Trumbull – COMMUNICATION CENTER 42928 (1) – Lizzie of the Klondike – August 6, 1944

Aunt Betty

Aunt Betty (Lizzie Duryee – Grandpa’s Mother’s sister)



6 August 1944


From the ex-mayor of Trumbull:

Copy of communication

Addressed to “Lizzie of the Klondike, Igloo?”

From C.D. Guion, Alaska.

“I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I am in you for not packing up and running on up here. Why, the weather is so nice here that it is only on the rarest of occasions that I am prevented from basking in the sun all day long. The temperature stays at a comfortable 15° above zero all summer long, and only slightly cooler than that in winter, which is only nine months long anyway. I do hope you will reconsider immediately, and if you feel you don’t want to cook or drive taxis, I’m sure you would enjoy mining or fishing, and the pay for either is excellent. You could work at fishing for just the short three months season and live on your earnings for the balance of the year. If you chose to mine you could probably get a job “mucking” (digging out the ore) on the graveyard shift and have the whole day to run around the country and hunt bear or go sightseeing to your hearts content. You could probably grab a couple of cat naps on the job when the boss was away and so not get too tired. As an added inducement you might always remember that a gal up here has every opportunity to go out with nice fellows to dances, nightclubs, etc., and  then you might even find the man of your dreams! Who knows? There was a woman up here (Rusty Dow) whom I have mentioned as a friend of mine in a previous letter, who just recently drove a 10 wheel truck over the new Alaskan military Highway with a full load. (Query by editor –  the girl or the truck?) She reports the road as good, and if you can disguise yourself as a service men you might be able to get onto the road which is close to civilians. Perhaps Dad would let you take the Chevy which seems to be idle since Lad and Marian and Dave are again away from home. I am sure you could get gas enough by buying at black market stations, although you would have to pay a little extra. I’d advise bringing along a few spare tires as you might have to make repairs along the way. Extra supplies of gas would also probably be necessary. A good sleeping bag and some grub, a rifle and axe will complete your dear, and I’ll buy you a barrel of rum when you get here. Another advantage to this country is that women are more likely to smoke pipes and cigars here than back in the East, and your between the acts cigars would entail less embarrassment than back there. Another thought just occurred to me. You are there near the Sikorsky airplane plant. Why don’t you see Mr. Sikorsky and get the Alaskan franchise distribution ship for the helicopter and then fly one up here yourself. That might be more exciting then the Chevy. Of course all this is just a suggestion, and you could do what ever you like, even trying a rocket were jet propulsion. There is good future in trapping, as in almost any other occupation you desire to try. The sky’s the limit, but if you just want to stay in that dreadful old stuffy East where they have those horrid toilets inside the house and messy faucets and sinks that can’t be put outside when not in use – space well, then I’m sorry for you, and don’t ever say you didn’t have the opportunity. “There is a tide in the affair of men, which taken at the flood leads on to fortune”. And don’t turn your deft here at me! How is be acoustic on working. What a pleasant low we feeling it gave me to open up my little box number 822 just before my birthday a month or so ago the find of good old “Aunt Betty” card and the famous old portrait of a Pres. Should have acknowledged your thoughtfulness long ago, but I am as much a dreadful correspondent, as you well know.

This is only the first quarter of this five-page letter from Grandpa to his boys away from home. This particular portion is a letter from Ced to Aunt Betty giving her numerous possibilities for jobs if she were to move to Alaska.

During the rest of the week, I’ll post the other three parts of this letter.

Judy Guion


Friends – Rusty Huerlin and Arnold Gibson send Greetings to Ced in Alaska – July, 1944

Envelope from Rusty Huerlin to Ced, July 10, 1944

Letter from Rusty Huerlin to Ced in Anchorage, Alaska mailed on July 10, 1944

Nome, Alaska

July 9, 1944

Dear Ced,

Stormy weather for about one week. Expect “ada” down from ____________ any day now, then it will be a mad rush to get everything aboard her and pull stakes for Pt. Barrow where I finally decided to locate, if they’ll have me there.

Many, many thanks for green stuff. They arrived in O.K. condition same day boat brought first greens we’ve had here since fall, three more boats with more greens – then a tanker with whiskey and beer. But I went in for the milk on first boat – drank so much of it (40 cents a paper quart) that I quit when I noticed that my tits were growing.

Who am I to thank for the beautiful scarf? Hardly a chance of wearing such finery until I get back to Anchorage again.

As for the paintings you wrote about, will take care of the matter as soon as I get situated up north. Will write Byrk first chance I get. These are busy days.

Thanks for sending pictures. Swell to look at and letters to read from home. Will return slides to you in care of Fiske when he looks in this way again. If possible for him to handle frames you have and deliver them to Major Marston – Wallace Hotel, Nome, for me, that would be swell. But if it runs into money for this, skip it, as I could not take care of that now. He may not be coming this way again for some time. He has been flying Mackenzie’s ship and with “Mac” back in Anchorage now he may fly his own ship to Nome. I could get “Mac” to fly them through, however, if either of them coming here soon. I could not take them on first trip this way. I had better not have them sent here as I would not care to have them sent up to Pt. Barrow unless I took personal care of them.

Hell of a rush now. Will write you at greater length first chance I get.

Love to all,

As ever,



Postcard from Arnold Gibson (Lad’s best childhood friend), in Hawaii, tto Ced, in Alaska, July 11, 1944

Gibby - Post card to Ced from Hawaii - front, 1944

“Isle O’ Dreams”, Hawaii

Gibby - Post card to Ced from Hawaii - message - 1944

Honolulu, June 28


Arnold Gibson

Ship 51 N Y

Pearl Harbor,

Dear Ced,

Here I am back in Hawaii. Alta is in Cal. and will follow later.

We saw Lad and Marian in Orinda and had a swell day. Wish I had a little Alaska  weather right now.

Aloha, Gib

Tomorrow and Friday, I’l post two letters from Marian to Grandpa about life for the Lad Guions in California. On Saturday, more of the  Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis in 1851. On Sunday, the continuing story of My Ancestors, the Rev. Elijah and his wife, Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Alaska, California, Indiana and Pennsylvania, GREETINGS – June 27, 1943


Every week Grandpa challenged himself to come up with a new and interesting salutation for his letters…. this is one of his better ones. He even includes Jean in there.

Trumbull, Conn.

June 27, 1943

To Alaska, California, Indiana & Pennsylvania, GREETINGS:

or we might say Dear CARD (+J) at CAPI: (Dear Ced, Alfred, Richard,  Dan (+ Jean) at California, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Indiana — Lad is in California, Dan is in Pennsylvania, Dick is in Indiana and Ced is in Alaska))

The driveway is not drifted high with snow, nor is a cold wintry blast howling against the storm windows, nor is a sleepy fire nodding and dozing over a few chunks of hardwood in the alcove fireplace. No, dear children, it is as hot as they come in Trumbull, although I do not doubt it may be even hotter other places (and I don’t mean what you are thinking, either). How we will be wishing for some of this excess heat during the fuel shortage promised for next winter by some of F.D.R.’s bright boys in Washington. How any responsible person can even be considering a fourth term for anyone who has bungled the domestic situation into the mess it is in now, is more than I can understand, with my limited intelligence. If it were necessary in order to win the war, we stay-at-homes would be glad to take it on the chin, but when we have coal strikes and rationing because some of the big boys want to play politics, it’s time we had a change of administration, whether we’re crossing streams or not. If you boys have a chance to vote next election I hope your memories will not be too short. By the way, the following comes to me by way of Alaska:


I pledge allegiance to the Democratic Party and to the Roosevelt family,

for which it stands; one family, indivisible, with commissions and divorces for all.

Borne in to me as I sit here sweltering in the very faint breeze that timidly stirs through the open alcove door, are the distant shouts of children in the old swimming hole that you boys can readily recall, interspersed by the hum of airplane motors overhead. And speaking of swimming, Lad, after spending about half an hour searching all through the attic trying to find your trunk, I finally looked in your old room near the window, and there it was. In consequence, your bathing suit is now on its way to be wet for the first time in the Pacific Ocean. Don’t get mixed up with any Jap submarines in the process.

Now that you have read this far, you will probably have surmised there is not much news. Dave just told me Nellie (Nelson) Sperling is in the hospital, where or why, not know. Yesterday’s paper announced the marriage of Eddie Banas to a Ms. Margaret Moyer of Easton. For the first time in many months we had chicken for dinner today, raised locally by Earl Ward. There are none in any of the markets.

No letters arrived this week – – not even from Jean, so I just reread last week’s letters and look forward to next week. Dorothy will probably be up to Trumbull again next week (4th of July) and possibly Elsie, and if we are that fortunate, maybe Dan.

Ced, don’t forget to send me a list of items that you ordered from Montgomery-Ward, that they were unable to ship, as some of them I might be able to procure in Bridgeport for you. Jean, don’t you wish you had some of your summer dresses, or maybe shoes, with you there, instead of hanging up in your closet? Let me know if you want any of them sent on to you. And tell that husband of yours it’s about time he wrote me and told me he still loves me.


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, one from Lad.

Saturday and Sunday will continue the interesting story of Mary E Wilson, born in England but arriving at Ellis Island in 1925 and in the process of building a new life here.

Judy Guion

Friends – Rusty Writes to Ced Hotfoot Guionferno – June 8, 1944

Nome, Alaska

June 8, 1944

Dear Ced Hotfoot Guionferno –

As I have forgotten how to spell Bill Dowes name and also forgotten the name of (the old) Lonsoac’s # 2  store, will you kindly take the enclosed in and give it to him personally at your earliest inconvenience. Have been waiting to hear from him for two months on picture I sent outside for duplicate.

Trust you got my letter explaining why I did not send ivory etc. to you. Will start purchasing as soon as I get away on trip north. You got the letter so will not have to wear my poor eyes out on this.

You wouldn’t like it over this way. No green vegetables and particularly no fish. Snowing to day and miserable weather. Leaving for God’s country in a month from today. Will write you at greater length — now busy as a cat in a stone quarry.

Guess I’ll have to write you another.

Tomorrow, another, longer letter from Rusty to Ced. The rest of the week will be filled with three letters from Grandpa to his boys (and the two wives) scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

Friends – Don Sirene Writes to Ced – January 11, 1947


11 Jan 1946 or 7

To C.D. (Seedy) Guion:

This is to remind you that I am now a proud Father who is endeavoring to set a good example for his son to follow, but your references to my promiscuous adolescence, when I spent my time with bad company (yours) are undermining the allusion I wish to create. Henceforth please expound my limitless virtues, you will find it saves a lot of expensive stationary.

You had better start polishing up your heretofore coarse language because you will find Trumbull abounding in infants – Namely:

1. – Brion Douglas Sirene

  1. – 3 Guions (Arla, Dan and Paulette; ,Doug and Judy, Lad and Marian)
  2. – 1 Linsley  (Bar and Pete) (Susie, Barbara Plumb and Pete Linsley)
  3. – 2 Waynes (Ethel Bushey and Carl Wayne)
  4. – 1 Hayden (Nancy, Jeanne Hughes and Chet Hayden)
  5. – 2 Whitneys
  6. – 1 Hall (Cindy, Jane Claude-Mantle and Charlie Hall)
  7. and many others of less distinction

Are you planning to give up Alaska or are you simply planning a long vacation? I hear Rusty is also thinking of “going outside”. Anchorage has certainly grown since you went up there. I saw an interview of it in the newsreel. How do you feel about Statehood for Alaska? There is some talk of it.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing you – come spring. You are welcome to visit us at any time (the past tense will not be used in any conversation – naturally).

Incidentally, the “Howdy Club” has disappeared. Charley reports he saw some of its male characters in San Francisco.

Best Wishes

Don Sirene

Apt. 601, 243 Ryerson St,

Brooklyn 5, N.Y.


This letter brings up quite a few questions for me. It is the last one that I have, chronologically, and it was sent to Ced in Alaska.  Ced came home for Christmas in 1946 (I have pictures). Did he go back to Alaska? Why are there no letters? Did they end up with another of my Father’s siblings? I have all the letters from Ced’s wife – at least she and I think they are all the letters. If he didn’t return to Alaska, why didn’t Don know? He knew Dan and Paulette, with baby Arla were in Trumbull, and they arrived December 28,th, 1946,  I believe,. He writes in this letter about seeing Ced in the Spring. It is only the beginning of January and perhaps Ced didn’t make the decision not to return until after the holidays and Don just didn’t know yet.                   

My belief is that Ced came home for Christmas and then made the decision not to return to Alaska. I just can’t accept the fact that Grandpa would not have written to him if he did go back.

In January, I will begin the story at the beginning with  Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion, starting with an introduction and his memories of growing up in Mount Vernon, New York at the end of the 19th Century. When the children start entering his life, I will add their childhood memories, which gives you a glance into the early years of these letter-writers.

Tomorrow, the next selection from the Diary and Journal of John Jackson Lewis as he nears the end of his Voyage to California in 1851.

On Sunday, I’ll tell the story of the childhood of Clara Maria de los Dolores Marina de Beck Guion.

On Monday, I’ll begin posting a week of letters written in 1943. Lad and Marian continue to see each other socially. Dan is in London, in the Topography Battalion, possibly preparing maps for the D-Day invasion .Ced remains in Alaska, Dick is in Brazil, and Dave is at home with Grandpa.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska – Two short notes From Ced – November 8, 1946

Since Ced was making payments to Grandpa – I’m not sure what the payments were for – I believe he included a check with this note.

Dear Dad,

In great haste.

Letter later.



This is probably the later letter,


Friday afternoon

Dear Papa,

Seems as tho’ I must owe you money in order to send you a letter – nothing to prove otherwise yet, is there? I apologize again and admit you are right as to how it happened. At least I had money in the bank this time.

My plans as proposed in the last letter are somewhat upset. The income tax is 20% up to $2500, 22% up to $4500 and 26% up to $6500. this additional 4% is not as bad as I had supposed, but it looks as though I’m going to have a pretty heavy whack taken out anyway. Hope the “pay-as-you-go” plan will remove sufficient amounts so I won’t have a big bill to pay in March.

Looks now as tho’ I won’t be home till next summer. But now can’t tell it will be any day at all.

When ever it is, I might arrive there with Ginger, the new female in my life. She is brown haired, hazel eyed and sooo affectionate. Her age of course is only three months and her pedigree about like Mac’s,  but she is not as big as Mac and won’t be. I know her mother and that is as smart a dog as I’ve known in spite of her definite Heinz ancestry. If Ginger is half as smart as her mama, she’ll be a brilliant dog.

The ski rally is set for next Wednesday night and I’m chairman of the entertainment committee and must get to work on it right away.

Hopkins asked to be remembered to you and are fine. Nothing from Rusty lately – his address is Ester Creek, Fairbanks, Alaska.

My very best to all of you –


Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the last letter I have. It is to Ced from a childhood friend, living in Brooklyn, NY.

In January, I will begin the story at the beginning with  Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion, starting with an introduction and his memories of growing up in Mount Vernon, New York at the end of the 19th Century. When the children start entering his life, I will add their childhood memories, which gives you a glance into the early years of these letter-writers. 

Judy Guion




Life in Alaska – Don Stanley Writes to Ced – November 7, 1946

Back in September, Don Stanley wrote to his cousin, Ced, asking about Alaska. He and a friend, Norbert Sickle, are seriously thinking about traveling to Alaska in the spring of 1947 and are wondering what opportunities there might be for two young men to earn a living. From this letter, it is obvious that Ced replied to Don and this is Don’s response to Ced.

First Edition: Oct. 28, 1946

Second Edition: Nov. 7, 1946

Dear Ced-

Your most impressive and descriptive epistle was received and the contents duly noted by myself and ptnr. N. Sickle. We have deliberated and thought on this migration matter to quite some extent, as you so advised. But let me tell you a sad story, or at least a part of one. To be more explicit, a circumstance. The Great Migration was, or happily may still is, -not to take place until the spring of ‘47 in any event, and between now and that time many a long and heavy month must pass. I feel that Norb and myself are coming down with that horrible commuter’s disease of the suburbs called “rutitis”. You know what that means: a young man is told that he has a great opportunity, and in consequence he spends the rest of his life riding the eight-five commuters special and the 7th Ave downtown to Chambers Street. I believe that Norb is in a little worse way than I am for he is working in a place with “opportunity”, whereas I absolutely refuse to work anywhere, opportunity or not, unless driven to same. Forcible driven, that is. I believe that I have said enough to let you see what horrible thing is happening. But, still and all, there is a long time between now and the spring, and during this time anything is likely to happen.

We certainly appreciate your letter ever so much, and in direct answer to it we would like to say that we are mostly interested in the out-of-doors activities and means of livelihood: mainly hunting, fishing, golding, etc. etc. etc. (when ah say huntin, ah means fuhs, suh. Fuhs, thet is.) Naturally we realize that we know nothing of any of these business, and are what are called tenderfeets; but we are interested in knowing if there is any feasible chance for success in any one of these ventures for a couple of young green-horns who have a reasonable amount of gray-matter and common sense. In other words, what is the chance of a reasonable return on the original investment (profit is not the great aim, but breaking even at least is a necessity.) So that is that.

Mom (Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley) has received a copy of “Freedom and Union”, with which same publication she seems to be vastly enjoying herself and then some. The dinner table has turned lately into nothing more than a battle ground where witticisms, insults, and political opinions are exchanged and forced on one.

Generally speaking, everything is coming along here the same as usual, with all enjoying good health, and all sending on to you the fondest of regards and best wishes of good health and also the hope that you will be around this neighborhood come Christmas time.

Thanks again for your letter, and hope to one day soon see you again – either here or there.


Tomorrow, another letter from Ced to his father and on Friday, the final letter. It is from a childhood friend, Red Sirene, to Ced.

Judy Guion