Army Life – An Apartment and Wedding Gifts – December 7, 1943

              Lad and Marian Guion, 1943

Monday

Dear Dad –

Lad is still busy monogramming every article of G.I. clothing he possesses with G-2058 – even his sox – and I finished wrapping some of our Christmas gifts, so I can think of no better time to write you and relate the latest happenings of the very happy A. P. Guion’s of California.

First and foremost – we have finally located a place to hang our hats. Hallelujah! This business of vagabonding in the Buick has been find, but it’s going to be wonderful having our own place. It is in South Pasadena – a living room, bedroom, kitchen and bath over a garage, completely furnished – only four years old and sounds very nice. I haven’t seen it yet, but we’re moving in this coming weekend, we hope! I’ll believe it when we are actually in, and not before. The new address is 1416 Stratford Ave., South Pasadena. I hope it will be fairly permanent. Seems to me that you had quite a time wondering just where to send your letters. Hope you won’t have to think about any other address for quite a while. We are going to spend next weekend collecting our things from various parts of Southern California and concentrating them in one spot, and it’s going to be wonderful. We are actually looking forward to moving!

Secondly, the photograph of Lad has never arrived. I have inquired twice at this post office, with no positive results. They said the best thing to do would be to start checking from your post office. Perhaps by now it’s come back to you. I hope so.

–      About wedding gifts. It’s rather hard to tell you just what to say to lad’s friends- we don’t want to get too many things so that we will have a hard time moving – and not knowing where we will be after the war makes a difference, too. However, linens of any kind are very acceptable. We haven’t picked out our sterling pattern as yet, and are waiting until after the war to get our dishes – so, that’s out – our Fostoria is the candlewick pattern – we don’t have cake plates or cups and saucers in that – odd pieces of any fairly plain Fostoria would be acceptable. Vases are another thing we could use – does that help?

–      We are sending our Christmas package to you this week. Hope it arrives before Christmas. Isn’t very much, but with it comes a heartfelt wish for happiness for all of you and the fervent prayer that next year we can all be together for Christmas. Will certainly be thinking of all of you.

Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

    Mowry Addison and Marian (Rider) Irwin

–         Quoting from Mother’s last letter, “I received the nicest letter from Al’s father this week. I hope that we will get a chance to meet him sometime soon, for I know we will like him very much.” She also  said how startled she was to have you referred to Al as “Lad” ‘cause three or four times while we were home she started to call him that because it seemed so natural. And she has never known that Lad was his nickname. I’ve never mentioned it in any letter to them. I always referred to him as Al. Strange, isn’t it?

Lad asks me to tell you that, for the record, the pajamas, bathrobe and Christmas box have all arrived safely – and he hereby sends his thanks.

Will write again, soon,

Love to all-

Marian

Lad ads a note:

Lad writes: Thanks for your cooperation. All of the pkgs. have arrived in fine shape. As Marian mentioned, her temporary address will be 1416 Stratford Ave. I think monogram letterhead will be very nice. Something like this:Initials are M I G. More later. Love to all — Lad

Tomorrow, more of the Voyage to Venezuela. On Sunday, more of My Ancestors. 

Judy Guion

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Trumbull – Dear Gang – The Great Guion Mystery – December 5, 1943

Trumbull, Conn., Dec. 5, 1943

Dear Gang:

Cedric Duryee Guion

The Great. Guion Mystery, unsolved to the present moment, is: “Has Ced left Anchorage en route home?” The last word from Alaska, as reported to you in a previous communication, was that our arctic explorer expected to leave for his long trip to Connecticut on December 3rd , and I have been anxiously, almost fearfully, looking for further word that would relieve the tension and let us know that nothing is intervened to prevent his leaving per schedule.

Dave has received notification that he is now class 1-A, and if rumors are to be given credence, he will leave Trumbull January 10th . The last hurdle he has yet to get over is his final physical exam. He is flirting with the idea of asking to join the Navy, probably because several of his buddies here have chosen that branch of the service, but this, I hope, will not happen.

Our guest for dinner today was Harold LaTour whom you older boys may remember. For a while he was salesman for an American concern in South America but is now with the Daily News in New York. He was one of Roger Bachelder’s college friends.

A review of incoming correspondence this week reveals the following:

A card announcing the arrival of Donald Robert Whitney, Jr., on November 25th , wait 8 pounds ten and a half ounces.

              Lad and Marian Guion – 1943

Another nice letter from Marian expressing the expectation of drinking a Thanksgiving toast to the “Guion clan and the fervent wish that another year will find us all together”. She also reports receiving a congratulatory telegram from Ced bemoaning the fact that he would not be around to tie tin cans to the car. It seems that the newlyweds waited so long before starting away for their home trip that all the guests got tired of waiting for them to leave, and in consequence, they escaped the horseplay that usually accompany affairs of this sort.

A letter from Dan enclosing signed registration certification which makes Dave happy in that he will now have about a month in which to drive around a car of his own (provided he can get it running). After a typical Danielesque description of English weather in lieu of the real news he hints he may write about, were it not for the limitations of censorship, he goes on to say his expected studies at Oxford or Cambridge have not yet materialized. He ends with the words: “Hurrah for Lad. I shall write to her personally.”

It is many weeks now, Dan, since a package of Rum and Maple, Kleenex, shampoo, etc. has been sent to you, but if I can secure anymore of that brand of tobacco (they told me it was not being made anymore and what I got was the last of their stock), I shall get off another shipment with the hope that sooner or later one of them might escape Hitler’s U-boats.

Thank you, Marian, for your welcome letter. I hope next time you or Lad write, you will be able to say that you have found a cozy little house or apartment. I’m going to miss you all here Christmas, but I hope Ced will be here to partly compensate. Jean and Dave anyway will save the day and I expect Bissie and her two hopefuls will be on hand. Jean is a way with her Aunt this week and visiting friends in New Milford.

Aunt Betty, Dave and Smoky all send their best, and as for me, you all know what to expect from                               DAD

Tomorrow, I will finish the week with another letter from Marian.

On Saturday, more on the Voyage to Venezuela in 1939. OnSunday, more of My Ancestors. Judy Guion 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Absent Ones (2) – Wishful Thinking – November 28, 1943

This is the second page of a letter from Grandpa to his sons – and daughter-in-law) letting them know what has been going on in Trumbull the past week.

page 2    11/28/43

        Jean (Mortensen) Guion

Just so that you will know Dick is still alive and kicking, I asked Jean to extract a few lines from his letters to her, which she very kindly consented to do, as follows: He is permitted to tell where he is now – in Natal, Brazil, but of course no mention of this fact is to be made on any letters you may write him. The camp where he is staying has a day room equipped with a radio phonograph, books, magazines, ping-pong table, horse shoes, boxing gloves, baseball and basketball equipment. They have built a tennis court and he has played on it several times. He is learning to ride a motorcycle but doesn’t have too much time to devote to it.

I spent most of the day on storm windows. Remember the weather stripping you put around the inside kitchen door, Lad? Well, one night last spring one very bold rat got in the laundry in an effort to get into the kitchen gnawed portions of the weather stripping away and this too, I repaired. Dan, do you recall the good job you did last year in chinking up the spaces between frame and storm windows? Some of it was still in place this year. Ced, do you recall the day you gave me a set of hardware for my bathroom window? Due to warping or settling or something, the storm sash this year was considerably out of whack, so that, too, I remedied today. About half the windows on the ground floor are now completed and I’m hoping, before the weather gets too cold, I can complete the balance.

Dave is away today – he went up to Hartford to visit his friend Howard Mehegan, who is going to school up there at Uncle Sam’s expense. Tomorrow night Dave presides at his first formal dinner, formal not in dress but in the fact that as President of the Trumbull Rangers, who are holding their first annual dinner at the Algonquin club, no less, he presides as Toastmaster.

We have had one storm so far this season which however was neither very deep nor did it last very long. Most of the weather we have had lately has consisted of beautiful cool, but mainly sunshiny, days. Due to the coal shortage we have not yet started the furnace, keeping the real chill off by generous use of oil stove. Up to the present, we have been able to get by without too great discomfort, and as soon as I get all the storm windows up, or in case of a particularly cold spell, we will start up the old ash maker.

And that about closes up the session for this evening. Maybe by next week I will be able to tell you more about the news from the scattered points where the Guion boys are holding up Trumbull prestige. Until then, spare a thought occasionally for all of us back here in the hills of Connecticut, and especially one who now and again describes himself as

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa and on Friday, another letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Absent Ones (1) – Wishful Thinking – November 28, 1943

 

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 26, 1943

Dear Absent Ones:

The days speed on, bringing nearer the time when Ced pulls up his anchor at Anchorage; Lad and Marian, homeless now, come to the end of a long cross-country journey to their Trumbull home, when Dick, returning to his adoring wife and still un-discouraged father, makes his verbal report on all the things he has failed to write about; and Daniel, now in the Lion’s Den of London, is released from his not un-enjoyable bondage; and Dave slays his Goliath in the shape of Uncle Sam’s Army training routine and eventually returns to the fellowship of his family. Then, we can have a real Thanksgiving again. Holidays without you boys and girls are like Thanksgiving without Turkey — which is just what we had this year — Thanksgiving without Turkey. We stay-at-homes have been told that you boys had “the bird” on that day which left us rather short. If the former is true, we don’t object to the latter one bit. And now the fire in the hearth in the alcove sputters and crackles as I write the above as if mentally in agreement with my frame of mind and having you all so far away from the ancestral home at this season.

Jean went to her grandparents for the family’s annual get together while Elsie came up from New York and Elizabeth and her two sprites were with us.

“Old Faithful” Lad was responsible for the “foreign” mail this week. Marian has had to give up her apartment because the landlady’s friends had a prior claim which leaves the newlyweds to leave a rather nomadic existence. They have been searching for a place for almost 2 months now, with no luck. He says: “We have six places in mind but in order to get one, the present occupants have to move and there are no available apartments for them either, so it’s just a vicious circle and we seem to be at the outer end of the radius. Our friends out here, though, are wonderful, and have many rooms in which we could stay, and as Marian says, ‘We still have a car and I’ve slept in worse places — my car is only a Chevy.’ We really aren’t very worried, I guess, we just too happy and confident in ourselves to take it very seriously.”

Marian Dunlap (Irwin) Guion

And now, Marian, just come aside with me for a moment where the others can’t hear what we’re saying, as I want to ask you a few questions. Lad, as you may surmise, has a number of friends back home here and many have asked me what I think they should send you as a wedding gift. That, as you may imagine, is a rather difficult question for both of us to answer under present circumstances, but more so for me then you; so just sit down soon, when you have a breathing spell, and make a list of things you would like, so that I will not be so much on the spot as I am right now. I also am interested to know if you ever received that photo yet. I am in a quandary as to whether packages addressed to soldiers get preference over civilian parcels post or not, but last week before getting Lad’s letter, I mailed his bathrobe to your old address, as soldier packages are quite limited as to size, weight, etc. I have also been saving a Christmas box which I packed up some time ago for Lad, finally mailing it last week to Edgewood Drive.

Thanks, Lad, for your definite instructions. The way is cleared now and I know just where I stand. I will wait a while before selling your Venezuela Petroleum, as, due to stock market fluctuations, the price went down to $9, but my broker thinks it will go higher than it was before, as it has good value behind it. Meantime, I am renewing the bank note and will (Oh darn, I just noticed that all my carbon copies are backwards. Sorry, but you’ll just have to borrow a mirror and read it that way. Another way would be to hold it up against a strong light, wrong way to), or rather, I have already paid the Investors Syndicate installment and will later write you the whole story so that you can determine whether you wish to continue it or not.

Tomorrow, the second half of this letter. Then another letter from Grandpa and finally, a letter from Marian to finish off the week.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan – Marian and Lad’s Thanksgiving Wish – November 25, 1943

This week I will be posting letters written in 1944. Lad and Marian have just been married and are looking for an apartment.  Dan is in London, Ced is in Anchorage, Alaska, working as an airplane mechanic for Uncle Sam, Dick is in Brazil and Dave is battling with various Army training schools.

Mowry and Marian Irwin, Marian and Lad Guion, November 14, 1943

Marian’s first letter as a newlywed to Grandpa and everyone else in Trumbull on Thanksgiving Day, 1943.

Thursday

Dear Home Guard of the Guion Clan —

Surely it can’t be a week since Lad wrote you saying that I would be writing to you in a day or two, but after taking a hasty glance at the calendar, I find that it is over a week ago! How time flies by – and all my good intentions, too — nevertheless, we have been thinking of you, and wishing there were some way we could induce Superman to transport us to Trumbull for Thanksgiving Day. Of course, Uncle Sam says that Lad must work today, although he did surprise me by getting off for two hours for lunch – but maybe Superman could convince Uncle Sam, too, that eating at home on Thanksgiving Day would be quite a morale “lifter-upper”.

We are going out for our Thanksgiving dinner — seeing as how we don’t have an apartment as yet– and besides, I’ve never cooked a turkey in my life! There always has to be a first time, however, but perhaps it’s just as well for Lad’s innards that we are going out. Even though you will probably all be in bed, we will drink a toast, too, to the Guion Clan and the fervent wish that another year will find us all together.

Seems to me that Lad reported quite completely to you about our wedding. It was really lovely and although simple, was quite impressive. Lad, of course, didn’t tell you what a very fine impression he made on the members of my family – you and I know, of course, that it certainly wouldn’t have been any other kind of an impression – but my family has never seen him. All comments were highly favorable, and as mother says, “We have some rather outspoken members in our family too!” But they all think he is mighty fine, as, of course, he most definitely is!

We received a congratulatory telegram from Ced bemoaning the fact that he wouldn’t be around to tie tin cans on the car! I’m surprised someone in our family (West Coast branch) didn’t think of it either. They must be slipping, or perhaps the fact that we didn’t leave until after everyone else did sort of cramped their style! We were so pleased that everyone could come to the wedding – some driving as far as 100 miles in spite of the “gas and tire situation” – then we stayed around talking to everyone until they had to leave.

Isn’t it wonderful that Ced is getting home? For a whole month, too. There will certainly be great rejoicing when he arrives, won’t there? Three years is an awful long time.

If my husband (gosh, that sounds wonderful!) Expects to find me practically ready to go out with him this evening when he gets home, I’d better close this letter and start to get ready.

Can’t possibly tell you how very happy we are – in spite of the fact that we have no home. Perhaps a slight ray of our happiness will shine through the lines of this letter – if you could see us I know you’d see what I mean, for we are just beaming all the time. Our friends just look at us and say, “You can’t possibly be that happy!” But we are — Even more so–

With love and happy Thanksgiving Day greetings from

Lad and Marian

P.S. – The package containing the P.J.s arrived safe and sound.

M

Tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday, two letters from Grandpa and on Friday, another letter from Marian.

Judy Guion

 

Tomorrow and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa, on Thursday another of Grandpa’s letters and on Friday, another from Marian.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Lumbermen at Large (3) – Dave Writes Grandpa A Birthday Letter – September 11, 1944

 

(copy)

September 11, 1944

Dear Dad:

You usually write each of us a special letter each time our individual birthdays roll around. So I said to myself: Why not follow in your good father’s footsteps, and do the same for him? So, here I am.

I thought of this day many times during the last month and a half, but never once in that time – – I’m ashamed to admit it – – did I think of sending something home to you. I had thought of telephoning you or sending a telegram, but never once did I think of sending a box of cigars or something else as a reminder to you of how proud I am to be able to have you for my father. In view of the fact that I had already written you that I may be home, I decided that to phone you would be a bad policy because your first thought on hearing my voice would probably be that I am at the Bridgeport R.R. Station. This thought would probably come to you before I could explain that I am still in Crowder; and that – pardon my conceit – – would only be a disappointment rather than glad tidings. I may send you a telegram yet – – I don’t know. At any rate, I’ll send the letter.

Since coming back from CPX I thought time and time again that I may be able to bounce in on you on September 11th, but Saturday I finally abandoned all hope because I would have had to leave Saturday night to make it.

I hope this birthday is a happy one, but I KNOW next year’s WILL BE a happy one. By that time at least part of your scattered family will be home under the shaded roof of our old house – – business will be much improved with the Bridgeport war plants once again turning or turned back to fluorescent lamps, brass fixtures, rivets for peace time use and organizations and clubs once again throwing their anniversary parties and the like, without being hampered by gas or food shortages. They’ll all turn back to the Guion Advertising Company for their ads, business letters and announcements. There’ll be the old customers and there’ll be new ones in a better and bigger Bridgeport. Right now it may seem like a dream but by Sept. 11, 1945, it will be far more than a dream.

Maybe by that time I won’t have to be telling my buddies about the business I’m going back to, about all my brothers who are scattered all over the world, about my father who pulled his small company through the hard times and who, in spite of losing his wife, brought all of us up so he could be proud of us. Maybe I won’t have to lie on my Army cot and wish I were home with my father who brought me up just the way a kid would like to be brought up – always advising, seldom laying down the law, letting me think things out for myself, hardening me to the world, being a brother rather than a Lord over me. Maybe I can be back appreciating it rather than just remembering what used to be.

I started this letter and it was going to be a “happy birthday” letter, but it has turned out to be a letter of hope and thankfulness. I AM thankful, Dad, and I always will be – – and maybe that will make you happier knowing it’s true, then just having me say in a lot of words HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD. I hope so, anyway. Love, DAVE

Tomorrow, Grandpa’s One Act Play, entitled “Bolivering with the Guions”. On Friday, a letter from Marian to Grandpa with lots of news.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Lumbermen at Large (2) – News From Ced and Marian – September 17, 1944

 

Judy_0003

Nature must have handed your Uncle Ted a “roving commission” (On second thought, nobody handed him anything – – he’s won what he has by his own ability and effort). Be that as it may, he’s now headed for Bolivia, and by the time this letter is in the mail he will probably be winging his way over the continent to the south of us. He and Aunt Helen came up to Bridgeport Wednesday where I was able, fortunately, to be of some aid in straightening out a passport technicality, thus permitting Aunt Helen later to join Ted in Bolivia. It seems a big American engineering firm, backed jointly by the big Import-Export Bank and the Bolivian government, has about concluded negotiations for the building of some 500 miles through Bolivia of a Pan-American section of the super highway, and Ted was elected to act as sort of a John the Baptist in the matter, to go down there now and prepare the way for the final act before they get down to actual excavation. He estimates that it may turn out to be an eight year job but in any event, there will undoubtedly be openings for quite a bit of American skill and labor before it is finished. In fact, Ted asked me when I wrote Lad to say that he, Ted, would like to get Lad down there as soon as possible on diesel electric or similar work, and would like to have any suggestions as to how this could be made possible right now – – even to seeing if some wire pulling in Washington could be undertaken. He also hinted that later, there might be additional openings for some of you other boys. And that gave me an idea. You may recall that in one of my letters some time ago, I let my fancy have free reign and had you all in Alaska, Lad in charge of a big diesel electric power plant, Dan in some engineering or surveying or prospecting activity, Ced as a holder of his U.S. licensed airplane mechanic certificate (and now with his pilots operating license), Dick, who by the way wrote recently that besides paying the soldiers and making monthly reports, he has to make out the civilian payroll, prepare rosters of all Brazilians hired and fired. Because he now seems to have acquired enough Portuguese at school down there and in actual practice, he says his new boss, the Major, has ideas of putting him in complete charge of hiring, firing, sick leave, payroll, records, etc., of all our 500-odd Brazilian employees, and lastly Dave, running the business and in addition, producing on the spot, all those sundry business forms, printed matter, etc., with yours truly as the boss who sat at the top and looked important but made you fellows do all the work. Well, Ted’s remarks have inspired Act 2 of the Guion Saga, which I have attempted to set forth for your amusement in the attached.

Marian writes: “Our new home is very much nicer than the first one and we have kitchen privileges so we don’t have to eat out – – and from what we’ve sampled of “Southern cooking” we are just as glad. Somewhere along the way I’ve been sadly misinformed about Southern cooking (that’s not the only dissolution – – I imagined sitting on a porch, sipping mint juleps and sniffing magnolias and honeysuckle! Something is definitely wrong. Mississippi is as dry as can be and beer is a poor substitute for the mint julep). The couple who own the house where we are staying are working so we have the house to ourselves during the day. Lad’s classes are from 3:00 in the afternoon to 12:30 at night. He gets home about 1:30 and doesn’t have to report back to camp until to the next afternoon. Our new address is 303 Longino, Jackson, Miss., but your weekly morale builder-uppers, if sent to Lad, are certain to reach him that way. In case you are still wondering, the “we” referred to in my previous letter were two of the wives who came with me and a two-year-old boy. We all lived in the same place in Pomona so we decided to stick together and come here, too.”

A letter addressed to “Sneezy Guion, Ragweed, Conn.” from you-know-who in Alaska, arrived on the morning of September 11th, which shows pretty good timing, and started the day off right. It’s worth having a 60th birthday to find out what one’s boys think of their old man. Ced writes: “Once again I see by the calendar that the natal anniversary date of pater Guion approaches. This being most likely the last letter from an admiring son to be received in Trumbull before that date, must convey a message of thanks for all you have been to us all, and the very best wishes for you in the ensuing year. I wish that all of us could join you at the dinner table on the eventful day in body as well as in spirit. Be it a comfort to you to know that few up here can rival my record of one letter a week from home. One has the feeling that no matter what happens he can always fall back on Dad and be sure of the best that Dad can offer in the way of assistance. A token of appreciation is en route from the sourdough via carrier pigeon, underground telegraph or some other means of transportation but may not reach you until after your birthday. Last night and today have been a definite prelude to winter. Snow fell quite low in the mountains last night while a cold rain and accompanying wind hit town. I am of the opinion that this winter will be early, with lots of snow but not too severe. Some of the Buick parts have arrived and I start tomorrow putting the transmission together. (Ced next gives an interesting account of his watch repairs, and goes on to say) Now I can fly and keep track of my minutes in the air. The ship I am soloing in is the most luxurious of small planes but to operate the radio one must have a radio operators license so that too I must study for and obtain. In the meantime, I use the lights from the control tower. Eleanor Burnham is doing library work in New York with little children. Helen has gone to Syria on missionary schoolwork. Brad is in the Marines in the Pacific. Rusty (Heurlin) is at Pt. Barrow.” He writes he has completely quit drinking.

DAD

P.S. I found Dave’s letter in my car. See attached copy. This reminds me of the famous Sears Roebuck letter: Gentlemen: I git the pump witch I by from you, but why for Gods sake you doan send me no handle. Wats the use of a pump when she don have no handle, I lose to me my customer. Sure thing you don treat me rite.  I wrote ten days gone and my customer he holler like hell for water from the pump. You no he is hot pumper and the win he no blow the pump. She got no handle so wat the hell I goan to do with it. If you doan send me the handle pretty quick I send her back and I order pump from Myers company.                       Goodby.

Yours truly,

Antonio

Since I write I find the dam handle in the box. Excuse to me.

Tomorrow, a letter from Dave to Grandpa regarding his birthday, on Thursday a one act play written by Grandpa and on Friday, more news from Marian.

Judy Guion