Autobiography of Mary E. Wilson – 1933 – 1934

 

Mary E. Wilson

Mary E. Wilson

Not much has changed in Mary’s life so this is a rather short post. She seems quite happy with everything.

1933 – 1934

          My life at this time was quiet, nothing exciting was happening. Life was amiable at home. Doris was a good girl but willful.

My mother had decided that now that I was 22, I could keep half of my earnings. Three other girls and myself decided to take up horseback riding. I loved it and went two or three times a week.

I still dated Fred but I dated other young men to. I love going to the Ritz Ballroom and also danced and Quilty’s and Pleasure Beach Dance Hall. Fred did not like to dance and he worked nights every other week so it worked out just fine.

At this time, Dr. Nasti’s wife died and they had only been married a year. We had a rough time at the office because I could not depend on him to keep his appointments. For almost a year he had a bad time then he met a former girlfriend and they started going out and married.

I still had my part-time work in the G.E. but they were becoming very uneasy because there were more rumblings in Europe. I had a good job in but loved working for Dr. Nastri so I worked longer hours and was able to keep both jobs. I had no time for night school but I was happy doing my thing.

Somehow I felt I was leading a dual life. Two weeks I dated Fred and kept very reserved and had quiet times with him and his older friends playing bridge, etc. The other two weeks I hung around Francis and other friends, did a lot of dancing, horseback riding, picnics, swimming parties and also participated in exercise clubs but we did have fun times.

Celso was still my best friend and my nephew Jimmy had grown into a beautiful boy. My mother adored her first grandchild and spoiled him rotten.

Next Sunday, we’ll see what 1935 brings into the life of Mary E. Wilson. 

Tomorrow, I’ll begin posting letters written in late 1940, when Dan and Ced are working in Alaska and Lad is in Venezuela. Grandpa continues to keep his boys aware of what is happening in the family and in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – The Traveling Clan – Aug, 1943

Blog Timeline - 1941-1943

We continue the story of the Traveling Guions in 1943. Both Dan and Dick are apparently overseas, Lad is coming home on furlough and Grandpa’s sister, Elsie, has come up from New York to celebrate her birthday.

Trumbull Conn.

August 22, 1943

Dear Travelers all:

There is something that tells me that now two of the Guion clan “have sailed the ocean blue”, and while no evidence has yet reached us that they arrived on foreign shores, the absence of all word from Dick and Dan over so long a period seems to tell its own story, as for us back here —

A life on the ocean wave,

A home on the rolling deep,

Where the scattered waters rave

And the winds their revels keep.

Like an eagle caged, I pine

On this dull, unchanging shore.

Oh, give me the flashing brine,

The spray and the tempests roar.

I suppose it’s not permissible for the folks back home to know just where Uncle Sam has ordered you boys to be stationed, whether in Sylvia’s native land, or Woolard’s birthplace or the land of Kathryn Wharton’s ancestors, but where ever it be, I hope you arrived safely without excitement more than enough to make the journey interesting.

This seems to be the travelingest family! A letter from Lad, and a right welcome one to, reveals that his furlough has at last been verified and unless something unforeseen occurs, he starts on Friday, September 3rd  and comes by train, arriving four days or so later. He has to be back on September 17th, which doesn’t give him a chance to get fed up too much on home routine. He gives some interesting routine that fills his days, and how he does fling time about. Why, years mean absolutely nothing to him. Imagine being on duty since 1730! You’d think the generals like Washington or Grant or Pershing would see that a fellow got a better break than that. It positively makes me feel old to think of a son of mine serving that long at a stretch. Oh, well, if things keep up at their present pace, the war will be over before so very long (I’m still holding out to my original guess that 1943 will see the end of the European struggle), and by that time maybe the Japs will have seen the wisdom of sneaking away from other places besides Kiska.

Marian Irwin - 1942

Marian Irwin – 1942

Thanks Lad, for the picture of Marian. Too bad she can’t get a furlough too and pay a visit to Connecticut.

And Dave, too, is fixin’ to do some land traveling. He had a brainstorm the other day and for the past week has been busy with plans on dolling up the old Waverley electric, putting in a motorcycle motor, locating, if possible, some old model T tires, etc. Privately, I have my doubts but Harry Burr and Arnold (Gibson) think it is possible to make it run. Anyway it will keep him out of mischief and enlarge his knowledge of mechanics. He plans to travel with it to Westport when it is in running condition and call on James Melton who has an exact replica, if pictures published in the Sunday papers are to be believed.

It’s almost 3 weeks since any word has come from traveler Ced. Maybe he’s miffed because for the last several weeks letters have been addressed to him as Dangerous Dan McGraw Guion, Fearless Fosdick Guion, Little Orphan Ceddie, Invisible Scarlet O’Neil Guion, etc., which may give Alaskan postal authorities just an inkling of what we think of him back home. Of course, again, I may have him completely baffled and nonplussed at his failure to think of any names quite so clever to get back at me with, but shucks, Ced, don’t let that stop you.

And now dear children, I have quite a pleasant surprise for you. As you know, August 22nd  is Elsie’s birthday (Incidentally Ced, I never have any trouble remembering your PO Box number on this account). She is making a personal appearance. It gives me great pleasure to introduce …..MISS GUION.

Thank you, thank you, Maestro Guion and howdy Lad, Dan, Ced and Dick. To make this an extra special occasion for myself, I came up Friday night and caught the 10:30 bus. No, I’m not celebrating my birthday anymore! But my brother did in his usual, expansive style.

My home life remains the same as usual – going back and forth to the Shop. I suppose I’m doing my bit by staying on the job, but I’d feel better if the commodities we deal in and were vital to the war effort. I’d feel better if I was riveting something or working on airplanes with the possibility of being sent overseas to do something there or preparing to work overseas in the postwar period. I hate to think of the war coming and going without my having put my finger into the war itself somewhere or somehow.

I’m still at the Tudor and trying to get along on less and less – what with increasing taxes and the increasing cost of food. Restaurant food is so high and the quality so correspondingly low that we try to eat home as much as possible but the heat of summer makes it impossible to keep perishable things without ice. A young woman comes to us every day and helps us until about 7:30 P.M. she comes at 5:00 P.M., after her daytime job in an architect’s office. On Sunday she goes to New Jersey and on Monday brings us nice ripe tomatoes, string beans, squash, etc. Not all at once, of course. But we enjoy the fresh vegetables. It’s a rare treat.

Just now Aunt Betty and I and Smoky took a walk up to the ol’ swimmin’ hole. It looks deserted – weeds are overgrown all around, there’s not too much water running on account of little rain lately, and it looks forgotten. Smoky barked a cow out of her afternoon nap, splashed in the water several times and was the only one to show real activity.

Well, here’s wishing you and you and you and you the best of good fortune in the days ahead. I wish I were on the seas going places. So long,

Elsie

Jean has been spending the last few days at Fairfield Beach with Barbara and some other girls. I think the cottage is owned by Helen Berger. Anyway, she is one of the party. Jean lives in hourly anticipation of hearing from Dick. I had definite instructions to call her anytime of the day or night if word should come from her M.P. (Married partner), but to date this has not been necessary.

Things go on here in the regular routine. Everything, both inside and outside the house, remains about the same. Meantime, Ced, the little blue boats in your room continue to sail on their interminable journeys to unnamed ports, awaiting the day when you will, to the haven of Trumbull from distant Alaska appear, and plop will go the anchor for a bit of shore leave. Until that time, keeping the beacon light burning bright will be the job of your old lighthouse keeper (and cook),

DAD

I won’t make you wait. We’ll stay right here in August and September, 1943, until Lad had come and gone on his furlough. Come back tomorrow for more of this special time in Trumbull.

Judy Guion

Re-Post – In the Spirit of the Times- what the world was like back then…

My friend, Alan Stein, owner of Tanglewood Conservatories, surprised me with a post about the correlation of the spirit of my families travels during the late 1930’s and early 1940’s and the boom in Architectural design that had started a few decades earlier with the marriage of steel and glass. 

You have got to visit his blog,http://www.tanglewoodconservatories.com/blog/   and discover the unique, stylish and extremely useful conservatories he creates for his clients. These rooms bring the outside world into the home and become the hub, the favorite room in the house. The pictures alone are worth the visit, and the history is the icing on the cake !

In the Spirit of the Times- what the world was like back then…

Posted February 9th, 2013 by Alan and filed in Uncategorized

During the latter half of the nineteenth century, architects and builders conceived a new building type- one based on a combination of materials never before available- steel and glass. The great glass conservatories of that time were perhaps its purest expression. It was a time of great optimism throughout Europe and the New World, an age of discovery. Exploration and invention were everywhere.

My friend Judith (Guion) Hardy’s blog on life lessons from the “greatest generation” offers a unique and detailed glimpse into the spirit of the times. “Greatest Generation” Life Lessons which Judith tags “…the story of an ordinary family, trying to live an ordinary life during an extraordinary time frame, and the lessons they learn through experience”. This is an understatement of the relevance of this material.

She found boxes of old letters that her grandfather sent to her father and uncle while they traveled abroad in the 1920’s and 30’s. The spirit of adventure that gripped the times pulses though the letters. Though the time period is slightly after the conservatory building boom in Europe, in America, the early twentieth century saw the design and construction of large public botanical gardens in cites from New York to San Francisco.

Cedric Duryee Guion

These fascinating letters, which Judith publishes on her blog, offer intimate snapshots into the everyday-world that was the context in which the development of the marvelous conservatories of the times occurred. There is a nonchalant sense of adventure, discovery and pervasive opportunity all about. For example in a recent post, her grandfather Ced first talks about his challenges getting his car registered then a few sentences later mentions moving to Alaska and then shortly thereafter, life for his two sons living and working in Venezuela.

She helps us imagine the sense of a wide open new world that must have prevailed. It was in this spirit that the great glass palaces were conceived and built.

Judith has aptly organized the material so that it tells a great story as well. Enjoy!

Alan’s individual conservatories are the perfect balance between art and function, between the outside and the inside, between artistic expression and usable living space. Truly remarkable rooms. Enjoy.

Judy Guion