Trumbull – The Traveling Clan – Aug, 1943

Blog Timeline - 1941-1943

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

Trumbull Conn.

August 22, 1943

Dear Travelers all:

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

A life on the ocean wave,

A home on the rolling deep,

Where the scattered waters rave

And the winds their revels keep.

Like an eagle caged, I pine

On this dull, unchanging shore.

Oh, give me the flashing brine,

The spray and the tempests roar.

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

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

Marian Irwin - 1942

Marian Irwin – 1942

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elsie

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

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

DAD

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

Judy Guion

Trumbull – The Red Horse Service Station – Carl Wayne – March 14, 1939

Another of the older boys friend’s corresponds with them in Venezuela and later in Alaska. I have a clear impression that these boys were friends for most of their lives, starting in school in Trumbull. I don’t know if writing letters was something that “everyone” did, but I think this was rather unusual, especially for boys. It also helps explain what is going on in the mind of 20-somethings prior to WWII.

                      1938 Kurtz (2)

 This picture to the right was taken in 1938 afte the  hurricane hit Trumbull and a lawn mower engine was used to pump gas. I believe Arnold  Gibson is on the left, Charlie Kurtz is in the middle and Carl Wayne is on the right. This was sent to me by my childhood friend, Cindy, who is a photographer by trade, and is compiling a pictorial history of Trumbull’s early years.

Blog - The Red Horse Service Station - Carl Wayne - March 14, 1939

THE RED HORSE SERVICE STATION

Trumbull Center

Trumbull, Conn.

CARL E. WAYNE                                                                                                                                                                                                                   March 14, 1939

PROPRIETOR

Dear Lad and Dan:

I have kept neglecting to write this letter to you but now things are happening so fast that I must write you while I still have the urge.

Undoubtedly, the most important news to you will be to learn – now brace yourself for this – – that your sister is married! She and Zeke eloped Saturday morning to Virginia and were married there. I will try to find a clipping and enclose it in this letter. They came back Monday and are going to live with the Zeke’s people I believe. I have not seen either yet.

Next in this March of Time is that I have finally acquired the station as you have already surmised.

Business has improved considerably. Of course I lost some of those charge customers but have been fortunate enough to gain more new ones. (cash) Last week we had completed 22 lubrication’s in six days. Ray Feller is working with us now.

That seems to be the main news. Aside from that there was little else except that Bill Hennigan has a baby girl, Bill’s father bought the house where Red Jennings used to live in the orchard, I sold your father three tires and tubes for the town truck, Ike Brinsmade has built a nice house across from Kurtz’s store next to Searles, Art, the barber, is moving out because he can’t make a living, Bill Slawson is engaged to be married soon, my Dad was in an automobile accident and has been in the hospital seven weeks, Emanuele Kurtz has gone to Florida, we had the worst snowstorm here since 1885, Arnold is still out of work, Nellie got drunk and wound up in Maryland, I have finally gotten the Auburn so it starts more quickly and runs longer and Kurtz’s cat had two black kitten. Dan, please note, do not criticize sentence structure, or pencil.

This is one of the few nights I stayed home and have crawled into bed without the necessary writing material except this pencil.

Well here it is Friday morning. I have acquired a fountain pen.

Ethel and I took a trip home to Jersey in the terrible sleet and snow storm to see my Dad. He is walking now and should be out of the hospital in a few weeks. All this trouble is the result of sliding on the ice and running broadside into a stone wall. The motor was pushed back under the floorboards and they extracted him with crowbars. He does not know how it happened, because of the shock. His jaw was broken in (15) places but has knitted with the exception of one place where almost a quarter of an inch of bone must fill itself in.

Bissie is back. I saw her but for a minute but not to talk with.

Arnold told us yesterday that he had written you so I won’t repeat the story of what happened on the trip.

In a way I envy you where you are, with all the nice warm weather, but feel that you both must be a little homesick by now

The taxes here in town have been raised and people are all excited and up in arms, holding meetings almost every night in the town hall or school.

Cecelia stops in frequently and lets me know how you are. Her Ford is still the same Big Headache to her but she makes the best of it and grumbles on a little.

I shall be glad to hear from you both soon.

Dan, please do not think that I did not appreciate those humorous cards which you sent. The only reason why I did not acknowledge them is that this lease business and trouble with my Dad developed and seemed to leave little time for writing.

With best regards to you both,

Your friend,

Carl

I found it quite interesting that Carl wrote the boys to tell them all the latest happenings in town, even though he says  “Aside from that there was little else except…” and went on to list 13 events going on. He told the boys more about what was going on in Trumbull than Grandpa ever did. I was just amazed.

For FREE copies of New Inceptions Magazine, an e-magazine, with several articles and stories from my family, you can click the following links.

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Judy Guion