Trumbull – Dear Boys (2) – A Sailor’s Difficulties in Getting Married – July 29, 1945


Jean (Mortensen) Guion and Marian (Irwin) Guion

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Did I mention in last week’s letter that Red Sirene is home? He is. A girl’s farewell party was given to Jean (who is travelling to Brazil to be with her husband, Dick) here Thursday night and from all reports it was a bang-up affair. Marian had the table most attractively decorated with the centerpiece depicting a tropical landscape, palm trees, sandy beach adjoining a pond, thatched hut, a couple of Brazilian natives running around in their birthday clothes, and Brazilian flags as place cards. Automatically, Marian became a member of the home decorating squad along with Ced and Dave. Dan still retains his seat as chairman of the greens committee. Tomorrow night, Mrs. Ives, Ethel and the young folks in the apartment are coming over here for a farewell dinner in Jean’s honor.  We’re going to miss that gal, Dick, so don’t linger in your hacienda any longer than is necessary after the Army throws you out.

Just one other anecdote before we get on with the letters from Dave and Ced. Saturday of last week the phone rang. U.S.O. from Bridgeport. A sailor and his girl wanted to get married right away. He had to go back that night. Could the J. P.(Justice of the Peace – Grandpa) issue the license and tie the knot quick. No. The J. P. had no authority to issue licenses. License bureau in Bridgeport closed until Monday. What to do. Only possibility was if Miss Helen Plumb, Town Clerk, living on Church Hill Road, could be located, a license might be issued and marriage performed in Trumbull. They phoned Miss Plumb. She was out but her mother said she would be home soon. They would taxi to her home. Between the taxi man and the U.S.O., they located a Church Hill Road (in Fairfield). Out they went to Fairfield. After some considerable inquiries they found that the Fairfield Town Clerk, had married a second time, to a Mrs. Plumb who had a daughter named Helen, so when they asked at the Town Clerk’s house in Fairfield if a Helen Plumb lived there, the answer was “Yes”. The taxi was dismissed. But Helen Plumb was not the Town Clerk. The Town Clerk was away. Perhaps it was the town clerk in Trumbull named Helen Plumb. It was another taxi to Trumbull. Meantime, the Trumbull Town Clerk had been waiting hours. Meanwhile, the J. P. had just decided to go out for a restaurant supper with Biss and Aunt Betty. Just before the Buick starter purred, up the driveway walked a sailor lugging a suitcase trailed by a girl. They had had enough of taxis and walked down from the Town Clerk’s house. The J. P. went into action on the cement Terrace and they all lived happily ever after, or maybe that’s just a fairytale. All rights copyrighted for plots for plays or movies.

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Now for the quotes. Both Ced and Dave have written good long letters. They are two interesting to summarize too much yet too long to quote both in full, so I think I shall reserve Ced’s until next week. Dave, after comparing the experiences of Dan and himself and showing their marked similarity goes on to say: “Dan’s description of the V-1’s reminds me of the Japanese Kamakazi (suicide) planes. The effect is the same but as it carries a pilot, it is more accurate. Here’s an account of the first suicide plane I saw. One day I was down at the beach when the air raid sirens blew. “Hit the dirt”. I dove for a concrete wall that stood in front of one of the numerous tombs on the island. I looked up and saw flak mushrooming all around a fly speck in the sky. All of a sudden it started to fall. “They got it” someone yelled, and all the guys started to clap as though the fellow carrying the ball broke through the line and went over for a touchdown. Later we found that the plane hadn’t been hit but instead took a nosedive into a hospital ship. Hospital ships are painted white, have big red crosses on them and look like a Dollar Line steamer.

No other ship looks anything like it out here. No one will ever convince me that the Jap flying that plane was trying to hit any other ship in the harbor, which ship, by the way, was not empty.

I’ll finish up this letter tomorrow.

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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Birthdays, A Wedding and Lawsuits – Oct, 1939

This weeks chronicle to Lad of happenings in Trumbull include several celebrations. It’s  also been 6 months since Lad left InterAmerica for his current job at Socony-Vacuum Oil Company and four months since Dan traveled home from Venezuela, but the battle with InterAmerica for wages due continues on. This letter does supply some indication that things will be coming to a close fairly soon.

Ye last Sunday in October, 1939

Dear Future General Manager:

Picture to yourself lawns covered with newly fallen tannish-yellow leaves, clear brisk October whether, a cozy fire in the alcove, Mack asleep on the floor and me at my

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad) in Venezuela

typewriter and you will have the proper background for this letter.

Chalk up to your credit some additional heartbeats of joy occasioned by the fact that last Tuesday when I looked in the mailbox there was the welcome letter from you and also one for Dan bringing him birthday wishes. And this makes me quite conscious stricken for it was not until Dan mentioned the cause for your letter that I realized it was his birthday. And then I realized with another shock that I had also utterly forgotten all about Aunt Betty’s birthday – – all the more shameful in that she invariably remembers all of our birth days without fail. She was born on October 11, 1863, which makes her 76 years old. She would probably enjoy hearing from you if you find time to drop her a line.

The most outstanding Trumbull news item of the week was the marriage yesterday of Helen Smith and Bill Slauson. I am enclosing a newspaper account of the wedding. While Ced and the gang were not invited to the reception they went over to the house in Stratford where the Smiths are now living, Ced with the generous collection of old tin cans, shoes, stuffed animals, signs and what not, including one of the old grates from the furnace.

I don’t know how it happened but Ced learned today that after the wedding and as they were starting on their trip, in backing the car, the grate punctured the gas tank and being unable to get it fixed, Mr. Smith had to lend them his car for their wedding trip. Red had fastened to the grate on, but I think Carl got blamed for it. Carl’s part was cutting up an onion and putting it on the manifold where it would stink it up when the car got warmed up. As Ced observed, they were probably pretty sore about the whole incident now, but as they look back on it in future years, it will be something to remember with a chuckle.

Dan, Barbara, Arnold and Alta have all gone down to the World’s Fair today. I think this is the last weekend before it closes.

In the same mail your letter arrived, there came a note from Mr. McCarter asking Dan to come to New York and receive a check that was waiting for him. I called up McCarter and was told he had a check for the full amount owing Dan to close up the account being the sum of $399.14 and that it was necessary for Dan to sign a release which was being handled by InterAmerica’s lawyer next door to McCarter’s office. Dan had arranged to go down there yesterday morning, but later McCarter phoned that he would not be in and neither would the lawyer and asked if Dan could come down Monday (tomorrow) which he is planning to do. I may go down with him to see that everything is straight.

Daniel Beck Guion in Venezuela

Daniel Beck Guion in Venezuela

Dan also received a letter from Mr. Humphrey Nolan written on a letterhead of a New York concern, as follows: “I understand that you have a claim against InterAmerica, Inc. which you would like to press. Burkhardt, Matthews, Miss Easthagen, Gilman and myself all have our claims in the hands of Levy, Wolf and Feingold. Carl Nelson is making arrangements to put his claim with ours, and we also wish to have Shields, Stevenson, and Myers as well as yourself put your claims with ours, so that action taken may be as strong as possible with the least expense to any one individual. It is our plan to proceed to have a receiver appointed in Delaware. If this is carried through, all of InterAmerica’s affairs will be taken over by some company like the Uihlen Company and any assets which exist will be used to pay off our claims. However, we believe that InterAmerica will do everything possible to make payments and stop this action. Will you let me hear from you at once as we understand that InterAmerica has payments of approximately $19,000 due in November we should like, of course,to come in before these payments are made. Levy, Wolf and Feingold are the attorneys who were successful in getting Govin’s money and they have a judgment for Gilman. Awaiting your immediate reply, I am”

I have quoted this letter at length for one reason and that is to urge you to take immediate action in the matter of filing your claim for the balance due you. Simply stated, the proposition as far as you are concerned is this: if the tools are of more value to you than the back salary then you need do nothing about it and let things ride as you have up to the present, with, however, the possibility that if things come to a head with InterAmerica, you might be subject to a claim for the tools which you might have to prove in the law court you had not obtained illegally.

On the other hand, if the cash seems to you more useful than the tools, then I should let no grass grow under my feet, in view of the action which these other people intend to take as expressed in the letter above, because if they put the company out of business, (and I think I can see Ted’s fine Italian hand behind this move) and your claim is not in with the others you will be out of luck and may have to return the tools anyway on a court order.

My advice to you is to get busy at once. In any event I should be interested to know what you decide to do and the outcome in case you demand the cash. I still feel you are entitled to the balance of your back salary and the equivalent of your fare home and believe that is what you should demand as a requisite of releasing the tools to Maxudian. As I suggested in a former letter, if there is no one there among the higher ups that can advise you in the matter and you can’t get to Caracas to talk to McMillan, you had best write him and get his help, sending the tools to him with the request not to release them to Maxudian until your back claims are entirely satisfied.

Zeke has just informed me that Elizabeth and your new nephew are expected to return home Tuesday.

Assorted clippings are enclosed. Does this look like your marsh buggy? I wonder which tires are bigger, the marsh buggies or Bird’s snow cruiser. Thanks for the Building and Loan card. Here is your statement. Oh yes, I have been asked to be in a play the Parent-Teachers Association is giving in December. I am to take the part of the judge. Will tell you more about it when I know more about the cast.

Thoughts have run dry again, so until next week, when the old Remington will be exercised again, I’ll be gathering news for my Venezuelan branch of the family. Meanwhile I’ll be thinking of you often and fondly,


Tomorrow, we’ll have a rare letter from Aunt Helen Human, wife of Ted Human, also known as T.H. Jr., the uncle who hired Lad and Dan for the job in South America.

For more information on how this began, check out earlier posts in the category “Life in Venezuela”.

Judy Guion