Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (1) – A Family Round-up – February 27, 1944

Trumbull, Conn. February 27, 1944


Dear Patients:

Old Doc Guion finds that with his patients so widely scattered he is unable to make regular calls in his old horse and buggy and must perforce issue courses of treatment and prescriptions in bulletin form.

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

LAD: Symptoms: fever and high blood pressure due to rapid change of climate and flitting from California to Texas and back again in too rapid succession. There is also danger of having chest sticking out too far due to newly contracted disease called T/3 in Army circles, which can be recognized by four stripes on the arm between wrist and elbow.

Basis for above conclusion: telegram dated February 25th from Pomona, Calif., as follows: “Hold everything. New address T/3 APG, PO Box 491, Pomona, Calif. notice new prefix. Now carry four stripes.”

Treatment: Suggest remaining in one place long enough for wife to catch up with him. If usually placid nature becomes ruffled a bit by Army one-man maneuvers, try reading Kipling‘s IF at frequent intervals.

Marian (Irwin) Guion

MARIAN: Symptoms: mental hallucinations of wife in pursuit of husband

Treatment: Make it sort of a game idea, round the world tour, etc., arriving at one port to find the other fellow just left a jump ahead of you. Try reading Evangeline between stops. Take frequent doses of “a sense of humor”.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

DAN: Symptoms: rather severe case of tempus fugit accompanied by partial paralysis of the writing finger.

Treatment: Make note to query Gen. Rogers if good conduct medal additional award can be issued to soldiers who write home more frequently than once a month. Care should be exercised in applying this treatment, being sure not to make doses to strong as up to the present, patient has been quite regular and this may be but a temporary lapse due perhaps to some unavoidable circumstance.

Cedric Duryee Guion

CED: Symptoms: sort of mental germ carrier. This is rather a clear case of contradictory manifestations. Frequently and in numerous places there are strong clusters of regret at his departure surrounded by deep layers of pleasant recollections of many kindnesses and accomplishments of things needing to be done. As one of my daughter-in-law’s expressed it, she never knew anyone so willing to put themselves out to do things for others.

Treatment: Apparently incurable.

DICK: Symptoms: recurring attacks of awayfromhomeitis.

Treatment: His is an extremely difficult malady to treat from a distance of more than a few feet. Soft arms in the vicinity of the collarbone with plentiful applications of lipstick judiciously supplied by the proper party is said to affect wonderful cures promptly. Meantime equestrian sports like polo and horse racing with one’s own mount and occasional letters to old Doc Guion should cause enough mental anguish to take one’s mind off his troubles.

DAVE: Symptoms: a rather acute attack of busyitis, which being quite fresh, hit the patient particularly hard. He is at present resting rather comfortablyon a Beautyrest mattress in private ward 31409102, Co. B, 28th Sig. Trng. Bn., CSCRTC, Camp Crowder, Mo., in charge of a pretty nurse. Apparently has time only to hang up coats as he has requested coat hangers to be rushed to him immediately. Suffers from occasional flights of fancy and thinking his older brother and wife are only 200 miles from his camp whereas a portion at least has returned to California (see first paragraph).

Tomorrow the 2nd half of this letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion


Army Life – Dear Dad – Got Back to Aberdeen – August, 1942


APG - Lad to Dad - Aug. 29, 1934 (1942)

Aug. 29th, 1934

Dear Dad: –

Today is the 30th. I made a mistake in the above date. (He sure did, and he doesn’t even mention the year !!!)

Well, I got back to Camp last week very well. The train got into Aberdeen at 3:15 A.M., having made only one other stop, Wilmington. From Aberdeen to Camp is that Toonerville and it runs on the hour at that late hour, so I only had a 45 minute wait. I got into Camp a few minutes after 4:00 and had a couple of hours of sleep. On the train I had had about 3 so I felt O.K.

I went to a dance last night and had a wonderful time. The best I’ve had in Aberdeen. I slept today until noon and after lunch I washed clothes so now I do not have even one piece of dirty clothing.

For supper tonight, I’m going out and buy me a nice steak. I just feel in the mood for one.

News for last week has been very scarce. Don Frankenhauser has left for Mass. and from there he will be shipped across.

I heard again from Venezuela, and things have apparently changed a great deal. I really would like to go back there again.

Well, that’s about all I can think of so until next week –


Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

On Monday I’ll begin a week of letters written in 1944.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dave’s Induction And A Good Conduct Medal (1) – Jan., 1944

This is the first installment of a  letter Grandpa penned to his sons and daughter-in-law during the first month of 1944.

Trumbull, Conn., January 16, 1944

Dear Dave:

Now that you have become eligible for membership in the “Veterans of Foreign Wars”, and this is the first letter you will have received as a rookie from

Dave Guion

Dave Guion

me, it is quite appropriate that this week’s news sheet should be addressed to you alone. With your kind permission, however, we will allow other Guion members of the armed forces and their “appendages” to peak over your shoulder, so to speak, and thus glean what few bits of information they may from this screed.

While we did not receive the expected postal from you up to the last mail Saturday, a little bird whispered that internally you were humming a theme song which had a slight resemblance to the old saw: “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”. But cheer up, all your big brothers went through the same experiences and got over it without any permanent scars. It’s always the beginning that is the most difficult and beginnings never last.

After saying goodbye to you at the Shelton Town Hall Thursday, clutching in your little hands the booklet donated by the American Legion on how to act as a soldier, the little package of cigarettes, chewing,, etc., we drove down to Bridgeport and Aunt Betty took the bus home. I admit I felt a bit lonesome all by myself in the office but having found from past experience that plunging into work is the best antidote for brooding, I tried a full dose of the remedy and held the enemy at bay, if you don’t mind mixed metaphors. I will say however that we all miss you a great deal and every so often someone says: “I wonder what Dave is doing now?”. (If they only knew, huh?)

Every week over this station we call in our correspondents from distant points. We will now hear from Ordnance in Texas. Come in Texarkana. (Pause) We regret that conditions beyond our control interfere with proper reception, but here is a report as of Jan. 9th:

Lad Guion

Lad Guion

Lad opens up with the shot amid ship: “I’m sorry, my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance.” (Which is quite proper as long as you don’t back the old man off the map entirely, Lad. I know you won’t do that and even if you felt like it I don’t think Marian would let you, so there) These faithful daughters-in-law of mine do have such a struggle at times trying to get their new husbands lined up. It’s an awful task, girls, I know. I’ve been at it longer than you, sometimes with fair results but many times with but meager returns. All this, of course by way of an aside, because Lad reassuringly goes on to temper the broadside by adding: “However, that doesn’t mean that my affections have in any sense decreased. I still think of all of you constantly but time has been lacking. In fact, I had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week.

On December 18th Lad was given advance notice he was to be shipped out. On the 21st he learned he had to go to Texarkana, Texas and must be there by December 25rd. Some Christmas present! By noon of the 21st he was on his way in the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. He arrived on Christmas Day and until January 3rd worked in getting a group of men ready to start training. If the 23 men under Lad’s charge successfully pass their examination, they are scheduled for overseas sometime in the early summer, but due to the type of work they are trained for, they should always be at least 300 miles from the front.

Lad doesn’t like the weather there at all – snowy, cold and damp. Marian is planning to come out by train about February 1st, and will come to Trumbull with Lad when (?) he gets his furlough.

Incidentally, just to show up thoughtful, generous minded Jean, just as soon as she learned the above, she immediately said, “When they come they can

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

have my room.”, and as admittedly hers is the most attractively furnished room in the house, it’s rather significant. And while I am at it, I might as well tell on her some more. Zeke asked Elizabeth to go out with him to some affair last night, but they could find no one to take care of the children, and in spite of the fact that she was not feeling top-notch, Jean packed her little overnight bag and took the double bus journey over to Stratford. I don’t suppose she will like me publishing these facts but I believe these little kindnesses should not go unacknowledged.

We now switch to Southern California where Mrs. A. P. has a message for us.

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian Irwin Guion (Mrs. Lad)

Marian writes on some new stationary with her initials and address embossed in green which I sent her at Lad’s suggestion. And now, young lady, stop around at the 5 and 10 on your way back from lunch and pick up a bottle of green fountain pen ink, just to put the finishing touch on this Irish Symphony. Enclosed with her letter were some highly prized photo prints from the Kodachrome slides, showing Marian, Lad, the cake and other members of the wedding party. And there is a promise of more to come later. They were very much appreciated, as you may well surmise. Marian has officially terminated her work with the Camp Fire Girls as of February 1st , and is looking forward to soon being “down in the heart of Texas”, clap, clap or however the song goes. Thanks, Marian, for keeping us so well posted. You’re a great girl, as Lad has remarked once or twice.



APG and MIG wedding pictures -0 cake and table (2)

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Marian Guion and her sister, Peg Irwin

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man

Lad Guion and Vern Eddington, his Best Man


Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the rest of this four-page letter from Grandpa to his scattered family, in all their locations around the world.

On Thursday and Friday, Grandpa writes a stirring tribute to Grandmother Peabody upon her death and writes letters to Dan and Marian.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Ced and Dan – Lad Home for the Weekend – August, 1942


Cedric Guion


Daniel Guion

Trumbull, Conn., August 2, 1942

Dear Ced and Dan:

Alert as your mind is you have of course discerned that the reason why Lad is not included in this letter is because he is home this weekend. He arrived at 2:30 this morning and rather than wake anyone at this hour, at once retired on the screened porch until 8 this morning when Red’s mother phoned here (Red also stayed overnight here). Although Lad left Aberdeen before 6 o’clock last night he did not arrive in Bridgeport until early this morning because of poor train connections – – my experience also. He is out visiting in his car at present but will probably be home later as he has to catch the 10:45 from Bridgeport in order to be on hand for reveille tomorrow. He looks fine – – brown and lean, seems to like his teaching job, has two weeks more to go to finish his 13-week’s training course and then will either be assigned elsewhere on Ordnance work or stationed at Aberdeen to continue along his present line. In the latter event, he will be able to get home more frequently than in the past unless he goes to Officers Training School, which will mean another grueling eight weeks of intensive study.

Got a letter from Dan this week. If I reciprocate by answering it with one of corresponding length it will read something like this: “Your letter received. Thanks. Dad”. However, we are grateful for even small mercies, and I would far rather have just a note then nothing. It’s about time that long legged pal of mine in Alaska came through with another letter and next week my hopes will be mounting to lofty heights in anticipation.

Undoubtedly you both received carbon copy of Mr. Chandler’s good letter and enjoyed reading it as much as I did. There is little of interest to report. Have been granted additional gas rations by the local board, which will now give me 12 gallons a week for the next three months, which, with careful use, will enable me to get by satisfactorily, unless, as seems unlikely at present, a pickup in business necessitates my making numerous trips to Milford, Fairfield, etc. I have also induced my coal man to shoot in 10 tons of buckwheat coal in the bin so that we at least will not freeze next winter. The latest rumor from Dan’s crystal ball has his company moving to Lancaster or York – – sort of a war of the Roses. Anyway, the trend seems to be northward and thus nearer Trumbull, which is all to the good. Whether it will now take a strong northerly flavor and bypass Trumbull for Alaska is something else again. By the way, Ray Beckwith told me one family in Long Hill received a letter from their son overseas which said, “I am now in Jerusalem, where Jesus Christ was born, but Jesus Christ, I wish I was in Long Hill where I was born.” Dan, if you can get a pass home for the weekend nearest August 19th, it would put a nice touch on the joint celebration we usually try to hold in commemoration of Dick’s and Aunt Elsie’s natal day. Ced, tell that old sidekick of mine to write me again and let me know how you are behaving yourself, if you have burned anymore prunes lately, etc., also a bit about his own achievements. We are beginning to feel wars pinch here now. I am having trouble getting meat. What there is to be had is getting higher in cost in spite of price ceilings. Maybe we will have to transform ourselves into vegetarians for a spell. Aunt Betty sends love and of course you will know what to expect from your still hopeful


Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa, this time to all three sons.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Next week I post letters written in 1944. Grandpa’s youngest, Dave, is going into the Army.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Boys – A Birthday Celebration – Aug., 1942


Aunt Elsie Duryee – Grandpa’s sister

Trumbull, Conn., August 8, 1942

Dear Boys:

It’s raining, Lad is home and we got a letter from Dan; and as this sums up about all the news, I’ll now close. DAD

Hold on there, says you. That’s no way to write a letter. Well, he replies, that’s a lot better than getting no letter at all. (Business of Ced flinching and looking a bit guilty). Even if it’s only a postcard, like the fellow sent home to his wife: “Having a fine time, wish you were her.”) Which shows what happens when a letter is omitted. At least you can if you have a good imagination. Moral, don’t omit letters. Q.E.D.

We are now enjoying one of those all-day steady rains. It started last night in fact and has been quietly and persistently keeping up. Yesterday afternoon I decided to paint our porch chair and as the weather even then looked a bit threatening, I took the chair and paint upstairs in the barn. There was some other furniture there too, and in my innocence, I left them together for a few moments alone, feeling sure that as this had been Aunt Betty’s chair, it had from association, learned some measure of discretion, and you can therefore imagine my surprise a short time later on my return to find a foundling on the doorstep in the shape of another camp chair, which I duly adopted into the family, painted a sort of a character whitewash, and, I suppose, for moral effect, will have to sit on hard occasionally.

Lad dropped in last night on one of the raindrops, I guess. Anyway, there he was this morning, big as life, peacefully sleeping in the bed beside Dave. As his course in Cadre School will be completed next week, he expects to be assigned definitely to some other activity and will therefore not be able to get home. However, if things break right, he may be able to get home the weekend following – – that’s of the 22nd, on which we are planning to celebrate Dick’s and Aunt Elsie’s birthday, although I am not sure Elsie will be able to make it. Also, from Dan’s last letter, it does not look particularly hopeful that Dan will be able to get off either. He says the rumor mill has died down again and it looks as though they might stay on at Roanoke Rapids for a spell longer. Meantime his fame as a lecturer, quartette and choir singer seems to be stirring the little southern town into a seething realization of what a damn Yankee from Conn. really can be like. It is even rumored he will broadcast over their local station.

And here we are now just about where we started.

The moving finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on: nor all of your piety or wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line

Nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

          So says Omar Khayyam, and while I see no reason at present to cancel anything above, neither can I think of more to say at this writing that will add either to your information or entertainment. Flash – Dave just came in and said, “Whatever you do, don’t miss an opportunity to see Mrs. Miniver.”



Trumbull – Dear Boys of the North and South (2) – Advice to Lad – July, 1942

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Page 2      7/26/1942

          Lad: There has been considerable comment of late, both over the radio and in print, as well as in addresses both here and in England by prominent men, on what sort of conditions economically will follow the beginning of peace. Some, like the editor of the Post Telegram, seem to feel it would be a lot better to devote all our thought and energy to winning the war first and then take up the subject of what is to follow at that time. However that may be, it would seem both wise and profitable to occasionally give some consideration to our own individual problems and plan, in so far as we can, on what our own course of action may be. This might well be done by Dan whose goal is not so clear-cut and definite as yours, and Ced, though not yet in the service, has more or less mapped out a definite airplane career for himself. But in your case, with diesel in mind, let’s see what we can do here and now to look into the possibilities of the future and lay plans so that whether this war is followed by boom times or depressions, you will be more likely to land on your feet. What, for instance, can you do with your diesel instructor’s course to make it pay future dividends? For one thing, you can legitimately make it an excuse for writing to all the leading manufacturers of diesels, asking to get in touch with the key man in each plant, making engines with which Ordinance has anything to do, asking their help in placing at your disposal for instruction purposes, any charts, tables, or exhibits, etc., they may have available, asking if they might be willing to send some of their specialists to lecture to your classes on some particular phase of the problem, all of course with consent of your superior officer (I wouldn’t go too much into detail with him but just in an off-hand manner, get his consent to write to manufacturers for help), the main object even though appearing to be incidental, being to make contact with leading men in the manufacturing industry and identifying yourself as an individual thoroughly conversant with diesel matters, and doing it so definitely right now that you might be assigned to some manufacturer as the Army’s representative at a particular plant, but here again the main object would be to get acquainted with leading manufacturing key men so that after this thing is all over, they will either be induced to notify you of their own accord that they have an opening for you in their organization, or failing this, you will have established so valuable a contact and possibly acquaintance, that in the scramble for post-war jobs in private industry, you will be several jumps ahead of the rank and file. But now is the time to start what is often a long process that takes time to sprout and flower before eventually bearing fruit. The average man will wait until he is mustered out and then start. Two quotations occur to me at this moment. One from Longfellow:

The heights by great man reached and kept

Were not attained by sudden flight

But then, while their companions slept

Were toiling upward in the night.

And from Shakespeare:

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good

we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

          And as anything else added by me would be an anti-climax, the best thing I can do is to close this letter, with regards from


Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll have two more letters from Grandpa to his sons far away.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Boys of the North and South (1) – An (Almost) Letter From Ced – July, 1942

Alfred Duryee Guion - summer, 1946Trumbull, Conn., July 25, 1942

Dear Boys of the North and South:

Beside my table as I write are three books – dictionary, Bible and Atlas. The latter is the one last called into service and that’s because of just a hint dropped by that boy Dan in a letter to Barbara that the last of many rumors is that Dan’s outfit may move to Hagerstown, Maryland, when and where, if at all, still shrouded in as impenetrable mists as those gathering about the top of Mount McKinley. Anyway, the Atlas says Hagerstown seems to lie in the famous Shenandoah Valley, not so many miles from the Potomac River, sheltered on the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains. As the crow flies, just as if anyone wanted to fly like a crow, it is about 80 miles west of Aberdeen and only 40 miles distant from the abode of the Chandler’s at Westminster and all about 39° 31’ long.

Had a little set-back yesterday. Peeking through the glass that Uncle Sam has so thoughtfully provided in the door of the mailbox, I discerned the well-known red, white and blue quadrangles that I have come to know as indicating a letter from Alaska. With eager fingers I twirl the dial, pounce on the letter and in the act of hastily tearing the envelope to learn the latest news from my woolly esquimaux, when my eye is arrested by a “please forward” line at the bottom and further reading reveals that it is directed to the x-Alaskan, Dan. Ced, with clairvoyant power and with that thoughtfulniss that has always characterized him, has anticipated the thoughts that run through the mind of the expectant father and there on the other side of the envelope, for all the world to witness, promises to follow with another letter home, still leaving one a bit disappointed, but nonetheless, still expectant.

And speaking of expecting, I had a letter recently from Mrs. D. G. Sanford (recognize this as Peggy?) who admitted she had just read an advertisement of Parker Pens showing the deep distress of a boy in the Army who failed to get a letter from home. (Someday I am going to write an ad of my own about the father who didn’t get a letter from his boy at camp). Anyhow, she was so moved by the touching pathos of the thing that she sat right down and wrote a note asking me to send her your several addresses. She goes on to say that she and Dudley are expecting an addition to their family about February 1st. He is called into service in Sept. She is at present in Whitehall, N.Y., where her husband is engaged in a road building job.

I was beginning to think that this would be another week that would fade into the past without hearing from any of you boys when a letter from Dan gladdened our hearts. I don’t know where he picks up his fancy stationery, but a letter even on tissue that occasionally replaces Sears Roebuck catalogs in certain places, would be welcome. He writes in his usually cheery vein, says the intense heat has moderated somewhat, reports his sixth illustrated lecture on Alaska, has again side-stepped Officer’s Training School for the more practical experience he hopes to obtain in his present job and ends with a tribute on “young Richard’s superb treatment of the epic ooze episode at Tungsten Mine”.

Dan: thank you for sending the home addresses of those cordial and friendly folks on whom we called.

Ced: Have you yet received the first shipment of tennis balls?

Tomorrow, I’ll post the second half of this letter from Grandpa to Ced in Alaska, Dan in North Carolina and Lad in Maryland. Thursday and Friday will be two more short letters from Grandpa to his sons away from home.  

Judy Guion