Special Picture # 291 – Christmas, 1939

 

Grandpa writes on the back – “Photo by Venezuelan Dan, Mack smells Dad’s rum, December 25, 1939”

Back – Dick, Grandpa, Ced and Dave               Front – Aunt Betty, Aunt Elsie

Grandpa writes on the back – “Sister Dick and others by photographer Ced, December 25, 1939”

Back – Grandpa, “sister” Dick, Dan        Front – Aunt Elsie, Aunt Betty, Dave

Smoky at the bottom

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Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home For Christmas (5) – Quick Notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave – December, 1945

And so this letter and this week finally come to an end. I hope you especially enjoyed the day-by-day adventures of Ced as he flew his new airplane from Trumbull, Connecticut to Lethbridge, Canada. The conclusion of this trip to Anchorage will be covered in A CHRISTMAS REPORT FROM TRUMBULL, CONNECTICUT, which I will be posting from December 25th to the 29th.

Page 4   12/23/1945

Dear Dan:

With the passing of General Patton and the news that he is to be buried in Luxembourg naturally raised the question in my mind if this was one of the cemetery locations you had surveyed.

Today has been one of the real wintry days that you used to enjoy as a youngster. The snow is white and deep and has been swirling around all day in a high wind. I can hear it howling now and even under Lad’s expert eye the furnace has not been able to keep the house even comfortably warm, going full speed. Weatherman promises no letup tomorrow or Christmas. Winter sure is starting in with serious intent. This is the season of the year when I shall miss you and Dave most of all, but when that little elf Hope escapes from Pandora’s box, it was to serve in just such cases as this, so I shall look forward to 100% PLUS representation next year when Christmas again rolls around. Now that the Christmas rush is over I have hopes of getting some of the things Paulette wants that we were unable to obtain. Another box or so will be going forward to you soon, as well as Baby’s layette which we have slowly been accumulating. By the way, three pieces of Government mail reached me this week. Two of them I am enclosing — Counter receipt which I take it you are to sign and return to cover insurance premium, and the other is a registration from the Draft Board at Anchorage, if you please. The third is the check you spoke of — at least I assume this is the one — which I am to retain. It is drawn to your order for $100 and represents the second installment of your mustering out pay. In any event it is being credited to your account here subject to your order for merchandise.

 

Dear Paulette:

While I know you must be happy with your family this first peaceful Christmas after so many years of war, yet I do wish you could also be with us all here so we could show you the good-will part of the Christmas spirit and try to make you feel the love we all have for you for yourself as well as because you are Dan’s wife and sweetheart. Happy days are ahead for us all. Lovingly, your   DAD

Dear Dave:

I am looking hopefully as well as longingly for your return in Spring or early summer when I hope things will be shaping up better than they have been for many years, for you to take over at the office and make things zip. I’m getting sort of tired of carrying things on alone, particularly when I don’t feel so hot, like at present with cold germs camping on my doorstep. After about six months of young blood actively at work, out “making friends and influencing people”, there will be an entirely different atmosphere, and it looks as though, from the financial angle, we would be able to do things in the way of new equipment and company advertising which we haven’t done for years. Meantime, take care of your health, learn all you can, make as many friends as possible, and head for home with the least possible delay when they give you the signal. Meanwhile, a Merry Christmas from all of us, but especially, your   DAD

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1942. Both Lad and Dan are in the Service of Uncle Sam, Ced is in Alaska working for Woodley Air as a mechanic and bush pilot and the other boys are still at home.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To The Guions Who Will Not be Home For Christmas (4) – Ced is More Than Half Way – December, 1945

This is the fourth section of a 4-page letter, dealing mostly with Ced’s day by day flight back to Alaska. He is a bit more than half way and this is as up-to-date as Grandpa is at this point. 

And in the last mail yesterday received letter dated Lethbridge, Canada, Dec 19th. ”Straightened up everything in Great Falls, Mont. yesterday. Bought a funnel, blanket, weatherstrip, etc. Went out to the Army Field (East Base) and was “briefed” for Alaska, received strip maps from the AAF, saw a couple of P-80 jet jobs which were to leave for Fairbanks, Alaska, at 3 yesterday, but they canceled out, don’t know if they got out today. Also cleared customs and then I went back out to the field, insulated the cabin on the ship (temperature rising) and was all set to get off early this A.M. On arising, found a Chinook wind blowing 40-50 mph and all my plans went to kingdom come. After doing some odd jobs around the plane and bothering the weather Bureau all morning and afternoon, and sweating the wind out, it finally moderated and I took off for Sheffield. Radio transmitter worked O.K. today and then couldn’t hear Lethbridge nswer, but they heard me. The gassing and oil change finished at Sheffield, I took off for Lethbridge at 3:35 p.m., arriving at Lethbridge at 5:56, 35 minutes after dark. Tower called me and said I was supposed to have filed a flight plan from G.F. (Great Falls) to L. (Lethbridge), but when I explained no one had told me to, they said it was ATC fault then, and after I went through customs I came into town. Hope to leave early tomorrow for Edmonton, but weather forecast is for snow and poor visibility. Hope they’re wrong. I’m very tired so will quit.”

And there you have the saga to date of young Lindbergh Guion. Having battled through beyond the halfway mark, I have an idea the worst is behind him. Besides my love he holds my respect and admiration. The attempt by a reckless person would be good enough, but in this case it called for real courage and self-confidence. Happy landings, Ced.

Tomorrow, the final segment of this letter which contains quick notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave. Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home For Christmas (3) – More Flying Adventures – December, 1945

 

Made out fine to Lewiston where I intended to stop for gas, but it was an Army set-up so I landed in an old landing spot adjacent to the Army one, put in the 4 gallons I had in one of those spare tanks and took off again after a hard run at it. There was a good deal of grass sticking through the snow. It was beginning to get dark but there were beacon lights along the way so I plugged on for Great Falls. As I came near the Lewiston radio, I tried to raise them on the receiver, a process repeated at every station I had been near since leaving home, before and after having it checked at Plymouth, Ind., with nary a nibble. Much to my amazement I got my first answer, and I was so excited I couldn’t understand what the girl was saying. At last we got together and between forgetting to give my call letter nearly every transmission and straining my ears to catch what the gal was saying, we did pretty well and I felt much better about the radio. The receiver has been fine, giving me an extra method of checking my flight path with reference to the beam. As a matter of fact, I rode into Lewiston about 50 miles “on the beam” with no visible landmarks to speak of at all.

Page 3   12/23/45

Arrived over Great Falls after dark and the city was beautiful below with lights and beacons all around. As the field was marked “Army”, I was afraid I would have to land at a small airport N.E. of town and so I tried to contact the gov. field tower to find out if I could land there. I never received a reply and so as I neared the field they saw me and gave me a green light. I landed and nearly cracked up on a drift as I was taxiing back to the Administration Bldg. in the dark, but I finally made it o.k. In the excitement I had slightly delayed a Northwest Airlines plane on take-off and while stuck on the snowdrift, a couple of fellows from N.W. Air came down to help me, in a car. By the time they got there I had gotten free so they went ahead and showed me the way. They were extremely helpful and called all over the place to see if I could put the ship in the Army hangar (the Army had moved nearly all its planes to the AAF field at the east end of town). First the answer was “no”, so the fellow who had been the most helpful went out with me, got a shovel, broom and ropes and drove over to the hangar to look for the tie-downs outside. Just as we got in the car again, a fellow came out of the Ad. office and said the ship could be put in the hangar. Now mark you well. This wasn’t just a hangar. It was big enough for C-54’s. Two mammoth doors rose overhead electrically and it was as warm as a hotel room, and there wasn’t a single ship in there. Tomorrow I am going to try to get a color shot of the ship in there. One thing about plane traveling – – everyone is so darned helpful. Everywhere you stop they ask your name, destination, is it a new ship, where are you from, etc. And everyone seems willing to help in any way possible. This fellow tonight hit a high, tho’ come to think of it, one fellow at Plymouth, Ind., about equalled. May stay here all day tomorrow, getting things ship-shape.

Tomorrow, the final chapter of Ced’s travels back to Anchorage, Alaska. On Friday, quick notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – To the Guions Who Will Not be Home for Christmas (2) – Ced’s First Few Days – December, 1945

Page 2   12/23/45

Supporting documents are as follows: Postal, Thursday, 13th. “Dear Dorothy Dix: my weather beats me constantly and is rarely friendly when I go out with it. It starts out in a friendly manner, but as soon as we are away from the house it turns on me and makes my days miserable. What can I do to win it back to the sunny side as it used to be? I am about 20 miles south of South Bend. Disgusted.”

A newspaper clipping from the Draz’s local paper headed “Correction, Please!” A story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer entitled Airplane Here to Stay, on Wednesday, told about an airplane landing in Bainbridge Township during the snowstorm. We go on to state that it landed on Paul Frohring’s farm and the pilot made a call to Cleveland Airport from the Thomas home. Upon receiving notice that it would snow all afternoon, the pilot, who turned out to be a friend of the Draz’s, said he couldn’t wait for the snow. Enlisting the help of youngsters, he turned his ship and took off in a foot of snow for the Chagrin Airport where he had his ship defrosted and then took off for Norwalk, Ohio. Oil City, Pa., was his starting point and he just dropped in on us. Thus it can’t be said the airplane “was here to stay”.

Postal, Sat. Dec. 15th from Minneapolis. “Journeyed from St. Paul to Minneapolis today (20-mile trip). I had a pair of skis installed on the plane, also a floormat. Bought some weatherstrip and frost shields, and before you know it I’ll be in Anchorage. Temperature went to -15 last night with a 20 mph wind. Ohhhh. Stayed last night at Uncle Frank Peabody’s in St. Paul. The night before at Plymouth, Ind.. Wed. night at Larry Peabody’s (they are all fine and want to be remembered to you) where I gave Alan his first plane ride. The night before that I spent at Draz’s in a snow storm.”

Letter Dec. 17th, Great Falls, Mont. ”Left Minneapolis at 10 A.M. Sunday morning. Weather perfect. Stopped at Willman for gas at 11:30 and went on to Aberdeen for more fuel. Took off and flew till nearly dark and then as my reserve tank top was on backward, I couldn’t get the gas to drain into the main tank so I landed on a lake (frozen) at McIntosh. Fixed the cap and went the next 20 or 30 miles to Lemmon, S.D.  where I tied up for the night. A typical Western town on one main street. Some fellows from the airport came in just behind me from a coyote hunt. They had one and had killed another, but it had been too late to pick it up. They (the coyote, I mean) looks like a police dog. As the fellows told me to be ready to go with them to the airport at 6:45 A.M., I got up at six and hurried around, got over to the grill at 6:45 — and it wasn’t even open. Guess what. When I went back to the hotel I found my watch was an hour fast. The time had changed back about 125 miles. The temperature at this wee sma’ hour was -20. Well, I fooled around until 6:20 then went and ate at the grill. At 7:15 the guys finally picked me up and we drove out to the airport. It was so cold that the engine would hardly turn over, and as they had started warming a Waco for an emergency hospital case, I had to wait until nine put heat on mine. Gassed, oiled and running, I finally took off at 9:55. The first stop was Miles City and here I bummed a ride into town for lunch. Had the dicken of a time moving the ship up to the gas pump, as there were large gravel areas which the skis hung up on. At last we were ready and off again at 1:50.

The rest of the week will be filled with the remainder of Ced’s travels and quick notes to Dan, Paulette and Dave.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – To the Guions who will not be home for Christmas (1 of 5) – Ced’s Travels – December, 1945

 

 

Trumbull, Conn., December 23, 1945

To the Guion’s who will

not be home this Christmas:

Notice is hereby given that while you’re being AWOL this year is excusable, no alibi will be accepted for Christmas, 1946, and you absent ones, to wit, Dan, Paula, Ced and Dave, are hereby summoned to appear in person on or before that day or sleep in the doghouse where, if and as located. And there’s no use paging Smoky, either.

Perhaps due to a persistent cold which is made me feel rather listless and unenthusiastic about anything, the Christmas season has snook up on me this year without evoking or arousing the customary holiday spirit, or maybe because it isn’t a 100% representation, or possibly the lack of children, or it may be just advancing years. Anyway, I have been content this year to leave everything to Lad and Dick and Marian and Jean and it is sort of nice to relax and know they will keep the banner lifted high on this first peacetime Christmas in so many years. The size Elsie, as usual, Aunt Anne phone that she and Don and Gwen would be up so it doesn’t look as though things might be a whole lot worse. Due to the one-man office to ration the usual Christmas rush of business, I again this year have not felt able to send out Christmas. Next year of course will be different. I do not feel any to happy either about the lack of Christmas gifts this year emanating from yours truly. This is not solely due to the temporary financial circumstance but primarily to the utter lack of decent merchandise at any where near reasonable prices for the quality of the offering. My Scotch blood rebels in discuss at throwing money away on trash, so that I would rather forgo the satisfaction meeting the Christmas in favor of some future date when I can get what I want or rather what I think you want in suitable quality at a reasonable price. So if you, Dan, Paulette, Ced and Dave are looking for those Christmas packages, swallow hard and grand because as far as that is concerned, there ain’t no Santa Clause, at least this December.

The topic, if truth must be told, that is occupying my waking moments to the exclusion of most else, is the progress of our bird man. Good Queen Isabella could not have followed the progress of Columbus with any more interest than we have been noting the day by day progress of the Taylorcraft westward ho. I’ve got a map all pin-pointed like I imagine they do in the Army, showing various stops and dates there of as far as I can ascertain that. It looks something like this:

Left Monroe 10th  of Dec.

Arrived Oil City, Pa., 11th

Larry’s (Larry Peabody) on the 12th

Draz’s on the 13th

Madison, Wisc. 14th

St. Paul  15th

Lemmon, S.D. on 16th

Great Walls, Mont. 17th

Lethbridge, Can. 19th

Tomorrow, I’ll post supporting documents and Ced’s letters home telling the tale. For the rest of the week, I’ll continue with news of Ced and Grandpa’s letters to Dan, Paulette and Dave.

Judy Guion