Trumbull – Dear Lad and Dan (1) – Lots of News From Venezuela – January 19, 1939

                               Town of Trumbull, Connecticut Seal








January 19, 1939

Dear Lad and Dan:

I am full of news tonight — incoming not outgoing news for within the last few hours I have received long letters from both of you — yours, Lad, the long letter you wrote on January 5th from the hotel at Caracas giving a minute, graphic and very complete description of hotel life in Caracas (which letter Celia has been good enough to copy in its entirety and left with us; and yours, Dan, written a long time ago in faint lead pencil on thin paper, a dickens of a job to read it is, too, telling about your experiences when you are on your own without any camp base to depend upon for food.  Day before yesterday I also got your letter sent in Red’s envelope.

Also(Aunt) Helen (Human, wife of Uncle Ted, with whom the boys are employed) gave me yesterday two photos of Dan in his native glory which Ted very kindly sent to me.  Dan, with his goatee, looks like one of Sabatini’s swashbuckling heroes or perhaps a rake in the days of the Three Musketeers.

Lad, I hope the 20 bucks which I sent to you by airmail arrived in time to keep you from starving to death and was in cashable form that entailed no excessive delay in converting into coin of the realm.  I hope you won’t have to wire for any more funds because that last straw would have caused me considerable spinal trouble had I been a camel.  With not a cent yet from the Company on Dan’s account, with charge accounts in Meig’s and Read’s calling for attention, with the money being saved for interest on mortgage and my own life insurance, plus loans to Lad which I expected to be recouped by funds due Dan, I now have exactly 59 cents in the bank, after, Thank God, paying Lad’s insurance premium.  However, Aunt Helen tells me the N. Y. office has assured her that by the end of the month the key log in the jam will have been set in motion and there will be no more delay in payments thereafter.  I HOPE it’s true.

Luckily, Dan, while I had made all arrangements to invest amounts agreed upon in selected securities, I had made no commitments being too old a hand to overlook the fact that a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.  So, we’re all set to go as soon the dry season is over.

For the last several days your native Trumbull has been blanketed with a white blanket of snow.  Dave has been quite thrilled with the opportunity it has given him to try out his new Flexible Flyer, and Dick has been out with his skis.  Yesterday was cold and cloudy.  There have been a few snow flurries today but nothing to write to South America about.


Tomorrow I will post the conclusion to this letter. I will be posting more letters from January, 1939 for the rest of the week.

Judy Guion


Memories of Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion (3) – New Furniture and Their First Child – 1892 – 1933


Alfred and Arla Guion have moved into an apartment in the Bronx after their honeymoon in Bermuda. Alfred purchased furniture from Gimbel Brothers and James McCreery and Company, as well as a musical instrument known as a Technola Player Piano from the Aeolian Company to furnish the apartment.


Gimbel Brothers - 1913

                                   Gimbel Brothers – 1913

1          4/6 Brass Bed               $24.00

                                                                                 1          4/6 W W Spring               6.00

1          4/6 Mattress                   18.50

1         Walnut  Chiff                    35.00

1              ”       Dresser                40.00

1              ”       Chair                       4.75

1              ”       Rocker                     5.75

1        ?.O.     Bookcase                  23.50

1           ”       Chair                         20.00

1           ”        Rocker                     20.00





James McCreery and Company - 1913

                      James McCreery and Company – 1913 

SOLD TO: Mrs. A. D. Guion                                                    796 East 175th  Street

1            #816                 Buffet

                                                                                       1            #820                China Closet

               1            #682                Extension Table

      1           #310-1/2         Arm Chair

     1          #306-1/2           side chair



The Aeolian Company Player Piano - 1913

The Aeolian Company Player Piano – 1913

TECHNOLA Player Piano, Style 500 T, Mahogany, (Disc Style) and bench for $325.00


About one year later, Alfred Peabody (my Dad) joined the family. The following letters were received after this happy occasion.

I would like to believe that this picture was taken after Arla had informed Alfred of the child she was carrying. His face shows how much he loves and cherishes her. Their hands are clasped where a new life is developing.


Congratulations on the arrival of a son - 1914 J M Carr

The Park Hotel

Williamsport, Pennsylvania    4/1/1914

Dear Al,

I hope that everything is going along all right with you, and I have been waiting every day to hear that you have had your addition, and that your

wife is getting along in good shape. Things have not been any too good on the road but we are out after what we can get and I suppose I should notkick, as I am away ahead of last year, but then I have to be. I have had very little time home, in fact only a day now and then, for it keeps me on the go all the time trying to make good on what I have undertaken to do this year to earn my salary. This of all years, but I am sure of doing it, if in fact, not doing more, which will mean a little more for me. If it is possible I will do it. Hope you are making good headway with your people and I wish that you would call me up some day and take lunch with me. I will be home, I expect, on Monday and Tuesday and then I start away on a 4 to 5 weeks trip and expect to finish. Well, it here’s hoping that everything is all right and hope both will be well.

Your sincere friend,

J.M. Carr

Congratulations on the birth of a son - 1914 Josiah J. Hazem


John O. Powers Company

11 West 25th Street

New York


April 21, 1914

Dear Guion,

Hurrah ! Hooray!!

I sincerely hope the “family” is getting on nicely.

It’s great to be a daddy.

Yours sincerely,

Josiah J. Hazen


Congratulations on the birth of a son - 1914 Aunt Anna

49 W. 94th

                                                                                 My Dear Nephew and Niece,                                                                                                                                                                                                    

My sincere congratulations for the birth of a son.

Hoping he will be a blessing to you both.


Aunt Anna

April 16, 1914

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting one more letter of congratulations from Alex Smith. It’s quite a long letter from a father to a “new” father, filled with thoughts and words of wisdom.

Next week I’ll begin posting letters from 1944. 

Judy Guion

Special Pictures # 340 – Spot and His Antics

From Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion comes the following quote:

One day I acquired from our washerwoman a little half breed Fox terrier pup which I named Spot.  He was a bright little fellow and I taught him many tricks,, play dead, chase his tail, not touch the most tempting morsel held in front of him until I gave permission, beg, shake hands, speak, come to heel, stay put until I called, etc. He was quite a show off and one day I dressed him up in a little jacket and pants like a monkey, with a little hat, got out an old hand organ of my father’s that played music rolls, and with myself dressed as an organ grinder, called on several neighbors who did not recognize us at first and seemed to derive much amusement from the performance until Spots pants fell down and we were recognized.



Elsie May Duryee, Grandpa’s sister, with Spot.


Spot standing on hind legs


Spot with Elsie May Guion


Elsie and a friend with Spot


I believe Spot may have been a great companion for Grandpa after his father passed away. It seems that he always had a dog.

This coming week I will be posting letters written in late 1943. Ced is coming home for a visit which has everyone excited, especially Grandpa. He has not seen family members since June of 1940. Lad and Marian have been married for only about a month and the Army still has a surprise for them.

Judy Guion

The Beginning (62) – Childhood Memories of Trumbull – Photos through the Years


The Childhood Memories of Trumbull have come to an end. Today I would like to take you back through time with pictures of the children as they grew up in Trumbull. I hope you have enjoyed these childhood memories of a different time and place, written in their own words.


Biss has a broken arm so this would mean the picture was taken in about 1924, when Biss was five years old. 

L to R – Lad, Ced, Biss and Dick


Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion with her children – L to R – Dan, Lad, Ced, Dick and Biss. Since Dick was born in 1920, I think this picture was taken about 1923. The family moved to Trumbull in the middle of December, 1922, they probably were still unpacking and arranging things into 1923. A family Portrait would not have been at the top of the list of things to do.


              Dick, Dan, Ced, Lad and Biss with Mack c. 1924


   Dan, Dave, Lad, Dick, Ced and Biss. Since Dave was born in 1925 and this picture appears to have been taken in the late fall or winter, it probably was taken about 1928.


Back – Cedric, Grandpa, Dan, Biss, Lad, Front – Don Stanley, Dave, Dick, Gwen Stanley. I believe this picture may have been taken in the early fall of 1938, just before Dan left at the end of October for Venezuela. 


Tomorrow, more Special Pictures.

Next week, I will post letters written at the end of 1943. Lad and Marian have only been married about a month and everyone is looking forward to the holidays.

Judy Guion

Special Photo # 339 – Grandpa’s Pictures of Dell Avenue House – circa 1901

These two pictures are among about seventy-five negatives I found in the pages of his Mother’s (Ella D(uryee Guion)  Prayer Book. I believe they are pictures taken by Grandpa as a young teen with a camera much like the Brownie Camera which was my first camera.It is visible in the last picture, his “selfie” taken in the mid-1990’s.


Front view of the Dell Avenue house


Dell Avenue House in 2013 – front porch has been enclosed)


Side view of the Dell Avenue House


Front and side view of the Dell Avenue house in 2013


Alfred Duryee Guion self portrait – circa 1995

Starting tomorrow I will post a week of random memories that are not in chronological order and need to be moved to a more appropriate place in this collection of Childhood Memories .

Judy Guion


My Ancestors (33a) – Alfred Peabody Guion – 1914 – 2003

Last June I  read about a Challenge, 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, and I was intrigued. I decided to take up the challenge. Some Ancestors may take more than one week, but I still intend to write about 52 Ancestors. I hope you enjoy reading about My Ancestors as much as I am looking forward to researching and writing about them.

(1) Alfred Peabody Guion; (2) Judith Anne Guion

Alfred Duryee Guion and Alfred Peabody Guion – July 26, 1914

I must admit that this post has been the hardest to write so far.  I have so much material in trying to decide how to present it and keep it interesting has been difficult.  It will probably end up being a combination of chronological events, childhood memories, quotes from letters during World War II and some of my memories about my Dad.  I will probably be taking 3 or 4 Sundays to finish the story of my Father.

Quotes from my Dad’s childhood memories –

I was born in New York City in 1914, then I lived in Yonkers (Grandpa states they lived in the Bronx) for a short time.  When I was about one, we moved to 91 Dell Ave. in Mount Vernon, NY.  By the time I was 3, I was quite interested in mechanical things.  I remember taking an alarm clock, taking it all apart and putting it back together, but I had one gear left over when I finished.  It didn’t keep very good time.  It was fast.  I never could find out where that gear went.

Alfred Peabody Guion – July 26, 1914


April, 1914 to ?,  1915 –  Bronx, N.Y.

1915 to 1919 – Dell Avenue, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

1919 to September, 1921 – Larchmont Gardens, Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Alfred Peabody Guion and Daniel Beck Guion – circa 1920

Quotes from my Dad’s childhood memories –

When I was 5, Dad and Mom were building a house in Larchmont.  They had a contractor build it and it was on Lansdowne Drive in Larchmont Gardens.  I accompanied them, well, maybe three or four times, when they went out to look at it.  Mom told the carpenters what she wanted changed.  She was quite conscious about what she wanted.

I think we had a garden in the backyard with green beans growing.  Dan and I each took 2 or 3 green beans and we walked around and around his (their neighbor, Roger Batchelder) house, with the beans rubbing on the house, wearing them down until they cut short.  Then we’d throw them away and get some more beans.  So Roger was kind of upset about that.

When I started school in Larchmont, either kindergarten or 1st grade, (It was kindergarten) I went to school in a horse-drawn sleigh in the winter.  I just remember being awfully cold.  In the warmer months, Mother drove me to school.  Dan may have started school there; he was only a year and a half behind me.

.  While we were in Larchmont, we went on vacation to Sandy Hook, Connecticut, Camp-A-While, it was called.  In fact, that’s where we were going the day the old Franklin gave out.  One of the bearings, one of the connecting rod bearings let go and Dad found a Franklin garage in Danbury.  The owner of the garage was working on the car, fixing it, and his wife was talking to Mother.  I don’t know how it happened – Mother may have been asking her questions about the area.  Apparently, Mother liked that area of Connecticut.  The wife told Mother about a house they owned in Trumbull.  We went to look at it and before long, we bought the house.

Next Sunday I will continue the story of Alfred Peabody Guion, my Dad.

Starting tomorrow,we jump back to the early 1900’s with excerpts from Reminiscences of Alfred Duryee Guion, as Grandpa tells his story in his own words.

Judy Guion

Special Picture # 341 – Grandpa’s Selfie – Late 1890’s

Grandpa (Alfred Duyee Guion) took this picture of himself in front of a mirror dressed in his Sunday-Go-To-Meeting clothes. I believe this was taken at some point prior to 1899 when his father passed away and  he, his mother and sister had to move out of their fancy house into one much more modest.  Grandpa was born in 1884 and he looks to be about 12 or 13 in this picture.

Special Picture # 340 – Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion and her Sisters

This is the only picture I have of the four Peabody Girls – my Grandma Arla and her three sisters. There were also five boys in the family . Arla, the oldest girl, was born in 1892. 

Anne (Peabody) Stanley, Arla Mary (Peabody) Guion, (my Grandmother) Helen (Peabody) Human, Dorothy Peabody.

Special Picture # 339 – “The Gang” at the Trumbull House – 1934

This is a photo of many of the young people who congregated at the Trumbull House. This photo was taken in 1936 on the side porch.  A few of them are mentioned in Grandpa’s early letters regularly.Those include Barbara Plumb (who was actually engaged to Dan for a while); Jane Claude-Mantle (who married Charlie Hall and is the mother of a great childhood friend); Ethel Bushey (very good friend of Elizabeth (Bissie) Grandpa’s only daughter); and Arnold Gibson (Lad’s best friend). Lad is in the back row, 4th from the right, Dan is in the  front row, 1st from the right, Dave is in the front row, 2nd from the right.

Special Picture # 337 – Trumbull House – Then and Now – Screened Porch and Dining Room Door – 1940 – 2018

Recently I spent a night in the Trumbull House visiting with Paulette – Aunt Chiche to family and friends – and took quite a few pictures. For the next few Saturdays I will be posting pictures taken during this stay as well as older pictures of similar places taken over the years, when I have them. I hope you enjoy.



Trumbull House – Screened Porch and Dining Room Door – date unknown

Trumbull House with Screened Porch and Dining Room door – 1940

The following is a childhood memory recorded by me with my Uncle Dave.

I don’t know how to explain it because the house, the Big House, has changed so much with renovations but  there used to be a screen porch on the southeast corner of the house and there was a window there that looked from the stairs out onto the porch. Don and Gwen (Stanley) were there and Dick and I were talking, talking, talking, talking, talking. We had been warned on two or three occasions to quiet down and go to sleep. If Dick has told this story it will be a different version than mine because what happened was the last one to speak when the last warning came, was me. So, I was sent upstairs away from the rest of them and as I went up the stairs, I kicked at the window to warn them that I was going to cause trouble for them. Anybody else and everybody else will tell you that I kicked in the window on purpose, but at any rate, I never bought that story. It was a warning. I kicked it into warn them but I broke it. The next thing I knew, my father came charging up the stairs gave me a good spanking and sent me to bed. When I got into bed, I began to feel something sticky down around my right foot. I was already crying and upset, and when I checked it, I’d cut my foot on the glass, which made me feel still more hurt and angry, and suffering such a terrible injustice. I was probably nine or 10 when that happened, maybe eight, well it had to be after my mother had died and I was seven she died.

Tomorrow I’ll begin posting letters written in 1946. The most notable event will be the birth of Grandpa’s first granddaughter in France.

Judy Guion