Peabodys and Duryees – Grandma Writes to Ced – October, 1943

Grandma Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody

5 Minetta St.

New York 12, N.Y.

Oct. 15, 1943

Dear Cedric

I hope you will forgive me for waiting all these months and delaying writing and thanking you for the lovely birthday greeting. Coming a little “late” did not change the charm of your note, I wish I was worthy of all your praise.

Of course I take it for granted you know I have been under the weather for over a year. Kemper and Ethel (Peabody) took the best of care of me, but yet, there was something lacking. I had a lovely room and their whole house is beautiful. They really have a fine dairy farm. Besides the manager there were seven hired men. Uncle Kemper was kept busy in his office. There was so much detail for him to learn. He was here two weeks ago and had dinner with Dorothy (Peabody) and me. He said Ethel will be down later in the fall, she is very busy canning vegetables out of their own garden. That makes me think of my planting Four Hills of Potatoes. I left Trumbull too early to know if there would be enough or one meal. Bugs got after them and Mrs. Warden (The Wardens are renting the apartment in the Trumbull House) sprayed them but that was done probably too late. The Wardens seem like nice people, and how Skippy and Susan love to come in to the big house. Uncle Burton (Peabody) was home for a short visit the last week of August and was looking fine. Do you know he was promoted to Major just a year after he got his commission as Captain? He is stationed in Washington in the air service, as a liaison officer.

Aunt Anne ((Peabody) Stanley) spends her weekends at our apartment. It is so nice to be where anyone of the family is welcome. When she is with us she does most of the work and I just rest. I was terribly sorry I flunked in Trumbull. I did enjoy being there. Everybody was so nice to me and Aunt Betty and I got along fine as far as I know. She is such a sweet woman. But we were both old and I believe she was not always feeling any too well, but she is better off than I was. I had a letter from your father this week telling about all the family which is always so interesting. I do hope you can come home for Christmas and that you can make us a visit. In his letter he tells of Alfred and Marian’s being engaged, and that Jean is fixing up the house beautifully. I am so glad she can help out. She is such a lovely girl. I believe Dick was lucky to get such a fine wife. You seem to keep away from any love affairs, – but Aunt Betty believes you will fall hard when that time comes. I think it’s a good thing and not to be in too much of a hurry. (Ced was just 6 months shy of his 40th birthday when he married.)

Are you and Rusty still living together? Nice you have somebody to be with that you have known so long. Is he married?

Allen, Uncle Kenneth, Joyce, Aunt Nora and Muriel Peabody

(Muriel had just been born when Ced visited Uncle Kenneth and Aunt Nora, in Star Prairie, Wisconsin during his Coming of Age Adventure in 1934.)

I hear from Nora quite often. Allen graduated from high school last June and sent me an invitation to be present. At Christmas time he sent me a photo of himself. He is quite a nice looking young man. Nora has mentioned you many times and wishes you belonged to her, you can see how well she thinks of you but she is not the only one who loves you. We all do. When you come to visit D. and me at Christmas I hope I can make you a pie. I would just love to do it. The bird you sent me I still have and the basket I keep my crocheting in.

Loads of love,

Grandmother

Please remember me to Rusty

Friends – Letter of Congratulations From Babe – October, 1943

This is a letter of congratulations from Lad’s former girlfriend after his engagement was announced.

Dear Lad,

Can’t write much as this is class time – as usual – couldn’t wait, though to send you both my best wishes.

Congratulations to you – and tell your bride to be that I wish her much happiness.

Would write more – but between graces operation scheduled for today and he old classroom, I’m in a dither.

Cheerio,

Babe

P.S. do you think a few Californian vitamins might help us out back in old cold New England????                                                                – over

Kick-a-Poo Joy Juice is what I’ve been taking but the caloric content is too high.

P.S.S. Incidentally – it’s up to you two love birds to find me something tall, dark and ugly (don’t like pretty men) – who can boss me around!

Adios

Incidentally- Lad – better send my old picture back – sure would look funny in someone else’s home! I could use it myself, anyhow.

Gotta  have something for the old family album.

Tomorrow, letters to Lad from his soon-to-be in-laws, Marian and Mowry Addison Irwin, who have never met him. Wednesday, a letter to Ced from Grandma Peabody, and on Thursday and Friday, Grandpa fills in the blanks for the family in the Case History of Miss Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion 

Special Picture # 259 – Lad and Marian Guion on a Road Trip – 1945

In the fall of 1945, Lad came home from France and reported to Aberdeen, Maryland. They didn’t quite know what to do with him, so he was given several furloughs. During one of them, he and Marian took a road trip to upstate New York and New Hampshire. These pictures were taken on that trip.

 

 

 

 

Trumbull – Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians and other Bits and Pieces – March, 1942

Charlie Hall

Hi Ghost –

Yep. I met your friend Larry Sieck today – Nice guy – Says he planned to come “over” and see you this spring vacation – but since we have no spring vacation – yellow fever epidemic – he’s going to wait till next summer. Me likewise, darn it.

By the way, doesn’t ghost mean spook?

Tell R.P.G. (Dick) I’m expecting a letter any month now –

Farmboy Hall

This is a postcard, mailed March 1st from Ames, Iowa,  to Lad from Charlie Hall, one of the neighborhood boys, and a good friend of Dick’s.

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

Trumbull, Conn., March 8, 1942

Dear Boys:

For one solid hour I have been listening to Jim Smith who came in just as I started to write you, and he has practically denuded my mind of any ideas I had to start with in the way of raw material for this my weekly news sheet.

I shall try to get back into running condition by discussing the weather – – a perfectly safe topic with which to get by the sensor – – except of course in a radio broadcast. And that gives me a lead off. I noticed an article in the paper recently to the effect that Gilbert and Sullivan operas were playing in New York, and knowing Dave’s enthusiasm for such, recalling my own boyhood days when my father took me to the big city to see a real show and realizing that Dave has been very helpful in working at the office in a real spirit of cooperation, it seemed a good opportunity for me to get back at him by taking in a performance sometime during the week when he had no school on account of the mid-year vacation. So we ups and decides to see the Mikado on Friday. It so happened that on that same day Dave had been invited to attend rehearsal for radio broadcasting at W.I.C.C. (Bridgeport Radio station) and in calling up to tell them he could not attend, they suggested he might, while in New York, like to take in a real broadcast at Radio City. Accordingly, he was given a card of introduction, which, when duly presented, got us into an hour’s performance with Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians – – 15 minutes of the regular Chesterfield broadcast and 45 minutes of his own. It was very interesting and quite enjoyable. Then Gilbert and Sullivan and then home where Lad met us at Bridgeport. Home and to bed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mikado

But to get back to the weather. It has been like an April day, the thermometer in the shade registering about 60. The sun, while not brilliant, was warm. I got out the deck chair from the cellar for Aunt Betty and she spent about two hours on the cement terrace enjoying the first promise of summer. She and the birds have been quite chummy lately. A piece of suet hung on the lilac bush just outside the kitchen window (the one looking out toward the barn)  (near where the cellar door used to be that Rusty burst out of one night after sitting around the alcove fireplace and getting a dose of monoxide gas poisoning)  was what started the whole thing. This proved to be so popular with our little feathered friends that it was followed by scattered crumbs, etc., until we have quite a number of regular visitors, among them some pretty little slate gray birds which Dan or Rusty could probably identify if they were here.

Dick Guion

Dick still has not been able to get his car. The holdup has been caused by the fact that before he could obtain his registration, he had to show his birth certificate (a new rule I suppose because of the war, registration of aliens, etc.) I told him to write to Mount Vernon and the answer came back that they had no record of anyone by that name, the records being in the name of Lawrence Guion on that date born in the Mount Vernon hospital. To make the necessary change I had to make out a formal request which I mailed back to them Saturday. Perhaps it will come through Tuesday of next week. We had not registered Dan’s car so he has been using mine nights. And, one day last week, he reported one of my tires blew out. That, with the present tire situation, is a major calamity. So, I have filed a formal request to the tire rationing board for permission to buy two new tires, but I have little hope of their granting the request. They are pretty damn tough.

Page 2      3/1/42

Dave Guion

There was a special service at the church this afternoon under the auspices of the American Legion. The Choir sang and I understand Dan’s name was mentioned along with that of other Trumbull boys who had joined the colors. Tonight the Young People’s Society, of which Dave is still president, meets here at 7:30.

The Wardens turned amateur plumbers last week to relieve a stopped up toilet caused by Skipper having deposited with great gusto and cleverness four husky clothespins in the toilet bowl so lodged that the whole business had to be taken out, turned upside down and flushed with a hose before the necessary result was achieved.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Dan Guion

Dan, my boy, what is the latest dope on your income tax? I don’t know what the dope is on the situation where a boy is in the service, but in view of the fact that it is a tax on last year’s income when you were not in the service, it would seem to me to be the safest course to file your tax before the March 15th deadline and not take the chance of any violation of law with fine, etc. The Government, you know, permits quarterly payments on your tax.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Ced Guion

Ced, I am beginning to think you have turned into the fabled glacier worm and that not until the glacier melts will we hear from you again. The last letter from you, believe it or not, was last year – – date, December 28th, and while Rusty has pinch hit for you a couple of times, which letters have been most welcome, it would be most welcome to try to read your scrawly handwriting again. There will undoubtedly be no lack of news material and we are living in hopes.

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

Rusty Huerlin

Rusty, old scout, let not your literary efforts cease. Look at me and take heart how one poor benighted soul can reel off scads of paper and run one word after another without saying anything at all. Surely you can do better than that!

Aunt Betty Duryee

Aunt Betty Duryee

And now Aunt Betty is wiggling her foot back and forth as she sits by my side reading, which is a sure sign that it is time for me to go out and get her some supper.

A letter from Dan reports progress. He has been made acting corporal – – it didn’t take the General in command long to find out what these Guion boys are made of. Yes sir, he remarked to Dan, the ranks are not the place for a Guion except as a place to start from. He almost made a sharpshooter’s rating, but he happened to think of Barbara just as he pulled the trigger and missed. Ah, love!

There goes Aunt Betty’s foot again. I must stop. So long.

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll be posting Special Pictures.

On Monday, I’ll begin a week of letters on the subject of Lad’s upcoming wedding to Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion

 

A Message From Virginia of Interest to Alaskans – A Cat Tale – March, 1942

Trumbull, Conn., March 1, 1942

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

A Message from Virginia of interest to Alaskans:

Dan writes on 2/26.42:

It seems that the Army knows how to keep us extremely busy especially when I spent my weekend in Washington with one of those snazzy Trumbull belles. Verily, I find time only on Sundays to write to you-all. The income tax still is relegated to pending business. This meager message will have to serve until Sunday. I am well, and too occupied to be dissatisfied with military life.

A Message from Alaska of interest to Virginians:

 

 

Now that this two-way correspondence has been adequately covered I will revert to commonplace doins at home. Well, to start off with Army gossip, Don Whitney, I understand, is now at camp Polk, La., in an armored tank division. I suppose they figured that in the course of his experience at the Stratfield he had become a somewhat familiar with tanks at conventions, etc., and he knew something about running them (out). Chet, so his bride informs us, is at Fort McClellan, Ala., in a training Battalion that has been put in charge of a squad. Today is the first anniversary of Carl and Ethel’s wedding and they have gone down to New York, same as they did a year ago, to celebrate. Dick and Jean were invited to go along with them. Jean (nee Hughes) was also invited but as she had arranged to spend the day making a dress to wear to a visit to her soldier husband she could not go along.

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Elizabeth (Biss) Guion Zabel

Last night Elizabeth came for a visit in an effort to see if Dave or someone could not be prevailed upon to come over to her house and take care of the children while she and Zeke went to the movies. As Dave was out and in fact Aunt Betty was the only one home, she unfortunately drew a blank. Butch improved the few minutes he was here by turning on all the switches on the electric stove – – thus proving himself somewhat of a live wire. Lad worked until 3 o’clock today at Producto and Dave hitchhiked back and forth to Newtown where he tried out for a play they are giving. In consequence, my Sunday dinner was served in three installments, 12:30 for Dave; 1:30 for Dick, who got up so late he did not have time to eat more than a tomato, and 2:30 for Lad and the rest of us.

I would that I were gifted with the pen of a Dan or a Rusty so that I could, with a suitable degree of humor, write the Saga of the Warden’s pet cat. It seems that their erstwhile pet from the species felinus, was originally wished on them by some kind friends with the thought it might make a playmate for Skipper. As an innocent little kitten it’s sex was not immediately discernible, but as the days grew into months it became apparent, particularly at nightfall, that this little gray ball of fur was the cat belle of the neighborhood and attracted many ardent suitors whose serenades were the hit (where aiming was good) of the neighborhood, and Guion’s backyard soon became the rendezvous of male adorers from far and near, all bent on the age old idea of propagating the species. Skipper mistook the kitten (emboldened I suppose by hearing his parents talk of the rubber shortage) as an elastic toy and when not tying the animal into knots endeavored to see how far it would stretch. Thus Pussy led a very busy life, dodging Skipper in the daytime and seeking solace and refuge in the amours of sundry admirers at night. One morning as I glanced out of my bedroom window in time to see Dick come home from

Cat Tale no. 2    3/1/42

(I don’t know whether that is the appropriate spelling of tale, under the circumstances) his night shift and before he had time to get into his night shift (pun), he dallied long enough to rescue poor pussy from our Apple tree to which she had evidently been driven by the ardent attention of three or four rivals who patrolled the base of the tree, evidently not fancying the swaying bow as an ideal nuptial couch. There was a gleam in Dick’s eye, and a Mona Lisa smile that forbade no good to someone, although at the time its true significance did not penetrate the state of intelligence that one has attained at that hour of the morning. Anyway, the smile, which I neglected to say was not in his eye, soon turned inward to hibernate for a few days and finally emerge in the guise of a full-fledged idea. I don’t know the shocking details, and never asked questions, but a few mornings later, my 22-cal. Repeater was missing from its accustomed place, and loaded, as I afterwards learned, with bullets supplied by Paul Warden himself, whose job is the inspection of Remington cartridges, was successful in snuffing out a few of the nine lives. Dave, I learned, held the delecti until it became a corpus delecti under the well-placed aim of Deadeye Dick, and thus Skipper lost a flexible companion and the world generations yet unborn of pussycats. The Wardens, who smoke a famous brand of cigarettes, were nonchalant about the whole thing which leads me to surmise if there were not some collusion somewhere along the line. Sleep has been more peaceful of late.

Aunt Betty, who by the way continues to send love every time she sees me writing my weekly outburst, has just reminded me that I neglected to tell Alaska about Trumbull’s visit to Virginia. As per schedule, last Saturday morning Barbara and Lois caught the train which was an hour late at Bridgeport, right through to Washington. On arrival they had a bit of trouble locating Dan at the Camp then spotted him coming out of a telephone booth where he had gone to call them up. They watched the dancing for a while, then went to Washington and had dinner. The girls went to a friend’s house and Dan, after vainly trying to find a hotel where he could put up for the night, finally found a place where he bunked with seven other fellows. Sunday they spent “doing” Washington. Then Dan had to get back to Camp. The girls slept until about noon and took the train home. Apparently they all had a good time and are hoping for a repetition. As far as I could gather the only want of Dan’s I can supply is coat hangers.

This is going to shock Ced. Dick has bought a 1937 Ford sedan from Blue Ribbon for $295. Color green; tires, fair. No heater or radio. Unable to get markers until he furnishes a birth certificate which he has sent for. Did not get markers for Dan’s car. Is intending to write Dan to ask whether he wants his old car sold or put in storage. Dick’s idea is that I use the car daytime for work (thus saving tires on Buick), paying running expenses, while he uses it nights. The main reason for his getting a new car is that I have had to get tough on account of the tire shortage in letting him take the car on frequent occasions when his old car (Dan’s) was too small to accommodate the number of young folks he wanted to go to the movies with, or Stratford, or what have you.

And that just about brings us to the end of the record. So, signing off until next time, this is your same old

DAD

I’l finish out the week with a quick postcard to Lad from a Trumbull friend and another letter from Grandpa to Alaska and Virginia.

Saturday and Sunday will be more Special Pictures. Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in October of 1943 concerning Lad’s marriage to Marian Irwin.

Judy Guion 

Dear Glacier Ced, Sapper Dan and Rustless Rusty – Dan Shows Off Washington – February, 1942

View of the back of the Trumbull House from the barn.

Trumbull, Conn., Washington’s Birthday, 1942

            ) Glacier Ced

Dear   ) Sapper Dan

) Rustless Rusty

Following the W.K. custom whenever a holiday falls on a Sunday, we are celebrating the event tomorrow. (With no work at the office it would be silly to open anyway). Dave has no school but Lad and Dick work just as usual, just as a little gesture to friend Tojo.

The only incoming mail of interest this week was a short note from Rusty written Feb. 10th, mentioning the fact that it was exactly 2 weeks to a day that Ced left on his plane salvaging expedition which Rusty figured would take an additional two weeks to complete. Meantime I have heard nothing from Ced direct. In fact the last letter I got from the culprit was December 28th. I hope you won’t have so much to say when he gets back that he won’t know where to start and puts off writing still longer on that account.

Dan, I suspect, is himself learning a lot he didn’t know about the city of Washington in the process of showing his best girl all the sites. Barbara and Lois Hennigan planned to leave Trumbull yesterday by train for Washington where Dan was to meet them. The girls had made arrangements to stay overnight with friends of Lois’ and I suppose continue their sightseeing tour today, presumably starting home tomorrow. Dan was uncertain how much time off he could obtain but no matter how short they will enjoy it anyway.

There are just ordinary everyday things to write about, such as the furnace going out last night (temperature outside not being any too high either), and Dave and Paul spending the entire morning trying to get the thing into running order again. They had to take out the bricks that sealed up the lower part where the Stoker discharges ashes, clean out all the mock and cement up the hole again. Down in the ash removal channel, where the worm gear operates, they removed a steel bar about a quarter inch thick, 1 ½ wide and 14 inches long that in some strange manner got down where it all but wrecked the whole mechanism, the bar showing evidence by various nicks and smooth beveled edges where the worm gear had evidently tried to chew it up. The furnace seems to be running all right now but it’s hard to say how much damage has been done to its innards. In spite of several attempts to get someone here to look over the works and estimate on what it would take to renovate the entire heating system and make it function like a German fifth column or a Jap invasion plan.

Tuesday Trumbull is to have a blackout test at nine P.M., so if you’re flying over this way at that time don’t expect to see the front porch light on.

Lad was not home to dinner today having been invited down to the Page’s. Elizabeth dropped in at the office during the week and reported Marty had a very bad cold. No word since so I assume everything is all right. One more month of bad weather and then spring, and won’t I be glad. I have a cold myself and have been retiring early nights this week trying to lose it. Maybe this letter reflects a dull brain. If so, I hope it also reflects the love and affection of him who, dear sirs, has the honor to inscribe his initials to the bottom of this here script, in the old familiar way – –

A.D.G.

I’m continuing to post letters written in 1942 when Lad and Dick are at home working in a Bridgeport Plant, Ced is in Alaska, Dan is in the Army at Ft. Belvoir, VA and Grandpa continues to write to those away from Trumbull about local news and bits of interest.

 Judy Guion