Trumbull – Dear Children – War Speculation – May 21, 1944

 

The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn.   May 21, 1944

Dear Children:

Your pop has been working like all get-out today – – out in the sunshine being a dirt farmer in an effort to make the place look halfway presentable to the homecoming bride and groom. Yes Sir, they really are coming and may even be here this time next week. Lad writes: ”The 1st. Sgt. told me my furlough would start May 24th. If possible I will get the U.P. (Union Pacific) Challenger leaving LA Tuesday at 6:45 PM. We intend to spend one week in Trumbull and one week with Marian’s folks in Orinda”. I would like to quote the letter in full, but the hour is late and I am very much in need of a hot bath before I hit the hay and any hoo, there is a letter from Dan, two from Dave, a six page single-spacer from Ced, and I’d watched the sun come up “over China ‘cross the Bay” if I ever tried to quote them all in toto, so you’ll just get a wee sample from each this trip. Take Dan, for instance. His letter is dated April 1st, but the envelope was postmarked May 12th. In it he says: “I must inform you that I can receive no more packages until further notice and may even have to return some that you have already sent – “existing regulation”. Now that looks to us in Trumbull like one more bit of evidence that the long awaited invasion is getting closer. Dave is out of the hospital, with one mump behind him. He omitted any reference to feeling “swell”. He expects to be transferred again but if this has occurred he has not yet signaled the message home. He asks what is the latest dope on how long the war will last, adding “you’d be surprised how little we know of this war after we get into the Army.” I have consulted my crystal ball and have this to report: When will be invasion start? Only a few of the top men know. Possibly no exact date has been set depending on how progress in Italy, bombing results in Germany and the invasion coast for softening up process. How long after invasion starts will it take to get “firm”? Probably weeks, rather than days. Heavy casualties? Yes. Secret weapons? Probably some on both sides. Will paratroops be landed behind the lines? Yes. Will there also be a new Russian push? Yes. When will the war be over in Europe? Best informed opinion believes this year. Dave, in view of your inquiry and interest in the war, I am graduating you from the funnies, which was all right for your boyhood with its childhood diseases like MUMPS, to News Week, such as a real he-man like your father reads.

Ced writes a long interesting letter. It is worthy of quoting at greater length than I have time to do tonight, but I will get the high spots. He is going to night school in Anchorage, a 10-week course, five nights a week, two hour sessions, preparing for CAA examination for commercial pilots license. He is supposed to take his pre-induction physical on the 17th, but has hopes of being deferred as men of his age working on the airlines commercially outside the Continental US are subject to deferment. Mail will reach Rusty at Nome, Alaska.

Your birthday, Ced, kind of snook up on me without much warning. Next week, however, I expect to get some kind of a box off to you with a few trinkets to let you know we still remember your visit here a long time ago. All this week I have been wrestling with a lot of government red tape to get those auto parts off to you. The exhaust pipe cost $2.50 and the floor mat $6.50. I had to go to the customs inspector for a number, had to have the paper notarized, had to get a receipted bill from Buick, and the express cost $4.18. I also asked Mr. Whitney to ship you a filter and send me the bill.

If Lad and Marian are home next week I may be too excited to write, so if you don’t hear from me for two weeks blame it on married life. Meantime, don’t stop writing on that account to your

DAD

Tomorrow and Sunday, more of Dave’s World War II Army Adventure.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dad, Aunt Betty, etc. – Dear Home Guard -February 28, 1944

 

Feb., 28, 1944

Dad, Aunt Betty, etc.,:-

Lad Guion

   Alfred Peabody (Lad) Guion

 

As stated in the telegram I have been upped of grade. It is no longer a straight rating however. It is a technicians rating known to us as ”T” ratings. My official title in writing like Dan’s and Dick’s, is T/3, but I am still addressed as Sgt. The big point is that it puts me up into the “first three grader” classification, and means $18 more per month. I now draw $96 plus $35 for Marian.

 

It looks like this – 3 up and 1 down enclosing a “T”. It should not be mistaken for what is called a Tech Sgt. This latter rating draws $114. I am a T/3 or a Sgt. Technician, third grade.

Three days before leaving for California from Texas, the Buick clutch started to slip so I had to put in a new one. To do it I needed a free day and the first one I could get was the Monday of last week which was the first day of traveling time. Therefore, we stayed in Hooks until Monday instead of leaving Sunday night. Had it not been for the clutch, we would never have seen Ced. He showed up at Hooks early Monday morning. We all went into Hooks together and while the car was being fixed, we ate, chatted, took a couple of pictures and Ced left at 3 PM. He seems fine, but has changed a little in the interval since I last saw him over five years ago. He’s a little heavier and his hair is darker, and he has matured a great deal. He’s still the same old Ced otherwise. The details of the trip out here will come later. Love to all.

Laddie

********************

P.O. Box 491

Pomona, Calif.

Dear Home Guard,

Marian (Irwin) Guion

        Marian (Irwin) Guion

Trying to keep up with the Army and the A.P. Guion’s is too much of a good thing, isn’t it? Needless to say, we were just as surprised about this latest move as you probably were. It was very sudden and quite unexpected, altho’ anything the Army does certainly shouldn’t be. But the “powers that be” decided that the Red River Depot wasn’t equipped to give the fellows their technical training so rather than trying to bring in and set up the proper equipment, they decided to move the fellows, so here we are back in California at Pomona, about 25 miles from South Pasadena and Santa Anita. So alltho’ we won’t be able to drive over there quite as often as we might like, at least we can see our friends occasionally. We are tickled pink to be back here in California, and our only regret is that we are now twice as far away from you. We were hoping that after Lad finished his technical training he would get a furlough and we were looking forward to coming to Connecticut. But we’re going to get there yet, so I hope you can be a little more patient than I am about it. I want to meet all of you so much, and I will – we can’t say exactly when !

After getting the telegram, you were probably wondering whether or not we made connections with Ced. Well, we did and had a very, very enjoyable time with him on Monday. If it hadn’t been for the fact that we had to have the clutch fixed on the car, we probably would have been on our way Sunday night and would have missed him entirely! So, our very deepest thanks to “Honey Bunch” for acting up so the we had to wait. It was so very nice to meet Ced –  (Are all of the family as nice as the two I’ve already met ?!?) And he and Lad had quite a time catching up with each other’s travels since they last saw each other. Ced didn’t seem to have any trouble in finding us – in fact he arrived at the Blue Streak at six o’clock in the morning and rather than waking us up, he went back to Texarkana and had breakfast, and came out again about 7:30. Lad was taking a shower so I answered the door when he knocked, and for a few seconds I thought that someone had made a mistake and came to the wrong cabin! Then I took a second look (There is a family resemblance between them that I could see) and he said, “I believe you are my sister-in-law!” So I knew of course who he was. His train it didn’t leave until 3 PM so we had quite a visit with him, and then we fooled around until the car was ready, had dinner, and started on our way, very happy over the prospect of getting out of Texas.

We had a very nice trip out here – only difficulty was a slow leak in one tire which we had fixed right away, and arrived in Pomona Friday morning. We found a very nice place to stay through the War Housing Agency, and altho’ it isn’t an apartment (which we hope to find eventually) it is really very nice. We have a living room and bedroom in a private house – the people are very nice – a young couple who have three children, and although we don’t have any kitchen privileges, we like it very much.

Lad reports to the post today so we will know more about the setup later on, but from all reports it sounds very nice.

I am also enclosing the bond with this letter. We moved to suddenly for me to think about it before —

Love to all of you – will write again soon –

Marian

Tomorrow and Friday, I’ll post another letter from Grandpa bringing everyone up-to-date with news from various members of the family.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Patients (2) – News From the Home Front – February 27, 1944

This is the second page of a letter from Grandpa reporting on the conditions of family members and news from the Home Front.

 

OLD DOC GUION HIMSELF: On the basis of the old saying, “Physician, heal thyself”, I suppose this report would not be complete without a word as to the author. At present he is suffering from an extended case of painindeatus caused by too frequently sitting down to read letters from his patients that keep crowding into Box 7 with scarcely a let-up. This, however, is only during the day. He starts the morning right and ends up in a happy frame of mind before retiring by inspecting his bureau on which, side-by-side, stant photographs of his two daughters-in-law — one of them a California gift and the other a Valentine.

Hints to toilers on the Home         Front. Every so often we have the urge to use the mail facilities Uncle Sam has provided to supplement the weekly letter by some little trinket as a token of our thought of you and naturally the thought pops up, “What shall it be?” And then we try to think back on what has been previously sent and how acceptable it was and the only clue we can recall are the words, “Your package arrived O.K..” Lots of help in that, isn’t there? So you can imagine my delight when letters arrived simultaneously from each of you boys giving me just the answers I wanted. I quote from Lad: “That cloth you sent to shine up my rifle and other hardware with was undoubtedly well intended but in your ignorance you didn’t know that the Army doesn’t allow us to use anything of that sort.” From Dan: “Those playing cards with my initials on them, I am sorry to say, are just cluttering up my pack. In the first place, I don’t get time to play, even solitaire, and in the second place, I wouldn’t play if I had the time. Thanks just the same”. From Dick: “Now what do you suppose a soldier could do with a dinky little round knife and nail file? That might be O.K. down Trumbull way for civilian use, but sorry, Dad, it’s pretty useless here.” Well, boys, that’s fine. Just what I wanted to know, and then when your letter continues with, “but, what I would like to have which I can’t get here is some, etc., etc.,” it just finished off with the right note. Why not make the dream come true? We all learn by experience but experience won’t help if it’s tongue-tied.

A postal from Ced en route written from St. Louis, 6 PM reports a comfortable trip that far. From my timetable he should have reached Texarkana very early Monday morning. However one of those formal Army change of notice cards from Lad dated February 20 informed me his new address was Pomona, and I am waiting to hear again from Ced as to whether or not he made it. It will also be interesting to hear from Ced and Lad and Marian as to their get together after all these years.

Time out  –  the furnace sheared a pin

2 hours later – after much effort the pin has been restored but in the meantime the fire has gone out, so I’ll just rather abruptly bring this missive to a close, get something to eat, light the fire and then I’ll really need a bath, which I shall duly take.

So long then, from

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Lad and Marian reporting their move back to California and their brief visit with Ced – thanks to the Buick clutch. On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to the members of the family circle scattered around the world.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (45) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Driving With Ced and Lad

These are the memories of my Father and his siblings, recorded over several years. When my Uncle Dan passed away, I realized that I had better get started recording the memories of Dan’s siblings before they were also gone. I was able to have two recording sessions with my Father, Lad in California; two with Uncle Ced in New Hampshire, a three-day cruise in our boat with Aunt Biss; one session with Uncle Dave in Stratford, CT and one hand-written session (I forgot my tape recorder going up to the Island in New Hampshire, where Uncle Dick lived) with Uncle Dick. I transcribed them once exactly as they were spoken, again removing the ums, ahs, half sentences started over, etc. I then produced a final copy that was easier to read, but it still needs work getting the chronological order correct. Memories are not recorded with a date stamp. I created 75 binders for family members which include all three translations, pages and pages of photos and memorabilia and the actual recording. Now family members can actually heat their ancestors speaking. It was my first project with all the material my Father saved for me and a true Labor of Love. I hope you enjoy these memories of A Slice of Life at a different time and place. 

                                         Packard and Mack

CED – I’m one of those who brag about the fact that I’ve been driving cars since I was about ten years old.  I got my license – Mother died on June twenty-ninth, and on June first, that same year, I turned sixteen.  I think I got my license on the second.  At that time I had driven quite a few miles with a driver next to me – quite a few miles without, and much more off road then on.  I used to drive on that road along the cemetery.  When they put the cemetery in, there was about a four foot drop to the road.  At the very end of it the drop-off was less and you could turn a car around where it was shallow and come back about halfway on the ledge to the gate.  We had a 1927 Packard Touring car.  I guess this was when Lad was working at Well’s Garage and he was making a little money there.  He saw the 1929 Packard Touring car – it was a beauty – and he asked Dad if he could trade in the old Packard and my Dad told him, “OK”.  We didn’t like that because that was his (Lad’s) car.  Well anyway, I had the car.  This one day I drove up that road, I guess I didn’t have my license yet, I’m not sure.  I was trying to turn around up there and I didn’t have enough room.  I got the front wheel over the bank.  When it went over the bank, it lifted the back end of the car on the right side.  “Oh, no”, I thought.  It was about a foot lower than the other end.  “Oh, brother, so this is it.”  I don’t remember how I got it off the bank; maybe I used a jack and pried it over.  I couldn’t go back and I knew I had to get it the rest of the way over.  I finally got it over the hill and onto the road.

Dad took us down to Baltimore in one of the cars – it must have been one of the Packards – to the Fair of the Iron Horse, this was the heyday of railroading.  They put on a beautiful show.  Dad drove us down and I know we had two flat tires, one going down and one on the way back.  It was a wonderful show.  They had all the old steam engines, the Sturbridge, and the Tom Thumb, they were the originals.  We sat in covered bleachers, and there was a huge stage, with water beyond the stage.  The old locomotives came in and people got out of the coaches, boats came in and out – it was wonderful.  The people wore period costumes.  We probably went in the early twenties, Dan, Lad and I – Dad always did things with us.  Dick and Dave weren’t in the group, they were born later.  I had the big privilege of seeing a very similar show at the Chicago World’s Fair (in 1934).

I guess we used Aunt Betty’s car sometimes because my Dad and Aunt Betty were very close.  Aunt Betty used to buy a new Buick every year and we used it a lot.

LAD – I was driving to Bridgeport (Connecticut) to see Anita Brown.  It was apparently past dark and I was heading south on Main Street.  The Chestnut Hill bus was going slower than I was.  I think he may have just been starting up after a stop, I don’t remember, but in any case, there was nothing coming so I saw an opportunity to pass him.  All of a sudden, my headlights picked up two reflections just a little above my hood.  I didn’t know what it was at first but then I realized it was a horse and buggy.  I pulled over tight against the bus … I was pushing hard against the bus.  The bus driver had seen the horse and buggy the same time I did.  Neither of us could stop fast but we tried and we stopped right together.  Neither vehicle was scratched but I hit the wagon.  I missed the horse but hit the wagon’s left front wheel and completely messed up the wagon.  The older fellow, who was driving, somehow got hold of his daughter and she came.  I remember her telling him, “I told you over and over not to put the lantern between your feet to keep warm.”  There were no charges filed against any of us.

Tomorrow and Friday, more Childhood Memories of Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Life in Alaska (2) – Ced Writes to Grandpa – June 26, 1946

(Letter from Ced to Grandpa

page 2, June 26, 1946)

Dan and Ced with new Buick delivered by Dick, 1941 

  In spite of all my efforts to counteract the trend, old father time is creeping up on Old faithful (his Buick, the one Grandpa bought in 1941 and Dick personally delivered to Dan and Ced in Anchorage), and aided by my indifference of late, I am afraid it is fast becoming mortal. These Alaskan highways are just too much for even a good car. I still hold fleeting hopes of finding a corrective rejuvenator, but without the finances or time, the old girl is sinking rapidly, tho’ she still holds her head high and pretends virility. I am still debating about performing more necessary surgery. With cars so scarce and so high, I still believe that inroads against senility can be made. Time alone will answer my questions, and in the interim, if you all in Trumbull will put in a good word for her in your devotional services, we may pull her through to a more glorious sunset.

I am in the midst of very similar activities as above on another long suffering and even more ancient member of our Alaskan family. Poor ailing Ben (his alarm clock), still faithfully clucking away in its ceaseless passing of time, was the object of much commendation and praise last week, but the inspection it received at the time was too much for it’s ailing heart, (prompted no doubt by my not to gentle handling and it’s being held in other than face down position) and now I have placed it under a complete rejuvenation program of my own, which I have some reason to believe might be successful. Pirkey’s clock is here as stand in, but it makes so da_n much noise! Big Ben is the quietest running alarm clock I ever heard. Funny thing is that I really have no need for an alarm anymore. I go to bed after work (around 5 A.M.) and of course waking up around 1 or 2 in the afternoon requires very little encouragement from external sources.

P.N.A. is still trying to get into long pants and still waiting for the C.A.B. (Civil Aeronautics Board) to- (what’s that poem about Roosevelt, and riding to the promised land?) What I am trying to say is they haven’t yet decided who will run the Seattle run.

I am enclosing an article about the new source of power for the city of Anchorage for the next two years. This will alleviate the terrible shortages which have caused terrific curtailment of power, affecting restaurants, hospitals and industry, as well as heatless homes, cold dinners in midwinter, etc. The city has also voted for and obtained a city manager at long last. Yours truly did his part to achieve this last by voting yes.

I’m doing some flying, and hope for a commercial license before fall. What after that? — Your guess is as good as mine.

Aunt Betty – Thanks for the card and enclosure, I am still holding the latter till I find something worthy of your thoughts for myself. Maybe a super necktie with the advantage of being a birthday necktie, which pleases both the giver and receiver. My very best love to you, and to all the others in the habitat de la Guion.

Ced

Other items of interest

The draft board has reclassified me 1-A, (silly people)

Some of the fellows out at P.N.A. are trying to form a union (more silly people, but they may succeed and if so, will get a closed shop). Maybe I’ll have to join if it is half reasonable, otherwise I’d go find another job. – Who knows?

Till next time then.

Oh yes, my vision is still 20-20, but I will probably have a permanent scar on my left eye corner. My eyes will perhaps give me a little trouble – tire more easily, etc.

Ced

The rest of the week will be filled with letters from Grandpa about the news in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Dave (1) – Comments to Dave and Lad – January 16, 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

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 25th. 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.

Judy Guion

 

Trumbull – Dear Rover Boys (1) – Trumbull – News From Dan and Ced – February 3, 1946

 

Trumbull, Conn., Feb. 3, 1946

Dear Rover Boys:

Well, here it is February again. The groundhog came out yesterday, glanced at his shadow and went back in again, until six more months of cold weather have passed and then he will peek out again to see if Dave or Dan have made any definite homecoming plans, and I shall be looking over his shoulder to see what he sees. As for Ced, with rocket ships making the trip from coast to coast in four hours, all we need do is wire him in the morning that another of the family has come home and he can be with us in time for supper, provided of course he doesn’t have to spend too much time shinnying up the front porch pillar to make a surprise entry as he did before (Of course by that time he may have thought of some other method of ingress). But as I started to say before that groundhog switched me off the track, this is a short month and less than four weeks from now we will be in March and that comes pretty near marking the end of winter and the beginning not only of the Spring season but that welcome time when Europe and Asia will loosen their grasp on the rest of the Guion’s, and (in Dan’s case) plus.

Yesterday, Dan, your blanket started on its overseas journey and next week we will start on the civilian clothes for you. By the way, yesterday, two government checks by your order reached me and have been deposited to your account. This restores a good credit balance again so you can keep right on ordering your Trumbull purchasing agent to function without letting your conscience bother you.

For the delectation of the rest of you, here is what Dan says in the two letters that arrived last week, which by the way, marked up a 100% record with letters also from Ced and Dave. But unfortunately I find I left part of these at the office, so that there will not be a complete quotation. Here is what Dan says: “Epinal, France, 1/17/46, This is one of those persistent notes which serve merely to assure you that I am alive and well. I expect to be here in the Moselle Valley for a couple of weeks. I see Chiche more often these days. She is still at Douai and both she and “Jean-Pierre” are doing well. Please include half a dozen bibs in the layette – even our baby will probably drool a bit, or spill things. I get homesick quite often these days  — conditions are far from comfortable, in spite of posters which have been appearing throughout France lately  “Ca va deja mieux” – it goes already better. Ah well, each day brings me 24 hours closer to home.

(2 days later) In this Yankee deserted town it has taken me two days to borrow a stamp to mail this letter. In the interim it has suddenly become possible (through the kindness of the establishment in this hotel) to have Chiche come here to stay until the survey is finished. Naturally I am all excited at the prospect, so if you no longer get a 5-page letter from me every day during the next couple of weeks, I’m sure you’ll understand. Received the “Christmas Report” and a card from Al and Marian. Glad to hear that Cedric is back among his klootches.”

And here is what Ced contributes: “Things have settled down to the old routine — drab and uninteresting and too darn much to do with too little time to do it. Sunday I begin the week to the sound of Big Ben’s sweet and faithful chime from its face down position on the dressing table. I quit work at 4 in the afternoon, go home and clean up, out to dinner at a local boarding house, where for a dollar one can get a good home-cooked meal and eat as much as he likes. Then I generally go out to visit someone I have promised perhaps a dozen times to drop in on. To bed fairly early as work starts Monday morning at 7 A.M.

Page 2   2/3/46

necessitating a 6 o’clock arising again. Monday night after dinner at the boarding house I have a couple of hours to write or do some other necessary chore, then at 8 P.M. to bed and up at 4 A.M. Tuesday and out to work at 4:30. Off at 2 P.M. in the afternoon, and by the time I warm up the T-Craft and put in an hours flying time, it is again 4 P.M. and I go home, clean up and go out to eat at Lomen’s boarding house. To work at 7 A.M. Wednesday, and as I’m tired from the 4:30 A.M. morning, I haven’t much ambition and usually content myself with a short visit with friends again, and turn in early. So goes the rest of the week until Saturday which is my day off, but there are only 52 Saturdays in a year and if one happens to be cloudy it is more or less lost for recreational purposes. That becomes far too inadequate for my peace of mind, and so far I haven’t any more than looked at a pair of skis. Of course any work on the airplane has to be done on Saturday, and with all the work necessary on the Buick, things are in one heck of a shape. What is really wrong, I guess, is that the days are still too short. I am always droopy on the short days. Last Saturday I flew for about an hour and a half in the morning then I tore the engine of the plane apart and ground a valve which had been leaking since somewhere in Canada on the way up. I guess there was too much high octane gasoline put into it on the Canadian leg of the trip. What I did to the engine fixed it up in fine shape anyhow, and in spite of the fact that I worked on it till 2 A.M. Sunday morning, I was pleased to have the job done satisfactorily.”

Army Life – My Poor Salacious Siwash – Letter From Dan to Ced – August, 1942

 

     Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

          Cedric (Ced) Duryee Guion

Dan is in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, being trained by the Army in survey work and his younger brother remains in Anchorage, Alaska, working at the air base there, repairing and maintaining planes and flying as a Bush Pilot. 

DBG - My Poor Salacious Siwach - envelope front, Aug., 1942

Cedric “Frump” Guion

Anchorage, Alaska

DBG - My Poor Salacious Siwach - envelope back - Aug., 1942

The Examination Stamp

DBG - My Poor Salacioius Sewach - Dan to Ced - Aug., 1942

letter written on yellow lined paper in pencil

8/7/42

Roanoke Rapids

My Poor Salacious Siwach —

I again take up my pen(cil, sadly) with mounting misgivings, fearful lest the next letter from you, inspired by this one, will divulge some new heinous outrage perpetrated by you (and that handful of masculine harlotry living with you) against the gentle folk of pastoral Alaska.

But when duty calls, it always finds me right “on the ball” (eight) (or should I say “testicles”, to rhyme with “calls”?), Except when it comes to changing my luck – – – – I have decided to stop changing my luck, not because I do not need any better luck, but rather because I have learned, to my consternation, that these blue ball dispensing black belles are better un-bumped, taken from either side.

Kitty and Cortina:

If you or Kay can find any use in Anchorage for those records, or any potential customer (anything over $10), you may return them (or sell them). If they are serving no purpose, you might send them back home before the Japs mistake them for rye crisps and suffer indigestion !

Volly P. –

My best regards, and stick around! I’ll be back after the war if there is any after.

Rusty’s pipe –

The curfew tolls the knell of parting bedbugs. It is cheaper than conventional fumigation, anyhow!

Buick –

You are free to use your own judgment. Cars are actually worth less around here at present, but values will leap when gasoline and rubber become available and  new cars are not yet on the production lines. I suppose Alaska faces a similar situation.

Dad’s allusion about my being sent to Alaska – mostly the old A. D. imagination. I told him that rumors were extant concerning possible moves in the fall to foreign lands – – – – and Alaska was one meager possibility among several others, equally as meager.

My being pleased with the Army –

It’s malicious slander, that’s what it is! I like the place I live in. I like the survey work. I like the men who are on it with me, but my greatest pleasure would be to stand with my legs spread out and my cock in both hands, and piss on everything military, from the whistle at reveille until the whistle at “recall”, wetting down particularly the sections relating to discipline and silly military customs.

___________________________

I have become a part (1/4) of a quartet, during the last week or so, and already have performed for the royal awestruck congregation at the 1st Baptist church, and for the local version of the R.F.A.D. (the vice of the Golden South). Tonight we four shall offer unction to the oafs at some corny revival meeting. It is for this meeting that I must close this letter, for time is bisecting itself with alarming rapidity, and I must away!

Give my regards to everyone, even Rutting Red, the Renegade –

Really,

Dan

The rest of the week will be filled with a letter from Lad to his Father, a letter from Grandpa to his “Truants”, another letter from Lad and another, longer letter from Grandpa, all written in August of 1942.

Judy Guion 

 

Army Life – Dear Everybody – Lad From Texarkana – January 9, 1944

Lad and Marian Guion's wedding - Nov. 14, 1943 - close-up with hat and coursage

As you may remember, Lad received orders to report to Taxarkana, Texas before Christmas and only one month after getting married to Marian in California. They had a quiet and early Christmas just before he left on the 21st. This is his first letter to the Home Guard, and his father, in Trumbull.

Sun. Noon  Jan. 9, 1944

Dear Everybody:-

I’m sorry, but my first thoughts and letters are now to Marian, and you all have sort of slid down a peg in line of importance. 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 very lacking. In fact I’ve had to skip writing to Marian two nights last week. Here is the reason, en todo:-

Lad - 1943

Lad – 1943

On December 18th I was told that I was to go to Texarkana or Flora, Miss. On the 21st I learned definitely that it was Texarkana and that I had to be there by December 25th. Some Xmas present. By noon on the 21st I was on my way via the Buick. Two flat tires and being forced into the ditch on an icy road were the only troubles other than getting gasoline. As I wired, I got in on Sat., December 25th and that’s ”B.S.” in the message should have been “By”. The Texarkana W.U. (Western Union) also made a mistake in the one to Marian. Until Jan. 3rd we worked hard getting a group of men ready for basic training, which really amounted to nothing of consequence and we really didn’t need to arrive here until Jan. 2nd. That first week was just a waste of time. Then on the 3rd we started training our men in earnest. From Santa Anita 25 good men were sent here as the parent cadre for the 3019th Co. 142 Bn. We are an engine rebuild company attached to the 142 Bn. which contains two engine rebuild cos., one powertrain rebuild Co., one Hq & supply Co. and one base depot co. We will work as a unit, always, the five companies being in close contact at all times and performing 5th echelon or Base Ord. work. I saw one of the barracks sergeants and am responsible to see that my 23 privates passed a P.O.E. examination. If they pass we are scheduled for overseas shipment sometime in June or July, and there seems to be no kidding about that. Due to our type of work we should always be at least 300 miles from the front lines. That, at least, is one consolation. This past week, and I imagine that the next five also, has been the toughest one I’ve spent since my induction in May, 1942. I am teaching these boys (most of them have at least one child, some three or four or five) the same training I received during my first five weeks in the Army. They have all been in the Army less than one month, and all were inducted just a few days before Christmas. I’ll never understand why the Army does some of the things it does. It is very disheartening, and produces a lot of resentment, even in myself.

The weather here is terrible after Southern California. Today is the fourth day of sunshine we’ve seen in over two weeks. It is cold enough to freeze and we had snow for two days. It is impossible to keep warm and well in the cold, wet rain we’ve had here. I’ve got a very slight cold, but other than that and cold feet, I’m well.

Marian is coming out by train, I think, soon after February 1st and will come to Trumbull with me when (?) I get my furlough. Please keep your fingers crossed.

Christmas, naturally, was quite a quiet affair, and the same with New Year’s Eve, and not being able to wire anything I had to use “the best of everything” in my telegram. However, the thoughts to you all were there nonetheless.

I got your gifts, thanks, via Marian and the mail, and was extremely pleased with everything. This is my last sheet of paper until I go to the PX so I’ll quit with the very best wishes for the new year and a sincere desire that your numerous wishes come true.

Lots of love, etc.

Laddie

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting the first installment of a four-page letter from Grandpa to his scattered flock across the world. I’ll post the rest of the letter throughout the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Remnants of a widely scattered family (1) – News From Ced – November, 1945

Trumbull, Conn., November 4, 1945

Dear Remnants of a widely scattered family:

Lad came home again this weekend but still has nothing definite to report as to his future with the U.S. Army. He has presented to the Army authorities a request from Socony-Vacuum(the company he worked for in Venezuela from 1939-1941) asking that he be released so they can employ him in a civilian capacity after giving him some training. Possibly when next he comes home, he may have some news on this. According to newspaper reports, which of course have not proven 100% correct in the past, Dick should be released when he finally goes back to report the day before Thanksgiving (if you please). That leaves Dan still with a flock of “firsts” to his credit — first in the Army, (referring to you boys, of course), first in France, first to marry outside of the USA, first to be discharged, first to get a post-war job, but alas, NOT first to come home. Oh, well, you can’t have everything.

And Ced let loose a small atomic bomb in P.O. Box 7 this week — the nice kind of explosion, and small only in a relative sense. He writes he expects to get home for Thanksgiving — but here, I’ll let him speak for himself: (letter dated Oct. 24th from Anchorage, received Oct. 31st.) “Planning to have Thanksgiving dinner in Trumbull, I hope. Probably arriving in a new 2-place Taylorcraft. It is now 9 P.M. I am due at work at 5 A.M. tomorrow to send out the Juneau trip, so will make this brief. There is more work for me to accomplish before I leave than I can ever hope to do and I am about to go stark-raving mad. The Ski Club is stirring around on winter sports and election of officers, I should do some work on the Buick, straighten out all my clothes and belongings, as Morgans plan to sell their house. They are going to settle near Los Angeles after Chuck leaves the Army. (Chuckie died of appendicitis two months ago but two weeks ago, a new boy was born named Douglas. I will stop off for a visit with them in Seattle. Of course I have not enough time to do even the ski club work, as affairs at Woodley’s have been in turmoil and we’ve had lots of overtime. My finances are in a sad state and I may have to send you a hasty “gimme” wire one of these days, that I am hopeful of making the grade — at least till I get back there. I’d hate to ask you for funds, especially after the island deal — isn’t it fine to have the island, tho? We’ve had cold and blowing and snow this last week — miserable fall weather. See you all soon. Ced”

Now that, dear children, is a sample of a short letter that says a whale of a lot, and what a big wave of gladness it brought with it. Of course Ced, we’d like to hear all the details about the plane and your plans for the trip, but that all can wait until you get here, under the circumstances, particularly as with all you evidently have to do, there won’t be time for lengthy correspondence, so even if we don’t hear from you again until you glide down at the Stratford Airport, it will be O.K. incidentally, I know a Trumbull family that would like to be on hand to see you make that landing at the Stratford Airport. And of course if you need funds, your dad hasn’t failed yet to come across when called upon and it’s rather late in the day for him to start anything different. My credit seems to be still good at the bank even when the balance gets microscopic. It’s worth waiting a long time to get a letter such as this, with that kind of news and I wouldn’t mind even waiting as long as that again if it brought equally good news with it, each time.

Page 2   11/4/45

One of the boys that was with Lad’s outfit in France, came home with him this weekend. He is quite an amateur photographer and has just come in and snapped a picture of me at the typewriter writing you my weekly letter. If it comes out O.K., I shall send you a copy.

Grandpa, Marian and Lad, Jean and Dick  and Aunt Betty Duryee, in the kitchen of the Trumbull House.

Last time he came home with Lad he took a family group in the kitchen which came out well and when he goes to his home in Chicago, probably for Thanksgiving dinner, he expects to make up some prints. And speaking of photos, Dan makes a plea to send him recent photos of you all, and sets a good example by sending one of himself which I am sending on to you, and hope you will reciprocate. Dan’s address is Mr. Daniel B. Guion, O.T.C.Q.M., UST Graves Reg. Serv. Hq., TSFET (rear), APO 887, c/o P.M., New York City.

I have not the slightest idea what all these initials stand for but here’s a stab in the dark. (Maybe someday Dan will enlighten us), Officers Temporary Corps, U.S. Quartermaster, U.S. Temporary Graves Registration, Temporary Service Force, European Theatre.

For the rest of the week, I will have additional portions of this five-page letter.

Judy Guion