Trumbull – Dear Members of the Clan Guion (2) – Random Thoughts on our Future Camp (1) – October 7, 1945

These pages represent Grandpa’s random thoughts on the future camp in New Hampshire. As usual, he was very thorough but also asked for comments and suggestions from each of his children. Since I have posted so many pictures of the Island, I thought you might like to see the original thoughts.

Spring Island - from States Landing @ 1960s

ADG - Random Thoughts on our Future Camp (1) - October 7, 1945

October 7, 1945

Random thoughts on our Future Camp

I have just purchased from Anne 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 towards 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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 a 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 – Boathouse, 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) sea plane — 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.

Tomorrow and Friday, more Random Thoughts on our Future Camp.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Members of the Clan Guion (1) – Dick and Jean Are Home – October 7, 1945


APG - 1947 Christmas - Dick and Jean

Dick and Jean Guion (taken on Christmas Day, 1947)

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 (Huerlin Bagshaw) , Anna (Huerlin) 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

APG - Lad with Flor and Martin Williams in Trumbull

Lad, Flor and Martin Williams at the Trumbull House.

APG - Flor Williams with snake - Anaco - 1945

Flor Williams (second from the right) with others in Venezuela, holding the skin of an Anaconda,.

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.


Tomorrow, Thursday and Friday, Grandpa’s “Random thoughts on our Future camp.”

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Regulars – Lots And Lots Of News – September 30, 1945

During this week I will be posting letters written in the fall of 1945, all of them written by Grandpa.

pp pic 1

Alfred Duryee Guion – (Grandpa) – in the Alcove where he typed his letters

Spring Island at dusk, June 5, 2017

Trumbull, Conn., Sept. 30, 1945

Dear Regulars:

This will be of short duration, as it is now almost 10:30 EST and we have just arrived home from a trip to Bedford, N.Y. (Lad driving), where we called on Brita (Huerlin, Rusdty Huerlin’s sister) and Sydney Bagshaw and were lucky enough to find Anna (Huerlin, another of Rusty Huerlin’s sister) visiting. Peter, whom you will recall, Dick, as having had an accident while swinging at his home in Whitestone, has grown to be quite a boy. They have a really wonderful place – – an old mill which has been converted with truly artistic touches which you might expect of a Heurlin married to an artist – – with mill stone, a mill race which they use as a swimming pool, a waterfall, and in every sense a most attractive place. They are all coming for a visit to Trumbull next Friday, we hope, on which occasion we will show pictures of Alaska, etc. We talked about old times, the island at Lake Winn. Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire), which Anne still owns and which she is willing to sell. What do you boys think of the idea of our purchasing it and putting up a cabin for a summer camping place?

Jean, I am enclosing an important-looking registered communication from the State Department.

Dan, I just yesterday received a letter from the Dept. of Justice stating it was necessary, in order for you to secure a visa for your wife, for me to furnish birth certificate or other evidence that you were actually born and not a figment of the imagination. So I immediately wrote to Mount Vernon asking for such birth certificate and as soon as it arrives (possibly Tuesday), I shall at once send it on to them.

Lad and Marian went shopping again and have practically completed purchasing everything on the list for the Rabets (the couple who have let Paulette, and sometimes Dan, stay at their house at no cost) except a pale blue striped shirt which they could not find. They have been ordered from Sears Roebuck, maybe some $35 worth, and as soon as they arrive will be re-shipped to you via the regular Army channel. As I told you in my last letter, five boxes of clothes for Paulette have been sent and yesterday I sent a new addition of the S-R catalog.

Letters this week from Marian and Dave, which I will not take time to quote due to the lateness of the hour. I also received a letter from Catherine (Warden, a former tenant, with her husband and two children,  her husband is now in the service), now with her sister in Hartford, stating that she will resume her residence in the apartment at the earliest possible moment. I had at first thought of possibly holding off renting it on the chance that Dan and Paulette would be coming home soon and would thus have a suitable domicile, but this is so uncertain now that I thought it best not to hold off any longer. Then too, the loss of revenue means quite a difference in the income. Several others have looked at it but for one reason or another, one or the other of us didn’t get together on it.

And  by the way, Lad went to Devens (Ft. Devens in Massachusetts) and next day came back again with a 15- day extension on his furlough, goes back to Devens on October 10th and then ?????

And so, my little ones, will you accept this meager offering in lieu of a full-fledged letter, minus some interesting quotes, and will try to do better next time. Oh, you will? Thank you so much.

I love you just as much.

Short windedly yours,


Tomorrow another letter from Grandpa and on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, his “Random thoughts on our Future camp”.


Judy Guion

The End of an Era (12) – Trumbull House Then and Now – 1930 – 2020

This is the side view of the original portion of the house, built in 1756.

Trumbull House - Blizzard of 1940 - Whirling Dirvish

This is the earliest picture I can find of the Summer Porch side of the house. This was probably taken some time in the late 1930’s. This shows the porch railing and the flower pots.

Mack - Reserved seat - dec. 24, 1939

This is a close-up of the steps leading up to the Summer Porch and the flower pots, with Mack posing. This was taken in December, 1939.

APG - Marian on side porch in June, 1945.

This picture was probably taken in the summer of 1945, just before Lad came home from France instead of going to Okinawa with the rest of his Battalion. This is a close-up of the flower pots on the Summer Porch.

APG - Bob Mark with Smoky, Nov., 1945

I believe this was taken in 1945 or 1946. Bob Marks, the fellow soldier Lad met in France when Lad “missed the boat” to Okinawa while he attended Dan’s wedding to Paulette in Calais, France. Bob came to visit Lad and Marian after they were both out of the Army.

Trumbull House - the driveway and the back of the house

This is a similar view of the house probably taken in the 1970’s or 1980’s (perhaps even later).

Guion kids as adults - posed as 1928 photo - 1992

This was taken at our Family Reunion in 1992. All six children are sitting on the porch. The flower pots and stone railing have been gone for a while.

Trumbull House - June 2020 - Back view

This is a picture I took in June, 2020.

Tomorrow, I will begin posting letters written in the fall of 1945. Lad is in Trumbull on furlough, Dick and Jean are making plans to travel home from Santaliza, Brazil, Dan remains in France with his expectant bride, Ced is still in Anchorage and Dave thinks he will be shipping out in a few months for parts unknown.

Judy Guion

The End of an Era (11) – The Trumbull House – Then and Now – 1922 – 2020

This weekend I will be posting more pictures of the Trumbull House, some taken many years ago and some quite recent. This is the front view.

This picture was taken in 1925. The children Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick, are playing on the dirt road near the front steps. Notice the lack of decorative stones on the facing of each step. They are quite obvious in the next photo.


This picture was taken around 1929. Dave, front row, second from the left, was born in 1925 and he looks about four years old.

This picture was probably taken some time between 1930 and 1950. I believe I can see the screen porch to the right of the front door, which was enclosed in 1950. You can also see the addition of the stone pillars on both sides of the steps.

I cannot date this picture (probably some time between 1950 (when the porch was enclosed) and 2000. The big trees are both missing in front of the main door.

Trumbull House - June, 2020, front view

I took this picture in June of 2020 while visiting “Aunt Chiche”, Mrs. Daniel Beck Guion. 

Tomorrow, more “Then and Now” views of the Trumbull House.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear T/3, T/4, T/5, Sgt. And Ski Instructor (3) – Quote of a Letter From Dan – December 10, 1944

Alfred Duryee Guion

And lastly, he asks about the “old multi-driven Chevy”, which he surmises is now relegated to an outside stall with natural air-conditioning, and the A.P. Guion vehicle once again occupies it’s once past headquarters. I shed a tear for the poor coupe. How undutiful, yet loved and, in a way, faithful, has she been.” You are partly right, Ced. “Honey-bunch”, as Marian terms her faithful “California and back” vehicle, together with her offspring, the trailer, shares quarters with her green counterpart in the old barn, but Chevy-chile, since summer time, has been trying to regain its health at the Kascak sanitarium (Kascak’s Garage, where Lad worked as a mechanic when he was a teenager) since summer, no major operation seemed necessary. Dr. A. P. (Alfred Peabody (Lad)) looked it over when he was home last and recommended a course of treatment, pending the time when one of you boys might be home and need a car to go around in. Then Steve (Kascak) phoned one day and asked if he might use it for a while when Bob was home and wanted to use his dad’s car to run around in, and since that time, it has not been “home”, primarily for the reason that there is no place “undercover” to keep it. I suspect if Dave comes home, however, it will see a spurt of active service for a spell.

Dan-uniform (2)

Daniel Beck Guion

Page 3    12/10/44

And Dan, old wielder of the facile pan, again came through with a letter written on some interesting paper – German paper which he found in an abandoned pillbox. On one side of the poor quality sheet is a long, printed list of German officers, Oberleutnant Bernhardt, von Bitter, Bronsart von Schellendorff, etc., and signed by DER FUHRER. He says: “We are leading a rather strange existence here in one of the most heavily bombed areas of the war. Today, for example, I am writing this letter on a piece of Jerry paper, in an abandoned block house. The weather is stormy. Only the fretful wind gusts playing strange Aeolian cords on the bits of wreckage and camouflage outside, break the macabre silence of desolate abandon. The floor is littered with debris – – a sort dishevelment, left, perhaps in part, by Jerry’s precipitate departure, in part by ransacking French civilians. Books, soiled paper, empty bottles, bits of wood, all safely protected from the violence of unceasing wind by 3 feet of solid reinforced concrete walls and ceilings. Through a doorway, past the heavy steel door hanging ajar, disjointed, I can see the neighboring hill. It’s profile is broken by the outlines of huge guns which a short while past reared angry defiance and hate and now lie in mute and hopeless resignation, pointing, impotent, toward England! Mars has swirled his puppets far to the east but he has written an ugly story on the ground that only temporal patience can woo to forgetfulness.

We are leading a cloistered existence, too, if you can call “cloistered” a life so close to the brutality of truth. No danger threatens now but the soil is so steeped in the fearful gash of danger’s corpse that the effect is more depressing than the real danger we experienced back in London. However, by “cloistered” I mean we are out of touch with the rest of the world – – even the war! For the first time in a week we heard last night the French army had broken through the Belfort Gap! Once again we dared to hope that the war might end this year – – perhaps by Christmas. My hope of becoming a true “Parisien” are as faded as a prewar French franc note. Those four brief days down in Paris, however, included an Armistice Day party in a French home, during which I discovered for the first time why French champagne is so celebrated the world over – – particularly when supplemented by good white wine and cognac! Out here we drink only beer which has an alcoholic content somewhat less than one tenth of 1%. We’ve been overseas more than 10 months! I don’t know just what significance such a statistic carries, but it sure then hell fills in the remaining space on this page, leaving just enough room, IF I WRITE IN LARGE LETTERS, TO SAY – LOVE TO ALL. DAN

And as the curtain comes down on the Little Theater of Broadway, all the actors having spoken their parts (excepting of course, my Dickie boy who is so shy in writing to his Dad), the applause has subsided, and the producer now briefly steps in front of the curtain to thank you for your interest and to bid you a pleasant good night.


Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll be posting more of The End of an Era.

If you find this view of ordinary life during World War II interesting, why not share this site with a friend or two? They may really appreciate it.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear T/3, T/4, T/5, Sgt. And Ski Instructor (2) – News From The Ski Instructor – December 10, 1944


Cedric Duryee Guion 

Page 2    12/10/44

Ced surprised us by writing another letter which arrived within a week of the last. He mentions first that the Buick repair job is about completed and at a ,total cost of about $300, plus labor, which he generously donated himself, including a practically new engine, transmission, brakes, etc. which he estimates will make the old boat give service for about two years more, at least. He made another ski trip to Independence Mine, finishing up by skiing all the way downhill to Fish Hook.

He says: “I saw some prints from original negatives found on a Jap soldier in the Aleutians. The scenes were quite like any an American soldier might have, except that the subjects were all Japanese. There were views of buddies all smiling at the camera, Jap planes on the beach, some on skis, etc. No doubt most of them are now dead, along with many Americans they have killed. Yet actually the individuals have no quarrels with the other except those brought on by imaginary and state sponsored propaganda. I suppose the day will come in the future, perhaps after our time, though I hope sooner, when people will be judged as individuals, not by race or color. That day will almost necessarily have to come after an economy encompassing the whole sphere of the earth has been arranged to the mutual benefit of all peoples, and why not? I don’t know how I get off on these tangents so much, but I can’t seem to help it. Better I should do something about it and talk less.”

He asks if Jane and Jean have become maternity cases yet. (Don’t get excited about the Jean part – – it’s the other Jean (Jean (Hughes) Hayden)). And that reminds me I seem to have been remiss in reporting that both have increased the population of Trumbull with little girl babies. Both doing fine, thank you.

“Anchorage continues to grow by leaps and bounds and soon it will be too big to tolerate. At every trip through a section of the city not visited recently there is a new building of some sort going up or already finished. Poor Rusty will be a complete stranger when he comes into town again. There are a lot of new people here as well. One continually meets new people and says goodbye to old acquaintances. There is a feeling that the territory will grow quickly after the war, and it does seem ripe for a big influx of people looking for the new frontier, and while a lot of them will be disappointed, lots more will stay. As for it remaining a frontier, with all its vastness, I think, due to the airplane, it will soon get out of that stage in the habitable spots. There will always be rugged and wild sections to which one could go to to get away from civilization, but I don’t think one could very well live in them. When that day comes, if not before, I shall probably leave the territory. The Alaska that Dan and I first saw in 1940 is already greatly changed. Rusty went to Pt. Barrow to get away from civilization and now the Army is sending in a large crew of men to run mining and survey camps, and I suspect Rusty is a little disappointed, although I haven’t heard from him for over a month now”.

Tomorrow  I’ll be posting the rest of this letter.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of The End of an Era.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear T/3, T/4, T/5, Sgt. And Ski Instructor (1) – News From Dave – December 10, 1944

Trumbull House in winter - (cropped) - 1940

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 10, 1944

Dear T/3, T/4, T/5, Sgt. And Chief Ski Instructor,

Your Dad greets you, your wives greet you, your Aunt Betty greets you and even Smoky wags his greeting spelling out in and dash system, which perhaps Dave, with his specialized signal training, might be able to interpret as Christmas good wishes from those whom Ced addresses in his last letter as the “Inhabitants of the house by the side of the road”. And while it is a bit difficult, without Rusty’s imagination, to achieve the full Christmas spirit with all Daddy’s little candles scattered to the four winds, there is an event in the offing which presages the advent of some real Christmas cheer, to wit, the following letter from Dave:

David Peabody Guion

“This time I’m not going to make the fatal mistake. All I’m going to say is that it looks very much as if I’m going to be home for Christmas. But you will not be sure till I get there. If I pop in on you Christmas morning don’t be surprised. But on the other hand, if I don’t – – you’ll know that I couldn’t get off for Christmas but that I’ll be home sometime in the near future. Last night, I got a call from the Western Union saying that the $50 are still waiting for me, so I picked them up today. I’m going to keep the money so that I can get home when (and if) I get my furlough. Winter has set in at Camp Crowder. It’s pretty cold and the fog is so thick you can hardly see the barracks next door. We have an eight hour night problem tonight and it’s so soupy out I think I’ll have to get “lost” and come back to the barracks.”

Evidently, Dave, keeping my fingers crossed DID do some good. I’ve got two fingers crossed now, and shall have until the 25th and while it interferes a bit with running the graphotype and pecking the typewriter it will have full compensation if it works.

As to your P.S., Jean, Biss and Zeke all prefer Camels, which, as you surmise, are unobtainable here and would be right welcome. Jean’s second choice would be Luckies, which is also what Marian would like to send to Lad (she doesn’t smoke cigarettes), and while I have tried to convince her you don’t want to give her something to send to someone else, even though it is her husband and your brother, she insists that they would be welcome. Jean would also like a Sgt. pin (see sketch). Aunt Betty would like toothpaste, (Phillips Milk of Magnesia preferred but not mandatory) or a bottle of Listerine. If they had any ordnance insignia of any kind at your PX, maybe Marian would like that. A bottle of hair tonic (Pinaud’s Eau de Quinine or a reasonable facsimile thereof, unobtainable here, would suit me fine). And now the inevitable counter question – what do YOU want? Of course it is superfluous to add that the finest gift of all will be your appearance in person, but you know that without any need to mention it.

Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

Marian has heard from Lad. He is “somewhere in Southern France”. It is colder there than he expected it would be. His trip across was uneventful for a wartime passage, good weather. Incidentally, Dave, Lad says he will be unable to do anything about your watch, so evidently you will just have to wait until a new supply arrives at your PX.

A letter from T/5 Donald F. Sirene, 31333518, 1661 EUD, APO 837, C/o PM, New York. (Note Dan, he has the same APO number as you have, does that mean he is stationed anyway near you?) Like Dan, he got to Paris on Armistice Day. He also expected to visit Paris on Thanksgiving and intended to inquire of the Red Cross where he could locate Dan. He says that while Paris is a very beautiful city of parks, monuments and statues, there are none of the latter that can compare with that statue in New York Harbor.

Tomorrow, another page of Grandpa’s letter. and on Friday, the final page.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives (2) – Excerpt From Rusty Huerlin’s Letter To Ced – December 3, 1944

To continue extract from Rusty’s letter to Ced: “Charles Brown had me over for dinner the day after we landed. Most interesting old timer in the whole territory. First painting will be of him and that one I will keep for myself. Then we’ll have to get down to making bread and butter money or go on Eskimo diet. Eskimos on the way said I was the only white man they had ever seen take to all their food and like it. Ate walrus blubber by the pound, meat dipped in seal oil, dried fish and seal oil and even soured walrus flippers. The latter dish is a rare one but was bound to try it to see if my stomach could digest it. This dainty dish is apt to knot up any white man’s stomach if not poison him. If soured by the sunshine it poisons even the Eskimos. But that did not keep me out of their gathering in a tent full of friends at Wainwright when the flippers were boiling. Sat around and ate like the rest but excuse from now on for not “taking it” again, will be that my false teeth cannot get through it. The stench from this boiling tough stuff and fat is the most repulsive I have ever experienced. It has not a sour smell alone for it smells of rottenness but I used imagination in “taking it” like one should use in first eating Limburger cheese. So the imagination I used was that my nose was rotting away and that I was starving for food – – that a rather spoiled pigs foot would give some strength to me. The girl cut off a big hunk of it dripping with rotten fat and handed it to me. Put it in my mouth and started the imagination and began chewing it. “That’s enough for him” said one of the Eskimos and stared at me with the rest watching for the effect. But I ate one piece after another. Did not get seasick the next day after we cast off and did not get seasick on the whole trip. Most explorers in their lectures throw out the hooey of what the Eskimos call them. McCracken’s bunk was “The Great White Provider”, though up here he is not regarded as much of an Explorer. Others have been known, according to their own accounts, as “The Peaceful One”, “The Crack Shot” and “He Who Never Tires”. The Eskimos have named to me now and by Mukluk telegraph it has gone a long way: “Artist, First White Man to Eat Flippers”. If I do it again it will be the last. Seal guts with crap in them tastes like sausage meat in comparison. One day on the trip I lived on raw caribou meat dipped in seal oil. Looks like pretty days ahead. My three months grubstake, which was all I was able to afford, is going to last me a year now. Have given up rum and all forms of liquor. Sure amazed at my willpower”.

Doesn’t that sound just like Rusty. I can see now that he was getting in training for the walrus flipper diet on that trip to Lake Winnipesaukee, the day he ate that famous sandwich which you all probably recall – – who could forget it?

From the childhood memories of Dave: “Rusty is the last one in the world to call someone else silly. I remember one time he decided to make himself a meal. So we got a piece of bread and he proceeded to put anything and everything that was edible on top of that piece of bread and ate the whole thing, stood out on the rock and belched loud enough so people on Red Hill (across the lake) could hear him, I’m sure. He was a character, a funny guy.”


Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Just the same, there is a great truth in what he says about going through with a task by using the imagination. Purposely shutting your mind to any consideration of the unpleasant aspects of something that has to be done will enable one to do the impossible. Rusty seems to have developed this imagination faculty to a remarkable degree.

Back where reference is made to Larry being a Mason reminds me of something, Ced, which I have been going to suggest to you for some time but have never happened to think of it when writing, and that is to ask if there is a Masonic Lodge in Anchorage and do you know, fairly well, any of the members? I am sure you would enjoy masonry very much and would take a great interest in it – – more so than any of the other boys. If you ever have the chance and the slightest inclination I would suggest serious consideration of it.

No word yet from Lad but the time is drawing near when a letter from overseas is about due if he sailed when we expect he did.

Catherine (Warden, who is continuing to live in the small apartment with her two children) told me last night that as Paul (her husband)  is expected to be stationed for 18 months in Oklahoma, he has applied to Washington for permission to bring his family out there and in that case, Catherine plans to sell the car to raise car fare, which will leave the apartment minus a tenant. Of course nothing is certain yet but she should know definitely by the end of the month whether permission has been granted or not.

Well, my hearties, I cannot say that I am imbued with the Christmas spirit, but I hope that as the day draws nearer, in spite of the fact that none of you will be home for that festival for the first time in our lives, I may recapture some of the old spirit, particularly with the girls here and possibly Butch and Marty present to put more meaning into the day. Be that as it may, perhaps this letter may not reach some of you before that day, so I give you what is deep in all our hearts here – – hopes and best wishes, particularly from


I’ll finish out the week with another of Grandpa’s letters addressed to T/3, T/4, T/5, Sergeant and Chief Ski Instructor.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Fugitives (1) – A Typical Domestic Scene – December 3, 1944

MIG - Marian and Jean bringing in Christmas Tree - 1944

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad) and Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick), enjoying the winter weather, 1944

Trumbull, Conn., December 3, 1944

Dear Fugitives:

Having run away from home, leaving your wives – – you who have them – – to form the nucleus of your father’s harem, it devolves upon me as the patriarch of the family to set down for posterity an account of the momentous happenings at home, hoping the while that you will soon see the error of your ways and return home to feast upon the fatted calf (no reference to ladies present) which your father and O.P.A. jointly hope to supply.

And speaking of meals, I must record a momentous occasion at home here – – the inauguration of a new chefess (Dan will supply the proper French feminine word) for the Sunday cuisine in the Guion ménage – – no less a person then Marian, the wife of Alfred the Absent,  who, in her own charming manner, volunteered for the task and in her own inimitable way, prepared a very pleasing and satisfying Sunday dinner, thus releasing the erstwhile cook for such household chores as fitting boards to take the place of marble slabs (sounds like a morgue) on the Walnut Bureau – – the one Ced spent so many hours scraping the paint off of (one should never use a preposition at the end of a sentence); re-hanging the dinner gong in the dining room which Butch and Marty finally succeeded in pulling off the wall; turning off the water from the laundry tubs; filling up the small round hole in the kitchen floor which you boys used to spit tobacco juice down; replacing glass in storm windows; applying a priming coat of paint to new storm doors, and other little odds and ends. Some day this week, I expect Karl Laufer to come over to fix the broken eave on the apartment roof caused by the falling tree and other jobs.

If you have by this time surmised from the above that I am having difficulty in finding some entertaining items of news to record, you will have come close to the truth. Nevertheless, let me pursue my wayward course and set down a typical domestic scene. We are all seated around the kitchen table. Outside it is dusk. I, with my back to the dining room door in my accustomed place, I’m trying to indite my weekly news sheet. At the other end of the table, Jean is busily engaged in knitting a pair of brown socks or something. Aunt Betty, on my left, has just finished preparing Christmas cards to be sent to you boys. At my right, Marian, early imbued with the Christmas wrapping spirit, with numerous boxes and packages of colored ribbon, stickers, stars and smelly paste, is industriously preparing attractive packages to go to relatives in sunny California. Smoky, in the laundry, is pushing his food bowl around the floor in a vain effort to lap the last particle of dog food from the meal his Aunt Betty has so lovingly prepared for him. And that seems to complete the status of affairs at the moment.     Elizabeth and Zeke dropped in for a few moments this afternoon. They report the children are recovering from their tonsil operation in fairly good shape. Elizabeth, I am sorry to say, does not take very good care of her own health and is not feeling too well. Aunt Betty keeps remarkably well and keeps going in great style. Friday she went down to Bridgeport and spent the day going the round of the stores for Christmas shopping and coming home alone on the bus. Marian has been helping all week at the office – – and I really mean helping. She has mastered the graphotype in good style and, as a consequence, a number of rush jobs, which were worrying me, were turned out on time, and correctly. Ethel (Bushy) Wayne, Mrs. Carl) has just reported a phone message from Carl who is in New York and will be home tomorrow or Tuesday. This means he will probably be home for the holidays.

The only “Army” mail this week is from Dave (at Camp Crowder, Missouri, for training beyond Basic), as follows: “At long last I’m finally back to soldiering again. Ever since the beginning of Sept., when I came back from the field, I’ve been leading quite an easy life. But starting yesterday we’re doing team training. From seven A.M. to 7 P.M. I’m on the go. It makes a long day six days a week. But the reason for it, they say, is that this unit is “hot”. Of course those of us on the DD team that used to be, have heard that story before. This letter is being written in school, so you can see I don’t have much time. I can’t promise you too good mail service in the future. Our team training is supposed to go from now until the first week in January – – the last two weeks of training (Christmas and New Year’s), being spent out in the field. I haven’t spoken to the Captain yet but I’m very sure I won’t be able to get a furlough until Team Training is over in January. If we’re as hot as we’re supposed to be, we’ll leave sometime in February or March. Well, I haven’t said much but I’d better quit before I get caught.”

A letter from Larry  (Peabody) says one of the high spots in the year for them was the visit of Lad and Marian. “We thought she was swell – – and was Alan proud of his cousin Lad! Trailed him like a shadow. Our love to Aunt Betty, Biss, and all our nephews and our wives and their cousins and our aunts in Trumbull and also to our brother in law.” Marion  writes: “We were so happy to meet Marian and so pleased that she and Lad took the time to stop off here on their return to California. Marian is grand – – 100% – – and it doesn’t take more than two minutes to arrive at that conclusion. Lad is a fine boy, a lucky boy and a deserving boy. (Speaking of Marian, I wasn’t prejudiced by the fact that she had been a schoolteacher and that she spelled her name ian either!!) You probably know that Dorothy (Peabody) was out here again for about 10 days the end of August. It was so nice to have her. We wish so much that more of our “Eastern” relatives could come. My mother is in Ohio now until after Christmas. She is real well and had her 71st birthday last week. We have had a very heart-breaking summer tho. Bill, my older brother, had a cerebral hemorrhage just before Memorial Day and is still in a very pathetic condition. He became irrational and had to be removed to a mental hospital, where he still is, tho somewhat improved. Alan is fine – – in third grade this year. Larry has a “chair” or whatever you call it, in the Masonic Lodge and is busy. We really think of you all, uncle, much oftener than you hear from us. Am I glad that you and Aunt Betty have Jean and Marian with you. Our best to you all for a very pleasant Christmas. Send our love to all the boys when you write them next.”

Tomorrow I’ll post the conclusion of this letter and finish out the week with another of grandpa’s long letters to T/3, T/4, T/5, Sgt. And Chief Ski Instructor.

Judy Guion