump or electric pump? If we expect to have shower, toilet and kitchen sink, or possibly washing machine, a pump would save many hours of manual labor.

e – Electricity

COMMENTS: Would it be possible to obtain, at a reasonable cost, electricity from the main road (central power station supply) vs. our own diesel electric plant for light, pump, water heater, electric refrigerator, radio, washing machine and other “Modern inconveniences”. (Gas, of course, would not be available for cooking and coal would present quite a transportation problem by rowboat from the mainland, so we would have our choice of wood, kerosene or electricity, for cooking, heating, hot water and lights.

f – Heat.

COMMENTS: Shall we have an open fireplace? Wood, of course, would be available on the island. Of what material should fireplace be built? Are there enough stones on the island? Or would you prefer brick, concrete or what?

g – Sewage disposal. Cesspool or chemical toilet? We should find out state sanitary laws on this matter.

h – Boats. Which kind first and how about storage facilities when no one is occupying cottage? How about ice boat in winter?

i – Interior Arrangements. Anyone collected plans of a summer cottage? What arrangement of living room, kitchen, bath, how many bedrooms. Built-in bunks and furniture? Storage places for clothes, bedding and foodstuffs. This would seem to be a problem, especially for the girls to consider.

j – Miscellaneous

1 – Would expense of telephone be justified?

2 – Where could we garage cars on mainland?

3 – How about daily milk supply?

4 – Fire extinguishers

5 – Garbage disposal

6 – Mail arrangements

k – Job assignments.

Sports – Hunting and fishing – Zeke

Winter sports, skiing, etc. – Ced

Mechanical installations and upkeep – Lad and Ced

Clearing of grounds, maintenance of landscaping,

fruit tree planting, garden? etc. Dan and Dick

Supervision of building erection – Dick

Schedule of occupancy, assignment of boats, troubleshooter,

Smoother-over, etc. – Dave

3 – Finances. How is all this (outside of cost of island itself, which I have taken care of) to be financed. If we get a government housing loan or bank loan or building and loan arrangement for building and equipment, how are payments to be met? Should each one contribute a stated amount monthly? What is the limit of total cost which should be set and how many years should payments be spread over? Taxes, which are now about $3 a year on $100 assessment, would naturally increase. There will also be insurance and running expenses for food, fuel and mechanical upkeep. When should work be started?

4 – Future Considerations. What arrangement for future sale of property should be made, if that ever becomes necessary or desirable? A jointly owned property invariably brings problems of one sort or another, if one or more of the joint owners desires to liquidate. Some arrangement agreed to by all in advance to cover such a contingency should be thoroughly understood and agreed upon in advance. What is your idea on this?

Grandpa never ceases to amaze me. He says: “I will jot down a few which immediately occur to me…” This is the result, in one evening!

Tomorrow and Friday, another letter filled with news of the family and friends associated with Grandpa and Trumbull.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Clan Guion – Dick and Jean Are Home – Oct., 1945

Spring Island, with a very low water level

Trumbull, Conn., October 7, 1945

Dear Members of the Clan Guion:

Again events this week have combined to cut down my correspondence time, but late as it is now, I must take time to at least hit the high spots and some of said spots have considerable altitude.

First, Dick and Jean are home. Yes sir, the clan is beginning to gather. The first inkling I had was a telegram the first part of the week from Dick announcing they were in Miami, ending with the cheering words, “See you soon.”, And as good as his word, he and Jean dropped into the office Friday in a surprise visit. He looks well, has a miniature mustache and has not put on any weight, and outside of a cold, is the same old Dick. Jean says she has put on a little weight but it is not noticeable. Gosh, but it’s good to have two boys home at once with their wives, but I, apparently, cannot be satisfied – – all I need now is Dan and Paulette, Ced and Dave, and then I will admit to a maximum of satisfaction.

The same day Dick and Jean arrived, Britta, Anna and young Peter Bagshaw visited us and stayed to supper. Biss, Zeke and the two boys also came over for supper so we put three leaves in the table and it began to look like old times again. Later, we showed pictures, movies and stills, of Alaska, Venezuela, etc. I got Anna aside, found out she was willing to sell the Island, so, as a novel Christmas present to you children, I decided to buy it for you all. This will practically clean me out of cash put aside for Christmas gifts, and then some, but I figured it would be worth it to you all. I will have something more to say on the thing a little later.

Martin and Flor Williams visiting Trumbull

Then yesterday, the date of Lad’s meeting, planned five years ago in Venezuela, came around and he and Marian went down for their reunion with the Venezuelan crowd. They stayed overnight in New York and today brought Mr. and Mrs. Williams back with them, and again we showed movies of Venezuela, Alaska, etc. Jack Fillman and his wife, and Red (Sirene) and his fiancée, dropped in to see Dick and Marian and later my cousin Dud (Dudley Duryee) and wife from Brooklyn drove up to see us and stayed to supper and the movies. Incidentally Dan, Martin Williams asked me to be remembered to you when he saw that I was writing a letter to you. They are staying overnight, so I have just left the party to write this note to you all.

No letters this week from Ced or Dan, but Dave wrote a short note commenting on some of my previous letters. He says: “Rumor has it that GHQ will be moving out sometime in October, but doesn’t know whether or not he will go along. He may stay in Manila or go to Korea or possibly to Yokohama.

Now let’s get back to the Island proposition, which, I admit, has got me all excited. Ever since your mother and I first went up there with Rusty, landing late one night and sleeping out on the island, which it was too dark to see until next morning, I have been hoping that someday events would work around so that we could own the Island and perhaps build a little cabin on it where we could spend summer vacations. And at last this dream has materialized. I am attaching a sort of snap shot of my thoughts on the subject and invite you to do the same, so that from the combination of thoughts on the subject, we ought to arrive at some final solution fairly acceptable to all. Therefore I will close this brief letter and proceed to the Island subject.

DAD

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s “Random thoughts on our Future camp.” On Thursday and Friday, another of Grandpa’s usual letters filled with news of family and friends.

Judy Guion