Trumbull – Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick (1) – Details of Ced’s Trip Back to Alaska – December, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 12, 1943

Dear Lad, Marian, Dan and Dick:

A letter from Ced:  “ Dec. 2, Seward, Alaska, aboard S.S. ALASKA. Well, I’m on the way. Don’t expect me till I get there tho. It may take me all month the way people talk. I’m set to get to Seattle via the above, but from there ?????  The previous plans fell through as passage out of Juneau couldn’t be booked until Jan. 10th. I may still go up from Seattle to Vancouver to take the C. P. (Canadian Pacific) east, but I’ll decide that after talking to various agents in Seattle. I’ll take anything on rail or by air that will get me East, and even a bus if it comes down to that. I guess one of the railroads will have an empty seat before very long.   The last two weeks have been hectic, what with trying to dispose, loan or otherwise get rid of all my stuff and in collecting clothes, etc., for this trip. Restrictions have been relaxed considerably and all I had to do was to get a permit to depart and return from and to the Territory of Alaska, and on the boat we only need to check our cameras, electric razors, flashlights, binoculars, etc. Baggage isn’t checked otherwise. Seward is sure lots prettier with its post-fire construction. They have very modern fireproof buildings attractively designed. Food is somewhat cheaper and of better quality than that obtainable in Anchorage restaurants. We had a swell trip down in the train today and apparently there are a good many pleasant people making the trip south– many of them friends and acquaintances from Anchorage. My ”cell mate” is a fellow from Anchorage Market whom I’d seen but never had met. He is pleasant seeming and will probably be a good travel companion. He has been up here for 13 years running and hasn’t seen his wife in all that time. The S. S. ALASKA is somewhat smaller than the McKINLEY, but is not too bad a boat. Our stateroom is at the tail end and will probably be plenty rough if we get into any kind of a swell on the Gulf. The McKINLEY, incidentally, is now aground in the Aleutians and has been for over a year. It is gradually disintegrating if it has not already succumbed to the Aleutian storms. Dan and I had a peach of a trip on the poor old boat and I shed a sincere tear for her as she fades out of the picture of picturesque Alaskan transportation. Saw Rusty last week and of course he wanted to be remembered to everyone. I had Thanksgiving dinner with the Morgans and friends at Chuck’s and Florence’s apartment. Keep a candle burning for me. Bon nuit, Ced”. That we will, Ced, old son, and we will fervently hope it won’t have to be a leftover Christmas tree candle, either.

Dan has made the headlines again. A copy of the London ARC bulletin shows on the front page a picture of Dan pointing out to two buddies the stone decorations on the entrance to the service club he so eloquently described in a recent letter. His letter says he is nursing a cold which stubbornly hangs on (Steer shy of that fine germ, Dan, which we are told is quite prevalent in England these days), is restive under what seems rather foolish censorship rules, and ends:  “I have been naughty again. I left my carbine cocked, which is very wrong when the gun is not being used. To emphasize the importance of my offense I have been restricted to quarters for two nights– which interfered with my educational progress at night school, besides bruising my delicate pride.” Cheer up, Dan, maybe the extra sleep will kill the cold.

I’ll be posting the rest of this letter tomorrow. It includes a discussion of mail service and news from Lad and Marian.

Judy Guion


Trumbull (1) – Birth Certificate and Taxes – Jan., 1942

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shotTrumbull, Conn., Jan. 11, 1942.

Dear Ced:

Once again letter writing time rolls around. As I glance out of the kitchen window, the kitchen being our living room for the last few days, particularly because of the cold spell, it reveals a typical winter landscape with the white mantle of snow on the ground and the sun valiantly striving to peer through masses of dark clouds which told a threat of more snow. Last night was bitterly cold, perhaps as much as 10 below zero here. The paper yesterday predicted 20 below in northern New England, so you see Alaska and Conn. are somewhat akin at times.

Your welcome letter of December 28th reached here on the7th, which, while not equaling the speed with which some of my letters have reached you by airmail, is still pretty good time compared with what it was this time last year. Perhaps the importance of Anchorage in the war picture has caused a speeding up of communications. At any rate I hope it will continue to be good as you do not seem quite so far away when only 10 days off.

I have written Kemper in Mount Vernon (his office) asking him to obtain your birth certificate from the City Hall and forward it on to you by airmail, as I figured this method would save time writing back and forth, forwarding necessary fee, etc. I have asked him to let me know the total cost and will take care of reimbursing him from here. I have also taken care of paying your life insurance premium which is due in a few days. And while we are on the financial aspect, I am enclosing income tax blanks in duplicate – – not that I think you will have difficulty in obtaining these blanks locally, but it is my experience the tendency to put such things off until the last moment generally means a wild rushing around trying to meet the deadline with the possibility of error and consequent additional expense, so the possession of blanks may induce a more leisurely attention to this disagreeable task.

Why is it you have to have your birth certificate before you can fly again? Is that a new regulation or is there more behind this than meets the eye? You said nothing in your letter about the draft status. Has Woodley been able to do anything about your deferment beyond the indefinite February date you mentioned some time ago as the time when you would cease to be a civilian? I suppose this will have some bearing on any arrangements you make as to taking a cabin with Rusty after leaving Walshes.

I suppose you will be one of the crew that goes out to rescue Don’s stranded plane. This should prove an interesting experience. Incidentally I should think this might be a dramatic subject for a Heurlin picture of a typical Alaskan experience. Does the idea appeal to Rusty?

It was good to know you spent an enjoyable Christmas day. Your caroling  stunt was one of those things you will look back on in years with interest and “fond recollection”. Aunt Betty has just chirped up again, “Give my love to Ced and Rusty”.

Dan got his summons this week and is to report for active duty on the 21st. He quit working for Producto and is now a man of leisure. Knowing Dan, I don’t know how much leisure there will be in his activities. Dick is working at Producto on a lathe at a $.50 an hour rate and seems to like the job. He of course, will register next month.

Tomorrow, the middle of this letter, which is from Dan to Ced.

On Thursday, I’ll finish it up with the last bit from Grandpa.

On Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Mailing Addresses (2) – Disappointing Mail Service – Dec., 1940

(This continues the letter addressed to Lad) 

The mail service from Alaska is getting worse as the bad weather arrives. This week I received two letters from Ced, both sent by airmail but one dated two weeks prior to the other, although both came on the same day. I say “dated” as a figure of speech only, as Ced doesn’t bother to put any date on his notes and the only way I have of telling when it was mailed was by the postmark and if this is indistinct as frequently happens, I have no way of telling when it was sent. (Ced please take note) Dan also wrote a very deep treatise on the lifecycle of a glacier which would startle the whole scientific world if published and leave Darwin with his theories trailing well behind. Dan also writes that there has been no conscription draft registration in Alaska to date but it is rumored that Jan. 22nd may be the day. Perhaps they passed you up also although it was my understanding that every male citizen with in the age limits would have to register.

Ced @ 1945

Dear Ced: Alaska must be a backward country, or are you in reverse? Every time I want to read your letter I have to get a looking glass. Better watch your carbons next time and might I also suggest that a piece of fresh carbon paper would at least make the reading of backward letters less than doubly difficult. However, any letter from you, no matter how dim and indistinct or reversian, is always welcome but it stops me from proudly exhibiting it as a word from my Alaskan son, which may after all be just what you intended. The airplane wing momento is interesting and clears up some of the questions in one’s mind.

Page 3 of A-105

As to the questions about registration, at some convenient opportunity after the holiday rush is over, I shall try to get hold of Miss Jones in the Motor Vehicle office and ask if the best method is to take out temporary markers to be sent back from Seattle upon arrival, what complications pulling the trailer will cause, etc. By the way, what is the registration fee in Alaska, and what rulings, if any, do they have on trailers? I have not seen Arnold to talk to since his marriage and all I know about his intention to go to Alaska has been hearsay. If, when you wrote to him, you suggested he get in touch with me, and he has received the letter, he has not yet done anything about it. Dick, with his overtime at the Underwood, is getting about $20 a week, so by the time comes for him to leave, it is probable that he will have sufficient funds to do it comfortably.


Dear Dan:

What little news there is I have covered in the other pages so after telling you that I enjoyed your last epistle much, I shall dwell on a subject which, right now, is causing me most concern and that is the matter of Christmas gift transmittal to you boys. I have been expecting daily a letter from you or Ced which will give me some idea of what would be acceptable gifts and what you have ordered from the mail order houses, sizes, etc., so that I could be guided accordingly. What with the poor mail service this letter has probably been delayed and has thus far failed to reach me. By the same token, if transmittal from here to there is just as poor, I am wondering if you will receive by Christmas anything mailed now. Anyway I have taken a chance and mailed you and Ced each something and if I don’t hear from either of you tomorrow I shall take a further chance on sending something to Ced which may not be the right size but which he can send back to Sears Roebuck at Seattle to exchange for the right size and style, or if it is a duplicate of something he already has, he can exchange it for something entirely different. I am also sending each of you a special Christmas stocking with some jimcracks enclosed just to remind you of the past Christmases in the old home and remind you, if you need any reminder, that even though mountains and rivers and glaciers fill many of the miles between us, in spirit you are quite close. Just the same I shall miss you all very much – – more so on Christmas than any other day in the year.

Well, it’s long past my bedtime because I have spent an hour or more trying to make the automatic stoker function. The pin that operates the worm gear that takes ashes out of the bottom of the furnace has sheared off and I have been trying to dislodge whatever it is inside that makes the warm gear bind. I have sheared off at least a dozen pins without success so I guess I shall have to shut the furnace down until the repair man can come and take the thing apart, if necessary, to remedy the difficulty.

So, good night to you all and continue the good work of sending your thoughts frequently back to headquarters.


For tomorrow and Friday, I’ll be posting another letter from Grandpa to his boys so far from home during the holiday season.

On Saturday and Sunday, I’ll bring you some more Special Pictures”.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Isolationists (1) – Mail Delivery and a Party – Oct., 1941

Trumbull, Conn., October 26, 1941

being the Sunday next before Dan’s birthday

Dear Isolationists:

For that is what you are, if delayed mail delivery is any indication of your being cut off from civilization. On the 21st I received three letters from Alaska, one dated the 6th from Ced, one of the same date from Dick and one dated the 13th from Ced. Evidently mail delivery goes back on its old winter schedule, which last year led me to conclude that regular mail took no longer and sometimes less time in transit than airmail. On November 15th, according to the paper, regular American airline stops will be made at Bridgeport, so that airmail service as far as Bridgeport is concerned, will be better than ever. Sometime, if you get an opportunity, ask someone in authority in your post office if there is any route or any special way of addressing letters so that swift airmail delivery will be assured. Are my letters delayed in reaching you, too, of late? Why should letters mailed a week apart in Anchorage, on which the extra airmail postage is paid, both be delivered on the same day here? So that is the answer to all my frantic accusations that you haven’t written. I thought with the new arrangement in Canada inaugurated last summer, that these delays in airmail service would be eliminated.

DBG - Dan's Self Portrait - 1939 - Cropped again (2)



DPG - with Zeke holding Butch

Alfred Peabody Guion

Dan and Dave have gone out in my car this afternoon for a shortdrive on the Parkway. Dan is hoping to be able to take some colored shots of the changing foliage. Aunt Betty, after some persuasion, was induced to go along. Lad and Dave worked all morning at my office. Lad getting the old automatic feed for the multi-graph in working order so that we could turn out a large order for labels for Wheeler Wire, and Dave running off a multi-graph letter needed first thing tomorrow.

Friday night Elizabeth gave a sort of off-hand party at her house in honor jointly of Dan’s birthday to come and Butch’s birthday just passed. The girls brought eats. The regular gang was there. Nothing much in the way of entertainment was planned but a good time was had by all from subsequent reports.

Jean M (Mortensen, who eventually married Dick) we do not see so frequently as of yore. As you probably know, Dick, she is no longer at Howland’s (Department Store) but is now with Harvey Hubble (Shirt Manufacturer). The young fellow who was running around a bit with Barbara when Dan was a way up north palling with Kodiak bears, has now transferred his attentions to Jean Hughes, which sort of leaves Red out on a limb. Just as I was writing this sentence, Red dropped in. He is here now and seeing that I was writing to you suggested that I send you the enclosed article on the Flying Wing.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting page 2 of this letter which is a discussion of Grandpa’s views  and Ced’s convictions as a Conscientious Objector.

On Wednesday, I’ll post the final portion of the letter with bits and pieces of Trumbull news.

Thursday and Friday will be another letter from Grandpa to his Absent Ones, Dick and Ced, still in Alaska.

On Saturday and Sunday some new Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Surprise! Surprize! – March, 1941

This is the first half of a letter written by Grandpa to the sons he has received letters from – perhaps a nudge for the other two?

Lad in Venezuela


R-123     Trumbull, Conn., March 30, 1941

Dear Lad and Dan:  (reading rights to Ced and Dick)

Surprise letters received from each of you this week. Dan’s had a couple of little surprises, and Lad’s, one big one. And speaking of underwear, Dan, you must have been influenced by the poets line about the winter garments of repentance fling — the repentance ideas subject to two interpretations, one that you have turned over a new leaf about writing to “the old folks at home”; the other, that the Lenten season has washed away all frivolities and induced you to write a real serious letter with no references to origination of glaciers, etc. Even the address on the envelope was simple, direct and correct! The other little surprise or surprize (look it up in your new dictionary, please) was the unprecedented speed with which the letter reached me. It was mailed from Anchorage on the 21st and arrived here on the 25th. That’s more like what airmail service should be. Based on this encouraging sign I shall try this letter by airmail and see what happens. But Lad’s letter wins the fur-lined bathtub this trip. That boy has plenty of self-control. With his good news just boiling around inside seeking for utterance, he is able to write a page and a half of single spaced correspondence before it finally burst out that he is coming home about a month and a half sooner than he or any of us expected. It seems that his company figures his two years is up dating from the time he first started working for them and not from the date some six weeks later when he signed on the Dollar Payroll Arrangement. In other words, April 15th and not May 31st is his official quitting time. While it is still a bit too early to specify any sailing date he expects it will be somewhere around April 20th. Hurree, Hurrah. How bright the sun shines! And, says Lad, “don’t make too much of a fuss for me”. That’s impossible. As if any amount of fuss could really do justice to the occasion. Instead of painting the town red I shall probably end up painting the barn white — a less spectacular but more enduring symbol of Trumbull’s assuming an entirely new dress in honor of the homecoming. The only note of sadness will be the absence of old Mack as part of the reception committee. It will bring back very vividly that other homecoming, Dan, with the unpacking of the trunks and bags with all their interesting contents — only this time I hope we won’t get any bum steers on the time that the Santa ??? Is supposed to dock.

Thanks, Dan, for the money order. $50 of it will go into your trust fund and the balance will pay for the postage on the Cortina records shipment and the usual $12 taxes-interest-on-mortgage fund. I am glad the package arrived safely and that the Spanish books were of interest.

A postal from Dick, dated Seattle, March 19th, says, “In case you haven’t heard, I’m leaving this Saturday, March 22nd, on the “Discoverer”. It’s a very small boat. I went down and looked at it. It looks too small to carry a car, but Mr. Schurman tells me three other cars are going on the same trip. He says that with four cars on deck there is no room for anything else. It is about the size of a tug boat. When I saw it I thought it must be a smaller boat with the same name. It has a crew of 10. I think eight other passengers are going too. Boy, is it going to be crowded! I hope you have sent extra money. Dick”. Too bad, old Tugboat Dickey, but I did not send extra money as it would not have had time to reach you before the 20th and I did not know until your card arrived that you were not sailing until the 22nd, and you were already on the high seas. I hope you did not suffer any undue hardships on that account.

I’ll post the rest of this letter tomorrow. Other letters from 1941 will finish out the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Ced’s 200% And Cars – Feb., 1941

R-117   Trumbull, Conn.,  Feb. 22, 1941

To the several members

of the

Trumbull Expeditionary Force


Today, as you will observe, is Birthington’s Washday.  It is Saturday and my office has taken a holiday to show the right “I am an American” spirit. The habitues that still frequent the old haunts erstwhile yclept “Babbling Brook”, have been busy all day engaged in such menial tasks as dusting, cleaning silver, washing floors, sweeping, etc., in order to get the house in proper condition for the expected visit tomorrow of some old friends named the Burnham’s in the person of father Rufus, mother Louise and sons David and Bradford, who plan to partake of a Guion Sunday dinner. After dinner the two old cronies will get together for a heart-to-heart business talk in which Guion will attempt to inform Burnham what the possibilities are for the latter to start a letter shop business in Florida. This schedule, as you can readily appreciate, will completely warp the standard Sunday afternoon schedule, which, come flood or high water, is invariably devoted to foreign correspondence, hence, looking forward to such a contingency I am taking time by the “fetlock” and writing Saturday evening instead. So much by way of explanation.

Ced Guion

Ced Guion

Ced gets the Legion of Honor medal this week. His letter score is 200%. My old Danny boy also came across, but Lad missed the bus entirely. Ced’s letter started on January 31st, completed on the 3rd and post marked the 5th, received here the 17th, starts with a spirited defense against my occasional flings at delay in receipt of letters from you boys. I am forced to the conclusion that a large part of the trouble is attributable to the poor mail service particularly on the Alaska end. As you know, even when laid up in bed as has happened on a couple of instances in the past, I religiously make it a point to write to you Sunday afternoon. These letters are just as certainly mailed Monday morning and if you don’t get your weekly letter regularly, it means either that I am completely non-compus mentis or the mail service is on the bum. It is because I cannot count on such exact regularity that I am not always sure the mail is at fault when more than a week passes without word from you. I do hope the airmail service will soon be improved because it ought not to take more than two weeks en route for an airmail letter.

And that brings me to the matter of the news regarding the car purchase. In Ced’s letter of February 7th (received here 2/20) he mentions receiving a letter from Arnold mentioning trying out a Buick. That is the Buick I bought. I closed the deal the day following the trial run referred to Jan. 29th, and the Sunday following, Feb. 2nd, I wrote you a full account of the transaction. Either Arnold wrote within a day of the time we tried out the car or my letter to you was delayed in transit. However I hope you now know the worst. I was quite pleased to get Ced’s letter a couple of weeks ago after I had bought the Buick saying he would place first on the list a 1937 Buick. Ced speaks about a canvas cover. I went to Sears Roebuck and looked up samples of the various weight of canvas on the many different types they list, and finally decided on one that seems to be a good deal tougher than the cheap ones but not so heavy as the most expensive ones. I finally picked one that will set you back about $20 delivered. I also bought at Bridgeport Chain Factory a set of their best grade heavy-duty de luxe tire chains, getting the employees price of $4.20 for the pair. Of course Carl will grease the car thoroughly before Dick starts but I doubt if that will do much good in protecting the car on board the boat as it will have run over 3000 miles in the meantime. I will tell Dick to be sure to have it greased in Seattle before he delivers it the Berger pier. Dick has already sold the Packard to Arlton Monsanto and doubts that he can now come back at him and remove some of the parts. Your new Buick already has a factory installed heater switch. Arnold, according to Carl, took a week’s vacation after leaving his old job and before going to the new, and has gone to Maine. Carl says Arnold has definitely decided not to come to Alaska now. Being away, Dick has not been able to talk to Arnold about a Briggs clarifier, but I will have Carl put it in.

By the way, Mr. Whitney, Don and Myron’s father, is quite seriously ill with an ulcer of the stomach. He had a severe hemorrhage the other day at home and lost a lot of blood. He is flat on his back now and when he recovers his strength sufficiently will have an x-ray taken to see if an operation is necessary.

Ced’s second letter, received this week, brings up the question of registration and suggests wiring information to Rose Walsh. I did not do so because I figured that if you had not already gotten my report on the purchase of the Buick giving you all the needed information for license purposes, and had already obtained the forwarded plates, it would be too late to count on getting them here before Dick starts. March 3rd, the scheduled starting day, is now so close that I am a bit concerned as to whether the Alaskan plates will arrive in time. He has to get renewal plates by March 1st and I am waiting until the last day to see what the mail brings in the way of plates from Alaska. With your’s and Dan’s last remittance of $50 each for the car, there will be some excess after paying for chains, cover, Prestone, etc., but not enough to count much as far as Arnold’s needs are concerned. Anyway, as related above, Carl says he is not intending to go.

And by the way, when you boys have money orders drawn, will you please make them payable to me at Bridgeport and not in Trumbull, as I have to wait three and four days for Eleanor Kurtz to accumulate the necessary funds before she can cash the money orders. This has happened on several occasions. When drawn on Bridgeport I don’t even need to go to the post office to get the cash but can deposit them like a check in my bank. Thanks Ced for the $25 which I assume is your regular payment home in addition to the $50 for the car. If I am wrong in this please let me know.

I enjoyed reading the clippings in yours and Dan’s letters and would like to see a photo of you with the beard! My God, you must be a sight.

The new airmail service will be good but how many years do you think it will be before the million dollars appropriated to establish fueling stations at Regina, Edmonton, Grand Prairie and Whitehorse, will result in actual starting off airmail service?

Aunt Elsie writes they are having serious financial difficulties and may have to go into some sort of receivership and perhaps bankruptcy. Will know more later.


I’ll finish out the week with a rather long letter, first a note to Lad and then one to Dan and Ced, all written on March 2, 1941.

In honor of Christmas, there will not be a post tomorrow, From my family to yours, may this holiday season bring you joy, peace and happiness.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Over The River And Through The Woods… – Feb, 1940 (2)

Blog Timeline - 1934-1940

This is the second half of the letter Grandpa wrote to Lad while he was in Venezuela, working for Socony-Vacuum Oil Company.

On the way home from work Friday, I thought to myself, well, when I write to Lad Sunday I shall say “In view of the fact I got two letters from you last week, I shall not expect a letter this week and so will not be disappointed if one does not arrive tomorrow, when lo and behold, when I got home, I found your January 28th letter. That’s the first time it ever arrived on a Friday, and I can only assume the service must be getting better. Incidentally, there is some slight hope that when the improvements on our airport are completed in the summer, we may persuade the government to put Bridgeport on the list of airmail stops and then we ought to get quicker airmail deliveries.

That must’ve been some bullfight. That will take its place also with the Army conscription account, the bug visitation, etc.

Ted said he had written to you but had not yet had a reply. It may have been because he had been in New York and was tired, but he seemed to me to look older and frailer and thinner. Of course, I suppose he is worrying too, because Helen told me they have made very little progress in collecting from InterAmerica, as Max bears a great deal of hatred towards Ted. I didn’t tell her so, but I felt like saying, “Well, what do you expect when Ted hates Max the way he does and has been trying to do everything in his power, through every available means, to harm him. In the years I have lived I have found that hate and revenge in getting even with the other fellow is just about the poorest method to follow in accomplishing results. I don’t think a person who wants to get anywhere can afford not to be pleasant and kind and courteous to everyone, whether or not he thinks that one can ever be of any help to him. As it is working out, most of those to whom money was owed are paid and Ted will be the last, in case they cannot evade paying him entirely. And by the way, that brings up the old question which is now becoming a joke as to what happened to the money they owe you. I don’t know how many times I have asked you what the outcome was, and if I did not know you better, I should assume you were sore at me for not handling the matter of the way you suggested a while ago, and were therefore not going to give me any satisfaction by telling me what you have done.

Grandma looks pretty well considering all she has been through. She is thinner, her hair seems to be much thinner, her hands are

Grandma Peabody

Grandma Peabody

a bit out of shape, but otherwise she seems her old self. She says her hands are a lot better than they were a while ago, as she can now do some crocheting is entirely unable to do with her knuckle joints were all swollen and painful and she was unable to close her hands.

I am looking forward to receiving the photos and wish I had more to send you from here. We just don’t think of taking them, and of course the only time we are all home by daylight is on a Sunday and then usually only at dinner time. We have had more skating this season than for many years past. The boys have discovered a pond up near Shelton where they can go at night, the place being illuminated by floodlights, a warm house furnished where they can change their shoes, and music furnished, all for the sum of $.15. The paper the other day said the record had been broken around here for continued cold with 41 consecutive days below freezing. Today, while not far from freezing, was not so cold as it has been. Even in Florida and the southern states, it has been cold and snowing.

Aside from the clippings, Lad, that is about all I can think of to say to you and as the old Seth Thomas in the kitchen here is ticking away the time approaching 11 PM, I guess it is time for your Dad to fold his machine like the Arabs, and as silently, steal away.

How are you coming along with your Spanish? I bet Dan the other day you are getting to be quite fluid but he doubted whether you had much opportunity or rather a necessity, for speaking it to the extent that you would have to learn it fluently.

Be Daddy’s good little boy and don’t forget to say your prayers.

Love and everything from


Tomorrow, I start posting Grandpa’s autobiography every Saturday. I’ll be continuing the story of Mary E. Wilson on Sunday.

Next week, we’ll move to the end of 1940 when Dan and Ced are working in Alaska at jobs they both enjoy and Lad continues in Venezuela. Grandpa will be adding two pieces of carbon paper to his letter so that each of the boys gets their own copy.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Visiting The Peabody’s – Oct., 1940

This is the final part of a letter Grandpa wrote to his four sons, Lad in Venezuela, Dan and Ced in Alaska, and Dick traveling with Bobby Kascak to Florida on his first BIG adventure.

Aunt Betty Duryee

Aunt Betty Duryee

Aunt Betty’s (Lizzie Duryee, Grandpa’s Aunt) birthday was on the 11th. I wrote her that we would call for her today in my newly acquired car and take her to the World’s Fair. As she had recently been to the World’s  Fair and found walking hurt her feet, we decided instead, to take an auto ride through upper Westchester County to see the changing foliage. Finding ourselves in Bedford and recalling that Malcolm Baker lived there, we looked him up, found Mrs. Baker (his mother) at home, and after chatting for a while, Malcolm and his wife and brother arrived. We stayed a while longer and then left and had lunch and in a little roadside tavern and thence back to the Knolls. We started back home and decided to stop a minute at Larry’s (Larry Peabody, Arla’s brother). Having missed the turn, we continued on to Kemper’s Street (Kemper Peabody, Arla’s brother), found Franklin, Franklin Peabody, Arla’s third brother) who informed us that, while his Mother and Dad had gone to Vermont for the weekend, Grandma (Grandma Peabody) and Aunt Dorothy (Dorothy Peabody, Arla’s sister) had moved a few houses up, also on Mt. Joy Place. We barged in, found Ted and Helen (Helen Peabody Human) there and a few minutes later, Larry and Marian and Alan (their son) walked in. We sat and chatted and then took Ted and Helen out to dinner. Ted looks better, says he is feeling more like himself but still not yet quite up to tackling a job in the wilds. He still recalls that he wrote Lad two or three letters and Helen wrote one before he got a letter jointly answering both, so he gave up writing to Lad. Your last letter to him, Dan, I guess smoothed things over because Ted said he “was going to write me tomorrow to say that he had just learned of a hell of a big Navy contract that had just been let for Alaska and if there is any doubt as to your being continued on at the airbase, and even if there is, he suggests that you go to the head of your gang and ask him if he would give you a letter recommending you to the head of the naval construction authority as soon as you work begins to let down.” He says this is a hot tip. He also thought it would be a darn good stunt if, with your rating as Junior Engineer, you should try for a second Lieutenancy in the Army in the Constructing Quartermasters Department., where he says you will do exactly the same kind of work you are doing now, at the same or better salary, plus food and living expenses, plus bonuses, qualifications for pensions, plus civil-service preferment, plus being shifted all over from place to place, and that while you would be in the Army you would never know anything more about the manual of arms then you know now. You would be certain of a good job for at least three years, be in-line for a rapid advancement with all the construction work in contemplation, and each advance in rank means more pay, more prestige, etc.; would take you out of the fighting Army, which you might have to join if you were drafted, it would take you for Alaska to Panama, from the West Indies to Hawaii or the Philippines, or wherever the government wanted Army construction work done. I told him you were in the Army but he said you were doing now, exactly the same as you would be doing the other way but would be considerably better off in every way. Well, anyway, I passed on the message to you as it was delivered and you may act upon it, or not, as you think best.

Of course all the relatives, including Ted, wanted to be remembered to all the gang, which included all of my four older boys, and Aunt Betty also sends her love. In fact there is so much of it this trip, I’ll have to reserve my birthday sentiments to send some other time, so it won’t get this letter all cloyed. It’s late, old Beautyrest is calling and Mack is waiting for me to go up so he can requisition this chair. I am going to fool him however, by putting the round footstool in it.


Thursday and Friday, I’ll be posting individual letters that Grandpa wrote to each of his sons, but mailed as a group to everyone, as was his custom.

On Saturday, we’ll have another Tribute To Arla and on Sunday, Mary E. Wilson’s Autobiography. Next week, we’ll jump forward to 1943 and see how Lad’s engagement to Marian is progressing.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Notes For The Boys – Oct. 1940

1940 Buick Roadmaster

1940 Buick Roadmaster

This is the second part of a long letter Grandpa wrote to his four oldest sons. At this point, Lad is still in Venezuela, Dan and Ced are in Alaska and Dick, along with his friend, Bobby Kascak, is on a road to Clearwater, Florida, to see the sights.

The Buick is a joy to run and in spite of what I have said in the past I turn on the radio going back and forth from work. In performance, is tops and must be an expensive outfit. My only objection to it, for business purposes, is that he is so long it is difficult to find a parking place when making business calls in crowded sections and there is always the fear that one will come out from some call and find someone has scraped your fender or backed into your radiator or done some other damage while you were absent. As a matter of fact, somebody has already scraped and scratched my left front fender already.



I received one postal from Dick postmarked Staunton, Virginia, but evidently written before they reached that place. He says: “We’re up about 3000 feet on the Skyline Drive. The country around here seems like Canada. We arrived at the Ranger outpost at about 5 PM and made supper. It started to rain so we took her sleeping bags and repaired to the front porch of an uninhabited shack. We filled up on bacon, eggs and coffee this morning while it rained steadily. We’re both having the time of our lives, rain or shine. The clouds thin once in a while and we see wooded hills gradually lift their bulk up into the sky. I wish I could sketch some of the scenery around here — it’s better than most parts of New England.” Thanks, Dick, but it’s about time I received another message, isn’t it ? One a week is not quite up to the quota you laid out for yourself.

That was good of you, Dan, to answer my inquiry, as you did, in regard to acceptable birthday remembrances and

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

accordingly, I have already sent you the best edition of Roget’s Thesaurus I could buy at Read’s. They had a cheaper edition for a dollar which, being considerably lighter in weight, would have cost less to send, but the paper was not so good, and a permanent reference book of this sort seemed worthwhile splurging a bit on. I hope it arrives promptly and in good condition. I shall look forward to receipt of the Alaskan cranberries with great gusto. By the way, how long does it take my letters to reach you? As you know, they are usually mailed Monday either at Kurtz’s or in Bridgeport. This should be in the mail on the morning of the 13th, and, allowing seven days, which is what your letters take in airmail transit, you should receive it on the 20th. If my next letter does not arrive before your birthday, here are my very best wishes and hopes for a series of happy surprises in your journey through life. I will also do my best to invest whatever funds you sent along so that they may not only be safe but will enhance in value and yield an income at the same time. Thank you for the blanket permission to purloin any part of such savings at any time for my personal use. I know you mean just that, but the need would have to be desperately acute before I would dip into another’s savings which might be entrusted to my care, unless some specific arrangements were made accordingly beforehand.

In this connection, however, there is something I have been thinking about and which I may have mentioned to you or Ced on some previous occasion. Since mother’s death without leaving a will, two-thirds of the equity of this property belongs to you children. It costs roughly, for interest on mortgage, taxes and insurance, about $400 a year. From a strictly business standpoint, two-thirds of his annual upkeep charge should be equally divided between the children who share equally in the estate, which would mean about $266 a year, or $22 a month.

Ever since Lad has been in Venezuela he has been kicking into the kitty about $50 a month, there is little hope of Elizabeth coming across with any of Zeke’s cash, Dave is still in school, so it’s hard to figure out any equitable arrangement that will relieve the strain on my meager income for the present (not relieved at all by the car buying splurge) and still, at the same time, not place unfair burdens on any one individual. Of course under ordinary circumstances even the thought of such a thing would not occur to me but would be my obligation as a matter of course. So, if you can, with all fairness to yourself and your future, authorize a small portion of your monthly remittance to go towards this purpose it would not bother my conscience quite so much but would help out considerably. Write me frankly how the idea appeals to you.

By the way, I am enclosing a postcard from a man named Verme who wants your Alaska address. I suppose there is no good reason why I should not send it to him. On the other hand, you are the best judge, so I shall enclose the card for you to answer yourself if you desire. I am enclosing several newspaper clippings, and I may say in advance I have read the ads on the reverse side about Sally Rand, etc., (No Ugda tablets for you or female complaint remedies for Cedd this trip). I note that Ced has been slaphappy all this week putting dope on airplane wings which accounts probably for the fact that I have had no letters from him.

Lad in Venezuela

Lad in Venezuela

Your letter, Lad, arrived Saturday PM and was only six days en route. I am glad you liked the album so much. I called up Mr. Lockley and told him to send $2 worth of carnations to Cecilia on Monday. Mrs. L, who answered the phone, said she was not sure he had carnations but would do the best they could. Card enclosed will read “From Laddie in Venezuela”.

Speaking of movies, they ought to run “Boom Town” down your way, as it is a picture of well drilling for oil.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the third, and final, part of this letter, telling all about a Sunday afternoon visit to the Peabody’s.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Heat and Hot Running Water – Oct., 1940

AD Guion letterhead and business cards

AD Guion letterhead and business cards

This is the first part of a long letter Grandpa wrote to his four oldest sons. At this point, Lad is still in Venezuela, Dan and Ced are in Alaska and Dick, along with his friend, Bobby Kascak, is on a road to Clearwater, Florida, to see the sights.

Trumbull – Heat and Hot Running Water – Oct., 1940    6.24.2013

This being the 97th Epistle depicting the homely affairs of one Guion, of Trumbull, Conn., sent forth for the edification of his sons, abroad, dated this 13th day of October, 1940.

Dear Lad, Dan, Ced and Dick:

The local election is over and Trumbull now has a new Republican First Selectman, named Bailey. He was elected over Davis by a comfortable margin. The latter was considerably surprised and disappointed, I have reason to believe. The new man seems to be a real fellow and I am hopeful, will give Sexton and his gang a real battle on every occasion.

Well, we have finally moved all the junk out of the old place and after throwing at least half a ton away still have the new place so cluttered up with unarranged boxes, and machines and books and addressograph plates, that it is difficult to move around, but this is gradually getting sorted and the order being restored. I expect they will start in building a petition for my private office on Monday and when this is completed it will begin to look more like a going business instead of a London bomb outrage. At the risk of repeating something I have said in former letters, let me describe it for the benefit of those who have not seen it. Proceeding down Main Street toward Seaside Park, you have on the corner of State Street, on the right, the Bridgeport-Peoples Savings Bank, next to which is a three storied building, formerly the Bridgeport Land and Title Company, but now known as the Investors Mortgage Company. Adjoining this is also a three storied white stone building, of pleasing and substantial appearance, modern in type and architecturally attractive, the ground floor and second-floor of which is occupied by a firm of lawyers known as Webb and Harris. Opposite is an attractive one-story building occupied by Hincks Bros. Next door to 871 Main St., is a vacant lot, one corner of which is a lunch wagon. Adjoining this vacant lot is the old Park Theater building and beyond this is the new building housing the Bridgeport Hydraulic Company. From the entrance door on Main Street, two flights of wide steps lead up to the top floor, occupied by the Guion Company. The entry is at the rear and to the left at the top of the stairway. There are landings at the second floor (opening into Webb and Harris) and at the top of the second flight. There are three large windows at the front on Main Street and three at the back, one of which is in the toilet, just to the right of the entrance door. In other words it is between the top of the stairs and the rear wall of the building. The middle rear window lights a wash basin and the third will be in my private office which occupies a space facing the entrance door. There will be a little reception hall between the stairwell and my office petition and a railing dividing this visitor’s portion from the workroom proper, which occupies perhaps three quarters of the total space. This will shut off our workroom from prying eyes and permit a degree of privacy in conducting our affairs which was not possible in the old place. It is so pleasant by contrast to have heat at the mere turning of a valve in the radiator, supplied by an oil burner in the basement. There is also hot running water. The landlords are the Bridgeport City Trust Company, who are very decent. They have given us, without our asking for it, one month rent free, and the rent is only $25 monthly, just half what we paid in the old place without heat. The only drawback is the long flight of stairs to climb. I have signed a three year lease. I feel this is good business as rates are very likely to advance during the next year or two as industrial Bridgeport gets underway producing war supplies. Business for the past month or two has been showing signs of getting better but we still have a long way to go before we shall have cleared up all our old debts and start to make some money. I forgot to say that the empty lot next to our building is rented out as a parking lot at the rate of three dollars a month per car. Both George and I have rented space accordingly. Luckily we were able to retain the same telephone number.

Next, we will have to have stationary with the new address printed on it, new business cards, envelopes, etc., and get up some signs showing our new location. There is a fire escape on the back wall and the sprinkler system overhead. A series of bins have been built along the left wall as you face the street for supplies of paper, envelopes, etc. A number of base plugs furnish electric outlets for the various machines and overhead lights supplement the natural light from the windows. If I had the money I would put in some of these new fluorescent lights but that may come later. All in all, I think it is a good move.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the second part – Notes To The Boys – and the last section – Visiting the Peabody’s – on Wednesday. We’ll finish up the week with another of Grandpa’s letters, with personal notes to each of his sons.

Judy Guion