Trumbull – Dear Alices in Wonderland (2) – News About Dave – November 19, 1944

This is the second half of a letter started yesterday.  Grandpa relays news of friends and family and tells us a little bit about his youngest, Dave.

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

page 2     11/19/4

From a significant lack of any definite word from Lad, we are all pretty sure he is now on the high seas or has already arrived at his destination, what ever that may be.  In a week or so perhaps we shall get a letter which will tell us a lot more than we now know we are pretty sure he will go to the European sector rather than the Pacific, but even that is merely conjecture and a rationalization from what few facts we have.

Don Whitney and his wife dropped in today while Marian and I were working on the storm Windows and I have promised to send him the addresses of all of you.  He has been stationed at Fort Knox, Ken.,  But will not return there and is assuming he will next be sent across the big pond.  Butch and Marty are both in St. Vincent’s Hospital at present for a tonsillectomy, which was scheduled to take place yesterday.  Have heard no news of the progress made since that time.

And now we turn the page and come to the chapter headed “David”.  That boy is fast qualifying for a financial diplomat.  He shows a marked aptitude in separating his dad from funds.  And this is the way of it.  On the morning of the 16th my phone rang and the operator asked if I would accept a collect charge from Camp Crowder, Mo. Of course I said “Yes”.  Dave’s well-known voice greeted me with the fact that he had just received some very good news.  He was called into his C.O.’s office and told he could have a 15-day furlough starting at once; that it would take about #35 bucks for carfare but $50 would be safer and if I could wire him that amount at once he would start that night.  Soon the 50 gold dollars went tinkling over the wires of the Western Union, and I went around all day walking on clouds and visioning all the fallen trees chopped up into small pieces by my husky young Corporal, all the ashes emptied, all storm Windows hung, all work at the office caught up, leaving him an hour or so of his 15 days to visit friends, etc.  And then what happens?  I get home and find a telegram from Camp Crowder reading: “Furlough delayed.  Will write later, sorry.”  And that, my children, is one way of getting them fifty bucks from the old man.  Seriously, Dave, I don’t think you were any more disappointed than we were, but we did take some comfort in the word delayed which I hope you chose rather than canceled, with good reason.  I am looking forward to finding a letter tomorrow in P. O. Box 7 which will clear the atmosphere and tell us a bit more what happened andd what to expect.  Here’s hoping we can have you for a Thanksgiving dinner instead of turkey.

A letter from Kemper (Peabody)  “Cows give milk no matter who is elected.  Just now coming to the close of the farm year – – busiest I’ve ever had.  Many thanks for your several letters.  Wish you would send us a copy of your weekly letter to your boys when you can.  May I say also that I think those letters are a remarkable idea – – a fine and unusually of fatherly thing to do.  Now Ethel and I know how other folks feel, as Frank went yesterday.  Volunteered in June, rejected, dejected, doctored, volunteered and accepted, hoping Navy.  Wired this afternoon “Anchors away”.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  I’ll miss you here.                                                           DAD

Tomorrow and for the rest of the week, I will be posting another letter from grandpa to his sons located around the world. 

thisJudy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Network Stations (4) – News From Jean in Brazil – September 16, 1945

This is another portion of a 4-page letter from Grandpa, informing the rest of the family about the lives of Dick and Jean.

Jean Mortensen Guion - Christmas, 1947

        Jean (Mortensen) Guion

And Jean, who is probably the American belle of Brazil, writes: “Did you think we had forgotten all about you? We haven’t, honestly. Just that we’ve been so busy fixing up our house and keeping up with all the social obligations that I haven’t had a chance to write. We are quite popular, you know! We spent quite a lot of time out at the base —  it’s more of a necessity than a desire. We haven’t a refrigerator yet so we can’t keep food for any length of time. Once in a while though, we get a few cans of vegetables and a can of meat and come home for dinner. It is a little hard cooking, tho, because we have only a small gasoline stove, but it’s fun. Dick usually goes to the base at 7 and I get a ride in at 11. This gives me a chance to do a few of the necessary things around the house. I spend every afternoon sitting at Dick’s desk knitting or talking to some of the Brazilians. They’re trying just about as hard as Dick is to teach me Portuguese. I’m afraid I’m a hopeless case but I’m trying anyway. All the Brazilians I’ve met so far seem to be very nice — they go out of their way to do things for us. Being here with Dick is almost as good as civilian life. I see him practically all day during the week. He gets off at 4:30 and doesn’t have to report back until eight the next morning. Sunday is his day off. It’s really wonderful. We’ve been out almost every night — most of the time we stay at the base and see the movies or go to N.C.O. club where they have an outdoor dance floor. It is wonderful dancing under the stars. I’ve learned the Samba and the March. They’re lots of fun. The Polish couple that Dick mentioned in one of his letters lives a block away from us so we see quite a lot of them. They both speak English so it’s a lot more enjoyable for me being with them. One night we visited a Brazilian family. The man spoke English but his wife didn’t, so we sat and smiled at each other all evening. This same man took us to the Club last night — quite an affair. The Brazilian General and the American Consul were there. There were five

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American officers but Dick was the only enlisted man who was invited — that made him feel pretty good. Tomorrow night the enlisted men are giving a Labor Day dance at one of the Brazilian Clubs, where there is a beautiful tile swimming pool. There will be a swimming meet during the dance — it should be fun. I’ll probably be the only American girl there because the only other wives who are here are officers wives and that’s only two. I’m sort of getting used to being the only American. I felt uncomfortable at first with everyone staring at me. They still stare but I don’t mind it so much. The people in Portaleza are pretty poor and about 40% or more of them are illiterate. They can’t even sign their names. The school problem here is really bad. They have to pay for both grammar and high school. Most families can’t afford it so the children just don’t go. Three-quarters of the people are suffering from mal-nutrition. Before I got here I was under the impression that the cost of living was very low but it isn’t. Food, clothing and everything else is very high. Most of the people don’t even wear shoes and if they do, they’re just a scuff made of cheap leather or wood with a piece of material over the toes to hold it on. I get the creeps every time I go downtown and see the conditions that exist here. The Government does nothing at all for the poor people –if they can’t get work that pays them enough to live, they die in the streets. Out where we live tho, all the rich people have homes. It’s really a very pretty section. Our house isn’t one of the finest but it’s quite nice. We’re going to try to get some pictures of it soon and when we do, will send some to you. The weather is ideal –there’s always a strong breeze from the water. We live about a mile from the beach. Received your weekly letter the other day. Now I know how much that letter means to the boys. It made me feel a little closer to home. Dick gave me a beautiful Ronson cigarette lighter the day I got here. It has my monogram on it –JMG — pretty snazzy. Love to all. Jean.

Tomorrow I will end the week wit Grandpa’s final comments to his sons, scattered around the world..

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Chillens (5) – News From Dave – September 9, 1945

This section of the letter begins with a final request from Grandpa to Paulette for another letter. It ends with a condensed version of letters from Dave.

And if that new hubby of yours doesn’t write me an answer about the things your family would like to have, and which I would like to send from there American friend, just to show our happiness in having acquired a new daughter, just write me another letter yourself. Why not try something in English, just to get in practice, like Papa Senechal did and which I

Page 4, 9/9/45

thought was a very considerate and courteous thing for him to do. You ought not mind writing in English even if you make some mistakes. We would have no right to laugh at such mistakes knowing very well we could not do nearly so well if we tried to write you in French. (Then, too, we could write each other little secret notes which wouldn’t have to pass through the hands of the interpreter). And let me thank you right here and now for that very lovely letter. I wish you were here right now so I could tell you how much I appreciate it. You can’t get here soon enough to please me. Leave Dan behind if you have to and I’ll meet you at the dock with a French dictionary in one hand and a French flag draped around my waist so you won’t mistake me for the Statute of Liberty. I’d even go so far as to have our dog Smoky trimmed to look like a French poodle if that would help. I couldn’t promise to have any real Camembert cheese, of which I am very fond, on the table for your first meal, as we are able only to get the imitation over here, but I might get hold of a loaf of French bread and cook up some French fried potatoes. What other inducements can I hold out to hasten your departure.

DPG - Dave in uniform

David Peabody Guion

Dave, the old smoothie, has written me such a flattering birthday letter, that I feel like the old Irish woman at the wake of her husband, while the priest was extolling the virtues of the departed, said to her son, “Jimmy, look in the coffin and see if it’s your father who really is in there.” In fact, I am just too modest to quote it, so I’ll have to fall back on the old advertising gag and say “details furnished on request”. It’s nice to have you feel that way anyway Dave, and I suppose I can justly take some pride in being the father of a son like you.

I’ll have to condense Dave’s other letter a bit so as not to run over on a 5th, page. He says: Everyone seems to be here in Manila except MacArthur and a few of his boys, who left a couple of days ago for Tokyo. Some of the boys here saw MacArthur the day after he landed, standing on a balcony without his hat. They claim he’s bald. Perhaps that’s why we always see pictures of him with his hat on. Why I should mention this I don’t know— there’s certainly no crime in being bald. Ever since I got your letter quoting Dick’s, I have been trying to figure out what made Dick write to you. I think now I’ve got the answer. Jean was about to join him and he figured she would ball the daylights out of him for not writing you for so long, so to avoid any trouble, he wrote you a short note to clear himself. Some one of these days I’m going to write you a letter, Dick, to tell you what I really think of your correspondence in the past. You ask, “Will Dave stay in Okinawa?” You have the answer to that one now. Yes, I’ll be part of the Jap occupation in a roundabout sort of way. We don’t know but it looks as if we would sweat out the rest of my Army career in Manila. I’ll be home for Christmas, but it will be ’46, just as I predicted some time ago. I’m disappointed in Jean. I had a magazine I could have read during my plane ride to, but there was too much to see below, especially over land. Both Dan’s and Lad’s letters on the marriage were very interesting. It was nice to have had Lad there for the ceremony. It looks now as if your French daughter-in-law will soon be in America with her husband. The way I see it, with Dan’s 75  points, he should be home before Christmas.    Dave.

And now a couple of sneezes a piece for each of you, and a bleary but loving glance from your sniffling     DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more special pictures. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Baby Snooks (3) – More News From Dave And A Letter From Marian – October 29, 1944

David Peabody Guion

His second letter, however, has a bit of right interesting news that puts him right up in your class. He writes: “I made it. They call me Corporal now. I took a test the day before yesterday. It wasn’t very hard but I had my doubts as to whether I had passed. But today the lieutenant told us all we had passed. Of course, I’ve already got my stripes on. You can tell my brothers that I’m on my way up the ladder and that I’ll keep plugging till I catch up to them and in time I’ll pass them all – – oh yeah? There’s still nothing definite as to when we will pull out of Crowder, but rumors are plentiful. I’ll let you know when – – – –“.

Congratulations, young son. Better tell the man to throw in a strap with that wrist watch you were going to get for your birthday gift from the Pater. By the way I have not received a bill yet for the purchase nor even notification of the amount. Better let me know pronto so I can send you a check before you leave Crowder. Where do you want your Christmas box sent and what do you want in it? (Flora papers please copy.)

mig-marian-irwin-guion-with-jean-june-1945-2

Marian (Irwin) Guion (Mrs. Lad)

And speaking of Flora, Marian the dependable has again chalked up another run to her score. In a letter written on the 26th she says: “The Battalion has been issued new clothes and they have been given until Nov. 1 to dispose of their cars, but it seems to me we went through this routine once before at Pomona and look how long it took us to get out of there! Nevertheless we are arranging and packing as much as possible so that I can leave here at a moment’s notice. We haven’t the slightest idea which P.O.E. the fellows will be sent to, but in case it is New York or its vicinity, I’d like to be around there as quickly as I can get there in case Lad has a chance to get away for even a few hours.”

Your check instructions have been noted, Marian, and will be duly observed. Meanwhile if you find yourself in need of funds, you know what to do.

jean-on-lawn-1945

Jean (Mortensen) Guion (Mrs. Dick)

Between Jean not hearing from Dick when expected and I anxiously awaiting a letter from Dan, we both of us weep on the other fellow’s shoulder. However she did get a couple of letters from Brazil this week which leaves me still “expecting”.

Aunt Betty (Lizzie) Duryee

Aunt Betty was “made a voter” the other day which means another vote for Dewey, and Baldwin. Zeke and Elizabeth however are voting for Mc Levy for Gov. I don’t think Jean has qualified yet so at least she won’t vote for Roosevelt. You all know where I stand. Well, it won’t be long now. Here’s hoping – – I’ve been doing that for twelve years.

While final reports on the destruction of the Jap fleet are not in, it certainly looks good in the Philippine sector. Now if Dan will hurry up with those invasion maps so General Ike can get his final push started maybe it won’t be too bad if Lad and Dave do have to go across the big drink.

In spite of rock and tempest’s roar,

In spite of false lights on the shore

Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea

Our hearts, our hopes are all with thee

Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,

Are all with thee, are all with thee.

Dad.

Tomorrow, and Sunday, More Special Pictures.. 

Judy Guio

Trumbull – Dear Sheiks (4) – A Message From Aunt Elsie Duryee – August 13, 1944

This is the final segment of a letter written by Grandpa to his sons scattered around the world.

Elsie May Guion, summer, 1946

Elsie May Duryee, Grandpa’s sister

And now here is a rather pleasant surprise – – the “outside viewpoint” in these weekly letters which has been absent for some time. I have the honor to present a veteran of the last war, an ex-Red–Cross worker, Miss E. M. Guion:

Hello, Folks! – a la Mickey Mouse. New York got too “hot” for me so I ran out on it for a week until the heat is off, and now I’m in hiding in Trumbull. When I arrived at the door last night, there, right on the mat before the door, was a hand-lettered welcome to me from the Guions, in stunning great big black letters. I felt really welcome.

Speaking above of me as a veteran of the last war, I am thinking that if Dan should somehow get to St. Nazaire, he might walk along the waterfront where there are dwelling houses and in one of them I lived for about three months while working at base hospital # 1 just outside the city. It was one morning in December, I remember, when the maid of the house came to bring a pitcher of hot water and as she closed the window she said she couldn’t understand why Americans wanted to keep the windows open all night. All this to say that if Dan gets to St. Nazaire, he might see if anything has happened to that row of little houses. I enjoyed my work there and had fun too.

The shop in New York is getting along. We serve many servicemen and when they buy things we absorb the tax ourselves – and 20% and 1% sometimes loom big, but that’s our bit that we can do for those who are doing so much for us. Well, so long and victory soon. From Elsie.

And that about brings us to the end of the page, with the usual goodbye and good luck, from                                      DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Marian to Grandpa, explaining that they are still in Pomona, California, waiting for Uncle Sam to make a decision.  

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (61) Dear Dad – One Hectic Week – September 22, 1944

 

Company Street Scene, Camp Crowder, Missouri

 

Sept. 22, 1944

Dear Dad –

This has been one hectic week.  At this point of the game none of us know a darned thing about what’s going to happen to us.  Monday we got our orders – officially – to move to some company in the 847th Sig. Trng. Bn. (Signal Training Battalion). The847th is just outside of the R.T.C. (Replacement Training Center, where Dave has been for about six months) area. It is composed of many companies, each of which contains men doing a number of things.  The situation is so bawled (Dave’s choice of wording)  up that no one seems to know – or even have any idea – as to what will happen next.  Anyway – Tuesday we shipped over to Co. E – 847th.  There they told us that we may ship out soon – and then again we may stay there until a new organization is activated.  The proposed organization would be the 3152nd Sig. Service Co. This Co. would train together for a period and then join a division and go overseas.  No one knew when or even if the company would be activated and if it were – no one knew how long or what kind of training it would be.  I met Jack Feldman there and he said that there would be a shipment of Sig. Cen. Clerks (Signal Center Clerks) going out soon – when or where – he didn’t know.  So I spent Wednesday and Thursday cleaning up the classrooms after each class.  Then Thursday night (last night) we – that is most of us who had come over to the 847th together and some others besides – were told to pack up our stuff and be ready in one hour to move down to Co. F – 847th.  So we moved here last night.  So far we have received no information as to why we’re here or what regulations we are to adhere to.  You see – every time a new group comes in to a company, the C.O. (Commanding Officer) gives us a little orientation speech so that we know what were supposed to do.  The speech usually includes what kind of training we receive – what formations we’ll have to stand and what uniforms to wear to the formations – when they will have mail call – what passes we will be entitled to – who are various officers and non-coms (Non-Commissioned Officers) are – etc.  But here we’ve heard nothing.  Someone came in last night and told us to fall out at 6:00 this morning for Reveille.  We did.  Then we went to chow and came back to the Bks. Now it’s 9:00 and still no news as to what is going to happen to us.  We’d like to know – but then on the other hand – it gives us a chance to catch up on sleep and letter-writing.  That’s all I can tell you.  As usual – there are plenty of rumors – but what’s the use of repeating them?  They’it’s allre more often than not ill-founded.  I’ll let you know what goes on if and when I find out.

Love,

Dave

P.S. – Just missed a shipment out of B-33 going to New Jersey.  I was pretty disappointed.

World War II Army Adventure (60-2) – Possible Birthday Gifts – September 17, 1944

The second half of this letter is filled with news of all kinds, including news from Lad, a promising encounter with a friend from Trumbull and a list Grandpa has been asking for so he can get Dave a Birthday gift. 

 

One of the Camp Crowder Exchanges. “The Soldiers Department Store”, Camp Crowder, Missouri

 

The next hunk of news comes from Lad – he hasn’t figured that if either one of us gets a three-day pass we can come to the others place.  But as nearly as I can find out, we would both have to get a three-day pass at the same time and meet at some point halfway between the two camps.  I think probably that would be Little Rock, Ark. anyway, I couldn’t make any arrangements with him because I didn’t know where I was going to be, or what I was going to do.  But now that I know I’ll be in Crowder – with a Class A pass, maybe I could set out some time and have enough time to see him even if I don’t get a three dayer.

On the program we have a request to make.  Please when the movie Arsenic and Old Lace this  comes to Bridgeport, take Aunt Betty and Jean to see it.  I never saw the play and maybe the play was better than the movie, I can’t make any comparison; but I can say that it was awfully good and one of the funniest I’ve ever seen yet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenic_and_Old_Lace_(film)

Now to answer your plea as to what I want for a birthday.  Every year this is a hard job for me – I never seem to be able to think of anything.  I finally end up saying “Clothes” – but even that is well taken care of this year.  Truthfully, all I can think of that I need or want are the following – each of which are too easily eliminated:

A furlough – you have no control over that.

A three-day pass – ditto.

A wrist watch – I can get one down here far cheaper than what you would have to pay there.

A camera – And my kiddin’?

Jockey underwear – that is as equally hard to get as a camera, I guess (I want elastic tops).

A pair of Civie shoes-I’d have to get the Ration Stamp from my C.O. and try the shoes before I bought them.

Smoking Tobacco – I still am trying all sorts of brands, trying to find the (perfect one).

Candy and Beach not Peppermint, – well, at last, these I can always use.  Homemade cake and cookies, too.

You see, Dad, although I’ve done some kidding around in that last paragraph, I really can’t be of much help to you.  We get all we need here, except home life and companionship – you could come down here sometime and bring El with you.  I wouldn’t mind that at all!!! Dan often writes a good list of things – but I can get most of the things he asks for right here in the P.X. Maybe I could use your system and send you something (besides a Jack) that you could use – for my birthday.  I have a feeling there is more I can say to you in this letter, but I can’t think of anything else.  Keep writing to my old address until I give you my new one correctly.

Love,

Dave.

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1945. Both Lad and Dan are in France. Lad is on the southern coast at Marseiles, Dan is getting ready for his wedding in Calais, on the northern coast. Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, Dick is still at Fortaliza, Brazil, and Dave is on his way to somewhere – it’s a secret.

Judy Guion

 

World War II Army Adventure (60-1) – Dear Dad And All Concerned – I Finally Got My Orders – September 17, 1944

 

Service Club No. 1, Camp Crowder, Missouri

Service Clubs

SPECIAL SERVICE – U.S. Army

Camp Crowder, Missouri

Sept. 17, 1944

Dear Dad and all concerned –

Well, I finally got my orders.  Alas – I guess I’ll get my discharge in about five years from good old Camp Crowder.  I’ve been assigned to the Sig. Trng. Bn. (Signal Training Battalion) over at the New Area.  You see, Crowder is divided into a number of different sections.  First of all there is the Replacement Training Section, which I’ve been in all these months; then there is the Team Training Section, which teaches us to work as units – something like we did out on C.P.X. – the Teletype man work with the Radio men and Sig. Cen. Clerks (Signal Center Clerks) and all the other various jobs, each man doing his own part but all working together; then there are units which are activated over there (in the new area) and are sent overseas right from Crowder – the men who train together go overseas together; and then there is the part of Crowder that has been devoted to the Sig. section of the Second Army.  They are just biding time until the Gen. Staff in Wash.  decides what they are going to do with the Second Army.

I will be assigned to a company ( Co. E, I think) of the 847th, Sig. Trng. Bn.  for Team Training.  In other words, I’ll work with the other man as a team.  I don’t know exactly what my address will be except that I’ll still be in this XXXXXXXXXXXX camp! As usual, there are all sorts of rumors as to what we will do, and how we will be treated.  It’s rumored that we will get Class A passes which would mean that we are entitled to be off the post any time we are not on duty.  Up till now, we always had to go over to the Orderly Room and ask for our passes which were good only until 11 o’clock that evening, but now we will have passes which will be good until reveille the following morning.  Also, our life over there is not supposed to be so strictly regimented as it was in the RTC (Replacement Training Center).  And there are a lot of other things flying through the air now – such as getting furloughs every six months without fail, etc. – stuff which I believe only when I see it.

Here is the big news though; I went to Joplin last night – the first time I’ve been there since I went on furlough, I think – and I ran into Jack Feldman (a friend from Trumbull)at the Connor Hotel ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connor_Hotel_(Joplin,_Missouri) ). he was with a WAC and I was with a buddy, so I didn’t talk with him very long – but he greeted me and said, “Dave, you’re moving over to my company in the 847th.”  He is a Tech. Sgt. – and although I don’t like pulling strings and playing politics – I find that’s the only way to get anywhere in the Army.  And if you’ll think back over the different things I’ve told you that Jack has wanted to do for me, I think you can see that I’ll have a pretty good set-up over there.  I don’t know what he’s doing there or how long he’ll be there – but it should all be worth while.

Tomorrow I will post the rest of this letter from Dave to friends and family in Trumbull. 

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Tentative Plans For Marian – July 1, 1944

 

 

ALFRED P. GUION

BOX 491

POMONA, CALIFORNIA

July 1, 1944

Dear Dad – –

The letter with the news of Dick’s promotion, Dave’s return and Dan’s remain arrived Friday. It was very interesting and we enjoyed it very much. At the same time we got a letter from the Williams’ in Venezuela. Things have changed there quite a bit apparently, but the oil business is still going strong. Almost all of the fellows have gotten married, so I’m not the only one. But some of them have children, so they are ahead of me in that respect.

Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion

It seems that “D” Day for me is getting closer. Sometime this month the 142nd is being transferred to some camp in the East, but when, or where, I don’t know. It looks as though I will have to go by train, so Marian may drive east in the Buick if there is any cause for it and if she can get someone to go with her. If she does, I’m hoping she can go on to Trumbull with some of my stuff for you to store. We will know more about the move later.

Right now the 3019th is doing some work in Camp Haan which is similar to that we did at Pomona before I left for my furlough. It appears that we did such a good job at Haan before we went out to the desert that the Colonel at Haan called us back from the desert and we spent only one week out there instead of two. For that I am very thankful and we did get a chance to see Death Valley. It was rather an uneventful trip and we had very little trouble. We were to return from Death Valley to the desert, and instead we returned to Haan and began work immediately. We have until July 6th to finish the work there. After that I don’t know what we will do.

We have been having a rather hot spell here. In fact the day before yesterday it was 115° in the shade. Out on the desert we didn’t mind the heat because it was so dry but it is a little more moist here and it is quite warm for Marian. Lots warmer than in South Pasadena.

Well, Dad, I have to get some gasoline before supper so I better get going, and I’ll mail this at the same time.

I’ve not been able to think of any appropriate reasoning yet for “Between The Acts” but give me time; I’ll come through yet. Love to all, from US

 

Hello, everyone –

Maybe we will be seeing you again very soon.

Marian

Tomorrow I will be posting another letter from Grandpa to his five sons and on Friday, a letter from Rusty to Ced and a card from Arnold. 

Judy Guion

World War II Army Adventure (57) – Dear Dad – A Birthday Letter – September 11, 1944

 

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Sept. 11, 1944

Dear Dad —

You usually write each of us a special letter each time our individual birthdays roll around.  So I said to myself – “Why not follow in your good Father’s footsteps – and do the same for him?  So here I am.

I thought of this day many times during the last month and a half.  But never once in that time – I’m ashamed to admit it – did I think of sending something home to you.  I had thought of telephoning you – or sending a telegram – but never once did I think of sending a box of cigars – or something else as a reminder to you of how proud I am to be able to have you for my Father.  In view of the fact that I’ve already written to you that I may be home – I decided that to phone you would be a bad policy – because your first thought – upon hearing my voice – would probably be that I am at the Bridgeport RR station.  This thought would probably come to you before I could explain that I am still at Crowder.  And that – pardon my conceit – would only be a disappointment rather than a glad tiding.  I may send you a telegram yet – I don’t know.  At any rate – I’ll send this letter.

Since coming back from C. P. X.  – I thought time and time again that I may be able to bounce in on you on Sept. 11th – but Saturday I finally abandoned all hope – because I would’ve had to leave Saturday night to make it.

I hope this birthday is a happy one – but I know next year’s will be a happy one.  By that time – at least part of your scattered family will be home under the shaded roof of our old house – business will be much improved – with the Bridgeport war plants once again turning – or turned – back to fluorescent lamps – brass fixtures – rivets for peace-time use – and organizations and clubs once again throwing their anniversary parties and the like – without being hampered by gas or food shortages.  They’ll all turn back to the Guion Advertising Company for their ads – business letters – and announcements.  They’ll be the old customers and they’ll be new ones in a bigger and better Bridgeport.  Right now it may seem like a dream – but by Sept. 11, 1945 – it will be far more than a dream.

Maybe by that time – I won’t have to be telling my buddies about the business I’m going back to – about all my brothers  scattered all over the world – about my Father who pulled his small business through the hard times – and who – in spite of losing his wife – brought all of us up so that he could be proud of us.  Maybe I won’t have to lie on my army cot and wish I were home with my Father who brought me up just the way a kid would like to be brought – always advising – seldom laying down the law – letting me think things out for myself – hardening me to the world – being a brother rather than a Lord over me.  Maybe I can be back appreciating it – rather than just remembering what used to be.

I started this letter – and it was going to be a “happy birthday” letter – but it has turned out to be a letter of hope and thankfulness.  I am thankful, Dad, and I always will be – and maybe that will make you happier – knowing it’s true – than just having me say in a lot of words –

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD !

– I hope so – anyway.

Love,

Dave

Tomorrow I will begin posting a week of letters written in the Spring of 1939..  Lad has taken a job with the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company working to maintain their vehicles and oil pumps  and Dan is looking to get paid by Inter-America Inc. before heading home.

Judy Guion