Trumbull – To My Little Sons, Everywhere – Lad Visits Dan – December 6, 1942

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 6, 1942

To my little sons everywhere, just everywhere: (a la Mrs. Pennyfeather)

          (including Red Lion, Pa., Flint, Mich. and Anchorage, Ala.)

Old Father Guion went to the mailbox

To see if a letter had come

And when he looked in, the mail was so thin,

He sighed, spat thrice and said “mmm”.

And that, my little dears, ends the bed-time story for tonight.

A letter to Barbara (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend)  brings news that one day last week, Dan, while engaging in a heavy bout with Morpheus on his camp cot, was awakened by the news that a visiting soldier was without the barbican wall (at Red Lion , Pennsylvania) seeking admittance and who should it prove to be but Brother Al (Lad) and a fellow traveler enroute to Flint, Mich. So Lad is on his way but at present I do not know what his new address is to be in that hard Michigan city.

Grandma Peabody at her home  - cropped

Grandma Peabody, Anna Charlotta (Westlin) Peabody

A letter from Grandma (Peabody) describes their rooms in the St. Albans house as large and the ceilings high. She says: “It does make me feel so bad when I realize how near I came to seeing you all before we left, which occurred on the forenoon of Nov. 11th arriving in St. Albans about 10 that evening. Gwyneth (Stanley, daughter of Anne (Peabody) Stanley, divorced from Fred Stanley)  is here too, going to high school where she is taking shorthand and typing. She loves Vermont, has spent two week-ends with her father and stepmother and loves the baby. Kemper (Peabody, 2nd son) has a nice office off from the living room.  He is retaining his business in Mount Vernon. Dorothy (Peabody, youngest daughter) has the cutest little apartment at #5 Minetta Street, N.Y. City. On Labor Day, Anne (Peabody Stanley, 3rd daughter) went to New York to see Donald (Stanley, her son) who had had his appendix removed. He is now back at training school. Anne lives at 37 Davis Ave., New Rochelle. She has been working in a gift shop there for some time. Larry (Peabody, 3rd son)  and Marion are very happy in their place. She did a lot of canning of stuff from their own garden and is very active socially. Alan (their son) had a very short attack of pneumonia but with the aid of the new sulpha drug recovered completely and is now back in school again. We hope to have Dorothy up here with us Christmas if all goes well. I miss her so much. We have been together for so long and she has been so good to me always and taken such splendid care of me when I have been sick. You knew I had a very bad time last February and have been very slow in recovering but I believe I am improving a little more and more. I can’t do any kind of work that takes much action so I have taken the dishwashing job. With love to Aunt Betty and all the Guions in Trumbull and elsewhere,” Her address is Mrs. Anne W. Peabody, Fairfax Road, RFD 2, St. Albans, Vt. Burton’s (Peabody, oldest son) address is Capt. Burton W. Peabody, 1223 11th St., N.W., Washington.

Mr. Ives (neighbor across the street), I learned, is in the hospital again but Carl (Wayne) says he is expected home soon. A band of Young Trumbullites, who have made McKenzie’s drugstore their hangout for some months, formed themselves into a club and I have let them use the large storage room on the ground floor in the barn as a meeting room. They put up the big iron stove and are otherwise getting it ready for occupancy with comfort during the winter months.

Goodbye for now and don’t go sticking beans up your nose.

DAD

Tomorrow, I will begin more Early Years with the Memories of David Peabody Guion.

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Dan – Thanksgiving And Churchill’s Inspiring Oratory – November 29, 1942

The Old Homestead

The Old Homestead

Trumbull, Conn., November 29, 1942

Dear Dan:

That’s done it! The “pathetically yours” on your last letter, I mean. It would be an adamantine heart indeed that could disregard so mute an appeal to one’s innate sympathies. However, if the Thanksgiving dinner provided by Uncle Sam to you was within shooting range of the one Lad captured at Aberdeen, no sympathy need be wasted as far, at least, as the dinner is concerned. Of course the home surroundings, the spiritual accompaniment of friends and family which we like to believe has something to do with the occasion, was of course missing, and we here missed that as much if not more than you did.ADG - China - the good set

        The “company” china

          The only extra we had here were Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s girlfriend, and future wife, who lives in Stratford)  and Aunt Elsie (Elsie May Guion, Grandpa’s sister). Tomato Juice cocktail, olives, cranberry jelly, turkey, beans, sweet potatoes, Mince pie, cheese, nuts and raisins, fruit and cider with spice cakes, all served in the dining room on “company” china seems to successfully satisfy the inner man.

Today Lad was home again for his last visit prior to leaving in a day or two for points west. After dinner today we all sat around Aunt Betty’s little radio in the kitchen and listened to Churchill’s inspired oratory. (The End of the Beginning November 1942) November has been certainly a big plus as far as good news from various war fronts is concerned. If favorable reports continue through December, we will reach the threshold of the new year with higher hopes than we have enjoyed for many New Years past.

Elsie heard somewhere that Austin Batchelder had finally passed on to the great adventure. Events like this give one to pause and be thankful, that with as many young folks as we have in our own immediate family, all are alive and in good health. “And when the one great scorer comes to write against your name, He’ll write not that you lost or won but how you played the game”. And remember what the old Westerner said: “Life ain’t the holdin’ of a good hand but the playin’ of a poor hand well.” So much for today’s moralizing.

Dick has been running into a spot of trouble with his car lately. I say his car but it is really Dan’s which he has registered in Dan’s name and has been driving around since his own car kicked back on him. Yesterday seemed to be a clogged gas line and all this morning in the rain he has been trying to coax it to leave its anchorage (Word reminds me of Ced), somewhere in Stratford and return peaceably home.

I am getting considerably concerned about gifts for you boys’ Christmas. I have no idea where Lad will be on that day. And have not heard from Ced as to what he may need and yet we are told that packages must be mailed by Tuesday next to reach distant points in time. To complicate the situation, not only are products scarce (outside of clothing), but those still on sale are in many cases subject to priorities and for such reason not available. Lastly their high cost and accompanying low resources are adding a few more monkey wrenches in the midst of the complicated mechanism.

To sum it all up we are beginning to have it forced home on us that there is a war going on and we can’t expect to have things as usual. The only thing that doesn’t change is the hopes and good wishes for the future of his sons that is the main spring in the existence of their                                  DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons, now in Red Lion, Pennsylvania (Dan), Flint, Michigan (Lad) and Anchorage, Alaska (Ced). 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Snails – Lad On Furlough Before Going to California – November 22, 1942

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Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad)

Trumbull, Conn., Sunday, Nov. 22, 1942

Dear Snails:

One winter’s day a snail started to climb a cherry tree. “Ho, ho,” laughed the grasshopper, “there aren’t any cherries up there”. “No,” replied the snail, “but there will be when I get there”.

What this opening remark has to do with letters that do not arrive, I haven’t the least idea, but I thought I would start in that way anyhoo, leaving it to you to find a moral there in if you can.

Lad has been home all this week on a furlough, thoroughly overhauling his car, grinding valves, realigning the brakes, changing tires, etc., to get ready for his trip to Flint and from there to the sunny clime of California. Thus the West claims another of my boys – – and I am devoutly hoping the South-West will release him to return to the paternal roof of Trumbull sooner than the North-West has seen fit to send my other stalwart son home to his boyhood haunts. With Thanksgiving in the offing, I suppose it behooves me to take store of my present blessings rather than sighing for the things that might have been – – for after all the latter would be a species of selfishness born out of self-pity. After all, Lad is doing the sort of thing he is interested in and doing it so well that the chances are his value will be greater to Uncle Sam than if he were sent to the fighting areas. Ced may have some heart aches he manfully keeps to himself for his letters never reflect anything but a poignantly cheerful spirit. He is doing the sort of thing he is interested in, is learning to fly and so far has not been drafted. Dan, thank the Lord, is still near enough to get home frequently and he, too, seems to be fairly content as long as they give him opportunity to satisfy his thirst for knowledge. Dick will probably not get into the service until after the first of the year, after which will follow a period of training, and as I have not changed my opinion that the war will be over as far as any real fighting is concerned by this time next year, I think the training experience will do him a lot more good than otherwise. By September of next year Dave will be of drafting age but the good news from all the fighting fronts of late leads me to hope that he, too, will arrive not with too little but too late.

Biss and Butch, 1940

Elizabeth Westlin (Guion) Zabel and oldest son, Raymond Zabel, Jr. in 1940.  Her 2nd son, Martin, was born in January, 1941 and is less than two at the time of this letter. 

Elizabeth we see frequently, with her two interesting little sons. So, while I am not expecting either Dan or Lad home for the traditional Thanksgiving celebration, my three absent sons will be absent in the flesh only. Aunt Elsie expects to be with us and probably Jean (Mortensen, Dick’s girlfriend and future wife).

Probably the New Rochelle Peabody’s have departed for Vermont. Lad phoned yesterday to see if they were home, intending to take us down there for a visit, but was told the phone had been discontinued.

Bedtime draws nigh and with no further items of note to record, I’ll say goodbye for another week, hoping that the post office will be kind and bring another message right soon to your

DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, two more short letters from Grandpa to his three distant sons.

Judy Hardy

Trumbull – Dear Prodigal Son (2) – Ced’s Bike And Christmas – November 15, 1942

Judy_0003

Page 2    11/15/42

So you’re a bike owner now, you say. Well, under present-day conditions that might be a wise move. Where can you keep the car without spending so much for garage rent as to endanger the $10 an hour fee for airplane rides? Of course I want to see you attain the things you desire most, but when you write me about planes crashing or I read about experienced pilots wrecking their ships on mountain sides, I can’t help but wish you would get more interested in the ground end then in the flying. Incidentally, that was good news yesterday about Eddie Rickenbacher being found. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Rickenbacker  (read the story in section 6.2) Too bad you can’t get Art (Art Woodley, owner and Ced’s boss at Woodley Airfield) to let you fly one of your own planes at half price or less.

The camera purchase is interesting. Some time ago you mentioned wanting a camera so I decided that was what I was going to try to get you for Christmas. The kind Dan and Dick have, I am informed by the dealer, are under government priorities and even then are hard to get, so then I asked him to try to get me a first-class used one, but up to date he has not been able to find even that, and as I have not heard from you as to anything else you might want and the time is growing short, I am sort of up in the air as to how to handle the Alaska Christmas. Your bike seems to have everything, and what you need most for the car can’t be bought, and there I seem to stick.

Lad came home today for a weeks furlough before he goes to California via Flint, Mich., and Dan also was able to get off and come home for a short visit.

Yesterday the weather turned real cold and I lighted the furnace. Holding off this long, it is possible I have enough coal now in the bin to last me through the winter if I don’t have too many cold spells. The adjustment on the Stoker is not right in that it doesn’t seem to be burning all the coal, but with Lad home this week, maybe he can teach it to behave better.

I was glad to get the two more pages on the Farewell rescue trip and hope you can finish it soon so that I can be sure you finally got there. There is a gap in the narrative I think, but I will look it up definitely and let you know.

Wish you were going to be home for Thanksgiving. I guess neither of the boys will be able to make it. I know Lad won’t be here for Christmas.

Thanks for the clippings; also thank Rusty a lot for his brief note. I wish he would write more often and tell me more about himself, how he is getting along, his hopes and plans, etc. I wish he would walk in on us again as he did so many years ago the night we tried to suffocate him. Aunt Betty, Lad and Dave all want to be remembered to you both.

DAD

Three more letters from Grandpa to his sons far away from home will finish out the week.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Prodigal Son (1) – Mail And The Alaskan Highway – November 12, 1942

Ced and car - 1940 (3)-head shot

Cedric Duryee Guion

Trumbull, Conn, November 15, 1942

Dear Prodigal Son:

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was a great way off his father saw him and had compassion and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven and in thy sight and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet, and be merry, for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. And they began to be merry.”

Now to be sure I didn’t fall on my neck when I saw that letter in (PO)  Box 7, but otherwise, I know just how this old man felt, no matter whose neck he fell on. Mailed on October 30th, it reached me November 14th, which bears out what you said about the mail service not being as good as formerly. As you may observe if you get my letter written last week, I have just about made up my mind that I have imagined the importance of letters from home to be far greater then was actually the case, judging from the response they have elicited lately as compared with formerly. I note that they do seem important enough at least for you to notice when one week is skipped, which is something, but as I said before, I have reached the point now where I am getting a little hard of hearing and seem to understand actions a lot better than mere words. And when mail service is poor it but aggravates the case a little more. However, this letter to you is fairly earned. You are the only one to receive it this week however, just to prove I am in earnest.

As to the missing letter of 20th of Sept., in case it has not yet reached you, there were only two things of moment in it; one the news of Charlie Hall’s engagement to Jane Mantle, and the other far more important to me, the receipt of one of the most unique and attractive belts it has been my good fortune to ever see. It was not alone the thoughtfulness that was behind its choice or the value it bore because of the giver, but the buckle being so typically Alaskan seemed to impress everyone who saw it with its individuality and caused such comments as, “worth waiting for”, “something you can be proud to wear”, “never saw anything like it”, “truly suggestive of Alaska”, etc. It IS highly prized, I can assure you, and will give me a daily thrill of pleasure thinking of my far away Alaskan son.

Am glad to learn you received the Readers Digest, the McK & R ditty bag and Briggs clarifier. Carl asked me the other day if I had heard from you as to whether it was the right size. I was also glad to get that first-hand information about the Alaskan Highway and particularly what Dick refers to as the Chickaloon extension. Who knows but what if you continue to be anchored in Anchorage, I will be dusting off the old Buick and starting on a long journey, provided the government will let one buy tires and gas, and you will eventually find me knocking at the door of (PO) box 822.

The information contained on the back of the last page is surprising. I don’t understand the psychology behind it any more than you but think you did the right thing.

Tomorrow I’ll post the last page of this letter to Ced, which had actually been mailed well prior to the last letter Grandpa wrote, threatening to stop writing his weekly missives unless he started receiving letters in return. But in true Grandpa fashion, he sends this letter to Ced alone, thus confirming for both Ced and Dick that he is serious. More letters from Grandpa will fill out the week.

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Richard Peabody Guion (2) 1922 – 1945

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

In the summer of 2000, I went to The Island for our family vacation. I stopped and visited with my Uncle Dick. As soon as I got there, I realized that I had left my tape recorder at home. I asked questions and he talked. I scribbled down what he was telling me in my own shorthand scribble. This resulted in short memories. I made plans to come back with my tape recorder but he passed away before I could return. Therefore, his collection of memories is the shortest section.

rpg-dick-in-uniform-without-mustache-1945

Richard Peabody Guion

Ced was a thorn in my side; he kept trying to make me a more refined person.

Once, Ced spent his hard earned money to buy me a Tinker Toy truck.

Biss, at about seventeen years old, didn’t get along.  She had no desire to assume the running of the house.  My Dad talked it over with the female relatives (Grandma Arla’s sisters, Helen, Anne and Dorothy) and it was decided that Biss would stay with Aunt Anne (Peabody) Stanley) in St. Petersburg, Florida, for about a year. (Biss was actually 14 when she went to Florida with Aunt Anne and her children. It had been just over a year since her Mother had died and she was having a very hard time. She spent the 1934 school year in St. Petersburg, with Aunt Anne and her two children, Donald and Gwen. She turned 15 on January 6, 1934.)

One time Lad took the Packard Touring car, he was quite impressed with its power and high gear.  He started it rolling and slipped the clutch to get it started and went for a drive to Kurtz’s Store.  Johnny Austin was the town cop.  He went to see Dad.  “You’d better talk to your boy … I couldn’t catch him and it’s a good thing I didn’t.”

Dave was argumentative, he loved to argue with Dad … with anybody.  I used to tease the hell out of him because he’d react.  I used to needle him just to make him lose his temper.

One time, Lad, myself, Dan, Gib (Arnold Gibson) and Nellie Sperling (Nelson Sperling)  went to Pinewood Country Club.  They had planted lots of pine trees to hold the soil.  We climbed a tree and moved from tree to tree.  Every once in a while you’d hear a crack, thump, “Ugh”, as someone fell out of his tree.

Another time, me and a couple of my delinquent friends did some malicious mischief (at Center School).  We broke some windows.  Charlie Hall ran across the stage with a stick and broke all the stage lights … pop … pop … pop … pop.

Lad and Gibby (Arnold Gobson) had an old Model T Ford.  They’d tie a rope to the differential, tie a tire on ten or fifteen feet back, and ride it like a surfboard or sled (in the back lot behind the house).

The first time Lad got his motorcycle, he would ride around the house … Up the side along the porch, down a ramp to the lawn and around the house again, and then jump off.

We were going to New New York City to visit my mother’s family (The Peabody Clan)  and it worked out that I could go with Lad on the motorcycle.  Riding on the Merritt Parkway, he took his hands off the handlebar and that impressed me.

I remember when Lad first got his motorcycle, Ced wanted to learn how to ride … So in the back field, Ced was riding along the chain-link fence.  The handle kept hitting the fence and turning the handlebars.

Dad, Ced, Dave and I went on a trip to the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec.  At Lewis we crossed over and went up the south side.  Dad got violently sick from rancid bacon.  At Cape Bon Homie there is high, steep, precipice – about 200 feet high.  At the top, we all lay down on our bellies and inched forward to the edge.  Nearby, we found some rotten logs – one of us would throw one over the edge and the rest of us would watch.  It was fascinating, watching it fall … Almost like slow-motion.

When I was in Brazil (during World War II) I rode bareback on a small horse with a broad back, feeling very macho.  There were five of us going up this gentle hill, hell-bent for leather.  All of a sudden, I was standing on the ground.  The horse had stepped into a hole and somersaulted under me.  If I’d had a regular saddle, I’d have had my shoes in the stirrups.

Alfred Duryee Guion

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa), Marian (Irwin) Guion, Alfred Peabody Guion (Lad), Jean (Mortensen) Guion, Richard Peabody Guion and Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa’s Mother’s Sister, around the kitchen table in the fall of 1945.

One time, Lad was driving Marian, Jean and I back to Trumbull from the movies. (This would have been in the fall of 1945)the car in front of us pulled over and parked.  The driver threw open the door, and Lad shouldn’t have missed it (the driver’s door)  but he did.  Then he started looking around and patting himself … He said, “I had a cigarette …”

Tomorrow, I will begin posting a week of letters written in 1942. At this point in time, both Lad and Dan are in the Army, receiving training. Lad is in Aberdeen, Maryland, and Dan is in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, working at Woodley Airfield. 

Judy Guion

Early Years – Memories of Richard Peabody Guion (1) – 1922 – 1945

After my Uncle Dan (Daniel Beck Guion) passed away in 1997, I realized that first-hand accounts of this particular “Slice of Life” would only continue to diminish over time. I needed to record the memories of my Aunt Biss and her brothers and share them with the family. This culminated in the idea of a Blog so that I could share these memories with anyone who would be interested in the personal histories of some members of The Greatest Generation.

Over a period of several years, whenever possible, I recorded the memories of my Dad and his siblings. 

In the summer of 2000, I went to The Island for our family vacation. I stopped and visited with my Uncle Dick. As soon as I got there, I realized that I had left my tape recorder at home. I asked questions and he talked. I scribbled down what he was telling me in my own shorthand scribble. This resulted in short memories. I made plans to come back with my tape recorder but he passed away before I could return. Therefore, his collection of memories is the shortest section.

SOL -  (DICK) Family picture in 1938 (3)

Richard Peabody Guion

One of my earliest memories is Mom at the front Dutch door (of the Trumbull House), talking to someone from the Red Cross.  I was standing next to her and she was running her hand through my hair … it was Heaven.

At Christmas time, we’d drive down Noble Avenue and look at the Christmas decorations.

We had a circus horse named Goldie, and while she was cropping grass, I would lie down on her back.  When I’d had enough, I’d slide off her back.  I didn’t realize that it might annoy her.  The last time I did it, she kicked me.

Aunt Dorothy had a wild stallion named Nador.  He threw Lad and Dan. (Nador actually belonged to Aunt Elsie Duryee, Grandpa’s only sibling.)

One time I rode our pony Gracie down the railroad tracks.  Heading back to the barn, I lost my footing and one leg got caught, which held me as she galloped home.  I can still hear mother saying, “Whoa, whoa!”

We also had a little cart that was pulled by a goat.

We spent a couple of summers on Fisher’s Island in Long Island Sound with the Burnham’s. (Lifelong friends Grandpa and Grandma met in Larchmont Gardens in Mount Vernon, NY.)

I spent most of my time with Dad.  He was full of information and enthusiasm.  He’d say, “want to take a walk?  I want to show you something.”  After a while, he’d say, “s-h-h-h, s-h-h-h, now lie down and crawl forward.”  And we would see Fox cubs.  There was always interesting things in the field in back of the house.

I went to White Plains School for one year.  I started at Center School in second grade.  In eighth grade, I went to Edison School.  I went to Whittier Junior High School for a year, and then went to Bassick High School in Bridgeport.

Lad did some wrestling for a while … He was extremely proficient … He could beat guys older and heavier than he was.

Nelson Sperling tied a rope to a big Hickory Nut tree on the side driveway, near the steps.  We would take off from the steps, swing out in a big circle and come back to land.  The neighborhood kids couldn’t do it so well.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of the Memories of Richard Peabody Guion.

Judy Guion

Life in Anchorage, Alaska – Itinerary and Job Prospects (2) – July 13, 1940

DBG - 1st letter from Anchorage, July, 1940

After the Fourth we both got jobs through the Employment Agency; Ced with Glover’s Super Service Station and I with Mrs. Baldwin as grocery clerk. Both jobs were temporary, at least as far as we were concerned. Ced has landed another job with Woodley Airways as General Service man. His pay is less than the Glover job, but he will get a toehold in Aviation, which is his aim. He starts work Monday with Woodley (July 15). I lost my job with Mrs. Baldwin yesterday at noon. She had found a permanent clerk, who may or may not last. She has had about five or six clerks since the Air Base began taking her men from her. She is hard to get along with, they say. The men usually quit after a week, or a few days. I got along very well with her, having been forewarned at the Employment Office that she was hard to work for.

I have three irons in the fire, each in connection with surveying. One is the Air Base here at Anchorage. Another is the Air Base at Kodiak. The third is the Civil Aeronautics Authority, which is putting in Air Beacons etc., all over Alaska. They do surveying work, of course, preliminary to construction. The latter job, I think, would prove the most interesting, since I would not be stationed in one town. The work is in the interior, and I would have a better chance to see more of Alaska, giant mosquitoes notwithstanding.

When we sold the car in Seattle, we needed the cash to buy our tickets. We had decided that the money in the bank in Bridgeport, which is mine, would pass to you, Dad, in payment for the car. Both Ced and I would feel better about the whole thing if you would buy a new car; at least one better than the Precocious Lemon. Ced saw a car like the Lemon sold for over $300 here!

Since leaving home we have received only two letters from you, Dad, one in Seattle and one in Anchorage. The latter was postmarked July 1, and is the only mail we have received since leaving Seattle! Either the mail is slow, or the letters have not been addressed properly (c/o Gen’l. Del., Anchorage, Alaska), we do not know. The only other mail was from Barbara and Jean, Seattle. (One from Barbie (Plumb, Dan’s girlfriend), two from Jean (Ced’s special friend). I have made a few inquiries, and it seems that airmail is best. A new service has been opened with Fairbanks, so that it is possible to send airmail from here to the states (“outside”) completely by air except from Anchorage to Fairbanks (train). It should not take any longer than five or six days, at the most. I shall send all my mail by air, and I should like to know how it fares. Our address, until further notice, will remain Gen. Del., Anchorage.

Dust, canning salmon, and drunken Indian women are the highlights of Anchorage so far. I don’t know yet whether or not I like it. I hope I can get to the interior, anyhow. Regards to all. Tell them to write. I’ll answer all letters received!

Dan

Ced sends hugs and kisses.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I will be posting the Memories of Richard Peabody Guion during the Early Years.

Judy Guion

Life In Anchorage, Alaska – Itinerary and Job Prospects (1) – July 13, 1940

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

Daniel  Beck Guion

Ced Guion

Cedric Duryee Guion

Hotel Hopkins

July 13, 1940

Dear “Outsiders”,

This is the first letter I have written to youse since leaving, and, although I have not yet become permanently settled, I can catch you up to me, at least.

I have noted a distinct interest in the two letters we have received from Dad about how far we traveled each day. I shall give you our itinerary, but first will qualify it by admitting that Ced might have told you already. I have left everything to him when it came to writing home while I (blush) have written only to Barbara (Barbara Plumb, his girlfriend).

(This is a list of all the places they slept on the trip west)

Thursday, June 13, Kane, Pa.

June 14, Draz’s barn, Chagrin Falls, Wisc.

June 15, Grain Field, Walworth, Wisc.

June 16, Peabody Farm, Wisc.

June 17, Frank Peabody’s, St. Paul, Minn.

June 18, Badlands, S. Dak.

June 19, Wildcat, Wyo.

June 20, Gillespie’s, Missoula, Mont.

June 21, Blewett’s Pass, Washington

June 22, Seattle, about noon. Slept on beach first night.

June 23 – 25, YMCA Hotel, Seattle

June 26 – 28, Inland Passage, arrived Ketchikan

June 29, arrived at Juneau 4:30 A.M.

June 30, arrived Cordova

July 1, arrived the Valdez

July 2, arrived Seward, took train to Anchorage.

July 2 – present, Anchorage (2 – 7 at Anchorage Hotel; 7 – present at Hopkins Hotel).

Our first afternoon in Anchorage we found Mr. Stohl who was tersely polite upon learning that we were friends of Rusty, but he said there was nothing for us at the mine but he was sure we could find work in Anchorage. We went to a few of the offices, and learned that new arrivals from  the “outside” (Cheechakos) were not being accepted on the Government’s Air Base project, since there was an ample supply of Alaskans who were looking for work, but it should not be hard to find other employment. We registered at the Employment Office, and were told that the Rail Road was advertising for men, their employees having left to get better wages with the Air Base. So Ced and I went down to the RR office next AM, underwent a physical examination, and were told that we could go to work after the Fourth. In the meantime, we discovered that any man who worked on the RR could not quit for a job on the Air Base, and no man who had quit the RR could return later! It seemed best, then, to post – pone the RR job until we had exhausted the other possibilities.

Tomorrow, I will post the rest of this letter with more job information and other pieces of news.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Yellow Gold Seekers in Alaska And Black Gold Hunter in Venezuela (2) – July 8, 1940

This is the second half of a letter I started posting yesterday. 

Ced, Dan  and car - 1940 (3)

 

A letter from Ced mailed from Ketchikan, Alaska, the first stop made by the boat, dated June 28, two days out from Seattle, indicates a pleasant voyage with the exception that their bag and duffel were stored beneath tons and tons of baggage and they were forced to wear rough traveling clothes. It is characteristic of Dan, as it is with most others in this world who know what they want, to go after it in spite of seeming difficulties, that in desperation he started searching for the lost bags and found them right on top where they had been all the time. Ced writes the meals are only fair in quality but plentiful. People are friendly and they are having a good time dancing, playing games and looking at the scenery, including views of whales, etc. This steamer S.S. Mt. McKinley is old and the engine sets up quite a vibration.
This morning I got a brief postal from Dan mailed at Juneau, the second stop, or rather the third because he mentions stopping at Ketchikan and the fact that there were about five hours of darkness the night before.
A letter from Lad received July 1 mentions sending his electric razor back to the manufacturer in Stamford to be repaired, the fact that he has decided to stay with Socony-Vacuum at present due to changes the war has made in Venezuelan Petroleum’s plans. Mr. O’Connor told Lad to be sure to see him before he went home as he might have an offer to make to him at that time. He took some pictures of a live Anteater one of the men had brought into camp, but it was soon released because of the terrible odor. He must smell worse than Mack. He also tells of a visit to a German family, the Beckers, where they had German pancakes. He is attending a Spanish class and finds the patois spoken at the camp is not pure Castilian. Incidentally, I just came into possession of an interesting historical of my grandmother on my father’s side, your great grandmother. I learned for the first time that her father was German, so you boys have English, German, Dutch, French and Swedish blood in your veins. You should be able to master many languages quickly. Lad says he would like to be going with you boys to Alaska although things are not too bad down there for him. He will again be in charge of the garage for a few days while Chris is away. He contributes a South American joke: “What did the mayonnaise say to the refrigerator? Close the door, I’m dressing.”
I am enclosing a few clippings. One is a big Fourth of July parade they had in Bridgeport in honor of the opening of Park Avenue to the Merritt Parkway. You will recognize old John Hameseder and his arc.
Mrs. French told me that Dan Wells killed a copperhead in the long grass just beside his house the other day.
The last three days of last week Trumbull has had a Pageant. Dave took part in it. I understand it did not go over very well financially. It was for the benefit of the recreation fund.
And that’s all for this evening. Maybe there will be more news from all of you next week when this serial will be continued. I still don’t know what the news is regarding the sale of the Willys and whether the boys made contact with the Stolls in Seattle. I don’t even know what their address will be in Alaska, so I’m sending this care of general delivery, Anchorage, hoping it will have better luck in finding them than my previous letters written to US points.
Toodoloo.
DAD

Tomorrow and Friday, a letter from Dan (and Ced) written on Anchorage Hotel Stationary, including news of their trip from Trumbull.

Judy Guion