Trumbull – To the 3 Corporals, Ced and Jean – News About the Family – April 18, 1943

trumbull-house-from-the-front-showing-the-steps-to-the-front-door

Trumbull, Conn., April 18, 1943

 

To the 3 corporals, Ced and, Jean:

Poem For the day:

Oh, what a happy world t’would be

And sure, I don’t mean maybe

If Mrs. Schickegruber

Had never had a baby.

          With this exalted thought with which to start off my weekly bugle, I shall now return to more mundane matters. First about Grandma. She writes: “Shall I say you are a peach? I wish you could know how I prayed for your answer. Your letter arrived about an hour ago. I had written to Dorothy much the same as I had written to you. She replied that Anne is now at Conde Nast’s in Greenwich as a receptionist and that Gweneth and I are to come there to stay. I prefer Trumbull but on account of Gweneth, too, leaving here, I believe I had better follow their plans for now. I am coming to Trumbull some time, if only for a visit. A thousand thanks for your goodness and of course you will hear from me soon. My love to all of you. Mother”. There is more of a personal nature to her letter, but the salient facts are as above.

California came through with the letter this week. Lad says my letter reached him on his birthday which he celebrated locally by attending a party in his honor of the occasion given by one of his lady friends. Marian, he says, resembles Babe in a number of ways, even to her occupation. Lad has resumed his diesel teaching, but has run up against lack of cooperation on the part of one of his superior officers, which takes some of the joy out of the work. This sort of thing, in my experience, is quite common. In almost every big organization there is always someone who makes life miserable.

Dan also sends a cryptic message expressing delight in the prospect of Grandmother coming here, and informing me he is going back to Lancaster for a week of bayonet training (this goes over big, as you can imagine, with Dan).

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

Jean (Mrs. Richard) Guion

A postal from Jean announces that Dick is a Corporal Technician. She has acquired a coat of tan; has met a girl with whom she shares an apartment where they cook their meals.

A few highlights of local news: Elizabeth was up here one day this week and on the way home ran into Smoky with her car. He is pretty lame but otherwise seems to be O.K. Mrs. Ives is home from Florida. The Trumbull’s are staying with her. Catherine and Paul (Warden) have gone to Mass. to bring home their children. Irv. Zabel is home from the southern Pacific. He returns soon to join a crew on a newly commissioned destroyer. Art Mantle, whom he saw quite frequently, is back in service again but is on coast patrol duty. Dave has quit the state guard because of “pressure of other business”. We have been quite busy at the office for the past two weeks. I hope it continues.

Dan: As requested, I shall renew your driver’s license. Lad: Do you intend to renew your P.S. license? Dick: Better let me know about that insurance. Jean: If you have not made return reservation you had better do so at once as I understand they are booked up to the middle of May on the good trains from many places in Florida. No checks have come from you yet.

Well, so much for this week’s Clarion. Have you heard the new song in which Herr Goebbels says if they continue to lose planes at the present rate the war won’t even last for the duration.                                    DAD

Tomorrow, I’ll finish out the week with another letter from Grandpa.

Judy Guion

 

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Trumbull – Dear Kith …. (1) – The Enemy Penetrates the Front Lines – April 11, 1943

Alfred Duryee Guion (Grandpa)

Trumbull, Conn.,

April 11, 1943

Dear Kith (I won’t bother with the kin tonight)

AND, of course, Jean:

Spring draws on apace, I suppose, but from the temperature here __________ during the week, one would never suspect It. You lucky ones in Southern California and sunny Florida have escaped one week of the blustery, raw March weather, bad enough to keep the furnace going full tilt, bringing the oil stove downstairs to bolster up heat in the kitchen. Aunt Betty has been taking her hot-water bag to bed with her every night. Today when I came down, although the sun was out bright, the thermometer registered below freezing, as I timidly peaked out the kitchen window (remember where you hung it, Ced?)

However, I had foreordained that this should be Start-The-Garbage-Clean-Up Day, and to that end, had brought up from the office yesterday, 8 or 10 cartons of paper and pasteboard scrap that has been accumulating for six months and which I have vainly endeavored, time after time with dealers and Salvation Army alike, to take off my hands. As Dave had to go down to the office to turn out a rush multi-graph job he did not have time to do yesterday, I soloed on the garbage. First I got out the A. P. Guion blower patent with a few adaptations by A. Sr., and started in.

The wind blew gustily and strong, but unfortunately in the wrong direction, so that all smoke, dust, sparks, etc., came right back” in de fuhrer’s face”. I cried impartially from nose and eyes, but manfully stuck to the job. “I am the task force”, says I to myself. I can’t let my boys down on the fighting front, so amid imaginary shot and shell, I went doggedly on and to position after position, “according to plan”.

Mess Call intervened, and clad in my fatigue uniform, I sat down for a few moments relaxation. In the midst of it all, Paul came bursting in to inform me that evidently some enemy sparks had penetrated the front lines and were making a blitz on flank and rear, so armed with brooms, rakes, etc., Red (Sirene), Paul (Warden, the tenant in the apartment), Charlie Hall and myself went to it, subdued every enemy outpost in short order and restored the lines.

Alas, however, all my stores of fuel, piled on the lawn in what seemed a safe distance from the fire, had all caught fire. A shovel, which I had laid across the top of one box to keep the papers from blowing around the yard, had its entire handle consumed, a bowl of water which I had thoughtfully set by for emergencies, between two of the cartons, was broken by the heat and the wires to operate the blower had been completely burned in half. However, the engineer contingent went to work and repaired the wires and then, bravely tossing masses of flaming paper on the fire with a pitchfork, we succeeded in finishing the day successfully, if bloodshot eyes, a headache and lame muscles merit that term.

Tomorrow, I’ll continue with the rest of this letter,including a request from Grandma Peabody. During the rest of the week, I’ll post a letter from Lad, one from Grandpa and another from Lad.

Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – Lad mentions a Friend named Marian – April 8, 1943

This letter is written from the Hospitality Center of South Pasadena. Marian Irwin was the Executive Director of the South Pasadena Camp Fire Girls and did her duty to entertain the troops at the Hospitality Center. She actually met three of Lad’s friends who arrived at Camp Santa Anita while Lad was taking a two week Diesel Engine course from the Wolverine Motor Works near Chicago. She told me that they kept telling her, “Wait until you meet Al”. Little did they know how well that would turn out.

The date appears to be April 8, 1942, but in actuality, Lad wasn’t drafted until June, 1942. By April of 1944, they were married and Marian was moving from base to base with him.

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Blog - Marian Irwin - 1942April 8, 1943

Dad: –

Again too many days have gone by, but they have all been full. Even Apr. 3rd. I got a letter from you on the eventful day – thanks. It went by as usual, but the bunch of us were invited to a party in my honor at the home of one of the girls I have met here. In fact, she is so much like Babe that I have difficulty now and then in calling her Marian. She is not quite as pretty as Babe but resembles her in almost every other way. Even to occupations. Well, anyhow, the party went off fine and about 2 A.M. on Sunday we decided to go to a swing-shift dance at the Casa Manana and had a good time. Got in Camp at 6 Sun. Morn. (this is the first mention of Marian, my Mom, in Lad’s letters home.)

Due to a change in the system of paying last Wednesday, we could not get out of camp in time to see “The Drunkard”, so it is still something to look forward to.

I heard from Mrs. Lea, and everything is O.K. – sorry I didn’t or couldn’t do anything earlier, but I should have written. But that’s me.

You asked in one of your letters that I tell you something about what I’m doing. Well, Art Lind and I are working together in the same class and we have decided that the system used by the Army for teaching Diesel Engines can be greatly improved. Well, without authority, because of stubbornness on the part of one officer to listen to our story, we went ahead and ran the class for one week. It was a decided success and proved our point to a “T”, but still, since it has been general knowledge that Art and I were responsible, this same officer is not able to get credit now as having originated the idea, and has still not issued the necessary orders. It is people like he who are responsible for a great deal of the discontent prevalent in the Army. Other than that, the course is continuing as it should, and running very smoothly.

It seems that our new Battalion C.O. is from a Basic Co. and thinks that we are trainees. If this sort of treatment keeps on, there is going to be trouble in Hdq. Bn. And I won’t be lax in cooperating.

In a letter, you mentioned that Dan may be scheduled for overseas, it is beginning to look like all of we A-1’s will be replaced by “limited service” men, and then – – –? Who knows?

I’m fine, Dad, and I hope you and the rest are the same. Remember me to all.

Lad

Tomorrow, and Wednesday, a letter from Grandpa, on Thursday, another letter from Lad and on Friday, another from Grandpa. 

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Mr. Guion – Dave Writes to His Father About GUION ADERTISING – September 9, 1946

           AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

Sept. 9, 1946

Mr. Guion,

Immediately upon receipt of your card, I pondered your request for an extension of your vacation. Because of your unexcelled work and necessity both in this office and the Trumbull one, I decided that rather than make a decision alone, I would check to find out if Trumbull could stand not having your able (and financial) assistance. Having received a favorable reply, I can now report to you that your vacation may continue as long as you should like it to.

The girl that typed Mr. Chasmar’s second job (the one done outside the office) tried to conserve on space and ran one heading right after the other. He wanted them kept separate. We made the corrections and now he is once again comparatively happy.

I can keep Wheeler Wire quite happy now I’m sure.

I haven’t made any deposits or done any billing – but I shall now that I know you’re not coming home on the 15th.

Help has come pretty hard. Bobbie went back to school and Jeannie has had too much to do at home. But now George wants to start working the night shift again and Bissie wants to come in two hours in the afternoon, four days a week.

Just now got a call from the bank. They say that Ced’s check, dated July 25, has come back with a note stating that there are insufficient funds to handle it. I have another check in my pocket waiting to go to the bank. They’ve asked me to hang onto this one and pick up the other one, leaving $100 with them. What to do? I’ll write to Ced as soon as I finish this letter and tell him what’s happened. Should I pay for the check out of company funds?

Actually, I don’t get it – why should I pay for the check? Can’t they just take it off their books and not credit the account for the money?

I’ll tell Mr. Burr about Dan’s homecoming. Lad sent you a card this morning about an oil burner. You should get that about the same time you get this.

I was very glad to get your letter the other day because I was getting very discouraged. I still want to get married next August. I got a notice from the gov’t. saying that they couldn’t give me any money because I’m working full time – so if it can possibly be swung I’d still like to get at least $20 a week. I’ve got to change over my insurance and that is going to cost me quite a bit a month compared to what I’m getting for a salary. And I still want to go out and sell. That means I need some steady help down here. Even if it’s only a kid coming in afternoons. We can’t build this business without going out after more customers.

Guess that’s all for now. I’ve got to write to Ced and then get back to work. Keep on having a good time and don’t worry about GUON ADV. – Everything’s under control.

Dave

Life in Alaska – Dear Dad and all – Short Note From Ced – August 28, 1946

 

CEDRIC D. GUION

P. O. Box 822

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA

28 Aug. 46

Dear Dad & all:

I now hold and A & E mechanics license, but still not a commercial pilot. I have done a lot of flying tho’, and should have nearly enough hours. Have to find a place to move to by Sunday of this weekend, so am frantically searching for any thing which will suffice. Car is in need of repairs also, and I have to do work on it before then so we can use it to move with, then must cut this very short. Rusty came into Anchorage for a few days – looks fine and I think the Barrow stay did him good. Leonard and Marian send regards. I sent more promises of future and better letters.

Must close now as time and tired feet (?) try on the wild winds.

Oh yes, I may be in the armed forces of uncle Sammy by the middle of next month unless the company is able to gain another deferment for me.

My love to all – and wish I could be there to slap Aunt Betty on the back and spar around with the Junior members of the  A.P. Guions. Kick Dick in the pants for me.

Ced

Thanks again dad for the pan but am glad you were not able to get one at those other Reynolds 27 pens.

Tomorrow, a letter from Dave to his father on the Island, reporting on the weekly business.

On Saturday, another installment of the Voyage to California by John Jackson Lewis.

On Sunday, another of My Ancestors.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons – News From Dan – August 25, 1946

Trumbull, Conn., August 25, 1946.

Dear Sons:

Well, hay fever (or something) has caught up with me at last. In other words right now I’m feeling pretty low and such is my frame of mind at present that I’m not even enthusiastic about taking off for New Hampshire, which act I promised myself to do a long time ago as a ruse to foil my faithful little annual visitor. If I can get up ambition enough to take off this week you will hear from me next from the Lake.

Dan’s letter, which arrived this week, luckily furnishes substance for this screed, as otherwise not much in the way of interest would arise from the present state of my mind; Dan encloses two interesting snaps of Chiche (Paulette) and the baby, and writes: “It has been quite some time since I last wrote, during which time I have been to Nancy, where Chiche came to spend a week with me, and to Metz where Chiche and I found a hotel with bedbugs, to Longuyon to survey another cemetery, to Calais for the long-awaited baptism which was celebrated quite successfully, albeit somewhat less bibulous than is usual in France, to Languyon again to finish the job, to Paris and Versailles, to Calais for a week’s leave where we were alone for the better part of a week, the rest of the family being away, also on vacation, to Liege (where you found me this morning) enroute to Holland where two more cemeteries will be put on the map. Also during this long period without word from me I have decided (and abandoned the idea) to buy a Jeep. Once again we are planning to come home in the fall, but I have not yet ironed out the details. Speaking of ironing, the G.E. iron arrived, but being 1,000 watts is a little too powerful for Calaisian fuses although the voltage is O.K. I have taken three movies (8 mm) of Chiche and Arla and some of the family. Please continue to send me cigarettes. I shall be needing extra money before we sail to fill out my currency control book which keeps track of American dollars to which each American is entitled. I have credit for $500 for which I have no French francs to convert. I have several additional photos of Chiche and Arla, some in 3rd dimension color. I shall send them to you if I can pry them loose from Calais. That is all for now except we think of you all more and more — and Arla is wonderful. It’s Love. Dan”

I’ll start in sending cigarettes to you again, Dan. Probably five boxes of 10 cartons each, weekly, beginning next week. This will be a total of 500 packages in all which at $1 a pack should give you the requisite $500. Perish the thought, but if you don’t come home this fall, send me the proceeds and I’ll simply have to hop on one of these reconverted liners and visit you. Speaking of photos (and we were certainly delighted to get the two you sent) I am enclosing, with Lad and Marian’s cooperation, some recent views of our two little tykes. They continue to gain and had to have their formula increased just recently, both in quantity and strength. A card from Jean says: The Gibsons are leaving today (19th) so this will be the last mail for a few days. We are looking forward to seeing you soon. The weather has been pretty awful — not too much rain but cloudy and cold.”

Well, another Trumbull Fireman’s Carnival has passed into history. I must be getting old. I didn’t even go down there one night. It wouldn’t seem the same with Bob Peterson gone. Things are running along about the same here, except that we have been exceptionally busy at the office. I really ought not to go away and leave Dave to handle it alone but he says he likes it (bless his heart) and maybe in my present state I wouldn’t be much help anyway.

Sincerely yours,

DAD

Tomorrow, a letter from Ced and on Friday, a letter from Dave to “Mr. Guion”, (his father and my Grandpa) who finally made it to New Hampshire.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Dear Sons (2) – Fatherly Advice – August 18, 1946

 

 

Aunt Betty Duryee, Grandpa and Aunt Elsie Guion, summer, 1946

Page 2    8/18/46

I got to thinking the other day what changes the year has brought to the family, so for just a sort of check-up, let’s turn back the pages and see what the status was a year ago – in August, 1945.

This was the month of the first atomic bomb, of the Russian declaration of war, of Japan’s offer to quit. Ced was seriously thinking of buying a plane of his own and was in the market for a secondhand Army ship. Jean was all agog over her first planned trip to far off Brazil to join Dick. Lad, attending his brother’s wedding in Calais had “just missed the boat”, and instead popped in on us on the 16th. Marion quit working for Sikorsky in consequence. Dave received the surrender news at Okinawa and a short time after took a plane ride to Manila. Dan was enjoying a French honeymoon and home here, we were enjoying buying tires and gas and canned goods without ration tickets.

Just a year before that Dave was at camp Missouri complaining of chiggers, etc. Lad traveled from S. Calif. to Jackson, Miss., in a car with a hot box and Marian followed in the Buick and trailer. Dan made his first crossing of the English Channel and wrote from an orchard in Normandy. Dick was in Brazil saying very little and Ced wrote his classic account of fishing procedures in Alaska.

Some months have passed since I have directed any moral bombshells at you, but don’t surmise I have ceased to campaign for my favorite topic of finding what you want to do and going after it. The recent death of H. G. Wells recalls a book he once wrote in which there was a man who is tired, as he says, of following little motives which are like fires that go out by the time you get to them. All about us, these days, are men and women without any great meaning or momentum. These people move by fits and starts and are easily stalled in the muck of their own aimlessness. So was Mr. Wells’ man. “I do not deserve to be called a personality. I cannot discover even a general direction. I am much more like a taxicab in which all sorts of aims and desires traveled to their destination, and get out”. There it is – – little motives, so many of them worthless, marginal destinations, so many of them unimportant. The most majestic thing in creation – – human personality – – reduced to the status of a hackney bus, taking on and letting off a conglomerate of impulses, wishes, half-hearted purposes, half-baked ideas. Aimlessness should be called the “occupational disease” of the unoccupied. The cure is to agree with one’s self on at least one great consuming  purpose which gathers up all lesser motives just as a general gathers his armies into a unified command. “He who keeps one end in view”, says Browning, “makes all things serve.”

If you don’t like these occasional bursts of fatherly advice, I can point one way out – keep me so busy quoting letters from France and Alaska I shall be so occupied in so doing that I shall not have to write something like the above to fill up the space. I’m sure you would far rather hear from your brothers then get a dose of Dad’s morality. But there, be of good cheer, when I leave Trumbull for New Hampshire the letters will probably be few and far between. Meantime, happy days to you both and the speedy return to Old Trumbull.

DAD

Tomorrow, another letter from Grandpa to his sons, Dan and Ced, the only ones still away from home.. Then a letter from Ced and one from Dave to his father, on the Island, about business doings. Judy

Guion