Trumbull – Dear Silent Ones – November, 1941

Trumbull, Conn., November 30, 1941

Dear Silent Ones:

           Grandma Peabody

Ten o’clock in the evening is the time. Lad (driving), Dan, Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), Aunt Betty and myself left here about 1 o’clock with our movie equipment and motored, I believe that is the word, to Mt. Joy Place, New Rochelle, there to partake of a very nice meal. It was the first real Sunday dinner I had not cooked myself for months, and I did enjoy it. Later, (Aunt) Dorothy, Burton (Peabody) and Grandma (Peabody) came over. Dan showed his stills first and then Lad followed with the movies. I tried to find out from Grandma what Anne’s plans were for Christmas but she had not heard from Anne for some time and could give me no information on that score. Babe (Cecelia Mullins, Lad’s girlfriend) was supposed to go along with us today but she called up this morning and said she had a cold and did not feel like going along. Dave had his Young People’s meeting to attend so he did not go along, though I suspect the real reason was his dislike of having to be questioned by Aunt Dorothy as to the progress of his school work.

Dan has about decided to purchase a 1933 Chevrolet coupe which Carl has had for sale since August. I think it is one which he bought from Mr. Powell. I know little about it except that the price is $75. He has decided that he needs some means of getting back and forth from work. Since the shop has become unionized, he has to be at work by seven and quits at three in the afternoon, and as Lad does not have to report for work on his job until 9 AM, and leaves when his work is done, which may be anywhere from 5 to 7, it leaves Dan without timely transportation. He plans to get his markers tomorrow.

The weather continues quite mild. We have yet had no real cold days and not a speck of snow. Some of the trees have still not shed their leaves and we noticed today on the Parkway, that the Dogwood trees still carry leaves that have not entirely changed from green to brown.

I have been a waiting anxiously for a letter from you last week to tell me what the latest news is about your deferment. I hope there will be a letter either from you or Dick in the mail tomorrow.

Again there seems little noteworthy of transmission to you under the general subject of news. After recovering from his attack of flu, Kemper (Peabody)  was informed by the doctor that he had a mild case of diabetes and, while he does not have to take insulin, he does have to diet.

ADG - China - the good set

ADG - China - detail

Ethel (Bushey) presented me with a dinner plate exactly matching that gold bordered set of dishes (the good set) that we inherited from Aunt Mary Powers. She said she was in an antique shop in Mamaroneck and happened to notice this one dish and recognized that it was exactly like our set and she bought it for me. She said it was the only one they had.

Last week, very suddenly, the Times Star folded up. They had been losing money for some months but nobody expected it to discontinue so abruptly. Even the employees did not know anything about it when they came to work that morning. At 10 o’clock orders went around to write a swan song for the addition just going to press and at noon all employees were paid a week’s salary and dismissed. That leaves the Post-Telegram Cock of the Walk although there is a rumor that the Harold is going to put out a daily edition. I hired one of the girls temporarily that had been in their editorial department.

DAD

Tomorrow, more on the continuing story of Mary Ellum and Archie Wilson.

Next week I’ll be posting letters from 1943. Each week Grandpa anxiously awaits letters from his four oldest sons, all away from home and working for Uncle Sam.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – A Very Busy Sunday (1) – October, 1941

It is 1941. Lad has been back from Venezuela for about 5 months and Dan has just returned from Alaska. They are both working for the Producto Manufacturing Company in Bridgeport and hoping they won’t get drafted, but the war is moving closer each day.

October 12, 1941

Dear Ced and Dick:

I almost missed out on my weekly letter to you as this has been an unusually busy day. Aunt Elsie came up last night in honor of Aunt Betty’s birthday, and because she had to get back to New York early to trim the window, she had to leave in time to catch the 10:20 train this morning. As Lad was still asleep and Dan has no driving license, it was up to me to drive her to the station along with getting Aunt Betty fixed up, lighting her stove, etc., getting her breakfast, getting Elsie’s breakfast, starting dinner and so on. Then, because Mrs. Warden was coming home from the hospital today with her new baby, I invited Paul and his wife in to dinner. The doctor yesterday had told Aunt Betty she could come down to dinner today, so we had to get the dining room heated up. Dave helped me with this after coming home from church while Dan did some work around the yard.

While we were at dinner, Bruce Lee, his two sisters from Maryland (one of them Jack’s mother, Dick,) Jack’s father, their two young daughters and Pat all breezed in. This resulted in questions about Alaska and Venezuela developing quite naturally into showing of motion pictures, souvenirs, etc., during which Don Whitney, Barbara, Chet, Jean Hughes, Babe and Red dropped in. Then it was necessary to get the three Westport girls some supper, as Bruce and his party of older ones left for dinner waiting them in Westport, but the girls stayed on to see the finish of the movies. Then I had to get Aunt Betty back upstairs, get her supper. I have left Dave to act as host to the three girls while the rest of the gang are upstairs visiting with Aunt Betty and I sneaked off to do this.

This photo of a 1941 Buick Special – dark blue –  is from the following URL – https://www.google.com/search?q=1941+buick+special&safe=active&biw=1388&bih=668&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=JLmDVPbRDIypyASO6oKgCA&ved=0CDQQsAQ  

          The big news this week is that on Wednesday Lad bought a car. It is a twin of mine, same make, year, model, except that it is dark blue. I arranged a loan for him at the North End Bank, which, together with some $200 that Dan loaned him, made up the purchase price of $900, which, incidentally, is also the price I paid for my car. His car has more mileage on it than mine, but he says mine has more pep; in fact, Lad says my car is the peppiest car he has ever driven.

Dan, as he probably informed you, is working at the same place as Lad — the Producto Machine Co., only on different work. He seems to be getting along all right although it is entirely different work than he has ever done.

I thought I had been able to get a girl to help in the office, and Italian girl from Southport, but after being there three days she left word Saturday morning that she could not keep the job as her mother had been taken sick and she had to stay home to take care of her. That leaves me up in the air again. It is almost impossible to get any kind of girl around here these days to do any kind of work, as the demand from the factories where high salaries are paid, cleans the market out pronto.

I do wish one of you boys would write me as we have heard nothing from Alaska since Dan left.

Tomorrow I’ll post the rest of this letter.

On Wednesday, a letter from a friend from Venezuela to Lad.

On Thursday and Friday, another letter from Grandpa to Ced and Dick in Alaska.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (20) – A Letter From Grandma Peabody – September, 1934

 

Grandma Peabody

Grandma Peabody

September 13

Dear Cedric

Your welcome letter came several days ago. I am so glad you are home again because I could not help worrying about you.

I would certainly like to see you and hear of your visits and all about the relatives you visited. You must have had a great time

Did you like haying and threshing? I know all about such things. You should have seen us (the Westlins) carrying lunches out to the men haying, and to the threshing crews when that work started usually late in September, sometimes as late as October. The wind would blow and it was cold. The men were always so glad for the hot coffee, sandwiches and cake.

I believe I told your father I am moving to New York City in a short time to live with Aunt Dorothy. I am wondering if it will be easier for you to come to New York to make a visit rather than Ossining. We are all anxious to hear any news.

No news from here, everything seems to go jogging along as usual.

Lovingly,

Grandma

My love to all of you.

CDG - Ced's Rides by Date

CDG - Ced's Rides By Date - Part 2

Autos I rode in, Part 1 and Autos I rode in, Part 2. They are listed by date.

CDG - Ced's rides by Make

This is Ced’s report on all of the cars and trucks he caught a ride in, both going out and coming home.

Next weekend I’ll have a couple of quick notes to bring this adventure to a close. What an amazing adventure for a 17 year old, traveling by himself. I wouldn’t allow that to happen in this day and age. 

Tomorrow I’ll start posting letters written in 1943. This will be a very important year for Lad, as we shall see.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (19) – September 1, 1934

Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Sat. Sept. 1

Dear Dad:

I saw Vivian and Aunt Anna before I left Star Prairie and they gave me five dollars to “have a good time on”. I got good rides all the way down to Madison Monday and Tuesday headed for Chicago and found cousin Rudolf there where he is staying. I spent Wednesday at Chicago with him and we went to the fair Wednesday night and saw The Black Forest and the “Standard Oil Line Power Show” and then went to the Ford building and saw their movie which was excellent and then we heard the Ford Symphony band.

I started for Cleveland Thursday morning expecting to get there by night but I didn’t get a ride until four o’clock in the afternoon. I had a terrible day of it and first went to bed on the road at 3 AM. I made Cleveland at three o’clock yesterday and here I am at Chagrin Falls. We are going to the air races tomorrow and I will leave for home on the third or fourth and probably won’t arrive home until the seventh or eighth or maybe the ninth.

I am anxious to get back home again and see you all and am glad to hear that Alfred is going back to school.

On the trip from Madison to Chicago I rode in 1934 Packard, what do you think of that? I have lots of things to tell you when I get back and hope I can remember them all. There are so many that I’m afraid many of them have gotten lost back in my mind but I guess they’ll come out in the wash. It will certainly be nice to get home and until next week, goodbye.

Lots of love to you and the kids.

Ced

The line about the 1934 Packard makes me wonder if the Packard that Lad drove was a 1934. This might have been a ’37 or ’39 Packard. I know the family had at least those three. Here’s a picture of one of the Packards, I think. Can you tell? If you have any information, please leave a comment.

Packard and Mack

A Packard and Mack (short for Mackenzie, named after the river in Alaska.)

Tomorrow, another letter as Ced moves closer and closer to Trumbull and the old homestead.

Judy Guion

Trumbull (2) – Grandpa’s Birthday Letter to Lad – March, 1943

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Page 2    3/28/43

Dear Lad, old Son:

This is a special birthday letter to you, because it will not be many days now before the anniversary will come around that brought considerable joy to two young newlyweds so many years ago on the occasion of the birth of their first son. And may I say that the hopes and fond dreams of parents that so many times prove disappointing, have brought many happy hours in your case. There is something in the Anglo-Saxon nature that makes us hold back saying some of the things we feel for fear of slopping over into sentiment I suppose, but at times like this with you so far away, we can let down the bar a bit to take an inside look. I’ve always been proud of you, Lad, from the time your baby hands patiently built little houses of sticks, right through your boyhood, youth and manhood. You never let me down. The formative period of your life has been safely passed. Who knows what the future holds! It may be great material success or just a comfortably getting by, but those habits of character that promised so much more than material progress are rooted and I can sit by with the sigh of content and say to your mother, “With Lad’s cooperation, I have kept my promise and you too must share the quiet joy that comes to a parent’s heart when we think of Lad”. What you wrote me about not letting the drink habit get the better of you a case in point.

I had planned long ere this to send by mail a little birthday remembrance so that it would reach you by April 3, but the thing I wanted seems to be out of stock and each day I asked they expect it in shortly, and so time goes by. You’ll hear from me but it will not be as much on time as I hoped.

Now as to the car. I am a bit concerned, lest your parting with the car will deprive you of one of your chief pleasures; so here is my suggestion. I can settle up with the bank by selling some of my securities (and in one way this seems only the fair thing to do to make up for the many months you generously sent home funds to take care of bills when the going was tough). Then there is the Fairbanks Morse stock you hold which, while it might not take care of the whole debt, would help, stocks look as though they were advancing in value and it seems a shame to sell now when later on you would probably be able to get a better price. I don’t like to see this little nest egg of yours vanish. So don’t sell the car if it means a lot to you in the way of enjoyment. My conscience would not let me feel too happy about it. I have another notice received the other day from the bank but I can probably renew the thing again, so don’t act before you weigh the thing from all angles.

Well, I’m going to miss not having a little special birthday celebration for you in accordance with the old Guion custom, but you can be sure we will be thinking of you and wishing you many good thoughts. May this year prove your best and happiest (And to think, Grandpa hadn’t seen the letter I’ll be posting on Friday yet !) from many angles and come back some day safe and sound to the old home and to

Your loving,

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another one from Lad from the Hospitality Center of South Pasadena.

On Saturday and Sunday, we continue to travel with Ced toward his relatives in North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Judy Guion

Lad – Army Life – Dear Dad – News of Dick’s Wedding – March, 1943

Alfred Duryee Guion

Camp Santa Anita

March 21, 1943

Dear Dad: –

Well, seems that again, a couple of weeks have gone by before I’ve gotten around to writing. I’m just not conscientious enough I guess, and the conditions here are far from conducive to writing. It is pretty hard to write in the camp itself because of lack of facilities, and once away from camp, who wants to sit down in someone’s home or where you are expected to be enjoying yourself and write? I know I don’t, and as you have seen, I haven’t.

But, nevertheless, I’m perfectly well and really enjoying myself as well as could be expected under the circumstances

I should have done something about this before, but I had practically forgotten it. Tell Mrs. Lee to carry on with the insurance. By the time you receive this, she should have received $10 by telegram, which should take care of it for a short period, anyway, and I’ll write to her for an account. Thank you for your gentle reminder.

And Dick is now married. Well, well, well. By the time I got your letter saying that he was to be called into service, but would be married first, he had already gone. The time required for mail from back east is getting longer and longer. In fact, some of your letters have taken almost 2 weeks to reach me. It is normally, 6 to 9 days. Once in a while 5 or 6.

Well, now to get back to the previous paragraph. So Dick is now married. Well, well, well. That move sort of leaves me writeless. But I’ll try to continue, nevertheless. In the first place, I have absolutely no available cash that I can use for a wedding present, so I think I’ll write Jean and ask her to “take a rain check” on it. As is very often the case – I knew pretty much about the affair, long before it happened. In fact, sometime around October, Dick asked me about it, and I told him what I thought about getting married before or during this war, and I can see he took my advice – and threw it out the window, or some such place but anyhow, I believe he really has a wonderful wife. I like her very much. I just hope that knowing that she is there waiting for him will sort of change some of his lackadaisical ways. (Maybe I had better get married.) I can think of lots more to say, but they are better said to Jean or Dick directly, so that’s that.

As customary, I’ve been having a Hell of a good time. About two weeks ago I went on what is commonly called “the wagon”. Vince, Vic, Art and I (Junior doesn’t drink) were all doing some pretty heavy drinking. Quite often we would drink one and a half or 2 quarts of whiskey in an evening and I believe that for about a month never one night went by that we didn’t “kill” a quart. So, as I said, I’m on the wagon, and it seems to have had a slight effect on the others. At any rate, we, or rather, they, have had very little to drink. I wanted to find out for myself if I needed to drink or if it was just because of the association, and I find that it was the latter. The boys made me promise that on Wednesday, March 31, I would take a drink. We are all going to see “The Drunkard”, and part of the show consists of drinking beer and eating so I’ve consented. That will be the first drop of anything alcoholic in my system since March 7th. Last Saturday – Vic, Art and Al – went to L. A. To see “Hi Rookie”. It is a “scream”, and we thoroughly enjoyed the whole production. It is put on by the boys from Fort MacArthur, just south of L. A. proper and they seem to enjoy doing it as well as the audience enjoys seeing it. It has been running since the latter part of 1942 and the house is still crowded at each performance. It really is good. “The Drunkard” must be good, too, since this is its 10th year.

Now, a little business. Selling the car here will be an easy matter, but I would not be able to get another since prices are just about double those in the East. But I have finally located a person who has more money than he knows what to do with, and it looks as though you will have enough to straighten out with the bank in a short while. One of the factors which make it more difficult to sell it, is that there are five of us together. So it will be a decided inconvenience to not only me, but the rest, were I to sell it. (As you can see, I wrote so fast and furious that my pen couldn’t keep up with me, and I’ve got to put it away until I can get something more to eat.) So, if the bank says anything, ask for 30 days more, and you shall have it.

Well, there goes the bell for starting work, so give my love or regards to all, and keep well.

Lad

I’ll continue the week with two more letters from Grandpa and another one from Lad.

Judy Guion

Ced’s Coming of Age Adventure (8) – Chicago to Star Prairie, Wisc. – July, 1934

Ced - 1938Thursday

(August 2, 1934)

Dear Dad,

I am staying with Uncle Kenneth, Aunt Nora, and their three children; Allan, Joyce and seven weeks old Muriel, at Star Prairie, Wisconsin. I arrived in New Richmond Tuesday night and Uncle Douglas met me there.

I believe I left off on the “letter diary” at my arrival in Cleveland, therefore I will begin there. The first day at the Fair I started at the 12th St. Gate and then went through the park parallel with the islands, very thoroughly during the day, and also through the island. I looked at everything and went inside everything that looked interesting. There were many interesting things but nothing outstanding.

The second day I went into old England where I met a friend of the Draz’s which they had told me about their. That evening I saw the Chrysler track where Barry Oldfield and his “held drivers” put on a demonstration with Plymouths. They took two Plymouths and ran them through some pits where they certainly did some wonderful tricks. I saw the Ford building that afternoon and in it were some wonderful old carriages and autos, some of the most interesting I put on the inside cover of the diary from the railway booklet which I sent you with the other junk.

CDG - Of interest in the Fird Exhibit

Of  Interest at the Ford exhibit

I took another big section that day and the next day finished up with the trip through the Fairgrounds. I saw the Drama of Transportation which was quite a lot like the Fair of the Iron Horse, which we saw in Baltimore. I was supposed to start Monday morning of this week but I dropped Alfred’s watch on the tile floor in the shower and broke the balance wheel staff, and had to wait to have this fixed. I got started about noon and walked about out of Chicago before getting a ride. This man carried me about 2 miles and then I walked a mile or so and was carried another 2 miles. I walked about half a mile and was carried about a mile, than I walked another half-mile and road a mile and then got a ride for two blocks, then I got a 5 mile ride and walked about a mile on a wrong road, but I got a ride to the right one very quickly. Next I walked 2 miles rode two, walked one, rode two, walked one, rode one, walked one and got a ride in a Ford V-8 truck for almost 100 miles, about that time it got dark and I walked along a little traveled road for about 5 miles when a model T picked me up and took me into Madison, Wisconsin where I was going to look up Rudolph, but at a drugstore they told me that he was not in the same house and they called Harold’s home and found that Rudolf was in Chicago studying for a higher position and Harold was in  ___, Wisconsin for his hay fever but a cousin of theirs was at Herald’s place, and they invited me out for the night. Fred Shaken (the cousin) was there with two classmates and they are all going to the University of Wisconsin. I left early the next morning with Star Prarie as my goal. I walked about 2 miles and discovered I had left my bathing suit but decided not to go back as the house would probably be locked anyway and then the first crack off the bat a 1934 Chevrolet came along and picked me up, the driver decided not to be  the driver and so I took his place. We stopped and he got a glass of beer and gave me a bottle of root beer, then we arrived at the Dells, Wisconsin (a state scenic place in case you don’t know), he had me drive in and he showed me all one could see from a car and then we went on to his destination. Then I walked about a quarter of a mile and was picked up and carried about 6 miles. I walked another mile and a 1934 Studebaker picked me up. I walked through a small town and was carried about a quarter of a mile and then walked another quarter of a mile when a Packard picked me up and carried me about 3 miles. That I walked about 2 miles and a Ford picked me up. I was going all the way but suddenly the fan pulley broke off, the generator stopped working and the broken piece broke one of the fan blades and caused a big hole in the radiator  (the motor had only been driven 1200 miles since repairs and there was no cooling system ) so we limped into a garage with a very hot motor and I went on alone again.

I got a ride in another 1934 Buick and for the first time in my life, much to my sorrow and discomfort, we came upon a very horrible accident, a boy on a bike had been struck and apparently very badly hurt. The one hitting him had apparently evacuated and left the boy to die. The new Buick I was in went on to the next town for a doctor and we did 85 and 90 all the way  (about 4 miles).

Here I got out and started on very nervous and feeling rather terrible. However, this was apparently a very eventful day, for almost every ride brought a new experience as you have probably already seen. The next ride was in an old Chevrolet with a razor blade salesman who stopped at every gas station to trade razor blades for gas so as to get to St. Paul. At one gas station we learned that the hurt boy had gone on ahead of us to the hospital at Eau Claire so apparently there was still life in him. I don’t believe I will ever know if he lived or not and certainly will try to find out very hard. Well, to go on, the traveling salesman slowed me up so much stopping for sales  – gas  – that I was glad when he finally decided to stop and I gladly left him. Soon I got a ride for about 8 miles and then another about three with little walking in between. Then right away another ride right to the road which runs about 10 miles, into New Richmond, which is about 8 miles from Uncle Kenneth’s place. This ride was very fast as the man was trying to get to Indianapolis at a certain time, he had already averaged 45 for the last 300 miles and he had a Ford model A about a 1931. Well, when he let me out, I walked along the New Richmond Road about a mile when a young fellow about my age picked me up in a model T that carried me to New Richmond. He said he and two other boys are going to take this Ford roadster to the coast in a few weeks. (I wished him good luck but I did not believe it possible). At New Richmond I called Uncle Douglas and he came and got me.  (Uncle Kenneth has no phone). Ever since I have stayed with the Kenneth Peabody’s family, but I have met Uncle Douglas his wife and two of his children, Stanley and Francis. Friday, Uncle Kenneth dropped me off in Uncle Rex’s yard but Rex was not home, however I met his wife, and his two children, Russell and Marshall.

Arla Mary Peabody

Arla Mary Peabody

(This maybe the picture Uncle Burton is talking about.)

On this farm (the old Peabody farm) there is, as you know, a cottage built by Aunt Helen and Aunt Dorothy. Uncle Burton, now 87 years old, lives there and he is a mighty fine old fellow if you ask me. He said that he has a marvelous picture of mother just before she married you and he is going to send you and each of the children separate copies of it. He also gave me three photographs which he said are imperfects. I will explain them all when I get home if you do not know the places and faces. I guess Uncle Burton is the only one that sees much of Rex but I have a feeling that this family is probably coming together again because Uncle Kenneth drove into Rex’s yard today (he told me it was the first time) and he talked with both Russell and Rex’s wife. The Rex Peabodys have invited Uncle Burton for dinner Sunday night. Uncle Frank’s daughter Barbara is here with Uncle Kenneth until the 12th, so of course I have met her. As I said at the beginning , there is a new baby here and they are crazy about her of course. They are having very hard times this year and Uncle Kenneth and I were talking together and he said they had gotten no hay at all this year, of course the well for running water is dry but they have got a hand pumped well which holds up pretty well. They all wanted me to send their love to you.

I like them all very much although I have not seen much of any but the Kenneth Peabody’s. I have seen the cows milked. Today I went with Uncle Kenneth and watched him run the binder. I am having a wonderful time and hope you all are.

Lots of love to you all,

Ced

My present address is in care of Mr. Kenneth Peabody, Star Prarie, Wisc. Route 1.