Trumbull – Dear Veterans – Quick Note From Ced – January, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., January 6, 1946.

Dear Veterans: (yes, that includes Ced, who has earned the title

by his recent flight to Alaska)

Even if the laws of compensation did not indicate that a 7-page letter one week should be followed by a skimpy one the next week, the fact remains that the holiday let-down leaves little happening to make news. The only quotation is a letter from Ced written Dec, 27th from Fairbanks, Alaska: “Just one more hop and I’m home in Anchorage. Spent last two days in Northway just over from the Canadian border on the Alaskan side. Landed they are about 3:55 p.m., after dark and as I taxied up toward the CAA building I aimed between two field boundary lights and headed for the station. Just as I went between those two lights there came a jolt and something flew past the right side of the ship, the engine weazed weakly and quit. Right between those two lights the Army had placed a marker made of light wood, painted to show in the daytime but virtually invisible at night. Well, of all places to put it they had it right where I wanted to taxi. It shattered the propeller but otherwise did no serious damage. I had to wait, tho, until noon today to get a new propeller from Fairbanks flown in. I haven’t done anything yet about fixing the blame but when I get back to Anchorage I’m going to look into the situation and see if I have any grounds for collecting damages. I’m afraid it’s useless altho I don’t feel it was my fault at all– negligent placing of the marker as far as I can see. Cost will be approx. $35 for the new prop. Was at Teslin on Christmas Eve and got in on a wonderful turkey dinner with all the fixins.  Paid a $1.15 per gallon of gas at Watson Lake. Saw a P-80 jet job take off at White Horse. They make a terrific roar — sounds like a huge blower running full speed. He went from W.H. (White Horse) to Fairbanks in 1/3 the time it took me to go from W.H. to Northway, which is about half as far. Fairbanks checked the speed at 368 mph elapsed time. Expect to get an early start in the morning, weather permitting, and should be in Anchorage by noon time. Will write and tell you about the whole trip later on– one of those now-it-can-be-told reports. Fairbanks is pretty much a hole in the wall and once again Alaskan prices have hit me square between the eyes. Paid one dollar for an ordinary roast beef dinner in a mediocre café tonight. Some difference from Canada where one rarely has to pay over 50-60 for a darn good meal and at low value Canadian money at that. One cashes $20 travelers check and gets back $22 Canadian. Try and change it back and you get $8.50 for a $10 Canadian.”

Today as you may recall is Elizabeth’s birthday and they all came over to dinner. In fact, they have just left. Jean was not feeling too well, had a headache and cold and did not feel equal to coming down for dinner. She is feeling a bit better now, however.

Ced. Thanks for your pleasant surprise Christmas gift from Great Falls. I’m looking forward to that account you promise because I really feel it was an unusual accomplishment. I still get a thrill every time I think of it and a buoyant feeling of relief at your safe arrival and in such good condition as regards both you physically and the plane materially.

Dan. It’s about time we had a report about your married life and all the things you have been doing, to say nothing of comments on some of the news I have been dishing out to you for several months past with nary a peep from you in comment. Let’s know what you think of the Island idea, where you spent Christmas, the details of your work, news of Paulette, Homecoming arrangements (if any, yet), receipt of packages, what places you have visited, etc.

Happy 1946 to you all.                            Dad.

I will devote the rest of the week to another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Ced (1) – Ced Needs His Birth Certificate to Fly? – January, 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 and the last bit from Grandpa.

Tomorrow and Sunday, more special pictures.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1943 about Lad’s furlough in Trumbull and his developing feelings for Marian. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Benedicts and Bachelors (2) – News From Ced – September, 1945

This is the next portion of a 5-page letter from Grandpa to his 4 sons away from home. Lad has been discharged from the Army and is home in Trumbull with Marian.

And from Ced, bless his heart, comes the following under date of August 23rd. “Last week I wrote up the missing link of the Farwell trip, included with this letter. Next week I’ll try to get off a new chapter in the adventures of the three invincible, or should I say, “three men on a cat”. Since you have been so patient in waiting I shall try to finish the balance soon. Now, the last letter you sent mentioned a great many planes down in Georgia and I have mailed the R. F. C. a request for information on these ships. In the meantime, I learned that the new planes will be out very soon and so I am looking into that angle also. I have made tentative arrangements to go on a 50-50 basis in buying the plane with Leonard and Marion Hopkins. They’re the people who have the clothing and sporting goods store in Anchorage at which I got those clothes just before going home two years ago. They are both ski club members and I think you have pictures of them in that ski club rally set of pictures. Marion was the head of the membership committee who stood behind the desk. They have given me absolutely free rein in getting the plane but I think they rather favor a new one. The new Aeronca will sell for approximately $1800 f.o.b. Ohio. They will be available around the first of Sept., and just how soon after that I could get my name on the waiting list is problematical. The Aeronca is the most likely choice at present. The Hopkins are extremely generous people, and I have no qualms about going in with them on this deal. Fact is, Leonard really bends over a little backwards on this deal, although I suppose he figures that a mechanic is a good one to tie in with, just for the purpose of maintenance. At any time either of us want, we can either buy or sell to the other, whichever is most agreeable. The upkeep will be jointly carried with my biggest share of being in the labor while his will be capital. Felis, the radio operator at Woodley’s, is co-dealer with another local man for the Anchorage Aeronca Agency, and he could probably get me some extra considerations. I am still waiting to hear from the R. F. C. before taking any definite action. In any case, I hope to get out fairly soon to pick something up and fly it back to Alaska. Don’t be surprised if I dropped in on you at the office one of these days.

Enjoyed the dual blow-by-blow account of the Guion nuptials and hope I can soon meet both the major parties. I have now three wedding gifts to present after the family’s return to a home somewhere. Incidentally, I am looking forward to seeing Marian again – – our meeting was so brief and under such turbulent circumstances, with she and Al about to take off for California when the clutch was repaired on the Buick and I hastily grabbed the proverbial last rail on the observation car as I beat a hasty retreat from Texarkana in my whirlwind scamper across thecountry.

Think what all this war will mean in experiences as we look back. All the hardships and headaches and for much too many, heartaches. I feel especially privileged in looking back and realizing that to the best of my knowledge, there have been no members of our immediate family, relatives or close friends who have had to undergo the real hardship which has been the misfortune of so many. We are indeed a lucky family as we not only came out virtually unscathed but acquired two fine additions to the family (and Jean) in the persons of Marian and Paulette.

On top of that I get a half reduction in my January rent due to the bet with Chuck Morgan, and that I took the side that the war with Japan would be over by the first of the year. It certainly is wonderful to realize that the war is apparently finished, if only we can avoid anymore. I presume the celebrations were as hilarious back there as here, perhaps more so, as we only celebrated the cessation of hostilities, while for you poor ration plagued individuals, it speeded the unshackling of so many of the restrictions with which you have been forced to put up. Well it looks as if it’s all over now and I look for a lot happier  and more prosperous period  for a while at least. In Anchorage, the horns, sirens, whistles and bells all sounded out the glad tidings and, the streets were alive with people it brought to mind Dan’s description of the celebration in Holland, even to the rain which pattered down steadily all night long which, just as in the case of Dan’s invention, failed to dampen in the slightest the glowing spirits which prevailed.

The report is that there were 10,000 gallons of liquor consumed on that first night on 4th Ave. in Anchorage! What headaches there must have been the next morning. The police were out, as were the M.P.’s, but the order was to apprehend no one unless the violations were severe. Of course there were lots of arrests – – a bunch of soldiers and civilians stormed the South Seas Club and walked out with half the furniture from the place, damages running to about of thousand dollars over the days gross receipts. There were many fights but most of it was just good friendly fun. Servicemen appeared in bright neckties, suit jackets, army pants, sailor hats or any other outlandish mixture which came their way. One M.P. accosted Bob Barnett while he was en route to the house here and said: “Hey soldier, unbutton your collar.” That was typical of the type of feeling which prevailed. Officers insignia were a dime a dozen and there must’ve been lots of fraternizing between enlisted men and their officers, judging from the number of privates who blossomed out major and Col. clusters. There was a two day holiday to go along with the celebration, although it, of course, didn’t affect me. We worked right along just as we would any other day.

For Dan’s benefit, Harold Rheard, with whom he used to work and ride to work and who is now Anchorage’s City Engineer, ran  in to me at one of the bars (no, I wasn’t there to drink) and yanked a handkerchief out of my jacket pocket and threw it to a soldier and shouted, “Here, soldier, here’s a civilian handkerchief for you.” The handkerchief was one of those nice ones which Aunt Elsie gave me when I was leaving to come back up here a year ago last February, but under the circumstances I willingly let it go.

One of the more bawdy incidents of which I only heard was the case where a girl in an upper window of the Anchorage Hotel did a striptease, throwing her clothes out of the window one at a time while she stood in full view and the crowd cheered her on. I questioned the fellow telling the story as to how far she got and he said, “All the way”.

Woodley’s is in an extreme state of flux again, the shop men are fighting among themselves, all telling their troubles to me. There is a new man who is going to take over the operations, leaving Art free to run the Washington D. C. end of the business, and to make new financial contacts – – I think he has tied up with Mr. Boeing of Boeing Aircraft and United Airlines in some way or other – – and other executive duties. The Anchorage-Seattle run is still not out of the frying pan but rumor has it that we are going to get two new DC-3’s (C – 47 Army designation) in 4 to 6 weeks anyway. We started the Kodiak run last week and it looks as though it would be a good one. I am still flying when I can – – put in an hour and a half today. Love to Marian and Aunt Betty. CED

I share the doubt that is evidently in the back of your mind as to the advisability of joint ownership. There are so many unforeseen circumstances that might occur, conditions change, people apparently change and what looks favorable today may tomorrow become a headache. I don’t mean to be pessimistic and in your case, everything may work out, but my observation and experience teach me that a situation of this sort has potentialities for unpleasant development. So, if you can swing it, is better to be all on your own. One thing about this plane business to my mind is of paramount importance and that is no economy should be practiced at the expense of safety. Guard against “familiarity breeding contempt” lest your knowledge of airplane mechanics lure you into taking a chance that a less confident person would avoid. “There speaks the cautious father”, I hear you say. All right, I’ll admit it but who has a better right. After all, I’ve only one Ced, and you’re it.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the final sections of this very long letter with a note from Doug Chandler and other local news.

On Saturday and Sunday, more of the life of Mary E Wilson, an English girl who arrived in 1925 as a young teenager. She is in her early 20’s and experiencing life.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Saludos Amigos – Ced’s $75,000 Accident – July, 1943

This week’s edition of the letter, with carbon copies for everyone, is filled with local news and news about what each of the boys are up to. Lad and Ced remain stationery, Dick is on the move and Dan is expecting to be shipped overseas any time now. He’s trying to get home for a visit before he leaves, but it doesn’t look too likely.

Trumbull, Conn.

July 4, 1943

Saludos Amigos:

I don’t know what this means, but it sounds like a friendly Spanish phrase and being the title of one of Walt Disney’s pictures, it ought to be good, hence appropriate in starting off a letter to all my young hopefuls.

Today I made a Nazi prophecy come true and opened a second front on the garbage incinerator. With Lad’s flamethrower I succeeded in reducing the enemies stores and ammunition dumps to a heap of ashes. The ruins are still smoldering as I write. The next problem is where to dispose of the remains. Steve Kascak will still accept them as a help to increasing his “waterfront”, but with gas doled out by the spoonful, I can’t make five or six trips with my car hauling the blasted stuff. Any suggestions anyone can think of to relieve the situation will be given due consideration.

We had company today for dinner. The extras were Dorothy, Elsie, Biss and her two young imps. We played an unofficial game of find the fire tongs, or hammer for ringing the dinner gong, or the top to the brass teakettle that hangs on the stand in the dining room fireplace, or any other articles that are not nailed down, starting as soon as the firm of Marty and Butch get inside the outside screen door. Usual occupations cease and everyone turns to a combination of nursemaid and policemen — they usually go well together in real life, I am told. After everyone is thoroughly exhausted (except the children themselves) and the last farewells are said, we go round the house picking up things here and there and restoring them to their erstwhile resting place. It’s sort of an unorthodox method of getting things dusted.

On June 30 a little Wayne girl made her appearance at Bridgeport Hospital. Things I understand went very well and everybody is happy. Grandma has not been feeling as well today but came down to dinner after having had her breakfast in bed served by daughter Dorothy. She feels better tonight. Elsie is up taking a nap, which is part of her Trumbull routine when she comes to visit. This time she plans to stay overnight. Dorothy asked me to send her best to all of you and tell you she thinks that you all frequently.

Among the correspondence this week is the letter from private Donald Sirene (Red) from Camp Claiborne, Louisiana. He says he is working on the railroad, surveying — interesting work and keeps him from K P or other jobs below his dignity. “Girls down here get married young and don’t need any “literature” because they are rather prolific. I had a hot date with a three-year-old blonde, but had to break it because she got engaged, ah, me. I’ve seen those strange, hard cased animals called t armadillos, caught alligators and chased a cotton mouth – but not very far. You should see our Toonerville Trolley, as I call the G. I. railroad. The tracks were laid on soft clay (we have crews out all the time just hunting for the tracks.) Derailings are quite common. We have a novel way of being trained to face artillery fire. We were out in an open field, lining a curve (R.R.) when a sudden electrical storm jumped us. I saw trees within 500 feet of me blown up by lightning. At least four bolts struck within 1000 yards of us. Stumps were still burning two days later. Needless to say, I was glad to leave that spot.” signed Fatty Sirene

As Dick is not on speaking terms with his family any more, his faithful wife carries on the family correspondence. She writes it is just a little warm in Indianapolis, one hundred in the shade at 3 PM on June 27. That was the day Jean says Dick wouldn’t get home because the fort was being bombed — with flour bags, and Dick’s company had to be on hand to keep things in order. Dick said he was going to be one of the first “injured”, so he could sleep for the rest of the day. “It will be too bad if they all have the same idea.”

Dan, too, is getting to be just a memory, it is so long since we have seen his jovial countenance. He writes that “once again they have no definite word of our impending departure, and rather than renewing promises of passes and furloughs, we are still led to believe we shall be lucky to get home at all! There is not much I can tell you otherwise, except that we are anxious to get going after such a long and abortive stay in Lancaster. I have been, and still am, feeling in the pink of condition physically, which is precisely what the Army has been trying to achieve — this despite the long, intolerable heat wave.”

Maybe I’ll get fooled, Dan, but I can’t believe that your C.O. would refuse permission for you boys to get home once more before you go across, particularly as it has been so long a time that you have been training intensively. But, should you learn definitely that such is the case a letter or wire will bring me down there posthaste, preferably in the middle of the week to comply with the request that weekends be avoided for the convenience of you boys in the service.

Ced writes an extremely interesting and gripping account of the fire started in a plane he was repairing, finally resulting in the loss of that plane, the hangar, parts of other planes under repair, the radio station and equipment, tools and parts, several thousand dollars worth of liquor and furs, Ced’s new radio and battery, was himself burned and blistered so that he was laid up for about a week although he does not think there will be any permanent scars. The loss altogether will amount to about $75,000, not all of which was covered by insurance. Besides all this, the tires of his new car have gone flooey, Three out of five being “on their uppers”, but nothing can daunt his courage even though the ordeal has left its mark in more ways than one. The letter is too long to reproduce here (three full pages single spaced) but it is so graphic a description that you will do well to make a mental note to read it next time you are home. And that means YOU.

I wish, Ced, for certain reasons of my own, you would, as soon as you receive this, sit down and write me just how you now feel about this conscientious objector business, and whether outside of still holding the ideal of brotherhood being better than bloodshed, your attitude toward taking part in the fighting forces has been modified by our experiences in Japan, etc., and also by what we see of the type of individual who seems to compose the large majority of those under this classification. I would like your up-to-date views on this subject sent just as promptly as you can get them off to me, please. Good night to you all, my children, and blessings from your

DAD

Tomorrow, a short note from Lad to his father.

On Saturday and Sunday, more on the life of Mary E Wilson.

Judy Guion

Blog – Army Life (2) – More News From Alaska – July, 1945

This is the continuation of Ced’s long letter I started yesterday.

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

As to flying, perhaps you could find me an airplane cheap. Seriously, the more I think of it, the more I think it would be smarter for me to buy one instead of paying rental on planes here. The cheapest I can fly for is $7.50 an hour and I need at least 150 hours more. That makes $1125 and nothing to show for it but the flying time and experience. The Army is releasing some of the small ships which they used for observation purposes. If I could get an Aeronca Chief or a Taylorcraft or some such thing, I might be money ahead. I think the Army is selling them for around $750 as is. Most need repairs but some need very little. My thought is that if I could get one of these, spend a few dollars on repairs and licensing, I would not only get my flying time a little cheaper but would have something material out of it. As for purchasing wherewithal I would have to scrape up the cash somehow, as the Army, I don’t think, would like a time payment plan. If Dan would permit me, I might sell the car and use that money toward a plane paying him back on time. The biggest hitch is finding the plane as I think I could promote the money. Perhaps the fellows in the apartment could steer you onto something. There were also some good buys on the civilian market, but they are probably not quite as much for the money. If something were available back there, I could perhaps take time off,  home to Trumbull on a flying trip, and fly the ship back up here. Then next time I wanted to go to Trumbull, it would be just a matter of packing up the plane and get going. This is perhaps all a pipe dream but I’m enjoying it and if you happen to run across something let me know, post haste. In the meantime I am looking around for whatever I can see and paying from $7.50 to $10 an hour. A plane similar to those I mentioned, in this country, would run from $2500 to $4000, which is slightly beyond my means. Ask Marian if she could get me a helicopter for $25 down and the rest when they catch me.

I must finish that trip history before I forget that I went on it. I’ll try to include another installment in the next issue. Dave’s moccasins will be on the way soon. I haven’t been able to get them yet but I think this coming week will turn the tide. Now as regards the much discussed touring, all arrangements at Trumbull should be comparatively simple. There should be someone interested in renting the house in the event you care to leave on an extended vacation after the war. They should be willing to take over the apartment care if the rent was reasonable, and of course Dave and Aunt Betty would either stay there or moving to other quarters, whichever seemed the most adaptable to all concerned. At any rate, it seems to me that a trip such as you mention would be a swell one to take and maybe things can be worked out so that I can start from here and join you somewhere along the road. Perhaps I would fly on ahead and spied out a trail for you in case the highway was too bad. Seriously, it would be fun to start by car from here and go all the way down through the U.S., stopping at the national parks and wonders which Aunt Betty and Aunt Elsie have raved about, and continuing on through Central America. Wouldn’t a house trailer be a good investment on a trip such as that? Maybe the roads wouldn’t be good enough to take a heavy trailer over, but if they were, and from what I’ve heard of trailers or tourists, it would be a most enjoyable way to go and perhaps as inexpensive as any other way and less than most. We could

page 3 of Ced’s letter

carry a tent for extra sleeping and use the trailer as a cook shack and base camp. Of course, it would be most enjoyable and a WOW of a trip if the whole caboodle clan Guion and spouses could gather together enough rolling stock and equipment to make the trip together, and I for one would be for it, but I suppose that due to circumstances beyond our control, that would be difficult to manage. However it is something to think about and to work for. Well, I sure have wandered about in this letter and romanced plenty.

Now let’s get down to facts again. Art Woodley is again in the states to see about new planes, new routes, etc. All planes are now running again. Thursday of this coming week, the fishing season closes and again we have that mad rush evacuating the fisherman. At least we are better situated to handle the rush then we have been for a long time.

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

Latest rumor, unconfirmed, is that Rusty is coming back to Anchorage to live. Walter Stoll told me that John Manders had a letter from Rusty to that effect. I have not written him lately nor have I heard from him for five or six weeks. The city of Anchorage has finally oiled many of the streets to keep down the dust, a move which I have felt necessary since Dan and I arrived here in 1940. There is an amusement park at the east end of town opening soon. It consists of a merry-go-round and an airplane loop-the-loop. There are now some 90 odd licenses in the city for the dispensing of retail and wholesale liquor. Whoops, my dear, what a fair city we have, hic, hic. The community hall has been converted into a hospital for venereal diseases, which are on the sharp increase hereabouts.

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

The successor to Gen. Buckner, Gen. Mittlestedt, has threatened to call “off-limits” many places in Anchorage if the condition isn’t cleared up quickly. So much for the dirt. To Jean, bon voyage and a pleasant landing. Marian, I hope such joy as Jean is experiencing will soon be yours. To Aunt Betty I promise a letter in the near future. Till then, to all a good night.

Tomorrow, Grandpa gives us the complete letter from Lad, who is somewhere in Southern France. On Thursday, letters from Dan and Dick and on Friday, a letter from Dave and Grandpa’s comments.

Judy Guion

Blog – Army Life (1) – News From Alaska – July, 1945

Grandpa hit the jackpot this week. He received letters from all five sons and he is thrilled to share the entire letters in this 6-page missive to all family members. I will be posting this one letter for the entire week. Enjoy catching up on the activities of each son away from Trumbull and the Homestead.

Copy of a letter from Ced, postmarked July 24th and addressed to M. Alfredeau de Guion, Baux 7, Trumbull, Conn.

The ski club scheduled a hike and picnic for today (Sunday) but the weather was stinko this morning, consequently the trip was called off. Lad has been doing such a wonderful job of writing and answering your letters that he puts me to shame. So in humility I shall attempt in part to make recompense. To Lad you say he is probably hardest hit by being situated as he is. Reasoning is good and I think you are perhaps right. I hope, whatever happens, that he will find it not too depressing (witness Dave’s glowing account of the beauties of Okinawa). There is always the assurance that each day is one nearer to home, no matter how you look at it. Dan – – ah, there’s a fellow – – our Monsieur Guion. I keep telling all the girls at the office that I’ll write him and Paulette one fine day – – weather sure MUST be stinko – – and for sure I will. I should also take up French but time is so scarce. Perhaps by now Chiche and Dan are probably hitched. I hope so, at any rate, as it must be heartbreaking to have to keep putting off such an important thing in one’s life. How I would like to have been there to witness the ceremony and properly welcome the bride and groom – – wouldn’t we all.

Dave mentions my flying down to Okinawa on a visit. What does he think is going to happen when I fly over Paramushiro? Of course the Japs don’t give much opposition in the air anymore, but if a poor little puddle-jumper such as I happened along, I’m afraid my gas might be so low at that point that I’d have to stop for more, and while it might be fun to steal some Jap gas, it would be a little foolhardy, don’t you think? I’d sure like to be able to do just that tho, Dave.

Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion  (Ced)

Now you wonder about my future plans. They are not too definite yet but I hope to get a commercial pilot’s license. If I stay in the flying game it will be as a pilot – – of that I am quite sure. Flying is becoming safer every day and I don’t expect to get into trouble. I wish you were up here this afternoon and I’d take you up for a spin. Should we get into trouble, I expect I could land almost anywhere with little or no scratches. The plane might suffer considerable damage but occupants would be comparatively safe. For the present I am sitting tight awaiting developments up here. I’m afraid this will not satisfy your requests for information, but we have this in common. I am just about as set on what to do as the proverbial tumbleweed, which puts me in exactly the same category as yourself concerning my plans.

To Jean and Dick it must be a lovely world just at the moment. I am interested in Dick’s answer to your question as to whether or not he is still expecting to come to Alaska. It might be that I could do something for him in the event he is still serious about it. As to your plans for Dave at the office, I suspect he is going to stoop to a little subversive activity to prolong the war. Certainly the easy life of a soldier stalking through swamps, sleeping on tree stumps, guns firing near misses now and then, nasty officers asking and requiring the impossible, would be a picnic beside the task of upholding a schedule such as you line up. Just because you lean to the Superman-style is no reason you must expect it from your youngest son. Dave’s letter about being in Okinawa was a little worrisome for a while but he came through with flying colors. Incidentally, neither he nor you seem to have realized that Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, killed just a few days before the end of the Okinawa campaign, was commanding general of the Alaska Defense activities, stationed here at Fort Richardson from 1940 through 1944. He was credited with saving Alaska from the Japs, owned land here on which he intended to build and it was here he planned to live after the war. He resided in a house in Anchorage for some time prior to the outbreak of hostilities, along with his wife and family. Rusty has been

Page 2 of Ced’s letter

at several parties at which he was a guest and knew him quite well. I never met him but have seen him many times on the street and at civic and Army gatherings. Dave’s mention of having seen him a few days before his death interested me, and more so, the remarks on his popularity. While here in Alaska he was quite well-liked, both in and out of Army circles. I suppose there were many who didn’t like him but the vast majority seemed quite taken with him. He was a heavy drinker but held it well.

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

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of Ced’s very long letter (two and a half typed pages from Grandpa. I don’t have Ced’s original). Letters from the other sons will appear later in the week.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Trio From Anchorage (2) – Thoughts on The Draft – September, 1941

Trumbull House - Grandpa and kids - 1928 (2) Little Driveway view - 1928

It certainly did appear as though you all enjoyed your Labor Day holiday – – Dan with his interesting Homer trip (and I felt after reading it I would like to be about 20 years younger and go homesteading there myself) and Ced and Dick with that interesting instructive and enjoyable trip to the mine. I could not help but muse on the fact that while you at last saw Independence Mine,  (  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willow_Creek_mining_district  ) it was about a year later than you expected to see it and then under very different circumstances, sans Rusty, etc.

For the last few days there has been a tang of autumn in the air, there is no evidence yet of the leaves beginning to turn to their gaudy fall wardrobe. I went out and chopped a few branches for the faire this morning, but stopped pretty soon as the hay fever began to get familiarly fresh. Pretty soon, I’m sorry to say, we will be having the furnace cleaned out (I spent several hours on the kitchen oil stove some weeks ago) and will be back again in the old winter groove. Lad is still plugging away at his new job at Producto. He has heard nothing one way or another as to his draft call. I hope both of you will escape, but if it does come I really feel, aside from the curtailed income, it will do you a whole lot of good to get the training and live the life that they make you live, with its regular hours and hardening exercise. And if you do get called you will probably be able to get into some line of work that will be interesting and will go to it with all your hearts and ability like you have other things and make good on the job. Nellie (Nelson Sperling) dropped in to see us (principally Lad) the other day and I should say it has completely transformed him. Much as I dislike to admit it things do look as though it would not be long before we are really in a shooting war, in which case I still don’t quite see eye to eye with you that the Hitler breed will understand any other language than cold steel, and we would be lots safer speaking this language to him in self-defense, although there are always two sides to every question, I am not sure that all the dire predictions one hears as to what is going to happen to us and the world will actually be as bad as some of our extremists would have us believe. Like every other big question, I think the truth lies in between the isolationist view and that of the warmongers. Nothing really turns out as badly as the extremists prophesy will happen. That applies to you if you are called in the draft. You’ll find is has its good points and if you are wise you will make the best of a bad situation as you know the man is unbeatable who makes every kick a boost. I have faith enough in your fund of common sense to know that I will be proud of whatever course you take.

Ced, you’re a little joy spreader. Your kind words about my letters and the welcome they receive are very reassuring, because ofttimes I feel my letters are hardly worth reading and I anticipate your sense of disappointment when you get through and say to yourself “Well, there is darned little in that letter”. On the other hand I never feel that way about the letters from you boys (particularly Dick’s, Here! Here!), So I guess maybe old Bobby Burns was forever right when he made the remark about ’some power the giftie gie us see oursels as others see us ‘.

As day wanes and dusk begins to creep over the landscape I find my brain doing likewise, and rather than permit it to trail off and this letter end in a thin trail of smoke I will stop now while there is still enough left to typewrite a  virile snappy

DAD

Tomorrow, more information about Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure.

Next week, the letters I’ll be posting were written in 1943. Lad has just mentioned a friend, Marian, to Grandpa. He seems to be having fun with her and the rest of the gang.

Judy Guion