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.
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.
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,
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),
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.